Annual Conference Report for June 13, 2010

Conference gathers for worship, ordination

Bishop asks new clergy not to trifle their time away

Elders (left to right): Front row: Dave Scifres, Mary vanWijk, Ted Chalk, Ann Spahr, LeKisha Reed, Alex Hershey, Karen Bray and Jerry Turner
Back row: Dave Marty, Kevin Wrigley, Warren Kirk, Dennis Adams, Ed vanWijk, Kevin Reed, Kevin DeKoninck, Bob Preusz, Rebecca Fisher, Bradford Garrett and Brent Wright

Deacons (left to right): Julie Macy, Sheri Rohrer and Mary Beth Morgan

Commissioned/Provisional: (left to right): Front row: Kim King, Jim Clark, Gregory Waggoner, Jacob Juncker, Lauren Hall and Donna Ward
Back row: Daniel Cho, Matt Landry, Damon Soper, Billy Nickrand, Anthony Stone, Anthony Hunley, Chris Gadlage and Bessie Adams

During the final two-hour session of the 2010 Indiana Annual Conference, Bishop Mike Coyner asked those to be ordained and commissioned on Sunday, June 13, not to trifle their time away. More than 2,500 conference members and guests filled Emens Auditorium at Ball State in Muncie.

During this “Celebration of Ministry,” the conference ordained 19 elders and three deacons, and commissioned 14 provisionary members. (See Friday’s issue for the names of these people.) Three children of clergy families were baptized.

Special music was performed by the children’s, adult, bell choirs and orchestra of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church of Indianapolis.

An offering was received for the cabinet’s emergency fund to assist ministers in need.

Bishop Mike Coyner preached a sermon titled, “Do Not Trifle,” based on Isaiah 6:1-8, 2 Corinthians 6:1-10 and Matthew 28:16-20.

Directing his comments to those about to be ordained or commissioned, he said, “Every year at annual conference, I ask the historic questions of John Wesley (founder of Methodism), I am reminded of his passion for Christ, his commitment to ministry and his compulsive personality.” The question that stood out this past year was Wesley’s statement to not trifle one’s time.

Coyner said, “Last year, I turned 60. I don’t really feel old. I have thought about the reality that I now have fewer years ahead of me than behind me. I don’t want to waste those years. I don’t want to trifle my time away. I want to make a difference in the world, in the church and in the Kingdom of God.”

He shared about his years of reflecting on trifling. I thought immediately of all of those meetings. Some of them were something that resulted in ministry. But I think sometimes we had a meeting just to have a meeting. I thought back to regret those times when I was not the father or husband I should have been.”

He continued, “We pull out our calendars. A lot of times I allowed that schedule to get really full to make me feel that I was doing something important.”

Coyner shared that the more he thought about it, Wesley was probably a predecessor to Steven Covey. Utilizing a grid, Coyner stressed there are Important and urgent emergencies; important but not urgent planning; not important and urgent are interruptions; and not important and not urgent are details. “Most of our to-do lists are not important or urgent, but just the details of life.”

He then provided tips on how not to trifle:

  • Spend time with God. Of all our time in ministry, if we spend time with God, we can help others spend time with God. Ministry can be really rich and profound.
  • Spend time with family.” Forty years is a tribute to her (Marsha Coyner),” said Coyner, who noted they were celebrating their 40th anniversary that day. Don’t let ministry become so important that you trifle away time with your family. When Coyner was a district superintendent, he planned meetings around his son’s sports schedules and would take his daughter and son out to lunch during the school day once-a-month.
  • Be ready when ministry opportunities come along.
  • Have a sense of urgency in your ministry about the important items: Right now is the acceptable time for a relationship with God.
  • Don’t trifle with God. In Acts, the story of a wealthy couple, give a piece of land, in that confrontation both of those people dropped dead because they lied to God. “This ministry is about things that are of urgency and importance.”

Following his sermon, ordination and commissioning, Coyner issued an invitation to Christian ministry to those who felt called to ordained ministry. – Matthew Oates