From the Bishop

Four years ago when I was welcomed to the Indiana Area in a wonderful worship service, I shared that day in my message my hope that we United Methodists here in Indiana could "Make a Difference." I shared my hope that this making a difference would happen in three dimensions:

  1. Making disciples of Jesus Christ
  2. Making a witness to the State of Indiana
  3. Making a more effective church

Now it seems that I need to add a fourth dimension: Making History. Because of the historic votes by the North Indiana and South Indiana Conferences these past three years, we are now moving toward an historic event on Saturday, Oct. 4. The two annual conferences will gather together at the Indiana State Fairgrounds for a uniting conference.

This special called session of the two conferences will include a vote to reconcile the amendments to the Imagine Indiana plan which were voted at the regular 2008 sessions, plus a series of votes on the necessary legal and structural decisions needed by the new conference, and all of this will be surrounded by an atmosphere of worship and celebration.

This will be an historic gathering. It is 40 years since the merger of the former Methodist Church and the former Evangelical United Brethren Church in 1968 which created our current structures. It is 200 years since the Methodist people first organized here in Indiana as the Indiana District of the Western Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

So we will gather 200 years and 40 years since those historic events, and October 4, 2008 will long be remembered as another milestone in the movement of the people called United Methodists here in Indiana.

It is not often that we have a chance to make history. It is not often that we have the opportunity to participate in such a milestone event. It is not often that our denomination, the largest in the state of Indiana, can make news by reinventing itself.

I look forward to greeting you on Oct. 4 as we make history, and I pray that this event will move us further toward the ultimate goal of "making a difference . here in Indiana and around the world."

Bishop Michael J. Coyner
Indiana Area of
The United Methodist Church

"Making a Difference …
in Indiana and around the world"