Covering June 8, 2012
This morning before the worship service, Bishop Coyner hosted a Conference and Community Prayer Breakfast. Gov. Mitch Daniels spoke.
Today is a day of Celebration of Ministry. Fifteen candidates for ministry will be commissioned and begin their provisional period as they work toward ordination. Fifteen provisional clergy will be ordained as an Elder or Deacon. This worship service begins at 10 a.m.
This afternoon will be a time to explore the many attractions Indianapolis has to offer. The Eiteljorg Museum is now featuring the Steel Ponies exhibit with historic as well as contemporary motorcycles and tells how they were influenced by Native Americans. WFYI-TV will be presenting the PBS Kids in the Park throughout the afternoon in Military Park just north of the Central Canal on West Street. The Indiana State Museum is featuring an exhibit titled “Science on the Edge: Radical Innovation in New Harmony.” Both the Eiteljorg and ISM have restaurants.
We will conclude the day by celebrating with United Methodist Night at Victory Field at 7 p.m. as well as cheering on both Bishop Coyner, as he throws the ceremonial first pitch, and the Indianapolis Indians as they play the Rochester Red Wings. There is plenty of room. If you don’t have a ticket, visit the Victory Field box office this afternoon until 4 p.m. The box office phone number is 317-269-3545 ext. 258. See you at the ballpark.
Enjoy your weekend.
Using Acts 2:42-47 (the conference theme) as his Scriptural text, Indiana Bishop Mike Coyner asked the members of the annual conference to do what the disciples were doing: learning, loving and leading together.
The early Pentecost Day Christians learned from the disciples about Jesus as the disciples recalled and told the stories of their experience with Jesus. That was the beginning of the learning process.
They also learned to love, not just the ones they knew, but each one in the community, meeting the needs of each, especially the widows and the orphans. Today, that loving has resulted in health care and educational institutions related to the church.
They also became leaders, as the disciples taught them to be leaders, resulting in a new movement that changed the world.
He said the key to learning, loving and leading is doing these three together.
“We are so individualistic about leadership,” he said. “We need to teach every local church that each group (in the church) needs to be that kind of (together) group – learning, loving and leading.”
This kind of leadership needs to be experienced on church councils, in covenant groups, in church clusters, in district centers, in the conference center – every church staff.
The promise we receive is the same type of awe that the early Christians felt when they saw what God could do – the awesomeness of God. Coyner left members with the question: “Can we be that kind of people?” If so, then the Spirit unites us. We become the people God wants us to be – learning, loving and leading.
The Indiana Conference Camping Team reported that:
Philip E. Abram, Wilma M. Sawyer Bone, Joe F. Bottorff, Donald G. Bradley, Stephen R. Cherry, J. Ross Daeschner, Jerold S. Dehn, Karen E. Devaisher, Sarah (Sally) Dickerson, Joseph N. Easley, Philip R. Emerson, Judith E. Fuller, Leslie Grimsley, Vicki L. Hobbs, Lennie R. Lawrence, Dennis D. Leinbach, Ronald Eugene Mabry, Ronald C. Mann, Diana Jean McCracken, Charles L. McPeek, Emily E. Niblick, Donald Nunemaker, Austin Dale Payne, Richard L. Pickering, Judith E. Purvis, Susan E. Ringenbach, Susan W.N. Ruach, Douglas Simpson, Kevin L. Stiles, Evelyn Taylor Haney, Joseph L. Trueblood, John Walls
Pastors of southern Indiana United Methodist churches thanked the annual conference for its involvement in relief and recovery efforts following the deadly March 2 tornadoes that traveled across the state. The Rev. LeKisha Reed, associate director of mission and advocacy, reported to date, Indiana United Methodists have given more than $600,000 toward disaster relief and recovery efforts.
The Rev. Jim Byerly, a member of the conference disaster team, reported that, of the 71,000 volunteer-hours given to help residents in southern Indiana, 41,000 of those hours were done by United Methodists. Byerly reminded members that we are the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) when a disaster hits.
The Revs. Jill Kaetzel of the Otisco charge, Ron Russell of Pekin UMC, Larry Platt of Borden Pleasant View UMC, and Wilma Bone of Henryville each thanked the churches of the Indiana Conference and for their support in assisting in disaster response, relief and now recovery.
Bone said to members, “We don’t always agree, but when disaster strikes, we bind together and we are a force to be reckoned with. I’m proud to be a United Methodist… Keep us in your prayers. Help put us back together again.”
Bishop Coyner ended the report with a prayer over the pastors and congregations affected by the March 2 disaster. For more information, visit www.inumc.org/volunteer.
The Rev. Dr. Jim Ozier and Fiona Macleod, the conference guest speakers, encouraged the members to change the culture of the church by being the light of Christ and welcoming to our guests.
“Never be shocked at what the light of Christ reveals,” said Ozier. We find ourselves surrounded by the darkness of daily living, actions and beliefs that embarrass Jesus Christ.
The power of introduction can help change the culture of the church, as well as connect people to God, each other and the community. “Culture travels on our words. Don’t let that be an excuse not to grow.”
Ozier added that we have more first-time guests than most church members realize. “Do you see that person as a visitor or a guest?
Today, people don’t church shop. They are driven by some type of human hurt. When people are driven to find a church, they traditionally have six weeks to find a church. It can be the same church six times or it can be six different churches. We need to have that culture of hospitality. “You are the evangelists of the world,” said Ozier.
Ozier shared what they do in the North Texas Conference with the 5-10-Link method. This involves meeting people five minutes before the start of the service, five minutes after the end of the service, anyone who comes within 10 feet of you and after you talk to the person, link them up with someone in the congregation who has something in common, such as same workplace or industry, hobbies or more.
People often fail to make connections because we can’t remember names. “There is no sin in not remembering names,” said Ozier, who also gave demonstrations on how to use the 5-10-Link method. “We need to practice hospitality to get ready for the big game of introducing people to Jesus Christ. If we practice the little things, the big things will follow.”
Macleod shared about the impact of organizational culture on employees or church members. “Culture intentionally leading powerfully with love trumps everything.”
Citing examples from Southwest Airlines, Macleod shared the three principles at Southwest: a warrior spirit, a servant’s heart and having a fun-loving attitude.
The warrior spirit involves doing whatever it takes, even as an underdog and pulling ourselves together to overcome the obstacle in front of us. Macleod challenged attendees to think about their local church: “Our faithful can roll their eyes a little.”
When faced with issuing a difficult corporate message, a focus group of Southwest employees shocked Macleod with their response. “Their only feedback was, ‘We’re ready, what is it we need to do?’ That’s the power of culture.”
Having a servant’s heart means focusing on others and not being competitive with each other. Leaders need to serve others first.
Fun-loving attitude means enjoying our work or ministry and each other. If we do that, there will be joy in the various things we do. “Creativity flourishes in that environment,” said Macleod. “Is your church a fun place to be? We often separate the business of the church with other things we enjoy.”
Southwest implemented a team of culture ambassadors who work to thank employees for their service. “It shows up in a big way and small meaningful touches.”
When the culture changes the environment, big things can happen. People feel valued and recognized. You see ordinary people do extraordinary things. “We all stand ready to inspire and be inspired. We long for more connection. We get tired sometimes. We get weary. But it starts with you.”
Macleod shared concepts starting with your perspective. What do you see in the church? We need to see the past glories, future possibilities and current realities. “Do you see your church today as a possibility?”
Sometimes when something has failed, we don’t want to try again. “We are fearful to repeat history. Instead of playing to win, we’re playing not to lose.”
Friday’s workshops addressed how to Make ROOM through spiritual practices, vital congregations, reaching our neighbors and more. The largest workshop, led by Dr. Kenda Creasy Dean, pinpointed the apathetic attitude of youths toward religion and provided a strategy to counteract the growing trend. Dean identified Moralistic Therapeutic Deism (MTD), the philosophy that God exists but doesn’t play a role in our lives, as the dominant religion in the United States. How can we Make ROOM in the church for apathetic youths and adults who practice this pseudo-Christian religion? Dean challenges us to be constant in mission and “translate” the Good News. She advised that translation should be conveyed through love rather than factual expertise. We must show that we do good works not because we’re good people, but because we love Christ and follow his teachings. It’s easier to share our faith if we first love God. Your demonstration of love may translate into others’ love for Christ and an eventual desire to know Him.