Sherry and I enjoyed worshiping at our home church on Sunday morning. Waterline Church was our neighborhood church when we first moved to Indiana. Pastor John and Danielle Freed welcomed us as members in 2015 and we’ve appreciated the evangelistic passion that still marks the church today. Earlier this summer, John and Danielle transitioned into a staff role leading church planting with the Great Lake District. The lead team has been working diligently through a pastoral search process and we met together after the morning service. Following the leadership team meeting, Sherry and I were delighted to host the staff for lunch. Please pray for Waterline as they seek the Lord for their new lead pastor.
Sunday evening, Sherry and I joined the church family at Hartford City Wesleyan Church for a hymn sing and ice cream fellowship. It was heart-warming to share in singing these well-loved songs of the church. They topped off the evening with an ice cream sundae buffet. About 50 people joined us for this evening of fellowship and inspiration. This was the first congregation-wide event hosted by the church since March. Thank you to Josh Munoz, worship director, and his team for putting this event together. I am having a lot of fun serving with John Bonham, Administrative Director, and the other members of the ministry team at HCWC while we work through this transition period between pastors.
Wesley Seminary honored its 2020 graduates in an online commencement ceremony on Saturday afternoon, August 22. IWU President David Wright and Wesley Seminary President Colleen Derr brought greetings to this graduation class. Congratulations to members of our district team who graduated this year including Rev. Ryan Van Matre, campus pastor at Richmond LifeSpring South, and Jordan Rife, worship pastor at College Wesleyan. Dr. Derr reports that Wesley Seminary is off to a great start in this new academic year with record enrollment in July (502 students).
Assistant DS Matthew Trexler has been leading a cohort of pastors in Region 1 who meet on one Monday morning each month for the past year for learning and encouragement. I was able to drop in on this week’s session and was encouraged to hear the stories of God’s faithfulness in this season. Iron does sharpen iron and we are better together.
Monday afternoon, I met with Rev. Johanna Rugh and her husband Robert. The Rugh’s have moved to Indiana with Johanna continuing her service at Wesleyan headquarters working with Education and Clergy Development with special attention focused on FLAMA, our ministerial training program for Hispanic pastors. It was also good to catch up with Dr. David Drury and hear more about how God is at work in the growing network of house churches that now spans coast to coast.
Tuesday morning, I checked in on the staff at Eastview Wesleyan Church before heading to Marion to meet with our district office team. Tuesday afternoon, I joined Wesleyans online for the Welcome 2020 Conference hosted by our own Rev. Zach Szmara, pastor at Logansport The Bridge Wesleyan Church. One of the celebration points was the Immigrant Connection has now served more than 8000 people from 120 countries. I am thankful for Zach’s leadership as Executive Director for this important ministry that equips churches to help people enter the legal process for immigration. For more information, here’s the link to their website: https://www.wesleyan.org/discipleship/immigrant-connection
Wednesday’s meetings included Dr. Bob Hallett (interim pastor at Lancaster Wesleyan Church), Rev. Jeff Brady (Marion Commoners House Church), and Dr. Jeremy Summers who has returned from a season in the south. I was able to visit with Pastor Mark and Ronda on Thursday at the hospital in Fort Wayne. It was a blessing to be able to represent our district team as we joined together in prayer. The good news this past weekend was that Pastor Mark is improving and could soon be released to a rehabilitation facility. His family and the church are posting regular updates on Facebook for those who want to follow more closely. Thank you for continuing to pray with us for his full recovery.
Friday included sermon preparation for Sunday morning at Waterline. I also hosted an online meeting with our Assistant District Superintendents in preparation for an important letter that will be coming to our district pastors. If you are a lead pastor in our district, please check your email on Wednesday.
Saturday morning, August 22, Assistant DS Mike Colaw (pastor at Indy Trinity) hosted a Zoom meeting for pastors in Region 2. I appreciated the opportunity to hear how God is faithfully at work in our different settings. Pastor Theo Griffin brought a praise report of a baptism last week at Greenfield Brown’s Chapel, with two more planned for the near future. Pastor Mike reported that 3 more people have recently testified to a call to ministry for a total of 10 young leaders that he is mentoring. He also shared some exciting opportunities that they will be offering for Region 2 pastors in their monthly leadership development meetings this fall.
Congratulations to Rev. John and Sherryl Wrightsman on the occasion of their 50th wedding anniversary. John and Sherryl have served both in local church ministry and then with Indiana Wesleyan University before officially retiring. We are thankful for their ministry and their beautiful example of a Christ-centered marriage.
Thank you for all you do to advance God’s Kingdom!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent