Category: MidweekMessage

Midweek Message 06/07/2023


Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #160. Well…with the temps already in the August range, sort of makes ya’ wonder what August will be like. But I’m not complaining. I like it hot. It makes it easier on these old joints. ☺ Anyway, I do hope you have had a good beginning to your summer so far.

Let me remind you to pray for Ryan White this week. Ryan is the Sheriff of Owen County. Pray for him to be a good leader, a fair one, and a good team leader for the deputies. As you can imagine, his job is not easy. He is married to Karen and they have two sons, Kaden and Kysen, who a-l-w-a-y-s get along. ☺ Last week’s LEO, Caleb Hutchison texted me to tell our church family thanks for praying for him!

We celebrated Grad Day this past Sunday. All told we celebrated three college graduates.

  • Abigail Herrington graduated from Taylor University. After a wedding on June 17th at Abram Event Venue, she and Jonathan will be moving to East Lansing where she will teach 5th grade language arts and science.
  • Kelci Wood graduated from Goucher College in Towson (near Baltimore), Maryland. She attended there on a swimming scholarship. Kelci has accepted a job as special assistant to the Deputy Mayor of Baltimore.
  • Jacob Schunk graduated from IU/Kelly School of Business and has moved to Illinois to work for Granger in Chicago. We honored Jacob two weeks ago because he was moving the week of May 22nd.


We do pray for God’s blessings upon Abigail, Kelci and Jacob as they continue to follow His path. My prayer for them comes from my favorite chapter in the Bible-Psalm 37: “Trust in the Lord, and do good…Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him, and He will act.” (Verses 3-5).

Father’s Day is just around the corner and there are men lined up to speak at each service about the man in the Bible they most admire. Last year I had enough men willing to speak to have one service. This year I am super excited to let you know that I had enough men respond to fill two services!  Here are some of the men from the Bible they chose: Cornelius, Daniel, Jonathan, Job, Ananias, Joseph, Solomon, Stephen, Adam, and of course, Jesus. That last one was an expected one for obvious reasons. But…you knew that, right?! Those were names the men gave; not all will be spoken about.

When I mentioned Serving Owen County Together (SOCT) on Sunday, I said that I would have more information in the MM. We have helped and been involved since its inception 3 years ago. For those who may not have a handle on what SOCT is, here is a short rundown. SOCT involves several different organizations and vendors providing free shoes, socks, clothes, baby supplies, some furniture and a whole lot more! Here are more particulars for you:

  • The date is June 24 from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  (The rain date is scheduled for July 1, but let’s hope we don’t need it). The event itself is from 9-3:00.
  • It takes place in the front parking lot of the middle school/high school complex.
  • Help is needed especially during the set-up and tear down times.
  • You may stay the whole time to help or take a shift.
  • Snacks and drinks will be provided for volunteers and pizza will be brought in for lunch.
  • Here is the link to sign up to volunteer:

This is a good way to serve the community. This is a big undertaking and we need your help.

Switching Gears: Several weeks ago Pastor Ryan told us about the sabbatical he, Hope and their children were taking from July 12-August 30. As we was speaking he told us about a Sabbatical Prayer Guide which would soon be available so we would know how to pray for them while they are gone. It was available this past Sunday on the back table, but when I looked there was only one left. Since I know there were many who were not able to be here; forgot to pick one up and remembered when you were outside or on your way home; or had children to corral, I talked with Ryan and he said more will be available this Sunday.

This past Sunday during my sermon on Bringing the Giant to Its Knees, I spoke about worry being a choice and also a liar. It isn’t just a bad habit; it is the enemy’s tactic-a strategy built on lies. Those lies are designed to tear our mind to pieces and to take away our peace and joy. Our immortal enemy (Satan) will stop at nothing to accomplish that. Monday morning I was reading from Anxiety…Knowing God’s Peace, the 31 day devotional I recommended to you. On Day 28 the author made a comment about Martin Luther’s song, “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.” He said, “God is our fortress; He is a military stronghold-an impenetrable building where we can run and hide. He is our bulwark; He is a stockade-a wall of defense against earthly and spiritual enemies.” (p.79) Later in that same devotion he says, “Anxiety hinders our faith and clouds our focus. It disables us. It doesn’t want us to see the good works of the Lord.” (p.80).

To go along with that, someone sent me a quote via text this past week: “Appeal to God’s presence when fear begins to overtake you so that the emotion of fear doesn’t become a spirit of fear.” (Quote by Tony Evans)

My prayer for you this week is that you will know the truth of Psalm 27:1. “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (ESV)

And may you always remember you are loved.

Pastor Bill

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Midweek Message 05/31/2023


Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #159.  I hope you had a wonderful Memorial Day celebration with family and friends and took time to remember the men and women who served, and now serve, our country. No matter what some may say, this is still the greatest country to live in.

During summer break, we will put our prayers for school personnel on pause. We will begin praying for our Law Enforcement Officers. This week please pray for Caleb Hutchison. Caleb works for the Department of Natural Resources. Like all LEOs he carries a big responsibility on his shoulders. Please include his wife, Amanda, and their two children, Addi and Owen in your prayers.

This coming Sunday is Graduate Recognition Sunday! We will be acknowledging the remaining two college graduates-Abigail Herrington (Taylor University) and Kelci Wood (Goucher College). I will have more details of their degrees and future plans after Sunday. Look in next week’s MM for those details.

Just an FYI: I am really, really, (did I say really?) excited about Father’s Day (FD). I will give you more information as we get closer, but let me just say that the number of men who have responded to my request to participate has exceeded my expectations. The number of men who have stepped up to do Communion Thoughts and now to take part in FD has shown me that there are some men who are serious about taking leadership in their home and in the church. I think you will be just as excited about FD as I am. More information to come!!

Another FYI: It is not too late to register your child to attend Hilltop Camp for a week that will change their life. I do not know at this point how many of our young people have signed up to attend camp, but I do know that Pastor Ryan and Hope have two full weeks of Wilderness Camp. One week is totally filled and the other is close. Ryan showed me the improvements which are being made to the wilderness camp area and they are beautiful. Just this past week we had some visitors who had children they were inquiring for about camp. If you would like to know more about Hilltop or about signing up your child, please call Diana at the church office. She can give you a code to use when you sign up. Just so you know: the elders of OVCF have made a commitment to pay scholarships for all campers. But we can’t do that unless you contact Diana to get the scholarship code. And I know this added bonus will convince you for sure! Ryan and I have made it a practice to visit the weeks of camp in which we have young people to let them know they are being thought of. We usually go in the afternoon, embarrass them in front of their peers by being the old geezers who come to visit (at least me), then leave. ☺  Hey, that alone is worth the price of admission!!

Did you also know that we have a ton, and I mean a ton of young people, who are participating in summer ball at the Sports Complex? I’m not even going to try to list them all, there are so many. Jo and I have tried to attend as many games as we can (Tami has also joined us as some of the kids were in her kindergarten class at school) and have spent many-a-night walking from one end of the complex to the other and back again. We come home and our legs and feet are sore, but man, have we had fun!! It sort of takes me back to my days as a youth pastor when I attended game after game. It was easier on my body back then, but I gotta tell you, we have had a blast!

Remember in past MMs how I told you that Pastor Ryan and I were reading to the kindergarten classes in the S-OCS system? Two new kindergarten teachers are being hired to cover new classes at GES and SES. What an exciting future for the schools! I can’t wait to see what that will bring when it comes to reading to the classes.

I’d like to share a story with you. I have been reading No Reason to Hide by Erwin Lutzer. Pastor Lutzer was the pastor at Moody Memorial Church in Chicago for an amazing 36 years. He now writes some very insightful books. One other I read during the pandemic was We Will Not Be SILENCED.  Anyway, here is the story:

Millions of mothers can be called heroes. One such is Sonya, who entered into an abusive marriage at 13, and later separated from her husband. She never did learn to read, but she was passionate that her children learn to do so.

She had two son, Curtis and Benjamin. Ben was 8, his brother, Curtis, was 10 when their parents divorced. Sonya worked 2-3 jobs at a time, leaving their small apartment at 5:00 a.m. to go to work, and not coming home until midnight.

When the brothers came home with poor grades, she instituted a strict change. She limited her sons’ TV time and they couldn’t go outside until their schoolwork was done.

Sonya could not have predicted her son Ben would become a famous pediatric surgeon. He performed the first reported separation of twins who were joined at the back of the head. He was an esteemed professor of neurosurgery, oncology, plastic surgery, and pediatrics at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

Ben Carson always paid tribute to his mother and credits her fervent dedication to him and his brother for their success. {Pages 230-231- Edited for space}

More could be said about parenting and schools (but I’ll refrain), but I leave you with this: we may never know the influence we have now, or down the road. But let’s make sure it is a good one.

Have a good rest of the week and remember you are loved.

Pastor Bill

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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:
  • 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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Midweek Message 05/17/2023


Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #157. I hope all of you ladies had a great Mother’s Day celebration in your honor. I dare not forget the best part of me: Jo, my soon-to-be-wife of 50 years. I also have fond memories of my mother’s and grandmother’s influence, as well as other ladies-like Sunday school teachers; Miss Kutzer, my 4th grade school teacher whom I had a crush on; Mrs. John, who opened her home with iced tea and chocolate chip cookies for a teenage boy who just moved to a new home; a college teacher or two who challenged me; and so many more-all who played a part in helping me grow. I do hope you expressed your love to those women who have made a difference in your life.

I owe a great big huge thank you to the following ladies for taking part in our Mother’s Day service: First service-Tara Brinson (Mary, the mother of Jesus); Meshelle Roberts (Deborah); and Gail Kempe (Lydia). Second service- Becca Anderson (Sarah); Nannette Edwards (Hannah); Stacy Wood (Tamar); and Sydney Stockman (Mary of Bethany). I am so grateful to these ladies for their part in making our Mother’s Day service a little extra special.

Our school-related prayer is for April Walker this week. April is an Executive Secretary for the S-OCS school system.

It is hard to believe that the 2022-2023 school year is coming to a close this week. That, of course, doesn’t mean the work is done. Graduation. Report cards. End of the year reports and so much more are still ahead. Graduation is on the minds of many, and that includes the church. This coming Sunday, the 21st, is the final day to let us know of any graduates we need to recognize from the church family. At this point- you may find it hard to believe- but we have no high school graduates. But we do have three college graduates. I cannot ever remembering that happening. Once more: please let Diana or Pastor Ryan know if there is a graduate we need to know about.

Mother’s Day is traditionally the start of Change for Life, the annual fundraiser for New Beginnings Pregnancy Resource Center (NB). It runs from Mother’s Day to Father’s Day. I’ll repeat what I wrote in last week’s MM: There are several ways you can donate to NB:

  • Take a baby bottle (available at OVCF or the Center) to fill and return on or before Father’s Day.  You may fill it with your loose change or simply choose to include a check.
  • Mail a donation to the Center (PO Box 313, Spencer, IN 47460)
  • Give online through their website:
  • Use the link on their Facebook page or our Facebook group

Several years ago I was on the board of NB and I can honestly say a lot goes on behind the scenes than you or I will never grasp. They have only one paid staff person (the Director, Stacy Kristoff). The rest of the work is done by some very faithful volunteers of all ages. Many of those volunteers are ladies from OVCF. I make no apologies for being a supporter of the sanctity of life and of New Beginnings.

I took the time to go back and look for the last time I made any mention of the progress on our building addition. It was MM #144 (you can do the math as to how long ago that was. Just remember I have written a MM almost every week since I started). ☺  Currently, we are still in the gathering facts and information stage. We met virtually with a company several weeks ago to talk through some items and nothing has been decided yet. I know that the desire for an addition and being together is important to many, but we also need to proceed wisely. I’d like to reiterate something I have said several times before: going into debt is not something we consider an option. The wisdom of not having debt played itself out during COVID when churches, schools, etc. had to shut down. Many churches had to close up shop, lay off staff, cease doing some much-needed ministries and more, simply because they could not afford to continue operating. Due to having no debt and your faithfulness that did not happen to OVCF. We don’t want to be one of those casualties in the future, so we are operating with extreme caution. There is no doubt it will take longer to come to fruition but it will be worth it! Thanks for being patient with us as we try to make the right decisions.

After the one-Sunday reprieve due to Mother’s Day, I will be back on schedule preaching about Worry and Anxiety. This Sunday’s sermon is Who Me? Worry? I’d like to ask you to read Matthew 6:25-34 ahead of time and to come “prayed up” for God to speak through His Word to you.

I read an interesting tidbit recently. In 1953, a fledgling business called Rocket Chemical Company and its staff of three set out to create a line of rust preventing solvents and degreasers for use in the aerospace industry. The original secret for WD-40-which stands for Water Displacement, 40th attempt-is still in use today. In a recent year, WD-40 had sales of more than $380 million.

Let’s ask an interesting question: what if they had stopped at #39? What if Joshua and the children of Israel had stopped at Day 6 or even Day 7 walk-around #6? They would have missed #7 and the opportunity to watch the walls fall. We often quit too soon. The Bible says, “Those who wait/hope in the Lord will renew their strength.” Don’t give up. Don’t quit. Don’t wallow in self-pity. Use whatever is happening as an opportunity to grow.

Have a great rest of the week. I look forward to seeing and spending Sunday with you. Until then, please remember you are loved.


Pastor Bill


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Midweek Message 05/10/2023


Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #156! I hope your week has been going well and that the rest of the week will be even better.

Please be praying for Jennifer Schmitter, our school-related person for the week. Jennifer is in charge of the Food Service and Technology Reporting for S-OCS.

I owe a great big debt of thanks to the men who were involved in giving the Communion Meditations the past three months. In Midweek Message #148 I gave the names of the men who served during the first month and a half. Here is a list of all the men who went out of their comfort zone and gave a meditation thought: Bobby Anderson, Robert Herrington (now stationed at Fort Benning, GA), Bruce Davis, Steve Pendleton, Charley Shipley, Brad Brinson, Joe Pavich, Bruce Fisher, Jacob Schunk, Andy Wood, Mike Edwards, Ryan White, Matt Beckwith, Wayne Akerson, Westin Linville, Dave Keith, and Terrie MacMorran.  The good news is that many of them have said they would do it again, and I been able to add a couple more to the list! That excites me to see men step forward.

This Sunday is a big deal for several reasons.

    1. The first and biggest deal of all: it is Mother’s Day. It is certainly a great day to celebrate the women who have had and still do have an influence on our lives. ☺
    2. This Sunday also starts the Change for Life fundraiser for New Beginnings Pregnancy Resource Center. Change for Life runs from Mother’s Day to Father’s Day. There are several ways you can donate:
      • Take a bottle (available at OVCF or the Center) to fill and return on or before Father’s Day
      • Mail a donation to the Center (PO Box 313, Spencer)
      • Give online through their website:
      • Use the link on their Facebook page or our Facebook group (once available)


This is a great way to make a difference for the sanctity of life in Owen County.

One of the worst things a person can do is forget acknowledging the achievement of someone, especially when that achievement is a milestone. One such milestone is graduation-high school or college. Unfortunately, I have been on the end of forgetting someone’s name and it is not a pretty sight. YOU CAN DO US A GREAT BIG HUGE FAVOR! If you have a high school or college graduate we need to know. But time is of the essence. Deadline is May 21 and Graduate Recognition Day is June 4. Please call the church office (812.828.9840) or contact Diana or Pastor Ryan. Thanks.

In Midweek Message #143 I mentioned to you that Pastor Ryan and I have been reading to the Kindergarten classes in the Owen County school system. Ryan has been reading to the two K classes at McCormick’s Creek Elementary School (MCES), as well as a pre-school class. I have been reading to the three K classes at Spencer Elementary (SES), as well as at Patricksburg (PES), and Gosport (GES). We had, in the past, both taken part in the Real Men Read program that originated out of Monroe County United Way. COVID sort of shut that down, except I was able to read to Mrs. Lee’s class at SES when we were able to go outside. With Tami teaching Kindergarten at SES this year, I asked about starting the program again. The three teachers there were fine with it, and when I contacted the teachers at PES, GES, and MCES they were all on board as well. Since Ryan had a connection with MCES I asked if he would continue there and I took the others since it was too late to ask other men to be involved. It has been one of the most fun things I have done all year!! But, for me, this week ends reading to the kids for this school year.  It has been interesting working all the schools into my schedule, but I would do it again in a heartbeat. Special thanks to Tami, Mrs. Patterson and Mrs. Glaze at SES; Mrs. Hensley at PES; Mrs. White at GES; Mrs. King, Mrs. Potts and Miss Bougher at MCES. I understand things will be even more challenging next year with some additional classes. (The emoji I can’t insert is one with eyes and mouth wide open). ☺

The laminated bulletin inserts from Sunday’s sermon on God’s Desire for You are still available. We had some left and they will be on the back table or you can call or text me to ask for one. To stay with Sunday’s theme, here are the books I recommended to you:

    • Winning the War on Worry and Putting An X Through Anxiety by Louie Giglio
    • Attacking Anxiety by Shawn Johnson
    • Anxiety: Knowing God’s Peace by Paul Tautges (31 day devotional)


The two by Louie are easy reads with sections to fill in. The one by Shawn is his coming-to-grips with panic attacks, depression and anxiety from the standpoint of a sufferer (who also is a pastor of a megachurch in Colorado). The latter book speaks for itself. You can purchase them from Amazon or

This Sunday’s sermon is not a sermon at all. Several women have agreed to share their hearts with you about a woman in the Bible whom they admire. I look forward to hearing the women speak and seeing you Sunday. I love you all.


Pastor Bill


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Midweek Message 05/03/2023



Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #155! After being gone this weekend, I’m a little behind the 8 ball in getting this done. But hopefully it won’t be too disjointed (especially since I am after being gone). I suspect some of you are thinking “And that is different how?” ☺

Before I get into anything else, let me remind you to pray for Ann Cooper, the personnel secretary for the S-OCS system. I’m sure she would appreciate your thoughts and prayers, especially as the school year winds down and soon a new one will start. (Did I just say that?)

Jo and I had a nice weekend away visiting Janna and Braden in Ohio. We left Friday morning and found out on the way there that his ballgame for Friday night was cancelled. So we took him to his favorite place to eat-a place called Roosters. I have to admit it has become one of my favorites as well when we are visiting them, especially since the closest one to us is in Clarksville. He did play on Saturday and it was a nice, sunny day. Saturday evening we went out to eat. Sunday we attended Adventure Church in Delaware, OH with Mike and Trisha Laws. Ryan joined us after the service had started. Mike, Trisha and Ryan were our guests several years ago telling their story of how Mike donated his kidney to Ryan. At lunch (yes we ate again!), Mike and Trisha expressed how much they appreciated the opportunity come here and share their story. I told them I had been considering asking them to return and give us a follow-up to their incredible story and they said they would love to do that! God has taken them on an exciting journey and they give Him the credit for how it has turned out. So, I am working on finding a date when they can return to share their story.  Sunday night we had a chance to be with Janna, Braden, and her friend, Mike. And yes, true to form we went out to eat. (How does a spinach and smoked salmon salad sound? The answer: very good). We left early Monday morning to come home.  Several observations:

  • I texted Janna Sunday night to thank her for letting us crash her weekend. We left tired (weary), stuffed, but contented.
  • Going to Adventure Church with Mike and Trisha was a different experience. I had nothing to do so it was nice to be on the other side of things. I absolutely love what I do and wouldn’t want to do anything else, but it is always good to see “how the other side lives.” I have to admit neither Jo nor I knew any of the three worship songs they sang. They had baptism Sunday, and I think they baptized a total of 15 people. What they did was really cool. They announced each one of the people and then put their names with a short statement from each individual on the screen. They didn’t have a baptistry, but used one of those inflatable pools. It was rather unique to witness.  All in all it was a pleasant visit.
  • I realized how much I missed seeing you all. We were able to listen for part of the time to the live stream, but then had to leave. Jo listened to it while we were driving as well. But I missed being here, even though it was necessary to be away. Thanks to Pastor Ryan for preaching for me and making it possible to leave.


This is a reminder! This Sunday starts my series on Faith Over Fear. I’m excited to preach a series that seems to be so welcomed and needed. Sunday’s sermon is “What We All Want” and you can prepare ahead of time by reading Mark 4:35-41. Struggling with fear and anxiety is nothing new, but living in 2023 has ramped up the anxiety. Some struggle because of their mental health. Some struggle because of events of the past. Some struggle because it has always been a part of their personality. And some struggle because it is new and it has been brought on my certain “life events.” Will you find hope? I certainly pray so. Will you find answers? I certainly hope so. Will you find peace? Again, I certainly hope so. In fact, even as I type those words “hope so” I really should be saying, “I pray so.”

I’d like to ask each of you do something, not for me, but for yourself. Please prepare yourself by reading the Scripture ahead of time. But more than that, please pray that God will speak to you through His Word and that one morsel (or many of them) will hit home. Pray that your life and those you love will find hope and answers for the fear and anxiety that is tearing at the fabric of so many lives today. I firmly believe God will answer that sincere prayer.

When I came to the office Monday afternoon, Pastor Ryan was just getting ready to leave. He deserves a big shout out for all the work he has put in to serve the tornado victims. He showed me the number of texts and phone calls he has had to place to deal with the “shed issue.” (It was a delivery issue). On Monday I told him how much I appreciate him taking this ministry and running with it. In my mind, I’m convinced he is uniquely gifted to do this. His familiarity with IDES and his know-how with building materials is way beyond my ability. And by the way, it is not too late to sign up to help, nor is not too late to pray for all involved.

Again, it is good to be back. I look forward to seeing you on Sunday. May you always know you are loved more than you can imagine.

Pastor Bill

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Midweek Message 04/27/2023


Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #154-your go-to for all things OVCF! Well, not quite but almost. ☺ Thanks for letting me into your life and for taking the time to read this issue.  I hope your week is going well so far and the rest of the week will be even better.

Please pray for Annette Brown this week. Annette is the S-OCS Treasurer. Knowing my lack of “numbers smarts,” I’m glad for someone like Annette taking care of the books for the school system.

Congratulations to Travis Floyd and Sierra Willis. They were married this past Saturday at LaCampagne by yours truly. They have known each other since high school. Travis is a music major at IU with a goal to teach music in high school. Sierra just recently started working at Community Natural Gas Co. in the office. Pray for their new life together. Travis, his mother, sister and younger brother attend OVCF, as does Sierra.

For those in my “66” class. This Wednesday, the 26th, we will finish with the OT and begin the NT in the fall, after school starts.

Jo and I will be out of town this coming weekend. Braden, our grandson, plays a game on both Friday night and Saturday afternoon. With a very hectic summer about to hit, we decided it was a good time to get away. Pastor Ryan will be completing the series on To and From the Cross this Sunday, speaking on The Road to Emmaus.  I know he has been working hard on his message so you won’t want to miss it.  Meanwhile, Jo and I will be watching Braden play ball, visit with Janna, and attend church on Sunday with Mike and Trisha Laws. Mike, Trisha and their son, Ryan, were here a couple of years ago talking about God’s faithfulness through Ryan’s kidney transplant at the age of 15. He received his kidney from his dad. Jo and I met Mike and Trisha, and their new daughter, Brooklyn, when they attended the church in Sandusky. Mike joined the Dublin Police Department and moved to Dublin where we were able to introduce them to Janna. We heard from Janna about Ryan’s health crisis, so I got back into contact with them and told him OVCF would be praying for them. We have stayed in contact and they have invited us to attend church with them. Adventure Church in Delaware, OH has just begun worshipping in their newly built church building so I am excited about joining them. We will be heading back Monday morning. We will miss being with you, but it will also be a good break for you and for us. ☺

UPDATE! ALERT! This coming Sunday is a 5th Sunday. That means the young people, except for the nursery and pre-school will be with the parents in the adult worship. We failed to announce this the past several weeks.

We have tried to keep you up-to-date on the efforts we are making to help those who were devastated by the winds and tornado from a few weekends ago.  It is hard to believe it has been four weeks since that happened, but those affected are still sorting through things. This past Sunday Pastor Ryan told you about the sheds which IDES (International Disaster Emergency Service) is providing. Sign up link:

As I have been sharing with you over the past several MMs, my series on Faith Over Fear will begin on Sunday, May 7. I have finished with the schedule and wanted to let you know where we will be going with it.  I shared some of this in last week’s MM, but I have changed a couple of things so here is an update:

  • May 7- What We All Want- Mark 4:35-41
  • May 14- Mother’s Day special
  • May 21- Who Me? Worry? Matthew 6:25-34
  • May 28- 3 Essentials You MUST Believe!- Psalm 13:1-2, 5-6
  • June 4- Bringing the Giant to its Knees- Phil. 4:6-9
  • June 11- Go Back to Go Forward- Joshua 4:5-7
  • June 18- Father’s Day special
  • June 25- Drive a Nail Through these Truths- Joshua 1:9; 3:15-16:6


Please be praying for me as I continue to prepare. Please pray for yourself and others you know who may be struggling with fear and anxiety. I’m no expert in this area and certainly not a professional counselor but my hope and prayer is that this series might be an encouragement and the start of healing some folks want and need.

Again, please pray for Jo and me as we travel this coming weekend. We will miss being with you, but will pray for a great worship service while we are gone. I close as I always do: I love you all. I look forward to seeing you when we get back, Lord willing.

Pastor Bill

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Midweek Message 04/19/2023


Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #153. I hope you are having a fairly routine week. It has been quite a hectic past couple of weeks for me as well as for Pastor Ryan and Diana. I think we are all hoping for a fairly calm week.

Remember to pray for Amanda Hutchison this week. Amanda is a Cloverdale School Corporation Nurse. She is our school-related prayer person for the week.

Speaking of hoping for a calmer week…

Pastor Ryan, among his responsibilities here has also been the point person for our response to the disaster from the weather event from a few weeks ago. After visiting and surveying and talking with many of the homeowners on Wolf Mountain Road, he not only took totes, he also assessed needs and then handed the reins to Cassie Linville and Jasmine St. John, the co-leaders of the Disaster Relief Team.

  • I am so proud of those two ladies who contacted local leaders, as well as setting up days to help those affected by the tornado that touched down on Wolf Mountain Road and the surrounding area. This past Saturday, with very short notice, there were about 10 (I was unable to get an accurate count) who took 3-4 hours of their Saturday afternoon to help pick up and gather things for several of the homeowners.  Wayne Akerson, one of our elders, took some great pictures of a few of those who helped a very grateful man.
  • This past Saturday, a Disaster Relief response seminar put on by IDES (International Disaster Emergency Services) was presented by Ed Sanow, a rep from IDES. Just to show you God’s way of doing things: this meeting was actually scheduled for an earlier date and had to be rescheduled. Things Ed talked about were very appropriate for us to know.
  • To see how important it is that we be prepared: after the weather event that hit McCormick’s Creek State Park, I almost received a call from the Sheriff’s department to see if they could use our building to temporarily house some of the folks who were affected by the storm. Fortunately, Canyon Inn had rooms available for them. So…it is really important that we be prepared for a possible disaster that might hit our community, whether it be another storm or flooding, or something else. Ed’s seminar was helpful to learn what to do and what not to do and how we could be prepared as a church family, especially with the use of our building.


To go along with the help for the tornado victims, IDES is providing sheds for those who need them. They will be off-loading them here or at another location in our community and then taking sheds to the home sites. The sheds will be assembled at each home. During his presentation, Ed said it takes about 3-4 hours to put each shed together. When that day comes, if you can use a level, swing a hammer, or are willing to be used in any way, your help would be appreciated. We will let you know the location at that time. They supply the foreman. We provide the manpower. The sheds are supposed to be here early May. We will let you know more details as we know.

Starting May 7th, I will begin a series on Faith Over Fear. Several weeks ago I mentioned that I really believed that I needed to set the series on Revelation to the side for this series. I am more and more convinced I “heard” God correctly. I have had a number of folks tell me they are looking forward to the series because they struggle with anxiety, fear, depression, or just a general lack of peace in their life.  I have been working on the sermons already and here is the direction I plan to go in:

  • May 7- What We all Want- Mark 4:35-41
  • May 14- (A Mother’s Day special not part of the series)
  • May 21- Who Me? Worry? Mt. 6:25-34
  • May 28- Three Essentials You MUST Believe- Psalm 13:1-6
  • June 4- Bringing the Giant to its Knees- Phil. 4:6-9
  • June 11- Go Back to Go Forward – Psalm 27
  • June 18- (A Father’s Day special not part of the series)
  • June 25- Drive a Nail through These Truths- Stories from Joshua


I stated several Midweek Messages ago that after saying I would preach on Faith Over Fear, I began to worry about how I was going to develop it. ☺ I needed not to worry. God was more than faithful in leading me to certain passages and stories of people in the Bible who are “poster children” for His work. Please pray for me as I continue working on these sermons. And yes, the plan is after I finish this series to go back to Revelation (unless, of course, God directs me elsewhere).  Hmmmm.

These are exciting times for OVCF. Several in our church family and friends have faced challenges.  We have also had the high times (ask Stacy Wood about that one. I bet she has pictures of that new grandson she will show you ☺ ). Some of our friends and neighbors have suffered property damage as a result of the storm/tornado. I have also heard stories of God’s protection during the storm. But in all things we have seen the faithfulness of God. We are admonished to praise Him through the storm. May we do just that.

Have a great rest of the week.  I love you all and look forward to being with you this Sunday.

Pastor Bill

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Midweek Message 04/12/2023


Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #152.  Resurrection Sunday 2023 is history, at least according to the calendar. But as I quoted Sam Allberry in my sermon: “ Many Christians, while believing in the resurrection and rehearsing that belief every Easter Sunday, effectively stick it back in a drawer for the rest of the year because they are at a loss of what to do with it.”  {Quote from Hope in Times of Fear by Tim Keller-p.xxi}. Let’s not be the statistic that gives credence to what Sam said. Let’s not just believe the Resurrection story, but let’s allow it to change the way we live our daily lives.  Anyway, thanks for joining me for this week’s MM.

Please be in prayer this week for Tammy Siscoe, Assistant Corporation Nurse. She and all the nurses of our school system would appreciate your prayers.

I’d also like to ask you to be in prayer for the Carlson family. Saturday evening at 7:37 Carolyn went home to be with Jesus. She turned 90 this past week but has been yearning to go home for quite a while.

Please add Tiffany Groomer to your daily prayers. The picc-line and dressing are very uncomfortable. I failed to mention this past Sunday that Tiffany had to go to the ER again on Saturday. She is miserable and has asked for prayers!!

It is well known about the devastation that many families experienced due to the weather event our area suffered two weeks ago. High winds, straight-line winds, and tornadoes left a line of damage in their path. The worst hit were the campgrounds at MCSP as well as many homes on Macville and Wolf Mountain Roads. Pastor Ryan took several days this past week buying totes (the elders told him to do so) and then delivering them (with David Robertson’s help) to homes, especially those on Wolf Mountain Road. He has also been in contact with IDES (International Disaster Emergency Services) about sheds they provide for homeowners. We have partnered with IDES in the past, especially our youth, by helping at their headquarters in Noblesville packing meals which they ship to other countries experiencing famine and other disasters, and building sheds. Here is how you can help:

  • The church’s disaster relief team, led by Cassie Linville and Jasmine St. John, has contacted local agencies to see how we can help. A work day is scheduled for this Saturday from 2-5 PM. *The plan is to meet at OVCF at 2 for instructions. Bring work gloves, closed-toe shoes, 5 gallon buckets to carry debris.
  • As I mentioned, Pastor Ryan has been in contact with IDES about sheds. They will be delivered to the people and be built on site some time in early May. If you are able to help, let Pastor Ryan know. You can call or text him to let him know of your willingness to help. We will keep you informed as to any pertinent information (times, location, etc) when we know more.
  • The church is helping any way it can and trying to cooperate with local agencies (the Red Cross, for one, has set up a base at Stinesville Elementary School to provide two meals a day).
  • Above all, please pray for these folks who virtually lost every earthly treasure. Pray for them as they pick up the pieces of their shattered lives and try to make sense of it all. Pray for the church’s (ours and others) response to these folks.
  • If you have any more questions please feel free to give the church office a call or text one of us. We will try to answer any question(s) you may have.


I know numbers are not legitimate qualifiers when it comes to churches, especially on holidays. But just in case you are interested, we had 246 for our Resurrection Day worship. Better yet! The offering went to the missions we support (we added the tornado victims as well) unless otherwise designated. The total offering for this past Sunday was $10,180.70 with $7795.70 (which we rounded up to $7800) to be divided among the missions and $1655 for the Building Fund. That means each mission will receive an extra gift from OVCF in the amount of $780. Thank you so much for being so generous in your giving.  There is no doubt in my mind that God has blessed OVCF for several reasons, one of them being our willingness to be generous to others (local and foreign).  As in the past, we will keep you abreast of what is happening and be accountable for every penny spent. Diana does a tremendous job of paying the bills and keeping things straight. She keeps things accountable with the Finance Team and elders. Our Finance Team goes over the budget ever year and gives time on their given Sunday to stay afterward and count.

That leads me to something really important. Several weeks ago I was asked about the finances and it was “implied” that I know what others give. I sort of shocked the person when I said that I know nothing of what anyone gives, except my own. Neither Pastor Ryan nor I have any clue what any individual gives. That person acted shocked because that was not the norm he was used to. That has always been my policy and it will continue that way. I just wanted you to know that.

The next three Sundays will give you a great opportunity to hear a variety of speakers.

  • This Sunday, the 16th, Will Reed will be our guest speaker. Will and Theresa and family will soon by leaving for Nairobi, Kenya. Will plans to preach on “Killing the Beast” but also update us on their mission efforts.
  • Sunday, the 23rd I will be preaching on “The Boast of the Cross.”
  • Sunday, the 30th, Pastor Ryan will be preaching on “My Emmaus.”

Please make plans to be here for each one.

I have given you a lot of information this week. So I think I will close by simply saying I love you all and have a great rest of the week.

Pastor Bill

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Midweek Message 04/05/2023


Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #151. I anticipate this being a shorter MM than normal, but even as I write that, I am not taking for granted the welcome you give me in your inbox. ☺

Remember to pray for Rachel Keith this week. Rachel is one of S-OCS’s corporation nurses. I’m sure Rachel, and all the school nurses would appreciate your prayers as they navigate taking care of our students.

This coming Sunday is Resurrection Sunday! Of all the Sundays I look forward to, this has to top the list. The excitement the day generates among families and the meaning it brings to mind for all who follow Jesus simply cannot be topped.  Please keep these thoughts in mind:

  • This Friday, Good Friday, the church office will be closed.
  • As we have been relating to you, we will offer two worship services AT OVCF at 9:00 and 10:45.  If you are concerned about space, I’d suggest you consider attending the 9:00 service. The 10:45 service will more likely be the one most attend, especially since that service offers the children’s programs for birth (Nursery) up to 6th grade.
  • All monies given this Sunday (unless designated) will to go the missions we support.  I am not sure when we started the practice of giving our Resurrection Sunday offering away to missions but it is a good one. (We normally give our anniversary offering to the Building Fund). God has blessed OVCF in a tremendous way and the leadership believes this is one of the tangible ways we can say, “Thank you” to God for His goodness. Whatever is given is divided among the missions we support on a monthly basis:


Chi Alpha, Derek Britt & Luke Furr families

Freedom International Ministries, Jacob & Mia McCall

Hilltop Christian Camp

Int’l. Friendships, Jesse Cook

New Beginnings Pregnancy Resource Center

Revive Liberia Missions

Serge, Will & Theresa Reed

Weekday Religious Education

Youth for Christ, OVHS Campus Life/Cassie Linville

For more information on these missions, please see our bulletin board!

  • Above all, please pray about this Sunday. On the cross, Jesus defeated Satan’s plans. On Resurrection Sunday He drove the nail in his coffin because He once and for all showed Satan definitively that He (Jesus) had the power over sin, death, hell and the grave.  His enemy/our enemy does not like that he lost, so he will do whatever it takes to bring us down. Pray for God’s power to be at work in your life and in the life of all those who listen or watch.


Antony Flew was a prominent atheist and professor of philosophy. He once said, “If Jesus rose, you have an intellectually feasible argument that everything Jesus said could be true. If He didn’t, all of Christianity falls.” He also said, “The defining and distinguishing characteristic of true Christianity is accepting the Resurrection did literally happen.” Let that sink in. You see, even men who claim to be intellectuals must reason with the resurrection of Jesus. They cannot disassociate it from truth-the truth that the resurrection of Jesus is the most important fact in history. If somehow-SOMEHOW-they could disprove it really happened (and they have tried), it gets them off the hook of having to reckon with a God who will ultimately judge them in the end.  Poor Stephen Hawking, the brilliant scientist (but one who could not understand a God who loves him) on his deathbed was adamant when we he said, “There is no God. No one directs the universe.” I now suspect he is finding out there was and is and he is not liking it very much. Call me simple-minded, but I’m willing to stake my claim on the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.

I will see you Sunday, Lord willing. Throughout this week, ponder the powerful events which took place between this past Sunday (the entrance into Jerusalem on a donkey) and the end of the week (the crucifixion and resurrection).  Can anything say “I love you” more than the love of a Savior who died in our place? I think not.

Have a great rest of the week. I love you.


Pastor Bill

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