Rev. Jake Ohlemiller, Pastor of Albany UMC, opened the Prayer Breakfast and invited Bishop Julius C. Trimble to pray for the meal.
After breakfast, Bishop Trimble introduced retired Bishop Mike Coyner, who served as bishop Indiana for 12 years and retired in 2016. In his introduction, Bishop Trimble said of Bishop Coyner, “He has been one of the consistent voices in United Methodism. He points us to our history but also to the hope and blessing of what it means to be United Methodist.”
Bishop Coyner shared some of the lessons he has learned about prayer since retirement, which has brought for him some health issues. “Other than having cancer surgery and heart surgery, retirement has been a lot of fun,” he quipped.
As for what he has learned…
“When a bunch of people are praying for you, you can feel that.” Bishop Coyner shared how he has often felt like he was on the other side of those prayers but as a recipient, it was an “amazing experience.”
Quoting George MacDonald, he said, “A season of prayer changes the way we pray and changes us.” Bishop Coyner elaborated that we pray without ceasing so that we will be changed not so that God will change his mind.
Early on in his diagnosis, Bishop Coyner’s prayers sounded like, “Why me, Lord?” But over time they transformed into, “Why not me, Lord?” and finally, “Whatever you want, Lord.”
Janelle Ohlemiller, certified deacon candidate and seminary student, encouraged those in attendance to be witnesses in Indiana in 2019. The stories of the following witnesses were shared: Jarena Lee, Lucy Rider Meyer, and E. Stanley Jones.