News


2020 Iowa Annual Conference Session Information is now available online!

2020 Iowa Annual Conference Session Information is now available online!

12/5/2019
Please take note of the following changes and updates. You can follow the links for more detailed information. To receive future updates regarding Annual Conference planning subscribe here. Information will be updated on at www.iaumc.org/ac2020 as it unfolds. - Shorter Conference - Friday June 5th – Sunday June 7th  The 2020 Iowa Annual Conference will begin early Friday afternoon, June 5 and close late Sunday afternoon, June 7, 2020. This change responds to one of the more often named ...

Enough and spare

Enough and spare

12/5/2019
December 5th Advent Devotion Scripture:  God, give your judgments to the king.     Give your righteousness to the king’s son. Let him judge your people with righteousness     and your poor ones with justice. Let the mountains bring peace to the people;     let the hills bring righteousness. Let the king bring justice to people who are poor;     let him save the children of those who are needy,         but let him crush oppressors! Let the king live as long as the sun,     as long as the moon,  ...

Help

Help

12/4/2019
December 4th Advent Devotion Scripture:  If the Lord hadn’t been for us—     let Israel now repeat!— if the Lord hadn’t been for us,         when those people attacked us then they would have swallowed us up whole         with their rage burning against us! Then the waters would have drowned us;     the torrent would have come over our necks; then the raging waters would have come over our necks! Bless the Lord     because he didn’t hand us over     like food for our enemies’ teeth! We escaped ...

Iowa UM Camp registration for the 2020 season is now open

Iowa UM Camp registration for the 2020 season is now open

12/4/2019
The 2020 Iowa United Methodist Camp registration is now open and our programming has been developed to offer a summer of friendships, faith building at Lake Okoboji and Wesley Woods Camp and Retreat Centers. Lake Okoboji Camp Located just off the shores of West Lake Okoboji, generations of campers have enjoyed afternoons at the Lake and evenings around the campfire. Onsite activities include archery, high ropes, go-karts, disc-golf, mountain boarding, canoeing, and so much more. At Lake Okoboji...

Serving without expectation of return

Serving without expectation of return

12/4/2019
A challenge was given to Christ United Methodist Church in Davenport, Iowa, that they gladly accepted.   “We were challenged by the superintendent to pick one school (in our school district) and really focus our resources in partnering with just that school,” said April Buske, Director of Discipleship.   In the past, the school district had been reluctant to partner with churches but was willing to give it a try with Christ UMC. Buchanan Elementary School was chosen as a partner school since the...

God's signature of salvation

God's signature of salvation

12/3/2019
December 3rd Advent Devotion Scripture: I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. — Genesis 9:13 When my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer, she was requested to participate in the Relay For Life after her mastectomy. She walked with the cancer survivors. I was her caregiver, so I walked with the caregivers. The following year, I was assigned to do the invocation. Prior to this event, I have been preaching about rainbows are the ...

Deep peace

Deep peace

12/2/2019
December 2nd Advent Devotion Scripture: For if we have been united with [Christ] in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. — Romans 6:5 Christmas can be a difficult time for funerals, and for living in grief. All the focus is on the new Baby Jesus, new Life in Christ, new Year - 2020! For those who are remembering parents, children, spouses, other loved ones, who won’t be at your Christmas celebrations this year, may God grant you peace and comfort. ...

Messengers of Hope: An Advent message from Bill Poland

Messengers of Hope: An Advent message from Bill Poland

12/1/2019
First Sunday of Advent: "Messengers of Hope" - Bill Poland from Iowa Annual Conference on Vimeo.

Strategic retreat

Strategic retreat

12/1/2019
December 1st Advent Devotion Scripture: Keep awake therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But understand this: if the owner of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. — Matthew 24:42-44 Holiday parties, shopping, caroling, dinners, baking, and decorating…oh so much to do. In all that busyness it is easy for me to forget the point of advent—to prepare my heart, mind, ...

AC2020 Global Health Initiative

AC2020 Global Health Initiative

11/25/2019
The 2020 Iowa Annual Conference will be focusing on Global Health: Seeking Health and Wholeness for All. We are excited to share about three very deserving groups who are making a difference in the lives of others here in Iowa and around the world.   Iowa Mission of Mercy is a large scale, two-day community dental clinic where dental professionals and general volunteers donate their time to provide free oral health care to individuals who face barriers to receiving dental care. The clinic moves...

