Should we care (and does it matter) that the Indiana UMC’s headquarters will be relocating to a suburban corporate business park?

new location for headquarters

It looks like the Indiana conference of the United Methodist church (my conference) is moving their headquarters to a business park.  Not A  good decision.

What kind of message does it send for a church to be headquartered in  a corporate business park?   What does it say that the Bishop moved his offices out of the city and into the suburbs?

I understand that the new statewide conference needs more office space in one centralized location. I have no problem with that.  I just don’t see Jesus, the early Christians, or John Wesley basing their movement in a privately owned business park, disconnected from neighborhoods and culture.

Indiana needs the United Methodist Church to have a bold and prophetic voice. I strongly believe that is how our church will survive and thrive.  Speaking out for the hungry and sick.  Visiting the prisoners. Caring for creation. Rebuilding our urban core and rural heartlands.

The vantage point of our conference staff won’t be any of those places.  The view from the new headquarters will feature acres of soulless business parks and an interstate, located in one of the richest zip codes in the state.

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3 thoughts on “Should we care (and does it matter) that the Indiana UMC’s headquarters will be relocating to a suburban corporate business park?

  1. Now the real question is whether the conference will do outreach to their new community. John Wesley spent time where people worked. Indeed he got up early in the morning to preach outside the mines. Grant it that the equivalent today may be in finding the places where day laborers hang out.

    Speaking to technicalities, though Jesus countered all the technicalities, the “Indiana Conference” has never had a conference office, because it just came into being with the merger of North and South Indiana Conferences. So, this is where the new conference is putting its first office. Your point is well-taken, though.

  2. Hey Andrew,

    Thanks for your comments. That is why John Wesley’s vision is so compelling to me– the idea of doing church where people are at. and not just people, but mineworkers and laborers!

    the problem is that these offices are totally dissconected from where people are at. of course, people work there (white collar and support staff) but it is amazing how isolated these buildings are… i know because our insurance company for our construction company is based in this very office building.

    i hope they prove me wrong…

  3. Pingback: Learning about Holy Conferencing « The New Methodists

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