Celebration of Life ImageThe 2018 Annual Conference Session of the Indiana Conference of The United Methodist Church began with a moment to “See all the People,” as our conference theme encourages each of us, as clergy, clergy spouses, and laity gathered together in round tables to engage and praise God together, remember, and share in life and ministry.

The beginning of our time together as an annual conference was also a time to remember those who have passed on to the Church Triumphant and the legacies left to those they served and ministered to.

Bishop Trimble brought greetings and encouragement to the family, friends, and colleagues of those remembered. Trimble called to our attention that we do not do ministry alone, taking a moment recognize those in attendance.

In his sermon to the Conference, Bishop Trimble encouraged us to “Stand steady, don’t be afraid, bring others to Christ, and leave nothing undone.” Focusing on 2 Timothy 4: 6-8, he shared that we serve a God that knows what it is like to lose a loved one, and likewise, we believe in Jesus who knows the struggles, temptations, and hurt we endure.

“He is the only one to come down from heaven and the only one to come back from the dead with authority to teach us the mystery of life, death, and life beyond,” said Trimble.

As we recognized those who have served faithfully before us, we were reminded that it is their lives in ministry that continues to guide many of us today.

“We are here only because of the shoulders of the ones we stand upon,” reminded Trimble.

He continued by sharing, “Grace is the gift of feeling sure that our future, even our dying, is going to turn out more splendidly than we dare imagine.”

To end the message, the attendees sang, How Great is Our God and How Great Thou Art.

Names were read in memory as family and friends of the deceased stood and reminded us that we are to see all of the people, those who have served before, those currently serving, and those yet to serve in the Indiana Conference.