Christ the King Sunday greetings

Christ the King Sunday greetings

11/24/2019
Christ the King Sunday - Lanette Plambeck from Iowa Annual Conference on Vimeo.  

Seeking volunteer chairperson for the Board of Discipleship

Seeking volunteer chairperson for the Board of Discipleship

11/22/2019
We are looking for a volunteer to be chairperson of the conference Board of Discipleship (BOD). The purposes of the BOD are to resource churches in each of the five BOD areas of ministry – stewardship, spiritual formation, Christian education, worship, and evangelism – and to help churches develop and implement a discipleship pathway for their own ministry setting. This board includes one representative from each district and one advocate from each of the ministry areas. The chairperson should ...

The Iowa Preaching and Worship Institute is taking applications

The Iowa Preaching and Worship Institute is taking applications

11/22/2019
The Iowa Preaching and Worship Institute is taking applications. Meeting quarterly for two days of immersion, this is an eighteen-month program of six retreats designed to support, resource and connect those who preach regularly in an effort to expand their styles of preparation and presentation, resource to relevant and creative design, and provide a means for richer supports and overall effectiveness. This Institute is designed to develop preachers in a model of immersion that brings together...

Annual Conference 2020 planning continues

Annual Conference 2020 planning continues

11/21/2019
The Sessions Committee met today to discuss details for Annual Conference 2020.  Creating Difference Makers in Global Health: Seeking Health and Wholeness for All was confirmed as the theme for Annual Conference 2020. Conference offerings will relate to the theme of global health, and Lunch and Learns will be held focusing on this theme. Larry and Jane Kies, Iowa missionaries working with Africa University on a sustainable farm, will lead the Teaching Session. According to the Board of Global...

Vision 2032 sessions wrap up

Vision 2032 sessions wrap up

11/21/2019
The Vision 2032 sessions wrapped up on Wednesday, November 20, 2019, at the Iowa UMC Conference Center with Bishop Laurie Haller, Rev. Dr. Harlan Gillespie and Rev. Dr. Heecheon Jeon presenting to the Central District. More than 400 people have attended the 16 visioning sessions that were held throughout the state.    The Vision 2032 sessions were broken up into three sections: Visioning, Context and Framing. In the Vision section, Bishop Laurie shared her hope for the United Methodist Church in...

You are invited to Be a Part of the Vision 2032 Conversation on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019

You are invited to Be a Part of the Vision 2032 Conversation on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019

11/18/2019
The Central District Vision 2032 session will be livestreamed and you will be able to watch it online by going to the Iowa Conference of The United Methodist Church's homepage at https://vimeo.com/373937973. The livestream will begin at 6:30 p.m. and should wrap up around 8:00 p.m.  The session will be divided in to three parts: A presentation of Vision 2032 A presentation of the current context of the Iowa Conference A presentation framing the conversation There will be two times during...

Central Conference Bishops Wholeheartedly Support Proposal for a U.S. Regional Conference

Central Conference Bishops Wholeheartedly Support Proposal for a U.S. Regional Conference

11/15/2019
The Connectional Table The United Methodist Church For Immediate Release  November 15, 2019 Central Conference Bishops Wholeheartedly Support Proposal for a U.S. Regional Conference Chicago, IL – At last week's Council of Bishops Meeting, the United Methodist Central Conference College of Bishops stated that they will promote and solidly support the Connectional Table's (CT’s) legislation to General Conference 2020 that will create a new structure for churches in the United States.  This ...

Statement adopted by NJC delegates at November meeting

Statement adopted by NJC delegates at November meeting

11/15/2019
Delegates from the North Central Jurisdiction met on November 8-9 to talk about the state of the jurisdiction and discuss the denomination’s future in preparation for next year’s General and Jurisdictional Conferences. Members of the jurisdiction’s Mission Council, which oversees its ministries and budget, joined them. At the gathering, the clergy and laity in attendance released a statement that calls for a moratorium on complaints, charges, and trials related to same-sex marriages and ...

Just Resolution achieved; church trial avoided

Just Resolution achieved; church trial avoided

11/13/2019
By Arthur McClanahan* A Just Resolution has been achieved in the matter of a judicial complaint filed against Rev. Anna Blaedel. As a result, there will not be a church trial.   In a larger context, it is Bishop Laurie Haller’s intention “to avoid, if at all possible, the processing of complaints, charges, and trials related to officiating at same-gendered weddings and LGBTQIA identity and credentialing.”  According to retired United Methodist Bishop S. Clifton Ives, who served as the ...

