Mark your calendars for September 19, 2020!

In Ephesians 4: 11-13, the apostle Paul tells the church in Ephesus that Christ himself has given gifts to the Body of Christ to equip the body for works of service. Use of these gifts build up the body, bring knowledge of Jesus, and maturity of being the image of Christ in the world. It is when we partner together that our gifts bear the most fruit.

With this in mind, the Board of Laity and the Emerging Leaders team has been working to partner together as representatives of the whole of the laity in the Conference. We have enjoyed each other’s company, shared experiences and perspectives, and we have begun to plan for ministry together.

The fruit of this partnership is Equip 2020, which will be held on September 19. We envisioned an event that was planned and led equally by seasoned laity and emerging leaders, which would model for our churches how to do the same. Equip 2020 is centered around the idea of partnering together to carry out the mission of the church through service. The Emerging Leaders team and the Board of Laity have partnered with other leaders around the Conference to provide support for serving together and resources for forming service partnerships in local communities.

As nearly everything in life over the past few months, the concerns surrounding COVID-19 have changed the original form of Equip, but we believe that there is now an even greater need to share the love of Jesus through service and encouragement in this time.

Equip 2020 is now an opportunity to both serve locally and independently, as well as gathering together to educate, resource, and encourage each other for missional service in our communities.

You are invited to serve in your local communities in the morning on September 19. This is a great opportunity to serve as a family or as small groups in ways that are safe for everyone. We will provide ideas to encourage and serve those in the community, including for those who are not ready to leave their home or spend time in groups or for those for which this is still not a safe activity.

In the afternoon we will gather together virtually to share our experiences of serving, learn more about resources and opportunities for serving, and to have discussions in regional groups about the needs and opportunities in your areas. We are preparing to make the virtual session as accessible as possible, even for those who do not have regular access to virtual events.

We encourage you to view Equip 2020 as an opportunity to mobilize as the United Methodist Church in Indiana in order to share the love and hope of Jesus in a time when both are so greatly needed. Together we can make a positive impact on our communities and be the presence of Christ all over Indiana.

Watch for more details and registration in your email and Indiana Conference news sources soon! We look forward to seeing you on September 19th!