Sunday morning, May 2, I had the privilege of bringing greetings and worshiping with Pastor Aldean and Jessie Pablo at SEND Church in Roanoke, Indiana. It has been a remarkable journey for the Pablos as they were commissioned from Gas City Eastview Wesleyan Church over a year ago. Last fall, they moved from home groups into worshiping with the Roanoke campus of Sonrise UMC. This spring, the main campus allowed the Roanoke campus to vote on becoming part of the SEND Church project. The vote carried 52-1 and they’re growing with attendance of 112 for Palm Sunday. Pastor Aldean preached a powerful message yesterday on living a holy life in the power of the Holy Spirit. Following the service, I had the opportunity to share information with the combined leadership team over lunch. Continue to pray with Pastor Aldean and Jessie Pablo as they lead SEND Church to reach Roanoke and southwest Fort Wayne.
Sunday evening, I enjoyed working with Assistant Pastor Mark Schnell and the leaders at Hartford City Wesleyan Church as we conducted our annual Local Church Conference. Officers were elected, memberships were reaffirmed, and encouraging ministry updates were shared. There were 53 voting members present with several guests attending who joined together for the ice-cream social following the meeting. Hartford City Wesleyan celebrated 4 baptisms last conference year and 4 more yesterday morning, including a 75-year-old gentleman who recently came to Christ.
Last Monday evening, I met with the LBA at Lone Oak Wesleyan Church in Anderson to assist them in their pastoral search process. Tuesday morning, I met with Rev. Allen Laws in Warren for our annual coaching conversation. Later that morning, I joined a Zoom call hosted by General Superintendent Dr. Wayne Schmidt with DS colleagues. Following that Zoom call, our district staff met on the campus of IWU on Tuesday afternoon and did a walk-through of the chapel with IWU staff in preparation for our June 26 district conference.
Wednesday morning, Rev. Charles Moorer (Indianapolis Divine Direction Church) and I met in his office for our annual coaching conversation. Rev. Moorer, in the past year, released his second album and completed his Juris Doctor degree while running his own insurance adjustment company and serving as pastor for this vibrant inner city congregation. His single, Think About Your Soul from the album Keeper of My Soul, was added to the rotation on Sirius/XM’s Watercolors channel.
Wednesday afternoon, Dr. David Smith, Rev. Carla Working and I met online with the team from the Education and Clergy Development office as they continue to roll out the new ordination and licensing process for our ministerial students. Our district will be continuing in the traditional/legacy process for the coming year until the 2022 General Conference approval process.
Our District Board of Administration met in Pendleton at Autumn Hills Church on Thursday. The final meeting in this conference year provided an opportunity for reflection on God’s faithfulness in this past year of ministry and a look forward as we heard from Pastor Andy Riemersma (Westfield One Church) and Pastor Aldean (SEND Church). The DBA approved the request of Laketon Wesleyan Church to move from developing to established church status and approved the district budget for FY2022. Thank you to Pastor Jerome Bell and his team for hosting our meeting.
Friday morning, I met with Dr. Ed Love for an update on our denomination’s church planting movement. Dr. Love is doing a great job building out the systems and structure to support a multiplication movement in The Wesleyan Church. We’ve had a wonderful shared history since I first met Ed and Emily as students at Asbury Seminary before they joined us in Michigan to plant Epic Church. I’m grateful for his ongoing personal investment in Crossroads District church planters.
Friday evening, Sherry and I had the privilege of hosting 4 couples from the Region 2 North Central Zone for an evening of fellowship in our home. We each shared updates from our family life and ministry settings, laughed together, and then closed our time together in prayer around the circle. It is an honor to serve with the Crossroads District team.
On a more personal note, Sherry and I are celebrating with our youngest son Joel Jeffery Gorveatte on the happy occasion of his graduation from IWU’s Wesley Seminary with his Master of Divinity degree on Saturday evening. We were delighted to have Joel and Christie, his wife, here for the weekend and to be able to attend the ceremony in person. Joel serves as Worship and Next Steps pastor at Journey (Wesleyan) Church in Caledonia, Michigan.
Congratulations to Rev. Mike and Brenda Cloud on their retirement! Pastor Mike completed 43 years of ministerial service, most recently as senior pastor at The Cross Church in Rochester, Indiana. Mike has played an active role in district boards and committees, most recently on our District Board of Ministerial Development. When not visiting grandchildren, Mike and Brenda will reside in the Rochester community and will be available for supply ministry in area churches. Well done!
Congratulations also to Dr. Jim Lo who was selected by students as the Outstanding Professor of the Year for Indiana Wesleyan University. In addition to his teaching load at IWU and his work with our District Board of Ministerial Development, Dr. Lo is serving alongside me this year as a District Shepherd. Dr. Lo will visit a group of 20 churches to bring greetings from our team, preach as requested, and spend time with the pastoral family. In addition to the weekend visit, our District Shepherds will stay in touch with those 20 pastors throughout the year as prayer partners. Dr. David Smith has also agreed to join us in this new role beginning this summer. I’m grateful that these wonderful leaders who are great examples and encouragers in my life will expand our capacity to care for our frontline leaders.
Congratulations to Muncie Memorial Drive Wesleyan Church on the successful conclusion of their pastor search process. The members voted unanimously on Sunday to call Rev. Eric George as their next pastor. Rev. George, an ordained minister in The Wesleyan Church, is a full-time chaplain in a nearby correctional facility but has also been serving as supply pastor for the Memorial Drive congregation since December.
Dr. Rich and Rev. Carol Schenck passed on the good news of three baptisms at the Beech Grove campus of Circle of Hope Network. They also shared the story of ladies from their Noblesville campus providing meals for police officers working the night shift.
Please keep Rev. Bob Van Cise, one of our beloved retired ministers, in your prayers. He was hospitalized last weekend for a heart condition and will be undergoing tests and treatment this week.
Please pray for the General Board of The Wesleyan Church as they convene this Tuesday and Wednesday in Fishers. These are days of great opportunity and challenge.
Keep on making a difference in the cause that counts for eternity!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent