News


Important 2021 Iowa Annual Conference Zoom and Voting Credential Emails

Important 2021 Iowa Annual Conference Zoom and Voting Credential Emails

5/14/2021
Dear Members of The Iowa Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church,   Zoom Webinar Link and Passcode Email On May 10 an emailed confirmation titled, “Iowa Annual Conference 2021 Legislative Session, Pre-Conference Orientation Sessions, and Town Hall Confirmation” was sent to members of the 2021 Iowa Annual Conference Session. It contains directions, link, and passcode to join the Zoom Webinar. This link is the one you will use for the Pre-Conference Orientations, Town Hall, and the Iowa ...

Pray for Pastor Olivia Fabros and her son, Siegfried

Pray for Pastor Olivia Fabros and her son, Siegfried

5/14/2021
Friends in Christ,   We recently received word from Rev. Olivia Fabros that her son, Siegfried, is scheduled for surgery on May 21. With the time zone difference, the surgery will most likely begin on Thursday, May 20 CDT.   Her son’s heart condition has been described as a valvular disease including severe mitral regurgitation, prolapsed posterior mitral value.    You may remember that Pastor Olivia shared with us on May 8 that Siegfried was flown to the Southern Philippines Medical Center in ...

Bishop Laurie’s 2021 Iowa Annual Conference’s Episcopal Address and Opening Worship Service available for download on Saturday, June 5

Bishop Laurie’s 2021 Iowa Annual Conference’s Episcopal Address and Opening Worship Service available for download on Saturday, June 5

5/14/2021
Bishop Laurie’s 2021 Iowa Annual Conference’s Episcopal Address and Opening Worship Service will be available to download and use in your church after the service concludes on Saturday, June 5. You can choose to download the entire worship service or only the Episcopal Address portion video.    Please subscribe to the AC2021 Updates if you would like to receive an email on Saturday, June 5 that will have links to download the videos by clicking here: https://iaumc-email.brtapp.com/subscribe.   ...

Iowa Annual Conference 2021 Laity Session Livestream on Friday, June 4 at 7 pm

Iowa Annual Conference 2021 Laity Session Livestream on Friday, June 4 at 7 pm

5/14/2021
Iowa United Methodist Board of Laity invites all laity (not just AC members) to the Iowa Annual Conference 2021 Laity Session Livestream on Friday, June 4 at 7:00 p.m. (Music begins at 6:45.)   You will hear an inspiring message from Bishop Laurie Haller. A Conference Update will be followed by a live Q&A session with Rev. Dr. Lanette Plambeck, incoming Assistant to the Bishop. Email your questions about what is new or changing in the conference to mmpetkewec@gmail.com OR cjnicklay@gmail.com  ...

The 2021 Iowa Annual Conference Pre-Conference Manual

The 2021 Iowa Annual Conference Pre-Conference Manual

5/14/2021
The 2021 Iowa Annual Conference Pre-Conference Manual (PCM) is now available for download at https://www.iaumc.org/pcm. Consistent with recent years, you will notice the PCM is much smaller and includes hyperlinks that direct you to resources on our website.   The ministry plans for Conference Missions – Programming Agencies are found on pages 21 through 44. At end of each ministry is the budget approved by the Conference Connectional Ministries Council (CCMC). This is a hyperlink and by ...

UMW Program Advisory Group held first meeting of quadrennium

UMW Program Advisory Group held first meeting of quadrennium

5/14/2021
The 2021-2024 United Methodist Women Program Advisory Group gathered via Zoom for its first annual meeting on March 11-13, 2021. This global gathering included Rita Carter representing the Iowa conference. The group members met for orientation and preparing for their work throughout the next four years. The program advisory group studies issues and prepares recommendations to the national board regarding mission priorities, mission education work, and program guidance for United Methodist Women....

Iowa Conference Re-entry team update after CDC eases guidelines for Americans fully vaccinated from COVID-19

Iowa Conference Re-entry team update after CDC eases guidelines for Americans fully vaccinated from COVID-19

5/13/2021
On Thursday, May 13, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eased their indoor mask-wearing guidelines for Americans who are fully vaccinated from COVID-19. A summary of the recent change said that “fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance in any setting, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.”    “Church leadership should determine their best...

Mabaan Flood Relief Update

Mabaan Flood Relief Update

5/13/2021
By Beverly Nolte Pastor Aaron Limmo traveled to Juba, South Sudan on Saturday, May 1, and was met by two trusted Mabaan friends who have been part of the flood relief team. Due to testing positive twice for covid, Maya Dinga was unable to travel.  With funds received through Dahabshiil on Monday, May 3, Limmo indicates that they were able to purchase items such as tents, mosquito nets, food, and charcoal while in Juba which was then sent up to Mabaan county. Due to heavy rains, they were delayed...

Annual Conference 2021 Special Offerings

Annual Conference 2021 Special Offerings

5/12/2021
CLERGY ASSISTANT FUND A special fund has been set up to assist clergy with direct financial support from the Clergy Assistance fund when a desperate need does arise. For many years, this fund has been the dedicated offering during the Clergy Session of the Iowa Annual Conferences which is only held once a year. “The Clergy Sustentation Fund is a means to tangibly care for our clergy and families in a time of need.  Your gifts become signs of hope and grace in difficult times,” said Rev. Terra ...

Abiding in Exile - The Extra Mile 05/13/2021

Abiding in Exile - The Extra Mile 05/13/2021

5/11/2021
By Priscilla Joel The Extra Mile If you happen to talk to anyone who knows me well, they would tell you that patience is not a virtue I have. It is not uncommon for me to deliver birthday and Christmas presents to my loved ones a day or two early because I am just that excited and not patient enough to wait for the right time. You may have heard the saying, “The last mile is the longest.” Whether it’s the physical metric of a mile at the end of a marathon, or the metaphorical end of a ...

Rev. LaTonya P. Calderon to become Part-time Associate Director of Clergy and Leadership Excellence (ACLE) for the Iowa Conference

Rev. LaTonya P. Calderon to become Part-time Associate Director of Clergy and Leadership Excellence (ACLE) for the Iowa Conference

5/10/2021
It is with great celebration we announce Rev. LaTonya P. Calderon as Part-time Associate Director of Clergy and Leadership Excellence (ACLE) for the Iowa Conference. Beginning July 1, 2021, LaTonya will be serving ¾ time at Windsor Heights UMC and ¼ time in this conference role. As Associate Director, LaTonya will be a strategic partner alongside Rev. Dr. Lanette Plambeck, who, on July 1, will become the Assistant to the Bishop while also maintaining her role and responsibilities as Director of...

Submission of Resolutions for Consideration by the 2021 Iowa Annual Conference Session

Submission of Resolutions for Consideration by the 2021 Iowa Annual Conference Session

5/7/2021
2021 would usually be a “resolutions year,” meaning that an Iowa Conference clergy person, lay member of a local UMC, or a local church or churches may submit resolutions to be considered by the Iowa Annual Conference Session for inclusion in the Iowa Conference Book of Resolutions.  No submissions of proposed resolutions for inclusion into the IAC Book of Resolutions were received by the December 2020 due date, as noted in the 2019 Iowa Annual Conference Book of Resolutions [link], pages 6-9.  ...

Abiding in Exile - Muscle Memory 05/06/2021

Abiding in Exile - Muscle Memory 05/06/2021

5/5/2021
By Rev Lee Roorda Schott Muscle Memory This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. --John 15.12-13 Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. --1 John 4.7                                     I sat down at my piano this week for the first time in a while. A few pieces of old music were sitting there, with Debussy’s Golliwog’s ...

Why Racial Justice

Why Racial Justice

5/4/2021
10-11:30 a.m. CST, Sat., May 22 via Zoom  As Iowa United Methodist Women explore Racial Justice, we asked Dr. Eddie Moore, Jr. to lead this event. His presentation is: America is Changing: #StayWoke The session will challenge the audience to examine and explore issues related to bias, privilege, supremacy and #BecomingAntiRacism.  Dr. Eddie Moore, Jr. is the Founder/Program Director for the White Privilege Conference (WPC). In 2014 Dr. Moore founded The Privilege Institute (TPI) which engages ...

Abiding in Exile - Shifting Terrain 04/30/2021

Abiding in Exile - Shifting Terrain 04/30/2021

4/30/2021
By Nan Smith Shifting Terrain When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.”  John 20:19 (NRSV) I have always experienced joy when canoeing in the Boundary Water Canoe Area of northern Minnesota. It is a wilderness made up of lakes and forest. I have led newbies into this wilderness, have paddled the area with groups of close ...

UMC Bishops end 5-day meeting; clarify key decisions

UMC Bishops end 5-day meeting; clarify key decisions

4/30/2021
Dear Friends in the Iowa/Annual Conference, The Council of Bishops met virtually for five days this week to pray, worship, listen to one another, and discern God’s continued call to vital ministry and mission in The United Methodist Church. I encourage you to read the attached press release. I had the privilege of preaching to my episcopal colleagues on Wednesday morning, using the text from Colossians 1:24-2:7. In the midst of these difficult times, God is working in a mighty way through the ...

An Annual Conference 2021 update from Bishop Laurie

An Annual Conference 2021 update from Bishop Laurie

4/29/2021
To the Lay and Clergy Members of The Iowa Annual Conference, Grace and peace in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I write this on a beautiful spring day, with warm breezes, not a cloud in the sky, and trees and shrubs beginning to bloom. Spring also reminds me that it’s time to prepare for Annual Conference, which I have attended for forty years. Annual Conference has always been a time to reconnect with friends, experience inspiring worship, and celebrate the commissioning and ...

2021 Iowa Annual Conference Virtual Town Hall Meeting

2021 Iowa Annual Conference Virtual Town Hall Meeting

4/29/2021
The 2021 Iowa Annual Conference (IAC) Virtual Town Hall Meeting is set for Sunday, May 23, from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm. It will be held by Zoom Webinar. Lay and clergy members for the Town Hall will use the same login as the 2021 IAC Session, which will be emailed to you before the session. The Town Hall will be livestreamed and recorded for all local churches and members to watch and be informed. Information will be available soon on the Iowa Conference website, iaumc.org/ac2021.   The purpose of ...

Vida Nueva continues ministry in a new location

Vida Nueva continues ministry in a new location

4/29/2021
Transcript: God bless you.     I am Pastor Rubén Mendoza of the Vida Nueva [New Life United Methodist] Church in the north central part of Iowa.  I’ve been working here for two and a half years by the grace of God.  And we’ve had many blessings during this time.     I want to tell you first about the most recent blessing which is changing our worship site from Corwith to Kanawha.  This has been a great blessing because all the people that form a part of the church are closer to the worship ...

Fe y Esperanza embracing the future of its ministry

Fe y Esperanza embracing the future of its ministry

4/22/2021
Transcript: Hi my name is Humberto Gonzalez, and I am the pastor of Fe y Esperanza, which is a Hispanic church that meets in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and we belong to the Iowa Conference of The United Methodist Church. I am very thankful to be part of this ministry. What we've been doing through this difficult time of pandemic that has impacted a lot of people, is that we started using more the online platforms, and we've been worshipping for a little bit through Facebook and then using Zoom ...

Abiding in Exile - Baby Steps 04/22/2021

Abiding in Exile - Baby Steps 04/22/2021

4/21/2021
By: Eric Rucker Jesus said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side.” - John 20:27   Jesus was dead for three days - exiled from life. And his disciples were likewise exiled during that time - their teacher and Lord was dead, and the movement for which they had given everything appeared finished. They hid in a locked room together, afraid.   The nature of Jesus’ return from exile - and the disciples’ subsequent return to faith - are notable. The...

Worship in The Post Pandemic World with Jason Moore

Worship in The Post Pandemic World with Jason Moore

4/21/2021
Worship and ministry have radically shifted in this COVID-19 age, yet we hear a call to go back to “normal.” Returning to exactly how things were in the past may not be possible, so you might ask yourself, "How do we, as the church, refocus our efforts and embrace the changes in healthy ways?"  The Iowa Conference's Office of Congregational Excellence, along with the Office of Clergy and Leadership Excellence, invite you to attend four upcoming webinars presented by Jason Moore July 12-13 that ...

Lean on Christ: Statement on the Chauvin verdict from Bishop Laurie

Lean on Christ: Statement on the Chauvin verdict from Bishop Laurie

4/20/2021
The effect of righteousness will be peace and the result of righteousness, quietness, and trust forever. Isaiah 32:17, NRVS    The words of Isaiah are on my heart as I search my soul for peace and understanding during this time of deadly tensions, the COVID-19 pandemic, political divisiveness, and racism. This afternoon we heard the announcement of the conviction of Derek Chauvin on all counts in the death of George Floyd.      The tragic, racially charged, and unnecessary death of Floyd at the ...

Discipleship Ministries offers virtual tools to support your disciple-making journey

Discipleship Ministries offers virtual tools to support your disciple-making journey

4/19/2021
Tools to Support Your Disciple-Making Journey Discipleship Ministries serve the church to connect leaders with needed resourcing and training that supports spiritual formation. Below you’ll find high-quality resources for supporting your disciple-making process – everything from online discipleship to helpful webinars and new offerings from The Upper Room. Introducing the #SeeAllThePeople Books & Resources: FREE INTENTIONAL DISCIPLESHIP RESOURCES Tools for creating and strengthening your ...

Iowa UM Camps present plans for on-site ministry in 2021

Iowa UM Camps present plans for on-site ministry in 2021

4/16/2021
In 2020, Okoboji and Wesley Woods United Methodist Camps suspended on-site programs due to the COVID-19 pandemic; however, this upcoming summer, plans are in place to have youth on-site so they can learn about Jesus Christ and make new friends.  “Sharing Christ with young people at camp is what we do best. We are thrilled to welcome back youth and adults to camp,” said Bryan Johnson, Director of Camps and Retreats.  The Iowa Camps Team consulted with the American Camp Association and the ...

El Pueblo de Dios welcoming new people to the Kingdom of God

El Pueblo de Dios welcoming new people to the Kingdom of God

4/15/2021
Transcript: I am Pastor Rosa María Rodríguez from the El Pueblo de Dios [The People of God United Methodist] Church in Osceola.     Today I want to share with you what we are doing in this ministry.  Our focus is always carrying the Gospel, taking the Good News.  We are reaching more people for Christ. At this time we are participating in a project of a “fruitful morning.”  Of course, we are also teaching, discipling, preparing new leaders to reach out and disciple others.   We have our ...

Mobile United Methodist Missionaries gear up for summer programming

Mobile United Methodist Missionaries gear up for summer programming

4/15/2021
Greetings! I’m Cherie Miner, director of Mobile United Methodist Missionaries – or MUMM as we’re known. Since 1997, our ministry has served in rural southern Iowa in a variety of capacities, including disaster relief, mission trips, church camp, vacation Bible school and after-school programs. We do this through the support of your District Askings, apportionments and donations. So first let me say, “Thank you.”   MUMM’s goals overall are to: Coordinate rural ministry on a district-wide ...

Abiding in Exile - The Key to Humanity’s Survival 04/15/2021

Abiding in Exile - The Key to Humanity’s Survival 04/15/2021

4/13/2021
By: Priscilla Joel We have wandered through many unknowns the past several months, and as the title of this devotional series would inform you, it has often felt like we’ve been exiled. Exiled from each other, exiled from the outside world and maybe even exiled from freedoms we used to enjoy. As more and more people are receiving their vaccine each day, I have been reflecting on all the rules we have had to follow (and continue to) to keep ourselves and each other safe throughout this pandemic. ...

Enthusiasm grows for Circuit Ministry—an interview with Paul Wilcox, Transitional Superintendent

Enthusiasm grows for Circuit Ministry—an interview with Paul Wilcox, Transitional Superintendent

4/13/2021
As Circuit Ministry training continues every month in the Iowa Conference, enthusiasm and ministry are growing alongside it.   “From clergy and laity, I see enthusiasm for elements of the circuit that they've been looking for in their professional and personal lives,” said Transitional Superintendent Rev. Paul Wilcox.   Circuit Ministry at its core has two elements: Leadership Development and Missional Accountability, which are elements that “meet and feed the vocational part of us, the ...

Join virtual conversation with missionaries from around the world

Join virtual conversation with missionaries from around the world

4/12/2021
Despite the pandemic, United Methodist missionaries remain deeply engaged in work around the world. Normally, many of them “itinerate” each year to visit the churches and individuals that support them in ministry. COVID-19 has stopped most travel, but that doesn’t mean the missionaries aren’t available to meet virtually because they are #STILLINMISSION. Each month, UMC Global Ministries hostS four missionaries in a conversation with laity and clergy throughout the church to share the joys and ...

Move your body into Spring

Move your body into Spring

4/12/2021
Submitted by Kae Tritle, RN Well-Being Coordinator   Now that warmer weather has arrived, we all have the itch to get outside and become active. We want to shake off the winter blahs, enjoy the sunshine and get our bodies in shape. Most people believe that being in shape and fit is someone who is thin and athletic and can run for miles and miles. What fitness really means is your heart, lungs, and muscles have the ability to function effectively and efficiently. God designed our bodies to be ...

The Drake Wesley Foundation aims to offer a mature, stabilizing, spiritual presence to their community

The Drake Wesley Foundation aims to offer a mature, stabilizing, spiritual presence to their community

4/12/2021
For many decades, the Wesley Foundation at Drake University has been a ministry of the United Methodist Church of Iowa. Early adulthood is a season of life fraught with risk and rich with opportunity. It has been our aim to offer a mature, stabilizing, spiritual presence to the Drake University community. The Wesley House has been a beacon of radical hospitality and deep inclusion.  Investing in the spiritual and intellectual lives of young adults in higher education has been a hallmark of the ...

Iowa Conference renaming districts to honor the legacy of camping program

Iowa Conference renaming districts to honor the legacy of camping program

4/9/2021
As the Iowa Annual Conference transitions from eight districts to five, the districts will be renamed to honor the legacy of the Iowa United Methodist and Evangelical United Brethren Camp and Retreat Centers. The discernment of the new district names began in March 2020, and a small task force was officially named by the Bishop in March 2021. The new district names will be in effect on July 1, 2021. Central District will become the Riverview Park District Northeast District will become the ...

Streamed Services: Staying socially connected during COVID-19

Streamed Services: Staying socially connected during COVID-19

4/8/2021
The Iowa Conference Communications Office is assembling a list of ways you can continue socially engage in worship while practicing physical distancing. We will update this story with new streamed services as they become available. To submit a service time, please fill out this form with your church name, service time and a link to where the service is found online, Facebook, YouTube, television or radio station. Services won't be listed if URLs are not made available.   Thinking of starting to...

Abiding in Exile - The Cool Earth Beneath Your Feet 04/08/2021

Abiding in Exile - The Cool Earth Beneath Your Feet 04/08/2021

4/6/2021
By Rev. Jonathan Heifner This week we are sharing a guest post from Rev. Jonathan Heifner. A member of our writing team remembered Jonathan preaching about how we abide with creation. You’ll be blessed by his good words at just the time when nature itself is inviting us out of our closed-in spaces with warmth, new growth, and green shoots.  [God to Job]: Do you know the ordinances of the heavens?     Can you establish their rule on the earth? “Can you lift up your voice to the clouds,  so that a...

Journey to South Sudan for Mabaan Flood Relief Rescheduled

Journey to South Sudan for Mabaan Flood Relief Rescheduled

4/5/2021
Submitted by Beverly Nolte Originally scheduled for December 19, 2020, Pastor Aaron Limmo and Maya Dinga were prepared to travel to South Sudan to purchase humanitarian items for those affected by the Indian Ocean Dipole floods in 2019. Word from South Sudan two days prior to departure told of in-fighting among tribal groups in Mabaan County where they were to visit. The decision to postpone the trip was made. Now, after indications of stability and peace efforts, the men have rescheduled ...

COVID-19 Reentry Team update: Holy Week

COVID-19 Reentry Team update: Holy Week

3/31/2021
COVID-19 Update - Holy Week As you prepare your local church for worship (virtual and in-person) and traditional gatherings this Holy Week, we encourage you to follow guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Their recommendation is for vaccinated and non-vaccinated people alike. All are encouraged to avoid medium and large gatherings. If you are participating in an in-person worship service, all are asked to mask, practice social distancing and engage in hand-washing ...

Campus ministries at Cornell College

Campus ministries at Cornell College

3/31/2021
Rev. Dr. Catherine Quehl-Engel, Chaplain of Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa, and member of the Iowa Conference Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministries offers this video highlighting the importance of campus ministries and how it has impacted the spiritual life of Cornell students.  For more information on Cornell College's campus ministries, visit their website.  

Disaster Ministries Spring update - Be Aware and Be Prepared

Disaster Ministries Spring update - Be Aware and Be Prepared

3/31/2021
As we move into the spring storm season, the Disaster Response Committee would like to share some resources to help everyone in Iowa. A brochure is now available with ways the committee can respond and a list of the District Response Coordinators. Please download and use as needed. The National Weather Service is advising that we can expect more severe storms in 2021. While we can't be prepared for everything that might happen, it's a good time to make some basic preparations. BE AWARE and ...

Iowa Conference EAP supports clergy, lay staff and their families through partnership with Employee & Family Resources

Iowa Conference EAP supports clergy, lay staff and their families through partnership with Employee & Family Resources

3/31/2021
Are you considering counseling for an issue that keeps you from reaching your full potential or an issue with which your family is struggling to cope? Employee & Family Resources (EFR) can help.  The Employee Assistance Program of the Iowa Conference seeks to support the clergy, Conference lay staff and their families through their partnership with Employee & Family Resources. EFR offers counseling services to covered individuals and their families in a safe and confidential setting. Their ...

From the Office of Bishop Laurie: Violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

From the Office of Bishop Laurie: Violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

3/30/2021
Dear clergy sisters and brothers of Asian and Pacific Islander descent and all members of the Iowa Conference,  I am writing to you during this Holy Week with a word of encouragement and hope. I give thanks for the amazing ministry that each one of you has in the Iowa Annual Conference. Your deep faith and your fervent desire to share the love of Jesus with all of God’s children is making a difference in communities across the state. At the same time, I lament with you the increasing violence we...

Abiding in Exile - ReMemberIng 04/01/2021

Abiding in Exile - ReMemberIng 04/01/2021

3/30/2021
By Rev. Lee Roorda Schott Over the weekend, in the tedium of working on taxes, I had gone online for details from my bank records from last year. I scrolled through the months and came to last March and was astonished at the tears that came out of nowhere. It wasn’t about the numbers! It was grief I didn’t expect to be waiting for me in that particular spot. Bumping into those last weeks that were “normal” brought up a flood of memories, of so much that happened then, and since.   That ...

Iowa clergy leans on scripture when revealing her  family's vulnerability and son’s desperate need

Iowa clergy leans on scripture when revealing her family's vulnerability and son’s desperate need

3/30/2021
Rev. Oliva Fabros often reflects on Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." This verse eases her worries as she waits for news of her son's health and desperately needed surgery.    Fabros learned recently that her 32-year-old son, Siegfried, was diagnosed with a severe heart ailment requiring immediate attention. The cost of the surgery is beyond what Fabros can afford or raise on her own. With her immediate and church family's encouragement, she revealed her ...

Iowa Conference Center visitor and COVID-19 guidelines

Iowa Conference Center visitor and COVID-19 guidelines

3/30/2021
The Iowa Conference Leadership Team continues to meet, carefully consider and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and how it affects the conference building's usage in Des Moines.  Staff and visitors need to continue to maintain COVID-19 masking, distancing, and hygiene protocols. Building usage for gatherings in the building will continue to have event modifications, mitigations, and protective behaviors until COVID-19 in the community is very low. The Leadership Team expects these modifications ...

Iowa United Methodist Camps announces 2021 Annual Campaign results

Iowa United Methodist Camps announces 2021 Annual Campaign results

3/30/2021
In preparation for having youth on-site in summer 2021, Iowa United Methodist Camps completed their second Annual Campaign at the end of February. This year over 100 volunteers campaigned for one month on behalf of the Okoboji and Wesley Woods United Methodist youth camping program.  As apportionment funding through the IAUMC continues to shift, Iowa United Methodist Camps are shifting as well to continue sharing Christ with kids. The Annual Campaign is a big part of that model as a primary ...

Urgent appeal to assist an Iowa clergy member's son

Urgent appeal to assist an Iowa clergy member's son

3/26/2021
Update: Online donations have closed but check contributions can be sent to The Iowa Conference of The United Methodist Church, 2301 Rittenhouse Street, Des Moines, IA, 50321. Please indicate “Fabros Health Fund” in the memo line. Monetary donations to individuals are not tax-deductible. Dear Iowa United Methodists,   The Iowa Conference of The United Methodist recently sent a letter to Iowa clergy concerning Rev. Olivia Fabros. She is a pastor in Iowa of the Lacey, Beacon, and Eddyville United...

Abiding in Exile - Returning from exile with faithfulness 03/25/2021

Abiding in Exile - Returning from exile with faithfulness 03/25/2021

3/25/2021
By Eric Rucker “Then King Solomon conscripted slave labor (to build the Temple).” (1 Kings 9:21)   I’m noticing myself starting to relax, to take an exhale. There is an easing of tension in my body as I anticipate our society begin to leave exile. I know that the pandemic is not “over,” but with the vaccines released, and some of our most vulnerable people receiving shots, I have begun to hope.    But I’ve felt a certain sadness as I have relaxed. Because I’ve noticed that my relaxation has ...

AC2021 to be held virtually from June 4-6

AC2021 to be held virtually from June 4-6

3/25/2021
The 2021 Iowa Annual Conference session themed, "Connected in Christ: Watching Over One Another in Love," will be held virtually through Zoom Webinar from June 4-6. Plans continue to evolve as Bishop Laurie and the Sessions Committee move forward with planning the event.     Registration All members will be automatically registered. Pastors who haven't submitted the name(s) of their Lay and Equalization Member(s), please submit those as soon as possible to your District Administrative Assistant ...

A community on earth as it is in heaven

A community on earth as it is in heaven

3/24/2021
Members of the Antiracism Leadership Team will be contributing personal narratives in a series of articles about the importance of helping The Iowa Annual Conference to become fully antiracist at all levels of ministry. By: Rev. Dr. Lanette Plambeck, Director of Clergy and Leadership Excellence and member of the Antiracism Leadership Team As United Methodists, our baptismal vow calls us to “resist evil, injustice and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves.” As members of Christ’s...

Let it begin with me: A statement from Bishop Laurie on shootings in Atlanta and Boulder

Let it begin with me: A statement from Bishop Laurie on shootings in Atlanta and Boulder

3/23/2021
In response to the recent shootings that killed eight people, including six Asian-Americans, in Atlanta and ten people in Boulder, Bishop Laurie released the following pastoral letter to Dakotas and Iowa United Methodists. My heart echoes the psalmist’s cry: “O God, do not keep silence; do not hold your peace or be still, O God!” (Psalm 83:1, NRSV) Today, I grieve the horrific violence of the shootings in Atlanta, Georgia, at three spas and a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado. In these ...

Bishops Reconsider May 8 Special Session of General Conference

Bishops Reconsider May 8 Special Session of General Conference

3/22/2021
For Immediate Release Monday, March 22, 2021   Bishops Reconsider May 8 Special Session of General Conference   WASHINGTON, D.C.  -  The Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church met on Monday, March 22, 2021 in an additional meeting to consider pressing matters  related to the Council’s work.  After much conversation, the bishops reached a decision that in the best interest of the church at this time, they would cancel the Special Session of the General Conference which was set for May ...

Wesley Woods Equestrian Coordinator Receives Award

Wesley Woods Equestrian Coordinator Receives Award

3/22/2021
Laura Hutler, Equestrian Coordinator at Wesley Woods United Methodist Camp, has received the Distinguished Service Award through the Great Rivers chapter of the American Camp Association. This award is presented to an individual who has given “outstanding and distinguished service” to a camping program within the Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri area.    Laura was nominated by a group of camping professionals within the Midwest who recognized the value of the work that she has done this past ...

Scholarships for seminary students are availale from St. Paul’s UMC Cedar Rapids Foundation

Scholarships for seminary students are availale from St. Paul’s UMC Cedar Rapids Foundation

3/19/2021
The scholarship committee from St. Paul’s UMC Cedar Rapids Foundation will awards scholarships to individuals of the East Central District or of the Iowa Conference who are current seminary students enrolled in a seminary graduate degree program, preparing for a full-time career in ministry, missions, or Christian education. In January, 2021, the foundation’s board of directors recommended that the scholarship committee be encouraged to grant one of the seminary scholarships to a person of ...

Abiding in Exile - Knowledge is Fuel 03/18/2021

Abiding in Exile - Knowledge is Fuel 03/18/2021

3/18/2021
By Priscilla Joel It’s kind of wild how much we learn in such a short period of time. A “short period” could mean ten minutes, or it could mean ten years. My mom recently found some old pictures of me at space camp from when I was about ten years old. I am standing in the elementary school lawn, beaming, while holding up the model rocket I had just launched. I remember watching the little foot-long cardboard rocket launch up into the air, and slowly float down with the bright yellow parachute as...

Plans for immigration reform

Plans for immigration reform

3/18/2021
By Karlene Neal, Advocate for Immigrants and Refugees, Board of Global Ministries As promised by President Biden during his campaign for the presidency, he has announced a plan for immigration reform. If enacted, it would modernize the nation’s immigration system and provide a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented Americans. This is an issue that has been a serious problem for many years, and several administrations have been unable to come to an agreement on a plan. Many ...

A year of transition

A year of transition

3/12/2021
Submitted by: Kae Tritle, RN Wellness Coordinator   This has been a marathon year of coping with the effects of Covid-19. Unfortunately, we are not through. Like all marathons, the last third of the race feels the longest.  The same is true now for the pandemic.     While it seems that we have been in a holding pattern, waiting for life to resume, we have really been in a society-altering transition.  Life will not go back to what it was before Covid-19. Zoom gatherings are here to stay.  The ...

DisAbility Ministries Committee would like to be a resource to clergy

DisAbility Ministries Committee would like to be a resource to clergy

3/12/2021
Submitted by Deaconess Sharon McCart, chair, and the UMC Mental Health Task Force Greetings to Clergy from the United Methodist Mental Health Task Force! We are a new team, part of the DisAbility Ministries Committee of The United Methodist Church, which is a ministry partner of the General Commission on Religion and Race. We would like to be a resource to you! John Wesley’s ministry was grounded in the redemptive ministry of Christ with its focus on healing that involved spiritual, mental, ...

Abiding in Exile - Leaving Our Arks 03/11/2021

Abiding in Exile - Leaving Our Arks 03/11/2021

3/11/2021
By Lee Roorda Schott 6At the end of forty days Noah opened the window of the ark that he had made 7and sent out the raven; and it went to and fro until the waters were dried up from the earth. 8Then he sent out the dove from him, to see if the waters had subsided from the face of the ground; 9but the dove found no place to set its foot, and it returned to him to the ark, for the waters were still on the face of the whole earth. So he put out his hand and took it and brought it into the ark with ...

Iowa Conference Communications receives three awards at 2021 UMAC virtual awards gala

Iowa Conference Communications receives three awards at 2021 UMAC virtual awards gala

3/11/2021
The Iowa Conference Communications Ministry Team received three awards from the United Methodist Association of Communicators (UMAC) during the 2021 UMAC Virtual Awards Gala on March 10, 2021. The gala celebrates the ministry and creativity of United Methodist Communicators across the connection. Iowa Conference Communications team members Liz Winders and Courtney Levin, along with United Methodist News photographer Mike DuBose and reporter Joey Butler collaborated on covering the 2020 derecho ...

UMW - Women's History Month

UMW - Women's History Month

3/8/2021
Originally posted on the The United Methodist Women's website. March is Women’s History Month—a time to lift up all the women who have made an impact on our collective history. For over 150 years, since the Woman’s Foreign Missionary Society was first formed in 1869 in Boston, United Methodist Women has been on the forefront of developing leaders, fostering spiritual growth and advocating for justice. The United Methodist Women members who helped create historic change are women like Alma ...

MUMM plans to get back on the road

MUMM plans to get back on the road

3/5/2021
Submitted by Cherie Miner, Director, Mobile United Methodist Missionaries (MUMM) cminer5068@gmail.com As your church prepares for summer, remember that Mobile United Methodist Missionaries (MUMM) is here to help. Although Coronavirus canceled our plans last year, we’d like to forge ahead this summer, albeit with some changes.   If you’re not sure what MUMM does, take a look at this short video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZZa37gE-nM&feature=youtu.be   Feel free to share it during ...

Spring 2021 Orders & Fellowship Event - Building Up: Our Capacity, Our Relationships, Our Ministry

Spring 2021 Orders & Fellowship Event - Building Up: Our Capacity, Our Relationships, Our Ministry

3/5/2021
Join us as we are built up in the Orders and Fellowship Event Thursday, March 18, 2021 9 a.m. - 3:15 p.m. Zoom $20 registration fee How do we build or re-build relationships with and within our congregation? Our communities? At the Spring Orders and Fellowship Event, discuss how you have grown in your personal capacity as a pastor as you are going through everything associated with the COVID slog during the past year. Evaluate how to build up relationships as you see the light at the end of ...

The Iowa United Methodist Conference Re-entry team recommends a cautionary return as you reconvene or expand in-person gatherings

The Iowa United Methodist Conference Re-entry team recommends a cautionary return as you reconvene or expand in-person gatherings

3/5/2021
As of March 4, the Iowa Department of Public Health reported 598 new positive COVID-19 tests and 35 additional deaths. The state reports 742,386 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in Iowa, with 196,084 individuals completing their vaccine series. Additionally, vaccines Iowa’s virus positivity rates continue to hover around 4%. The 14-day average dropped from 4.2% to 4.1%. The 7-day average fell from 4.1% to 4.0%. State data shows 4,105,183 COVID-19 tests have been administered in ...

Abiding in Exile - Lament 03/04/2021

Abiding in Exile - Lament 03/04/2021

3/4/2021
By: Nan Smith Psalm 57: 1 (NRSV) “Be merciful to me, O God, be       merciful to me,    for in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings I       will take refuge,    until the destroying storms       pass by.”   It was my first year of seminary and it was the year my marriage was crumbling to pieces. It was also the year my clergy mentor for ministry became very ill and ended up leaving the church. It was a tough year.     And within that year, there was the week when multiple ...

Alzheimers Association of Iowa offers virtual training and education programs

Alzheimers Association of Iowa offers virtual training and education programs

3/3/2021
Register Today for the 2021 Virtual BrainWorks Conference The Alzheimer’s Association Iowa Chapter’s annual BrainWorks Conference will be held virtually on Tuesday, March 30 – Thursday, April 1 from 8:30 a.m. – 11 a.m. each day. The conference will feature experts to speak on topics like the latest in Alzheimer’s research, Medicaid eligibility for long-term care, and responding to stress in dementia. The conference is open to the public for $15 and will also offer contact hours for those in the ...

Susanna Wesley played a critical role in the Methodist movement

Susanna Wesley played a critical role in the Methodist movement

3/3/2021
General Commission on Archives and History and the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women have collaborated to uplift and celebrate some women of our rich Wesleyan heritage for Women's History Month. Check-in throughout March on both of their accounts to learn about a woman who left her influence on Methodism. The mother of John and Charles, Susanna Wesley played a critical role in the initial and ongoing shape of the Methodist movement. Born in 1669, Susanna was the youngest ...

Remembering Rev. David R. Wendel

Remembering Rev. David R. Wendel

3/1/2021
The Rev. David R. Wendel passed away on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. David served many churches over the years including Epworth, Farley, Elliott, Pilot Grove, Crescent Park, Sidney, Thurman, Estherville, and Newton.  David served as the Ottumwa District Superintendent from 1994 until 2000.  In 2004, he became the assistant to Bishop Gregory Palmer.  He served in this capacity until 2006, when failing health caused him to retire.  David then served Ivy Centennial Methodist Church, where he ...

The Wesley Center at the University of Iowa welcomes all

The Wesley Center at the University of Iowa welcomes all

2/28/2021
Submitted by The University of Iowa Wesley Center The University of Iowa Wesley Center is a welcome place to creatively explore spirituality within an anti-racist, queer-led, intersectional, and justice-seeking community. Every week at the Wesley Center, students are open to ask deep questions and share their stories as they seek to grow spiritually at an important intersection of their lives.  During a shared meal at the Tuesday Table or through rich conversation at Wednesday Bible Study, they...

From the Office of Bishop Laurie: Further Postponement of General Conference

From the Office of Bishop Laurie: Further Postponement of General Conference

2/26/2021
To the Laity and Clergy of the Iowa Annual Conference:       Grace and peace in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It was announced yesterday that the Commission on the General Conference has made the difficult decision to further postpone the 2020 General Conference because of safety issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic and challenges in traveling from different areas of the world. Our Book of Discipline is clear that the Commission is obligated to “take necessary measures to ...

United Methodist Women Connection for February 2021

United Methodist Women Connection for February 2021

2/25/2021
Vol. XXXI, No. 1     |     February 2021   Subscribe today to receive quarterly news from the Iowa UMW 2021 District Officers 2021 Iowa Mission Today Report Form President A New Chapter The Iowa Conference United Methodist Women, and the nation, are entering into a new chapter…turning the page. We have new leaders, new awareness, and hopefully a new appreciation of our blessings. As your new President, I have spent the month of January transitioning and learning. New brings with it ...

Abiding in Exile - Suffering 02/25/2021

Abiding in Exile - Suffering 02/25/2021

2/25/2021
By: Eric Rucker Then Jesus began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering…and after three days rise again. He said this all quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.” – Mark 8:31-32   I’m an amateur gardener. A few years back my wife and I started a compost pile in our backyard. We intended to grow the pile of our food scraps for several months and then to use the composted soil for our new garden.    Spring arrived and we went out to begin the garden....

Council of Bishops call Special Session of General Conference on May 8, 2021

Council of Bishops call Special Session of General Conference on May 8, 2021

2/25/2021
Press Release February 25, 2021 WASHINGTON, D.C. – In response to the further postponement of the 2020 General Conference, the Council of Bishops (COB) is calling a Special Session of the General Conference of The United Methodist Church (UMC) to be convened online on May 8, 2021.   According to the call letter signed by COB President Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey, the Special Session will be held in accordance with Division Two - Section II - Article II of The Constitution of The United ...

General Conference Postponed to 2022

General Conference Postponed to 2022

2/25/2021
Commission on the General Conference FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 25, 2021 General Conference Postponed to 2022 Meeting on February 20, the Commission on the General Conference made a decision to further postpone the 2020 General Conference until August 29 – September 6, 2022 in Minneapolis, Minn. as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect the safety of mass gatherings and travel. It is the Commission’s responsibility to select the site and set the dates of General Conference. Further, ...

Iowa Delegates hear and discuss recommendations on jurisdictional structure

Iowa Delegates hear and discuss recommendations on jurisdictional structure

2/19/2021
General Conference and Jurisdictional Conference Delegates from the United States were called together for a public webinar February 13 to hear reports on church finances, the Episcopal Fund, options for General Conference, recommendations about the structure of Jurisdictions and Episcopal Areas, and a recommendation from the Council of Bishops about Episcopal Elections.   “What we heard is that we are expecting less funding in the future than we have in the past, which is the reality we have ...

SYA provides free virtual service for Sunday after Easter Sunday

SYA provides free virtual service for Sunday after Easter Sunday

2/17/2021
There will be a free, twenty-minute virtual worship experience available for clergy and local IAUMC churches for April 11, 2021 - the Sunday after Easter Sunday. The Simpson College Youth Academy community will be providing the service, as an effort to support clergy in resting following Lent and Easter.  The service will include worship music, Scripture from the lectionary (John 20:19-31), and reflections and blessings from high school students in response to the text. It will be a Youtube ...

United Methodist Volunteers In Mission ask,

United Methodist Volunteers In Mission ask, "Where do you want to go?"

2/17/2021
Now is the time to begin planning your next Volunteer In Mission trip. Hopefully, things will begin to open up some this spring. Consider Sager Brown in Baldwin, LA. How about Midwest Mission Distribution Center in Chatham, IL? What about working on the upcoming disaster response project in the Cedar Rapids area? All of these and more can use the assistance of your church group of volunteers. Hi, I’m Linda Rowe, the new Iowa United Methodist Volunteer In Mission (UMVIM) Coordinator. I live in ...

Abiding in Exile - A Doubting-Thomas Sympathizer 02/18/2021

Abiding in Exile - A Doubting-Thomas Sympathizer 02/18/2021

2/16/2021
By: Priscilla Joel I can often be a bit of a skeptic at times. I like things I can see, touch, and prove—be it an equation from propulsions class or the weather. I have a habit of wearing many layers of warm clothing well into the spring season, even when the weather forecast claims that the temperature is, in fact, warmer. But the prediction isn’t good enough. I need to see the ice turning to slush with my own eyes and I need to feel the sun with my own skin. For a while now, my skepticism has ...

Candidacy Summit still spirit-filled in virtual setting

Candidacy Summit still spirit-filled in virtual setting

2/12/2021
The pandemic didn’t stop the Board of Ordained Ministry’s Candidacy Advising and Mentoring, Recruitment Encouraging (CARE) Committee from hosting its Candidacy Summit Retreat for those reflecting on pursuing ministry. A virtual event was held Saturday, February 6, with almost 20 people in attendance.   “It was a delight to see so many varied persons considering a future in ministry in our annual conference,” said Mara Bailey, CARE Committee member. “Given all the limitations of a virtual event, ...

Iowa United Methodist Camps Announces Matching Gifts

Iowa United Methodist Camps Announces Matching Gifts

2/12/2021
Halfway through an Annual February Campaign to support youth attending camp, Iowa United Methodist Camps have raised over $100,000 to share the love of Christ with young people. Now, an exciting announcement has been made.  “We’ve been incredibly blessed by a couple of generous families who have been positively impacted through Iowa’s shared United Methodist Camping Ministry,” says Bryan Johnson, Director of Camps and Retreats. “Any pledge made to Wesley Woods United Methodist Camp this ...

Celebration of Life update: Keep Bishop Deborah Kiesey and family in your prayers

Celebration of Life update: Keep Bishop Deborah Kiesey and family in your prayers

2/11/2021
Brad Kiesey was an Iowa farm boy who grew up in Washington on a forty-acre farm. He always loved music and met his wife Deb while he was first practicing law in Mason City. I didn’t meet Brad until Deb was elected a bishop in The United Methodist Church. I remember voting for her at the North Central Jurisdictional Conference in 2004.  Brad and Deb and my husband Gary and I became better acquainted in 2008 when the North Central Jurisdictional Conference met in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and we ...

Abiding in Exile - Flourishing Anyway 02/11/2021

Abiding in Exile - Flourishing Anyway 02/11/2021

2/10/2021
by Rev. Lee Roorda Schott February 11, 2021 Scripture For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,    and do not return there until they have watered the earth, making it bring forth and sprout,    giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;    it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,    and succeed in the thing for which I sent it. For you shall go out in joy,    and be led back in peace; the ...

Clergy resource: DMPCC Virtual Clergy Pods

Clergy resource: DMPCC Virtual Clergy Pods

2/10/2021
Submitted by DMPCC This is a challenging time to be a religious leader.  Clergy and congregations have been pressed to adapt and create new ways of caring and staying connected. At the same time, the level of anxiety of nearly everyone around them has been amped up to eleven!  Yes, this is a difficult time. However, there is no need to keep pushing ahead alone. The concept of the “pod” has emerged as a way of safely connecting with others during the pandemic.  The Des Moines Pastoral Counseling ...

Cold weather tips from Iowa Conference Disaster Ministries

Cold weather tips from Iowa Conference Disaster Ministries

2/10/2021
The forecast for Iowa for the next week is for continued cold temperatures and colder wind chills.     Heimo from the Last Alasakans says “it’s not the cold that will kill you,  it’s not being prepared for the cold that will kill you.” Take a few minutes and get prepared so that you are not caught off guard.    For you: Be practical about the amount of time you spend outdoors. Frostbite happens quickly.   Dress in layers to keep warm. Keep your hands and head covered Check on your neighbors ...

The Iowa United Methodist Conference Re-entry team reminds churches to be vigilant and remain in the Yellow Light phase of the Covid-19 Reentry Plan

The Iowa United Methodist Conference Re-entry team reminds churches to be vigilant and remain in the Yellow Light phase of the Covid-19 Reentry Plan

2/8/2021
On Friday, February 5, 2021, Iowa’s Governor Kim Reynolds signed a new Public Health Disaster proclamation, effective February 7, 2021, that relaxes the state’s limited mask requirements, social distancing requirements, and limits on gatherings. The proclamation strongly encourages Iowans, businesses, and organizations to take reasonable public health measures consistent with guidance from the Iowa Department of Public Health.   In her proclamation Governor Reynolds states, “I continue to ...

Annual Conference 2021 important information and dates

Annual Conference 2021 important information and dates

2/5/2021
Lay members and clergy persons will gather for the 178th Iowa Annual Conference session from June 4-6th, 2021. Similar to 2020, much of the 2021 Iowa Annual Conference will be held virtually through the Zoom Webinar platform.    Clergy Session will be held at 9:00 a.m. Friday, June 4, and Laity Session will be held the same day at 7:00 p.m.    Bishop Laurie Haller will call the annual conference members to order at 9 a.m. Saturday, June 5, to begin the two-day session. The 2021 theme is, ...

Circuit Ministry Testimonials Part One: The Huddle and Building Trust

Circuit Ministry Testimonials Part One: The Huddle and Building Trust

2/5/2021
Circuit ministry is new to Iowa, but one circuit in the Northeast District has been meeting for over three years. These churches have without fail reported an increase in worship energy and numbers. In part one of our Circuit Ministry Testimonial Series, hear what life is like in our first and oldest circuit located in Delaware County. Pastor Phil Rogers, Manchester United Methodist Church in the DELCO Circuit Pastor Keith Pitts, Delhi and Buck Creek United Methodist Churches, DELCO ...

Conversations on Local Church and Conference Finances for your congregation

Conversations on Local Church and Conference Finances for your congregation

2/5/2021
Four Conversations on Local Church and Conference Finances were held via livestream the last two weekends. About 365 people tuned in total on Vimeo and Facebook Live and questions were answered after the presentation. As a follow up, a Q&A list has been created and the full presentation is available for download to share with your local churches. The team has also made available the apportionment witness statements from laity and clergy in the conference. If you have questions about these ...

Abiding in Exile - Adapting to New Circumstances 02/04/2021

Abiding in Exile - Adapting to New Circumstances 02/04/2021

2/4/2021
by Rev. Nan Smith February 4, 2021 Scripture “Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!”   ~Psalm 27: 14 (NRSV)   When I worked as a naturalist, I attended a wonderful conference for interpretive naturalists in Tucson, Arizona. Now as a group, naturalists tend to lean towards the “wild” side of life, so it was really no surprise that a group of us decided to rise early and hike in the desert landscape.  Now part of our motivation was to get some exercise ...

2019 Advent Daily Devotions

2019 Advent Daily Devotions

2/4/2021
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 ...

Conference Connectional Ministries Council (CCMC) Realignment Team update

Conference Connectional Ministries Council (CCMC) Realignment Team update

2/3/2021
The Reimagining the Conference Connectional Ministries Council (CCMC) Task Force team, formed by Bishop Laurie Haller in her Vision 2032 Address to position the Iowa Annual Conference CCMC for more effective ministry and outreach, continues its work and will report its final proposal to the Bishop’s Operational Team on April 1, 2021.   Because the Iowa Annual Conference’s operational budget has been shrinking for several years due to falling apportionment receipts from local churches, staff and ...

Exciting future for Iowa Justice For Our Neighbors

Exciting future for Iowa Justice For Our Neighbors

2/3/2021
For the last 21 years, Iowa Justice For Our Neighbors (JFON) has provided legal services to support immigrants and refugees in the state of Iowa as a ministry of the Iowa Annual Conference. In April 2021, Justice For Our Neighbors will merge with the American Friends Service Committee* to create the Iowa Migrant Movement for Justice with continued support from the Iowa Annual Conference and the national JFON network.    Iowa Migrant Movement for Justice will continue to provide legal service for...

Pride, Shame and Pain: Methodist History with Racism and Efforts to Dismantle It

Pride, Shame and Pain: Methodist History with Racism and Efforts to Dismantle It

2/3/2021
"If a race has no history, if it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world, and it stands in danger of being exterminated." - Carter G. Woodson 2020 witnessed many tragedies and hardships. The global pandemic caught us all off-guard and left us all struggling to be alone together. Political divisions not only in the United States but around the world divide(d) us along lines of "us" verses "them." And here in the United States, George Floyd, Breonna...

Discipleship Ministries webinar “Clergy: Get Smart About Your Taxes!”

Discipleship Ministries webinar “Clergy: Get Smart About Your Taxes!”

2/2/2021
Monday, February 15, 2021, 10:00 AM Clergy face unique challenges related to Social Security payments, estimated tax payments, housing allowances or exclusions, and reimbursed expenses. Clergy may have questions about the implications of the pandemic on the 2020 tax situation. Your corner tax preparer may not understand the unique situation of clergy. Finding a preparer who does understand clergy needs can save you substantially in money and aggravation. Join us as the Rev. Don ...

The Circuit Ministry Transition Team hosts third Circuit Leader meeting

The Circuit Ministry Transition Team hosts third Circuit Leader meeting

1/29/2021
On January 23, 2021, the Circuit Transition Team hosted the third set of circuit development meetings for the leaders of the pilots.     The Purpose of Circuit Ministry is to develop a circuit of missionally effective clergy and laity leading together in partnership through:  Leadership Multiplication  Missional Accountability & Oversight  “We’re listening to our circuit pilots and making adjustments with our training as we go and getting positive feedback from those who originally expressed ...

Abiding in Exile - Differentiated 01/28/2021

Abiding in Exile - Differentiated 01/28/2021

1/28/2021
By: Eric Rucker “When the new Temple was laid… some wept with a loud voice… though many shouted for joy.” (Ezra 3:11) I’ve spent the last two weeks creating a flow chart for my ministry for the spring and summer. It is comprised of three contingency plans (in-person, hybrid, and virtual ministry) that could be executed by my team, based on how the public health situation progresses in the next six months. Then, last week, I listened as a news report told of a new – more contagious – variant of ...

Deadline nears for communications ministry scholarship and fellowship

Deadline nears for communications ministry scholarship and fellowship

1/28/2021
United Methodist Communications Office of Public Information For Immediate Release January 28, 2020 Nashville, Tennessee – Persons interested in pursuing a career in religious communications are encouraged to explore education support offered by United Methodist Communications. Eligible parties have until March 15thto submit their applications for scholarship and fellowship consideration. “We believe that it is vital to have professional communicators who reflect the diversity of the global ...

Ezekiel Team begins work to move conference forward

Ezekiel Team begins work to move conference forward

1/28/2021
The Iowa Conference Ezekiel Team has begun meeting. This team intends to walk through 2021, together. They are charged with strategizing what a way forward can look like up to and after General Conference 2020 meets in the late summer of 2021.   The team has been given three priorities in its charge from Bishop Laurie Haller. The three priorities are:  To get through the pandemic together  To move toward General Conference together To respond to General Conference together The team consists of...

Vision 2032: Conversations on Local Church and Conference Finances

Vision 2032: Conversations on Local Church and Conference Finances

1/28/2021
As a follow-up to Bishop Laurie’s Epiphany Address, there will be Conversations on Local Church and Conference Finances. Bishop Laurie has prepared an opening devotion, “Sowing Seeds of Generosity” in which she describes her personal journey of faith relating to financial stewardship. Conference Treasurer Maggie Biggs and the Conference Council on Finance and Administration Chairperson Norlan Hinke will also present reports on the status of the giving of our local churches to Apportionments. ...

Discipleship Ministries new webinar “Been Looking for a Better Offering?” With Don Smith

Discipleship Ministries new webinar “Been Looking for a Better Offering?” With Don Smith

1/26/2021
Tuesday, February 9, 2021, 6:30 pm, CST   Has the pandemic raised questions in your church regarding how your church’s ministry will be funded in the future? Join Rev. Ken Sloane, Director of Stewardship & Generosity, as he welcomes Don Smith, generosity strategist with Horizons Stewardship and author of the new book, A Better Offering: 5 Unmistakable Habits of Generous Churches. Don will share some observations from the book, such as, how many churches are ...

Iowa United Methodist Camps launches annual campaign

Iowa United Methodist Camps launches annual campaign

1/26/2021
Okoboji and Wesley Woods United Methodist Camps are excited to launch their second annual campaign this February in preparation for offering youth programs on-site in summer 2021.    Director of Camps and Retreats, Bryan Johnson, views youth camping as a way to support youth and the future of United Methodism, “The sustainability of any church relies upon developing and growing the Christian faith in as many as possible. In that vein, Iowa United Methodist Camps are proud to be places where ...

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