Thanksgiving, The River, and Baptisms
“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.” Psalm 107:1
I pray that you and your loved ones were able to enjoy time together last week expressing thanks to God for His many blessings. Sherry and I were excited to welcome all of our children, their spouses, and our first two grandchildren home for a few days at Thanksgiving. Our hearts (and our house) were full as we gathered for these treasured moments. The biggest change for our family this past year had been the addition of Lennon Joy and Layton James. We are thankful!
Sunday morning, I had the privilege of preaching at the three morning worship services for The River Church in Marion. These are good days at The River as they celebrated 32 baptisms last year and are seeing more than 100 students gather each week for youth ministry. It was good to be with Pastor Matthew and Nicole Trexler as they lead the church into their next “Big Give” providing Christmas meals for 1200 families in Grant County.
Last week’s ministry calendar was limited but I did enjoy the opportunity on Monday to connect with Rev. Matthew Ohime (Davis Wesleyan Church) for our annual coaching conversation. In addition to leading the revitalization project at Davis Wesleyan, Matthew serves with the Dirt Roads Network. Most recently, Pastor Ohime has taken active leadership in creating the Starke County Resource Center which includes a thrift store in the town of Knox.
On Tuesday morning, I enjoyed catching up with Dr. Lenny Luchetti. Pastor Lenny has been a blessing to our pastors and churches through his supply preaching this fall. He does still have some dates available in the spring. After meeting with Lenny, Seth Bye and Carla Working met with me for transition planning as Seth devotes more of his time to relaunching our church in Avon. Our full staff met in the afternoon.
The highlight of Wednesday was connecting with Dr. Chris Williams, Rev. Michael Colaw, and Rev. Matthew Trexler, the three pastors who serve as our regional assistant district superintendents. I am thankful for these leaders who make such a significant investment in our district team in addition to leading by example in their own local congregations.
Three of our district pastors have lost beloved fathers in the past 2 weeks. Rev. Nancy Pike (staff member at Richmond LifeSpring Church) shared that her father, Mr. Roy Hockett passed away on November 17. Rev. Aldean Pablo (Roanoke Arise Church) sent word that his father, Rev. Dr. Alfonso Pablo (retired General Superintendent and Bible college president) passed away in the Philippines on November 24. Then, on November 25, I received a call from Rev. Tim Becker that his father, Rev. Ron Becker (a retired ordained minister in our district) had passed away earlier that day. Our deepest sympathies and prayers are extended to these members of our district family.
We are rejoicing with Dr. Chris Williams and the team at Marion Lakeview Wesleyan Church as they celebrated five baptisms on Sunday morning, November 21. Praise the Lord for these lives being #MadeNew!
There is still time to register for the Heartland Gathering on March 22-24, 2022 in Pigeon Forge, TN. Every church received a scholarship for one pastoral couple to register and that investment can also be applied toward the THRIVE initiative which would result in a $500 grant for the pastor at our district conference. For the speaker lineup and more detailed information, please visit: https://gathering.heartlandregion.org
Thank you for partnering together in the Harvest with 3 million people to reach in Indiana!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent
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