News


Clergy Benefits presentations begin September 3

8/27/2013
Click here to listen to the conversation with Joni Mardesen about the Benefits presentations By Lisa Bourne* Some changes are coming to the retirement plans for clergy serving the United Methodist Church in Iowa, and the Human Resources office of the Iowa Annual Conference is going on the road to bring information to those affected by those changes. Human Resources staff and representatives from both the General Board of Pensions and the Conference Board of Pensions are conducting a series ...

Iowa River churches Imagine No Malaria

8/27/2013
Thirteen churches in the Marshall County area gathered on Saturday, August 24th to celebrate what they have and will accomplish in the effort to end death from malaria. Around 90 gathered for the event, which was held at Hope UMC in Marshalltown.  Burgers and brats were served as part of the meal that kicked off the evening and then everyone gathered in the sanctuary for music, witnesses, and encouragement. Organizers Wally Paige and Kevin Gowdy hoped that the event would help to capture the ...

United Methodist Communications Offers New Online Courses

8/23/2013
United Methodist Communications is offering two new online training courses beginning Sept. 18, specifically designed to meet the growing demand for training in social media and new technologies, as well as tools to aid in church vitality. Online training opportunities are being utilized to reach out to local churches and provide them with communications resources that can help them be more effective in their ministries. “Communicating Faith in the 21st Century” aims to help people of faith ...

Iowa Christian Educators to host fall retreat at Wesley Woods

8/19/2013
Iowa Christian Educators Fellowship (CEF) FALL RETREAT October 7-8, 2013 Wesley Woods Camp and Retreat Center*  Our Iowa CEF (Christian Educators Fellowship) chapter is planning a very important retreat this fall. I am very excited about this great opportunity, because our CEF planning committee has lined up an amazing speaker to share about her life and her amazing gifts as they relate to Christian Education. This event will also combine our typical spring and fall retreat for the 2013 year,...

New "That"s Church" messages highlight the church in action

8/19/2013
United Methodist Communications asks members and seekers to Rethink Church from a historic perspective with the new ‘That’s Church’ messages. “When we Rethink Church, we’re honoring our denominational roots,” said the Rev. Larry Hollon, chief executive of United Methodist Communications. “For more than 200 years, the Methodist movement has been putting faith into action. We believe faithfulness is nurtured in worship on Sunday morning and expressed by faithful acts the other days of the week. ...

Bishop to lead Holy Land trip in January

8/16/2013
Have you dreamed of going to the Holy Land? Imagine having this spiritual experience with other Iowans!! Bishop and Racelder Trimble are leading a group to the Holy Land, departing January 30, 2014.  For more information contact: dianelen@iowatelecom.net or call at 641-236-4990. See a video introduction at: http://vimeo.com/24824200   Read the information brochure: http://issuu.com/eotours/docs/hl14_a/1?e=2663131/2116100 Trip details at Educational Opportunities: http://goo.gl/qXBghU67 If ...

ELCA calls for comprehensive immigration reform

8/16/2013
The 952 voting members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Churchwide Assembly approved a memorial that would call ELCA members to advocate for the adoption of comprehensive immigration reform consistent with an ELCA message on immigration and guidance from Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services based in Baltimore. ELCA members call for legislation that would provide an earned pathway to lawful permanent residency and eventual citizenship for undocumented immigrants and ...

Discover Storify

8/14/2013
  Neelley Hicks, of United Methodist Communications, talks about how to use Storify (www.storify.com) to create your own stories combining social media posts, your own additions, images and multi-media.  Learn how to use this great tool at: http://storify.com/neelleyhicks/how-to-use-storify

Eyes on Nigeria

8/13/2013
There was a swirl of bright, vivid colors as our Iowa team entered the UMC Hospital grounds in Bambur. Three hundred people were milling around waiting for the eye clinic to start. Being led by family members, blind persons inched their way to the porch.  Some used canes to get themselves positioned for the opening devotion and prayers offered by the Sunday Solomon, Conference Medical Director. Within a few minutes John Jako, Eye Centre Director, had lines formed for patients to be seen by the...

March on Washington commemoration, August 24

8/13/2013
The Black Hawk County Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (BHC NAACP) will be having a march in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on Saturday, August 24, beginning at 12:30 p.m. ??The march will start at Lincoln Park and travel down E. 4th Street to Jubilee United Methodist Church.  The marchers will be accompanied by the Union Baptist Crusaders Drill Team and the newly formed motorcycle club called "Them ...

Florida Bishop urges the church to welcome everyone

8/8/2013
By Susan Green* Bishop Kenneth Carter ORLANDO – Bishop Ken Carter is encouraging churches across the Florida Conference to welcome gays and lesbians in worship and ministry. At a regularly scheduled gathering of St. Luke’s UMC’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender cluster group Thursday, Carter encouraged United Methodists to welcome people of all sexual orientations with a spirit of “generous orthodoxy.” The full 5,000-member St. Luke’s congregation and clergy from other churches were...

RISEN, in concert at the State Fair

8/7/2013
...from Ankeny First UMC... Don’t miss Praise Band, RISEN, in concert at the State Fair on August 9, 2:30pm, Susan Knapp Amphitheater Everyone is invited to praise God with the members of RISEN on Friday, August 9. You can hear their spirit-filled music at 2:30pm at the Susan Knapp Amphitheater. Also available on that day will be their new CD album, “When You See Me.” Another way to enjoy RISEN’s music at home is by downloading their song, “More Than Imagined” on risen.bandcamp.com. This song...

Happiness is... the Iowa State Fair

7/26/2013
The 2013 Iowa State Fair is nearly upon us, and your Communications Ministry Team wants to know if you'll be there! Please send an email to communications@iaumc.org if you'll be participating or volunteering in some capacity, entering one of the many competitions, or have won any awards presented in pre-Fair contests (i.e., photography). Be sure to let us know your name church name, town, and United Methodist district age (if you're under 18) why you'll be there (competition/volunteer/e...

News out of Nigeria

7/23/2013
To view photos from the 2013 trip, please click here. The yearly trek from Iowa to Nigeria cements a partnership that started in 1989 and continues today between the Iowa and Nigeria Annual Conferences. Two groups were part of the 2013 trip. Led by Linda Rowe and Beverly Nolte, Sarah Swinton and Caitlyn Baagoe, high school graduates, and Emma Payne, a college junior, journeyed across the pond and into Abuja, Nigeria, on June 13. Laden with laptops (for the UMC Computer labs/school/centers), ...

It's not too late to attend summer camp!

7/22/2013
It’s Not Too Late to Register & Come to Iowa UMC Summer Camp! If you are like most families, you’re into the ‘thick’ of summer of activities, whether it’s summer sports, swimming lessons, or maybe a plan to go somewhere for a nice summer family vacation; it’s just busy. But even in the busyness of our lives for the summer, I’m hoping that you’ll take some time to consider sending your children to camp. It really is a life changing experience, and it is time where youth of any age can come and ...

SAVE THE DATE: Emerging Immigrant Communities event

7/19/2013
An invitation to ALL Emerging Immigrant Communities of Faith AND their Partner churches and all those with interest to know more about the emerging immigrant communities of faith in Iowa:  The world is changing! We are blessed with the opportunity to engage in relationships with those who are new to our communities and often outside the walls of our existing churches. There’s a Spirit in the air bringing new and exciting inspiration to all of us here in Iowa. We see the results in the budding ...

$1,000,000!

7/12/2013
Over 100,000 lives will be saved in Sub-Saharan Africa thanks to the Iowa Annual Conference! We have been working hard for the last year to help end death and suffering from malaria and this week passed $1,000,000 in gifts to the Imagine No Malaria campaign. While we know the work on the ground is unprecedented and making significant progress, it has been equally exciting to see how local churches are being re-energized by this mission, new relationships are being built, and young people ...

Volunteers in Mission (VIM) Team Leader Training offered

7/8/2013
Volunteers in Mission (VIM) Team Leader Training   Are you wishing you (and your church) could be of help in light of recent tornadoes, floods, and fires (think Oklahoma, Cherokee, Colorado, New Jersey), but not sure how to do so? VIM Team Leader Training will provide you and your church with all the information and tools you will need to participate in or lead hands-on mission. News from UMCOR has asked us to “wait” to plan a trip to Oklahoma till October. If a large hurricane makes ...

Summer hours for conference center

7/3/2013
The Conference Center will be closed July 4 in observance of the holiday. The doors will remain locked on July 5 as a security measure for the few staff who will be there working. Conference Center summer hours are in effect now and run through August 30. The building is open to the public 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Fridays. If you have a need to be in the building on a Friday afternoon, please make arrangements with a staff person prior to ...

Summer at Camp is "Jesus time" says Kathy Potter

6/26/2013
Kathy Potter is the Camps and Retreats Registrar for the Iowa Annual Conference, a position she has held for eleven years.  She recently talked about the 2013 season and the experiences she has had with camps and retreats over the years. “The 2013 season is going awesome – we’re getting lots of registrations.” she said.    “There’s a lot of interest and there’s still lots of room,” she added. On the day that we talked she said that she had had a busy day.  “The phone’s gone crazy…I’ve ...

Naomi Sea Yong Wittstruck concludes service to Conference

6/17/2013
  Naomi Sea Young Wittstruck will be leaving her position as the Leadership Development Minister (LDM) for Social Justice & Mission at the Iowa Conference of The United Methodist Church on July 16, 2013.  Naomi Sea Young has been an LDM since April 2008 and has been instrumental in growing our outreach and advocacy ministry by encouraging, resourcing, and educating local churches about the social justice issues in our communities and beyond.     “It has been a meaningful experience and ...

Conference Artist invites all to "Imagine being heard -- Imagine seeing"

6/13/2013
Click here to read the Conference Artist's statement.   Conference Artist, Rev. Ted Lyddon Hatten, invited the 2013 Annual Conference to “imagine being heard – imagine seeing.”  “To imagine,” he said, “is to bring to mind that which is not present to the senses… Imagination is not some rare gift bestowed to some and withheld from others. It is a birthright of every member of the human race. Imagination is a cognitive ability we all share, and like many other cognitive abilities – it grows ...

Progress made on our Imagine No Malaria goal

6/13/2013
Imagine No Malaria Goal: $75 Million Iowa Conference Goal: To save 200,000 lives by June of 2014 Iowa Conference Progress: $976,369.87 or 97,637 lives! District Totals through 6/13/13:   District Amount Central $81,109.46 East Central $112.837.74 North Central $49,649.17 Northeast $48,870.15 Northwest $30,708.44 South Central $21,017.74 Southeast $41,647.41 Southwest $72.693.53 Keep it going, Iowa!!!  

An interview with Davidson Adams about Malaria in Nigeria

6/11/2013
Note: Davidson Adams, director of the Beverly Nolte Communications Center in Bambur, Nigeria, was in attendance at the 2013 session of the Iowa Annual Conference.  We spoke about the impact that Malaria is having in Nigeria, including on his own three year-old daughter. It’s the rainy season in Nigeria.  What does that mean? Rainy season means a lot to Nigerians, especially rural dwellers.  When rain comes it brings a lot of troubles like the issue of mosquitoes.  The grasses grow tall.  There...

Board of Pensions report highlights costs and coverage

6/11/2013
In its annual report to the Iowa Annual Conference the Board of Pensions reported on medical insurance, disability coverage, pensions, and how one gift will make a difference. Rev. Dr. Beverlee Bell made the presentation on behalf of the Board. There are 467 enrolled contracts in the medical insurance plan.  Eighty-two percent of those covered are over age 45, with fifty-eight percent male and forty-two percent female insureds.  Wellmark coverage has provided a savings of covered costs ...

Conference approves amended 2014 budget

6/11/2013
After extensive discussion the 2013 session of the Iowa Annual Conference approved a 2014 budget of $16, 273,502. That represents an increase of $598,697, or 3.8% over the 2013 budget.  General Church apportionments remained essentially the same, at $2,739,330, a total that includes a contingency to pay General Church apportionments at 100%, if necessary. The Conference Ministries portion of the approved budget is: $10,069,195.  Conference ministries includes Board of Ordained Ministries, ...

Monday Conference decisions

6/11/2013
Monday Conference decisions… The proposed Strategic Priorities were endorsed as a working document following a thirty-minute discussion that included the approval of several “friendly amendments.” Four amendments to the United Methodist Church’s constitution were reviewed and voted upon.  They were originally approved at the 2012 General Conference of The United Methodist Church and required ratification by two-thirds of the voting members of Annual Conferences worldwide.  Essentially ...

Three clergywomen receive Bishop Thomas award

6/11/2013
Rev. Diane McClanahan, Rev. Barb Dinnen, and Rev. Carmen Lampe Zeitler were presented with the Bishop James S. Thomas Leadership Award. Bishop Julius Calvin Trimble said of Bishop Thomas, “Bishop James S. Thomas, who served the Iowa Annual Conference of the Methodist Church and then The United Methodist Church from 1964 to 1976, was a leader in The United Methodist Church in the area of education, higher education, social justice, ecumenical relations, and ministries that fostered ...

Two resolutions are endorsed

6/11/2013
Two resolutions – one calling for ending human trafficking the second calling for reducing military spending to meet human needs – were approved by the 2013 session of the Iowa Annual Conference.  The endorsement came early in the Conference session by the approval of the consent calendar on which they have been placed. The first resolution, which was proposed by the Iowa Conference United Methodist Women, focused on “Ending Human Trafficking.”  Calling human trafficking a quote form of ...

Wesley Foundations mark 100 years in Iowa

6/11/2013
The Methodist Movement began on campus when, in 1729, John Wesley, brother Charles and a few others started a Holy Club which met early every morning for conversation, prayer, reading scripture and “watching over one another in love”. 100 years ago Iowa Methodists continued Wesley’s campus ministry vision as they began shaping conversations on campuses in our state. And today, the conversations continue. These conversations take place in various settings and around various topics. There are ...

Fixing of Appointments begins last day of Conference

6/10/2013
The closing day of the 2013 session of the Iowa Annual Conference began with the Fixing of Appointments service.  In the call to worship the community acknowledged, “We meet in different buildings; in different towns.  We speak different languages and sing different hymns.  We wear different clothing and sing different hymns.  We wear different clothing and have different gifts and talents.  Yet, as we gather together for worship this day we become one body, one family.” In a Call to ...

Special offerings raise nearly $38,000

6/10/2013
Six special offerings were received during the 2013 session of the Iowa Annual Conference.  Together they totaled nearly $38,000 according to the initial report of the Conference Treasurer’s office. “Clergy Helping Clergy” was received during the Clergy Session.  Given by clergy colleagues, the fund’s purpose is to help to support clergypersons in crisis situations.  A total of $4,613.10 was received. The Africa University offering was received during the Opening Worship service.  It totaled ...

Imagine No Malaria nears $800,000 support mark

6/9/2013
“As the Iowa Conference, we have begun an extraordinary effort to save lives” said Rev. Katie Dawson, the Iowa Conference coordinator for Imagine No Malaria.  “As the Iowa Conference, we have begun an extraordinary effort to save lives.” In a stark comparison to the toll Malaria exacts, Rev. Dawson revealed, “Since this annual conference was called to order yesterday at 9:30am – 1, 548 children have died.”  That “unacceptable” tragedy exists even in light of the fact that the number of Malaria...

Memorial service celebrates lives of clergy, clergy spouses

6/9/2013
Click to see a gallery of images as Rev. J. Robert Burkhart preaches In one voice the Conference expressed its care for clergy and clergy spouses who have died in the past year.  “We gather today for worship not simply as the people assembled here in this place on this occasion.  We also gather with those who have occupied these places with us in the past, though they are with us on earth no longer.  And we gather with those who formed the church long before it ever came to be known in this ...

Ordering of Ministry Service includes call to "dream and be courageous"

6/9/2013
The service for the Ordering of Ministry saw the ordination consecration and recognition of ministry milestones for twenty-three persons.  Bishop Sally Dyck, Resident Bishop of the Chicago Area was the preacher and Bishop Alan Scarfe of the Episcopal Diocese of Des Moines brought an Ecumenical greeting.  James Walters directed the Iowa Conference Choir and Orchestra. Dave Decker, Conference Lay Leader, Rev. Barrie Tritle, chairperson of the Board of Ordained Ministry and Rev. Scott Keele Kober...

"Becoming faithful followers of Jesus is our calling" - Bishop Trimble's Episcopal Addess

6/8/2013
“Becoming faithful followers of Jesus is our one calling.,” said Bishop Julius Calvin Trimble as he began his Episcopal Address to the 2013 Iowa Annual Conference.  A montage of images of ministries preceded his Address across the conference “for which we can say thank you.” Bishop Trimble invited the Conference to “Imagine a faithful church and a healthy world.  Imagine us living up to our kingdom potential as we embrace the mission of ‘making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation ...

2013 Retirement Celebration

6/8/2013
Ministries of Thirty-seven Retirees celebrated The Retirement service for the 2013 Annual Conference celebrated the ministries of thirty-seven clergy.  With music from the Kayros Band and Hispanic Ministries Choir the retirees began to “experience a season of change in our lives,” as the opening prayer offered. Together the gathered community sang, “A charge to keep I have, a God to glorify... To serve the present age, my calling to fulfill… Help me to watch and pray,.”  Acknowledging the ...

Bishop Lowry calls for a faithful church

6/8/2013
In his sermon during the Opening Worship service of the 2013 session of the Iowa Annual Conference, Bishop J. Michael Lowry, of the Central Texas Annual Conference, called on the Iowa Conference to courageous and to be “a faithful church to help bring about a healthy world.”  He said, “the task is to revitalize the church of Jesus Christ.” Bishop Lowry noted, “we live today in a time of massive change.”  He added that some may not be comfortable with that transition, but quoting the former ...

Laity session highlights effective ministries

6/8/2013
Lay Leaders from each of the Iowa Conference’s eight districts, the Conference Lay Leader, and clergy and laity from several congregations shared examples of effective ministries in a presentation that also featured an invitation to the United Methodist Men national gathering in July and three upcoming events from United Methodist Women. The evening began with the District Lay Leaders introducing themselves: North Central – Duane Kruckenberg; Northwest – Marilyn Bruebaker; Northeast – Richard ...

Strategic priorities introduced

6/8/2013
The proposed Strategic Priorities were introduced to the Conference during a presentation on Saturday afternoon.  Speaking on behalf of the Strategic Priorities Task Force Rev. Brian Milford, Dean of the Bishop’s Appointive Cabinet said, “The task group was convened by Bishop Trimble in response to a Financial Accountability Report conducted for us by the general church last fall.”  He named the participants, in addition to himself: Karen Dungan  (Assistant to the Bishop for Connectional ...

Treasurer invites Conference to Imagine

6/8/2013
In his Treasurer’s report Todd Weber invited the Annual Conference to “imagine what great work can be accomplished [as we] strive to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” He expressed personal appreciation for the kindness, patience, and most importantly, acceptance that I have experienced in the past year.”  He began serving the Conference in May 2012. He noted that statistical information is important “but finances, numbers, statistics, and records are not why...

2013 Annual Conference set-up day

6/7/2013
Hy-Vee Hall in Des Moines in beginning to take shape for the 2013 session of the Iowa Annual Conference.  Markey’s Audio Visual crew is aligning the screens, balancing the cameras, checking the audio, and preparing the lighting.  Staff from the Iowa Events Center is filling the hall with chairs, tables with black cloths, and constructing the stage risers.  Option Technologies is testing its wireless voting keypad system.  The piano and organ will be in the hall by the afternoon and all will be ...

Bishop declares, "We are the family of God"

6/7/2013
“My sisters and brothers I want you to be encourages as we serve the Lord with Gladness,” said Bishop Julius Calvin Trimble as he greeted the assembled clergy of the Iowa Conference for their annual session.  “Annual Conference is an exciting time to be be Bishop” he noted “and I can tell you’re excited, too by the way you’re filling this hall.” “This is a time when we will be giving thanks for the service” of some thirty-seven clergy who will be retiring.  “We’ll will also be blessing and ...

Social media during the Annual Conference session

6/6/2013
Social media will be prominent at the 2013 session of the Iowa Annual Conference.  From photo sharing to offering specific responses to the strategic priorities presentation, to observations about 170th Iowa Conference session, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram will host the story of this year’s gathering. The Conference Facebook page is located at: www.facebook.com/iowaannualconference Visit www.twitter.com/iowaconference for the Twitter page and use the hashtag: #iaumc13 for general comments...

Conference to provide clergy with permanent email address

6/4/2013
Beginning this summer (2013), the Iowa Annual Conference will have the capability to provide all clergy within the conference with a permanent email address which will not change regardless of where they are appointed, including retirement.  This capability is being made available through the Google for Non-Profits program which provides resources to non-profit organizations around the world at no cost.  This provides users with access to the Google Apps family of programs, including Gmail, ...

Watch the 2013 Conference live

6/4/2013
For the fifth year, the Iowa Annual Conference session will be live-streamed.  From the beginning of the opening session at 9:30 on Saturday, June 8 through the scheduled adjournment at 4:00 pm on Monday, June 10, the sights and sounds of the sessions will be available on computers and mobile devices.  Click the white triangle in the middle of the image to begin watching.  The address is: www.iaumc.org/2013AClivestream  

Flood update from the Northwest District

5/30/2013
Click to hear an interview with Catie Newman.  She describes the flooding as of Thursday, May 30, and the immediate needs, including flood cleanup buckets. May 2013 has been a most unusual month; we have had record snowfall, record high temp (108) and record rain (9 plus inches) all in 27 days.  The Governor of Iowa has made a Disaster Proclamation for 13 counties in Northwest Iowa.  This includes 5 counties in our district.  The Hardest hit appears to be Buena Vista County and Storm Lake and...

Take one day at a time

5/30/2013
Click here to listen to a conversaton with Rev. Catie Newman about the flooding in Northwest Iowa and the disaster recovery response.  (Recorded May 30, 2013) “You just have to take one day at a time and do what you can today and don’t get too excited about it” explained the Rev. Catie Newman, the Northwest District Disaster Response Coordinator.  As of Thursday, May 30,  “We have a huge area of our District, from Le Mars, the Floyd River, all the way east past the Little Sioux and the Maple…...

Running from Malaria: Three Iowa teens on a quest to make a difference, one mile at a time

5/29/2013
Like every good idea, it started with a goal: let’s have a life changing adventure the summer between our Junior and Senior years. That’s how Running from Malaria began back in November 2012. Since then Waverly-Shell Rock honor students Brad Wylam, Scott Van Daalen and Ethan Wise have been contacting churches, newspapers and radio stations to make their dream become a reality. 3 teenagers ~ 350 miles ~ 21 days! “I am someone who loves adventure and running across the state of Iowa with great ...

Momentum building for Imagine No Malaria

5/28/2013
Financial commitments to Imagine No Malaria have doubled in the past year, moving the campaign past its June benchmark goal of $40 million ahead of schedule. Participation continues to build with more annual conferences and churches pledging involvement for this initiative of The United Methodist Church to raise $75 million to end preventable deaths from malaria in Africa by 2015. “Imagine No Malaria stands at its greatest point of momentum,” said Imagine No Malaria spokesperson Bishop Thomas...

Conference called to Imagine during 2013 annual session

5/23/2013
“Imagine: a Faithful Church - a Healthy World” is the theme of the 2013 session of the Iowa Annual Conference.  This 170th gathering of laity and clergy will formally open on Saturday, June 8, at 9:30 am and is scheduled to adjourn on Monday, June 10, at 4 pm.  The Conference will be held at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines. The Conference session will feature the preaching of Bishop Julius Calvin Trimble, Rev. J. Robert Burkhart, and two guest Bishops – Bishop Sally Dyck of the Chicago ...

Matthew 25 plans benefit conversation and concert

5/22/2013
Carrie Newcomer, Parker J. Palmer and Gary Walters (pianist) will join together to present a powerful evening of song and spoken word on Saturday, July 27, 2013.  The event, to be held at the First Presbyterian Church of Cedar Rapids, is a benefit for the community building work of Matthew 25 Ministry Hub and the development of a Habitat for Humanity house in the flood-impacted area they serve.  The evening will be based on Palmer's book, Healing the Heart of Democracy: The Courage to Create a ...

Fire at Malawi UM Conference farm leads to loan from three US partners

5/20/2013
An intruder started the October 2012 fire at the 19-acre farm at the Malawi United Methodist Conference Center in Mchinji. By the time the flames were doused, mulch grass had been charred and fruit trees and the irrigation system destroyed. The fire also damaged two houses and some outbuildings. Ankeny First United Methodist Church is one of three partner congregations committed to a 50/50 In Mission Together Partnership with churches in the Malawi Mission Conference. The additional supporting...

UMCOR responds to Texas Tornadoes

5/17/2013
The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) has sent emergency funds to the Central Texas Annual Conference to assist with immediate relief needs after severe weather, including tornadoes and baseball-size hail, shattered the relative quiet of the current US tornado season. Initial reports from the conference indicate that some 40 homes in North Central Texas were damaged when, at about 8:00 p.m. local time May 15th, storms swept across several counties. At least six people died, and 14 ...

United Methodist Reporter to end publication

5/17/2013
The Board of Directors of UMR Communications, parent and publisher of the United Methodist Reporter, has voted to cease operations effective May 31, 2013. The decision, made at a meeting on May 16, comes after painstaking review, hopeful exploration of alternatives, and frank realization that ending the longstandingministry is the only reasonable choice. The Board meeting was a sad time as well as an opportunity to affirm the valuable ministry of the remaining 26 employees of UMR ...

UMW offers downloadable resource on immigration

5/13/2013
A new resource from United Methodist Women on immigration includes Bible studies, worship, programs, hymns and prayers, church policy, articles and resources on controversial issues, a resource list, action ideas and articles linking immigration to other UMW social action priorities. Download a page or the full book  

West Des Moines to package Meals from the Heartland

5/8/2013
The West Des Moines United Methodist Church, in connection with the "Rethink Church Change the World Challenge", will be hosting an event to package food for Meals From The Heartland on May 18.  The goal is to raise funds and complete the packaging to provide in excess of 50,000 meals for starving people around the world.  Tax deductible donations may be made payable to "Meals From The Heartland" and mailed to the church at 720 Grand Avenue, West Des Moines, IA   50325.  Volunteers wishing to ...

Bishops meet with Brian McLaren

5/8/2013
On May 6, active United Methodist bishops met with Brian McLaren, noted author and leader of the emerging church movement. McLaren and the bishops engaged in dialogue concerning promising signs in The United Methodist Church. In the spirit of the Wesley Covenant Prayer, he suggested the church is in a time of "letting go" and "letting come" what God wills. In many places, there are creative leaders emerging and prototypes developing that reflect new ways of being church, he said. McLaren told ...

Bishops" Learning Forum Extends to Border

5/8/2013
The third day of the Forum of Active Bishops’ meeting in San Diego began with a keynote address from Lt. General James Dubik, a retired Army general who shared lessons in leadership and change management gleaned from an exemplary 40-year military career. Gen. Dubik used his organizational skills to guide the U.S. Army through a time of transition. Now a consultant for the National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management, he has utilized his expertise in transforming organizations to help the...

By all means, save some!

5/8/2013
A commentary on the U.S. Senate vote against gun safety bills by Bishop Felton May* Tragedy comes in threes, some say. If that is so, then we’ve had our share on U.S. soil over the past two weeks. What’s left are vexing questions about what we can and will do next to limit future tragedies. The beloved Boston Marathon became a Boston Massacre April 15 when two unsuspected terrorists took precious lives and left broken, bloodied victims, along with a nation in shock at its own vulnerability. ...

Chuck Knows Church: The Bread and the Cup

5/8/2013
The United Methodist Board of Discipleship series “Chuck Knows Church” offers the second in a three-part series explaining the elements of Communion. This time the focus is on the Bread and the Cup. Learn why some churches use leavened bread and others don’t. Watch video Read more about the "Chuck Knows Church" series  

Honor the special women in your congregation on Sunday, May 12

5/7/2013
In the time it takes you to read this entire email, one more mother or child will die needlessly. Malaria claims a life every 60 seconds in Africa. The United Methodist Church has distributed more than 1.2 million mosquito nets in the region. In addition, the church operates 300 hospitals, clinics and health posts throughout Africa. But hundreds of thousands of mothers and children are still at risk and desperately need more nets, medicine and care. Will your church rise to the occasion and ...

New website powers United Methodist young adults

5/7/2013
A collaboration among United Methodist agencies and local ministries has produced a new website, revgo.org, to help connect young adults in "spiritual discernment through missional engagement." United Methodist-connected ministries that engage young adults as interns, missionaries, staff and ministry leadership teams can use REVGO as a platform for fundraising, story sharing and recruitment.   For more information

Updated malaria documentary now airing on NBC

5/7/2013
United Methodist Communications is releasing an updated version of the Imagine No Malaria documentary, “Killer in the Dark: An Extraordinary Effort to Combat Malaria,” in collaboration with the Interfaith Broadcasting Commission. This sequel, set to air on NBC affiliates through Nov. 3, reflects new research and scientific advancements in the fight against malaria. More information

Matthew 25 seeks Cultivate Hope manager

5/2/2013
Matthew 25 is still seeking to fill the position of Cultivate Hope Manager. This is a full-time position. Duties include: managing Matthew 25's Urban Farm, supervising seasonal staff and volunteers, and assisting with school gardens.  Required qualifications include: expertise in vegetable gardening/farming, strong verbal and written communications skills, program development experience, ability to manage time well, attention to detail, and a can-do attitude. For a fuller job description, ...

Batter that matters

5/1/2013
by Katie Dawson, Iowa Coordinator for Imagine No Malaria 91 sites. 128 churches. Thousands of lives saved. Our Statewide Pancake Breakfast for Imagine No Malaria was an astounding success. With only a third of the participating sites reporting back by the time of printing, our outreach efforts served over 2,700 people and raised over $27,000! Churches big and small were involved in the effort. A community meal surrounding a visit from Bishop Trimble in Malvern brought together folks from ...

Devotional book presented to Newtown First Responders

4/29/2013
By Arthur McClanahan* Copies of Strength for Service to God and Community were given to three of Newtown, Connecticut’s first responders during a worship service at the Newtown United Methodist Church on Sunday, April 28, 2013.  The first-ever presentation of the newly publish “daily devotional messages for those in the service of others” was received “on behalf of the first responders of Newtown, thank you.  We appreciate it.  We’ll use it service to God and in our calling.” Rob Sibley, Ken ...

Strength for Service will help first responders "to continue to heal"

4/29/2013
By Arthur McClanahan* Rob Sibley is one of Newtown, Connecticut’s first responders.  He was one of the first group to receive Strength for Service to God and Community, a devotional book created by the General Commission on United Methodist Men for firefighters, police officers, and emergency medical personnel…the people in the community who rush towards danger to save and protect. “I started when my father was a police officer,” Rob Sibley said of his career as a first responder.  “He said, ...

2013 Annual Conference Photo A Day Challenge

4/25/2013
Annual Conference 2013 is nearly upon us, where soon many Iowa United Methodists will gather together for worship, fellowship, and an opportunity to make a difference in the life of our church. For the 40 days prior to Annual Conference, we hope you will allow yourself some time for introspection and reflection. To help prepare ourselves for our time of worshipful work, the Communications Ministry Team of the Iowa Conference invites you to participate in a photo-a-day challenge. Following ...

Van Buren County Confirmation Class retreat

4/25/2013
By Douglas Harding* The Confirmation Class of the Van Buren Co United Methodist Churches participated in a weekend retreat in Des Moines April 19-21. The retreat enabled the students to learn about their Methodist history as well as modern day workings of their church. Attending were students: Hunter Boecker, Brooke Dunkin, Hanna Chubb, Quentin Story, Tessa Story and Martin Vineyard; pastors Ann Donat, Peggy Ellingson & Douglas Harding, and chaperons Beth & Fred Chubb. Bright and early ...

Bishop Trimble visits Southwest District

4/24/2013
by Rev. Carl Phillips* Sunday, April 21st, was a very special day in Southwest Iowa.  Bishop Julius Calvin Trimble was the guest speaker in worship at the Malvern UMC.  Many other area churches joined together in attendance Sunday to hear Bishop Trimble.  Mills and Fremont Counties were represented by folks from Malvern UMC, Strahan UMC, Wesley Chapel UMC, Randolph UMC, Tabor UMC, Emerson UMC, and Hillsdale UMC. A combined choir, under the direction of Harva Paul, provided special music.  ...

Bishop visits Confirmation classes in Van Buren County

4/23/2013
Bishop Julius Calvin Trimble met with Confirmation classes from several United Methodist congregations during a February 17 visit to the Southeast District of the Annual Conference.  “It was a good afternoon,” according to the Rev. Doug Harding, Pastor of the Keosauqua, Jolley, Center Chapel and Milton Grace United Methodist Churches. “The members of the Confirmation classes were a little quiet at first,” Rev Harding observed.  “They didn’t quite know what to expect.”  The group of eight, ...

Iowa religious leaders sign global climate change statement

4/20/2013
Iowa Interfaith Power & Light releases “A Statement by Religious Leaders in Iowa on the Moral Impacts of Coal” leading up to Earth Day on April 22, 2013 Bishop Julius Calvin Trimble is among the 50 clergy and other faith leaders who have signed on to “A Statement by Religious Leaders in Iowa on the Moral Impacts of Coal,” released by Iowa Interfaith Power & Light.  The group of religious leaders represent 12 different religious traditions and 33 congregations or organizations in Iowa. The ...

Imagine No Malaria Pancake Breakfasts set for next weekend

4/19/2013
Nearly 100 sites across Iowa are participating in the Pancake Breakfast for Imagine No Malaria.  Iowa United Methodist congregations are inviting the community to “Have a bite to eat.  Stop a bite that kills.” “We have a wide variety of churches coming together,” Rev. Katie Dawson, Iowa’s Imagine No Malaria coordinator, said.  “Some of our churches are doing suppers instead of breakfasts.  One church is even doing a ‘no pancake’ supper – they’re serving sandwiches instead.” “There’s a church ...

United Methodists offer prayer and comfort after Boston bombings

4/17/2013
Nashville, Tenn. (UMNS) As investigators search for answers, the people of The United Methodist Church offer prayer, comfort and resources for healing in the aftermath of Monday’s bombings at the Boston Marathon. “United Methodists from all over the world mourn with those who are mourning,” said Bishop Rosemarie Wenner, president of the Council of Bishops and bishop of the Germany Episcopal Area. “May God comfort and guide all who are troubled; and may United Methodists in Boston, in the U.S. ...

Rust College Choir in concert April 19

4/11/2013
The Rust College A’Cappella Choir of Holly Springs, MS will present a concert on Friday, April 19, 2013, 7:30 p.m. for the benefit of the Leola B. Hardiman Davis Scholarship Fund of Burns United Methodist Church.  The venue for the concert is Grace United Methodist Church, 3700 Cottage Grove Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa 50314. Tickets for the concert are available for a $10 donation from Burns United Methodist Church,1909 MLK Jr. Pkwy., Des Moines, IA 50314 and will also be available at the door ...

United Methodist Communications to offer online courses in May

4/11/2013
United Methodist Communications will offer two new online courses in May.  “Web Ministry 100: What is Web Ministry?” and “Welcoming Ministry 100” are now open for registration on a first-come, first-served basis.  Registration closes on May 1. Please note: If you have questions about these courses or difficulty registering, please contact United Methodist Communications: training@umcom.org or 1.888.278.4862.   Web Ministry 100 (course fee: $49) participants will learn how to: • Develop an ...

2013 Retirees gather to look to the future

4/10/2013
Members of the 2013 group of retirees gathered at the Conference Center to reminisce, worship, and hear detail about their health and pension benefits.  The group of nearly forty clergy and spouses also shared a lunch with members of the Bishop’s Appointive Cabinet and other Conference leaders. Following the Wednesday morning Chapel service, at which Rev. Denis Tevis, North Central Superintendent, preached, Mr. Ivory Rooks, representing Extend Health, spoke about the Medicare health plan ...

Bishop offers prayer for Iowa legislature

4/9/2013
“O Lord God, we thank you for this day.  We receive it as a gift and acknowledge it as a unique and unrepeatable moment in time.” So began Bishop Julius Calvin Trimble as he offered the opening prayer for the Iowa state Senate and House on Tuesday, April 9, 2013. Bishop Trimble was the guest of Senator Daryl Beall, an 11-year legislator from Fort Dodge. As he began, Bishop Trimble said, “I am thankful for the opportunity to do publically what I try to do faithfully, and privately, on a ...

Senator Beall talks about prayer and the Iowa Senate

4/9/2013
Senator Daryl Beall, Senator from Fort Dodge, invited Bishop Julius Calvin Trimble to offer an opening prayer for the state’s legislative bodies.  The Senator spoke about what it means to have a prayer offered before a session begins. “I think that it’s tradition that we begin our sessions with an invocation.  It’s a very ecumenical thing – we invite different members of the clergy from around the state,” he said.  “I think that it’s an honor.  I enjoy hosting the visiting chaplain of the day ...

Laity Day with the Bishop

4/8/2013
The second annual Laity Day with the Bishop was held on Saturday, April 6, 2013, at the Hampton United Methodist Church.  Led by Conference Lay Leader, Dave Decker, the event brought together Bishop Julius Calvin Trimble, Iowa’s episcopal leader, some 130 laity and clergy in the Hampton sanctuary, and others from across Iowa by way of the live video stream coordinated by the Communications Ministry Team. Following introductory words by Dave Decker, Rev. Corby Johnson, pastor of the Hampton ...

Voices of Faith: Trish Miller

4/8/2013
Trish Miller is a cosmetologist.  She is a member of the Belle Plaine United Methodist Church. She talked about her faith and how it guides her life and work during the Laity Day with the Bishop, held April 6, 2013. “As a witness in my life, evangelism is what’s captured my heart,” she said.  “In my salon is the opportunity, the mission that God chooses for me to reach other people.  By listening to the clients who are coming in, doors have been opened to help with various situations that ...

Summer 2013 to be exciting at Pictured Rocks

4/7/2013
“This will be a very exciting summer at Pictured Rocks,” said Patric Newton, the Camp’s site director.  “We’ll have two great experiences that will let us see camping in an entirely new way.” Coming off what Patric described as “the best retreats season on record,” Pictured Rocks will offer campers an opportunity to catch a “Night Vision.”  The three-day-long camp will be a nighttime experience.  “We miss seeing a lot of the beauty that’s all around us when we shut off the lights and call it a...

Proposed strategic priorities

4/2/2013
Proposed Strategic Priorities Iowa Conference, United Methodist Church April, 2013 – Summary   We, the people and churches of the Iowa Conference, boldly participate with God in our United Methodist mission “to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” The Iowa Conference exists for the purpose of growing healthy communities of faith, who promote peace, justice, and the transforming love of Jesus at home and around the world. In a spirit of prayer, we envision that ...

School for Ministry opens with worship, sermon by the Bishop

4/2/2013
The 2013 Iowa School for Ministry convened in Des Moines on Tuesday, April 2, 2013.  Focusing on the theme, “Christian Identity in a Multi-faith World,” participants joined in worship, will experience two keynote presenters, and will gather for the Bishop’s Reception luncheon. The School for Ministry began with worship that included a sermon by Bishop Julius Calvin Trimble.  In his message, entitled, “Love Offering and Offering Love,” based on Romans 13:8, Bishop Trimble expressed the ...

Conference leaders and staff gather for Immigration and Peace Vigil

3/28/2013
A prayer vigil for Immigration and Peace was held in the Chapel of the Conference Center on Wednesday, March 27.  Members of the Bishop’s Appointive Cabinet (Conference Superintendents) and other Conference leaders and staff heard a reflection from Bishop Julius Calvin Trimble, shared the Sacrament of Holy Communion, and shared prayers for some indigenous and immigrant communities. Hear Naomi Sea Young Wittstruck, Leadership Development Minister for Social Justice and Mission, and Alejandro ...

Three new Field Outreach Ministers named

3/28/2013
Bishop Julius Calvin Trimble has announced that Rev. Jaye Johnson, Rev. Melissa Drake and Rev. Katharine Yarnell will be the three new Field Outreach Ministers for the Iowa Conference. Rev. Dr. Jaye Johnson, who will be serving the South Central District, is currently the pastor at United Faith Church and Community Center in Sidney, Iowa and the Thurman-Riverton Church.  Jaye received his BA in Mass Communication from Buena Vista University, Master of Divinity from the University of Dubuque ...

Ames First United Methodist Church dedicates building addition

3/25/2013
With a sanctuary filled to overflowing, the Ames First United Methodist Church faith community consecrated and dedicated its building addition on Sunday, March 24, 2013.  Bishop Julius Calvin Trimble, the Resident Bishop of the Iowa Annual Conference, was the guest preacher; his “Witness to the Word” was entitled, “Encouragement and Celebration.”  "Something's up here," he noted, adding that "this is an occasion of a big blessing!" The additional wing will help Ames First United Methodist ...

Bishop Trimble joins March and Interfaith Prayer Service to Prevent Gun Violence

3/25/2013
Bishop Julius Calvin Trimble, Episcopal Bishop Alan Scarfe, and nine other religious and community leaders joined in a March and Interfaith Prayer Service to Prevent Gun Violence on Monday, March 25, 2013.  Beginning at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, the assembled group of more than 50 marchers made its way through downtown, over the Locust Avenue bridge, and on to the West Capitol Terrace and stone map of Iowa.  The interfaith prayer service reflected on America’s gun violence epidemic and...

Young Adults visit with Bishop Trimble

3/22/2013
By Phil Carver* Young adults visited with Bishop Trimble about faith and the church recently in Burlington. Sunday, February 17th, Bishop Julius Calvin Trimble preached at Grace United Methodist Church in Burlington. Following worship, young adults from across Des Moines County shared lunch and conversation with him. They were asked what was most important about their relationship with God. One participant responded that she is learning to “bloom where you’re planted.” She echoed comments ...

LENT: Prayer as Meaningful Ritual

3/21/2013
This is the last in a three-part series of Lenten articles written by Linda Woodson Stout, a graduate of the Iowa School for Lay Ministry, class of 2006. Click here to read the first article. Please click here for the second article.   Prayer as Meaningful Ritual I wonder if it is possible that when my ancestors first heard Matthew’s sixth chapter read aloud, fearing their own public prayers would be unacceptable, filled with “empty phrases,” seeking the attention of others, they became ...

North Liberty First UMC dedicates Community Pantry

3/18/2013
The North Liberty Community Pantry was dedicated during a ceremony on Sunday, March 17, 2013.  Bishop Julius Calvin Trimble told the nearly 200 people that “this is a day of rejoicing…May this place seek to nourish people as all are welcome in this space.” The North Liberty Community Pantry is a ministry of the First United Methodist Church in that community.  The newly opened building stands across a parking lot from the Church, which is pastored by the Rev. Dr. Alecia Williams. Greg Dils, ...

Faith Against Gun Violence Prayer Vigil

3/14/2013
(Note: A prayer vigil against gun violence will be held on Sunday evening, March 17, on the West Terrace of the State Capitol building.  Bishop Alan Scarfe of the Episcopal Diocese of Iowa extends an invitation to be present and participate.) During the past few weeks since December 14 our nation has begun to grapple with the pervasive and deep problem of gun violence in all our communities.  As people of faith, we have a special role to play in this national discussion... it is the role of ...

Harry Denman Evangelism Award nominations now open

3/14/2013
The Board of Discipleship of the Iowa Annual Conference is now accepting nominations for The Harry Denman Evangelism Award for Clergy, Laity, and Youth. This prestigious award recognizes a person whose life and ministry exemplifies the teaching of Christ and the Great Commission.  Recipients of these awards, nominated by individuals, churches, or districts, and selected by the Annual Conference, live their call to “Offer Them Christ” daily as modeled by Dr. Harry Denman, founder of The ...

MissionInsite offers demographic data

3/14/2013
The Iowa Annual Conference contracts with MissionInsite for access to deomographic data which are consolidated into a single site.  Data can then be used in a variety of ways and formats for Conference, District, and local church uses.  “I use if fairly frequently, but most importantly for the source of the data for the Matthew 25 distribution.  The School for Lay Ministry assigns a project to every member using MissionInsite,” said Dick Braley, chairperson of the Conference’s Planning and ...

Keep up with announced pastoral changes

3/13/2013
There’s a new way to keep current with announced pastoral changes.  The most-current listing of upcoming clergy appointment changes can be seen easily on the Conference website, with the click of just one button.  New lists will be posted on Wednesdays A new way of reporting the changes made by Bishop Julius Calvin Trimble and the Appointive Cabinet was recently designed by Roland Minshall, Manager of Information Technology in collaboration with Diane Brockmeyer, Executive Secretary to Bishop ...

Share your faith stories in pictures

3/13/2013
Now there’s an opportunity to share the stories of your faith communities, in pictures!  Snap an appropriate cell phone image, give it a caption, add a “hashtag,” and send it off to others, via Instagram. The Communications Ministry Team has just begun to use the popular mobile and computer application.  Instagram enables everyone to share the stories of exciting ministries, within seconds.  Everyone with a cell phone or tablet with a camera, or a computer with an Internet connection, can now ...

Bishop Announces new appointment for Rev. Eric Guy

3/8/2013
Bishop Julius Calvin Trimble has announced that the Rev. Eric Guy will be appointed to become the Pastor of First United Methodist Church, Des Moines, beginning Juoly 1, 2013. Rev. Guy is currently the Leadership Development Minister for Young Adult and Generational Ministries.   In that role he has guided the core team for the annual Youth Strike for Christ, and worked with the Conference Council on Youth Ministries, Older Adult Council, Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministries, and ...

LENT: Fast - A Spiritual Experience

3/7/2013
This is the second in a three-part series of Lenten articles written by Linda Woodson Stout, a graduate of the Iowa School for Lay Ministry, class of 2006. Click here to read the first article.   Fast – A Spiritual Experience You’ll fast during this Lent. Yeah, right. It was Sunday morning worship early in 2005 and this persistent thought distracted my attention to our pastor’s message. Occasionally through the years, I have these seemingly counterintuitive thoughts, quiet messages out of ...

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