Clergy from around the conference gathered Thursday, November 10, for a day of spiritual and mental renewal, organized specifically for those who answered The Call for a life of unwavering faith and commitment to ministry. The gathering was especially prominent due to this being the first time many of our Indiana clergy were able to meet Bishop Trimble, who was assigned to serve the Indiana Conference in June of this year and began his residency, officially, in September.
Clergy were in high spirits as they began the day with coffee and conversation among fellow colleagues. The event kicked off with music and celebration, led by the Zionsville UMC band and opening remarks from St. Marks UMC Senior Pastor, Brian White, who invited clergy to take a moment and explore their peers, the commentary they could potentially face, and the message they would share with their congregation on Sunday in regards to the controversy surrounding the recent election. “Your message this upcoming Sunday, may be one of the most importance sermons you’ll ever preach,” said White.
Clergy Covenant Day also provided a space for clergy with extensive service to be honored. The Called to Fruitfulness Class of 2016 were recognized for commitment to pastoral services, which ranged from five to 35 years. In total, 23 men and women received an honorary stole from Bishop Trimble.
Launched in 2015 by INUMC Leadership Development, the Called to Fruitfulness program recognizes Elders and Deacons who have served in the United Methodist Church with a celebration of service in five-year intervals, as well as provides participants with opportunities for professional development.
Bishop Trimble shared an enthusiastic message, titled “Thinking Preachers on a Thursday,” derived from Romans 10: 14-17 (CEB). The bishop took this opportunity to officially introduce himself to the Indiana clergy, and shared a synopsis of his journey, from accepting the call to ministry as a young man, to becoming bishop of the Iowa Conference, and being elected as Resident Bishop of the Indiana Area earlier this year. “We need to stop listening to the voices of pessimism, the prognosticators, and the predictors of the decline of The Church,” advised Bishop Trimble from the pulpit. “Yes, people are anxious. All the more reason for you to continue to preach the liberating word of the Gospel.”
In closing, the bishop left the crowd with a prayer which he believes to have exponential capabilities. “This prayer is part of the heritage of the Christian movement, it’s a prayer that we ought to pray on a regular basis, it’s a prayer that i’m asking you, pleading with you to pray this Sunday.”
“Lord make me an instrument!” exclaimed the bishop. “God has never not answered that prayer.”
Bishop Trimble, who has been advocating to incorporate vital spirituality and intentional prayer into the ministry of the Indiana Conference, carved out a moment of intentional prayers near the end of the festivities. The Bishop invited clergy who felt the need for prayer to approach the pulpit, as he led a moment of spirit-led prayer for those who came, those in the audience, as well as the entirety of the Indiana United Methodist Conference.
Photos from the 2016 Clergy Covenant Day gathering can be found on our Smugmug account.
Below: Clergy gather for a moment of profound and intentional prayer, led by Bishop Julius C. Trimble, before taking a break for lunch.