Sherry and I had the privilege of worshiping with Pastor Doug and Cheryl Sharrard and their team at Lancaster Wesleyan Church (south of Huntington). One of the highlights today was Pastor Doug honoring Rev. William Babb, his friend and long-time mentor.
Rev. Babb celebrated his 95th birthday this week! He still drives and also leads the weekly prayer meeting at his church. It was a joy to hear him read Psalm 100 and share words of encouragement. The congregation had a fellowship lunch and birthday cake after the service to mark this special occasion with Rev. Babb. Another highlight of the service was the special offering for hurricane relief with more than $700 donated!
Fairmount Camp hosted the Married Couples Retreat this weekend with Rev. John & Daniel Freed as the keynote speakers. I dropped in on the Saturday morning session and was encouraged by the good attendance and time of worship led by Michael Wood. John and Danielle did a great job teaching on the priority and practices of strengthening and defending your marriage.
Tuesday morning, I met with Pastor John Freed and a team at Waterline Church in Fishers for a future-focused conversation. Tuesday afternoon, I visited with Pastor Mike and Kim Hewitt in Muncie to check on Mike’s recovery from his surgery last week. Mike’s healing well but may have an additional surgery later this month, so he continues to welcome your prayers. Tuesday evening, I met with Rev. Duane Summit (pastor of Fishersburg Wesleyan Church) for our annual coaching conversation.
Wednesday morning, Pastor Dan Van Cise (Marion 8th Street) and I met for our annual coaching conversation. I met with Rev. Mike Colaw, our Region 2 Assistant District Superintendent, for an update on his coaching with pastors. Wednesday afternoon, I connected with Allen Gross, our supply pastor at Cicero Wesleyan Church, for our first coaching conversation.
Wednesday evening, I met with Pastor Dan Ecakart and the LBA at Warren Park Wesleyan Church in Indianapolis. The board has been wrestling with the downturn in attendance and giving as members have moved away from the area.
After prayer and a frank discussion, the LBA voted to recommend to the LCC (Local Church Conference) that Warren Park’s ministry conclude on October 1. The LCC will convene next Sunday to vote on that recommendation. Warren Park also hosts two other congregations, St. Stephens and a Hispanic congregation. Every effort will be made to work with these teams to see their ministry continue in this community.
Thursday morning, I met with Pastor Ken Dykhoff and Rev. Shawnda Dykhoff at Jonesboro Main Street Wesleyan to learn more about the new outreach ministry they’ve created to serve teenagers in the Jonesboro community. The next meeting was in South Bend with Rev. Don Bayne and the pastors of the Region 3 Plymouth Zone who are partnering to launch a new church plant in South Bend. Pastor Terry and Lennaire Vaughn hosted the group at the South Bend Library and shared about disciple-making initiatives they’re leading in preparation for the launch of The Bridge Urban Church.
Thursday evening, I joined with Dr. Paul Garverick and Rev. Steve Nelson as they hosted an IWU Pastors Partnership event at the Indianapolis westside campus. Rev. Neftali Lopez, pastor at Carmel Amistad Iglesia and chaplain at IWU’s Greenwood and Indy West campus, shared the ministry vision and Dr. Garverick shared testimonies of how God has worked in the lives of students in these adult programs.
Friday was a chance to catch up on correspondence before helping Sherry get ready to host our next zone fellowship. Friday evening, Sherry and I were delighted to welcome six couples from the Madison County Zone. These are always precious times of fellowship and prayer and Friday night was no exception. There really is something unique and meaningful about those who share ministry and the fellowship of the cross.
Rev. Jim Bretzinger, retired Crossroads District pastor who last served at our church in Fowler, passed away early Saturday morning. Our sympathy and prayers are extended to Mrs. Debra Bretzinger, Jim’s wife, and their family. Pastoral Joe Park had recently welcomed Jim and Debra as members of Lafayette Evergreen Wesleyan Church and was providing pastoral care to the family along with Pastor Steve Sparks (Monon Wesleyan). Funeral arrangements are yet to be announced but will be forwarded to the team.
Our churches continue to respond to the relief and recovery efforts in Texas and Florida. What a blessing that The Wesleyan Church has our own relief agency partnership with World Hope International that offers relief and aid in the name of Christ. Learn more about how you and your church can be involved:
Keep on making a difference in the cause that counts for eternity!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent