Sunday morning, March 25, I had the joy of worshiping with Rev. Joe & Nancy Park and the fine folks at Evergreen Wesleyan Church in Lafayette. It was good to catch the Sunday School lesson that Pastor Joe was teaching. I brought the message in the morning service and then met with the LBA to conduct Rev. Park’s extended call review. The LBA unanimously reaffirmed the extended call with glowing commendations for Pastor Joe’s devoted service to God and the congregation. Nancy and Joe joined me for lunch after the LBA meeting. It was encouraging to see the progress at Evergreen with the new parking lot completed and a growing number of children attending.
Last week began with our regular Monday morning staff meeting, followed by lunch with Rev. Donny Howell (of Awaken Ministries). I was in Anderson on Monday afternoon to meet with Rev. Charles (Eddie) Purciful (pastor of North Anderson Wesleyan Church) and then finished up the day with Rev. Paul Kirk and the LBA at New Castle Memorial Wesleyan Church for a helpful conversation about membership reaffirmation.
(Just a timely reminder of the helpful resources, found here Membership Renewal, that are provided by our CMAD team at Wesleyan World Headquarters as tools for your LBA to complete your membership reaffirmation. The voting membership for your annual Local Church Conference is comprised of those who have reaffirmed their membership for the coming year by April 30. That’s also the number that you’ll record for membership in the denomination’s annual statistical report.)
Tuesday’s schedule included coaching conversations with Rev. Duane Seitz (Silver Lake Wesleyan Church), Rev. Jerry Alexander (Anderson Central Wesleyan Church) and Rev. Clifton Ashlock (Anderson United Wesleyan Church).
Rev. Allen Laws (Warren Wesleyan Church) and I met on Wednesday morning at Son-Rise Bakery (recommended!) in Warren for our coaching conversation. My next meeting was via Zoom technology as Dr. Wayne Schmidt, our General Superintendent and a dozen other district superintendents connected for our monthly update. Wednesday afternoon, I met with Olivia Eckart and two of her ministerial student classmates at IWU for a discussion about what a district superintendency in The Wesleyan Church entails.
Wednesday evening, I was at Davis Wesleyan Church (near Hamlet) to meet with Pastor Bill Dixon and the LBA. Pastor Bill has announced his intention to resign at the end of this conference year so we met to begin the pastoral search process.
Thursday morning, I met with Pastor Steve Arnett (New Castle Mt. Zion) for our annual coaching conversation. I stopped by the HQ office in Fishers just in time to receive an invitation to their annual chili cook-off. The fellowship and food were both appreciated. My table group included Kevin Batman, Debra Levite, Bob Haymond, and Ron & Carol McClung. Congratulations to Mrs. Carol McClung for taking home the prize!
Thursday afternoon, I joined with Rev. Jon Wiest and the Discipleship Cohort he’s leading for our district. It is encouraging to hear about the intentional steps that are being taken across our team to raise the level of engagement in discipleship. We also have two excellent discipleship ministry training events coming up. The first is the Festival on Discipleship hosted by College Wesleyan Church in Marion on May 14-15. The second will be an event hosted by Trinity Wesleyan Church in Indianapolis on October 1-2 led by Jon Wiest and the Crossroads District Discipleship Cohort. I’m also looking forward to reading Jon’s new book (Banding Together) which should be released before the event.
Pastor Charles Moorer (Indy Divine Direction) and I met for our annual coaching conversation over supper on Thursday evening and then I finished up the day joining more than 200 IWU students in the University Commons for their weekly AWAKEN service led by Garrett Howell and his team. It was encouraging to see the passionate worship and to hear how God is blessing this outreach to other universities across our state. Trinity Wesleyan Church in Indianapolis is working with AWAKEN to extend this ministry to the IUPUI downtown campus.
Friday morning, I met with Pastor Alan Downing for an update on the progress that Frankfort First Wesleyan is making on their Maximizing Impact consultation. Then, on Friday evening, Sherry joined me for the Crossroads District SAM (Senior Adult Ministries) Banquet hosted by Randall Hudson and his team. Sheridan Six Points Wesleyan was the host site and special music was provided by the 3rd Row Boys from Indianapolis. Randall and his team do a great job in pulling together this event, with an upcoming day-trip to Shipshewana in July and a wonderful fall bus tour planned to Williamsburg, VA. Details here: SAM Fall Bus Tour
ReEquip Conference (REGISTER FOR REEQUIP) is less than 30 days away! The leadership development team listened to your feedback and designed this one-day, centrally-located, affordable training event for our Crossroads District pastors and local church team members (i.e. board members, discipleship directors, small group leaders). Don’t miss this chance to sharpen your team as you prepare for a great season of harvest this fall!
Please remember to pray for Pastor Michael and Kim Hewitt and the team they are leading at Muncie’s new Rising Hope Church this Easter Sunday as they host their first preview service in the pavilion at the Delaware County Fairgrounds. If you have friends or relatives in Muncie that don’t have a church home, please copy and forward this YouTube invitation video: Rising Hope
We’re excited to welcome new team members joining the Crossroads District in the coming conference year. Rev. Zack Working and Rev. Carla Working have accepted the DBA’s appointment as the new Lead Pastor and Assistant Pastor, respectively, at Etna Avenue Wesleyan Church in Huntington. Huntington is Zach’s hometown.
Dr. Jim Lo, Lead Pastor at Chesterfield Parkview Wesleyan Church, has invited Rev. Jeremy Armiger to join him as Assistant Pastor. Jeremy and his family have recently been serving in the Florida District but call the Crossroads District their home.
As you prepare for Easter Sunday, take a moment to review this resource from Carey Nieuwhof that outlines some of the common mistakes we make as we welcome people to our churches: Carey Nieuwhof article
Praying that this Easter Sunday is a powerful time of impact for your church as we proclaim the Gospel of our Risen Savior and Returning King!
Your servant in Christ,
Mark Gorveatte, District Superintendent