The Respond Summit not only provided new and unique ideas and tools to help strengthen our ministries, it was an opportunity for lay, clergy, and neighbors from around Indiana to interact with one another in a spirit of collaboration, fellowship, and bring justice and aid to a world in need. The summit also provided space for lay and clergy to network with peers, bond with new friends, and learn about the array of opportunities promoted by the Conference and affiliates that help us forge connections with our neighbors, bolster existing relationships, including several opportunities to explore what it means to be "missional' in our communities.
The Rev. Jeff Newton, Executive Director of Kokomo Urban Outreach, helped kick off the event with a workshop and reflection regarding the ways in which we can actualize our mission of transforming the world by being intentional in our engagement with those in need. During his "Ministry WITH the Poor" workshop, Rev. Newton emphasized that our focus as Christians should not just be to meet immediate, physical needs, but to build ministry around our charitable giving so that lives can be changed, holistically, through the connections we make in our communities and around our world, stating "the opposite of poverty is not wealth. It's flourishing."