Rev. Marc and Heather Ulrich lead ReThink Church, the Merrillville church planting project that they launched in partnership with the Crossroads District back in 2016. Merrillville has not been an easy place to plant, with several other church plants closing around them in the past five years. But Marc and Heather have been persistent in chasing the vision of disciples making disciples, not just producing a Sunday morning event.
Both Marc and Heather are deeply involved in community public schools and continue to see fruit from their prayers and consistent witness. They have been training leaders and are ready to launch three new neighborhood-based micro-churches. Sunday morning will continue to be the rallying points for these teams of neighborhood missionaries. Please keep Marc, Heather, (Shad and Carson) and the ReThink Church in your prayers!
Sunday evening, I had the privilege of installing Trevor O’Dell as the new pastor at Lancaster Wesleyan Church. Trevor is a graduate of Indiana Wesleyan University and recently completed his ministry residence with Pastor Michael Hewitt at Rising Hope Church in Muncie. It was a delight to have Rev. Steve O’Dell, Trevor’s father, and Rev. Mark Schnell, Trevor’s uncle, to join us for this special service. After the service, the leadership team hosted a time of fellowship with Trevor’s family in the community room. (One fun fact that I learned yesterday was that Rev. Marc Ulrich was Trevor’s youth pastor at Woodland Church in Battle Creek, Michigan.) We’re excited to see what God has in store for Trevor, Ally and Joseph, their son, as they join the wonderful folks at Lancaster Wesleyan in reaching their community for Christ.
Last week included coaching conversations on Wednesday with Rev. Jarod Osborne (Warsaw Pathway) and Rev. Kory Christensen (New Haven Impact), and on Thursday with Pastor Scott McDermid (Sheridan Six Point Church). I chaired the LBA meeting at Hartford City Wesleyan Church on Thursday evening and participated in a specially-called session of the General Board’s Executive Committee on Monday afternoon. Please join in prayer as preparations are made for the in-person General Board meeting coming up on May 4-5.
This past weekend, including Palm Sunday, was a time for community outreach, baby dedications, and baptisms for our congregations. Sheridan Six Points was one of those churches that was able to host an Easter egg hunt in the beautiful weather we had on Saturday. They had a great turnout on Saturday with a good number of the children back to participate on Palm Sunday.
Pastor John Hannan and the team at CrossRoads Church in Union City took over Main Street with a Palm Sunday reenactment. The processional concluded at their church building with 37 children participating in this creative outreach. I celebrate our pastors and leadership teams who are willing to try “anything short of sin” to connect with people and build bridges for sharing the Good News!
Pastor Kory Christensen and the team at Impact Church in New Haven had a wonderful day of celebration with five families presenting six children for dedication and one for baptism. Praise the Lord for families who prioritize the faith development of their children.
The most important job of parenting is discipling your children to follow Jesus. There is a special joy for pastors when they have the privilege of baptizing their children who are publicly confessing their faith in Christ. Pastor Zach and Pastor Carla Working (Huntington Hope Rising) had that privilege yesterday as Emma took this step of faithful obedience. They were also encouraged by worship attendance with 97 adults and 34 children present for Palm Sunday.
Special Invitation: All local church pastors in the Crossroads District will be joining together this Thursday, April 1, 8:00 p.m. for our Easter weekend ZOOM prayer meeting. We have a few key announcements when we first connect at 8 and then we’ll be breaking out in prayer groups to intercede on behalf of our Easter weekend ministries. Pastors will be receiving the Zoom link via email.
Thank you for all you are doing to advance the Kingdom this Easter week!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent