Sunday morning, November 1, Sherry and I had the privilege of worshiping at Rising Hope Church in Muncie. Rising Hope was planted just three years ago by Rev. Mike and Kim Hewitt. They’re doing a great job of connecting with their community including partnering with Awaken Ministries to reach Ball State University students. Rising Hope is located just 4 blocks north of the BSU campus and hosts Awaken’s Tuesday evening worship gathering. There were at least a dozen college students there yesterday morning including serving on the worship and tech teams.
Rising Hope is committed to multiplication through church planting and it was good to hear Trevor O’Dell, their first church planter resident, bring the morning message. It was also encouraging to hear an update from their youth ministry’s fall retreat. They are excited for next week’s baptism service. Thank you to each Crossroads District leader and congregation that prayed for and financially supported this new church plant in Muncie. Together we are stronger!
Sunday evening, I had the joy of dropping in on the team at Brookhaven Wesleyan Church for their Heritage service. Assistant Pastor John Walton led us in the hymn singing and testimony time. Rev. Bob VanCise brought an encouraging message from Ephesians 3:20 on the truth that our God is able to do abundantly more.
Monday, I met with Rev. Scott Rhyno in Fishers. Scott is serving as transitional pastor for Waterline Church as they continue their pastoral search. It was good to catch up with Scott and the news from Waterline. Both Scott and Elizabeth have aging parents in Canada that are in declining health and in need of prayer. That afternoon, I had the opportunity to check in with Pastor Andy Cole at Lapel Daybreak Community Church. In addition to pastoring, Andy is a skilled carpenter so I was able to visit with him onsite at one of his latest projects. Monday evening, I joined the Waterline Church pastoral search committee in an online meeting. They’ve been hard at work and are diligently working through the many resumes that they’ve received. Please pray with them for God’s best in this leadership transition.
Tuesday, I was back in Fishers to meet with Andy Riemersma. Andy serves as youth pastor on staff with Pastor Mike Colaw at Trinity Church in Fishers and also leads the Awaken team that has student ministry at IWU, Ball State, University of Indianapolis, and is preparing to launch a new chapter at the University of Louisville. Pastor Andy is an evangelist at heart and I enjoyed hearing how God is at work in his life. My last meeting of the day was with the staff at Hartford City Wesleyan Church. We are working through Andy Stanley’s book “Seven Practices of Effective Ministry” and I enjoy learning with this team.
Wednesday morning, I met with our Crossroads District office team. Rev. Seth Bye, Rev. Carla Working, and Hannah Searcy Brown are a joy to work with as we serve our district pastors and churches. We met at The River Church in Marion and then joined in on the Exponential Roundtable hosted by Assistant DS Rev. Matthew Trexler.
The Exponential Roundtables this fall are focused on the Great Collaboration (John 17). We had pastors participating from each of our three regions. The keynote speakers and the discussions groups were helpful in processing how we can work toward greater missional and racial unity in the body of Christ in a time of cultural and political divisiveness. Special thanks to Pastor Trexler and his team for graciously hosting this year’s event.
Wednesday evening, I traveled to Albion Cornerstone Wesleyan Church to meet with Pastor Dale Munsell and his leadership team. They’ve experienced significant setbacks compounded by Covid-19. Pray as they seek God’s wisdom for next steps forward to impact their community for Christ.
Thursday morning, Pastor John Miller and I met via Zoom for our annual coaching conversation. John and Heather stepped out in faith to plant Way City Church in Speedway. They launched public worship gatherings last fall (2019) but have now been ministering longer under the Covid-19 restrictions than before the pandemic. Their young church has experienced heartbreak but continues to reach out in person and online. John found an open door to serve the community by directing the Speedway High School play this year. Thank you for praying for and supporting Way City Church.
Thursday afternoon, Rev. Mike Hewitt and I met with a prospective church planting couple in Anderson. Pastor Mike serves as our district’s champion for church planters and provides great insight to our multiplication conversations. Pray for Rev. Jerome and Lenita Bell as they prayerful consider the opportunity to join our team and plant a new church to help reach Madison County for Christ.
Friday, I wrapped up my office work and headed to Indianapolis for a pastoral visit with Rev. Ervin Webster. Rev. Webster leads our St. Stephen’s Church in Warren Park. He suffered a stroke last month while vacationing in Tennessee. Pastor Webster is recovering at home, and looking forward to being back to full strength soon.
We are celebrating baptisms again this week. Pastor Mike Colaw and the team at Trinity Church in Indianapolis baptized 8 new believers this past weekend. All eight of these new professions of faith are part of the youth ministry so Youth Pastor Andy Riemersma had the joy of officiating in the sacrament of baptism.
If your church has recently celebrated baptisms but we’ve not yet received word at the district office, please send a note along with pictures. We are always glad to share these encouraging reports with the district team!
Congratulations to Rev. Eric and Amanda Roemer (Greentown Wesleyan Church) on the safe arrival of their son Asher, the newest addition to their family to join their two daughters. Congratulations also to Pastor Jordan and Daniel Rife (College Wesleyan Church) on the safe arrival of their first child, Evey Joy. We celebrate God’s blessing with these families!
Our deepest sympathies are extended this week to Assistant Pastor Josh Warren (Laketon Wesleyan Church) on the passing of his grandfather, and to Rev. Bill Barlow and his family on the passing of Melody Barlow, Bill’s beloved wife, mother and grandmother. Please remember these families in your prayers.
Congratulations to Rev. Shawnda Dykhoff (Marion Brinker Heights Wesleyan Church) on the happy occasion of her engagement to be married to Mr. Kyle Bilbee.
Keep on making a difference in the cause that counts!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent