I invite all United Methodist clergy in Indiana to come and share in an "Our Life Together" retreat on Monday and Tuesday, April 14-15, 2008. We have been sharing in "Our Life Together" days in the North and South conferences separately these past three years. This will be our first event together since my coming to Indiana as bishop; therefore I am working with a planning team preparing for a two-day retreat - about two weeks after Easter.
The purpose? We hope to help our clergy get to know one another, to worship, to hear inspirational messages, to eat together, to play, to fellowship and to work together to create a sense of community as we prepare for decisions later next spring about becoming one conference in 2009.
"Our Life Together" will be held at St. Luke's United Methodist Church in Indianapolis. We will begin on Monday morning with worship, continue with keynote messages from Dr. Greg Jones, dean of Duke Divinity School in Durham, N.C., join one another in small groups, participate in workshops led by a variety of Indiana leaders, and of course share meals together.
The team planning this event is led by the chairpersons of our Orders (Elders, Deacons and Local Pastors) from our two conferences. This group has had fun getting to know one another and planning for this historic event. The group's members have worked to set the registration fee very low (only $65 which includes two lunches and a dinner). They are holding hotel rooms at very reasonable prices and are even recruiting pastors in the Indianapolis area who are willing to open their homes to pastors from across the state for those who choose to stay in homes rather than in hotels.
They also have invited a large group of vendors to share their ministry resources and to offer "freebies" to those attending the event.
This retreat has the possibility of bringing us together as clergy in Indiana, developing a community of mutual support and energizing ourselves for ministry and mission. Our theme for this event is: "Living the Wesleyan Way in a New Day." We will focus upon our role as leaders of The United Methodist Church who are called to model, teach and lead the church in making disciples for Jesus Christ in the style of our Wesleyan heritage.
Registration forms will be available soon on both conference Web sites, through the district offices and through other means of communication.
I ask all of our United Methodist active and retired clergy to save these dates and to plan on joining together in this retreat. I look forward to greeting you in April.
Bishop Michael J. Coyner
Indiana Area of
The United Methodist Church
Making a Difference in Indiana
and around the world.