News


Proposed Circuit Model for churches unveiled at Vision 2032 Part II Sessions

Proposed Circuit Model for churches unveiled at Vision 2032 Part II Sessions

1/21/2020
"We encourage every local pastor, lay person and member to attend one of the conversations this weekend. What we are talking about will impact the church right now and in the very near future." After considering all suggestions from the first round of the Vision 2032 series last fall, the Bishop's Operational Team has proposed that a few changes be made to make the Iowa Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church a stronger conference beginning as early as this year. One of those changes ...

Updated information about Vision 2032 Meetings

Updated information about Vision 2032 Meetings

1/21/2020
The last weekend of Vision 2032 Part II meetings are happening January 25-26 in five different districts. Please make time to attend one of the sessions as some of the proposals we heard from you during Part I will take effect as early as 2020-2021. We need your input moving forward to better shape the future of the Iowa Conference. Please note: The Conference Office will be sending two separate teams Saturday, January 25. Below are the team leads for each event. East Central District - 10:00 am...

Dr. Mary Bellon to become Collegiate UMC Senior Pastor

Dr. Mary Bellon to become Collegiate UMC Senior Pastor

1/15/2020
Bishop Laurie Haller has announced that Rev. Dr. Mary Lautzenhiser Bellon will become the next Senior Pastor of Collegiate UMC in Ames. Her appointment becomes effective on July 1, 2020.   For the past nineteen years Dr. Bellon has been the Director of the Office of Pastoral Care (OPCC) and Counseling of the Iowa Annual Conference. In that role she has offered care to clergy, ministerial professionals, and their families. She has worked with congregations and has led workshops and study abroad ...

New responsibilities for CCMC staff member

New responsibilities for CCMC staff member

1/15/2020
Dear Friends, It is my pleasure to share with you that Felicia Coe is the new Associate Director and Project Coordinator for the Iowa Annual Conference Sessions and Iowa Conference Connectional Ministries Council (CCMC). Felicia has been with the Conference staff for eight years. Her new responsibilities expand upon her previous work by developing, coordinating, and executing the production plan for annual conference sessions in consultation with the Sessions Committee along with the production ...

Panel offers peek behind scenes of separation plan

Panel offers peek behind scenes of separation plan

1/14/2020
By Kathy L. Gilbert Jan. 10, 2020 | UM News It was love of The United Methodist Church that brought 16 — sometimes hostile — people to a point of agreement for a path forward for the worldwide church. Even though the agreement is to split, participants still talked about loving each other in a livestreamed discussion Jan. 13 to explain how the Protocol of Reconciliation & Grace Through Separation was formed. “We started with quite a bit of tension and, really, hostility in the room,” said ...

The passing of Bishop Michael Coyner

The passing of Bishop Michael Coyner

1/9/2020
For Immediate Release Wednesday, January 08, 2020   Bishop Michael Coyner dies Bishop Michael Coyner, former retired Bishop of Indiana Area, died today January 8, 2020.  Bishop Coyner had been diagnosed with esophageal cancer that had spread to his liver.  Mike Coyner is originally from Anderson, Indiana. He received his B.A. from Purdue University, his M. Div. from Duke Divinity School, and his Doctor of Ministry from Drew Theological School. He has also received honorary doctorates from ...

Church of the Resurrection offers conference on hospitality

Church of the Resurrection offers conference on hospitality

1/8/2020
The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection will host The Art of Hospitality Conference April 23 – 24, 2020. The conference takes place at Church of the Resurrection’s Leawood, KS Campus and focuses on the ministry of welcome and intentional hospitality. Participants will learn key principles and methods key to becoming an outwardly focused church, including: attracting visitors, effective follow-up and volunteer training. Featured Speakers, Executive Director Debi Nixon and Senior ...

Iowa United Methodist Camps inaugural giving campaign begins February 1, 2020

Iowa United Methodist Camps inaugural giving campaign begins February 1, 2020

1/8/2020
See the 2020 Camping Catalog United Methodist Camps are at an important time here in Iowa. They are envisioning a loss of funding through the Conference via apportionment funds. Although losing all of their funding through the church can be seen as an intimidating challenge, they find themselves excited about the possibilities this opens up for them. Starting in February of 2020, they will be holding their inaugural Campaign to raise funds to support Iowa United Methodist Camps! In order for ...

United Methodist Women in mission through advocacy!

United Methodist Women in mission through advocacy!

1/8/2020
United Methodist Women have been in mission for children, youth and women for over 150 years. Many individuals think of being in mission as building schools, feeding the homeless, or providing quality daycare in the United States or other nations. The very tangible things that can be felt and seen; a product at the end of the day. These are important mission projects but there is more to mission than just the tangible.   United Methodist Women understand that many times there are systemic ...

United Methodist Traditionalists, Centrists, Progressives & Bishops sign agreement aimed at separation

United Methodist Traditionalists, Centrists, Progressives & Bishops sign agreement aimed at separation

1/3/2020
Dear Sisters and Brothers in the Iowa Annual Conference, Grace and peace in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as this new year begins. I am writing to make you aware of the discernment of a “mediation team” that has been working for the past several months to bring a proposal to the delegates of the 2020 General Conference in Minneapolis. The mediation team is a diverse group of representatives from United Methodist advocacy groups with contrasting views and bishops from the US and ...

Clergy wellness incentive reminder

Clergy wellness incentive reminder

1/2/2020
From January through May 15, 2020, you have a second chance to complete the Wellness Incentives in order to add $500 to your Health Savings Account. A visit to your health care provider for a wellness visit OR you can self-enter a doctor visit regarding an on-going health condition. See the Wellmark wellness portal. Participating in the Virgin Pulse Healthmiles program by uploading your physical activity at least one times/month for three months. Swimming, yoga, and weight workouts count. Check...

