Sherry and I had the privilege of worshiping with Pastor Eric and Amanda Roemer at Greentown Wesleyan Church on Sunday morning, February 7. I brought greetings from our district team and then we enjoyed lunch with Eric, Amanda, and their 3 beautiful children. One of the highlights of their service was the testimony time with people sharing reports of God’s healing grace and the positive impact of the Men’s Conference that they hosted on Saturday.
Sunday evening, I dropped in on the youth group at Hartford City Wesleyan Church as they hosted their annual “Souper Bowl” Party. They had a good turnout of teenagers with parents and youth sponsors serving a delicious array of soups and chili.
Pastor Mike Hewitt and the Muncie Rising Hope team held their annual planning retreat on Friday evening and all day Saturday at our home in Upland. The StratOp retreat was facilitated by Rev. Jason Tash. Rising Hope has done an amazing job of finding creative ways to minister through the pandemic. I am deeply grateful for Pastor Michael and Kim Hewitt and their family who moved to Muncie just three years ago to plant what is now a thriving, community-impacting ministry.
I worked from my Upland office on Monday and Tuesday, before hitting the road on Wednesday to meet with Pastor Dan Fisher and the LBA at Delphi Wesleyan Church. We connected for a review of Rev. Fisher’s extended call review and the LBA unanimously affirmed his continued service. While I was with them, I learned about a pizza fund raiser that they were conducting for a needy family in their community. The Delphi Wesleyan team worked hard on Saturday morning and assembled more than 300 pizzas with more than $1500 raised to bless this family.
On Thursday, I was in Muncie and New Castle for annual coaching conversations with Rev. Michael Hewitt (Rising Hope) and Rev. Paul Walden (West 8th Street). My final meeting of the day was with the leadership team at Marion Brinker Heights Wesleyan Church. They are praying for God’s direction about decisions for their future ministry.
Our district office staff met in Marion on Friday. In addition to preparing for the February 18 meeting of our District Board of Administration, we’re already looking forward with anticipation to our 2021 District Conference. The ordination service will take place on Friday evening, June 25, and the regular business session will convene on Saturday, June 26, both on the campus of Indiana Wesleyan University.
We are excited to welcome Pastor Sia M’Bayo as the new Pastor for Community Outreach at Marion Lakeview Wesleyan Church. She will be serving on staff with Rev. Chris Williams while she continues to work full-time as a program representative for Indiana Wesleyan University. Lakeview Church hosted a reception following the worship service on February 7 to introduce her to their church family.
We were saddened to receive word that Mr. Rod Benson, beloved husband, father, and grandfather, had passed away this past week in Florida. Rod was an exemplary layman who actively served on boards and committees of The Wesleyan Church, including many years as district treasurer of the Indiana Central District and part of the team that navigated the creation of the Crossroads District. We extend our sympathies and prayers to Mrs. Kathie Benson, Rod’s wife, their family and Rod’s many friends across our district. The family is planning a celebration of life service in Brooksville on Friday.
The Rest Well initiative is now officially opened to all ordained or licensed ministers, lead pastors and staff pastors, appointed to local church service in the Crossroads District. Over 40 lead pastors have taken steps to participate in this opportunity. We are excited about this practical way to bless our pastors. You are running hard in ministry but, to sustain long-term effectiveness, you also need to rest well.
Don’t miss out on the $475 grant that is available for a retreat of two nights or more. Learning resources and planning tools are provided to make this time as profitable as possible. When you complete your retreat, the Thrive Initiative has a $500 matching grant available with a second set of learning resources. If your church also agrees to participate in this initiative (i.e. paying down ministerial student loans, topping up retirement, fitness equipment), additional matching funds up to $500 are available. For more details, please follow this link:
Attention all Crossroads District youth and children’s ministry leaders! Our District Youth President, Jessica Folz, is inviting you to join her for FUEL, the annual Wesleyan training event for these key ministry leaders. This year’s event will be hosted at Lakeview Wesleyan Church in Marion. This is a FREE event being held on Saturday, Feb. 20 from 9am-12:30. Invite your volunteers, team members and children’s ministry people! For more information or to register, please follow the link below so they can know how many to expect:
Please continue to pray for Pastor Dan Clark (Monon Wesleyan Church) and Mrs. Cheryl Laws (wife of Rev. Allen Laws, pastor of Warren Wesleyan) both of whom are fighting courageous battles with cancer. We are grateful for answered prayers on behalf of members of our pastoral families who have recently recovered from Covid-19. We are encouraged that vaccinations are becoming more readily available.
Keep on making a difference in the cause that counts for eternity!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent