Sunday, May 13, was a wonderful day in the churches of the Crossroads District as mothers were celebrated. Flowers, baby dedications, special tributes, and timely messages affirmed the significant ministry of mothers in our families and in our congregations.
North Wabash Wesleyan Church welcomed me to bring greetings from the district team and to share the morning message. Their piano player was unable to be present so I was glad to help out. This faithful congregation is in the last stages of the church lifecycle. What once was a flourishing multi-generational ministry is today a handful of dedicated folks.
These dear saints sacrificially underwrite the operational expenses. They still believe and teach orthodox Christianity. They financially support Hephzibah and Wesleyan missionaries around the world. They always contribute 100% of their United Stewardship Fund. They pray and hope for their church to return to its former glory.
The difficult conversation has begun about the future of their church. There is an acute awareness that without the dramatic, divine intervention of God, the days of the ministry are numbered in months, not years.
I was sobered by my time with these dear saints. The reality is that every church that fails to keep its evangelistic fire burning hot faces the same inevitability. We do not exist for our own comfort, our own preferences, or our own positions. The local church is the hope of the world only when we are overflowing with the Holy Spirit and passionately pursuing God’s mission of winning the lost at any cost.
Pray for North Wabash Wesleyan and pray that God will keep all of us focused on fulfilling the Great Commission in the Spirit of the Great Commandment.
Last week’s schedule included a variety of coaching conversations and working with local church leaders to wrap up the conference year. I did have the opportunity to attend the funeral for “Miss Judy” (Judy Plotner Ward) who was a long-time staff member and treasured friend for the team at The River Church in Marion. She impacted hundreds of families through nearly 40 years of children’s ministry.
Another highlight of the week was serving with Rev. Carla Working and our District Board of Ministerial Development in Marion on Friday as they conducted the final round of interviews for this year’s class of ordination candidates. We were encouraged by the deep commitment expressed by these ministers to our core value of holy living in the power of the Holy Spirit.
What a joy to see these younger and older, women and men, recent college graduates and mid-career professionals, answering God’s call to the equipping ministry of Word and sacrament. We’re looking forward to their ordination at the 2023 Crossroads District Conference in Anderson on June 24. The ordination service will begin promptly at 10:30. We’re honored to have Dr. JoAnne Lyon as our ordination speaker this year!
On Saturday, I joined Rev. Grace Dominguez Lopez and the leadership team at Indianapolis Monte de Sion Iglesia Wesleyana. This congregation is in the building formerly known as Eagledale Wesleyan Church. Pastor Grace has agreed to serve as interim pastor for this congregation and I was glad to connect with them for an update on their ministry.
We always love to share the good news of lives being changed by the Gospel! Pastor Duane Cragun passed along this photo from the baptism service held on May 7 at Brinker Heights Wesleyan Church in Marion. Praise the Lord for lives being #MadeNew!
Rev. Don Bayne and the team at New Carlisle Wesleyan Church continue to see the church rebounding and lives being changed. On Sunday, May 14, they celebrated 4 baptisms and an infant dedication. Praise the Lord for His blessing on their ministry!
Pastors, just a gentle reminder that your ASR (Annual Service Report) and LCSR (Local Church Statistical Report) are both due on May 20. The ASR is required for continued appointment as a minister in the Crossroads District. You can finish yours today in about 15 minutes. Here’s the link: https://www.wesleyan.org/twchub
As we prepare for District Conference, we have created a form for each local church to submit the names of those elected as Lay Delegates to District Conference as well as the Local Church Officers who will be serving this conference year. This form may also be used to update any staff appointment information for the district. Please CLICK HERE to submit those details by May 30th.
Please remember that only the Local Church Conference (not the LBA) can elect delegates to district conference and it is prudent to elect at least 1 or 2 alternate delegates.
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. There will be helpful seminars and workshops for pastors and parents so please make every effort to attend!