As we prepare for the third Session of our new Indiana Conference at Ball State University on June 8-11, here are some updates and reminders:

+ I just completed a retreat with the 24 persons who will be ordained Elders and Deacons at Annual Conference. I am very impressed with these persons, and I ask that you pray for them, their families, and their churches as we celebrate this important next step in their ministry. I am very impressed with this group of candidates, and they give me hope for the future of our United Methodist Church.

+ Please pray for Brian White as he prepares to preach for our Service of Remembrance and Resurrection on Friday night as we remember and celebrate the lives of many clergy and spouses who have died since our last Session of the Conference. As you know, Brian’s own adult son Ian died a year ago, so Brian will share out of his own personal experience.

+ Please pray for our process of electing Delegates to represent us at the 2012 General Conference and the 2012 North Central Jurisdictional Conference. Here are a few reminders about that election process:

The number of delegates to be elected is 9 clergy and 9 laity to General Conference, 9 clergy and 9 laity to Jurisdictional Conference, of whom the first 3 clergy and 3 laity are reserve delegates to General Conference, and another 3 clergy and 3 laity reserves to Jurisdictional Conference, for a total of 21 laity and 21 clergy to be elected.

Although there was a tradition in the former North and former South Conferences of alternating the Chair of the delegation between the first lay and first clergy elected, we are a new Indiana Conference and it will be up to the new delegation to organize and elect the Chair of the delegation.

We have checked and learned that travel expenses to both General and Jurisdictional Conference are reimbursed, along with a per diem to help each delegate with expenses. However, it is still true that each delegate should be prepared for additional expenses which are not fully covered in terms of their own meals and hotel.

Our Indiana Conference does have a budget item to help with Delegate expenses to both General and Jurisdictional Conference, so persons who have limited financial means (such as youth and young adults) can know that we will provide additional support beyond their per diem if needed to help them attend and fully participate.

At this time there are no bishops who are reaching mandatory retirement in 2012 in the North Central Jurisdiction, which would mean a shortened Conference due to not electing any new bishops. However, the deadline for announcing retirements will be later this year, so that fact could change and there could be new bishops elected.

+ For our own Indiana Conference, both lay members and clergy members should note that registering ahead of Annual Conference is essential, but it is also necessary to register at the site of Annual Conference to receive additional reports and your ballots for voting on General and Jurisdictional Conference delegates.
I am looking forward to a great Third Session of our Indiana Conference. Please join me in arriving with that same sense of expectation.

See you at Conference!