“What an important time this is to affect the unity of our society,” Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels told more than 200 members and guests of the Indiana Annual Conference Session at the Indiana Convention Center on Saturday morning, June 9, during the Conference and Community Prayer Breakfast.

In his opening remarks, Daniels, a Presbyterian, shared that he was baptized in a Methodist Church in Pennsylvania in 1950.

Daniels, one of two featured speakers, said as Christians, “We have our different ways, yet one great truth unites us. Now we must try to unite those of different faiths or no faith to bring people together when there is so much complacency against us.”

He also reflected how meaningful it was for Bishop Coyner to email him last year the day after the state fair stage collapse letting him know that United Methodists were praying for him during the time of disaster.

He said in his experience there is a militant secularism and aggressiveness of some people against those who practice their faith. “Such aggressiveness needs to be tested with the calmness and sense of empathy, forgiveness and service we know.” He challenged Hoosier United Methodists to make forgiveness near the core of ministry.

In closing, he said, “I am grateful for you folks for all the goodness and good news you do.”

Daniels was followed by Maggie Lewis, president of the Indianapolis-Marion County City-County Council. She is the first female city-county council president.

Lewis opened her remarks by thanking God and her mother for who she is today. She definitely sees herself as both a child of God and answerable to God for what she has done during her lifetime. She explained that the city-county government is currently divided with a Democratic controlled council and a Republican mayor.

She said at times things are challenging. But, “We all want to do what is right for the city,” she said. “My personal mission is to be the very best Maggie I can be as an advocate for homeless (residents) and to those who have less. I want to be pleasing to my God and pray for our city leaders.”

Following her remarks, the Rev. Matthew Landry, pastor of the Winamac UMC in Northwest District, with his wife, Candace, co-chairs of the prayer breakfast, led in prayers offered at the breakfast. Those prayers can be found on the conference website at www.inumc.org/ac2012.

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels shares his appreciation to Hoosier United Methodists during the prayer breakfast June 9.