News


El Pueblo de Dios welcoming new people to the Kingdom of God

El Pueblo de Dios welcoming new people to the Kingdom of God

4/15/2021
Transcript: I am Pastor Rosa María Rodríguez from the El Pueblo de Dios [The People of God United Methodist] Church in Osceola.     Today I want to share with you what we are doing in this ministry.  Our focus is always carrying the Gospel, taking the Good News.  We are reaching more people for Christ. At this time we are participating in a project of a “fruitful morning.”  Of course, we are also teaching, discipling, preparing new leaders to reach out and disciple others.   We have our ...

Mobile United Methodist Missionaries gear up for summer programming

Mobile United Methodist Missionaries gear up for summer programming

4/15/2021
Greetings! I’m Cherie Miner, director of Mobile United Methodist Missionaries – or MUMM as we’re known. Since 1997, our ministry has served in rural southern Iowa in a variety of capacities, including disaster relief, mission trips, church camp, vacation Bible school and after-school programs. We do this through the support of your District Askings, apportionments and donations. So first let me say, “Thank you.”   MUMM’s goals overall are to: Coordinate rural ministry on a district-wide ...

Abiding in Exile - The Key to Humanity’s Survival 04/15/2021

Abiding in Exile - The Key to Humanity’s Survival 04/15/2021

4/13/2021
By: Priscilla Joel We have wandered through many unknowns the past several months, and as the title of this devotional series would inform you, it has often felt like we’ve been exiled. Exiled from each other, exiled from the outside world and maybe even exiled from freedoms we used to enjoy. As more and more people are receiving their vaccine each day, I have been reflecting on all the rules we have had to follow (and continue to) to keep ourselves and each other safe throughout this pandemic. ...

Enthusiasm grows for Circuit Ministry—an interview with Paul Wilcox, Transitional Superintendent

Enthusiasm grows for Circuit Ministry—an interview with Paul Wilcox, Transitional Superintendent

4/13/2021
As Circuit Ministry training continues every month in the Iowa Conference, enthusiasm and ministry are growing alongside it.   “From clergy and laity, I see enthusiasm for elements of the circuit that they've been looking for in their professional and personal lives,” said Transitional Superintendent Rev. Paul Wilcox.   Circuit Ministry at its core has two elements: Leadership Development and Missional Accountability, which are elements that “meet and feed the vocational part of us, the ...

Join virtual conversation with missionaries from around the world

Join virtual conversation with missionaries from around the world

4/12/2021
Despite the pandemic, United Methodist missionaries remain deeply engaged in work around the world. Normally, many of them “itinerate” each year to visit the churches and individuals that support them in ministry. COVID-19 has stopped most travel, but that doesn’t mean the missionaries aren’t available to meet virtually because they are #STILLINMISSION. Each month, UMC Global Ministries hostS four missionaries in a conversation with laity and clergy throughout the church to share the joys and ...

Move your body into Spring

Move your body into Spring

4/12/2021
Submitted by Kae Tritle, RN Well-Being Coordinator   Now that warmer weather has arrived, we all have the itch to get outside and become active. We want to shake off the winter blahs, enjoy the sunshine and get our bodies in shape. Most people believe that being in shape and fit is someone who is thin and athletic and can run for miles and miles. What fitness really means is your heart, lungs, and muscles have the ability to function effectively and efficiently. God designed our bodies to be ...

The Drake Wesley Foundation aims to offer a mature, stabilizing, spiritual presence to their community

The Drake Wesley Foundation aims to offer a mature, stabilizing, spiritual presence to their community

4/12/2021
For many decades, the Wesley Foundation at Drake University has been a ministry of the United Methodist Church of Iowa. Early adulthood is a season of life fraught with risk and rich with opportunity. It has been our aim to offer a mature, stabilizing, spiritual presence to the Drake University community. The Wesley House has been a beacon of radical hospitality and deep inclusion.  Investing in the spiritual and intellectual lives of young adults in higher education has been a hallmark of the ...

Iowa Conference renaming districts to honor the legacy of camping program

Iowa Conference renaming districts to honor the legacy of camping program

4/9/2021
As the Iowa Annual Conference transitions from eight districts to five, the districts will be renamed to honor the legacy of the Iowa United Methodist and Evangelical United Brethren Camp and Retreat Centers. The discernment of the new district names began in March 2020, and a small task force was officially named by the Bishop in March 2021. The new district names will be in effect on July 1, 2021. Central District will become the Riverview Park District Northeast District will become the ...

Streamed Services: Staying socially connected during COVID-19

Streamed Services: Staying socially connected during COVID-19

4/8/2021
The Iowa Conference Communications Office is assembling a list of ways you can continue socially engage in worship while practicing physical distancing. We will update this story with new streamed services as they become available. To submit a service time, please fill out this form with your church name, service time and a link to where the service is found online, Facebook, YouTube, television or radio station. Services won't be listed if URLs are not made available.   Thinking of starting to...

Abiding in Exile - The Cool Earth Beneath Your Feet 04/08/2021

Abiding in Exile - The Cool Earth Beneath Your Feet 04/08/2021

4/6/2021
By Rev. Jonathan Heifner This week we are sharing a guest post from Rev. Jonathan Heifner. A member of our writing team remembered Jonathan preaching about how we abide with creation. You’ll be blessed by his good words at just the time when nature itself is inviting us out of our closed-in spaces with warmth, new growth, and green shoots.  [God to Job]: Do you know the ordinances of the heavens?     Can you establish their rule on the earth? “Can you lift up your voice to the clouds,  so that a...

Journey to South Sudan for Mabaan Flood Relief Rescheduled

Journey to South Sudan for Mabaan Flood Relief Rescheduled

4/5/2021
Submitted by Beverly Nolte Originally scheduled for December 19, 2020, Pastor Aaron Limmo and Maya Dinga were prepared to travel to South Sudan to purchase humanitarian items for those affected by the Indian Ocean Dipole floods in 2019. Word from South Sudan two days prior to departure told of in-fighting among tribal groups in Mabaan County where they were to visit. The decision to postpone the trip was made. Now, after indications of stability and peace efforts, the men have rescheduled ...

COVID-19 Reentry Team update: Holy Week

COVID-19 Reentry Team update: Holy Week

3/31/2021
COVID-19 Update - Holy Week As you prepare your local church for worship (virtual and in-person) and traditional gatherings this Holy Week, we encourage you to follow guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Their recommendation is for vaccinated and non-vaccinated people alike. All are encouraged to avoid medium and large gatherings. If you are participating in an in-person worship service, all are asked to mask, practice social distancing and engage in hand-washing ...

Campus ministries at Cornell College

Campus ministries at Cornell College

3/31/2021
Rev. Dr. Catherine Quehl-Engel, Chaplain of Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa, and member of the Iowa Conference Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministries offers this video highlighting the importance of campus ministries and how it has impacted the spiritual life of Cornell students.  For more information on Cornell College's campus ministries, visit their website.  

Disaster Ministries Spring update - Be Aware and Be Prepared

Disaster Ministries Spring update - Be Aware and Be Prepared

3/31/2021
As we move into the spring storm season, the Disaster Response Committee would like to share some resources to help everyone in Iowa. A brochure is now available with ways the committee can respond and a list of the District Response Coordinators. Please download and use as needed. The National Weather Service is advising that we can expect more severe storms in 2021. While we can't be prepared for everything that might happen, it's a good time to make some basic preparations. BE AWARE and ...

Iowa Conference EAP supports clergy, lay staff and their families through partnership with Employee & Family Resources

Iowa Conference EAP supports clergy, lay staff and their families through partnership with Employee & Family Resources

3/31/2021
Are you considering counseling for an issue that keeps you from reaching your full potential or an issue with which your family is struggling to cope? Employee & Family Resources (EFR) can help.  The Employee Assistance Program of the Iowa Conference seeks to support the clergy, Conference lay staff and their families through their partnership with Employee & Family Resources. EFR offers counseling services to covered individuals and their families in a safe and confidential setting. Their ...

From the Office of Bishop Laurie: Violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

From the Office of Bishop Laurie: Violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

3/30/2021
Dear clergy sisters and brothers of Asian and Pacific Islander descent and all members of the Iowa Conference,  I am writing to you during this Holy Week with a word of encouragement and hope. I give thanks for the amazing ministry that each one of you has in the Iowa Annual Conference. Your deep faith and your fervent desire to share the love of Jesus with all of God’s children is making a difference in communities across the state. At the same time, I lament with you the increasing violence we...

Abiding in Exile - ReMemberIng 04/01/2021

Abiding in Exile - ReMemberIng 04/01/2021

3/30/2021
By Rev. Lee Roorda Schott Over the weekend, in the tedium of working on taxes, I had gone online for details from my bank records from last year. I scrolled through the months and came to last March and was astonished at the tears that came out of nowhere. It wasn’t about the numbers! It was grief I didn’t expect to be waiting for me in that particular spot. Bumping into those last weeks that were “normal” brought up a flood of memories, of so much that happened then, and since.   That ...

Iowa clergy leans on scripture when revealing her  family's vulnerability and son’s desperate need

Iowa clergy leans on scripture when revealing her family's vulnerability and son’s desperate need

3/30/2021
Rev. Oliva Fabros often reflects on Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." This verse eases her worries as she waits for news of her son's health and desperately needed surgery.    Fabros learned recently that her 32-year-old son, Siegfried, was diagnosed with a severe heart ailment requiring immediate attention. The cost of the surgery is beyond what Fabros can afford or raise on her own. With her immediate and church family's encouragement, she revealed her ...

Iowa Conference Center visitor and COVID-19 guidelines

Iowa Conference Center visitor and COVID-19 guidelines

3/30/2021
The Iowa Conference Leadership Team continues to meet, carefully consider and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and how it affects the conference building's usage in Des Moines.  Staff and visitors need to continue to maintain COVID-19 masking, distancing, and hygiene protocols. Building usage for gatherings in the building will continue to have event modifications, mitigations, and protective behaviors until COVID-19 in the community is very low. The Leadership Team expects these modifications ...

Iowa United Methodist Camps announces 2021 Annual Campaign results

Iowa United Methodist Camps announces 2021 Annual Campaign results

3/30/2021
In preparation for having youth on-site in summer 2021, Iowa United Methodist Camps completed their second Annual Campaign at the end of February. This year over 100 volunteers campaigned for one month on behalf of the Okoboji and Wesley Woods United Methodist youth camping program.  As apportionment funding through the IAUMC continues to shift, Iowa United Methodist Camps are shifting as well to continue sharing Christ with kids. The Annual Campaign is a big part of that model as a primary ...

Urgent appeal to assist an Iowa clergy member's son

Urgent appeal to assist an Iowa clergy member's son

3/26/2021
Update: Online donations have closed but check contributions can be sent to The Iowa Conference of The United Methodist Church, 2301 Rittenhouse Street, Des Moines, IA, 50321. Please indicate “Fabros Health Fund” in the memo line. Monetary donations to individuals are not tax-deductible. Dear Iowa United Methodists,   The Iowa Conference of The United Methodist recently sent a letter to Iowa clergy concerning Rev. Olivia Fabros. She is a pastor in Iowa of the Lacey, Beacon, and Eddyville United...

Abiding in Exile - Returning from exile with faithfulness 03/25/2021

Abiding in Exile - Returning from exile with faithfulness 03/25/2021

3/25/2021
By Eric Rucker “Then King Solomon conscripted slave labor (to build the Temple).” (1 Kings 9:21)   I’m noticing myself starting to relax, to take an exhale. There is an easing of tension in my body as I anticipate our society begin to leave exile. I know that the pandemic is not “over,” but with the vaccines released, and some of our most vulnerable people receiving shots, I have begun to hope.    But I’ve felt a certain sadness as I have relaxed. Because I’ve noticed that my relaxation has ...

AC2021 to be held virtually from June 4-6

AC2021 to be held virtually from June 4-6

3/25/2021
The 2021 Iowa Annual Conference session themed, "Connected in Christ: Watching Over One Another in Love," will be held virtually through Zoom Webinar from June 4-6. Plans continue to evolve as Bishop Laurie and the Sessions Committee move forward with planning the event.     Registration All members will be automatically registered. Pastors who haven't submitted the name(s) of their Lay and Equalization Member(s), please submit those as soon as possible to your District Administrative Assistant ...

A community on earth as it is in heaven

A community on earth as it is in heaven

3/24/2021
Members of the Antiracism Leadership Team will be contributing personal narratives in a series of articles about the importance of helping The Iowa Annual Conference to become fully antiracist at all levels of ministry. By: Rev. Dr. Lanette Plambeck, Director of Clergy and Leadership Excellence and member of the Antiracism Leadership Team As United Methodists, our baptismal vow calls us to “resist evil, injustice and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves.” As members of Christ’s...

Let it begin with me: A statement from Bishop Laurie on shootings in Atlanta and Boulder

Let it begin with me: A statement from Bishop Laurie on shootings in Atlanta and Boulder

3/23/2021
In response to the recent shootings that killed eight people, including six Asian-Americans, in Atlanta and ten people in Boulder, Bishop Laurie released the following pastoral letter to Dakotas and Iowa United Methodists. My heart echoes the psalmist’s cry: “O God, do not keep silence; do not hold your peace or be still, O God!” (Psalm 83:1, NRSV) Today, I grieve the horrific violence of the shootings in Atlanta, Georgia, at three spas and a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado. In these ...

Bishops Reconsider May 8 Special Session of General Conference

Bishops Reconsider May 8 Special Session of General Conference

3/22/2021
For Immediate Release Monday, March 22, 2021   Bishops Reconsider May 8 Special Session of General Conference   WASHINGTON, D.C.  -  The Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church met on Monday, March 22, 2021 in an additional meeting to consider pressing matters  related to the Council’s work.  After much conversation, the bishops reached a decision that in the best interest of the church at this time, they would cancel the Special Session of the General Conference which was set for May ...

Wesley Woods Equestrian Coordinator Receives Award

Wesley Woods Equestrian Coordinator Receives Award

3/22/2021
Laura Hutler, Equestrian Coordinator at Wesley Woods United Methodist Camp, has received the Distinguished Service Award through the Great Rivers chapter of the American Camp Association. This award is presented to an individual who has given “outstanding and distinguished service” to a camping program within the Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri area.    Laura was nominated by a group of camping professionals within the Midwest who recognized the value of the work that she has done this past ...

Scholarships for seminary students are availale from St. Paul’s UMC Cedar Rapids Foundation

Scholarships for seminary students are availale from St. Paul’s UMC Cedar Rapids Foundation

3/19/2021
The scholarship committee from St. Paul’s UMC Cedar Rapids Foundation will awards scholarships to individuals of the East Central District or of the Iowa Conference who are current seminary students enrolled in a seminary graduate degree program, preparing for a full-time career in ministry, missions, or Christian education. In January, 2021, the foundation’s board of directors recommended that the scholarship committee be encouraged to grant one of the seminary scholarships to a person of ...

Abiding in Exile - Knowledge is Fuel 03/18/2021

Abiding in Exile - Knowledge is Fuel 03/18/2021

3/18/2021
By Priscilla Joel It’s kind of wild how much we learn in such a short period of time. A “short period” could mean ten minutes, or it could mean ten years. My mom recently found some old pictures of me at space camp from when I was about ten years old. I am standing in the elementary school lawn, beaming, while holding up the model rocket I had just launched. I remember watching the little foot-long cardboard rocket launch up into the air, and slowly float down with the bright yellow parachute as...

Plans for immigration reform

Plans for immigration reform

3/18/2021
By Karlene Neal, Advocate for Immigrants and Refugees, Board of Global Ministries As promised by President Biden during his campaign for the presidency, he has announced a plan for immigration reform. If enacted, it would modernize the nation’s immigration system and provide a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented Americans. This is an issue that has been a serious problem for many years, and several administrations have been unable to come to an agreement on a plan. Many ...

A year of transition

A year of transition

3/12/2021
Submitted by: Kae Tritle, RN Wellness Coordinator   This has been a marathon year of coping with the effects of Covid-19. Unfortunately, we are not through. Like all marathons, the last third of the race feels the longest.  The same is true now for the pandemic.     While it seems that we have been in a holding pattern, waiting for life to resume, we have really been in a society-altering transition.  Life will not go back to what it was before Covid-19. Zoom gatherings are here to stay.  The ...

DisAbility Ministries Committee would like to be a resource to clergy

DisAbility Ministries Committee would like to be a resource to clergy

3/12/2021
Submitted by Deaconess Sharon McCart, chair, and the UMC Mental Health Task Force Greetings to Clergy from the United Methodist Mental Health Task Force! We are a new team, part of the DisAbility Ministries Committee of The United Methodist Church, which is a ministry partner of the General Commission on Religion and Race. We would like to be a resource to you! John Wesley’s ministry was grounded in the redemptive ministry of Christ with its focus on healing that involved spiritual, mental, ...

Abiding in Exile - Leaving Our Arks 03/11/2021

Abiding in Exile - Leaving Our Arks 03/11/2021

3/11/2021
By Lee Roorda Schott 6At the end of forty days Noah opened the window of the ark that he had made 7and sent out the raven; and it went to and fro until the waters were dried up from the earth. 8Then he sent out the dove from him, to see if the waters had subsided from the face of the ground; 9but the dove found no place to set its foot, and it returned to him to the ark, for the waters were still on the face of the whole earth. So he put out his hand and took it and brought it into the ark with ...

Iowa Conference Communications receives three awards at 2021 UMAC virtual awards gala

Iowa Conference Communications receives three awards at 2021 UMAC virtual awards gala

3/11/2021
The Iowa Conference Communications Ministry Team received three awards from the United Methodist Association of Communicators (UMAC) during the 2021 UMAC Virtual Awards Gala on March 10, 2021. The gala celebrates the ministry and creativity of United Methodist Communicators across the connection. Iowa Conference Communications team members Liz Winders and Courtney Levin, along with United Methodist News photographer Mike DuBose and reporter Joey Butler collaborated on covering the 2020 derecho ...

UMW - Women's History Month

UMW - Women's History Month

3/8/2021
Originally posted on the The United Methodist Women's website. March is Women’s History Month—a time to lift up all the women who have made an impact on our collective history. For over 150 years, since the Woman’s Foreign Missionary Society was first formed in 1869 in Boston, United Methodist Women has been on the forefront of developing leaders, fostering spiritual growth and advocating for justice. The United Methodist Women members who helped create historic change are women like Alma ...

MUMM plans to get back on the road

MUMM plans to get back on the road

3/5/2021
Submitted by Cherie Miner, Director, Mobile United Methodist Missionaries (MUMM) cminer5068@gmail.com As your church prepares for summer, remember that Mobile United Methodist Missionaries (MUMM) is here to help. Although Coronavirus canceled our plans last year, we’d like to forge ahead this summer, albeit with some changes.   If you’re not sure what MUMM does, take a look at this short video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZZa37gE-nM&feature=youtu.be   Feel free to share it during ...

Spring 2021 Orders & Fellowship Event - Building Up: Our Capacity, Our Relationships, Our Ministry

Spring 2021 Orders & Fellowship Event - Building Up: Our Capacity, Our Relationships, Our Ministry

3/5/2021
Join us as we are built up in the Orders and Fellowship Event Thursday, March 18, 2021 9 a.m. - 3:15 p.m. Zoom $20 registration fee How do we build or re-build relationships with and within our congregation? Our communities? At the Spring Orders and Fellowship Event, discuss how you have grown in your personal capacity as a pastor as you are going through everything associated with the COVID slog during the past year. Evaluate how to build up relationships as you see the light at the end of ...

The Iowa United Methodist Conference Re-entry team recommends a cautionary return as you reconvene or expand in-person gatherings

The Iowa United Methodist Conference Re-entry team recommends a cautionary return as you reconvene or expand in-person gatherings

3/5/2021
As of March 4, the Iowa Department of Public Health reported 598 new positive COVID-19 tests and 35 additional deaths. The state reports 742,386 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in Iowa, with 196,084 individuals completing their vaccine series. Additionally, vaccines Iowa’s virus positivity rates continue to hover around 4%. The 14-day average dropped from 4.2% to 4.1%. The 7-day average fell from 4.1% to 4.0%. State data shows 4,105,183 COVID-19 tests have been administered in ...

Abiding in Exile - Lament 03/04/2021

Abiding in Exile - Lament 03/04/2021

3/4/2021
By: Nan Smith Psalm 57: 1 (NRSV) “Be merciful to me, O God, be       merciful to me,    for in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings I       will take refuge,    until the destroying storms       pass by.”   It was my first year of seminary and it was the year my marriage was crumbling to pieces. It was also the year my clergy mentor for ministry became very ill and ended up leaving the church. It was a tough year.     And within that year, there was the week when multiple ...

Alzheimers Association of Iowa offers virtual training and education programs

Alzheimers Association of Iowa offers virtual training and education programs

3/3/2021
Register Today for the 2021 Virtual BrainWorks Conference The Alzheimer’s Association Iowa Chapter’s annual BrainWorks Conference will be held virtually on Tuesday, March 30 – Thursday, April 1 from 8:30 a.m. – 11 a.m. each day. The conference will feature experts to speak on topics like the latest in Alzheimer’s research, Medicaid eligibility for long-term care, and responding to stress in dementia. The conference is open to the public for $15 and will also offer contact hours for those in the ...

Susanna Wesley played a critical role in the Methodist movement

Susanna Wesley played a critical role in the Methodist movement

3/3/2021
General Commission on Archives and History and the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women have collaborated to uplift and celebrate some women of our rich Wesleyan heritage for Women's History Month. Check-in throughout March on both of their accounts to learn about a woman who left her influence on Methodism. The mother of John and Charles, Susanna Wesley played a critical role in the initial and ongoing shape of the Methodist movement. Born in 1669, Susanna was the youngest ...

Remembering Rev. David R. Wendel

Remembering Rev. David R. Wendel

3/1/2021
The Rev. David R. Wendel passed away on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. David served many churches over the years including Epworth, Farley, Elliott, Pilot Grove, Crescent Park, Sidney, Thurman, Estherville, and Newton.  David served as the Ottumwa District Superintendent from 1994 until 2000.  In 2004, he became the assistant to Bishop Gregory Palmer.  He served in this capacity until 2006, when failing health caused him to retire.  David then served Ivy Centennial Methodist Church, where he ...

The Wesley Center at the University of Iowa welcomes all

The Wesley Center at the University of Iowa welcomes all

2/28/2021
Submitted by The University of Iowa Wesley Center The University of Iowa Wesley Center is a welcome place to creatively explore spirituality within an anti-racist, queer-led, intersectional, and justice-seeking community. Every week at the Wesley Center, students are open to ask deep questions and share their stories as they seek to grow spiritually at an important intersection of their lives.  During a shared meal at the Tuesday Table or through rich conversation at Wednesday Bible Study, they...

From the Office of Bishop Laurie: Further Postponement of General Conference

From the Office of Bishop Laurie: Further Postponement of General Conference

2/26/2021
To the Laity and Clergy of the Iowa Annual Conference:       Grace and peace in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It was announced yesterday that the Commission on the General Conference has made the difficult decision to further postpone the 2020 General Conference because of safety issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic and challenges in traveling from different areas of the world. Our Book of Discipline is clear that the Commission is obligated to “take necessary measures to ...

United Methodist Women Connection for February 2021

United Methodist Women Connection for February 2021

2/25/2021
Vol. XXXI, No. 1     |     February 2021   Subscribe today to receive quarterly news from the Iowa UMW 2021 District Officers 2021 Iowa Mission Today Report Form President A New Chapter The Iowa Conference United Methodist Women, and the nation, are entering into a new chapter…turning the page. We have new leaders, new awareness, and hopefully a new appreciation of our blessings. As your new President, I have spent the month of January transitioning and learning. New brings with it ...

Abiding in Exile - Suffering 02/25/2021

Abiding in Exile - Suffering 02/25/2021

2/25/2021
By: Eric Rucker Then Jesus began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering…and after three days rise again. He said this all quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.” – Mark 8:31-32   I’m an amateur gardener. A few years back my wife and I started a compost pile in our backyard. We intended to grow the pile of our food scraps for several months and then to use the composted soil for our new garden.    Spring arrived and we went out to begin the garden....

Council of Bishops call Special Session of General Conference on May 8, 2021

Council of Bishops call Special Session of General Conference on May 8, 2021

2/25/2021
Press Release February 25, 2021 WASHINGTON, D.C. – In response to the further postponement of the 2020 General Conference, the Council of Bishops (COB) is calling a Special Session of the General Conference of The United Methodist Church (UMC) to be convened online on May 8, 2021.   According to the call letter signed by COB President Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey, the Special Session will be held in accordance with Division Two - Section II - Article II of The Constitution of The United ...

General Conference Postponed to 2022

General Conference Postponed to 2022

2/25/2021
Commission on the General Conference FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 25, 2021 General Conference Postponed to 2022 Meeting on February 20, the Commission on the General Conference made a decision to further postpone the 2020 General Conference until August 29 – September 6, 2022 in Minneapolis, Minn. as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect the safety of mass gatherings and travel. It is the Commission’s responsibility to select the site and set the dates of General Conference. Further, ...

Iowa Delegates hear and discuss recommendations on jurisdictional structure

Iowa Delegates hear and discuss recommendations on jurisdictional structure

2/19/2021
General Conference and Jurisdictional Conference Delegates from the United States were called together for a public webinar February 13 to hear reports on church finances, the Episcopal Fund, options for General Conference, recommendations about the structure of Jurisdictions and Episcopal Areas, and a recommendation from the Council of Bishops about Episcopal Elections.   “What we heard is that we are expecting less funding in the future than we have in the past, which is the reality we have ...

SYA provides free virtual service for Sunday after Easter Sunday

SYA provides free virtual service for Sunday after Easter Sunday

2/17/2021
There will be a free, twenty-minute virtual worship experience available for clergy and local IAUMC churches for April 11, 2021 - the Sunday after Easter Sunday. The Simpson College Youth Academy community will be providing the service, as an effort to support clergy in resting following Lent and Easter.  The service will include worship music, Scripture from the lectionary (John 20:19-31), and reflections and blessings from high school students in response to the text. It will be a Youtube ...

United Methodist Volunteers In Mission ask,

United Methodist Volunteers In Mission ask, "Where do you want to go?"

2/17/2021
Now is the time to begin planning your next Volunteer In Mission trip. Hopefully, things will begin to open up some this spring. Consider Sager Brown in Baldwin, LA. How about Midwest Mission Distribution Center in Chatham, IL? What about working on the upcoming disaster response project in the Cedar Rapids area? All of these and more can use the assistance of your church group of volunteers. Hi, I’m Linda Rowe, the new Iowa United Methodist Volunteer In Mission (UMVIM) Coordinator. I live in ...

Abiding in Exile - A Doubting-Thomas Sympathizer 02/18/2021

Abiding in Exile - A Doubting-Thomas Sympathizer 02/18/2021

2/16/2021
By: Priscilla Joel I can often be a bit of a skeptic at times. I like things I can see, touch, and prove—be it an equation from propulsions class or the weather. I have a habit of wearing many layers of warm clothing well into the spring season, even when the weather forecast claims that the temperature is, in fact, warmer. But the prediction isn’t good enough. I need to see the ice turning to slush with my own eyes and I need to feel the sun with my own skin. For a while now, my skepticism has ...

Candidacy Summit still spirit-filled in virtual setting

Candidacy Summit still spirit-filled in virtual setting

2/12/2021
The pandemic didn’t stop the Board of Ordained Ministry’s Candidacy Advising and Mentoring, Recruitment Encouraging (CARE) Committee from hosting its Candidacy Summit Retreat for those reflecting on pursuing ministry. A virtual event was held Saturday, February 6, with almost 20 people in attendance.   “It was a delight to see so many varied persons considering a future in ministry in our annual conference,” said Mara Bailey, CARE Committee member. “Given all the limitations of a virtual event, ...

Iowa United Methodist Camps Announces Matching Gifts

Iowa United Methodist Camps Announces Matching Gifts

2/12/2021
Halfway through an Annual February Campaign to support youth attending camp, Iowa United Methodist Camps have raised over $100,000 to share the love of Christ with young people. Now, an exciting announcement has been made.  “We’ve been incredibly blessed by a couple of generous families who have been positively impacted through Iowa’s shared United Methodist Camping Ministry,” says Bryan Johnson, Director of Camps and Retreats. “Any pledge made to Wesley Woods United Methodist Camp this ...

Celebration of Life update: Keep Bishop Deborah Kiesey and family in your prayers

Celebration of Life update: Keep Bishop Deborah Kiesey and family in your prayers

2/11/2021
Brad Kiesey was an Iowa farm boy who grew up in Washington on a forty-acre farm. He always loved music and met his wife Deb while he was first practicing law in Mason City. I didn’t meet Brad until Deb was elected a bishop in The United Methodist Church. I remember voting for her at the North Central Jurisdictional Conference in 2004.  Brad and Deb and my husband Gary and I became better acquainted in 2008 when the North Central Jurisdictional Conference met in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and we ...

Abiding in Exile - Flourishing Anyway 02/11/2021

Abiding in Exile - Flourishing Anyway 02/11/2021

2/10/2021
by Rev. Lee Roorda Schott February 11, 2021 Scripture For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,    and do not return there until they have watered the earth, making it bring forth and sprout,    giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;    it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,    and succeed in the thing for which I sent it. For you shall go out in joy,    and be led back in peace; the ...

Clergy resource: DMPCC Virtual Clergy Pods

Clergy resource: DMPCC Virtual Clergy Pods

2/10/2021
Submitted by DMPCC This is a challenging time to be a religious leader.  Clergy and congregations have been pressed to adapt and create new ways of caring and staying connected. At the same time, the level of anxiety of nearly everyone around them has been amped up to eleven!  Yes, this is a difficult time. However, there is no need to keep pushing ahead alone. The concept of the “pod” has emerged as a way of safely connecting with others during the pandemic.  The Des Moines Pastoral Counseling ...

Cold weather tips from Iowa Conference Disaster Ministries

Cold weather tips from Iowa Conference Disaster Ministries

2/10/2021
The forecast for Iowa for the next week is for continued cold temperatures and colder wind chills.     Heimo from the Last Alasakans says “it’s not the cold that will kill you,  it’s not being prepared for the cold that will kill you.” Take a few minutes and get prepared so that you are not caught off guard.    For you: Be practical about the amount of time you spend outdoors. Frostbite happens quickly.   Dress in layers to keep warm. Keep your hands and head covered Check on your neighbors ...

The Iowa United Methodist Conference Re-entry team reminds churches to be vigilant and remain in the Yellow Light phase of the Covid-19 Reentry Plan

The Iowa United Methodist Conference Re-entry team reminds churches to be vigilant and remain in the Yellow Light phase of the Covid-19 Reentry Plan

2/8/2021
On Friday, February 5, 2021, Iowa’s Governor Kim Reynolds signed a new Public Health Disaster proclamation, effective February 7, 2021, that relaxes the state’s limited mask requirements, social distancing requirements, and limits on gatherings. The proclamation strongly encourages Iowans, businesses, and organizations to take reasonable public health measures consistent with guidance from the Iowa Department of Public Health.   In her proclamation Governor Reynolds states, “I continue to ...

Annual Conference 2021 important information and dates

Annual Conference 2021 important information and dates

2/5/2021
Lay members and clergy persons will gather for the 178th Iowa Annual Conference session from June 4-6th, 2021. Similar to 2020, much of the 2021 Iowa Annual Conference will be held virtually through the Zoom Webinar platform.    Clergy Session will be held at 9:00 a.m. Friday, June 4, and Laity Session will be held the same day at 7:00 p.m.    Bishop Laurie Haller will call the annual conference members to order at 9 a.m. Saturday, June 5, to begin the two-day session. The 2021 theme is, ...

Circuit Ministry Testimonials Part One: The Huddle and Building Trust

Circuit Ministry Testimonials Part One: The Huddle and Building Trust

2/5/2021
Circuit ministry is new to Iowa, but one circuit in the Northeast District has been meeting for over three years. These churches have without fail reported an increase in worship energy and numbers. In part one of our Circuit Ministry Testimonial Series, hear what life is like in our first and oldest circuit located in Delaware County. Pastor Phil Rogers, Manchester United Methodist Church in the DELCO Circuit Pastor Keith Pitts, Delhi and Buck Creek United Methodist Churches, DELCO ...

Conversations on Local Church and Conference Finances for your congregation

Conversations on Local Church and Conference Finances for your congregation

2/5/2021
Four Conversations on Local Church and Conference Finances were held via livestream the last two weekends. About 365 people tuned in total on Vimeo and Facebook Live and questions were answered after the presentation. As a follow up, a Q&A list has been created and the full presentation is available for download to share with your local churches. The team has also made available the apportionment witness statements from laity and clergy in the conference. If you have questions about these ...

Abiding in Exile - Adapting to New Circumstances 02/04/2021

Abiding in Exile - Adapting to New Circumstances 02/04/2021

2/4/2021
by Rev. Nan Smith February 4, 2021 Scripture “Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!”   ~Psalm 27: 14 (NRSV)   When I worked as a naturalist, I attended a wonderful conference for interpretive naturalists in Tucson, Arizona. Now as a group, naturalists tend to lean towards the “wild” side of life, so it was really no surprise that a group of us decided to rise early and hike in the desert landscape.  Now part of our motivation was to get some exercise ...

2019 Advent Daily Devotions

2019 Advent Daily Devotions

2/4/2021
Jesus comes to you tonight 12/24/2019 Scripture: After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. “In ...

Conference Connectional Ministries Council (CCMC) Realignment Team update

Conference Connectional Ministries Council (CCMC) Realignment Team update

2/3/2021
The Reimagining the Conference Connectional Ministries Council (CCMC) Task Force team, formed by Bishop Laurie Haller in her Vision 2032 Address to position the Iowa Annual Conference CCMC for more effective ministry and outreach, continues its work and will report its final proposal to the Bishop’s Operational Team on April 1, 2021.   Because the Iowa Annual Conference’s operational budget has been shrinking for several years due to falling apportionment receipts from local churches, staff and ...

Exciting future for Iowa Justice For Our Neighbors

Exciting future for Iowa Justice For Our Neighbors

2/3/2021
For the last 21 years, Iowa Justice For Our Neighbors (JFON) has provided legal services to support immigrants and refugees in the state of Iowa as a ministry of the Iowa Annual Conference. In April 2021, Justice For Our Neighbors will merge with the American Friends Service Committee* to create the Iowa Migrant Movement for Justice with continued support from the Iowa Annual Conference and the national JFON network.    Iowa Migrant Movement for Justice will continue to provide legal service for...

Pride, Shame and Pain: Methodist History with Racism and Efforts to Dismantle It

Pride, Shame and Pain: Methodist History with Racism and Efforts to Dismantle It

2/3/2021
"If a race has no history, if it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world, and it stands in danger of being exterminated." - Carter G. Woodson 2020 witnessed many tragedies and hardships. The global pandemic caught us all off-guard and left us all struggling to be alone together. Political divisions not only in the United States but around the world divide(d) us along lines of "us" verses "them." And here in the United States, George Floyd, Breonna...

Discipleship Ministries webinar “Clergy: Get Smart About Your Taxes!”

Discipleship Ministries webinar “Clergy: Get Smart About Your Taxes!”

2/2/2021
Monday, February 15, 2021, 10:00 AM Clergy face unique challenges related to Social Security payments, estimated tax payments, housing allowances or exclusions, and reimbursed expenses. Clergy may have questions about the implications of the pandemic on the 2020 tax situation. Your corner tax preparer may not understand the unique situation of clergy. Finding a preparer who does understand clergy needs can save you substantially in money and aggravation. Join us as the Rev. Don ...

The Circuit Ministry Transition Team hosts third Circuit Leader meeting

The Circuit Ministry Transition Team hosts third Circuit Leader meeting

1/29/2021
On January 23, 2021, the Circuit Transition Team hosted the third set of circuit development meetings for the leaders of the pilots.     The Purpose of Circuit Ministry is to develop a circuit of missionally effective clergy and laity leading together in partnership through:  Leadership Multiplication  Missional Accountability & Oversight  “We’re listening to our circuit pilots and making adjustments with our training as we go and getting positive feedback from those who originally expressed ...

Abiding in Exile - Differentiated 01/28/2021

Abiding in Exile - Differentiated 01/28/2021

1/28/2021
By: Eric Rucker “When the new Temple was laid… some wept with a loud voice… though many shouted for joy.” (Ezra 3:11) I’ve spent the last two weeks creating a flow chart for my ministry for the spring and summer. It is comprised of three contingency plans (in-person, hybrid, and virtual ministry) that could be executed by my team, based on how the public health situation progresses in the next six months. Then, last week, I listened as a news report told of a new – more contagious – variant of ...

Deadline nears for communications ministry scholarship and fellowship

Deadline nears for communications ministry scholarship and fellowship

1/28/2021
United Methodist Communications Office of Public Information For Immediate Release January 28, 2020 Nashville, Tennessee – Persons interested in pursuing a career in religious communications are encouraged to explore education support offered by United Methodist Communications. Eligible parties have until March 15thto submit their applications for scholarship and fellowship consideration. “We believe that it is vital to have professional communicators who reflect the diversity of the global ...

Vision 2032: Conversations on Local Church and Conference Finances

Vision 2032: Conversations on Local Church and Conference Finances

1/28/2021
As a follow-up to Bishop Laurie’s Epiphany Address, there will be Conversations on Local Church and Conference Finances. Bishop Laurie has prepared an opening devotion, “Sowing Seeds of Generosity” in which she describes her personal journey of faith relating to financial stewardship. Conference Treasurer Maggie Biggs and the Conference Council on Finance and Administration Chairperson Norlan Hinke will also present reports on the status of the giving of our local churches to Apportionments. ...

Discipleship Ministries new webinar “Been Looking for a Better Offering?” With Don Smith

Discipleship Ministries new webinar “Been Looking for a Better Offering?” With Don Smith

1/26/2021
Tuesday, February 9, 2021, 6:30 pm, CST   Has the pandemic raised questions in your church regarding how your church’s ministry will be funded in the future? Join Rev. Ken Sloane, Director of Stewardship & Generosity, as he welcomes Don Smith, generosity strategist with Horizons Stewardship and author of the new book, A Better Offering: 5 Unmistakable Habits of Generous Churches. Don will share some observations from the book, such as, how many churches are ...

Iowa United Methodist Camps launches annual campaign

Iowa United Methodist Camps launches annual campaign

1/26/2021
Okoboji and Wesley Woods United Methodist Camps are excited to launch their second annual campaign this February in preparation for offering youth programs on-site in summer 2021.    Director of Camps and Retreats, Bryan Johnson, views youth camping as a way to support youth and the future of United Methodism, “The sustainability of any church relies upon developing and growing the Christian faith in as many as possible. In that vein, Iowa United Methodist Camps are proud to be places where ...

Self-care—patience and perseverance

Self-care—patience and perseverance

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

Remembering Richard “Dick” Wonderlich

Remembering Richard “Dick” Wonderlich

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

Abiding in Exile - Expectations 01/21/2021

Abiding in Exile - Expectations 01/21/2021

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

Cedar Falls First UMC virtual training conference on January 31—

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

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

Winter tips from Disaster Response Ministries

Winter tips from Disaster Response Ministries

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

Annual Conference 2021 equalization information

Annual Conference 2021 equalization information

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

Does global warming affect migration?

Does global warming affect migration?

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

Transitional Intentional Interim Ministry Committee hosts Zoom event

Transitional Intentional Interim Ministry Committee hosts Zoom event

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

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

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

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

Are you exploring a call to ministry?

Are you exploring a call to ministry?

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

Updates on United Methodist Missionaries related to Iowa

Updates on United Methodist Missionaries related to Iowa

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

2021 Virtual Advocacy Day is Jan 25

2021 Virtual Advocacy Day is Jan 25

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

Epiphany Address: Watching Over One Another in Love

Epiphany Address: Watching Over One Another in Love

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

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

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

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

Abiding in Exile - Tempered 01/07/2021

Abiding in Exile - Tempered 01/07/2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ministry reports for the January 4th Epiphany Address

Ministry reports for the January 4th Epiphany Address

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

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

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

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

A Pastoral Message from Bishop Laurie

A Pastoral Message from Bishop Laurie

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

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

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

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

Circuits Ministries update through 2020

Circuits Ministries update through 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Celebrate Advent and Christmas with Bishop Laurie Haller

Celebrate Advent and Christmas with Bishop Laurie Haller

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

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