Annual Conference: Viernes, Junio 7, 2024

Celebración de los jubilados

The retiring class of 2024 includes 27 clergypersons with 663.5 collective years of faithful service.

Rev. Kerry O’Brien shared on behalf of the retirees. “For those of us retiring, we’ve been called to new ways to serve. I can’t speak for the entire class, but—I’ll go out on a limb and guess by saying—we’ll be praying for you. Will you pray for us?” he asked. 

Bells were distributed, and Rev. Dr. Amber Karkosky-Litten and Rev. Mary Dicken led the Conference in ringing Joy to the World, in hopes of breaking the current Guinness Book of World Record of 664. (The unofficial INUMC bell choir boasts X.)

Sesión plenaria nº 2

Board of Pension and Health Benefits

Rev. Steven Conger, Chair, reported that 80% of retired clergy are currently enrolled in a Medicare supplement through Via Benefits. In 2025, monthly church contribution for health coverage will be reduced by 14% to $1,426. 

Motion: For the adoption of plenary action item #3 and the following four items.  

  • That the Past Service Rate for Pre-1982 service be set at $1,012.00 per service year in 2024 – a 11.9% increase.  
  • The monthly church contribution for health coverage be decreased by 14% to 1,426.00 monthly. 
  • Compassion fund guidelines be expanded to include active clergy (see report for full details) 
  • That this report, in its entirety, be approved as presented in the written report. 

Question: Matt Baughman, local pastor, asked if the Conference has explored other healthcare options and—if not—if they would be willing.  

Request for information: Andrew Griffin, equalization member from the Central District, requested more information about the Compass plan.

Rev. Tracey Leslie asked if the Conference would be willing to consider allowing clergy to make contributions for local pastors or those who may not have resources to benefit one another in that way since we are a Connectional Church. 

Se aprueba la moción. 

Mission and Justice 

Rev. Jen Huff, Missions Coordinator, she described Mission and Justice resources available, such as:

-The DMJ Summit on Agosto 17

-The Conference Advance Guide

-ERT training on Agosto 3

-Team leader training for mission journeys

-UMVIM 2024

-MLK Days of Service 2025

-Grants available

She highlighted Alive Community Outreach, which is part of the Ministry Partners Network. She presented the Ripple Effect Award to Rev. Angelo Mante and recognized 15 grant recipients. 

Líderes emergentes

Several Emerging Leaders answered questions that adults from the Conference asked, such as 

-“What makes you feel most welcome or connected at a church community?” 

-“What are you most wanting out of your life in the next 10 years?” 

-“How do rural churches reach young adults in the communities they serve?” 

-“What would you dream the UMC act and look like?” 

Crecer joven

Dr. Chuck Hunt, Director of the Training at Fuller Youth Institute, shared a brief reminder and update about what Growing Young is. He introduced the Growing Young Cohort and invited churches to apply. Associate Director of Leadership Development – Young Leaders and Project Management, Emily Krach, presented the Francis Asbury Award to Markinson, Jubilee Director at First UMC Bloomington. 

United Methodist Foundation

Manet Shettle, President of the United Methodist Foundation and the Indiana and the Indiana Loan & Savings Ministries. The Foundation offered 14 new clergy students over $83,000 in scholarships and debt reduction grants. They distributed $60,000 to retired clergy experiencing financial struggles and $300,000 in support for retired clergy health insurance. The Foundation awarded over $775,000 in grants to congregations to 84 churches. She presented a check for $228,937 to the Conference.

Motion: That the slate of board members for the Foundation be affirmed. 

Se aprueba la moción. 

Wesley Foundation

Students shared their testimony of the ministry, speaking to it being a safe space and having a strong sense of community. “I felt accepted, welcomed, and loved for exactly who I am,” said Abigail, a Purdue University student. They thanked churches and the Conference for their support and shared about their new capital campaign. 

Comité de candidaturas 

Rev. Duane Carlisle brought the final nominating report. He stated that the team does their best to choose people who reflect diverse perspectives and urged the Conference to apply to serve. 

Motion: That the Indiana Conference approve this report as presented. 

Se aprueba la moción.


Rev. Dr. Aleze Fulbright, Dean of the Cabinet and Conference Superintendent for the Central and West districts, reported how the Cabinet strived to live out what it means to Cultivate Joy and lead with “Thank you!” 

Fulbright shared that it has become increasingly clear that the Conference must reimagine its district structure. The bishop and cabinet will solicit input from the Conference and will work to develop new boundary lines. A full report will be available in Enero 2025 on what was heard, the decisions made for resources, and what will be the district lines, effective Julio 1, 2025. 

Rev. Mark Fenstermacher asked how congregations will receive support and how pastors will be evaluated. He expressed concern that pastors would not be well known or supported if Conference Superintendents are responsible for over 100 churches.  

Rev. John Nyota shared concerns for the required travel of Conference Superintendents with fewer, larger districts. He inquired how the Cabinet arrived at their proposed 5 districts. 

Randall Bellamy, lay member, inquired why input was not sought prior to having the Conference vote on the proposed 5 districts. “You already made the decision. You’re just wanting our okay?” 

Rev. Dr. Paul (PT) Wilson shared how he has seen the decline in quantity of districts over the years and every time, he feared it. But every tome, the Lord has been behind it. He urged the Conference to “trust in the bright future God has for us.” 

Michael Davis Wilson, equalization member, asked if there would be a way to submit questions prior to the Charge Conference and called for the question, which was seconded.

The vote to end debate was passed. 

Motion: To reduce the number of districts in the Indiana Annual Conference from ten (10) to five (5), effective Julio 1, 2025.  

Se aprueba la moción.

Iglesias legadas

Thirteen (13) churches closed in the last year:

Burlington UMC – NW District

Cana UMC – Southeast District

Doverhill UMC – Southwest District

Lake Chapel UMC – Northeast District

Liberty Greenwood UMC – East District

Oaktown UMC – Southwest District

Oolitic UMC – South District

Roselawn UMC – Northwest District

Walkerton UMC – North District

Washington Wesley UMC – Southwest District

Wilmington Wesley UMC – Southeast District

Burns UMC – Southwest District

Weaver Chapel UMC – Northwest District

Consejo de Administración

Rev. Teri Crouse, chair of the Board of Trustees and President of the Indiana Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church, Inc., reported that 14 properties sold in the last year for a total return to the Conference of $1,114,903. The Shera Trust did not recoup its 2022 losses during 2023, so there will be no distribution of proceeds again this year. 

General Conference passed no new legislation to permit disaffiliation by churches still in the UMC; however, it did pass a measure calling for Annual Conferences to adopt a policy inviting back churches that previously disaffiliated.

Desarrollo de la Iglesia

Rev. Trish Johnsen and Ed Fenstermacher, members of the Church Development team, encouraged Conference to “Be joyful in hope!” Johnson shared how Michigan City First is celebrating its 4th birthday of its Messy Church and how it is bringing hope to their church. 

In the last year, the Conference met its goal to launch at least 25 new faith communities, and they are hoping to launch another 25 in the coming year. 

Fenstermacher talked about Faith (Fort Wayne) that launched Food for the Soul, a fresh expression, and how God has provided for them, which is “what happens when you step out in faith,” he said.

Church Development sponsored 8 of our predominately Black congregations to participate in a Maximum Impact Cohort, which is empowering these congregations to bring hope to their communities. 

Lighthouse Congregations: There’s a Place For You 

Rev. Tracey Leslie shared that over the last 10 months, 72 churches have participated in Lighthouse Congregation training, and 34 have completed the process to become Lighthouse Congregations. One-time grants for community outreach are available for up to $400. She also shared some additional upcoming trainings. 


Rev. Paul Wagner gave an update on the Petitions & Resolutions from 2023: 

Resolution #R2 “Encouraging Leadership with Integrity” submitted by Rev. Meg Lassiat was referred to the Indiana Conference Board of Trustees who were encouraged to follow up by developing a clergy and laity code of conduct. After thoughtful discussion the Board of Trustees did not feel that developing a code of conduct for Indiana United Methodists fell under their area of responsibility, or expertise, and sought to refer the resolution elsewhere within our conference structure. So, at this time, no substantive action has yet been taken on resolution R2 as we seek the appropriate group or persons to address this important matter.

Wagner then presented R#2 “Return to Active Ministry” submitted by Rev. Andrew Scanlan-Holmes for deliberation and action. 

Rev. Mary Dicken spoke on behalf of Rev. Scanlan-Holmes, author of the resolution, who is in the hospital recovering from surgery. 

Rev. Tony Alstott made a motion to refer R#2 to the Board of Ordained Ministry. 

Rev. Mary Dicken spoke against the motion to refer R#2 to the Board of Ordained Ministry. 

Bishop Trimble called for the question 

Motion: To refer R#2 to the Board of Ordained Ministry. 

The motion passed (267, 266) by simple majority.

Alisa Isaacs Bailey brought a point of order stating that there was confusion and suggested that the vote be taken again. 

Bishop Trimble determined that there should be a revote.

Motion: To refer R#2 to the Board of Ordained Ministry. 

The motion passed (371, 276). 

Rev. Paul Wagner presented R#3 “Parental Leave” submitted by Rev. Julia Pritchett-Gonzalez for deliberation and action. 

Rodney Frieden, chair of CFA, clarified that this resolution was submitted in Abril 2024, so CFA did not have time to determine the potential ongoing impact on the Conference budget.

Nancy Palmquist, local pastor, clarified that this resolution does not only impact women. She also pointed out that it is unfair and urged the Conference to “pass it and figure out how to pay for it.”

Rev. Dr. Aleze Fulbright, Conference Superintendent for the Central and West districts, made a motion to refer this resolution to CFA in collaboration with COSROW and the Cabinet. 

Rev. Joe Boggs spoke against the referral of the motion, claiming that every delay causes harm to parents. 

Debbie Knicks spoke against the referral, claiming “Once again, we’re kicking the can down the road” and urged the Conference to not refer the motion but instead to discuss and pass the resolution.

Lonnie Spearman, equalization member, spoke in favor of the referral. He claimed that to not refer it to CFA could do harm to the budget and “all of of the things represneted in the budget” because we don’t know the financial implication. 

Monica McDougal, local pastor, spoke in favor of referring the motion because “sometiems these big measures require time to do it right.” In the meantime, she suggested that individual congregations can “show up and support parents.”

Kerry Clear, local pastor, made a speech against referral, quoting Bishop Trimble by saying “Two things can be true at the same time.” While this resolution “needs great thought for the upcoming year, we can also do something now.”

Fulbright, maker of motion to refer, clarified that as per The Book of Discipline, there are opportunities to request parental leave from the Conference that are paid. “It’s not a matter of not having leave or providing leave,” she said. “It’s about us having sustainable financial measures to measure that moving forward.” 

Motion: To refer R#3 to CFA.

The motion passed (351, 288).


Rev. Julia Pritchett-Golzales gave a COSROW monitoring report. 

Ministerios al aire libre

Peggy Nunley, local pastor and chair of the Board of Camps and Retreats, reported these statistics:

  • 45% of students attending INUMC camps were from UM churches.
  • 8,775 people experienced the love of Christ at one of our campsites in 2023.
  • In 2023, 156 students experienced their call to vocational ministry

Nunley shared that the Board of Camps and Retreats and the Impact Ministry staff are engaged in a strategic planning process

Rev. Brian Durand requested a point of personal privilege. Currently, our 227 local pastors can vote on General Conference delegates but cannot serve as delegates. In 2025, he hopes to submit a resolution “to stand with our local pastors for the 2028 General Conference for full voice and vote for them.” 

Los niños son lo más importante

Gary McRae, Director of Foster Care for Bashor Children’s Home, thanked volunteer groups (like NOMADS) and individuals that come to Bashor Home “for the good of the children.” 

Rev. Stacy Downing urged the Conference to consider how their Kingdom gifts could help a child and offered resources for helping individuals figure out that answer. 

Rev. Jen Huff invited the Conference to submit stories of how they are helping children and invited everyone for a mental health summit on Septiembre 28. 

Diversity, Missions and Justice(DMJ)

Associate Director of DMJ Lan Davis Wilson celebrated outgoing COSROW chair Crystal Jacobsen and welcomed incoming chair Rev. Julia Pritchett-Gonzalez. He announced that the Conference has a new EarthKeeper, Anita Sanford. He reported that Prison and Jail Reform recently held a book study on “A Knock at Midnight” and invited the Conference to the DMJ Summit on Agosto 17. Davis Wilson spoke to the need of more diverse leadership within the Conference and urged members to fill out the Willingness to Serve form. He concluded, “The best is yet to come!” 

Celebración del Ministerio

Rt. Rev. Dr. Douglas Sparks, Bishop, Episcopal Diocese of Northern Indiana, addressed the Conference and spoke of the potential full communion between the denominations. 

These licensed pastors completed Course of Study:

Christine Fodrea

G. Thomas Jones

Mark “Steve”King

Sheri LoCascio

Zachary Manton

Christena Poehlein

Dale Stum

The following were ordained as deaconesses:

Elizabeth Miller

Alicia Mitchell 

The following was ordained as deacon:

Lori Grasty

Commissioned as provisional members:

David Boyd

Marybeth Scheibel

Los siguientes fueron ordenados como ancianos:

Heather Cress

Ron Marcoux

Cynthia Uhrich


Rev. Dr. Javier Viera, President of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary offered words of inspiration in his sermon “Sent Into the Unknown.”

Paso del manto

2024 ordinands Rev. Heather Cress and Rev. Lori Grasty received the mantle which was passed from 2024 retirees Rev. Marcy Patrick and Rev. Daryl Gilbert.