It is not exactly a world premier. And it is certainly not a movie to rival the summer block-buster releases in your local movie theatres. But our office is sending out a DVD to every United Methodist pastoral charge in the state of Indiana later this week, and I hope that every church will view this DVD in their worship services, or in a church council meeting, or perhaps even in Sunday School classes or even youth group meetings.

What is this DVD? I don’t want to give away the plot, but it is a brief (less than 3 minutes) DVD from me to all of the United Methodist people of Indiana, giving an update on our “Imagine Indiana” process and inviting their participation. In particular, my DVD invites our UM people to do three things:

  1. To pray, imagine, hope, and dream about the kind of Indiana and the kind of United Methodist Church that you believe we should seek here in Indiana.
  2. To send your ideas, thoughts, concerns, hope, dreams, and even fears to a special e-mail address (ImagineIndiana @I nAreaUMC.org (e-mail address is now questions@inumc.org))  which will be received by the Imagine Indiana Design Team as they work this year to bring an implementation plan to the North and South Conferences in 2008. That Design Team really wants to hear from you, from the “grassroots” members of our United Methodist Church in Indiana.
  3. To attend one of my “District Days” this fall when I will be in every one of our current 18 districts to share updates, to hear from you, and to dialogue about “Imagine Indiana” with you. Those district dates are as follows:
  • August 29: Terre Haute
  • Sept. 12: Fort Wayne
  • Sept. 13: Warsaw
  • Oct. 2: Indy West
  • Oct. 4: Michiana
  • Oct. 18: Marion
  • Oct. 22: Columbus
  • Oct. 23: Vincennes
  • Oct. 24: Evansville
  • Oct. 30: Indy East
  • Oct. 31: Huntington
  • Nov. 1: Bloomington
  • Nov. 19: New Albany
  • Nov. 20: Muncie
  • Nov. 26: Calumet
  • Nov. 27: Kokomo
  • Nov. 28: Rushville
  • Dec. 11: Lafayette

This is the first time that I have sent a DVD to every pastor and asked them to share it in their churches. I hope that such a brief DVD can be an effective way to communicate with all of our churches, and I welcome your feedback.

It is not a feature length film, and it may not get a “thumbs up” from movie critics, but it is a way for me to reach out to our United Methodist people. So, let me know what you think about this effort. Does it help? Does it deserve an Oscar? (not likely) Should I do this on a regular basis? I wish we could sit on the couch, eat some popcorn, and watch it together. Until that technology is invented, let’s try this DVD.

from Bishop Michael J. Coyner