On this first Sunday of our new conference year, I had the privilege of worshiping with Dr. Oliver Dongell and the team at Plymouth Wesleyan Church this morning in both services. Plymouth Wesleyan is one of our district’s flagship churches and the largest of the churches in our Region 3. Both services are uniquely targeted to specific audiences through appropriate musical styles that are both done with excellence. They have a wonderful campus and an outstanding preschool ministry. I met with staff and LBA members between the services and then enjoyed lunch with Pastor Ollie and Reata at their favorite Mexican restaurant.
Sunday evening, I was in Sheridan to bring greetings from our district family to the Six Points Local Church Conference. Pastor Steve Martin and his team have really stepped up to the challenge of their Maximizing Impact consultation. They’ve had baptisms on three of the past 4 Sundays!
The week began with a staff meeting in Marion before dropping in to visit with Pastor Paul and Patty Trent and then heading on to Fishers for lunch with Dr. Karl Eastlack, DS of the Penn-Jersey District. Monday concluded with a meeting of the Executive Committee of the General Board. The General Board meetings continued all day Tuesday and through noon on Wednesday. The highlight of the meeting was an update on the conversations that began at UNLEASHED. We are blessed to have six of our leading pastors serve on the General Board and it was encouraging to hear their perspective on the current reality and preferred future of The Wesleyan Church.
I headed north to meet with the Region 3 Zone pastors as they interviewed Rev. Terry and Lennaire Vaughn about a possible urban church planting partnership in South Bend. Terry and Lennaire did a great job of sharing their vision and the strategic plan for this project targeted to reach youth and young adults in the inner city. The zone pastors unanimously voted to recommend this project and these planters to the DBA. I am always moved by the generosity and Kingdom vision of our Crossroads pastors in these partnership meetings.
I stopped in to pray with Pastor Paul Trent again on Thursday before meeting with Dr. Ed Love, Jon Wiest and (via Skype) Mike Hewitt to work on church planting proposal for Muncie. I also met with Mike Yonke for an update on the POD giving project. Thursday evening, Rev. Luis Azofeifa (National Superintendent of The Wesleyan Church in Costa Rica) joined me for supper with Pastor Roy Angula and Raleigh Pedro. You may remember Pastor Angula as the prospective planter for Fort Wayne. Rev. Azofeifa gave Roy and Dylana his highest recommendation. Pending DBA approval of the Fort Wayne Zone’s recommendation, the Angulo family will be returning to Costa Rica and beginning the R-1 (religious worker) visa application process to rejoin us as soon as possible.
On Friday, I chaired the DBMD as we interviewed great candidates who are preparing for ordination on June 23. We have a terrific team of pastors and lay leaders who interview our candidates. The interviews continued on Saturday with Dr. David Smith back as our chair. Please make plans to join us at 6:30 on Friday evening, June 23, at College Wesleyan Church in Marion as Dr. Wayne Schmidt, our General Superintendent, leads us in this sacred gathering.
Saturday morning, Rev. Rick Matthews and I met with Pastor Benjamin Tuimuk and leaders of a Chin congregation (from Burma/Myanmar) who has been worshiping at Southview Wesleyan Church (on the south side of Indianapolis). Pastor Matthews has been a wonderful encourager to this congregation. This is our third meeting and they are now officially requesting that the DBA receive them as a new developing Wesleyan congregation. Pending the DBA’s decision, I’ll be back to meet with them on May 21 to receive them as our newest members of the Crossroads District.
Saturday evening, Dr. Norman Wilson brought his dear friend, Rev. Carlos Martinez (National Superintendent of The Wesleyan Church of Chile) to preach for the Spanish language service at Anderson Memorial Circle Wesleyan Church. Rev. Clifton Ashlock does a wonderful job of pastoring this multi-ethnic ministry. Rev. Martinez also preached on Friday evening in Indianapolis at Monte de Sion and on Sunday morning at Carmel Iglesia Amistad. We’re looking forward to meeting Rev. Martinez’s son this summer when he comes to study at Wesley Seminary.
I’m looking forward to our Regional meetings with our pastors this week. Region 1 is meeting Monday morning (9:30-11:30) at Marion Brookhaven Wesleyan Church under the leadership of Rev. Jason Tash, Assistant DS. Region 2 is meeting on Tuesday afternoon (1:00-2:30) at Wesleyan Headquarters in Fishers under the leadership of Rev. Mike Colaw, Assistant DS. Region 3 will meet on Thursday morning (10-11:30 CST) in Merrillville at ReThink Church under the leadership of Rev. Chris Williams, Assistant DS. We’ll be hearing updates from Easter outreach, reviewing the top three church planting sites from each zone, and preparing for 2017 District Conference.
Our District Nominating Committee meets on Monday evening and our Conference Action Committee meets on Tuesday evening. Both meetings will be hosted at Eastview Wesleyan Church in Gas City.
We are hosting a Crossroad District Retired Ministers’ Fellowship on Tuesday morning at Wesleyan Headquarters in Fishers. You don’t have to be “officially retired” to join us, just old enough to remember when Eisenhower was president!
Then, on Friday and Saturday, our Multiplication Team is conducting their first Church Planters Bootcamp for candidates from our district and the Midwest.
There are many more upcoming events so please check out our Crossroads District website: http://www.crossroadsdistrict.org/events.html
Keep on making a difference in the cause that counts!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent