News


Developing Digital Faith Communities with Cathy Townley

Developing Digital Faith Communities with Cathy Townley

9/15/2021
The Congregational Excellence team invites you to join two webinars to continue learning about Developing Online Faith Communities. The webinars will be hosted by Cathy Townley, who has years of experience coaching churches through the digital age. Developing Online Faith Communities - two-part webinar. Get some basics on what’s involved in developing a digital campus, and why you should want to. In addition, the Congregational Excellence team and Townley are offering:   Launching New Faith ...

Midwest Mission Disaster Supply Drive Through September

Midwest Mission Disaster Supply Drive Through September

9/15/2021
Midwest Mission Distribution Center is coordinating a supply drive for the most requested items following recent disasters in Haiti and Louisiana. Relief supplies have already been sent to both locations, but Midwest Mission is committed to at least one more shipment at the beginning of October.  The personnel in the hardest-hit locations in Haiti and Louisiana have very specific requests for what items are needed now. Items will be collected through September 26 at three collection sites ...

Parish Development's

Parish Development's "On the Way Back Together" six part series on relationship building

9/15/2021
This six-part series and additional resources are provided through the work of Iowa Conference Parish Development.   On the Way Back Together - part 1 of 6   Each faith community is different from what they were in March of 2020. Some have gained members and embraced a different look for worship and how they connect with their faith community. A number have lost members and wonder what tomorrow brings. Some would just really like for things to consistently be the same.  Yet others are somewhere ...

Pastoral Statement on the 20th Anniversary of 9/11/2001

Pastoral Statement on the 20th Anniversary of 9/11/2001

9/10/2021
Every year on September 11, we remember. We remember exactly where we were. We remember how our eyes were glued to the TV as the horror of the attacks unfolded in New York City, and we remember the depth of our despair. At the time I was in Arizona, visiting my parents, and the day is indelibly imprinted in my memory. Fear, tears, numbness, shock, even shaking my fist at God. How could 2,996 people perish this way? As we still wrestle with the reality of the evil of these attacks and the grief ...

Abiding in Exile - 09/09/2021 - Moments of Encounter

Abiding in Exile - 09/09/2021 - Moments of Encounter

9/9/2021
Moments of Encounter By: Mary Lautzenhiser Bellon For the spiritual pilgrim, particularly as the journey unfolds, there are presented and taken more and more moments of encounter that move us into liminal space. These snapshots of time may be brief, or, if one is removing themselves for retreat, even longer. The liminal, or that in-between space of what is and what is becoming, often captures the domain of spiritual exile in a unique way. It evokes the sense of being apart or separated for a ...

UM Communications: United Methodists Recall 9/11 in New York

UM Communications: United Methodists Recall 9/11 in New York

9/9/2021
Years after the events of 9/11 shook New York City, Church members from the Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew, Church of the Village, and Christ Church United Methodist churches talk about how the local congregations comforted neighbors, stocked food pantries, and offered counseling. Martha Chapman states, “People’s need for care and community was exposed, and a place that we could find it was inside the doors of the church. This is where they came home.”  

2022 Apportionment calculations published

2022 Apportionment calculations published

9/3/2021
The calculations for the 2022 Iowa Annual Conference Apportionments have been completed and the information has been published on the Iowa Conference website under the Finance and Administration, Apportionment Resources page (https://www.iaumc.org/ApportionmentResources) This includes the 2022 Apportionments by Church, 2022 Apportionment Calculation Report by Church (Includes Districk Asking), and 2022 Apportionment Fund Breakdown (with Pie Charts). The 2022 Apportionment Budget for the Iowa ...

Abiding in Exile - Mining the Negative Space 09/02/2021

Abiding in Exile - Mining the Negative Space 09/02/2021

9/2/2021
By: Rev. Lee Roorda Schott I’m just back from a much-needed vacation that included four days on the road between here and southwest Colorado. Playing the alphabet game to pass the time, I was helped by the many FedEx trucks. And while logging the sometimes elusive “F,” I found myself marveling again at the arrow in their logo. You know about that, right? It’s been there all along, but I didn’t see it until someone pointed it out. You have to look at the white space between the E and the X. See ...

Equalization information for the 2022 annual conference session

Equalization information for the 2022 annual conference session

9/2/2021
Equalization for 2022 Annual Conference Each charge receives one lay member to Annual Conference.   A charge served by more than one clergyperson is assigned an additional lay member for each additional appointed clergy.  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 ...

Jordan, Quehl-Engel win GBHEM Francis Asbury Award

Jordan, Quehl-Engel win GBHEM Francis Asbury Award

9/2/2021
General Board of Higher Education and Ministry — For release Sept. 2, 2021 The Reverend Gerald C. Liu, PhD, Director of Collegiate Ministries, Initiatives, and Belonging and ordained elder of the Mississippi Annual Conference is pleased to announce ten Francis Asbury Award winners for the 2020 – 21 academic year on behalf of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) and the Annual Conferences who have supported them. The award recognizes and encourages outstanding support of ...

Disaster Response Update: Hurricane Ida and August Iowa Storms

Disaster Response Update: Hurricane Ida and August Iowa Storms

8/31/2021
Hurricane Ida Hurricane Ida landed just west of New Orleans, LA, and moved east up the Gulf Coast causing damage in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. Thousands of people are without power, water and shelter. Currently, authorities are accessing the situation and Power Companies, the national Gard, and Local Municipalities are making things safe. UMCOR (The United Methodist Committee on Relief) is already at work. The UMCOR-Sager Brown warehouse and grounds were not in the direct path of the ...

For Immediate Release — The Iowa Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church Responds to the Boy Scouts of American Bankruptcy Case

For Immediate Release — The Iowa Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church Responds to the Boy Scouts of American Bankruptcy Case

8/26/2021
For Immediate Release August 26, 2021 THE IOWA ANNUAL CONFERENCE OF THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH RESPONDS TO THE BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA BANKRUPTCY CASE Des Moines, Iowa: The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) is overwhelmed with potential liability exposure from sexual assault allegations nationwide. The BSA has filed for bankruptcy protection. Under both of the proposed plans that the BSA has suggested as a way to continue after the bankruptcy, they are leaving their Chartered Organizations out on a ...

Abiding in Exile - Beloved Space 08/26/2021

Abiding in Exile - Beloved Space 08/26/2021

8/26/2021
By: Pastor Nate Mason I am a proud Dork Dad, and one of my favorite Dork Dad activities is reading Ms. Marvel comics to my four-year-old daughter, Lily.  For those of you who are more productive with your reading time, there is a new Ms. Marvel character.  Kamala Khan is a sixteen-year-old daughter of Pakistani immigrants who gets shape changing superpowers. The comics teach inspiring lessons about life and the experience of the modern American Muslim. Lily loves it almost as much as I do.   One...

Re: Boy Scout Units Chartered by Local United Methodist Churches

Re: Boy Scout Units Chartered by Local United Methodist Churches

8/24/2021
Dear Iowa United Methodists:  We write this letter with heavy hearts.  The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) is overwhelmed with potential liability exposure from sexual assault allegations nationwide. The BSA has filed for bankruptcy protection. Under both of the proposed plans that the BSA has suggested as a way to continue after the bankruptcy, they are leaving their Chartered Organizations out on a limb by themselves. The Chartered Organizations are the local churches, schools, and civic groups ...

Get ready for 42nd annual Mission Ingathering on Saturday, November 6

Get ready for 42nd annual Mission Ingathering on Saturday, November 6

8/24/2021
  For more information about the 2021 Mission Ingathering, go to www.iaumc.org/ingathering. The 42nd Annual Mission Ingathering will be held on Saturday, November 6, 2021. Our purpose is to show the love of Christ to the world’s people by ministering to their needs. Our times have changed. The methods and means may change. The work of being in mission continues.               Ingathering 2020 brought many changes, and some of those are continuing. Our partnership with Midwest Mission ...

Abiding in Exile - 08/20/2021 - First Love

Abiding in Exile - 08/20/2021 - First Love

8/20/2021
First Love By: Nan Smith “But I have this against you: you have let go of the love you had at first. 5 So remember the high point from which you have fallen. Change your hearts and lives and do the things you did at first. If you don’t, I’m coming to you. I will move your lampstand from its place if you don’t change your hearts and lives.”  — Revelation 2:4-5 (Common English Bible)   This fall, our church will be celebrating 50 years of being Hope United Methodist Church. The beauty of ...

United Methodist Women Connection for August 2021

United Methodist Women Connection for August 2021

8/18/2021
Vol. XXXI, No. 3     |     August 2021 2021   Subscribe today to receive quarterly news from the Iowa UMW 2021 District Officers 2021 Iowa Mission Today Report Form President Growing Pains: Where Have You Felt Them This Year? When I was younger, as I grew, there were times that my muscles or bones would hurt.  My dad always told me, “Those are growing pains, Gladys Kay.” He would continue to tell me my body was learning how to handle its new shape, weight, or height (not that I am tall ...

Update regarding the delayed General Conference 2020

Update regarding the delayed General Conference 2020

8/12/2021
With a little over one year before the delayed General Conference 2020, the Iowa Conference Communications office reached out to Heather Hahn, UM News assistant editor, asking what important information can we share with Iowa about the delayed 2020 General Conference of The United Methodist Church. General Conference 2020 is scheduled for August 29 through September 6, 2022. “First, I’ll just say that the legislation in the Advance Daily Christian Advocate remains unchanged. But because the ...

And update and thank you from the Fabros family

And update and thank you from the Fabros family

8/11/2021
After a delay in late March due to rising COVID-19 cases in the Philippines, Siegfried Fabros finally was able to be admitted to the hospital for surgery. “My son is back at our place [in the Philippines] and being monitored by his doctor," said Pastor Olivia Fabros of Lacey, Beacon and Eddyville United Methodist Churches. "From the bottom of my heart, thank you. Thank you for the prayers and financial help. God bless.” Fabros learned earlier in the year that her 32-year-old son, Siegfried, ...

The next Wondrhealth Class (formally Naturally Slim)

The next Wondrhealth Class (formally Naturally Slim)

8/10/2021
Announcing an opportunity to participate in WondrHealth (formally Natura)(y Slim), a health-full eating/activity and behavioral skills program for improving well-being and weight. This all-digital health-fullness program is being offered to our clergy and their spouses who are currently participating in our health plan.  With the Wondrhealth program, you have the opportunity to learn how to lose weight and improve your health while eating your favorite foods—at NO FINANCIAL COST. We are ...

Abiding in Exile - Noah and God  08/12/2021

Abiding in Exile - Noah and God 08/12/2021

8/10/2021
By: Mary Lautzenhiser Bellon Perhaps no one did exile in quite the same way as Noah: first, as the laughing stock of his community or thought simply crazy as he built his boat; and then on the seas, hidden within the ark with his family and the community of animals as it rained and rained and rained. Finally, he stood alone with his family in a new land. In the poem below, I attempt to capture Noah’s conversation with God and himself as he rides the long, persistent storm and finds dry land. I ...

Reflections on the Olympics: A Pastoral Letter from Bishop Laurie

Reflections on the Olympics: A Pastoral Letter from Bishop Laurie

8/9/2021
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ, The Olympics ended yesterday. What a joy it was for millions of people across the globe to watch the best athletes in the world compete for the gold. I was able to find time most days to admire the tenacity and commitment of each one of these athletes to their particular sport. Their stories have been inspiring! Over the years, I have been especially interested in how world-class athletes address performance anxiety, the knowledge that every time they make a ...

A community coffee group and garden ministry provide mission partnerships with local communities

A community coffee group and garden ministry provide mission partnerships with local communities

8/6/2021
In the fall of 2017, a store in Floyd, Iowa, closed that had been a local gathering spot for people to have coffee, refreshments, do puzzles, play cards, and just socialize. Members of Floyd, Grace United Methodist Church realized that many of those people who came to coffee would miss the socialization time it had provided.   “They were elderly people, recently widowed, those who couldn’t drive out of town or had experienced the loss of family. They enjoy these times together,” said Wynona ...

Abiding in Exile - The Fickle Weight of “Exile” 08/05/2021

Abiding in Exile - The Fickle Weight of “Exile” 08/05/2021

8/5/2021
By: Rev. Lee Roorda Schott I remember Bishop Julius Trimble standing before a room of incarcerated women some years ago, speaking of the 23rd Psalm. He came to those words, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,” and he paused there.   Looking out at those women, whose lives he knew contained so much of pain and death and distance, he said these words I’ll never forget. “Trouble is, it’s not just ‘through,’ is it? As if that valley is an easy walk.”    He held his left ...

An update for church communities on masking during the rise of the Delta variant

An update for church communities on masking during the rise of the Delta variant

8/4/2021
Dear Beloved, We pray for your health and the healing of our nation as the rise of the COVID-19 Delta variant is causing strain on hospitals and healthcare facilities. As schools begin to reopen, we also pray for children who have not reached vaccination age. To maximize protection against the Delta variant, the Iowa Conference COVID-19 Re-entry Team encourages you to follow the Centers for Disease Controls (CDC) guidance for fully vaccinated people. The CDC recommends that "everyone wear a mask...

The pandemic changed VBS but it remains “wonderful and amazing”

The pandemic changed VBS but it remains “wonderful and amazing”

7/30/2021
Last summer if you walked into almost any Iowa United Methodist Church it would have been silent. This summer, the music, laughter, and games are back with Vacation Bible School.   Churches had to make some changes this year by distancing groups, extra cleaning, and moving activities outside.   “We did miss last year due to the pandemic, but this year was truly Spirit-led as things fell back into place very quickly and smoothly,” said Pastor Darin Feikema of St Charles Parish. “VBS was designed ...

Abiding in Exile - Bad Bread 07/29/2021

Abiding in Exile - Bad Bread 07/29/2021

7/26/2021
  With today’s post, we welcome Nathaniel Mason to our Exile Project writers’ team! Nate is an LLP serving Booneville and Maple Grove United Methodist Churches on the west edge of the Des Moines metro. You might remember Nate from his time as the Leadership Development Minister for Young Adult and Generational Ministries (2013-2015) for the Iowa Annual Conference. When not engaged in ministry, Nate is busy pursuing his other callings of cooking and being a fun dad to his two young children. ...

Mission Education Team update

Mission Education Team update

7/26/2021
The Mission Education Committee has a new leader in Sue Hattel of Dubuque. Sue will serve as the chair of this committee and as the Iowa Conference Secretary for Global Ministries. She had held this position about 12 years ago so with her interest in mission is willing to assume this role again. Sue is a laywoman who attends St. Luke’s UMC in her home city. The contact information for Sue is: shattel220@aol.com, 563-599-4497. In Mission Together (IMT) is the new mission focus of the Iowa ...

Jason Moore event offered encouragement, ideas

Jason Moore event offered encouragement, ideas

7/23/2021
The Offices of Clergy and Congregational Excellence hosted Jason Moore's two-day workshop, "Worship in the Post Pandemic World." About 80-100 individuals and church groups joined during the two-day event. "I am thankful for the workshops with Jason Moore, who brought his insight, engagement, and experience as a seasoned professional with worship, hospitality, and online ministry," said Rev. Ryan Christenson, Associate Director for Congregational Excellence. "His four workshops over two days ...

Abiding in Exile - Unfamiliar Terrain 07/22/2021

Abiding in Exile - Unfamiliar Terrain 07/22/2021

7/21/2021
By: Nan Smith Unfamiliar Terrain I can still remember the reply I was given, when I first pitched my wilderness trip idea to the pastor of the church.  I said “how about you and I take a canoe trip with high school girls into the wilderness lakes and woods of northern Minnesota?”  She quipped back that maybe she better bring the Book of Worship just in case some of us didn’t make it back out and we needed a service. Heading into the wilderness isn’t for the faint of heart, but intentionally ...

Abiding in Exile - 07/15/21 - The Mystery of God

Abiding in Exile - 07/15/21 - The Mystery of God

7/15/2021
Rev. Dr. Mary Lautzenhiser Bellon   The Mystery of God Rev. Dr. Mary Lautzenhiser Bellon Something you probably do not know about me is that I love murder mysteries. While my daughter Laurel and son in law Kenny were staying with me before they moved to California in June, we watched Knives Out on Amazon Prime. It’s a great who-dun-it that takes place in a big mansion and Detective Benoit Blanc (played by Daniel Craig with a Kentucky accent) must sort out all the family members and staff while ...

AC2021 Ordering of Ministry Service

AC2021 Ordering of Ministry Service

7/12/2021
At this year's Ordering of Ministry Service, held at Ankeny First United Methodist Church Christian Life Center on July 10, Bishop Laurie Haller ordained eight elders, commissioned two provisional members, commissioned one deaconess, recognized two transfers of membership, and two Course of Study graduates. Newly Ordained Elders: Christopher Eric Childs Lucas Stephen Richard Fillmore Jennifer Lynn Hibben Mark Richard Johnson Jaeseong Lee Ryan Mohan Russell Trevor Joe Vaughn, and Brian Edward ...

New Riverview Park District Administrative Assistant Hired

New Riverview Park District Administrative Assistant Hired

7/9/2021
The Iowa Annual Conference is happy to announce that Amy Keenan has been hired as the new Riverview Park District Administrative Assistant.  Keenan began her work with the conference in mid-June. Previously, she served as the Administrative Assistant and Financial Coordinator at the Grinnell United Methodist Church for four years. "I grew up in Kellogg and have been a member of the Kellogg United Methodist Church my whole life," she said. "I am married to Brandon Keenan and we have three ...

Simpson becomes nation’s third college to align with Reconciling Ministries Network

Simpson becomes nation’s third college to align with Reconciling Ministries Network

7/9/2021
Simpson becomes nation’s third college to align with Reconciling Ministries Network United Methodist-affiliated college asserts commitment to diversity and inclusion   INDIANOLA, Iowa — The Simpson College Board of Trustees on May 14, 2021, voted to affiliate the College with Reconciling Ministries Network, a nonprofit organization seeking the inclusion of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities in both the policy and practices of the United Methodist Church. The decision to ...

Abiding in Exile - Post-Pandemic Perceived Rejection 07/08/2021

Abiding in Exile - Post-Pandemic Perceived Rejection 07/08/2021

7/7/2021
By: Rev. Lee Roorda Schott   I wonder if your body is as confused as mine has been, of late, about what to do with itself around other human beings.    Some of you are probably avoiding the confusion by maintaining a pretty rigid “no-touch” zone, even now. And some of you are thinking, “What? Those worries are so 2020!”    For the rest of us, confusion reigns.    Take, for instance, the question of handshakes. Do you or don’t you take that other person’s offered hand, or extend your own? After ...

North Central Jurisdiction College of Bishops will convene a special session of the North Central Jurisdictional Conference November 11-13, 2021 in Fort Wayne, IN

North Central Jurisdiction College of Bishops will convene a special session of the North Central Jurisdictional Conference November 11-13, 2021 in Fort Wayne, IN

7/1/2021
 July 1, 2021   To: The Elected Delegates of the North Central Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church   From: The North Central Jurisdiction College of Bishops   On the matter of a special session of the North Central Jurisdiction   In accordance with ¶521.1 and ¶521.3 of The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church, the North Central Jurisdiction College of Bishops will convene a special session of the North Central Jurisdictional Conference November 11-13, 2021 in Fort Wayne, ...

Abiding in Exile - 07/01/2021 - That Still Point

Abiding in Exile - 07/01/2021 - That Still Point

7/1/2021
That Still Point By: Mary Lautzenhiser Bellon With today’s post, we welcome Mary Lautzenhiser Bellon to the writing team for Abiding in Exile. Many of you know Mary from her twenty years of service through the Office of Pastoral Care and Counseling. She now serves as senior pastor at Collegiate UMC and Wesley Foundation in Ames. A more complete bio and photo is available at our writer page. When I lived in California, many years ago now, a friend of mine took several people out on a sailboat. We...

A pastoral letter for the Fourth of July 2021

A pastoral letter for the Fourth of July 2021

7/1/2021
A Pastoral Letter for the Fourth of July 2021 To the saints in Iowa:  Grace and peace in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The Fourth of July holiday marks the time when summer moves into high gear in the U.S. Families go on vacation, outdoor activities beckon, and we connect with neighbors and friends. As we give thanks for the freedom and privileges that many of us enjoy in America, we also acknowledge that millions of people in our country and around the world do not even have the...

Health-Full Minute: Well-Being Programs for our Ministry Personnel

Health-Full Minute: Well-Being Programs for our Ministry Personnel

6/29/2021
Written by Kae Tritle, RN, Conference Wellness Coordinator As we move into a new conference year, I would like to high-light our Well-Being programs that are available to our clergy, spouses, and conference employees.  Virgin Pulse Activity Program  Virgin Pulse is available to conference employees, all clergy and their spouses. It is a web-based activity program that helps you earn rewards for enhancing your fitness and overall wellness through the digital tracking of physical activities, ...

Funeral Service Details for Rev. Herbert Edward Palmer

Funeral Service Details for Rev. Herbert Edward Palmer

6/28/2021
Please keep Bishop Gregory V. & Mrs. Cynthia Palmer and their family in your prayers as they mourn the loss and celebrate the life of Rev. Herbert E. Palmer, our former Bishop’s father. From the Council of Bishops: IN OUR THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS "May the Lord give strength to his people! May the Lord bless his people with peace." Psalm 29:11   We continue to hold Bishop Gregory V. Palmer and his family in our thoughts and prayers upon the passing of his father, the Reverend Herbert Edward Palmer....

Remembering Lucille Morgan Wilson

Remembering Lucille Morgan Wilson

6/28/2021
Lucille Elizabeth Morgan Wilson, 95, passed away June 21, 2021 at Bright Kavanagh House in Des Moines, Iowa. Many will remember her from her 35 years of service to the Iowa Annual Conference, and others from her 74-year membership of Wesley United Methodist Church where she held several positions. Lucille was the recipient of the Interfaith Service Award by the Des Moines Area Religious Council in 1996. She earned numerous awards in various state and national poetry competitions and had several...

Iowa Annual Conference AC2021 Report

Iowa Annual Conference AC2021 Report

6/25/2021
"It’s been quite a year and a half, hasn’t it? Never could you and I have imagined what our life would be like on June 5, 2021," said Bishop Laurie Haller in her Episcopal Address and Opening Worship on the first day of the Iowa Conference of the United Methodist Church's 2021 annual session.   Bishop Laurie went on to recall her and everyone's naivete in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, saying, "What have we learned over the past fifteen months? If nothing else, we are more convinced ...

Hope delivered to South Sudanese Mabaan

Hope delivered to South Sudanese Mabaan

6/24/2021
Story submitted by Beverly Nolte. Photos and video by Pastor Aaron Limmo. The Greater Mabaan Community led by Idris Kegi, reviewed the Flood Relief Report submitted by Pastor Aaron Limmo who returned from Juba, South Sudan on May 25, 2021. The Iowa Conference had raised $27,347 to assist villagers in Mabaan County, located in Upper Nile State which suffered from yearly flooding. An Iowa flood relief committee had started fund raising efforts in 2019 but were stymied by the COVID pandemic in ...

People of God Campaign Invites Members to #BeUMC

People of God Campaign Invites Members to #BeUMC

6/24/2021
United Methodist Communications FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 23, 2021  Nashville, Tenn.: United Methodist Communications, in collaboration with other denominational leaders, is building on the People of God campaign, launched in 2020. The addition of a new hashtag and call-to-action – #BeUMC – invites church members to embody the church’s values, embrace its aspirations, and remain with The United Methodist Church even in difficult times. The People of God campaign celebrates key attributes that ...

Abiding in Exile - 06/23/2021 - Florida in July

Abiding in Exile - 06/23/2021 - Florida in July

6/23/2021
Florida in July By: Nan Smith I am taking a little time away this summer. I have been asked to join my daughter and her family for a week of vacation. Our destination is a beach, specifically a beach in Florida, in southern Florida, in July. At this point, I’m guessing that all of you are wishing you were taking this very same trip!  Actually, every person I have mentioned this vacation to has responded in a similar manner. Something like - “Really? Florida? July? You know it’s going to be hot!”...

#StillinMission featuring Rev. Doug Williams

#StillinMission featuring Rev. Doug Williams

6/18/2021
Rev. Douglas Williams, a former clergyman from the Iowa Conference, has been serving as a United Methodist Missionary in Argentina. Williams has many friends and supporting churches in Iowa and was here in 2018 for itineration. Due to Covid-19 and the travel bans, he has been unable to return to visit his supporting churches.  Now there is an opportunity to meet with him in a program from Global Ministries called “#StillinMission.” These are monthly episodes that feature United Methodist ...

2021 MLK Waterloo Freedom Bus Tour

2021 MLK Waterloo Freedom Bus Tour

6/18/2021
Waterloo Freedom Bus TourSM Presenting Sponsor ALLEN COLLEGE  November 8 - 12, 2021 Memphis, Birmingham, Montgomery, and Selma Cost $399/person Please make checks/money orders out to MLK New Jerusalem  with MLK Freedom Bus Tour in the memo line For more information and registration for the trip, please contact Shelly Burch or Abraham L Funchess at 319-291-4441 Participants engage in a week-long journey exploring iconic human and civil rights spaces in Memphis, Birmingham, Montgomery, and ...

Mabaan Flood Relief Report

Mabaan Flood Relief Report

6/18/2021
On May 25 Pastor Aaron Limmo returned from South Sudan. His task was to receive the $27,347  raised by Iowa United Methodists for flood relief. During the traumatic time of the COVID-19 pandemic and through the generosity of Iowans these funds were given to help humanitarian efforts.  In 2019 the Indian Ocean Dipole caused severe flooding in the Upper Nile State area where Mabaan County is located. The Iowa Mabaan Community asked the Iowa Conference UMC to help address flood relief efforts. ...

North Central Jurisdiction Mission Council Grants

North Central Jurisdiction Mission Council Grants

6/18/2021
The NCJ Mission Council is once again opening its grant process. The information and grant applications can be found on the NCJ website by clicking here. Agencies and groups are encouraged to investigate and apply for a grant. All applications should be completed by September 1, 2021. If you have questions, email Jim Searls, the NCJ Communications Coordinator, at ncjumc@gmail.com. 

Juneteenth National Independence Day

Juneteenth National Independence Day

6/17/2021
President Joe Biden signed legislation into law on Thursday, June 17, 2021, officially marking June 19 as Juneteenth National Independence Day, which will now be a U.S. federal holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States.   Juneteenth is the oldest national commemoration marking the end of slavery in the United States. Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19 that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, arrived at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended...

Abiding in Exile - The Bittersweet Dream of an Immigrant Family in America  06/17/2021

Abiding in Exile - The Bittersweet Dream of an Immigrant Family in America 06/17/2021

6/16/2021
This week’s reflection is a guest post from Rev. Dr. Heecheon Jeon, Conference Superintendent for the Central/Riverview Park District since 2016. We are grateful for his reflections, especially in light of recent violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders—the news of which can seem to erase the details of individual experience. The Bittersweet Dream of an Immigrant Family in America By: Rev. Dr. Heecheon Jeon I grew up in South Korea. My wife, Anne, and I, as students, came to San ...

Board of Pensions Report - AC2021

Board of Pensions Report - AC2021

6/15/2021
Board of Pensions Report Script Dave Peterson Today, as we reflect on 2020 and look forward to the coming year, I’ll share information regarding:    PENSION/RETIREMENT Utilization of the Board of Pension COVID Assistance Programs The Board of Pension funding report for the pension and retirement plans  HEALTH INSURANCE/WELL-BEING A look back on the 2020 health insurance and what we can reasonably expect for 2022 A Wellness Report highlighting the Naturally Slim pilot program of 2020 ...

Recognition of Campus Ministries - AC2021

Recognition of Campus Ministries - AC2021

6/15/2021
During the 2021 Iowa Annual Conference Session, Bishop Laurie Haller recognized the Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministry, Rev. Julie Poulson, the board's new chairperson, for taking a very active leadership of the board during the past year.  "I am proud of our United Methodist campus ministries. They each have a long and very effective legacy of spiritual care for their campus for students, staff, and faculty," said Bishop Laurie. Rev. Ted Lyddon Hatten directs the Wesley Foundation ...

Legislative Report - AC2021

Legislative Report - AC2021

6/14/2021
During the 2021 Iowa Annual Conference, only two items were removed from the action calendars, items 101 and 211. Rev. Carolyn Bitner proposed an amendment to Action item #101 so that the location of the annual conference session is recommended at least two years in advance when feasible. This was approved as amended by the body. Rev. Lee Schott made an amendment for Action Item #211. “In 2004 action by the Annual Conference Session created this pool of funding to support hands-on ministry and...

Treasurer's & Council on Finance and Administration Reports - AC2021

Treasurer's & Council on Finance and Administration Reports - AC2021

6/13/2021
Treasurer's Report Script Maggie Bigg: Good morning! My name is Maggie Biggs and I am the Treasurer/Director of Administrative Services for the Iowa Annual Conference. It is a pleasure to be with you this morning.    Today I’d like to present some information on how the Conference ended the year 2020 in terms of income and expenses as well as how our local churches did in contributing to our connectional community.    I’ll go over the annual statistical data, update you on the Conference’s PPP ...

Resolutions for the Closed Churches - AC2021

Resolutions for the Closed Churches - AC2021

6/11/2021
Bishop Laurie Haller offered a prayer before the Resolutions for Closed Churches were read and affirmed at the 2021 Iowa Annual Conference's final day, saying, "O God, as in your great goodness you have blessed the many ministries carried on by these congregations in their buildings, so now, and in the days and years to come, we pray that you may greatly bless your many ministries in your ongoing Church. Bless those persons who have worshipped in these Church's buildings and will now be ...

Abiding in Exile - On Not Getting What You Deserve 06/10/2021

Abiding in Exile - On Not Getting What You Deserve 06/10/2021

6/10/2021
By Katie Kennedy On Not Getting What You Deserve? This may come as a shock to you, but I’m not always right. It’s certainly always a shock to me. It reminds me of when Abraham Lincoln disagreed with Ulysses S. Grant’s tactics for taking Vicksburg, the fortress on the Mississippi that would be key to a Union victory in the Civil War. Grant took full responsibility for whatever happened but said he was going forward with his plan. After he took Vicksburg, Lincoln wrote him a short letter that has ...

Bishop’s Operational Team and Reimagining CCMC Report - AC2021

Bishop’s Operational Team and Reimagining CCMC Report - AC2021

6/10/2021
Bishop's Operational Team Report Script Barrie Tritle: This Pandemic year has brought us all challenges we never imagined and has called us all to focus on being adaptive in our ministry and to truly become inventive in how we proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Adaptive issues which the conference faces, have been the focus of our team since our inception.  Looking back to the 2017 Dream Team report to the Annual Conference we find an outline and explanation for the need of the conference ...

The Memorial Service - AC2021

The Memorial Service - AC2021

6/10/2021
  Revelation 7:9-12 (NLT) After this, I saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes and held palm branches in their hands. And they were shouting with a great roar, “Salvation comes from our God who sits on the throne     and from the Lamb!” And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living beings. And they fell before ...

Antiracism Task Force Team Report - AC2021

Antiracism Task Force Team Report - AC2021

6/9/2021
Video Transcript: Hello, My name is Lanette Plambeck and I am your Director of Clergy and Leadership Excellence here in the Iowa Conference of The United Methodist Church. And I am Lisa Steel Director of Ministerial Service & Journal Editor. In a few moments, you will hear reflections from members of the Iowa Conference Antiracism Team regarding our charge given at our formation last summer, which has guided our work this past year. Much of this work has been held within our group as we grew ...

Bishop Laurie's Message for Laity Session - AC2021

Bishop Laurie's Message for Laity Session - AC2021

6/9/2021
Bishop Laurie's Sermon Script from Laity Session: Grace and peace to each one of you. I am honored to be able to share a few words of encouragement at the beginning of your annual Laity Session at the Annual Conference. Let’s pray. Dear God, we are at the start of another annual conference, and we thank you for the privilege of being able to participate virtually. We are grateful for those who have taught us how to connect with one another electronically, and we rejoice in the new and ...

The Episcopal Address - AC2021

The Episcopal Address - AC2021

6/9/2021
"It’s been quite a year and a half, hasn’t it? Never could you and I have imagined what our life would be like on June 5, 2021," said Bishop Laurie Haller in her Episcopal Address and Opening Worship on the first day of the Iowa Conference of the United Methodist Church's 2021 annual session. Full Worship Service | Episcopal Address | Episcopal Address Script | Worship Bulletin Bishop Laurie went on to recall her and everyone's naivete in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, saying, "...

The Recognition of Retirement Service - AC2021

The Recognition of Retirement Service - AC2021

6/9/2021
"When I got the call asking me to preach the retirement worship service, I immediately began asking God, 'What is the word that you have for us today?'" said Rev. Julie Poulsen on June 5, 2021, during the Recognition of Retirement Service. "I thought, and I prayed, and I waited, and soon the words came to me. 'Thank you for loving my people.' I was a little surprised that it was thank you!" Retirement Service to download   | Retirement Service Worship Bulletin Poulsen joins the retirement ...

AC2021 Episcopal Address and Opening Worship

AC2021 Episcopal Address and Opening Worship

6/4/2021
AC2021 Episcopal Address and Opening Worship Full Worship Service Episcopal Address Episcopal Address Script Worship Bulletin

Abiding in Exile - No More Helping 06/03/2021

Abiding in Exile - No More Helping 06/03/2021

6/3/2021
By Lee Roorda Schott  No More Helpin I’ve about had it with people trying to help me through this “unprecedented time.”   I first felt this way in March and April of 2020, when it seemed like every other e-mail was trying to describe the heavy impact of the pandemic, or to help me through its ravages. I was invited to sign up for webinars that would offer mental health support, and others designed for clergy like me who were trying to adapt to the new online world, and to every other changed ...

Important 2021 Iowa Annual Conference Zoom and Voting Credential Emails

Important 2021 Iowa Annual Conference Zoom and Voting Credential Emails

6/1/2021
Dear Members of The Iowa Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church,   Zoom Webinar Link and Passcode Email All members of the 2021 Iowa Annual Conference Session have been emailed a confirmation titled, “Iowa Annual Conference 2021 Legislative Session, Pre-Conference Orientation Sessions, and Town Hall Confirmation.”  It contains directions, a link, and a passcode to join the Zoom Webinar. This link is the one you will use for the Pre-Conference Orientations, Town Hall, and the Iowa ...

A Prayer for the 2021 Iowa Annual Conference

A Prayer for the 2021 Iowa Annual Conference

6/1/2021
O Creator and Redeemer God, in a few days we will gather in your presence and as your faithful disciples at the 2021 Iowa Annual Conference. In 1744, your servants John and Charles Wesley first met with a few clergy to consider how they should proceed to save their own souls and those who heard them. They quickly agreed to invite the lay preachers who were in the house to join them. 277 years later, ever-renewing God, you are still bringing us together as United Methodists every year — all ...

Prayer Request for Rev. Dr. Moody Colorado, District Superintendent of the Pictured Rocks District

Prayer Request for Rev. Dr. Moody Colorado, District Superintendent of the Pictured Rocks District

5/27/2021
Dear Friends in Christ,   I write to you today with a prayer request. Rev. Dr. Moody Colorado, District Superintendent of the Pictured Rocks District, is schedule for triple bypass surgery tomorrow. Please keep Moody, son John, and his extended family in your prayers as he undergoes this procedure and for his recovery. Moody is a faithful and exuberant servant of God. He offers his entire self to the ministry and mission of Jesus Christ to which he has been called. Pray with me, as I pray:   ...

Abiding in Exile - Imagine 05/27/2021

Abiding in Exile - Imagine 05/27/2021

5/27/2021
By Nan Smith Imagine Keep alert, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.  1 Corinthians 16: 13-14 (NRSV)   I remember it was a chilly November day, the clouds hanging heavy in the sky, looking like they would break into rain or snow at a moment’s notice. We were picking our way through a harvested cornfield filled with stubble and clods of soil.  It was tough walking. We stopped on the crest of a hill, gazing down at the land below - harvested ...

Watch the May 23 Town Hall Meeting

Watch the May 23 Town Hall Meeting

5/27/2021
Watch the full Town Hall meeting from May 23, 2021 for important updates about this year's Annual Conference legislation and reports.    

Abiding in Exile - The Forgiveness Process 05/20/2021

Abiding in Exile - The Forgiveness Process 05/20/2021

5/20/2021
By Eric Rucker The Forgiveness Process I was commuting to work the other day, listening to worship music, and to my surprise I started to cry. I’m not a frequent crier, so you can imagine how surprised I was that my crying continued through the whole drive; and then continued during my therapy session that afternoon; and then continued on my commute home that evening!    Tears are sometimes a mysterious thing, and it’s often hard for me to reduce the explanation of my tears to one feeling or ...

2021 Iowa Annual Conference Virtual Town Hall Meeting

2021 Iowa Annual Conference Virtual Town Hall Meeting

5/19/2021
The 2021 Iowa Annual Conference (IAC) Virtual Town Hall Meeting is set for Sunday, May 23, from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm. It will be held by Zoom Webinar. Lay and clergy members for the Town Hall will use the same login as the 2021 IAC Session, which will be emailed to you before the session. The Town Hall will be livestreamed and recorded for all local churches and members to watch and be informed.    The purpose of the Town Hall is for boards, agencies, and committees to share important information ...

United Methodist Women Connection for May 2021

United Methodist Women Connection for May 2021

5/19/2021
Vol. XXXI, No. 2     |     May 2021   Subscribe today to receive quarterly news from the Iowa UMW 2021 District Officers 2021 Iowa Mission Today Report Form President Words Matter I have been working hard as your President these past five months on communication. My goal is that all communication that comes out from the United Methodist Women in Iowa is guided with our Purpose in mind. That our communication be open, available to all, honest but respectful and framed in “Knowing God”. I...

AC2021 Nominations and Conference Ballot

AC2021 Nominations and Conference Ballot

5/19/2021
Persons interested in being nominated for open positions (listed on the right side of the ballot), need to submit the LEADERSHIP POOL FORM by May 29, 2021, or email barb.oakland@iaumc.org. District nominations teams will consider the nomination and add new information for the June 5, 2021 ballot. Nominations reflect only open positions as of July 1, 2021  Proposed Nominations from the floor for REPLACEMENT NOMINEES need to be cleared with the Conference Nominations Coordinating Committee by ...

Pray for Pastor Olivia Fabros and her son, Siegfried

Pray for Pastor Olivia Fabros and her son, Siegfried

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The 2021 Iowa Annual Conference Pre-Conference Manual

The 2021 Iowa Annual Conference Pre-Conference Manual

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

UMW Program Advisory Group held first meeting of quadrennium

UMW Program Advisory Group held first meeting of quadrennium

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

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

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

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

Mabaan Flood Relief Update

Mabaan Flood Relief Update

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

Annual Conference 2021 Special Offerings

Annual Conference 2021 Special Offerings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Abiding in Exile - Muscle Memory 05/06/2021

Abiding in Exile - Muscle Memory 05/06/2021

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

Why Racial Justice

Why Racial Justice

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

Abiding in Exile - Shifting Terrain 04/30/2021

Abiding in Exile - Shifting Terrain 04/30/2021

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

UMC Bishops end 5-day meeting; clarify key decisions

UMC Bishops end 5-day meeting; clarify key decisions

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

An Annual Conference 2021 update from Bishop Laurie

An Annual Conference 2021 update from Bishop Laurie

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

Vida Nueva continues ministry in a new location

Vida Nueva continues ministry in a new location

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

Fe y Esperanza embracing the future of its ministry

Fe y Esperanza embracing the future of its ministry

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

Abiding in Exile - Baby Steps 04/22/2021

Abiding in Exile - Baby Steps 04/22/2021

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

Worship in The Post Pandemic World with Jason Moore

Worship in The Post Pandemic World with Jason Moore

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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