Sunday morning, May 21, I had the privilege of worshiping with the growing congregation at Monte de Sion Iglesia Wesleyan Church in the Eagledale neighborhood of Indianapolis. This church was planted by the Granados family over two decades ago and has been rebounding after the setbacks of the past few years. Rev. Grace Lopez has stepped in to serve as supply pastor and is blessing the church with her leadership. Rev. Neftali Lopez, Circuit Rider, was able to be with us yesterday and helped out by playing guitar with the worship team.
Yesterday, they honored two of their high school graduates and Pastor Grace shared a prayer of blessing over the children. Monte de Sion has a vibrant worship and prayer ministry. They do have a challenge in a deteriorating older parsonage that will need to be repaired or replaced. Please pray for the leaders of this ministry as they reach out to their community.
Crossroads District has two churches named Mount Zion. The second of those is outside of New Castle and yesterday was a special celebration day for this Mt. Zion as Pastor Steve Arnett led their team in commemorating 180 years of ministry. Our best records indicate that Mt. Zion (formerly Duck Creek) was the second Wesleyan (Methodist) church formed in the spring of 1843, just after Fountain City (Newport Wesleyan Methodist, now LifeSpring).
On my way to Monte de Sion, I was able to drop in to worship with Pastor Michael Colaw and the team at Trinity Church in Indianapolis. Pastor Colaw brought a powerful message on the prophets. This is a busy season for Pastor Mike as he leads a growing church, a growing family, and completes his Doctor of Ministry degree with Wesley Seminary.
Sunday afternoon, I joined Rev. Jacob Gibson and his team at LifeSpring Church in Richmond to convene their annual local church conference and to bring district greetings on this 180th year of their ministry. It was an exciting year for LifeSpring as they called Rev. Gibson to be their new senior pastor. Dr. Aaron Perry did a wonderful job serving alongside the team as interim pastor. LifeSpring celebrated 65 baptisms last year and gave over $100,000 to world missions!
My last stop on Sunday was with Rev. Jerry Alexander and the team at the former Central Wesleyan Church in Anderson. For the past 5 years, they've been part of the Circle of Hope Network led by Dr. Rich and Rev. Carol Schenck. Circle of Hope is launching them out and the DBA is working with the team and Rev. Michael Hewitt, their coach, to develop a relaunch plan for this fall as Living Hope Wesleyan Church.
Last Monday, I was able to drop in on the leadership cohort that Rev. Matthew Trexler leads each month at The River. This is a great group of pastors committed to learning and growing, both themselves and the churches that God has entrusted to them. I took lots of notes and was encouraged to hear the stories of how God is moving in these churches.
I was on the road Tuesday to meet with Rev. Chip Bos at Wesleyan HQ in Fishers to record interviews with Rev. Claudia Ruiz and Rev. Steve Arnett. You will be blessed to hear their stories at District Conference on June 24.
Tuesday evening, I met with the LBA (Local Board of Administration) at New Castle Memorial Wesleyan Church as they continue their search for a new pastor. Dr. Joe Harmon is serving them well as they work through the process of finding the best leader for their bright future.
On Wednesday, I met with Rev. Mark Atkinson, Circuit Rider, over lunch and then connected with Rev. Jeff Luedtke, pastor of Fairmount Wesleyan Church and chair of the Fairmount Camp Board. Fairmount Camp is searching for a new Executive Director and interested candidates may apply by through this link: https://secure.wesleyan.org/job/frame/8989
Wednesday evening, I joined with Pastor Allen Gross and friends at Cicero United Family Church (UFC) as they welcomed Rev. Mark Atkinson for a workshop on personal evangelisms. United is in an exciting season of growth and this was a timely seminar for their team.
Thursday afternoon, I represented our team at the funeral of Mrs. Edie Surfus, mother of Rev. Michele Henry, assistant pastor at Brookhaven, and grandmother of Alexander Henry, assistant pastor at Elwood Main Street. Pastor Tony Bye and Alexander Henry led this meaningful celebration of her life and legacy.
Thursday evening, I met with Rev. Scott Rhyno and the leadership team at Waterline Church as they explored a possible meeting location in Ingalls. Waterline has been meeting at Wesleyan HQ in Fishers for the last several years. With the General Board's decision to sell the HQ building to WIF, Waterline is looking for a new home. Pray with Pastor Scott and Waterline as they seek God's direction for this strategic decision.
With a full day of coaching conversations in the northwestern corner of our district on Saturday, I was glad to have a day of Sabbath at home on Friday. My first coaching conversation on Saturday was with Rev. Marc Ulrich in Merrillville. These are exciting days at ReThink Church with new families and recent baptisms. My next stop was with Rev. Jere Gowin just south of LaPorte where he pastors the Wesleyan church in Kingsford Heights. My final stop of the day was in Elkhart with Jose Cardenas. Jose and Angiee, his wife, have a growing team of leaders who serve Cielos Abiertos Iglesia Wesleyana. One of their most exciting developments is working with a pastor to launch a new campus of Cielos Abiertos in Ambato, Ecuador. God is on the move!
Pastor Joe Jackson and the team at United Wesleyan Church in Anderson are rejoicing with two more baptisms on Mothers' Day. Praise the Lord for lives being #MadeNew!
Rev. Andy Jellison, senior pastor at Lifeway Wesleyan Church in Fort Wayne, left yesterday with his family for his first sabbatical, but before he pulled out of town he sent word of four baptisms and another profession of faith! Heaven is celebrating with us!
Rev. Dr. Kerry Kind, former General Director of what is now the Eduction and Clergy Development, passed away yesterday evening, May 21. Dr. Kind was gracious man of God who served as as a Global Partners missionary and administrator for many years. Funeral arrangements will be forwarded to our pastors as soon as possible. Please keep Jule and the Kind family in your prayers.
Dr. Andrea Kind Summers, Dean of the Chapel at IWU, posted this on Facebook:
"We said goodbye for now to my dad Kerry Kind earlier this evening. His wife (Jule Kind) and family surrounded him with prayers, singing, Scripture, tears, words of gratefulness and an undercurrent of faith-filled hope. It was beautiful. A fitting final moment for a beautiful life. A week ago today we were talking about the sermon after church and my dad told me how much he’s been learning and growing. Never done. Always hungry. Knowing there’s still so much more. And now he knows the More better than any of us. I’m overflowing with gratefulness for a dad who loved God and who loved us so well."
For friends and family of the ordination candidates who want to join us for the celebration of ordination, please note that seating will begin at 10:15. The service will begin at 10:30.
Keep on making a difference in the only cause that counts for eternity!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent
Please join us in praying for a fresh move of God among our next generation of Wesleyan leaders who will be gathering in Cincinnati this December. Seminars and workshops will be available for pastors and parents so make please every effort to attend!