This week’s team update is one day later than usual as our office was closed. I hope you were able to enjoy the beautiful Labor Day!
Sunday, September 5, Sherry and I worshipped with the wonderful folks at Hartford City Wesleyan Church. I’ve been helping them out for the past year, preaching about once every six weeks, since the unexpected pastoral transition last summer. I’ve enjoyed working closely with their leaders and staff as we navigated the challenges of the pandemic and regathering the congregation. The church has been blessed with the gifted preaching ministry of Rev. Dr. Mark Schnell who has been a great help in assisting me. We’re now moving into the next phase with an intentional interim pastor scheduled to arrive in October. The search process for their permanent pastor will begin early in the new year. Please pray for God’s will to be done in this search process!
Last Monday, Dr. Ed Love and I met with Rev. Lee Miller in Muncie to look at a potential new meeting location for Crossover Church. The launch team for this new church is growing and they’re counting down to the first Sunday gathering on September 26. Later that day I met for a coaching conversation with one of our emerging leaders. My last meeting of the day was with Dr. David Smith. In addition to his teaching ministry at IWU, David has agreed to represent the district and preach in 20 of our churches this year. After serving together for 5 years at Kingswood University, it’s an honor to serve with him again on our district team.
Tuesday morning, I met with Dr. Jim Lo who blesses our district team by leading us in prayer. Dr. Lo has also agreed to represent the district and preach in 20 of our churches this conference year. It’s a joy to serve with Dr. Lo in this capacity! My next meeting was with our Crossroads District staff who meets next to Abbey Coffee on Tuesdays at 1 p.m. and then I concluded the afternoon meeting with the staff team at Hartford City.
Wednesday was a day off so that Sherry and I could celebrate her birthday with a quick road trip to Nashville. (Yes, it’s a long drive and there’s a long story.)
Thursday, I was back on the road for coaching conversations with Rev. Paul Van Cise (Bryant Wesleyan), Rev. David Dignal (Edgerton Wesleyan), and closed out the day in South Bend with Pastor Ben Jones (Beaver Creek Wesleyan). Once again I came away from these conversations encouraged by the faithful leaders who serve across our district family.
Friday included two conversations with pastors working through challenging situations in their respective churches. Pastoring is never easy but the pandemic has added stress and complexity to almost every situation. Please pray for our pastors!
The final meeting of Friday was with Rev. Rick Carder and the greater Grant County DBMD zone team as they conducted interviews with ministerial students. Helping women and men discern God’s call and prepare themselves for the equipping ministry of Word and sacrament is one of the highest callings for our district. Thank you to every pastor and lay member who contributes to the work of our District Board of Ministerial Development.
Saturday morning, I had the privilege of joining with Pastor Johnnie Blair and a good number of people who turned out for their Pray First – First Saturday prayer gathering. It was refreshing to spend an hour in prayer and worship with this congregation. I am thankful for the commitment to prayer that God is stirring across our district.
On my way back from this prayer service, I stopped by to check on Rev. Logan and Nancy Westrick. Sister Nancy is home now recovering from a recent hospitalization. I was glad to see her progress and to join with them in prayer as they continue to serve the Tipton Ash Street Wesleyan Church.
I was glad to receive word that Rev. Bob Van Cise was released from his hospitalization and was able to worship with his church family at Brookhaven Wesleyan on Sunday! (Thank you to Dr. Jim Lo for sharing this photo with us.)
Please continue to pray for the Capshaw family and the congregation at Elwood Central Wesleyan Church. I also invite you to join me in praying for Pastor Randy Yaryan who has been battling a difficult case of Covid with multiple trips to the hospital.
I can’t wait for this Sunday evening as Pastor Jerome Bell and the team at Pendleton Autumn Hills Church launch into holding weekly services. They’ve been praying, loving and serving their neighbors, relatives, and friends who need Jesus Christ. Thank you for supporting this new team with your prayers!
Let’s keep praying and working together to reach the 3 million Hoosiers who have yet to receive Christ as Lord!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent