Sunday morning, June 30, I joined Rev. Dr. Morris & Anita Jones for worship at Lebanon Wesleyan Church. Dr. Jones pastors bi-vocationally, serving as an academic advisor for a university in Indianapolis, and he has led the Lebanon Wesleyan Church since 1995.
Attendance in this aging congregation now averages fewer than 30 but they are faithful in supporting global missions. Rev. Matthew & Caryl Aukerman, our Global Partners missionaries in Albania, shared an update from their field yesterday and thanked the Lebanon church for more than 10 years of faithful prayer and financial support.
Sunday evening, I met with the Sweetser Wesleyan Church’s StratOp team for a progress update on their first “Action Initiative.” They’ve been working diligently to create an effective process for welcoming and engaging first-time guests. I had the privilege of staying for their first quarterly gathering on a Sunday night when they celebrate wins, appreciate their volunteers and cast vision. Pastor Matthew and Jennifer Stewart are leading a wonderful team committed to reaching younger, unchurched families in Sweetser. (I was glad to see the “#madenew” baptism T-shirts that they had placed in their sanctuary as a reminder of their faith goal.)
Last Monday, I had a delightful conversation with one of our younger leaders who is prayerfully considering becoming a bi-vocational church planter. Keep praying that God will send workers in His harvest field. That afternoon, I joined the simulcast of the Wesleyan event at AMPLIFY from Wheaton College with Dr. Ed Stetzer and a series of other presentations on discipleship. Thank you to Anita Eastlack and the team at CMAD for making this available for all of us.
Tuesday morning, I met with Dr. Jeff Boyce and the ministry staff at Lakeview Wesleyan Church before heading to Indianapolis for the Region 2 Leadership Connection. Rev. Mike Colaw, our Assistant DS for Region 2, hosted the event which included worship led by Josh Lavender and an impactful presentation from Dr. Kerry Kind.
The next two sessions for Region 2 are:
If you’re not in Region 2 but would like to attend, just reach out to Barbara Richter:
Tuesday evening, Sherry and I were guests for Pastor Mark & Ronda Atkinson as Eastview Wesleyan Church co-sponsored a free concert at Gas City Park featuring the Sidewalk Prophets. Pastor Mark opened the event and Ronda led children in singing the Star-Spangled Banner for this well-attended community gathering.
Wednesday was a catch-up day (phone calls, emails). Thursday, Chris Williams and I met for conference debrief and planning. Seth Bye and I participated with Dr. Larry Lindsey and a team from the Ron Blue Institute on a Thrive initiative opportunity. Dr. Jim Lo and I met over lunch on some ministry possibilities for the coming year. Then, Dr. Bud Bence and I met in McConn Coffee to hear more about his passion for Sierra Leone. We also explored how we might offer a “Wesleyan Church History and Discipline” course experience for transferring ministers and others who need this credit for ordination. The last hours of my afternoon were spent in the Jackson Library doing some research on a book concept. The IWU library is a beautiful space to read and reflect. I’m grateful for the gracious way IWU hosts our district pastors who value this resource.
Friday morning, I met with Dr. Lenny and Amy Luchetti. We’re blessed to have them both serving on our district team. Lenny is providing pulpit supply at Lakeview Wesleyan Church this summer and Amy serves on our DBA (District Board of Administration). Friday afternoon, I was in Fishers to meet with Paige Johnson, a church planting intern who is serving at Waterline Church with Pastor John & Danielle Freed.
Sherry joined me on Friday evening to drop in on Pastor Chuck & Chrystal Moorer and the team at Divine Direction Church, our congregation on 46th Street in Indianapolis. They were holding the grand opening of their new monthly discipleship food bank. Divine Direction is having a wonderful impact on their community and this new ministry is taking it to another level. They will continue providing food but will also be offering focused counseling and intentional discipleship opportunities to those in need.
The Southview Wesleyan Church family hosted a wonderful 50th Wedding Anniversary celebration for Rev. Rick and Mary Matthews on Saturday afternoon. The Matthews have been pastoring at Southview (on the south side of Indianapolis) since 1983. Their family and the church have grown together over these decades of ministry. It was a joy to be able to be present to congratulate them on behalf of our Crossroads District team.
Phil and Rhonda Foley and the team at Frankfort Camp Ministries invite us to their 2019 Family Camp (July 7-14) featuring Rev. David Duncan and Rev. Noel Bates. For more information, visit their website: http://www.frankfortcampministries.com/
Fairmount Family Camp is coming soon, July 21-28! We’re looking forward to the teaching ministry of Rev. Christy Hontz Lipscomb and Rev. Nathan Metz, along with Josh Lavender, worship leader. Here’s the link for more information: Fairmount Family Camp
Just a reminder for all pastors and local church treasurers that our new post office box for financial mail is: P.O. Box 7186, Fishers, IN 46038. If you were not able to attend district conference to learn about our new “Shared Accounting Services” partnership with General Treasurer Kevin Batman’s office at HQ, please reach out to Roxene Lo (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
Here’s the best news of the week: “More baptisms!” Pastor Zack Working was the first one to check in yesterday with news that they baptized four more people at Hope Rising Wesleyan Church in Huntington. The fourth person…was Zack’s mother. What an exciting day for their family and for the Kingdom!
Keep on making a difference in the cause that counts for eternity!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent
P.S. Congratulations and “well done, faithful servants” to the following leaders who were recognized for these significant ministry milestones at our district conference:
30 years – Robert Burchell III, James Dunn, Marc Watkins
35 years – David Anderson, Kevin Bragg, Kenneth Dykhoff, Paul Ramsey, Douglas Sharrard
40 years – Oliver Dongell, Richard Schenck, Wayne Schmidt
45 years – Clifton Ashlock, Thomas Hines, Matthew Miller, Joseph Park, Jr., James Watkins, Norman Wilson
50 years – Rick Matthews, Logan Westrick
55 years – James P. Vermilya