I trust you were able to enjoy some quality time with your friends and family over this Labor Day Weekend. The big announcement for this first week of September is that registration is now open for our first Heartland Region Gathering. If you enjoyed The Gathering in Orlando, you won’t want to miss this opportunity to join more than 200 pastors and their families in Pigeon Forge, March 10-12, 2020. The location is terrific, the price is affordable, and the program has been designed just for you and your family. Here’s the link for more information and to register before it sells out: https://gathering.heartlandregion.org
Sunday morning, I was able to drop in for worship services at both Brookhaven Wesleyan Church and The River Church in Marion. Pastor Tony Bye and Pastor Matthew Trexler both brought challenging messages from God’s Word. I was reminded of the blessing it is to be part of a denomination where ministers preach the Bible without compromise or apology. It was good to see many IWU students attending both of these services. Our pastors in Marion have the unique challenge and opportunity of ministering to this dynamic population of world-changing students and staff members.
Last week’s schedule included a meeting with Dr. Lenny Luchetti on Monday in his office at Lakeview Wesleyan Church where he’s serving as interim pastor. I dropped in at Colonial Oaks to check on Pastor Ryan Budde and his family. His mother has seen some recovery but they continue to request our prayers. My last meeting on Monday was with President Colleen Derr at Wesley Seminary. These are challenging days in Christian higher education so please join me in praying for Dr. Derr as she leads this vital ministry.
Tuesday, Roxene, Seth, Chris and I met for our weekly staff meeting at The Abbey Coffee. It is a privilege to serve with such a dedicated team! Wednesday, I met with Jon Wiest in Fishers to learn more about the new discipleship training initiative that he’s leading. I checked in on the progress at Rising Hope as they complete facility renovations and prepare for their Grand Opening on September 15. Pastor Mike Hewitt shared that they welcomed over 100 in worship both of the previous weekends. They were also excited to welcome 60 students who gathered at Rising Hope for the first evening of Awaken’s outreach to Ball State University.
Chris and I had our weekly meeting on Thursday and then I met with Rev. Bob McHenry for lunch. I’ve known and respected Bob since we first connected while he was serving in the Northwest (former Dakota) District. Bob and his wife are spending this year in Marion near family and Bob will be available for supply preaching in area churches. Thursday afternoon I made a quick trip to Kokomo to sign legal documents for the sale of the Howard Chapel Wesleyan Church property.
We celebrated Sherry’s birthday (September 1) this weekend with the added blessing of having her brother, Kerry Wilkerson, visiting us from Louisiana. I took a vacation day on Friday to enjoy visiting Shipshewana with her family.
Pastor Aldean Pablo passed along the encouraging news that SEND Church in SW Fort Wayne/Roanoke celebrated their first baptisms this past week. He posted this report: “Sharon, Will, & Rachel invited a dozen of their neighbors and friends to witness the baptism of Will and Rachel (husband & wife) in the neighborhood pool @ Roanoke! 🙂 Tears and laughter were all present! Seeds had been planted today, we are getting excited for the harvest!”
Thank you to every pastor and congregation in our Crossroads District that makes church planting a top priority in their prayers and giving. When one church celebrates lives changed by the Gospel, we all rejoice in knowing that God is allowing us to impact the 3 million unreached people in our district mission field.
The Crossroads District team is welcoming new members as we move into the fall season. Greenfield Brown’s Chapel Wesleyan recently completed their pastor search process and extended a call to Rev. Theo Griffin. Pastor Theo has accepted their call and is coming to us from the Shenandoah District where he was most recently serving as campus pastor for Crosspointe Church near Lynchburg, Virginia. He and Randy, his wife, plan to arrive early in October and I will be with them on Sunday evening, October 13, for their pastoral installation.
McCordsville Harvest Chapel was excited to welcome Rev. Jennifer Munsell and her family just last month. Pastor Jennifer was most recently serving in student ministry at The Ransom Church in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Jennifer and Aaron, her husband, are both graduates of Indiana Wesleyan University and are happy to be home in Indiana. Rumor has it that Pastor Dale and Lori Munsell (Albion Cornerstone) are also happy to have these grandchildren a little closer.
We’re looking forward to hosting our first fall Pastor and Spouse Fellowship at Thornapple this Friday evening as we’re joined by Rev. Dan Fisher’s group from Region 3 South Zone. Sherry and I appreciate these special evenings for connecting with our team.
Keep on making a difference in the cause that counts for eternity!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent