Sunday morning, September 27, was a special joy for our district team as another new Kingdom community was birthed. Pastor John and Beth Hannan have worked diligently, prayed fervently, and served sacrificially this past year in building a launch team and planting the seeds for a new Wesleyan church in Union City. Yesterday was the grand opening of both their ministry and the beautifully remodeled facility that they will call home. It was a delight to represent our district team and bring greetings on this special occasion.
Mayor Chad Spence joined the team for the ribbon cutting and then more than 80 people filled the auditorium for the first worship service. The congregation is multi-ethnic with many Spanish-speaking attenders. Rev. Claudia Silva, pastor of Casa del Alfarero in Richmond, brought some of her members with her and she did a wonderful job of translating Pastor John’s message.
Most exciting for Pastor John was the privilege he had of praying with a gentleman to receive Christ. Thank you to every leader and congregation in the Crossroads District who is praying for and investing in CrossRoads Church. Together, we are bringing the hope and holiness of Christ to our region!
Sunday evening, Dr. Jim Lo and I had the privilege of leading a prayer gathering for pastors and ministry leaders in our district. We had participants from each of our regions. It was a blessing to see so many of of our leaders committed to seeking God for empowerment as we lead through the challenges. Thank you to each one who was able to make this a priority and to Pastor Matthew Trexler and his team at The River Church for hosting our gathering.
Tuesday was another staff meeting day as I worked with our Crossroads District office team in the morning and then connected with the team at Hartford City in the afternoon. A special highlight of the day was the opportunity to connect in person with Pastor Mark Atkinson. He is making steady progress in his recovery from surgery and the extended hospital stay. I’m looking forward to worshiping with Pastor Mark and his team at Eastview Wesleyan Church for Pastor Appreciation Day on October 25. I was in Fishers for lunch on Wednesday with Rev. Scott Rhyno. Scott is serving as our interim pastor at Waterline Church. I was in Fowler on Thursday afternoon for a meeting with Pastor Judy Hatt and Paul Godbey, church treasurer.
Friday, I joined the General Board Subcommittee on Memorials online as we prepared for the upcoming General Board meeting. Dr. Carl Shepherd, our chair, General Secretary Janelle Vernon and Assistant General Secretary Rev. Anthony Casey serve this group well as we work through proposals that the General Board will consider recommending to the 2021 General Conference.
Friday evening, Sherry and I hosted District Youth President Jessica Folz and a team of youth pastors and spouses for supper and a great time of fellowship. These leaders have done a terrific job navigating youth ministry through the pandemic. They have been creative and persistent in finding ways to help students stay connected to Christ and the church. For example, Andrew Kinney, youth pastor at Chapel Pike, led his students in 130 consecutive days of online devotionals. I am grateful for our Crossroads District youth leaders who are making a difference in this rising generation.
Saturday morning, I joined the Region 1 District Board of Ministerial Development at College Wesleyan Church for interviews with licensed ministers who have nearly completed their ordination preparation. Dr. Jim Lo does a great job leading this team. These committee members prayerfully invest in these leaders who are preparing to fulfill their calling.
We’re rejoicing in the news of three more baptisms this past weekend. Pastors Nicholas and Adriana Zarate at Gloria del Rey baptized two new believers and the team at Beech Grove baptized one. Both of these congregations are part of the Circle of Hope Network led by Rev. Dr. Richard and Rev. Carol Schenck. Praise the Lord for lives being made new!
Our prayers and sympathies are extended this week to Rev. Duane Summitt on the passing of his mother, Mrs. Dolores Summitt, and to Rev. Jay DeNeff and Dr. Steve DeNeff on the passing of Jacqueline “Jackie” (DeNeff) White, their daughter and sister.
Congratulations this week are extended to Rev. Tim and Jennifer Becker on the happy occasion of Jenna’s wedding to Mr. Joshua Fitts on Saturday at Matter Park in Marion.
Thank you for all you do to make a difference in the cause that counts for eternity!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent