Sunday, August 12, I worshiped at Chesterton Expansion Church with Pastor Tom and Sarah Cochran. Pastor Tom has been preaching through the Lord’s Prayer this month and shared the truth of “God’s Will, God’s Way” yesterday. He reminded us that prayer is not about seizing control but about surrendering control to God. After the service, I met briefly with their leadership team and then shared lunch with Tom and Sarah.
Sunday afternoon, on the way back south from Chesterton, I had the joy of stopping in at Davis Wesleyan Church to welcome Rev. Matthew and Kendra Ohime. This is a homecoming to Indiana for Matt and Kendra after serving in Wisconsin District for several years as church planters. Kendra is the new band director at Oregon-Davis High School and we’re excited that Matt has agreed to provide leadership at Davis Wesleyan while he attends Wesley Seminary. They have three terrific children so keep the family in your prayers as they settled into these new responsibilities and relationships.
Sunday evening, I joined with the congregation at Anderson North Wesleyan Church for the pastoral installation of Rev. David Shafer, as senior pastor, and Rev. Scott Stamper, assistant/administrative pastor. This is a great team and there are exciting days ahead at Anderson North. The service concluded with a meaningful time of consecrating prayer around the altar. It was good to see retired pastor Rev. Eddie and Julianne Purciful there for the service. Rev. Purciful led so well that it’s taking two pastors to fill his shoes.
Last week included coaching conversations with Rev. Duane Summitt (Fishersburg), Rev. Brent Miller (Gas City Southside), and Rev. David Leitzel (Hamilton). On Wednesday evening I met with the LBA (Local Board of Administration) at Marion Nelson Street Wesleyan Church. They have asked Rev. Don Glenn to fill in for the remainder of this conference year. Continue to pray for the Fletcher family and for this Nelson Street congregation.
Dr. Aron Willis was in town this week and it was a delight to connect with him over breakfast on Thursday morning. On Thursday evening, I interviewed a prospective youth pastor/church planter couple in Marion.
Friday evening, Sherry and I joined with Rev. Dr. Richard Schenck and Rev. Carol Schenck to host Rev. Joshe Bose, National Director of The Wesleyan Church of Bangladesh. Bangladesh and Mozambique are the two fields in which the Crossroads District has ongoing commitments with Global Partners for the Jesus Film, church planting, and pastoral education.
Under Rev. Bose’s leadership, The Wesleyan Church in Bangladesh now numbers 45 congregations with 1900+ in attendance in a country that is less than 1% Christian. The Schenck’s have played a key role in the development of this field and I’ll be joining their team for leadership training there in October.
On Saturday, Dr. Norman and Kim Wilson joined us to host our Hispanic leaders for lunch at Thornapple Lodge in Upland. We had a great time of fellowship and worship with this growing group of pastors who have joined our team from Argentina, Guatemala, Mexico and Venezuela. Rev. Nephtali Lopez, pastor at Carmel Amistad leads this zone and it was a special joy to welcome Rev. Eliorgy Guerrero representing our newest congregation in Elkhart.
Like many of you, I participated in the Global Leadership Summit last Thursday and Friday, joining the Gas City Eastview Wesleyan Church staff on Thursday morning and watching the remainder from home. The speakers were terrific again this year and Craig Groeschel provided a classic example of what it looks like to lead in a crisis. If you weren’t able to attend, you can catch up through blogger Brian Dodd’s summary (Brian Dodd on #GLS18) or check out Megan Brigg’s selection of quotes from the event (GLS Top 50 Quotes).
I received word last week from our Wesleyan Education and Clergy Development Office that Wesleyan pastors are being invited to participate in an important national study on clergy wellness conducted by Dr. Matthew Bloom. Dr. Bloom (University of Notre Dame professor) is the principal researcher. The ECD office will send an explanatory email to all Wesleyan pastors on August 14 and the survey will be sent out on September 18. This is part of the Lilly Endowment Fund’s ongoing commitment to clergy well-being over a lifetime of ministry. One of the fruits of the previous research is the THRIVE initiative from which many of our pastors have received financial assistance. Please participate!
Thank you for all you do to advance the Kingdom!
Your servant in Christ,
Three last thoughts from #GLS18: