Pastor's Blog: One on One - Book 6, Volume 45

We had a perfect weekend for Janae’s graduation from Ball State. The weather was beautiful and with the graduation outdoors, I had to shield my baldhead with my program and Coen’s tiny hat for a while to keep from burning. Janae graduated cum laude and I think the best picture was the one of Nancy, Kelsey and Janae standing in front of the BSU Teacher’s College because all three happen to be graduates of this respected program. Devin surprised us all by making it to Janae’s graduation party on Sunday so all four of my children were present. I was a very proud papa.

That BSU program certainly established a great foundation for Kelsey, as it was announced Monday night that she is the new director of the Transformation Zone in the Evansville School Corporation. This zone is a turn-around effort by EVSC for five schools that were in danger of state take-over, but are now showing significant progress to the point that EVSC is using the TZ model to resource the rest of their schools. The state of Indiana has been so impressed that IPS has been asked to review their model. This is Kelsey’s third promotion in two years with EVSC. Not bad for a 27 year old. This weekend we will head to Nashville to celebrate Saisha’s graduation from her master’s program in school counseling at Vanderbilt University.

I was very pleased with our turnout for our first Family/Hispanic Worship Fellowship time last Sunday. Our Hispanic congregation was especially strong in attendance. We plan to hold this fellowship time the first Sunday of each month as part of our intentional effort to keep our ministries integrated. Sergio Reyes believes he has found the pastor for our Hispanic Community. His name is Saul Sauceda. We have scheduled a meeting for May 19 with our Hispanic Support Team, new Pastor Jen Gibbs, Ann Handschu, and Sergio to finalize the grant process and figure out the support package to move Pastor Sauceda from the Fort Wayne area.

I was also excited to learn that a new ministry has been birthed or rebirthed depending on how you look at it. Rose Shurig, with the help of Cheryl Platt and others, has organized a group called Connecting Threads UMW. Thirteen showed up Monday to make quilts, prayer blankets and baby burial gowns used in children hospitals to help mothers grieve stillborn children. So exciting to see Rose bringing people together with her creative gifts. Check out their Facebook page Connecting Threads * United Methodist Women to see some of their work.

Deborah Hartman, our Business Administer, would like to push the new Kroger Community Rewards program. Kroger has changed the process, which makes it much easier to participate. You no longer need to reload a Kroger gift card; instead you use your current Kroger Plus card. Simply register online at You will need to provide an email address, select your preferred Kroger store and use the Old Bethel charity code #10132. If you don’t have a Kroger Plus card, go to the customer service desk at Kroger to get one. If you don’t have an email address, ask Jan Dean on Sunday morning to help you get email. You can participate even if you do not own a computer because she knows how to create a gmail account for you that will suffice for the Kroger Community Rewards program.

From now on all you need to do is scan your Kroger Plus card when you shop and the church gets a percentage of your purchase. So far 44 people from OBUMC have signed up and in just two months Old Bethel received a check for $1,200. Think what we can do if we double the number of participants!

This Sunday is Mother’s Day and we will conclude the Resurrection Factor message series with Pastor Matthew Phipps sharing the story of Peter being asked by the Risen Lord if he loves him. We will have a gift for the women following the service. In preparation, read John 21:15-23.

See you Sunday,

Rev. Jerry Rairdon

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