INDIANAPOLIS – Come early to the 2012 Indiana Annual Conference session in Indianapolis for an opportunity to be in mission. There are many activities from which to choose from Habitat for Humanity house builds and home dedication to home repairs for the elderly to installing a playground to knitting hats for babies to serving a meal or writing notes of encouragement.

Registration for the Community Connect outreach mission is $30 per volunteer and includes a T-shirt, transportation to and from the work sites and lunch. Registration is being done online. If you’re not attending annual conference as a conference member representing a church, register as a guest to avoid the conference fee and then register for missions.

If you aren’t able to come early, help make a big impact at annual conference by giving a tax deductible gift through Metro Ministries. Gifts of any size will make an impact on the lives of those in our community. Make check payable to Metro Ministries, 3901 N. Meridian Street, Suite 210, Indianapolis, IN 46208.

Here is a list of times, places and descriptions of each project.

Habitat for Humanity – Work one or two shifts participating in the 100th anniversary celebration of The Church Federation of Greater Indianapolis’ building blitz in the Martindale-Brightwood neighborhood on the near northeast side of the city. Volunteers will be putting finishing touches on a house ready for its June 7 dedication, plus work on three other Habitat homes. Work will include construction, cleaning, minor landscaping and final touchups to the homes. The project needs 100 volunteers (75 construction and 25 cleaning/landscaping). Tools will be provided. Volunteers will need to bring work gloves and wear sturdy shoes.

Home Rehabs – Volunteers will partner with the Central Indiana Council on Aging and the Martindale-Brightwood Community Development Corporation to provide needed repairs to homes for senior citizens. Work will include door and window repairs; steps, stairs, handrails; carpentry and masonry repair and construction; and drywall work. Some skills are needed, but volunteers willing to learn are also welcome. Volunteers will need to indicate specific skills when they register. Volunteers with specific skills will be contacted by the team leader. This project needs ten teams of eight volunteers each for a total of 80 people. Volunteers need to bring work gloves, wear sturdy shoes and bring the tools they are asked to provide.

Brightwood Community Center Playground – Volunteers will help install a new playground for the Brightwood Community Center at St. Paul-Brightwood UMC. Skilled supervision will be provided. Volunteers need to bring heavy work gloves and wear sturdy shoes. The project needs 20 volunteers.

Robert’s Park United Methodist Church – A variety of opportunities will be available.

  • Paint tiles for a mural to be displayed at the Indiana Convention Center. All supplies will be provided. An unlimited number of volunteers can participate.
  • Knit hats for babies. The hats will be distributed across the state. Bring your own knitting needles or crochet hook. Patterns and a limited supply of yarn will be available. An unlimited number of volunteers can participate.
  • Write notes of encouragement for Brightwood volunteers, people who participate in Robert’s Park outreach programs and Habitat for Humanity homeowners. An unlimited number of volunteers can participate.
  • Pack lunches to distribute as part of the Robert’s Park feeding ministry. An unlimited number of volunteers can participate.
  • Serve a meal at the Robert’s Park Soup’s On feeding ministry from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Food will be prepared so all volunteers need to do is set up, serve and clean up. This project needs 35 volunteers.

The Indiana Annual Conference Community Connect mission outreach is open to all volunteers, whether or not they are a member of the annual conference session.

On the evening of Wednesday, June 6, organizers are planning for a Family Night at Brightwood Community Center. All are welcome to join Brightwood Community residents as they celebrate their Kid’s Club graduates and kick off Summer Camp sign-ups. There will be craft tables, a bounce house and a cookout of hot dogs and hamburgers. A free-will offering will be received to support the programs of the United Methodist-related Brightwood Community Center.

On June 7, volunteers are invited to the dedication of a Habitat for Humanity home near 24th and Gale Streets in Indianapolis.

Come early, stay late as both conference members and guests celebrate the ministries of The United Methodist Church in Indiana during the fourth Indiana Annual Conference Session. For more information and up-to-date schedule, visit click on “Events.”

Lisa Morris serves as executive director of the Indy Metro Ministries.

Photo courtesy of Habitat for Humanity

Volunteers pause during a UM-Habitat for Humanity build this past year in Indianapolis. A similar build will be part of annual conference.