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January 2011

Cover Story

Reflections about Haiti one year after the quake

More questions than answers
Haiti, a year after the earthquake, still looks like there has been a recent major disaster. The Presidential Palace in Port au Prince is uninhabitable and barely standing. A strong wind or another earthquake would complete its destruction, yet it has not been torn down or renovated. Why not? It just barely stands in the background and thousands of tents housing hundreds-of-thousands of people sit directly across the street from it. There are no signs on the Palace gates pointing in the... -- more --

From the Bishop

State of the Indiana Conference: Year One

From the Bishop
In many ways it would be fair to say that we have just completed our first full year as the new Indiana Conference of The United Methodist Church. 2010 was our first year in the new district structure, our first year with a unified budget for the Indiana Conference, and it was our first year to function as one Cabinet and one clergy appointment process. Many other groups also made 2010 their first year as a truly united Indiana Conference, including groups like United Methodist Women and... -- more --

Rethink Church

Rethinking advocacy: Supporting smoke-free workplaces

RETHINK CHURCH continues as a recurring theme for United Methodists in 2011 as we think in new ways about the future of the church, its outreach and its goal to “make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” During 2011, Together will be emphasizing RETHINK CHURCH as we affect the greater Indiana culture of which we are participants as citizens and residents. I begin January with the theme of Rethinking Statehouse advocacy. John Wesley, the founder of the... -- more --


Creation Care Team: 'We need to take care of God's good earth'

The new Indiana Conference creation care team was formed to help our United Methodist churches and members become better stewards of God’s earth. In a culture of consumption and waste, we challenge churches and members to strive for the 3 R’s: Reduce what you buy and the energy you use; Reuse what you have; and Recycle paper, plastics, glass and metal. The Creation Care Team challenges our 1,200 congregations in Indiana to set two specific goals for 2011: Reduce... -- more --

CWS names Indiana/Kentucky regional director

INDIANAPOLIS (CWS) – Church World Service announced in December that John W. Dolon is now CWS Indiana/Kentucky Regional Director based in Indianapolis. He began his ministry with CWS on Dec. 1 and succeeds the Rev. Judy Dunson, who retired. One of his primary responsibilities that will bring him in contact with many United Methodists across Indiana are the CROP Hunger Walks. Dolon was reared in Muncie, Ind., and recently moved to Indianapolis with his wife, Michelle. His previous... -- more --

Early Christmas gift shelters Eritrean family

INDIANAPOLIS – With a wide smile on her face, Hidat Ghebremedhin cut the ribbon on the door of her family’s new home near downtown Indianapolis on a snowy Saturday morning. She then received the keys to her house as an early Christmas present. The house, a half-year Habitat for Humanity of Greater Indianapolis project completed by area United Methodist congregations, was dedicated and blessed Dec. 4 – just in time to allow this immigrant family from Eritrea in east Africa to... -- more --

Evansville UMM group distributes 42,000 pounds of potatoes

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – “A lot of people aren’t making ends meet this year, so it’s one less thing they’ll have to purchase,” said the Rev. Janet Kelley of Old North United Methodist Church in Evansville. “It’s been a success this far,” said Bart Burke, president of United Methodist Men at Old North. By 9 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, members of Old North United Methodist Men in Evansville had distributed about 42,000 pounds of potatoes to Evansville... -- more --

Fire breaks out at Evansville Turning Pointe Church

Plan to be back in sanctuary by Easter
EVANSVILLE, Ind. – Although members of The Turning Pointe United Methodist Church are emotional about a fire that occurred early Sunday, Dec. 5, they also are motivated, one official said. “We’re not looking at it as a setback,” said Katy Dunigan, the adult ministry director at the West Side Methodist church, which has about 400 attendees each week. “We’re looking at it as an opportunity to move forward as a family to create a stronger sense of unity (and)... -- more --

Habitat for Humanity plans mission expansion in Northeast Indiana

The Northeast District of the Indiana Conference plans to expand its Habitat for Humanity Ministry beyond the boundaries of the former Fort Wayne District and Allen County. The Allen County churches just completed their 14th home in the past 15 years. John Roser, former Allen County president, is challenging those additional counties, without a Habitat Task Force, to form their own organizations. Roser has been the driving force behind the Allen County Habitat for Humanity Task Force for many... -- more --

Harnish, Brown to keynote clergy spiritual retreat Feb. 28

2011 Our Life Together
Our Life Together, a spiritual retreat for clergy of the Indiana Conference of The United Methodist Church, will be held Monday, Feb. 28, at 10 a.m. and last through mid-afternoon Tuesday, March 1, at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Indianapolis. There also will be a Pre-Lenten Worship Service with Bishop Mike Coyner preaching. This year’s theme, “You Only Have to Die,” is borrowed from the book written by the Rev. Dr. Jim Harnish, who is one of the featured... -- more --

Kokomo newspaper names Kokomo pastor 'Reader's Choice Person of the Year'

Kokomo pastor, the Rev. Jeff Newton, was recently named by the Kokomo Perspective, a free weekly newspaper with a circulation of 31,000, “Readers’ Choice Person of the Year.” Newton is pastor of the Cassville and Trinity United Methodist churches of Kokomo, as well as executive director of Kokomo Urban Outreach, which started in January 2006. He started five years ago with one food pantry, now operates six, and in addition, Kokomo Urban Outreach has created a network of... -- more --

Lodge naming at Epworth Forest reflects a heritage of faithfulness

'Bishop Sheldon & Marjorie Duecker Lodge' and 'Fenstermacher Lodge'
NORTH WEBSTER, Ind. – The naming of the first two lodges now being built at the Epworth Forest Conference Center in North Webster has been claimed by two very faithful donors to the project: Rick and Vicki James of First United Methodist Church of Auburn, and Craig and Connie Fulmer of Trinity United Methodist Church of Elkhart. The choice of both families honors those who have provided faithful leadership and shown the way for ministry into the 21st century. The Bishop Sheldon &... -- more --

New Day Treatment Program in Evansville gives kids a chance

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – School can be an overwhelming challenge for youth who are struggling with emotional, behavioral, or family problems. This past September, the United Methodist Youth Home in Evansville opened a Day Treatment Program for youth who are having difficulty making adequate academic progress in school. Matt (not his real name) attended a public high school and two alternative high schools in Evansville-Vanderburgh School Corporation (EVSC) before he was placed in the Day... -- more --

Newburgh church builds 'Home for the Holidays'

CHANDLER, Ind. – A Warrick County family in need was in a newly constructed home before Christmas thanks to the Newburgh United Methodist Church. Joe and Brandi Dore, along with volunteers from the Newburgh church and Warrick County Habitat for Humanity, finished the house at 133 East Williams Street in Chandler after beginning construction in October. The home was dedicated Sunday, Dec. 12, with members of 800-member Newburgh UMC bringing special ornaments for a new Christmas tree in... -- more --

Overmyer joins North District staff as Associate Superintendent

Indiana Bishop Mike Coyner announced Dec. 22 the appointment of the Rev. David L. Overmyer, 53, as an Associate District Superintendent. He is a retired Elder of the Indiana Conference living with his wife, Karen, in Winona Lake. Overmyer joined the North District of the Indiana Conference based in Laporte on Jan. 1. In addition to the overall responsibilities of an associate superintendent, he will focus on the area of the District Committee on Ordained Ministry. Overmyer will serve as a... -- more --

Social Security tax break creates UMPIP opportunity

EVANSTON, Ill. (GBPHB) – President Obama approved a tax relief package on Dec. 17 that includes a Social Security tax break. The tax break goes into effect this month, January 2011, and will result in higher take-home pay for many employed individuals who pay into Social Security. The new law decreases the percentage of annual earnings (up to $106,800 for 2011) that employees pay into Social Security (the OASDI portion of FICA taxes) in 2011 from 6.2 to 4.2 percent. Under the new rate,... -- more --

Sweet to speak one-on-one with clergy during UE Founder's Week

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – United Methodist scholar, author, noted speaker and futurist, Dr. Leonard Sweet , will be the Founder’s Day speaker at United Methodist-related University of Evansville the weekend of Saturday-Sunday, Feb. 19-20. He will hold a Roundtable Discussion just for clergy at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 19, in Neu Chapel on the campus of UE (1800 Lincoln Avenue). This will be a unique opportunity for clegry and laity to spend quality time with one of the foremost minds in... -- more --

UIndy names dean for College of Health Sciences

INDIANAPOLIS (UIndy) – The United Methodist-related University of Indianapolis has selected an experienced clinician, educator and administrator as dean of its widely respected College of Health Sciences. Stephanie Kelly, Ph.D., joined the UIndy faculty in 1996 and recently has served as acting dean of the College of Health Sciences, which includes the School of Occupational Therapy and the Krannert School of Physical Therapy. UIndy produces more physical and occupational therapists than... -- more --

