Palm Sunday, April 10, I had the joy of worshiping with Dr. Oliver Dongell and the team at Plymouth Wesleyan Church. Pastor Dongell graciously invited me to preach in both services, the more blended one at 9 a.m. and the more contemporary service at 10:30. Plymouth Wesleyan incorporated a music presentation from their children’s ministry and preschool in the second service. Between the services, I appreciated the opportunity to connect with members of the LBA. I’m grateful for the effective leadership that Rev. Dr. Dongell has given to Plymouth Wesleyan Church since 2003. We’re praying that God will bless their outreach ministries this Easter weekend.
Traveling on from Plymouth, I joined Pastor Jose Cardenas and the team at Elkhart Cielos Abiertos for their Sunday afternoon worship service. They have relocated to a shared facility and it was my first time to be with them since they moved into this worship center. We were blessed to have Rev. Eliorgy Guerrero, founding pastor, and his wife visiting us from Chattanooga. You may recall that this ministry was originally launched with a group of Venezuelan political asylum seekers. There is always a wonderful spirit of worship in their service and it was an honor to bring the message from God’s Word to this growing congregation.
Sunday evening, the churches of Region 1 were invited to come together for an evening of prayer. This is the fourth monthly united prayer gathering that we’ve held this year. Rev. Matthew Trexler and the team at The River Church in Marion graciously hosted last evening’s gathering. Attendance was strong with participants from at least a dozen churches joining us from as far away as Warsaw, Fort Wayne, and Indianapolis. It was a powerful evening of intercession for our churches as we minister this Easter.
Our next district monthly prayer gathering will be on May 8, 6:00 p.m., in Region 2 (greater Indianapolis) hosted by Rev. Neftali Lopez and the team at Carmel Amistad (761 N Rangeline Rd, Carmel, IN 46032) If you’re in the area, we’d love to have you join us.
Last week’s schedule included meetings with district staff and coaching conversations with Rev. Brian Williams (Sims Wesleyan), Rev. Matthew Stewart (Sweetser Wesleyan), Rev. Duane Summitt (Fishersburg Wesleyan), Rev. Brent Miller (Gas City Southside), Rev. Allen Laws (Warren Wesleyan), Rev. Josh Warren and Rev. Dave Cox (Laketon Wesleyan).
Another highlight of the week was our Retired Pastors and Spouses Fellowship on Friday at Wesleyan HQ in Fishers. Our office staff loves hosting these honored guests. Our featured speaker this session was Dr. David Vardaman who has recently retired after many years of effective service teaching at IWU. In addition to his message, we enjoyed a hymn sing and shared in a time of prayer around our tables. It is such an honor to serve these faithful leaders who have contributed more than 1000 years of ministry to Christ and His Kingdom!
Saturday morning at Lakeview Wesleyan Church, our office team provided an orientation session for our delegates elected by our district conference to represent us at the upcoming General Conference in St. Louis, May 22-25. We enjoyed the opportunity to serve our delegates with an overview of the process and discussion around some of the key memorials that will be under consideration.
The General Secretary’s office has posted all of the memorials on the General Conference website (https://www.wesleyan.org/unleashed/memorials). Many of the sessions will be available via livestream so check that conference website for the schedule and other details.
Following the orientation session, I checked in with the Lakeview Wesleyan team who were in downtown Marion providing a servant evangelism outreach. They worked with a local gas station and provided a $1 discount for 1000 gallons of gas.
As the customers were taking advantage of this discount, the members of the Lakeview outreach team engaged them in conversation and invited those without a church home to worship with them at Lakeview on Easter Sunday. The customers enjoyed a nice surprise and the outreach team members had fun serving together and making new connections.
Pastor Steve Colter reported that Marion Chapel Pike Wesleyan Church celebrated three baptisms on Palm Sunday, including Pastor Steve’s own granddaughter Jaylie! Pastor Zach Working had the privilege of baptizing his son, Ezra, on Sunday morning at Huntington Hope Rising Church. Pastor Andy Riemersma and the team at Westfield ONE Church celebrated their first baptism service since launching in January with 5 new believers publicly professing their faith in Christ. Praise God for these lives being #MadeNew!
Continue to pray for our churches in pastoral transition. I received word from Elwood Central Wesleyan Church that they have invited Rev. Jon Noggle to candidate on May 1. Lafayette The Branch had their candidate on April 3 and then voted unanimously yesterday to extend an initial call to Rev. Phil Carder.
Our spring DBA meeting is schedule for April 21 with ordination (June 24) and district conference (June 25) fast approaching. Pray with us for wisdom in the decisions that will come before.
Thank you for making a difference in the cause that counts for eternity!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent
P.S. – The 2022 FUEL Conference is coming to Muncie next week, April 21-22! Please encourage your youth and children’s ministry leaders to invest in their personal & ministry development by attending. For questions, email District Youth President Jessica Folz at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more info on FUEL, visit: www.wesleyan.org/fuel