INDIANAPOLIS – Under the banner “A Lively Sense of Call,” two recording artists, a pastor and a seminary president will join Indiana Bishop Mike Coyner in headlining the Our Life Together retreat for Indiana Conference United Methodist clergy.

The dates are Monday, April 26 and Tuesday, April 27 at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, 100 West 86th Street in Indianapolis.

Brent Wright of the Our Life Together leadership team told Together, “We’ve shifted the shape of this year’s event from a continuing education focus to a spiritual retreat focus. The schedule is more open than previous years, offering more time to relax, connect and worship together. It’s about time apart, quietness, connecting with friends, dinner out together, listening for God’s voice through worship, music, fellowship and speakers.”


The Monday session will begin with worship including a dialogue sermon by the Revs. Derek Weber of Aldersgate UMC of Fort Wayne and Jenifer Steulpe Gibbs of First UMC in Bloomington.

Following lunch participants will hear the songs of recording artist, Lisa McLendon ( and the spoken words of the Rev. Tyrone Gordon, senior pastor of the 5,000-member St. Luke’s “Community” United Methodist Church of Dallas, Texas.

McLendon is a popular soul music recording artist with three Stellar and two Dove award nominations for soul music. She is known for her album Lisa McClendon: Live from The House of Blues New Orleans and hit single “Pause.”

Gordon was born in Los Angeles, Calif. and received a B.A. degree from Bishop College in Dallas, Texas, did graduate work at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, Calif. and received an M.Div. from Perkins School of Theology in Dallas. He serves as an Ordained Elder in The United Methodist Church and a member of the North Texas Conference.

Following Monday’s dinner Andrew Peterson ( will be featured in concert. Since completing his last album, The Far Country, independently, Peterson, (singer, songwriter, storyteller) recently signed on with Nashville-based Centricity Music for the Resurrection Letters, Volume II release. His career accomplishments, including the Top 10 radio hit “Nothing to Say” and a Dove Award nomination for his song “Family Man,” make him a reputable addition to Centricity’s roster.


Continuing the retreat on Tuesday morning, participants will worship and hear the Rev. Dr. Wendy J. Deichmann Edwards, president of United Theological Seminary ( in suburban Dayton, Ohio. A clergywoman from the denomination’s Western New York Conference. Edwards is the seminary’s eighth president and co-author of In His Steps and one of three editors of Gender and the Social Gospel. She is a graduate of the State University of New York at Geneseo (B.S.), Colgate Rochester Divinity School (M.Div.) and Drew University (Ph.D.). Her areas of teaching and research include the history of Christianity, American religious history, women in the history of Christianity, historical theology and Wesleyan/United Methodist studies.

Following lunch, Holy Communion will be celebrated with Indiana Bishop Mike Coyner, who also will preach. The emphasis of the two-day event will be on nurturing the call to clergy ministry, as well as encouraging others to hear the call. More information about the retreat, registration and housing will be published as it becomes available on the Indiana Conference Web site at

“It’s about time apart, quietness, connecting with friends…”

– Brent Wright