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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 ...

The School for Lay Ministry extended learning opportunities

The School for Lay Ministry extended learning opportunities

12/12/2019
The School for Lay Ministry (SLM) Commission is offering extended learning classes at Cornell College in Mount Vernon, IA  in March. These classes are open to anyone! Class Description 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 Book needed: Shaping the Prayers of the People by Samuel Wells and Abigail Kocher This study offers many ideas and...

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 ...

Rebuilding the Connection – Spring 2020 Orders & Fellowship Event

Rebuilding the Connection – Spring 2020 Orders & Fellowship Event

12/9/2019
Whether the United Methodist Church ends up in one, four, or even more pieces, we must admit that the Connection has not been functioning well in the Iowa Conference. Join us as Rev. Dr. Greg Jones, Dean of Duke Divinity School, helps us begin to rebuild the Connection as we look at reasons why the Connection has suffered and how every United Methodist pastor in Iowa can, by the grace of God and power of the Holy Spirit, look at themselves and others in ways which can help us better function as ...

Vision 2032 Conversation II - Follow Up Locations Update

Vision 2032 Conversation II - Follow Up Locations Update

12/9/2019
During the Fall of 2019, Vision 2032: All In — A Visioning Session with Bishop Laurie were held throughout Iowa where attendees will able to share dialogue on how to build a future together. 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 2032. The date, 13 years from now, comes from a presentation she gave to the Church of the Resurrection’s Leadership Institute. ...

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 ...

Conference Center holiday hours

Conference Center holiday hours

12/2/2019
Please note the holiday hours for the Conference Center. We encourage you to make an appointment with the staff ahead of your visit. In addition, the Conference Center in Des Moines will be closed to the public beginning Monday, Dec. 23 through Wed., January 1, and will resume regular business hours for our conference members and guests beginning Thursday, Jan. 2.  The day before Christmas, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day (Dec. 23 — Dec. 25): Conference Center will be closed. New Year’s Eve ...

Deep peace

Deep peace

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

Fresh Expressions Vision Day February 15

Fresh Expressions Vision Day February 15

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

Messengers of Hope: An Advent message from Bill Poland

Messengers of Hope: An Advent message from Bill Poland

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

Strategic retreat

Strategic retreat

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

Thanksgiving greetings from Heecheon Jeon

Thanksgiving greetings from Heecheon Jeon

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

AC2020 Global Health Initiative

AC2020 Global Health Initiative

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

Christ the King Sunday greetings

Christ the King Sunday greetings

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

Seeking volunteer chairperson for the Board of Discipleship

Seeking volunteer chairperson for the Board of Discipleship

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

Subscribe to receive Advent Daily Devotions

Subscribe to receive Advent Daily Devotions

11/22/2019
To subscribe to receive devotional emails every morning during the 2019 season of Advent, click here and enter your email address. You will then receive an email asking you to edit your subscription list, where you can choose the Advent Daily Devotion 2019. Starting December 1 and running through Christmas, you will receive a daily devotional written by an Iowa United Methodist clergy person.

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 ...

Open Churches for 2020-21 Appointment Year

Open Churches for 2020-21 Appointment Year

11/15/2019
November 15, 2019 Dear Clergy in the Iowa Annual Conference, As we have for several years, the Appointive Cabinet is posting open churches where announced and approved retirements are known. Our intention is to invite you to prayerfully discern if you have the gifts and graces to serve in any of these communities and churches. You will note that each open church will list three to five clear missional needs. It is the intent of the Cabinet to appoint pastors who are gifted and able to meet those...

Statement adopted by NJC delegates at November meeting

Statement adopted by NJC delegates at November meeting

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

Just Resolution achieved; church trial avoided

Just Resolution achieved; church trial avoided

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

District Office Transitions

District Office Transitions

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

Hamburg UMC receives $30,000 from Iowa Disaster Ministries

Hamburg UMC receives $30,000 from Iowa Disaster Ministries

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

Bishop's Statement on Judicial Council Memorandum No. 1388

Bishop's Statement on Judicial Council Memorandum No. 1388

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

Help

Help

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

Ingathering marks 40 years in mission

Ingathering marks 40 years in mission

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

Pastors of Large Churches envision the future

Pastors of Large Churches envision the future

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

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

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

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

Winter Preparedness Tips from Pastor Catie

Winter Preparedness Tips from Pastor Catie

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

Hampton UMC gets to the heart of ministry with the poor

Hampton UMC gets to the heart of ministry with the poor

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

Ebony Bishops demand a voice in discussions on UMC future

Ebony Bishops demand a voice in discussions on UMC future

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

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

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

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

What Happens After Happily Ever After?

What Happens After Happily Ever After?

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

Latinx worship celebration begins at First UMC, Des Moines

Latinx worship celebration begins at First UMC, Des Moines

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

General Conference 2020: A preliminary look at key legislation

General Conference 2020: A preliminary look at key legislation

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

Iowa Justice for Our Neighbors celebrating 20 years of ministry

Iowa Justice for Our Neighbors celebrating 20 years of ministry

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

Reentry Team Info/Training Meeting in Muscatine

Reentry Team Info/Training Meeting in Muscatine

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

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

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

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

Looking into the future - Vision 2032

Looking into the future - Vision 2032

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

Rev. Douglas Cue installed as new SE District Superintendent

Rev. Douglas Cue installed as new SE District Superintendent

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

An Invitation to North Central All-District Reads

An Invitation to North Central All-District Reads

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

Celebration of Life - Bob Morrison

Celebration of Life - Bob Morrison

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

Pastor and author Lillian Daniel falls in love with Dubuque

Pastor and author Lillian Daniel falls in love with Dubuque

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

Two-day event brought pastoral leaders together

Two-day event brought pastoral leaders together

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

Rev. Jim Morris: Called to serve and preserve

Rev. Jim Morris: Called to serve and preserve

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

Back-to-School Ministry continues to BLESS

Back-to-School Ministry continues to BLESS

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

Now Receiving Candidates for Episcopal Nominee

Now Receiving Candidates for Episcopal Nominee

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

Bloomfield UMC to receive Fall 2019 Builder's Call gifts

Bloomfield UMC to receive Fall 2019 Builder's Call gifts

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

Annual event becomes forum on church’s future

Annual event becomes forum on church’s future

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

Council of Bishops announces winners of Local Initiatives Grants

Council of Bishops announces winners of Local Initiatives Grants

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

Myrtle Felkner—an extraordinary Christian educator

Myrtle Felkner—an extraordinary Christian educator

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

New policy on asylum seekers

New policy on asylum seekers

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

Conference Directors dream of what God has in store for us

Conference Directors dream of what God has in store for us

9/30/2019
The term “director” can have a kind of dry, formal feel to it that sounds distinctly administrative and maybe even a little distant. But to hear three Iowa Conference directors describe their calling at a recent conference gathering, you can sense the excitement and passion they have for what they do. So what are their roles, and what has inspired them in their work? Revitalizing the church Rev. Dr. Jaye Johnson, who serves at Director of Congregational Excellence, was a beneficiary of the ...

N.E.W. Plan would create 4 denominations

N.E.W. Plan would create 4 denominations

9/26/2019
A United Methodist group has submitted legislation that would dissolve The United Methodist Church and form four new global denominations instead. The legislation says the new Methodist expressions would be traditionalist, moderate, progressive and liberationist in orientation.  The New Expressions Worldwide, or N.E.W., Plan is the work of UM-Forward, a group that identifies as a collective of United Methodist liberationists. By that, group members mean that they seek to advance the liberation ...

French Ministry celebrates first year

French Ministry celebrates first year

9/25/2019
The French Ministry of Sioux City celebrates a year of growth and connection “I have a feeling of joy in my heart, and a feeling of celebration. It has been a journey,” marvels Rev. Michel Okitakoyi Lundula. On September 22, 2019, he was worshipping with over 100 others of the French Ministry of Sioux CIty at First United Methodist Church as they celebrated the 1st year anniversary of the unique congregation of French-speaking United Methodists.  The rapidly growing French Ministry began ...

CCMC seeking Vice-Chair for 2019-2020 program

CCMC seeking Vice-Chair for 2019-2020 program

9/24/2019
The Conference Connectional Ministries Council is looking for a Vice-Chair for 2019-2020 program year who would be willing to become the Chair of the Council in July of 2020.  While the position could be open to anyone in the Iowa Annual Conference, female laypersons are strongly encouraged to serve in order to maintain a good rotation of leadership.   The Council normally meets 2-3 times per year and is responsible for overseeing the program ministries in the Annual Conference. The Chair of the...

Dorian response illustrates how UMCOR works

Dorian response illustrates how UMCOR works

9/19/2019
As the Bahamas and communities along the eastern coast of the United States begin to recover from Hurricane Dorian, the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is assisting with relief efforts everywhere. This article by Global Ministries’ senior writer Christie R. House uses the Hurricane Dorian response to illustrate how UMCOR responds to natural and other disasters in countries around the globe as well as in the United States. Read about how before Dorian had even hit the Bahamas, UMCOR'...

Flood preparedness update from Disaster Ministries

Flood preparedness update from Disaster Ministries

9/19/2019
As we watch the rivers all across Iowa: PRAY for our Sisters and Brothers who are stressed and facing floodwaters....again. PRAY for the first responders. DO reach out to those who will be affected by floodwaters, with calls, texts, and encouragement. DO support outreach efforts by giving to: Iowa Disaster Response  Advance #223 UMCOR,  United States (Domestic) Disaster Response  #901670 UMCOR International Disaster Response (Bahamas)  #982450 DO HAVE A PLAN for where you would go if you ...

Midwest Mission's relief arrives in the Bahamas

Midwest Mission's relief arrives in the Bahamas

9/17/2019
In anticipation of the hurricane season, Midwest Mission Distribution Center had pre-staged relief items such as personal dignity kits, rice meal packs, and linens at their partner's (Food for the Poor) warehouse in Jacksonville, FL. Following the devastation caused by hurricane Dorian those items were immediately put to use and airlifted to the Bahamas arriving on September 7. Food for the Poor has sent a request for other items for the residents of the Bahamas and Midwest Mission's would like...

UMCOR starts efforts for Bahamas relief

UMCOR starts efforts for Bahamas relief

9/16/2019
By Linda Bloom Sept. 5, 2019 | UM News How to help: Donations for the Bahamas can be made through UMCOR's International Disaster Response Advance #982450. Money from this fund is used to respond to disasters around the world. In the U.S., donate to the U.S. Disaster Response Advance #901670 for the United Methodist Committee on Relief. As Hurricane Dorian continued to threaten the U.S. east coast, United Methodists were connecting with Methodists in the Bahamas to start relief efforts. The ...

Connectional Table’s U.S. Regional Conference legislation now available

Connectional Table’s U.S. Regional Conference legislation now available

9/13/2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 13, 2019 Connectional Table’s U.S. Regional Conference legislation now available. Chicago, IL – The Connectional Table is publishing its legislative petition to create a U.S. Regional Conference, as well as a one-page frequently asked questions sheet and a narrative booklet.  The CT, who collaborated closely with Wespath on this legislation, shares the legislation and educational materials in advance of the 2020 General Conference as a reflection of the value it ...

Clergywomen retreat explores Celtic Christianity

Clergywomen retreat explores Celtic Christianity

9/9/2019
In the Sawtooth Mountains along the shore of Lake Superior, ten clergywomen spent a week exploring Celtic Christianity and immersing themselves in nature, prayer, art and exercises to deepen awareness of God’s presence.   Offered through the Office of Pastoral Care and Counseling, the week was led by Dr. Mary Bellon and Rev. Nan Smith and designed to allow the participants to bring leadership as well.   Dr. Lanette Plambeck, Rev. Lee Schott, Rev. Beth Harbaugh, Rev. Elizabeth Bell, Rev. Cathy ...

New rules for immigrants

New rules for immigrants

9/9/2019
Since the 19th century, self-sufficiency has been a foundation of U.S. immigration law. The Trump administration has expanded the definition “public charge” concerning immigrants. This policy makes it harder for legal migrants who use public benefits to get a green card. Low-income and less-educated foreigners will have a more difficult time getting into the U.S. Mike Howell, a former Department of Homeland Security and now an advisor at the Heritage Foundation, says, “If fully enforced, it’s ...

Thank You from Bishop Laurie

Thank You from Bishop Laurie

9/5/2019
I want to thank you for your kind expressions of love and support upon the death of my father. It is overwhelming to know that so many people care enough to send a card or an email or say a prayer. I will be forever grateful for your continued commitment to make a difference in our world by your prayers, your presence, your gifts, your service, and your witness to the love of Jesus for all people. Blessings, Bishop Laurie  

Labor Day pastoral letter from Bishop Laurie

Labor Day pastoral letter from Bishop Laurie

9/1/2019
Grace and peace over this Labor Day weekend. While many in our country celebrate the Labor Day weekend by traveling or simply enjoying the end of summer before church, school, and community activities begin in September, others are grieving or preparing to evacuate.  Yesterday, seven people were killed and twenty-two people were injured in Odessa, Texas. When a man was pulled over by state troopers, he opened fire, hijacked a van, and kept shooting until he was eventually killed by police. Among...

Pictured Rocks UMC Camp and Retreat Center closes

Pictured Rocks UMC Camp and Retreat Center closes

8/26/2019
Former campers, employees, camp counselors, board members, and supporters gathered on the grounds of Pictured Rocks United Methodist Camp and Retreat Center for the Deconsecrating Service held on August 25, 2019.  Speaking about the history of Pictured Rocks, Camp Director Gabe Dorrell said, “The reality came to fruition in 1961 when the first campers enjoyed camp here in this sacred space. History goes with us. When we leave this place, the relationships that have been built, that have been ...

UMCNext plan would end LGBTQ restrictions

UMCNext plan would end LGBTQ restrictions

8/19/2019
  By Sam Hodges Aug. 19, 2019 | DALLAS (UM News) UMCNext, a coalition that includes Reconciling Ministries Network, Uniting Methodists and Mainstream UMC, has offered a plan that would end The United Methodist Church's restrictions against same-sex weddings and LGBTQ ordination and offer a gracious exit to local churches that disagree with those changes.  A group of centrists and progressives is offering a plan that would eliminate The United Methodist Church’s restrictions against LGBTQ ...

Wersinger accepts new position

Wersinger accepts new position

8/14/2019
Karen Wersinger, the Northeast District Administrative Assistant, has accepted a new position with the Black Hawk County Sheriff’s Office in Waterloo beginning Monday, August 19.  Though Karen’s official last day with the Conference will be this coming Friday, August 16, her last physical day in the office was on Friday, August 9 as she enjoys some time with family before starting her new position. "Karen’s exceptional organizational skills and her kindness and easygoing manner will be missed ...

Group drafts separation plan for denomination

Group drafts separation plan for denomination

8/13/2019
A group of centrist, progressive and traditionalist church leaders have come up with a plan for The United Methodist Church to separate amicably into two or more denominations. It's called the Indianapolis Plan, after where the group met. Photo by William Sturgell, courtesy of Pixabay; graphic by UM News.

Prayers requested for Bishop Laurie

Prayers requested for Bishop Laurie

8/13/2019
Please keep Bishop Laurie Haller and her family in your prayers. Her father, Gerald F. Hartzel, Sr., passed away on Monday, August 12, 2019. Services will be at 11:00 am on Monday, August 26th at Peter Becker Community, 800 Maple Avenue, Harleysville, PA. Mr. Hartzell is survived by his children: Gerald F. Hartzel, Jr.; Bishop Laurie Haller, 2301 Rittenhouse Street, Des Moines, IA 50321; Randall L. Hartzel and Jennifer Handwerk. Memorial contributions can be made in his memory to Zion Mennonite...

2020 Iowa Annual Conference Session Dates

2020 Iowa Annual Conference Session Dates

8/12/2019
Over the past month, a team of Annual Conference Sessions Committee members and Conference Staff who work closely with the details of Annual Conference planning, reviewed some of the agendas and evaluations of previous sessions. They developed drafts of potential agendas that incorporate the essential functions necessary for the Annual Conference and renegotiated the contract with the Iowa Events Center where the Annual Conference session is held. This work was shared with Bishop Laurie Haller ...

GC Commission takes action following task force review

GC Commission takes action following task force review

8/10/2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE August 10, 2019  General Conference Commission Takes Action Following Task Force Review Lexington, Ky.: The Commission on the General Conference voted this week to implement new registration and credentialing procedures for General Conference delegates to safeguard against the possibility of unauthorized voting.  The Commission made the decision based on the results of an independent investigation into allegations of voting improprieties at the 2019 Special Session of the ...

Help children impacted by ICE raids

Help children impacted by ICE raids

8/10/2019
Help Children Impacted by ICE Raids 8/8/2019 UPDATED Giving Options for ICE-Impacted Assistance for Children People can support the ongoing efforts in helping impacted families and children by: mailing a check to Mississippi Conference of the UMC, 320-C Briarwood Drive, Attention: James Mason, Jackson, MS 39206. Please annotate “4ICE-Children” in the memo line of the check. making a fee-free donation using the PayPal Giving Fund website. sending an electronic donation via PayPal to paypal@miss...

Improper voting at GC2019 voids key vote

Improper voting at GC2019 voids key vote

8/10/2019
By Heather Hahn Aug. 10,2019 | LEXINGTON, Ky. (UM News) General Conference organizers have determined enough improper voting likely took place at the 2019 special session to nullify a key vote on how congregations can leave The United Methodist Church.   The Commission on General Conference — meeting behind closed doors during its Aug. 7-9 meeting — reviewed an investigation that found “credible objective evidence” of four ineligible people casting votes using the credentials of delegates who ...

The Iowa Conference Committee on Investigation meeting tomorrow

The Iowa Conference Committee on Investigation meeting tomorrow

8/7/2019
August 7, 2019 For Immediate Release   The Iowa Conference Committee on Investigation meeting tomorrow The Committee on Investigation for the Iowa Annual Conference is meeting Thursday, August 8, 2019, with United Methodist clergyperson Rev. Anna Blaedel and several support persons. Rev. Blaedel is the respondent to a formal complaint filed with the Iowa Conference Bishop’s Office by Mr. John Lomperis, a lay member of a United Methodist congregation in the Indiana Conference of The United ...

UMC bishops urge end to white supremacy, xenophobia

UMC bishops urge end to white supremacy, xenophobia

8/6/2019
August 6, 2019 For Immediate Release   UMC bishops call for discipleship; urges end to white supremacy, xenophobia   In the aftermath of the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, Council of Bishops President Bishop Ken Carter is calling for United Methodists to help end white supremacy and xenophobia which he says is fueling the culture of violence.   In a statement released today, August 6, 2019, Bishop Carter commend the statements of Bishop Gregory Palmer and Bishop Earl Bledsoe ...

Bishop Laurie laments gun violence in El Paso and Dayton

Bishop Laurie laments gun violence in El Paso and Dayton

8/5/2019
A PASTORAL LETTER TO THE IOWA ANNUAL CONFERENCE August 5, 2019   My heart was heavy this morning at Epworth Assembly in Ludington, Michigan, when the American flag was lowered to half-staff. It was a gesture of both mourning and respect for the victims of the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio over this past weekend. I have been at this summer resort with Methodist roots for several days of preaching and teaching. At an open forum this morning, we shared deep grief for the ...

Bishop Palmer urges prayer, action in wake of shootings

Bishop Palmer urges prayer, action in wake of shootings

8/4/2019
Grace and Peace to you, dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ Jesus. I was awakened early this morning with the news of the mass shooting in Dayton. I was stunned. Perhaps I should not have been, but it always seems even more chilling the closer it gets to home. All of this as we were all trying to make sense of the shooting in El Paso, Texas, barely 12 hours before. This tragedy in Dayton is one of more than a dozen mass shootings in the US in 2019. It now adds to the scores upon scores of mass ...

Ways United Methodists can take a stand against gun violence

Ways United Methodists can take a stand against gun violence

8/4/2019
WHAT IS THE BOOK OF RESOLUTIONS? The volume containing the text of all resolutions or pronouncements on issues approved by the General Conference and currently valid. The Book of Resolutions contains not only the resolutions and policy statements passed by the most recent General Conference, but also all such statements still considered to represent the position of The United Methodist Church. The text of any resolution is considered the official position of the denomination on that subject. —...

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