The 2015 Session of our Indiana Conference last week was one of our best, at least from my perspective. We have many people to thank as we lift up the results of that Session:
- thanks to Rev. Karen Powell and the Sessions Team who put it all together, with great help from our Conference Center staff, including Cindy Reynolds, Jim Bushfield, Ruth Ellen Needler, and many others from the staff who were around every day of conference helping with registration and information. Things went very smoothly, from all reports, and I appreciate the work of that whole team.
- thanks to Fran and Cheryl Wyatt who led the music for our worship services, including their own music team from Indianapolis St. Luke’s, the orchestra from Carmel St. Mark’s, and many other individual musicians. I have heard many people say they appreciated the nice blend of traditional music, jazzed-up traditional music (that is my own description for a non-musician’s perspective), as well as more contemporary music.
- thanks to Holly Hardsaw who coordinated the ordination/commissioning service on Thursday evening. It was the most highly-attended such service we have ever had in the Indiana Conference (the convention center had to add 300 chairs to handle the large attendance). Coordinating that service requires a lot of attention to details and trying to “herd cats” (us clergy) for the service, so it is not easy. Our guest preacher, Bishop Cynthia Harvey, brought a great message.
- thanks to Greg Pimlott who coordinated the beautiful memorial service on Friday night. It was meaningful, and the message from 90 year old (I mistakenly introduced him as being 91, but he corrected me off-stage that he won’t be 91 until September) Rev. Carver McGriff was a powerful witness.
- thanks to the election team, led by Rev. Steve Beutler, who put together an efficient process using our electronic voting devices. Both laity and clergy learned quickly to operate that system.
- thanks to all who completed a “Willing to Serve” form and offered themselves to be elected as delegates to General and Jurisdictional Conferences. Not everyone could be elected, due to a limited number of spots, so several capable person were not included – but I appreciate their willingness to serve.
- thanks to all who led the various workshops on Thursday and Friday of Conference, especially to George Howard from the General Board of Global Ministries who keynoted on Friday. I was busy leading elections and other events, so I did not get to hear any of those leaders, but I have heard good reports.
- thanks to all who prepared reports and presented them with enthusiasm and creativity (including the most imaginative Nominations report I have ever seen). We can’t give a lot of floor time to all of the groups and ministries and committees which work so hard in our Indiana Conference, so their reports were brief but well done.
- thanks to Skyler Nimmons, our new Communications Director, for the outstanding videos and interviews which helped lead into our daily discussion and added interesting reports of the previous day. I know that a wrap-up video will be coming out soon from Skyler and our communications team, and it will be a great tool for reporting about Annual Conference in our local churches.
- thanks to the Indiana Conference for voting unanimously (something we seldom have) to approve the launch of the $6 million capital fund drive to build a new Discipleship Center at Epworth Forest, along with the additional challenge goals of building the Buck Lodge at Epworth and completing the long-dreamed “lakes” water project and Camp Indi-co-so. I have personally agreed to make 20-25 visits with potential donors for this campaign, and I am encouraged by the strong support that the Conference offered.
So many to thank – I know I am missing others who should be mentioned – but I want to thank all of you and to thank God for a great Session of our Indiana Conference.