News


Iowa UMC Camp and Retreat’s—the place to be this summer—it’s time to register for Camp!

5/20/2014
By David Hobbs, LDM for Camping & Christian Formation Wow, I can hardly believe it, but school is almost out and we’re busily getting ready for our summer camping program. It is an exciting time for us as we make preparations for all of those campers to come and share in an awesome Christ-filled camp experience. We’ve even had some of our first summer college staffers show up to camp for our staff training programs. We’ve had some successful work days too at each of our camps and we’re ...

National Council of Churches condemns the death sentence of Sudanese woman sentenced to die for marrying a Christian

5/20/2014
nationalcouncilofchurches.us Officers of the National Council of Churches today condemned “in the strongest possible words” the death sentence in Sudan for a woman whose only crime was to marry a Christian man. The sentence of Meriam Yahya Ibrahim Ishag is also reproached by the U.S. government, American Baptist Churches USA, and many other churches and religious groups. Jim Winkler, President and General Secretary of the NCC, said the sentencing of Ishag for associating with Christians “is ...

ACTION ALERT - The Iowa Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church Legislative Advocacy Team

5/19/2014
Dear Action Team Members, There are two appropriations on the governor’s desk awaiting his signature which we have supported but which in the past he has line-itemed vetoed.  It is important NOW to contact the governor and his staff to encourage his signing these two appropriations into law.   The first is $2,000,000 for LIHEAP (low income home energy assistance program) through the community action agencies, and the second is $7,000,000 to provide mental health services for children and ...

Tips for UM students in a competitive job market

5/19/2014
By Natalie Bannon - umc.org What to do after college: 5 tips for students in a competitive job market With the job market at a competitive level, it’s important for students to find creative ways to prepare for the real world. So, after you’ve shed the cap and gown, what’s next? “Career centers at United Methodist-related colleges and universities can help pave the road ahead for a smoother journey,” said Gerald D. Lord, Associate General Secretary in the Division of Higher Education of the ...

Grants available for ethnic social justice ministries

5/19/2014
Aug. 10 is the deadline to apply for an Ethnic Local Church Grant from the United Methodist General Board of Church & Society (GBCS). The grants are to strengthen ethnic minority local churches through education, advocacy or leadership development as they engage in social justice. GBCS has distributed nearly $800,000 to ethnic minority ministries in the past four years. To qualify for grant consideration, applicants must be either: a United Methodist local church, district, annual ...

$DOLLAR FOR DOLLAR$ SUMMER MATCH Iowa Justice for Our Neighbors

5/19/2014
  Click HERE for the flyer.                  

“Imagine: A Faithful Church – A Healthy World”

5/19/2014
            “Imagine: A Faithful Church – A Healthy World” is the theme of the 2014 Annual session of the Iowa Conference.  This 172st gathering of laity and clergy will formally open on Saturday, June 7, at 9:30 am and is scheduled to adjourn on Monday, June 9, at 4:00 pm.  The Annual Conference session will be held at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines. The Annual Conference will feature an opening Bible study by Bishop Julius Calvin Trimble and the preaching of Rev. Brian Milford ...

First Fruits

5/19/2014
By Scott Hibben, LDM for Evangelism and New Ministry  Mac and I are downstairs in his basement right after he got home from school, playing with his Legos. At age seven my grandson has become an expert at Legos and all the various genre they portray (Star Wars, Ninjago, Chima, Lord of the Rings, you name it); so much so that he has converted the family pool table into his “Lego Kingdom”, with piles of figures and blocks and all his creations. We’re playing “zombie”, with some sort of figure, ...

Marking the 60th anniversary of Brown decision

5/19/2014
Commentary by the Rev. Gilbert H. Caldwell - umc.org I was 20 and a junior at North Carolina A&T State University, a historically black university, on May 17, 1954, when the U.S. Supreme Court announced its landmark decision in Brown v. The Board of Education of Topeka, Kan. I had grown up moving from city to city with my Methodist-preacher father, my mother and my three sisters. Each time, I attended the racially segregated schools in those cities. From first grade in Winston-Salem, N.C., to...

Thank you for supporting Africa University through your conference remittance to the Africa University Fund apportionment in 2013!

5/19/2014
Please encourage your church to post this thank-you card on your local church website and/or Facebook page.  Click HERE for the image file.    

Nominations sought for evangelist award

5/15/2014
2014 Distinguished Evangelist The Foundation for Evangelism is seeking nominations for the 2014 Distinguished Evangelist of the United Methodist Church Award.   With this honor, the Foundation celebrates a United Methodist clergy or lay person whose personal ministry in evangelism is recognized throughout the denomination. The 2014 Distinguished Evangelist of the United Methodist Church will join others such as Adam Hamilton, Shane Bishop, Jorge Acevedo, Charles Anderson, and Mark Beeson as ...

Peace with Justice Sunday, June 15

5/15/2014
Help spread gospel of peace, encourage cooperation umc-gbcs.org Thanks to a 2012 Peace with Justice grant from the General Board of Church & Society, the Greater Hilltop Shalom Zone, Columbus, Ohio, is changing the culture of conflict and gang violence. After a teenager named Luke was convicted of armed robbery, he was released from juvenile detention into the custody of the Rev. Eugene Brundige. A volunteer with the Greater Hilltop Shalom Zone, Brundige arranged a meeting between Luke and ...

720+ faith leaders sign letter to Congress — so far

5/15/2014
Urge support of Smarter Sentencing Act by Wayne Rhodes, Editor, Faith in Action - umc-gbcs.org WASHINGTON, D.C. — More than 720 faith leaders have signed a letter to Congress urging passage of the Smarter Sentencing Act to reduce mass incarceration. The federal prison system has grown more than 500% over the past 30 years, pointed out Bill Mefford, director of Civil & Human Rights at the United Methodist General Board of Church & Society (GBCS). He said 50% of those in federal prison now ...

5 key millennial research findings churches should know

5/14/2014
Young adults are tech-savvy, politically independent, optimistic and racially diverse, according to new, comprehensive research about the millennial generation (currently ages 18-33). Knowing who millennials are is an incredible tool in helping reach them with the message of Jesus. Let's dig into findings and discover how this new data can help you reach this generation. 1. Digital Natives These individuals have grown up with the Internet in their pocket, social media in their friendships ...

Eastern Seaboard Conferences seeking volunteers for Hurricane Sandy recovery

5/14/2014
Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts have NOT been completed. The sheer magnitude of the destruction that devastated so many areas at the end of October 2012 means that professional contractors and volunteers still have thousands waiting for help. Work is often slowed when the next step depends on an inspection from municipal departments struggling to keep up with demand.   As often happens with disasters, time passes, some relief and recovery agencies move on to other emergencies, funds are ...

Summer Lay Servant Ministry Workshop

5/14/2014
July 18-19, Harlan United Methodist Church, Offered by Southwest District  JUMP IN AND GET YOUR FEET WET! JOIN US IN EQUIPPING OURSELVES TO SERVE GOD & OTHERS! We are excited to announce a summertime weekend of sharing & learning!   Our district is offering an opportunity to join with other laity in various workshops on JULY 18-19, 2014 at the Harlan United Methodist Church.  We will be offering the following workshops:             • Basic Lay Servant Ministry             • Discovering Your...

Agency wants bishop to account for use of funds

5/12/2014
By Heather Hahn – United Methodist News Service The United Methodist General Council on Finance and Administration issued a press release noting that progress was made this week on the review of the use of theological education funds sent to the denomination’s West Angola Episcopal Area. Bishop Michael Coyner, the finance agency's president, called a meeting with West Angola Bishop Gaspar Domingos “very productive.” The Board of Higher Education and Ministry will provide a further update to ...

Call for a faithful church, healthy world at annual session

5/12/2014
              “Imagine: A Faithful Church – A Healthy World” is the theme of the 2014 Annual session of the Iowa Conference.  This 172st gathering of laity and clergy will formally open on Saturday, June 7, at 9:30 am and is scheduled to adjourn on Monday, June 9, at 4:00 pm.  The Annual Conference session will be held at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines. The Annual Conference will feature an opening Bible study by Bishop Julius Calvin Trimble and the preaching of Rev. Brian ...

Conference Disaster Response Ministers take action in the aftermath of Iowa Mother's Day storms

5/12/2014
              Severe storms raged across Iowa on May 11 in numerous bands, some in the afternoon and others later after dark. Five tornadoes associated with the storms are being reported according to Iowa Conference Disaster Coordinator Rev. Catie Newman. Two tornadoes touched down in Guthrie County in west central Iowa, one in Panora and another at nearby at Lake Panorama. “There is a lot of damage to houses,” Rev. Newman said of the area. “Lots of wind, tree limbs and power lines ...

The Boko Haram and the Nigerian United Methodist Church

5/12/2014
              By the Iowa Nigeria Partnership- The country of Nigeria has 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 group known as Boko Haram, whose name means “...

United Methodist Missionaries to be Commissioned at Annual Conferences

5/12/2014
              From the General Board of Global Ministries- Please pray for these 15 United Methodist missionaries and their families who are preparing for service. They are attending a three-week training program and will be blessed during worship at the General Board of Global Ministries on May 14. They will be commissioned individually at various annual conferences this spring.             * Heather Bishop (West Ohio Annual Conference)             * Young Chuel Cho (New York ...

Christian leaders say Middle East Christians must not be forgotten

5/9/2014
By Adelle M. Banks - Religion News Service Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox leaders joined forces on Wednesday (May 7) to call for an end to the silence over persecuted Christian communities in Egypt, Iraq and Syria. “What we are seeing here is ecumenical cleansing,” said Leith Anderson, president of the National Association of Evangelicals, who called the region “the unsafest place in the world for Christians.” “It’s an ecumenical cleansing that is forcing people who are Christians, by ...

"We're So Proud"

5/8/2014
On Friday, April 18 2014, one of Justice For Our Neighbor’s own stood before a federal judge and took the oath of US citizenship. Grisell Herrera, born in Havana, Cuba, has been the Office Manager with JFON since December 2009. In that role, Grisell spends much of her time interacting with clients. JFON Attorney Brynne Howard describes Grisell as “exceptionally conscientious and detailed, welcoming, gracious and the kind of person who – on daily basis - goes out of her way to assist people.” ...

Jesus would want us to share with Cuba

5/7/2014
Letter to the Editor - DesMoines Register - May 5, 2014 In response to Lyle Horman’s question “What kind of church would visit Cuba, anyway? [“Writer Missed Seeing Reality of Cuban Life,” April 24]: I would like to answer: the United Methodist Church. I visited Cuba with a United Methodist group from Iowa seven years ago. We worshipped in Cuban Methodist churches and helped repair a Methodist parsonage. We met the bishop of the Methodist church of Cuba and discussed the state of the church in...

Paine College president asks for prayers after campus shootings

5/7/2014
By Heather Hahn and Kathy L. Gilbert - United Methodist News Service The president of United Methodist-related Paine College in Augusta, Ga., is asking for prayers after campus shootings this week that resulted in one student in the hospital and another in police custody.  “The investigation is still ongoing,” said George C. Bradley, the college’s president. “Without all the information, we are taking every precaution. Safety is the primary concern. We’re in communication and we’re working ...

April showers bring May flowers and campers!

5/7/2014
Don't forget to sign up for your favorite Iowa UMC camp!                    By David Hobbs, LDM, Camping and Christian Formation Wow!  Its spring time and the weather is a changing, plus there will be flowers coming soon, and that also means IA UMC summer Camps is getting ready for summer camp!  If you haven’t registered yet, please give us a call and we’ll tell you about all the fun you can have at camp and we’ll get you signed up, plus you don’t even have to be United ...

Concern mounts over abduction of Nigerian girls

5/7/2014
United Methodist News Service As the crisis over the abduction of several hundred Nigerian schoolgirls continued, the Rev. Olav Fykse Tveit sent a letter to Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan encouraging "swift and peaceful" action to bring the students home. The World Methodist Council also expressed concern. "We believe that every human being is born with a God-given dignity, and a fundamental right to an education," it stated. Read the World Council of Churches letter

Register for Strike Out Malaria

5/7/2014
                6th-12th grade youth from across the state are gathering to celebrate all we have and will do to save lives from malaria June 7 @ 5 p.m. - June 8 @ 11 a.m. FOR ONLY $40 A PERSON: the donation of $10 to help save a life tickets to the I-Cubs game with a few youth able to participate in games between innings concert by Manic Drive supper at the game and breakfast the next morning a Strike Out Malaria t-shirt overnight activities on the outfield – including ...

World Methodist Council Statement on the Mass Abduction in Nigeria

5/7/2014
                worldmethodistcouncil.org Twenty days ago, an estimated 234 girls between 16 and 18 years old were taken from a school in northeastern Nigeria by a group of Islamic militants called Boko Haram. Boko Haram was founded in Northeastern Nigeria and has been very active, and very violent, since 2009. The name translates, literally, as “Western education is sinful.” This mass abduction has recently began to make news outside of Nigeria, and now is drawing attention to a ...

Preparedness, training: key to tornado response

5/5/2014
By Linda Unger United Methodist annual conference disaster response personnel are at work providing damage and needs assessments and spiritual and emotional care with residents in states hit hard by two straight days of powerful tornadoes and severe weather. Greg Forrester, US Disaster Response executive for the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), praised the work of the conferences during the emergency phase of relief operations after dozens of tornadoes rampaged across a total of...

Imagine No Malaria to Distribute Nets in Sierra Leone

4/29/2014
umc.org On April 25, 2014, on World Malaria Day, Imagine No Malaria moved forward with plans to distribute nearly 400,000 life-saving insecticide-treated bed nets in the Bo District of Sierra Leone on June 5, 2014. Trained volunteers will be distributing nets door-to-door, as well as educating people how to use and maintain them properly. The distribution in Bo is in conjunction with the Sierra Leone national plan to distribute more than three million bed nets nationwide as part of an ...

Men give 200 devotional books to first responders following mudslide

4/29/2014
              Alan Lish of Arlington United Church presents Strength for Service books to Kevin Griffee of the Vancouver Fire Dept.; Steve Westlake, Eastside Fire and Rescue in Issaquah; and Brian Hyatt of the Monroe Fire Dept. Capt. Ron Adams, Monroe Fire Dept.; and Steve Mason, Snohomish County Fire District, kneel  in front. gcumm.org ARLINGTON, Wash.--Arlington United Church’s Men’s group distributed 200 Strength for Service to God and Community daily devotional books to first ...

United Methodists respond to deadly tornadoes

4/29/2014
                Ida Rose (right) receives a hug from Sheri Mathews, Spiritual and Emotional Care Team supervisor for the Arkansas Conference Disaster Response Team. Rose is an early response team member, but on April 28 she was at the severely damaged home of her son and his family, who live in the River Plantation neighborhood in Maumelle, Ark. Photo by Amy Forbus, Arkansas United Methodist By Sam Hodges - United Methodist News Service Deadly tornadoes that swept through the upper ...

Break the Cycle

4/25/2014
                From inmiowa.org Pastor Todd Hartsock, who serves churches in Swea City and Titonka, is going to be riding RAGBRAI for Imagine No Malaria. He wants to invite you to help join him in this work…  even if you don’t actually pedal a bike! To help inspire him along the way, pledge to support him for each mile of the journey.  All of the money raised will go towards the work of Imagine No Malaria through the Iowa Annual Conference. Pastor Todd writes:  “In past years, as ...

Calling all youth leaders in Iowa

4/25/2014
Strike Out Malaria overnight at Principal Ballpark in Des Moines June 7-8 is getting close. The event is to celebrate the impact 6th-12th graders are having in ending malaria in Africa through our Conference support of Imagine No Malaria.  The cost is $40 for early registration before May 19. After that, the registration will be $45. Registration information  and forms are on our website www.inmiowa.org/strikeout  It is simple for churches to register their youth. You register your church ...

Mary Joy and Jerre Stead give $1 million gift to Imagine No Malaria

4/25/2014
Mary Joy and Jerre Stead have given a $1 million gift to Imagine No Malaria.  They recently donated $500,000 to both the Iowa and Rocky Mountain Annual Conferences to support the United Methodist initiative to raise $75 million to fight Malaria in Africa. “This is an example of what we like to invest in, because it makes such a difference for so many people,” Jerre Stead said during an interview on the eve of World Malaria Day.  “Five or six years ago Bill Gates and I were talking about the ...

Villagers testify to Imagine No Malaria’s impact on lives

4/25/2014
            A Commentary by Gary R. Henderson* BO, Sierra Leone - umc.org "We have not had one case of malaria in my family since we started using the nets.” Wow! These words spoken by a village elder in Bo. Sierra Leone, reminded me of the old-fashioned testimonies I would hear as a boy growing up in the church. People were quick to give an account of the hope that was in them.  Everybody wanted to testify. Listening to the village elder, I was reminded that our work with malaria ...

Bishops offer comfort after ferry disaster

4/22/2014
                    United Methodist bishops are offering prayer and comfort after Sewol, the ferry pictured, sank off the coast of South Korea. Photo courtesy of Korean Coast Guard/ Wikipedia Commons. By Heather Hahn and the Rev. Jacob Lee - United Methodist News Service United Methodist bishops — including three Korean Americans — have extended prayers, words of comfort and the hope of Easter following last week’s ferry tragedy in South Korea. The Sewol ferry with 476 ...

UMCOR Board Approves Philippines, Haiti, and US Grants

4/22/2014
                      Jason Reyes begins rebuilding his home following Typhoon Haiyan in Dagami, Philippines. A UMNS photo by Mike DuBose. By Linda Unger - umcor.org April 14, 2014—The board of directors of the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) approved on Friday more than $5 million in grants in support of relief and development work in the Philippines, Haiti and the United States, reaffirming UMCOR’s mission of “mutuality, empowerment and sustainability.” UMCOR ...

Laity Day focuses on faith and discipleship

4/18/2014
Click here for a photo gallery of Laity Day Bishop Julius Calvin Trimble joined with Laity across Iowa for the third annual Laity Day with the Bishop to talk about faith, discipleship, and the church.  The event, held at Grace UMC in Des Moines, was also live streamed to several locations across the Conference. According to Dave Decker, the Iowa Conference Lay Leader, there were about 200 people at all the sites.  “Even though there were a few 'technical challenges,' people were able to ask ...

Bishops address Ukraine crisis

4/17/2014
United Methodist News Service - Bishop Eduard Khegay of the Eurasia Area and Bishop Christian Alsted of the Nordic and Baltic Area have issued an Easter pastoral letter, touching on the political crisis in Ukraine. Pastoral Letter from bishop Eduard Khegay and bishop Christian Alsted Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (Phil.1:2)  In a time of turmoil and unrest in Ukraine and other European countries we write to You, the people called Methodists in the ...

Iowa Annual Conference Session News

4/16/2014
Iowa Annual Conference Session News The 2014 Iowa Annual Conference opens Saturday, June 7, 9:30 am at the Iowa Events Center Hy-Vee Hall, in Des Moines. Clergy session will be Friday, June 6, 4 pm, at First UMC, Des Moines. The theme is “Imagine: A Faithful Church – A Healthy World” with a celebration of our Imagine No Malaria emphasis. Speakers and preachers include: Bishop Julius C. Trimble, presiding bishop; Dave Decker, conference lay leader; Bishop Linda Lee, Bishop in Residence, ...

Iowa Christian Educators: Reminder to register for the 2014 Iowa UMC CEF spring workshop and meeting May 2-3

4/16/2014
Click here to watch the small groups:Big Ministry promo video CEF Spring Workshop and Meeting The Iowa Christian Educators Fellowship Spring Workshop and Meeting is scheduled for Friday, May 2 and Saturday, May 3. Please note the change in dates. The schedule was changed so that CEF members can participate in the small groups: Big Ministry conference featuring keynote speaker Tony Miltenberger, Pastor of Next Step and Life Groups at Ginghamsburg Church in Ohio. Ginghamsburg Church is where ...

Rev. Scott Hibben to become Ankeny lead pastor

4/16/2014
Bishop Julius Calvin Trimble has announced that the Rev. Scott Hibben will be appointed Lead Pastor of Ankeny First United Methodist Church, beginning July 1, 2014. Rev. Hibben is currently the Leadership Development Minister for Evangelism and New Ministry Development.   In that role he has played a primary role in leading the Healthy Church Initiative; worked with the Standing Committees on Parish Development and Hispanic/Latino Ministries; coached congregations and pastors as they have ...

United Methodists prepare for annual conferences

4/16/2014
By Rich Peck - United Methodist News Service United Methodists in Africa, Europe, the Philippines and the United States are preparing for regional legislative meetings, called annual conferences. During the gatherings, usually lasting four days, clergy and laity elected by local churches will establish 2015 budgets, receive reports, consider resolutions regarding social justice issues, present awards, deal with property issues, and recognize retiring clergy. Sessions nearly always include ...

United Methodists killed in shooting spree at Jewish centers

4/15/2014
By Kathy L. Gilbert - United Methodist Communications The deaths of three innocent people — two United Methodists and a Catholic — on Palm Sunday and the eve of Passover are a painful reminder of the sin and tragedy in the world, said President Barack Obama, during the White House's annual Easter prayer breakfast held April 14. The April 13 shooting rampage outside two Jewish centers in Overland Park, near Kansas City, has been classified officially as a “hate crime.” Reat Underwood, 14, and...

Ancient traditions still influence Easter

4/15/2014
                      "The association (of Easter) with baptism is ancient and is deeply connected with the development of Lent" as a period of intense preparation for baptism, says the Rev. Taylor Burton-Edwards.  Photo courtesy The Methodist Church in Cuba. umc.org Christians journeying through Holy Week may be surprised to learn how some Easter traditions have evolved over the centuries. How did Easter get its name? Why are baptisms often included in services that day? What ...

Imagine No Malaria Iowa: 54 days … only $195,180 remaining …

4/15/2014
With just 54 days left to Annual Conference, you can help us EXCEED our goals for Imagine No Malaria: If you have donations in your church accounts, don't wait until Annual Conference to bring them in. Mail them today with your monthly remittance forms   Join the 39 churches and one entire district (East Central) who are doing something for the Statewide Pancake Feast   "Count Your Blessings" in the merry month of May. If you didn't participate in the Lenten giving calendar, this is short...

Mother’s faith offers comfort after Kansas City shootings

4/15/2014
                    Will Corporon, left, and Mindy Corporon, talk to reporters at the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection after their father Dr. William Corporon, 69, and nephew and son, Reat Underwood, 14, were killed April 13. A third woman was killed by the same gunman. Photo courtesy of United Methodist Church of the Resurrection. By Kathy L. Gilbert - United Methodist News Service United Methodist Mindy Corporon said she believes her son and father are in heaven after...

United Methodist Bishop Lloyd Knox dies at 85

4/15/2014
                      By Kathy L. Gilbert - United Methodist Communications James Lloyd Knox, a retired United Methodist bishop who was known as a champion of mission, died at age 85 on April 13. He served the denomination in various capacities and locations, but is well-remembered for his work in his native Florida. Bishop Ken Carter, leader of the Florida Annual (regional) Conference, said, “The history of the conference could not be told apart from his ministry.” Two ...

Easter features from United Methodist Communications

4/12/2014
United Methodist Communications has produced several features and other pieces of content for use related to Easter. These are being or will be featured on umc.org, umc.org/videos, umc.org/news and www.interpretermagazine.org. April 10 Easter Totem Pole UMTV (at umc.org/videos) - Indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest area in North America often passed knowledge on through totem poles. These carvings in cedar tell stories as books do. United Methodist Pastor David Fison spent years ...

Legislative Advocacy Team Action Alert

4/12/2014
ACTION ALERT Number Three April 11, 2014 The Iowa Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church Legislative Advocacy Team End of the Legislative Session Actions HUMAN TRAFFICKING Thank You for all you did to help get strong, positive Human Trafficking Legislation passed this year.   Through strong bi-partisan support and helpful initiatives from both the House and the Senate, Human Trafficking laws for Iowa were strengthened and those who are the victims of human trafficking were ...

United Methodists raise 80 percent of malaria goal

4/12/2014
Imagine No Malaria counts $60 million in donations and uncountable blessings umc.org Imagine No Malaria announced April 10 that United Methodists are 80 percent of the way toward reaching their goal of raising $75 million by 2015. In the past year alone, the people of The United Methodist Church have made contributions and pledges of more than $28 million, boosting the total raised to more than $60 million. In the coming weeks, five annual (regional) conferences will launch fundraising ...

"We do not teach justice by being unjust"

4/11/2014
Penalties must be appropriate to crime, social justice agency head tells senators by Wayne Rhodes, Editor, Faith in Action                  The Rev. Dr. Susan Henry-Crowe (fourth from left), chief executive of the United Methodist General Board of Church & Society, was among persons who participated in a discussion of mandatory-minimum sentencing conducted by U.S. Senate Democracts. Others who spoke (from left) are David LaBahn, president, Assn. of Prosecuting Attorneys; Laura ...

Laity Day 2014

4/11/2014
Laity Day runs from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 12, at Grace United Methodist Church, 3700 Cottage Grove Church in Des Moines.  The entire event will be livestreamed. Click here on April 12 to connect to the livestream.  Click on Laity Day 2014 image, top row, left, for Laity Day.  It will appear at 8:30 am on April 12. (Streaming available only on laptops/desktops; not compatible with tablets and smartphones due to Microsoft Silverlight limitations.) Bishop Trimble will refer to his blogpost, ...

Social justice agency sets legislative priorities

4/11/2014
2014 legislative priorities Social justice agency announces congressional advocacy agenda by Wayne Rhodes, Editor, Faith in Action on April 08, 2014 WASHINGTON, D.C. — The United Methodist General Board of Church & Society (GBCS) has set its 2014 legislative priorities for the U.S. Congress. The priorities include several issues in the headlines recently, such as immigration reform and health security. There are also holdovers from 2013, such as combating human trafficking and fully ...

Help us help Uzajja unlock the potential of Christ in Nigeria

4/10/2014
                      From the Iowa Nigeria Partnership A Win - Win - Win - Win situation if we help Uzajja further his education at Africa University, the cause of Christ wins four ways: Enhance learning at BTS; Allow seminarians to benefit from new educational programs; Better trained pastors for UMC in Nigeria; and Support Africa University. Here’s what we need: financial assistance to send Uzajja to Africa U for a 2-year Masters program Tuition/school Fees $6,500 per year. ...

Navy Chaplain Jennifer Bowden Serves in Washington Mudslide Disaster

4/10/2014
                    ngumc.org The recent devastating mudslide near Oso, Wash., took its toll on rescue workers who have diligently searched for survivors underneath a square-mile of debris and muck, which in some parts was 30 to 40 feet deep. Amoung those workers is Lieutenant commander Rev. Jennifer Bowden, Command Chaplain, and a United Methodist who served at Dunwoody UMC during seminary at Candler School of Theology and afterward under full appointment.  The mudslide claimed ...

United Methodists join weekend action to stop deportations

4/10/2014
                      By Kathy L. Gilbert - United Methodist News Service During the weekend of April 5-6, many prayers were said for immigrant families torn apart by deportations and those praying are hoping President Barack Obama is listening. United Methodists joined with other faith groups and the National Day Laborer Organizing Network in a weekend of action to ask for temporary suspension of deportations, which will soon reach 2 million. Three other denominations — ...

USAID and ZunZuneo

4/9/2014
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - The news that the United States Agency for International Development surreptitiously sponsored a text messaging service in Cuba created a storm of criticism. The fallout has implications for other humanitarian organizations as well. The Rev. Larry Hollon, top staff executive of United Methodist Communications, explains: April 8, 2014 - larryhollon.com The news that the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) surreptitiously sponsored a text ...

Worshipers turn to church after Fort Hood shooting

4/9/2014
By Kevin Schwaller - kxan.com KILLEEN, Texas (KXAN) — Some members of the community around Fort Hood are coping with last week’s shooting by turning to their church. Flags line the entrance of the First United Methodist Church of Killeen. Four ribbons hang on the front sign. Each ribbon represents one of the dead, including the shooter. Rev. Jeff Miller, senior pastor of the church, lit four candles at the beginning of the service Sunday and a bell rang four times. “A lot of people, they ...

See how UMC camps change lives

4/9/2014
        By Rev. David Hobbs, LDM, Camping and Christian Formation  Wow, can you believe it, we are starting to get wonderful warmth out there now, and it’s starting to feel more like summer, and that gets me to thinking about camps.  In the last month I have shared some wonderful testimonies throughout the Conference about folks who have been involved with Iowa UMC Camps over the years, and this week I’m going to do the same. In the last few articles have been some really neat stories ...

"A New Calling: Spiritual Second Careers," an interfaith special, set for Sunday, April 13 on CBS

4/8/2014
                              From religioncommunicators.org Mike McCurry, plenary speaker at RCC 2008, featured in broadcast "A New Calling: Spiritual Second Careers," a CBS Interfaith Special that explores the phenomenon of mature adults moving from successful secular careers into the world of religion, will be broadcast Sunday, April 13, on the CBS Television Network (check local listings). The broadcast asks why a successful professional in a secular career chooses to ...

Black caucus commits to increase advocacy

4/8/2014
                    At right, the Rev. Cedrick Bridgeforth, chair of Black Methodists for Church Renewal, addresses the caucus about plans for its future. From left, sitting, are the Rev. Danita R. Anderson, the group's secretary, and Deborah Bell, vice chair. Photo by Bill Fulton, WAFB Photo   By Heather Hahn -  United Methodist News Service Expect to hear more in the next three years from The United Methodist Church’s black caucus on issues that affect the denomination and ...

United Methodists doing amazing work in Zimbabwe

4/8/2014
By Vicki Brown - gbhem.org Schools, pastoral counseling, hospitals and children’s homes are all part of the outreach United Methodists are doing in Zimbabwe—work that took center stage during two days of the visit to Africa University by staff and directors of the UM Board of Higher Education and Ministry. Staff and members of the agency’s Board of Directors visited and talked with doctors, teachers, children and volunteers at the Old UMC Mutare Mission Center, which houses Hartzell Schools, ...

KCCI: 'Enough is enough!' Iowa groups call for help for families

4/7/2014
                  KCCI photo DES MOINES, Iowa — By Marcus McIntosh -  kcci.com Groups held a rally outside the Polk County Courthouse Friday calling for an end to deportations. The rally was part of the national Not1more Deportation campaign. "We are saying enough is enough.  We need to stop deportations and pass a humane and comprehensive immigration reform that is sensible to our country that keeps our borders safe," said Sandra Sanchez of American Friends Service Committee. ...

Letters from U.S. Presidents

4/7/2014
DALLAS - United Methodist News Service An exhibit featuring letters and White House invitations sent to Methodists from men who were, had been or once would be president of the United States continues through May 9 at Bridwell Library, part of Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University.  The dates of the documents range from 1854 to 1957. See images from the exhibit

Eugene Fracek invites understanding and relationship building with Indians

4/5/2014
Click to hear the interview with Eugene Fracek Click to see images from the gathering Eugene Fracek was the keynote speaker for the Iowa Methodist Federation for Social Action spring 2014 meeting.   He grew up on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota, became the Indian Resource Teacher for the Rapid City School District, served as Indian Education Director for the State of South Dakota, for nearly two decades was an elementary school principal in Des Moines, and now teaches classes ...

Dave Decker elected to be NCJ lay leaders president

4/4/2014
Click to listen to the conversation with Dave Decker Dave Decker, Iowa Conference Lay Leader, is the new president of the North Central Jurisdiction Lay Leaders. Having served as secretary for the executive board “they thought it would be good if I would become president of the North Central Jurisdiction” group. Reflecting on the meaning of his election Decker noted, “it means that we have an opportunity to be in a more ambitious relationship with our Bishops and our Conference lay leaders in...

Mudslide Update: Our impact, dollars at work for Oso relief

4/4/2014
                    (View of the hill side that gave way near SR 530. A hillside in the Snohomish County community of Oso at SR 530 gave way on March. Pictured here is the side of the hill after the slide. Landslide photo courtesy of WSDOT, praying hands illustration courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.) pnwumc.org - By the Rev. Stanley J. Norman Stan Norman serves as the PNW’s Annual Conference Disaster Response Team Co-Coordinator. Here is an update on how our United Methodists have ...

UMCOR monitoring Chile earthquake aftermath

4/3/2014
NEW YORK (UMNS) -   The United Methodist Committee on Relief has been in contact with the Methodist Humanitarian Aid Team in Chile following the magnitude 8.2 earthquake there April 1. UMCOR has partnered since 2009 with EMAH, the humanitarian assistance arm of the Methodist Church of Chile, to strengthen the organization's capacity for disaster preparedness and shore up its response network.   Read more

Iowans celebrate unique ministry of Women at the Well

4/1/2014
by Karen Tisinger, for Women at the Well Calling Women at the Well “a ministry worthy of our support,” Bishop Julius Calvin Trimble led approximately 120 Iowa United Methodists and ecumenical leaders in celebrating the work of the seven-year-old church—the denomination’s first prison congregation in the U.S. (Women at the Well United Methodist Church is located inside the Iowa Correctional Institute for Women at Mitchellville.) The March 16 celebration included special organ and handbell ...

Board approves four GBHEM-initiated proposals for young clergy

4/1/2014
By Vicki Brown - gbhem.org A Sunday focused on call and $600,000 to expand Project Transformation were among four proposals approved by the directors of the United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry during the March meeting in Mutare, Zimbabwe.  The proposals are aimed at increasing the number of young clergy in The United Methodist Church. The four proposals approved by the Board of Directors were initiated by staff and were in addition to 91 completed applications for grants ...

Builder's Call - The need is year round

4/1/2014
The spring 2014 Builder’s Sunday just recently passed but the need and the call continues on. Churches in the Iowa Annual Conference can choose any Sunday to take part in the Builder’s Call, a program that has for 30 years supported the Conference mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. The two annual calls benefit churches in the Conference undergoing capital building projects that will enable the churches to better reach people for Jesus Christ, said...

Self-care focus of Orders and Fellowship event

4/1/2014
Click to see photos from the day. The spring 2014 Orders and Fellowship gathering took place at First United Methodist Church in Marshalltown on March 18. The program focused on clergy well-being and the transformation that that can bring about and was led by Rev. Scott Lothe, of Marshalltown Hope UM Church and Kim Hanken. “I’m so excited for this day around clergy well-being and self-care,” Rev. Lothe said. “It’s become a very important topic for the church.” “Several of our general ...

South Central church is recipient of Builder's Call

4/1/2014
Grace United Methodist Church in Moravia is the spring 2014 recipient of the Builder’s Call. Grace UMC is located in the South Central Conference and is considered to be in the gateway to Lake Rathbun, a little more than an hour southeast of Des Moines. Approximately 800 people live in Moravia. “It’s very small but has a very rich heritage,” said Rev. Cindy Finn, pastor for Grace UMC. The congregation was started with a Moravian colony in the 1850’s. The people held a really deep faith, a ...

United Methodist presence strong in Chicago rally

3/31/2014
                        United Methodist Bishop Sally Dyck, Chicago, joins other faith leaders in a March 27, 2014 rally and protest calling upon President Obama to stop deportations of undocumented people. Photo by Michael Vollmer, UMNS By Kathy L. Gilbert  -  United Methodist News Service Bishop Sally Dyck became the third United Methodist bishop to be arrested since President’s Day in an international campaign calling for President Barack Obama to stop deporting immigrants ...

First UMC Burlington promotes fair trade at the LOFT

3/30/2014
Click to hear the conversation with Ann Ure about the LOFT Click to see a gallery of images of LOFT LOFT – Loving Opportunities, Fair Trade – at First United Methodist Church, Burlington, is ready to help persons in developing countries. “They don’t want a hand out, they want to work for their living,” said Ann Ure, LOFT’s director.  “They don’t really have a way of doing in on their home communities.  We’re providing them a market for their goods.”  Many crafts persons, artisans, and small ...

United Methodist Committee on Relief recruiting adults for Early Response Team training

3/28/2014
                      (Archive photo from NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune)  By Suzie Hunt - nola.com In the dark days following Hurricane Katrina, hundreds of people put their own lives on hold and came to the Gulf Coast to help. Known as Early Response Teams, the men and women from many different organizations arrived soon after the winds died down and the waters receded. They came to get their hands dirty and were a blessing to people still in shock on how life here had changed....

A glimpse into the appointment making process

3/27/2014
Click here to read the current list of appointments  Click to hear the conversation with Rev. Brian Milford Rev. Brian Milford, Dean of the Appointive Cabinet, provides a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the appointment making process and talks about the progress being made in the 2014 cycle.   Dr. Art McClanahan has the interview.  

Design Task Force - An Overview

3/26/2014
Click to listen to the conversation with Joni Mardesen The 2013 session of the Iowa Conference the establishment of a Design Task Force to review the Strategic Priorities and help the Conference to live into them.  Specifically, the session directed “Conference staffing at all levels…be reassessed and redesigned with the support of the Human Resources department and input from communities of faith to address current needs based on our strategic priorities by June 1, 2014.” The Design Task ...

Diverse East Central communities celebrate faith with Bishop

3/26/2014
Two unique faith communities in the East Central District welcomed Bishop Julius Trimble on the first Sunday of Lent. Bishop Trimble preached on March 9 in Cedar Rapids at St. Paul United Methodist Church and at the International French Fellowship at Asbury United Methodist Church. Both were diverse collections of nations and languages, and an opportunity to display the welcoming mission of the United Methodist Church. In the services he had an opportunity to worship in six languages with ...

"Water, Holy Water" (Earth Day 2014)

3/25/2014
Gift of God threatened by overuse, pollution WASHINGTON, D.C. - umc-gbcs.org The 2014 Earth Day resource from Creation Justice Ministries explores water as a gift from God being threatened by overuse and pollution. Theme of the resource is “Water, Holy Water.” Earth Day is celebrated around the world on April 22. Some cities start celebrating a week in advance, ending the recognition of Earth Week on April 22nd. Others host month-long events to stress the importance of teaching about the ...

Iowa UMC Camps Change Lives

3/24/2014
--From Rev. David Hobbs, Leadership Development Minister for Camping and Christian Formation  Spring 2014 is upon us and summer is just around the corner, and that means lots of Christian fun and excitement at one of your Iowa UMC Camps. There is still plenty of time to register for camp and camperships to help your youth get to camp. Enjoy the two testimonies below from past campers and staffers on how camp impacted their lives, one recent Wesley Wood’s camper and summer staffer, and the ...

Iowa Conference UMC 2014 Potpourri Mission Booth

3/24/2014
For the last several years the churches of the IAUMC have come together to collect items needed to support the ministries chosen by their home districts and Bishop Trimble.  This year, we are sharing all nine ministries now to invite our congregations to participate in the mission that they feel passionate about and invite you to ask questions about each ministry.  There are many worthy ministries that we can and support each year.  This is an opportunity to focus on some ministries that will ...

Large Church pastors gather to hear about growth and transformation

3/24/2014
Click here for the Cornerstone Church website  Click to hear a conversation with Brad Kalajainen Click here to see a photo gallery Pastors of the Iowa Conference’s largest congregations gathered to hear words of encouragement and stories of congregational transformation from Brad Kalajainen.  The event, held at First UMC, Nevada, brought together clergy leaders who serve congregations with an average of 250 or more persons in worship to be guided by the lead pastor of Cornerstone Church, a ...

Laundry of Love

3/24/2014
By Rev. Cindy Hickman* Reaching out to the local community is difficult.  We all know that we should be doing it, but actually finding a way to bridge the gap between the church and the community is not easy.  One way we discovered at Bloomfield-Des Moines UMC is Laundry of Love.   We learned a lot of lessons along the way.   Several years ago a new person attended our church and she suggested that we visit area laundromats on Saturday mornings and take quarters and hospitality to those doing...

Human Trafficking Prevention Training

3/23/2014
Human Trafficking involves exploiting people for labor or sex under conditions of force, fraud, or coercion as well as the commercial sexual exploitation of minors. Human trafficking is a growing problem in the U.S., where most victims are youth and young adults. Over 100,000 American-born youth are trafficked in our country today. The Network Against Human Trafficking (http://www.iowanaht.org) invites youth, parents, teachers, and all community members and professionals to a half-day ...

Women pastors growing in numbers

3/21/2014
By M. Garlinda Burton - United Methodist News Service Women pastors in The United Methodist Church are finding more acceptance and more reasons to stay in local church ministry than any time in the denomination’s history, according to a survey of clergywomen. Still, women are more likely to leave congregations for ministries beyond congregations, citing lack of support by bishops and cabinets and underuse of their “gifts” for ministry, the survey found. And racial-ethnic clergywomen are ...

mHealth: Healthcare Reaching Remote Places with Mobile Phones and SMS

3/21/2014
techchange.org – the institute technology and social change                 (Mercy (pictured with Maeghan Ray Orton from Medic Mobile) at UMCom workshop in Malawi) Posted by TechChange alumnus, Neelley Hicks, ICT4D Director of United Methodist Communications. Mobile phones seem to be everywhere in Africa, and they’re keeping people in touch with health, education, banking, and community empowerment. “Email and Facebook are problems…but this text messaging – it’s no problem,” says ...

Register: New president ready to guide Simpson College into future

3/21/2014
                      Above: Simpson College Trustee and Board Chairwoman Sunnie Richer, Simpson College President Jay Simmons and Iowa Methodist Conference Bishop Julius C. Trimble at the inauguration of Jay Simmons, held Thursday, March 20 at Indianola First United Methodist Church. Photo credit: Michael Rolands/Indianola Record Herald Indianola, IA - March 20, 2014 By Paige Godden - Des Moines Register Faculty, staff, students, former presidents and alumni gathered at the ...

Chicago Area bishop to join immigration rally

3/20/2014
Sam Hodges - United Methodist News Service A third United Methodist bishop soon may be arrested in protest of the Obama administration’s deportation of immigrants. On Feb. 17, Bishops Minerva Carcaño and Julius Trimble, co-chairs of the denomination’s Interagency Task Force on Immigration, were among those police placed in custody during a protest in front of the White House. Bishop Sally Dyck, who leads the Northern Illinois Annual (regional) Conference, said she will join a March 27 rally ...

2014 IAMSCU Conference in Hiroshima

3/20/2014
May 24-28, 2014, IAMSCU will hold its tri-annual international conference in Hiroshima, Japan. With a  theme of Peace, Reconciliation and Human Rights, the conference will touch on broad themes of interest to an international audience with special attention to Hiroshima’s historic connection to peace as well as efforts for reconciliation in the Asian Pacific context. Hiroshima Jogakuin, a Methodist school with deep roots in Hiroshima and international peace education  has graciously agreed ...

Bishop Trimble calls Washington Immigration pray-in 'an important Christian witness'

3/20/2014
Click to listen to the interview with Bishop Trimble Calling the Washington Immigration Pray-in “a very powerful and very spiritual experience," Bishop Julius Calvin Trimble noted that everyone involved was “committed to a much more hospitable and inviting approach to the issues of immigration and the ways that we treat our neighbors.” For Bishop Trimble “it was an important Christian witness for the church and for the Bishops and for the lay persons from around the country and from across ...

Global Communications Organization Calls on Members to Learn about Technology as a Tool for Social and Economic Development

3/20/2014
United Methodist Communications Office of Public Information United Methodist Communications Releases Discussion Paper on Using Technology for Social Good NASHVILLE, TN – United Methodist Communications, the communications agency of The United Methodist Church, today called on members of the church to learn about how the increasing availability of low-cost communication technologies can be used as tools for community organization – strengthening global social and economic development. To ...

Iowa among 20 conferences with 100% general Church apportionment support

3/20/2014
The General Council on Finance and Administration of The United Methodist Church reports that twenty annual conferences paid 100% of general Church apportioned funds, Shared Services Department begins work throughout the connection span style="font-size:10.0pt;font-family: ">Nashville, TN – The board of directors of the General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA) met in Nashville, Tennessee February 20-21 for the first quarter meeting of 2014. GCFA reports that 20 annual conferences ...

"From Lent to Sent"

3/19/2014
                    By Pastor Richard Boatman - Oakwood United Methodist Church, Pleasant Hill There is no higher season for the Church than Lent and its climax into Holy Week and Easter Sunday. From the imposition of ashes until we declare, “Christ is Risen” is a time of remembering, repenting and reflecting. These forty days are an opportunity for going inwardly deeper. But in biblical practice, depth is followed by breadth. Maxims move from being internalized to being ...

Appeal granted in Schaefer defrocking case

3/19/2014
                By Heather Hahn - United Methodist News Service An appeals committee has agreed to hear the case of Frank Schaefer, who was defrocked as a United Methodist pastor after a church trial for officiating at the same-sex wedding of his son. “The appeal date has been set for June 20, and the parties have been so notified,” said Jen Ihlo, president of the Northeastern Jurisdiction Committee on Appeals. She also noted that a request has been made to reschedule the hearing, ...

Interfaith prayer vigil for peace and unity in South Sudan

3/19/2014
Join the Greater Des Moines Community March 22, at 7:30 p.m. for an interfaith prayer vigil for South Sudan.  The prayer vigil will be held at St. Ambrose Cathedral, 607 High St., Des Moines.  Attendees will have the opportunity to light a candle in remembrance of those who lost their lives in South Sudan. This event is sponsored by the United Sudanese and South Sudanese Communities Association (USASSCA) and the South Sudanese for Eradication of Tribalism (SSET).   

Wesley Acres presents: Conversations on the Politics of Jesus

3/19/2014
Four Lenten Wednesays - March 26, April 2, 9, 16; 2:12 p.m. - 3:12 p.m. Community Room - Wesley Acres, 3520 Grand Ave., Des Moines   March 26 -   Biblical reflection with Rev. Bill Steward                     Why was Jesus a threat to the political rulers of his time?  What were the political commitments that guided him? April 2 --      Conversation with Bonnie Campbell   The former Iowa Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate will reflect with us on the things that matter. April 9 --...

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