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January/February 2012

Cover Story

Conference goers to experience community outreach, witness, fun before and after session

All United Methodists invited
INDIANAPOLIS – “Come early. Stay late,” is the mantra the Rev. John Myrland repeats again and again when he excitingedly talks about the upcoming Indiana Annual Conference session at the Indiana Convention Center in downtown Indianapolis June 7-9. Myrland, pastor of McCordsville United Methodist Church east of Indianapolis and a former president of the Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce before answering a call to pastoral ministry, is coordinating Community Connection... -- more --

From the Bishop

What will 2012 bring?

There is nothing magical about the flip of the calendar to a new year, but it does provide an opportunity for each of us to reflect upon the past and to focus upon the future as we open our lives to God’s direction. I am no predictor of the future, but I do anticipate that 2012 will bring the following: Vital Congregations The Indiana Conference will continue to focus upon Vital Congregations. Since the forming of the new Indiana Conference following our Imagine Indiana plan, we have... -- more --


Rethink Together and how news, information are delivered

Welcome to the January-February issue of the Hoosier United Methodist Together conference newspaper, supported by your church’s conference tithe to the Indiana Conference. It’s the first of three issue changes making Together a bi-monthly publication distributed six times a year rather than nine times a year, the frequency since January 2004. Together currently has 12,500 complimentary subscriptions and 1,000 paid subscriptions. Why the change? The conference lacks the funds to... -- more --



We would pray that the UMC holds fast to the belief that marriage is between a man and a woman. And also not knowingly ordain homosexuals. We feel that Pastors who go against the Book of Discipline should be dismissed, including homosexual pastors who lied when they took their vows. We have nothing against homosexuals as they are no more a sinner that us and we would welcome them into fellowship. However Christians are sinners saved by Grace which includes repentance (sinning no more). We know... -- more --

OC says 'thanks'

Operation Classroom-Liberia program, the hundreds of students and staffs of our schools, members of the Liberia Conference of The United Methodist Church who have also continue to benefit from your generous gifts, and in my own name to register our sincere gratitude and appreciation for all that God is doing through you for our children in Liberia. Your gifts and kind supports to OC ministry in Liberia have continued to have a significant impact on the lives of the children and people of... -- more --


A new kind of United Methodist?

Amidst the ruins of World War II, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the anti-Nazi theologian, wrote about the need to practice “a new kind of monasticism” in the church. There was a need, he wrote, to find creative ways of practicing “life together” as disciples of Jesus. Two professors of evangelism in The United Methodist Church, Elaine Heath (at Perkins School of Theology) and Scott Kisker (at Wesley Theological Seminary), also write about the need to practice a new kind of... -- more --

Application deadline for US-2s nears

NEW YORK (GBGM) – For 60 years, Global Ministries has been sending young people into service. Through the US-2 and mission intern programs, we have enriched the lives of thousands of young men and women, and through their witness touched uncountable youth, adults and communities. US-2s serve two years living out faith through social justice in the United States. They live, work, and make a positive impact working with a United Methodist partner organization, boldly reexamining their role... -- more --

Celebrating our newest campus ministry at Bloomington

Note: This Fall a new United Methodist ministry with college students and young adults in the Bloomington area (Indiana University and Ivy Tech in Bloomington) was started. Jubilee Ministries, under the leadership of Darren Wright and Travis Jeffords and with the support of the reorganized Bloomington Wesley Foundation and area churches, is celebrating God at work in the new ministry. Enjoy this update from Darren and Travis on the exciting ministry happening in Bloomington. BLOOMINGTON, Ind.... -- more --

Conference Center welcomes Helene Foust

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Conference Center welcomed Helene Foust on Dec. 1 as the new Associate Director of Student Ministry for the Indiana Conference. She is an experienced youth worker and in her position, she will assume the responsibilities of resourcing and networking ministry with youth in congregations across the state and work with United Methodist-related campus ministry programs and Wesley Foundation ministries in Indiana. Previously, she was the Minister to Youth and... -- more --

Four South Bend churches cluster to provide shelter for homeless

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – A year ago this February, Brent King’s body was retrieved from an abandoned garage in South Bend. Unfortunately, King had frozen to death – alone. He was homeless and in and out of shelters in the South Bend region during the brutal cold of winter. South Bend’s city shelters are first-come, first-served, and there are not enough beds to serve everyone. Emergency shelters for the remainder left outside are not opened unless the wind chill temperature... -- more --

Granger Community celebrates first service at new Elkhart location

ELKHART – The zing of excitement coupled with a gracious humbleness made for an emotional gathering at Granger Community (United Methodist) Church’s first service at its permanent Elkhart location Sunday morning Dec. 11. Prior to the service, members and guests gathered to get a thorough look at the new GCC satellite campus, formerly St. John’s United Church of Christ, at 2701 E. Bristol St. The church’s main campus is in Granger. Aside from the main worship area, the... -- more --

Indiana Conference Camping Numbers for 2011

Impact 2818 Outdoor Ministries had a very successful camping season this past year. Here are the numbers:  511   First time decisions of students who made a commitment to follow Jesus Christ 146   Students answered a call to full-time vocational ministry ... -- more --

Indy Metro Ministries honors Bright Kids Tutoring Team during celebration

INDIANAPOLIS – More than 100 people from throughout Central Indiana gathered Sunday, Nov. 20, for the United Methodist Metro Ministries Annual Celebration at Christ UMC on the south-side of Indianapolis. The Missioner of the Year, a tradition to honor a person or group making a difference within a community, honored the Bright Kids Literacy Center Team. The team of individuals from many churches was recognized for mentoring and tutoring youth and children at Brightwood Community Center.... -- more --

Marion churches join hands, hammers to restore fire-damaged home before Christmas

MARION, Ind. – Mount Olive United Methodist Church of Muncie through it’s Faith-N-Action ministry teamed up with The River and the Downtown Tabernacle churches to provide a Christmas gift to a Marion resident. On Oct. 4, 2011, Mary Ware’s Marion house was severely damaged by a kitchen fire. The kitchen and dining area were destroyed and the entire house sustained smoke, soot and water damage. Ware and her son, Toby, were not injured but they were left with no place to live.... -- more --

Mega-church culture preaching reviewed in light of Wesley's sermons

FRANKLIN , Ind. – Rather than following the mega-church model of preaching, Dr. Michael Pasquarello III, Wesleyan scholar of Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Ky., says United Methodist preachers would be truer to their tradition if they preached in the style of John Wesley, 18th-century founder of Methodism. In a three-hour series of two lectures during the Indiana Conference Wesleyan Connexion forum at Grace United Methodist Church in Franklin, Pasquarello reviewed the preaching... -- more --

Rawski named UE's Exemplary Teacher

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (UE) – The University of Evansville announced that Greg Rawski, associate professor of management in the Schroeder Family School of Business Administration, has received the 2011 Exemplary Teacher Award. Each year, the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of The United Methodist Church presents the Exemplary Teacher Award to recognize excellence in teaching at United Methodist-related institutions of higher education. UE President Thomas A. Kazee announced... -- more --

Reed named program manager at Camp Adventure

The Indiana Conference Impact 2818 Outdoor Ministries recently announced the hiring of Gabe Reed as the new Program Manager at Camp Adventure in Pierceton, Ind., effective Jan. 1. Reed is a graduate of Anderson University where he earned a degree in Business Administration and Christian Ministries. Most recently, he was youth pastor at Bridge Community Church for the past six years, where he established a new youth program. Reed is married to Libby Reed. The couple first met at Camp... -- more --

United Methodists distribute 41,000 pounds of potatoes to needy in Central Indiana

CARMEL, Ind. – More than 30 United Methodist volunteers filled the parking lot of Saint Mark’s UMC in Carmel Saturday morning, Dec. 3, to distribute 41,000 pounds of potatoes to food pantries and individuals in need. The potatoes were packed in ten pound bags. The potato drop was part of the Society of St. Andrew’s food distribution program. The Society of St. Andrew, a national hunger organization that partners with United Methodist congregations, is noted for gleaning... -- more --

Global and Missions

Africa University depends on Hoosiers, other UMs to sustain strength of school in Zimbabwe

Celebrating 20 years
United Methodist-related Africa University located in Mutare, Zimbabwe, ( opened for classes this past August with its largest enrollment to date, 1,634 students coming from 23 African countries. “These students enjoy excellent facilities and a learning experience that is world-class. More importantly, they are being equipped to respond to the challenges of poverty, disease and conflict across Africa,” according to recently retired Bishop Ernest Lyght, chairperson... -- more --

Fishers church blessed by giving cook stoves to Guatemalans

Even though wood-burning cook stoves may seem primitive to us living in 21st century America, such stoves create a major change to Guatemalans living in small tin-roofed shacks cooking on an open fire. That was the experience of the Rev. Rusty Allanson, lead pastor of The Promise Church in Fishers, Ind., and Volunteers In Mission from the suburban Indianapolis church. Mission Guatemala has been high on the church’s mission giving list. This past year, The Promise bought and installed 63... -- more --


Can Facebook be good news?

