Sunday morning, May 30, Sherry and I had the privilege of worshiping with the fine folks at North Anderson Wesleyan Church. Pastor David Shafer and Assistant Pastor James Scott Stamper lead this growing ministry. NAWC has stayed busy during the pandemic with the most recent project being the expansion of their entryway to make room for a welcome center and coffee counter. Following the morning service, I met briefly with their Local Board of Administration and then Sherry and I hosted the pastoral families for lunch.
Last week's schedule included a board meeting (via Zoom) for the Wesleyan Bible Conference Association (Brooksville) and a district conference planning team meeting in Marion. Please make plans now to join us for ordination service at the IWU Chapel Auditorium on Friday evening, June 25, at 7 p.m. as we celebrate the ordination of 12 women and men who are answering God's call. District Conference will convene on Saturday morning, June 26, with doors opening at 8 a.m. and the business session beginning at 9. We are grateful that our General Superintendent Dr. Wayne Schmidt will be able to be with us for both of these events. Pastors have already received information for pre-registering their delegation. For more information, follow this link:
Tuesday afternoon I led the weekly meeting for our district office team and then met with the staff at Hartford City Wesleyan. On Tuesday evening, I met with the Local Board of Administration at Lone Oak Wesleyan Church. I chaired the meeting as they interviewed Dr. Robert Hallett to serve as their interim pastor. The LBA voted unanimously to request the DBA to make that appointment and the DBA approved that request. Dr. Hallett will begin his ministry at Lone Oak on Sunday, June 27, and lead the congregation through a process similar to the work he did with Lancaster Wesleyan last year.
Our schedule took a delightful turn last week with the arrival of our first grandchild. John and Lindsey, our oldest son and his wife, welcomed Lennon Joy Gorveatte early on Monday morning. With Covid restrictions, we waited until they were released home on Wednesday but were thrilled to take a few days off to meet this special gift from God. We welcome tips and advice from those of you who have more experience at grandparenting.
Pastor Mark Atkinson (Gas City Eastview Wesleyan) dedicated a baby and baptized the mother in a special service at their home last week. The family attended Eastview Wesleyan while they were students at IWU. While they’ve moved back home, they continue to feel like part of the Eastview congregation through the online ministry.
Dr. Steve Bray and our LifeSpring Church in Richmond celebrated a total of 20 baptisms last weekend with 9 of those at the South campus and 11 more at the North campus. Praise the Lord for these lives being #MadeNew!
Our prayers and sympathies are extended to the family of Rev. Dan Bickel, formerly the Wisconsin District Superintendent. Sherry and I will be traveling to Wisconsin for his funeral on Wednesday. Dan was pastor to our family when we moved to Wisconsin back in 1998.
Dan graduated from Marion College (Indiana Wesleyan University) in 1973, and received his Master of Divinity degree from Asbury Theological Seminary in 1976. Dan married Reenie (Hoover) on July 8, 1972. They were married for 49 wonderful years with two sons and six grandchildren.
Dan served as youth pastor and worship director at Brookhaven Wesleyan Church, Marion, IN, and as pastor at Etna Avenue Wesleyan Church, Huntington, IN. In 2001 he became District Superintendent of the Wisconsin District.
Dan and Reenie both have deep roots in the Crossroads District. He was born in Hartford City (April 17, 1951) and raised in Muncie. His parents were part of the team that helped launch Rising Hope Church in Muncie. His father-in-law is Dr. Ed Hoover, former district treasurer, and his brothers-in-law (through marriage to Reenie's sisters) are Rev. Stan Hoover (retired DS), Rev. Joel Gearhart (Brookhaven Wesleyan), and Rev. Mike Schultz (Indianapolis Trinity). Please remember the Bickel family in your prayers.
Memorial contributions may be made in Dan’s name to the Wesley Seminary Scholarship Fund at Indiana Wesleyan University. The memorial service will be held at Blackhawk Church, 9620 Brader Way, Middleton, WI, on Wednesday, June 2, at 2:00 pm, with Rev. Ron Gormong officiating.
Thank you for all you do to make a difference in the cause that counts for eternity!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent