“Transform the World: Be a World Changer” was the theme of our most recent Indiana Annual Conference Session in Indianapolis June 6-8. Being a World Changer becomes a tall order for anyone, especially as Christians in a greater society that seems to becoming more secular year-by-year. Nonetheless, if we are to be about transforming the world – our world – being a World Changer is a must for the common good of all.

When I asked people visiting the Conference Communication booth at annual conference how they could change the world, these were some of their responses:

  • By going forth and trusting God
  • Do all the good I can!
  • Visit people to offer friendship.
  • Help with Vacation Bible School.
  • Pray for us as we build homes in Costa Rica.
  • Take every open door opportunity to help those around me.
  • Stamp out the word hate.
  • Be aware. Be in community together. Pray. Love. Care.
  • Pray, fast, believe and serve as God directs.
  • Be a faithful, servant leader for God.
  • Pray and share God’s Word with all people.

Even though the answers varied greatly, all the responses began with a verb. All implied action.

There is plenty of action in this July-August issue of your Hoosier United Methodists Together. Most of the content deals with the annual conference sessions from the grand celebrations of Africa University, mission and ministry to the more thorny issues of the business of the conference.

From the Bishop

Bishop Mike Coyner punctuates the ongoing work of the annual conference session in his column on page 2 and includes the 2014 Conference Budget, Retiree Health Insurance, an upcoming Clergy Gathering, Africa University Campaign Rallies, Cluster Charge Conferences and the ongoing ministries of our more than 1,150 congregations statewide.

In this issue, we officially greet people to conference positions whose names may be new to you. They include the Rev. Dr. Cindy Reynolds, new executive assistant to Bishop Coyner, the Rev. David Neckers, new conference director of Church Development, and three new district superintendents; the Rev. Christine Newman-Jacobs of the Northwest District based in Lafayette; the Rev. Beverly Perry of the Southeast District based in Columbus and the Rev. Larry Whitehead of the North District based in Valparaiso.

New, too, is Allison Curts of New Albany, Ind., the new Associate Director of Mission and Social Advocacy. She will work less than full-time from her home in New Albany as part of the conference’s Connect Team.

Indiana – In the Indiana section of this issue, there are stories about mission and outreach, a retired woman pastor who has written a couple of books about women pastors (no surprise), an upcoming two-day festival celebrating our faith coming later this summer, what a congregation is doing to reach out to elderly residents through a church-based adult care center and the unique ordination of an Army Chaplain, who was in Kuwait during the annual conference session.

Mission and Viewpoints – You can meet a volunteer missionary from Indiana now serving children in Zambia and a group from Indianapolis, who spent part of June in Sierra Leone establishing school libraries as well as the writings by regular Together columnists talking about holy friendships on one hand and the dog days of summer on the other hand.

Chronicles – As usual, the final pages of Together end with event announcements, a whole page of new appointments and those whom have recently passed whom we remember.

We hope you enjoy it and pass it along to someone else to read.

Daniel R. Gangler