District Conference 2017 is in the books. Thank you to Dr. Steve DeNeff and the College Wesleyan team who graciously hosted our gathering again this year. We were challenged by the powerful messages of Pastor Alex Scilicia from Mexico City. We were inspired through anointed worship led by Elizabeth and Scott Rhyno. Dr. JoAnne Lyon led us in the ordination of seven new soldiers of the Cross.
We celebrated with churches who made significant progress this year and we heard the call to the task unfinished. We announced the new team members who will be leading church planting projects in Fort Wayne (Roy & Dylana Angulo Jimenez), Muncie (Mike & Kim Hewitt), and South Bend (Terry & Lennaire Vaughn).
We welcomed Pastor Benjamin and the choir from Shalom Christian Church in Indianapolis. This is our newest congregation comprised of refugees from Myanmar (formerly Burma) who have been lovingly embraced by Pastor Rick Matthews and our Southview Wesleyan Church.
We remembered those who have gone on ahead of us to glory and we honored those retiring pastors who have so faithfully served for many years.
We elected DBA members to help lead us into the new year. We learned together and shared that fellowship that is unique to the family of God. We came away reminded that we are one team with one mission: make disciples who make disciples and multiply churches until every one of the 3 million in our region has the opportunity to experience the life-transforming grace of God. And, as Jesus reminded us in Luke 15:4, it begins with our willingness to pursue the one more.
Thank you to Rev. Chris Williams and Rev. Amanda Blair who led the conference team that made our time together meaningful and efficient. They would want me to point to the dozens of volunteers without whom this would not have been possible. Thank you each one who joined in to help and thanks be to God!
As I did at the conference, I want to again thank my amazing district office team: Chris Williams, (Assistant DS), Roxene Lo and Raleigh Pedro. They consistently go above and beyond to serve our team. I am blessed to partner with them in this ministry.
Yesterday morning, Sherry and I were at Muncie Northview for their closing service. As we shared at conference, the church voted to close and turn their facilities over for a new church planting project in Muncie. In the closing service, we honored Rev. Walter & Alice Wilson for their 22 years of service and introduced Rev. Mike and Kim Hewitt who will be coming later this summer to lay the groundwork for the new ministry.
We enjoyed hearing Kim and their children minister in music. If you have contacts in the Muncie community or students attending Ball State University who could be helpful to launching a new church, please pass along contact information to the district office.
Thank you to Pastor Andy Jellison, Jeff Brady, Michael Wood and their teams who led a powerful week of ministry for senior high students at Fairmount Camp. Evangelist Chris Wilson brought challenging messages and our students responded to God’s call.
Praise Report: Pastor Marc Watkins and the Kokomo Trinity team welcomed a children’s evangelist for their VBS this year. The closing rally on Sunday had 91 in attendance with three new families visiting for the first time. Best of all, 13 young people made commitments to Christ!
Prayer Request: Rev. Paul Kirk, our pastor at New Castle Memorial Wesleyan, called me last week with the heartbreaking news that Phebe’s daughter was in auto accident that resulted in the death of their grandchild. Their daughter suffered a broken back and will be months in recovery. Please remember this grieving family in your prayers.
Pastoral Transitions: Please pray for the pastoral search teams at Chesterfield Parkview, Fort Wayne Level 13, Columbia City New Hope, and Lapel Daybreak.
Your servant in Christ,
Quote from conference: “If we are to better the future, we must disturb the present.” -Catherine Booth, co-founder of The Salvation Army