Bishop Julius Calvin Trimble. Resident United Methodist Bishop of the Iowa Annual Conference called the 2012 session to order at 10:00 on Saturday, June 2. His opening of the annual gathering followed music provided by a praise band from Mt. Vernon United Methodist Church, which was introduced by Rev. Bill Daylong, the church’s Pastor.
The more than 1600 representatives of Iowa’s nearly 800 United Methodist congregations passed the peace in the spirit of John Wesley’s historic question, “And are we yet alive and see each other’s face?”
Shari Daylong and members of the praise band read the Gospel lesson, from Mark.
In his message, entitled, “Don’t Let God’s Grace Go to Waste,” Bishop Trimble revealed that he had been ill in the days leading to the annual conference session, even requiring hospital attention. He said, “There are many people here who are feeling less than 100 percent.” I can think of at least a hundred reasons to thank God for you and the Church,” he declared.
Speaking of the recently-held General Conference he noted, “We can’t vote our way into our Kingdom potential…Gay or straight, wealthy or poor, we can give ourselves away so Christ can use us, bruised or broken…to love enough to lift someone who is down and we pray enough to turnh our Church around and face the world outside our doors.”
Describing the many ways Iowa United Methodists are engaged in mission he declared, “I am from Iowa and we don’t wait for somebody, because we are somebody!” He remembered how the Thurman church doors were left unlocked and how a family found refuge from the recent tornado because the doors were open.
Challenging the Conference Bishop Trimble said, “I am convinced that we can usher in a day of celebration like the world has never seen when we stamp our Malaria in just a few years!”
An offering was received to support Imagine No Malaria, which totalled $22,164.69, was followed by the Celebration of the Eucharist.