United Methodists support special ministries through Special Sundays

Six times throughout the year, United Methodist congregations celebrate church-wide Special Sundays with offerings. Your support is critical to the survival of these important ministries and for sharing God’s gifts around the world. Church-wide Special Sundays with offerings enable United Methodists to offer refuge in times of disaster, promote peace and justice, provide scholarships and student loans, reach out to the community, teach skills to encourage self-sufficiency and share the... -- more --


Hoosiers support Africa University students through scholarships

The Indiana Conference has an impressive history of support and involvement with Africa University, a United Methodist-related university located in Zimbabwe near the city of Mutare. Each of the former Indiana conferences built two residence halls for which the students continue to be grateful. Many Hoosier Volunteers in Mission work teams have gone to visit and help build staff housing, work in the AU library and assist in other ways. The current emphasis of the Friends of Africa University... -- more --

How you can help Mission Guatemala Clinic

One of the greatest needs at the Mission Guatemala Clinic is over-the-counter medicines, which are either too expensive or difficult to obtain in Guatemala. The clinic needs: acetaminophen, adult multi-vitamins, child multi-vitamins, ibuprofen, child acetaminophen, acetaminophen drops, loratadine (generic allergy medicine), calcium carbonate, bismuth subsalicylate tablets, pregnancy tests, snack-size zip lock bags, generic eye drops for dry eyes, gently used dish towels, phenylephrine (generic... -- more --

Mission Guatemala opens clinic, plans for dentistry

Hoosier United Methodist-related Mission Guatemala opened its clinic this past November at San Andrés Semetabaj, Guatemala and will make plans for a dental clinic since a retiring Newburgh dentist said he would donate all his equipment to Mission Guatemala. The clinic is currently open two days each week. As knowledge of the clinic grows and patient numbers increase, the Rev. Tom Heaton, an Indiana Conference United Methodist pastor and director of Mission Guatemala, said he hopes the... -- more --


In this new year, let us renew our covenant to Christ

A Wesleyan perspective
For several years now, a select group of seminarians seeking ordination in Indiana have met in a new venture in theological education and leadership formation. Rooted in the church’s mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ, the Wesleyan Connexion Project provides a place for those who are preparing for ministry to rediscover the rich heritage of Wesleyan doctrine and practice, as well as encourage future leaders in the life of the church. A new experiment in theological education, it is... -- more --

REJUVENATE: Let's change the numbers

A recent survey by the FINRA Investor Education Foundation* revealed that more than half (58 percent) of Indiana workers are barely able to financially survive between paychecks. The national average is 55 percent. The same survey also revealed that “Hoosiers underperformed the nation in financial literacy.” For more findings of the “State-by-State Financial Capability Survey,” visit Are you one of the Hoosiers who is living... -- more --

We have 'Will Power'

Body, Mind & Spirit
Recently my wife and I began reworking our Last Will & Testament. Now that our children are older and don’t need our money, we plan to leave them our Tupperware set when we die. That’s a good thing, since my wife and I don’t have much money anyway, and most of our net worth is wrapped up in magazine subscriptions and used cars. Still, we’ve been praying about what our deaths could mean to God’s work – and we’ve come to the conclusion that we are... -- more --


Bishop Dyck writes study book about environmental stewardship

A Hopeful Earth, a new book by Bishop Sally Dyck and Sally Ehrman is now available. According to Abingdon Press, this is a great book for small groups, Sunday school classes, as well as a 2011 Lenten study. A study guide to this book is available. According to Dyck, the environment is God’s creation and Christians should be at the front of the crowd when it comes to taking care of it. Yet we find ourselves in a creation crisis. A Hopeful Earth, a unique study, draws together the... -- more --

Change the World online campaign coming May 14-15, 2011

The date is set, the public announcements are forthcoming. Now, how will your congregation participate in Change the World 2011? From food pantries to community gardens, the local church demonstrated in 2010 a strong commitment to meeting the needs of its communities. In 2011, we will address hunger in an even larger way. While still meeting immediate community needs, together we will learn about hunger’s root causes and project a new vision for dealing with it. Globally, 16... -- more --

Kent Millard to retire from St. Luke's Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS – The Rev. Dr. Kent Millard, 69, senior pastor of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Indianapolis and leader of one of the ten largest United Methodist churches in the country, recently told his 6,000-member congregation he will retire this coming summer. He told The Indianapolis Star that he is retiring this year so he can focus more attention on helping his wife, Minnietta, in her battle with pancreatic cancer. Millard’s last day as pastor of St.... -- more --