Indiana Annual Conference Session Questions and Answers

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Access to Internet in the Convention Center?

Yes, there will be Internet WiFi service in the Main Room

Will it be free?

No, there will be a daily charge by credit card.

What will it cost?

We have not received the cost from the vendor yet.

What if you can’t get reports to come up on your computer from the DVD?

All reports, information and videos also available at www.inumc.org//pages/detail/1207.

What if you have trouble opening videos on laptop?

Check to see that video players are closed and that your computer plays DVDs. (It took me a couple of times to open the DVD, but it did open and all videos played.) If your computer does not open the DVD, try a DVD player or go online and read reports and view videos online at www.inumc.org//pages/detail/1207. These online videos also are downloadable by right clicking on the “Download here” and selecting “Save Target As.” The files are in MP4 format.

What is the toll-free number for the conference center if I need help?

877-781-6706

How do you add a workshop if you have already registered?

You cannot add a workshop online if you have already registered. Call Lisa in the Conference Center toll-free at 877-781-6706, directly to Lisa’s desk at 317-564-3235 or by e-mail at lisa.timmerman@inumc.org, and she can help you add a workshop.

Where are the best places to park? Is there a cheap lot?

The best place to park is on Capitol Street across from the Indiana Convention Center, but as a rule of thumb, the closer that you are to the Indiana Convention Center, the more expensive the rate. The most inexpensive rate is at the Omni and Hilton hotels. Guests at the Hilton hotel receive free parking. An inexpensive parking lot is the Circle Centre Mall parking lots two blocks east of the convention center. It can be entered either off of Washington Street (one way west) or Maryland Street (one way east). Parking ranges from $1.50 for 3 hours up to $20 for a 24 hours or all day depending on the lot.

A list of nearby lots can be found at www.indydt.com, click on parking near convention center or on the conference website at www.inumc.org/pages/detail/1069.

Other parking tips?

Write the garage, floor and space number on your ticket so you can easily find your car at the end of the day. During nighttime hours, always walk with someone to your car for safety sake. There are a few garaged lots north of the State House on Capitol Street (east side) that have inexpensive early bird specials. At the entrance of the garage, check to see when the lot closes or if it’s open 24 hours. A list of nearby lots can be found at www.indydt.com, click on parking near convention center.

Time allowance to drive to downtown Indianapolis from Northeast District?

Coming to Indianapolis from the northeast down I-69 can be a challenge during rush hour (7 to 9 a.m.) especially from Noblesville (exit 10) south to I-465. Give yourself an extra 30 to 45 minutes.

Here are estimated times from South Bend (3 hours, 10 minutes) , Fort Wayne (2 hours, 15 minutes), Evansville (3 hours, 30 minutes), Terre Haute (90 minutes), Jeffersonville (2 hours) and Richmond (75 minutes) to mention a few.

Where to check-in for Mission projects?

Indianapolis United Methodist Metro Ministries will be communicating directly to those that have registered for the mission outreach by e-mail to share the specific pick up point for their project. If you have specific questions, contact Lisa Morris, executive director of Metro Ministries at her office at 317-924-4140 or by e-mail at lmorris@indymetroumc.org.

Display table set-up times?

Exhibitors will receive information about displays from Ruth Ellen Needler at the Conference Center this week.

Cost of lodging concern for Annual Conference. All hotels are booked what other options are available?

All hotel space is NOT already booked. Hotel spaced must be booked online, not by calling the hotels directly, because we have blocks of room reserved. Visit www.inumc.org/ac2012. Go to left column and enter dates you need a room, number of rooms and number of people in a room. Then click search. This will bring up a page with the hotels listed we have contracted with for conference rate. Remember that most members will only be spending two nights in a hotel rather than three nights like last year. We currently have more than 200 hotel rooms still available downtown, at the Omni and Hilton hotels. The Hilton offers the largest rooms in the city (queen suites with 2 beds and a pullout sofa bed) free parking and a free shuttle to and from the Convention Center. The Omni is one of our closest hotels as it is just a short block from our main entrance to the Convention Center. Remember to go through our reservation line 317-262-8191 in order to receive our discounted rates. If you call the hotel directly, you will be told that the hotel is booked.

