Sunday morning, December 13, I had the joy of worshiping and preaching at South Bend Sonlight Fellowship Wesleyan Church where Rev. Greg & Cheryl Holmes lead the ministry team. Pastor Greg is another of our dedicated bi-vocational pastors.
Sonlight Fellowship has taken positive steps forward to address repairs to the building and has been able to continue gathering in person. Pastor Greg celebrated two baby dedications in the previous two weeks and welcomed another new member of their church family yesterday morning. After the service, Pastor Greg and I met with their leadership team. They have a strategic location to serve the South Bend community and are prayerfully considering some unique partnership opportunities in the new year.
Sunday afternoon, I preached at Cielos Abiertos Iglesia Wesleyana in Elkhart. Rev. Eliorgy and Zoirata Guerrero have done a wonderful job planting this church. The initial core group was comprised of refugees from Venezuela. Pastor Geurrero’s many years of church planting and ministry leadership experience in Venezuela proved invaluable as he accepted the challenge of starting over from scratch.
After the service, Pastor Guerrero shared the exciting news that God is calling them to plant again, this time in one of our Heartland Region districts. They believe God is opening a door for them in Chattanooga, Tennessee in the new year so I will be returning to Elkhart on January 31 to participate in a special commissioning service. Pastor Guerrero has equipped leaders who will be able to carry on the ministry in Elkhart. The best news of the day was that another couple is hearing God’s call to church plant. Pastor Ruben and Susana Santos have been discipling a few families in South Bend and are ready to step out in the new year to launch a worship gathering.
Tuesday morning, I attended the Wesleyan Village board meeting via zoom before connecting with our district staff for our weekly meeting at Abbey Coffee. I met with the staff at Hartford City Wesleyan Church on Tuesday afternoon as we prepared to host two Christmas Eve services. Tuesday evening, I joined in with many of you on the Global Partners ZOOM prayer call with Dr. Dennis Jackson, Dr. Wayne Schmidt, and Rev. David Horn. God is at work around the world, even in this pandemic. Dr. Jackson share the exciting news that close to 200 new Wesleyan churches have been planted globally in the past year.
Wednesday morning, Dr. Mark Rennaker (Kokomo Southdowns Wesleyan) and I met at his home in Kokomo for our annual coaching conversation and then Rev. Joseph Park, (Lafayette Evergreen Wesleyan) and I met over lunch. The highlight of Wednesday afternoon was a Zoom call from General Superintendent Dr. Wayne Schmidt who was making prayer calls with every DS in preparation for the upcoming year of ministry. I am grateful for Dr. Schmidt’s example of intentional and faithful prayer for the leaders in our denomination.
Thursday morning, I enjoyed the opportunity to connect with Rev. Robert McHenry (Marion Nelson Street Wesleyan Church) for our annual coaching conversation. Dr. Steve DeNeff (Marion College Church) and I met for lunch and our coaching conversation. Thursday evening, I chaired the LBA meeting at Hartford City Wesleyan Church as we prepare to launch the pastoral search in the new year.
Friday morning, I met with Dr. Jim Lo who is such a valuable member of our Crossroads District team. In addition to his work with the DBMD, Dr. Lo leads our district intercessor ministry. Friday afternoon, I met with Dr. David Smith who is another valued member of our team. I’ve been blessed to work alongside Dr. Smith, first at Kingswood University and now here in the Crossroads District, for the past 10 years. These dear brothers have deeply impacted my life and so many of our pastors.
Saturday evening, I was able to connect over supper with Rev. Terry and Lennaire Vaughn, church planters of The Bridge Urban Church in South Bend. They have a powerful discipleship ministry with married couples and the ministry to single young adults continues, in spite of the challenges of meeting virtually. I am grateful for their leadership and excited to see what God has in store for The Bridge in the coming year.
We are praying this week with Fort Wayne Lifeway Church as their pastor, Rev. Rick Fletcher, continues to be hospitalized. Pastor Andy Jellison and the team are doing well at caring for the church in Rick’s absence, but we pray for a full and speedy recovery.
Rev. Dan Clark (Monon Wesleyan) continues his cancer treatments. Pastor Dan would be grateful for your continued prayer support for his health and for the Monon church.
Prayers are also requested for Rev. Randy Yaryan and the family of Mrs. Della Yaryan, his mother. The family shared the news via social media that Mrs. Yaryan’s health has taken a serious downturn and that they are placing her on comfort care.
We’re praising the Lord this week with Rev. Dan Fisher and the team at Delphi Wesleyan Church. Pastor Dan shared the good news that three people prayed to receive Christ yesterday in their morning worship service and another testified to divine healing. We join them in rejoicing with these answers to prayer. God is on the move!
Keep on making a difference until Christ comes or calls us home. Maranatha!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent