From the Bishop

The moving boxes have arrived, our staff is sorting through files and materials, and we are busy preparing to move the Indiana Area Office to the new Indiana Conference Center. The Office of the Bishop and other Area Staff has been located since the early 1960s in the Interchurch Center on 42nd Street, and now we are moving to the north side of Indianapolis (301 Pennsylvania Parkway, Suite 301, Indianapolis, IN 46280).

The move will take place in late October, and we hope to have our phones and computer systems up and running by the first of November. Soon other members of the new Indiana Conference Center staff will join us in that location.

Anyone who has ever moved knows that moving is messy. On a personal level, Marsha and I have moved many times – I think we have lived in 13 different locations during our 39 years of marriage – so we know all about moving. It take times, energy, time, and adjustment.

This move also will take some time to complete. We were original “equity partners” in the Indiana Interchurch Center, and so we will be receiving those equity-partner funds back in due time. We will be selling the Bloomington and Marion conference center buildings. And, as of January 1, 2010, we are transitioning from the current 18 districts to 10 districts.

I like to think moving is not as important as “moving on” to a new reality, a new ministry and a new phase of life. We United Methodist clergy are an itinerant group, but I believe that our itinerant system is not about simply moving; it’s about moving on to new ministry. Simply moving to a new location is not the same as moving on. “Moving on” means learning about a new location, studying it like a missionary studies a new mission field and adapting one’s own ministry to these new opportunities.

I pray that our move to the new Indiana Conference Center will be a move, but also a “moving on” to new opportunities to lead and serve our United Methodist people here in Indiana. We will have new opportunities for coordination, with all of our key staff in one office. For the first time ever in Indiana, the Bishop will be in the same office with conference staff. We will have a new IT system, that will connect directly with our 10 district center offices for better handling of data and information. We will have the capacity to transfer phone calls directly from any one of those locations to another staff person, district superintendent or even the cell phones of staff who are on the road. All of this is being designed to make our ministry more efficient, effective and “user-friendly” to our United Methodist people. One phone call to any of our centers should give you access to the answers you need from anyone else in our conference structure.

Moving is messy, and even painful, but it can lead us to new opportunities for service. Once we are well settled into the new Indiana Conference Center, we will have an open house and blessing service for that space. Why? Because we are not simply moving, we are moving on.

Bishop Michael J. Coyner
Indiana Conference of The United Methodist Church
“Making a Difference in Indiana and around the world”

I like to think moving is not as important as “moving on” to a new reality, a new ministry and a new phase of life.

The area office currently resides in the Indiana Interchurch Center in Indianapolis.

The new Indiana Conference Center will reside in this office building beginning Nov. 1.