North Central Jurisdiction Gathering

North Central Jurisdiction Gathering

1/2/2020
From:  Iowa UM Delegation 2020 website The North Central Jurisdiction’s Mission Council brought together General and Jurisdictional conference delegates to hear from various agencies and to talk together about where we as a jurisdiction moving into 2020. Iowa’s Ryan Russell is the chair for the Mission Council and Lanette Plambeck was part of the planning team for the gathering. She helped to organize and preached at the closing worship for the event, with other Iowans part of the communion ...

Rebuilding the Connection – Spring 2020 Orders & Fellowship Event

Rebuilding the Connection – Spring 2020 Orders & Fellowship Event

1/2/2020
Spring 2020 Order of Elders, Order of Deacons, Fellowship of Local Pastors and Associate Members Event Tuesday, March 24 at 10 a.m. through Wednesday, March 25th at 3 p.m. Ankeny, First UMC Christian Life Center (710 NE 36th Street, Ankeny, IA 50021) Registration fee is $45 and includes lunch on Tuesday and Wednesday. Childcare is available but must be requested by Tuesday, March 10th. Online Registration Printable Registration Whether the United Methodist Church ends up in one, four, or even ...

The birth of Jesus

The birth of Jesus

12/25/2019
Luke 2:1-20 (NIV) In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a...

A Christmas Message from Bishop Laurie

A Christmas Message from Bishop Laurie

12/24/2019
A Christmas Message from Bishop Laurie Haller from Iowa Annual Conference on Vimeo.  

Jesus comes to you tonight

Jesus comes to you tonight

12/24/2019
Scripture: After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for ...

An Offering to Eliminate School Meal Debt

An Offering to Eliminate School Meal Debt

12/23/2019
This year, the Collegiate United Methodist Church and Wesley Foundation are hoping to give hundreds of families in Ames a very special Christmas present with its Advent-Christmas offerings. “Our goal is to send every child within the Ames Community School District back to school after Christmas break without any meal debt,” says Jodi Smith-Risdal, Chair of the church’s Sending to Serve cluster. “When we started this campaign, that was right around $47,000, so this is a pretty big ask. It’s ...

Gratitude and Joy

Gratitude and Joy

12/23/2019
Scripture: Mary said, “With all my heart I glorify the Lord!    In the depths of who I am I rejoice in God my savior. He has looked with favor on the low status of his servant. Look! From now on, everyone will consider me highly favored      because the mighty one has done great things for me. Holy is his name. He shows mercy to everyone,     from one generation to the next,     who honors him as God. He has shown strength with his arm. He has scattered those with arrogant thoughts and proud ...

He names him Jesus

He names him Jesus

12/22/2019
Scripture: This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home ...

A Winter Solstice for the soul who grieves

A Winter Solstice for the soul who grieves

12/21/2019
Scripture: The one who comes from above is above all things. The one who is from the earth belongs to the earth and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all things.  He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony. Whoever accepts his testimony confirms that God is true.—John 3:31-33 Today marks the advent of the Winter Solstice.  It also marks the shortest day of the year.  The day during which we will witness the least light.  Even ...

One Starry Night guides families through Jesus' birth

One Starry Night guides families through Jesus' birth

12/21/2019
One Starry Night is a guided walk through the entire birth narrative of Jesus Christ. Grimes United Methodist Church has presented this Christmas journey for nine years, and for the last several more than 1000 guests have experienced the bold prediction, the birth of the Christ child, the harassment of the Roman Empire, the humble manger scene, the adoration of the Magi, and the angel choir.  Phil Bargfrede, the church's Director of Children's Ministry, said One Starry Night grew out of an idea ...

Abba, Father!

Abba, Father!

12/20/2019
Scripture: I’m saying that as long as the heirs are minors, they are no different from slaves, though they really are the owners of everything. However, they are placed under trustees and guardians until the date set by the parents. In the same way, when we were minors, we were also enslaved by this world’s system. But when the fulfillment of the time came, God sent his Son, born through a woman, and born under the Law. This was so he could redeem those under the Law so that we could be adopted....

Threshold Moment: A message from Doug Cue

Threshold Moment: A message from Doug Cue

12/20/2019
Sunday after Christmas: "Threshold Moment" - Doug Cue from Iowa Annual Conference on Vimeo.  

We are God's children through faith

We are God's children through faith

12/19/2019
Scripture: Before faith came, we were guarded under the Law, locked up until faith that was coming would be revealed, so that the Law became our custodian until Christ so that we might be made righteous by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a custodian. You are all God’s children through faith in Christ Jesus. All of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek; there is neither slave nor free; nor is there male and...

More Christ in Christmas: An Advent Message from Moody Colorado

More Christ in Christmas: An Advent Message from Moody Colorado

12/18/2019
Fourth Sunday of Advent: "More Christ in Christmas" - Moody Colorado from Iowa Annual Conference on Vimeo.  

Register for extended learning opportunities Jan 11 and March 14-15

Register for extended learning opportunities Jan 11 and March 14-15

12/18/2019
Class Descriptions What About Our Money? A Faith Response with Connie Dicks on ​Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020 - $75 ​ Lay Servant: Prayer with Colleen Petaros, SLM Graduate/Conference Director of Lay Servant Ministries and Steve Kahler, SLM Graduate/Certified Lay Speaker on Saturday and Sunday, March 14 – 15, 2020 - $100 Book needed: Shaping the Prayers of the People by Samuel Wells and Abigail Kocher This study offers many ideas and suggestions for both clergy and lay people who have the ...

The direction of hope

The direction of hope

12/18/2019
Scripture: Psalm 42; Zechariah 8:1-17; Matthew 8:14-17, 28-34 Do you all remember the jingle from the Doublemint Chewing Gum commercial? "Double your pleasure? Double your fun. Doublemint, Doublemint chewing gum!” Such is the place my mind went as I prepared for today’s devotion.  Matthew’s gospel lifts, "When he came to the other side, to the country of the Gadarenes, two demoniacs coming out of the tombs met him.” (Mt. 8:28)  Matthew’s gospel is characterized by “doublets”…meaning the ...

Advocacy Team announces 2020 day at the Iowa Capitol and updated priorities

Advocacy Team announces 2020 day at the Iowa Capitol and updated priorities

12/17/2019
Inspired by the words of Mary's Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55), the Advocacy Team met to plan the 2020 Advocacy Day, which will be held on January 30, 2020.     “It’s the annual opportunity for Iowa United Methodists to lobby the statehouse with a voice of faith caring for the poor and oppressed,” said team member Reverend Josh Steward.   Advocacy Day provides an opportunity to anyone wishing to help make a difference by having time set aside to meet with legislators and hear from Bishop Laurie ...

The river in Winter

The river in Winter

12/17/2019
Scripture: In a vision Ezekiel was transported to the En-eglaim river which flowed from the Throne of God and he witnessed life in all its abundance as the river streamed from that place.  —Ezekiel 47:6-12 Crystal Lake is a community in the high reach of the North Central District. Once this fall I drove through it on a beautiful day. There were weekenders settled by fires at the campground while hikers circled the lake. Then I noticed a sign which told me “this place is the headwaters of the ...

Creating new faith communities through Fresh Expressions

Creating new faith communities through Fresh Expressions

12/16/2019
“Because I didn’t grow up in the church, it’s always been important to me to go to those who are outside of the church,” says Rev. Bill Poland, Director of New Communities of Faith for the Iowa Conference. One of the newest ways he has found of doing that is through the worldwide movement Fresh Expressions of Church, or Fresh Expressions for short.  “It is a missionary-oriented movement that recognizes in today’s increasingly secular world that folks are less likely to make the entrance into the...

December 2019 Treasurer's notes

December 2019 Treasurer's notes

12/16/2019
IMPORTANT YEAR END INFORMATION FOR APPORTIONMENT AND MISSION GIVING The last day to have your 2019 apportionment and mission giving reported to 2019 is January 8, 2020. After this date, apportionment payments can still be applied to 2019 balances, but they will not show on your December 2019 statement. They would instead show on your January 2020 statement. Once we have everything recorded through January 8, we will send a notification that the preliminary statement is available on our website. ...

Task Force meets to plan 2020 Mission Ingathering

Task Force meets to plan 2020 Mission Ingathering

12/16/2019
It was another successful year for Mission Ingathering, having received $570,837.95 in monetary and in-kind gifts from the 40th Ingathering on Saturday, November 2, 2019.   The Mission Ingathering Task Force met today at the Conference Center to review last year’s ingathering and make changes for 2020.   “We talked a lot about the changes in the kits that we will be requesting churches make for 2020,” said Judy Brotherton, Ingathering Secretary and Mount Pleasant Site Coordinator.   The task ...

The dark night of the soul

The dark night of the soul

12/16/2019
Scripture: Just like a deer that craves streams of water,     my whole being[c] craves you, God. My whole being thirsts for God, for the living God.     When will I come and see God’s face?[d] My tears have been my food both day and night,     as people constantly questioned me,     “Where’s your God now?” But I remember these things as I bare my soul:     how I made my way to the mighty one’s abode,     to God’s own house,         with joyous shouts and thanksgiving songs—         a huge crowd ...

The gifts of God

The gifts of God

12/15/2019
Scripture:  and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,     for he has been mindful     of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed,     for the Mighty One has done great things for me—     holy is his name. His mercy extends to those who fear him,     from generation to generation. He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;     he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. He has brought down rulers from their thrones     but has lifted up...

Second-guessing cousin

Second-guessing cousin

12/14/2019
December 14th Advent Devotion Scripture: In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar—when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and Traconitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene—during the high-priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. As it is written in ...

A Christmas sign

A Christmas sign

12/13/2019
December 13th Advent Devotion Scripture: The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of graceand truth.—John 1:14 Years ago a sign was seen hanging in a store window during the Christmas season. It captures the heart-felt sentiments of many people even today. The original message stated, “Let’s make this the best Christmas ever.” And who among us has not thought the same thing at one time or ...

Great Expectation: An Advent message from Harlan Gillespie

Great Expectation: An Advent message from Harlan Gillespie

12/12/2019
Third Sunday of Advent: "Great Expectation" - Harlan Gillespie from Iowa Annual Conference on Vimeo.  

Love the person front of you

Love the person front of you

12/12/2019
December 12th Advent Devotion Scripture: Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles. Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ...

Let the Light of Peace illuminate your Advent and Christmas

Let the Light of Peace illuminate your Advent and Christmas

12/11/2019
From Iowa Religious Media Services The Peace Light of Bethlehem began its annual journey this year in late November when a child traveled from Austria to the Grotto of the Nativity in Bethlehem to "fetch the Light" that has been burning there for over a thousand years.  The flame was then transported to Vienna, Austria. From there the flame was shared throughout Europe by Boy and Girl Scouts who carried it to their home countries to share a message of peace during this Advent and Christmas ...

Purposeful, meaningful, truthful words

Purposeful, meaningful, truthful words

12/11/2019
December 11th Advent Devotion Scripture: Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for ...

Even the worm turns

Even the worm turns

12/10/2019
December 10th Advent Devotion Scripture: Though you are a lowly worm, O Jacob, don’t be afraid, people of Israel, for I will help you. I am the LORD, your Redeemer. I am the Holy One of Israel. —Is. 41:14 Worms have been a big part of my life; from childhood through grand-parenting. I am a fisherman, and fishermen need worms. As a boy I loved fishing and now I’ve passed the torch to my grandchildren. When a boy is learning to fish they learn about worms. They find there’s nothing like a bobber,...

Prayerful preacher leads the South Central district

Prayerful preacher leads the South Central district

12/10/2019
“I have served in Iowa for 19 years now,” said Rev. Dr. Moody Colorado, the new superintendent of the South Central District. He describes his new domain by the driving, which he notes is “relaxed” and full of “winding roads”. That said, he concedes that he has been getting a lot of help from his cell phone’s GPS as he’s made his way around the district for meetings and conferences. He is very engaged in the work of developing leaders in the church and relating better to lay leadership.  ...

Outdoing our expectations

Outdoing our expectations

12/9/2019
December 9th Advent Devotion Scripture:  The king rejoices in your strength, Lord.     How great is his joy in the victories you give! You have granted him his heart’s desire     and have not withheld the request of his lips. You came to greet him with rich blessings     and placed a crown of pure gold on his head. He asked you for life, and you gave it to him—     length of days, for ever and ever. Through the victories you gave, his glory is great;     you have bestowed on him splendor and ...

King of Kings

King of Kings

12/8/2019
December 8th Advent Devotion Scripture: John 1:1-14; Col. 1:15-17; Ph. 2:1-11 Hillsong Worship’s new track King of Kings follows Scripture’s Messianic thread from Old Testament prophecy to the Pentecostal birth of the Church. The chorus says, “Praise the Father/Praise the Son/Praise the Spirit/Three in One/God of glory, Majesty/Praise forever to the King of Kings.” One theme that’s in these texts is the Lordship/Kingship of Jesus Christ. He is all-powerful, compassionate, wrathful, saving, ...

Living Peaceably: An Advent message from Terra Amundson

Living Peaceably: An Advent message from Terra Amundson

12/8/2019
Second Sunday of Advent: "Living Peaceably" - Terra Amundson from Iowa Annual Conference on Vimeo.  

The heart of God

The heart of God

12/7/2019
December 7th Advent Devotion Scripture:  Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her      that her hard service has been completed,      that her sin has been paid for,      that she has received from the Lord’s hand           double for all her sins. A voice of one calling:       “In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord;      Make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised up,      every mountain and hill ...

From Lone Ranger to team player, Rev. Doug Cue becomes Southeast Superintendent

From Lone Ranger to team player, Rev. Doug Cue becomes Southeast Superintendent

12/6/2019
“The Southeast district is an enormous stretch of geography filled with wonderful churches and effective pastors—and I’m getting to know them better and better as the days go by,” says Rev. Doug Cue, who began his appointment as Superintendent of the Southeast District this summer. In this new job, which is both as a missional strategist and a kind of pastor of pastors, Rev. Cue is currently focused on relationship-building, which he views as one of his primary gifts. Through discussions and ...

Longing for the day

Longing for the day

12/6/2019
December 6th Advent Devotion Scripture:  Give the leaders of the nations your justice, O God. May they lead the people with truth and the poor with compassion. — Psalm 72:1-2 * A Litany: Longing for the Day Our hearts long for the “not yet”:    the chasm between the present and the promise.    the day when righteousness will reign and justice prevail. Hear our prayers, O Lord.   Our hearts long for right relationships:    the time when peace is realized and     compassion will be the norm. Hear...

2020 Iowa Annual Conference Session Information is now available online!

2020 Iowa Annual Conference Session Information is now available online!

12/5/2019
Please take note of the following changes and updates. You can follow the links for more detailed information. To receive future updates regarding Annual Conference planning subscribe here. Information will be updated on at www.iaumc.org/ac2020 as it unfolds. - Shorter Conference - Friday June 5th – Sunday June 7th  The 2020 Iowa Annual Conference will begin early Friday afternoon, June 5 and close late Sunday afternoon, June 7, 2020. This change responds to one of the more often named ...

Enough and spare

Enough and spare

12/5/2019
December 5th Advent Devotion Scripture:  God, give your judgments to the king.     Give your righteousness to the king’s son. Let him judge your people with righteousness     and your poor ones with justice. Let the mountains bring peace to the people;     let the hills bring righteousness. Let the king bring justice to people who are poor;     let him save the children of those who are needy,         but let him crush oppressors! Let the king live as long as the sun,     as long as the moon,  ...

Help

Help

12/4/2019
December 4th Advent Devotion Scripture:  If the Lord hadn’t been for us—     let Israel now repeat!— if the Lord hadn’t been for us,         when those people attacked us then they would have swallowed us up whole         with their rage burning against us! Then the waters would have drowned us;     the torrent would have come over our necks; then the raging waters would have come over our necks! Bless the Lord     because he didn’t hand us over     like food for our enemies’ teeth! We escaped ...

Iowa UM Camp registration for the 2020 season is now open

Iowa UM Camp registration for the 2020 season is now open

12/4/2019
The 2020 Iowa United Methodist Camp registration is now open and our programming has been developed to offer a summer of friendships, faith building at Lake Okoboji and Wesley Woods Camp and Retreat Centers. Lake Okoboji Camp Located just off the shores of West Lake Okoboji, generations of campers have enjoyed afternoons at the Lake and evenings around the campfire. Onsite activities include archery, high ropes, go-karts, disc-golf, mountain boarding, canoeing, and so much more. At Lake Okoboji...

Serving without expectation of return

Serving without expectation of return

12/4/2019
A challenge was given to Christ United Methodist Church in Davenport, Iowa, that they gladly accepted.   “We were challenged by the superintendent to pick one school (in our school district) and really focus our resources in partnering with just that school,” said April Buske, Director of Discipleship.   In the past, the school district had been reluctant to partner with churches but was willing to give it a try with Christ UMC. Buchanan Elementary School was chosen as a partner school since the...

God's signature of salvation

God's signature of salvation

12/3/2019
December 3rd Advent Devotion Scripture: I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. — Genesis 9:13 When my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer, she was requested to participate in the Relay For Life after her mastectomy. She walked with the cancer survivors. I was her caregiver, so I walked with the caregivers. The following year, I was assigned to do the invocation. Prior to this event, I have been preaching about rainbows are the ...

Deep peace

Deep peace

12/2/2019
December 2nd Advent Devotion Scripture: For if we have been united with [Christ] in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. — Romans 6:5 Christmas can be a difficult time for funerals, and for living in grief. All the focus is on the new Baby Jesus, new Life in Christ, new Year - 2020! For those who are remembering parents, children, spouses, other loved ones, who won’t be at your Christmas celebrations this year, may God grant you peace and comfort. ...

Fresh Expressions Vision Day February 15

Fresh Expressions Vision Day February 15

12/2/2019
What is Fresh Expressions? Fresh Expressions is a movement that is cultivating new forms of church alongside existing congregations in order to reach a changing world. Begun in England 10 years ago, it has resulted in the birth of over 2,500 new communities in the UK alone. Fresh Expressions has spread to Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and is also taking shape in the US.  At its heart, Fresh Expressions is about empowering and equipping God’s people to develop creative expressions of church ...

Messengers of Hope: An Advent message from Bill Poland

Messengers of Hope: An Advent message from Bill Poland

12/1/2019
First Sunday of Advent: "Messengers of Hope" - Bill Poland from Iowa Annual Conference on Vimeo.

Strategic retreat

Strategic retreat

12/1/2019
December 1st Advent Devotion Scripture: Keep awake therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But understand this: if the owner of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. — Matthew 24:42-44 Holiday parties, shopping, caroling, dinners, baking, and decorating…oh so much to do. In all that busyness it is easy for me to forget the point of advent—to prepare my heart, mind, ...

Thanksgiving greetings from Heecheon Jeon

Thanksgiving greetings from Heecheon Jeon

11/26/2019
Thanksgiving Greetings - Heecheon Jeon from Iowa Annual Conference on Vimeo.  

AC2020 Global Health Initiative

AC2020 Global Health Initiative

11/25/2019
The 2020 Iowa Annual Conference will be focusing on Global Health: Seeking Health and Wholeness for All. We are excited to share about three very deserving groups who are making a difference in the lives of others here in Iowa and around the world.   Iowa Mission of Mercy is a large scale, two-day community dental clinic where dental professionals and general volunteers donate their time to provide free oral health care to individuals who face barriers to receiving dental care. The clinic moves...

Christ the King Sunday greetings

Christ the King Sunday greetings

11/24/2019
Christ the King Sunday - Lanette Plambeck from Iowa Annual Conference on Vimeo.  

Seeking volunteer chairperson for the Board of Discipleship

Seeking volunteer chairperson for the Board of Discipleship

11/22/2019
We are looking for a volunteer to be chairperson of the conference Board of Discipleship (BOD). The purposes of the BOD are to resource churches in each of the five BOD areas of ministry – stewardship, spiritual formation, Christian education, worship, and evangelism – and to help churches develop and implement a discipleship pathway for their own ministry setting. This board includes one representative from each district and one advocate from each of the ministry areas. The chairperson should ...

The Iowa Preaching and Worship Institute is taking applications

The Iowa Preaching and Worship Institute is taking applications

11/22/2019
The Iowa Preaching and Worship Institute is taking applications. Meeting quarterly for two days of immersion, this is an eighteen-month program of six retreats designed to support, resource and connect those who preach regularly in an effort to expand their styles of preparation and presentation, resource to relevant and creative design, and provide a means for richer supports and overall effectiveness. This Institute is designed to develop preachers in a model of immersion that brings together...

Annual Conference 2020 planning continues

Annual Conference 2020 planning continues

11/21/2019
The Sessions Committee met today to discuss details for Annual Conference 2020.  Creating Difference Makers in Global Health: Seeking Health and Wholeness for All was confirmed as the theme for Annual Conference 2020. Conference offerings will relate to the theme of global health, and Lunch and Learns will be held focusing on this theme. Larry and Jane Kies, Iowa missionaries working with Africa University on a sustainable farm, will lead the Teaching Session. According to the Board of Global...

Vision 2032 sessions wrap up

Vision 2032 sessions wrap up

11/21/2019
The Vision 2032 sessions wrapped up on Wednesday, November 20, 2019, at the Iowa UMC Conference Center with Bishop Laurie Haller, Rev. Dr. Harlan Gillespie and Rev. Dr. Heecheon Jeon presenting to the Central District. More than 400 people have attended the 16 visioning sessions that were held throughout the state.    The Vision 2032 sessions were broken up into three sections: Visioning, Context and Framing. In the Vision section, Bishop Laurie shared her hope for the United Methodist Church in...

You are invited to Be a Part of the Vision 2032 Conversation on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019

You are invited to Be a Part of the Vision 2032 Conversation on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019

11/18/2019
The Central District Vision 2032 session will be livestreamed and you will be able to watch it online by going to the Iowa Conference of The United Methodist Church's homepage at https://vimeo.com/373937973. The livestream will begin at 6:30 p.m. and should wrap up around 8:00 p.m.  The session will be divided in to three parts: A presentation of Vision 2032 A presentation of the current context of the Iowa Conference A presentation framing the conversation There will be two times during...

Central Conference Bishops Wholeheartedly Support Proposal for a U.S. Regional Conference

Central Conference Bishops Wholeheartedly Support Proposal for a U.S. Regional Conference

11/15/2019
The Connectional Table The United Methodist Church For Immediate Release  November 15, 2019 Central Conference Bishops Wholeheartedly Support Proposal for a U.S. Regional Conference Chicago, IL – At last week's Council of Bishops Meeting, the United Methodist Central Conference College of Bishops stated that they will promote and solidly support the Connectional Table's (CT’s) legislation to General Conference 2020 that will create a new structure for churches in the United States.  This ...

Statement adopted by NJC delegates at November meeting

Statement adopted by NJC delegates at November meeting

11/15/2019
Delegates from the North Central Jurisdiction met on November 8-9 to talk about the state of the jurisdiction and discuss the denomination’s future in preparation for next year’s General and Jurisdictional Conferences. Members of the jurisdiction’s Mission Council, which oversees its ministries and budget, joined them. At the gathering, the clergy and laity in attendance released a statement that calls for a moratorium on complaints, charges, and trials related to same-sex marriages and ...

Just Resolution achieved; church trial avoided

Just Resolution achieved; church trial avoided

11/13/2019
By Arthur McClanahan* A Just Resolution has been achieved in the matter of a judicial complaint filed against Rev. Anna Blaedel. As a result, there will not be a church trial.   In a larger context, it is Bishop Laurie Haller’s intention “to avoid, if at all possible, the processing of complaints, charges, and trials related to officiating at same-gendered weddings and LGBTQIA identity and credentialing.”  According to retired United Methodist Bishop S. Clifton Ives, who served as the ...

District Office Transitions

District Office Transitions

11/8/2019
Friends in Christ,    I give thanks to God for your faithful and effective ministries led by the Holy Spirit for the sake of Jesus Christ. You continue to find ways each day to share the love of God in Jesus Christ with your neighbors here and around the world encouraging growth in discipleship.    By December 30th of this year, the physical office spaces that have been used for district superintendents and district administrative assistants will be closed. This transition is taking place to ...

Hamburg UMC receives $30,000 from Iowa Disaster Ministries

Hamburg UMC receives $30,000 from Iowa Disaster Ministries

11/8/2019
Prayer for Continued Recovery in Hamburg, Iowa from Iowa Annual Conference on Vimeo. Prayers, hard work, and donations have poured into Hamburg, Iowa since the spring floods, and United Methodists were able to give church members some extra encouragement this week. Through giving across the connection, $30,000 from the Iowa Disaster Ministries Advance Special #223 was gifted to the church community for recovery.   “We came to support you, to love you, to care for you,” said Pastor Catie ...

Bishop's Statement on Judicial Council Memorandum No. 1388

Bishop's Statement on Judicial Council Memorandum No. 1388

11/6/2019
  By now, some of you may have become aware of the Judicial Council’s November 1, 2019 ruling (Memorandum No. 1388) on the Decision of Law I submitted on July 3, 2019.   My Decision of Law, with Exhibits, and Memorandum No. 1388 can be found here.    In the Decision of Law, I ruled, among other things, that the part of Item 506 that resolved “in light of our current IAC budget crisis, the IAC should prioritize the full funding of conference missions, new ministry starts, and clergy support ...

Help

Help

11/5/2019
December 4th Advent Devotion Scripture:  If the Lord hadn’t been for us—     let Israel now repeat!— if the Lord hadn’t been for us,         when those people attacked us then they would have swallowed us up whole         with their rage burning against us! Then the waters would have drowned us;     the torrent would have come over our necks; then the raging waters would have come over our necks! Bless the Lord     because he didn’t hand us over     like food for our enemies’ teeth! We escaped ...

Ingathering marks 40 years in mission

Ingathering marks 40 years in mission

11/2/2019
Mission Ingathering, formerly known as Thanksgiving Ingathering, marked forty years of making a difference on Saturday, November 2.  “The Mission Ingathering is a way for Iowa United Methodists to address humanitarian problems locally and around the world, including hunger, poverty, and disaster,” according to the Ingathering statements.  It’s a way “to show the love of Christ to the world’s people by ministering to their needs.”   What began as a small collection of blankets, kits, animals, and...

Pastors of Large Churches envision the future

Pastors of Large Churches envision the future

10/29/2019
Pastors of large churches gathered to envision the future of their congregations, themselves, and the Iowa Conference.  Coming together for the annual fall session, more than fifty of the conference’s pastors engaged in a day of worship, receiving and responding to Vision 2032, and sharing in some frank and open conversation with each other and the Bishop. Rev. Richard Boatman welcomed the group to Oakwood UMC in Pleasant Hill, where he is the lead pastor. A faithful journey Focusing on Psalm...

Rev. Dr. Moody Colorado installed as Superintendent of the SC District

Rev. Dr. Moody Colorado installed as Superintendent of the SC District

10/29/2019
Bishop Laurie Haller installed Rev. Dr. Moody Colorado as Superintendent of the South Central District during a worship celebration on Sunday, October 27. Gathering at First United Methodist Church in Chariton welcomed Rev. Colorado, saying, “we affirm your leadership and pledge to you our support in our mutual ministry in the name of Jesus.”   Bishop Laurie confirmed her appointment of Rev. Colorado to be the chief mission strategist for the District. “You have been appointed to be among us,” ...

Winter Preparedness Tips from Pastor Catie

Winter Preparedness Tips from Pastor Catie

10/29/2019
Winter officially begins on December 21, 2019, also known as the Winter Solstice, (the longest night of the year.) However, it looks like winter will arrive in Iowa early this year. Yesterday, several regions in Iowa saw snow and freezing rain, and in the next few days, we are forecasted to receive more. Winter storms can include high winds, snow, rain, freezing rain, thunderstorms and more. This is a good time to take a few minutes and get prepared for winter weather. Here is a list of winter ...

Hampton UMC gets to the heart of ministry with the poor

Hampton UMC gets to the heart of ministry with the poor

10/24/2019
When the youth group at Hampton United Methodist Church realized that there was a need in their community for items that couldn’t be purchased with food stamps, they decided to do something about it.   That was back in 2013, and the Hampton Clean Up Closet has been in operation ever since.   It all started with a mission trip, and the youth decided that they could do something to help people in poverty in their own community. The adults in the church quickly helped them find ways to make it ...

Ebony Bishops demand a voice in discussions on UMC future

Ebony Bishops demand a voice in discussions on UMC future

10/21/2019
For Immediate Release October 21, 2019 The Ebony Bishops of The United Methodists Church (African-American bishops serving in the United States) have called on the denomination to include African-American clergy and laity in the ongoing discussions on the future of the church, as they provide the unique voice of hope for the future, not only for the Black church, but also for the unity of the entire denomination.  In a statement released October 21, 2019 by co-chairs Bishop LaTrelle Miller ...

Eric Scheve hired as Site Director at Okoboji U.M. Camp

Eric Scheve hired as Site Director at Okoboji U.M. Camp

10/21/2019
The Iowa Board of Conference Camps and Retreat Ministries is excited to announce that Eric Scheve has been hired as Site Director at the Lake Okoboji United Methodist Camp. Eric has been a long-time employee of the camp, starting as  summer staff in 2011 and progressing now into his new role. “I have always loved working with people and camp is a perfect place to make that happen,” says Eric. “I am excited for the opportunity to continue making the Lake Okoboji United Methodist Camp a place ...

What Happens After Happily Ever After?

What Happens After Happily Ever After?

10/21/2019
Tom Boomershine, a United Methodist pastor for over 20 years, is fortunate to have a marriage that gets noticed. “My lovely wife and I had people asking all the time, ‘You two really look happy–how do you do that?’” And while he and his wife Winter are indeed very happy, and love to spend as much time as they possibly can together, they have seen many couples around them struggle.  So Tom decided to put what he’s learned about marriage into a new book, After Ever After: Finding and Keeping the ...

Latinx worship celebration begins at First UMC, Des Moines

Latinx worship celebration begins at First UMC, Des Moines

10/18/2019
Nearly a hundred people gathered in the sanctuary of First United Methodist Church for “Diferente,” the initial Latinx ministry celebration. Coming together on September 29, 2019, the community experienced a time when “todos son Bienvenidos,” all are welcome.   According to First UMC Pastor Edgar Solis, the new ministry will be a celebration of community in which people will share in prayer ministry and be encouraged to participate in Bible studies. “We’ve had contact with people from Miami, ...

General Conference 2020: A preliminary look at key legislation

General Conference 2020: A preliminary look at key legislation

10/17/2019
By: Christa Meland Next May, 15 months after the top legislative body of The United Methodist Church voted to adopt the Traditional Plan, delegates at the 2020 General Conference will consider alternative options for a way forward. (View all General Conference 2019 coverage here.)   The Traditional Plan, approved at the 2019 Special Called Session of General Conference, maintains that homosexuality is “incompatible with Christian teaching” and increases penalties for self-avowed gay clergy and ...

Iowa Justice for Our Neighbors celebrating 20 years of ministry

Iowa Justice for Our Neighbors celebrating 20 years of ministry

10/17/2019
Iowa Justice for Our Neighbors (JFON) will celebrate its 20th anniversary this month, and you are invited. The board of Iowa JFON is encouraging everyone to join to learn about its history as well as the plans for the future of JFON in our state.  Iowa Justice For Our Neighbors is a non-profit organization, welcoming low-income immigrants of all faiths into churches and communities by providing free, high-quality immigration legal services, education, and advocacy.  Established by the United ...

Reentry Team Info/Training Meeting in Muscatine

Reentry Team Info/Training Meeting in Muscatine

10/17/2019
Pastor Paul Witmer, Minister of Reentry and Congregational Care for Women at the Well at the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women at Mitchellville, Iowa will be coming to the Muscatine area in October to offer a Reentry Team Training. It will be at Wesley UMC on October 27, from  1:30 – 4:30 p.m.    Reentry teams are faith-based teams of men and women who provide non-financial support for a woman leaving Mitchellville and reentering society. The women fill out an application and go through an...

Video offers insight into the UMC-Episcopal dialogue on Full Communion

Video offers insight into the UMC-Episcopal dialogue on Full Communion

10/16/2019
For immediate release                                                            October 14, 2019   Videos offer insight into the United Methodist-Episcopal Full Communion Dialogue WASHINGTON, D. C. -  The United Methodist Church – Episcopal Church Dialogue Committee has released a series of videos highlighting shared ministries between the churches and discussing the current full communion proposal developed by the committee.   The videos include a conversation between Bishop Gregory Palmer ...

Looking into the future - Vision 2032

Looking into the future - Vision 2032

10/15/2019
Faith communities, lay and clergy, and leaders are looking into the future of the Iowa Annual Conference, to discern Vision 2032.    To be able to do this most effectively, with the greatest input from across the Conference, a series of listening sessions has just begun. The first conversation took place on Sunday, October 13, at Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church. In the coming weeks, through the end of November, an additional seven sessions will take place. (See the schedule here.)   “The ...

Rev. Douglas Cue installed as new SE District Superintendent

Rev. Douglas Cue installed as new SE District Superintendent

10/14/2019
Lay and clergy of the Southeast District celebrated the installation of Rev. Douglas Cue as their new Superintendent on Sunday, October 13. Gathering at First United Methodist Church in Mt. Pleasant, the significant presence in that congregation’s sanctuary vocally expressed the commitment to “put one foot in front of the other and lead with love.” Bishop Laurie Haller asked the community, “Are you ready for the journey?” Together they declared, “We are ready! We gather as the people who are ...

An Invitation to North Central All-District Reads

An Invitation to North Central All-District Reads

10/10/2019
The North Central District is hosting an All-District Reads and discussion of Foolish Church by Rev. Lee Roorda Schott.  All churches of the District are welcome to attend book discussions with the author. Please encourage members of your church to read the book, participate in the discussions and dream of a new vision for church communities. - Rev. Carol Kress, North Central District Superintendent Events We hope you'll join in one or more of these events that will give us a chance to go ...

Celebration of Life - Bob Morrison

Celebration of Life - Bob Morrison

10/10/2019
The Iowa Conference mourns the loss of Robert (Bob) Morrison, who is now in his heavenly home. Bob was incredibly active in The United Methodist Church and a faithful servant to Christ and all those around him. Bob loved people and his greatest joy was helping them grow in confidence, relationships, leadership, and faith. A Celebration of Life honoring Bob will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, October 19th at Wesley United Methodist Church, 400 Iowa Avenue, Muscatine, IA. Visitation will precede...

Pastor and author Lillian Daniel falls in love with Dubuque

Pastor and author Lillian Daniel falls in love with Dubuque

10/7/2019
Rev. Dr. Lillian Daniel, a graduate of Yale Divinity School, has worked as an adjunct professor and is the author of several books, but she considers herself “a parish pastor first.” She is currently the senior pastor of First Congregational Church in Dubuque, but it was a long and windy road that brought her to Iowa. From the suburbs to the city and back Rev. Daniel began as an associate pastor in Cheshire, Connecticut, which was a large, thriving suburban church. “I was there for three years ...

Two-day event brought pastoral leaders together

Two-day event brought pastoral leaders together

10/7/2019
Rev. Dr. Lillian Daniel was the featured presenter at the fall 2019 gathering of the Order of Elders, Order of Deacons, and Fellowship of Local Pastors and Associate Members of the Iowa Annual Conference.   The event, held at the Christian Life Center of Ankeny First United Methodist Church, brought together nearly two hundred pastoral leaders of the Conference for two days of thought-provoking reflection and earnest dialogue. During the opening worship, Rev. Heather Dorr asked, “When was the ...

Rev. Jim Morris: Called to serve and preserve

Rev. Jim Morris: Called to serve and preserve

10/6/2019
“I would remind people of what I consider one of the truisms of being a human being: if you don’t know where you’re coming from, you are not going to know where you’re going. Our history informs our future, very much,” says Rev. Jim Morris, who believes that this is why it’s important to maintain an awareness of the heritage and history of the Methodist movement. A retired United Methodist pastor of the Iowa Conference, Rev. Morris was recently presented with the Distinguished Service Award from...

Back-to-School Ministry continues to BLESS

Back-to-School Ministry continues to BLESS

10/4/2019
The Storm Lake United Methodist Church is now in its fourth year with BLESS, a special program that provides school supplies for children in the area. An acronym for Bless and Love Everyone School Supplies, the program has been a blessing indeed for everyone it has touched. Listening to the Lord It all started when Storm Lake member Sarah Low found out that parents were coming to the church asking for help purchasing school supplies, but there were no funds available to purchase them. As an ...

Now Receiving Candidates for Episcopal Nominee

Now Receiving Candidates for Episcopal Nominee

10/2/2019
The Iowa delegation of the North Central Jurisdictional Conference has the pleasure of presenting an Episcopal Nominee to the 2020 Iowa Annual Conference. This process involves receiving names of possible candidates now through October 31, 2019.   On November 1, 2019, those candidates will then receive the “Episcopal Nominee Information” form and the “Episcopal Election Covenant” which will be due by November 30, 2019.  In January 2020, candidates will be asked to interview with the delegation...

Bloomfield UMC to receive Fall 2019 Builder's Call gifts

Bloomfield UMC to receive Fall 2019 Builder's Call gifts

10/1/2019
The Conference Parish Development Committee is delighted to announce that Bloomfield United Methodist Church in Bloomfield, Iowa, has been selected as the recipient of the Fall Builder's Call. Bloomfield UM Church draws hundreds of people from the community each week for its Wednesday evening activities. Receiving the funds from the Fall Builder's Call will help them create a café-style space for people in the community to continue gathering and building relationships within the church. This ...

Annual event becomes forum on church’s future

Annual event becomes forum on church’s future

10/1/2019
By Sam Hodges Sept. 27, 2019 | LEAWOOD, Kan. (UM News) A typical Leadership Institute at the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection offers advice to church leaders of various denominations for growing their congregations in size and mission work. Not this year.   With The United Methodist Church actively entertaining the possibility of a breakup, due to longstanding divisions over homosexuality, Leadership Institute 2019 turned into a centrists’ and progressives’ forum for discussion and ...

Council of Bishops announces winners of Local Initiatives Grants

Council of Bishops announces winners of Local Initiatives Grants

10/1/2019
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church is pleased to announce the winners of the 2020 Local Initiatives Grants. The winners are: Columbia Wesley Foundation Methodist Student Network: Contact Tom H. Wall at WallBrodie@aol.com: This project gathers the United Methodist Wesley Foundation in Columbia, South Carolina, with the Hilell Foundation and the campus Muslim Student Association in order to get to know each other and be in ministry with each other during this...

Myrtle Felkner—an extraordinary Christian educator

Myrtle Felkner—an extraordinary Christian educator

10/1/2019
Myrtle Felkner, an extraordinary Iowa Christian educator who had worked with many Iowa churches, passed away on September 25, 2019 at the age of 94.  Myrtle was the creator and author of the One Room Sunday School model, along with hundreds of articles and stories for children's curricula. She was very well known by members of CEF (Christian Educators Fellowship - now Christians Engaged in Faith Formation). Her last Christian education book came out when she was 84. She was also very active in ...

New policy on asylum seekers

New policy on asylum seekers

10/1/2019
Oct. 1, 2019 According to a recent Supreme Court decision, the Trump administration can deny asylum to most migrants coming to the southern border.  This policy will allow border personnel to reject anyone who passed through another country on their way to the United States unless they apply for and then are rejected safe haven in the first country they pass through upon leaving their home country.  This means that most would-be asylum seekers fleeing dangerous situations in their homeland will ...

Page 1 of 16 1 2 3 4 5 ... 16 next