This weekend will mark the first anniversary of the Crossroads District as we gather in for our annual conference. Just 12 months ago we launched into this new journey as a stronger district focused on the 3 million unreached people in our state. Together, we will review progress, assess current challenges, and mark our course to increasing the effectiveness of our shared ministry. You won’t want to miss the messages from Alex Scicilia or the worship in song led by Elizabeth and Scott Rhyno. For complete information, visit our website: conference.crossroadsdistrict.org
All ministers and delegates are expected to be present for all sessions, but there will also be seating for guests both at the conference and at the ordination service on Friday, 6:30 p.m. Please make plans to join us and pray that God will powerfully meet with us in these sessions.
Sherry, Jordan and I worshiped with Pastor Matthew Trexler and the team at The River Church in Marion on Sunday morning. They have a tradition at The River of lighting a large portrait of Jesus each Sunday when they have a report of someone sharing their faith and leading a friend to Christ. That focus and passion is one of the reasons they led our district with 37 baptisms last year and 114 professions of faith in Christ.
Dr. John Bray, chaplain at IWU and a member of The River congregation, brought a challenging Father’s Day message using lessons from the golf course.
Last week I was back on the road for coaching conversations with Pastor Jim Weinmann (Evanston Avenue), Pastor Charles Moorer (Divine Direction), Pastor Ben Thomas (Nehemiah Church), Dr. Max Kingsolver (Michigantown New Hope), Pastor Steve Arnett (New Castle Mt. Zion), Pastor Barry Dixon (Calvary Family Church), Dr. Morris Jones (Lebanon), Pastor Zach Szmara (Logansport), and Pastor David Leitzel (Hamilton). We are blessed to have a faithful team of leaders serving in such diverse locations from farming villages to inner city ministry. Every church matters.
Last week also included drop in visits at two of the youth camps that were underway. I found these teens from Fountain City Wesleyan with Jacob Gibson, their youth pastor, enjoying NTS camp at Indiana Wesleyan University.
I also dropped in on the Junior High Camp led by Andy Jellison and his team at Fairmount Camp. The theme for the camps at Fairmount this summer is SENT and I was encouraged to hear that more than 40 of these teenagers responded to the challenge of being willing to answer God’s call to mission or pastoral ministry. The future is bright!
Special thanks to Andy Jellison, Lane Sander, Levi Lehman and the other staff members who volunteered their time last week to make a deep spiritual impact on our teenagers.
(I was unable to make it to Hanging Rock Camp but I heard positive reports from this adventure camp led by Jordan DeMerchant, Joe Deckard, and a great team.)
Last week also included a district “StratOp Review” led by Mark Meyer of the Unstuck Group, a board meeting at Anderson Central Wesleyan Church, a meeting with the Executive Board of the General Board of The Wesleyan Church, an LBA meeting at New Castle Memorial Wesleyan Church, and a breakfast meeting with General Superintendent Dr. Wayne Schmidt at our office in Gas City (Cracker Barrel).
Saturday morning, Rev. Chris Williams and I represented the district in Fort Wayne at the funeral of Jeffrey Wood, the father of Michael Wood. Michael (also known as Woody) is a valued member of our district office staff providing incredible assistance with all things digital. His father died last week after extended health complications related to diabetes. Rev. Rick Fletcher (Jeff’s pastor at Lifeway) and Rev. Rob Tippey (Michael’s pastor at Level 13) led the remembrance service.
Saturday evening, Sherry and I welcomed Jeff and Arianna Eckart and their NTS staff for supper and games at our home. Jeff’s doing a terrific job leading Never the Same Camps and CYC (Claim Your Campus), a national prayer ministry, but we are most grateful for his investment in our three sons when he was their youth pastor at Kentwood Community Church.
Please keep our youth and their leaders in your prayers this week as Fairmount hosts the Senior High Camp and NTS begins a second week at IWU. Pray that God will anoint the speakers (Chris Wilson / Nicole Reyes) and that life-changing decisions will be made.
Your prayers will also be welcomed for Roxene Lo, Raleigh Pedro, and Chris Williams as our team focuses on conference prep this week. We can’t wait to see you on Friday!
Keep on making a difference in the cause that counts for eternity!
Your servant in Christ,