Another first -- Indiana Convention Center
INDIANAPOLIS – “Making ROOM” will be the theme of the 2012 Indiana Annual Conference’s Fourth Session gathering June 7-9 at the Indiana Convention Center in downtown Indianapolis, the first annual conference session to be held somewhere besides a university campus since the late 1960s. This three-day conference is the annual event of The United Methodist Church in Indiana when more than 3,000 clergy and lay conference members, representing the church’s 1,200 congregations, come together for passionate worship, dynamic learning opportunities, the ordination of ministers, remembrance of deceased members and celebration of the ministry of retiring pastors, and outreach service to the community.
Consulting with Indiana Bishop Mike Coyner, the Conference Session Team chose the theme and Scripture, Acts 2:46-47, “Every day, they met together in the temple and ate in their homes. They shared food with gladness and simplicity. They praised God and demonstrated God’s goodness to everyone. The Lord added daily to the community those who were being saved.” (Common English Bible)
When discussing the theme, team members asked, “How will we open ourselves to make room in our hearts, minds, lives for others including those who see the world in a different way (i.e. be more inclusive)? How will we make room by removing things from our lives that get in the way of our purpose as Christ followers? How will we make more room in our lives for God?”
This Indiana Annual Conference gathering also will include a visible outreach to Indianapolis through related volunteer mission projects across the city, downtown prayer walks and exhibits in the Indiana Convention Center. This event is open to the public as a witness of the church.
Making ROOM is a significant theme, not only for its Scriptural reference, but also because this session will be the first session held under one roof with disability access. Plenary sessions will be in Hall J. Exhibits and smaller worship events will be held in adjacent Hall K. Both halls are just off the South Capitol Street main entrance. Each can seat more than 3,000 members, spouses and guests. Across the corridor are ten breakout rooms, each large enough to accommodate 100 people. Another banquet hall will be used for the Clergy Executive Session on the first day of the session.
Purpose of the Session
The Indiana Annual Conference session is in a transitional period as it continues to imagine a new conference gathering annually in a new place. There are two teams focusing on the Indiana Annual Conference Session – a Strategic Planning Team, which looks forward to the direction of future annual conference sessions and an Implementation Team, which carries out the tasks of making the annual conference session happen. Speaking on behalf of both teams, the Rev. Karen Powell of Marion shares, “The purpose of the annual conference session is to equip, inspire and transform participants enabling vitality and renewal across the state in making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. The expectation is that everyone will return home with something from the session for their local ministry.”
Annual Conference sessions will continue to expand educational opportunities, provide engaging worship, service the host community through mission and ministry, and preparation for and conduct business of the conference through conference briefings and 21st century technology.
The Indiana Conference has negotiated housing contracts with six downtown Indianapolis hotels for our 2012 Annual Conference Session, which are within a few blocks of the Indiana Convention Center site of the session. Individual room prices vary from $113 to $147 per night, depending on the size of room and the number of people per room. Some rooms can be occupied by up to four people.
The Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association is managing all housing requests. In order to receive the discounted hotel rates, conference members can reserve a hotel room online at http://visitindy.com/inumc and click on “Click here for housing information” on the right side of the page or by calling 317-262-8191.
For more information, visit www.inumc.org and click on Annual Conference Session.