Dear Friends,


We are gearing up for Homecoming Weekend, as we celebrate our 174th anniversary as a church, and there is a lot happening.  I hope you can be here for part, or all, of the festivities!


On Saturday, October 21, is our Chili Festival and Trunk or Treat, from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM.  As great as it was last year, we think we have an even larger number of entrants into the chili cookoff portion of this and a nice selection of trunks ready to hand out treats.  Proceeds will go half to our “What If?” campaign to eliminate our debt by our 175th anniversary next year, and half to the Non-Profit designated by the winner of the chili contest.  So come and invite others to join you to eat chili (and hot dogs on the grill will also be available) and treats. We’re hoping to attract members and friends of our church and also people from the community.


On Sunday, October 22, we will host our former Senior Pastor, Dr. Derek Weber, as our guest preacher for the day.  Derek currently lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and is the Director of Preaching Ministries with Discipleship Resources for the whole denomination of the United Methodist Church.  In this role, he helps provide resources and guidance and training for preachers throughout the nation and the world.


But before undertaking this important assignment, Derek was here for two years at Southport UMC and for many years before that in churches, large and small, in Arkansas and throughout his home state of Indiana.  For one memorable year in the British Methodist Church, he served a rural circuit in the middle of England.


Derek’s educational background is impressive, too.  He attended the University of Indianapolis, then called Indiana Central University, earning his B.A. in Speech and Theatre.  From there, he earned a Master of Theology degree from Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, then went on to the University of Edinburgh in Scotland to receive his Ph.D.


Derek is married to La Donna, and they have two children, Rhys, who lives in Indianapolis and has been on staff here and we have gotten to know pretty well, and Madeleine, who lives in Boston and just got married this past weekend!


So there is great preaching in store!  And chili, and hot dogs and treats.  There is something here for your soul and your stomach, and there is more than enough for you and for anyone you might invite, as we celebrate another important milestone in the life of this church that has a central role in the heart of this vital community.


Grace and Hope to you,


Pastor Duane