Our first Crossroads District prayer gathering of the fall will be hosted this coming Sunday evening, September 11, with Pastor Gary Bingham and the team at Hillside Wesleyan Church in Marion. The prayer gathering will begin promptly at 6 and is scheduled to conclude at 7 p.m. We’d welcome you to join us as we focus our prayer on revival in our own lives, our churches, and our nation. There is power in united prayer! (Our next district prayer gathering in October will be hosted by Rev. Theo Griffin and the team at Greenfield Brown’s Chapel, on Sunday evening, October 2.)
Sunday, September 4, was a change from my normal schedule. I was invited to officiate at the wedding of Gillian Haenggi and Timothy Swanson on Sunday afternoon in Bedford. Gillian is a Taylor University graduate who serves as youth ministry director for our Hartford City Wesleyan Church. The wedding rehearsal was on Saturday evening, so Sherry and I stayed overnight and then worshiped at First Wesleyan Church in Bedford with Pastor Michael and Julie McGruder. This ministry is a restart from a church that closed and we received a warm welcome from the growing congregation.
Another pastoral family in our Crossroads District celebrated a wedding this weekend. Rev. Rob Tippey, pastor at Wabash New Journey Community Church, officiated at the wedding of his son Dathan on Saturday, September 2. The beautiful wedding was hosted at Fairmount Camp. Congratulations to Dathan and Natalee Tippey!
Last week’s schedule included our regular office team meeting and signing loan documents for WIF. On Tuesday, I connected over lunch in Kokomo with Dr. Oliver Dongell (Plymouth Wesleyan Church) and closed out the day with our three Circuit Riders over coffee in Gas City. I continue to hear such positive reports from the ministry that God is giving to Dr. David Smith, Dr. Jim Lo, and Rev. Mark Atkinson as they preach and encourage churches across our district. I am grateful for these men of God!
On Wednesday, Sherry and I met with Amanda Banter, Global Partners missionary to the Czech Republic. Amanda is the latest in a long line of Wesleyan missionaries deployed from churches of the Crossroads District. Please pray for Amanda as she returns to the field this week and pray for the ministry of her team as they respond to the needs of refugees from Ukraine.
Wednesday afternoon, I joined Dr. Wayne Schmidt, our General Superintendent, for an online session with district superintendent colleagues. It is always encouraging to hear about the wonderful ways that God is working across our denomination. Another example of that came in my coaching conversation on Wednesday evening (Thursday morning in NZ) with Dr. Clint Ussher, church planter/pastor of The Well in Christ Church, New Zealand. In spite of the pandemic shutdowns, this young Wesleyan church has continued to make disciples who make disciples. Today, The Well is the largest Wesleyan congregation in New Zealand with more than 200 in average worship.
Thursday, I traveled to Wesleyan HQ in Fishers with Rev. Matthew Trexler, our new district treasurer, for an orientation with the team at Wesleyan Shared Accounting Services. This is the third year of this partnership with the General Treasurer’s office and we are grateful for the excellent work that Kevin Batman’s team does for our district and several others.
Friday afternoon we drove to Orleans, Indiana to connect with DS Doug Preston and the Indiana South DBA. Rev. Preston invited me to lead their DBA through board member orientation and training on Saturday morning. In the afternoon, they allowed me to facilitate a vision development conversation. I came away greatly encouraged by the enthusiasm and unity of this team. DS Preston is off to a strong start and I believe God has wonderful things in store for Indiana South District as they pursue His vision for their district.
We love to share praise reports of baptisms from across our district team. The most recent report came from Rev. Jon Noggle, our new pastor at Elwood Central Wesleyan Church. Their church had the joy of baptizing one new believer on August 28. Praise the Lord for lives being #MadeNew!
We’re counting down the days until our Celebration of Holiness event, September 30, at College Wesleyan Church. We have a great lineup of speakers for this one-day event and the $20 registration fee includes your meal and Kevin Watson’s new book, Perfect Love. Make plans to join us for this informative and inspiring presentation.
Note: This event is open to pastors, lay leaders, and ministerial students. Here’s the link to register: https://www.crossroadsdistrict.org/holiness.html
There are still a few openings left in both the Groundswell Disciple-Making cohort with Rev. Jon Wiest and in the rural ministry cooperative led by Rev. Steve McVey and the Dirt Roads Network. Please contact our district office staff for more information on the scholarship and to register.
Keep on making a difference in the cause that counts for eternity!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent