Sunday morning, November 8, I was delighted to worship with Pastor Scott McDermid and the team at Sheridan Six Points Wesleyan Church. This was my first time to be back at Six Points since Scott became pastor and it was encouraging to see the progress they’ve been making even in the middle of this pandemic. Scott is joined on staff by Andrew Colaw whose responsibilities include youth and worship. Following the morning service, Pastor Scott and I joined the members of their Local Board of Administration for a brief meeting. I am grateful for Pastor Scott, Nicole, and their family. They are new to The Wesleyan Church but are making a wonderful contribution as they lead at Sheridan Six Points.
Sunday afternoon, I was blessed to worship with Rev. Nicolas Zarate and Rev. Adriana Zarate at the congregation at Rey de Gloria in Noblesville. Pastor Adriana brought an encouraging message from 2 Kings 5 on Elisha and the healing of Naaman. We are grateful to God for the rapid recovery of health that Nicolas has experienced. In addition to leading this ministry as part of the Circle of Hope network, Adriana and Nicholas pastor the Hispanic congregation at United Wesleyan Church in partnership with Rev. Joe Jackson.
On Monday, the Crossroads District staff met at HQ in Fishers and hosted a lunch meeting with members of the Wesleyan Shared Accounting Services team. General Treasurer Kevin Batman and his team are providing bookkeeping and accounting services for several district and affiliated nonprofit organizations. We appreciate Kevin and his team members for their effective service to our district’s congregations.
Monday evening, Seth and I hosted the three Regional Assistant District Superintendents for a supper meeting in Fishers. Matthew Trexler (Region 1), Michael Colaw (Region 2), and Chris Williams (Region 3) are a blessing to our pastors through regional gatherings, leadership cohorts, and consulting with their pastors on variety of local church challenges.
Tuesday was Election Day and I took the opportunity to join with my neighbors voting at Upland Community Church. Thank you for all of you who voted and especially for the extra prayer focus that many of you gave to this election.
Tuesday afternoon I connected with Pastor Johnnie Blair and his team at Tipton Trinity. Michael (Woody) Wood helped me record a video to congratulate Rev. Dr. Richard Waugh, retiring National Superintendent, and the New Zealand Wesleyan Methodist Church on their 20th Anniversary. I had the joy of serving with Richard and the NZWMC team on several occasions as they were launching out and developing resources for church planting. Dr. Waugh is stepping aside after 18 years in national leadership to give priority to leading East City Wesleyan Church where our own Josh Bowlin (from Marion Chapel Pike) serves on the pastoral staff. Rev. Brett Jones was elected as the new National Superintendent and installed by Dr. Waugh, National Superintendent Emeritus.
Wednesday morning, I met with Rev. Ryan Budde at Jonesboro Westview Wesleyan Church for our annual coaching conversation. It was good to catch up with Pastor Ryan and to meet Nick Reynolds, their newest staff member, who is leading their children’s ministry. Ryan and Shelby, his wife, came to Westview after graduating from Olivet Nazarene University and serving at Shepherd Community Center in Indianapolis.
Wednesday afternoon, I met with Pastor Jeff Luedtke for our coaching conversation at Fairmount Wesleyan Church’s own coffee shop, The Branch. In addition to his leadership role at the church and coaching basketball at Mississenawa, Jeff serves on our district board of administration. Dr. Amy Luetke has joined the pastoral staff, with a focus on Congregational Care and Connections, and Sydney Feree, youth ministry director, is the newest member of their team.
My last meeting on Wednesday was in Muncie with Mike Hewitt, our district’s multiplication champion, who was excited to introduce me to another prospective church planter. After our meeting, I dropped in to greet the Rising Hope staff at their weekly supper meeting. They have a great team!
Thursday morning I was in Columbia City to meet with Pastor Shane Wilson (Columbia City New Hope) for our coaching conversation and then Pastor Thomas Beck (Larwill Wesleyan Church) and I met for our coaching conversation over lunch. Dr. Wayne Schmidt hosted an online meeting for district superintendents on Thursday afternoon that I was able to join by phone. My last meeting on Thursday evening was with the leadership team at Albion Wesleyan Church. Rev. Mark and Sharie Schnell have done a great job ministering to the AWC team through the pandemic. They will not be planning to continue after the end of this conference year so it was good to visit with the AWC about possibilities for the next chapter of their ministry. I’ll be returning to Albion later this month for a congregational meeting.
Friday morning, I was blessed to represent our Crossroads District team at the celebration of life service for Mrs. Melody Barlow, wife of Rev. William (Bill) Barlow. Rev. Jeremy Armiger, pastor of Chesterfield Parkview Wesleyan Church, conducted the service and family members shared loving tributes. Together, Bill and Melody pastored churches in the Crossroads District and also serve at World Gospel Mission. Please remember Bill and the Barlow family in your prayers.
Friday afternoon, I met Rev. Mike Schultz (Indy Trinity East campus pastor) regarding his work with bridging the racial divide. Mike has already seen God bless his initiatives in Rapid City, South Dakota, and in Muskegon, Michigan. It was also good to hear how God is at work on the Trinity East campus.
Saturday morning, I joined in on for the online meeting with Josh Delph (chair), Angela Spangler (Executive Director), and the board of trustees for Fairmount Camp. The camp staff have had a major challenge this year with Covid-19 closing most of their activities. They’ve responded well and were able to make adjustments to still host some events including 60 people for their Married Couples Retreat. The camp is still available to host events with limited capacity this winter and would welcome an opportunity to work with your groups.
Nothing brings more joy to our team than celebrating with our local churches who are seeing lives being made new by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Muncie Rising Hope Church was praising the Lord with three people who planned to be baptized yesterday morning and then rejoiced with one more new believer who stepped forward to public profess his faith in Christ. Pastor Mike Hewitt is pictured here with their youth ministry leaders Derric and Bree Gowan and the first three teens who were baptized.
Pastor Mark Atkinson is enjoying being back in the pulpit and leading the team at Gas City Eastview Wesleyan Church. He is preaching a series of messages entitled “I Want to Go to Church.” The highlight of this weekend was the five people who were baptized as a public declaration that their lives were being made new by God’s grace!
We continue to have several pastors in our district team recuperating from surgery and illness. Pastor Dan Clark (Monon Wesleyan Church), Pastor Steve Arnett (New Castle Mount Zion), Mrs. Cheryl Laws (Warren Wesleyan Church pastor’s wife), Rev. Ervin Webster (Indianapolis Saint Stephen’s), Rev. Alan Downing (Frankfort Connecting Point), Rev. Tony Bye (Marion Brookhaven), and Rev. Seth Bye (Crossroads staff) are among those in need of prayer this week. Thank you for carrying one another’s burdens in prayer!
Keep on making a difference in the cause that counts for eternity!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent