Sunday morning, February 21, I had the privilege of worshiping with Rev. Barry and Joyce Dixon and the wonderful congregation at Indianapolis Calvary Family Church. Pastor Barry has served the church for more than a decade and also serves on our District Board of Administration. The church has been challenged this year with the loss of senior members to Covid-19.
After their 9 a.m. worship service, Pastor Dixon and I met with the Local Board of Administration. Pastor Dixon’s gifted children, Barry Jr. and Dee, join him in the inspiring worship ministry of the church. We look forward to having them lead us in worship at our 2021 District Conference, June 26.
The early service at Calvary Family Church made it possible for me to arrive at Fishers Waterline Church in time to hear Assistant Pastor Elizabeth Rhyno preach the lead-off sermon in their new series on the Apostles’ Creed and to participate in the Lord’s Supper. Dr. Wayne Schmidt, General Superintendent, will lead the special ordination service for Elizabeth Rhyno on Sunday evening, March 14, 6 p.m., at Waterline Church. We look forward to having as many of our district pastors as possible join us for this sacred occasion.
Sunday afternoon, I chaired the Local Church Conference for Muncie Memorial Drive Wesleyan Church. This is an important time of transition for Memorial as they send out several members to be part of the new Crossover Community Church planting team and also begin their pastoral search process.
Sunday evening, I was able to drop in on two of our newest churches. Rev. Mike Weller and his team are launching Restoration Church on Meridian Street in downtown Anderson. They are using a dinner church model, meeting around tables to share a meal and conversations before the message.
My last stop of the day was to check in with Rev. Jerome Bell and members of his launch team who are gathering on Sunday evenings to pray and plan for the launching of Autumn Hills Church in Pendleton. It was a joy to pray with them and hear some of the stories of how God is at work through their team.
Last week’s schedule included LBA meetings with Greenfield Browns Chapel Wesleyan on Monday, Chesterfield Parkview Wesleyan on Wednesday, and Hartford City Wesleyan on Thursday. I come away from these meetings with a deep appreciation for our many lay leaders who generously invest their time, talents and treasure in the ministry of our churches. These valued volunteers are so often the unsung heroes of our ministry. I also enjoyed my coaching conversations last week with Rev. Duane Seitz (Silver Lake Wesleyan) and Rev. Dan Clark (Monon Wesleyan).
Our District Board of Administration met in Pendleton on Thursday. We had a broad ranging discussion on matters from the strong participation in our “Rest Well Initiative” to a new memorial for General Conference that would allow churches a path to withdraw from the denomination if changes were made to affirm homosexual relations or to approve same-sex marriage. The DBA also reviewed the 360 degree DS evaluation. I am grateful for this feedback and appreciate the willingness of so many of our pastors to participate in this year’s anonymous feedback survey.
The highlight of our DBA meeting was the opportunity to hear from Pastor Andy and Leanza Riemersma who are answering the call to plant a new church in Westfield. Rev. Mike Colaw, Assistant DS for Region 2, presented the couple and the project proposal. The DBA unanimously approved “One Church” as the new project and appointed Pastor Riemersma to lead this new ministry as a launch from Trinity Wesleyan Church. Pastors will receive additional information from the DBA meeting including an exciting opportunity for us to be part of the GROW conference at Church of the Highlands in Birmingham, Alabama, July 27-29.
Friday evening, Sherry and I had the pleasure of hosting pastors and spouses for the Fort Wayne Zone fellowship supper. We shared delightful conversations and a delicious meal at Ziano’s. The highlight of our time together is hearing how God is at work in our families and ministries. We were also blessed to be able to pray for one another. Special thanks to Pastor Andy Jellison for making our arrangements!
Special thanks to Jessica Folz, Crossroads District Youth President, and her team for hosting this year’s FUEL event at Lakeview Wesleyan Church on Saturday. It was good to stop by and see the cross section of youth and children’s ministry leaders who gathered from across our district family.
We’re rejoicing with Lapel Daybreak Church as they celebrated three baptisms this morning! This is Lead Pastor Andy Cole with Amber, a young lady that he led to the Lord last month. Praise God for lives being #madenew! There is still time for your church to plan a baptism service as we move into the Easter season.
Dr. Wilbur Williams, beloved professor and mentor, passed away on Tuesday, February 16, after serving the IWU community for more than 50 years, teaching over 17,000 students and completing almost 200 tours of Israel. Our sympathy and prayers are extended to Mrs. Ardelia Williams, her family and their many friends. Funeral arrangements will be announced.
We also extend our prayers and sympathies to Mrs. Eula May (Metz) Carr and the family of Rev. Richard Carr, retired pastor and educator. Rev. Carr passed away on February 16. Rev. Carr pastored Wesleyan churches in Michigan, Florida and Indiana. He also taught public school for 44 years. Visitation will be Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Central Wesleyan Church, 2406 Delaware St., Anderson with the funeral service at 1 p.m. with the Rev. Jerry Alexander officiating.
Keep on making a difference in the cause that counts for eternity!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent