Sherry and I enjoyed worshiping with Rev. Rob and Melinda Tippey at Wabash New Journey Community Church on Sunday morning, August 30. In person attendance was strong again yesterday with many young families and several IWU students. I had the privilege of installing Pastor Tippey on behalf of our Crossroads District team. Pastor Rob cast vision in an anointed message about “The Church I See” from Luke 14:25-33. He challenged the church with the reminder that “we’re not here to fill seats, we are here to make disciples.”
After the service, we joined the Tippey’s and the young adults of the church for a delicious meal. New Journey was blessed to be launched by Pastors Tom & Sarah Cochran. Pastor Brian & Jessica Scramlin followed the founding pastors and built well on that foundation. Pray for Pastor Rob and Melinda as they lead New Journey into this next exciting chapter of impacting Wabash with the Gospel.
I connected with the Level 13 Church leadership team last Monday evening and confirmed interim ministry plans and their upcoming StratOp consultation with Jason Tash on October 2-3. Tuesday, I met with the Crossroads District team at Abbey Coffee in the morning. Sherry and I hosted the Hartford City Wesleyan Church staff for a meeting and supper at our place on Tuesday evening.
Wednesday included a flurry of calls, texts and emails. The best news of the day was the phone call from Pastor Mark Atkinson that he was being transferred to IU Health’s Blackford Hospital so he can rehab closer to home. Wednesday evening, I met with the LBA at Gas City Eastview Wesleyan Church as they confirmed plans for the interim until Mark is healthy enough to return. They have a strong staff team that will be sharing the load for this vital ministry. While we were meeting, Pastor Mark sent us a photo via text so we returned the favor.
Thursday afternoon, I met with Dr. Mark Eckart via Zoom for an extended discussion about possible merits and models for more collaborative ministry between the Indiana South and Crossroads district. Mark continues to heal from a recent procedure on his vocal cords and is grateful for our prayers. Thursday evening, Seth Bye and I hosted a Zoom meeting for our pastors on communication they had received from the district office. The issue of effective ministry to persons who struggle with same sex attraction is a growing challenge in our congregations and colleges. Our aim is to minister with love and an optimistic view of God’s grace that can empower people to live in freedom.
Friday, I dropped in on Rev. Rick Carder and the DBMD Zone team that was meeting with ministerial candidates at Eastview Wesleyan Church in Gas City. The DBMD (District Board of Ministerial Development) plays a key role in helping individuals process their calling and walk with them as they prepare for a lifetime of vocational ministry. I am grateful for each of our ministers and lay leaders who collectively volunteer hundreds of hours each year to serve alongside our students in this significant assignment.
Mr. Carl Shepherd led a group of us serving on subcommittee of the General Board in a Zoom meeting on Friday afternoon. The postponing of General Conference allowed for additional refinement of proposed memorials that will be considered by the board at its fall meeting. Carl and Vicki are actively involved at Indianapolis Trinity Church and Carl also chairs the IWU Board of Trustees. We’re praying with Carl and Vicki as Vicki battles cancer.
Friday evening and all day Saturday, I served with Rev. Jason Tash as he led the Hartford City Wesleyan Church in a StratOp planning retreat. Jason is currently serving as VP for Development at Destiny Rescue but also graciously serves as part of our district team for these weekend consultations. The team at Hartford City Wesleyan Church worked well together in processing through the planning elements. Pray for HCWC as they move through this transition time and prepare to launch their pastoral search.
I am always excited to hear from our pastors with reports of changed lives and baptism celebrations. Pastor Lyle Breeding shared the good news that he and Assistant Pastor Lane Sander had the joy of baptizing 5 new believers at Sonlight Wesleyan Church in Bluffton. Praise the Lord for lives #madenew!
Rev. Aldean Pablo, our church planter in Roanoke/SW Fort Wayne reported 10 baptisms and more than 130 in attendance for an outdoor worship celebration this past Sunday at SEND Church in their cooperative ministry with the Sonrise UMC campus. Pastor Aldean had the special privilege of baptizing his son, Eleazar. Praise God for lives #madenew!
Please continue to pray for healing grace to our pastors with physical concerns: Rev. Mark Atkinson (Gas City Eastview), Rev. Nicolas Zarate (Circle of Hope), and Pastor Steve Arnett (New Castle Mt. Zion).
Our sympathies and prayers are extended to the family and friends of Rev. Ray Hood, a retired minister who served for many years as pastor of Fishersburg Wesleyan Church. Rev. Hood passed away last week and his funeral will be held on Tuesday, September 1, at the Whetsel Funeral Service in Alexandria.
We believe that prayer makes a difference. We are inviting district pastors and lay leaders to join us for a concert of prayer at 6 p.m. on Sunday, September 20, at Lakeview Wesleyan Church in Marion. Dr. Jim Lo will be leading us in this prayer time with a special focus on revival in our churches. We would love to have you join us.
Keep on making a difference in the cause that counts for eternity!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent