Sherry and I had the privilege of worshiping on Sunday morning at LaOtto Wesleyan Church. This historic, 170-year-old congregation, is thriving with Pastor Aaron Lee leading the team. The weather was less than ideal but the welcome was warm with this multi-generational congregation.
In addition to a meaningful Advent celebration, Pastor Lee hosted the “ugly sweater” sweater contest. After the service, I had a brief meeting with the LBA. It was encouraging to sense the positive morale and their commitment to impact their community for Christ.
Last Monday, I was in Marion for our staff meeting and then coffee with Dr. Aron Willis. I enjoyed connecting with Pastor Dan Van Cise (Marion 8th Street Wesleyan) for lunch and our annual coaching conversation. Our family gathered in Burnips, Michigan on Monday evening and Tuesday morning to be with my mother who was placed under hospice care.
Tuesday afternoon, I met with Pastor Marc Ulrich in Merrillville for our annual coaching conversation and to see the progress on the remodeling project as ReThink Church prepares to begin weekly worship gatherings in the new year. Thank you to the leaders and churches who are partnering with Pastor Marc & Heather Ulrich in this new mission!
On Tuesday evening, I met with Pastor Logan and Shaina (Lafayette Schuyler Avenue Wesleyan) for supper and our coaching conversation. It was inspiring to hear about the progress they’re making in reaching out to their community with the Homework Academy. This is a partnership with their local school that provides tutoring to a select group of students each week with volunteers from the church. The Patriquins are doing their part to help grow the church with their own addition due in 12 more weeks!
Wednesday, I met with Pastor David Stout (Greentown Howard Chapel) and then headed north to connect with Pastor Don Bayne (New Carlisle Wesleyan) and Pastor Stephen Runyon (Beaver Creek Wesleyan) for our coaching conversations. I made it back to Indy in time for Sherry and I to enjoy the Waterline Church’s Leadership Christmas party hosted by Pastor John and Danielle Freed.
On Thursday morning, I joined the planning team for District Conference 2017. Rev. Chris Williams, Assistant DS, did a great job facilitating this first session of this creative group of leaders. It’s amazing how quickly this conference year is flying by with just over 4 months left before we close the books on our first year as the Crossroads District. Please mark your calendars for June 23-24 and make plans to join us at College Wesleyan Church for our 2017 Crossroads Connexion!
After the planning meeting, I had the privilege of connecting with Pastor Steve Colter at Chapel Pike Wesleyan for our coaching conversation. Pastor Steve has such a positive impact working with individuals transitioning from prison or recovering from addictions.
Thursday evening, Sherry and I enjoyed supper and fellowship with pastors and spouses in the Region 2 East Zone. We’d never been to Willy and Red’s in Hagerstown so this was a new adventure. It was encouraging to hear testimonies of conversions, baptisms and healing. Pastor Randy Yaryan (Winchester Union Street) shared that more than half of those in a recent service were new attenders in the past year. One bittersweet note was saying farewell to Scott and Erin Ferguson who are moving to Lexington, KY to join the staff at Southland Christian Church. They will be missed! Thank you to Pastor Steve Arnett (New Castle Mt. Zion) for his leadership in coordinating this event and the East Zone.
On Friday morning, Dr. Ed Love and I met with a prospective church planter in Muncie. I shared this possibility with our East Zone leaders on Thursday evening. They identified Muncie as one of their top hot spots for church planting. Continue to pray with us that the Lord of the Harvest will send out laborers into his fields!
On a personal note, my mother passed away on Saturday evening after a difficult journey with Alzheimers. She was a talented and gracious woman of God. We have so many precious memories from her life and are comforted by the blessed assurance we have in Christ. The song that was playing by her bedside as she took her last breath was “God Be With You ‘Til We Meet Again.” A private family service will be held in Indianapolis on December 22 followed by a memorial service early next month at Brooksville Wesleyan Village in Florida. Thank you for your many prayers and kind notes of sympathy.
Keep on making a difference in the only cause that counts for eternity!
Your servant in Christ,