Sunday, March 26, Rev. Claudia Ruiz and the team at Richmond Casa del Alfarero (House of the Potter) welcomed me to worship with them at their 1 p.m. service and invited me to preach the Word. It was a joy to be with this beautiful family of believers. Attendance has been growing under the leadership of Pastor Ruiz and her assistant pastors, Carlos and Jessie. Following the worship service, I met with the leadership team and then shared a meal with Carlos, Jessie, and Pastor Claudia.
Pastor Ruiz has also been ministering in Union City to an independent congregation called Casa de Oracion (House of Prayer) on Saturday evenings. Pastor John Hannan, who is planting CrossRoads Church in Union City, has also been a partner and encouragement to this Hispanic congregation. I was invited to preach in their service on Saturday evening as they take steps toward becoming a part of our district family in a network with Casa del Alfarero.
Another exciting possibility is developing as Casa del Alfarero and Casa de Oracion are praying about planting a third church for this network in Portland. Join them in praying that God will open hearts and doors for expanded ministry in surrounding communities.
Since the worship service at Casa del Alfarero begins at 1 p.m., I had the opportunity to drop in at LifeSpring North campus for their 9:30 service. The church has been making wonderful progress in ministry even as they are working through this pastoral transition. LifeSpring has a great team of volunteers including this group of tech and worship leaders who gathered for prayer before the service.
The LifeSpring campus model provides live teaching at both sites built on the same series or themes but the messages at each site are unique to the preachers. Rev. Jacob Gibson was preaching at the north campus and brought a timely message on being students of God’s Word. I also enjoyed catching up with Rev. David Anderson and other members of their team.
The south campus is located about 7 miles south in the center of Richmond. I was able to join Campus Pastor Josh Fakhoury and his team for their 11 a.m. worship service. Dr. Aaron Perry, professor at Wesley Seminary, has been serving the LifeSpring staff in a part-time role as interim pastor while the search process has been ongoing. It was good to hear Dr. Perry preach and to see the growing congregation (averaging over 250) at the south campus.
Michael Wood and I met in Marion last Monday to interview two candidates for the Executive Ministry Partner role with our district office staff. We had great applicants and are excited to be able to introduce our newest team member to you in the next few weeks.
On Tuesday, I traveled to Cincinnati to meet with our Heartland Region district superintendents. It is a joy to serve alongside Rev. Les Crossfield (Greater Ohio District), Rev. Doug Preston (Indiana South District) and Rev. Aaron Sherman (Kentucky-Tennessee District). In addition to planning and laughter, we shared in prayer for one another and our districts. There was unanimous support for offering our third Heartland Gathering next spring. We are delighted the Rev. Aaron Holley has once again agreed to coordinate the planning team.
Wednesday, I was in Fishers to meet with Rev. Claudia Ruiz for our annual coaching conversation. Sherry and I were able to connect for lunch and then I was grateful for the opportunity to meet with Dr. Wayne Schmidt, our General Superintendent. These are challenging days for all denominational leaders and Dr. Schmidt welcomes our prayers.
Wednesday evening, I was able to join Rev. Mike Henry and the team at Fort Wayne Level 13 Church’s weekly prayer gathering. Pastor Mike has been sharing encouraging reports of progress from this ministry. I was reminded again of this quote from Hudson Taylor: “When we work, we work. When we pray, God works!”
Thursday morning, Rev. Brian Williams (pastor of Sims Wesleyan Church) and I met for our annual coaching conversation. Thursday afternoon, Rev. Ashlyn Luttrell (pastor of Wabash North Wesleyan Church) and I met for our coaching conversation.
Friday was a quiet day working from my home office with just one Zoom call and enough time to read Craig Groeschel’s book “Lead Like It Matters.” Craig’s books are always full of great quotes. Here was one that I highlighted: “Be faithful even when on one else is watching. Remember, it’s the things no one sees that bring the results everyone wants. You won’t be successful someday when you see the results. You are successful when you are obedient and faithful today.”
Sunday, March 26, was a beautiful day of celebration for Rev. Rob Tippey and the team at New Journey Church in Wabash. Pastor Rob had the privilege of baptizing seven new believers who publicly professed their faith in Christ. Praise God for lives #MadeNew!
On another happy note, congratulations goes out to Rev. Sam and Jen Maddox (Albion Wesleyan Church) on the birth of their first grandchild, Elijah, born on Thursday to their daughter, Bailey, and her husband. We’re pleased to report that mother and baby are home and both doing well.
Dr. Mark Wilson, ministry professor at Southern Wesleyan University, released an episode of his podcast this week with helpful reminders about the five factors that help churches thrive: Invite, Connect, Deepen, Send, and Worship. You can check out this helpful episode here:
Thank you for joining us in praying for a fresh move of God among our next generation of Wesleyan leaders who will be gathering in Cincinnati this December. There will also be seminars and workshops for pastors and parents so make please every effort to attend!
Calling all Crossroads District retired ministers and spouses! We would love to have you join us for the Retired Ministers and Spouses Fellowship on Friday, April 28, at 10:00 am at Wesleyan Headquarters in Fishers (13300 Olio Rd, Fishers, IN 46037). You may register by emailing email@example.com or by leaving a voicemail message at 765-674-8593.
The Crossroads District Senior Adult Ministries (SAM) would also like to invite you to attend the Post-Covid Relaunch Strategy Luncheon being held on Saturday, April 22nd from 1:00 – 2:30 pm at the MCL Cafeteria in Castleton (5520 Castleton Corner Lane, Indianapolis, IN 46250 - North of the Castleton Mall at 86th and Allisonville). For additional information, please email Rev. CK Chitty at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep on making a difference in the cause that counts for eternity!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent