Note: this e-pistle continues the reports about the next steps being taken as we move into the new Indiana Conference. You are welcome to share these reports:

The book "Appreciative Inquiry, A Positive Revolution in Change" includes a great word for the transition we are going through: Chaordic - a combination of order and chaos. One of our clergy wrote to me to suggest that we should use that word “chaordic” for the process we are in the midst of here in Indiana. I had been using the term “messy” as in saying, “2009 is likely to be a mess year.” Chaordic is certainly a better term! Chaordic reminds us that even when it appears we are living in chaos, there are patterns of order which are appearing if only we are patient even to discern them.

It is true that in the midst of this chaos, many things are starting to take shape here in Indiana. One simple but important legal step has occurred: the new Indiana Conference of The United Methodist Church is now officially incorporated with the state of Indiana. The new Trustees of our new Conference authorized the incorporation, and it was accomplished as of December 1, 2008. So in the eyes of the state of Indiana, the new Indiana Conference now exists. Of course we knew the new Indiana Conference existed as soon as we voted on October 4th, but this is important legal step. One of many steps along the journey.

While we take such steps, I also believe that we should follow the advice of the United Methodist Women of Indiana. At their gathering this past fall, I heard them use the words “Faithful and Flexible” to describe our stance during these chaordic times.

So, we continue to take steps into the new Indiana Conference, and even as we deal with the confusing economic times, we live through the chaordic nature of these changes by being Faithful and Flexible. May it be so!

from Bishop Michael J. Coyner
Indiana Area of The United Methodist Church