Ballgame is after conference. What about parking? Can they remain in hotel parking or move?

If you are in a conference listed hotel, ask at the front desk if you can leave your vehicle in the hotel lot to attend the Saturday night ball game. There is event parking at White River State Park garage ($20) on West Washington Street across from Victory Field. There also is event parking around Lucas Oil Stadium for $5. You need cash.

General Conference voted to eliminate guaranteed appointments. Will criteria for pastors be available at conference?

No. The General Conference delegation may touch on this issue, but annual conference will not be acting on this legislation during this annual conference session. The Judicial Council will be reviewing this change during the October deliberations, so we will not know the full extent of this change until next year’s appointment season.

If workshops are full, what are delegates to do?

There is plenty of room in the Main Room. Workshop with Kenda Creasy Dean. Dr. Kenda Creasy Dean, Professor of Youth, Church and Culture at Princeton Theological Seminary, acclaimed speaker and writer on Ministry with Youth and Young Adults, and author of The Theological Turn in Youth Ministry, Almost Christian and The God-Bearing Life.

Some churches regularly knit infant hats, can they be donated to the Conference mission project?
If yes, where to take them?

Yes, bring knitted infant hats to the Metro Ministries booth in the Hospitality Area. You can even knit during annual conference session and bring the knitted hats to the booth.

What is happening with Oakwood Park?

Oakwood Park in Syracuse, a former North Indiana Conference retreat center, continues to be in court-appointed receivership. Earlier this year, an offer was made but has since expired. We are awaiting a report from the receiver on next steps.

Will there be an opportunity for the camping to present what is happening with Epworth forest, etc., during annual conference?

Yes, the Camping Board members will bring a report on the work of their vision team. It will have information about long range and strategic goals. You will be asked to approve it. In addition, they will bring an update on the Capital Campaign for Camping with recommendations. You will be asked to vote on these as well.

Are there other things for the UMW other than a tour of the Lucille Raines Residence?

No. UMW of Indiana elected not to have a luncheon due to the cost. The only event organized specifically for UMW is the tours offered on Wednesday and Thursday plus a booth in the Hospitality Room exhibits.

Were there any General Conference actions that need to be passed by Annual Conference?

The General Conference delegations will be giving a report about General Conference 2012 during one of the plenary sessions, but there are no actions that require our conference vote this year. There are decisions that the Annual Conference will need to make in 2013 around benefits. Needed information will be researched and brought to the 2013 Annual Conference by the Conference Board of Pensions for action. Legislation does not take effect until 2014.

So nothing that was presented at General conference will be presented at this Annual Conference?

No action is needed. But there are decisions which affect annual conferences made at General Conference about which the GC2012 delegation will report.

Do you have information about the Bishop's reference to the changes to the pastor's pension?

United Methodist clergy in the United States will continue to participate in a retirement program that includes a monthly pension payment. By a vote May 3 of 819 to 78, the 2012 General Conference delegates approved a modified Clergy Retirement Security Program. The plan combines a defined benefit component with a defined contribution component, like the clergy’s current retirement program, but with a reduced benefit for clergy and, consequently, a lower contribution for U.S. conferences. It is only mandatory for full-time clergy. Read more here.

General comments about “sticker shock” and Annual Conference being cost prohibitive this year.

The Implementation Team realizes that downtown Indianapolis may be more expensive than Muncie. Because of those expenses, the length of Annual Conference was shortened so most people will only have two nights in a hotel instead of three nights. Members can also double up in hotel rooms to save money. There are a wide variety of restaurants in downtown Indianapolis. Inexpensive food can be found at the Circle Centre Mall, two blocks east of the Indiana Convention Center. Parking is an added expense for many. Remember that the farther you are from the Convention Center usually the cheaper the parking rate. We suggest the Circle Centre Mall parking garage underneath the mall. What we obtain by being at the Convention Center is all annual conference session activities will be under one roof and in a completely accessible facility.