During its second day-long session, the 14-member Imagine Indiana Transition Team began the process of naming new conference's trustees, and members of the Council on Finance and Administration, Rules and Structure, Nominations, and Human Resources committees. The team was chaired by the Rev. Cindy Reynolds of Warsaw, who was elected during the team's first meeting on July 10.

When the process is completed, these nominations will be approved during the upcoming Special Session of the Indiana North and Indiana South Annual Conference to be held Saturday, Oct. 4 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis.

Team members also discussed staffing of the new conference with the Rev. James Bushfield, Director of Connectional Ministries of the South Indiana Conference and the Rev. Mark Gough, Director of Connectional Ministries of the North Indiana Conference.

The afternoon session was spent discussing administrative issues with conference treasurers Brent Williams of the North Conference and Jennifer Gallagher of the South Conference. The team also approved a new conference logo that will be introduced during the Special Session of both conferences.

Began work July 10

The 14-member Indiana Conference Transition Team, selected by Indiana Bishop Mike Coyner, met for the first time July 10, at the Indiana Area Office in Indianapolis. The morning session of the meeting combined members of both the previous Imagine Indiana Design Team that brought the proposal to unite the North Indiana and South Indiana Conferences into a new Indiana Conference.

Members of the former team reflected with the new team members their dreams for the new conference and key elements of the plan. The Design Team reiterated the importance of congregations working together on the common goal of "making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world" with horizontal accountability rather than the tradition top-down process. They also said to listen to people, especially staff members of both conference offices and the area office.

As the conference offices begin to close down to form a new office, they said much grieving will occur. The same is true of long-time members of both conferences who have met and done conference business as usual both at Purdue and Indiana University sites for the past 40 to 60 years.

A time of remembering the two former conferences will be incorporated into a worship service of the Special Session of the two current conferences on Oct. 4. The Transition Team will serve through the first session of the new Indiana Conference scheduled to meet June 25-28, 2009 at Ball State University in Muncie.

During its first session in July, Coyner outlined the assignment of the Transition Team members, who will be responsible for nominating members to the new Conference Council on Finance and Administration, Conference Trustees and naming people to the nominations, human resources, rules and sessions committees.

Next meetings

The team has scheduled meetings for Sept. 4, Oct. 8 and Nov. 11.

During its September meeting, the team plans to meet with Coyner, and representatives from the United Methodist Women, United Methodist Men, Indianapolis' Metro Ministries, and Outdoor Ministries.

In November, the team plans to meet with representatives from the conference Boards of Ordained Ministry, the three United Methodist-related foundations in Indiana, missions and youth.

For more information, log on to www.inareaumc.org and click on Imagine Indiana