It’s Monday morning and He is still Risen! As one of my friends likes to say, every day is Easter for disciples who are following Jesus Christ.
Easter Sunday was another great day in the history of our new district as Rising Hope Church in Muncie held their first preview service at the Delaware County Fairgrounds. Pastor Michael and Kim Hewitt, with a wonderful team including several from the former Northview Church, have been building bridges to the community and making preparation for the full launch in September.
This was the first opportunity for Rising Hope to mobilize their growing team for a public worship experience. (Special thanks to Pastor John Freed for sending members from Waterline to help with tech!) God is already writing redemption stories and you’ll hear more about that at our regional gatherings next week. Thank you to each one who is praying for and partnering with the Hewitt’s as they minister among the 80,000 unchurched in Delaware County.
I also enjoyed dropping in on Pastor Lee Miller for their SonRise Service at Muncie Memorial Drive Wesleyan Church. They followed this early service with a breakfast and then moved into their worship service at 10:30. It was exciting to receive Pastor Miller’s report that they had 90 for their main worship service (LYA = 52).
Sunday evening, I closed out my day worshiping with Pastor Matthew Trexler and their 6 p.m. service at The River Church in Marion. They have been in an exciting season of growth with 755 yesterday.
Last week began with staff meeting on Monday in Marion. Jon Wiest, our district Multiplication Director, met in Fishers to update our church planting preparations for the new budget year. I’m excited about the book project Jon is completing, Banding Together, that will tell the unfolding story of the discipleship ministry at Trinity.
Tuesday, I was in Avon to meet with Pastor Ben Thomas (Nehemiah Church) for our annual coaching conversation. Then I stopped by to visit with Mrs. Rose Reel, the widow of Rev. Ed Reel. Ed passed away last Sunday and I’ll be conducting his funeral in Avon this coming Thursday. Funeral Notice and Obituary
Tuesday afternoon, Pastor Tim Becker and I met at Elwood Main Street Wesleyan for our coaching conversation. I closed out the day meeting with the LBA at North Anderson Wesleyan Church.
Wednesday found me on the west side of our district for coaching conversations with Pastor Dan Fisher (Delphi Wesleyan), Rev. Steve Sparks (Monon Wesleyan), and Dr. Morris Jones (Lebanon Wesleyan).
Thursday, I was in Muncie for lunch with Pastor Michael and Kim Hewitt as they prepared for Rising Hope’s launch service. Then, I made my way north for a coaching conversation and home-cooked meal with Pastor Jere and Ruth Gowin (Kingsford Heights Wesleyan Church).
Good Friday’s noon service at College Wesleyan Church in Marion is always a highlight of Holy Week. I was able to attend again this year and appreciated the impactful worship experience led by Dr. Steve DeNeff and his team. Then on Friday evening, Sherry, Jordan and I joined Pastor John and Danielle Freed and the team at Waterline, our home church, for their Good Friday service. They had a special focus on family participation in various prayer stations and in sharing the Lord’s Supper.
Saturday morning, I was able to represent the Crossroads District at the funeral of Mrs. Josephine Walker, widow of Rev. Harold Walker, who faithfully served with her husband in several pastoral appointments across our district including congregations in Upland, Mathews, and Fowlerton. Judy Walker McNaughton, Josephine’s daughter, was a member of a small group at Kentwood Community Church with Sherry, my wife, while we lived in Grand Rapids, MI.
Saturday evening, Pastor Mark & Ronda Atkinson hosted Eastview Wesleyan Church’s Easter weekend worship service at the Gray Barn in Upland. Eastview is expanding their reach with services this weekend in Brinker Heights, Jonesboro, Upland and their central campus in Gas City.
Pastor Mark reported that Eastview’s worship attendance over the weekend at these 4 sites totaled 555 with 34 professions of faith (with the 66 attending at Brinker Heights and 47 attending in Jonesboro).
Pastor David Anderson reported 23 baptisms this weekend at the two campus of Fountain City Wesleyan Church. According to Pastor Anderson, Pastor-elect Steve Bray preached a “Grand Slam!”
Pastor Don Bayne reported 295 in attendance and 13 people taking steps of faith this weekend at New Carlisle Wesleyan Church. Pastor Dale Munsell called to report that another person gave their life to Christ last week bringing the total to 24. They set a goal of 25 for this conference year and are praying and working to break this month.
Pastor Brent Miller reported 40 in their early service with 128 in their second service and seven professions of faith at Southview Wesleyan Church in Gas City.
There are many more encouraging reports yet to come in from across the district. If you have time, and are able, please share a report and post a picture from your Easter celebrations on our Facebook page for others to be encouraged with you! Link to Crossroads District’s FaceBook page
This week I’ll be in Marion for board meetings at Wesley Seminary and then at Indiana Wesleyan University. A highlight of those meetings will be the installation of Rev. Dr. Colleen Derr as the new president of Wesley Seminary on Wednesday, April 4, 11 am. Here’s the link for more information: http://seminary.indwes.edu/derr_installation
Thank you to each one of you Crossroads District team leaders for all you do to advance the Kingdom of our Risen Lord!
Your servant in Christ,
P.S. April 21 is coming fast but there’s still time to register your leadership team: http://www.reequipconference.org/ As Dr. H.C Wilson would often say, “Make tracks, not excuses!”