Sunday morning, December 10, Sherry and I had the privilege of worshiping with Rev. Clifton Ashlock and the congregation of Parkview Wesleyan Church in Chesterfield. Dr. Dick Hines (who previously served on our District Board of Administration) and Sherry, his wife, brought the special music. It was good to connect with several Wesleyan ministers like Rev. Tony Casey, Rev. Bill Barlow, and Rev. Dennis Hilton, who now call Parkview their home church. Pastor Clifton also welcomed two new members into the fellowship of the church.
Following the morning service, I was able to briefly connect with the members of the Local Board of Administration. Parkview continues to have meaningful ministry to the community including a free meal for their neighbors on Tuesday evenings and a midweek youth group that has an average of 15 teenagers attending.
Sunday evening, I was able to drop in at Trinity Wesleyan Church in Indianapolis as they wrapped up the third night of their Christmas connection experience. Pastor Mike Colaw and his team welcomed more than 1000 neighbors for “The North Pole Experience.” Carin Hines led an enthusiastic group of volunteers, including DBA member Reva Schultz, who helped point families to the real meaning of Christmas.
On my way back home from Indy, I dropped in on the evening service at Autumn Hills Church. I appreciated the message that Rev. Jerome Bell shared on the wise men. Please keep Pastor Jerome and this new congregation in your prayers as they reach out to Pendleton.
Last week’s district ministry calendar included the Christmas gathering with Fort Wayne area pastors and spouses on Monday evening at Lifeway Church. Special thanks to Rev. Andy Jellison, senior pastor, and his team of volunteers who did a wonderful job of hosting this evening of fellowship, food, and fun. We have three more opportunities coming up this week: Tuesday evening at Lakeview Wesleyan Church in Marion, Thursday evening at Harvest Church in Greenfield, and then on Friday evening at Plymouth Wesleyan Church.
Wednesday, I was in Avon with Rev. Seth Bye (317 Church) and then in Indianapolis to connect with Rev. Barry Dixon (Calvary Family Church) for our annual coaching conversations. Every one of these conversations reminds me of significant, life-impacting ministries that our churches offer in a wide variety of contexts. I am grateful for our pastors and their teams!
Thursday morning, I checked in with Rev. Carla Working and our district’s Women in Ministry cohort that was meeting at The River Church in Marion. In addition to her leadership responsibilities at Wesleyan headquarters in the Education and Clergy Development Department, Rev. Working leads our District Board of Ministerial Development and this monthly cohort. We have a growing number of gifted women serving in ordained ministry in a variety of roles across our district family. God’s promise in Joel 2:28-29 is being fulfilled!
Thursday, our District Board of Administration gathered at College Wesleyan Church for our quarterly meeting. We received ministry and financial reports. Thank you to our churches who are faithfully supporting the United Stewardship Fund. We stand at 91% for the first half of the conference year. The board engaged in meaningful discussions and in an extended time of prayer for our churches and pastors. Following our regular session, we enjoyed a delicious Christmas meal prepared by Velvet Haisley. We are blessed to have these lay and clergy, women and men, who serve together to provide oversight to our Crossroads District ministry of equipping leaders, revitalizing congregations, and planting new churches.
The reason why we do what we do is to glorify God by making disciples who make disciples. Dr. Chris Williams and the congregation at Lakeview Wesleyan Church are doing just that. On Sunday, December 10, they celebrated six more baptisms with new believers publicly professing their faith in Christ and one more student reaffirming his baptism. Praise God for lives being #MadeNew!
Please lead your congregation in prayer this Sunday, December 17, for our Follow ‘23 Youth Conference happening in Cincinnati in just three more weeks. Pray that our next generation leaders will powerfully encounter God at this dynamic event!
Registration is open for the 2024 Heartland Gathering, April 2-5, 2024, in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee! The 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. If you are a lead or solo pastor and did not receive that email, please reach out to us at email@example.com. For more information and registration, visit gathering.heartlandregion.org.
Keep on making a difference in the cause that counts for eternity!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent