News


Becoming a movement again through circuit ministry

Becoming a movement again through circuit ministry

2/24/2020
In response to a changing world, the Iowa Annual Conference is in the process of going through some major structural shifts right now. One of the biggest changes in the works is the adoption of a circuit model that is designed to bring clergy and lay leaders together for missional accountability and to provide a sense of connection between each other and with the conference.  If the idea of circuits sounds a bit old-fashioned to your ear, that’s because it’s a concept that was originally ...

Iowa clergywomen contribute to

Iowa clergywomen contribute to "Speaking Truth"

2/21/2020
In September 2018, young clergywomen from across the United Methodist Church came together to write the devotional book We Pray With Her: Encouragement for All Women Who Lead.  The editors were excited to partner with Abingdon Press and additional clergywomen to publish a companion devotional Speaking Truth: Women Raising Their Voices in Prayer, released February 18, 2020. Among the 92 contributors to Speaking Truth are five Iowa Annual Conference clergywomen: Rev. Mara LeHew Bailey, Rev. ...

Lent 2020 Daily Devotions: 2/26 - 3/1

Lent 2020 Daily Devotions: 2/26 - 3/1

2/21/2020
The 40-day season of Lent begins on February 26 and Bishop Laurie, clergy, and friends of The Iowa Annual Conference have written short devotionals for each day to help us journey through this season together.  If you would like to receive these daily in an email, subscribe here. They will also be published in the News and will be included in our Weekly 360 e-news each Friday during Lent.  Wednesday, February 26, 2020 I give you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, so ...

St. Paul's United Methodist Church receives national spotlight

St. Paul's United Methodist Church receives national spotlight

2/21/2020
St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Cedar Rapids was recently featured as a “modern landmark” in the Winter 2019 issue of Sacred Places – The Magazine of Partners for Sacred Places.  Built in 1913 and designed by renown architect Louis Sullivan, the church was chosen by Partners for Sacred Places in 2017 to participate in the National Fund for Sacred Places program. This prestigious program administered by Partners in collaboration with the National Trust for Historic Preservation ...

New at AC2020—Option Technologies provides virtual voting through your smart phone or tablet

New at AC2020—Option Technologies provides virtual voting through your smart phone or tablet

2/20/2020
Option Technologies Inc. (OTI) has provided electronic voting support for the Iowa Annual Conference since 2007. New at the 2020 Iowa Annual Conference, OTI will be providing Virtual Voting (VVoter) through a web browser on your smart device. Most iOS, Android or Windows phones or tablets purchased since 2016 should be compatible. Here is a list of VVoter web browsers that are compatible and how to find the version you are using. Voting pads will also be available for those who do not have or ...

The School for Practical Ministry will feature Bishop Laurie Haller, Rev. Dr. Carolyn Moore and Iowa UMC workshop leaders

The School for Practical Ministry will feature Bishop Laurie Haller, Rev. Dr. Carolyn Moore and Iowa UMC workshop leaders

2/19/2020
Bishop Laurie Haller, resident bishop of the Iowa Annual Conference, will be the featured speaker on the opening day of the 2020 Iowa School for Practical Ministry. The event registration is now open and is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, April 17 and 18 at the Altoona United Methodist Church.   Register here.  Download the brochure. Bishop Laurie will talk about "The Dark Side of Ministry: Lessons in Self-Care" where she will discuss the importance of taking care of our mind, body and ...

"Wandering Into Grace" available to order today

2/18/2020
"Last week my office at the Conference Center was so cold that I had to move elsewhere to work. I thought it was due to the intense cold and wind chill until someone finally checked the thermostat and discovered that the heat wasn’t working!" said Bishop Laurie. "It reminded me of the night before my daughter Talitha and I crested the Larkya Pass in Nepal at 17,060 feet. Sleeping in a small stone hut with no heat and the wind howling all around us, we soon realized that we had to get creative in...

MUMM available to assist with Vacation Bible School in a Southeast, South Central or Southwest district

MUMM available to assist with Vacation Bible School in a Southeast, South Central or Southwest district

2/18/2020
You might think, “We don’t have kids at our church!” They are there and they need you. Even if only two or three kids, they still need you and their parents might, too.   Brian Dembowczyk writes in Gospel Centered Kids Ministry, "Theologically, functionally, and missionally, kids are an essential part of the church today. Right now." Are they a part of your church? Vacation Bible School (VBS) is one way to reach out to serve kids.    Let Mobile United Methodist Missionaries (MUMM) know if you’...

