Our Life Together, Feb. 25-26

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Bishop Mike Coyner and the 20-member Our Life Together (OLT) planning team invite the pastors of the Indiana Conference to the Our Life Together conference-wide pastors retreat to be held from 9 a.m., Monday, Feb. 25 to 1 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 26 at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Indianapolis.

The theme of the retreat is “Self-Care Sabbath – Come away to a quiet place,” based on Mark 6:30-32 – “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.” The visual for the two-day event is a yellow park bench, a place to relax and re-energize ones spirit and body.

Keynote speakers for the event will be the Revs. Rudy and Juanita Rasmus, co-pastors of St. John United Methodist Church in Houston, Texas. Pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus have been called urban prophets.

During the past 15 years, the couple has transformed the spiritual landscape and the face of poverty in downtown Houston. They began with nine existing members in 1992. Since then St. John’s has grown to more than 9,000 members (3,000 of the total either are or were formerly homeless) into one of the most culturally diverse congregations in the country where each week people of every social and economic background share the same pew.

They attribute the success of the church to a compassionate congregation who has embraced the vision of tearing down the walls of classism, sexism, and racism and building the bridges of unconditional love, and universal recovery. Part of that story deals with the time for spiritual and physical renewal they plan into their busy schedules. For more information, visit www.inumc.org/olt.

Bishop Coyner will open the retreat with worship including Communion followed by a presentation from the Rasmuses. After lunch, spiritual and physical “Sabbath Experiences” will emphasize ways to relax and unwind, and will feature activities such as labyrinth prayer, jewelry making, painting, basketball or volleyball, photography, gardening, music, cooking, baking, card games and conversations. Following supper on ones own, a Taize worship service will be held beginning at 7:30 p.m.

Devotional worship will begin the second day. The musical group BrightGray (brightgraymusic.com) will be assisting in devotional worship. Sociologist Matt Bloom will review the results of a United Methodist clergy study regarding satisfaction, anxiety and well-being of pastors. He will be followed by another presentation by the Rasmuses. The retreat will end with a sending worship and Communion with the Rasmuses preaching.

Join the discussion about Our Life Together on Facebook.com at Our Life Together Pastor’s Retreat.

Bishop & David on yellow bench
Bishop’s Executive Assistant David V.W. Owen (right) joins Bishop Mike Coyner on the yellow bench being used at Our Life Together, Feb. 25-26 in Indianapolis.