Sunday morning, October 18, Sherry and I had the privilege of worshiping with our friends at Hartford City Wesleyan Church. I’ve been helping out in the interim with the unexpected resignation of their pastor earlier this summer. We celebrated communion together and rejoiced with four teenagers who were baptized as a public declaration of their faith. Attendance has been rebounding since reopening in May with 166 in attendance this morning. John Bonham, administrator, and the staff team have done a great job serving the church in this time of transition.
Sunday afternoon, I joined Dr. Robert Hallett and the leadership team at Lancaster Wesleyan Church for a follow-up meeting from their recent Vision Defining Retreat (VDR). I’m grateful for the leadership that Dr. Hallett is bringing as interim pastor for Lancaster Wesleyan in this time of transition.
Sunday evening, I met with the congregation at Avon Nehemiah Church. Rev. Ben and Tiffany Thomas planted the church over 11 years ago. Pastor Ben announced this morning that he was stepping down from leading the church. He completed chaplaincy training this past year and will be employed full-time with a local agency. We are grateful for Ben and Tiffany’s faithful service to Nehemiah Church. Please pray for the Thomas family and the church in this transition season.
Pastor John Hannan reported in from Union City CrossRoads Church on this their fourth Sunday of public worship. They are rejoicing with 2 people who prayed to receive Christ this morning and with the four individuals who were baptized. In the first four weeks, CrossRoads Church has celebrated 8 baptisms. Thank you to every leader and congregation who has partnered with our newest church plant!
Pastor Jeremy Armiger and Assistant Pastor Jim Lo had the privilege of baptizing another new believer at Chesterfield Parkview Wesleyan Church. This was a powerful story of a man who was reconciled with his parents after 25 years. Dr. Lo described it as a “teary, glorious service.”
Last week’s schedule included LBA meetings at Rochester The Cross on Tuesday night, Fort Wayne Level 13 on Wednesday night, and Hartford City Wesleyan on Thursday night. I come away from these meetings with deep appreciation for the lay leaders who generously invest their time, treasure and talents in advancing the work of God through their local church. The Cross in Rochester is preparing to launch their pastoral search process with the announced retirement of Rev. Mike Cloud who has faithfully served the church for the past five years.
Coaching conversations last week included Rev. Daniel Fisher (Delphi Wesleyan), Rev. Alan Downing (Frankfort Connecting Point), Pastor Allen Gross (Cicero United), Rev. Ben Capshaw (Elwood Central Wesleyan Church), Rev. Dr. Richard and Rev. Carol Schenck (Noblesville Circle of Hope).
On Thursday morning, I joined an online roundtable of district superintendents who met to review some of the proposed memorials headed toward General Conference 2021. The General Board will welcome district superintendents to the March 2021 meeting for a joint meeting before memorial recommendations are finalized.
The final highlight of the week was hosting Indianapolis Zone pastors and spouses at Thornapple Cottage on Friday evening. Mike Colaw, Region 2 Assistant District Superintendent, joined us for this evening of encouragement, laughter, and prayer.
Sherry and I will be out of the office this week for the wedding of Josiah, our son, and Elizabeth in Alabama. I should have cellphone service in case of emergencies but Seth Bye will be available all week if you have a concern that needs immediate attention.
Prayers are requested again this week for Rev. Ervin Webster (Warren Park St. Stephens Wesleyan Church), Rev. Mark Atkinson (Gas City Eastview), Pastor Steve Arnett (New Castle Mt. Zion), Pastor Dan Clark (Monon Wesleyan), and Mrs. Cheryl Laws (Rev. Allen Law’s wife) as they lean on the Lord for their journey toward healing.
Thank you for all you do to advance the Kingdom!
Your servant in Christ,
Crossroads District Superintendent