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The Council of Bishops commissioned the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits (GBPHB) and the General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA) to partner in providing conferences with a Financial Advisory Consulting Team—known as FACT. With the presence of Bishop Don Ott, FACT worked with the Iowa Conference in July through September 2012, under the leadership of Bishop Julius Trimble, Reverend Bob Burkhart, Reverend Karen Dungan, Reverend Brian Milford, Reverend Chuck Smith (retired Treasurer) and Treasurer Todd Weber.
The leaders of this conference are demonstrating true leadership as they proactively seek assistance before a situation develops, as their overall concern (and goal) is best described as “the long term relevance and viability of the Iowa Conference.”
From a list of 22 Iowa Conference members provided by Bishop Trimble and his leadership team, we were able to carry out 21 detailed interviews and an initial face-to-face meeting on July 26, 2012 at the Iowa Conference Center. During these discussions (which included a viewing of the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits and the General Council on Finance and Administration’s 2011 Financial Leadership Forum’s video “UMC Realities” to provide background and context, available at http://www.gbophb.org/flf2011/UMCRealitiesVideo.asp), Bishop Trimble and members of the Iowa Conference identified 14 critical “dilemmas.”