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Laity : Dubuque, Grand View
I believe in the power of the Church. I was raised in the faith at Tipton UMC, served as a choir director at Janesville UMC, proudly graduated University of Dubuque Seminary, and currently work as Creative Director at Grand View UMC, Dubuque. I believe in the power of the Church because I have seen it active, moving, and changing lives.
As a young adult in our conference, I have participated in years of Annual Conference, served on a conference committee, and have been active in local churches and district gatherings. All good things, but nothing compared to the hope seen in the local church. The local church - your local church - is where people are encouraged, challenged, helped, greeted, and most of all - introduced to the life-changing, convicting and redeeming power of Jesus Christ. It is through that kind of church that Jesus can transform the world.
I believe that in our fighting we have shown the world a poor witness of what the Church can do. Though I believe in the power of Church, the current system of being United Methodist is not working. If I have the privilege of representing Iowa United Methodists in 2020, I would stand for two separate, distinct, and promising expressions of Methodism, where both can return to the nature and mission of Church. Let us no longer be a poor witness to the power of the Church, and instead provide two unique opportunities to share the Gospel of Jesus with a hurting world.
Kimberly (Kim) Andeway
Laity : Central United Methodist Church- Oskaloosa
I was raised in the United Methodist Church and have been blessed to be a member of the Central United Methodist Church in Oskaloosa for almost 40 years. I have been active in the life of the church by serving on various committees, coordinating youth mission trips and leading youth group. My husband and I are also Confirmation teachers and have been doing so for the last ten years.
It has become clear through teaching Confirmation classes that the church has become less relevant in the lives of our youth and that while the students still profess their faith and confirm their membership, many do not maintain active involvement in the church long-term. In order to ensure we are a thriving church for our future, we are obligated to examine why this is happening and work to remedy it.
I have always been led by the simple Wesleyan ideology of “the gospel of Christ knows of no religion, but social; no holiness but social holiness”. Following college, I worked as a social worker for approximately 20 years, primarily with children and families in need. I have intimate experience with institutional systems outside of the church which are initially created to help and protect people but can often lead to additional victimization. This is not unlike the systems within our Church. While our processes and procedures often work to unite us, they are also currently harming and destroying relationships with God and the Church. I believe some of Wesleyan theology was intended to be so simple. “Do all the good you can. By all the means you can.” We must ensure our church affirms the sacred worth of all of God’s children and celebrates the full participation of LGTB+ people in the life of our Church. Our Church is hurting. Our Church is hurting our own members. This surely is not God’s desire. When we have people leaving the Church because of the harm the Book of Discipline creates, a rulebook that we have created, we have a responsibility to reevaluate if we are truly a church of God’s people. I believe this can and must be done in a loving and humble manner. I do not take the honor of being an UMC Delegate lightly and spent a great deal of time in prayer to discern if this is part of God’s plan for me. I believe it is and intend to offer my perspective in a loving, graceful and humble manner. Thank you for your consideration.
James (Jim) Baty
Laity : United Methodist Church of Mount Vernon, IA
I have been a leader in this congregation since moving to town in 2001. My present role as chair of Church Council has brought me deeply into the health and wellness of a congregation that has long been positioned as reconciling, accepting and encouraging of all persons, believing in their sacred worth and acknowledging their perfect creation. The issue faced in the four years preceding #GC2019 was one of great stress to the UMC but one of even greater stress to the congregations across the church. Church members and congregations as a whole are largely left out of the conversation and have a general sense of ineffectiveness. This has resulted in great anguish realizing the only option to impact the future of their faith journeys and beliefs is to painfully choose whether to take leave of the church or to hope to endure. At a time when there is strong evidence of increasing and advancing personal journeys of faith throughout society, the church seemingly stands prepared to set boundaries and stronger rules. At a time when God is breaking chains of oppression and subversion, passionately impacting individual hearts, the church wages a battle on how to define, how to confine and how to inflict. My experience is in leading worship, small groups, youth, adults, Biblical studies and devotional conversations with the goal of iron sharpening iron and constantly leaning into Christ for wisdom, compassion and truth.
Laity : Center Point United Methodist Church
My name is Laine Boesenberg and I have been a member of Center Point UMC for 15 plus years where I am actively involved in small groups, ministries, and I am the chairperson for our SPRC. My husband, Ben, and I are the parents of two young boys who are full of life! I love to run and to garden, I love my family, and I love the Church. Through my love for His Church, I have discerned a call to be a 2020 Conference delegate.
As I witness the ongoing controversy over the human sexuality issue, I am convinced that we cannot compromise truth for the sake of unity. I believe we are all
made in the image of God, and as such, all are of sacred worth to the Lord, yet all have sinned and fallen short. We need the atoning blood of Jesus Christ and the transformation He offers to all of us. My prayer is that we can once again focus on transforming the world through the love of Jesus and as Christians we will strive "to be in the world, but not of the world."
Laity : Grace UMC, DM
Historically, the UMC (and its predecessors) has powerfully spread the Gospel on new frontiers and in established communities. It went where others didn’t and preached both personal and social holiness. It raised up reformers, inspired charity and led many into public service determined to build a better world. It’s a proud heritage that shaped history! I was a beneficiary of that heritage growing up in North Dakota where my family belonged to a church that honored great preaching, loved kids and sent us to camp. My first emotional encounter with Jesus was at Wesley Acres Camp after 8th grade. I went home a changed person, knowing that following Jesus meant living my life generously for others. There was no going back! My faith was further formed in our big tent denomination, being exposed to both liberal and conservative saints.
I am committed to the UMC being a continuing influence for good, leading individuals to a loving God and sending people into the world, inspired by faith, to be a force for good in every place. At several times in our history we have struggled with inclusiveness (racial, women) and ultimately made the right decision. Now we struggle with being fully inclusive of LGBTQ persons. I am committed to help us come again to the right decision and be fully inclusive including ordination and marriage. God created and loves everyone completely and equally; how can we do less?
I will also support greater autonomy for American Methodism, while still embracing the global Wesleyan family.
My experience in both the church and secular worlds prepares me to contribute to reaching difficult and loving solutions in a respectful way: In my local churches, I’ve done most everything and now love facilitating the New Member Classes. I’m the Conference Lay Leader, Kaizen Leadership Team facilitator and have previously served in many ways including Imagine No Malaria, CCOM chair and as first alternate to GC2016. In the General Church, I’m honored to be a member of the General Board of Church and Society serving several leadership roles. Outside the church, I was a nine-year member of the Des Moines School Board, President of both the Iowa PTA and Iowa Association of School Boards and now serve on the Boards of Rust College and the Area Education Agency.
I will energetically bring both “head and heart” to GC2020.
Lynn (Lynn) Calvert
Laity : St. Mark's, Iowa City
I am a life-long United Methodist and have served in numerous ways in my local church. I am currently Dean of School for Lay Ministry, Cornell site and have served in this way since 2011. I am also currently Iowa Conference United Methodist Women President after having served at the local and district levels. I have also served on the Conference Budget Team and am currently on the Conference Kaizen Leadership Team. Recently, I served on one of the Board of Ordained Ministry exam teams. I have also facilitated 20 workshops on The Faith Communities Response to Domestic Violence, reaching hundreds of people. I have also been on three district leadership teams. These positions have enabled me to meet and work with many clergy and laity with different understandings of our current position.
I believe we should minister to all and allow all to minister. I believe we all read the same scripture and hear different words. I strive to be a faithful follower of Jesus Christ.
Laity : First United Methodist Church of Marion
I grew up ELCA Lutheran and in my high school years experienced a period of conflict within that denomination like what the United Methodist church is facing now. I felt like church leadership was not forthright about the issues facing the church and the politics involved. As a lay leader in the United Methodist church, I want to be a part of a transparent conversation that doesn’t withhold information from their congregations.
I desire to see the United Methodist church hold to a distinct, transformational identity within a changing, post-Christian culture. I believe that the gospel of Jesus Christ calls us to place Him at the center of our identity and conform ourselves to Him, rather than conforming His words to our liking. I think that need to do a better job of being the people of God rather than squabbling and jockeying over political position. I long for the United Methodist church to embrace the movement of the Holy Spirit rather than cling to vestiges of a failing and fractured institution. I want my family to be led by leaders who submit to Christ’s authority above their own preferences. I want to see our church embody reconciliation, redemption, justice, and beauty in our time and if elected will seek to lead toward this vision.
Local involvement: Director of Worship and Technology, Preacher, Director of Local Mission
Conference/District involvement: Annual Conference worship leader, Conference Licensing School staff, School for Practical Ministry worship leader, Summer Games University board member.
Laity : Des Moines, Marquisville United Methodist Church
I was baptized, raised and confirmed (in 1968) in the United Methodist Church. As Bishop Haller recently said, “The Laity is at the heart of the United Methodist Church”. Part of the way to be the heart is to serve.
As a member of Marquisville UMC in Des Moines, I am very active. I became a Certified Lay Servant in 2016. I serve as Liturgist, fill the Pulpit when called upon, and the Treasurer. I am currently attending School for Lay Ministry and am scheduled to graduate in 2020. It has helped me be more comfortable serving.
In regards to serving on the District or Conference level, my only area of service is as an equalization member for the Central District.
I am part of the Walk to Emmaus, Chrysalis communities and have not only served on the weekends but on the Board for both. I am also a martial artist and serve as Treasurer for the State Taekwondo Association, tournament volunteer, judge, and referee from coast to coast.
In regards to the major issue affecting the church, I believe that we are called to love one another and aren’t to be the judge and jury. Each person will need to stand before God and respond to how we have lived our lives. I am unaware of the other issues and concerns which will be brought up at General Conference at this time.
Laity : First United Methodist Church of Marion
The United Methodist Church is my home. I was baptized and confirmed in the United Methodist Church. Growing up at the Shueyville United Methodist Church I had great leaders and a Pastor who shaped me into the disciple I am today. As a youth I tried to volunteer for all I could at church. If the church’s doors were open, you most likely saw me there throughout my middle and high school years.
While at Shueyville, I was sent through Chrysalis. I was given many opportunities to serve in leadership roles at Chrysalis and also served as the Community Lay Director for 3 years. My time at Shueyville helped shape me to be the leader that God has called me to. Since my graduation from the University of Iowa I have been working in youth ministry.
I am a millennial who loves Jesus, fiercely. I want to represent that in all that I do and all who I am. I often say to my students, "You may be the only Jesus someone ever sees." I strive to live out the great commission that Jesus left us with, to make disciples for the transformation of the world.
I want to help grow this church into a new future, a future of active disciples. The United Methodist Church is changing in my generation of people, and I have many more decades left in this church. I want to see this church actively running toward the goal that God has set before us.
Laity : Indianola First United Methodist Church, Indianola IA
I have been a member of Indianola First United Methodist Church for more than twenty years. During these years I have been blessed by a welcoming community, United Methodist Women circles, pastors/mentors/teachers/facilitators and friends that have helped me and my family in our journey to learn and grow as disciples of Jesus Christ.
This journey has inspired me to serve in the local church, the district, conference and jurisdiction in different leadership roles. Through these service opportunities and by engaging in local and global mission opportunities I have continuously learned to live in deep appreciation for the similarities and differences amongst brothers and sisters with different backgrounds and that have experienced different faith journeys from mine.
Through the School of Lay Ministry I gained understanding about our United Methodist traditions, doctrine, policies and structure; and also deepen my relationship with God and grow as a disciple of Jesus Christ.
I believe our church and connectional system are uniquely equipped to serve the needs of our communities and transform the world by living our faith and serving others in loving and respectful ways.
I ask for your support and vote to be a delegate to General Conference.
Laity : Ankeny First United Methodist Church
I am Lindsay Drake, a young adult lay delegate from the Central District. I serve as the Director of Adult Discipleship at Collegiate UMC and Wesley Foundation in Ames, where I have the privilege to be a part of a community of faith that is committed to the full inclusion of all people.
While my love runs deep for the local church, I also see the valuable potential in the connectional nature of this denomination. This very conference nurtured me as a youth and led me to a life committed to the work of the church and a life seeking justice for all of God’s creation. I believe deeply in the need for an inclusive United Methodist Church in our world.
I have served:
*as a reserve delegate to General Conference in 2016 and 2019
*as a jurisdictional delegate in 2016
*various conference leadership roles, including the chairperson for the Board of Discipleship, a member of the SLI and L3 Communities of Faith team, School for Lay Ministry Commission member and currently the vice chairperson for Conference Connectional Ministries Council
*as a member of the Board of Directors for the United Methodist Publishing House.
I grieve the decisions made at the 2019 Special General Conference. This denomination must no longer stand on the premise of exclusion and injustice, especially towards our LGBTQIA+ siblings. General Conference 2020 is our opportunity to move towards a kin-dom full of God’s love and grace.
Robert (Bob) Fenstermann
Laity : 1st United Methodist Church, Red Oak, IA
I was baptized in the Methodist Church as a baby, attended Sunday School, MYF and church regularly all my life. I have been a member of 1stUnited Methodist Church, Red Oak for the past 29 years. During this time I have taken an active part by chairing SPRC, Finance and the ADBoard. I am presently Lay Leader for 1stUMC and have represented our church at Annual Conference several times. I attend weekly Bible study and sing in the church choir. For 8 years I led the Middle School age Youth Group. I went on the Walk to Emmaus in 2009 and have been an Asst Table Leader. My enlistment in the Marine Corps, part of which I was a Chaplain Assistant, taught me leadership skills that I use often.
The unpleasant activities that took place at the St. Louis General Conference are unacceptable and have to stop. If chosen to represent the Iowa Conference at Minneapolis I will abide by and support The Book of Discipline as it stands. I believe that a marriage is between a man and a woman. I Believe that God loves us all and he is leading us to make the correct decision. I believe that we, as Methodists, must decide that although we have differences we can come together in a civil manner and divide into two separate churches and follow the word of God, not follow the way of society.
I pray that we allow God to lead us.
Kay (Kay) Graber
Laity : United Methodist Church of Mount Vernon 1962
I have been a member of the UMC of Mt. Vernon Iowa since 1962. During that time I have been UMW President, director of VBS, chair twice of Administrative Council and Church Council, was chair at the time we adopted a Diversity/ nInclusivity statement in 1997, published in local paper and including homosexuals as well as people of color, etc. As chair of Peace and Justice ministry team, I led a five-year support of an undocumented immigrant paying all fees for his green card and am now the JFON Clinic Coordinator at Lovely Lane Methodist Church in Cedar Rapids. I have a gay son who is living with a partner. They are the two most loving people I have ever known. My son's students at the Univ. of NC say they have never had a professor who cared so much about them. I am passionate about inclusion of gay and transgender persons as children of God with full rights to marriage and the pastorate. I have been a delegate at Annual Conference for the past 4 years.
Angela (Angela) Hansen-Abbas
Laity : Rippey UMC
As an active member of the UMC all of my life, my passion is in missions and spreading God's love to those around me. I have been active in youth ministry for 15 years and enjoy seeing their faces light up as they finally "get it." I have been the Central District Lay Leader for 4 years which allows me to serve on many Central District committees. I graduated from the Simpson School for Lay Ministry in 2015 and am a firm believer in what John Wesley taught. I am a facilitator for Health Church Initiative. I am on the Central District Operational Team and am excited about growing the concept of Loving, Learning, and Leading throughout the Conference as we find a way to continue serving each other in God's love. I have served in many positions in the local church - lay leader, worship leader, SPRC chair, youth leader, pianist, and many more. My belief is that God is Love and we are not to judge. My prayer is that we can find a way to move forward knowing that we are all children of God and our role here on earth is to spread his Kingdom to ALL.
Laity : Alburnett United Methodist Church
I love Jesus and strive to represent Him first and foremost. I heard a loud calling
from General Conference 2019 for young, passionate disciples of Jesus to stand firm in
the faith and lead our denomination forward.
My Methodist roots run generations deep and corn fields wide. Both sets of
grandparents ministered to small, farming communities within the Methodist
denomination – from Sunday school teacher to certified lay speaker. I am a
life-long member of Alburnett United Methodist Church where I was baptized,
began my friendship with Jesus, and later confirmed.
I am proud to serve alongside my husband, Andrew, who is a United Methodist
pastor. Currently, I am volunteering in our nursery where our one-and-a-half-year-old
and three-month-old, alongside other little ones, are continually teaching me love and
grace. I also clean both church buildings weekly.
I am passionate to represent the love Christ has personally shown me. I promise
to continually pray that, as a delegate, I will reflect Christ’s own heart and let the Spirit
lead my every vote. And with your vote, I would be honored to represent you at the
global gathering in 2020. Here I am. Send me!
Rebecca (Becky) Heeren
Laity : Christ United Methodist Church, Toledo, IA
Before becoming a United Methodist, I didn't fully appreciate the Connectional System. In the past 35+ years as a UMC member, I have witnessed amazing benefits of these partnerships. It is both humbling and empowering to be part of something bigger. As a delegate to General Conference in 2016 and 2019, I was honored to participate in the discussions and decisions of our global denomination.
Personal: Born and raised in Red Oak, Iowa
Married 39 years to Brent
Toledo, Iowa resident/community volunteer
Host parents -- International High School Exchange Program
Children: Amanda -- Seminary student, Iliff School of Theology
Alisha (Justin) Natvig -- Product Manager
Tyler -- Attorney, specializing in immigration law
Tessa -- Researcher, Iowa Public Policy Center, University of Iowa
Grandchildren: Stella and Oliver -- I have pictures if you want to see them!
Church: Sunday School Teacher
Chair, Missions Committee
Northeast District: Committee on Ministry, and Nominations
Conference: Board of Global Ministries
United Methodist Women:
Current: Conference Mission Coordinator for Spiritual Growth
Past: Dean, Mission u
Northeast District Vice President
Waterloo District Nominations
Education/Vocation: Iowa State University -- BS-Psychology/Family Services; MS-Counseling
Licensed Mental Health Counselor
25+ years in Community Mental Health
Currently: Staff Counselor, Grinnell College Student Health and Wellness
I am passionate about improving the lives of society's marginalized, especially people with mental illness.
My unique skill set (relationship-building, problem-solving, advocating) is a valuable asset as a Delegate to General/Jurisdictional Conference.
I appreciate your consideration and vote.
Laity : St. Mark's United Methodist Church, Iowa City
“In the Spirit’s lively scheming, there is always room to spare.” This line from the hymn “Come and Find the Quiet Center” always makes me smile. I have certainly seen the lively Spirit at work in my own life. Although my academic training is in pharmacy and pharmacology, my current vocation is Christian Education. I may be the only Christian Educator with a Ph.D. in Pharmacology!
For the last 14 years I have written curriculum for the United Methodist Publishing House. I have written for Deep Blue, Grow, and Live B.I.G. children’s curriculums and Bible Lessons for Youth. I have also written the Children’s Leader Guides for some of Cokesbury’s Advent and Lenten studies.
I was involved with the School for Lay Ministry from 2009-2018, co-teaching the Christian Education weekend at Simpson and Morningside Colleges. I enjoyed this experience as it offered me an opportunity to meet people from across the state.
At the local level I have served in many different leadership roles in my church and currently serve on the Board of Directors for the Wesley Center at the University of Iowa.
When I write curriculum, I emphasize God’s amazing, never-ending love for us. I want children (and adults) to know there is nothing that can change God’s love for God’s children. And we are ALL God’s children. As a life-long United Methodist, it is my dream to see the denomination truly live into the slogan, “Open hearts. Open minds. Open doors.”
Richard (Rick) Hofmeyer
Laity : First United Methodist Church of Fayette
My name is Rick Hofmeyer and I would be honored to represent you at the 2020 General Conference. I was baptized in the Methodist Church and confirmed in the United Methodist Church, so I am a life-long United Methodist. (In fact, my Great Uncle was an Illinois delegate to the Uniting Conference in 1968.) On the conference level, I am completing my second term on CF&A, doing my best to balance our desires with our financial reality. Four years ago, I was elected to be a lay delegate to the Jurisdictional Conference, making me an alternate to the General Conference. As such, I attended both the 2016 General Conference in Portland and the 2019 Special General Conference in St. Louis.
In the local church, I have held most offices through the years, and currently am financial secretary and a member of the SPRC. My church has 15-20 worshipers in the pews most Sundays, and is in a 2 point charge with another similar church 15 miles away. I have experienced the challenges and triumphs of small, rural churches for decades and will take that knowledge to the General Conference if I am elected.
In this polarized time, both in our nation and in our church, I will listen and prayerfully consider the views on both sides of each issue, and will vote as I believe small Iowa churches would vote. Thank you for your consideration.
Rachel (Rachel) Hollingsworth
Laity : Immanuel United Methodist- Des Moines
I have been United Methodist my entire life. As I grew up, the United Methodist Church fostered my call to ministry and helped form me into the person I am today. I have always been interested in justice, and I am called to lead social change. Part of social change is figuring out a way forward for all of us after the 2019 General Conference. I want to be a part of this process in the upcoming year and at General Conference 2020 as an ally with members of the LGBT+ community, and as someone that will serve as a pastor in the near future. My position going into General Conference 2020 is that we are to "make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world." Regardless of the future of the Church, and no matter what side people are on, we must remain committed and recommit ourselves to this mission. As we make decisions about the future of the United Methodist Church, I will think about this mission first and foremost.
My experiences interning at the Religious Life Community at Simpson College, interning at West Des Moines UMC, serving on the Iowa Commission on the Status and Role of Women, and the Central District Nomination's Committee, have all helped me articulate my passion for both the local church and our larger Christian community.
Alexe (Alee) Johnson
Laity : Osceola UMC
I have been actively fighting for social justice since a young age. When I was only 6 years old, I started a mission project at my church collecting shoes for school children in Mexico. More recently, I have been serving as a youth member of the Board of Church and Society, further fighting toward justice and I am active in Osceola United Methodist church in Osceola Iowa. I also had the opportunity to partake in the Simpson Youth Academy-- doing God's work, learning about theology, and learning about vocation. Now, I hope to fulfill God's purpose for me by advocating for those who need advocated for-- LGBTQIA people like me, people of color, women, youth, and all of God's children who are oppressed. We are tired of being voiceless. We are tired of being powerless. And with your help, I would like to prove that anyone can do anything. For, even a young, queer kid like me can do all things through Christ. That is, if you would just give me a chance.
Prudence (Prudy) Klinger
Laity : Waterloo First United Methodist Church, Waterloo, Iowa
Community mission, outreach, and service are my focus. As an active member of Waterloo First, my husband and I created (and still cook for) a community meal monthly in our church and work with the Church Row Community Meals to feed the neighborhood. As an engaged layperson, I am the lay leader and serve as the facilitator for the Northeast Iowa District Operational Team. I also serve on the SPRC, foundation board, the administrative council, and you'll find me singing in the church choir every Sunday.
I attended the St. Louis General Conference in February hoping to be present when the United Methodist church became fully inclusive and came home filled with the certainty that I have been called to represent folks like me and my home church who want our voice to be heard and for our church to thrive. I do not believe it is right or fair (or practical) to allow the Discipline to be contextually flexible to every place on earth except the U.S. and am committed to changing our church law.
Kathi (Kathi) Mitchell
Laity : Burr Oak UMC
As a graduate of the Simpson 2017 School for Lay Ministry, one of my classmates characterized me as a “social justice nut”. I proudly wear that moniker as I have dedicated my life to serving others in the spirit of Matthew 25 and John Wesley. I am a guardian to 3 unaccompanied Guatemalan children who sought refuge here from violence in their country. I represent the NE District on the Hispanic-Latino Ministries Board, co-coordinate the quarterly JFON Legal Clinic in Decorah, serve on the ecumenical Board of Path to Citizenship, Immigration Working Group of NEIPJC, and Decorah Area Faith Coalition. Over the years I have assisted families and children struggling with issues of child abuse and neglect, poverty, mental illness, behavioral challenges, substance abuse, domestic violence, disabilities, etc., serving families involved in Child Welfare, Juvenile Court, Children’s Mental Health Waiver, and now, in retirement, Crossroads Academy. Currently I have been serving on the Bishop’s Mental Health Task Force as a Site Coordinator setting up opportunities for congregations across the state to access Mental Health First Aid Training. I recently served a term as Conference UMW Social Action Coordinator. I co-coordinate hunger initiatives in the Decorah area – Decorah Community Meal, Community Thanksgiving, and Empty Bowl. Daily I pray for God’s guidance to make decisions that move me toward a closer relationship with Jesus that leads me to love, accept, and serve others with the gifts and talents God has bestowed upon me.
Laity : Mount Vernon United Methodist Church
I grew up in the United Methodist church in Swartz Creek, Michigan I moved to Iowa for work after college in 2012 and attended Saint Marks Methodist Church in Iowa City, and then later First United Methodist Church in Iowa City. I became an official member of the church in Indianola, Iowa in 2016 when I was 32 years old. I'm currently a member of the United Methodist church of Mount Vernon where I serve as a member of the finance committee. I have been a district representative to the Iowa Annual conference for the last 2 years, and am one of the local church representatives this year.
I'm a member of a life group at my church where we get to discuss life. I started a breakfast ministry at our church last year and have gotten an opportunity to meet many of the wonderful people in Mount Vernon. I've also spent some time with the Table to Table organization in Iowa City for a number of years.
I believe in taking the lessons from the bible and employing them into our lives. They are an instruction to our lives and am blessed every time I do this. I think we can all encourage others to be the best Christians we can be. I think one of the special things about the Methodist Church is that we are a global church. People before me spread the word to a global audience and welcomed them with equal footing inside the church. I look forward to the opportunity being able to meet Methodists from around the world and continuing in this great Methodist tradition.
Norma (Norma) Morrison
Laity : Muscatine Wesley UMC
As a lifelong United Methodist I offer the experience of membership in 10 churches in 4 states, in congregations of 75 to 1000. I have served in many capacities, from Lay Leader to Chairperson and member of many local, district, conference, and jurisdictional committees, from UMW activities to Certified Lay Speaker and your Conference Lay Leader for 8 years.
The UMC grew my faith through life-changing events including (UMW) School of Missions, Disciple Bible Study (4 years), Emmaus, Chrysalis, mission trips to Mexico and Cuba, School for Lay Ministry, and serving as a delegate to the World Methodist Council and 4 General Conferences. I offer additional perspective as a registered Potawatomi Indian and mission work in 4 Asian countries.
My heart grieves for the harm my beloved UMC is doing, both within the Church and in our witness to the world. We must become unified as disciples of Jesus Christ despite our differences and better minister to the spiritual and physical needs of all hurting, marginalized people everywhere. This may mean we bless each other by multiplying into 2 new denominations while staying connected through common boards and agencies. We must love our God more than The UMC.
I work diligently to be a bridge-builder and to set the example of being in right relationship with those of differing theologies to accomplish the mission of the Church. I am committed to study, prayer, and fasting for our United Methodist Church and discernment of the Holy Spirit to lead us.
Laity : Asbury UMC Bettendorf, IA
Over the course of my life, I have had an in and out relationship with God and the UMC. After working to genuinely understanding my walk with God I have been active in the church life of several different churches.
In the churches I have been in I have been active in the life of the youth and small groups ministries. I've helped run VBS programs, help run Sunday School programs, and start and lead small groups, including an active men’s group. During the leading of these programs, I felt a higher call on my life, one that lead me to start attending school for lay ministry. During this time, I continued to discern my relationship with God and felt a further call. I am currently attending Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. In addition to seminary, I’m the Youth and young adult director at Asbury UMC in Bettendorf, IA.
In my service in and out of the church, I have seen how the younger generations are impacted by what our current understandings are, and I have seen the hurt. I am a firm believer in that every person is created in the image of God. That image of God is in each of us, and each has the privilege and duty to extend that to all of the world. It is not our job to change the hearts of those we disagree with, but we are to work together so that God can make that change in all of us.
Sharon (Shari) Naughton
Laity : FUMC, Iowa City, IA
I have been a member of the Methodist church for
62 years and even as a child was active in the church. I attended youth fellowship, Methodist church
camp, sang in the choir and gave the youth sermon
on special Sundays. I attended Morningside College
Where I was a Religious Education and Music major.
I raised my two children in the Methodist Church where they were aldo active in the church youth programs at FUMC in Iowa City. When my son and his family told me they were changing churches for a more progressive one I was crushed but understood. I had to agree with them on our church discipline needing to become more accepting and tolerant discipline instead of a global discipline. That must be a priority. I am on the Board if Trustees at FUMC and am active in its ministries and want to see more acceptability in our discipline.
Calvin (Cal) Nicklay
Laity : Osage First UMC, Osage, Iowa
My name is Calvin Nicklay. I live in Osage with my wife Deborah. We have three grown daughters and three beautiful grandchildren.
I have been a member of the United Methodist Church for 30 years; the past 20 as a member of Osage 1st UMC. A pastor and her husband, in my home state of Minnesota, encouraged me through Disciple Bible Study, lay speaking classes and Walk to Emmaus.
In Osage, I have served on most local church committees, led worship, served as local lay leader and developed a passion for hospitality and outreach. I helped to establish an on-going, monthly, free summer picnic for the community. I currently lead a hospitality team in the local church. I began duties as lay leader of the Northeast District last July and as such am involved with several district committees and the Board of Laity.
I was grieved and left wondering, as so many others, following the 2019 special General Conference. I believe in the inclusion and full participation, in the United Methodist Church, of all people who would believe in Jesus Christ as their savior.
I am hopeful that conversations around the relationship between the United States and the Central Conference will yield more autonomy for the United States.
Cindy Gregorson of the Minnesota Conference reminded her constituents that the last time the General Conference was held in Minnesota, 1954, “delegates made the historic decision to approve full clergy rights for women. I really believe there could be another breakthrough here in Minneapolis in 2020.”
That is my prayer and I would like to be a part of that.
Rebecca (Becca) Nims
Laity : St. Paul's United Methodist Church
I have spent my whole life as apart of the United Methodist Church. I was baptized at St. Paul’s United Methodist in Cedar Rapids, confirmed at Grace United Methodist in Spencer and was mentored as a teen in late high school at Immanuel United Methodist in Des Moines. Our United Methodist denomination is what has shaped me in my formative years. Whether it be through attending United Methodist camps in the summer, attending and then assisting at Chrysalis, and being active in music and youth ministries in the local churches.
In 2014 I accepted my first role as a Youth Ministry Director at First United Methodist in Cedar Falls. During my time in Cedar Falls, I also served as a Co-Youth Coordinator for the North East District. I am currently working with the youth of St. Paul’s United Methodist in Cedar Rapids.
As I think of our denomination and our young people in our church today, I desire to create a place for all where they can be known and know the love of God.
Bobby Jo (Roberta) (Bobby Jo) Paige
Laity : Grundy Center United Methodist Church, Grundy Center
Hello! I am Bobby Jo (Roberta) Paige. I am a lifelong active United Methodist being the daughter, sister and niece of United Methodist pastors. I believe in the John Wesley’s balance of a strong faith in Jesus and being socially active locally, nationally and in our world. I believe in the love of Christ for all people and that we are to be Christ’s hands and feet here on earth. I am a lay speaker having graduated from School of Lay Ministry. I am active in UMW recently Dean of Mission u, chairperson for my local unit, and have been Northeast District Social Action. I am active on the Conference Church and Society Committee and MFSA. I am on Northeast District Committee on ordained Ministry. Locally I am the chairperson for our Mission Committee, starting and co-chair of our school’s backpack program from Northeast Iowa Foodbank. In 1997 I went on a VIM to Mexico and recently 2 mission trips to Haiti as an RN.
Laity : First UMC of Independence
I am currently a senior in high school and will be attending the University of Chicago next year to pursue political science and religious studies. I have grown up in the church, participating in many church events and helping to lead youth programs and VBS.
One of my first memories of engagement in the church was at the Iowa Annual Conference. My mom is a pastor and she brought my family to the Peace March, where pastors and laity from around the state called for peace and justice in our country and around the world. Since then, I have been an active member of the church and spent many summers at the UMC camps here in Iowa and on mission trips around the Midwest. Being involved in the church has fostered my passion for mission and service, a passion that has led me to politics and activism. However, as my faith has grown and strengthened, I have watched as the divisions in our church have widened.
As a young queer woman of color, I have felt the hurt many Methodists have experienced as our church has continued to deny LGBTQ people the ability to marry and be ordained. We as children of God and members of the UMC are called to love and accept everyone, to live out the creed of "Open Hearts. Open Minds. Open Doors," and as a delegate, I will remember and follow this creed, making sure that our church will follow our call to love our neighbors and each other.
Brian (Brian) Rohrig
Laity : Orient United Methodist, Orient, IA
I have served in the Orient United Methodist church all of my life having held almost every office and position in the church. I am starting my third year serving on the Conference Board of Pensions.
After 45 years of fighting the human sexuality battle with a similar result, it is time to allow the local church that cannot adopt the language of the Book of Discipline to leave the denomination in an orderly manner. The Traditional Plan began to articulate a method where the local church can leave with its property and money in an orderly fashion without wasting time and energy fighting in a court of law. I think we need to work as brothers and sisters to part ways with each other as friends in Jesus and to stop forcing each other to believe in a position they find unacceptable.
I encourage you to vote for a common sense candidate that can lead the Church through this time of separating as we move forward in our effort to bring others to Christ.
John (John) Rothlisberger
Laity : St. Timothys United Methodist Church
Life moves us in strange and wonderful ways, and if you pay attention to what God places before you and asks you to do, it becomes even more amazing, not necessarily easy. While serving as the Interim Superintendent of Schools in Postville, Iowa, I started on a journey of service I could never have anticipated. Working in Postville brought me to Iowa Justice for Our Neighbors (Iowa JFON), providing legal services to individuals living legally in the United States, but who are lacking the needed resources for our complicated legal system. I was asked to serve on the board of directors for Iowa JFON and eventually to a position on the board for National JFON, headquartered in Virginia. “Loving Our Neighbor as Ourselves” has taken on a new meaning for me and one that only God could have imagined.
I serve as a Dean of the School for Lay Ministry, on the Board of Directors for the Wesley Foundation at the University of Northern Iowa, DCOM for the Northeast District, and the North Central Jurisdiction Court of Appeals.
At the local level, I serve on the endowment board at St. Timothys UMC, and my training in the School for Lay Ministry has helped me to serve as a Certified Lay Speaker and assist with the Healthy Church Initiative.
My ultimate dream is to have God use me to help build an inclusive and truly welcoming United Methodist Church! How I might be used to that end, only God knows.
Dr. Jerry Rozeboom MD
Laity : Center Point UMC, Center Point, IA
My name is Jerry Rozeboom MD. As a practicing Christian Ob/Gyn physician for the past 32 years I have been profoundly blessed to be an active, involved member of the vibrant, growing and Biblically faithful Center Point United Methodist Church for 17 of those years. Our purpose statement as a church is "To Know Jesus and Make Him Known" and I have strived to be a faithful partner in that effort.
The sexuality controversy has now consumed the church for years thus greatly hampering the local and global mission of the UMC. It is imperative that our focus returns to developing a deeper relationship with Jesus thereby equipping us to "Make Him Known". To that end, the 2019 special general conference was convened to hear and implement the will of the global UMC community. The outcome of the special conference did not please everyone nor was it expected to. Nevertheless, it would be fruitless and deeply destructive for the church to continue to re-litigate these issues incessantly.
It is now the responsibility of the church leadership to implement the will of the people as commanded by the outcome of the special conference. If that is not feasible then we must find a way to graciously transition, in Christian love and respect, as separate and yet to be determined entities. The health, viability, and Biblically inspired mission of the UMC are in jeopardy and it would be my goal as a laity delegate to help facilitate this transition.
Darcy (Darcy) Rubenking
Laity : Clarinda, IA
I was raised United Methodist and attended the Lenox UMC throughout my childhood and adolescence. I attended United Methodist Church Camps and United Methodist Holy Spirit conferences. I gave my life to Christ at a retreat at Camp Aldersgate when I was a teenager.
I married Andy Rubenking and have been serving with him for 37 years. We served Fox River parish, Hamburg, Trinity/St. Mark’s/Carter Lake, Fontanelle/Highland, Corning and Clarinda UMC. I have taught Sunday school, sang in choir, served on committees, been UMW president, produced the Living Last Supper, have been Annual conference and General Conference delegate and supported my husband’s ministry.
Walk to Emmaus has renewed my spirit and helped me grow in grace and discipleship. Through participation in Walk to Emmaus as a team member, lay director and board member, I have witnessed changed lives through God’s grace and redeeming love.
I was a General Conference delegate at 2012, 2016 and the special 2019 General Conference. They have been challenging, frustrating, rewarding and enjoyable experiences. It is wonderful to see the global United Methodist Church in action.
I am again asking you to vote for me as your conference delegate to General Conference 2020. I long to see the United Methodist Church committed to lifting up Christ and His resurrection and committed to our Wesleyan roots. I want to see the United Methodist Church focus on its mission to make disciples and spread scriptural holiness throughout the world.
Craig (Craig) Scott
Laity : Chariton First United Methodist Church
It is with great humility I submit my name for consideration to represent the IAC at the 2020 General Conference. The awesome responsibility of this undertaking is one I am willing to undertake only after intense prayer and thought, as well as the support of my wife.
I have been a multi-year delegate having served at the 2012 and 2016 General Conferences as well as the 2019 Special General Conference. My committee work at General Conference was in the area of appropriations and finance. The highlight of my time was the opportunity to work with incredibly committed people focused on helping the church survive by knowing the simple truth of God's word.
First and foremost I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. I believe His word is truth and not subject to revision. The Bible is the word of God and is as relevant today as it has always been. I believe our culture should reflect the word of God as expressed in the Holy Bible NOT the Holy Bible changing to reflect the culture.
If elected I will do my best to represent the lay membership of the UMC. I have no financial ties to the IAC in that I am not a clergy member or a direct or indirect employee of the IAC. I am simply a member of a local congregation.
I appreciate any consideration I may be given and know the IAC delegates will select the most appropriate representation to the 2020 General Assembly.
Michael (Michael) Serface
Laity : First United Methodist Church, Iowa City, Iowa
Unlike many of my spiritual siblings, I was never made to attend church as a child. I dabbled with VBS and Sunday School in grade school. It wasn’t until high school that I made the conscious decision to follow the pathway to become a disciple of God. (To be honest, having a crush on a Pastor’s daughter fueled that decision greatly.) I was baptized at the age of sixteen, in the Clackamas
Erica Shannon Stueve
Laity : Indianola First UMC
Much like the diversity in this state, my faith journey has been molded by a myriad of experiences which give me a unique perspective for the challenge before our church:
Beverly (Bev Spencer) Spencer
Laity : West Branch UMC
Longtime active member of West Branch United Methodist Church. Local church service includes 54 years on various committees, including evangelism, administrative board, council on ministries, finance, single board, choir and United Methodist Women (Leadership at all levels including conference president and as a director of Women's Division) Many years as leader of local adult church school activities. Also served on district, jurisdictional and conference committees including episcopacy, boards of ministry, leadership development and nominations. Served as district lay leader and over 30 years as a Conflict Mediation Specialist for the Iowa conference and surrounding conferences. Elected/ served as delegate at five jurisdictional and three general conferences. Effective communication, including careful and sincere listening to varied perspectives on critical issues and spiritual guidance/discernment are important to me as the church confronts a multitude of issues and controversies. Focus on leadership development and support of ministry at all levels are important. I am driven by a focus on cooperative work within a framework of common ground and faith.
Laity : Collegiate United Methodist Church/Wesley Foundation
I grew up United Methodist, in college I chose to get involved with the Wesley Foundation at Collegiate United Methodist Church where I met some of my greatest mentors. Since graduating from Iowa State, most of my professional life has been working for the United Methodist Church, serving in various staff positions at Collegiate United Methodist Church/Wesley Foundation and now on staff for the Iowa Annual Conference. I am now serving my fifth year as the Director of Ministerial Services and this will be my first year as Journal Editor.
I use my Book of Discipline often, I believe that it provides a structure that makes our ministry more effective; however, it is not infallible and we need to amend the Discipline to better reflect the ideals of Jesus and John Wesley. The United Methodist Church has always been very social justice oriented. I believe that the we should be a community where all are welcome and may participate in all aspects of the church. I believe in change and that there still is and can be good in the United Methodist Church. There is more work that needs to be done with social justice, we need to be a positive force in the world, driving change for all who suffer from sickness, starvation and oppression. In addition, I believe that it is time for the church to seriously address environmental justice and be good stewards of the wonderful creation with which we have been entrusted.
Bruce (Bruce) Tillotson
Laity : Easton Place United Methodist Church Des Moines
I’m a sinner saved by grace.
I was born in Ottumwa, Iowa. We moved to Des Moines when I was eight. I met my wife Midge of 55 years at church. We have been members of Easton Place for over 60 years. We have two sons, two granddaughters and three great grandsons. I am chairman of the SPPRC, President of the Methodist Men, Sunday School Treasurer, Lay Leader and on three other committees. I have been teaching a bible study on Monday nights for over 30 years.
The Methodist denomination has faced many challenges in the past. The issue of homosexuality and the LGBTQ has divided the church. I’ve seen the passion on both sides of the issue. Both sides believe they are right. Jesus died on the cross for everyone.
We must have respect for each other. Allow the Holy Spirit to direct our path. In God’s eyes everyone is of sacred worth. All have sinned and come short of the Glory of God. When we trust in the Lord, it’s going to be wonderful to see how He works all of this out.
I was elected as an alternate to the General Conference in 2008 in Fort Worth, Texas. I’m asking you to consider me as a delegate to the 2020 General Conference in Minnesota.
Kae E. (Kae) Tritle
Laity : Iowa City First
I am a life-long United Methodist, a native Iowan, Diaconal Minister of Health and a Registered Nurse working in patient care at a hospital. I have served our conference as the Wellness Coordinator for the Board of Pensions since 1996. This includes the annual health screening for clergy as well as consulting with various groups and churches in the area of wellness and health-full living.
I believe that God is calling the UMC to a new form of ministry; one of inclusion and healing. In my health ministry work; I encounter many people fractured and broken by life’s circumstances. Our God is a God of hope and healing. It is my hope and prayer that the UMC can and will re-shape and re-form itself into a community that offers the Love of Christ to all. Christ has no hands, feet, or bodies but ours to use for work of ministry in the world. The UMC has accomplished great ministry in the past. Now is the time to re-shape ourselves for ministry in the present and future. People in today’s society need to know that God loves them. They need to know that Christians care without judging them. We need to let God work through us for the transformation of the world.
Other areas of service include: Member of IAC Bd of Pensions/Health Benefits 1991-current; Wellness Coordinator & Faculty for the Upper Room’s Spiritual Formation Academies #18, #23, & #28. Member of IAC General Conference delegation 2004, 2008, 2012; Memoirs Editor of the IAC Journal, 1993-2006, Lay Member of IAC 1995-current.
Laity : St. Paul’s United Methodist Church
I have been at St. Paul’s since I was baptized however I really wasn’t too active until seventh grade. Since then I grew up in the youth program, as soon as I graduated I went to basic training for the Iowa Army National Guard. When I got back from basic I started to get more and more active, I became a volunteer youth leader, I became the young adult representative for church council, this year I have started helping with confirmation and I am part of the logistics team for the CAT survey for St. Paul’s. On any given Sunday, I’ll be at church being the jokester that I am try to make people smile while wearing shorts because that’s a full time commitment and I can’t take any days off for that. I have had many experiences with the Church, ranging going to the Iowa annual conference with Strike Out Malaria, going to Texas on a mission trip with eight churches, to attending the Curious church conference last November, going to Puerto Rico earlier this year to help with hurricane Recovery, attending the Iowa annual conference as a young adult Representative for my district, to watching the youth that I help with grow into the great young adults and helping me transform with them along the way. I am neutral on many things and that goes for a lot of the challenges that lay ahead for the United Methodist Church, I see both sides and understand both sides. I have seen and felt the pain that both sides have felt, I have listened to both sides. I am neutral but I want to see our Church together again and united as one within the United Methodist Church.
Anne Marie (Anne Marie) Webb
Laity : Maple Grove UMC (West Des Moines)
I am a young adult, majoring in Religion at Simpson College. After graduation in December 2019, I plan to attend seminary and follow my call to pastoral ministry. I’ve been a member of the United Methodist Church since my confirmation in 2011. Throughout high school I served in leadership in children’s ministries at Ankeny First UMC and as a counselor and staff member at Wesley Woods Camp. In college I’ve had the opportunity to serve as a Worship and Interfaith Intern for Simpson’s Religious Life Community, a Worship Intern for Ankeny First UMC and a Worship Intern for Farmer’s Chapel UMC. I have also served as a Lay Delegate to Annual Conference for five years, which has given me a better perspective about church polity and has helped me learn to listen to and respect diverse opinions.
I would be honored to serve as General Conference Delegate. I believe that as a millennial I have a much-needed perspective to bring to the table in any discussion or decisions about the future of our denomination. I am deeply saddened by the decision of the 2019 General Conference to retain the wording in the Book of Discipline that excludes from full ministry the LGBTQ community. I believe that Jesus calls us to be open and inviting, and I want to see us become a church that welcomes all.
Laity : Ankeny First UMC, Ankeny, Iowa
I am the associate director of youth ministry for Ankeny First UMC. I have worked there since September of 2017. Prior to my employment I had worshipped there since 2011, becoming a member in 2012.
As a youth ministry staff person I am committed to encouraging the faith development in young people. I believe the way our denomination conducts itself today will dramatically change the way our youth will decide to act tomorrow. My counterpart and I are committed to making sure every student knows that God moves then and that there IS a place for them in the church.
I believe scripture does not condemn the ordination or marriage of LGBTQIA persons. I am inexperienced in matters of the annual conference and general conference, but I love God and I love my students and am therefore committed to learn and serve my district.