Sunday morning, January 9, Sherry and I had the privilege of worshiping at Waterline Church in Fishers. Waterline was launched 11 years ago by John and Danielle Freed and is now led by Rev. Scott Rhyno and Rev. Elizabeth Rhyno. The church meets at the Wesleyan Headquarters building and has made significant connections in ministry to the Saxony community.
Sherry and I had the privilege of working with Scott and Elizabeth when I served as president and they were part of the administrative team at Kingswood University. We appreciate their deep love for people and their passionate, creative approach to ministry. It was also good to catch up with Assistant Pastor Rev. Laura Walls and Micah and their baby Malachi. Following the morning service, I met with the board and staff members. Pray with them as they reach out to their community.
Sunday afternoon, I had the opportunity to visit with Joe Schmidt and several members of the Faith Community Church near Dunkirk. Pastor Joe is appointed on staff with Rev. Paul VanCise at Bryant Wesleyan Church and serves on loan to this community church with Methodist roots. Pastor Schmidt is completing his educational requirements and is on track to be ordained at this year’s district conference.
The highlight of the week for me was gathering for prayer on Sunday evening with Wesleyan pastors and lay leaders from across Region 1. We were graciously welcomed and hosted by Rev. Zack and Rev. Carla Working and the worship team at Huntington Hope Rising Church. Rev. Matthew Trexler, our Region 1 Assistant DS, Dr. Chris Williams, our DBA Vice-Chair, Dr. Jim Lo, district prayer coordinator, and I shared in leading the focused times of prayer. We closed with special prayer for Rev. Aldean Pablo, planting ARISE Church in Roanoke, and Rev. Andy Riemersma, getting ready to launch ONE Church in Westfield. Thank you to each pastor in Region 1 who joined us and for the strong delegation from Brookhaven Church. Our next gathering will be in Region 2 on February 13, 6 p.m., at Noblesville Circle of Hope Church, followed by the Region 3 prayer gathering at Delphi on March 13.
“God does nothing except in response to believing prayer.”
- John Wesley
Last week’s schedule included our district staff team meeting on Monday. On Tuesday, I was in Logansport for a coaching conversation with Rev. Zach Szmara (The Bridge) and then back to my home office for a ZOOM meeting with a subcommittee of the General Board. Wednesday morning I met for our coaching conversation with Rev. Joseph Park (Lafayette Evergreen) and then with Rev. Logan Patriquin (Lafayette The Branch). Wednesday afternoon, I stopped in Fowler to connect for prayer with Rev. Judy Hatt. She and John, her husband, are recovering from a recent illness but Pastor Judy is always upbeat about the ministry and it was a blessing to pray with her.
Thursday morning, Rev. Rob Tippey (pastor of Wabash New Journey) and I connected at Abbey Coffee and I then drove to Fort Wayne to meet with Rev. Stephanie Morris (assistant pastor at LaOtto Cultivate Church) for our first coaching conversation. It was also good to catch up with Pastor Aaron Lee while in LaOtto. My last stop on Thursday was with Rev. John Davey, interim minister at Hartford City Wesleyan Church, to confirm the next steps as the team prepares to launch their pastor search process. Please pray that God will direct our pastoral transitions again this year.
Friday morning, Dr. Jim Lo and I met in Daleville to catch up on the wonderful work he’s been doing as one of our district shepherds and to prepare for Sunday evening’s prayer gathering. I made a quick stop at HQ to sign property documents at WIF before stopping by to see Rev. Wayne and Dr. JoAnne Lyon. They are always encouraging to me and I especially appreciated Pastor Wayne’s prayer for me and for our district ministry.
Saturday, January 8, Rev. Clifton Ashlock and his DBMD team for Region 2, had the joy of interviewing ministerial students who are preparing for ordination. They had a full day with several candidates and I enjoyed spending time with them in the morning session.
Congratulations to Rev. Tim and Jennifer Becker (Elwood Main Street Wesleyan) on the birth of their first grandchild. Ezra, and her mother Jenna, are both home from the hospital now and doing well.
Congratulations also to Rev. Wayne Richards, one of our Crossroads District ministers, on his new appointment as CEO of Habitat For Missions. Since 2017, Wayne has been the Director of Operations for this mission-funding enterprise that Rev. Bill and Daphne Foster co-founded in 2005. Several of our churches have worked with HFM to flip houses and invest the net proceeds in mission projects. To learn more about their ministry, visit their website:
The 2022 FUEL Conference is coming to Muncie on February 3-4! FUEL is a wonderful event to encourage our Next-Gen leaders. Please encourage your leaders to invest in their personal & ministry development by attending. For questions, email District Youth President Jessica Folz at email@example.com. For more info on FUEL, visit: www.wesleyan.org/fuel
I hope you’ve already registered for the Heartland Gathering on March 22-24, 2022 in Pigeon Forge, TN. Every local church received a scholarship for one pastoral couple to register and that amount can also be applied toward the THRIVE initiative. For the speaker lineup and more detailed information, please visit: https://gathering.heartlandregion.org
May God richly bless you and your church team as you reach out to your community in this new year!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent