Missions Luncheon

The Missions Luncheon on Friday, June 10, was an opportunity for attendees of the 2016 Annual Conference to learn about some of the feats that have been accomplished so far this year through the efforts of the General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM). 

Dr. Olusimbo Ige, Director of the Global Health Unit, carried a significant portion of the luncheon, advocating for churches to consider implementing services and resources that promote better community health and discourage childhood obesity. Ige emphasized that weight-loss challenges among youth quite often do not require a big, dramatic response, but rather, exercising discipline and commitment can make all the difference in a young child's life. “It’s not about building big gyms, it’s about making small, simple steps,” said Dr. Ige. 

Ige alluded to small actionable choices that are well-known for the most part but go unpracticed. Choices like providing children with less sugary beverages, teaching them portion control, and to spend more time being physically active, rather than sitting idly on the sofa. Studies have also shown that breastfeeding longer can help curb the childhood obesity.

What can the church do?

Dr. Ige advised that churches often undermine their role in community health and quite often do not practice healthy eating or promote exercise. “As United Methodists, we’re known for good food. But we need to make them (our food) healthier.” She also brought light to the need for churches to participate in facilitating community health resources by asking some hard questions. 

“Does your church create space for physical activity?”
“Could you host a farmer’s market?”
“Do you provide support for those suffering with depression?” (mental health is equally important)

COSROW Luncheon Hosts Sexual Misconduct Ministry 

The Indiana Conference COSROW met Tuesday afternoon at Bucca de Beppo for fellowship and a presentation on SOAR (Survivors of Abuse Restored) Ministries. 

SOAR provides support groups for women who are survivors of child sexual misconduct. Representatives shared the importance of their ministry and programs offered such as a thirteen-week support group twice a year and winter retreat during the luncheon. COSROW members took a special offering for SOAR at the conclusion of the luncheon. 

To  learn more about SOAR, visit soarministry.org. 

Leadership Development Report

During the Leadership Development report, we were encouraged by the work being done to accomplish the mission of Leadership Development. The mission of Leadership Development is to   
discover, develop, and deploy fruitful leaders of both lay and clergy in the Indiana Conference. 

“A culture of Fruitful leadership advances the kingdom of God,” said Tony Johnson. Story after story was shared of the culture of fruitful leaders we are developing and deploying throughout our congregations in Indiana. 

The Rev. Dr. Aleze Fulbright, along with the Leadership Development Team, awarded the Francis Asbury Award to the Rev. Dr. L. Lang Brownlee. Brownlee is the University Co-Chaplain and Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Religion at the University of Indianapolis. 

Remarking on lay ministry, Conference Lay Leader, Doris Clark challenged, “we are all called, not just clergy.  We each have an opportunity to reach out to others to accomplish the mission of making disciples.” 

There was much to celebrate in the Leadership Development report. This year, along with The Board of Ordained Ministry (BoOM), Leadership Development launched a Certified Lay Ministry program. A Certified Lay Minister is a position that was created by the 2004 session of the General Conference of The United Methodist Church. The position is designed to enhance the quality of ministry and ability of small membership churches, team ministry in larger membership churches, and ministry in other community settings to meet the spiritual and temporal needs of a constantly changing world. 

The Leadership Development Report was also a time to recognize and honor our retirees. This year 41 are retiring.