Sunday, June 5, my schedule opened up at the last minute, so I had the opportunity to drop in on two of our churches on the way to my afternoon appointment. My first stop was at Warsaw Pathway Church where I had the opportunity to hear Assistant Pastor Samantha Freds preach. Pastor Jarod Osborne and his family were out of town, but it was good to connect with Samantha and other friends from their leadership team. This has been a difficult month for the Pathway Church with the death of one of their beloved lay staff team members and three of their families involved in a series of automobile accidents. If that wasn’t enough trauma, another nearby church was rocked by the news that their pastor admitted to sexual abuse of a minor. Pray for the Pathway team as they minister to their grieving community.
My second stop of the morning was with Pastor Matt and Kendra Ohime at Davis Wesleyan Church, located outside of Hamlet. Pastor Matt has been hard at work leading the revitalization efforts at Davis Wesleyan since arriving in 2018. Rev. Ohime has also taken on the leadership for the Starke County Resource Center and its thrift store in nearby Knox. Pastor Matt has also joined the team with Rev. Steve McVey and the Dirt Roads Network, a national ministry focused on planting and revitalizing churches in rural communities. Pray for Matt, Kendra and their family as they impact their rural community for Christ!
My third stop of the day was with a group of UMC lay leaders from area churches who invited me to participate in a Q&A session. These congregations are making plans to disassociate from the UMC denomination and invited me to answer questions they had about The Wesleyan Church. They have also planned meetings with representatives from the Free Methodist Church and the Global Methodist Church (the new denomination created by former UMC pastors and congregations, most of whom are also members of the Wesleyan Covenant Association). These are interesting times in which we serve.
My last stop of the day before heading home was with Rev. Dr. Rich and Rev. Carol Schenck at their Anderson campus for Circle of Hope Wesleyan Church. Circle of Hope adopted the former Anderson Central Wesleyan Church four years ago when it was going through a difficult season. Being part of this network has helped them recover from that tough patch and there is a growing sense that this campus could be strong enough to relaunch. Pastors Rich and Carol met with interested members last evening and helped them consider the next steps in the process. These steps would include the Circle of Hope LBA naming a launch team, working with their coach to create a Ministry Action Plan (MAP) for the next 12-18 months of ministry, and seeking district approval for the launching of the Anderson campus as a new church. This will be an important transition so your prayers are appreciated.
Speaking of prayer, our sixth monthly Crossroads District prayer gathering of 2022 will be held this Sunday evening, June 12, at South Bend Sonlight Wesleyan Church, beginning promptly at 6 p.m. I’m grateful for Pastor Greg Holmes who has agreed to host our gathering and to Pastor Terry Vaughn (South Bend The Bridge Urban Church), Rev. Don Bayne (New Carlisle Wesleyan), Rev. Matthew Ohime (Davis Wesleyan), and Rev. Ben Jones (Beaver Creek Wesleyan) who will be sharing in the leadership of this service. You are cordially invited to join us for this prayer gathering.
Yesterday was a time of special celebration at Winchester Union Street Wesleyan Church as the congregation marked the 25th anniversary of Rev. Randy and Carol Yaryan’s ministry to the church and community. The church was founded in 1925 and Pastor Yaryan is the longest-serving pastor in the church’s nearly 100 years. In addition to his ministry at the church, Pastor Randy has been active in coaching community athletic teams and has driven a school bus for 16 of those 25 years. Rev. Yaryan has also coached Bible quizzing teams that have competed at the national level on several occasions. Congratulations to Rev. Randy and Carol Yaryan on this significant milestone of ministry.
Crossroads District has a goal of celebrating 1000 baptisms in a single year. We’ve not hit that mark yet but we’re off to a good start in this new conference year. Rev. Dr. Matthew Stewart and the team at Sweetser Wesleyan Church celebrated one baptism and another affirmation of infant baptism yesterday morning. The baptism was especially meaningful for Pastor Matt and Jennifer because this was their youngest child publicly professing her faith in Jesus Christ!
Rev. Mark Atkinson and the team at Gas City Eastview Church celebrated three baptisms yesterday morning during their services and Pastor Mark also had the opportunity to baptize a woman in her hospital bed on Saturday. Pastor Mark also baptized two new believers at the reservoir last Thursday for a total of six baptisms in three different locations over the past 10 days. Praise God for these lives being #MadeNew!
I am pleased to announce that the Crossroads District will be offering Wesleyan Church History & Discipline course again this fall. This class is designed for students in the DBMD (District Board of Ministerial Development) credentialing process. This class is tuition-free through the sponsorship of the district but ALL 4 SESSIONS must be attended in order to receive credit towards ordination. (There are required textbooks to be purchased for those seeking certification.) Please pass the word along to any staff and ministerial students on your team that could benefit from this class. Contact Rev. Carla Working to register for the course.
Class Sessions are scheduled for the following dates:
Saturday, October 1 – 9am-4pm (in person – Marion)
Monday, October 10 – 6-8:30pm (Zoom)
Monday, October 24 – 6-8:30pm (Zoom)
Saturday, November 5 – 9am-4pm (in person – Marion)
We’re counting the days until the Crossroads District Ordination and Conference, June 24 and 25, in Marion. The Friday evening ordination service will be held at College Wesleyan Church and the day of conference proceedings will be held in the Indiana Wesleyan University Chapel. Please pray for these important meetings and the decisions that will be made during our time together. Here’s the link for more information: https://conference.crossroadsdistrict.org
Keep on making a difference in the cause that counts for eternity!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent