COVID-19 News

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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...


Iowa Conference Center closed until June 15

5/26/2020

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 June 15, 2020.  Conference staff will be working remotely during that time.    Staff can be reached either by calling their direct extension or by ...


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' ...


UPDATED: Denominational Leaders Unite: Congregations should refrain from in-person gatherings

UPDATED: Denominational Leaders Unite: Congregations should refrain from in-person gatherings

5/7/2020

May 7, 2020 Denominational Leaders Remain United:  Congregations should refrain from in-person gatherings   As church denominational leaders, representing more than 1.2 million Christians throughout the state of Iowa, we are grateful for the opportunity provided by the upcoming visit of Vice President Mike Pence to re-issue and recommit to our ...


Streamed Services: Staying socially connected during COVID-19

Streamed Services: Staying socially connected during COVID-19

5/1/2020

Updated Friday, May 1 The Iowa Conference Communications Office is assembling a list of ways you can continue socially engage in worship while practicing physical distancing. We will update this story with new resources as they become available. To submit a service time, please email courtney@iaumc.org with your church name, service time and a ...


Worship Service for use during three day renewal leave

Worship Service for use during three day renewal leave

4/30/2020

Dear Iowa United Methodist Clergy, Worship Leaders, Lay Leaders, and Staff, Bishop Laurie recently shared, “For the past five weeks, our clergy and laity have been working tirelessly to provide vital worship, pastoral care, and hope for our local churches in the Iowa Annual Conference. I also know that many of our clergy, church staff, and worship ...


2020 Summer Camp announcement

2020 Summer Camp announcement

4/29/2020

To supporters of the Iowa United Methodist Camping Ministry: The Iowa United Methodist Camping Ministry has adopted core values which guide our values, principles and decision making. Our first core value is to “ensure guests feel safe, secure and loved”. As a result, today we are announcing that due to ongoing concerns regarding the safety and ...


Bishop

Bishop "strongly recommends" no in-person worship before June 1

4/27/2020

Dear Friends, In light of the expectation that positive cases of COVID-19 will peak in Iowa in the next few weeks, I am strongly encouraging all United Methodist churches in Iowa to refrain from in-person worship until June 1, when I will reassess. I am going beyond the Governor’s recommendations despite my previously stated intention of following...


An important message from Bishop Laurie: Three-day renewal leave required for clergy, church staffs and worship teams

An important message from Bishop Laurie: Three-day renewal leave required for clergy, church staffs and worship teams

4/23/2020

For the past five weeks, our clergy and laity have been working tirelessly to provide vital worship, pastoral care, and hope for our local churches in the Iowa Annual Conference. I also know that many of our clergy, church staff, and worship teams are utterly exhausted in mind, body, and spirit. Therefore, I am requiring those teams to find three ...


Tentative General Conference dates publicized

Tentative General Conference dates publicized

4/21/2020

By Heather Hahn April 21, 2020 | UM News   After the pandemic-caused postponement, the new prospective dates for The United Methodist Church’s General Conference are Aug. 31-Sept. 10, 2021. The Council of Bishops disclosed the proposed dates, including a Council of Bishops meeting starting Aug. 26, in an email to its members and other church ...


Health-Full Moment

Health-Full Moment

4/20/2020

By Kae Tritle, RN Wellness Coordinator   The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have disrupted our usual life routines. While some people are essential workers for the hospitals, grocery/gas stores, police, fire and EMT departments, many of us are now social distancing, self-isolating, working, schooling, and shopping from home. A cartoon currently ...


Mabaan Flood Relief fundraiser put aside at the present time

Mabaan Flood Relief fundraiser put aside at the present time

4/20/2020

Bishop Haller and the Cabinet have agreed that the Mabaan Flood Relief fundraiser should be put aside at the present time. With the disruptions of normal activities, financial stress on our economy, and churches unable to meet during the COVID-19 period, many are not able to respond to this fundraiser.   The Mabaan speaking tribal group number in ...


Next Good Idea Webinars focus on small churches and youth ministry

Next Good Idea Webinars focus on small churches and youth ministry

4/17/2020

4/21/2020: Small Church Struggles & Solutions   Small Church Struggles & Solutions - Are you part of a small church? Have you felt like the resources and ideas offered to deal with Covid-19 are not possible for you? Do you have some ideas that have worked for your small church you would like to share with others? If so join us for a Good Idea ...


2020 Annual Conference Session to be Postponed and Held Electronically

2020 Annual Conference Session to be Postponed and Held Electronically

4/16/2020

The 2020 session of the Iowa Annual Conference will be postponed due to the current Coronavirus health crisis. Bishop Laurie Haller made the decision with the full support of the Cabinet and the Annual Conference Session Planning Committee.    Preparations are underway for a one-day electronic Annual Conference Legislative Session via the Zoom ...


Far-reaching permission to use United Methodist Publishing House resources for online worship during crisis

Far-reaching permission to use United Methodist Publishing House resources for online worship during crisis

4/15/2020

Nashville, April, 2020 – As we continue to receive requests for clarification about use of copyrighted resources online during the crisis, United Methodist Publishing House is emphasizing full permission for churches to use worship materials, especially during the COVID-19 crisis. The copyright page in the 1992 United Methodist Book of Worship ...


Midwest Mission send relief shipment to Jamaica

Midwest Mission send relief shipment to Jamaica

4/13/2020

By: Chantel Corrie, Executive Director, Midwest Mission Pawnee, IL (April 13, 2020) – Midwest Mission will be sending their fourth relief shipment to Jamaica on Tuesday, April 13 with their international partner, Food for the Poor. “The container will be valued over $150,000 and consist of medical items, cleaning supplies, hygiene supplies (towel, ...


In Easter message, Bishops urge Christians not to despair in midst of global pandemic

In Easter message, Bishops urge Christians not to despair in midst of global pandemic

4/10/2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. - President of the Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church Bishop Kenneth H.  Carter has urged Christians to rely on the power of Easter to overcome the forces of death, division, darkness, and despair in the amidst of the COVID-19 global pandemic.   In the Easter message to The United Methodist Church, Bishop Carter ...


Three Good Idea webinars next week: Ministry Ideas for Laity, God is With Us, and Fighting Isolation

Three Good Idea webinars next week: Ministry Ideas for Laity, God is With Us, and Fighting Isolation

4/10/2020

4/14/2020: Ministry Ideas for Laity Ministry Ideas for Laity - As United Methodists we believe in the priesthood of all believers. We believe that all people are called to ministry through baptism and not just our clergy. Wondering how lay people might be engaged in ministry given the Covid-19 outbreak? Want to know more about how you might make a ...


A Pastoral Letter to the Clergy of The Iowa Annual Conference

A Pastoral Letter to the Clergy of The Iowa Annual Conference

4/9/2020

Dear Clergy Colleagues, Grace and peace on this Maundy Thursday. Because of COVID-19, this day will be unlike any Maundy Thursday observance of which we have ever been a part. In the midst of the restrictions we must observe around gathering in groups, we will hear and respond to the Passion story in a different way.  We are not able to wash one ...


Wespath/GCFA guidance for local churches applying for PPP loans

Wespath/GCFA guidance for local churches applying for PPP loans

4/9/2020

Friends in Christ,   General Council of Finance and Administration and Wespath have assembled a detail guidance for local church applications to the CARES Act Payroll Protection Program. Some early applications from UM churches in Iowa have received a notice of the acceptance of their applications. A hopeful sign.  Blessings, Joni Mardesen, ...


A note from the Iowa Annual Conference Treasurer

A note from the Iowa Annual Conference Treasurer

4/8/2020

The Iowa Annual Conference (IAC) received $600,101 in total apportionments for the month of March from local churches; that is a total of $1,694,434 for the year 2020.  Based on past receipts as of March 31, we project to receive 63.7% of the total 2020 budget of $13,127,917.  That would be over $4.7M less than budgeted.   The IAC has taken a ...


Don't miss a good idea! Learn best practices from Iowa clergy and laity experts

Don't miss a good idea! Learn best practices from Iowa clergy and laity experts

4/8/2020

Good Idea webinars are a series of interactive presentations designed to address issues and concerns of pastors and laity during the COVID-19 crisis. Good Idea webinars are a joint effort of the Office of Congregational Excellence, Office of Clergy Leadership and Excellence, the Cabinet, and lay leaders of the Iowa Annual Conference of The United ...


All US Jurisdictional Conferences for 2020 are postponed

All US Jurisdictional Conferences for 2020 are postponed

4/7/2020

Dear NCJ Delegates and Alternates,   I trust you are all doing well and that you are safe and healthy.   After conversation with Bishop David Bard, President of the NCJ College of Bishops, I want to let you know that we received news that all US Jurisdictional Conferences for 2020 are postponed.     Once the dates for the General Conference are ...


Grace United Methodist Church comes together despite changing times

Grace United Methodist Church comes together despite changing times

4/7/2020

Grace UMC Sioux City, Iowa is keeping connections alive during changing times. "Course, those connections, I think will continue even once we get into whatever is next," said Reverend Jim Shirbroun. Read the story or watch the video on KTIV News


Grimes Storehouse steps up in crisis times

Grimes Storehouse steps up in crisis times

4/6/2020

A record number of people have been cared for this month by the Grimes Storehouse, said Pastor Ben Wedeking of Grimes United Methodist Church, and he expects that the need will continue to increase.    “We have had record numbers already and it has gone up every month, even before the crisis,” he said. “This month we served 74 families, which is a ...


‘The Resurrection is Still with Us’

‘The Resurrection is Still with Us’

4/3/2020

“We’ve got to acknowledge that this is Holy Week, and that it’s going to be different, but that we’re still going to go through it together.”  That’s how Rev. Nate Nims, Senior Pastor of Grace United Methodist Church in Des Moines  describes the sacred journey from Palm Sunday to Easter.    “It feels very different, very different,” Nims said, “...


Good Idea webinars for April 7 and April 9 focus on caring for our neighbors and best practices for funerals

Good Idea webinars for April 7 and April 9 focus on caring for our neighbors and best practices for funerals

4/3/2020

Caring for Our Neighbors Looking for ways to connect with your neighbors and be in ministry during this age of social distancing? Looking for some ideas how to show you care? Perhaps you have some ideas to share. If so, please join us for our Good Idea Webinar titled: Caring for Our Neighbors on Tuesday April 7, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. Our guests will be...


The CARES Act may save your church during COVID-19

The CARES Act may save your church during COVID-19

4/3/2020

From Discipleship Ministries Church Leaders, When Congress passed legislation to help ease the health and economic impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on our country, they also included $349 billion dollars to assist small businesses, including non-profits and churches. The “Phase Three” bill - the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security...


A Letter from Bishop Laurie regarding Drive-In-Worship guidelines

A Letter from Bishop Laurie regarding Drive-In-Worship guidelines

4/2/2020

Dear Friends,    I want you to know how very grateful I am for the way in which you have been providing creative, vital worship in your communities during this time when in-house corporate worship is prohibited. One way in which some of our congregations are serving their communities is through drive-in worship. Because of questions that have been ...


Cabinet letter to the churches of Iowa Annual Conference

Cabinet letter to the churches of Iowa Annual Conference

4/1/2020

Beloved Churches of the Iowa Annual Conference, You are loved, redeemed, called, and commissioned to live and spread the Good News of Jesus Christ, not despite the COVID-19, pandemic, but because of it!  Never has the witness of the Church been more needed than during this difficult time of social isolation.  Our Churches have been delivering ...


Payroll Protection letter to conference

Payroll Protection letter to conference

4/1/2020

Friends in Christ,   The Paycheck Protection Act that was recently passed by Congress has included non-profit organizations, such as churches.    We encourage you to look into this program and see how it best fits your local church. Please make sure your Finance Committee, Trustees, and Administrative Council (Church Council) review the program. ...


Holy Week message from Bishop Laurie

Holy Week message from Bishop Laurie

3/31/2020

God's Love Never Ends from Iowa Annual Conference on Vimeo.   Listen to the Bishop Laurie's message for Holy Week 2020 Grace to you and peace on this Palm Sunday. Lament is a common word that we are using in these days to describe our coronavirus world. Lament in the Bible has always been a deep expression of grief and sorrow for someone who has...


A letter to clergy from Bishop Laurie regarding Holy Communion and Palm Sunday Great Thanksgiving

A letter to clergy from Bishop Laurie regarding Holy Communion and Palm Sunday Great Thanksgiving

3/30/2020

To the Clergy of The Iowa Annual Conference,    These days marked by the pandemic of Covid-19 are confusing, scary and isolating. As I have been in prayer for our beloved Conference, I have been reflecting on Holy Communion and the way that we, as the body of Christ, experience that sacrament as a means of sustaining and saving grace. In this time ...


Emotional well being

Emotional well being

3/30/2020

By: Kae Tritle, RN, Iowa Annual Conference Wellness Coordinator We are living in the midst of an unprecedented health crisis that has elicited a variety of emotions. For the majority of us, our usual safe and comforting routines, places, and people have changed. Change usually triggers a grief response. Many of us are experiencing the following ...


‘Hope is Never Going to Be Canceled’

‘Hope is Never Going to Be Canceled’

3/20/2020

“Hope is never going to be canceled.”  That’s the clear message of Rev. Dr. Barrie Tritle, lead pastor of First United Methodist Church in Iowa City. Through its compassionate outreach in the midst of the COVID-19 health crisis and the online worship presence, the congregation is actively sharing that positive assurance    On March 17, he was ...


New video resource – Caring Connections with Bishop Laurie

New video resource – Caring Connections with Bishop Laurie

3/20/2020

Bishop Laurie and conference leaders are starting a short video series sharing how our connection is still strong even if we are not physically connected. It will begin on Wednesday at 2:00 pm. You can watch them on Facebook (@iowaumchuch) or follow us on Vimeo (@iowaannualconference) or bookmark this page that will have all Caring Connections ...


Chuck Knows Church: Things We Can Do

Chuck Knows Church: Things We Can Do

3/19/2020

Chuck Knows Church is back! He’s teaming up with #SeeAllThePeople to share a few simple ideas that your church can do to help your community during this time of crisis. During these uncertain times, we may feel isolated from one another and experiencing a sense of aloneness, but we can still provide community in Christ and fellowship in the ...


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