Mike Coyner, bishop of the Indiana Area (Conference), recently shared in the Hoosier United Methodist Together newspaper (Jan./Feb. 2015) that his tenure will be ending as of the end of August 2016. In The United Methodist Church, bishops have four-year assignments and Bishop Coyner’s will be ending at that time. He will be retiring, so a different bishop will be assigned to lead the Indiana Conference beginning September 2016.
Please keep him in your prayers as he completes his ministry leading the Indiana United Methodist churches. He certainly doesn’t plan to coast to retirement but has specific goals he’s focused on reaching. (See the article.) Also keep the Indiana Area Committee on Episcopacy, and a new transition team that’s been formed, in your prayers as they begin preparing for this transition in leadership.
Because at least three of the nine active bishops serving in the Midwest (North Central Jurisdiction) will be retiring and because of the common practice of having bishops serve two consecutive 4-year terms in the same Area, it is very possible Indiana will be receiving a newly-elected bishop, something that hasn’t happened before. So please keep those “running” for bishop and those electing the new bishops in your prayers. Those electing will be the delegates to the North Central Jurisdictional Conference, held in Peoria, IL, July 13-16. This delegation will include 16 laity and 16 clergy from Indiana who will be chosen at this May’s Annual Conference in Indianapolis.
Finally, pray for the NCJ Committee on Episcopacy, which is the group that will recommend to the Jurisdictional delegates as to which Area each of the nine bishops will serve, including who will lead the Indiana Area (Conference). Each Annual Conference has one clergy and one lay person serving on this committee. For Indiana its Rev. Frank Beard and myself, Ed Fenstermacher. Know that we covet your prayers.
We have been blessed these past 12 years with Bishop Coyner’s leadership. May we be equally blessed by the leadership of our next episcopal leader.
— Ed Fenstermacher, Associate Director for Church Development