INDIANAPOLIS – The theme of this year’s Indiana Annual Conference Session, “Be a World Changer,” will come to life with the presence of the Africa University Choir. The 16-member traveling choir will be a highlight of the Fifth Indiana Annual Conference Session at the Indiana Convention Center in downtown Indianapolis Thursday-Saturday, June 6-8.
The AU choir will sing throughout the three-day session and will be featured in a Friday evening worship service and concert at 7:30 p.m. Fill a church van and come experience this dynamic choir conducted by Tendekai Kuture, director of music and choir director at Africa University in Mutare, Zimbabwe.
Preachers and speakers this session will include:
- James Salley, the Associate Vice-Chancellor for Institutional Advancement for Africa University. He serves as the chief advancement officer and fundraiser for the institution.
- Rob and Susan Fuquay, senior pastor and pastor’s spouse at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Indianapolis,
- Mark Beeson, founding pastor of Granger Community (United Methodist) Church,
- Cindy Reynolds, incoming Executive Assistant to Bishop Coyner currently North District Superintendent, who will preach during the memorial service, and
- Bishop Mike Coyner, who will preach during the service of ordination and commissioning on Saturday morning.
All plenary session and worship services are open to the public.
The 2013 session schedule will be similar to the 2012 schedule, however, new events have been added and previous events may have changed venues.
The 2013 session will feature a preconference orientation to be held Thursday morning from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the convention center. This event will be held by a team of conference lay leaders and will be especially helpful to newly elected lay-members who have never attended an annual conference session. This will be an open meeting for anyone including clergy members of the conference.
In addition to the new annual conference orientation, other groups will be holding workshops Thursday from 9:30 to 11 a.m. These include workshops about Creation Care, Consumer Protection Outreach, Stigma with AIDS, a Decision Makers Seminar to cover items coming to conference for decisions, and Cost Stewardship. A complete list can be found on page 6.
A special worship leaders workshop will be held at 1 p.m. on Friday. This is in addition to the plenary session recognizing retirees at 1:30 p.m. The workshop and plenary sessions will overlap each other.
Also new this year will be the addition of food trucks available for Friday lunch. The trucks will be parked along Georgia Street outside the main east entrance.
Even before the annual conference session, you won’t see regional conference briefings across the state as in previous years. Those face-to-face briefings are being replaced by online presentations along with all the reports and information needed for the annual conference session at www.inumc.org/ac13.
New this session next to the coffee break area in the exhibition hall, there will be an Art Fair with the theme “Changing the World with the Gift of Art” in keeping with the conference theme. (See www.inumc.org/ac13.)
What will continue
Several features and events will continue that were introduced in 2012. These include:
- Six creative, passionate worship services picking up on various styles of services woven together with the common theme of “Transforming the World: Be a World Changer;”
- Eight dynamic “World Changer” workshops to be held Friday at 10:15 a.m. for the entire conference;
- A large display, vendors with more than 50 booths. The exhibits will be open Thursday 9 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Friday 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to noon;
- Radical hospitality to better serve members and guests;
- Outreach on Wednesday, June 5, for 150 volunteers, including the addition of Fletcher Place Community Center and continuing projects in the Brightwood neighborhood with Habitat for Humanity and Neighbor-to-Neighbor house repairs, painting at the Brightwood Community Center, packing or serving lunches for the homeless at Roberts Park UMC downtown and knitting baby blankets for Riley Hospital for Children; (Visit www.indymetroumc.org.)
- A 5K run on Thursday morning, benefiting Indiana Conference Campus Ministries, 8 a.m., Thursday;
- Family night on Monument Circle including information, games and food from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday;
- Prayer Room marked by the red phone booth just inside the convention center;
- Saturday morning Bishop’s Prayer Breakfast; and
- Saturday night at Victory Field as the Indianapolis Indians take on the Norfolk Tides. Some 400 tickets will be sold at $7 and can be ordered with online registration.