Category: MidweekMessage

Midweek Message 12/20/2023


Hello! I know I am not the first, and most certainly will not be the last, but I’d like to wish all of you a Christ-filled Christmas and an exciting New Year (I’m guessing I’m the first to wish that part of it). ☺ Thanks for joining me in this week’s issue of the MM. It will be the last one of 2023 since I will be giving Diana and me a break next week. We (Jo, Tami and I) will be out of town for a couple of days and the week between Christmas and New Year’s is always iffy. All three of us will be in and out of the office at strange hours.

Please be praying for Michelle Lippert this week. Michelle homeschools their daughter, Marla and her husband, Geoff, is a commercial plumber. ☺

Just a quick question: did you know this Sunday is Christmas Eve?  Well…just in case you didn’t let me remind you of our plan for that day.

  • One service Sunday morning at 10:00. The children’s programs will be meeting as they normally do.
  • A Christmas Eve service at 5:00. This will be very laid back, with singing Christmas carols, a few testimonies, a short devotion, communion and a closing song. I told someone to expect it to last about 30-45 minutes. There will be NO children’s programs that evening.



I haven’t had any specific names given to me of youth escapades to include this week, however, I have found out some of our young people are taking their Christmas break to another level.

  • Both Sophia Kropack and Hudsyn Biggs will be having their tonsils out this Thursday. Make sure you pray for them as they go through the surgery and recovery.  I understand an ice cream party is planned (as long as I’m invited). ☺
  • Berkley Groomer fell and broke two bones in her wrist. She will be going through Christmas with a cast on it. That is after having just gotten rid of a cast on her forearm 3.5 weeks ago. A test is scheduled for January 3rd.
  • Addison Mayle, a member of the OVHS JV basketball team, has been wearing a boot on her foot. She did a number on her ankle a few weeks ago. Quick healing, Addison!
  • That’s all I have for the Youth Corner this MM. I prefer the other kind of news but keep these young people in your prayers.


I’m excited about the sermon theme for 2024: Run with the Horses. The verse behind that is Jeremiah 12:5 where God says to Jeremiah, “If racing against mere men makes you tired, how will you race against horses? If you stumble and fall on open ground, what will you do in the thickets near the Jordan?” (NLT) Here is the schedule so far:

  • January 3- Dark Horse– Jer. 12:5; I Cor. 9:24-27; Heb. 12:1-2

Sermon Series: Welcome Home…where…

  • January 10- The Gospel is Preached– Col. 1:3-14
  • January 17- Jesus is Honored– Col. 1:15-20
  • January 24- Grace is Offered– Col. 1:21-2:5
  • February 4- Lives are Changed– Col. 2:6-15
  • February 11- Obedience is Encouraged– Col. 2:16-23
  • February 18- Tough Choices are Suggested/Part 1– Col. 3:1-11
  • February 25- Tough Choices are Suggested/Part 2– Col. 3:12-17 (Ryan preaching)


Every new year that approaches seems to be a time for everyone to reflect over the past year and to also set goals for the coming year. I know, for a fact, the Y sees an uptick of new memberships and it gets a bit more crowded…for at least the first month of the year. That same thing happens when we stop and think about our spiritual lives. We make “resolutions” that often only last for a month or less. One of those is a desire to be more committed to a daily time with God. I call mine my ENCOUNTER TIME because I want it to be more than just a Quiet Time. I pray for a daily encounter with Jesus. I don’t just read my Bible, although there is nothing wrong with that. This past year I used several helps to keep me involved, learning and reflecting. I have to admit there were times of real inspiration, but there were also times of let-down and a feeling of emptiness. Since this is the end of the year and the last MM of 2023, I thought I would be a bit proactive and give some suggestions of helps I have put in the church library. These can be checked out and used by anyone. Just please sign the card to let us know. Here are some helps with a short description for you:

  • Everyday with Jesus- Greg Laurie: my go-to for 1 ½ years
  • Take Heart-Daily Devotions to Deepen Your Faith- David Powlison
  • Truth for Life- Alistair Begg: 365 days of devotions
  • New Morning Mercies-Tripp: 365 Gospel-Centered Devotions
  • Homespun Devotions- Vol 1 & 2- Smith: 50 in each. Downhome devotions
  • One Perfect Life (Jesus): John MacArthur
  • One Faithful Life (Paul): John MacArthur
  • A Shelter in the Time of Storm-Tripp (52 meditations on sin and mercy)
  • Whiter Than Snow- Tripp (52 meditations on God and trouble)
  • 40 Days of Love/Faith/Grace/Hope-Tripp: each book is 40 devotions
  • 90 Devotions of Hope/Prayer- Our Daily Bread (each book is 90 devotions)
  • Daily Readings from the Life of Christ- Vol 1-2-3- MacArthur: one year each
  • Good Morning, Lord…Can We Talk? Swindoll: A year’s worth of devotions
  • 2 used ESV Bibles for the taking (and reading): you can keep


I have used each one over the years and would not put them here if I did not recommend them. I hope you will take a step toward growing your faith by trying one or more.

I pray your Christmas is filled with the love and joy that only Jesus can bring. I am grateful God gave me you as an extraordinary gift.


Pastor Bill


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Midweek Message 12/13/2023


Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #184. As you can tell I have been doing this for quite a while. 184 times to be exact. I started the MM during COVID in order to stay in touch and to let you know my thoughts and what was happening at OVCF. Even though we are back to normal (although some might wonder about me ☺ ), I hope the MM still ministers to you and keeps you informed. Thanks for giving me this chance to enter your world.

Please pray for our Educator of the Week: Jenny Hess. Jenny is married to John and she is the homeschool educator of their two daughters, Mia Rose and Meilynn. Mia Rose will graduate in 2024. They have been attending OVCF for close to two years.

Our Mission of the Week is Youth for Christ, OVHS Campus Life and local club director, Cassie Linville. Cassie has been involved as the leader for 4 years. She gets help on Monday night club nights from Westin, her husband; Pastor Ryan and Hope; and from Macy Carlson.


Several of our young people deserve recognition this week.

  • Alli Anderson is the OVHS wrestling manager. After wrangling horses and her brothers, keeping the wrestlers in line must seem easy. ☺  I hear she absolutely loves this gig.
  • Jackson Courson is on the OVHS JV wrestling team. He has won his last two wrestling matches. He seems to be following in the footsteps of his brother, Logan Cain, who also wrestled for OVHS.
  • And here is one that is different: Maddie Sparks has been chosen to be a peer helper to a classmate who suffered a traumatic brain injury. She and 4 other students are being trained by therapists from Riley Hospital to help their classmate adjust to school. That says quite a bit about Maddie! Her mom, Lindsey Kinser, is the proud mama who shared that info. We are proud of you also Maddie!  Maddie is a 5th grader at MCES.
  • That’s all I have for this week. Anyone else you want to add for a future MM? Please let me know by text or email.


*An impressive number of School of Education Bloomington faculty members have been ranked among the most influential scientists in their fields in an annual list from Stanford University. Our own Valarie Akerson (Science Education) was chosen as one of 18 faculty from IU for this prestigious honor. Proud husband, Wayne, sent the article to our small group.

Several events are happening over the next couple of weeks:

  1. My last Route 66 class for this year will be this Wednesday, the 13th. I will resume 66 on January 10th at 6:00.
  2. The last Deeper for this semester will be this Wednesday at the East homestead. Deeper will resume in January (Wednesdays from 4-5:30 at the Easts).
  3. This Sunday night ROOTS will be having their Christmas party and it will be the conclusion for ROOTS for the year. Look for it to resume on Sunday, January 14th.


Just to remind you about December 24th:

  • There will be ONE service on Sunday morning, the 24th, at 10:00. The youth classes will be meeting.
  • There will be a Christmas Eve service on Sunday night at 5:00. The service will not be a repeat of Sunday morning. Sunday evening will include traditional Christmas carols, some testimonies, a short devotion from me, and a closing to usher in the hope and joy of Christmas morning. I guarantee it is something you would never expect from me! (And no, I am not singing). ☺


Andy Wood wanted to remind the Military Care Team they will be meeting after the second service next Sunday to pack items to mail to our service members.  He will be buying the items this week, but if anyone has any additional snacks or letters of support they would like mailed, you are welcome to bring them next Sunday, and they will make sure the items are sent. This is a great ministry to our service members. Thanks to Andy for taking the leadership of this team.

Backpack Buddies was a huge success! Thanks so much for all your help and concern for the 200+ students of the school system who will benefit from your generosity. Diana will be posting some pictures to the church’s Facebook group.

Robert Anderson is being considered for the position of elder of OVCF. Our practice is to present him to the church and then allow for you to respond within two weeks if there is a spiritual reason why you think he should not be one of the elders. If there is nothing, we will announce the result on Sunday, December 24. Remember, any letter must be written and signed.

My theme for 2024 is Run with the Horses and the Scripture is Jeremiah 12:5- “If racing against mere men makes you tired, how will you race against horses? If you stumble and fall on open ground, what will you do in the thickets near the Jordan?” (NLT) January 7th, the first sermon of the year, will be on that Scripture. The next 7 weeks will be a more in-depth look at “Welcome Home where…” The basis for those sermons will be from Colossians 1-3. I’ll give you more details next week since that will be the last MM for 2024.

Thanks again for allowing me to enter your world. If you have any suggestions for making the MM more relevant or more informative feel free to pass your suggestions along. Send them to me at or text me. Thanks for being you. I love you all much.


Pastor Bill


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Midweek Message 12/06/2023


Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #183! I trust you had a good week last week and this one is even better! Thanks for giving me a few minutes of your time.

I’d like to remind you to pray for the following people this week:

  • Our Educator of the Week is Hope East (you might know her). ☺ Hope, of course, is the better half of Pastor Ryan and she homeschools their three children: Anna, Caleb and Rachel. Hope is also the lead person in OVCF’s Care Team Ministry.
  • Our Mission of the Week is Weekly Religious Education or WRE. WRE is a totally voluntary program offered to the elementary children in the Spencer-Owen Community Schools district. Each elementary school has its own off-site meeting place. Many of our young people take part in the WRE program and we support WRE monthly through our missions giving.



Several Midweek Messages ago I began to highlight some of our young people in various ways. Some in sports; some in other areas. This week I have a mix to share with you.

  • Addison Mayle plays basketball for the freshman girls’ team at OVHS.
  • This past week Lincoln VanDerMoere, Don and Shelby’s son, had an exceptional week at school. He had given lots of effort at school and had many moments of empathy, caring about others! Stepmom, Shelby, wanted to share that news.  (I love hearing about our young people making a difference in the lives of others in simple, caring ways).
  • This is a little bit late but did you know that Anna East now has her driver’s license?  She told me it has been a month and two weeks. Not that she is counting. ☺  I’m trying to figure out whether to say, “Congrats Anna!” or “Look out for Anna!”  “Congrats” is more appropriate. ☺
  • Aubrey Mangia plays for the 7th grade girls’ team at OVMS.
  • Did you know Annalei Dow, the daughter of Chad and Terri Dow, will be diving for the University of Minnesota next year?  She signed her national letter of intent on November 8.  Annalei has been working toward this goal for many years. Congrats Annalei!! I predict mom and dad making some trips up north to where it is really, really cold with lots of snow.
  • One correction: Kysen White plays for the 6th grade boys’ team not the 7th grade team at OVMS.


I’m taking ideas about our young people for next week’s MM. Please feel free to share with me if you know of any ways our young people are being active in school or in helping others.

Backpack Buddies for Christmas 2023 is now history. Thank you so much for your donations of food (and money to purchase items) for the young people in our schools to have food to take home over Christmas break. Even though your name or the church’s name is not listed on our donations, the Father in heaven knows of our/your generosity. I’m reminded of the teaching of Jesus in Matthew 25 when He taught His followers: “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.” (Mt.25:35-36) When they asked Him when they saw Him like that He told them, “As you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” (Mt.25:40).  I see Backpack Buddies as one of the ways OVCF responds to the needs of others in our community.

As you probably already are aware, the day before Christmas is Sunday. We realize that Sundays are hectic enough for many, let alone it being the day before Christmas. SO PLEASE BE AWARE OF THE CHANGES FOR THAT SUNDAY ONLY.  I’ll try to delineate them to make them easier to absorb:

  • There will be ONE service on Sunday morning at 10:00.
  • There will also be ONE service on Sunday night at 5:00.
  • The services will be different. The one in the morning will be as usual and Sunday night will include singing carols, a short devotional thought and a time of reflection.  We will also take communion together.
  • The children’s programs will be offered on Sunday morning only.
  • I’ll share more information as I have it.


Here is something which needs your attention: OVCF’s leadership is always looking for men to serve with them as elders. A couple of months ago I was asked to approach Robert Anderson about sitting in on some elder’s meetings to see if he might be interested in joining our leadership team. After the elder’s meeting this past Monday, he came to me and said, “I am definitely interested.” The practice of OVCF is to bring him before the congregation and present him as one who would like to become an elder. You then have two weeks to let us know your thoughts. If you have a spiritual objection, we ask that you put it in writing, sign it, and then hand it to one of the leaders (Wayne Akerson, Jeff Carlson, David Robertson, Pastor Ryan or myself). No anonymous letters will be accepted. We ask that you let us know your thoughts on or before December 20th. If there is no spiritual reason why he should not serve as an elder, we will let you know of the church’s decision and he will begin serving alongside us as an elder.

Last, but certainly not least, Jo and I (especially Jo), thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your concerns, prayers, and words during the loss of her sister, Vicki. I could say a lot about Vicki and her struggle but I won’t. Instead I will simply say, “To live is Christ; to die is gain.” Thank you for thinking about us during the time of loss and our travel.  We love you all deeply.

Pastor Bill

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Midweek Message 11/29/2023


HELLO and welcome to Midweek Message #182. When you get this Thanksgiving will be over and we will be sleighing towards Christmas. I hope you had a grateful Thanksgiving filled with appreciation for family and friends, but most of all for God’s goodness to all of us.

I’d like to remind you to pray for the following folks this week:

  • Our Educator of the Week, Christine Chambers, is the first of our homeschool moms whom you will be asked to pray for over the next couple of weeks. Christine, and her husband Jimmy, have four children (Eliza, Isabella, Alexander, and Arionna). Christine was a public school teacher until she started having her own children. As you can imagine her life is filled with studies and being “mom’s taxi service.” ☺ She and Jimmy are the owners of Chambers Restaurant.
  • Our College Student of the Week is Mollie Wainscott. Mollie is a freshman at Milligan University. Mollie is an accomplished violinist and is playing in the orchestra at Milligan.
  • Our Mission of the Week is Serge, specifically Will & Theresa Reed. Will & Theresa and their three girls- Audrey (5), Ellie (7) and Tallie (2) are serving in Nairobi, Kenya.



Yep, opened up a can of worms (see last MM), but I wouldn’t have it any other way. ☺ Here are some young people I want to spotlight this week:

  • Cammie King was voted MVP by her JV volleyball teammates and recognized at the Fall Sports Banquet for the honor. Proud mama Cara was the informant. ☺
  • A number of our young men are playing basketball for OV basketball teams.
  1. Kaden White is playing on the freshman boys’ basketball team.
  2. Kaden’s brother, Kyson, is playing on the 7th grade team. Rumor has it both boys got their basketball genes from their mom, Karen (Redenbaugh) White, who set several records at OVHS and went on to play at IU.
  • I saw Eli Wood’s picture on the wall at OVMS (not a Wanted poster). I was impressed with his 4.0 GPA.


Next week I will feature some more of our outstanding young people who attend OVCF. If you know of special achievements please let me know. You can text me or drop me an email.

Before I go any further I need say a huge, and I mean a HUGE THANK YOU for everyone who helped with the Thanksgiving meal. We served about 80 meals (delivery, curbside, inside and take-out). While that was lower than last year, we still made 80+ people happy by giving them a Thanksgiving meal. I have received a few thank you’s from people and they were extremely grateful for their meal. We also took a ton of food (mostly desserts which will put those folks on a sugar high for days) to the EMS workers. It would not have been possible if not for your help in preparing the food, packaging meals, and delivering them. We will need to make some adjustments for next year, but I know God was blessed by our service.



Every weekend during the school year over 200+ students receive food from the S-OCS school system to take home. As you can imagine this is a daunting task and would be totally impossible if not for the generosity of people and businesses in our community who care about the students. OVCF is one of those who cares. During the year we will sometimes ask for donations of food to be taken to the school. We will give a financial donation to help with buying food. We have also asked you to help us make food possible for these students. This year OVCF bought over $1000 worth of items for the students to take home for Christmas break, but we are also asking for your help in adding to what the church itself purchased. Diana has made a handy list that you can take with you to do your shopping, but just in case you are unable to be here to get the list (or they are all gone), I thought I would include it below. Every little bit helps. The best gift of all? You are helping one of our S-OCS students have something to eat over Christmas break. Here’s the list:

  • Ramen noodles (chicken or beef)
  • Little Debbie- Cosmic brownies
  • Little Debbie- Star Crunch
  • Little Debbie- Nutty Buddies
  • Fruit snacks
  • Snack-size chips, pretzels, goldfish crackers


If you would like to help, please bring donations to the church building by or on December 3rd. We plan to deliver them that week.  Thank you again for being such generous people. ☺

I have been preaching a series entitled More Than a Holiday during the month of November. I decided to carry that theme over into December. I thought you might like to see what is ahead for the month:

  • December 3- Long, Long Ago
  • December 10- What a Heritage!
  • December 17- The Role of a Lifetime
  • December 24- Don’t Miss It!
  • December 31- What Does it all Mean?


One extra: Since Christmas Eve is on a Sunday, we will be having one 10 AM service + a Christmas Eve service at 5:00 PM. I’ll fill you in more when I have a more concrete idea. (Not my brain…the plan). ☺

Meanwhile, have a great week. It was a joy seeing many of you and spending part of Thanksgiving Day with you. I look forward to spending the month of December with you.

Due to the death of Jo’s sister on Sunday, we will be out of town from yesterday (Tuesday) until Friday. The service is Thursday. Prayers would be appreciated for safety and all to go smoothly.

Pastor Bill

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Midweek Message 11/15/2023



Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #181. I say this quite often but I appreciate you taking the time to read my ramblings. ☺  I also want you to know with next week being Thanksgiving week, there will NOT be a MM. (Don’t act so happy sad). So this edition will have several weeks of information for you.

Following are several weeks of people I would like to remind you to pray for.

  • Our educator of the week for this week is Angela Mayle. Angela is an Inclusion Teacher at SES. She is married to Brent, who works at Cook at Park 48 and they have a daughter, Addison, who is a Freshman and plays on the OVHS girls’ basketball team.
  • Our college student for the week is Cayden Paquette. Cayden is a Sophomore at Blackburn College where he plays basketball. He is majoring in Business Management and Marketing/Minoring in Coaching.
  • Our mission of the week is New Beginnings Pregnancy Resource Center.
  • Our educator for the week of November 19-25 is Rachel Nicholson. Rachel teaches Special Education at MCES. She is married to Dale, who works at The Chapel Funeral Home, and is the mother to Tad, a 6th grader at MCES (who happens to love baseball and is a catcher).
  • Our college student for the week of November 19-25 is Grace Pendleton. Grace is a Junior at IU, but is currently in Italy until December 20th for Interior Design.
  • Our Mission of the Week for November 19-25 is Revive Liberia Missions.



Diana told me I might open a big can of worms by starting this Youth Corner. ☺  I agreed but I thought it would be cool for you to know what some of our young people are doing. Here is more info about some of them:

  • Charli Wood has recently won the True Patriot Award for OVMS. Along with that she also won Offensive MVP for the volleyball team; was elected VP of Student Council; and was given a solo for the Veterans Day service through the school choir. Oh…along the way she also made straight As.
  • Cooper Wood (brother to Charli) made the 5th grade basketball team, is an A/B Honor Roll student, and in his spare time also earned a Safe Sitter Certificate for babysitting.
  • Tanner Wood (yep, same family) was chosen as an SES Top Cat and is a straight A student. And yes, mom, Shelby VanDerMoere, proudly shared all of that info with me. ☺
  • Amelia Biggs, Geoff and Kala’s daughter, made the 5th grade basketball travel team.
  • Londyn Frye, Brock and Tiffany’s son, made the OVMS team for both 7th & 8th grade.
  • Jo & I watched Haven Mosier, daughter of Tommy and Kristina, and Deanna Cain, daughter of Elijah and Cassie Arthur play Saturday in the 9U basketball league.


So…if you know more young people I can shine a spotlight on, please let me know. And as you can see, it doesn’t always have to be for sports. A little birdy told me there will be more in the next MM. ☺

I have sometimes been accused of being a “day late and a dollar short.” This is one of those cases. I read the following on Thursday of last week and it was too late to put it in the MM. So I thought I would include it here. The author is Pastor James Emery White. Enjoy:

Saturday is (was) Veterans Day. It is a well-known American holiday, but one with many misconceptions. So many that the U.S. Department of Defense issued “5 Facts to Know About Veterans Day” in relation to its observance back in 2018. In honor of Veterans Day, and as my own salute of gratitude to veterans, I thought it fitting to share the five again:

  1. Veterans Day does NOT have an apostrophe. In other words, it’s Veterans Day, not Veterans’ or Veteran’s Day. It is not a day that belongs to one veteran or multiple veterans. It’s a day for honoring all veterans.
  2. Veterans Day is NOT the same as Memorial Day. Veterans Day honors all of those who have served the country in war or peace – dead or alive – though it’s mostly intended to thank living veterans for their service. Memorial Day is a time to remember those who gave their lives for our country, particularly in battle or from wounds they suffered in battle.
  3. It was originally called Armistice Day, commemorating the end of World War I. World War I officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919. The actual fighting, however, ended about seven months earlier when the Allies and Germany put into effect an armistice on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. Since it was seen to mark the end of “the war to end all wars”, November 11 was named “Armistice Day.” But then more wars came, so to honor all veterans, it was renamed Veterans Day in 1954. In 1968 it was moved, along with a few other federal holidays, to a Monday to ensure a long weekend.
  4. Veterans Day was originally set for the fourth Monday of every October. The first Veterans Day under the 1968 bill didn’t take place until 1971. The delayed implantation, along with moving it to a date different from the historic 11th day of November, led to confusion. Many states continued to celebrate Veterans Day in November. On September 20, 1975, President Gerald Ford signed another law that returned the annual observance to its original date (November 11).
  5. Other countries celebrate it, too, in their own ways. World War I was a multinational effort, so there are many celebrations around the world on November 11. In Canada and Australia, it’s called “Remembrance Day.” Great Britain also calls it “Remembrance Day” but observes it on the Sunday closest to November 11 with parades, services and two minutes of silence in London to honor those who lost their lives in war.


Have a great week as you prepare for Thanksgiving Day. Be thankful for all you have and remember from WHOM it came. I am grateful for you.

Pastor Bill

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Midweek Message 11/08/2023


Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #180. I’m not too sure about this cooler weather. Ask me in about a month and half what I think. I’ll probably tell you it was balmy. ☺ I hope you have had a good week so far.

Remember to pray for our Educator of the Week: Kristine Mangia. Kristine teaches 4th grade at Spencer Elementary School. She is married to Tom, who works at Catalent and coaches the 6th-8th grade boys cross country team. They are the parents of three children: Mason, a senior at ISU; Aubrey, a 7th grader at OVMS; and Jordan, a Pre-school student at SES.

Travis Floyd is our College student of the Week. Travis is a senior music major at IU Jacobs School of Music.  He begins his student teaching at Bloomington North in January. He added another accomplishment to his life this year! He married Sierra on April 22nd.  You will also find Travis playing bass with our Worship Team.

Our Mission of the Week is Jesse Cook/International Friendships, Inc. Jesse is married and has two very active boys who love soccer. Jesse was involved in Chi Alpha until accepting the challenge from IFI to engage with international students. Jesse/IFI is one of the missions we support as a church family.

This Saturday is Veterans Day. There is a Veterans Dinner, sponsored by 4-H at the fairgrounds. The dinner is at 6 PM and is offered free of charge to all veterans.

I ran out of room in last week’s MM to tell you more about the Pancake Meal Fundraiser scheduled for November 14th for Maverick Pendleton. Just about a year ago, Maverick (age 4 at the time) was diagnosed with a glioblastoma. He has been a real fighter and his doctors are doing all they can to help him defeat this cancer. His parents, Josh and Becky, have gone through this storm with him. As you can imagine, the cost of treatment is mind-numbing. The Pancake Meal is from 5-6:30 at the Patricksburg gymnasium. It is sponsored by the Patricksburg PTO. The cost is $5 per person. It is a great time for us to put feet to our prayers with our support. Even if you are not a pancake eater (here, here), it would be a great encouragement to them to offer your support and help.

Uppermost in my mind is the Thanksgiving Meal for the community scheduled for Thanksgiving Day, the 23rd. It may seem like I sound like a broken record, but I really feel it is one of the best things we do for our community. We help with several other events, advertise in several of them, but this is something that we can really do to have an impact.  For those who are not familiar with the meal, we serve the community from the Lions Club from 11-1:00. People can come to the LC to eat inside; we deliver to their house; or we can bring it to the curb for their pick-up. I’d like to reiterate what is needed:

Sign-up sheets are on the back info table. You can sign up for different food items: turkey/ham, mashed potatoes, corn or green beans, stuffing, rolls, pie, cookies or brownies, ice, tea, (unsweet/sweet) or lemonade. Your help is needed in the kitchen to help get the food ready to serve, sometimes prepare food, wash dishes, assemble the delivery meals, and help set up or clean up. If you can only work for 15-30 minutes that would be great!  Delivery drivers are needed.
It is an absolutely fun way to serve our community. Plus you get the added benefit of sharing your Thanksgiving with friends from your church family.
If you know of someone who needs a meal, please feel free to call the church office (812.828.9840) by Monday, November 20 and one of us will take your call/information.
I know I said this a few weeks ago, but it bears repeating: I am aware that Thanksgiving is a busy time for all of us, and many of you have family gatherings planned. Enjoy them! If you are able to help in any way, it is appreciated. Do not feel guilty of you are not able to be on site to help.

Operation Christmas Child boxes are due this coming Sunday, the 12th.  Special thanks to Jerry and Carol Sturgeon who volunteered to take the boxes to Sherwood Oaks. The only bad part of that is that Diana, Pastor Ryan and I used to deliver them and then use it as an excuse to have lunch together. Hmmm guess we will have to find another excuse!!  ☺ ☺

In MM #176 I asked you to pray for Valarie Akerson as our Educator of the Week. I mentioned that Valarie is a world class powerlifter and she and Wayne were heading to Coventry for the World Powerlifting Championships. Valarie came home with a gold medal as the #1 powerlifter in her age group (60-64) for women. That is quite an accomplishment. Congrats Valarie!

Youth Corner: 

At the 4-H awards this past Sunday, Eli Wood was given an award for Public Speaking and for his Grand Champion Steer at the OC Fair this past summer.
Alli Anderson, daughter of Rob and Becca, received the Mental Attitude Award at the Fall Sports Banquet. Alli is a sophomore on the OVHS Cross Country Team.
Oakley Groomer, son of Brock and Tiffany, was selected as a Leader of the Pack and awarded a Certificate of Citizenship at MCES. Bonus: He will get to eat pizza with the principal. Can I come? ☺
Know any others I can include in future editions of the MM?

Just a quick heads up. Our December focus will be collecting goods for Backpack Buddies.  A list is being compiled and a date will be set. As soon as we know the info we will let you know.

Cory and Cassidy, Emma, Chloe and Ben really enjoyed their visit with us this past Sunday and sharing about Team Expansion. Thank you so much for being gracious and asking questions and chatting with them afterwards.

I’m going to wind down this edition of the MM. Gratitude really does change us. I cannot begin to tell you how grateful I am to be your pastor. Thanks for that opportunity. I love you all.

Pastor Bill

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Midweek Message 11/01/2023



Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #179. As I write this I think it is safe to say that Fall has arrived. I can’t honestly say that I am ready for it, but I live in Indiana so it is to be expected. I do hope your week has gone well so far.

Before I get to a recap of this past Sunday’s 19th Anniversary celebration and other events coming up, I’d like to remind you of some important bullet points.

  • As our educator of the week, please pray for Cassie Linville. Cassie teaches Agriculture at Eastern Greene High School, is an FFA advisor, and is also the director for our local Campus Life program.  She and Westin live in Cloverdale and have been married for just over 2 years. She sings and Westin plays drums with our worship team.
  • As our college student of the week, please pray for Tori Floyd. Tori is returning to IU to get her Masters degree in Epidemiology. Tori also works for the Owen County Health Department.
  • As our mission of the week, please pray for Hilltop Christian Camp.  Ryan & Mala Croft are the directors, while Justin and Stevie Chandler are the assistant directors. Hilltop has affected many lives at OVCF-past, present, and certainly in the future. Justin was active at OVCF and his parents, Jason and April and twin sisters still worship here.
  • Each week we ask you to pray for our Military friends and family, and also our Law Enforcement Officers and their families. Let me remind you to do that this week.


Congratulations is extended to Tommy and Kristina Mosier. They welcomed a new son, Koe Russell on October 25th. Haven and Kane are excited older siblings. Oh…I can’t forget mamaw, Janet Jones.  ☺

And I should be horse whipped. In the second service we had a brand new newlywed couple with us and I forgot to mention it. Matthew and Hannah Foster were married Saturday afternoon here at the church building and had their reception outside in the shelter. Brrrr.  Hannah works for Sweet Owen as Director of their daycare and has been attending OVCF for several months. Matthew works for DVM in Bloomington. Congratulations and may God grant you many years of love and happiness together!

About Sunday…WOW! What a great day! This week’s bulletin will share the numbers with you, but let’s suffice it to say that the attendance was higher than we have had in a long, long time. The offering-which went to the Building Fund-was phenomenal! ☺ Your generosity continues to amaze me. The presentation made by Wayne Akerson was spot on and informative (Thanks to Diana for making his notes). Hearing from David Samick about the effort to help the building fund along by investing part of it was a good thing. The singing was good. The sermon was, well…so-so. ☺  The crowd and food for the pitch-in was a beautiful sight to see. There was a lot of food and a lot of talking and laughing going on.  Thanks for making the day extra special. As for the building addition: we will keep you updated as often as we can!

This Sunday, Cory and Cassidy F. and their children will be with us. They serve with Team Expansion and spent 10 years in the Middle East. They are raising support for their transition to serving in Europe. I have known Cassidy since she was in 2nd grade and she and her family played a significant role in the life of my family. I look forward to hearing their presentation Sunday. They will also be spending some time with the youth during the second service.

One of the items uppermost in my mind is the Thanksgiving Meal for the community. I have been sharing about it in the past couple MMs. This Sunday Diana will have the sign-up sheets for food and to volunteer on the info table.  We do several outreaches to the community every year and this is one of my favorites. It is a lot of work for all, but the reward is so great! We plan to offer a meal, as always, at the Lions Club from 11:00-1:00. We will also be delivering meals during that time. Here is how you can help:

  • Sign up and offer to cook an item or several. If you sign up to cook a turkey or ham, the church will be glad to purchase it, if needed.
  • Sign up to help at the Lions Club. There are tables and chairs to set up and cover, food that needs prepared to serve, dishes that need washed, and delivery/carry out meals to prepare. We know you also have family commitments so anything you can do to help would be appreciated.
  • We need to get the word out due to not having a newspaper. You can help us do that by telling folks about it. We have put up posters at several locations around town.
  • If you know of anyone who could use a meal, please contact the church office (812.828.9840). We will call and confirm with them about time and any dietary restrictions. We always deliver to those who are working Thanksgiving Day, but taking the food to others is a special time. If you are able to help deliver, please sign up for that.


This Sunday I start a new series with the theme of More Than a Holiday. I was going to use that just for November but I’ve decided to include the December series on Christmas in that theme. As followers of Jesus, we need to see both Thanksgiving and Christmas as more than just   holidays. They hold extra special meaning to us and my desire is to bring that out. Here is how the November sermons will shake out:

  • November 5- Why Be Grateful?- I Tim. 1:12-15; Psalm 67
  • November 12- Let’s Compare!-Col. 3:16-17; Romans 1:20-23
  • November 19- Just Do It!- Luke 17:11-19; James 2:14-17,28
  • November 26- When It’s All Said and Done- Pr. 16:18; 2 Cor. 9:9-11


That’s all for this week. Thanks again for a wonderful day Sunday! I love you all.

Pastor Bill


P.S. Reminder! There is an all-you-can-eat pancake dinner fundraiser for Maverick Pendleton, Tuesday, November 14 from 5-6:30 PM at the Patricksburg Elementary gymnasium. Cost: $5 per person.


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Midweek Message 10/25/2023



Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #178.  I hope your week is going well. It has been a doozy for me and Jo and I plan to fill you in a little bit later in this MM. But there are much more important things to consider.



I don’t know about you but this is the Sunday I have been looking forward to for the past couple of months. It is OVCF’s 19th anniversary!! Just in case you didn’t know that I thought I would remind you…again. ☺ One more time:

    • Two services this Sunday at 9:00 and 10:45
    • Recognition of our amazing volunteers at both services
    • An update on our planned building addition at both services
    • A pitch-in dinner following the second service.
    • All giving that day (unless designated) will go to our Building Fund.
    • The young people will be having their own classes even though it is a 5th Sunday. All that is needed right now is your attendance, excitement and food (if you signed up). And even if you did not but want to join us, we invite you to do so.
    • If you have any questions please contact the church office (812.828.9840)


Please be praying for the following people each day:

    • Cara King. Cara is a Kindergarten teacher at MCES. She is married to Brad and has two teenagers, Cooper and Cambria (Cammie). Cara worked at SES from 1993-2000 and at MCES since it opened in 2000.
    • MaryRose Farmer. MaryRose is a student at Indiana State and is majoring in General Ed with Phys Ed as her specialty.
    • Jacob & Mia McCall. Jacob and Mia work with Freedom International Ministries in the Dominican Republic.


Cori, Cassidy F. (their last name cannot be used for safety’s sake) and their children serve with Team Expansion. They’ve spent 10 years working in the Middle East, and are now transitioning to Europe. They will be with us to share of their new mission at both services on November 5th.

HERE IS SOMETHING WE CAN ALL DO! On Thursday, November 14th, the Patricksburg Elementary School (PES) PTO is flipping pancakes as a fundraiser for Maverick Pendleton’s ongoing medical care. It will be at the PES gymnasium from 5:00-6:30.  This will be a great way to help Josh and Becky with medical costs. Cost is $5/person. More info in next week’s MM.

OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD has already started. As Jo and I watched the live stream this past Sunday, we saw the display on the stage and we were excited to see some of the boxes were taken already. I am writing this part of the MM on Tuesday afternoon and I can’t find hide nor hair of any boxes! I have to say I am astounded at your generosity! More shoeboxes will be available this Sunday! They are due back by Sunday, November 12th.

In last week’s MM I shared with you my desire to serve our community by offering a Thanksgiving Meal. The sign-up sheets of what food items we need will be on the info table the first Sunday of November.

    • Here is a list of the food/drink items which will be needed (so you can be thinking about it): turkey/ham (the church can provide one for you, if needed), mashed potatoes, corn or green beans, stuffing, rolls, pie, cookies or brownies (consider making a sugar free offering of the last three items), ice, tea, (sweet/unsweet), lemonade.
    • The meal will be served at the Lions Club from 11:00-1:00. We will also deliver during that time.
    • If you can’t help the whole time, that’s okay. Just let us know how and when you can.
    • If you know of someone who could use a meal, please let Diana know. She will need their name, address and phone number.
    • Delivery drivers are also needed.


I’d like to fill you in on what has been happening with us. As many of you know and have become aware, Jo’s sister has been in a nursing care facility in Sandusky, OH for several years. Diabetes and dementia (now Alzheimer’s) has taken its toll. She is also on dialysis three times a week. On our way to Ohio Friday to watch our grandson, Braden’s last football game this season, Jo got a call saying Vicki was going to possibly need surgery for a detached retina and that Jo (as her POA) would need to be there. Originally scheduled for Tuesday, I asked for it to be moved to Monday since we were going to be in Columbus. They then scheduled it for Monday afternoon at 2:30. To make a very long and complicated story short, the surgery was cancelled and we may have to make our way back there in the future. Several things:

    • Prayers for this whole saga would be appreciated.
    • My thanks to Pastor Ryan and Diana for taking care of things back on the ranch. ☺
    • Even the Kindergarten teachers at SES rearranged their schedules to accommodate my coming Wednesday to read, instead of Tuesday. Thanks ladies!
    • A super special shout out goes to my Wednesday night 66 class. They were so gracious when I had to cancel class this week due to my lack of preparation for class. I shudder at a half-baked job and they were overly supportive.


You would have thought I was gone for a year with this much information. ☺ It is good to be home and I look forward to celebrating with you-people I dearly love-this Sunday.


Pastor Bill

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Midweek Message 10/18/2023


Hello! After a week’s break due to Fall Break, I hope you are looking forward to another edition of the Midweek Message. If not, please don’t tell me! ☺

I hope the Fall Break was good for you and to you. We all need a break from time to time, a break from the routine (or is that rut?). I know many of you traveled and visited places you have wanted to for quite a while. I trust that your time with family and friends was refreshing and will give you the oomph to jet toward Thanksgiving.

Let me remind you to pray for our Teacher of the week, Hannah Morse. She has been teaching 4th grade at Gosport Elementary School for 6 years. She is married to Cole and they have twin boys, Tripp and Cohen.

Our college student of the week is Meilynn Dow. Meilynn is a sophomore at the University of Southern Indiana where she is studying nursing.  Her parents are Chad & Terri Dow and she has an older brother, Dalen, and a younger sister, Annalei.

You can also add the Britt and Furr families to your prayer list for the week. They minister to the IU students through Chi Alpha as one of the missions we support.

We have a very important event coming up really soon. We are quickly coming up on the date for OVCF’s 19th anniversary.  In fact, when you get this it will be exactly a week and a half away.  So if you haven’t already done so, please mark your calendar for the 29th of this month.  Here again is a quick recap of what to expect:

    • Two services at 9:00 and 10:45 as usual.
    • Pitch-in dinner following the second service. If you plan to come to the first and return for the second, plan for about 12:15 for setting up tables and the food.
    • Recognition of our phenomenal volunteers during both services.
    • We plan to make a presentation of the proposed building addition that Sunday.  We will do that in both services so those unable to make it to the dinner can see how things are progressing.
    • Keep in mind parents that even though that is a 5th Sunday, the young people will have their own classes that morning.
    • There are sign-up sheets to let us know what you plan to bring. It is never too late to sign up and if you aren’t sure what to bring, come anyway.  If you are unable to bring anything, come share in our joy. There is always plenty of food.


The past couple of weeks some really cool things happened that I thought you might like to know:

    1. Travis Floyd, who plays bass for us on Sunday mornings, had his Senior Recital on Thursday, the 5th. Travis is a senior at IU in the Jacobs School of Music. His instrument of choice was the trombone. Fantastic job Travis!
    2. Congratulations to Jacob and Sydney Schunk who became husband and wife on Saturday, the 7th. They were married at Trestle Valley Farm Event Venue in Greene County. After their honeymoon in Jamaica, they will be living in Aurora, IL where Jacob is employed by Grainger in Chicago.


Operation Christmas Child (OCC) will kicking off this coming Sunday. We have been participating in OCC for more years than I can remember.  When we reevaluated several years ago what we participate in from October through December, there was no question we wanted to continue with OCC.  Shoeboxes and brochures telling you what to pack will be available this Sunday.  If you have any questions, please call the church office and Diana can answer any questions you may have.

If you have been a part of OVCF for any stretch of time, you know we have offered a Thanksgiving meal for the community for the past umpteen years. (That is Bill speak for I’m not sure how many). We were still meeting in the sports complex when we started. For the newbies ☺, we offer a full meal for those who want to come into the Lions Club and we also deliver meals to those who request them here in our community. Last year, we served over 125 meals to various people, including those who work on Thanksgiving Day (EMS, police, gas stations).  I believe so strongly in the purpose of the meal and the benefit to the community that I plan to head it up this year. I would like to give those who took the lead over the past few years a break. Here are more details:

    • We will need help in the kitchen, assembling the meals for delivery and to be served. Gail Kempe has already stepped forward to offer her help in the kitchen.
    • FYI: food/drink items we will need are: turkey/ham (the church can supply one for you, if needed), mashed potatoes, corn or green beans, stuffing, rolls, pie, cookies or brownies, ice, tea (unsweet/sweet), lemonade. There will be sign-up sheets at the info table with the quantities of each item needed the first Sunday in November.
    • We will serve and deliver the food from 11-1:00. If you can only help set up that morning or clean up or say, only work for an hour that would be helpful.
    • Delivery drivers are needed.
    • It is an absolutely fun way to serve our community. An added benefit is getting to spend time with others as well.  And as the time gets closer, if you know of someone(s) who can use a meal, please turn their name into Diana. 


I know Thanksgiving time is busy for many of you.  Anything you can do will be a big help. I’ll give you more information as we get closer.

That’s all for this week. I hope you are having success getting back into the swing of things. But you should never have a question about being loved.


Pastor Bill

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Midweek Message 10/04/2023



Hello and welcome to Midweek Message 176. The week leading up to a vacation, or in this case, Fall Break, is always a hectic one. So, thank you for taking the time to read this MM.

Please be in prayer for Gabrielle Corder.  Gabby, as she is known, teaches Kindergarten at Gosport Elementary School. This is her first year teaching in the S-OCS school system. She has settled in nicely and loves teaching here. Gabby has been married to Caleb for 9 months.

Our college student this week is Kaedence Beckwith. She attends Oakland City University and is majoring in Business. Kaedence is also a cheerleader for the school.

Our college student for next week will be Emily Bray. Emily is the sister of Caylan (Bray) Akerson and is attending Ivy Tech for nursing.  (See next comment as to why she is mentioned here.)

Since Fall Break is next week for the S-OCS system, I thought I would let you know that there will be several changes involving the church family.

  • There will not be a MM next week. I know, I know, I can see the disappointment factor reaching 1 on the Richter scale, so great is your disappointment.  ☺
  • To all of you 66ers out there! (That is not age 66 but those who are taking my Route 66 class on Wednesday night). We will NOT be meeting the week of Fall Break. Enjoy your time away or with family and try not to miss 66 too much.
  • Our prayer focus will change next week. Since the school teachers will be on break, I’m asking you to pray for Valarie Akerson. Valarie is a Professor of Science Education at IU. Her focus is primarily on early childhood and elementary teachers teaching the nature of science. Valarie has been married to Wayne (one of our elders) for 24 years and they have one son, Alec, and a daughter-in-law, Caylan. Interesting fun facts: she has written several books. Valarie is also a world class power lifter for her age group. She and Wayne will soon travel to Coventry where she will compete in the World Invitational.
  • Roots (MS/HS youth group) will continue to meet during Fall Break.


One other item to pray about: I asked you in last week’s MM to pray for Maverick Pendleton and his parents, Josh and Becky. Maverick has a glioblastoma and was to have a shunt put in to help his body absorb spinal fluid leakage. They were not able to do the surgery and decided to do an MRI instead. The MRI showed the tumor has spread. I personally cannot imagine the pain his parents are experiencing right now. Please pray for the family this week.

Have you highlighted, circled, put stars on, marked, or anything else you can think of on your calendar for October 29th? ☺ In case you were not aware, that is the date of our 19th anniversary celebration here at OVCF.  Here are some particulars to bring you up to date:

  • There are sign-up sheets at the info table for you to indicate what you would like to bring to the meal. This has always worked well so we can make sure we have enough of everything.
  • All giving that day (unless designated otherwise) will go to the Building Fund. This has been a “tradition” we have done for several years. Our Resurrection Sunday offering goes to missions; the anniversary to the building.
  • Even though it is a 5th Sunday, the young people will be meeting in their classes that morning.
  • We have been having pretty regular correspondence with our architect the past week or so about the building addition. We plan to give you an update on our building project that morning.
  • THE CHURCH IS PROVIDING ICE CREAM AND ALL THE TOPPINGS IN HONOR OF OUR AMAZING VOLUNTEERS. Since I tend to have this fondness for ice cream and subscribe at times to the adage “Life is short; eat dessert first” I may head over that way before having the main course. ☺


We are going to have an amazingly good time. This is for the whole church family. And even if you don’t know what to bring, please don’t stay away. You are invited to share in our joy. We always have enough food and since I’m eating dessert first you can have my share. What a sacrifice I’m making!! ☺ ☺

I’d like to ask you to put a couple of upcoming events on your radar. More information will be given when we get closer.

  • Operation Christmas Child.  Every year for the past umpteen (that is Bill speak for “I don’t have a clue”) we have taken part in this effort. Diana has already ordered the shoeboxes and flyers that tell you what to pack so look for this real soon!
  • Thanksgiving Meal for the community.  The Lions Club has already been secured for Thanksgiving morning. Last year we served/delivered over 120 meals all over Owen County. There will be sign-up sheets on the info table soon.
  • Backpack Buddies- As many of you know, many Owen County students would go without food on the weekends if not for BB.  We have tried several other gift giving ideas for the Christmas holidays but this one seems to be the most well-received. Diana is gathering information and will share it as it gets closer to collection time.


That’s it for the holidays. We decided a few years ago that we were loading up too much on you in November and December, as well as adding to the stress level of the staff, so we decided to cut back on what we did.

My space is up for this week. Have a great rest of the week. You are loved.

Pastor Bill


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