My bishop and friend died this month. I am one more of those persons whose life was altered by Bishop Mike. It was over breakfast in a Denny’s restaurant that he asked me to be a district superintendent. When that happened, I became part of a circle of pastors and leaders who would be in contact with him regularly. His approach was always thoughtful, collegial, and grounded in Christ. Oh, and a good dose of humor was regularly applied.
While he is now gone from us, I read in wonderment all the stories and accolades people shared about how he touched their lives. What is obvious is that he is still living on through the people he changed and the deeds he did. Gone, that is true, but with a living legacy that is strong and still able to make a difference.
For that reason, earlier this month, I made a gift to the Bishop Michael J. Coyner Scholarship Fund. A native Hoosier (as a Purdue fan he didn’t much cotton to “Hoosier”), his life was graced at our Epworth Forest Campground. In junior high he gave his life to Christ there. Then, in senior high, he answered his call to Christian ministry. As with so many of us, our camping experience birthed and grew our faith so that we cannot imagine our lives apart from those days of fun, fellowship, learning, and saving faith.
Funds from this scholarship will help senior high youth attend camp at Epworth Forest. Bishop Mike knew that lives are changed in that place. This is an endowed fund, which means that only the earnings will be used from the body of the fund. In this way the fund will never run out. Every year, in every generation, he will continue to influence kids and bless God’s work in them. Gone from us in body, but still with us in a living legacy of faith, hope, and love.
Join me in giving to this legacy. You can go to umfindiana.org/bishopcoyner, or Text “Coyner” to 317-747-3337, or mail a check to:
8401 Fishers Center Dr.
Fishers, IN 46038
We will send you an acknowledgment and tax record. Thank you.