According to this ABC News story, “Americans work more than anyone in the industrialized world.” Thank you to all the women and men across the Crossroads District team who “work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, and not for men.” Colossians 3:23 (NIV)
Sunday, September 3, Sherry and I had the privilege of worshiping with Pastor Dale and Lori Munsell and the fine folks at Albion Cornerstone Wesleyan Church. I brought the morning message and joined the LBA in installing Rev. Munsell on behalf of our Crossroads District team. Pastor Dale is off to a great start following the long and effective ministry of Rev. George and Tawne Cecil.
Cornerstone also has a Christian academy that has served their community for over 15 years. This year they have more than 60 students enrolled. Pastor Dale took us on a tour of the school facilities and then I led a brief LBA meeting before we shared lunch in the fellowship hall. The most exciting news was that Cornerstone is making disciples with 4 already toward their goal of 25 this conference year!
Monday and Tuesday were office days with a staff meeting in Marion and then catching up with email and phone calls. It’s a joy to work alongside Chris Williams, Roxene Lo, and Seth Bye as we serve the district team.
Wednesday morning, I attended the funeral for Rev. Joe Parks father, Joseph Parks, at the Evergreen Wesleyan Church in Lafayette. Pastor Parks led a beautiful celebration of this life that was well-lived for God. One of the special moments of the service was the choir assembled from friends and family members to honor Brother Park’s request. He’d always loved church choirs and asked if they could have one at his funeral.
I traveled on to Indianapolis for a meeting with Jon Wiest and Dave Bever over lunch to interview a prospective church planting couple as we explore the possibility of partnering with CrossLink Church to plant a new campus in Speedway. Then I finished the day in our Fishers office meeting with Pastor Dan Eckart and leaders from Warren Park Wesleyan Church.
Thursday morning, I was in Westfield to view the property improvements as Pastor Jordan Gardner and the team are preparing for their next outreach weekend. I shared lunch with Jordan and Karen (great home-made chili) and enjoyed hearing about the connections they’re making with unchurch people in their community.
Thursday evening, I met with the LBA at Parkview Wesleyan Church in Chesterfield as they continue their pastoral search process. Rev. Bob Van Cise is an incredible blessing to the congregation during this transition and community ministry continues with 88 people signing information cards during their July 4 outreach. They’re also serving 15-18 teenagers and 20+ children from the community in their midweek ministries.
Friday morning, I was in Hartford City to meet with one of our ministerial students who is answering God’s call later in life and looking toward future ministry possibilities.
On Saturday morning, Rev. Chris Williams led an evangelism/faith-sharing seminar for Bluffton Wesleyan Church. This training event was one of the prescriptions from their Maximizing Impact Consultation. We’re excited for the 8 new churches that have already signed up for the consultations that we’ll be doing this conference year. The local church is God’s plan A for changing the world.
We continued to hear encouraging baptism reports from across the district. Pastor Tom Bradley reports 5 baptisms in 3 weeks at the Huntington Etna Avenue Wesleyan Church and Pastor Alan Downing reports that Frankfort First Wesleyan recently celebrated 5 baptisms and welcomed 4 new adult members along with 6 new student members.
Do continue to pray for and support the relief efforts in Texas. The Wesleyan Church is once again partnering with World Hope International to respond to this crisis. Here’s the link for more information: https://www.worldhope.org/hurricane-harvey
Bryant Wesleyan Church, as announced last month, and Marion Lakeview Wesleyan Church are both hosting the upcoming Beth Moore simulcast. For information about the Bryant location, call Angelyn Van Cise (260-997-6231) and for more information about the Lakeview location, visit their website: http://www.lakeviewwesleyan.org/livingproof/
This Friday evening, September 8, the senior/lead pastors from the Madison County will be gathering at our home from 6 to 9 p.m. Before the conference year is over, Sherry and I look forward to hosting the senior/lead pastors from every zone for a time of food, fellowship, and encouragement so stay tuned for your invitation!
Thank you for all you do to advance the Kingdom!
Your servant in Christ,