Category: OVCF News

Midweek Message 09/20/2023


Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #174. As always, thanks for reading.  I don’t take it lightly that you take a little bit of time to read this.

Remember to pray for Tami Grandi, our Educator of the Week. Tami teaches Kindergarten at Spencer Elementary.  I just happen to know this person. ☺

I found out we had another college student that I didn’t know about. Tori Floyd is attending IU to get her Masters in Epidemiology. Tori currently works for the Owen County Health Department.

Congratulations is extended to Travis Curry who graduated from Western Governors University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management. He will be in Chicago this weekend to receive his diploma. Travis works for the Engineering Firm Curry and Assoc. (no relation) as a Construction Inspector.

Here is a complete list of our college students and where they are attending.  For their privacy, we have decided not to publish their addresses. HOWEVER, if you’d like the information so you may send them a note, please pick up a copy of list at the info table or contact the church office. ☺

  • Caylan Akerson, Indiana University
  • Kristi Arnold, Indiana University
  • Colby Beckwith, St. Mary of the Woods
  • Kaedence Beckwith, Oakland City University
  • Emily Bray, Ivy Tech
  • Meilynn Dow, University of Southern Indiana
  • Mary Rose Farmer, Indiana State University
  • Tori Floyd, Indiana University
  • Travis Floyd, Indiana University
  • Cayden Paquette, Blackburn College
  • Grace Pendleton, Indiana University
  • Mollie Wainscott, Milligan University

I hope you might put this list on your fridge or next to your Bible so that you will remember to pray for each one of these students. If you get a chance, perhaps you can drop them a note to let them know you are praying for them.

We have been blessed the past two weeks to have Robert Herrington and Logan Cain back home for a short stay. Please continue to keep these two young men and our other military personnel in your prayers. Both are trying to shine the light of Christ in their respective jobs. Robert is currently stationed in Fort Mitchell, AL and Logan is stationed in Quantico, VA. Interesting tidbit about Logan: at lunch last week he was telling me about his job protecting the president’s helicopters.

Don’t forget the church’s 19th anniversary celebration on October 29th!

Hope you have a great rest of the week. My sermon this week is Our One True God. I look forward to seeing you! I love you all.


Pastor Bill

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Midweek Message 09/13/2023


Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #173. I appreciate you taking some of your valuable time to read the Message. I’d like to say it is the “happening place” for all things OVCF but that would be overkill. ☺ However, I do say thanks for reading.

I’d like to remind you to pray for Karen Fisher this week as our School related prayer. Karen is the bookkeeper at OVHS and she and her husband Bruce are part of our OVCF family.

Also, please remember to pray for Caylan Akerson, our college student of the week. Caylan is a student at IU, majoring in Accounting and Finance. She is married to Alec and is Wayne and Valarie’s daughter-in-law.

After a rather uneventful summer, things are starting to pick up at OVCF.

  • Last Wednesday, the 6th, Deeper started back up for the school year. Deeper-which is for Middle & High school students-meets at the East homestead from 4-5:30 every Wednesday. If your student would like to attend, but doesn’t have a ride, please let Pastor Ryan know.
  • This past Sunday, the 10th, ROOTS, the Sunday night program for Middle & High school students began meeting again after their summer hiatus. ROOTS meets every Sunday night from 5-7:00. If you would like to provide snacks for the teens (and yes, they like to eat) there is a sign-up sheet on the info table.
  • This Wednesday, the 13th, “66” starts. The last couple MMs have told you about that study. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask me. We meet from 6-7:00.
  • Ladies Bible Study also starts this week on Thursday nights from 6:30-8:30. For more info see Sally Carlson, Macy Carlson, Marilyn Hill or Hope East. The study is The Names of God taught by Melissa Spoelstra.


Focusing on our college students again this week, here are a few more to pray for:

  • Emily Bray- Ivy Tech, Nursing (Emily is Caylan Akerson’s sister)
  • Meilynn Dow- USI, Major in Nursing
  • Mary Rose Farmer- ISU, Major in General Ed with Phys Ed as her specialty.
  • Cayden Paquette- Blackburn College in Carlinville, IL.  Major in Business Management and Marketing/Minor in Coaching.


I will give you the full list next week and will include their mailing addresses if you would like to send them a note that you are thinking of them and praying for them.

I mentioned in last week’s Midweek Message that Josh Henson would be at the shelter house after both services selling mums. In spite of the Apple Butter Festival this weekend, he has made arrangements to be here this Sunday after the second service if you would like to purchase a mum from him. Cost: $10 each

This past Sunday I gave a list of my sermon titles for the next five weeks. I had several thank me for the sermon and tell me they cannot wait to hear the rest. That honestly makes my heart feel good. As I was giving the sermons for the next five weeks, I saw several writing furiously trying to get them all down. Just in case you missed them or were unable to get them all down, here is where we will be going for the duration of this series:

  • September 17- Our Unchanging God– Heb.13:8; James 1:17; various others
  • September 24- Our One True God– Deut. 4:15-40
  • October 1- God is Great…God is Good?– Romans 8:28-29, 31-32; James 1:16-18
  • October 8- The Good Father– Matthew 6:9; Mark 14:36; Ps. 103:13
  • October 15- The God You Can K.N.O.W.– Psalm 18
  • October 22- Pastor Ryan preaching while Jo and I take a Sunday off


I hope that helps you in preparing for the next few weeks. The sermons during the months of November and December will follow the theme of the season-Gratitude and Christmas.

Now to close on a more serious note: it should not have escaped you the importance of this past Monday: 9/11. I seriously doubt there is anyone of us who could ever forget what we were doing or where we were when we heard the news of the planes hitting the towers; the plane going down in the Pennsylvania cornfield or the plane hitting the Pentagon. Conversely, I doubt any of us can forget our emotions and actions of the next several days as we watched, cried, and stared in disbelief at the pure hatred exhibited and reckless abandonment of caring for human lives that unfolded. Twenty-two years later we still can see the towers burning. We still hear the ramifications of those actions. For those who lost loved ones, the pain will always be there.

But let’s take a twist from something said Sunday. Bobby Anderson gave a communion thought on the love of Christ and he talked about dying for his child, his wife, even his friend. But which one of us would die for one of the terrorists of that morning, or ever since? I am hard-pressed to raise my hand. But I know ONE who did. “But God demonstrated His love for us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom.5:8). I have no doubt that probably all of us would die for a family member or a friend, but die for an enemy, someone with that much hate? Probably not. AND YET, that is exactly what Jesus did. And that was one of the great points from Bobby’s meditation Sunday. The love of Christ led Him to the cross, as well as, to stay on that cross.

So…never forget what happened on 9/11 and remember to show your appreciation for those who sacrificed and those brave men and women who stand in line behind them. But more than that, allow yourself to ponder the great and magnificent love of Jesus lived out in the shadow of the cross.

Have a great week. I love you all.


Pastor Bill

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B-Town Worship Night

2nd Annual B-Town Worship Night @ Switchyard Park Amphitheater
Sunday, September 24th
4 PM: Food Trucks
6 PM: Worship
A community event organized by area churches. Open to all. No cost. Bring a lawn chair or blanket.

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Midweek Message 09/06/2023



Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #172. Well…Labor Day is now in our rearview mirror. The next big holiday is Thanksgiving. Fortunately, between now and then is Fall Break. ☺ Teachers (and students) rejoice! I hope you had a nice Labor Day weekend.

Remember to pray for our Educator of the Week-Mary Beckwith. Mary is a Special Education teacher in the Cloverdale School System.

I’d like to continue with listing our college students. This will be an ongoing list for the next few weeks so I will only list 3 or 4 a week. At the end I will list all of them for you so you can have a handy-dandy list to refer to. Here are the ones for this week:

  • Caylan Akerson- IU, Majoring in Accounting and Finance.
  • Colby Beckwith- St. Mary of the Woods, Majoring in Business/Minor in Web Design. Colby is a Junior and plays on the Golf Team.
  • Kaedence Beckwith- Oakland City University, Majoring in Business. Kaedence is also a cheerleader.
  • Grace Pendleton-IU, Majoring in Interior Design. Grace left Monday to spend the semester in Italy. Her parents would appreciate your prayers.


Look for next week’s MM to read about more of our college students.

I’d like to remind you again that I am starting my “66” class on Wednesday, September 13th from 6-7:00 P.M. in the youth addition. You might be wondering, “What in the world is ‘66’”? In case you missed last week’s MM, it is a study of the 66 books of the Bible. I will be starting the New Testament that week.  Here are some helpful tips for you:

  • There is no charge. All you need to do is show up with a heart to learn.
  • I have materials printed up for our study. It is a teaching/discussion type of approach so there is not a “hurry up and get through this lesson” approach.
  • All ages are welcome, but there is no child care provided.
  • It would be helpful if you would sign up so that I will know how much material to have prepared. The sign-up sheet is on the info table in the auditorium. I use this to communicate with you as well.
  • We do take breaks for any school breaks and holidays.


Even if you missed the Old Testament study you are more than welcome to come. Feel free to ask me if you have any questions.

AN IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT I NEED TO MAKE HERE (because some pastor just may have forgotten to announce it, even though he had made himself a note).  All summer long you may have noticed that someone was growing flowers just beyond the east side of our parking lot. That someone was Josh Henson growing his mums. Josh asked me to announce that following both services this coming Sunday he will be in the shelter with samples of his mums. You can choose what color you would like and he will go get them for you. They will be available for $10 each.


Pastor Ryan is back from sabbatical! It was good to have him back in the office last Thursday. We (the three of us) had a short “catch up” meeting, synching the calendars, and then spent some time at lunch just hanging out. With him being back it is a good time to make sure you know of some upcoming youth news!

  • Deeper begins this Wednesday, the 6th. If you have a student in Middle or High School and they are interested in going “deeper” into the Bible, this is for them! It meets at the East’s house from 4-5:30. If your child needs a ride, please talk to Pastor Ryan. 
  • ROOTS, the Sunday evening youth program for Middle and High School students begins this Sunday, the 10th! ROOTS meets Sunday nights from 5-7:00 PM at OVCF. 


If you would like to know more about either of these activities please contact Pastor Ryan.

Robert Herrington was home on leave this past weekend and was more than willing to give the communion thought in both services. Something he said struck home with me, possibly because I just finished reading the book Nine Common Lies Christians Believe. Robert talked about surrendering our lives. Jesus calls us to come and die, to surrender our lives to him on a daily basis. But what it means is that we lose control of our lives and put them under the daily control of the ONE who knows us better than we know ourselves. One of the short couple of sentences Shane, the author of the book said was, “As good as it sounds, ‘Believe in yourself’ is a lie. Don’t believe in yourself. Believe in Someone bigger than yourself, knowing that same Someone will give you the power that causes you to live differently everywhere you go throughout your life.”  You see…when Jesus was talking about denying ourselves, taking up our cross and following Him, He was talking about a different way to live. Not just different; opposite. What the world offers us is just cheap knock-offs from what Jesus offers us. The world offers temporary; Jesus offers permanent. The world offers surface; Jesus offers depth. The world offers fake; Jesus offers real.  {Side note: that book just may find its way into a sermon series for 2024. ☺ }

This coming Sunday I start a new series on The God We Worship with a sermon titled The Search Is On! The Scripture is Exodus 2-3; Isaiah 40:12-14, 18-23, 25-26; Job 38-41:11. Be prepared by reading ahead. I look forward to spending some time Sunday with you. I love you all!


Pastor Bill


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Midweek Message 08/30/2023


Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #171! I know you were super excited to open your email and find this week’s MM just waiting for you to say, “Hmmm. I wonder what sort of stuff Pastor Bill will be talking about this week.” No? Well…please don’t tell me. ☺

A friendly reminder: please remember to pray for our very own, Kris Samick, this week. Kris is the Director of Communications for S-OCS. I know she will appreciate your prayers.

Did you know we have several of our young people who are off to college this year? I would like to list them in the MM. The next issue of the MM will include several more of our college students. If you have a college student, please make sure we know!

  • Kristi Arnold is at IU, studying to be a Pediatric physician. She is currently a Human Biology Major in the pre-med department.
  • Travis Floyd is at IU’s Jacob School of Music and will soon graduate with a degree in Music Education with a desire to teach Band. Travis has also been playing bass for our Worship Team.
  • Mollie Wainscott is now attending Milligan College in TN.  Her desire is to become a Physical Therapist.


Sunday, the 27th, was a great day for Jade Sturgeon. I had the privilege of baptizing her in a small, private baptism that included her parents, her grandparents, a great grandparent and an uncle and aunt…and Jo. It also included her 4 month old daughter, Sage. Congrats Jade!

I hope you have marked your calendars for October 29th! OVCF will be celebrating our 19th anniversary. That’s all I’m going to say in this week’s MM about it.

I will restarting Route 66 on Wednesday, September 13th from 6-7:00 p.m. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with “66,” it is a journey through the 66 books of the Bible. Due to various glitches in the schedule, it took over 2 years to go through the OT. I’m happy to say that we will be starting the NT. Here are some particulars that I think will be helpful:

  • There is no cost.
  • All you need to do is show up.
  • I have materials printed up for our study. It is a teaching/discussion type of approach so it is not a “hurry up and get through this” type of study.
  • There is no age limit, however, there is no child care provided.
  • It would be helpful if you would sign up so I can know how much material to have prepared. The sign-up sheet is on the info table in the auditorium.
  • We do take breaks for any school breaks and holidays.


I would love to have you join us. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask me. Send me a text, give me a call, or ask me in person. ☺

Some of you asked how our weekend visiting family went. I hesitate talking about it from the pulpit since your time is precious, so I thought I would fill you in here. We had a great time with our family. Janna had a migraine so we took Braden out for supper on Thursday (that was super cool!) Friday we made our way to Sandusky to see Jo’s sister. She did not know me and barely knew Jo. I feel for anyone who has to deal with dementia or Alzheimer’s in their family. We were able to watch Braden play football Friday night. He played well. Made some great tackles and even intercepted a pass. It was televised on ABC 6 out of Columbus, OH so we were able to see it. It happened right in front of his bench and out of our sight. But Jo and Tami do have a video if you would like to see it. ☺ Would you expect anything less?  My weekend was made complete by being with you on Sunday.

This past weekend I began reading a book by Pastor Shane Pruitt called 9 Common Lies Christians Believe…And Why God’s Truth is Infinitely Better.” It is a book about one-liners we often hear. The very first one is “God Won’t Give Me More Than I Can Handle.” Pastor Shane’s story of their adoption of a boy from Uganda, of it not being what they thought it would be, is heart-breaking. But the clichés people tossed at them were the worst. This was one of them. Here is what he wrote concerning the situation:

God chooses what to reveal to us and what not to reveal. The primary truths He has revealed to us are that He loves us, is with us, and can identify with us. No matter what we’re going through, He can handle it. We can’t, but He can. One of the main reasons He can handle whatever we’re going through is because He is a God who can identify with His creation. (p.24)

Pastor Shane would be the first to admit that it was not easy to come to that conclusion. His honesty is refreshing. My take: as followers of Jesus we have a tough time with tough situations because we tend to think we “deserve” a better outcome due to our “follower of Jesus” mentality. But truthfully, we are never promised an easy time of life, no matter what some religious (“send me money”) teachers want us to believe. Life is hard no matter who you are or what you do. I’m looking forward to reading more of the one-liners we hear and give.

Pastor Ryan’s sabbatical ends this week and his plan is to be back in the office Thursday. It will be good to have him back. ☺

This coming weekend is Labor Day (I’m sure you don’t need reminded of that). My sermon this Sunday will be on It’s Off to Work I Go. It is a sermon dedicated to the privilege of working, but also why we work. It will be a standalone sermon because September 10th starts a series on The God We Worship. Please be safe this weekend if you travel or if you simply stay home to enjoy the weekend with family and friends.  If you are in town, I do look forward to seeing you. I love you all.

Pastor Bill

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Names of God – Women’s Bible Study

Fall Ladies Bible Study: Begins Thursday, Sept. 14th at OVCF (7 weeks)

The Names of God, Melissa Spoelstra

Participants guide: $13.50-deadline to order is Sun. Sept 3!

Complete your registration form & return to the info table.

See Macy Carlson, Sally Carlson, Hope East or Marilyn Hill for more info.








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Midweek Message 08/23/2023



Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #170. I hope you are surviving this heat and having a great week so far.

Please remember to pray for Matt Taylor this week. Matt is the new Curriculum Director at

S-OCS. He has a pretty big job catching up with his responsibilities after a late hire. I’d like to ask that you especially pray for his travel. Matt lives in Avon with his wife and two children. One is a freshman in college this year and the other is a senior in high school.

HAVE YOU HEARD THE NEWS YET? OVCF’s 19th anniversary will be celebrated on October 29th. The plan is to have two services, a pitch-in following the second service, volunteer recognition, and a special dessert. We also hope to give you a more complete update on our building addition (if available).

Speaking of the building addition: the architect came out this past week to go over some ideas and strategies for his next steps. He will be talking to a civil engineer to come look at the property where we plan to build. After that…?  ☺

I have expressed before how hard it is for me to watch commercials about children like St. Jude’s. I have Jo mute commercials when I watch TV with her (she controls the remote!), but the ones about children really get to me. I know I don’t normally single out people for you to pray for but I have a couple that most definitely need prayer:

  • Nolan Miller is the 16 year old son of Paul and Kelsey Miller. He is a fine young man and his parents are super people. While the Millers don’t attend OVCF, they have many friends here, especially in the home school co-op. Nolan has been diagnosed with leukemia and will have to undergo an intense regiment. He will be at Riley for at least 8 days, then chemo treatments will begin via port. He will have to go to Riley each week for a treatment, which is to last 2-2.5 years. They look for him to go into remission in about a month or so.  Update: Nolan came home yesterday (Tuesday).
  • On the other end is an adult: Tim Thacker. He is the father to Sara Roberts, one of our ladies who attends second service. His other daughter, Amy, works with Linda St. John. He has been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. Pray for his healing and for the family.
  • Each week we publish a rather long list of prayer requests in the bulletin. Many of them I suspect neither I, nor you, know. And yet, they have been put on our prayer list to be prayed for by someone who knows them. May I suggest that you use the bulletin’s prayer list as a guide to pray for people? I believe in a God who does far more than we can ask or think (Eph. 3:20).


Within the past week Jo and I said, “See you later” to two dear friends from a church we served at in the past. It is a fact of life that the older one gets the more it happens. ☺ Try to reach out to people you know who have lost someone close to them recently or in the past. Certain times of the year are a little bit harder than others. I say that because this past week someone texted me something they saw. It goes along with the church being a caring and loving place where people can find Jesus and friends. It is easy to criticize a church and say, “It’s not very friendly or caring.” Diana has worked her “magic” to be able to get it into this MM (the rumor is that I am technologically challenged).

I know you are busy so I won’t take up more of your time with my ramblings. I’ll close by saying that our daughter, Janna’s birthday is Wednesday so we plan to head to Ohio on Thursday to celebrate, to visit Jo’s sister on Friday morning, and to watch Braden, our grandson, play high school football Friday night. We will be back Saturday. If an emergency arises, you can reach me through Tami (who is staying here) or Diana. I look forward to seeing you on Sunday for my last sermon on Revelation in this cycle called The Underdog Wins. Love you all.


Pastor Bill

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Midweek Message 08/16/2023



Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #169. I know you are busy with a lot of school stuff, work stuff, and family stuff (that word “stuff” sure is used a lot isn’t it?), so thanks for taking the time to read this. I hope your week has been going well.

Let me remind you to pray for Andy Cline this week. Andy is the Superintendent of the S-OCS system and I have come to the conclusion that I don’t envy him one bit! ☺

I failed to mention last week about John Hess needing our prayers. On Wednesday he had a heart procedure done to either repair or replace a leaflet in his heart. The repair was more desirable and that is what they were able to do. His recovery has been a little rocky but the latest report is that he is improving. Pray for a complete recovery.

Switching gears for a minute: I have been asked several times in the past week or so, and twice Sunday, about the progress on the proposed addition to our building. Here is the latest:

    • First, after a lot of delays (I consider it “God delay”) and prayer we have decided to stay local. We had originally tried several other companies and had even been in serious talks with one, but the price they quoted was so much higher than we could afford…and that was just for an unfinished building shell!
    • The decision was made to go with Tabor Bruce for our architectural drawings and J.L. Benton (local builder) as our contractor. We signed a LOA (Letter of Agreement) with Doug Bruce and are now waiting for him to get back to us with some preliminary drawings. It is my hope (and I believe the other members of the Building Team) to be able to give you a more complete report on our Anniversary Sunday, which is October 29th
    • Jerry Benton was the contractor on our youth addition and we were happy with his work. Since his office is local that will be a big plus for us as well.
    • So…how much is in our Building Fund? With a generous gift we received, in addition to your faithful giving, we now have $305,142.67! Just keep praying and giving and our dream will be a reality. For those who are new to OVCF, we have made the decision to pay cash for our addition. The goal of this addition is to have a space where we can meet together in one service, plus have room to continue to serve our community.
    • If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the church office.


It was good to see Anna, Caleb and Rachel East yesterday. They got back home from their “East Meets West” vacation on Wednesday. I think they all grew some while they were gone. They had a great time. And for those who missed the end of the second service, Pastor Ryan and Hope came to pick them up and visited some. While the young ‘uns will be here, Pastor Ryan and Hope will be taking time away over the next 3 weeks to refresh and refuel personally. Pastor Ryan will return to the office at the end of August.

There has been a lot of talk generated about the movie Sound of Freedom starring Jim Caviezel. It is the true story of a government agent, Tim Ballard, who embarks on a dangerous mission to rescue hundreds of children from sex traffickers. (I consider sex trafficking a scourge on our society). You can tell it is a good, hard-hitting movie when the media pans it and spins lies about it. SoF is playing at the Tivoli August 17-20. Please be advised that it is raw, in that it depicts the ugliness of the sex trade, so it is not advised for children under 14.  Check the Tivoli for show times.

As a young boy I had a dream of playing professional baseball. Most young boys growing up near Pittsburgh dreamed of either playing football or baseball. I latched onto baseball. I loved it when my dad would take a Sunday and we would go to Forbes Field to watch a doubleheader between the Pirates and whomever. It didn’t matter. I was at the baseball field. That dream soon disappeared when I realized I wasn’t good enough. (Basketball was the same way. A cranky back and two old knees show you where that got me! ☺ ). Several years ago my brother, Rob, gave me a book called Sermon on the Mound and I recently pulled it off my shelf to read it in its entirety. Shortly into the book Mr. O’Connor wrote something that struck me:

“Organized religion, ironically, had a hand in my spiritual undoing. I think God is as comfortable with religion as the Rockettes are in Levi’s. That’s because, although He is interested in our buildings, our financial stewardship, our liturgy-all those things that hold an appropriate place within the fellowship and kingdom of God-He’s not hung up on them. God is primarily concerned with relationship. He loves us, not our stuff. He longs for us to return to Him that same love.” (p.20-21)

There are discussions about religion vs relationship going on all the time. For or against. While religion is a term used in church vernacular, it carries a weight around with it that is hard to bear. It speaks of rules and regulations, of heavy-handedness, of misery.

Relationship, on the other hand, carries with it a freshness, a closeness, an openness determined not by “have to” but by “want to.” Because of that thinking, I would most definitely agree with Mr. O’Connor. I would much rather have a relationship with Jesus than a religion.

This week’s sermon is entitled The Word Everyone Dislikes from Revelation 11. Please read the Scripture beforehand. It will give you a better handle on the message.

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


Pastor Bill


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19th Anniversary

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Midweek Message 08/08/2023



Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #168! I hope this finds you having survived the first few days of school. I know a few teachers who are a little bit tired these days. I pray for a good school year for all involved.

Speaking of school…please be praying this week for all our students, teachers and staff as they return to school. We will begin praying for specific individuals starting this Sunday.

Remember to pray for Nick Hickman, our military person of the week. He is Linda St. John’s nephew and is currently stationed who-knows-where. He is not allowed to tell any of his family where he is located.

Well…I messed up. I guess that is nothing new to many of you, but I failed to mention the name of one of our students who moved up from the Late Elementary Class to “big church” in my MM last week. My apologies to Londyn Frye and to his mother, Tiffany Groomer for that mistake.  Ya just can’t take me anywhere. J

This past Sunday we celebrated taking the confessions of faith of 9-year old Ian and 8-year old Alethea Humble at the end of the second service, and then made our way to Clay City for a 2:00 baptism in the family pool. Welcome to Ian and Alethea. Please be praying for them as they step out and grow in their love and faith for Jesus.  Pastor Ryan had given them a booklet to study with their mom several months ago and they decided to make their decision sooner than later. I know he will rejoice when he hears of their confession and baptism.

Diana and I have received some pictures from Pastor Ryan of their trip out west. I believe Hope has been posting some on FB as well. I’m thinking they should be back in Spencer this week. While Anna, Caleb and Rachel will be around, Pastor Ryan and Hope will continue their sabbatical until August 31st. Continue to pray for them. The pictures seem to show them having a great time seeing some of God’s handiwork.


We try really hard to give support to our Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs) and military personnel. We pray for them and try to remind you weekly to pray for them during the week. After the first service on Sunday, Heather Herrington was telling me about Robert’s next step in his military career. I asked her to send me some information so I could share it with you in this week’s MM. The following is what the next chapter in his journey will look like:

Ranger School is the Army’s toughest course and the premier small unit tactics and leadership school. The Ranger Course is a mentally and physically challenging school that develops functional skills directly related to units whose mission is to engage the enemy in close combat and direct fire battle. For 62 days, Ranger students train to exhaustion, pushing the limits of their minds and bodies. The course incorporates three phases (Darby, Mountain, and Swamp) which follow the crawl, walk, run training methodology. In Darby phase, the students become trained on squad operations and focus on ambush and recon missions, patrol base operations, and planning before moving on to platoon operations. In Mountain phase, students develop their skills at the platoon level in order to refine and complete their training in Swamp phase. After these three phases, Ranger Students are proficient in leading squad and platoon dismounted operations around the clock in all climates and terrain. Rangers are better trained, more capable, more resilient, and better prepared to serve and lead Soldiers in their next duty position.

As she was describing the whole challenge in more detail, I was gasping for air. I cannot begin to tell you how much I admire, not just Robert, but every man and woman who aspires to serve our country honorably and to the best of their ability. Heather’s final words in her email say it all: Once again after all that the Lord has done for Robert and this journey, we are asking for prayer for God’s will and God’s protection over Robert. So add Robert to your prayer list for the next several months. Ranger School starts this Sunday.

Just an FYI for you. Two weeks ago, Stacy Wood had 17 children in the Preschool class. This past week she had 12! Not to be outdone, the Early Elementary Class (Grades 1-3), taught this week by JuliAnne Wiegand, had 15! WOW!! Stacy also asked me to say “Thank you” to the parents who are bringing their children. There is something special which happens in the heart of children when they hear about Jesus and get together with other children in a church setting.

Let me close this week’s MM by reminding you that my sermon this week is entitled “Crushed and Persecuted but NOT DEAD! from Revelation 9:1-10:11. Reading ahead helps you understand more what I am muddying. J  See you then! I love you all.


Pastor Bill

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