Sunday morning, August 25, Sherry and I worshiped at Westview Wesleyan Church in Jonesboro. Mr. Steve Armes, vice-chair of the LBA, led the worship service and I brought the message. It was good to connect with Westview’s lay leaders, including Elvin Weinmann who has faithfully led our district’s audit team for several years. Pastor Budde and Westview Wesleyan have a goal of 30 baptisms for the coming year! They’ve placed their 30 “#madenew” T-shirts on hangers around the auditorium as a visual reminder to pray and work toward this faith goal.
Pastor Ryan Budde was away on Sunday with his family caring for his mother. Sue, his mother, suffered a major heart attack and doctors do not expect her to recover. Our prayers are with Rev. Roger Budde, Ryan’s father, and the family members in this difficult time.
Sunday afternoon, I was able to join Pastor John and Beth Hannan in Union City as they met with members of the launch team for CrossRoads Church. They’ve already done two community outreach projects and this week they’ll be participating in a “grace-sharing challenge” that Pastor John learned from Professor Mark Wilson. Pray with Pastor John and his team as they reach out with God’s love to lost people in Union City.
Sunday evening, I led an online DBA meeting (via ZOOM) to deal with an important and time-sensitive matter. Special thanks to Chris Williams for managing our logistics and for each of the DBA members who were able to carve out time to join us late in the day.
Pastor Paul VanCise sent in this great picture from the baptism celebration at Bryant Wesleyan Church. Pastor Paul and his team have set a goal of 10 baptisms for this conference year. There’s nothing more exciting than celebrating changed lives!
Last Monday, I worked out of our Fishers office. Dr. Wayne Schmidt hosted a GS-DS Zoom call in the morning for his monthly check-in with us. Monday afternoon, I met with Benjamin Tuimuk, the supply lay pastor, who leads our Shalom Church serving Burmese refugees on the southside of Indianapolis. He reported a wonderful youth camp this summer in cooperation with other Burmese congregations at Frankfort Camp that hosted 174 total registrants and celebrated 52 decisions for Christ, including 4 from Shalom.
Tuesday morning, I joined Pastor Matthew Trexler and the team at The River Church in Marion for their 6 a.m. prayer gathering before heading to Indianapolis. Pastor Mike Colaw, Region 2 Assistant DS, hosts a monthly leadership development connection for Region 2 pastors and staff at Trinity Wesleyan Church. Steve Becker, Trinity’s LBA vice-chair, shared his keen insights into handling high-stakes conversations in the church. The other highlight of the morning was having the pastors and staff of Region 2 lay hands on and pray for Pastor John Miller as Way City Church moves to their launch Sunday, September 15. We really can be stronger together to reach our 3 million!
Pastor Eric Roemer and I met in Greentown on Tuesday afternoon for our annual coaching conversation. Pastor Eric was excited about the addition of Mason Rosado to their team at Greentown Wesleyan. Mason will continue as a student at Wesley Seminary while leading the youth ministry and serving as assistant pastor.
Wednesday morning, Pastor Judy Hatt and her team welcomed me to Hope Wesleyan Church in Fowler. I was there for our annual coaching conversation but we also enjoyed a light lunch with their leaders, including John Paul Godbey (pictured here with Pastor Judy), the long-time treasurer for the church. Fowler is a small farming community of 2200 people located 30 miles northwest of Lafayette, close to the Illinois state line.
Hope Church was about to close its doors when Pastor Judy volunteered to help out. She brings joy, vision, and energy to the team. They’re now seeing as many as 20 in worship, they’ve caught up on all their bills, remodeled the church building debt-free, and are preparing to launch a Sunday morning outreach to children called “The Breakfast Club.” Fowler Hope set a faith goal this year for 8 baptisms. I drove home reminded once again that no person is too old and no place is too small for God to be glorified!
Wednesday afternoon, Dr. Bud Bence met with Chris, Seth and I to work on plans to offer a unique Crossroads District seminar experience of “Wesleyan Church History and Discipline.” There are many convenient options to take this core course for ordination but Bud is leading us in exploring ways to make this a team-building, culture-shaping experience for our students and ministers transferring to us from other denominations.
Thursday morning, Pastor Dave Leitzel and I met via technology for our annual coaching conversation. Pastor Dave has been experiencing back pain so this was a more convenient option for him. I appreciate the renewed focus Pastor Dave has been giving to one-on-one discipleship. Hamilton Wesleyan set a faith goal for 6 baptisms this year!
Rev. Aldean Pablo, church planter for SEND Church in southwest Fort Wayne/Roanoke, met on Thursday afternoon. It was encouraging to hear about the doors that God has been providentially opening as Pastor Aldean reaches out into this new community.
In addition to building a launch team, Pastor Aldean and Jessie are also adjusting to their healthy baby. Special thanks to our pastors in the Fort Wayne area who are supporting SEND Church with their prayers and financial investment.
Friday morning, Assistant DS Chris Williams and I met for our weekly briefing. Chris is doing an incredible job balancing family life and ministry while tackling a Ph.D. program in organizational leadership. I am grateful for his partnership in district leadership!
Pastor Neftali Lopez met me in Fishers for lunch and an update on his ministry at Carmel Iglesia Amistad Cristiana. Amistad celebrated their 19th year of ministry this past weekend. This has been the flagship multiplying church that helped launched other Hispanic congregations in our district. We are grateful for their impact for Christ!
Friday afternoon, I had the honor of hosting Dr. Morris and Sonia Liana for their visit to Wesleyan headquarters and visit with Rev. James Winn (Global Partners). Dr. Liana is the President of the Union Biblical Seminary in Myanmar (formerly Burma) and also serves as the General Secretary for the Evangelical Christian Alliance of Myanmar.
General Secretary Janelle Vernon and her team also gave the Liana’s a very warm welcome and generously passed along some Wesleyan resources to share with the Bible college students in Myanmar. Dr. Liana and I first met nearly 20 years ago when he was studying at Asbury Theological Seminary. We were blessed to have Dr. Liana preach in both of our district’s Burmese congregations during his visit.
With summer vacation over, Sherry and I are looking forward to resuming our schedule of zone fellowships for pastors and spouses at Thornapple. Our first gathering of the fall will be on Friday (6:30-9:00), September 6, as we host Rev. Dan Fisher and the team from Region 3 South Zone. Our second gathering will be on Friday, September 20 (6:30-9:00), with Rev. Don Bayne and the team from Region 3 North Zone. Rev. Seth Bye will be sending reminders.
Thank you for all you do to advance God’s Kingdom in our district and beyond!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent
Don’t miss the International Wesleyan Youth Conference (Dec. 28-31, 2019)
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