I recently wrote the following in an article for Reflections, the journal of Yale Divinity School (Fall 2011): Facebook’s success is tied to how it originally differentiated itself from online tools that encouraged false identities such as video gaming. Instead, Facebook encouraged people to dig deep into their actual, real relationships. In a 2010 TIME Magazine profile of him last year, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg says, “At its core, what we’re trying to do is map out... -- more --

Conference Rejuvenate office moves to Fishers

Rejuvenate now part of foundation
The new year brought a new beginning for the Indiana Conference Rejuvenate project. On Jan. 2, Rejuvenate became a program of the United Methodist Foundation of Indiana. Rejuvenate’s director Rev. Michelle Cobb and Jody Patty, Rejuvenate assistant, moved from the Indiana Conference Center in Indianapolis to the United Methodist Foundation of Indiana in Fishers. According to the Rev. David V.W. Owen, executive assistant to Bishop Mike Coyner, “With the action of the Rejuvenate... -- more --


Body, Mind & Spirit
In John Wigger’s astounding biography of Francis Asbury, American Saint, we learn that no individual in the colonies, not even George Washington, was more famous than the Methodist bishop prior to the Revolutionary War. Asbury, the first bishop of American Methodism, met people face-to-face and he did so by riding an estimated 300,000 miles on horseback during his ministry, all the while preaching thousands of sermons and meeting tens-of-thousands of people. Mobility has always been a... -- more --


Beck's book on practice of pastoral ministry well worth reading

Books on the theory of pastoral ministry are good to guide especially those new to pastoral ministry. Books on the practice of pastoral ministry are great. The Rev. Mike Beck’s book, No Longer Silent: Doing Pastoral Ministry with Excellence and Grace, is well worth the read and fits into one of those great practical books category. Throughout the book, Beck, a Hoosier United Methodist pastor now on disability leave, focuses on the essentials of pastoral ministry and how to do these... -- more --

Carmel church burns mortgage in celebration of being debt-free

CARMEL, Ind. – The Carmel United Methodist Church celebrated being debt-free with a mortgage burning on Sunday, Nov. 27. Pastor Greg McGarvey said, “After 53 years in this wonderful facility, we are debt-free! I cannot imagine the joy of hundreds and hundreds of members of this church, who through the years have faithfully shared their financial resources so we could experience this day.” Bishop Mike Coyner was present for the celebration and preached during the worship... -- more --

Conference Campus Ministry Offering to be received in February

The Indiana Conference encourages congregations to receive a Campus Ministry Special Offering to assist in the support of our United Methodist-related ministries on state university campuses. Please mark your calendars and plan to promote the Indiana Conference United Methodist Campus Ministry offering during the month of February in your congregation. Pick a particular Sunday to emphasize campus ministry or lift up campus ministry more than one Sunday. The Campus Ministry Offering helps fund... -- more --

Indiana Conference Center welcomes Walker to staff

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Conference Center in Indianapolis has hired Jennifer (Jenni) Walker as a part-time financial clerk. Her primary duties are support for accounting and camp finance and registration. Walker is a native of Terre Haute, Ind., and now lives in Marion, where her husband, the Rev. Steven E. Walker, serves as pastor of Mt. Olive United Methodist Church at Marion. She was the district assistant of the former Indianapolis East District Office for six years and was the... -- more --

Indy's Movie Theater Church has a new home in shopping mall

INDIANAPOLIS – The Movie Theater Church has recently finished renovating its new 7,700-square-foot leased worship space in the Washington Square Mall on East Washington Street. According to Pastor Ethan Maple, “This is a great new venture for the church, because members are finally able to have a space to call home. After nearly four years for setting up and breaking down each Sunday, MTC is in a wonderful space in a location that really fulfills its mission.” On its first... -- more --

Muncie High Street Church celebrates 175th anniversary

MUNCIE, Ind. – Indiana Bishop Mike Coyner preached, Sunday, Dec. 18, at High Street United Methodist Church for its 175th anniversary celebration. He preached at the combined morning service, dedicated 36 portraits of former senior pastors and with the congregation, listened to a new anthem titled, “Psalm 71: The Generations,” commissioned by the church and composed by Robinson McClellan. Also present at the service was Linda Matthews of Indianapolis. She is the granddaughter... -- more --

UMCOR Disaster Preparedness Academy planned for March 14-17 in Minnesota

United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) Disaster Preparedness Academy for the North Central Jurisdiction will be held March 14-17, 2012, at the Minnesota Conference Koinoina Retreat Center in North Haven, Minn. The event invitation and registration information is posted on the UMVIM-NCJ website at For more information, contact Lorna Jost at or call her at 605-692-3390.... -- more --