Hoosier UMs partner with American Indians in education, celebration

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Indianapolis St. Andrew UMC members Barbara King (seated) and Marilyn Haun (standing), of Cherokee descent, teach American Indian customs to children during the American Indian celebration at St. Luke’s UMC in Indianapolis on Sunday morning, Aug. 22.

INDIANAPOLIS – Americans Indiana living in Indiana, with connections to ten tribes across the United States, partnered with pastors, other leaders and members of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Indianapolis in a day of education and celebration of American Indian life on Sunday, Aug. 22, at the church.

Hundreds of church members visited a visually stimulating Great Hall filled with demonstration and displays, including American Indians in native dress and a full-size teepee, which reached to the ceiling.

St. Luke’s World Missions Director Jan Nichols and Event-Leader Linda Madagame, member of the Ottawa nation said they were thrilled with the participation and viewed the four-hour event among three worship services a successful educational opportunity for children, youth and adults.

The variety of displays ringing the room, each with one of 25 American Indians or experts on native life, gave hands-on experience with drums, flutes, beading, crafts, jewelry, a Native American radio station, information about the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, dancing, conversations about native life today and one-on-one contacts with members of Indian tribes, including Chief Brian Buchanan of the Miami Nation of Indiana based in Peru, Ind.

With these words of hope, Madagame, Phillips and other advocates of American Indians met with Bishop Mike Coyner at the Indiana Conference Center the morning after the event to explore where these new partnerships with American Indians of Indiana can lead United Methodists with native communities.

American Indian advocates hope for American Indian worship services, state outreach and missions and plan to meet with the Indiana Conference Connectional Ministries and Church Development leaders. They wish to work with the Conference Native American Ministries Team led by the Rev. John Adams of New Harmony to explore these possibilities.

Motorbikes in Vietnam, human rights in the Philippines

As United Methodists, we often speak of connectionalism and global ministries. We use these words so often in fact, that they sometimes sound more rhetorical than relevant, more theoretical than real. But despite the sometimes watered-down meaning of such words, The United Methodist Church is indeed a global denomination, a fact I learned through some international travel with fellow United Methodists.

This past April, I had the privilege of traveling to Manila, Philippines with the Connectional Table of The United Methodist Church. The Connectional Table is a global group of the UMC that provides a platform for discussion about the vision, mission and money of the denomination. As a group with international representation, the Connectional Table tries to meet at least once every four years outside the United States. In April, that meeting was in Manila.

In addition to the official meeting in Manila, I took advantage of an optional side-trip to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The experience opened my eyes to the global reality of United Methodism. In addition to the delightful and hospitable Vietnamese culture, I discovered United Methodist ministries producing tangible results within a country that monitors religious movement.

In Vietnam, most people travel on motorbikes. Like schools of fish, motorbikes flow through the streets of Ho Chi Minh City, weaving through cars and pedestrians. My heart pounded pretty fast the first time I attempted to cross a busy street. If Vietnamese pastors wish to visit their congregants and travel efficiently, motorbikes are incredibly useful. To fill this need, volunteers from the West Ohio Conference rode motorbikes through the hills of Vietnam, ending at a new United Methodist Center near the international airport in Ho Chi Minh City. The motorbikes were then donated to Vietnamese United Methodist clergy. During my second day in Vietnam, I attended the dedication ceremony of that United Methodist Center in Vietnam.

Lilly Endowment awards 27 clergy renewal grants



INDIANAPOLIS – Twenty-seven Indiana congregations have received grants to enable their ministers to participate in the 2010 Clergy Renewal Program for Indiana Congregations funded by Lilly Endowment Inc. The program – now in its 12th year – allows pastors to step back from their busy lives and renew their spirits for challenges ahead.

Three of the congregations and their pastors are United Methodists this year. They include:

  • Castleton United Methodist Church and Pastor C. Mac Hamon of Indianapolis,
  • Old North United Methodist Church and Pastor Michael P. Monahan of Evansville, and
  • Roberts Park United Methodist Church and Pastor Howard E. Boles of Indianapolis.

The Endowment invites congregations and ministers to consider and plan a period of “intentional reflection and renewal.” It provides a time for ministers to take a break from their daily obligations and gain the fresh perspective and renewed energy that a carefully considered “sabbath time” of travel, study, rest and prayer can provide.

CFA, trustees give green light to build first Epworth lodge

NORTH WEBSTER, Ind. – Right here – Right now – Right future, the Campaign for the Camping Ministry at Epworth Forest Conference Center in North Webster took a giant step toward reality this past July with the Indiana Conference Trustees and the Conference Council on Finance and Administration (CFA) approving an Indiana Conference Camping Board request to begin construction of the first new lodge at Epworth Forest. The lodge will be located on the site of the old amphitheater with construction beginning immediately. In a conservation move, the concrete from the amphitheater will be crushed and used in the foundation of the new lodge.

For more information about the Epworth Forest Project, visit www.rightfuture.org.

Convocation for Pastors deadlines approaching

Food, fellowship, learning and relaxation! Pastors will have four meals during the Convocation. The first individuals to register will have the opportunity to join Bishop Hopkins, Bishop Coyner, Mark Miller or Mary Ann Moman for one of these sit down meals.

Workshops topics to include: Energizing: Spirituality, Outreach, Sabbath, Preaching, Youth Ministry, Young Adults, Missions and more!

The registration deadline is Oct. 1. Register online at www.inumc.org/registration.

Accommodations for the Convocation will be held at the Holiday Inn Conference Center in Columbus. Make your own reservations with the Holiday Inn by calling 812-372-1541. To receive the special Convocation rate, tell the hotel you are with the United Methodist Pastors Convocation and call by Sept. 15.

Click here for more details.

Epworth fund raising project to honor donors

NORTH WEBSTER, Ind. – Through the Epworth Forest* Project of the Indiana United Methodist Conference, camp leaders believe an additional 10,000 youth will experience the love and saving grace of Jesus Christ each year. The goal of raising $10 million and building six new cottages is about more than bricks and mortar; it is about “doing everything it takes to reach the next generation for Jesus Christ,” according to project leaders.

Tribute opportunities are an important part of this campaign. Donors will have the opportunity for their gift to be an ongoing encouragement to their friends and church family through the years. The tribute also allows the honoring or remembering of a special event or person in the donor’s life. It is an important way for donors to share their excitement, history and vision for Epworth Forest.

Donors have two paths of making a gift to the project, in conjunction with their local church or outside the local church. Many local churches have made one overall church pledge and some people will simply make a pledge or gift through their church as part of that pledge. Other donors will make the decision to contribute a gift to the project outside the local church. Whether part of a church pledge or an individual contribution, these tribute opportunities are available to all donors.

For more information or to contribute to the Epworth Forest Project, contact the Rev. Jean Brindle at 317-815-0083 or by e-mail at jean.brindle@inumc.org.

Theme, logo chosen for General Conference

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) – “Make Disciples of Jesus Christ to Transform the World” will be the theme for The United Methodist Church’s 2012 General Conference, scheduled for April 24-May 4 in Tampa, Fla.

The theme, selected by the Commission on the General Conference, echoes the mission of The United Methodist Church to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

The logo, which complements the theme, depicts a graphic image of the cross, representing the presence of Jesus Christ at the center of the church’s mission. Circles extending from the cross express energy and movement into ministry in the world. A bright sun and blue water represent Tampa.

Walkerton youth in line to feed those in line

Pictured left to right are Randy Cooper, Merry Cooper, Andrew Allen, Lauryn Wiseman, Sarah Knowlton.
WALKERTON, Ind. – In the town of Walkerton, the Community Pantry sits on the main street –Jefferson. The fourth Tuesday of each month, area residents needing food supplies line up with their boxes, sacks and laundry baskets. On those Tuesdays across from the Pantry, standing under an open tent, sometimes in weather of 9 to 90 degrees, are the people of Walkerton United Methodist Church.

When the Walkerton UMC Growth and Care committee members were talking with their Pastor Char Harris Allen, they wondered what the church could do while the people waited outside the pantry. The committee suggested giving them water or lemonade since when the outreach started in September 2009. More ideas along with passing out flyers about the church floated around, and then Allen suggested: “let’s just feed them.” So the ministry began. It went so well feeding around 130 people that it became a monthly outreach activity.

Together We Can Road Show coming to Indiana in Oct.

Pastors, church treasurers and members of the finance committee of each local church are invited to see how United Methodist General Church apportionments are used, to hear about the theology of Christian giving and how to communicate with your church the value of receiving and paying the Indiana Conference tithe during the Together We Can Road Show.


These informative sessions will be led by the Rev. Kenneth Sloane, director of Communications Ministry at United Methodist Communications in Nashville, Tenn.

Learn more and read stories of connectional giving at www.connectionalgiving.blogspot.com.

Day, date, time, place of presentations will be:

  • Sunday, Oct. 3
    • 3 p.m. (EDT) at Palmyra UMC, 13855 N. Martin Mathis Road NE, Palmyra
  • Monday, Oct. 4
    • 1 p.m. (CDT) at McCutchanville Community UMC, 9505 Petersburg Rd., Evansville
    • 7 p.m. (EDT) at Cloverdale UMC, 2492 E. CR 1000 S in Cloverdale
  • Tuesday, Oct. 5
    • 10 a.m. (EDT) at Avon UMC, 6850 E. US 36 (Rockville Road) in Indianapolis
    • 2 p.m. (EDT) at Old Bethel UMC, 7995 E. 21st Street in Indianapolis
    • 7 p.m. (EDT) at Indianapolis Christ UMC, 8540 US 31 S. in Indianapolis
  • Wednesday, Oct. 6
    • 2 p.m. (EDT) Columbus First UMC, 618 8th Street in Columbus
    • 6:30 p.m. (EDT) at New Castle First UMC, 1324 Church Street, New Castle
  • Thursday, Oct. 7
    • 2 p.m. (EDT) at Kokomo Main Street UMC, 830 Main Street in Kokomo
    • 7 p.m. at (EDT) Monticello UMC, 200 S. Main Street in Monticello
  • Friday, Oct. 8
    • 1 p.m. (CDT) at LaPorte First UMC, 1225 Michigan Avenue in LaPorte
    • 7 p.m. at (EDT) Aldersgate UMC, 2417 Getz Road in Fort Wayne

Bishop announces associate directors with camping ministries



INDIANAPOLIS – Bishop Mike Coyner announced Aug. 25 the hiring of Nick Yarde as the Indiana Conference Associate Director of Camping and of Ian Hall as Associate Director of Financial Services-Camping.

Yarde was the director of the Camping Program for the former North Indiana Conference since 2001. Likewise, Hall served as director of Outdoor Ministries for the former South Indiana Conference since 2005. Both positions become effective on Sept. 1.

Upon their hiring, Coyner said, “I am glad that these two positions have been filled, and I believe that together they give us a strong team to continue and expand our excellent camping ministries in the Indiana Conference.”

The conference camping program, a part of Connectional Ministries, is based at the Indiana Conference Center in Indianapolis and serves the conference’s seven camp and retreat center sites. Camping has more than 4,000 children, youth and adult participants each annual camping season. Visit www.beacamper.com.

Indianapolis Community Center celebrates summer program

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Campers dance during a closing talent show that celebrated the 40-day Summer Fun and Frolic Program at Brightwood Community Center in Indianapolis.
INDIANAPOLIS – More than 100 parents and guests celebrated the Brightwood Community Center’s eight-week Summer Fun and Frolic Program on July 29 with a visual slide presentation of activities and a talent show performed by the program’s 32 “campers.”

Pastor Debra Grady was pleased by the active participation of up to 20 other United Methodist congregations in greater Indianapolis who supplied the day-long program with hot and cold meals, ice, drinks and paper supplies. Old Bethel UMC provided transportation. Grady told parents and families present that she appreciated their strong support and spirit of cooperation.

Young adults Kim White and Stan Ferguson directed the program and were assisted by counselors Zachary Cutshaw, Patricia Taylor and Leonard Perkins.

Brightwood started its afterschool Kid’s Club program in mid-August when IPS began another school year.

Evansville scout receives Richert Scholarship

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – Austin Pont, an active member of Boy Scout Troop 301, was given the opportunity to join the Buffalo Trace Council’s group attending the 2010 Boy Scout Jamboree at Fort A.P. Hill in Virginia. The Jamboree began July 22 and ran through Aug. 4.

Pont, an active member of Methodist Temple UMC’s Troop, currently serves as Senior Patrol Leader and is a Star Scout. He was recently honored by being “tapped out” for the Order of the Arrow.

The Larry E. Richert Memorial Adventure Fund is a scholarship program intended to assist youth involved in the Civic Youth Serving Agencies/Scouting Ministries of the Indiana Conference to attend High Adventure activities such as jamborees, High Adventure trips, Wider Opportunities and National Leadership Development events.

Scouts net $17,000 to fight malaria

BOWLING GREEN, Va. (UMNS) – More than 5,500 Boy Scouts and their adult leaders attended United Methodist worship at the National Jamboree held at Fort A.P. Hill. It was part of a strong United Methodist presence at the event, which celebrated the centennial of Boy Scouts of America.

Larry Coppock, the national director of Scouting ministries for the Commission on United Methodist Men, reported that during the Jamboree about 5,200 commemorative New Testaments and 10,000 Nothing But Nets patches were distributed. The worship service offering totaled more than $12,000.

Along with the money collected at the Nothing But Nets display, the scouting event raised more than $17,000 to the church’s anti-malaria partnership.

Two pastors of the Indiana Conference – Kent Lundy of Aldersgate UMC in Fort Wayne and Mark Dicken of Newburgh UMC – were United Methodist chaplains for the event.

UMW commemorates a century tradition of mission schools

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Commemorating a century of mission schools, leaders of the School of Christian Mission performed on Friday a skit about one of the first women’s societies missionary conference held at Edinburg Scotland in June 1910. Actors were dressed in long black skirts and white blouses with a variety of hats.

ANDERSON, Ind. – The Indiana Conference inaugural School of Christian Mission 2010 proved to truly be God’s school – the number one goal of the school’s committee. Although attendance at the Anderson University site was not what was hoped for the newly united Indiana Conference, the spirit of Christ permeated throughout the week-long event July 13-16 as well as the Sampler Day July 17.

As part of the closing program, Beth Ferrell, a former medical missionary to Sierra Leone, shared that difference from the authoritarian style of missions work a century ago to today’s approach as partners in mission with those living in countries to which we are invited.

Ferrell said, “Today in Sierra Leone, we train African women in hygiene and good medical practices so they can go back to their village and teach what they have learned to their women in their village.”

The School of Christian Mission drew 452 women, men, youth and children. The four-day school, July 13-16, drew 220 adults, 35 children and 22 youth. The one-day “Sampler Event” drew another 175 participants.

World Communion Sunday to be celebrated Sunday, Oct. 3

When Dr. Dennis Marke graduated from Loma Linda [Calif.] University this past summer, a new world awaited him back in Africa. The doctor came to the United States from Sierra Leone, which has the highest maternal and infant mortality rate in the world. To many of us, Marke’s accounts of young mothers and the babies who die because villages have no doctors or midwives are simply sad stories, but to Marke, they are the realities of his life as an African doctor.

In Africa, Marke’s served the United Methodist Kissy Hospital in Freetown, Sierra Leone. His salary was paid for by the Indiana Conference through its Operation Doctor mission program.

To bring solutions to his home country, he knew he needed more training in public health. He came to the United States as a World Communion Scholar, studying maternal and child health, as well as health education and promotion.

Your generous gifts provide:

  • World Communion Scholarships (General Board of Global Ministries), with at least one-half of the annual amount for ministries beyond the United States;
  • Ethnic Scholarship Program (General Board of Higher Education and Ministry); and
  • Ethnic In-Service Training Program (General Board of Higher Education and Ministry).

For more information about Special Sunday Offerings, visit www.umcgiving.org.

Abraham to speak at UIndy Wesleyan Theological Forum

INDIANAPOLIS – The new Indiana Conference will begin a Wesleyan Theological Forum at the University of Indianapolis on Tuesday, Oct. 19, at 10 a.m. in McCleary Chapel, 1400 East Hanna Avenue in Indianapolis.

William J. Abraham, Outler Chair of Wesley Studies and University Professor at Southern Methodist University, will open the forum by focusing on the “Treasures of Methodism” for the church’s renewal.

The event is open to all. One CEU will be offered. Cost is $25, payable to the Indiana Conference. Register online at www.inumc.org/register.

Indianapolis church member honored by CWS

INDIANAPOLIS (CWS) – United Methodist volunteer Phyllis Newton of Indianapolis was named to the CROP Honor Roll by the Indiana-Kentucky Church World Service Regional Advisory Board at a meeting earlier this year. She was one of three CROP Hunger Walk leaders elected from people nominated by CROP Hunger event leaders and regional staff.

Newton was honored during the Sunday, Aug.29, worship service at Broadway by the Rev. Judy Dunson, regional director of Church World Service in Indiana-Kentucky.

Indiana United Methodist Children’s Home names new CEO

LEBANON, Ind. – The Indiana United Methodist Children’s Home in Lebanon has named Richard A. Lapinski as its new executive director/CEO. He began his new duties on Aug. 12.

The United Methodist-related Children’s Home is a residential treatment center and serves emotionally troubled youth.

For the past 12 years, Lapinski served as executive director of the Presbyterian Home for Children in Amarillo, Texas. In addition, he and his wife, Stephanie, were family teachers/childcare workers for five years at Father Flanagan’s Boy’s Town in Omaha, Neb. He is a veteran of the U.S. Navy, serving for three years as an Intelligence Specialist on the U.S.S. Enterprise.

He and his wife reside in Westfield and have four sons and one daughter.