Today, May 15, all reports are due. Thank you in advance for your partnership in completing this important step of stewardship and accountability!
Yesterday morning, I had the privilege of worshiping with Dr. Max & Viola Kingsolver at Michigantown Mt Hope Chapel. Pastor Max is several years past when many would expect to retire but he continues to faithfully serve this loving congregation.
To celebrate Mother’s Day, they had flowers for all the ladies and all the congregational songs were composed by women. (Dr. Kingsolver said he found more than 100 such songs in their hymnal.) Mt Hope Chapel faces the same challenges as many small churches in tiny rural communities but they have a positive attitude and are working together to faithfully proclaim the Gospel to their family and friends.
This was another exciting week in the Crossroads District as we hosted our spring Regional Meetings and launched our new Church Planters Training, affectionally known as Boot Camp.
More than 50 pastors gathered at Brookhaven Wesleyan Church in Marion on Monday morning for the Region 1 meeting. Pastor Jason Tash, Assistant DS for Region 1, did a great job leading our meeting and Pastor Tony Bye and his team at Brookhaven were gracious hosts. There were so many exciting reports of how God is at work in this region.
One of the highlights was the testimony that Pastor Tom Bradley (Huntington Etna Avenue) shared about three generations in one new family being baptized in the past month. They had 11 decisions for Christ and 8 baptisms in just the past few weeks. This zone also heard from Pastor Michele Henry on the successful KidMin Huddle (our annual training event for children’s ministry workers).
On Monday evening, I met with our District Nominating Committee. We were graciously hosted by Gas City Eastview Wesleyan Church. The team worked well together identifying diverse voices from across our new district: nominees from all regions, large and small churches, women and men, younger and older. We also established the principle of not nominating people from churches that could not fulfill their United Stewardship Fund commitment last year. We understand that there may be legitimate reasons but we were convinced that the leaders who are entrusted with making decisions about expending those resources should represent churches that fully participated in USF.
Tuesday morning, I had the joy of hosting a gathering of our retired pastors for our spring fellowship at Wesleyan HQ in Fishers. After lunch, the Region 2 team also met at HQ. Pastor Mike Colaw, Assistant DS for Region 2, did a great job of leading the meeting and encouraging the team.
We heard wonderful reports of how God is on the move in this region including a report from Pastor Paul Kirk of a powerful sense of God’s presence last Sunday at New Castle Memorial Wesleyan Church. They’ve been fasting and praying for God to bring revival and experienced a powerful breakthrough.
Tuesday evening, I was back in Gas City to meet with our District Action Committee. Probably no committee in our denomination is less appropriately named but it was a productive meeting as we reviewed our standing rules and made recommendations to the upcoming district conference.
Wednesday was a day of rest.
Thursday, I joined Rev. Chris Williams, Assistant DS, for the Region 3 meeting at Merrillville ReThink Church. Pastor Marc and Heather Ulrich made us feel welcome and it was good for the area pastors to see the wonderful job they’ve done in remodeling the facility for ministry. Pastor Chris does a great job leading this team and it was good to see the camaraderie that is developing among these pastors who didn’t know each other just last year.
Following lunch, Pastor Marc Ulrich and I connected for a coaching conversation before heading back home.
The Multiplication Team met in Fishers on Friday morning under the leadership of Rev. Jon Wiest, District Director. It really is amazing to see the team that God has brought together to lead the way as we work to plant 100 new Kingdom communities in the next 10 years. Then, Pastor John Freed led the inaugural Church Planters’ Training (or Boot Camp) for team members representing five prospective church planting projects. We were delighted that Rev. Chris Conrad, West Michigan DS, and some of his planters could join us. Chris did a great job of setting the tone with his keynote address. John and Danielle Freed, Tom Cochran, Matthew Trexler, and Jon Wiest rounded out the faculty that led the planters through “First Steps.” Pray that God will send out more workers into His Harvest! (Matthew 9:38)
Sherry and I were honored to represent our Crossroads District team at the memorial service for Pastor Paul Trent on Saturday morning. Rev. Clifton Ashlock led the service, assisted by Rev. Bob Van Cise and Dr. Jim Lo. Parkview Wesleyan Church in Chesterfield was filled to overflowing as family and friends gathered to celebrate a life well-lived for Christ. Pastor Paul’s life and ministry touched thousands of lives for eternity and he will be greatly missed. Please keep Mrs. Patty Trent, her family and the Parkview congregation in your prayers as they move forward relying on God’s grace and strength.
Driving home from Michigantown yesterday, I received a call from Pastor Randy Yaryan (Winchester Wesleyan) who shared the news that a young mother who is recovering from drug addiction gave her life to Christ at their Mothers’ Day Service. Praise God!
Our District Board of Administration meets on Thursday afternoon in Fairmount at the Branch. Your prayers are always valued as we meet to review the past year and plan for our upcoming district conference on June 23 and 24 at Marion College Wesleyan Church.
This coming Friday evening, Sherry and I are looking forward to hosting our next Zone Fellowship, this time with the pastors and their spouses from the North Zone of Region 3, led by Rev. Don Bayne.
It is an incredible joy to serve with you in the only cause that counts for eternity!
Your servant in Christ,