Sunday morning, July 12, Sherry and I had the joy of worshiping with Pastor Neftali & Grace Lopez and their team at Carmel Iglesia Amistad Cristiana. Amistad was the first of the Hispanic congregations in our district and they have built an effective ministry to Spanish-speakers from across the Indianapolis region. They were approved for the Lilly Tech grant and will be upgrading their online ministry over the next few weeks. They also just completed repaving and painting their parking lot.
After the worship service, Sherry and I enjoyed the opportunity to catch up with Pastor Neftali and Grace over lunch. Grace has finished the ministerial course of study and will begin her supervised ministry this fall. Pastor Neftali serves as a bi-vocational pastor with a strong leadership team that includes Dr. Norman and Kim Wilson. In addition to his pastoral responsibilities, Neftali serves in the US Navy Reserves, minsters as a chaplain for IWU in Indy, manages a restaurant, and is working on his doctoral degree.
Among the highlights of last week’s ministry, Sherry and I were invited to the LBA and staff outing at River Church on Monday evening. Last year, River Church averaged 717 in worship with 91 professions of faith and 57 baptisms. It was good to hear the stories of how God has faithfully continued working through the pandemic. I appreciate Pastor Matthew Trexler’s willingness to serve again this year as our Region I Assistant DS.
Tuesday, I led our district staff meeting in the morning and the Hartford City Wesleyan Church staff meeting in the afternoon. Wednesday, I joined two Zoom meetings before heading to Anderson to connect for prayer with Pastor David and Marcy Shafer (North Anderson Wesleyan Church). My final meeting of the day was with another prospective church planter. Keep on praying for God to send laborers into the Harvest!
Thursday afternoon, I was in Fort Wayne for a meeting with UMC leaders about a possible church planting partnership. Thursday evening, Sherry and I hosted Rev. Bob and Cheryl McHenry for supper and prayer. Pastor Bob accepted the call to Marion Nelson Street Wesleyan and they began their ministry there this month. It was encouraging to hear how God opened this door of ministry and we’re praying for a wonderful new chapter of ministry in the life of this historic congregation. Pastor Bob is another of our bi-vocational ministers who will lead the church while continuing to serve as a Case Coordinator with Grant-Blackford Mental Health Center.
Rev. Carla Working has agreed to join the Crossroads District staff. Pastor Carla and Pastor Zack Working have been leading the exciting turnaround at our church in Huntington (now known as Hope Rising). Carla completed her undergraduate ministerial program at Indiana Wesleyan University and holds the M.A. in Church Leadership from Wesley Seminary. She will be working part-time with Dr. David Smith, chair of the DBMD, and assisting me with projects while she continues to serve on the pastoral staff at Hope Rising. I am also delighted that she has agreed to host a leadership cohort for Crossroads District women in ministry.
Congratulations to Brandon Shroyer (youth minister at Tipton Trinity Wesleyan Church) and Jessica, his wife, welcomed their second child last week with the birth of Sadie Ray Louise Shroyer (6 pounds, 12 oounces, and 20 inches long). Mrs. Elicia and Rev. Andy Cole (Lapel Daybreak Church) are proud grandparents.
Fairmount Camp announced last week that they will not be hosting regular Family Camp evening services due to state restrictions but that camp will be open and morning services will be held for those staying on the grounds. Here’s the official announcement:
This year, due to the current circumstances surrounding COVID-19, Church of the Highlands will be hosting their Grow Conference as a free online experience. At Grow Conference, you will be able to learn the heart behind all that Grow has to offer, as well as how to practically implement essential systems and structures into your church, through live main sessions and an opportunity to connect with the Highlands staff team to get your questions answered. This dynamic online event will empower and refresh you, as well as provide you with the practical ministry tools and resources you need to help your church grow.
There is no limit on how many people your church can register, so feel free to spread the word to your ministry friends, staff, teams, volunteers, and more! Please keep in mind that the content from this conference is specifically designed to impact leaders within the local church.
Pastors in Region 1 are invited to be part of the online event at The River Church (759 S. Lenfesty Avenue, Marion, IN 46953) for both days, July 28th & 29th. Lunch will be provided both days. We will need you to register BY JULY 22ND so that the River team can get an accurate number for lunch. You can register by using the link below:
GROW Conference – Crossroads District link
Thank you for all you do to advance God’s Kingdom in these challenging days!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent
P.S. Just a reminder that we’re hosting two Zoom calls for Crossroads District pastors tomorrow, Tuesday, July 14, with the first at 2 p.m. and the second opportunity at 8 p.m. Details for connecting to the Zoom event have been sent to your email.