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July/August 2014 Together

Cover Story

'100 New Points of Light' launched

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Conference launched “100 New Points of Light” during the Friday morning, May 30, session of annual conference. Bishop Mike Coyner hoped 100 congregations would accept his invitation. He asked each to get involved in starting a worship service, Bible study or other organized effort, to reach new people “with the light of Christ.” More than 300 conference members and guests responded crowding on to the plenary stage at the Indiana... -- more --

From the Bishop

What unites us

Many people and caucus groups in our United Methodist Church these days are talking about words like “schism” and “amicable separation” and other ways of dividing our denomination. Why? Because, we have deep differences over issues like human sexuality, the authority and interpretation of Scripture and the application of our Social Principles. In the midst of such discussions, perhaps it is helpful to focus upon the things that unite us. Here is my list: We are... -- more --


Engaging your mission field

Perhaps there was a time when inspiring worship and great music brought people to church. Today, however, in an increasing number of places, the quality of what is happening within the church is not enough to reach those outside the church. Those outside the church, including the growing number of those who state their religious preference as “none,” seek more from the church. They demand authenticity. And even those with no connection to the church understand that an authentic... -- more --

Letters to the Editor

Hillary Clinton My, my, doesn’t every event have two sides! Together was so proud to flaunt “Saint” Hillary as the daughter of the church and UMW. And the women applauded and cheered when she declined to receive an honorarium. The Methodist Church and UMW are about as far north of the Bible as Hillary is liberal. So no wonder they fit so well. Are you so naive to not understand that her shared faith was just another political speech? Hillary intends to be the next president,... -- more --

Questions matter

At the recent Indiana Annual Conference Session, I was struck by the importance placed on asking the right questions. I don’t know if anyone else overheard it, but I appreciated how Archbishop Joseph Tobin at the Prayer Breakfast spoke about getting the questions right. The Archbishop shared how it took Roman Catholics and Lutherans close to 500 years to reach an agreement on the doctrine of justification. In 1999, they concurred on what they called a “differentiated... -- more --

Annual Conference

63 clergy begin retirement in 2014

INDIANAPOLIS – A record number of retirees were honored the afternoon of May 30 during the Indiana Annual Conference Session at the Indiana Convention Center. The names of retirees and years of service include: John D. Abbott, Jr., 20; Philip Amerson, 46; Paul Arnold, 42; Daniel Baney, 36; Paul Bay, 23; Michael Beck, 31; Faye Bilskie, 15; Ted Blosser, 42; Herbert Buwalda, 43; Louie Stephen Cain, 40; Norman W. Campbell, 22; Norman Chaney, 53; Bill (William M.) Clark, 5; Victoria Clem, 7;... -- more --

Address reminds us of the role of the laity

INDIANAPOLIS – Although there’s no reference to a “lay leader” in the Bible, Conference Lay Leaders Kayc Mykrantz and Ike Williams assured those attending the Indiana Conference Session that laity are vital to United Methodist congregations. Williams stated, “The world out there needs some good friends like us.” The role of laity is to be a friend to Jesus, one another and to the world. According to Mykrantz and Williams, there are seven billion people in... -- more --

Africa University Campaign begins public phase

The Indiana Conference Session launched the public phase of raising our goal of $1.6 million for Africa University in Zimbabwe, and received a special “offering” where each congregation was invited to dance their way forward to give money, a pledge or a commitment card to be a part of this campaign to educate Christian leaders on the continent of Africa. Some individuals and some churches have already made “advance” gifts and pledges. During the session, 138 pledge... -- more --

Archbishop encourages us to be unified as one

INDIANAPOLIS – Archbishop Joseph Tobin of the Indianapolis Roman Catholic Archdiocese joined the Indiana Conference during Saturday’s prayer breakfast at the Indiana Convention Center to discuss being unified as one ecumenically. Before Tobin delivered his remarks, the Rev. Matthew Landry of Winamac reminded attendees that in order to be the outwardly focused church, we must all be one. Breakfast conversations were guided by questions inspired by quotations from Pope... -- more --

Baptisms at Annual Conference

As is his custom, Bishop Coyner baptized three children of clergy: Micah Thomas Cassiday, child of Benjamin and Eva Cassiday; Elijah Yougsuh Cho, child of Daniel Seunghyun and Hyemin Na Cho; and Amara Rose Ellis, child of Benjamin and Sarah Ellisp as part of the Ordination-Commissioning Service Saturday, May 31.... -- more --

Bishop shares what it means to be 'Poured out in Ministry'

INDIANAPOLIS – Using 2 Timothy 4:1-6, 8 as his text, Indiana Bishop Mike Coyner shared with the conference members, guests and especially those being ordained or commissioned, his views of what it means to be “poured out in ministry.” Coyner shared these ideas in his sermon during the Ordination, Commissioning Service Saturday morning, May 31. “We are all going to die, so let’s get that issue out of the way, and then decide how we want to live our lives,”... -- more --

Christian Conferencing approved for 2015 delegate elections

INDIANAPOLIS – During the Friday afternoon session, May 30, the Indiana Annual Conference approved the General and Jurisdictional Conference procedures sections of the Christian Conferencing Task Force report to replace the current comparable sections in the 2013 Rules and Structure document of the Indiana Annual Conference. The Christian Conferencing Guidelines were approved the previous day. Adolf Hansen, chairman of the Christian Conferencing Task Force, outlined the process for... -- more --

Church Development reports gains in growth, hope to establish 30 new congregations in Indiana by 2020

INDIANAPOLIS – Senior Associate Director Steve Clouse began the Church Development Team report by presenting a video about the Fruitful Congregation Journey (FCJ), a growth program for congregations. Building new generations within current churches is the adjustment we need to make. FCJ is bringing new life to churches. Not only welcoming people to churches but also bringing the church to the community. Associate Director Ed Fenstermacher introduced a new Fruitful Congregations Journey... -- more --

Church development specialist encourages going back to roots

INDIANAPOLIS – The Rev. Bob Farr’s Friday, May 30, teaching session encouraged Indiana Conference members to turn back to their early Methodist roots. Farr, who is Missouri Conference Director of the Center for Congregational Excellence, believes the modern United Methodist congregation is focused more on making members rather than making disciples of Jesus Christ. “We were not an established church,” Farr stated, “we came by horse. We were missionaries.... -- more --

Class of 2014

Those who were ordainded as Elders: Front row (l-r) Donna Lynn Ward, Jungbum Kim. Back row (l-r) Daniel Lee Payton, Samuel Leon Padgett and James William Clark. Those commissioned Provisional Members and other Provisional Members include: Front row (l-r) Lois Kay Cannon, Crystal Ann Jacobson, Adriane Rene Curtis, Mary Rebekah Ward Dicken, Sharon Lorraine Washington, Catherine Ann Clayton and Hye Sook Kim. Back row (l-r) Mark Allan Brock, Jared Michael Kendall, Glenn James Knepp,... -- more --

Conference approves landmark advocacy, finances, benefits

INDIANAPOLIS – Bishop Mike Coyner called the 2014 Indiana Annual Conference into session May 29. He introduced Carolyn Johnson, Secretary of the Annual Conference; Cindy Reynolds, Executive Assistant to the Bishop and Becky Huff-Cook, assistant to the secretary. The following actions were approved: Archives and History, Landmark motion was approved to recognize the “Helenor M. Alter Davisson Cluster” to the General Commission on Archives and History (see separate... -- more --

Conference cane goes to 99-year-old

  INDIANAPOLIS – The 2014 Indiana Annual Conference Session presented the Conference Cane Friday morning, May 30, to the Rev. Glenn Harold Kaetzel, 99, of Wadesville, Ind. The cane is presented to the oldest-known living Elder of the conference. The cane was previously held by the Rev. George Dinwiddie of LaGrange, who died Feb. 27 of this year. Kaetzel entered ministry as a probationary (now called provisional) Elder in Indiana in 1939 and became a full Elder in 1944. He served... -- more --

Conference elects new Indiana Conference Lay Leader

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Annual Conference Session elected Doris Clark of Indianapolis as the new Lay Leader of the Indiana Conference, effective June 1. Clark has served as one of the conference’s Associate Lay Leaders, Central District Lay Leader and also participates as a member of the Bishop’s Operational Team, the Annual Conference Sessions Implementation Team, lay member of the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry, District Chair of the Central District, member of the... -- more --

Conference remembers deceased during memorial service

INDIANAPOLIS – Deceased clergy and deceased clergy spouses who have died since the last Annual Conference Session were remembered Friday, May 30, during a time of prayer, Scripture reading and Holy Communion during the Indiana Annual Conference Session. Bishop Mike Coyner was the celebrant. The Rev. Andrew Payton, associate pastor of Methodist Temple United Methodist Church in Evansville and a third-generation clergyperson, preached the sermon at the Service of Remembrance and Holy... -- more --

Did you know?

Pastor John Wolf of Valparasio is the last living military chaplain of the 88 Methodist and Evangelical United Brethren chaplains who served in World War II from 1941-1945.... -- more --

Farr says churches must renovate, not just decorate -- or die

In case you missed the Rev. Bob Farr’s two-hour presentation at the recent Indiana Annual Conference Session in Indianapolis, you can catch a glimpse of his urgency for the church, your church, in his book Renovate or Die: Ten Ways to Focus Your Church on Mission from Abingdon Press available through Farr says that many local churches in the 21st century need a major overhaul or renovation, not just redecorating and rearranging structure. Many churches are comfortable with... -- more --

Indiana Denman Awards to laity, youth, pastor

The 2014 Denman Evangelism Award recipients in Indiana are: Laity Award to Lori Brown Bierhaus of Westport; Youth Award to Emma Hawn of Sheridan; and Clergy Award to the Rev. Tim Johnson, pastor of Pfrimmers Chapel UMC in Corydon.... -- more --

Missionary commissioned during Annual Conference Session

  INDIANAPOLIS – A native of California with family roots in the Church of God (Anderson, Ind.), Sara Cook was commissioned as a missionary during the Ordination-Commissioning Service Saturday morning. This was a new addition to the service. Previously, missionaries were commissioned together at a General Board of Global Ministries meeting in New York City. Cook is a missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church, serving as director of... -- more --

Retiree health insurance plan funding subsidy approved

INDIANAPOLIS – In response to the discussion of the Retiree Medicare premium subsidy at the 2013 Annual Conference Session, Bishop Mike Coyner asked the members of the Retiree Health Insurance Funding Task Force to continue meeting to review the concerns of the conference and make a proposal to the Board for consideration and submission to the 2014 Annual Conference. The task force met and asked the Rev. George Hunsaker and Conference Director of Administrative Services Brent Williams to... -- more --

United Methodists worship in the streets of Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS – Georgia Street had a United Methodist fair Friday, May 30. As part of being the Outwardly Focused Church, the Indiana Conference hosted Community Day on Georgia Street for the city of Indianapolis. Amy Cox kicked off the event, sharing her music with the lunch-time crowd. Besides having the opportunity to worship, attendees had their choice of lunch from a multitude of food trucks. Volunteers of the Indiana Conference greeted and welcomed guests by offering prayer, free... -- more --

Visiting bishop challenges Hoosiers to repent, walk in new direction

INDIANAPOLIS – During the opening moments of the 2014 Indiana Conference Session May 29, Bishop Mike Coyner introduced Bishop Gregory Palmer, Resident Bishop of the West Ohio Area of The United Methodist Church based in Worthington, Ohio. He preached during a service of “Confession, Repentance and Renewal.” The service was created to help conference members make a fresh start discerning God’s vision for the transformation of the world. Palmer was elected bishop in 2000... -- more --

Year-end 2013 statistics

These statistics are for the Indiana Conference year-end 2013. Membership stands at 194,967 down 1,597 from the previous year. Worship attendance, 107,231, down 4,121 Church school (children and youth), 38,099, down 1,762 Professions of faith, 3,702, down 535 Baptisms, 3,286, down 226 ... -- more --


Congregations can save their dollars for ministry using Cost Stewardship

INDIANAPOLIS – Many congregations don’t realize they are taxed on their electric and other utility bills even though they are a tax-exempt not-for-profit organization. Why? Mostly because no one has told them, according to Monte Chamberlin, founder and owner of Cost Stewardship, an organization with the purpose of “leveraging dollars and sense to fund ministries.” During an in-office interview, Chamberlain told Together, many congregations just simply don’t know... -- more --

Festival of Young Preachers important to Indiana Conference

INDIANAPOLIS – According to Tyler Best, 21, “The Indiana Conference Festival of Young Preachers is important because it provides an opportunity for people my age to grow and network with others with similar calls to ministry. These experiences serve as a catalyst for the Holy Spirit to mold effective leaders of the Gospel within the Indiana Conference.” Best was coordinator of the Indiana Festival of Young Preachers event held just hours before the 2014 Indiana Annual... -- more --

Frankfort church partners with Hispanic Cosecha Latina UMC praying for immigration reform in the United States

FRANKFORT, Ind. – The St. Matthew United Methodist Church Mission Committee recently became aware that Cosecha Latina Pastor Miguel Garza was an undocumented immigrant, even though he has been in the United States for more than 20 years and has been applying for a green card for 10 years. Garza’s immigration lawyer encouraged the Mission Committee to use Garza as a poster child for immigration reform. He is an excellent model who is highly regarded in the community as a servant of... -- more --

Helenor Davisson cluster to become UM Heritage Landmark

Became first woman to be ordained deacon in the U.S.
INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Annual Conference meeting in Indianapolis May 29-31 endorsed a new Historic Landmark in Indiana to recognize the “Helenor M. Alter Davisson Cluster” of sites. In 1866, the Rev. Helenor Alter Davisson became the first woman to be ordained a deacon in any branch of The United Methodist Church in the United States. This occurred in Jasper County, Indiana, near Rensselaer. She was the daughter of an early Methodist Circuit Rider. Also documented are the... -- more --

Huntington pastor appointed to Conference Associate Director of Leadership Development -- Clergy

 INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Bishop Mike Coyner announced May 19 the appointment of the Rev. Samuel L. Padgett, pastor of Mt. Etna United Methodist Church in Huntington, Ind., as the new Indiana Conference Associate Director Leadership Development – Clergy effective July 1. He succeeds the Rev. Sandy Harlan, who retired from this position July 1. Upon his announcement, Coyner said, “We are pleased to welcome Sam to the conference staff, serving in the position which has been... -- more --

Light in Darkness ministers to strip club dancers in Kokomo

KOKOMO, Ind. – To most people, rescuing women who dance in gentlemen’s strip clubs from a pejorative lifestyle probably seems an impossible task. But 12 women living in or near Kokomo have taken on the task to show God’s love as they proclaim the Gospel to this unique audience. It’s been a priority for them during the past two years. Four women members of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Kokomo host the group, known as Light in Darkness Ministry, Monday... -- more --

Music-driven film inspired by Song of Solomon to be released Sept. 26

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Samuel Goldwyn Films has acquired U.S. rights to City on a Hill Studio’s music-driven love story, “The Song.” The film stars Alan Powell (lead-singer for “Anthem Lights”), Caitlin Nicol-Thomas (“Nashville”) and Ali Faulkner (Twilight: Breaking Dawn), and features ten original songs produced for the film. Samuel Goldwyn Films will release the film September 26. Meyer Gottlieb, President of Samuel Goldwyn Films, said,... -- more --

Volunteers pack 43,200 meals for hungry people

INDIANAPOLIS – Hoosier United Methodists gathered Saturday afternoon, May 31, at the Indiana Convention Center to pack meals for Kids Against Hunger, a national not-for-profit hunger agency. Volunteers and staff numbering 160 people were on-hand to supply, measure, funnel, weigh, seal and pack the meals. Deanne Heidrich, a volunteer with Indianapolis-based Metro Ministries, said it was her third year of organizing the annual conference session mission outreach. She said she wanted to try... -- more --


Arkansas bishop thankful for Hoosier gift to tornado relief

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Bishop Mike Coyner received a thank you letter today, May 12, from Arkansas Bishop Gary Mueller. Mueller wrote: “It is with the deepest possible gratitude that I thank you and the wonderful people of the Indiana Conference Disaster Response Committee for your generosity in sending the Arkansas Conference a check for tornado relief in the amount of $2,000. The money will be immensely helpful as we seek to offer help and support to those impacted by the... -- more --

Bishop Brown takes office as Council of Bishops president

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. (UMNS) – San Francisco area Bishop Warner Brown has begun his term as president of the United Methodist Council of Bishops. Bishop Rosemarie Wenner of the Germany Episcopal Area has served as president of the Council since April 2012. Her two-year term ended at the close of the Council’s executive committee meeting on May 4. A formal celebration and the traditional “passing of the gavel” will take place at the Council of Bishops’ meeting in... -- more --


Brazil United Methodists team with others for hunger relief

BRAZIL, Ind. – The Center Point/Ashboro Charge of The United Methodist Church, under the direction of Pastor Bob Kumpf, first met two years ago with Pastor Gary Scroggins of the Brazil First Presbyterian Church and Father John Hollowell of Brazil Annunciation Catholic Church. They began working to alleviate hunger problems in the Brazil area with a grant from the Indiana Conference Social Advocacy Team. With these funds in hand, the discussion among Scroggins, Hollowell and Kumpf moved... -- more --

Indiana Scouts commissioned for trip to DRC

  Pictured left to right are: Art Collins (team leader), Nikki Gainey, Phred Cain, Mitch Prather, Bob Walters (Friendly Planet Missiology) Ken Hudgens (standing in for Annual Conference Scout Coordinator) John Dockery not pictured.) INDIANAPOLIS – Five Eagle Scouts were commission for a mission trip to the Democratic Republic of the Congo during a May 30 commission service led by the Rev. Curtis Hurley of Connersville at the Indiana Convention Center. Those five scouts include:... -- more --

Mission guest house dedicated in memory of Hoosier pastor in Tanzania

KIGOMA, Tanzania – The Glen and Myrna Beck Guest House was dedicated May 4 in Kigoma, Tanzania. The guest house was built in memory of Glen Beck’s ministry (aided by his wife Myrna’s faithful support) in the area of missions spanning five decades prior to his death in December 2010. During his years of full-time ministry at Fairview, Sugar Creek, Noblesville Emmanuel and Indianapolis Good Shepherd UMCs in Indiana, combined with 15 years of service following retirement as the... -- more --

Mission team recruiting volunteers for 2015 trips

Sierra Leone Partners (Health and Education) is recruiting individuals for teams this coming January and February to work with United Methodist Church health and education leaders in Sierra Leone, West Africa, as they grapple with life issues in delivery of health care or primary education. Fifteen-day trips (with options of a shorter 10-day experience) will leave Indianapolis on Thursday, Jan. 15 and Thursday, Jan. 29. The cost for the 15-day team is $3,400* and the 10-day trip is $2,900* to... -- more --


It's moving time for many pastors

Many United Methodist pastors across Indiana have just moved into their new appointments. Pastors and congregations are now saying their hellos, having just said their good-byes a few weeks ago in previous appointments. This annual ritual provides an opportunity for congregations and pastors to try something new or to let go of a tradition that no longer serves either the pastor or the congregation. Every time we make a change there is a transition time from “what was” to... -- more --

Madison youth reach out to community

MADISON, Ind. – Twelve churches and more than 90 youth gathered June 16-22 to make a difference in their community for Madison Mission Week. The event is in its second year and began with one young person, Macky Hecox, who thought there was something missing when her youth group worked in Cleveland, Tenn., for a service project. Hecox, along with her friend Cara Walker, identified the concern as immediately leaving a community after finishing a mission project. The bonds of friendship... -- more --


Even though we live in a digital age, where online identify theft and piracy is commonplace, passwords have become my new nemesis. I cannot remember them. Yes, I record all of my passwords in a small black book that I store in a safe, but I forgot the combination to the safe recently and after receiving help from my 21-year-old son (who is a whiz at passwords), I discovered the little book had been misplaced. I wanted to talk to my wife about this (and blame her), but she informed me I needed... -- more --


Indiana Conference announces 'First Monday' program for clergy, laity

The First Monday training program is an opportunity for participants to both grow in knowledge and train towards recognition in the area of pastoral care and counseling. Usually held on the first Monday of each month, mornings will be a theory seminar and afternoons will be both a consultation and supervision opportunity, with the afternoon sessions being recorded. Topics to be included are: brief-term, supportive counseling methods, crisis intervention, grief and loss, divorce recovery,... -- more --

Parish Nurses to sponsor health seminar at Speedway Oct. 10

SPEEDWAY, Ind. – The Indiana Conference Health Ministries/Parish Nursing Ministries will sponsor a daylong seminar on Friday, Oct. 10, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Speedway United Methodist Church, 5065 W. 16th Street in Speedway. The seminar is titled “Renewing Our Minds Mental Health and Church Relationship.” Keynote speaker is Professor Antony Sheehan, President of The Church Health Center in Memphis, Tenn., who has a background in Mental Health. The cost is $30 per... -- more --

UIndy breaks ground on Health Pavilion

INDIANAPOLIS (UIndy) – The United Methodist-related University of Indianapolis broke ground June 19 on a four-story, $28 million Health Pavilion that will house UIndy’s healthcare and wellness-related academic programs, as well as industry partners and clinical facilities to serve the community. The building site is located at the southwest corner of Hanna and State Avenues. With indoor and outdoor amenities open to the public, the building will be a new gateway to the UIndy... -- more --