Clergy set to retire in 2018, along with their spouses, had the opportunity to engage in a full day workshop designed to provide them with resources, support, and confidence as they transition into the next stage of their lives and ministry beyond active service. “The Call Continues” Retiree Workshop, held Wednesday, March 7 at St. Mark’s UMC in Carmel, was the first of what many hope will become a standard annual learning opportunity for those who have devoted their lives to serving in ministry.

Kathy Mitchell, Indiana Conference Associate Director of Support Services, who led the workshop said, “Clergy entering retirement come to ‘The Call Continues’ for learning, and hopefully inspiration, so that they know all of those transactional things that they’ve got to make decisions on, and be educated on their choices, and at the same time still feel inspired and know that they are still called into God's ministry.”

The workshop was organized by INUMC office of Administration and Financial Services and featured segments from other local organizations and Conference affiliates, including; Wespath Benefits and Investments, the United Methodist Financial Credit Union, the United Methodist Foundation of Indiana, and AmWINS Group, Inc. Representatives from those organizations shared the value in taking the time to learn and invest in the many resources that are available to ensure the well-being of clergy as they explore a new life focus.

Clergy and spouses delved into a strategizing mode as they learned about the following:

  • Estate Planning by Manet Shettle, President of the United Methodist Foundation of Indiana
  • Benefits for retirees from Westpath Benefits Educator Mark Ciesla
  • How to end your ministry well by Executive Assistant to the Bishop / Director of Connectional Ministries Dr. Cindy Reynolds and the Rev. Greg Enstrom, Associate Superintendent, North Central District.

The Rev. Dr. Aleze Fulbright reminded attendees of how they can continue to use their myriad of gifts to keep making an impact on their neighbors throughout, and even outside of, their community. She encouraged clergy to be open and willing to new and unique service opportunities that may come their way and to be persistent in seeking direction and ideas from God about where they should serve, in what capacity, and for what purpose. Dr. Fulbright challenged the audience with the following quote in regards to continuing their call in this new chapter:

“I believe that the greatest opportunity perhaps, is being able to redefine and look, once again, through your lens of freedom, I might suggest, of how the gladness that you have now continues to meet the deepest needs within the world.”​