Sunday morning, I dropped in on our team at Elwood Central Wesleyan Church. It was good to catch up with Amanda and Noah Capshaw. Amanda is pressing forward and continues to express her appreciation for the prayers and generosity of the Crossroads District team.
It was also helpful to connect with the treasurer, head trustee, and the LBA vice-chair. They are encouraged by how well the church is doing as they’ve pulled together in this crisis. Rev. Marc Watkins is graciously serving as the supply/interim pastor for Central Wesleyan through the remainder of the conference year. Pastor Watkins preached about the freedom that we can find in Christ and in community with other disciples. I’m grateful for his willingness to bless the church in this difficult time.
Last Monday morning, I checked in with Pastor Matthew Trexler and members of his Region 1 pastors cohort as they worked through a leadership book and encouraged one another in prayer. Each of our three assistant district superintendents commits to a monthly mentoring session with pastors in their region. If you’d like to be included in a mentoring cohort, please reach out to your region’s ADS.
Monday evening, the fall group for our district course on Wesleyan Church History and Discipline met via Zoom. It has been fun sharing this learning journey with this group of pastors in our district who are preparing for ordination. They come from a variety of backgrounds and are asking good questions. We have our final wrap-up session of this course this Saturday at Lakeview Wesleyan Church.
Tuesday morning, I met with Dr. Rich and Rev. Carol Schenck in Noblesville for our annual coaching conversation. Rich and Carol lead the growing Circle of Hope network of churches with congregations in Anderson, Noblesville, Beech Grove, and Bangladesh. Carol also serves as District Secretary. They reported good progress across the network and are excited for the future as they continue to co-pastor.
Tuesday evening, I was in Clinton, Tennessee for a special session of the KY-TN DBA. DS Aaron Sherman is on a well-earned sabbatical leave and had asked me to serve as a resource person for their DBA while he is away. Aaron was able to join us for this meeting via Zoom. They have a great group serving on their DBA and it is a blessing to partner with them in the Heartland Region.
Wednesday morning, Dr. Anita Eastlack and her team at CMAD welcomed me (via Zoom) for a leadership development lesson followed by Q&A on ways their team can best serve our district.
Thursday and Friday, I joined with President David Wright and his team for the annual fall meeting of the IWU Board of Trustees. We were blessed to have Dr. Chris Bounds open the fall session with a challenging devotional. These are difficult days in Christian higher education. Dr. Wright is a valued brother in Christ who has a daunting task of navigating the perilous waters while maintaining the core values and mission of our denomination’s leading university. This weekend also marked the formal gathered celebration of last year’s 100th anniversary. Please keep Dr. Wright and IWU in your prayers.
Friday evening, October 15, Sherry and I were blessed to host another “Friday Fellowship” with pastors and spouses from across our district. Rev. Mark and Ronda Atkinson joined us from Gas City Eastview, Rev. Tony Bye joined us from Marion Brookhaven, Rev. Martin and Misty Furrow joined us from Rochester The Cross, and Pastor David and Suzanne Cox joined us from Laketon Wesleyan Church. Rather than assigning nights to each zone, as in previous years, we’ve opened up the dates for pastors and their spouses to select an evening that works best for them. It has been fun seeing team members making new connections from different parts of our state. We’ll look forward to welcoming our next group on Friday evening, November 19.
Saturday morning, I joined with Dr. Bob Hallett and the congregation at Lone Oak Wesleyan Church for their Vision Defining Retreat. Dr. Hallett is serving as the interim pastor this year at Lone Oak and is drawing from his years of fundraising and consulting experience to help this church envision God’s best for their future. I am grateful for the way that Dr. Bob and Carol, his wife, invest in our churches!
Nothing is more exciting to our district team than stories of changed lives. Pastor Gary Bingham and the team at Marion Hillside Wesleyan Church celebrated four baptisms on Sunday. We join them in praising God for these lives that are being #MadeNew! (If you’ve had a baptism service in your church, please share the stories and photos that we can pass along to our team.)
October is Pastor Appreciation Month! Information was sent to our lay leaders in each church but anyone can take the initiative to affirm your pastor. Here’s the link for some excellent resources to help you make this a special opportunity for your congregation to bless your pastoral staff members: https://resources.wesleyan.org/pam
Calling all Crossroads District retired ministers. We would love to have you join us for the Retired Ministers and Spouses Fellowship on Friday, November 12, at College Wesleyan Church in Marion. You may register by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org or by leaving a voicemail message at our office: 765-674-8593
Special Invitation: Rev. Carla Working, Vice-Chair of the Crossroads DBMD will be leading a Q&A session on Sunday afternoon, 3:30 pm, at Restoration Church, 1217 Meridian Street in Anderson for present or potential ministerial students who would like to learn more about the ordination preparation process. Rev. Mike Weller has emerging leaders at Restoration Church who are exploring their call to ministry. They invited Carla to meet with them and are glad to open it up for others in the Anderson area who would like to participate.
Make plans to join us for The Heartland Gathering on March 22-24, 2022 in Pigeon Forge, TN. Each church received a scholarship for one pastoral couple to register that can also be applied toward the THRIVE initiative. We’re excited for this opportunity for our pastoral families to rest and renew together. For the speaker lineup and more detailed information, please visit:
Thank you for partnering together in the Harvest. There are still 3 million people to reach in Indiana!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent