Midweek Message 05/24/2023


Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #158, and welcome to summer vacation! S-OCS graduation is history. Congratulations is in order for all the 2023 graduates. For the first time in the time I have been at OVCF, we had no high school graduates. But we do have three college graduates: Jacob Schunk (IU/Kelly School of Business); Kelci Wood (Goucher University) and Abigail Herrington (Taylor University).  We will be recognizing Kelci and Abigail on June 4th. We recognized Jacob this past Sunday since he leaves Friday for his job with Granger in Chicago. He will return to be married to Sydney Stockman in October and then they will moving there for possibly two years. Jacob graduated with three degrees from IU: 1) Information Systems Management; 2) Supply Chain; and 3) Business Analytics. I will give the details about Kelci and Abigail after the June 4th recognition. Congratulations again to all the 2023 high school and college graduates.

It is now officially known! If you were here Sunday, watched via livestream, or heard by word of mouth, Pastor Ryan and his family will be taking a 7 week sabbatical from July 12-August 31. As Ryan mentioned, he will not be in the office for that period of time, nor will he be answering phone calls or texts. Methinks mine and Diana’s summer just took on an air of “what-will-all-this-mean-for-us?” As Ryan expressed, we (the elders, Diana, and I) have known about this for several months and it has allowed Diana and I to kick around some things already. Ryan has also done a great job of delegating responsibilities for different classes and youth-oriented programming. It will mean a lot of people involved in the youth program and helping where needed. It will also mean Diana and I (her especially) will be the contact person for different questions which may arise. I ask for your patience with all things youth. I’ll talk more about that as the sabbatical happens.

One thing it may affect is the Midweek Message. It is possible I will not write one every week. They may be sporadic this summer, depending on Diana’s and my workload. I’ve said this before, but she is the one who really makes the MM palatable. ☺ I write it; she edits it. I say things that she rewords to make more sense or to even make them “softer.” I sometimes forget that the MM goes to more than just OVCF folks. It is on our website; our Facebook group; the Chamber offers it; and it is sent to a ton of people via email. I even send it to several people separately. All that to say that the MM may be hit or miss this summer. But who knows? No one has ever accused me of being at a loss for words. ☺ ☺

Don’t forget New Beginnings Pregnancy Resource Center’s Change for Life fundraiser that started on Mother’s Day and has a target stopping date of Father’s Day (June 18). Here again are the ways you can donate:

  • You may take a baby bottle to fill and return with your change or check.
  • Mail a donation to the Center (PO Box 313, Spencer)
  • Give online through their website: http://newbeginningsowen.org
  • Use the link on their Facebook page/our Facebook group


The ministry of NB is so essential, especially in our community. During the Mother’s Day presentation, Becca Anderson told us about a client they were able to smile with about pregnancy news; grieve with when she lost her baby; then rejoice with when a healthy baby was born just a few weeks ago. NB made a difference in that family’s life. There are more stories like that which I’m sure could be shared. Your donation makes a difference!

This coming weekend is Memorial Day weekend. I found the following story in my files and I’d like to share it with you.

One day a poor boy, who was selling goods from door to door to pay his way through school, found he had only a dime left and he was hungry. He decided to ask for a meal at the next house but lost his nerve when a lovely young woman opened the door. Instead, he asked for a drink of water.

She thought he looked hungry, so she brought him a large glass of milk. He drank it slowly and asked, “How much do I owe you?” “Nothing,” she said. “Mother taught us never to accept pay for a kindness.” He said, “Then I thank you from my heart.”

Howard Kelly decided then and there that his life had meaning and his faith in God and others was restored. He would somehow “pay back” to others.

Years later, that young woman became critically ill. The local doctors were baffled and finally sent her to a big city hospital. Howard Kelly was called in for a consultation and he recognized the town’s name. He also recognized the patient.

After a long struggle, the battle was won. Dr. Kelly requested the business office to pass the final bill to him for approval. He looked at it, then wrote something on the edge and the bill was sent to her room. She was afraid to open it but finally looked at the edge and read the words…”Paid in full with one glass of milk.” (signed) Dr. Howard Kelly (edited to fit)

This Memorial Day remember those who served so that we might be free. They have often never heard a “Thank you” for their service. If you know someone who served in the military, tell them thanks. Also keep in mind this Memorial Day that Christ has paid the debt-IN FULL! THAT is what we ought to be most thankful for.

My sermon series on Faith Over Fear continues this week with Three Essentials You MUST Believe.” The Scripture is Psalm 13:1-2, 5-6. See you then! You are loved!!


Pastor Bill

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