News


No Excuses: Solar on Every Church

7/18/2014
STIRRINGS- Resources for Leadership Development - Guest post by Deacon Wil Ranney Is there anyone out there that still needs to be convinced of the devastating effect that climate change has on the world’s poor? Is there anyone out there that still needs to be convinced that people (we) are creating the problem? Is there anyone out there not convicted by Scripture to be good stewards of the earth? If you can answer yes to one of those questions, email me, we’ll talk. The next question is a ...

As typhoon hits, church youth take shelter and pray

7/17/2014
United Methodist News Service Update: Organizers of the Global Young People's Convocation have moved the event to a venue called Island Cove near Manila, due to damages caused by Typhoon Rammasun at the venue in Tagaytay.    Original report follows: Youth and young adults from across the United Methodist connection were safely sheltered as of mid-morning in Tagaytay during Typhoon Rammasun, locally known as Glenda.   Delegates and observers for the Global Young People’s Convocation, ...

Church seeks to meet needs in border crisis

7/16/2014
U.S. law & unaccompanied Minors Many unaccompanied minors detained while trying to cross the border fall, at present, under the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate unanimously and was signed into law by President George W. Bush. The 2008 human trafficking law, named for a famed British abolitionist, requires that children from countries not bordering the United States, including those in ...

United Methodist Publishing House to move

7/15/2014
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - United Methodist News Service   The United Methodist Publishing House, a self-supporting church agency, plans to move to Nashville's MetroCenter area of office parks in the first half of 2015. The agency bought the LakeFront Office Park in MetroCenter for $9.25 million. Florida-based Turnberry Associates has the current 3.7-acre publishing house headquarters site, across the street from Nashville's new convention center, under contract. The Tennessean reports. Read more

First delegations near gender parity

7/15/2014
CHICAGO - United Methodist News Service  Of the 11 U.S. annual (regional) conferences that have elected delegates so far for the 2016 United Methodist General Conference, women are close to achieving parity with men, the July "Women by the Numbers" report from the Commission on the Status and Role of Women shows. First delegations show gender parity By Erin Kane, GCSRW Director of Research and Monitoring Over Independence Day weekend, I attended an event that included a reading of the ...

Women can be bishops, Church of England says

7/15/2014
York, England - United Methodist News Service - bbc.com For the first time, the Church of England has voted to allow women to serve as bishops. In a statement, the British Methodist Church applauded the "courageous decision." The Church of England's ruling General Synod gave approval to legislation introducing the change by the required two-thirds majority. A previous vote in 2012 was backed by the Houses of Bishops and Clergy but blocked by traditionalist lay members. The Archbishop of ...

3 out-of-the-box ideas for using cell phones in worship

7/14/2014
By Jeremy Steele - umcom.org No matter how often we make the announcement about silencing cell phones, people in our congregations are using them during worship.  Some use them to read the Bible they like; while others are checking social media updates.   What if we took advantage of that incredible little tool that most people have at their fingertips?  There are ways to encourage people to use their cell phones during worship to stay engaged and interact with the service … as long as you ...

Pastors urge fast July 15 for Mideast peace

7/14/2014
By Heather Hahn - United Methodist News Service Sometimes a move toward peace begins with putting down the fork. As violence escalates between Israeli forces and Hamas, two Texas pastors say their fellow United Methodists can do something in response. They are urging churchgoers to join with Jews and Muslims, who on July 15 plan to fast and pray for peace between Israel and its Palestinian neighbors. The two pastors in the Texas Annual (regional) Conference were inspired by an article in the...

Complaint received for Philly same-sex union

7/11/2014
By Kathy L. Gilbert - United Methodist News Service United Methodist Bishop Peggy Johnson, episcopal leader for the Philadelphia Area, said she has received a complaint against the 36 pastors who officiated at the Nov. 9 same-sex union of two men performed at Arch Street United Methodist Church but added the matter is confidential and will be “prayerfully” considered. In a statement released by her office in the Eastern Pennsylvania Annual (regional) Conference, Johnson said, "We are ...

Disaster Response Team Update July 10, 2014

7/11/2014
During June and early July 2014 the state of Iowa has experienced 65 severe storms. All 8 United Methodist Districts have been affected.  The governor has made Disaster Declarations in 59  Iowa counties: we’ve had hail damage to thousands of cars, homes and at least 10 UM churches, 16 confirmed tornados, flooding across the state, record cold temperatures, record breaking rainfall, thousands of wet basements, hundreds of flooded homes and so much more, all in the last 6 weeks. It would be easy...

Bishop among those visiting detained immigrants

7/11/2014
United Methodist News Service - latimes.com United Methodist Los Angeles Area Bishop Minerva Carcaño led a group of faith leaders who toured Naval Base Ventura County on Tuesday, July 8. About 575 children between the ages of 13 and 17 are held there, some of the unaccompanied minors fleeing violence in Central America. The Los Angeles Times reports.  After a week of anti-illegal immigrant protests dominated California’s immigration debate, nearly 100 supporters of detained immigrants ...

MC pastor working to improve lives of women in Nigeria

7/11/2014
gcrw.org As people around the world pray for the victims of violence in Nigeria, a United Methodist pastor is working from the inside to enhance the status and role of women in her country.   The Rev. Dr. Eunice M. Iliya, one of the first women to be ordained in Nigeria, is general superintendent of the Southern Conference of the UMC Nigeria Episcopal Area, a top leadership position in the Nigerian church. She also serves on the board of the UMC’s General Commission on the Status and Role ...

Spiritual Dimensions of Pastoral Care - new group begins Sept 2014

7/9/2014
Offered by the Office of Pastoral Care and Counseling, The United Methodist Church  We will explore Spiritual Dimensions of Pastoral Care: Practical Theology in a Multidisciplinary Context by John Swinton and David Willows. This collection of key texts introduces us to practical theology. It critically explores the way in which the spiritual dimension of pastoral care has entered into constructive dialogue with other disciplines and ways of thinking, including psychiatry, psychology, ...

7th Annual Meals from the Heartland Hunger Fight

7/8/2014
p style="margin-top:0in;margin-right:0in;margin-bottom:10.0pt;margin-left: 0in"> The dates for the 7th Annual Meals from the Heartland Hunger Fight at Hy-Vee Hall are Wednesday, August 27 through Saturday, August 30.  Join them in the largest hunger-fighting event in the United States.  In order to reach our goal of packaging 5 million meals they need help both financially and with volunteers. p style="margin-top:0in;margin-right:0in;margin-bottom:10.0pt;margin-left: 0in"> Fundraising for this ...

Civil Rights Act 50th Anniversary

7/8/2014
                      Freedom Summer anniversary brings reflection On July 2, 1964, U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The legislation outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin; unequal application of voter registration requirements; and racial segregation in schools, the workplace, and facilities that served the general public. The signing and passage came in the midst of what was known as Freedom Summer, ...

Going green

7/8/2014
Technology advances help United Methodists care for God’s good creation by Michael Moore and Wayne Rhodes - umc-gbcs.org United Methodists across the United States are responding to the call to be faithful stewards of God’s good creation. Responses cover a wide gamut from being more conscientious about recycling and reuse of coffee cups to replacing light bulbs and toilets to installing solar panels and geothermal heating systems. “This is not just a trendy pop-culture phenomenon,” said John...

Storm Lake and Des Moines chosen for field hearings on new carbon standards

7/8/2014
Public Hearings Give Iowans Opportunity to Send Comments Directly to EPA (Des Moines) – The Iowa communities of Storm Lake and Des Moines have been chosen to hold citizen field hearings on the newly announced Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposal to limit carbon pollution from power plants, a major driver of climate change. The citizen field hearings will be held on Monday, July 14th (Storm Lake) and Tuesday, July 15th (Des Moines) and are sponsored by Iowa Interfaith Power & Light. ...

Immigrant Children Learn Through Art

7/7/2014
By Amanda Horvath - iowapublicradio.org There are at least 15 thousand immigrant children living in Iowa, some of them are refugees. As that number continues to grow one Des Moines organization is trying a different approach to help them adapt to their new lives. On the north side of Des Moines a dozen immigrant and refugee children produced a mini documentary. They’re participants in a workshop program with Art Force Iowa, a non-profit organization that helps young people in need ...

July School Teachers for Nigeria

7/7/2014
In Nigeria: ·       The rainy season has started ·       Banyam  Theological Seminary will be dismissing for mid year break ·       Junior Secondary School will graduate 38 students on July 12 ·       The North Conference is trying to raise $3,125 to begin construction on a new Nursery/Primary School. The present building is a one large auditorium size room, no separating walls, a dirt floor, no electricity, crooked wooden windows…a pathetic sight but faithful teachers teach making the ...

Register: 11 tornadoes reported as storms rake Iowa

7/7/2014
By Daniel Finney - desmoinesregister.com Tornadoes thrashed across Iowa as another bout of severe weather smashed into the state Sunday evening. While trees and property suffered, there were no immediate reports of serious injuries or deaths in the outbreak of tornadoes. Trained storm spotters had reported at least 11 tornadoes touching down across the state at press time Sunday evening, according to the National Weather Service bureau in Johnston. FORECAST: More storms expected this ...

FLOOD UPDATE June 24, 2014

6/26/2014
  ALL three northern Districts have communities with some degree of water and flooding.  Some of these communities are devastated.  Other communities are still at risk.   The national weather forecasts are for more severe weather and rain toward the end of the week, with hot and very humid conditions all across Iowa. In Northwest Iowa  all looks better today....water is receding....slowly in some places......more rain is expected, many towns are still on alert.  Clean-up has begun, to help ...

Local citizens receive Governor’s Volunteer Award

6/26/2014
                      William Appelgate of Story City, Linda Colorado of Clear Lake, Dan Corrow of Webster City, and Lorene Dykstra of Ventura each received a 2014 Governor’s Volunteer Award from Governor Terry E. Branstad and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds during special recognition ceremonies held June 17 in Cedar Falls and June 18 in Pleasant Hill. All four of these people were both honored with an Individual Volunteer Award by the North Central District of the Iowa Annual ...

Frank Schaefer reinstated as United Methodist pastor

6/25/2014
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - The Rev. Frank Schaefer had his ministerial credentials reinstated by a United Methodist regional appeals committee June 23, three days after a hearing held near Baltimore. The denomination's Northeastern Jurisdictional Committee on Appeals also ordered the Eastern Pennsylvania Annual (regional) Conference to compensate Schaefer - who had been found guilty of violating church law by performing a same-sex wedding ceremony for his son - for all lost salary and benefits ...

United Methodists tending to immigrant minors

6/24/2014
By Kathy L. Gilbert - United Methodist News Service United Methodists are joining with other religious leaders to provide hospitality and basic needs for hundreds of Central American women and children entering the United States illegally and dropped off at bus stations in Tucson and Phoenix, Ariz. The Rev. Sherry Brady, her daughter, Candace, and Barbara Haralson, a deaconess, from First United Methodist Church, Safford, Ariz.; the Rev. Beth Rambikur, First United Methodist Church, Tucson; ...

Adminstration updates flood damage

6/24/2014
Monday, June 23, 2014 @ 4p.m. - RichardLee@ClearChannel.Com - whoradio.com (Des Moines) Administration officials say they're sending out damage assessment teams later this week in preparation for a potential Presidential disaster declaration. Iowa Emergency Management Department Director Mark Schouten says he's "optimistic" that will happen. Director Schouten says 18 counties in Iowa have gubernatorial disaster declarations so far.  He says preliminary estimates are fifteen-and-a-half ...

Frank Schaefer's defrocking overturned by United Methodist Church

6/24/2014
                huffingtonpost.com PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A pastor who presided over his son's same-sex wedding ceremony and vowed to perform other gay marriages if asked can return to the pulpit after a United Methodist Church appeals panel on Tuesday overturned a decision to defrock him. A nine-person appeals panel ordered the church to restore Frank Schaefer's pastoral credentials, saying the jury that convicted him of breaking church law erred when fashioning his punishment. The ...

Flood update...

6/23/2014
ALL looks better today....water is receding....slowly in some places......more rain is expected thru at least Wednesday, many towns are still on alert.  Clean-up has begun. At this time, to the best of our ability......We have at least 58 towns dealing with water and flooding including: Rock Rapids, Lester, Rock River, Advord, Hawarden, Akron, Evansdale, Asbury, Dubuque, Cedar Falls, Cherokee, Elgin, Spillville, Maynard, Brendon, Postville, Stout,  Volney, Waterloo, Camanche, Burlington, ...

Presbyterians vote to allow gay marriage

6/23/2014
Lauren Markoe - religionnews.com The Presbyterian Church (USA) voted June 19 to allow gay and lesbian weddings within the church, making it among the largest Christian denominations to take an embracing step toward same-sex marriage. By a 76-24 percent vote, the General Assembly of the 1.8 million-member PCUSA voted to allow pastors to perform gay marriages in states where they are legal. Delegates, meeting in Detroit this week, also approved new language about marriage in the church’s Book ...

The History & Development of African American and Native American Churches & Communities in the Rural South

6/23/2014
OCT 27-30, 2014 - BENNETTSVILLE, SC & PEMBROKE, NC AN ANNUAL GATHERING Is sponsored by the Rural Chaplains Association to provide both lay and clergy persons a supportive setting for sharing insights and perspectives on the state of rural communities, institutions, environmental/ economic challenges and religious /family life concerns.  The gatherings bring together dynamic innovative practitioners  from a wide variety of settings to  share vital  ministries that are transforming communities,...

UMCOM - Looking ahead

6/23/2014
Here are some of the activities ahead for United Methodists across the connection. Deadline for early-bird registration for "Make Worship More Creative" workshops in the Upper New York Conference, Friday, Aug. 1 - Day-long workshops featuring worship coach Jason Moore will be Monday, Sept. 8 through Thursday, Sept. 11 at different churches around the conference. Costs $25 per person, and $65 per church.  Details United Methodist conference "Walking with Palestinian Christians," ...

Let's Stay Together - A blogpost from Bishop Julius Calvin Trimble

6/22/2014
“Let’s Stay Together!” by Bishop Julius Calvin Trimble When it comes to conflict and division it seems that the history of the Christian church has plenty of both. The United Methodist Church is no exception.   Once a thriving growing Methodist movement that swept this country, the witness of Methodists, including United Methodists, has been declining in the number of professing members and influence for decades. There are growing churches with effective ministries that can be found in every ...

Schaefer awaiting decision in appeal of credentials

6/20/2014
By Erik Alsgaard - umc.org The nine members of a United Methodist regional appeals committee have wrapped up nearly three hours of testimony and questioning, and the fate of Frank Schaefer now rests in their hands. A decision about whether he can add “the Rev.” to his name again is expected Saturday, June 21, but the committee has 20 days to consider the verdict. Former pastor of Iona (Penn.) United Methodist Church, Schaefer was defrocked after a November 2013 church trial. He is seeking to...

UMC Giving launches new website

6/20/2014
United Methodist Communications has launched a redesigned website, umcgiving.org, that helps local churches see the impact of United Methodist generosity. The new site offers a biblical perspective to help United Methodists across the globe align their giving practices with their personal faith. The site also includes a section dedicated specifically for church leaders and pastors that offers tools and downloadable resources to help inspire giving within local churches. Visit the site

Conference Center on summer hours

6/20/2014
The Conference Center is now operating on summer hours.  The building will be open Monday – Thursday from 8:30 am until 4:00 pm and on Friday from 8:30 am until 12 noon.  The “summer hours” will continue through Labor Day.

Body and Soul

6/20/2014
The following article was written by Rev. Marcia Sangel, Pastor of the Rock Rapids UMC, for The Lyon County Recorder in response to the diasaster response efforts and appears here by her permission...   Body and Soul  Rev. Marcia F. Sangel ● United Methodist Church   "Across Lyon County and beyond, rivers, lakes and streams have over flown their banks, the result of record rainfalls to the north of us as well as in our own region.  As the waters rose, many individuals and whole families ...

Storm Update, June 18, 2014

6/19/2014
From the Northwest District IAUMC Flooding in Rock Valley, Rock Rapids, Alvord, Lester, Hawarden, Inwood,  Akron,  Cherokee and acres and acres of cropland.    More rain is expected in the next few days. We have many, many homes and businesses in water PLEASE PRAY FOR THOSE DEALING WITH WATER and disaster. WE NEED YOUR HELP,  Drinking Water, Gloves (all kinds) Clean-Up buckets (complete), LARGE Heavy Trash bags and empty 5 gallon buckets (with or without lids). PLEASE DO NOT DRIVE INTO ...

Brake the Cycle of Malaria Ride

6/19/2014
Ride across the North Central Jurisdiction, 8 states, 11 conferences, 12 days, nearly 1000 miles.   Rev. Chad Jennings, of Christ Community United Methodist Church, is representing Iowa as a full ride participant. He is doing 10 days (almost 800 miles). The ride was rolled out at Annual Conference on Sunday afternoon as part of the Imagine No Malaria presentation.   Rev. Katie Dawson, Imagine No Malaria Iowa Field Coordinator challenged the Districts of the Conference to help rev. Jennings...

Update on June 16, 2014 storms

6/18/2014
As of June 17, 2014,  10:30 am Severe storms spread across Iowa, (Nebraska and Minnesota) yesterday (Monday) afternoon and all evening. Seven confirmed tornados were sighted in Iowa, thankfully most of them did not touch the ground. One tornado did touch down in Clarksville, Iowa  (NE)  and did damage to roofs, trees and power lines. Far Northwest Iowa is flooded and has more water to come. Rock Valley Iowa has flooding and enforced evacuations.   Much of the town has flooded,   the Church...

Guide to pastoral transitions

6/17/2014
By Eric Seiberling - umcom.org When pastors receive a new appointment, they have 90 days to prove themselves, gain credibility and start to establish positive momentum. That’s according to organizational research by Michael Watkins, outlined in his book “The First 90 Days.” Watkins says that a leader’s success or failure is largely determined in the first few months of their tenure. This is part one of a two-part series on how to get off to a quick start at your new appointment. The quality ...

Israel-related concerns cited in pension board sale

6/17/2014
United Methodist News Service United Methodist Kairos Response, an advocacy group, reports that the denomination's Board of Pension and Health Benefits has sold its shares in G4S, "due in part to concerns about the company's involvement in human rights violations in the Israeli prison system and the military occupation of Palestinian territories. David Zellner, chief investment officer for pension board, told United Methodist News Service the shares were sold for reasons related to a number to...

Support, pushback for `local option’ on homosexuality

6/16/2014
By Sam Hodges - United Methodist News Service The idea of letting United Methodist churches and annual (regional) conferences choose to depart from church law regarding homosexuality is gaining support. But it’s also seeing heated opposition from those who say “local option” would violate Methodist connectionalism and merely shift longstanding conflict to the church and conference level. On June 5, the Rev. Adam Hamilton and others offered “A Way Forward,” a proposal to let churches vote to ...

Criticism for 'local option' idea on homosexuality

6/16/2014
United Methodist News Service A group of United Methodist clergy, theologians and laity is pushing back against the idea of letting churches and annual conferences choose to depart from current church law regarding homosexuality. The group says in an open letter that the "local option" idea, pushed by the Revs. Adam Hamilton and Mike Slaughter and others under the title "A Way Forward," would "only extend, localize and exacerbate the acrimonious debate." An Open Letter to Revs. Adam ...

Volunteers flood city of Cedar Rapids

6/16/2014
                Eleven teams of volunteers from Illinois worked hard last week to make a difference in Cedar Rapids. Knox Presbyterian Church in Naperville each year sends scores of young people to work on a “Go and Serve Mission Trip.” Having been in Cedar Rapids five years ago doing flood recovery work, the mission trip leadership wanted to return to help again. Matthew 25, a local non-profit agency, arranged for projects throughout the city for the 138 volunteers. One homeowner ...

Foundation convenes annual meeting at Annual Conference Session

6/14/2014
The annual meeting of the Iowa United Methodist Foundation was convened by President John Cook at the 2014 Annual Conference Session. “In keeping with this Annul Conference meeting’s goal of using as little paper as possible, there is no printed Annual Report this year,” said Cook. “The report is available at our website.” Cook proceeded to offer the Foundation report. The total Managed Assets as of December 31, 2013 was $42,020,515. This represented a total net growth of 12.9% in 2013. ...

Annual Conference session sets 2015 budget at $16,014,097

6/14/2014
The 2014 session of the Iowa Annual Conference approved a 2015 budget of $16, 014,097. That represents a decrease of $259,405, or -1.59% from the 2014 budget. General Church apportionments increased by $45,824 (1.7%) to $2,785,154, a total that includes a contingency to pay General Church apportionments at 100%, if necessary. The Conference Ministries portion of the approved budget is: $9,875,924, which is a decrease of $193,251, or 1.9%.  Conference ministries includes Board of Ordained ...

Ignition

6/12/2014
               

Iowa UMC Discipler Professional Training Course Starts this Fall 2014

6/11/2014
Register Today! WHAT: Discipler is a self-guided professional training course for all those serving in the ministry of Faith Formation/Christian Education.  Course participants will be aligned with a district mentor and will complete six modules through a self-guided on-line course.  Upon completion of each module, all participants will gather for group learning.  This course is open to both clergy and laity, whether volunteer and professional.  WHY: Discipler training provides ...

Communicating Faith in the 21st Century – Monday morning conversation

6/9/2014
Communicating Faith in the 21st Century was the focus of a Monday breakfast jointly sponsored by the Iowa Conference Communications Ministry Team and United Methodist Communications.  Rev. Ashleigh Joyner, Assistant Director of Rethink Church led the workshop that was attended by some 40 people. Rev. Joyner spoke about the profound influence of social media.  Through a video the impact of the Facebook community, which statistically would be the third largest country in the world, was examined....

Conference tops $2 million Imagine No Malaria goal

6/9/2014
The Iowa Conference has surpassed the $2 million goal for Imagine No Malaria! At 2:45 pm in the Monday afternoon session Rev. Katie Dawson, Iowa’s Imagine No Malaria coordinator, announced the new total of $2,009,907.

Design Team Task Force offers report at Annual Conference

6/9/2014
  Rev. Tim Frasher, of Bloomfield/Drakesville Parish in the South Central District addressed the 2014 Annual Conference Session regarding the Design Task Force.    Rev. Frasher is the chair of the task force, which was established from the Strategic Priorities  adopted at the 2013 Annual Conference, and given the assignment of looking at Conference  staffing to determine if that staffing aligns with the adopted priorities.   “In order to gain clarity on our task we lean heavily on our ...

Diakonos bring humor to Annual Conference Session by acting out parliamentary procedure

6/9/2014
  The Diakonos opened their skit at the 2014 Annual Conference Session with a rap identifying  themselves as various members of Iowa Annual Conference leadership and the respective duties  they have at the Conference and at Annual Conference Session.   Twenty–seven youth and six adults served as pages assisting at the 2014 Annual Conference  Session.   After the opening song the Diakonos then proceeded to convene their own “session,” recognizing  members from the floor for points of ...

Effort to stop hunger once again part of Annual Conference Session

6/9/2014
  Attendees of the 2014 Annual Conference Session were invited to help package meals for the  hungry again this year as part of the annual event.   The food packaging benefitted Haiti and took place on Saturday, June 7.    Outreach, Inc. is the organization managing the packaging effort.    Outreach has the mission of providing safe water, food, medical care and education in the U.S.  and abroad. The organization arranges mobile food packaging events for disaster preparedness  and ...

Fixing of Appointments helps wrap up 2014 Conference

6/9/2014
  The 2014 session of the Iowa Annual Conference began to wind down with the Fixing of  Appointments service.    Prior to the reading the new appointments Bishop Trimble said, “Friends, in consultation with  the District Superintendents who have shared with me their consultations with pastors and local  congregations and the missional needs of the context in which our faith communities are located.    I have prayerfully considered the appointments for the Iowa Annual Conference. I ...

Monday morning session sees passage of legislation

6/9/2014
  The following resolutions passed in the first part of the Monday, June 9 session of the 2014    Annual Conference Session. ACTION ITEM 102   ACTION ITEM # 102    Immigration Reform    (To replace obsolete Resolution 9331 (Enforcement and Reform of Immigration Laws) and obsolete  Resolution 9614 (Refugee Crisis Response).    WHEREAS: Throughout Scripture the people of God are called to love sojourners in our midst, treating  them "as the citizen among you" and loving them as we ...

Service of Sending joyously ends 2014 Annual Conference

6/9/2014
  “God has been with us today, for a unique and unrepeatable moment,” Bishop Julius Calvin  Trimble said at the close of the 2014v Annual Conference Session.   “We have been reminded it is possible to have joy in times of grief,” he said.   “In the spirit and with one another we have been sent forth to serve,” said the Bishop.   We offer our joy and our passion throughout the Conference, he said.   Annual Conference attendees extended their personal prayer cloths to join with one ...

Special offerings raise over $100,000

6/9/2014
Six special offerings were received during the 2014 session of the Iowa Annual Conference, totaling well over $100,000.  The Clergy Assistance fund received $3635.00 during the Clergy Session. Justice Four Our Neighbors was the offering recipient during the Ordering of Ministry service. The total was $6,589.00 The Nigerian Student Scholarship Fund offering was received during the Retirement Celebration on Saturday afternoon. The total collected is $4,222.00 Imagine No Malaria received an ...

Zimbabwean student expresses benefit of Black College Fund

6/9/2014
  Sammy Mudede addressed the 2014 Iowa Annual Conference on behalf of the Black College Fund.   He opened with a quote from the book, “A Return to Love,” by author and speaker Marianne  Williamson.   “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond  measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to  be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child ...

Address and Session calls Laity to love the Lord

6/8/2014
  “I would like to invite each of you to reflect on your calling,” said Dave Decker, Conference Lay  Leader, in opening his Lay Leader Address at the 2014 Iowa Annual Conference Session.    “For some of us that may not mean a whole lot,” he said. “However for others it reflects back to  that time that you may have decided to dedicate your life to Jesus Christ.”   We all have a calling from God, he said, and it’s up to each of us to discern what it may be and  how to apply it our lives. ...

Imagine No Malaria excites the Conference

6/8/2014
  The extraordinary effort to end death and suffering from malaria on the part of the Iowa Annual  Conference was celebrated at the 2014 Annual Conference Session.   Iowa Field Coordinator for Imagine No Malaria Rev. Katie Dawson began her address of the  2014 Annual Conference Session by detailing the 2010 statistics of exposure to and death from  malaria. At that time one million people were dying each year.   “We decided that is unacceptable,” Rev. Dawson said. “And so we decided to ...

Ministries of Retirees celebrated

6/8/2014
  The Retirement Service for the 2014 Annual Conference celebrated the ministries of 33 clergy.    Rev. Kathy Martin, Chaplain at Morningside College gave the sermon for the Retirement  Service, entitled, “Looking Back, Moving Forward, Story On.”   Sarah Stevens, Field Outreach Minister for the Northwest District and Conference Worship  Coordinator, opened with An Invitation to Imagine, reading from Psalm 126.   The Scripture passage Luke 24: 13-35, concerning the road to Emmaus, was ...

Prelude to Repentance seeks to achieve reconciliation

6/8/2014
  The Prelude to Repentance presentation took place during the Sunday evening session of the 2014 Iowa Annual Conference.    Retired school Principal Dr. Eugene Fracek, of Ankeny, gave the Prelude to Repentance address.    Dr. Fracek is the former Director of Indian Education for the South Dakota Department of  Education.   Assistant to the Bishop for Administration Rev. Bill Poland introduced Dr. Fracek.    He told the Conference that the Prelude to Repentance had been presented as ...

Resolution calls for ministries to all persons; encourages alternatives to church trials

6/8/2014
  The following Resolution was passed during the Sunday, June 8, session of the 2014 Annual  Conference Session. The vote was 547 - 355, 61% - 39%.   ACTION ITEM 105  Response to General Conference Inaction (new)    WHEREAS: The 2012 General Conference of The United Methodist Church has retained  language in The Book of Discipline which continues to discriminate against lesbian, gay,  bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT)persons, and    WHEREAS: We believe that LGBT persons should be ...

Sunday Ordering of Ministry service welcomes new clergy

6/8/2014
The service for the Ordering of Ministry for the 2014 Annual Conference Session celebrated the recognition, commission and ordination of 26 individuals, opening with O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing and Joy to the World. Bishop Linda Lee, Bishop-in-Residence at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, offered the sermon for the service. An Invitation to Imagine from Joel 2 was read by Sarah Stevens, Field Outreach Minister for the Northwest District and Worship Coordinator of the Annual ...

Strategic Priorities report highlights three ‘world-transforming’ communities of faith

6/7/2014
Three faith communities were lifted up as examples of the first of the Iowa Conference’s strategic priorities – “world transforming communities of faith.” The strategic priorities, adopted at the 2013 Annual Conference Session, are: “creating world-transforming communities of faith,” “equipping ourselves and others as transformational leaders,” and “directing our resources to our common goals.” According to Rev. Bill Poland, Assistant to the Bishop for Administration, the three priorities “...

Terry Montgomery elected Conference Treasurer

6/7/2014
Terry Montgomery was elected Treasurer for the Iowa Conference during the opening session of the 2014 Annual Conference. He has been serving in that capacity, and as Director of Administrative Services since January 27, 2014. Prior to beginning his service with the Iowa Conference, he was a Project Manager for the CORE System of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Montgomery has served as Director of Financial Planning and Analytics for Kum & Go; Project Administrator for the Honey Creek Resort State ...

2014 Annual Conference opens with hope for abundant life

6/7/2014
  Bishop Trimble called the 2014 Annual Conference Session to order with the proclamation, “The Lord be with you.”   In his opening remarks the Bishop recalled the first Methodist Conference bringing about a  distinctive mission.   “We gather as a conference,” Bishop Trimble said, “to ask, “Is it well with our souls?”   Northwest District Field Outreach Minister and Conference Worship Coordinator Sarah Stevens  read the Scripture passage Ezekiel 37: 1-14 concerning dry bones and loss ...

Legislation – Saturday, June 07, 2014

6/7/2014
Due to time limitations, discussion of the following resolutions did not occur during the 2013 Annual Conference Session, so the Session determined that these items should be first on the agenda for the 2014 Session. The following items were passed in the first day of the 2014 Annual Conference Session. Full text of the items is available in the Pre-Conference Manual on the Conference website. Section I: Resolutions ACTION ITEM # 101 A National Amendment to the U.S. Constitution on Corporate...

Memorial service celebrates victory over death

6/7/2014
  The Memorial Service of the 2014 Annual Conference Session opened with Come, Emmanuel,  and Northwest District Field Outreach Minister Sarah Stevens inviting Conference attendees to  imagine, reading Isaiah 61.   Following was the Call to Worship and Hymn of Promise Bishop Julius Trimble introduced Rev. Brian Milford, Superintendent for the Southwest District  and Dean of the Appointive Cabinet, calling him a son of this Conference.   Acts 10:43-46.   “The Lord be with you,” said ...

Rev. Paul Shultz remembered as a friend to all

6/7/2014
  Rose Blank, chair of the Conference Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministry, opened the presentation of the Higher Education and Campus Ministry award by introducing Marsha  Acord, Acting Director at the Wesley Foundation at the University of Iowa, along with Taylor  Gould, a Communications and Social Media intern at the Wesley Foundation.   The Francis Asbury Award was awarded to Rev. Paul Shultz, who passed away in January 2014,  for his outstanding service the last 15 years as...

Treasurer promises balance and communication

6/7/2014
  “I work for you, I represent you,” said newly-elected Conference Treasurer Terry Montgomery at the start of the Treasurer’s Report at the 2014 Annual Conference Session on Saturday morning, June7. “The budget should be lavishly communicated,” Montgomery said Twelve pre-conference budget presentations took place during the spring throughout the Conference, he said. Montgomery spoke of struggling to present the budget in a way people could understand, offering the example of how when he ...

We Are Family – Bishop Trimble’s Episcopal Address

6/7/2014
  “Do you know why we are here,” asked Bishop Julius Calvin Trimble as he began his Episcopal  Address to the 2014 Iowa Annual Conference. “We are here because Jesus is Lord!”   This is our annual Christian Conference, our big family meeting in Iowa, he said.   Bishop Trimble told the Conference, “We are here because we are family; and when we gather  as a family, God is always with us, stirring our imagination, moving our hearts and freeing our  lives from the bondage of our sins and ...

Hamilton: Church homosexuality law needs ‘local option’

6/6/2014
The Rev. Adam Hamilton leads the 18,000-member United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kan., and reaches many others through best-selling books about Christian faith. At the 2012 General Conference, he and the Rev. Mike Slaughter, of Ginghamsburg Church in Tipp City, Ohio, offered “agree to disagree” legislation on the issue of homosexuality. Though that effort failed, Hamilton continues to push for official, practical recognition of the church’s division on the issue — and for...

Multi- Staff Training Event

6/5/2014
            Saturday, August 16, 2014 8:45 a.m. – 4:15 p.m.  At the UM Conference Center 2301 Rittenhouse Street Des Moines, IA We are encouraging all multi-staff churches to attend this event.  *Staff can be unpaid volunteers who the pastor works with on a regular basis. Your church can be large, medium, or small. Being part of a multi-staff church has its own opportunities and struggles. Sometimes Pastors find themselves more as a boss than a pastor and need to learn how to be ...

Poll: Making disciples tops United Methodists’ priorities; sexuality ranks low

6/5/2014
    umc.org Poll: Making disciples tops United Methodists’ priorities; sexuality ranks low More than 90 percent of members say church shouldn’t split over issue NASHVILLE, Tenn.—A new poll of United Methodists in the United States shows that issues related to human sexuality rank significantly lower than other concerns, and members want the church to engage on this issue and bring a positive perspective to the discussion.   Creating disciples of Christ, spiritual growth and youth ...

Christian Hip-hop Artist Tedashii to Headline GO ON Tour Events

6/4/2014
GO ON Tour, a worship concert featuring Christian hip-hop artist Tedashii and speakers from next year's national United Methodist youth event YOUTH 2015, will visit each of the church's U.S. jurisdictions this fall. The 10-city tour, which begins Sept. 13 at Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, will afford youth an opportunity to experience event-style worship, hear a national level performer and featured speaker and be among the first groups able to register for YOUTH 2015, an event for youth...

Camp Has Begun!

6/4/2014
                    This last weekend (May 31/Jun 1) was our kickoff for both Pictured Rocks and Wesley Woods (Okoboji’s will be June 13) and both went really well.   It was a blast with so many young people and their families on hand, and the excitement kept going all through the time they were there.   There were awesome activities and times of sharing and great food, and even moms and dads had great fun. In fact we had people we had never seen before, which is great.  Now you ...

Volunteers arm communities against malaria

6/4/2014
              By Kathy L. Gilbert - United Methodist News Service In a small, cramped schoolroom, in the chiefdom of Kakua, scores of dedicated volunteers are sitting elbow to elbow learning how to fight a deadly foe that creeps into their homes in the dead of night, often taking the lives of children under 5. Armed with that knowledge, on June 5 they will start swarming every household within the 15 districts and capital city of Bo, handing out vouchers for insecticide-treated bed ...

June 2014 School Teachers for Nigeria

6/3/2014
              June 9 was the date the Iowa team of 15 persons were to embark on the annual trip to Nigeria.  But Nigeria had been in the press with stories of bombings, kidnapping of 250+ girls, burning churches and causing turmoil in villages located in northern Nigeria.  Nigeria is the size of North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota and Iowa with a majority of Muslims living in the northern states which border Niger, Chad, Cameroon and Mali.  It is in this area that the militant ...

Updated: North Georgia clergy, laity take stand against schism

6/3/2014
By Heather Hahn - United Methodist News Service Editor's note: This story was updated June 3 to include the most recent number of signers and comments from the Rev. Steve Wood, a North Georgia pastor who did not sign the covenant. As talk of splitting The United Methodist Church reaches a fever pitch, a theologically diverse group of clergy and lay members of the North Georgia Annual (regional) Conference are signing a covenant calling for unity. “While our disagreements are significant, we...

Work to eradicate malaria deaths starts with God

6/3/2014
                          By Kathy L. Gilbert - United Methodist News Service The morning light washed over the grey concrete walls and through the large white, wrought iron-covered window behind the altar of Charles Davies Memorial United Methodist Church on Sunday, June 1. At 9 a.m., the soft light touched the faces of the Rev. Mabel Ann Kainyonde and the Rev. Georginia E.M. Maligi, sitting at the front of the church patiently waiting for Sunday services to begin at 10 a.m. ...

Bishop Trimble joins new Iowa Wesleyan president for inauguration

6/2/2014
Dr. Steven E. Titus was inaugurated as the 29th president of Iowa Wesleyan College on April 4.  The ceremony took place in the Iowa Wesleyan College Chapel Auditorium, Mount Pleasant. A reception followed in the Howe Student Activity Center on campus. Bishop Julius Trimble was in attendance, participated in the ceremony and spoke at the inauguration.  Dr. Titus was named President of Iowa Wesleyan College by the Board of Trustees in May of 2013. He assumed office on July 1, 2013. His ...

'We belong together as the Body of Christ'

5/31/2014
Rev. Bill Poland is in his first year as Assistant to the Bishop for Administration, and thus his first year in that role for the Annual Conference Session as well. He admits that this comes with at least a “slight case of nerves.” “I’ll share that I have a little bit of anxiety because I’m in my first year in this role for this Annual Conference,” said Rev. Bill Poland.  “But it’s always a good experience when we gather people together from across the conference to come together as the Annual...

Measuring Our Work at the End of May, 2014: Hospitality and a Better Future

Measuring Our Work at the End of May, 2014: Hospitality and a Better Future

5/31/2014
At Lovely Lane UMC in Cedar Rapids many volunteers, including college students, sit with JFON clients while waiting for their consultation with Ann Naffier, JFON attorney for this legal clinic site

Same-gender debate rekindles schism talk

5/30/2014
By Kathy L. Gilbert and Heather Hahn - United Methodost News Service The latest talk of “an amicable split” along progressive and conservative lines is not new for The United Methodist Church. Russell E. Richey documents the church’s historic divisions in a 1999 book, “Questions for the Twenty First Century Church.” The Rev. Robert Williams, top executive of the Commission on Archives and History, recommends Richey’s chapter “Is Division a New Threat to the Denomination?” as one of the best ...

Cokesbury offers new ways to engage your congregation in Bible study – Check it out at Annual Conference

5/30/2014
              Covenant, a new Bible study from Cokesbury, will have a special preview at the 2014 Annual Conference Session “Our new in-depth adult Bible study Covenant has 24 videos by scholars which discuss their understandings of the scripture based on the theme of Covenant,” said Gary Anderson, Community Resource Consultant for Cokesbury. “This new study is similar to that of Disciple, but in a flexible format of 3 units of 8 sessions each.” Annual Conference Session attendees ...

Fruitfulness in Ministry - Coming to your Conference

5/30/2014
              There is a new requirement for candidates for ordination – a Fruitfulness Project Below is the project of one of this year's ordinands, B. Tubaugh. Faith and Fitness Fridays In the Fall of2012 a group of young mothers from the church and community approached me with an idea for ministry and outreach. They wanted to create a group where children could be active and learn about God. It combined two of their passions, both of which they knew I shared: spreading the ...

Two new ministry offerings

5/30/2014
*Intentional Interim Ministry Training* begins in September 2014 The Institute for the Practice of Ministry at the Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center Is pleased to offer Intentional Interim Ministry training to pastors: - who are mature in ministry, whose leadership skills are proven, who are called to connect their specialized gifts and graces to congregations with special transitional needs on a short- term basis (six months to three years), who are able to do ministry under pressure and...

Register: Ninety-seven Iowa faith leaders ask White House to cut carbon emissions

5/29/2014
William Petroski - desmoinesregister.com Ninety-seven Iowa faith leaders have signed a letter sent to the White House and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in support of the first-ever federal limits on carbon pollution at American electrical generating plans. The Iowans include Bishop Richard Pates of Roman Catholic Diocese of Des Moines, Bishop Alan Scarfe of the Episcopal Diocese of Iowa, Bishop Julius Trimble of the Iowa Area of the United Methodist Church, Rev. Phil Barrett, ...

