Bishop Laurie Haller's Retirement Celebration
Sunday, December 4, 2022 at 3:00 PM Central Standard Time

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Sunday, December 4, 3:00pm
First United Methodist Church
1001 Pleasant St., Des Moines, Iowa


United Methodists and ecumenical friends across Iowa are invited to celebrate the ministry of Iowa Bishop Laurie Haller as she prepares to retire at the end of 2022.  

Bishop Laurie was elected to the Episcopacy in the North Central Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church on July 14, 2016. Prior to her election as a Bishop and assignment to the Iowa Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, she served for many years as a United Methodist pastor in the Michigan area.  In several settings, she served alongside her husband, Rev. Gary Haller, also an ordained Elder in the United Methodist Church.  

During her tenure in Iowa, Bishop Laurie emphasized how each United Methodist is called to be a “Difference Maker” in their local churches and communities. Additionally, she assisted United Methodists in restructuring the Conference staff and districts and helping churches build cooperative relationships called circuit ministry. With the assistance of other Conference staff, she guided the churches of Iowa in navigating the health and safety challenges of the Covid pandemic and for a year also assumed Episcopal oversight for the United Methodist churches of the Dakotas.

Her December 4 retirement celebration will include a celebrative program in the First UMC sanctuary and a reception with light refreshments following the program in the lower-level Fellowship Hall.  Music, scripture, visuals, and spoken tributes will make up the program, as well as the presentation special missional gifts in Bishop Laurie’s honor.

Individuals and local churches can honor Bishop Laurie through two types of missional gifts: Local and Global. You or your church may choose to do one or both of these:  

  1. Local:  Because Bishop Laurie believes in the importance of being active physically (she is a marathon runner and avid cyclist), United Methodist churches across Iowa are encouraged to donate new children’s tennis shoes in her honor. Children outgrow shoes quickly and sometimes the pace of inflation means families are unable to keep their children in properly fitting shoes to help them stay active. Together, the churches of Iowa can make a difference for these families by donating one or more pairs of children’s tennis shoes as a farewell gift.  All shoes will be given to the United Methodist-related non-profit Bidwell Riverside Center for distribution. You may bring the shoes with you to the Retirement Celebration, or ship them directly to Bidwell Riverside Center, 1203 Hartford Ave., Des Moines, IA 50315. You can also give a donation online here and indicate it is honor of Bishop Laurie Haller.
  2. Global:  Over the years, Bishop Laurie has been an ardent supporter of United Methodist Africa University in Zimbabwe. As Africa University approaches their thirtieth year of providing quality education for students across the African continent, you or your congregation can support their work by making a gift to Africa University. To donate, click here.