Program Descriptions

General Church Apportionments

 

Episcopal Fund supports the work of Bishops throughout the world.  The fund pays salaries, benefits, and office expenses.  It also covers the cost of travel for church leaders to promote temporal and spiritual interests of our denomination.

 

Ministerial Education Fund allocates 25% of its receipts to stay within the Annual Conference to be used for scholarships, continuing education and other programs developed by the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry.  75% of the receipts support the thirteen United Methodist seminaries and ministerial education programs made available through our denomination.

 

General Church Administration Fund finances the General Church activities such as the cost of General Conference, the Judicial Council of the church, and the office of administrative oversight and fiscal accountability.

 

North Central Jurisdictional Administration Fund supports the cost of the North Central Jurisdictional Conference which meets every four years.  This Conference elects and places Bishops for the denomination.

 

Interdenominational COOP Fund helps our denomination nurture the ministries of churches from pan-Methodist churches as well as other denominations that confess one holy, universal, and apostolic churches advocating for global peace and justice.

 

World Service Fund is the heart of our denomination’s world-wide presence, underwriting Christian mission and ministry around the world.  This fund strengthens our evangelism efforts, stimulates church growth, expands Bible studies, and enriches spiritual commitment.  Supporting this fund helps God’s children everywhere, shaping the lives of tomorrow’s leaders and proclaiming our Christian Faith.

 

Black College Fund was started in 1972 to provide consistent funding for eleven colleges whose roots are in the Freedman’s Society, which was established after the Civil War to help meet the educational needs of newly freed individuals.  These institutions make a quality education available to many who have experienced racial, economic, or academic barriers at other colleges.

 

Africa University Fund supports the only United Methodist, degree granting university on the continent of Africa and the first private university in Zimbabwe.  The University was initiated by vote of the 1988 General Conference.  The University promotes academic excellence and the physical and spiritual development of men and women from all over the continent of Africa.

Conference Ministries

 

Board of Ordained Ministries provides for the recruitment and credentialing of individuals who believe they have been called and have special gifts for ministry.  Through a process of interviewing and mentoring, the Board recommends individuals to become and ordained elder or deacon and to receive licensing as local pastors.  The Board provides educational opportunities for all clergy through loans, grants and continuing education programs.

 

Board of Pensions direct bills the health insurance and pension costs of active clergy to each local charge.  However, apportionments are collected to pay the Conference share of retired clergy Medicare Supplemental Insurance, to provide assistance for those congregations struggling to meet their benefit obligations, provides a wellness program for clergy and covers the cost of administering these plans.

 

Board of Trustees funds are used to provide support for the Conference Center located at 2301 Rittenhouse Street in Des Moines, property and casualty insurance for the Conference, and maintenance of properties owned by the Conference.

 

Commission on Equitable Compensation sets the minimum compensation for a full-time clergy and provides grants to local congregations who, for missional reasons, need a full-time pastor, but do not have the resources to pay the required salary.

 

District Funds support the salaries and benefits of the District Superintendents, the Field Outreach Ministers, and the District Administrative Assistants.  This fund also pays for the expense of District Offices as well as the travel and related expenses for the District Ministry Team.

 

Clergy Support Ministries are funds administered by the Administrative Cabinet of the Conference to support the work of the clergy.  These funds include the cost of moving clergy from one appointment to another, grants for clergy in transition, recruitment and appointment consultation for clergy, and in special circumstances grants for clergy or a congregation.

 

Episcopal Funds supports the salary and benefits for the staff in the Episcopal office which includes the Administrative Assistant to the Bishop and related secretaries as well as the Conference Office of Communications.  Other funds are used for the ministerial ethics committee, legal fees of the Conference, Task Force funding in addition to support of General and Jurisdictional delegates.

 

Pastoral Care and Counseling provides counseling services for clergy and their families.  This office also is a resource for clergy who may need feedback and assistance as they counsel with families within their charge and offers continuing education possibilities for clergy who wish to expand their knowledge and skills in the area of counseling.

 

Conference Administrative Committees support the work of the Annual Conference such as the Annual Conference Session held in Des Moines.  This includes committees such as the Rules of Order, Human Resources, the Conference Secretary, the Journal Publications, Nominations and other related program that are needed to home the Annual Conference Session each June.

 

Council on Finance and Administration funds the work of the office of the Conference Treasurer/Director of Administrative Services and for the audit of financial statements as well as other work required by The Book of Discipline.

 

Connectional Ministries Council funds the salaries, benefits, travel, and other related costs for the Assistant to the Bishop for Connectional Ministries, the Leadership Development Ministers, and other related staff.  This fund is also responsible for the cost of meetings and other administrative expenses for program boards and agencies of the Conference.

 

Cash Reserves Replenishment was established a number of years ago to make available a reserve fund equal to at least a minimum of 10% of the apportionments.  This fund can then be used to help pay expenses during months when receipts from apportionments are less than disbursements.  It also would be used in the case of a catastrophic event within the Annual Conference. 

 

 

Conference Missions

 

Board of Camps, Conference and Retreat Ministries apportioned funds subsidize the three United Methodist Church camps within Iowa.  Without these funds the camps would need to generate more income, probably by charging higher registration fees.

 

Board of Church and Society strives to inform every United Methodist about the contents of the United Methodist Social Principles and seeks to educate Iowans about the issues of peace and justice.

 

Board of Discipleship is responsible for five specific core areas: Christian Education, Evangelism, Spiritual Formation, Stewardship and Worship.  In addition, the Board provides support and resources to local churches and local church leaders through regional and conference-wide learning experiences.

 

Board of Global Ministries provides coordination, support and training for existing ministries; encourages new ministries, the expansion of Hispanic Communities within Iowa; and develops new congregations and revitalizes existing congregations.  Also, it gives support for the institutional ministries of the Conference which helps support programs for the “least of these”, develops the Rainbow Covenant Book for missional giving, education and support for Volunteers in Mission, and coordinates mission personnel within the Iowa Conference.

 

Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministries provides support to the Wesleyan Foundations located near the campuses of Iowa’s four major universities while giving support to the four Iowa United Methodist related colleges and initiating programs that are focused on student Christian development and formation.

 

Board of Laity gives direction and leadership for the laity in ministry through programs such as Lay Speaking Ministries, Laity Sunday observances, and Schools for Lay Ministry.  The Board becomes a channel of communication for sharing models of lay ministry, the Thanksgiving Ingathering, Heifer Project International, and other ministries for laity.

 

Commission on Archives and History ensures that the historically significant record of Conference, agencies, and local churches are collected and preserved for the future.  As a part of this, they provide for the permanent safekeeping of these historical records on the campus of Iowa Wesleyan University and support the work of the Conference Archivist.

 

Commission on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns works toward the unity of all Christians by encouraging our congregations to work closely with Churches Uniting in Christ and seeking a closer working relationship among member denominations.  The agency seeks to foster stronger interfaith communities with our neighbors of other religious traditions.

 

Commission on Ministries with Persons with Disabilities strives to heighten awareness of disability issues in the Iowa Annual Conference and in local United Methodist Churches.  The agency is a resource to District Church Location and Building committees and provides seed grants for funding for the improvement of accessibility to buildings and activities.

 

Commission on Religion and Race monitors, evaluates, advocates, empowers, and tries to enable the church in all levels to pursue and achieve racial inclusivity as a way of life.

 

Commission on the Status and Role of Women advocates for women so they may claim their rightful place within the church and in society.

 

Council on Age Level Ministries (Older Adult Council and Young Adult Council) encourages the church to include all ages in planning, implementation and participations, programs as well as sensitivity to the needs, interests, and abilities of all individuals and families.

 

Council on Youth Ministries provides opportunities for youth to hear and respond to God’s call by developing strong Christian leaders and helping local congregations develop strong youth ministries.

 

District Councils on Ministry provide local churches access to needed resources, provides training along with spiritual formation events for leaders of local churches and identifies potential areas of ministry growth within the district.

 

Matthew 25 Fund provides grants to mission and ministry programs within each district to assist local congregations in engaging directly in hands-on ministry which propels us as the body of Christ towards the Kingdom of God.