Sunday morning, July 3, I had the joy of worshiping with Rev. Jeff and Rev. Dr. Amy Luedtke at Fairmount Wesleyan Church. It had been a busy week with Pastor Jeff completing work on the new app for the church and launching it on Sunday morning. I was grateful for the opportunity to preach and to bring greetings from our Crossroads District team.
Pastor Jeff welcomed their newest staff member, Rev. Jared Kaufman, who will be leading their discipleship and multiplication ministries. Congratulations also to Rev. Kaufman on both his ordination last month in the Northwest District and his wedding to Megan, who leads worship for Fairmount Wesleyan Church.
Following the service, it was good to connect with members of the Local Board of Administration. The church is rebounding from the challenges of the pandemic with 8 professions of faith and 5 baptisms last year. They are looking at ways to build on the community impact of their coffee shop, The Branch. If you’re in the Fairmount area, you will want to try their coffee and some of Velvet Haisley’s gourmet treats.
Tuesday, I was in Indianapolis for a lunch meeting with Rev. Chuck Moorer, a wonderful pastor who has been serving on loan to us from the Church of God in Christ. After 20 years of effective ministry, God has opened some amazing new doors into which Pastor Chuck will be stepping.
Tuesday afternoon, I appreciated the opportunity to learn from Dr. Jeff (Coach) Clark in the latest Wesley Seminary webinar. Coach Clark unpacked his compelling doctoral research for praying on offense.
Tuesday evening, I joined Rev. Logan Westrick and the team at Ash Street Wesleyan Church in Tipton for their first “Indoor Camp Meeting” with guest evangelist and musicians, The Isbell Family. It was good to hear from Rev. Westrick about how God has been helping through his cancer treatments and the wonderful report he received. Pastor Logan and Nancy Westrick have served the Ash Street Church for 30 years, since 1992, and he has no plans for slowing down.
Our staff team met on Wednesday morning with follow-up tasks from our district conference and then I connected with Rev. Dr. Ken Schenck for lunch. It’s great to have Dr. Schenck back in our district and he expressed his availability for guest speaking or short-term supply pastor as area churches may need.
My final meeting on Wednesday was with Rev. John and Beth Hannan, our church planters in Union City. It is always encouraging to spend time with them. They were delighted to receive the communion set that had been donated to the district from Global Partners.
Thursday, I had the opportunity to meet over lunch with a pastor and lay leader from a church that is taking steps to disaffiliate with the UMC. They had a series of questions about The Wesleyan Church that I was happy to answer. These are challenging days for our Methodist brothers and sisters in Christ. Pray that God will grant them wisdom for the decisions they’re having to make.
I enjoyed a day off on Friday preparing for a delightful visit from our granddaughter and her parents!
Saturday, I was back in Indianapolis to meet with the LBA (local board of administration) at Divine Direction Church. With Pastor Chuck Moorer transitioning out of local church service, it was encouraging to see the leadership team that he has developed. In addition to their regular services, the church also has a thriving food pantry that has served hundreds of families through the pandemic. Last year, 10 people prayed to receive Christ through their ministries. Ryan Cotham is the vice-chair and will be leading the pastoral search process. They have a prospective candidate identified and are praying together for God’s leadership through this transition process.
Congratulations to Dr. Daniel Rife on his graduation from the Robert Webber Institute of Worship Studies in Florida. Dr. Rife continues to serve in worship leadership at College Wesleyan Church in Marion alongside Rev. Jordan Rife, his wife, on the staff with Dr. Steve DeNeff.
Congratulations also to Student Ministries Pastor Sam Kauerauf on his wedding to Elizabeth on Saturday, July 2, in Arcadia. Sam serves on staff at The River Church in Marion and his senior pastor, Rev. Matthew Trexler, performed their marriage ceremony.
Prayers are still needed for Rev. Jim Vermilya who has been hospitalized for nearly two weeks. Mrs. Jeanette Vermilya, Jim’s wife, does share regular updates on her Facebook page. Prayers are also requested from Mrs. Carol McClung, Rev. Ron McClung’s wife. She suffered a stroke on the day of district conference. She has been hospitalized and recovering in Fort Wayne but they are hoping for a transfer back home to Owosso for ongoing rehabilitation. Your prayers are appreciated!
Rev. Angela Spangler and Fairmount Camp are extending an invitation to all churches to join them for the 2022 Family Camp, July 17-24. To learn more about upcoming events at Fairmount Camp, visit their website: https://www.fairmountcamp.org/
There will be no team update next week. I’ll be visiting my father in Canada at Beulah Camp and returning on July 13. Dr. Chris Williams, Assistant DS, and Rev. Carla Working, COO, can assist you with urgent matters and I will have limited availability for texting.
Thank you for all you do to advance the Kingdom! Praying that God will help us discern one more place to GO and two more leaders to GROW over the next three years!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent