Sherry and I had the joy of worshiping with Pastors Zack and Carla Working at Hope Rising Church in Huntington on Sunday morning, October 4. The Workings have been a blessing to the church since accepting this appointment in 2018. The church has grown from averaging 47 in worship in 2018 to averaging 108 last year. They also celebrated 24 baptisms in the past conference year.
The Hope Rising congregation returned to worshiping in person with nearly as many as before the pandemic. Yesterday, for example, they welcomed 112 in worship attendance. In addition to co-pastoring the church with Zack, Rev. Carla Working works with our district office staff and is ViceChair of the District Board of Ministerial Development. After the service, I met with their leadership team and then we enjoyed hosting Zack and Carla for lunch.
Last Monday, I represented our district family in Kokomo at the funeral visitation for Pastor Duane Summitt’s mother before joining with Dr. Wayne Schmidt and the General Board Executive on an afternoon Zoom call. Monday evening, I joined the LBA and pastoral search team from Waterline Church for an online meeting. They have received many resumes but are continuing to pray for the right leader to move them forward. Special thanks to Rev. Scott Rhyno who continues to provide interim pastoral ministry.
Tuesday morning, our district office team met and then I was able to represent our district team at the funeral service for Mrs. Jackie (DeNeff) White at College Wesleyan Church. Dr. Wayne Schmidt, our General Superintendent, hosted a Zoom call for district superintendents on Tuesday afternoon. I appreciate these opportunities to learn from my colleagues and to hear how God is at work across our denominational family. My last meeting for the day was with the staff team at Hartford City Wesleyan Church.
Wednesday, I was on the road again for coaching conversations. I enjoyed catching up with Rev. Mark and Sharie Schnell for an update on their ministry at Albion Wesleyan Church. Rev. Dale Munsell and I met over lunch for an update on his ministry at Cornerstone Wesleyan Church. Later in the afternoon, I met with one of our younger ministers who is exploring pastoral ministry opportunities. My final meeting of the day was Pastor Kyle Horton and Assistant Pastor Kalina Smith who are both nearing completion of their ordination preparation.
Thursday, I was in Anderson to connect with Pastor Bernie Haddad for an encouraging update on the ministry of Eden Unleashed, our church plant in New Castle Correctional Facility. You can read more about this wonderful ministry in this article that was published by Wesleyan HQ: https://www.wesleyan.org/discipleship-is-flourishing-in-indiana-correctional-facility
I met with Pastor Joe Jackson over lunch for our annual coaching conversation and an update on Anderson United Wesleyan as they prepared for their StratOp retreat. My final meeting for Thursday was with Pastor David and Marcy Shafer for an update on their ministry at North Anderson Wesleyan Church.
Friday morning, I had two meetings with prospective pastors in Marion before meeting with Dr. David Wright and Dr. Carl Shepherd at Indiana Wesleyan University. As many of you will know, these are challenging times for Christian higher education. President Wright is grateful for the support and prayers of our district team. If you ever have questions or if IWU can serve your church in some way, please reach out to Dr. Wright and allow the opportunity for IWU to respond.
Rev. Jason Tash facilitated the StratOp planning retreat for a group of leaders at Level 13 this past weekend. I dropped in on the Friday evening session and appreciated the opportunity to connect with their committed lay leaders. Thank you to Rev. Jeff Brady for providing interim preaching ministry since Pastor Heath Croft left in the summer to serve a church in Alabama. Pray for Level 13 as they move on with their StratOp planning and prepare to launch their pastoral search process later this fall.
Pastor Joe Jackson and his team at Anderson United Wesleyan Church welcomed Rev. Chris Williams to lead them through a StratOp planning retreat. Pastor Joe and Jennifer Jackson have helped the church rise to the challenge of the pandemic. I dropped in on their Saturday morning session and enjoyed connecting with their team. Pray as they continue to press forward to reach their community for Christ.
Chapel Pike Wesleyan Church (Marion, IN) has launched their pastoral search as part of a planned succession with Rev. Steve Colter transitioning toward retirement. Please keep Chapel Pike in prayer as they seek the Lord’s direction. For more information on this opening, follow this link: https://secure.wesleyan.org/job/frame/8099
Congratulations to Rev. Bill and June Kinnan! Family and friends gathered at The River Church this weekend to honor them as they celebrated 70 years of marriage! Bill and June have a tremendous ministry and that continues in Tom and Bill, their sons, and with David Kinnan and Heather (Kinnan) Semple, their grandchildren.
We are always excited to join our churches in celebrating changed lives. Pastor Scott McDermid and the Sheridan Six Points Church baptized three more individuals this past weekend. Praise the Lord for lives #madenew!
October is Pastor Appreciation Month! Many of our churches are already making plans to honor and express appreciation in creative ways to their pastoral staff this month. There’s still time for your team to take this opportunity for those who faithfully serve your church family, especially in this most unusual year. Here’s a link for ideas to get you started:
We are requesting your prayer for two of our pastors who are undergoing surgery this week. Pastor Dan Clark (Monon Wesleyan Church) and Pastor Steve Arnett (New Castle Mount Zion) are both facing serious conditions that required immediate surgery. Please remember these pastors in your prayers and continue to pray for Rev. Mark Atkinson (Gas City Eastview Wesleyan Church) as he is working through physical rehabilitation.
Keep on making a difference in the cause that counts for eternity!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent