Northeast Indiana church offers health outreach to women


Member Peggy Keller and her pastor, the Rev. Kathy Miller, stand in front of the Parkview Hospital Francine’s Friends Mobile Mammography unit outside Seminary UMC in Roanoke, Ind.

ROANOKE, Ind. – Women of Seminary United Methodist Church in Roanoke, Ind., partnered on Saturday, April 24, with an area hospital to provide mammograms to women with and without health insurance as part of the denomination’s Change the World weekend.

The Women’s Health and Well-Being Outreach of the church was led by members Peggy Keller and Jo DeFord, who wanted to touch the lives of women by raising the awareness of health issues.

“I chose mammograms because I have had several family members that have had breast cancer,” Keller said in an interview at the church. “I have learned that early detection is very important for the survival of women who contract breast cancer.”

This was the church’s first health outreach to the small town (population 1,500) located 20 miles southwest of Fort Wayne.

The 135-member congregation hosted Francine’s Friends Mobile Mammography contained in a 40-foot-long coach parked at the church. The unit is part of the Parkview Comprehensive Cancer Center of United Methodist-related Parkview Hospital based in Fort Wayne, Ind.

During its four-hour visit, 16 women were examined – one every 15 minutes.

Seminary’s pastor, the Rev. Kathleen Miller, said, “One of the reasons for an emphasis on health is the large number of older people in our congregation. As a congregation, we can teach each other.” She praised Keller for her initiative in beginning a community health outreach.

“When Peggy sets her mind on something, she accomplishes it,” said Miller.

Keller said we look forward to more opportunities for outreach on health issues in the future. Many people have volunteered to speak on these issues.

United Methodist Change the World events happened across Indiana

Some 23 Hoosier United Methodist congregations participated in Change the World weekend April 24-25 sponsored by United Methodist Communications.

During the event, 23 Hoosier United Methodist organizations and congregations registered with United Methodist Communications to participate in the global Change the World campaign, which announced the denomination’s Imagine No Malaria campaign. Globally, World Malaria Day was April 25.

Clarian changes name to Indiana University Health

INDIANAPOLIS – After conducting the most comprehensive customer and market research in history, which included talking with nearly 1,400 patients and their families, affiliated physicians and staff members, Clarian Health recently announced a re-branding that will define how the academic health system will deliver on a new promise to patients and communities. A new name that will take effect when Clarian Health, which incles Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis, becomes Indiana University Health in early 2011.

After making this announcement, Dan Evans, CEO of Clarian Health and a lay member of the Indiana Conference, said, “Indiana University Health clearly defines our focus – improving and protecting the health of our patients and Indiana communities – while visibly identifying our close partnership with IU School of Medicine.”

For United Methodists, Clarian’s pastoral service links to the Indiana Conference providing psychological assessments for clergy candidates, various services in support of clergy wellness and congregational health ministries, and clinical pastoral education to students, clergy and laity. Through its hospitals, Clarian Health provides for discounting the costs of inpatient services to persons covered by the conference insurance plan.

The Indiana Conference also is related to The Methodist Hospital, Southlake Campus in Merrillville; The Methodist Hospital, Northlake Campus in Gary; and Parkview Hospital in Fort Wayne.

For more information about the relationship between the Indiana Conference and Clarian Health, visit

UIndy to host 2012 Super Bowl practice site on campus


A new Student Athletics and Recreation Center at the University of Indianapolis will serve temporarily as an NFL practice facility when the city hosts the 2012 Super Bowl.

INDIANAPOLIS (UIndy) – As the United Methodist-related University of Indianapolis prepares to break ground on its previously announced Student Athletics and Recreation Center, the city’s 2012 Super Bowl Host Committee announced April 20 that the center will serve as the designated NFC practice facility for the nation’s most-watched sporting event.

Although the recreation center was designed to boost UIndy’s capacity for intramural sports, fitness activities and athletic training, it drew interest from the Host Committee because it also meets many of the NFL’s specifications for the temporary practice facilities it will need in Indianapolis.

The UIndy recreation center will include an air-supported dome, intended for multipurpose use but large enough to house a football field, as well as an attached 20,000-square-foot support building with offices, meeting rooms, training rooms and lockers. Construction is set to begin in May near the northeast corner of campus, adjacent to other athletic facilities.

Clarian may spend $500 million on new tower at Methodist


United Methodist-related Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis plans to spend up to $500 million on a new patient tower illustrated here.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Clarian Health plans to spend $375 million to $500 million to add a new patient care tower at United Methodist-related Methodist Hospital in Downtown Indianapolis.

The Indianapolis Business Journal recently reported on its Web site that the tower to be completed sometime in 2015 would have 175 to 250 beds and would enable Methodist to make all its hospital rooms private. Half of Methodist’s existing 760 beds are in pairs in semi-private rooms.

Adding private rooms could help Methodist’s business, observers told the journal. Most hospitals built in the past 25 years have had all private rooms and most, older hospitals have tried to convert their rooms to have just one bed each, the IBJ said.

Clarian is trying to convert all three of its Downtown hospitals – Methodist, Indiana University Hospital and Riley Hospital for Children – to all private rooms, the IBJ said. Those three hospitals receive more than 850,000 patient visits each year.

Former UMC building becomes Indiana Landmarks Center


The former Central Avenue UMC building is considered a gem because of its Romanesque Revival-style architecture.

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indianapolis-based Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana, a 50-year-old organization, now called Indiana Landmarks is renovating the former Central Avenue United Methodist Church building just north of downtown Indianapolis.

The organization is the nation’s largest statewide historic preservation group. Its new home is courtesy of a more than $9 million-makeover funded mostly from the philanthropists Bill and Gayle Cook of Bloomington, Ind. The former United Methodist church building will become the new home of Indiana Landmarks once a major remodeling is performed.

The congregation vacated the building in 2008 and united with nearby Lockerbie United Methodist Church and now meets at the Lockerbie location on the corner of East and New York Streets downtown. The united congregation is known as the Lockerbie Central UMC.

God calls us to ministry despite our fears, say preachers during pastors' Our Life Together retreat


Derek Weber of Fort Wayne and Jenifer Steulpe Gibbs of Bloomington co-preached about God’s call to ordained ministry at Our Life Together retreat for Indiana Conference clergy.

INDIANAPOLIS – More than 350 Hoosier United Methodist pastors and other clergy from across the state met at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Indianapolis for an annual Our Life Together two-day retreat, following a theme of Called and Calling. The event is sponsored by the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry and funded by the conference tithe.

Beginning with a Monday morning worship service, Derek Weber of Aldersgate UMC in Fort Wayne and Jenifer Steulpe Gibbs of First UMC in Bloomington, preached about God’s call to ordained ministry. They based their reflections upon Jeremiah 1:1-12. During their co-sermon, they began with the question of whether God’s call is our choosing or as Jeremiah said, “You (God) chose me before I was born.” Jeremiah claims God seduced him to his prophetic voice. “Do we have free will in our call?” they asked.

Jeremiah told God he didn’t know how to speak and was too young.

Weber and Gibbs pointed out that we hear our call with our human fears. Those fears especially come at the beginning of ministry. We fear that we cannot fulfill God’s call; it’s too great. We fear what we proclaim will cause controversy. Call is irritating. Having received God’s call, we ask if we can bear it?

They said ministry is not five easy steps. At times, “we are called to pluck up and pull down.” Sometimes ministry is dealing with mess. “Take it to the Lord and look deeper.” Sometimes people will be angry and not even know why they are angry.”

Remember, “No other preacher can see what you see in your community. God’s call is the heartbeat of your ministry, the lifeblood of your call,” they said.

Cokesbury Indianapolis Fishers store closes

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMPH) – Cokesbury, the retail division of United Methodist Publishing House, closed the Indianapolis Fishers store on May 1 and will place a sales representative in Indianapolis.

In a statement to Together, Ed Kowalski, vice president of sales for UMPH, said,

“A decision was made to close the Indianapolis Cokesbury store on May 1.The primary reason is that we have experienced substantial sales declines at that location in each of the past five years. A secondary consideration is that UMPH received a suitable offer from someone wanting to purchase the store property.”

Kowalski went on to say Cokesbury remains committed to serving congregations and church leaders in Indiana. In addition to the services provided by Direct Sales, and the Cokesbury Events Department, a Cokesbury Sales Representative will be placed in the Indianapolis market.

Participants need to pre-register for Day of Outreach

If you plan to participate in the Day of Outreach on Saturday, June 12 during the 2010 Indiana Annual Conference in Muncie, please remember to pre-register either using the paper registration form or going online. There will be no registration at Annual Conference.

The on-line registration is separate from the general registration so if you register on-line there will be two actions taken in the registration process. The $20 fee includes lunch, T-shirt, transportation and project costs. Even if you cannot participate, your $20 donation will help fund the outreach in the Muncie Community. Go to

Conference foundations align for unity in January

The former Indiana Area Foundation of The United Methodist Church, now part of the new United Methodist Foundation of Indiana, approved April 23 the new articles of incorporation, bylaws and merger resolutions, which have already been approved by the former North and South Indiana conferences foundation boards.

This means that the new United Methodist Foundation of Indiana is closer to reality and plans to be operational as a new foundation on Jan. 1, 2011. The group, representing all three foundations, nominated and elected the new slate of directors for the new conference foundation. That election will be confirmed at the Indiana Annual Conference session in June.

Annual Conference offers many events for guests

The 2010 Annual Conference at Ball State in Muncie June 10-13 opens its minds, hearts and doors to guests as well as 2,400 expected conference members of Indiana’s 1,200 United Methodist congregations.

All plenary sessions and organizational dinners are open to guests, who also need to register as guests at the registration desk in the lobby area of Emens Auditorium at the corner of Riverside and McKinley Avenues.

Bishop Robert Schnase will give two presentations based on his books: Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations and his new Five Practices of Fruitful Living, directed to individuals. His first presentation will be in Emens on Thursday, June 10 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. His second presentation will be in Emens on Friday, June 11 from 9:15 to 10:30 a.m.

The Laity Session is scheduled for Thursday night at 7 p.m. in Emens.

A Service of Remembrance and Celebration of Resurrection, including Holy Communion will be held on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. in Emens.

The Saturday Day of Outreach on June 12 is the largest event in which guests can be involved. It begins at noon in Emens.

The cost is $20 and includes a T-shirt, meal, transportation and project costs. All participants need to register for this event. The day will end with a Day of Outreach Celebration in Emens Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. To register online now, go to

The Ordination and Commissioning Service to be held Sunday, June 13 at 10 a.m. in Emens Auditorium. This service, like all plenary events, will be Web cast live through the Indiana Conference Web site at

For more information, visit and click on 2010 Annual Conference.

OC Ingathering to take place at Annual Conference 

When the Rev. Joe and Carolyn Wagner visited the Operation Classroom schools and hospitals in Liberia and Sierra Leone this past winter, they saw that specific items were needed. For those attending the Indiana Annual Conference session in Muncie June 10-12, please bring these received supplies for the United Methodist Church in Liberia or Sierra Leone, to the truck parked and open west of Emens Auditorium in the parking lot facing McKinley Avenue. The entrance to the lot is around the corner, off Riverside Avenue.

For more information, contact Operation Classroom at 765-436-2805 or or

Haiti pilot project readied for Volunteers in Mission

STAMFORD, Conn. – Earthquake related United Methodist mission volunteer service in Haiti will focus on housing, health, education, and pastoral services under a six-month pilot project expected to get underway soon.

The pilot project, which could be extended for a longer period, will involve both Haitians and volunteers from outside the country. It is the outcome of consultations among the representatives of the Methodist Church in Haiti, the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM), and the Volunteers Office of the General Board of Global Ministries.

