Sunday morning, December 11, Sherry and I worshiped with Revs. Scott and Elizabeth Rhyno at Waterline Church in Fishers. Though originally planted by Rev. John and Danielle Freed in a fitness center, Waterline has been based in our Wesleyan Headquarters building for the last several years. The church continues to impact people for Christ with passion and creativity, both in person and online.
Pastor Scott is a bi-vocational minister at Waterline while he also carries executive leadership responsibilities in a corporate setting. The church hosted a wonderful evening of volunteer recognition this past Friday. As many as 80 volunteer staff serve each month at Waterline and this was a special event to express appreciation to these committed people who make a difference. Waterline is also excited to be planning its first international missions trip with a team heading to Mexico later this year to build a house in conjunction with a church planting initiative. Pastor Scott indicated that they may have a few extra slots if others from our district would like to join them.
Rev. Carla Working, Michael Wood, Dr. Sherry Gorveatte, and I wrapped up the final three Christmas fellowships with our pastors and their spouses. Monday evening, Pastor Rick and Deb Fletcher and the team at Lifeway Wesleyan Church in Fort Wayne hosted our gathering. This group enjoyed delicious food and lots of laughter!
Tuesday evening, the team at LifeSpring Church in Richmond welcomed our area pastors and spouses for another delicious meal. Michael Wood (Woody) and Carla did a great job in leading the Crossroads District Family Feud each evening with our celebrities competing for prize money that was donated to great organizations in The Wesleyan Church. Funds were donated to Hephzibah, Immigrant Connection, WERF (Wesleyan Emergency Relief Fund), and Global Partners work in Mozambique.
On Wednesday evening, I was invited to speak for the monthly gathering of ministry leaders and volunteers at The River in Marion. Amonte King is always encouraging as he leads the worship team and special prayer was focused on their weekend outreach called “The Big Give.”
The Big Give was The River’s annual outreach event held on Saturday, December 10. More than 100 volunteers provided Christmas gift boxes (everything for a full family meal) to 1200 needy families. The best news was several of those families attended The River on Sunday with 10 people praying to receive Christ!
Our final Christmas fellowship took place in Lafayette on Thursday. Although illness and last-minute emergencies left us with a smaller group that planned, we shared a delightful evening. Special thanks to Pastor Phil Carder (pastor at The Branch) for making the arrangement for our event. It was encouraging to hear stories around the table of how our churches are reaching out to their neighbors and making a real difference in this Advent season.
Friday, I traveled to Plymouth for Rev. Curtis Peacock’s funeral. Rev. Peacock last served full-time at our Tyner church before it closed and then he continued faithfully serving in pastoral care for many years as part of the team at Plymouth Wesleyan. Rev. Peacock was the grandfather of Rev. Samuel Maddox, Jr, our pastor at Albion Wesleyan. Dr. Oliver Dongell and Rev. Ed Friberg honored Rev. Peacock’s memory and shared the hope of the Gospel with the many family members who attended.
Our condolences and prayers are extended to Rev. Brent Miller (pastor at Southside Wesleyan Church in Gas City) on the passing of his father last week. The funeral is planned for December 17 with visitation from 10 until noon, followed immediately by the service.
Our newest churches continue to grow and make a difference. Rev. Andy Riemersma was excited to announce on Sunday that ONE Church has been approved for a three-year facility partnership with the new YMCA being constructed at the Grand Park in Westfield. This is an answer to prayer in providing additional space for growth and creating a platform of expanded ministry to their community.
Pastor Craig Thurmon, our District Secretary and church planter at The Encounter Assembly, also led his team in a community outreach event this past weekend. They served meals to the homeless and Pastor Craig ministered in prayer for those who responded. The Encounter Assembly (TEA) is one of our newest and one of our smallest congregations but they are committed to making a big impact. Pray that God will continue to bless the ministry that Pastor Craig and Tiffany are leading in East Indy.
Pastor Marc and Heather Ulrich, our church planters at ReThink Church in Merrillville, reported that they welcomed more than 100 neighbors for a Friday evening outreach event with 80 of those being first-time guests. Of those attending, 62 requested additional information about ReThink Church. Pray with the Ulrichs for these important follow-up conversations and for people to come to faith in Christ!
Thank you all for making a difference in the cause that counts for eternity!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent