Sunday morning, June 11, I had the privilege of bringing greetings and worshiping with Pastor Andy & Leanza Riemersma at ONE Church in Westfield. This is an exciting new congregation led by a passionate team of young adults. They averaged 89 last year in worship with 20 professions of faith and 8 baptisms. Plans are coming together for a big transition next year as they relocate their worship services from their current facility into the new YMCA being built in Westfield on the Monon Trail.
Following the service, I hosted the Riemersma family over lunch and an encouraging conversation about what God is doing at ONE Church. Be praying as Andy and Leanza count down less than four weeks to the due date for their second child and continue to lead ONE Church in reaching their community for Christ.
Sunday afternoon, I met with Rev. Jon Noggle and his leadership team at Elwood Central Wesleyan Church. This has been a year of transition and adjustment with a new pastor but there is a growing sense of momentum at Central Wesleyan with 7 baptisms last month!
Sunday evening, I joined the team at Tipton Trinity Wesleyan Church for a town hall meeting. The LBA has approved a two-month sabbatical for Pastor Johnnie Blair and it was helpful to brief the congregation on the journey ahead. We’re excited that Rev. Jim and Jerolyn Bogear will be ministering to the Trinity Church family for six of the weeks while Pastor Blair is on sabbatical. Jerolyn and Jim (originally from Fairmount, Indiana) will be teaching from their Faith Legacy resources for families. You can learn more about their ministry here:
Last week’s schedule started out with our office staff meeting in Marion on Monday followed by a district conference planning session led by Dr. Chris Williams. Tuesday’s calendar included coaching conversations with Rev. David Dignal (Edgerton Wesleyan), Rev. Mike Henry (Fort Wayne Level 13 Church), and Rev. Kyle Horton (Fort Wayne Three Rivers). On the way back home, I dropped in at Huntington Hope Rising Church to catch up with Assistant Pastor Rev. Angela Spangler and Assistant Pastor Mason Yopp, who were leading a great team of volunteers in offering their first team VBS in several years.
It’s fun to see the creative ways in which our churches reach out and serve the next generation. Rev. Phil Carder, pastor at The Branch in Lafayette sent along this photo from their Foam Party last Tuesday night that connected with 40 children in addition to extended family members, almost all from their neighborhood.
Tuesday closed out with a DBA meeting via ZOOM. We decided on some exciting initiatives for presentation at our district conference and the DBA also graciously approved my sabbatical request for this coming fall (October 15 through November 20).
Wednesday morning, I interviewed prospective church planters in Marion and then represented our district family at the celebration of life for Mrs. Brenda Dykhoff. Continue to remember Rev. Ken Dykhoff, Ms. Heather Dykoff, and Rev. Shawnda Dykhoff in your prayers.
Rev. Jim Bogear, Rev. Johnnie Blair, and I met for lunch on Thursday to prepare for the ministry schedule at Tipton Trinity this summer while Johnnie is on sabbatical.
Saturday morning, I was in Indianapolis to meet with Rev. Grace Lopez and the team at Monte de Sion. Rev. Lopez leads our district FLAMA program for Spanish-language ministerial education, but has also stepped up to provide effective leadership to this congregation through a season of transition.
From Monte de Sion, I jumped over to Divine Direction Church where Pastor Gawin Anderson and his leadership team were engaged in a ministry planning day facilitated by Rev. Johnnie Blair. This planning event was a follow-up to the Next Level Experience training that Pastor Gawin attended in Marion earlier this year. I was encouraged by the conversations they are having about future growth and Kingdom impact.
We are always glad to receive and pass along reports of how God is working in our churches. While 29 of our churches reported no baptisms last conference year, praise the Lord for the 76 churches that celebrated at least one baptism. Twenty of our churches reported 10 or more baptisms.
Wabash New Journey Church was one of those with 13 baptisms in the last conference and this year is off to an even stronger start. We’re rejoicing with Pastor Rob Tippey and New Journey Church as God continues to change lives in Wabash!
The River Church is another of those churches with 73 baptisms recorded last year. During the first 6 weeks of this new conference year, they have already celebrated with more than 30 people who have publicly professed faith in Christ.
This week, I invite you to join me in praying for the hundreds of students who will be ministered to by our youth leaders gathering both at “Never The Same Camp” on the IWU campus and the sold-out “180 Camp” meeting at the Fairmount Camp. These camping experiences have seen so many students commit their lives to Christ and even commit their lives to full-time ministry. Pray that Holy Spirit will move powerfully once again!
We’re less than two weeks away from our Crossroads District Conference. Doors open for registration at 8:00 a.m. and the conference will begin at 9:00 a.m. For friends and family of the ordination candidates who want to join us for the celebration of ordination, please note that seating will begin at 10:15 a.m. The service will begin at 10:30 a.m. Lunch will be served onsite for all registered delegates. We’re believing God for a great day together.
Keep on making a difference in the only cause that counts for eternity!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent
Pray with us for a fresh move of God among our next generation of Wesleyan leaders who will be gathering in Cincinnati for Follow Conference this December. Seminars and workshops will be available for pastors and parents so make please every effort to attend!