Summer is the pictures-taking, image-capturing season, also the seasons for weddings, family reunions, picnics, church camps, mission trips, vacations, day trips across Indiana, all perfect for our cameras. We are on the go and digital photography has become as common as the cell phone. Smile, I think you’re going to like this one.
This issue of your Hoosier United Methodists Together also captures images and stories from a wide variety of sources about our people both here at home and around the world. We lead with a tie from the Rethink Church community outreach during last year’s annual conference to this year’s community outreach at the second Indiana Conference session. Calvary United Methodists in Brownsburg came together Sunday, May 16, with more than 400 members and guests to touch the lives of hundreds across Hendricks County for a few hours during their expression of a Rethink Church community outreach event. Read the Brownsburg story here and follow it up with the story of the conference’s second Mission Outreach to the residents of Muncie here.
Greatly impressed with the conference’s outreach events, Bishop Mike Coyner challenges the 185 ministry clusters of congregations across the state to take the mission outreach idea across Indiana to touch the lives of thousands of people statewide. Read his challenge here.
Several pages of this issue are dedicated to coverage of the second Indiana Annual Conference session at Ball State University in Muncie. Names and pictures of the retirees, newly ordained and commissioned clergy, and those clergy and clergy spouses who died since the past annual conference session are listed.
The teachings of Bishop Robert Schnase and his five practices of fruitful congregations are highlighted here. He gives us snapshots of how to enliven and engage our congregations to reach out to our communities.
You also will experience snapshots of a bike trip across the Congo, read reasons for building new cabins at the conference’s Epworth Forest Convention Center and think thourgh a viewpoint about what was missing at annual conference. Another commentary supports guaranteed pastoral appointments in answer to a committee of the church coming closer to suggesting the elimination of guaranteed appointments. Read about this developing proposal here and here. What do you think? Write a letter to the editor and join those expressing their viewpoints and comments on this page.
In order to get all these mid-summer snapshots to you, we expanded this issue to 16 pages instead of the usual 12 pages.
Also remember, that news, information, events, mission opportunities and Bishop Mike’s E-pistles come to you weekly if you are subscribed to the electronic Hoosier United Methodists (e-HUM). If you don’t receive the weekly e-HUMs and announcements as they break, subscribe today. For your complimentary subscription, visit www.inumc.org, click on Subscribe to e-HUM and enter your e-mail address as directed.
This is a double-month (July-August) issue. I’m taking vacation time next month pitching my tent by the side of a lake, lighting a camp fire and capturing pictures of God’s creation all around. Enjoy the pleasures of the summer months as well as enjoy the stories of your Together.
Daniel R. Gangler