COVID-19 Update: An Encouragement from Bishop Trimble [1.8.21]

I share this message as COVID-19 cases continue to increase and hospitals are near capacity. As your bishop who cares for you and the well-being of all of our families and communities, I ask you to stay the course with an abundance of caution.

I know it has been difficult not meeting in gathered sanctuary worship. Please continue moving forward for the foreseeable future using adaptive ways of connecting. I believe it to be the better part of wisdom to continue to not meet in person at your churches.

Read the full message>>

COVID-19 Update: An Announcement from Bishop Trimble [11.17.20]

Since it is a fact that church worship gatherings are key sources of the spread of COVID-19, it is the recommendation of your Bishop that all churches should suspend in-person worship and in-person meetings of groups for the foreseeable future until the number of COVID cases improve. This will likely include making alternative plans for the holidays. This is particularly true for churches in counties and communities where hospitals are reporting excessive demands due to the rising number of COVID admissions.

Read the full message>>

Watch the Town Hall Webinar with Bishop Trimble and IU Health Medical Professionals [11.16.20]

COVID-19 Update: Double Your Efforts to “Do No Harm” [11.12.20]


If you are wondering if you should suspend worship because of the rapid rise in COVID cases and hospitalizations across the state of Indiana, then you are encouraged to take action to suspend in-person gatherings (including worship) as soon as this weekend. An alarming number of our pastors and churches have already reported COVID infections (including hospitalizations) just this week. Please redouble your efforts to “do no harm” during this time.

Plan to join me and IU Health professionals on Monday, November 16, at 1:30 p.m. (ET) for a Town Hall webinar about how church leaders can safely lead their congregations during this global pandemic.

Be encouraged,

Bishop Julius C. Trimble
Resident Bishop
Indiana Conference of The United Methodist Church

COVID-19: Leading Your Congregation During in These Unique Times [10.28.20]

Plan now to join Bishop Trimble on November 16 from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. (ET) for a Town Hall webinar to learn more about how we can address the concerns of COVID in our churches and communities.

We are assembling a panel of participants that will address epidemiological (incidence, distribution, and possible control of diseases and other factors) expertise from IU Health.

The webinar will also discuss mental health issues caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, as well as local church practices for dealing with the challenges faced in leading your congregation during these times. A Zoom webinar link will be made available and shared with you prior to the event.

COVID-19: An Update for Church Leaders [10.27.20]

Following our latest COVID update, we received a few questions from pastors about in-person gatherings.

At this time, Bishop Trimble does not feel that it is prudent or necessary to be prescriptive about how/when individual churches re-enter because churches have different locations and membership characteristics. There is no one-size-fits-all solution.

If you would like guidance on how to best “do no harm” in your church/area, we encourage you to contact your Conference Superintendent.

COVID-19: Stage 5 Update [9.30.20]

Since Indiana graduated to Stage 5 in its “Back on Track” plan, several pastors have asked whether it is now safe for their congregations to meet in-person for gatherings or—for those that have already opened their doors for services—if they should be allowed to sing.

Next Monday, October 5, the Extended Cabinet will be meeting with medical professionals from IU Health to discuss these very topics, as well as best practices moving forward. After that meeting, we will be more informed and will be better able to offer more guidelines for our churches.

Continue reading>>

COVID-19: Fall Update [9.22.20]

When COVID reared its ugly head last spring, little did we know that it would still be affecting our world as greatly as it is. Even now, 6 months into the virus, Indiana remains in Stage 4.5 as we work to get “Back on track.” The Indiana Conference continues to encourage pastors to lead their churches with the “Do no harm” mindset, following state and federal guidelines.

Read the latest>>

New Information About the 2020 Annual Conference Session [5.22.20]

In a letter to Indiana United Methodists today, Rev. Dr. Cindy Reynolds shared new information about the 2020 Annual Conference Session. Guests now have the option to attend the August 15 conference in person at Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, gather with neighbors at a regional sites, or the recommended option – to connect from home via livestream.

Read the letter>>

Guidelines for Returning to Church Gatherings [5.4.20]

As churches prepare to return to church Bible study and worship gatherings, our first imperative is “do no harm.” Instead of providing a list of dos and don’ts we offer a series of questions as conversation starters and guidelines for pastors and laity. This is an opportunity to empower and involve laity in discussions and decision-making to be the church God is calling us to be.

Questions are broken into three categories: Logistics, Learnings, and Leading. It will be helpful to have teams to address these questions, rather than have one person deal with everything.

Read more>>

Annual Conference 2020 Postponed [4.15.20]

The 2020 Annual Conference session, previously scheduled for June 11-13 at Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, has been postponed. In a recent email, Bishop Trimble shared that the Conference will be held on two dates: August 15 at Indiana Wesleyan University and October 10 at St. Luke’s UMC, Indianapolis.

Read the full message>>

Bishop Trimble Responds to Recent Mandate to Wear Face Masks in Public [7.24.20]

Bishop Trimble’s Guidance for Returning to Church Sanctuaries [6.4.20]

As we approach June 14, let me thank you again for your faithful witness, prayers, and patience as we continue to embrace social distancing and spiritual connection with an abundance of caution as you lead your congregations.

Continue reading>>

Bishop Trimble Responds to Revised “Stay at Home” Order [4.24.20]

Bishop Trimble responds to the extension of the “Stay at Home’ order through May 1, as announced by Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb on April 20. Bishop asks United Methodist churches to not gather for worship before May 17.

Bishop Trimble Responds to Governor Holcomb’s Address, Delays Church Re-Opening [5.4.20]

What about our work and worship as United Methodists in Indiana? In a recent communication, as your Bishop I asked United Methodist churches not to plan to meet before May 17. We believe it is still wise to plan “in person” worship no sooner than June 14. Further, in concert with the state’s guidance regarding protecting those among us who may be more vulnerable, 65 and older or those with health concerns, all congregations are encouraged to consider gathering plans that are more conservative than the ones allowed in stages 2-5 of the state plan.

Read the full letter>>

An Update from Bishop Trimble About Re-Opening Churches [5.23.20]

Bishop Julius Trimble responds to recent comments by President Donald J. Trump and affirms churches are not to gather for worship prior to June 14.

Read the message>>

Pastors are Essential Workers: A Message from Bishop Trimble to Local Pastor [5.20.20]

Bishop Julius Trimble shares message with pastors and ministry leaders as they care for their communities during a time of uncertainty.

“As you navigate this protracted season of challenge and choice, I just want to say thank you, pastors. You have families, and many of you have secular jobs along with serving a church. You are being asked to do things you didn’t learn in seminary or pastor’s school.”

Read the message>>

Unleashing the Power of the Church: A Message from Bishop Trimble to Laity [4.27.20]

In a recent message specifically to the laity of the Indiana Conference, Bishop Trimble asks laypersons a simple, yet compact questions: How is it with your soul?
The bishop thanks the laity for the ways they continue to be the Church, particularly during this pandemic. He also shares that he believes COVID-19 provides “a great opportunity to rise to our highest potential and expand our ministry.”

Read more>>

Bishop Trimble Responds to Revised “Stay at Home” Order [4.24.20]

Bishop Trimble responds to the extension of the “Stay at Home’ order through May 1, as announced by Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb on April 20. Bishop asks United Methodist churches to not gather for worship before May 17.
Watch the message>>

Bishop Trimble Offers Prayer and Encouragement [3.31.20]

Bishop Trimble offers a word of encouragement in light of an announcement by President Trump on Sunday to extend federal social distancing guidelines to April 30, 2020. Until then, social gatherings, including worship services, are not permitted.

Read the message>>

A Word of Encouragement from First Lady Grandberry-Trimble [3.31.20]

Good morning, beautiful beloveds. We did a prayer walk this morning. As we walked, we sang aloud familiar songs and said both the Lord’s Prayer and the 23rd Psalm. We praised and prayed aloud. Our prayer walk was the Lord’s way of using us to encourage each household, each home, and our entire neighborhood to be blessed and to be a blessing to this very hurting world. You, too, can do a prayer walk on your street, your neighborhood, or as you drive by homes. What we do makes a difference. I love you.”

Bishop’s Guidance on Holy Communion [3.27.20]

A number of pastors have raised concerns about the sharing of the Sacrament of Holy Communion, due to the incapability of churches gathering during this unique time. Bishop Trimble recently shared that pastors are allowed to host communion virtually, while keeping in mind that others may prefer to wait until the churches are granted permission to gather in person once again.

Read the message>>

Bishop Trimble on the ‘Stay at Home’ Order from Gov. Holcomb [3.24.20]

Did you know that you can sing the Doxology to help you thoroughly wash your hands for the required 20-second count? Bishop Trimble gives United Methodists a demonstration and offers prayer and encouragement.

Read more>>

Conference Staff Working Remotely [3.17.20]

Due to the Coronavirus, the Indiana Conference staff will be working remotely starting Thursday, March 19, while remaining fully operational. This is in an attempt to prevent further spread of the virus and protect our personnel, especially those that are immunocompromised.

“This is the responsible thing to do,” said Bishop Trimble. “We are practicing good leadership in modeling what we are asking our congregations to do.”

Technology has been put in place so that staff can perform their duties at home. “We will continue to serve the local church in this time of crisis,” Trimble said. “We’re grateful for the technology that allows this.”

Leadership will re-evaluate as more information becomes available from the Center for Disease Control and World Health Organization.

A Coronavirus Update from Bishop Trimble [3.16.20]

“I am requesting that all churches suspend their regular worship services where we gather in close quarters at least for the next four weeks paying attention to updates. Let’s join together in our districts with other churches and do live streaming of worship and provide ways for our members to continue to share in prayers and liturgy. How can this best happen in your community?…”

Continue reading>>

COVID-19 & The Church: One Thing I know [3.16.20]

“In this time of uncertainty and confusion, I am certain about at least one thing; I am absolutely sure that the world around us is in desperate need of the hope found in the promise of Jesus Christ.” Rev. Larry Whitehead, Executive Assistant to Bishop Trimble and Director of Connectional Ministries, shares a thoughtful and encouraging message with churches in the Indiana Conference.

Continue reading>>

[Update] Coronavirus: Leaders & Churches [3.12.20]

Bishop Trimble invites the Church and our neighbors to “pray, prevent, plan, and give” as cases of the Coronavirus have been confirmed in Indiana. He urges, “it’s important for all of us to take precautions against the Coronavirus, or COVID-19. I invite you to join me in responding to this situation in the following ways.”
Learn more>>

Coronavirus: Leaders & Churches [3.10.20]

“You have been called to ministry, and that mission still exists. There are children to bless, meals to serve, and homeless people to house. People still need Jesus. None of that has changed because of this virus.”
Bishop Trimble provides guidance as local churches begin to consider cancelling future gatherings due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
Learn more>>

Cancellations Due to Coronavirus Outbreak [3.12.20]

With new cases of the Corona virus popping up in communities all over the nation and state, the Indiana Conference of The United Methodist Church has made the difficult decision to suspend the following events:

  • Life Together Conference on March 23-24
  • Mission and Justice Summit on March 28
  • District Conferences on March 14 and 15 (Central, East, North Central, North, Southeast
  • State of the Church on March 21, 22, April 4, 19, 26

Read more>>

Other Creative Opportunities to Worship

  • Royal Center UMC will providing a drive-in worship service via FM radio, starting on Sunday, March 22.
  • McGrawsville UMC, in collaboration with Bunker Hill and Kokomo Zion UMCs will offer online worship, starting Sunday, March 22.

Resources for Local Churches

Evangelism in a Digital World
The Methodist Church in Britain has developed downloadable guides and other resources to help churches use the internet and social media as digital tools for evangelism.

Find resources here>>

How Many People Are Watching Your Videos?

Scrolling Facebook’s news feed is a daily habit for millions of people. User-posted videos are one reason why. With more than 8 billion video views per day, Facebook is a juggernaut platform for getting your video before a massive audience and for inviting engagement. Make sure that time invested in video posting is productive by learning more about Facebook metrics.

Continue reading>>

24 Questions Your Church Should Ask Before Return
As the federal government continues do discuss the possibility of ending the national lockdown in upcoming, many of us are looking forward to gaining some form normalcy, including church leaders and members. But to think that our activities will immediately go back to how they once were is unreasonable suggests pastor and ministry leader Ken Braddy, Jr. As a result, Ken has drafted a list of questions churches should consider before they open their doors to the community. 

Center for Congregations Offers Connect Through Tech Grant 
The Connect Through Tech grant is a unique opportunity for congregations in Indiana to purchase new technology resources to help connect virtually during the pandemic and beyond.

How you can stay connected to your congregation and community during COVID-19

COVID-19, a novel coronavirus, has prevented most churches from meeting in their physical buildings, but it has also created an opportunity for the church to be an active light in the darkness within their community. Here are just a few ways your church can get a bit more creative, serve your community well, and stay connected to those in your mission field.

Read More>>

Local Church Resources

The Rev. Cindy Garver, Indiana Conference Disaster Response Coordinator, has provided a list of guidelines to help churches and church leaders care for their community during the Coronavirus outbreak. Her guidelines include tips for cleaning areas like pews and nursery and how to be safe during communion or choir practices, as well as additional resources.

Learn more>>

Ways to Worship at Home

Even though your church service may be cancelled due to the Coronavirus, that doesn’t mean you can’t worship. You don’t have to have a praise band—or organ/piano—to worship. In fact, worship can take on many forms, though it can include music.
Learn more>>

Church staff working remotely? These apps can help
As the Coronavirus continues to spread, many churches have suspended services and have chosen to allow their staff to work from home. If this isn’t something you’ve done before, you may not know that there are several apps (many free!) that can help you stay organized and connected.

Learn more>>

The Upper Room: How to Stay Connected When You Have to Stay Away
If you’re looking for ways your small group or congregation can stay connected during these uncertain times, The Upper Room eLearning offers online classrooms where groups can meet to discuss a topic whenever and wherever they are.

The Fellowship: Pandemic Response Worship Resourcing
The Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts is providing great information and resources for worship leaders who are rapidly adapting to offering worship experiences online. It’s a dynamic resource, with new ideas being posted every day by the creative worship leaders throughout the Church.

Financial Resources

Free Nonprofit Webinar: The CARES Act

The CARES Act provides funding for nonprofits who are facing economic uncertainty. This 30-minute free CharityHowTo sponsored webinar is both a how-to apply as well as what you need to know about the program. Cherian Koshy, a Certified Fund Raising Executive and AFP Master Trainer will be leading a 45-minute webinar on the Paycheck Protection Program and how to apply. The webinar will be held Wednesday, April 15 at 1:00 p.m. EDT.

Register today>>

CARES Act: Unemployment Benefits for Local Churches [4.10.20]

The Indiana Conference is carefully and prayerfully monitoring the daily updates and information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on all of us. The passage of the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security” (CARES) Act on March 27, 2020, includes provisions intended to financially aid businesses and households. According to the Act, ministries are included in this package, and some of the provisions may aid our impacted churches and those who serve.

Continue reading>>

CARES Act Information for Hispanic/Latino Congregations [4.8.20]
MARCHA and the National Plan for Hispanic/Latino Ministries (NPHLM), with the cooperation of, United Methodist Communications (UMCOM), General Commission on Religion and Race (GCORR) and Discipleship Ministries (GBOD), have created a webpage in Spanish with information to assist Hispanic/Latino congregations in the process of applying for the aid that the CARES Act provides.

Paycheck Protection Program – Frequently Asked Questions [4.7.20]

As Small Business Administration (SBA) lenders have started to process Paycheck Protection Program applications, INUMC has received a number of common questions. Below is a list of questions and answers as of Tuesday, April 7, 2020. Please note that this appears to be a fluid process and the procedures continue to evolve.

This information below is not offered as professional financial or legal advice. You must obtain a lawyer or qualified financial adviser for professional advice.

Read the FAQ>>

Learn about Pandemic Unemployment Assistance from the Department of Workforce Development

A CARES Act Update [4.3.20]

On April 2, 2020, the Small Business Administration (SBA) issued an interim final rule (Rule) implementing the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), effective immediately. The CARES Act temporarily permits SBA to guarantee 100 percent of loans under PPP. The CARES Act provides for forgiveness of up to the full principal amount of qualifying loans guaranteed under the PPP, under certain conditions.

Continue reading>>

Paycheck Protection Program: Apply today! [4.1.20]

In a recent announcement on Wednesday, the Conference shared its understanding of the Paycheck Protection Program section of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Ian Hall, Director of Administration and Financial Services, shared about the Small Business Administration loan program to assist small businesses and nonprofits, and urged applicants to submit their applications sooner than later.

Learn more>>

Giving During Virtual Ministry [3.25.20]

Looking for an easy way for your congregation to give during this time of virtual ministry? Vanco, a partner of the UMC’s General Council on Finance and Administration, currently serves approximately 25,000 churches and faith-based organizations as clients.
Start here>>

10 Ideas for Church Financial Leaders Amid COVID-19 Pandemic [3.18.20]

Ken Sloane of Discipleship Ministries shares ten ideas for church financial leaders to help sustain the church and its ministries in the face of interruptions caused by the coronavirus outbreak.
Read more>>

UMFCU Offers Relief to Communities Impacted by COVID-19 [3.17.20]

In an effort to help substitute income that has been lost due to circumstances related to the COVID-19 Coronavirus, the United Methodist Financial Credit Union is offering “Ministry Relief Loans” to local churches, active clergy, clergy spouse, and employees of Indiana Conference-related organizations. To learn more, contact Jason Fishburn, Relationship Manager, at

Resources for Young People


Ministering to Kids and Youth in this Season of Uncertainty

“Each of us know children and youth who are out of school and trying to adjust to this new normal. We want to help. We want to provide support to their families in meaningful ways. Fantastic educational and ministry resources are being shared all over social media and websites. Ministry leaders are using virtual means that are providing vital opportunities to worship, connect, and focus on God’s Word.”

Emily Krach, Associate Director of Leadership Development – Emerging Leaders shares insight on how we can care for young people in our communities at this time.

Continue reading>>

Indiana United Methodist Children’s Home Shares Tips for Parents During COVID-19

As experts in the Teaching Family model, we know all parents need strategies to help ensure the coming weeks are positive for your children’s emotional well-being and for their success with their educational goals. View these tips to help your family find success and enjoy the time together in the coming weeks.

Read tips>>

The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis – At Home

Though you can’t step inside the building, the museum is coming to you via Facebook Live. Programs include DIY Science experiments, preschool teachers reading favorite books, virtual tours with Museum in a Minute, active play with Riley Children’s Health Sports Legends Experience® coaches, behind-the-scenes tours with curators, and morning greetings from Rex.

More details>>

Remote Solutions for Your Children’s Ministry Environment

In order to support you as much as possible during this tricky time, Orange Kids, an early childhood development resource, have created some free resources to help you out by providing a “Digital Experience Guide for Children’s Ministry.”

Learn more>>

IU Health Resources Zoom Call Recording

If you missed the Zoom call this morning with bishop and IU Health professionals, then you can access it by clicking the link below. This 90-minute recording is chalked full of valuable information specifically for clergy who are leading from the pastoral perspective in the midst of this global health crisis.
Don’t miss out on learning how to care for ourselves as pastors and hearing from an infectious disease clinician.

Watch the video below.

MDLive Telemedicine

HealthFlex partners with MDLIVE to provide 24/7 access to state-licensed, board-certified doctors via phone, secure video or an easy-to-use MDLIVE app. MDLIVE doctors can diagnose symptoms, prescribe medication, and send prescriptions directly to your pharmacy of choice when appropriate. MDLIVE can make sense for common non-emergency conditions any time you cannot get in to see your regular provider. It may be a cost-effective alternative to urgent care or the emergency room for non-emergency conditions.

Wespath will waive the cost of MDLIVE telemedicine service for the next 90 days (mid-June). Please call your provider or use MDLIVE during this time to confirm if COVID-19 testing is necessary. The CDC recommends that you call your provider before seeking in-person services and facilities.

Call MDLive at (888) 750-4991 or visit 

Updates from the General Church

Bishop’s Ask for Postponement of General Conference Due to Coronavirus Pandemic

The Executive Committee of the Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church has asked for the postponement of the 2020 General Conference, set to begin in six weeks, because of the new Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic.

Read the press release>>

Coronavirus: What to Know, How to Help

United Methodists concerned about the coronavirus can take some precautions during church gatherings and mission work. Frequent hand-washing, keeping distance from people who are sneezing or coughing and avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth are some of the suggestions.

Read more>>

Everything You Need to Know about E-Giving

In response to Covid-19 and social distancing, many churches many close as they put the health of their congregation first. This may lead to stress around the collection plate. Check out this handy guide to understanding electronic, text, and other forms of online giving.

Go to eGiving Guide>>