Sunday, April 29, I had the privilege of worshiping with Pastor Clifton & Arletta Ashlock and the congregation of Anderson United Wesleyan Church. United is a remarkable story of diversity and steps of faith. Some of you may recall that the nearby Friends Church reached out and offered their facility as the Wesleyan congregation was expanding its outreach to Hispanic families. Today, they share a beautiful campus with a Saturday evening service in Spanish and a Sunday morning service that offers translation. The songs on Sunday include alternating verses in English and Spanish.
Pastor Nicolas and Adrianne Zarate are coming over from Noblesville Lakeview to preach on Saturday evenings. Rev. Ashlock’s Portuguese fluency helps as he continues to gain Spanish-language proficiency and shepherds the congregation. The shared youth and children’s ministry is primarily conducted in English. Pray for the continued impact of this multi-cultural ministry in Anderson!
Sunday evening, I was in South Bend to connect with Pastor Greg Holmes (South Bend Sonlight Fellowship) and Rev. & Mrs. Terry Vaughn (The Bridge Urban Church) to explore the possibilities of partnership in a shared facility. Sonlight’s building is strategically located on Michigan Avenue, the main street into South Bend.
Sonlight Fellowship is running between 30-40 in worship and had 70 people present for Easter. The Vaughn’s have a team of 40, mostly younger adults, that they are discipling as they move toward launch this fall. Pray for wisdom as these conversations continue.
Yesterday, Fountain City Wesleyan Church honored Rev. David and Jill Anderson for their 34 faithful years of service to the congregation in his role as senior pastor. Next Sunday, Dr. Steve Bray will be installed as the new senior pastor and Rev. Anderson will become his associate. What a great story of servant leadership!
This was graduation weekend for Indiana Wesleyan University. I had the privilege of preaching at the Baccalaureate Service on Friday evening and then celebrated graduations on Saturday with Jordan, our daughter, who completed her B.A. (summa cum laude), and with Lindsey, our daughter-in-law, who completed her M.Div from Wesley Seminary with a 4.0 GPA.
Lindsey is on staff with Jeff Eckart and the Never The Same (NTS) camps as Bible engagement director and Jordan begins work on Tuesday as Social Media Specialist for ReFrame Media (Back to God) in Grand Rapids. We are proud of these young women and excited to see all that God as in store as they following His calling on their lives.
Congratulations to dozens students from all over the Crossroads District who graduated these weekend. It’s a significant milestone and we are truly blessed to have Indiana Wesleyan University right here in the heart of our district. Rev. Jon Wiest was one of those many graduates as he completed his Masters degree from Wesley Seminary.
I was out of the office on Monday through Wednesday, traveling to and from New Jersey where I was able to present the “Lead Like Wesley” seminar for three United Methodist District Superintendents and a group of 50 leaders who gathered on Tuesday. Twenty of the ministers in this region had been going through the book, one chapter at a time, as part of their monthly leadership development gathering.
I attended Wesley Biblical Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi and was delighted to meet fellow alumnus Scott Rambo and former WBS president Dr. Ron Smith who now serve in this conference. It was encouraging to hear their stories and to affirm our shared Wesleyan revivalists/reformers DNA.
Thursday, I participated in the monthly web meeting that Dr. Wayne Schmidt, our GS, offers to the district superintendents. Dr. Schmidt and I then shared a working lunch in preparation of the General Board meeting which convenes at HQ on May 1 and 2. Rev. Jon Wiest and our district’s discipleship cohort welcomed Dr. Kevin Watson to their afternoon ZOOM call. It was good to reconnect with Kevin after we had hosted him at Kingswood University during my tenure. Kevin is making a significant contribution to Wesleyan renewal through his writings on John Wesley’s class and band meetings.
Link to Dr. Kevin Watson’s books on Amazon
The last meeting on Thursday was with Nancy Schoonmaker, our District Treasurer, and Mrs. Roxene Lo, office manager/bookkeeper, as we prepared for the ending of this conference year and the new one that begins tomorrow.
Thank you to each pastor and local church leader who makes USF (United Stewardship Fund) a priority in your church. Our shared ministry at the district level, the denominational level, and in our education institutions depends on your faithful investment. The majority of our churches have already reached the 100% level but you still have until May 10 to record any last minute contributions. Thank you for your partnership in our shared ministry!
Congratulations to Pastor Tim McClellan and the team at Marion Lakeview Wesleyan Church for another successful women’s ministry simulcast. More than 400 women gathered on Saturday for inspiration and encouragement featuring the teaching ministry of Priscilla Shirer, Thank you to Lakeview Church for making this valuable event available to our community!
Pastor Jerry Alexander reported that Anderson Central Wesleyan Church voted, yesterday morning, to approve the Maximizing Impact consultation report. Pray for wisdom as their team takes these important next steps to better reach their community.
Your prayers are invited as our General Superintendent, Rev. Dr. Wayne Schmidt, convenes the General Board of The Wesleyan Church in Fishers this week. We stand in need of God’s wisdom and favor to face the challenges and seize the opportunities before our church.
Thank you for all you do to advance the Kingdom! It’s a joy to serve together in the cause that counts for eternity!
Your servant in Christ,