Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett paid a visit to the Indiana Conference today, during the annual prayer breakfast of the 2016 Annual Conference, hosted at the Indiana Convention Center. Mayor Hogsett was as he always appears to be; charasmatic, personable, and filled with courageous and inspiring insight. The mayor took this opportunity to remind the Annual Conference audience of the city’s most pressing and long-standing social-economic issue – the war on violence in the streets of Indianapolis. The mayor eloquently painted an analogy, which theorized that Indianapolis is divided into two separate cities. Although both cities share the same region, they rarely engage, but only do so when “the poverty and violence of one spills into the tranquility and peace of the other.” 

Mayor Hogsett, who was raised in Rushville, Indiana and has lived in Nora, Indiana for quite sometime is very familiar with the city’s discrepancies in terms of crime and poverty. Rev. Dr. Andrew Scanlan-Holmes, Senior Pastor of Roberts Park UMC in Downtown Indianapolis, who introduced the mayor, reported candidly of Hogsett’s extensive history of both worshiping and providing community service at Roberts Park UMC. Roberts Park UMC has gained tremendous regard for its community outreach service of providing, on average, nearly 250 three-course meals every Sunday to the homeless and underpriviledged of Indianapolis. Mayor Hogsett, a faithful member of 25 years, has been known for greeting each visitor as they proceeded into the parish, and will often share a meal with the least, last and lost of the Circle City. Mayor Hogsett, who unashamingly admitted to only being in office for six months, urged us to be vigilant in both prayer and in practice, in regards to the growing crime trends, which are known to escalate during the warm summer months. 

To conclude, the Mayor shared scripture from the book of James, chapter 1, verse 22, "But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” His way of soliciting United Methodists to not simply watch idly as our city is ravaged in horrendous crimes, poverty, and injustice. But to seek action, prayer, and positive influence.