News


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 ...

UMHEF Scholarships Deadline Extended to March 19

UMHEF Scholarships Deadline Extended to March 19

3/2/2021
The United Methodist Higher Education Foundation PO Box 340005, Nashville, TN, 37204 (615) 649-3990 Email: umhefscholarships@umhef.org  URL: www.umhef.org   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   DEADLINE EXTENDED FOR UNITED METHODIST SCHOLARSHIPS Applications Accepted Through March 19 for United Methodist Higher Education Foundation Scholarships Nashville, TN  - The deadline for United Methodist Higher Education Foundation (UMHEF) scholarship applications has been extended through Friday, March 19, 2021.  ...

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...

Lenten Study 2021 Week Three: Giving up and letting go

Lenten Study 2021 Week Three: Giving up and letting go

2/26/2021
LENTEN VIDEO MESSAGE SERIES 2021 (See all Lenten Devotions) Bishop Laurie Haller and her Appointive Cabinet are providing Lenten Video Messages that you can share with your church. These videos will be based on the Lectionary readings for each Sunday. Please feel free to download and share however you would like.  Introduction: "It is ironic that the communications folks asked me to develop a devotion based on John 2:13-22, known by many as Jesus cleansing the Temple. I can have a bit of a ...

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 ...

Streamed Services: Staying socially connected during COVID-19

Streamed Services: Staying socially connected during COVID-19

2/26/2021
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...

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, ...

UMCOR response to severe winter weather

UMCOR response to severe winter weather

2/22/2021
Last week’s winter storm—unofficially named Winter Storm Uri—led to winter weather alerts for 170 million people. The state of Texas has been hit particularly hard, resulting in power blackouts, loss of heat and broken pipes. As the snow and ice melts, flooding will be a significant problem. UMC and other churches are serving as warming shelters and food banks. Meanwhile, the same storm system spawned tornados in the Carolinas, destroying homes. UMCOR, working with Conference Disaster Relief ...

Lenten Study 2021 Week Two: Living to benefit the Lord

Lenten Study 2021 Week Two: Living to benefit the Lord

2/19/2021
LENTEN VIDEO MESSAGE SERIES 2021 (See all Lenten Devotions) Bishop Laurie Haller and her Appointive Cabinet are providing Lenten Video Messages that you can share with your church. These videos will be based on the Lectionary readings for each Sunday. Please feel free to download and share however you would like.  Introduction: "We need to care for ourselves and for each other. But let us not forget to keep the main thing as the main thing for the Church. Jesus the Christ is our Lord whose job ...

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 ...

Wesley Woods Camp and Retreat Center seeks Program Coordinator

Wesley Woods Camp and Retreat Center seeks Program Coordinator

2/16/2021
Wesley Woods Camp is looking for an organized, enthusiastic, and motivated person to join our team as our full-time Program Coordinator. About Wesley Woods Wesley Woods has been providing growth experiences to develop Christian leaders for 65 years and services over 4,000 campers/guests per year.  Wesley Woods also offers a 10 week summer camp program which includes 4 weeks serving adults with disabilities. Program Director job description/duties The Program Director reports directly to the Camp...

Lenten Study 2021 Week One: Knowing our Identity

Lenten Study 2021 Week One: Knowing our Identity

2/15/2021
LENTEN VIDEO MESSAGE SERIES 2021 (See all Lenten Devotions) Bishop Laurie Haller and her Appointive Cabinet are providing Lenten Video Messages that you can share with your church. These videos will be based on the Lectionary readings for each Sunday. Please feel free to download and share however you would like.  Introduction: "We are in the first week of Lent—and this Sunday begins our journey of the next 40 days, leading the church up to Easter. The Lenten season is designed to be a mirror ...

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 ...

Lent 2021: Bishop Laurie's Ash Wednesday message for the Iowa Annual Conference

Lent 2021: Bishop Laurie's Ash Wednesday message for the Iowa Annual Conference

2/5/2021
LENTEN VIDEO MESSAGE SERIES 2021 Bishop Laurie Haller and her Appointive Cabinet will be providing Lenten Video Messages that you can share with your church. This is the first in the series and the second message will be emailed to you on February 12th. Make sure you check your email so you don't miss it. These videos will be based on the Lectionary readings for each Sunday. Please feel free to download and share how you would like.  Introduction: Bishop Laurie invites you to follow the ...

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 ...

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 ...

Self-care—patience and perseverance

Self-care—patience and perseverance

1/26/2021
By Kae Tritle, RN Wellness Coordinator The page on the calendar may have flipped to a different year, but much of what we are coping with hasn’t changed.  Covid-19 is still here with all of the social, economic, health, and psychological impacts. We are still social distancing, working, schooling, and worshipping from home. We are still taking health precautions and waiting our turn for the vaccine. Many persons are still waiting for the economy to recover and to have consistent income. Life is...

Remembering Richard “Dick” Wonderlich

Remembering Richard “Dick” Wonderlich

1/22/2021
Esther Wonderlich, Iowa Annual Conference Archivist, husband Richard “Dick” Wonderlich, passed away on January 13, 2021. Esther and Dick have been faithful and active United Methodists. Dick was a very talented woodworker and made a replica of the Wesley table some years back. Esther and Dick donated that table to the Ingathering auction.   Please keep Esther and her family in your thoughts and prayers.  Obituary:  Richard “Dick” Wonderlich, 76, of Mt. Pleasant, died Wednesday, January 13, 2021...

Spring 2021 Orders and Fellowship Event & The Iowa Licensing School

Spring 2021 Orders and Fellowship Event & The Iowa Licensing School

1/22/2021
Spring 2021 Orders & Fellowship Event - Building Up: Our Capacity, Our Relationships, Our Ministry Thursday, March 18th from 9 a.m. - 3:15 p.m. via Zoom Building Up: Our Capacity, Our Relationships, Our Ministry, is the theme for the 2021 Order of Elders Retreat on Thursday, March 18th from 9 a.m. - 3:15 p.m. on zoom. Join us as Dr. Elaine A. Heath draws from Scripture and many years' experience in missional ministry, academia, and mentoring leaders, to offer wisdom and encouragement for leaders...

Abiding in Exile - Expectations 01/21/2021

Abiding in Exile - Expectations 01/21/2021

1/21/2021
By: Priscilla Joel When I was a kid, there were many things that I thought would be a very big deal when I became an adult. Activities and actions that I thought I would have to deal with on a regular basis. Here are a few of those things: Quicksand Tongue twisters Pirates Identifying types of rocks Haunted houses I am not exactly sure where all of these ideas originated from. Some were from school, while others were probably conceived through books I read and movies I watched. But I still ...

Cedar Falls First UMC virtual training conference on January 31—

Cedar Falls First UMC virtual training conference on January 31—"Leading Through a Pandemic and Beyond"

1/20/2021
Virtually none of us in local church leadership imagined being movie producers or tele-evangelists when we were called into ministry.  Yet during the pandemic, we have had to reimagine how we do everything in relation to ministry.  At Cedar Falls First United Methodist Church, we have found some innovative ways to engage in mission and ministry through trial/error, failures, and blessings in new endeavors.  We would love to share some of the strategies we have found fruitful as well as some ...

Winter tips from Disaster Response Ministries

Winter tips from Disaster Response Ministries

1/20/2021
Winter officially began on December 21, 2020, also known as the Winter Solstice, (the longest night of the year)   Winter storms can include high winds, snow, rain, freezing rain, thunderstorms and more. This is a good time to take a few minutes and review your Winter Preparedness Plans.   Here are a list of winter preparedness tips. For your Home:   Have a plan for how you will keep warm if the power is off for an extended time. (DO NOT use the oven or a gas powered source inside your home) ...

Annual Conference 2021 equalization information

Annual Conference 2021 equalization information

1/15/2021
Each charge receives one lay member to the Iowa Annual Conference.    A charge served by more than one clergyperson is assigned an additional lay member for each additional appointed clergy. However, additional persons appointed to a charge who are from another annual conference, another denomination, are supervised and/or certified laypersons, or who are Temporary Pulpit Supply are not considered clergy for purposes of equalization and will not be in the total clergy count for that charge.    ...

Applications now being accepted for UMW grants

Applications now being accepted for UMW grants

1/15/2021
United Methodist Women are again offering grants to women in ministry, both laity and clergy, as well as local UMW units. These grants are possible through a generous gift from the Barbara Csomay estate. Barbara lived out our Purpose and had a heart for education of women. In 2020 we were able to give over $42,000 in grants. Many of those grants were in response to urgent needs due to the Covid Pandemic. In 2021 we will give preference to new projects/programs that reflect our Purpose to serve ...

Does global warming affect migration?

Does global warming affect migration?

1/15/2021
by Karlene Neal, Advocate for Immigrants and Refugees   An article recently published by the New York Times Magazine, in cooperation with ProPublica, describes the connection between global warming and people's migration. The authors used climate and economic-development data to examine scenarios.   For most of human history, mankind has lived within a surprisingly narrow range of temperatures where there is abundant food production. This zone seems to be moving northward, and drought ...

Transitional Intentional Interim Ministry Committee hosts Zoom event

Transitional Intentional Interim Ministry Committee hosts Zoom event

1/15/2021
The Iowa Annual Conference Transitional Intentional Interim Ministry (TIIM) standing committee is hosting a new Time for Renewal series of Zoom events. The next one is on January 27, 2021, from 10:00 am to 11: 30 am. It is open to all TIIMs graduates as well as any other clergy who might wish to join. The topic is titled "Happy New Year? Taking Time to Bask in Epiphany Light". The presenter is Rev. Karen Dungan, who is an Elder in the Iowa Annual Conference, a trained coach, certified Spiritual...

Abiding in Exile - We Contain Multitudes 01/14/2021

Abiding in Exile - We Contain Multitudes 01/14/2021

1/14/2021
By Lee Roorda Schott I just noticed that I haven’t been napping on Sunday afternoons.  This is surprising because I’ve always been a dedicated observer of S.A.I.N.T.: Sunday Afternoon Is Nap Time. I’d get home from worship and whatever else was part of the morning, and I’d be out. But I’m not, now. Now I find myself changing my clothes and then pondering options. A walk with my husband, or the “crafternoon” we shared recently. Folding the laundry. Some reading, or some Netflix.  I’m not certain ...

Are you exploring a call to ministry?

Are you exploring a call to ministry?

1/13/2021
The candidacy retreat which is a requirement of the candidacy process is an opportunity to further discern your call to ministry, learn more about the process, meet others on the journey, hear from those serving in different types of ministry and have a chance to ask questions. The next candidacy retreat will be Saturday, February 6th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. via Zoom.    Register Now →

Updates on United Methodist Missionaries related to Iowa

Updates on United Methodist Missionaries related to Iowa

1/13/2021
From Rev. Doug Williams serving in Mendoza, Argentina The Albert Schweitzer School finished the school year on Dec. 8 with in-person final classes as ordered by the governor of the province. Our churches are still only worshipping virtually through Mendoza had a gathering in the plaza in front of the church to sing Christmas songs. In San Juan, we had a special gathering Saturday in the sanctuary to record the Sunday service at which we presented Maria Milagros who was born during our lockdown. ...

2021 Virtual Advocacy Day is Jan 25

2021 Virtual Advocacy Day is Jan 25

1/8/2021
Be an at-home advocate for the 2021 Virtual Advocacy Day! Monday, January 25, 2021 RSVP to the Facebook event for updates and invite your friends! Learn more about the 2021 Virtual Advocacy Day by signing up for Action Alerts. You will receive e-mails during the 2021 Legislative session about: Bills introduced into Legislature When to contact your Legislators Tips for Lobbying and Advocating Click here to subscribe.  

Epiphany Address: Watching Over One Another in Love

Epiphany Address: Watching Over One Another in Love

1/8/2021
Epiphany Address Transcript: WATCHING OVER ONE ANOTHER IN LOVE   January 4, 2021, Bishop Laurie Haller Epiphany Address  Iowa Annual Conference Bishop Laurie Haller:   Good evening, friends. Grace and peace in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I am deeply grateful that you have chosen to participate in this time of reflection and celebration of where we have been as United Methodists in Iowa and how God is leading us into a future with hope. This is a very tender time in the life ...

A Statement from Bishop Laurie Haller and the Iowa Annual Conference Appointive Cabinet

A Statement from Bishop Laurie Haller and the Iowa Annual Conference Appointive Cabinet

1/6/2021
When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in ...

Abiding in Exile - Tempered 01/07/2021

Abiding in Exile - Tempered 01/07/2021

1/5/2021
By Nan Smith “Isaiah 43:2 (CEB) 2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;     when through the rivers, they won’t sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you won’t be scorched and flame won’t burn you.   When the shot was fired, the wolf pups scattered in all directions and the mother wolf fell to the ground. For Aldo Leopold, a conservation officer in the 1950s, it was business as usual. He was just doing his job – systematically removing the top predators in the White ...

A Pastoral Letter from Bishop Laurie and the Appointive Cabinet - COVID-19 Update

A Pastoral Letter from Bishop Laurie and the Appointive Cabinet - COVID-19 Update

1/5/2021
To the clergy and congregations of the Iowa Annual Conference:   We would like to thank you for your faithful response to the November 18th directive from Bishop Laurie Haller and the Appointive Cabinet that paused in-person worship and church activities through January 10th. You may recall this decision was made in response to worsening COVID-19 positivity rates across the state and the profound pressures being placed on our healthcare systems and frontline workers. We deeply appreciate the ...

Abiding in Exile - The Ritual of Grief 12/31/2020

Abiding in Exile - The Ritual of Grief 12/31/2020

12/29/2020
By Eric Rucker “How can we sing the songs of the Lord in a foreign land?” – Psalm 137    “My tears have become my food, day and night!” – Psalm 42   I haven't been doing well.    And I don't mean that in the causal sense, like I experienced five minutes of indigestion or an hour of moodiness. I mean it's been several weeks of heaviness in my heart. I’ve found myself unable to muster a compassionate response to those whom I love. Challenges that in another season I could navigate with nimbleness ...

Destroyed Nativity reminds Woodbine UMC of the 'simplicity of Christmas'

Destroyed Nativity reminds Woodbine UMC of the 'simplicity of Christmas'

12/29/2020
Pastor Regina Harrison was finishing up a long day in the Woodbine First United Methodist Church office when she heard the winter wind howling and sleet hitting the church’s windows. She decided it was time to pack up her things and head home. Little did she know, there was more work to be done that night.   “I grew up in the south and have been through hurricanes, and it literally sounded like a hurricane out there,” Harrison said. “The wind was blowing about 50 miles per hour, and it was well ...

Ministry reports for the January 4th Epiphany Address

Ministry reports for the January 4th Epiphany Address

12/28/2020
All clergy and laypersons in the Iowa Conference are invited to Bishop Laurie’s Epiphany Address: Watching Over One Another in Love, Livestreamed on Monday evening, January 4, 2021, from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. The address will be recorded for future viewing.   The address is based upon the Gospel Lesson for the Epiphany of Jesus Christ, Matthew 2:1-12. She intends to offer both a word of hope for the New Year and share reports on the formation of Circuit Ministry, church finances, a process for ...

Abiding in Exile - What Do We Do with Hope? 12/24/2020

Abiding in Exile - What Do We Do with Hope? 12/24/2020

12/23/2020
By Priscilla Joel December 24, 2020 We all finally received some encouraging news a couple of weeks ago. A COVID-19 vaccine had approved by the FDA. Finally, a glimmer of hope after a long, seemingly endless stretch of darkness. This does not necessarily mean our fears and anxieties disappear, nor does it mean we should stop practicing vigilance to keep ourselves and our communities safe. There is still much to be done before we can live in a mask-less, social world once again. So, what do we do...

A Pastoral Message from Bishop Laurie

A Pastoral Message from Bishop Laurie

12/23/2020
As many of you know, changes in episcopal supervision in the North Central Jurisdiction were announced last summer because of the postponement of both the 2020 General Conference and the North Central Jurisdictional Conference due to COVID-19. Because Bishop Bruce Ough is retiring from the Dakotas-Minnesota Conference on December 31, 2020, and will be serving part-time as the Executive Secretary of the Council of Bishops, I was asked to assume episcopal oversight of the Dakotas Annual Conference...

Bishop Laurie Haller’s Epiphany Address: Watching Over One Another in Love

Bishop Laurie Haller’s Epiphany Address: Watching Over One Another in Love

12/18/2020
Bishop Laurie Haller invites all clergy and laypersons in the Iowa Conference to an Epiphany Address: Watching Over One Another in Love.   The address will be Livestreamed on Monday evening, January 4, 2021, from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. The address will be recorded for future viewing.   The address is based upon the Gospel Lesson for the Epiphany of Jesus Christ, Matthew 2:1-12. She intends to offer both a word of hope for the New Year and will share with you several initiatives designed to address ...

Circuits Ministries update through 2020

Circuits Ministries update through 2020

12/18/2020
The Iowa Annual Conference’s newest set of Lay and Clergy Circuit Leaders began their first round of training on September 26, 2020. And currently, all nine of the newly formed circuits have started meeting together. The Appointive Cabinet formed the Circuit Transition Team to facilitate the formation and implementation of Circuit Ministry in the Iowa Annual Conference. The team members are Jaye Johnson, Director of Congregational Excellence; Ryan Christenson, Associate Director of ...

Abiding in Exile - The Timely Discipline of Showing Up 12/17/2020

Abiding in Exile - The Timely Discipline of Showing Up 12/17/2020

12/17/2020
By Lee Roorda Schott   December 17, 2020 5Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat what they produce. 6Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. 7But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.                                      --Jeremiah 29.5-7 ...

Bishop Laurie announces the retirement of Rev. Dr. Harlan Gillespie and the appointment realignments of Rev. Dr. Lanette Plambeck and Rev. Bill Poland

Bishop Laurie announces the retirement of Rev. Dr. Harlan Gillespie and the appointment realignments of Rev. Dr. Lanette Plambeck and Rev. Bill Poland

12/15/2020
Bishop Laurie Haller announces the retirement of Rev. Dr. Harlan Gillespie as Assistant to the Bishop and Director of Connectional Ministries effective July 1, 2021.  “I have had the great honor of working with Rev. Dr. Harlan Gillespie over the past three years,” said Bishop Laurie Haller. “During a very challenging time in The United Methodist Church, Harlan has provided outstanding and steady leadership in all of his appointments. Harlan made it a practice to connect regularly with ...

Celebrate Advent and Christmas with Bishop Laurie Haller

Celebrate Advent and Christmas with Bishop Laurie Haller

12/15/2020
Bishop Laurie Haller invites you to join her on a journey to renew our collective practices of prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness as we begin a new Christian year.    In the message for the First Sunday of Advent, Bishop Laurie remarks, “What is it that holds us together as people called United Methodists? It is a set of spiritual practices that center around the membership vows we take.”   During Bishop Laurie’s Vision 2032 Conversations, many of you said that we needed to regain a ...

Maaban Travel Plans Changed

Maaban Travel Plans Changed

12/15/2020
Word was received by the traveler, Maya Dinga, on the evening of December 16, 2020, that South Sudanese Opposition Rebels had attacked Mabaan Defend Forces/civilians in Upper Nile State which includes Mabaan County. According to the report, there were many casualties, with people losing and fleeing their homes, crops being burned, and general unrest. The advice from Security Personnel was to cancel the trip for Dinga and Pastor Aaron Limmo, who planned to travel to South Sudan on Saturday, ...

UMC Bishops call for optimism and hope in 2021

UMC Bishops call for optimism and hope in 2021

12/15/2020
WASHINGTON, D.C. -  Despite the trials and tribulations of 2020 brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, bishops in The United Methodist Church are calling on United Methodists and other people of faith to be optimistic about 2021 and to trust that God will make things better in the coming year.  In the 2020 Advent letter released today, the bishops urged people of faith to continue to have love, joy, hope and peace, especially during the season of Advent, which is a time of anticipation and longing in...

Are we complacent or complicit with systems of racial injustice?

Are we complacent or complicit with systems of racial injustice?

12/14/2020
By: Nitza Dovenspike, member of the Iowa Annual Conference Anti-racism Leadership Team Complicity is defined as an involvement in a crime or something that is wrong. The word is sometimes confused with complacent which is more about going along with the current situation, the status quo. Perhaps complacent is a softer adjective or noun the complicit. And it may be difficult for us to see ourselves as complicit in doing harm.     One of the goals for the work of the Iowa Annual Conference ...

Abiding in Exile - Ashes 12/10/2020

Abiding in Exile - Ashes 12/10/2020

12/9/2020
By Nan Smith December 10, 2020 Scripture: Isaiah 61: 1-3a “1The spirit of the Lord God is upon me,    because the Lord has anointed me; God has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed,    to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives,    and release to the prisoners; 2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour,    and the day of vengeance of our God;    to comfort all who mourn; 3 to provide for those who mourn in Zion—    to give them a garland instead of ashes, the oil...

A letter of encouragement from the Covid-19 Re-Entry & Response Team

A letter of encouragement from the Covid-19 Re-Entry & Response Team

12/3/2020
In a letter to the people of Philippi, the Apostle Paul writes:   “Be glad in the Lord always…Don’t be anxious about anything; rather, bring up all of your requests to God in your prayers and petitions, along with giving thanks. Then the peace of God that exceeds all understanding will keep your hearts and minds safe in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:4-7)   There is a lot to be anxious about these days. We are worried about the health of our community and the stress upon our hospital systems. Our...

Save the date for the 2021 Annual Conference Session. June 4-6th 2021

Save the date for the 2021 Annual Conference Session. June 4-6th 2021

12/3/2020
After careful consideration and consultation we’ve made the difficult decision to move forward with a virtual conference for the 2021 session. Production of the annual conference session involves countless staff and volunteers and begins several months prior to the event. With all the uncertainties surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic a virtual conference allows us to begin planning while honoring our commitment to Do Not Harm. Be sure to subscribe to receive AC2021 Updates and to stay up to date ...

A Blue Christmas Worship Service for churches to use during the Christmas season

A Blue Christmas Worship Service for churches to use during the Christmas season

12/1/2020
As a gift to our pastors and churches during the Christmas season, we are creating a Blue Christmas Worship Service for use in your online church messages, to share with members, or on your social media channels.   We know that not everyone is experiencing joy and excitement during the Christmas season. Dealing with the isolation of a global pandemic, job losses, COVID-19 infections, deaths of loved ones, divorces, the political and religious divisions all contribute to feelings of pain and ...

Abiding in Exile - Running with Horses 12/3/2020

Abiding in Exile - Running with Horses 12/3/2020

11/30/2020
By Eric Rucker December 3, 2020 “Jeremiah, if you have raced with foot-runners and they have wearied you, how will you run with horses?” (Jeremiah 12:5)   As the catastrophe of the Babylonian exile approached, Jeremiah lamented to God – about the people’s self-centeredness, about Israel’s disregard for vulnerable people and the land. Jeremiah was fed up with it all. And then God spoke to Jeremiah this question:    “If you have raced with foot-runners and they have wearied you, how will you run ...

Christmas Eve candle light service alternative for all

Christmas Eve candle light service alternative for all

11/30/2020
The West Des Moines UMC's worship committee is inviting you to participate in an at-home candlelight service on Christmas Eve. In addition to their online worship services planned for the evening of Christmas Eve, at 9:00 pm they are asking people to light a candle and step out their front doors, and wish their neighbors Merry Christmas.  They have prepared the attached invitation (word doc.) that people can give to their neighbors ahead of time. This is a great way for us to share Christ with ...

GBHEM 2020 Scholarship applications open December 15

GBHEM 2020 Scholarship applications open December 15

11/30/2020
GBHEM’s Office of Loans and Scholarships provides millions of dollars in scholarships to students every year. Finances should never be a barrier to answering your calling in life. GBHEM is here to help as you follow the educational path that’s right for you.     Scholarship Application Opens: December 15th – March 24th Explore the Scholarships page to find more information on: Eligibility List of available scholarships How to apply Grants and fellowships Frequently asked scholarship questions

UMC's spiritual giant, the Rev. Dr. Larry Sonner, is remembered

UMC's spiritual giant, the Rev. Dr. Larry Sonner, is remembered

11/30/2020
"Rev. Dr. Larry Sonner was a spiritual giant in the Iowa Annual Conference. As the founder and director of the Office of Pastoral Care and Counseling, Dr. Sonner was a fierce advocate for the mental, emotional, and spiritual health of countless clergy," said Bishop Laurie Haller. "Larry was also highly respected across the United Methodist connection and was not afraid to speak out on behalf of the least, the last, and the lost, regardless of the consequences. Our hearts are filled with ...

A message of thanks from Bishop Laurie

A message of thanks from Bishop Laurie

11/25/2020
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ, Thanksgiving is a very meaningful holiday for me because I was born on Thanksgiving Day. Perhaps this is why I’ve always considered gratitude to be part of my DNA. I am so grateful that my parents shared the love of Jesus with me from a very early age and am thankful to God for the opportunities I have had to live out my faith over many years. Psalm 95 is my song of gratitude to God O come, let us sing to the Lord;     let us make a joyful noise to the rock...

$3,000 needed to complete Mabaan fundraising effort

$3,000 needed to complete Mabaan fundraising effort

11/24/2020
Our final goal for the Mabaan Flood Relief fundraiser is $25,000.  We are within $3,000 of the goal and have another 10 days to reach it!  Can we do it?  Absolutely!  With your help, that of your local church, Mission, Wills, and Bequest or Foundation committees, this goal is within our reach!!! The fundraiser has been ongoing since the fall of 2019. It has been hampered by COVID-19 and the Derecho that tore through Iowa. We United Methodists are faithful and generous in support of our local ...

Abiding in Exile - An Unprecedented Way of Life 11/26/2020

Abiding in Exile - An Unprecedented Way of Life 11/26/2020

11/24/2020
By Priscilla Joel November 26, 2020 When you think of the word “Wilderness,” what comes to mind? I tend to associate the word with my personal adventures outside. Someplace secluded, uninhabited and vast. Someplace that makes my boots muddy and my brow glisten with sweat. That type of wilderness I enjoy. It feels good to escape from the confines of my apartment, and spend some time running or hiking in places where the Wi-Fi is weak.   But there is another side, another purpose, to wilderness ...

Simpson College offers pre-recorded Lessons and Carols

Simpson College offers pre-recorded Lessons and Carols

11/24/2020
Simpson College, one of our United Methodist-affiliated colleges in Iowa, is pre-recording their annual Lessons and Carols service this year. It is abbreviated from their traditional service of nine lessons and will include three lessons that move thematically from hope/preparing the way (Isaiah 40), to the promise of justice (Mary's song in Luke) and light (John 1). It will include four carols and four choral pieces. The final product will be 45-55 minutes so that it could be used as a worship...

UMC bishops honor, remember Rev. Dr. McClain

UMC bishops honor, remember Rev. Dr. McClain

11/24/2020
For immediate Release November 24, 2020   WASHINGTON, D. C – The Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church is honoring and remembering the legacy of the Rev. Dr. William Bobby McClain, a distinguished scholar, pastor, advocate and educator who died on November 18, 2020 at age 82. COB President Bishop Cynthia Harvey sent a condolences letter on behalf of the COB to Mrs. Jo Ann McClain, widow of Rev. Dr. McClain.  In the letter, the bishops thanked the Rev. Dr. McClain for his dedication ...

You can now order an Iowa Conference

You can now order an Iowa Conference "Do No Harm" mask

11/24/2020
If you would like to order an Iowa Conference "Do No Harm" mask, we have set up a group order through Custom Ink. The order form will be open for 15 days or until December 8. You can order, pay, and ship directly to your address. To keep costs low, we have designed these on navy blue fabric with white imprinting. Place your orders here. When using Custom Ink, the way it works is to get the printing completed; we need to order a minimum of 36 total masks. After that quantity is reached, the order...

A Pastoral Letter from Bishop Laurie regarding her Worship Directive

A Pastoral Letter from Bishop Laurie regarding her Worship Directive

11/20/2020
Dear sisters and brothers in Christ, Grace and peace in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. As we approach Christ the King Sunday, I am reflecting on how this marks the end of the Christian year. Alongside the Thanksgiving holiday, this last Sunday of the liturgical year encourages us to pause and be thankful for the blessings we have known, even in the midst of this most troubling time.  As you know, COVID-19 infections remain high in Iowa. In Governor Reynolds’ daily briefing ...

Abiding in Exile - A pocket full of hope 11/19/2020

Abiding in Exile - A pocket full of hope 11/19/2020

11/20/2020
By Nan Smith November 19, 2020 Scripture: Romans 15: 13  “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing,     so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”   Reflection: It was my first year, in my first appointment, when I visited a married couple: retired farmers still living on their farmstead.  The day was one of those arctic blasts from Canada and the winds were bitterly cold with temperatures well below zero.  So, there we were, sipping tea at their ...

Denison First UMC plays an integral part in providing for the food insecure during the pandemic and beyond

Denison First UMC plays an integral part in providing for the food insecure during the pandemic and beyond

11/20/2020
Denison First United Methodist Church provided much-needed organization, hundreds of volunteers, physical and monetary donations to the Crawford Cares drive-up food distribution program when a massive increase in need became apparent during the COVID-19 pandemic. Crawford Cares is a Facebook-based organization that acts as a message board to connect volunteers to community members who may be less self-reliant in Crawford County, Iowa.   After the Denison Community School District closed their ...

Important new pandemic guidance from Bishop Laurie and the Iowa Conference Appointive Cabinet

Important new pandemic guidance from Bishop Laurie and the Iowa Conference Appointive Cabinet

11/18/2020
November 18, 2020 For immediate release   Important new pandemic guidance from Bishop Laurie and the Iowa Conference Appointive Cabinet   In light of worsening Covid-19 positivity rates, the crisis faced by our healthcare systems, and out of an abundance of caution and love for our neighbor, Bishop Laurie Haller and the Appointive Cabinet is directing clergy and churches to cease in-person indoor worship and church activities through and including January 10, 2021. The Appointive Cabinet met ...

Give to the Mabaan Flood Relief fundraising campaign until November 30

Give to the Mabaan Flood Relief fundraising campaign until November 30

11/18/2020
It has been over one year since the Iowa Conference was asked by the South Sudanese Mabaan community in Iowa to assist with funds to address the Indian Ocean Dipole of 2019. This severe flooding devastated hundreds of villagers’ homes and crops in Upper Nile State, especially Mabaan County.   As Iowans, we know flooding with those affected knowing about waiting for help to come. The Mabaan have been waiting for over a year. At this time our funds will address the priority needs that have not ...

2021-2022 Open Churches

2021-2022 Open Churches

11/14/2020
November 14, 2020   Dear Clergy in the Iowa Annual Conference,   As we have for several years, the Iowa Appointive Cabinet (Cabinet) is posting open church/charge appointments 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 appointment will list three to five clear missional needs identified by the District ...

Bruna Farat Kakale prepares to begin mission in French Guiana

Bruna Farat Kakale prepares to begin mission in French Guiana

11/13/2020
By: Beverly Nolte United Methodist Missionary from Iowa, Douglas Williams continues his ministries in Argentina during this COVID-19 pandemic.  Several missionaries heavily supported by Iowa churches are Katherine Parker (Nepal), Dr. Emmanuel and Florence Mefor (Zimbabwe) and Jane Kies (Zimbabwe). Larry Kies (Zimbabwe) recently retired and now serves as adjunct professor at Africa University. Global Ministries continues commissioning new missionaries to be from “everywhere to everywhere!” One ...

November 10, 2020 COVID-19 Update to the IAUMC

November 10, 2020 COVID-19 Update to the IAUMC

11/11/2020
In support of Governor Kim Reynolds’ Public Health Proclamation on November 10, 2020, the input that we are getting from health professionals, and the awareness that our Iowa hospitals are reaching or are at capacity to accept new patients, the Iowa Conference of The United Methodist Church has made the prayerful and careful decision to mandate masks/face coverings for all gatherings. This includes all in-person local church worship, meetings, and groups occurring in United Methodist Churches ...

Women at the Well offers courses on Reentry and Restorative Justice

Women at the Well offers courses on Reentry and Restorative Justice

11/11/2020
The following training courses are prerequisites for practicing ministry with Women at the Well (W@W) as we walk with people and their families through the justice system. More advanced training courses will be offered as our program expands. Classes are offered through donations to W@W. All training will be held through Zoom at this time. Registration information listed after each class description. Reentry Training Sunday, November 22, 2020, 1:30 - 4:00 pm Saturday, January 9, 2021, 1:30-4:00...

Abiding in Exile - Unspeakable History 11/12/2020

Abiding in Exile - Unspeakable History 11/12/2020

11/10/2020
By Lee Roorda Schott November 12, 2020 In September, as we approached the six-month mark since the arrival of the Coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. I was certain my Facebook news feed would be full of people’s reflections on all that had happened during that time. It had been half a year. So many things disrupted—still—and a challenging flu season and colder months upon us. I was curious to see what my friends would say, and I toyed with what I might add.   But that didn’t happen. Crickets.   A ...

The 2021 School for Lay Ministry registration is open

The 2021 School for Lay Ministry registration is open

11/10/2020
The School for Lay Ministry of the Iowa Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church is a three-year program to facilitate the growth of Iowa United Methodist Churches and their Christian ministry by providing an alternative, supplemental source of educated leadership to local congregations and communities.   The School for Lay Ministry identifies, trains, and nurtures laypersons who meet entrance criteria and desires to serve in, through, and beyond the church in various ministries. These ...

November addendum to the 3-2-1 Reentry Plan

November addendum to the 3-2-1 Reentry Plan

11/6/2020
The Iowa Conference of The United Methodist Church offers this November addendum to the3-2-1 Reentry Plan. This addendum was developed in consultation with the Extended Cabinet of the Iowa United Methodist Conference and in review of reports by leading epidemiologists in Iowa, analysis of updates from medical researchers and public health organizations across the state and nation, and in discernment of resources provided by the major coronavirus outlets including the White House Coronavirus Task...

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