Two New Farmers Markets Open in Des Moines

5/28/2014
Lutheran Services in Iowa's Global Greens Farmers' Market and Oakridge Neighborhood Farmers Market are open this summer, adding two new farmers markets to the greater Des Moines area. LSI Global Greens Farmers' Market is held on Saturdays, June through September, from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the LSI Refugee Connection Center, 3200 University Ave in Des Moines. The market vendors are former refugees reconnecting with the land through LSI's Global Greens agricultural programs. Purchases help ...

Annual March for Peace and Justice

5/28/2014
              Monday, June 09 12 p.m. Hy-Vee Hall This year's March will begin at 12:10 p.m., on Monday, June 9. It will start at the south side of Hy-Vee Hall and proceed to Hansen Triangle, corner of Watson Powell, Jr. and 2nd Ave. This year's theme is, "Imagine: Bridges, Not Walls."  Sponsors of the March include MFSA, the Board of Church and Society, the Board of Global Ministries, COSROW, the committee on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns and Do No Harm. ...

Methodism growing in Cambodia

5/28/2014
Cambodia Consultation brings together wide-ranging group to hear updates on ministry By Neill Caldwell - vaumc.org Representatives from around the world gathered May 1-3 to talk about the growing Methodist mission in Cambodia.The United Methodist Church is one of five denominations working in the Southeast Asia nation of 16 million that is still recovering from the 1977-79 genocide that wiped out millions, mostly the educated and professional. Aldersgate United Methodist Church, not far from ...

Methodists urge peacemaking through education

5/28/2014
                During the opening convocation for the International Association of Methodist Schools, Colleges and Universities, students from North America and Japan prepare for the processional. The association’s 2014 conference is being held in Hiroshima, Japan. Photo by Diane Degnan, United Methodist Communications By Barbara Dunlap-Berg - umc.org Against a backdrop of gleaming, 21st century buildings and bustling commerce, Methodist scholars are recalling the world’s first ...

People in pews and big donors net millions to fight malaria

5/28/2014
                  By Edwin Acevedo* - umc.org As the Imagine No Malaria campaign enters its home stretch, United Methodists can look with satisfaction at $60 million already raised in gifts and pledges, and with hope and confidence toward surpassing the $75 million goal by the end of 2015. Most of the money raised has been from grassroots efforts like bake sales, car washes and children donating birthday money. "Now, gifts of $1 million are coming in, and there are opportunities ...

Hampton church students open Clean Up Closet to provide hygiene products to needy residents

5/27/2014
              Pastor Corby Johnson stands in the Clean Up Closet in the Hampton, Iowa, United Methodist Church on Thursday May 15, 2014. The Clean Up Closet was the idea of confirmation students and is available to Hampton families. (AP Photo/Globe Gazette, Laura Bird) By LAURA BIRD -  Globe Gazette - therepublic.com Needy families in the Hampton area have a new resource for hygiene and cleaning products, thanks to a group of confirmation students at Hampton United Methodist Church. ...

Group calls for amicable split of UMC

5/23/2014
                  By Sam Hodges - United Methodist News Service A group of United Methodist pastors and theologians is calling for an amicable split of the denomination, saying differences over homosexuality and other issues are irreconcilable. The group describes itself as traditionalist and says its ranks include more than 80 members, including pastors of some of the larger United Methodist congregations. “Are we not at a point where we can acknowledge, after years of dialogue ...

Church groups get $49,315 in Peace with Justice grants

5/22/2014
umc-gbcs.org The United Methodist General Board of Church & Society (GBCS) has awarded grants totaling $49,315 to 14 Peace with Justice ministries around the world. The grants are awarded in conjunction with the denomination’s Peace with Justice Sunday, which witnesses to God's demand for a faithful, just, disarmed and secure world. Half of the Special Sunday offering is retained in annual conferences to fund local peace with justice programs. Half is remitted to the General Board of Church &...

All ages helping to cross the finish line with Imagine No Malaria

5/21/2014
      With just under $100,000 left to raise, there are opportunities for Iowans of all ages to help us cross the finish line and save lives!  VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL We have some FREE additions to some of the most popular VBS curriculum's available this summer, like Weird Animals and Workshop of Wonders. Add a devotional, a video clip, or other resources in order to promote Imagine No Malaria as the mission project with your children. Look for YOUR VBS materials here!  YOUTH - STRIKE ...

National Council of Churches holds Christian unity gathering in D.C.

5/21/2014
National Council of Churches agenda reset at Christian Unity Gathering in Washington Washington, May 20, 2014 – In their first national meeting in more than three years, National Council of Churches’ member communions and partners came together in Washington May 19-20 in their first Christian Unity Gathering. More than 200 persons celebrated the rejuvenation of the NCC in an event filled with worship, music, bible study, and a discussion of crucial national issues on which members will focus ...

‘Peacemaking Circle’ could replace protester trials

5/20/2014
By the Right Rev. Alan Scarfe, the Rev. Julius C. Trimble, David Hurd and the Rev. Russell Melby and 37 other signers - Des Moines Register On St. Patrick’s Day, nearly 200 people gathered at the gates of the Iowa Air National Guard base in Des Moines to protest the use of drones by our country. Seven crossed the line and were arrested. Each was charged with trespassing, a simple misdemeanor. A trial has been scheduled for June 23 in Polk County court. If convicted, they could be sentenced to...

Here's how to #changetheworld

5/20/2014
United Methodist News Service Thousands of United Methodists rolled up their sleeves over the weekend to address the needs of their neighbors locally and globally. Many shared their activities via social media outlets. May 17-18 marked the fifth annual Change the World event — a denomination-wide effort encouraging local congregations to show that God is at work in communities. United Methodists go outside the walls of their sanctuaries and help others in their neighborhoods by doing ...

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