INDIANAPOLIS – “The Outwardly Focused Church” will be the theme of the 2014 Indiana Annual Conference Session to be held Thursday-Saturday, May 29-31 at the Indiana Convention Center in downtown Indianapolis. The Scripture reference for the conference is Romans 12:1-2.


United Methodist Bishop Gregory Palmer of the West Ohio Conference will be the featured preacher at the Sixth Indiana Annual Conference opening session. He will lead a service of repentance.

Other speakers during the three-day conference will include: The Rev. Bob Farr, Missouri Conference Director of the Center for Congregational Excellence, who will lead a Friday morning teaching session, and Roman Catholic Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, who will be the featured speaker at the Saturday morning prayer breakfast.

The conference session will spill out onto Georgia Street Friday afternoon for a revival-like service instead of an event on Monument Circle. The day of outreach on Wednesday will be replaced by a Kids Against Hunger food packing event Saturday afternoon at the convention center following the morning ordination/consecration service. Bishop Mike Coyner will preach at the ordination/consecration service.

The Rev. Andrew Payton, 34, associate pastor of Methodist Temple United Methodist Church in Evansville and a third generation clergyperson, will preach the sermon at the Friday evening Service of Remembrance and Holy Communion. He is the son of the Rev. Dennis Payton, 60, senior pastor of First UMC in Mooresville, and grandson of the Rev. L.D. Payton, 82, a retired member of the Indiana Conference living in Mooresville.


Workshops for all will be held Thursday morning prior to the first session with the possibility of more workshops offered during plenary sessions for those who are not members of the annual conference.

A Christian Conferencing Taskforce will present ways for annual conference members to prepare for the 2015 election of delegates to General Conference in Portland, Ore., and the North Central Jurisdictional Conference in Peoria, Ill., which will be held in 2016.

A pre-conference briefing will be held as a webcast event on Sunday afternoon, May 4. The program will originate from Indianapolis and will be archived on the conference website at More information will be made available about the briefing through the conference website and in conference email publications.


To receive Conference discount rates on hotels make hotel reservations online at

Indiana Annual Conference Session registration will open online April 2 at Conference registration also will include registration to special luncheons and dinners, as well as workshop sessions.

Reports, agenda and other information about the Sixth Indiana Annual Conference Session will be posted online at





The Indiana Annual Conference Session will return to the Indiana Convention Center this year from May 29 to May 31.