News


Milford elected incoming president

Milford elected incoming president

2/16/2016
Meeting via video conference today, the Board of the United Methodist Publishing House elected the Reverend Brian K. Milford (Iowa Annual Conference) as the Incoming President/CEO of The United Methodist Publishing House. In celebrating Milford’s election Board Vice-Chair, Justice Cornelia A. Clark noted, “Brian Milford is known across The United Methodist Church as a gifted and astute servant leader who has earned the respect and trust of many. As UMC Book Editor and Chief Content Officer he ...

Getting to know you

2/15/2016
Getting to know you… This song is of getting to know you, getting to know all about you so let’s get to know the  Mabaan people from Upper Nile State in South Sudan.  Take five minutes to check out on the web: South Sudan (newest nation in the world) Upper Nile State (one of 10 states along the Ethiopia border with the White Nile flowing through it)  Malakal (capital of the state and largest city) Mabaan (small ethnic group of the Upper Nile) Once we get to know a little about the Mabaan’s ...

The Iowa-Nigeria Partnership is Alive and Well

The Iowa-Nigeria Partnership is Alive and Well

2/15/2016
  Watch the video of Jordan and David teaching Jesus Loves Me. Click here. The Iowa Nigeria Partnership, better known as the INP, has a new leadership team. On January 9, 2016, Sue Kromminga (chairperson), Julie Kinsella (vice chairperson), and Arlona Fredrickson (Financial Secretary) were voted in as the new leadership team. Other board members include Mark Fransdal, Chris Congdon and Tom Shinkle. Each of these women, Sue, Julie and Arlona, have put their feet on the ground in Nigeria and ...

Volunteers in Mission visit to Israel and Palestine

Volunteers in Mission visit to Israel and Palestine

2/15/2016
For two weeks in September 18 people participated in a Volunteer in Mission trip to Israel/Palestine. We visited many holy sites but the most meaningful experiences included the reaffirmation of our baptismal vows at the Jordan River, sailing on the Sea of Galilee and Holy Communion at the Garden Tomb in Jerusalem.   In addition to visiting sites, we spent most of our time working with Palestinians. Our first four days were spent in the town of Ibillin in the Galilee region. Here we worked and ...

Rev. Kiboko speaks out about his brother

Rev. Kiboko speaks out about his brother

2/13/2016
In December 2014, businessman and United Methodist Vano K. Kiboko was imprisoned in the Democratic Republic of the Congo for speaking out against that nation’s president, due to his attempts to usurp the constitution and run for an additional term. But as of January 26, 2016, Vano was transferred to a military prison called Ndolo Prison. “We were told that it was because he was eating with the outcasts in prison. He was befriending the prisoners,” says his brother, Rev. Kiboko I. Kiboko. “He ...

As gang violence worsens, more Salvadorans flee

2/5/2016
GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala, Feb 3 (UNHCR) – Repeatedly shaken down by gang members for a weekly US$30 protection payment he could barely afford, Salvadoran bus driver Javier filed a complaint with the police. A family man with two teenage daughters, he recalls waking up at 3:00 am the next day with a knot of fear in his stomach. The six block walk to work at the central bus station in San Salvador stretched to an eternity as he anticipated a violent reprisal. Read on.  

VIM—doing God's work in the sun/son

VIM—doing God's work in the sun/son

2/4/2016
On the thumb of northern Dominican Republic is Samana, nestled among palm trees listing toward the sea, in a bay where 3,000 spouting humpback whales winter to have their babies. The Dominican Republic shares an island with Haiti but is more than two-thirds the size of its smaller neighbor. It is Spanish speaking being discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1492. It is said that this country is the most visited destination in the Caribbean and we Iowans believe it.   This was the work ...

'Careful listening' key for John Rothlisberger

'Careful listening' key for John Rothlisberger

2/3/2016
“When I submitted my name, I wasn’t at all confident that it was even really a possibility. That’s why I think I was a little bit surprised when I wound up being selected at Annual Conference last year,” says John Rothlisberger, a first-time lay delegate from Iowa to the 2016 General Conference. “But I came to realize maybe there is a reason for me to do it.” Click here to listen to the conversation with John John, a Dean at the School for Lay Ministry at Simpson College, realized that the ...

Christin Nevins Talks About Conference Leadership Teams

Christin Nevins Talks About Conference Leadership Teams

2/3/2016
The Iowa Conference is getting some serious coaching right now. Spiritual Leadership Incorporated (SLI), an organization that seeks to help church leaders grow and put their ideas into action, has provided two coaches to guide two teams – the Bishop’s Operating Team and the Bishop’s Appointive Cabinet – through a year-long process that will hopefully transform the culture of how ministry plans are put together and how lay and clergy leaders are brought into the ministry life at the Iowa ...

Dawson looks to 'See the Global Church in action'

Dawson looks to 'See the Global Church in action'

2/3/2016
Rev. Katie Dawson, a member of the delegation to the 2016 General Conference in Portland, Oregon, is honored to have been re-elected by her fellow clergy to represent Iowa. She is also cognizant and appreciative of the fact that the first two clergy delegates to be re-elected were in fact both women. “And we represent diversity in age and in ethnicity, and I think that really represents who we are as Iowa well.” Click here to listen to the conversation with Katie. This diversity among the ...

Free clergy tax video

Free clergy tax video

2/3/2016
Clergy face some distinctive tax regulations and often need guidance from tax professionals with experience working with clergy. To help seminary students and clergy understand better the issues to which they and their tax preparers need to give attention, the Lewis Center for Church Leadership of Wesley Theological Seminary has prepared “Compensation and Taxes,” an informational 12-minute video. Topics include compensation, federal and state income taxes, parsonage or housing allowing ...

Looking ahead to the General Conference

Looking ahead to the General Conference

2/3/2016
“At the heart of General Conference, our purpose is to continue to discuss the mission and ministry of the church moving forward, to assess some of the things that we’ve been about in the previous four years, and to identify what we’re going to do for the next four,” explains Phil Carver. Click here to listen to the conversation with Phil For over 30 years, Phil has been a part of nearly every General Conference of The United Methodist Church. For the next one, meeting at the Oregon Convention...

Refugees Get Helping Hand

Refugees Get Helping Hand

2/3/2016
JFON immigration attorney Brynne Howard working at refugee "green card" legal clinic.

UM pastors, leaders ahead of tech game

UM pastors, leaders ahead of tech game

2/3/2016
United Methodist pastors and church leaders match or exceed the average U.S. technology adoption rates, according to new research from United Methodist Communications. “The purpose of the United Methodist Emerging Technology Survey was to assess penetration of new types of digital communication within the church to aid agency communications and messaging,” said Dan Krause, chief executive of United Methodist Communications. Krause said the study also helps the agency determine interest in ...

Update on Vano Kiboko

Update on Vano Kiboko

2/3/2016
The following update on Vano Kalembe Kiboko was provided by his brother, Rev. Kiboko Kiboko, superintendent of the East Central District December 29, 2014 Vano Kiboko is sent to a maximum security prison called Makala for trying to defend basic human rights for the people of the Congo. He had invited the president of the Congo not to consider running for the third time which is against the constitution. He became dangerous to the regime. Vano was able to feed prisoners in his pavilion (200 to ...

Bishop Talbert Receives Carver Medal

Bishop Talbert Receives Carver Medal

1/29/2016
By Arthur McClanahan and Brooke Pierce* Bishop Melvin G. Talbert received Simpson College’s prestigious Carver Medal at a ceremony at the College on January 27, 2016. In accepting the honor, Bishop Talbert noted that the medal is named for inventor and scientist George Washington Carver, who was admitted to Simpson at a time when black Americans were often denied access to higher education.   Bishop Talbert delivered a timely lecture entitled “The Intersection of Oppression and Privilege,” ...

Going to Immigration Court

1/28/2016
At the Decorah United Methodist Church’s Justice for Our Neighbors legal clinic in January, Alicia met a group of folks who take Jesus’ counsel in Matthew 25 seriously.   I was blessed to help out this group of Good Samaritans and do some transportation for Alicia as a follow-up to her appointment with immigration attorney Ann Naffier, staff attorney for Justice for Our Neighbors.    I had a chance to get to know Alicia and her little daughter Martita while driving from Des Moines to Omaha to ...

Communications Ministry Team receives awards

Communications Ministry Team receives awards

1/26/2016
The Conference Communications Ministry Team receives six awards at the recent meeting of the United Methodist Association of Communicators.  The five were first place and one second place commendations were presented at a ceremony that featured remarks by Bishop Grant Hagiya of the Pacific Northwest area. At the two day meeting, which preceded the pre-General Conference briefing in Portland, Oregon, Dr. Arthur McClanahan, Iowa Conference Director of Communications, was re-elected Chairperson of...

Healthy Church Initiative—Outward focus brings church to the community

Healthy Church Initiative—Outward focus brings church to the community

1/22/2016
On January 21, 2016, the Rev. Bob Farr, Director of the Center for Congregational Excellence and a member of the appointive cabinet in the Missouri Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church, held a lively question and answer workshop at the Iowa United Methodist Conference Center on the Healthy Church Initiative (HCI) process.   The workshop was open to anyone with an interest in the Healthy Church Initiative and in attendance were coaches, pastors, lay people, consultation team members, ...

IRMS—Celebrates 30 years as an Elegant Solution

IRMS—Celebrates 30 years as an Elegant Solution

1/20/2016
Julius C. Trimble, resident Bishop of Iowa Conference of The United Methodist Church along with five other partner denominational representatives signed the re-covenanting contract with IRMS.

Iowa Wesleyan University is named a top tier regional college in the Midwest

Iowa Wesleyan University is named a top tier regional college in the Midwest

1/15/2016
News Release from Iowa Wesleyan University Mount Pleasant, IA. – Iowa Wesleyan University is named a top tier regional college in the Midwest, by U.S. News & World Report. The rankings were released in September 2015. “We are most grateful for this very prestigious recognition in the latest U.S News & World Report ratings and consider it further verification of our excellence and achievement -- all of which benefit our students and graduates,” Steve Titus, president of IWU said. “Iowa Wesleyan...

Iowa Disaster Response update for January 2016

Iowa Disaster Response update for January 2016

1/13/2016
The month of December 2015 had many occurrences of storms, heavy rain, flooding, tornados and snowstorms in the Midwest and in Texas.   Here are updates on the disaster response efforts in Iowa, Illinois, Missouri and Texas and contact information if you want to help along with some suggestions as to what you can do right now. Pray for one another and our sisters and brothers in crisis. Make clean-up buckets to re-stock Midwest Missions. Make a financial donation to help in the recovery ...

Mission to Care for Syrian Refugees

Mission to Care for Syrian Refugees

1/13/2016
Rev. Deborah Coble Wise of Trinity United Methodist Church in Waverly is preparing to head out to the Greek Island of Lesvos on a 10-day mission to help refugees from Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq. All during the Advent season, thinking about Jesus, himself a refugee, these distressed and displaced people were on her mind. “Last week, two boats overturned and 60 people died. This is still a human rights issue. There are people dying to get to freedom. They’re cold, they’re wet, they’re hungry, ...

First United Methodist in Ames welcomes new associate pastor

First United Methodist in Ames welcomes new associate pastor

1/11/2016
Rev. Cephas Davis became the new associate pastor of First United Methodist Church in Ames on Sunday, January 10. Contributed photo by First United Methodist Church

Marengo UMC celebrates 100th anniversary

Marengo UMC celebrates 100th anniversary

1/11/2016
Church members and clergy, past and present, gathered on a Sunday before Advent to commemorate Marengo United Methodist Church’s (UMC) 100th anniversary in its current site. The worship service was very energetic, according to Pastor Matt German, with rededication of the church’s baptismal font, pulpit and the entire building, followed by a potluck lunch and memory sharing.  “It was vibrant,” Rev. German said, “with the presence of the Holy Spirit.” Methodists have a history in the Marengo area ...

Saving Starfish—Making a difference in the lives of young immigrants, one by one

Saving Starfish—Making a difference in the lives of young immigrants, one by one

1/11/2016
After the Postville Raid. Photo credit: Fair Immigration Reform,

Removing barriers to self-care

Removing barriers to self-care

1/6/2016
In January, many people make plans to do better at taking care of themselves such as: losing weight, eating better, or spending time with family rather than putting work ahead of family. In other words, to improve their health habits. This translates into what is known within wellness and health promotion as “self-care”. While we know we “should” take better care of ourselves, it is often hard to do. Several barriers include: Knowing you want to change your eating habits and physical activity, ...

Determination and Faith Changes Lives

Determination and Faith Changes Lives

12/21/2015
New Southern Sudanese (Mabaan) United Methodist Church—Where Determination and Faith Changes Lives From the newest African nation, South Sudan, to a new home in Iowa, Rev. Aaron Limmo along with his wife, Helen and four children (Meeko, Ciimban, Diengke and Bwanne) are establishing a new community of faith, The Southern Sudanese United Methodist Church (Mabaan) at the Epworth United Methodist Church in Des Moines.  In 1983, Rev. Limmo was one of the thousands of children who became separated ...

165 faith leaders urge changes in gun laws

165 faith leaders urge changes in gun laws

12/10/2015
Bishop Trimble signed the op-ed regarding gun violence in our society and the call to take action! It was published today in the Des Moines Register.

Give the gift of Camp this season

Give the gift of Camp this season

12/10/2015
As we move into the joyous occasion of our Savior’s birth it reminds me to be thankful for all the gifts we’ve been given. That little baby in a manger reminds me of the joy of children and the hope and peace that they provide to all of us. I have three young children myself and when I look into their faces I just smile with joy, and I am thankful for them to be healthy and to be able to enjoy many different things in life.  As I thought about this, I realized that many of the youth we work with...

Share Your Video Stories

Share Your Video Stories

12/7/2015
Share the exciting things that are happening in your congregation and the ways you’re making a difference in your community.  Send the video you’ve posted on YouTube on on a social media site and we’ll add them to the new Your Video Stories library.  You’ll inspire others and may just help them to discover new ways to have a terrific impact.   Here are a few topics/themes that you might want to consider in your video storytelling: Community service New ways to reach your community Missions New...

Thanksgiving Ingathering tops $1m goal

Thanksgiving Ingathering tops $1m goal

12/7/2015
The 2015 Thanksgiving Ingathering brought together more than $1 million in cash/checks, in-kind contributions, and special activities.  The report, presented Friday, December 4, at the Ingathering committee meeting, detailed the number of kits, sweaters and cartons of books destined for the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) and the Iowa Nigeria Partnership (INP).  In addition, the financial support raised for related missions was tallied.   The 36th annual Thanksgiving Ingathering was...

Only love can drive out hate

12/3/2015
Only love can drive out hate Authorities are still trying to sort out the why of the shooting in San Bernardino. We know that 14 people were killed, 17 wounded, and countless others terrorized and the heart of Jesus is once again broken. In the Advent season we, in the United Methodist Church, join other Christians in celebrating the coming of the “Light of the World,” Emmanuel, God with us. What we do know is that Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik acted with hatred and malice in their hearts. In ...

Prayers for San Bernardino

Prayers for San Bernardino

12/2/2015
We’ve seen this before.   Is sad to say…almost callous…as if today’s tragedy wasn’t important, as if the lives taken and lives disrupted didn’t really matter.   Today it was San Bernardino, with 14 reported dead (as of 8 pm December 2).  On November 27th it was Colorado Springs with three killed and nine wounded.  On November 23rd four were killed in Columbus, Ohio.  Closer to home, on November 30th two people were found dead in a home on Center Street in Des Moines.  And, of course, there was ...

#CTTalks Series on Vital Congregations

#CTTalks Series on Vital Congregations

12/1/2015
Continuing the conversation around key topics related to General Conference 2016, The Connectional Table begins a month-long series in December on Vital Congregations and the Four Areas of Focus as part of the #CTTalks online forum. Beginning Tuesday, December 1st, a video will be posted each week that explores how vital congregations are aligning their attention, energy, and resources in ways that are bearing fruit in the Four Areas of Focus: engaging in ministry with the poor, improving global...

December 2015 School Teachers for Nigeria

12/1/2015
As we turn the calendar to December there is lots of educational news from Nigeria.  Banyam Theological Seminary (BTS) will graduate students on December 1. Staff and students will leave for their villages to spend the holiday period.   Rev. Musa Danjuma, studying at West Africa Theological Seminary in Lagos, will finish his first semester on December 18.  During the holiday break he will do Practical Research in Kano—a northern city on the edge of the Sahara Desert.  The new Ronald Wilmot ...

JFON asks Gov. to change immigration stance

JFON asks Gov. to change immigration stance

11/23/2015
The attorneys, staff, and volunteers of Iowa Justice for Our Neighbors call on Governor Terry Branstad to immediately cancel his order halting state agencies from aiding Syrian refugee resettlement in Iowa.  Staff Attorney Brynne Howard states, “The Governor's order is legally, factually, and morally unfounded, as well as a threat to decades of work by Iowa's clergy, business, education, and law enforcement communities to make Iowa a welcoming state for refugees.”   We urge Governor Branstad to ...

What United Methodists Believe...

What United Methodists Believe...

11/18/2015
On the topic of Immigration… “We recognize, embrace, and affirm all persons, regardless of country of origin, as members of the family of God. We affirm the right of all persons to equal opportunities for employment, access to housing, health care, education, and freedom from social discrimination. We urge the Church and society to recognize the gifts, contributions, and struggles of those who are immigrants and to advocate for justice for all.” -United Methodist Social Principles, “The Social ...

"Be messengers of peace’ - Bishop Trimble

11/17/2015
“This is an occasion where all Christians, all of humanity should cry out and weep,” said Bishop Julius C. Trimble, speaking about the tragedy that occurred in Paris on Friday, November 13.  “This is not just a tragedy for the country of France, or the city of Paris,” he added.  Indeed, “it’s a tragedy for the whole human family.”   Bishop Trimble called on Iowa United Methodists “in all our local churches and communities…[to] always carve out time to remember that we’re part of a much bigger ...

Bishop: governors be ‘promoters of peace’

Bishop: governors be ‘promoters of peace’

11/17/2015
“Governors who publicly refuse to consider allowing Syrian refugees are fostering fear and prejudicial treatment of Syrians,” said Iowa Conference Bishop Julius C. Trimble.  “The governors are creating an environment of racial profiling.”   The Bishop’s remarks came against a backdrop of calls to “pause” admitting refugees from Syria.  The backlash comes following the tragedy in Paris, last week, when some 128 people were killed in terror attacks.   “I want to invite people to remember we are ...

Grief, Dismay and Prayers for Peace

Grief, Dismay and Prayers for Peace

11/15/2015
   “Love and truth will embrace; justice and peace will kiss. Truth will spring from the earth; justice will look down from heaven"  (Psalm 85:10-11, NIV).  We mourn for the 132 women, men and children who were killed and hundreds more who were injured in terrorist attacks on Paris, November 13, in the name of Islamic extremist ideology. Our thoughts and prayers remain with those who are devastated by the loss of friends, family, and loved ones. We stand in solidarity with the people of France ...

New Site Director at Pictured Rocks

New Site Director at Pictured Rocks

11/11/2015
New Site Director at Pictured Rocks Camp and Retreat Center Announced The Iowa United Methodist Camp and Retreat Team would like to welcome Gabe Dorrell as the new Site Director of Pictured Rocks Camp and Retreat Center. Dorrell is a native of Newton, Iowa, and his love for camp started when he attended Pine Lake Camp as a youth in Eldora, Iowa. He later worked for the camp ministry team and has also served as a Director of Youth and Family Ministry in Platteville, Wisconsin.  “I tend to thrive...

'Shaping the UMC is a treasured experience'

'Shaping the UMC is a treasured experience'

11/10/2015
“I am grateful to all my colleagues who voted for me and have confidence in me,” said Rev. Lilian Gallo Seagren, who had the honor of being the very first of the six clergy elected to the Iowa Conference delegation to the 2016 Conference of The United Methodist Church.  “The thought that I am a participant in the shaping and perfecting of the United Methodist Church is a treasured experience to me,” she enthuses.  Interacting With the Delegates This September they had their first meeting, ...

IRMS hosts Bethlehem peace light

IRMS hosts Bethlehem peace light

11/10/2015
Iowa Religious Media Services, in partnership with the Mid-Iowa Council of the Boy Scouts of America, will once again host the Bethlehem Peace Light during this Advent season.  For over a thousand years, lamps have been continuously lit in the Grotto of the Nativity in Bethlehem, and now the same flame can shine in your sanctuary too.  Since 1989, Boy Scouts from Austria have facilitated the distribution of the Bethlehem Peace Light from the Grotto of the Nativity in the small town of Bethlehem,...

Blessed are the children

Blessed are the children

11/9/2015
Cathi Griswold, co-chair of the North Central Thanksgiving Ingathering for the Webster City site remembers participating in the Ingathering as a child growing up in the United Methodist Church. When asked if she and her husband, Scott, along with another couple, Gary and Nicole Chamnes, would take the lead with the project three years ago, she didn't hesitate because she knew that thousands of lives would be changed in Iowa and afar. On November 7, 2015, Asbury United Methodist Church hosted the...

Blessed by 'generous hearts'

Blessed by 'generous hearts'

11/8/2015
 It was a crisp, fall morning. The crops were in.  The leaves were down.  Steam rose from still lakes.   Faithful United Methodists at five sites – Cherokee, Webster City, Cedar Falls, Mt. Pleasant, and Greenfield – gathered, ready to receive kits for the Iowa-Nigeria Partnership, United Methodist Committee On Relief (UMCOR), crafts, quilts to be auctioned, and donations to Heifer Project International, Self-Help International, Church World Service , THE PET Project, and district hunger related ...

Presence and Partnership mark Town Hall conversation

Presence and Partnership mark Town Hall conversation

11/6/2015
An expressed desire to be able to interact with Conference leaders and people in mission and being partners in ministry marked the conversation at the second of the fall 2015 “town hall” meetings.   A modest sized group of more than a dozen lay and clergy gathered at Eldridge United Methodist Church for the Thursday evening “town hall,” which was the second in the series of 10 scheduled for November. Conference Treasurer Terry Montgomery and Director of Communications Dr. Art McClanahan, lay and...

Bishop Kiesey to retire

Bishop Kiesey to retire

11/5/2015
Bishop Deborah Lieder Kiesey has informed the United Methodist Church Council of Bishops of her intent to retire in 2016 at the end of her current 4-year assignment to the Michigan Area. The West Michigan Conference and the Detroit Annual Conference comprise the Michigan Area  of The United Methodist Church. Together, these annual conferences represent nearly 900 United Methodist churches and over 150,000 members in Michigan. In her announcement to the Michigan Area, released on video earlier ...

Help MUMM with Holiday Giving

Help MUMM with Holiday Giving

11/3/2015
It’s that time of the year when many of us begin to think about holiday giving. And MUMM is no different. As we travel during the summer, we meet kids whose families are strapped trying to make ends meet. Often that means food is scarce, not to mention clothes, books, toiletries and so many things the rest of us take for granted.  So this time of year, we check back with the churches we partnered with for Vacation Bible School to see if they have families they need help providing for during the ...

November 2015 School Teachers for Nigeria

11/3/2015
Giving Tuesday on December 1 is a day Global Ministries will accept gifts over the phone or online starting at 12:01 AM. United Methodists will once again come together to support the work of Advance projects and missionaries on UMC #GivingTuesday. And once again, every gift made online through The Advance at www.umcmission.org/give on Dec. 1, 2015 will be matched up to $1 milion. The theme for the 2015 UMC #Giving Tuesday campaign is “Activate Love. Transform Lives. Change the World.”  Because ...

#CTTalks About Christian Conferencing

#CTTalks About Christian Conferencing

11/2/2015
Today the Connectional Table begins a month-long series on Christian Conferencing as part of the #CTTalks online forum. The forum was designed to create conversation around key topics related to General Conference leading up to the event in May 2016. Each Monday in November, a video will be posted that addresses the principles of Christian Conferencing for delegations to use these as they gather together to prepare for General Conference. The first video on November 2 features Bishop Sharon ...

Bishops Assemble for Fall Learning Retreat

Bishops Assemble for Fall Learning Retreat

11/2/2015
The residential bishops of The United Methodist Church will meet November 1-5 at Lake Junaluska, N.C. for a time of learning, reflection, sharing, worship and devotion.  The gathering will continue a focus on the theme of adaptive leadership, which was also the central topic at the bishops’ retreat in 2014. The five-day learning experience will include presentations by Marty Linsky, adaptive leadership expert,  co-founder of Cambridge Leadership Associates and co-author of The Practice of ...

Disaster Ministries Fall Update

Disaster Ministries Fall Update

11/2/2015
Morningside College students volunteer at their "Into The Streets" Mission day.

Could reorganizing agencies boost church vitality?

Could reorganizing agencies boost church vitality?

10/29/2015
By Heather Hahn Oct. 29, 2015 (UMNS) Supporters and opponents of Plan UMC agree on this: Any reorganization of United Methodist agencies ought to help more churches become vital and strengthen the denomination’s Christian witness. Whether this plan can get the job done is in dispute.  “That’s a question that will primarily be before the General Conference,” said Lonnie Brooks, Alaska Conference lay leader and one of six contributors to the legislation retooled after the 2012 General Conference. ...

Vote to End Hunger Rally

Vote to End Hunger Rally

10/29/2015
You are invited to participate in the “Vote to End Hunger” interfaith rally on Sunday, Nov. 8 at Grand View University in Des Moines. The event is sponsored by Bread for the World and the Iowa Catholic Conference. The purpose of the rally is to make hunger a priority issue in the presidential campaign. Speakers will include Bishop Richard Pates of the Catholic Diocese of Des Moines and the Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. Kathie Obradovich, political columnist for the Des ...

"Islam" November's Extended Learning Opportunity through the School for Lay Ministry

10/20/2015
We are excited to offer some Extended Learning Opportunities at Cornell College again this fall. Classes are open to all clergy, laity or anyone interested so please feel free to get the word out. We hope many can take advantage of these opportunities. If you are interested in attending any of the classes, a registration form is posted here: SLM Website. Please send your registration form along with a non-refundable deposit check in the amount of $40.00, per class, to me for processing. The ...

Move to new episcopal residence nearly complete

Move to new episcopal residence nearly complete

10/9/2015
The Iowa Conference has a new residence for its resident bishop and family.  Located in Clive, the home is in one of Iowa's fastest-growing counties, one with significantly increasing diversity.   The Clive episcopal residence meets all guidelines and standards, as set by the General Council on Finance and Administration as well as the North Central Jurisdiction (NCJ) of The United Methodist Church.  The house is also comparable to other episcopal residences across the NCJ.   The Conference's ...

Child Care Center awarded Native American Sunday special offering

Child Care Center awarded Native American Sunday special offering

10/6/2015
Pastor Audrey Westendorf Young, Chairperson for Mission Education of the Iowa Conference Board of Global Ministries has announced that Grace United Methodist Church in Sioux City has been awarded over $39,000. Grace UMC houses the Native American Child Care Center. The Native American Sunday collection is received each year as one of the six denominational special offerings.  (Read more)  Half the offering has been sent to the GBGM with the other half remaining in Iowa.  Here are pictures from...

front*piece October 2015

10/6/2015
The Right Thing to Do One of the places where I learned to give thanks was Stratford Avenue School in Garden City, New York.  Miss Streeter taught one of the Kindergarten classes.  I enjoyed being in her class probably about as much as any of my K-6 years there.  She helped us to learn to appreciate each other and appreciate ourselves...as much as any 4 year-old could grasp such profound lessons.  It was more than the automatic “please and thank you” that any well-mannered child includes in ...

October 2015 School Teachers for Nigeria

10/3/2015
At Banyam Theological Seminary in Bambur, the new medical clinic is being completed with an opening date of October 5.  Cedar Falls First UMC and Living Parish/Monona UMC have funded this priority project. With over 200 students and staff on campus, having health care on site has been a dream of the BTS leadership for several years. The young families need pre/post natal and maternity care, which will now  become a reality. People can be seen there with minor health problems treated rather than ...

Celebrate 36 years of giving at the Thanksgiving Ingathering

Celebrate 36 years of giving at the Thanksgiving Ingathering

10/1/2015
Projects Supported by the Ingathering • Church World Service • Heifer Project International • Self-Help International • Iowa-Nigeria Partnership • Umcor Depot  • Personal Energy Transportation • District Hunger Related Agencies On November 7th Iowa celebrates the 36th year of the Thanksgiving Ingathering. What began as a casual conversation between Art Richardson and Bill Applegate about why there was so much hunger and poverty around the world while many were living in luxury, has resulted ...

Summer camp—a God-powerful experience

Summer camp—a God-powerful experience

10/1/2015
By Courtney Glienke The 2016 catalog will be mailed in January. Watch for more information about online registration. If you would like to be on the Camps mailing list just email camps@iaumc.org.   Summer camp.     Those two words can trigger memories for anyone who has ever experienced it. Camp means making friends that become family, facing challenges in a safe environment and meeting God in the wonders of Creation.  2,523 campers experienced all of this and more this summer at one of Iowa’s...

East Central welcomes new Superintendent

East Central welcomes new Superintendent

9/30/2015
Rev. Kiboko I. Kiboko was welcomed as the new Conference Superintendent for the East Central District in a worship service on Sunday, September 27.  With prayer and music nearly two hundred people gathered in the sanctuary of Marion First United Methodist Church to mark the beginning of a new ministry. Click here to see images of the Celebration Service  https://www.flickr.com/photos/iowaconference/albums/72157656945759094  Common commitment was expressed through the opening prayer – “Eternal ...

Fall Retirees gathering focuses on spirituality

Fall Retirees gathering focuses on spirituality

9/30/2015
Dr. Mary Fraser “Spirituality in Retirement” was the focus of the Fall 2015 Gathering of Retired Clergy and Spouses.  The event, which was held at New Hope United Methodist Church, Des Moines, featured a keynote presentation by Dr. Mary Fraser, the Iowa Conference’s Director of Pastoral Care. Rev. Bill Poland, Assistant to the Bishop for Administration, kicked off the day offering his personal welcome as well as extending greetings from Bishop Julius C. Trimble who is currently away on renewal...

Just Move It!

Just Move It!

9/28/2015
By: Kae Tritle, RN Wellness Coordinator  Exercise! Most of us still cringe at the prospect of doing activities that involve running, jumping, sweating, huffing and puffing. Actually, our physical bodies are made for moving. As a one cartoon states:  TV Voice: “Next up on the news: something that is guaranteed to burn fat, tone muscles, beautify skin, improve memory, reduce stress, boost brain functioning, enhance your love life, reduce the risk of almost any disease, and make you look and feel ...

Thrive UMC 5K gathers community, helps homeless youth

Thrive UMC 5K gathers community, helps homeless youth

9/28/2015
  Three hundred runners and walkers made their way around a 5k (3.3 mile) course in West Des Moines to help homeless youth in the Greater Des Moines area.  The Food Truck 5k was also an opportunity to gather a community on a picture-perfect early fall afternoon. Rev. Jennifer Hibben, one of Thrive’s pastors, told the crowd, “We’re out here doing a great fun 5k to benefit the community, to benefit the Iowa Homeless Youth Centers, and to give these awesome food trucks a great venue to see their ...

Trinity’s ELL program changes lives

Trinity’s ELL program changes lives

9/28/2015
“I started to learn English when I came to this country,” says Merced Cruz. “But then after I have my children, I couldn’t go anyplace because no one provided childcare. This church was the first place that offered that, so that was magnificent for me.” Merced was one of a few people who participated in the ESL (English as a Second Language) program at Trinity United Methodist Church in Des Moines back when it first began. But for various reasons, the others gradually dropped out until it was ...

Number of bishops may be reduced

Number of bishops may be reduced

9/24/2015
By: Kay DeMoss, Michigan Area UMC Senior Writer & Content Editor Nashville, TN – The General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA), has notified the North Central and Northeastern Jurisdictional leadership that the number of bishops representing those areas could be reduced based on reported membership numbers. The Michigan Area, currently comprised of the West Michigan and Detroit Conferences is part of the North Central Jurisdiction. GCFA, responding to responsibilities and membership ...

The Board of Pensions announces enhancements to program

9/22/2015
The Board of Pensions cares about our clergy and their family’s health and well-being. We are excited to announce some enhancements to our already established program.  2015 Iowa Conference Wellness Program Wellness Reward!  1) A visit to your Dr. = $250    A Dr. visit for either an annual physical or management of a health condition will qualify—documentation from Wellmark through claims data.  2) Participation in Virgin Pulse Healthmiles pedometer program = $250     Be active in the Virgin ...

September 2015 School Teachers for Nigeria

9/3/2015
What’s happening?  Davidson Adams’ wife Ruth and children Destiny, Divine and Beverly Joy are now settled into WITCC campus housing at 4701 Stone Ave., Apt. F4, Sioux City, IA 51106. They are ecstatic to be a family again! Davidson will be taking on-line classes to get his Bachelor’s Degree.  Ishaya David arrived back from Nigeria safely and purchased a second hand car for use during his internship while at Simpson College.  Paul Johnson starts his senior year at Morningside College where he is ...

front•piece for September 2015

8/31/2015
By: Rev. Dr. Aurthur McClanahan Director of Communication, Iowa Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church A new year begins.  Wait! What?  It’s September, not January. What do you mean a new year? Yes, I know, the days of 2015 have flown right by and two-thirds of the calendar pages are now paper airplanes, scratch pads for grocery lists, or even book markers (if you’re not a Kindle consumer!). Debates about when to being the school year have faded into silence in legislative halls, no ...

Conference moves to replace Bishop’s residence

8/27/2015
Conference moves to replace Bishop’s residence   Within the next two months the Conference will replace the Bishop’s residence.  The collaborative efforts of the conference Board of Trustees, Committee on the Episcopacy, and Council on Finance and Administration will secure a different home for our episcopal family.   The current residence, in Norwalk, has experienced repeated water problems over the years – it was built and occupied in 2007 – and the difficulties have escalated in recent ...

Register Now for Leadership Institute at Church of the Resurrection

8/20/2015
Over the past 15 years, more than 20,000 leaders have returned to their congregations and communities ready to "Go and Lead" with impact, vitality, excellence, passion and boldness after participating at Leadership Institute. This year's Leadership Institute takes place at Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas, Oct. 1-2 (Pre-Institute Sept. 30). Bring your ministry leaders to the largest mainline church training event, bringing together clergy, church staff and volunteers who share a ...

The 2015 Iowa Conference Journal is now available

The 2015 Iowa Conference Journal is now available

8/20/2015
The 2015 Iowa Conference Journal, Clergy lay Address Directory, Book of Resolutions and Post Conference Manual are now available at www.iaumc.org/Journal. If you have forgotten the log in information for the Clergy Lay Address Directory, please contact Jill Stanton at jill.stanton@iaumc.org.

Katharine Yarnell's “Get Your Money’s Worth: Stories Drive Apportionments”

Katharine Yarnell's “Get Your Money’s Worth: Stories Drive Apportionments”

8/18/2015
Katharine Yarnell, the Field Outreach Minister in the North Central District, is a featured author in the current edition of the Circuit Rider magazine. Her article, “Get Your Money’s Worth: Stories Drive Apportionments,” is written for pastors and other leaders of local churches. She describes “two rules of thumb [that] apply to teaching financial stewardship.” First, include numbers with a narrative. Tell the story of ministry in conjunction with the dollar figures in budget proposals. Second,...

Beans to Mission: An Uplifting story

Beans to Mission: An Uplifting story

8/14/2015
From beans to mission: the story of an extroverted church   Evangelism can come in many different forms – some of them quite surprising. For Grand View United Methodist Church in Dubuque, one of those unusual methods of evangelism is in the form of a bratwurst booth at the Dubuque County Fair. “We think that Jesus may not run the brat booth, but he would probably hang out there with the people,” says Reverend Tom Shinkle. “The Brat Haus that we run is not a money-making operation. We’re in the ...

Doing something in response to domestic abuse

Doing something in response to domestic abuse

8/14/2015
The Iowa Conference recently held a two-day workshop on domestic violence awareness sponsored by United Methodist Women, in partnership with United Methodist Men, the Inelda Gonzalez Initiative for Domestic Violence, and the FaithTrust Institute. Click to hear the conversation with the workshop presenters UMW sought the help of the FaithTrust Institute in conducting these trainings because of the organization’s expertise in the area of domestic abuse. Danielle Hill, a program manager at the ...

Iowa United Methodist's participate in the 2015 Iowa State Fair

Iowa United Methodist's participate in the 2015 Iowa State Fair

8/14/2015
Iowa United Methodists are present at the 2015 State Fair.  We've heard from a few who will be participating in events and/or be honored.  If you, or your group, will be receiving an award or participating in some way, please let us know (communications@iaumc.org) and we'll update our list... West Des Moines UMC is operating it’s food stand for the 66th consecutive year at the Iowa State Fair.  Started In 1949, the WDMUMC stand is the only remaining permanent church operated food stand along ...

Guinn receives Ball award from MFSA

Guinn receives Ball award from MFSA

8/11/2015
Rev. Chet Guinn received The Ball Award from the Methodist Federation for Social Action at Gather at the River on August 7, 2015 in San Antonio, TX. The award is named after Lee and Mae Ball who were never content to remain within the walls of a Church building because they knew they could only find Jesus in the company of the poor and oppressed. They engaged those who were "spiritual, but not religious" long before the Church had words to describe such a belief. And so today, the Methodist ...

Thrive’s Food Truck 5K to support Homeless Youth Center

Thrive’s Food Truck 5K to support Homeless Youth Center

8/10/2015
Do you love 5K runs? Do you love food trucks? Do you love to help a good cause? Then you’re in luck, because on Saturday, September 26 at the Valley View Aquatic Center in West Des Moines, all three come together in one great event with The Food Truck 5K. “It’s a 5 ‘o’ clock race, so it’s going to start in the evening. Right before dinner you get a run in, then you get to eat right afterwards,” explains Rev. Jennifer Hibben of Thrive UMC, which is hosting the event. She also notes that “This is...

August 2015 School Teacher for Nigeria

8/4/2015
ON THE MOVE… Ishaya David, a junior at Simpson College, will arrive back in Iowa on August 11 after having visited his mother, brothers and baby niece in Nigeria! The family of Davidson Adams, who recently graduated from WITCC in Sioux City, has been granted a visa to come to the U.S.  He is so excited to finally be able to have his family with him after two years of separation.  So, wife Ruth, boys Destiny and Divine, along with daughter Beverly, will arrive in Omaha on August 16.  They will ...

Three Iowans Graduate from St Paul School of Theology Course of Study

Three Iowans Graduate from St Paul School of Theology Course of Study

8/4/2015
On Thursday, July 30th three individuals from Iowa were among the eighteen that graduated from the St Paul School of Theology Course of Study. The graduation ceremony was held at the Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, KS. Course of Study is a series of 20 courses which consist of courses ranging from the Bible to Transformative Leadership to Ethics for licensed local pastors. Completing this coursework is a wonderful accomplishment that enriches the lives of these individuals and the ...

School for Lay Ministry Classes Begin this Fall at Three Campuses

School for Lay Ministry Classes Begin this Fall at Three Campuses

8/3/2015
Jesus tells us in Matthew 20:28 “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”  Several years ago dedicated people with great vision initiated the School for Lay Ministry in the Iowa Annual Conference. Since that beginning in Indianola at Simpson College, the school has expanded adding campuses at Morningside in Sioux City and at Cornell in Mount Vernon. In 2014 a Spanish language class was added at Simpson. The purpose of the ...

Self-Care: Becoming a Transformed Disciple

Self-Care: Becoming a Transformed Disciple

7/22/2015
By: Kae Tritle, RN,  Wellness Coordinator Healthy, well-functioning bodies are often taken for granted—until something happens; an inconvenient infection, a gradual awareness of changing bodily functions or a sudden event—such as a car accident or an unexpected injury that leaves our physical body partially functioning.   Other aspects of our lives also affect our physical health—worry and stress, changes in our finances, relationships, family and work responsibilities, illness within our ...

Ames, Calvary United Methodist Church Healthy Church Initiative – “The Parking Sticker Story”

7/9/2015
Calvary United Methodist Church in Ames has been working faithfully through the Healthy Church Initiative process, and it is bearing fruit!  Having finished the Leadership Development training, and preparing for a Consultation on September 25-27, 2015, they are reaching out to the community in a creative way! With the major street in front of their church being closed for months for repair, the residents in that neighbourhood had no place to park their cars.  Ames, Calvary reached out in love, ...

Justice for Our Neighbors Brings Burmese Refugee Couple Together

7/6/2015
Ram Ling* is the first client I met when I came to JFON.  He was a Burmese refugee who had fled from Burma to Malaysia in 2006, and was allowed to come to the United States as a refugee in 2007.  When he left Burma, he had left behind a young wife, Ma Hup, with whom he was very much in love.  But Ram did not understand the immigration laws of the United States.  He did not realize that he could have applied to have his wife join him here immediately after his arrival.  Instead, he thought that ...

July 2015 School Teacher for Nigeria Update

7/1/2015
July 2015 School Teacher for Nigeria Update Across the Atlantic Ocean and into Frankfurt, a second flight from Germany across the Mediterranean Sea and Sahara Desert and into Abuja where the Iowa group of seven landed on June 12. After an overnight in Nigeria’s new capital, we boarded Med-View Airline for an hour flight to Yola then  a three hour drive to Jalingo, headquarters of  the UMC of Nigeria, and the church guesthouse where we fell into bed…exhausted. Life starts early in Nigeria so with...

Lending a Hand—A $5,000 Matching Grant for Iowa Justice for Our Neighbors

Lending a Hand—A $5,000 Matching Grant for Iowa Justice for Our Neighbors

7/1/2015
 Lending a hand to someone is a good feeling.  Maybe you helped with something as simple as carrying a bunch of sacks or boxes from the car to the church.   Maybe you said “yes” when asked to help at VBS  or to be on a committee renovating the kitchen.  Lending a hand can be a small or a large gesture, but it’s a way to feel good and to accomplish a task, a way to help another person and to show that you care. Here at Iowa Justice for Our Neighbors we need you to lend a hand to help us meet an ...

Bishop Trimble celebrates Worship with summer campers at Wesley Wood’s Camp and Retreat Center

Bishop Trimble celebrates Worship with summer campers at Wesley Wood’s Camp and Retreat Center

6/30/2015
By Pastor David Hobbs, LDM Camping & Christian Formation Over 200 youth and staff celebrated worship at Iowa UMC’s Wesley Woods Camp and Retreat Center with a surprise speaker at the weekly ‘Resurrection’ Worship Service.  On Friday, June 26 at Wesley Wood’s beautiful outdoor worship area, Bishop Trimble and Wesley Wood’s Site Director, Deke Rider helped lead the celebration worship that ends all of the Wesley Wood’s week-long camps.  It was a powerful testimony of the Holy Spirit as there ...

front*piece — Something happened that I almost missed

6/26/2015
Something extraordinary happened in the closing hours of the 2015 annual conference session.  I almost missed it.  I’m glad I didn’t…because it gave me hope! When we all arrived at the Iowa Events Center we came as individuals.  Or as groups.  We came with pre-formed opinions.  We came solicited, or soliciting, votes for action items, resolutions, and persons who will represent us at the regional and worldwide conferences next year. We clearly came “not of one mind.” We had our votes – one as ...

Claiming his words

6/25/2015
When Rev. Ted Lyddon Hatten, who has served as Conference Artist for some 22 years, gave a statement early in the Annual Conference weekend, his primary focus was engaging the attendees in an interactive experience that invited everyone to consider a series of questions related to a visual artwork he had created for the Conference. However, towards the end of his remarks, as Rev. Lyddon Hatten briefly addressed some of the church body’s difference of opinion on questions of human sexuality, he ...

No One Should Live Like This

6/17/2015
(From Iowa JFON Attorney April Palma’s June 6, 2015, Staff Report to the Justice for Our Neighbors Standing Committee of the  Conference Board of Global Ministries.  ALL names have been changed to protect identities of clients and others.) Sandra is a 17 year old from El Salvador.  Last summer her parents sent her away from their home with instructions not to return because they could no longer support her.  Growing up Sandra was physically abused by her mother.  Her mother has severe anxiety ...

Short and Sweet and a Matching Grant

6/17/2015
Our visitor from National Justice for Our Neighbors, a ministry receiving grants from UMCOR, came to annual conference bearing gifts.   Rob Rutland-Brown, Executive Director in the national office that supports our Iowa Justice for Our Neighbors, announced a matching grant of up to $5,000 starting on July 1.   Rob was with us less than 24 hours, but was able to meet with four different groups to tell the story of the valuable work of this ministry that has long been associated with UMCOR, the ...

The Quality of Mercy

6/17/2015
(From Iowa JFON Attorney Ann Naffier’s June 6, 2015 Staff Report to the Justice for Our Neighbors Standing Committee of the  Conference Board of Global Ministries.) Betty was born in Honduras, but came to the U.S. with her mother when she was just three years old.  Betty grew up in Iowa, graduated from high school, and started her own family here, but she was undocumented.  Like many undocumented, she resorted to using false documents to work in order to support her family.  Unfortunately, she ...

Fighting poverty with kid's books and quality time

Fighting poverty with kid's books and quality time

6/11/2015
“We estimate that there are  8,947 fourth graders reading below grade level and there were 80,000 under the age of 10 that are behind in reading,” reveals Clint Twedt-Ball of the Poverty to Opportunity Task Force, an initiative that aims to reach out to every one of those kids on behalf of the United Methodist Church. Clint was just at the 2015 Annual Conference session, where he presented the task force’s intentions to attendees. “[We] announced that our goal as Iowa United Methodists is ...

Conference approves leaner 2016 budget

6/10/2015
The 2016 budget of the Iowa Conference will be significantly smaller than the 2015 budget.  The new financial plan is 7.52% smaller than the one in effect in the prior year.    In the course of the consideration an amendment was proposed that would have limited support for the general church apportionments to the actual percentage received.  (A reserve is included in the budget to bring the Iowa Conference total support for general church apportionments up to 100 percent.)  A second amendment ...

Conference expresses support for Connectional Table

6/10/2015
The 2015 Iowa Annual Conference session expressed its support of the United Methodist Church’s Connectional Table proposal to the 2016 General Conference that the denomination take a more open stance on homosexuality.     Action Item 106 was a resolution that said, in part, “whereas this change ends Church trials over homosexuality, and it retains the authority of the annual conference to discern suitability for ordination, and whereas Bishops retain authority for appointments, and whereas ...

Increasing church vitality is focus of breakfast session

Increasing church vitality is focus of breakfast session

6/10/2015
Breakfast session focus on increasing church vitality   Nearly 60 people gathered to focus on “Tools for Increasing Your Church's Vitality.” Sponsored by the Communications Ministry Team of the Iowa Conference, the Monday morning breakfast session featured Caitlin Congdon, Manager, the Training & Development of United Methodist Communications.   “Tools for Increasing Your Church’s Vitality” is aimed at increasing the understanding of what makes a vital congregation and why that’s important, as ...

Letting Our Light Shine

Letting Our Light Shine

6/10/2015
Adam Hamilton and Conference Director of Communications, Art McClanahan, had a conversation between his second and third teaching sessions at the 2015 Iowa Annual Conference session. Rev. Adam Hamilton is the senior pastor of the Kansas-based Church of the Resurrection, the largest United Methodist Church in the whole country. This year he joins us here at the Iowa Annual Conference to offer a series of teaching sessions on leadership, preaching, and missional outreach to inspire Iowa’s own ...

“How do you make a disciple?” is focus of Tuesday Bible Study

“How do you make a disciple?” is focus of Tuesday Bible Study

6/9/2015
Listening to the Conference for four days, Rev. Rebecca Fisher, LDM Evangelism & New Ministry Development was led to ask, “How do you make a disciple?”   She posed the question during the Tuesday morning Bible study of the 2015 annual conference session   Fisher began with a prayer, “God, open our eyes and ears so that we can see clearly and hear you and our hearts and minds to your Spirit.”   She chose to teach about Matthew 28:16-20, the scripture for the 2015 Annual Conference.    “Now the ...

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The Iowa Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church
2301 Rittenhouse St. Des Moines, IA 50321 | (515) 974-8900 | communications@iaumc.org