Friday Afternoon Plenary

Russell Pierce, Executive Director for Mission Engagement, General Board of Global Ministries, gave a greeting and report from the General Board of Global Ministries.

Pierce said that The Advance is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year. To date, $1.6 Billion have been given over the last 70 years.

Pierce presented Bishop Trimble with three award plaques to celebrate the Indiana Conference being in the top 10 for giving in three categories of The Advance in partnership with Global Ministries and UMCOR. The Indiana Conference has given nearly 1.1 Million towards the General Board of Global Ministries and UMCOR.

A video was shown to highlight the upcoming Back to School Rally happening August 4, 2018 at Epworth Forest Conference Center, prior to the Emerging Leaders address and report.

Emerging Leaders Report

Grace Covington, Emerging Leader from First United Methodist Church Decatur, shared about the Back to School Rally and ways the Conference can support this event.

Molly Bickle, Emerging Leader from Castleton UMC, shared about Emerging Leaders saying we are the leaders of the church not just tomorrow but also today.

Several Emerging Leaders shared reasons why they are an Emerging Leader in the Indiana Conference. Some of their responses included: to empower youth and young people to transform the world for Christ, to gain a voice for youth in the church, to lead and create change, and to make a change in our world. Their passion for service has stemmed from the church’s encouragement and a desire to serve others and watch them grow.

Emily Krach, Assoc. Director of Leadership Development, share more on ways the church can partner with the Emerging Leaders Team. Krach also shared about Leadership Labs throughout the state along with an accompanied video.

Rev. Larry Whitehead, Dean of the Cabinet and Conference Superintendent serving the North District lead the Conference in a moment of remembering as we celebrated the legacies of churches who have faithfully ended their life cycles. The 18 churches celebrated were; Amboy UMC, Bethesda UMC, Brazil Wesley UMC, Denver UMC, Forest Park UMC, Fort Ritner UMC, Laconia UMC, Lakeview UMC, Morocco Evangelical UMC, Orange UMC, Portland Center UMC, Richmond Faith-Trinity UMC, Riddle UMC, Riley UMC, Smith Park UMC, Twelve Mile UMC, Walker’s Chapel UMC, and West Terre Haute First UMC. Their ministries were celebrated by singing “I Love To Tell The Story” as members stood in their honor and memory. Bishop Trimble led a moment of prayer over these communities of faith.

Rev. Larry Whitehead continued with the Extended Cabinet report.

Extended Cabinet Report

Whitehead shared the language change as we continue to live into utilizing the title of Conference Superintendent over previously used District Superintendent. “This change is a reminder that we serve more than one single district,” shared Whitehead.

Whitehead outlined the team structure and our Indiana Conference “Wildly Important Goal(WIG)”, of 100% of churches/pastors engaged in life-giving changes for Jesus Christ in their mission fields by 2020. He continued to share the steps we will take on a path towards this goal.

Arrow demonstrating WIG concept of missional.

Earlier this year, the Extended Cabinet shared a notice and letter speaking out against hate. Whitehead shared some of that letter with the Annual Conference. Whitehead also shared the Extended Cabinet’s support of women noting that “we still have work to do in the Indiana Conference.” He continued, “As an Extended Cabinet we place extremely high value on our clergy women in our congregations, it’s not an exception, it’s our standard.”

Finally, Whitehead shared a desire of the Extended Cabinet for continued conversation to happen around issues with which we are not in agreement.

He noted appreciation for Rev. David Byrum, Rev. Michelle Cobb, Rev. Chris Newman-Jacobs, and Rev. Kate Walker, who have served on the Cabinet and will now now be transitioning off the Cabinet and into further ministry in new appointments and retirement.  Whitehead also welcomed those coming to join the Cabinet this incoming year, Rev. Chris Nunley who will serve as Conference Superinted

Whitehead shared that Rev. Dave Neckers will serve as the new Dean of Cabinet.

A motion was made from the floor to suspend the start of Critical Conversations time until all resolutions have been voted upon. The motion also requested that the vote be taken by standing and require a two-third majority vote.

The motion passed with a two-thirds vote and the agenda was adjusted as such.

Mission and Justice Report

Rev. Tom Heaton and Allison Curts, Assoc. Directors of Mission and Justice began their presentation by singing “Jesus Love the Little Children,” setting the tone for their report.

“Jesus loves all the people, Jesus is able to see all the people. In Mission and Justice we work with all people,” said Heaton.

Curts shared and celebrated the quick response of the Indiana Conference after hurricanes hit in Texas, Louisiana, Florida and Puerto Rico. Indiana churches created over 3,000 cleaning buckets and over 3,000 health kits, as well as direct cash contributions to UMCOR totaling over one thousand dollars.  Altogether, we gave one million three hundred thousand dollars to help with this Disaster Response.

In Indiana, the South Bend Disaster Response Team, in partnership with Catholic Charities, has helped more than 40 homeowners recover.

“When it comes to disaster,  Indiana  United Methodists respond! Through  UMCOR,  we are committed to continuing to be the last out after disaster strikes.  Hurricanes, earthquakes, and flooding don’t discriminate – so we don’t either.  When  UMCOR  responds, we see all the people who are hurting offer hope,” said Curts.

Creation Care awards were presented to Taylor Chapel UMC in Ft. Wayne, North UMC in Indianapolis, and Mike Oles, for his personal efforts in creation care.

Heaton and Curts also shared a video highlighting the first Respond: Mission and Justice Summit. The 2019 Respond Summit will be on Saturday, March 9, at Grace UMC in Franklin.
Heaton shared their focus on ministry with the poor, not just for them. He showed a video about example by video the Matthew’s Voices choir from Roberts Park UMC in Indianapolis, who then blessed us with their voices during the giving of the Missional Offering.

This year,  Bishop Trimble and the Committee on The  Annual Conference made a decision to collect a special offering which would be designated to assist with  UMCOR,  Indiana Disaster  Response,  and  Ministry With the Poor matching grants. One-third of the offering will go to help  UMCOR and its work in disaster recovery throughout the  U.S., one-third to the Indiana  Disaster  Fund, and one-third to support the continued giving of matching grants to churches doing projects with the poor.

Nominations Committee Report Vote

Ed van Wijk presented the report during Thursday’s plenary session for review. Prior to the vote, Ed van Wijk announced several corrections to put the report properly before us. A vote was taken and the report as corrected was accepted.

Resolutions from Friday Afternoon Plenary

Corrected Constitutional Amendment #1 was voted upon. Results will be announced once all Conferences have had an opportunity to vote upon the corrected amendment.

2017 Resolution #5: Welcoming the Migrant in Our Midst passed.

2017 Resolution #6: Wesley Seminary and the University Senate 
After speeches against and in favor were heard an amendment was proposed to change a line stating “Wesley offers one of”. 2017 Resolution #6 was passed as amended.

2018 Resolution #1: Exemption of Property Trust Provisions was ruled out of order.

2018 Resolution #2: Affirming Historical Position and Doctrinal Standards
After several speeches were made both in favor and against, a motion was made to postpone this resolution indefinitely. The motion was approved.

Committee on Finance and Administration Final Report & Budget

Doug Worthington shared that 100% of the 2017 INUMC General & Jurisdiction Church Apportionments have been fulfilled to total $5,259,000.

Ian Hall shared the budget as it came before the Annual Conference and was approved as presented.
2019 Total Income Budget – $13,149,000
2019 Expense Budget – 40% General Church, 60% Indiana Annual Conference

2019 Annual Conference Dates Set

Mark your calendars the 2019 Annual Conference Session of the Indiana Conference of The United Methodist Church will be June 13-15, 2019 in Indianapolis.