One on One - Book 6, Volume 32

FX (Family Fun Night) 6:00-7:30 pm this Friday at Old Bethel UMC

Last Friday I went to Muncie and volunteered in my daughter Janae’s class at Cowan Elementary where she is doing her semester of student teaching. She has an ideal learning situation working with a young but veteran teacher who has had several previous student teachers. She is part of a fourth grade team-teaching situation that includes three teachers and three students. The students are treated as co-teachers and given lots of responsibility. Evaluation is ongoing and provided in such encouraging ways. I was very impressed with Janae’s classroom management. She is a natural teacher and is obviously loved by her students already. By the way, she was one of 25 students nominated for the Outstanding Senior Award for the Teacher’s college at Ball State.

Starfish Initiative, where (wife) Nancy works moved this past week into their new offices on north Shadeland from downtown. Nancy is now 2.1 miles from work. Right now Nancy is in her busiest season as she makes presentations to 30 middle schools throughout the city/county recruiting eighth graders to become Starfish Scholars. Scholars who enter the program plan to attend college and agree to meet twice a month with a mentor as well as attend training experiences designed to prepare them to thrive in a college environment. Starfish plans to add 125 incoming freshmen this year that will bring the total number of students served to over 350 for the next school year.

Yesterday I met with the Downing family and we believe with all the donations gathered by friends, family, a Go-Fund Me effort, school, and church that we have Jennifer’s funeral expenses and headstone paid for. The family feels so blessed to receive so much love from so many places. Allison Downing is thinking about going to Reynosa with our mission team next week to be a part of building and dedicating Jennifer’s House.

I received an email from Sergio Reyes communicating that the Indiana Conference Church Development Team has approved Sergio to come alongside Old Bethel in an effort to build a sustainable model of Hispanic ministry. He visited the Food Pantry on Tuesday and plans to return again this week to explore the area. The next two weeks he will be meeting Hispanic families and assessing the viability of a ministry at Old Bethel before sitting down with me to share his findings.

This Saturday, our Family Ministries Staff will conduct a training session for all Family Ministry volunteers or those interested in working with children and/or youth from 9-11 am. Contact for more information.

We have decided to take a team of people to Fort Wayne for a Missional Church Movement event on Saturday, February 21, to St. Joseph UMC. We will see how they have made strides in becoming an externally focused congregation. We believe it is important to encourage this missional movement within our conference. Bishop Michael Coyner estimates only 30% of United Methodist Churches in the state of Indiana can be described as externally focused. We feel honored to be considered one of that 30%, but know we still have a lot of work to do if we hope to reach a culture that is no longer interested in the institutional church. Contact me at, if you wish to join Pastor Matthew and me. We will take a van if necessary, leaving Old Bethel at 8:00 am and returning around 5:00 pm. The cost is only $10.00 to cover lunch.

This Sunday we will look at the first half of the book of Acts and learn about the explosion of power experienced by the early church. We will consider how we find that power for our spiritual endeavors. This is also Scout Sunday and our scout troop will present the colors to begin our 9:30 worship. In preparation, read Acts 11:19-30.

See you Sunday,

Rev. Jerry

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