Past Annual Conferences
The theme for the 2018 Indiana Annual Conference Session and our Conference year is “See All the People,” inspired by Discipleship Ministries of The United Methodist Church’s campaign of the same name and supports our missional focus.
“Jesus traveled among all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, announcing the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and every sickness. Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he had compassion for them because they were troubled and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The size of the harvest is bigger than you can imagine, but there are few workers. Therefore, plead with the Lord of the harvest to send out workers for his harvest.” Matthew 9:35-38 (CEB)
BISHOP TRIMBLE’S CALL TO CONFERENCE
Welcome to the 2018 Indiana Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church!
As we prepare for our time together, may we commit to praying for our annual gathering at the Indiana Convention Center. I encourage each of you to come with eager anticipation of vibrant worship, radical hospitality, and heart of celebration for the mission and ministry of the Church. May our three days of gathering demonstrate the hospitality and grace of United Methodism to all the people we encounter during and beyond our time together as this year’s annual conference theme calls us to, “See All The People.”
Annual Conference is a time of celebration, worship, reflection, as well as a time where we care for the business of the Church that supports the ministries that are important to our Connectional identity and our mission in the world. I encourage you to carefully read through the reports and additional materials as you prayerfully prepare for our time together.
The 2018 Annual Conference theme, taken from our United Methodist Discipleship Ministries’ campaign of the same name, reminds us that our purpose in gathering together is not all about the business. This is also our time for fellowship, as we connect with familiar friends and engage with those around us, making space for new friendships to flourish. I love this theme because it invites us towards our goal of being “missional” walking hand in hand as lay and clergy alongside our neighbors and communities. To God be the Glory!
It is my hope that our time together will strengthen our call to be engaged in the mission of the Church. While it is not our intention to brag, we will spend time together in celebration of the work God is doing throughout our state and the world through God’s faithful people in Indiana. We will not hold back in telling our stories and remembering the beauty of the Call on our lives, engaging our communities in life transforming ministry. As we gather and then scatter, you will have a responsibility as you return to your local churches and ministry settings, sharing the news of the Annual Conference with hope in your hearts.
Here’s another way to put it: “You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand – shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:15-16 MSG
As we do each year during Annual Conference, we will celebrate the lives and ministries of those who have been promoted to the Church Triumphant and gather fully aware we stand on the shoulders of those who have come before us. It is also our joy to celebrate with those who have answered God’s call to serve the Church as licensed, commissioned, and ordained clergypersons recognizing the Movement of The United Methodist Church continues under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
During our time we will remember that this year marks the 50th anniversary of The United Methodist Church. We will remember our rich, Connectional history and Wesleyan identity as well as renew our call, not retreating from our mission of making disciple of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. This milestone serves as a reminder of the integral role that we as the Church serve in the world. As we pause to remember the past 50 years and look forward to our future, we will spend time in prayer and critical conversation, acknowledging that we are not of one mind on human sexuality. Our conversations will hold a vital importance in the way we engage with one another and with our mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
May we be in prayer, even now, for all that God will do as we gather together in Indianapolis in June.
Bishop Julius C. Trimble