The program is open to qualified volunteers from the United States and from Methodist churches in the Caribbean, Latin America and other parts of the world.

A grant of $565,000 from UMCOR will support at least six months of the work. It was approved on April 14 by directors of UMCOR and affirmed by the General Board of Global Ministries, of which UMCOR is a part. Discussion of the project in committee indicated that teams can possibly be in the field by early May.

Teams will be scheduled through a central U.S.-based office, which will assure that necessary paper work covering insurance, finances, and travel is appropriately handled. An office in Haiti will provide links to the church there and coordinate logistics and materials on the ground for teams. Staff persons have been selected for those posts. A third position will focus on hospitality and finance.

For more information about serving in Haiti, please contact Bonnie Albert,, or call 219- 464-1447 or 219-241-7250. Information will be available at the Indiana Annual Conference in Muncie at the United Methodist Volunteers in Mission display.

UE professor publishes book on biblical women

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – Imagine you’d been born 3,000 years ago in ancient Israel. What would your life have been like?

The answer to this question can be found in Women’s Lives in Biblical Times, a new book written by United Methodist-related University of Evansville Associate Professor of Archaeology and Chair of the Department of Archaeology and Art History Jennie Ebeling. The book, published by T&T Clark International and released April 7, describes the events and daily life activities experienced by women and girls in ancient Israel.

It can be found at or on sale in local bookstores.

Women’s Lives in Biblical Times uses archaeology, biblical and other textual evidence from the ancient Near East and Egypt, iconography and ethnographic information to create a detailed, yet accessible, description of women’s lives during the Iron Age. Its seven thematic chapters chronicle one woman’s life “from cradle to grave.”

Greenwood church grows by 30 percent in two-month period

Some of the new members of Honey Creek United Methodist on Easter Sunday with Lead Pastor Brad Miller.

GREENWOOD, Ind. – Honey Creek United Methodist Church in Greenwood is experiencing its greatest growth in the congregation’s history. In March and April, the church received into membership 34 people through baptism and profession of faith. Most of these were celebrated on Easter Sunday, where the carpet surrounding the baptismal fount was soaked with water.

The reception of the new members represented a growth from 106 to about 138 members, a growth bump of some 30 percent at one time. Lead Pastor Brad Miller was more than pleased. “What a privilege it has been to welcome so many at one time into the family of God through membership at Honey Creek. I know that I have never had such an experience in my 30 years of ministry and there is no record and no recollection, from long-term members, of any similar occurrence in the 183 year history of the church. All I can say is Way To Go God!”

The growth spurt was preceded by decisions of the congregation to start a new contemporary worship service, to develop and nurture a system of small groups, to invest some funds into advertising and to set some goals and strategies to make Easter 2010 the biggest day Honey Creek has seen in some time.

Miller writes book dealing with life

The Rev. Robert H. Miller, Jr., a retired Indiana Conference pastors, is author of a new book titled Reflections from Outside the Margins.

The book is a compilation of inspirational messages dealing with life issues, including scriptural references as Miller makes suggestions to improve the quality of one’s life. Miller has been writing since his sophomore year in college, when he worked for his home town newspaper as a roving reporter and feature writer.

The Millers live in New Palestine. Author House published the book and it can be obtained at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Borders and online. Miller can be contacted at 317-435-0405 for more information about his book.

Two VIM trips scheduled this summer to Crow Creek Reservation

The Indiana Conference Team on Native American Ministry is sponsoring two trips to Crow Creek Reservation in Fort Thompson, South Dakota. The trips are July 11-17 and August 1-7. Projects will range from light construction and fence work to working at a local church and community center. Evenings will include traditional native ceremony.

Trip leaders can only register 50 participants for each trip. Registration deadline is May 28. The trips are for both youth and adults. Youth attending must be at least 14 years old. All participants 18 years old and younger must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

For more information, for first trip, contact the Rev. Wells at or call 812-829-0198; Rev. Oakman at or call 812-232-2478. The insurance form required for someone registering is at