News


Second Clergy Session Rehearsal—Tuesday, June 2 at 9:30 a.m.

Second Clergy Session Rehearsal—Tuesday, June 2 at 9:30 a.m.

5/29/2020
We would like to invite all clergy members of the Iowa Conference to attend a second Clergy Session Zoom Webinar and VVoter rehearsal on Tuesday, June 2nd at 9:30 a.m.  Instructions We understand that working with technology can be challenging, which is why it is important for you to attend this rehearsal. We have compiled a detailed set of instructions and troubleshooting tips. Do not hesitate to contact us if you are in need of assistance.  Detailed instructions and tips Email ...

Letter from Bishop Laurie: Reentry Update and Resources

Letter from Bishop Laurie: Reentry Update and Resources

5/27/2020
Beloved of God,     I greet you in the precious name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ. In just a few short days we will be celebrating Pentecost Sunday. The Greek word pentecoste means "fiftieth day" and marks the time when the Holy Spirit came upon the apostles and others assembled in Jerusalem, marking the birth of the church. For many of us, the “fiftieth day” also marks our time away from in-person worship since the disruption in all areas of our lives caused by this global pandemic....

North Central Jurisdiction announce plans for episcopal leadership

North Central Jurisdiction announce plans for episcopal leadership

5/27/2020
  Yesterday, two announcements were made regarding significant events in The United Methodist Church.   The Commission on the General Conference announced the postponed 2020 General Conference will be held August 29–September 7, 2021, at the Minneapolis Convention Center in Minneapolis, MN.   The Council of Bishops followed that with the announcement that the postponed jurisdictional conferences in the United States will be held November 10–12, 2021.   Today, each of the jurisdictions in the ...

Iowa Conference Center closed until June 15

5/26/2020
In light of the rapidly changing COVID-19 situation and the recommendations to limit our social interaction to prevent the spread of the virus, the Iowa Annual Conference Center will be closed until June 15, 2020.  Conference staff will be working remotely during that time.    Staff can be reached either by calling their direct extension or by calling the main number, 515-974-8900, listening for the directory prompt, accessing the staff person’s extension, and leaving a message.    The ...

Bishop:

Bishop: "Refrain from in-house worship through May 31"

5/22/2020
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ in the Iowa Annual Conference, As you may have heard, President Donald Trump announced this morning that he is designating all places of worship, including churches, synagogues, and mosques, as “essential,” saying he wants them to “open right now.” He said, “We want our churches and our places of faith and worship, we want them to open.” We all agree that our houses of worship play a critical role in our life here in the United States. However, we also have ...

Communications Team receives awards of excellence

Communications Team receives awards of excellence

5/22/2020
The Iowa Conference Communications Ministry Team received three awards from the United Methodist Association of Communicators UMAC).  The presentation celebration, held virtually this year because of the COVID-19 health crisis, highlighted the work of communicators across the country and an international partner.  The Communications Ministry Team - Arthur McClanahan, Liz Winders, and Courtney Levin - received a first-place award in the News Article, Annual Conference/Local Church Division for ...

Iowa Annual Conference and Clergy Session Update

Iowa Annual Conference and Clergy Session Update

5/22/2020
Dear 2020 Iowa Annual Conference members,   We thank you for your continued dedication and ministry during the COVID-19 pandemic. Like you, we are discovering new ways to continue our ministry and work together.   As the COVID-19 health crisis unfolds, special arrangements have been made so that the lay and clergy members of the Iowa Annual Conference have the opportunity to meet and conference for the discernment of those actions that are necessary for local churches, pastors, and the ...

Iowa Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church Crisis Response Re-Entry Plan

Iowa Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church Crisis Response Re-Entry Plan

5/22/2020
The Iowa Annual Conference Crisis Operations Team is providing this Re-Entry Plan for the Iowa Conference of The United Methodist Church. This plan is guided by John Wesley’s Three Simple Rules, which provides a message and methodology of how to approach our strategic and compassionate plan to care for our churches and communities through COVID-19. Wesley’s rules have been placed within a stoplight framework to guide us as we move through a graduated 3-Level reentry process from red to yellow to...

Iowa United Methodist Camps announce summer ministry plans

Iowa United Methodist Camps announce summer ministry plans

5/22/2020
Registration for Backyard Camp can be found at www.iaumc.org/camps. The Summer of 2020 is just around the corner and with it comes opportunities to connect in different ways than ever before. Iowa United Methodist Camps are proud to announce “Backyard Camp”, a one-of-a-kind summer program offering from the combined staff at Wesley Woods and Okoboji United Methodist Camps.  Bryan Johnson, Director of Camps and Retreats says “connection with friends old and new is one of the best parts of the ...

Iowa Conference clergy converse on congregation reentry

Iowa Conference clergy converse on congregation reentry

5/21/2020
About 400 Iowa Conference clergypersons joined a Zoom meeting focused on reentry plans for Iowa United Methodist congregations addressing the concerns surrounding reentry into churches during and after the COVID-19 crisis.    “Have you ever heard the words, ‘We’ve never done this before,’?” asked Bishop Laurie Haller during her opening devotion. “No, we haven’t done this before, but this evening we’re doing something new. We’re gathering as clergy in a way we have never gathered before.” Watch...

Remember the Mabaan

Remember the Mabaan

5/20/2020
Amidst a pandemic, tragedies which seem smaller in scope are often overlooked. The Mabaan of South Sudan are in danger of being forgotten by their country and the world. Let’s be sure they aren’t forgotten by their friends in Iowa, the Iowa Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. I empathize with the Mabaan. Visiting Sudan in 2009 on a UMW Mission Study trip was in some ways like coming home. My husband Joe and I had spent two years in Ghana in the Peace Corps, and although our time in...

Letter from Bishop Laurie and Cabinet regarding Iowa's Agriculture challenges

Letter from Bishop Laurie and Cabinet regarding Iowa's Agriculture challenges

5/19/2020
Greetings in the name of the Risen Christ!   Here in the great state of Iowa, we find ourselves in an unprecedented situation. COVID-19 and a challenging farm economy have combined to form an unparalleled convergence of grief, injury, and anxiety in our state, particularly in agriculture and agriculture-related communities.    The purpose of this letter is to help our pastors and lay leadership better identify, name, and support those affected in and near our churches.   We continue to hear of ...

Is your church doing something creative as a response to the Covid-19 outbreak

Is your church doing something creative as a response to the Covid-19 outbreak

5/15/2020
Churches of all sizes from all parts of Iowa are coming up with unique ideas such as sidewalk chalk drawing, giving away quarantine care bags, making and giving away masks and so much more. We would like to hear your stories! If your church is doing something you are proud of and would like to share, or if you know a UMC that is, please email jaye.johnson@iaumc.org with details and include a few pictures. We will be assembling a video for the virtual AC2020 to highlight the spirit and response...

May 19 All-Clergy Zoom Meeting to Discuss Re-entry Plans

May 19 All-Clergy Zoom Meeting to Discuss Re-entry Plans

5/15/2020
Dear Clergy Colleagues,   As you may be aware, Governor Kim Reynolds announced this morning that she is relaxing COVID-19 restrictions in all 99 counties in order to open the state and boost the economy. Effective Friday May 15, she will be lifting mandated closures on barber shops and salons. Also included in the relaxed restrictions are restaurant dining areas, libraries, racetracks, and fitness centers in all counties. It is important to remember that current restrictions related to capacity ...

Next webinar topics are: What’s Up With Camps, and Stewardship in a Covid-19 World

Next webinar topics are: What’s Up With Camps, and Stewardship in a Covid-19 World

5/15/2020
5/21/20: What’s Up With Camps?  @ 2 p.m. Bryan Johnson, Director of Camping and Christian Formation for the Iowa Annual Conference will be sharing what is going on with camps this summer. It was announced at the end of April there will be no onsite camping at Wesley Woods or Camp Okoboji this summer. Join us using this link https://tinyurl.com/IAUMCCamp. The host will be Rev. Ron Carson, District Superintendent of the Northwest District.  The webinars will be recorded and posted here www.iaumc.o...

UMC Bishops call for justice in wake of Ahmaud Arbery’s death

UMC Bishops call for justice in wake of Ahmaud Arbery’s death

5/14/2020
For Immediate Release Thursday, May 14, 2020 WASHINGTON, D. C. -  The Bishops of The United Methodist Church are calling for justice and the eradication of racism and white supremacy in the aftermath of the killing of an unarmed Black man, Ahmaud Arbery, in Brunswick, Georgia.  In a statement released today and signed by Council of Bishops President Cynthia Fierro Harvey, the leaders of the church joined the General Commission on Religion and Race and the General Board of Church and Society in...

Caring Connections for May 13, 2020—

Caring Connections for May 13, 2020—"God Isn't Far Away from Any of Us"

5/13/2020
"God Isn't Far Away from Any of Us" from Iowa Annual Conference on Vimeo. Listen to Caring Connections Podcast for May 13, 2020 Grace and peace in the name of our risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. What a beautiful time of year spring is here in Iowa! As I sit in my home office at my computer and look out the window, I see many children playing in their front yards or choosing teams to compete at basketball, and it reminds me that even in the midst of COVID-19 life goes on. God continues to ...

Asumana Marafa becomes second Nigeria Student to Iowa to graduate from Morningside College

Asumana Marafa becomes second Nigeria Student to Iowa to graduate from Morningside College

5/11/2020
Nigerian student, Asumana Marafa, recently graduated (ceremony postponed until 8/8/2020) from Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa. Asumana is the second Nigerian student to attend and graduate from this Iowa United Methodist Church-related college.  Marafa was born in Bambur, Taraba State, Nigeria, and the youngest of four siblings. After losing her mother and father, she lived with her cousin while growing up. During her 2012-2013 high school year, she was an exchange student of the ...

Health-full Minute—being nutritionally smart

Health-full Minute—being nutritionally smart

5/11/2020
By: Kae Tritle, RN Wellness Coordinator As we continue to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, we have emotionally moved through various phases; denial, panic, crisis, and now a sense of long-term coping. We are beginning to realize that this situation is going to continue for a while. The word “marathon” is being used for the next phase of the Covid-19 response. As we have experienced the impact of COVID-19 upon our daily lives, an area that is part of our emotional response is what we put into our...

Colfax UMC asked to 'up the ante' to help community

Colfax UMC asked to 'up the ante' to help community

5/8/2020
12 families, including 19 children, aren't going hungry over the weekend because of the generosity of the people of the Colfax United Methodist Church and other congregations in the community.   “We just knew there was a need and we’ll take care of that need for as long as it needs to be,” said Rev. Terry Pollard of the Colfax United Methodist Church.   Listen to a conversation with Rev. Terry Pollard about the ecumenical outreach. Colfax has a backpack program during the school year, ...

Statement by GCORR and GBCS on the killing of Ahmaud Arbery

Statement by GCORR and GBCS on the killing of Ahmaud Arbery

5/8/2020
How long, O Lord, how long? The February killing of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick, Georgia, is another incident that torchlights the darkest moments of our history. The recurrence of these killings, coupled with the fact that justice is seldom served, is a strong indication of how deeply entrenched racism is in our society’s systems and beliefs. Eric Garner, Terence Crutcher, Philando Castile, Samuel DuBose, Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, Tamir Rice, and Walter Scott are few of the many ...

Denominational Leaders remain united urging Iowa congregations to refrain from in-person gatherings  despite visit to Iowa from Vice President on Friday

Denominational Leaders remain united urging Iowa congregations to refrain from in-person gatherings despite visit to Iowa from Vice President on Friday

5/7/2020
PRESS RELEASE For Immediate Release May 7, 2020 Denominational Leaders remain united urging Iowa congregations to refrain from in-person gatherings despite visit to Iowa from Vice President on Friday   On April 28, twenty-one denominational leaders from ten denominations from across Iowa issued a joint statement regarding Governor Kim Reynolds' proclamation on April 27 to allow congregations to gather in-person despite the continued spread of COVID-19. The joint statement urged congregations to...

UPDATED: Denominational Leaders Unite: Congregations should refrain from in-person gatherings

UPDATED: Denominational Leaders Unite: Congregations should refrain from in-person gatherings

5/7/2020
May 7, 2020 Denominational Leaders Remain United:  Congregations should refrain from in-person gatherings   As church denominational leaders, representing more than 1.2 million Christians throughout the state of Iowa, we are grateful for the opportunity provided by the upcoming visit of Vice President Mike Pence to re-issue and recommit to our position regarding in-person gatherings of faith communities, whether for worship or group ministries.    With one voice, we want to assure the Vice ...

Caring Connections for May 6, 2020—

Caring Connections for May 6, 2020—"Our Complete Trust in God"

5/6/2020
Our Complete Trust in God from Iowa Annual Conference on Vimeo. Caring Connections with Bishop Laurie from Iowa Annual Conference on Vimeo. Listen to Caring Connections Podcast for May 6, 2020 Grace and peace to each one of you. This week I have been pondering Psalm 31, which is one of the lectionary lessons of this week. The Psalmist writes:  I take refuge in you, Lord.     Please never let me be put to shame.         Rescue me by your righteousness! 2 Listen closely to me!     Deliver me ...

Bishop Harvey makes history as first Hispanic woman to be COB President

Bishop Harvey makes history as first Hispanic woman to be COB President

5/5/2020
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey of the Louisiana Area has made history by becoming the first Hispanic woman to be president of the Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church.  She is also the first woman of color to lead the more than 128 active and retired bishops of the one of the largest denominations in the world. Bishop Harvey assumed the mantle of office last week as the active and retired bishops from around the globe gathered in a virtual meeting April 29 to May 1...

Prayers for conference leadership

Prayers for conference leadership

5/5/2020
Dear Iowa Conference Family,   We would ask that you hold several of our Iowa Conference Leadership team members in your prayers as many of them have lost loved ones during this difficult time. We pray also for you, as we are sure many of you have also experienced loss in this time of quarantine and aren’t able to be with family. We lift up our prayers to the Lord. Lord in your mercy, hear our prayers.   Rev. Dr. Kiboko Kiboko, East Central District Superintendent   One of Kiboko’s nephews ...

Creative way to boost local church giving and social media engagement — #IGiveUMC

Creative way to boost local church giving and social media engagement — #IGiveUMC

5/4/2020
Looking for a creative way to boost local church giving and social media engagement? #IGiveUMC is your answer. This new campaign inspires United Methodists, and others, to make donations to local United Methodist churches in honor/memory of someone who’s made a difference to them. Then, donors will post on social media about their honoree and their gift, along with a request for others to make a donation of their own. #IGiveUMC will focus on these celebrations during the spring of 2020. ...

Iowa African UMC pastors encourage support for Mabaan Flood Relief

Iowa African UMC pastors encourage support for Mabaan Flood Relief

5/4/2020
As pastors of African descendent serving churches in the Iowa Conference, we are concerned for our South Sudanese brothers and sisters in Christ whose families and friends have experienced heavy rains causing drastic flooding. The five plus months that they lived in water was devastating and caused much despair. Thank God these Mabaan Christians have reached out to the Iowa Conference to help them bring hope to those affected by the flooding. The Mabaan communities of faith worship with us in ...

Iowa Conference UMW Awarding Grants

Iowa Conference UMW Awarding Grants

5/4/2020
Iowa Conference United Methodist Women has awarded Be Bold grants to several local units to be used for community projects that will enhance the Purpose of UMW. The grants were made possible by a planned gift to Iowa Conference UMW from the late Barbara Csomay of Kanawha. She was a retired music teacher and marching band instructor, and a member of Kanawha United Methodist Church. The grants were to be awarded later in 2020, but are being awarded on a shortened timetable to help meet the needs...

Fill the Truck 2020

Fill the Truck 2020

5/1/2020
We WILL be “Filling the Truck” for Midwest Missions in June 2020. Just a little different this year. Drop off dates and locations will be announced soon. For information, contact Pastor Catie Newman at Disaster.response@iaumc.org or 712-899-4067 phone or text.  The ongoing mission outreach at Midwest Missions continues and is busier than ever! In addition to Hygiene Kits, Student Desks and Sewing Machines (both pedal and electric) Midwest Missions has requested: Flannel, “PLU” (waterproof) and...

Streamed Services: Staying socially connected during COVID-19

Streamed Services: Staying socially connected during COVID-19

5/1/2020
Updated Friday, May 1 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 resources as they become available. To submit a service time, please email courtney@iaumc.org with your church name, service time and a link to where the service is found online, television station or radio station.   Thinking of starting to livestream? Ask The UMC can help you jump the ...

Worship Service for use during three day renewal leave

Worship Service for use during three day renewal leave

4/30/2020
Dear Iowa United Methodist Clergy, Worship Leaders, Lay Leaders, and Staff, Bishop Laurie recently shared, “For the past five weeks, our clergy and laity have been working tirelessly to provide vital worship, pastoral care, and hope for our local churches in the Iowa Annual Conference. I also know that many of our clergy, church staff, and worship teams are utterly exhausted in mind, body, and spirit. Therefore, I am requiring those teams to find three days back-to-back between now and Pentecost...

2020 Summer Camp announcement

2020 Summer Camp announcement

4/29/2020
To supporters of the Iowa United Methodist Camping Ministry: The Iowa United Methodist Camping Ministry has adopted core values which guide our values, principles and decision making. Our first core value is to “ensure guests feel safe, secure and loved”. As a result, today we are announcing that due to ongoing concerns regarding the safety and health of our campers, families and staff due to COVID-19 we will be cancelling all summer programs at Okoboji and Wesley Woods United Methodist Camps ...

Caring Connections for April 29, 2020—

Caring Connections for April 29, 2020—"Keep on Caring"

4/29/2020
Caring Connections with Bishop Laurie from Iowa Annual Conference on Vimeo. Listen to Caring Connections Podcast for April 29, 2020 Grace and peace! We are almost into May, and it is a joy to see our world coming back to life as the trees and flowers burst forth in color. At the same time, we are still in the midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Schools will be closed for the rest of the school year, and I have asked all of our United Methodist congregations to continue virtual worship through the ...

Bishop

Bishop "strongly recommends" no in-person worship before June 1

4/27/2020
Dear Friends, In light of the expectation that positive cases of COVID-19 will peak in Iowa in the next few weeks, I am strongly encouraging all United Methodist churches in Iowa to refrain from in-person worship until June 1, when I will reassess. I am going beyond the Governor’s recommendations despite my previously stated intention of following Governor Reynolds' guidelines around worship.  My reasoning is that our first priority as disciples of Jesus Christ is to protect those who are most...

An important message from Bishop Laurie: Three-day renewal leave required for clergy, church staffs and worship teams

An important message from Bishop Laurie: Three-day renewal leave required for clergy, church staffs and worship teams

4/23/2020
For the past five weeks, our clergy and laity have been working tirelessly to provide vital worship, pastoral care, and hope for our local churches in the Iowa Annual Conference. I also know that many of our clergy, church staff, and worship teams are utterly exhausted in mind, body, and spirit. Therefore, I am requiring those teams to find three days back-to-back between now and Pentecost Sunday, May 31, to experience rest, renewal, and sabbath. That means no work on those three days. To make ...

Caring Connections for April 22, 2020—

Caring Connections for April 22, 2020—"Learning New Ways of Being the Church"

4/22/2020
Learning New Ways of Being the Church from Iowa Annual Conference on Vimeo.   Listen to Caring Connections Podcast for April 22, 2020 Grace and peace in the name of our risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Our congregations in Iowa continue to amaze me by their creativity and determination to be the hands, feet, voice, and heart of Jesus in their communities and around the world. I know that we are all weary of staying home, being inside, and not being able to participate in our normal ...

Tentative General Conference dates publicized

Tentative General Conference dates publicized

4/21/2020
By Heather Hahn April 21, 2020 | UM News   After the pandemic-caused postponement, the new prospective dates for The United Methodist Church’s General Conference are Aug. 31-Sept. 10, 2021. The Council of Bishops disclosed the proposed dates, including a Council of Bishops meeting starting Aug. 26, in an email to its members and other church leaders. The proposed dates also were discussed among delegates of at least one jurisdictional conference in late March. General Conference organizers have ...

Health-Full Moment

Health-Full Moment

4/20/2020
By Kae Tritle, RN Wellness Coordinator   The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have disrupted our usual life routines. While some people are essential workers for the hospitals, grocery/gas stores, police, fire and EMT departments, many of us are now social distancing, self-isolating, working, schooling, and shopping from home. A cartoon currently circulating is a person talking to a dog “Now I know why you get so excited about car rides!” Please be mindful of and pray for the essential workers. ...

Mabaan Flood Relief fundraiser put aside at the present time

Mabaan Flood Relief fundraiser put aside at the present time

4/20/2020
Bishop Haller and the Cabinet have agreed that the Mabaan Flood Relief fundraiser should be put aside at the present time. With the disruptions of normal activities, financial stress on our economy, and churches unable to meet during the COVID-19 period, many are not able to respond to this fundraiser.   The Mabaan speaking tribal group number in the hundreds here in Des Moines. Their home country/county was ravaged by a 6-month long flood which destroyed their livelihood and homes. The Iowa ...

Support Peace with Justice on June 7

Support Peace with Justice on June 7

4/20/2020
On Sunday, June 7, you have the opportunity to support peace with justice through the Peace with Justice Offering. Now more than ever, your support will make a difference.  As funding for missions is moving more towards local church support and away from apportionments, this offering becomes the primary means of support for your Board of Church and Society. If you value work to live out the United Methodist Social Principles, please provide a generous gift.   How does the Board of Church and ...

Next Good Idea Webinars focus on small churches and youth ministry

Next Good Idea Webinars focus on small churches and youth ministry

4/17/2020
4/21/2020: Small Church Struggles & Solutions   Small Church Struggles & Solutions - Are you part of a small church? Have you felt like the resources and ideas offered to deal with Covid-19 are not possible for you? Do you have some ideas that have worked for your small church you would like to share with others? If so join us for a Good Idea Webinar titled Small Church Struggles & Solutions using this link  https://tinyurl.com/IAUMCSmallChurch  Small membership and rural churches have faced ...

Rev. Kiboko I. Kiboko appointment to Storm Lake UMC adjusts Circuit Formation team

Rev. Kiboko I. Kiboko appointment to Storm Lake UMC adjusts Circuit Formation team

4/17/2020
Bishop Laurie Haller is pleased to announce the appointment of the Rev. Kiboko I. Kiboko to the Storm Lake United Methodist Church effective September 1, 2020. Rev. Kiboko has served as the East Central District Superintendent since July 1, 2015 demonstrating a missional mindset and an international understanding of ministry. He is an excellent preacher and has a strong heart for Jesus Christ and for all people. Among other missional considerations, Rev. Kiboko’s effectiveness in cross-cultural ...

The 2020 Iowa Licensing School will be online through Emory

The 2020 Iowa Licensing School will be online through Emory

4/17/2020
. This is open to this enrolled in the candidacy process in the Iowa Annual Conference. You must have DS & dCOM approval in order to attend. In order to register, complete this basic registration form https://iaumc-reg.brtapp.com/LicensingSchool2020, upon completion of that you will received the advanced registration form and need to submit a $100 deposit.   You must register by Monday, April 20 at 11:59 p.m. The Licensing School will begin on Monday, April 27.  There will be video lectures, ...

2020 Annual Conference Session to be Postponed and Held Electronically

2020 Annual Conference Session to be Postponed and Held Electronically

4/16/2020
The 2020 session of the Iowa Annual Conference will be postponed due to the current Coronavirus health crisis. Bishop Laurie Haller made the decision with the full support of the Cabinet and the Annual Conference Session Planning Committee.    Preparations are underway for a one-day electronic Annual Conference Legislative Session via the Zoom platform. It will be held later in the summer or in early fall. Secure remote electronic voting by the elected lay members and clergy members of the Iowa ...

Caring Connections for April 15, 2020—

Caring Connections for April 15, 2020—"Thank you Jesus"

4/15/2020
"Thank You for Jesus" from Iowa Annual Conference on Vimeo. Listen to Caring Connections Podcast for April 15, 2020 “He is risen!” “He is risen indeed.” This traditional Easter greeting is one that many of our churches use on Easter morning as we greet one another in the name of the risen Christ. This past Sunday, however, we were not able to gather in person. I believe this was the first Easter Sunday of my life that I did not physically worship in a local church.  There were no processions ...

Far-reaching permission to use United Methodist Publishing House resources for online worship during crisis

Far-reaching permission to use United Methodist Publishing House resources for online worship during crisis

4/15/2020
Nashville, April, 2020 – As we continue to receive requests for clarification about use of copyrighted resources online during the crisis, United Methodist Publishing House is emphasizing full permission for churches to use worship materials, especially during the COVID-19 crisis. The copyright page in the 1992 United Methodist Book of Worship grants permission as follows: “United Methodist congregations may reproduce for worship or educational purposes any item from The United Methodist Book of...

Midwest Mission send relief shipment to Jamaica

Midwest Mission send relief shipment to Jamaica

4/13/2020
By: Chantel Corrie, Executive Director, Midwest Mission Pawnee, IL (April 13, 2020) – Midwest Mission will be sending their fourth relief shipment to Jamaica on Tuesday, April 13 with their international partner, Food for the Poor. “The container will be valued over $150,000 and consist of medical items, cleaning supplies, hygiene supplies (towel, washcloth, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant, finger nail clippers, Band-Aids and comb), sewing items, and education supplies along ...

Easter Devotion from Bishop Laurie: Practice Resurrection

Easter Devotion from Bishop Laurie: Practice Resurrection

4/10/2020
After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the tomb. Look, there was a great earthquake, for an angel from the Lord came down from heaven. Coming to the stone, he rolled it away and sat on it. Now his face was like lightning and his clothes as white as snow. The guards were so terrified of him that they shook with fear and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Don’t be afraid. I know that you are looking for Jesus ...

In Easter message, Bishops urge Christians not to despair in midst of global pandemic

In Easter message, Bishops urge Christians not to despair in midst of global pandemic

4/10/2020
WASHINGTON, D.C. - President of the Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church Bishop Kenneth H.  Carter has urged Christians to rely on the power of Easter to overcome the forces of death, division, darkness, and despair in the amidst of the COVID-19 global pandemic.   In the Easter message to The United Methodist Church, Bishop Carter noted that, “Easter is the moment when who we are, what we believe and what we do becomes clear. Easter is the power of the crucified and risen Jesus over...

Three Good Idea webinars next week: Ministry Ideas for Laity, God is With Us, and Fighting Isolation

Three Good Idea webinars next week: Ministry Ideas for Laity, God is With Us, and Fighting Isolation

4/10/2020
4/14/2020: Ministry Ideas for Laity Ministry Ideas for Laity - As United Methodists we believe in the priesthood of all believers. We believe that all people are called to ministry through baptism and not just our clergy. Wondering how lay people might be engaged in ministry given the Covid-19 outbreak? Want to know more about how you might make a difference? Have some ideas to share? Please join us for a Good Idea Webinar on Ministry Ideas for Laity using this link https://tinyurl.com/IAUMCIdea...

A Pastoral Letter to the Clergy of The Iowa Annual Conference

A Pastoral Letter to the Clergy of The Iowa Annual Conference

4/9/2020
Dear Clergy Colleagues, Grace and peace on this Maundy Thursday. Because of COVID-19, this day will be unlike any Maundy Thursday observance of which we have ever been a part. In the midst of the restrictions we must observe around gathering in groups, we will hear and respond to the Passion story in a different way.  We are not able to wash one another’s feet this year, as is the custom in some of our churches. But we can all identify with Jesus’ words to his disciples after he foretold his ...

Wespath/GCFA guidance for local churches applying for PPP loans

Wespath/GCFA guidance for local churches applying for PPP loans

4/9/2020
Friends in Christ,   General Council of Finance and Administration and Wespath have assembled a detail guidance for local church applications to the CARES Act Payroll Protection Program. Some early applications from UM churches in Iowa have received a notice of the acceptance of their applications. A hopeful sign.  Blessings, Joni Mardesen, Director Human Resources/Benefits Officer Margaret Biggs, Conference Treasurer/Director Administrative Services Rev. Dr. Harlan Gillespie, Assistant to the ...

Caring Connections for April 8, 2020

Caring Connections for April 8, 2020

4/8/2020
Reach Out During Holy Week from Iowa Annual Conference on Vimeo. Listen to Caring Connections Podcast for April 8, 2020 To my brothers and sisters in Christ in Iowa and beyond, grace and peace during the Holy Week. I’d like to share a scripture with you from John chapter 13, which took place as Jesus and his disciples were eating a last supper together on the Thursday before he was crucified.   John 13:4-9 (CEB) 4 So Jesus got up from the table and took off his robes. Picking up a linen towel,...

A note from the Iowa Annual Conference Treasurer

A note from the Iowa Annual Conference Treasurer

4/8/2020
The Iowa Annual Conference (IAC) received $600,101 in total apportionments for the month of March from local churches; that is a total of $1,694,434 for the year 2020.  Based on past receipts as of March 31, we project to receive 63.7% of the total 2020 budget of $13,127,917.  That would be over $4.7M less than budgeted.   The IAC has taken a number of steps to continue reducing the expenses of the IAC, and CF&A instituted the Contingency Plan which puts in place restrictions on the types of ...

An Open Letter to the Local Churches, Extension Ministries, and Pastors of the Iowa Annual Conference

An Open Letter to the Local Churches, Extension Ministries, and Pastors of the Iowa Annual Conference

4/8/2020
Dear Friends in Christ,   The Covid-19 pandemic across the world and in Iowa has revealed both wonder and challenge. We are particularly gratified by the love for neighbor that is being lived out day by day across the world in Iowa villages, towns, and cities. Often this is led by you, the members, friends, and clergy persons of the Iowa Conference.   It is beautiful to behold how you, led by the Holy Spirit, have creatively and simply shared the love of God in Jesus Christ.   The pandemic has ...

Don't miss a good idea! Learn best practices from Iowa clergy and laity experts

Don't miss a good idea! Learn best practices from Iowa clergy and laity experts

4/8/2020
Good Idea webinars are a series of interactive presentations designed to address issues and concerns of pastors and laity during the COVID-19 crisis. Good Idea webinars are a joint effort of the Office of Congregational Excellence, Office of Clergy Leadership and Excellence, the Cabinet, and lay leaders of the Iowa Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church. Please join the conversations! Thursday, April 9, 2020: Best Practices for Funerals: A Conversation with A Funeral Director  ...

FUMC Jefferson featured on KCCI tonight

FUMC Jefferson featured on KCCI tonight

4/8/2020
Submitted by Rev. Julie Poulson, April 8, 2020 KCCI Channel 8 News Des Moines will be featuring a church member from the Jefferson First United Methodist Church April 8 at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m.   Active FUMC Jefferson church member Shirley Haupert, director of the food pantry, was interviewed at the local Greene County Christian Action Resource Center by Channel 8 news. "She has done amazing things with finding us a new building and renovating it for $150,000," said Rev. Julie Poulson, "We raised ...

All US Jurisdictional Conferences for 2020 are postponed

All US Jurisdictional Conferences for 2020 are postponed

4/7/2020
Dear NCJ Delegates and Alternates,   I trust you are all doing well and that you are safe and healthy.   After conversation with Bishop David Bard, President of the NCJ College of Bishops, I want to let you know that we received news that all US Jurisdictional Conferences for 2020 are postponed.     Once the dates for the General Conference are finalized, the Council of Bishops will set the date for the Jurisdictional Conference. The plan is for the Commission on General Conference and the ...

Grace United Methodist Church comes together despite changing times

Grace United Methodist Church comes together despite changing times

4/7/2020
Grace UMC Sioux City, Iowa is keeping connections alive during changing times. "Course, those connections, I think will continue even once we get into whatever is next," said Reverend Jim Shirbroun. Read the story or watch the video on KTIV News

Grimes Storehouse steps up in crisis times

Grimes Storehouse steps up in crisis times

4/6/2020
A record number of people have been cared for this month by the Grimes Storehouse, said Pastor Ben Wedeking of Grimes United Methodist Church, and he expects that the need will continue to increase.    “We have had record numbers already and it has gone up every month, even before the crisis,” he said. “This month we served 74 families, which is a massive amount for us, and I expect those numbers to go up.”   Listen to an interview with Pastor Ben Wedeking about how the Storehouse is adapting to...

Public assistance possibilities from Iowa Disaster Ministries

Public assistance possibilities from Iowa Disaster Ministries

4/6/2020
During the COVID-19 crisis many local charities are helping especially with food assistance and feeding programs.  Food Insecure Salvation Army  United Way Community Action Agency Local Foundations  Non-profits Iowa Workforce Development Grants Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Federal Nonprofit Application Form Small Businesses SBA low-interest disaster loans CARE Act Funding InsideCharity is here to make sure receive the information you require to navigate these unprecedented ...

Lent 2020 Daily Devotions: 4/6 - 4/12

Lent 2020 Daily Devotions: 4/6 - 4/12

4/5/2020
The 40-day season of Lent began on February 26 and Bishop Laurie, clergy, and friends of The Iowa Annual Conference have written short devotionals for each day to help us journey through this season together.  If you would like to receive these daily in an email, subscribe here. They will also be published in the News and will be included in our Weekly 360 e-news each Friday during Lent.  Monday, April 6, 2020 Scripture: Six days before Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, home of Lazarus, whom ...

‘The Resurrection is Still with Us’

‘The Resurrection is Still with Us’

4/3/2020
“We’ve got to acknowledge that this is Holy Week, and that it’s going to be different, but that we’re still going to go through it together.”  That’s how Rev. Nate Nims, Senior Pastor of Grace United Methodist Church in Des Moines  describes the sacred journey from Palm Sunday to Easter.    “It feels very different, very different,” Nims said, “especially with such a liturgical week and a week that is so connected to being together.” For example, “It’s very odd  not to have that fully immersive ...

Be Bold grants for women in ministry

Be Bold grants for women in ministry

4/3/2020
UMW Be Bold Grant for Clergy or Lay Women to Participate in an Educational Event or Class in 2020 The purpose of this grant is for women, both clergy and laywomen, to be able to participate in an educational event or class in the calendar year 2020. It could be used for seminary, the School for Lay Ministry, Mission u, the Preaching Academy, etc. This is not an exhaustive list. We are offering educational grants of up to $500. Download the application here. UMW Be Bold Grant for Units to ...

Good Idea webinars for April 7 and April 9 focus on caring for our neighbors and best practices for funerals

Good Idea webinars for April 7 and April 9 focus on caring for our neighbors and best practices for funerals

4/3/2020
Caring for Our Neighbors Looking for ways to connect with your neighbors and be in ministry during this age of social distancing? Looking for some ideas how to show you care? Perhaps you have some ideas to share. If so, please join us for our Good Idea Webinar titled: Caring for Our Neighbors on Tuesday April 7, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. Our guests will be the staff of Ames, Collegiate United Methodist Church. Join us using this link: https://tinyurl.com/IAUMCNeighbors    Our host will be Rev. Dr. ...

The CARES Act may save your church during COVID-19

The CARES Act may save your church during COVID-19

4/3/2020
From Discipleship Ministries Church Leaders, When Congress passed legislation to help ease the health and economic impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on our country, they also included $349 billion dollars to assist small businesses, including non-profits and churches. The “Phase Three” bill - the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”) – included a $349 billion loan program available to small businesses, including churches and other 501(3)(c) non-profits, to ...

Would your church like to begin receiving online gifts?

Would your church like to begin receiving online gifts?

4/3/2020
Looking for a way for your church members and friends to offer their financial support to your congregation during the current health crisis?    The Iowa Annual Conference has set up a way to make an online donation. A link can be created on the Conference website. Your church name would be included in a a drop-down list. The donor could leave a comment for you if they have specific instructions to the church.     Each time a gift is received for your church, you will receive an automatic email ...

A Letter from Bishop Laurie regarding Drive-In-Worship guidelines

A Letter from Bishop Laurie regarding Drive-In-Worship guidelines

4/2/2020
Dear Friends,    I want you to know how very grateful I am for the way in which you have been providing creative, vital worship in your communities during this time when in-house corporate worship is prohibited. One way in which some of our congregations are serving their communities is through drive-in worship. Because of questions that have been raised about the appropriateness of drive-in worship, the Iowa Annual Conference has been in contact with the Governor’s office about guidelines for ...

"Faith & Finances in Difficult Times" Good Idea Webinar

4/1/2020
As a church leader are you worried about the financial impact of Covid-19 on your congregation? Are you wondering about best practices for giving when passing a plate is not possible? If so join us for a Good Idea Webinar on Faith & Finances in Difficult Times with guest presenter Rev. Dr. Katharine Yarnell, Director of the Iowa United Methodist Foundation. Join us using this link https://tinyurl.com/IAUMCFaithAndFinances   Katharine will be presenting some best practices for 15-20 minutes ...

Cabinet letter to the churches of Iowa Annual Conference

Cabinet letter to the churches of Iowa Annual Conference

4/1/2020
Beloved Churches of the Iowa Annual Conference, You are loved, redeemed, called, and commissioned to live and spread the Good News of Jesus Christ, not despite the COVID-19, pandemic, but because of it!  Never has the witness of the Church been more needed than during this difficult time of social isolation.  Our Churches have been delivering meals to hungry school children, curbside food pantries on our front lawns, drive-in worship services, online sermons and daily devotions, caring phone ...

Change in refund policy for Iowa United Methodist camps

Change in refund policy for Iowa United Methodist camps

4/1/2020
In light of concerns around COVID-19 in summer 2020, Lake Okoboji and Wesley Woods United Methodist Camps have agreed to modify their refund policy for the upcoming camp season so that parents, families, and churches can register for camp WORRY FREE!  This year, all registrants are allowed the opportunity for a full refund, including deposit, for any registration up to two weeks prior to a camp event at Lake Okoboji or Wesley Woods. If camp is in your summer plans, we hope this helps put your ...

Payroll Protection letter to conference

Payroll Protection letter to conference

4/1/2020
Friends in Christ,   The Paycheck Protection Act that was recently passed by Congress has included non-profit organizations, such as churches.    We encourage you to look into this program and see how it best fits your local church. Please make sure your Finance Committee, Trustees, and Administrative Council (Church Council) review the program. Your local church’s legal counsel would also provide sound advice for you.    This is a “loan to grant” program, meaning that the loan may be become a ...

Caring Connections for April 1, 2020

Caring Connections for April 1, 2020

3/31/2020
God's Love is Faithful from Iowa Annual Conference on Vimeo. Listen to Caring Connections Podcast for April 1, 2020 Good Afternoon, Iowa! It’s Wednesday, April 1, and this is Caring Connections which is also April Fools Day. I’d like to read a few verses from Psalm 18, one of lectionary passages for Palm Sunday     Give thanks to the Lord because he is good,     because his faithful love lasts forever. 2 Let Israel say it:     “God’s faithful love lasts forever!” 21 I thank you because you ...

Chaplaincy program for clergy off the ground in all eight districts

Chaplaincy program for clergy off the ground in all eight districts

3/31/2020
A chaplaincy program has been established in each district of the Iowa Conference as a way clergy can care for one another during these unprecedented times. Rev. Terra Amundson, Dean of the Appointive Cabinet and Southwest District Superintended, hopes this can be a new way of being moving forward.   “We are in a very strange time and we have pastors that all of a sudden have to figure out how to do ministry in a different way than our normal day by day,” Amundson said. “When we're suddenly ...

Eight district websites merge to four co-district webpages

Eight district websites merge to four co-district webpages

3/31/2020
Beginning April 1, 2020, our eight district websites will become four co-district webpages.    This decision was made because the Iowa Annual Conference has closed the district offices and transitioned from eight district administrative assistances (DAAs) to four. The merging of the web pages will help to streamline the work of the DAAs and reduce website hosting expenses.   Please bookmark your district in your web browser to make accessing them easier. You can also access them from here:  http...

Holy Week message from Bishop Laurie

Holy Week message from Bishop Laurie

3/31/2020
God's Love Never Ends from Iowa Annual Conference on Vimeo.   Listen to the Bishop Laurie's message for Holy Week 2020 Grace to you and peace on this Palm Sunday. Lament is a common word that we are using in these days to describe our coronavirus world. Lament in the Bible has always been a deep expression of grief and sorrow for someone who has died or for something that is gone. In the midst of the deadly effects of the virus and our attempts to stop its spread, we lament all that we have ...

Iowa Annual Conference Licensing School cancelled with new alternative

Iowa Annual Conference Licensing School cancelled with new alternative

3/31/2020
Licensing School, as previously offered and planned for this year, is cancelled, with a new alternative already in place.   Licensing School will be offered in an entirely new format, thanks to COVID-19.  We will send out frequent updates to students enrolled, their mentors and district support, as the format and timeline are still in development at Emory University/Candler School of Theology.   We will be using the online school that Emory/Candler is rapidly pulling together. Registration ...

A letter to clergy from Bishop Laurie regarding Holy Communion and Palm Sunday Great Thanksgiving

A letter to clergy from Bishop Laurie regarding Holy Communion and Palm Sunday Great Thanksgiving

3/30/2020
To the Clergy of The Iowa Annual Conference,    These days marked by the pandemic of Covid-19 are confusing, scary and isolating. As I have been in prayer for our beloved Conference, I have been reflecting on Holy Communion and the way that we, as the body of Christ, experience that sacrament as a means of sustaining and saving grace. In this time of social distancing, we are one body physically separated into many parts, but we remain spiritually united as “one with each other, one with Christ ...

Emotional well being

Emotional well being

3/30/2020
By: Kae Tritle, RN, Iowa Annual Conference Wellness Coordinator We are living in the midst of an unprecedented health crisis that has elicited a variety of emotions. For the majority of us, our usual safe and comforting routines, places, and people have changed. Change usually triggers a grief response. Many of us are experiencing the following stages:   Shock and denial: Is Covid-19 real or could it affect me or my family members? Bargaining or negotiation: What will you do or won’t do in ...

Lent 2020 Daily Devotions: 3/30 - 4/5

Lent 2020 Daily Devotions: 3/30 - 4/5

3/30/2020
The 40-day season of Lent began on February 26 and Bishop Laurie, clergy, and friends of The Iowa Annual Conference have written short devotionals for each day to help us journey through this season together.  If you would like to receive these daily in an email, subscribe here. They will also be published in the News and will be included in our Weekly 360 e-news each Friday during Lent.  Monday, March 30, 2020 Scripture: On the first day of the week, as we gathered together for a meal, Paul ...

Mrs. Virginia Schoenbohm Clymer, widow of Bishop Wayne Clymer, died March 21, 2020

Mrs. Virginia Schoenbohm Clymer, widow of Bishop Wayne Clymer, died March 21, 2020

3/30/2020
Mrs. Virginia Schoenbohm Clymer, widow of Bishop Wayne Clymer, died March 21, 2020 at age 96. Bishop Wayne Clymer died in 2013. Bishop Clymer was ordained in the early 1940s and served as an elder with the Evangelical United Brethren Church prior to the merger that formed The United Methodist Church in 1968. He served churches in New York, was a professor and president of Evangelical Theological Seminary in Illinois, and served as president of the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). ...

Trump tightens procedures for migrants trying to gain asylum

Trump tightens procedures for migrants trying to gain asylum

3/27/2020
By: Karlene Neal Jose had risked his life trying to cross the border illegally with his mother. Finally he was given a chance to tell a judge his story. The judge asked Jose three questions: What’s your nationality? Why did you leave your country?  Why can’t you go back?  The judge accepted his explanation and granted him protection from deportation. (Just a tiny fraction of migrants, less than 1%, have been able to get a hearing.)  But the immigration officers ordered him to go back to Mexico ...

A Pastoral Care letter to Iowa Clergy

A Pastoral Care letter to Iowa Clergy

3/25/2020
Dear Clergy Colleagues,   I want to thank you for the outstanding spiritual leadership that you have been providing for your congregations over these last weeks, as we have all learned to live in a new way in light of the Coronavirus Pandemic. Even though you cannot be physically present with your parishioners on Sunday morning, you are learning new ways to worship, provide spiritual nurture, and proclaim the good news.  I understand that there has been some chatter on social media among Iowa ...

Caring Connections for March 25, 2020

Caring Connections for March 25, 2020

3/25/2020
Caring Connections - March 25, 2020 from Iowa Annual Conference on Vimeo. Bishop Laurie Haller offers words of encouragement to bolster caring connections in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  She shares four stories of churches building relationships and making a difference.  “May God bless each one of you,” she prays, “and keep you safe.”   Listen to Caring Connections from Wednesday, March 25, 2020 Good afternoon, Iowa! This is the first installment of Wednesday Words of Encouragement as...

NEW! Webinars and unscripted conversations available for clergy and laity

NEW! Webinars and unscripted conversations available for clergy and laity

3/25/2020
Good Idea Webinars and opportunities for Unscripted Expressions of Encouragement and Support will begin this week for laity and clergy of the Iowa Conference. Reverend Dr. Jaye Johnson, Director of Congregational Excellence, describes the twice-weekly webinars and the unscripted expressions that will provide opportunities to share concerns and hopes in our current uncertain times. Listen to the Iowa Conference Conversations Podcast here. "It came about because, like all of us, the people in ...

Pray the Lord’s Prayer at 12 noon, March 25

Pray the Lord’s Prayer at 12 noon, March 25

3/24/2020
People across the world are being urged to join together in prayer to “rid the world of the coronavirus pandemic.”  The invitation, issued by the Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church echoes a call from Pope Francis, Rev. Elizabeth Eaton, the Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Church in America (ELCA), and other religious leaders.   Specifically, the call is to pray The Lord’s Prayer at 12 noon.  The one prayer, offered in many voices, will happen at that hour in various time zones,...

Status update for the 2020 Iowa Annual Conference session

Status update for the 2020 Iowa Annual Conference session

3/24/2020
Friends and Co-workers in Christ,  As the days and weeks unfold, we will know more about whether the 2020 Iowa Annual Conference session will or will not be held as planned on the first weekend of June. As you know, the timing of everything in our lives, including our conferencing, depends on the spread/containment/regression of the pandemic and making sure everyone is safe and well.    There have been a few questions raised about the status of the 2020 Iowa Annual Conference session as well as...

General Conference to move to 2021

General Conference to move to 2021

3/23/2020
Commission on the General Conference FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 23, 2020  Nashville, Tenn.: Subsequent to the announcement by the Executive Committee of the Commission on the General Conference that the 2020 General Conference will be postponed, the full Commission met March 21, 2020 to determine next steps to take in setting a new date. After hearing recommendations from Sara Hotchkiss, Business Manager of the General Conference, and discussion of possible alternatives, the Commission made a ...

‘Hope is Never Going to Be Canceled’

‘Hope is Never Going to Be Canceled’

3/20/2020
“Hope is never going to be canceled.”  That’s the clear message of Rev. Dr. Barrie Tritle, lead pastor of First United Methodist Church in Iowa City. Through its compassionate outreach in the midst of the COVID-19 health crisis and the online worship presence, the congregation is actively sharing that positive assurance    On March 17, he was interviewed by Katie Kay and a colleague from BBC World News.  He was asked about the online presence of the church.  “It was a great opportunity to share ...

Council on Finance and Administration votes to put Contingency Plan into effect

Council on Finance and Administration votes to put Contingency Plan into effect

3/20/2020
Dear Sisters and Brothers of the Iowa Annual Conference:   On March 12, 2020, the Council on Finance and Administration (CF&A) voted to put in effect the Contingency Plan. Developed in 2017, it calls for the Conference Treasurer to authorize payment of expenses in priority order. All Conference boards, agencies, and departments are to cease spending as much as possible so that only priority operating items are paid such as mortgage and lease payments, utilities, insurance, salaries and benefits,...

New video resource – Caring Connections with Bishop Laurie

New video resource – Caring Connections with Bishop Laurie

3/20/2020
Bishop Laurie and conference leaders are starting a short video series sharing how our connection is still strong even if we are not physically connected. It will begin on Wednesday at 2:00 pm. You can watch them on Facebook (@iowaumchuch) or follow us on Vimeo (@iowaannualconference) or bookmark this page that will have all Caring Connections videos. In addition, the Caring Connections podcast will soon be available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and five other sites. In the ...

Chuck Knows Church: Things We Can Do

Chuck Knows Church: Things We Can Do

3/19/2020
Chuck Knows Church is back! He’s teaming up with #SeeAllThePeople to share a few simple ideas that your church can do to help your community during this time of crisis. During these uncertain times, we may feel isolated from one another and experiencing a sense of aloneness, but we can still provide community in Christ and fellowship in the spirit. Watch as Chuck shows us how our congregations can turn isolation into engagement with our community.     EPISODE 1: MAKE A CALL   EPISODE 2: ...

A note from Bishop Laurie and the Appointive Cabinet

A note from Bishop Laurie and the Appointive Cabinet

3/18/2020
FROM BISHOP LAURIE AND THE APPOINTIVE CABINET Grace to you and peace from God our Father and from our Lord Jesus Christ. We write to you to encourage and support you in this time marked by coronavirus warnings, quarantines, social distancing and even the cancelation of March Madness! Our world has undergone major changes in the last few days and weeks. Our governor has declared a state of emergency and prohibited all social gatherings of greater than 10 people including spiritual and religious...

United Methodist General Conference to be postponed

United Methodist General Conference to be postponed

3/18/2020
Dear friends, I am writing to let you know that the Executive Committee of the Commission on the General Conference was notified by the Minneapolis Convention Center today that they are restricting events at the venue through May 10, 2020, because of the spread of the coronavirus. Therefore, the Executive Committee announced that the General Conference scheduled for May 5-15, 2020, will be postponed and new dates will be selected at some point.   Of primary concern now in our state, country, ...

Health-Full coping strategies for COVID-19

Health-Full coping strategies for COVID-19

3/17/2020
Written by: Kae Tritle, RN, Wellness Coordinator   “God has not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” 2 Timothy 1:7   We are all coping with the real effects of the Coronavirus in our world; from being intentional about hand-washing to changes in our travel plans to our social gatherings, meetings and classes canceled. We need to use the sound mind that God has given us to be appropriate and prudent about who and where we are in contact with others. Use ...

Taking your worship online: A guide for beginners and everyone else

Taking your worship online: A guide for beginners and everyone else

3/17/2020
By Jeremy Steele SPECIAL FROM ResourceUMC/MYCOM - "The coronavirus pandemic of 2020 highlights the need for worship alternatives like livestreaming. “There’s cause for prayer and bereavement care,” Jeremy Smith wrote recently, “but also [the need] for preparation [among] faith communities to continue to function amidst public health concerns — and indeed assist in the effort to contain this virus’ spread.” This article was fast-tracked to walk you through the planning needed to serve members ...

COVID-19 Lockdown: Creating Live-streamed Worship in 3 Days

COVID-19 Lockdown: Creating Live-streamed Worship in 3 Days

3/16/2020
The following is shared from HACKING CHRISTIANITY by Rev. Jeremy Smith.  Visit his blog at hackingchristianity.net  We're grateful for his insights and creativity MARCH 9, 2020 BY UMJEREMY 15 COMMENTS I pastor a church under COVID-19 restrictions. This is how we worshipped online with only 3 days prep.  Last week, I wrote “I pastor a church near a COVID-19 outbreak. Here’s what churches can do” after a meeting with the Public Health department of Seattle’s region. I detailed several ways how...

Be prepared, stay connected, and receive God's peace

Be prepared, stay connected, and receive God's peace

3/14/2020
March 14, 2020   Dear Clergy Colleagues,   As it has become clear, the Coronavirus will get worse before it gets better. That has entailed changes in our everyday life and work, as we all seek to avoid exposure and infection with the virus.   I know that it is now Saturday evening and Sunday’s a’coming. However, the rapidly evolving face of the Coronavirus Pandemic means that continual reevaluation of safety procedures is necessary. I am making several recommendations for those of you who are ...

Bishop Laurie responds to Council of Bishops letter to postpone General Conference 2020

Bishop Laurie responds to Council of Bishops letter to postpone General Conference 2020

3/13/2020
Dear friends, It is with a heavy heart that I share with you that the Executive Committee of the Council of Bishops has decided to ask for a postponement of the 2020 General Conference due to the Coronavirus pandemic. It is not known yet when the General Conference, currently scheduled for Minneapolis in May, will be rescheduled. We know that many important decisions need to be made at General Conference. Our primary concern, however, is the health and welfare of our delegates and those who ...

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