United Methodists from across Central Indiana gathered Saturday, November 5, for the 2016 Central District “Super Charged” Conference, where churches have the rare opportunity to assemble for a day of engagement, worship, and learning. The gathering took place at St. Luke’s UMC in Indianapolis. Over 500 United Methodist church leaders and congregants, ranging 108 churches, including two new church plants, were in attendance. The event commenced with worship led by the St. Luke’s UMC praise band, and an invocation from District Superintendent, Rev. Bob Coleman, who used the story of Zacchaeus to encourage his audience to ‘go out on a limb.’
The gathering provided a space to celebrate the significant feats of 2016, including 450 professions of faith in the first ten months, the fruition of two new church plants, — The Garden UMC and Engage Indy, as well as the addition of 10 new candidates for ministry, and commemoration of 14 continuing ministers.
A collection taken during the conference accumulated a total of $3675.50 in support of the Metro Ministries, Inc. ‘One Good Deed’ campaign, which provides grants to local community organizations and UMC-related programs throughout Indianapolis. The programs range from Children’s ministry and promoting art education in the inner city, to providing healthy and sustainable meal options for families in need.
Donations were also collected for local agencies (Fletcher Place, Brightwood Community Center, East Tenth Children’s and Youth Center, Vida Nueva, and Robert’s Park UMC ‘Soups On’ program) which resulted in socks, hats, mittens, scarves, bags of apples, coffee, creamer, sugar, arts and crafts supplies overfilling a dozen bins and boxes.
A panel composed of Doris Clark — Conference lay leader, Jen Gibbs — Pastor of Old Bethel UMC, Matt Lipan — Pastor of Gateway Community UMC, and moderated by Alex Hershey — Pastor of The Branches UMC, discussed “Connecting through Generations” and gave the Central District churches much to consider and take back to their ministry teams.
The ‘Super Charged’ Conference included a service of Holy Communion. Attendees were humbled by the gathering and also pleased to have had the opportunity to collaborate with fellow colleagues, church leaders, and brothers and sisters of the Central District of the Indiana Conference.