One of the highlights of our district partnership with local churches is providing a pathway of preparation for those who are answering the call of God. The DBMD (District Board of Ministerial Development) receives candidates who are recommended by their local church as possessing the grace, gifts, and fruit of one called to the ministry of Word and sacrament. The journey of these called individuals includes ministry experiences, academic preparation, and careful examination each year by the DBMD. The process culminates in the DBMD’s recommendation for ordination. The General Superintendent, assisted by the Ordination Council, conducts the ordination service on behalf of the entire denominational family of The Wesleyan Church.
Last evening, General Superintendent Dr. Wayne Schmidt led us in the ordination of Rev. Elizabeth Rhyno, assistant pastor at Fishers Waterline Church. General Superintendent Emerita Dr. JoAnne Lyon, one of Elizabeth’s valued mentors, offered the prayer of enduement. Rev. Rhyno completed her preparation and was originally approved for ordination last summer. At that time, Elizabeth was caring for her ailing mother in Canada and pandemic restrictions at the border precluded her participation. The ordination service hosted last evening by Waterline Church at Wesleyan Headquarters was a beautiful celebration of God’s calling women and men to leadership in the Church.
Sunday afternoon, I met with Pastor Joe Jackson and the LBA at Anderson United Wesleyan Church as they prepare for their vote on the renewal of call. Pastor Jackson and his team were still celebrating that morning’s service in which they welcomed 16 new members!
Sunday morning, I enjoyed being part of the team at Hartford City Wesleyan Church where I’m serving in a limited capacity as their interim pastor. In addition to hosting the service and leading in the Lord’s Supper, they also let me sit in with the worship team band. We were delighted to welcome Rev. Mark Schnell as our guest speaker yesterday in our “Through the Bible in a Year” series. We are also pleased to announce the Rev. Schnell has agreed to join the Hartford City team beginning in April as our Pastor of Preaching and Congregational Care. Mark and Sharie Schnell are both gifted leaders and will make a significant impact on this ministry. Mark will continue to teach ministry classes for Indiana Wesleyan University.
While I am always excited to get back on the road working with our team here in the Crossroads District, it was great to take a week of vacation with Sherry as we celebrated our 37th anniversary in Florida. We shared supper with Pastor David and Suzanne Cox (Laketon Wesleyan) who were also vacationing at Brooksville, spent time with my father and his wife, reconnected with Dr. John and Patty Bray at their new home in Parrish, FL and worshiped at The Church Experience with Rev. Brandon and Jennifer (Dongell) Bruce. Jennifer is Dr. Oliver Dongell’s daughter (Ollie pastors Plymouth Wesleyan). Sandy beaches and sunny skies are a great way to unwind.
Our pastors are running hard but it is also important for all of us to take time to recharge our batteries. There are still a few matching grants available for our pastors to participate in our Rest Well Initiative: https://www.crossroadsdistrict.org/restwellinitiative.html
Praise the Lord for more reports of lives being #madenew! Pastor Mark and the team at Gas City Eastview Wesleyan are celebrating stories of redemption with two more baptisms on Sunday, March 14.
Pastor Oliver Dongell and the team at Plymouth Wesleyan Church are celebrating the redemption stories of six men who were baptized last Sunday, March 7. Pictured below are five of those new brothers in Christ!
There is still time for your team to plan a baptism service at your church for people who come to Christ in this Easter season. Please share those stories and pictures so we can pass them along to the team.
Our sympathies and prayers are extended to Rev. Allen Laws and his family on the passing of his wife, Mrs. Cheryl Laws. Funeral arrangements were shared with our pastors over the weekend. We will gather on Tuesday, March 16, 1 p.m., at the Jonesboro campus of Eastview Wesleyan Church to celebrate Cheryl’s life and to share our resurrection hope. Visitation with the family will be from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the church.
Our congratulations to Rev. David and Rev. Emily Hines on the arrival last week of the newest member of our Crossroads District pastoral family, Petra Anastasia Hines. Emily serves on the District Board of Administration and she and David are both members of the staff team at Brookhaven Wesleyan Church.
Thank you for all you are doing to advance the Kingdom of God!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent