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Abiding in Exile - Accept the Anxiety of Feeling In Suspense 10/15/2020

Abiding in Exile - Accept the Anxiety of Feeling In Suspense 10/15/2020

10/15/2020

by Eric Rucker October 15, 2020 Last week I found myself driving straight into oncoming traffic, having turned the wrong way down a one-way street. Don’t worry, I’m ok, just embarrassed. There is no geographical explanation for this error. I’ve driven that neighborhood on my way to work hundreds of times. But it’s like my auto-pilot function ...


Let us introduce you to Rust College

Let us introduce you to Rust College

10/15/2020

Rust College is the oldest of 11 HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) related to the United Methodist Church. The Iowa Annual Conference has had a special relationship of encouragement and support with Rust College for many years and would like to introduce or reintroduce the Iowa United Methodist family to why Rust is so unique.   ...


Faith and Democracy statement calling on all people of the UMC to support voter registration and encourage voting

Faith and Democracy statement calling on all people of the UMC to support voter registration and encourage voting

10/12/2020

For Immediate Release Monday, October 12, 2020   WASHINGTON, D.C. – United Methodist bishops based in the United States today issued a statement on Faith and Democracy, calling on the people of The United Methodist Church to support voter registration and encourage people to vote in the November 3 elections.   Council of Bishops President Bishop ...


An introduction to Abiding in Exile

An introduction to Abiding in Exile

10/9/2020

Introducing The Exile Project If you are feeling distant from the people and places you have loved, you aren’t alone. If you wonder when things will ever get back to something like “normal,” you’re in good company. If this year has taken you to one emotional extreme after another—with the pandemic, our nation’s racial reckoning, our Midwest ...


Abiding in Exile - The “Pandemic Era

Abiding in Exile - The “Pandemic Era" 10/8/2020

10/8/2020

by Rev. Lee Roorda Schott October 8, 2020 Read: Jeremiah 29.4-14 I had been referring to the pandemic like it wasn’t going to last long. I’d say, “We just have to persevere through this strange time of Coronavirus.” I’d close an e-mail with words like, “I hope you’re managing OK through this COVID-19 season.” I didn’t let myself think of all this ...


A Letter from Bishop Laurie about World Communion Sunday

A Letter from Bishop Laurie about World Communion Sunday

10/1/2020

Dear Friends, This coming Sunday, October 4, is World Communion Sunday. It has always been one of the most special days of the year for me. Sharing in the sacrament of holy communion with Christian believers around the world is a visible reminder that we all one human family in Christ Jesus and are called to make a difference wherever we are. ...


Iowa United Methodist Conference Re-Entry Update - October 2020

Iowa United Methodist Conference Re-Entry Update - October 2020

9/30/2020

The Crisis Operations Team provides this third iteration of the Conference Re-Entry Plan to deliver updated resources, guidance, and support for clergy and lay leadership of the Iowa Conference (IAUMC) during the COVID-19 pandemic. This tool provides best practices we have identified from webinars, interviews, and publications presented by CDC,[1]...


New Hope UMC thankful for pastor and congregation during pandemic

New Hope UMC thankful for pastor and congregation during pandemic

9/23/2020

Submitted by Nancy Monthei, Office Administrator of Des Moines New Hope United Methodist Church New Hope UMC in Des Moines didn’t let the pandemic slow down its outreach to the community or connection with its congregation. The church continued to monetarily support the Urbandale Food Pantry and the Johnston Partnership in its community. New Hope...


Derecho doesn't delay confirmation at Lovely Lane UMC

Derecho doesn't delay confirmation at Lovely Lane UMC

9/16/2020

This is the sixth in a series of Faith In Action reports on how churches, ministries, and people from the Iowa United Methodist Church are making a difference and changing lives following the derecho disaster in August 2020.  A typical year of confirmation turned upside down for Lovely Lane United Methodist Church in Cedar Rapids after quarantine ...


Answered prayers lead New Hartford UMC to create a

Answered prayers lead New Hartford UMC to create a "Viral" Bible school

9/9/2020

Submitted by Sandy Becker, New Hartford United Methodist Church Lay Leader and Christian Education Coordinator The New Hartford United Methodist Church is a typical rural small church in Iowa. In 2019, New Hartford's population dropped 5.4% from 2010, which has continued since the 1980s. Nevertheless, members of the New Hartford UMC are making ...


SYA Alumni release Youth Leaders Training

SYA Alumni release Youth Leaders Training

9/9/2020

A message from the Simpson Youth Academy Hello friends - As your communities embark upon uncharted territory, doing ministry with youth in the context of COVID-19, SYA wants to support you in your efforts. We are therefore pleased to share with you a FREE 30-MINUTE VIDEO recording of four of our gifted SYA alumni and staff reflecting upon faith ...


Monroe UM Church donates 1000 face masks

Monroe UM Church donates 1000 face masks

9/8/2020

Submitted by Van Dickens, Monroe United Methodist Church “We are a friendly, faithful, loving family dedicated to sharing God’s love with our neighbor.” The Nurture and Outreach Committee of the Monroe United Methodist Church began Operation Face Mask on April 13 with the goal of providing free face masks to the community. We began by offering ...


A note from Bishop Laurie Haller - September 2020

A note from Bishop Laurie Haller - September 2020

9/4/2020

Transcription: To the saints in Iowa, Grace and peace to you in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It is the beginning of September, and the summer season is coming to a close. My prayer is that you have found creative ways to renew and refresh your spirit in the midst of a world that is in a very different place this year, with a ...


Church Reentry Frequently Asked Questions

Church Reentry Frequently Asked Questions

9/4/2020

1. What about clergy with pre-existing conditions? Will we be required to go back to public ministry? Please have a conversation with your District Superintendent and your SPRC. We do not want any clergy or laity who are high risk to be made even more vulnerable. Laity who are comfortable returning to public worship can lead the service. Lay ...


With a little nudge from God, Monique Shore turns her children's message into a book

With a little nudge from God, Monique Shore turns her children's message into a book

9/4/2020

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Grinnell United Methodist Church's Lay Leader, Monique Shore, would share her children’s message in person to the youth during church. When it was her turn last May during their new online worship, she created a video and a children’s story that addresses the emotional struggles everyone is experiencing because of the ...


West Des Moines UMC rings the bell to remember lives lost to COVID-19

West Des Moines UMC rings the bell to remember lives lost to COVID-19

9/1/2020

On August 23, 2020, West Des Moines United Methodist Church rang its bell 1,030 times to remember Iowans who have died during the Coronavirus Pandemic. We pray for God to heal our broken world.   Read the Des Moines Register Iowa Columnist Courtney Crowder's coverage of the event. See a gallery of images on Flickr.


Back to School Partnerships

Back to School Partnerships

8/14/2020

Sharon Dentlinger, Superintendent of the Interstate 35 Community School District; Julie Robinson, Principal in the Iowa City Community School District; and Carl Turner, retired Superintendent of the Storm Lake Community School District were the featured presenters at the August 6, 2020, Good Idea Webinar on Back to School Partnerships.   Rev. Ron ...


The 2020 Mission Ingathering continues with alterations

The 2020 Mission Ingathering continues with alterations

8/14/2020

The Mission Ingathering Committee has determined that this year’s events will be held at all five traditional sites. However, Ingathering will look very different this year because of risks related to the COVID-19 virus.  As usual, each site will collect greatly needed kits and monetary donations from churches and individuals. All other ...


The storms of life

The storms of life

8/14/2020

By Kae Tritle, RN Well-being Coordinator   In the past few months and particularly this past week, we have been pounded by several storms; literally, emotionally, physically, relationally, and spiritually. Our lives and our emotions have been pummeled with several issues; mostly related to the impact of the COVID-19 virus including jobs, health, ...


Iowa City First UMC partners with local school to provide care packages

Iowa City First UMC partners with local school to provide care packages

8/9/2020

First UMC in Iowa City responded to the COVID-19 situation by forming a partnership with their neighborhood. Working with Horace Mann School Principal, Julie Robertson, the church provided rent assistance, food gift cards, and quarantine care packages to families in the neighborhood connected to the school.  “I spoke about this project in our ...


On the Go Masks is GCFA’s newest ministry partner

On the Go Masks is GCFA’s newest ministry partner

8/9/2020

Nashville, TN – The General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA) Connectional Relations Team is pleased to announce that On the Go Masks (OTG) has been vetted and approved as a ministry partner. The Connectional Relations Team researches and vets companies that can provide needed services to help local churches and other United Methodist ...


Silver Creek UMC is

Silver Creek UMC is "Chalk-Full" of positive vides during COVID-19

8/9/2020

In May 2020, responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, Silver Creek UMC near Galva, Iowa sought to bring a little joy into the lives of their community by encouraging youth to decorate their sidewalks by passing out the sidewalk chalk.  They were able to collect around $70 dollars and a couple of 24 packs of chalk. They delivered the chalk to homes in ...


A Pastoral Letter from Bishop Laurie - Caring for the Health and Well-Being of All

A Pastoral Letter from Bishop Laurie - Caring for the Health and Well-Being of All

8/5/2020

Dear Friends,    August is upon us, and for many here in Iowa it seems as if the summer is just beginning because our annual conference events are just concluding. For the first time in our history, the Iowa Annual Conference was conducted entirely online, and the Laity Session took place Sunday afternoon. To all those who led us through this ...


Caring Connections for July 22, 2020 — A Conversation with Rev. Ron Carlson

Caring Connections for July 22, 2020 — A Conversation with Rev. Ron Carlson

7/22/2020

Caring Connections with Bishop Laurie Haller - A Conversation with Ron Carlson from Iowa Annual Conference on Vimeo.  


Next two Good Idea Webinars: Hospitality Beyond the Screen and Back-to-School Partnerships

Next two Good Idea Webinars: Hospitality Beyond the Screen and Back-to-School Partnerships

7/20/2020

7/23/20 | 23 - Hospitality Beyond the Screen We know how to do hospitality in a normal season, but what does hospitality that links our online worship to our online worship? How will we include and welcome those many people we have reached in our online worship now that we are considering returning to in person worship? Join us for a Good Idea ...


Next Good Idea Webinar: Hospitality Beyond the Screen

Next Good Idea Webinar: Hospitality Beyond the Screen

7/9/2020

7/23/20 - Hospitality Beyond the Screen  We know how to do hospitality in a normal season, but what does hospitality that links our online worship to our online worship? How will we include and welcome those many people we have reached in our online worship now that we are considering returning to in-person worship? Join us for a Good Idea Webinar ...


Long-term plan for usage of the Conference Center building

Long-term plan for usage of the Conference Center building

7/4/2020

Due to the care and concern for the safety of our ministry partners, vendors, and staff, the Leadership Team of the Iowa Conference has developed a long-term plan for usage of the Conference Center building in Des Moines.  Beginning Monday, July 6, 2020, staff can receive visitors and group meetings may resume under the following guidelines:   ...


Global Ministries Missionary Larry Kies provides

Global Ministries Missionary Larry Kies provides "virtual visits" during summer 2020 itineration

7/2/2020

Larry Kies, a United Methodist missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries and an Iowa native who serves as technical advisor to the Africa University Farm in Zimbabwe, Africa and was scheduled to present at the Teaching Session at the Iowa Annual Conference in June 2020 and to visit supporting churches in Iowa during the summer of 2020....


Status and Reentry letter from the Iowa Annual Conference Crisis Operations Team

Status and Reentry letter from the Iowa Annual Conference Crisis Operations Team

7/1/2020

Greetings friends, and Peace in the name or our Lord Jesus Christ.   We of the Appointive Cabinet and the Crisis Response Team continue to hold you, the laity and clergy, of the Iowa Conference in our hearts and prayers during the COVID-19 pandemic. As you undoubtably know there has been an uptake in the number of cases here, in Iowa, and around ...


Don't miss the next two Good Idea Webinars: Staff Teams in the Covid-Age and Hospitality Beyond the Screen

Don't miss the next two Good Idea Webinars: Staff Teams in the Covid-Age and Hospitality Beyond the Screen

6/25/2020

7/9/20 - Staff Teams in the Covid-Age The pandemic has shaken even the steadiest, highest-performing teams.  How do you navigate staffing and social distancing, performance goals and evaluation, or even the personal stresses of illness, finances, and family?  Rev. Dr. Lanette Plambeck and Rev. Ryan Christenson will share their insights and advice, ...


Important Message from Bishop Laurie: To mask or not to mask, that is the question

Important Message from Bishop Laurie: To mask or not to mask, that is the question

6/23/2020

From Bishop Laurie to the Clergy and Laity of the Iowa Annual Conference: I want to thank you for your faithfulness over these last months as we have had to learn a new way of being the church as a result of COVID-19. We have now entered a new phase where we are considering re-entry plans for in-person worship in our local churches. One of the ...


Iowa Conference Center closed until July 5

Iowa Conference Center closed until July 5

6/23/2020

In light of the rapidly changing COVID-19 situation and the recommendations to limit our social interaction to prevent the spread of the virus, the Iowa Annual Conference Center will be closed until July 5, 2020.  Conference staff will be working remotely during that time.    Staff can be reached either by calling their direct extension or by ...


June 25 Good Idea Webinar is a Re-Entry Plan Revisit - Everything Other Than Indoor Worship

June 25 Good Idea Webinar is a Re-Entry Plan Revisit - Everything Other Than Indoor Worship

6/19/2020

The June 25 Good Idea Webinar is titled, Re-Entry Revisit: Everything Other Than Indoor Worship.  While our last re-entry webinar fielded mostly indoor worship questions, church life includes so much more. Bring your questions about service, small groups, leadership, discipleship, and outdoor worship for this season of navigating the “yellow phase...


The bells ring at Wilton UMC to mourn and remember COVID-19 victims

The bells ring at Wilton UMC to mourn and remember COVID-19 victims

6/17/2020

After three Sundays of online worship in March and watching the Iowa COVID-19 death toll continue to rise, Pastor Steve Braudt wanted to help his congregation and community face the size of this pandemic.    “In this situation, I wanted something physical to do in response,” he said. “Ringing the bell at noon seemed an ideal way to physically, ...


Update on Mabaan fundraising effort

Update on Mabaan fundraising effort

6/12/2020

Submitted by Beverly Nolte, Chair, Iowa Conference Mabaan Fund Raising Committee It was June 2016 when Central District Superintendent Dave Weesner asked me to help find housing to relocate a South Sudanese pastor to Des Moines. The family, Aaron Limmo and Helen Lieti, along with their family of four, were to be the new pastor of a fast-growing ...


June 11 Good Idea Webinar will be about the Circuit Ministry Model

June 11 Good Idea Webinar will be about the Circuit Ministry Model

6/5/2020

Do you have questions about circuit ministry? Have you heard about this new model the conference is moving toward but are unsure about what it means for you? If so please join us for our next Good Idea Webinar on June 11 at 2:00 PM.  Our guests will be Rev. Dr. Jaye Johnson, Director of Congregational Excellence for the Iowa Annual Conference and ...


Paycheck Protection Program to Help Sustain Ministries

Paycheck Protection Program to Help Sustain Ministries

6/5/2020

For quite some time, the United Methodist churches in Iowa have experienced the same trends found in most, if not all, mainline denominations: aging members, decreasing worship attendance, and declining revenue. In recent years, our Iowa churches have also felt the fallout from the natural disasters across our state, and now we are in the midst of ...


Next week the Good Idea Webinars move to Zoom

Next week the Good Idea Webinars move to Zoom

5/29/2020

Beginning next week, the Good Idea Webinars will be moving to Zoom. On Monday, June 1, the Unscripted Time of Encouragement and Support will have a special invitation for folks wanting to talk about caring for our health care workers. Join the conversation on Zoom (https://zoom.us/j/95263025913), or dial in at +1 301 715 8592 with meeting ID 952 ...


Letter from Bishop Laurie: Reentry Update and Resources

Letter from Bishop Laurie: Reentry Update and Resources

5/27/2020

Beloved of God,     I greet you in the precious name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ. In just a few short days we will be celebrating Pentecost Sunday. The Greek word pentecoste means "fiftieth day" and marks the time when the Holy Spirit came upon the apostles and others assembled in Jerusalem, marking the birth of the church. For many of...


Bishop:

Bishop: "Refrain from in-house worship through May 31"

5/22/2020

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ in the Iowa Annual Conference, As you may have heard, President Donald Trump announced this morning that he is designating all places of worship, including churches, synagogues, and mosques, as “essential,” saying he wants them to “open right now.” He said, “We want our churches and our places of faith and ...


Iowa Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church Crisis Response Re-Entry Plan

Iowa Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church Crisis Response Re-Entry Plan

5/22/2020

The Iowa Annual Conference Crisis Operations Team is providing this Re-Entry Plan for the Iowa Conference of The United Methodist Church. This plan is guided by John Wesley’s Three Simple Rules, which provides a message and methodology of how to approach our strategic and compassionate plan to care for our churches and communities through COVID-19....


Iowa United Methodist Camps announce summer ministry plans

Iowa United Methodist Camps announce summer ministry plans

5/22/2020

Registration for Backyard Camp can be found at www.iaumc.org/camps. The Summer of 2020 is just around the corner and with it comes opportunities to connect in different ways than ever before. Iowa United Methodist Camps are proud to announce “Backyard Camp”, a one-of-a-kind summer program offering from the combined staff at Wesley Woods and ...


Iowa Conference clergy converse on congregation reentry

Iowa Conference clergy converse on congregation reentry

5/21/2020

About 400 Iowa Conference clergypersons joined a Zoom meeting focused on reentry plans for Iowa United Methodist congregations addressing the concerns surrounding reentry into churches during and after the COVID-19 crisis.    “Have you ever heard the words, ‘We’ve never done this before,’?” asked Bishop Laurie Haller during her opening devotion. “...


Letter from Bishop Laurie and Cabinet regarding Iowa's Agriculture challenges

Letter from Bishop Laurie and Cabinet regarding Iowa's Agriculture challenges

5/19/2020

Greetings in the name of the Risen Christ!   Here in the great state of Iowa, we find ourselves in an unprecedented situation. COVID-19 and a challenging farm economy have combined to form an unparalleled convergence of grief, injury, and anxiety in our state, particularly in agriculture and agriculture-related communities.    The purpose of this ...


Is your church doing something creative as a response to the Covid-19 outbreak

Is your church doing something creative as a response to the Covid-19 outbreak

5/15/2020

Churches of all sizes from all parts of Iowa are coming up with unique ideas such as sidewalk chalk drawing, giving away quarantine care bags, making and giving away masks and so much more. We would like to hear your stories! If your church is doing something you are proud of and would like to share, or if you know a UMC that is, please email jaye...


May 19 All-Clergy Zoom Meeting to Discuss Re-entry Plans

May 19 All-Clergy Zoom Meeting to Discuss Re-entry Plans

5/15/2020

Dear Clergy Colleagues,   As you may be aware, Governor Kim Reynolds announced this morning that she is relaxing COVID-19 restrictions in all 99 counties in order to open the state and boost the economy. Effective Friday May 15, she will be lifting mandated closures on barber shops and salons. Also included in the relaxed restrictions are ...


Next webinar topics are: What’s Up With Camps, and Stewardship in a Covid-19 World

Next webinar topics are: What’s Up With Camps, and Stewardship in a Covid-19 World

5/15/2020

5/21/20: What’s Up With Camps?  @ 2 p.m. Bryan Johnson, Director of Camping and Christian Formation for the Iowa Annual Conference will be sharing what is going on with camps this summer. It was announced at the end of April there will be no onsite camping at Wesley Woods or Camp Okoboji this summer. Join us using this link https://tinyurl.com/IAUM...


Health-full Minute—being nutritionally smart

Health-full Minute—being nutritionally smart

5/11/2020

By: Kae Tritle, RN Wellness Coordinator As we continue to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, we have emotionally moved through various phases; denial, panic, crisis, and now a sense of long-term coping. We are beginning to realize that this situation is going to continue for a while. The word “marathon” is being used for the next phase of the ...


Colfax UMC asked to 'up the ante' to help community

Colfax UMC asked to 'up the ante' to help community

5/8/2020

12 families, including 19 children, aren't going hungry over the weekend because of the generosity of the people of the Colfax United Methodist Church and other congregations in the community.   “We just knew there was a need and we’ll take care of that need for as long as it needs to be,” said Rev. Terry Pollard of the Colfax United Methodist ...


Denominational Leaders remain united urging Iowa congregations to refrain from in-person gatherings  despite visit to Iowa from Vice President on Friday

Denominational Leaders remain united urging Iowa congregations to refrain from in-person gatherings despite visit to Iowa from Vice President on Friday

5/7/2020

PRESS RELEASE For Immediate Release May 7, 2020 Denominational Leaders remain united urging Iowa congregations to refrain from in-person gatherings despite visit to Iowa from Vice President on Friday   On April 28, twenty-one denominational leaders from ten denominations from across Iowa issued a joint statement regarding Governor Kim Reynolds' ...


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