June 12-15 is when our Annual Conference meets this year. This once a year event is when the pastors and lay representatives from all of our United Methodist churches gather to sing together, worship together, and conduct the business of the conference.
Just a few years ago the South Indiana Conference and the North Indiana Conference joined to form the Indiana Conference. The result was a streamlined conference and leadership structure together with a new vision for mission and ministry within our state. The new conference center is located in Indianapolis to provide a centralized location for all of our churches. There the cabinet meets with the Bishop to appoint pastors to all of our churches each year. Our conference staff works from there to carry out the many outreach and support ministries of the church including:
Camping and Retreats: Providing camp and retreat opportunities for all of our churches and members.
Church development: Assisting local churches to grow and be fruitful.
Clergy: Recruitment, support, and providing continuing education.
Connectional Institutions: Relationship with and support of children’s homes, nursing homes, IU Health, and several universities.
Mission and Advocacy: Promotes and supports mission work.
Financial oversight: of the budget and clergy benefits.
Youth Ministries: Conference wide youth events and training for youth workers.
We are a connectional church which means that we believe in working together as a group of churches to accomplish ministry that none of us could achieve independently. To learn more about these various ministries go to the conference website: www.inumc.org. Anyone attending a United Methodist church is welcome to attend and can register as a guest for any part of the event.
This year’s theme is: from Water to Witness based on the scripture passage: One Lord, one faith, one baptism (Ephesians 4:5 – NIV). When you think about it, the theme makes perfect sense as this is the mission of our local churches and Conference every year; to carry the disciple winning message about Jesus Christ into the world. By attending, I hope to gain new ideas and new strategies for carrying out this mission, as well as being inspired and renewed in spirit. Let us pray for our conference as we join together in the ministry of the United Methodist Church in Indiana.