Both Indiana North and Indiana South Annual Conferences share the same session theme "Imagine Indiana." According to conference session planners, this theme acknowledges the work of both North and South Indiana Annual Conferences, as both conferences continue to discuss and pray about the possibility of one annual conference for Indiana.
Ephesians 3:20-21 is the Scripture reference used for this theme, a benediction written by the Apostle Paul, "Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, for ever and ever. Amen."
The North Indiana Conference will meet May 30 through June 2 at Purdue University in West Lafayette. The South Indiana Conference will meet June 6-9 at Indiana University in Bloomington.
A priority in both annual conference sessions will be a presentation by the Imagine Indiana Planning Team co-chairs the Rev. Dr. Adolf Hansen of McCordsville (SIC) and the Rev. Dr. Cynthia Reynolds of Warsaw, Ind. (NIC).
In the North Indiana Conference, the Imagine Indiana presentation is scheduled for Thursday, May 31 at 2:15 p.m. in Elliot Hall at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind. A vote will be received by ballot on Friday, June 1 about the proposal for one Indiana Annual Conference. The ballots will be counted and sealed.
In the South Indiana Conference, the Imagine Indiana presentation is scheduled for Wednesday, June 6 at 8:15 p.m. in the Indiana University Auditorium in Bloomington. A vote will be received by ballot on Friday, June 8 at 1:15 p.m. about the proposal for one Indiana Annual Conference The results of both ballots will be announced before the close of the annual conference on Saturday, June 9.
The recommendation and plans of the Imagine Indiana Planning Team are on the Imagine Indiana Report page.
All meetings of each annual conference are open to the public, but only clergy members and elected lay conference members from each congregation are permitted to vote on conference business.
North features Christian conferencing groups
The North Indiana Conference meeting in West Lafayette will feature Christian conferencing groups. Groups will meet Thursday at 3:10 p.m., May 31, following the Imagine Indiana report. Conference leaders have randomly assigned each lay and clergy member to annual conference to one of ten groups. According to session planners, this will be a chance to discuss and ask questions about the Imagine Indiana plan and recommendation that faces this annual conference session. There are no legislative groups as in prior annual conference sessions.
The clergy executive session will be held in the combined north and south ballrooms of Purdue University Memorial Union following a clergy and spouse dinner on Wednesday night, May 30.
The annual conference will open with a Memorial Communion Service Thursday, May 31 at 9:30 a.m. in Elliot Hall of Music.
Bishop Woodie White, former bishop of Indiana, will preach during a 7 p.m. Worship Service Thursday night May 31 in Elliot Hall, featuring the Peace and Justice Advocacy Teams.
Friday morning and afternoon, June 1, is scheduled for plenary session reports. An All Conference Celebration Dinner is scheduled for Friday at 6 p.m. in the Purdue Union ballrooms. Presentations will include the Laity Address, the Bishop's Vision and the Conference Council on Youth Ministries.
The Ordination and Commissioning Service is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 2 in Elliott Hall. Bishop Coyner will be preaching.
South bids farewell to council director
The South Indiana Conference meeting in Bloomington June 6-9, will bid farewell to retiring Conference Council on Ministry Director the Rev. Robert Sharp, who has served in this position since November 2001. He will be followed by the Rev. Dr. James Bushfield, whom Bishop Mike Coyner appointed to succeed Sharp beginning July 1. Sharp will preach during the opening Memorial Communion Service on Wednesday, June 6 at 1:15 p.m. in the Indiana University Auditorium.
Prior to the opening service, clergy will meet at First United Methodist Church in downtown Bloomington in executive session from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Laity will meet during the same time period in I.U. Auditorium. The Rev. Dr. Sam Dixon, deputy general secretary for the Evangelization and Church Growth Unit of the General Board of Global Ministries will speak.
Louise Williams, President of the DIAKONIA World Federation and executive director of the Lutheran Deaconess Association of Valparaiso, Ind., will be the guest speaker during the Tenth Anniversary Celebration of the Order of Deacons on Wednesday evening, June 6 at 7:45 p.m.
Bishop Woodie White, former bishop of Indiana, will preach during the Peace and Justice Service on Thursday evening at 6:45 p.m.
Bishop Coyner will preach during the Celebration of Ministry Service of Ordination, Commissioning and Passing of the Stole on Friday evening at 7:30 p.m.