Iowa U.M. Camps Campaign enters its third week

Iowa U.M. Camps Campaign enters its third week

2/17/2020
The first-ever Iowa United Methodist Camps Annual Campaign is in its third week with positive results. “We are thrilled that people are saying yes to outdoor youth ministry,” says Duane Daby, campaign chair. “For young people camping is so often the catalyst for faith formation and discipleship. The Iowa Board of Camps and Retreats is positioning itself to thrive not just this year, but future years.” Through the first two full weeks of the campaign over 150 people have made pledges to either ...

Fresh Expressions—taking the church Jesus loves closer to the people Jesus loves

Fresh Expressions—taking the church Jesus loves closer to the people Jesus loves

2/16/2020
Over ninety people gathered at First United Methodist Church in Ankeny on Saturday, February 15, for the first Iowa Fresh Expressions Vision Day.  The gathering, clergy and lay, came to discover what it means to be the church in new and creative ways, hear from Fresh Expressions practitioners, learn how to renew existing congregations through Fresh Expressions of church, and discern what this could mean for their region, community, or neighborhood. Presenters were Matt Lake, Lead Pastor of the ...

Early Response Team Trainings to be held at Conference Center

Early Response Team Trainings to be held at Conference Center

2/13/2020
An Early Response Team (ERT) Training and an ERT Re-Certification Training will be held at the Iowa United Methodist Conference Center in March. Re-Certification — Friday, March 13, 2020   5 p.m. – 9 p.m. Cost $25.00 (includes a background check and a new badge) New Certification —Saturday, March 14, 2020   8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Cost $40.00 (includes a background check, lunch, materials, and badge) According to Pastor Catie Newman, the Iowa United Methodist Conference Disaster Response Coordinator,...

Candidacy Retreat an

Candidacy Retreat an "opportunity to connect" with others in process

2/12/2020
Candidates for ministry in the Iowa Annual Conference participated in a retreat as part of their candidacy process on Saturday, February 1 at the Conference Center.   Recently redesigned, the Candidacy Retreat is required for all candidates in process, but it is also an opportunity for those considering their call to ministry to speak with others in process or in positions of leadership.   “It’s a place of discernment where we focus on the steps of the candidacy process among other avenues of ...

Connectional Table Offers Live Webinar on U.S. Regional Conference Legislation

Connectional Table Offers Live Webinar on U.S. Regional Conference Legislation

2/11/2020
The Connectional Table The United Methodist Church   For Immediate Release February 11, 2020   Connectional Table Offers Live Webinar "Five Things to Know About U.S. Regional Conference before GC 2020" Chicago, IL – On February 20, 2020, the Connectional Table (CT) will host a live 1.5-hour webinar entitled "Five Things to Know About United States Regional Conference (USRC) before GC 2020."  The webinar will address questions and concerns about the URSC legislation that the Connectional Table ...

Consider a Lenten Journey by Wandering Into Grace

Consider a Lenten Journey by Wandering Into Grace

2/10/2020
Looking for a meaningful Lenten journey?  For yourself?  For a group in your faith community?   Consider Bishop Laurie Haller’s new book, Wandering Into Grace: A Journey of Discovery and Hope for your personal devotion or small-group study.   “Wandering is a way of life for those who seek to create a world where grace leads us into new ways of seeing, serving, leading, and reaching out,”  Bishop Laurie writes.   Her 2018 trekking trip to Nepal is chronicled in the book in six chapters.  Each has...

Opportunity to Experience the World Methodist Council

Opportunity to Experience the World Methodist Council

2/10/2020
Would you like to be the Iowa Conference representative to the World Methodist Council?  Bishop Laurie Haller is extending an invitation to become one of Iowa’s two Council members.   The World Methodist Council finds its origins in a conference held in London, England at Wesley’s Chapel in 1881 where some 400 delegates from 30 Methodist bodies around the world gathered in an Ecumenical Methodist Conference. The WMC website reports, “In 1931 a decision was made to organize a Council – a new ...

Office furniture available at the Iowa Conference Center

Office furniture available at the Iowa Conference Center

2/7/2020
A collection of office furniture has accumulated at the Iowa Annual Conference center after the closure of the district offices. We will be open to the public the following dates for people to come take a look and take whatever they want. It is the responsibility of those taking the furniture to remove and haul the furniture from the conference center to its new home. A donation to the IAUMC is appreciated. Checks can be made payable to the Iowa Annual Conference, with "furniture" in the memo ...

Vision 2032 conversations continue at district pre-conference gatherings

Vision 2032 conversations continue at district pre-conference gatherings

2/7/2020
The Vision 2032 conversations in January were well attended across the Conference. Many thanks to the host churches and pastors and for everyone’s engagement. Specific proposals based upon the conversations held last fall were presented during the January conversations. These proposal may become action items for this year’s Annual Conference Session that could significantly change our work and life together in Iowa as United Methodists. You are encouraged to read them and comment on them. You ...

Bishop Laurie Haller Wanders Into Grace

Bishop Laurie Haller Wanders Into Grace

2/6/2020
“I’ve always been a writer. Ever since I was a child, I would write about significant things in my life,” shares Iowa Conference Bishop Laurie Haller, recalling her early chronicle of a two-week trip out west with her family. Her father, who worked in a commercial printing factory, even put her writings about the trip together into a little book for her.   Now, some years later, Bishop Laurie is seeing the chronicle of her July 2018 trip, an arduous trek in Nepal with her daughter Talitha, ...

Iowa delegates reflect of Pre-General Conference briefing

Iowa delegates reflect of Pre-General Conference briefing

2/6/2020
John Rothlisberger and Rev. Dr. Lanette Plambeck, two General Conference delegates, traveled to Nashville for a briefing about the plans that will be presented to the worldwide decision-making body of The United Methodist Church in May.   For Plambeck there is “a call to do what feels faithful [which] is a good outcome.”  “A lot of the potentials seem to be coming together into this upcoming General Conference that aren’t dissimilar to what I've experienced prior to this, but seem like things ...

Peace with Justice Scholarship Essay contest 2020

Peace with Justice Scholarship Essay contest 2020

2/5/2020
The Iowa Annual Conference Board of Church and Society Peace with Justice Scholarship Essay Contest is now open. This contest is available to students who are high school juniors or seniors during the current school year and who live in Iowa or attend an Iowa high school. The applicant need not be a member of a United Methodist Church nor any other religious organization.  "This scholarship is funded through the Peace with Justice special offerings. Through this essay contest, we hope to ...

Iowa UM Advocacy Day – will we go to the other side?

Iowa UM Advocacy Day – will we go to the other side?

2/3/2020
By: Conference UMW Leadership Team On Thursday, January 30, Iowa Conference United Methodist Women (UMW) partnered with the Board of Church and Society to host the Conference United Methodist Advocacy Day. This year’s event was packed with conversation and information.    Gathering at Wesley United Methodist Church near the state Capitol, approximately 48 people arrived to share opening devotions by Conference UMW Social Action Coordinator Deb Streff.  Streff shared the story of her friend ...

Laity Summit offers new training for leaders

Laity Summit offers new training for leaders

2/3/2020
All districts in Iowa were challenged to hold Laity Summits in 2020, and the Central District was the first to hold this new opportunity.   About 30 people joined together at Ankeny First UM Church’s Uptown Campus to listen to speakers, worship together and brainstorm new ways that their local churches could partner together in mission.   “Our goal is to build up the network of our laity,” Central District Lay-Leader Angela Hansen-Abbas said. “God is still God and church is still church, and I’m...

Board of Camp and Retreat Ministries launches its first Annual Campaign in February

Board of Camp and Retreat Ministries launches its first Annual Campaign in February

1/31/2020
“At the end of the week there’s a 99% chance that you’ll be crying because it’s so fun that you won’t want to leave” — Rodney, 9 years old, talking about his time at the Lake Okoboji United Methodist Camp The Iowa Board of Conference Camp and Retreat Ministries (BOCCRM) is thrilled to launch its first Annual Campaign in beginning in February to support Iowa United Methodist Camps. This annual campaign is a direct fundraising campaign that will support Wesley Woods and Lake Okoboji United ...

One Day

One Day "Shaping the Prayers of the People" Class at Cornell College

1/29/2020
On Saturday, March 14, 2020, the School for Lay Ministry is offering a one-day Advanced Class on prayer at Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, IA. This class is intended to empower and equip laypeople and clergy alike to offer heartfelt, informed, thoughtful, and appropriate prayers on behalf of the people of God. The required text book, Shaping the Prayers of the People by Samuel Wells and Abigail Kocher is available at Cokesbury or Barnes and Noble.  As Wells says, Interceding in public worship ...

Collegiate United Methodist Church and Wesley Foundation Raises $48,950 to Pay Off Meal Debt at Ames Community School District

Collegiate United Methodist Church and Wesley Foundation Raises $48,950 to Pay Off Meal Debt at Ames Community School District

1/28/2020
Press release from Collegiate United Methodist Church and Wesley Foundation AMES, IA Collegiate United Methodist Church and Wesley Foundation is excited to announce that, due to the generosity of its members and the wider community, $48,950 was raised last month to help pay down the school meal debt at Ames Community School District (ACSD). The church donated the $48,950 to ACSD to help fight food insecurity in Ames and support all students in the district. An estimated 575 Ames families’ ...

North Central Jurisdiction Recommends Electing One Bishop in 2020 and Forms a Task Force to Study Episcopal Leadership

North Central Jurisdiction Recommends Electing One Bishop in 2020 and Forms a Task Force to Study Episcopal Leadership

1/28/2020
Press Release from the College of Bishop, North Central Jurisdiction CHICAGO, ILLINOIS In a meeting last week in Chicago, the North Central Jurisdiction (NCJ) Committee on the Episcopacy and the NCJ College of Bishops have proposed to only elect one bishop during the NCJ Quadrennial Meeting, July 15-18 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The two groups have agreed to form a task force to make recommendations on episcopal leadership for the jurisdiction over the next four years. In late August 2019, David...

Second day of Pre-General Conference briefing decidedly more personal

Second day of Pre-General Conference briefing decidedly more personal

1/24/2020
The second day of the briefing for the 2020 General Conference of The United Methodist Church was filled with personal stories and a focus upon the ways that the church makes a difference in people’s lives.  While a portion of the time of the gathering for the nearly 500 delegates and communicators dealt with details of how the May General Conference will work in Minneapolis, much of the conversation was directed toward the care and attention to the needs of persons around the world and how the ...

A Pastoral Letter from Bishop Laurie Haller

A Pastoral Letter from Bishop Laurie Haller

1/23/2020
To the Saints of God in Iowa, Grace and peace! As we experience snow and bitter cold in Iowa, I am reminded of the graciousness and warmth of spirit that I witness in every corner of our state. In the midst of uncertainty and anxiety about the future of The United Methodist Church, you are engaged in transformative ministries in your local communities and around the world that are changing hearts and saving lives. I'd like to share some thoughts about our Conference’s Vision 2032 that will have ...

Delegates, Communicators gather for Pre-General Conference briefing

Delegates, Communicators gather for Pre-General Conference briefing

1/23/2020
Delegates and communicators from across the United Methodist connection gathered in Nashville for the 2020 pre-General Conference briefing. Representatives from the denomimnation’s boards and agencies resourced the nearly 500 domestic and international church representatives. The event began with worship on Thursday morning, January 23. General Conference worship leader, Raymond Trapp gathered those present into a community striving to know God, which is the Psalm 46 theme of the quadrennial ...

In Mission Together (former Rainbow Covenant) reporting due February 15

In Mission Together (former Rainbow Covenant) reporting due February 15

1/22/2020
The time has come to turn in your first IN MISSION TOGETHER missions reporting form for your church. This replaces the Rainbow Covenant form and it’s a new way of reporting. We hope you’ve attended one of the many explanation and training meetings that have been held around the Conference. You’ll be reporting both your GIVING and your SERVING information.   The new In Mission Together report form that replaces Rainbow Covenant is here.   In Mission Together encourages United Methodist Churches ...

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 ...

Take Noisy Offering to benefit MUMM

Take Noisy Offering to benefit MUMM

1/21/2020
Mobile United Methodist Missionaries (MUMM) has been working within the Iowa Annual Conference for 22 years with a  mission to make disciples of Christ in rural Iowa. In that time, they’ve helped communities recover from disasters and rebuild; offered Bible studies, camp and Vacation Bible School (VBS); helped families with basic needs and shared God’s love through everything they do. Currently, they serve in the Southeast, South Central and Southwest districts. MUMM has been largely supported ...

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. ...

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 ...

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