Sunday morning, June 2, I had the privilege of worshiping with Pastor Paul and Angelyn VanCise and the team at Bryant Wesleyan Church. Pastor Paul has served here since 2003 and God is blessing his ministry at this vibrant rural church. They have a wonderful impact in their community and are expanding their ministry partnership in Honduras.
Bryant Wesleyan’s leadership team participated in a StratOp planning retreat earlier this year and are working on two key action initiatives to move the church forward to even greater effectiveness. After a brief meeting with the LBA, I enjoyed lunch with the VanCise family in Portland.
Last Tuesday began with our district office staff meeting at Abbey Coffee on Tuesday working on wrapping up this conference year. I met with Pastor Steve Binns (Anderson Lone Oak) over lunch for our annual coaching conversation. This is Steve’s first appointment as a pastor so it has been a year of learning and new experiences.
Tuesday afternoon, I met with Pastor Chuck Moorer (Indianapolis Divine Direction) for our annual coaching conversation. Rev. Moorer has his own business and a blossoming music career, but still makes time to lead the church in impacting their inner-city community. Last Thanksgiving, they provided meals for 300 people and then adopted 50 families to bless for Christmas. They are training volunteers and preparing to roll out a new food bank program with a strong discipleship component.
Wednesday morning, I had a meeting in Marion and then had the privilege of participating in the 2019 Doctrinal Symposium directed by the Education and Clergy Development Department of The Wesleyan Church and hosted by Wesley Seminary. This year’s symposium focused on “Kingdom Force: Disciples Making Disciples in the New Testament and Early Church.” Presentations from Dr. Ken Schenck (IWU), Dr. Sarah Derck (Houghton), Dr. Stephen Elliot (Kingswood) and Dr. David Riggs (IWU) were received with opportunities for reflection and discussion. The backdrop for this event is the focus that Dr. Wayne Schmidt, our General Superintendent, has given to disciples making disciples. Here are some of the discipleship questions that Dr. Schmidt posed in his article on the healthy church:
The symposium concluded at lunchtime on Thursday so I was able to head down to Lapel in the afternoon to connect with Pastor Andy Cole at Daybreak Community Church for our annual coaching conversation. These are exciting days at Daybreak with attendance now running over 100. They have welcomed 3 new families since Easter and have 8 baptisms scheduled for June 23.
Friday morning, I connected with Chris Williams for our weekly planning session and then met with Dr. David Smith to review items for the District Board of Ministerial Development. Dr. Smith does a terrific job leading our credentialing team in serving as many as 100 ministerial students each year.
Friday afternoon, I met with Pastor Matthew Ohime (Hamlet Davis Wesleyan Church) for our annual coaching conversation. Pastor Matt is leading DWC in an intentional revitalization project that included reclassifying the church as “developing” and they have signed on for a Maximizing Impact consultation (July 18-21). They’ve recently celebrated baptisms and are remodeling their welcome area and worship center. I love seeing churches like Davis Wesleyan take bold steps to become more effective in the mission of God!
Friday evening, I met with Pastor Calimerio Rodriguez (Templo de Poder) in Frankfort. Pastor Rodriquez is another of our faithful bivocational pastors who serves the Lord with passion and effectiveness. The family has sensed God’s grace in the past month as they experienced both the funeral of Calimerio’s brother-in-law and the wedding of Ezekiel, their son. Pastor Alan Downing (Connecting Point Church) and Rev. Rodriguez (Templo de Poder) are to be commended for the wonderful partnership they are developing between their congregations to better impact Frankfort for Christ.
The community of Pendleton took a direct hit last Monday evening with an EF2 tornado damaging at least 75 homes. Fortunately, there were few injuries and no lives were lost. The Pendleton campus of Waterline Church was not damaged. Rev. Joe Deckard, Pendleton Waterline’s Community Pastor, led the team of staff and volunteers from both Waterline campuses that sprang into action serving meals and providing support to the relief efforts. The team from Waterline is working closely with the Pendleton EMA as cleanup operations continue. Thank you to Pastor John & Danielle Freed, Pastor Joe, and the Waterline team for responding so well to this crisis.
This was a big graduation weekend in many of our churches. Congratulations to these graduating seniors and their families. Rev. David Hines (Brookhaven Wesleyan in Marion) was one of the youth pastors who made celebrating these seniors a special part of the worship service. Many of them will be heading to Indiana Wesleyan University this fall and we’re blessed to have this partnership in discipling the next generation.
Pastor Zach Working reported that in addition to recognizing three graduates yesterday, Huntington Hope Rising Wesleyan Church also welcomed 20 new church members and had 1 individual declare a call to ministry!
This Sunday was also special at Rising Hope Church, our newest church plant in Muncie, not only for celebrating graduates but it also marked the first time that they have been able to worship in their building at 1500 W. Cowing Drive. They’ve been meeting in the nearby middle school since launching last fall. Having their own building reduces costs and the energy required for setup each week. They will have an official grand opening in the fall but the team worked overtime last week to prepare the facility for this occasion.
Plan to join us this Tuesday, June 4 (7:00 p.m.) at Wesley Seminary in Marion as Rev. Dan LeRoy lectures on “Rediscovering Our Holiness Heritage.” Our General Superintendent is making this a priority on his calendar and we’d love to welcome you.
Fairmount, Frankfort, Hanging Rock and Never the Same youth camps are ramping up for another summer of life-changing ministry. Students from College Wesleyan and Lakeview Wesleyan headed off yesterday for 3 Fires Camp. Please pray for all of these camps, the young people and the staff. Pray for safety in travel and activities but, most importantly, pray for eternal spiritual impact in these lives. Thank you to the volunteers, donors, and parents who make these camps possible!
Keep on making a difference in the cause that counts for eternity!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintedent
P.S. – Mark your calendar for District Conference and Ordination, June 21-22, at the Philippe Performing Arts Center on the campus of Indiana Wesleyan University.