Sunday morning, January 28, Pastor Andy & Leanza Riemersma and the team at ONE Church in Westfield celebrated the second anniversary since their official launch in 2022. It was a great reminder that we don’t plant churches to expand The Wesleyan Church. We plant churches to reach more of the 3 million people in Indiana who don’t yet have a relationship with Christ and His Church. Praise the Lord for more than 140 decisions for Christ in the first two years of ONE Church’s ministry.
Continue to pray for Pastor Andy and his team as they reach out into Westfield and the surrounding area. If you’d like to hear more about the compelling vision for the next phase of this ministry including their new partnership with the YMCA, here’s the vision-casting message:
My next stop was in Avon at 317 Church in time to hear Pastor Seth Bye bringing a strong message and challenging the church in the launch of their “One More” initiative. It was so encouraging to see their team growing and to experience the excitement in the room.
Pastor Seth also led the church in celebrating three more believers publicly professing their faith in Christ. Praise the Lord for the forward progress of His Kingdom in Avon!
Last Monday, I was in Marion for our district staff meeting at Lakeview Wesleyan Church. Dr. Chris Williams, Assistant DS, met with us as we reconfigure our staff support role in partnership with his office. If you know someone who might be interested in applying for this new cooperative position, you may direct them to this weblink:
Monday evening, I met with the LBA (Local Board of Administration) at Marion Nelson Street. Pastor Tim Witte has been serving this congregation but submitted his resignation in that meeting. Rev. David Bannach has agreed to provide pulpit supply through the remainder of the conference year. Tuesday, travel was impacted in the morning by an icy driveway but Dr. Craig Thurmon (The Encounter Assembly) and I met online for our annual coaching conversation. Tuesday afternoon, I was on the phone with a prospective pastoral candidate.
Wednesday morning, I met with Pastor David Cox (Laketon Wesleyan) in Warsaw for our coaching conversation and then came back to Marion for coaching conversations first with Rev. Michael Gallant (Mt. Etna Community Life) and then with Rev. Brian Williams (Sims Wesleyan Church). Wednesday evening, I was grateful for the opportunity to join Pastor Rob Tippey and the team at Wabash New Journey Church for their third Wednesday prayer gathering in their “21 Days of Prayer.”
Thursday morning, I was in Marion to meet with Rev. Ed and Bonnie Silliman, recently retired from Pennsylvania, who have transferred into the Crossroads District. They are excited to meet other retired pastors and spouses at our spring gathering at Wesleyan HQ on April 12. Rev. Tim Witte and I met with Tisha Teague who has been serving as assistant pastor with him at Nelson Street.
Thursday afternoon, I met with another couple in Anderson and answered questions as they explore God’s call to ministry in The Wesleyan Church. My last stop was for a coaching conversation with Rev. Carol Schenck, co-pastor at Noblesville Circle of Hope. Dr. Rich Schenck joined us for this conversation and for a discussion of future possibilities for the ministry of Circle of Hope.
Friday morning, I was in Indianapolis to connect with Rev. Cary and Cindi Sanders as they reach out to the Fountain Square community. Friday afternoon, I joined with Rev. Carla Working at Wesleyan HQ as she welcomed Dr. Elaine Bernius, IWU professor, and a group of students exploring ministry opportunities in Indiana.
Several of our district churches wrapped up their 21 Days of Prayer this weekend. The River Church in Marion concluded with a prayer meeting on Saturday morning. Executive Pastor Amy Biegel brought the devotional message and then led the congregation into the hour of prayer.
Following that prayer meeting, I dropped in on Pastor Dan VanCise and the team at West 8th Street Wesleyan Church for their 11 a.m. prayer service. Pastor Dan has been leading their congregation in this Saturday morning prayer gathering for many months and they’ve been encouraged by the way that God is moving in response to specific prayer requests.
Thank you to every pastor who is leading by example and calling our district churches to a deeper level of corporate prayer. Missionary Hudson Taylor often reminded the church that “When we work, we work. When we pray, God works.”
One of the ways we seek God at work in our churches is through the testimony of changed lives. Pastor Aldean Pablo and ARISE Church in Roanoke celebrated three more baptisms yesterday. Praise the Lord for these stories of redemption!
Pastor Martin Furrow and the team at The Cross in Rochester are delighted to announce that Rev. Richard Ladoceur and his family have arrived to join their staff team. The Ladoceur family is coming back to Indiana from a season of ministry with The Wesleyan Church in New York. Welcome Pastor Richard and Haley and their children back home to the Crossroads District!
Thank you to those who have been praying for Rev. Greg Holmes (South Bend Sonlight) in his recovery from the severe back injury and surgery he experienced almost two weeks ago. I’ve spoken with Pastor Greg and Cheryl by phone throughout this journey and we are grateful to report that Greg was released to continue his recovery and rehabilitation from home. Thank you to those who’ve responded to the financial matching grant. If your church would like to help, please send your contribution to our district treasurer: P.O. Box 7186, Fishers, IN 46038.
Rev. Matthew and Nicole Trexler (The River Church) are grandparents for the first time! Congratulations and welcome to Wrenn. Mother and baby are home and doing well. Pastor Matthew is off to a good start in his rookie season of grandparenting.
Rev. Randy and Carol Yaryan (Winchester Wesleyan Church) welcomed grandbaby number 11! Lucas and his mother are both doing well. Pastor Randy is a seasoned pro in this grandfathering role. We agree with Proverbs 17:16 “Children’s children are a crown…”
Youth pastors, the game clock is ticking! Register now and bring your teens to this year’s Crossroads District All-Nighter in Fort Wayne on February 16! The early bird price is $50 until January 31 (cost goes up to $55 starting February 1) so register soon! This year, in addition to the inspiring worship rally, our students will be enjoying Crazy Pinz, Canlan Ice Rink, laser tag, and the YMCA! Here is the registration link: https://districtallnighter2024.eventbrite.com
*** PLEASE NOTE THE LOCATION CHANGE FOR RALLY! The rally will be held at Pine Hills Church in Fort Wayne (about 5 minutes down the road from our previous location).
Calling all pastors and spouses (and PKs are also invited)! Please join us for the 2024 Heartland Gathering, April 2-5, 2024, in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee! Our DBA has approved one $300 scholarship for each district church, designated to cover a significant portion of the registration cost for one pastoral family per church. Details regarding the scholarship were sent to lead and solo pastors.
Don’t miss out, registration ends February 5th! Here’s the link for the speaker lineup and registration information: gathering.heartlandregion.org
Keep on making a difference in the cause that counts for eternity!
Your servant in Christ,