INDIANAPOLIS – During the opening moments of the 2014 Indiana Conference Session May 29, Bishop Mike Coyner introduced Bishop Gregory Palmer, Resident Bishop of the West Ohio Area of The United Methodist Church based in Worthington, Ohio. He preached during a service of “Confession, Repentance and Renewal.” The service was created to help conference members make a fresh start discerning God’s vision for the transformation of the world.
Palmer was elected bishop in 2000 as a delegate of the East Ohio Conference. Prior to being assigned to West Ohio in 2012, he served as Resident Bishop of the Iowa Area (2000-2008) and Resident Bishop of the Illinois Area – Illinois Great Rivers Conference (2008-2012).
Palmer’s sermon, “Confess, Repent, Believe,” was based on the passage of Mark 1: 1-15, where John the Baptist prepared the way of the Good News, sharing the importance of repentance and forgiveness of sins. In order for us to fully receive the Good News, we must prepare a route for ourselves. Like John the Baptist laid out in the aforementioned passage that preparation comes from confessing, repenting and believing.
Palmer reminded conference members that we must never forget to believe the Gospel. The Gospel is a message of forgiveness, but sometimes the institution of the church isn’t very forgiving. Repenting has an emphasis in turning and walking in a new direction – in a new way. The pull is to turn us back.
He challenged the church’s action by encouraging members of the Indiana Conference to trust in the Good News and exercise showing forgiveness to one another and to those who we do not know.
Bishop Gregory Palmer