District Office Transitions

District Office Transitions

11/8/2019
Friends in Christ,    I give thanks to God for your faithful and effective ministries led by the Holy Spirit for the sake of Jesus Christ. You continue to find ways each day to share the love of God in Jesus Christ with your neighbors here and around the world encouraging growth in discipleship.    By December 30th of this year, the physical office spaces that have been used for district superintendents and district administrative assistants will be closed. This transition is taking place to ...

Hamburg UMC receives $30,000 from Iowa Disaster Ministries

Hamburg UMC receives $30,000 from Iowa Disaster Ministries

11/8/2019
Prayer for Continued Recovery in Hamburg, Iowa from Iowa Annual Conference on Vimeo. Prayers, hard work, and donations have poured into Hamburg, Iowa since the spring floods, and United Methodists were able to give church members some extra encouragement this week. Through giving across the connection, $30,000 from the Iowa Disaster Ministries Advance Special #223 was gifted to the church community for recovery.   “We came to support you, to love you, to care for you,” said Pastor Catie ...

Bishop's Statement on Judicial Council Memorandum No. 1388

Bishop's Statement on Judicial Council Memorandum No. 1388

11/6/2019
  By now, some of you may have become aware of the Judicial Council’s November 1, 2019 ruling (Memorandum No. 1388) on the Decision of Law I submitted on July 3, 2019.   My Decision of Law, with Exhibits, and Memorandum No. 1388 can be found here.    In the Decision of Law, I ruled, among other things, that the part of Item 506 that resolved “in light of our current IAC budget crisis, the IAC should prioritize the full funding of conference missions, new ministry starts, and clergy support ...

Help

Help

11/5/2019
December 4th Advent Devotion Scripture:  If the Lord hadn’t been for us—     let Israel now repeat!— if the Lord hadn’t been for us,         when those people attacked us then they would have swallowed us up whole         with their rage burning against us! Then the waters would have drowned us;     the torrent would have come over our necks; then the raging waters would have come over our necks! Bless the Lord     because he didn’t hand us over     like food for our enemies’ teeth! We escaped ...

Ingathering marks 40 years in mission

Ingathering marks 40 years in mission

11/2/2019
Mission Ingathering, formerly known as Thanksgiving Ingathering, marked forty years of making a difference on Saturday, November 2.  “The Mission Ingathering is a way for Iowa United Methodists to address humanitarian problems locally and around the world, including hunger, poverty, and disaster,” according to the Ingathering statements.  It’s a way “to show the love of Christ to the world’s people by ministering to their needs.”   What began as a small collection of blankets, kits, animals, and...

Pastors of Large Churches envision the future

Pastors of Large Churches envision the future

10/29/2019
Pastors of large churches gathered to envision the future of their congregations, themselves, and the Iowa Conference.  Coming together for the annual fall session, more than fifty of the conference’s pastors engaged in a day of worship, receiving and responding to Vision 2032, and sharing in some frank and open conversation with each other and the Bishop. Rev. Richard Boatman welcomed the group to Oakwood UMC in Pleasant Hill, where he is the lead pastor. A faithful journey Focusing on Psalm...

Winter Preparedness Tips from Pastor Catie

Winter Preparedness Tips from Pastor Catie

10/29/2019
Winter officially begins on December 21, 2019, also known as the Winter Solstice, (the longest night of the year.) However, it looks like winter will arrive in Iowa early this year. Yesterday, several regions in Iowa saw snow and freezing rain, and in the next few days, we are forecasted to receive more. Winter storms can include high winds, snow, rain, freezing rain, thunderstorms and more. This is a good time to take a few minutes and get prepared for winter weather. Here is a list of winter ...

Hampton UMC gets to the heart of ministry with the poor

Hampton UMC gets to the heart of ministry with the poor

10/24/2019
When the youth group at Hampton United Methodist Church realized that there was a need in their community for items that couldn’t be purchased with food stamps, they decided to do something about it.   That was back in 2013, and the Hampton Clean Up Closet has been in operation ever since.   It all started with a mission trip, and the youth decided that they could do something to help people in poverty in their own community. The adults in the church quickly helped them find ways to make it ...

Ebony Bishops demand a voice in discussions on UMC future

Ebony Bishops demand a voice in discussions on UMC future

10/21/2019
For Immediate Release October 21, 2019 The Ebony Bishops of The United Methodists Church (African-American bishops serving in the United States) have called on the denomination to include African-American clergy and laity in the ongoing discussions on the future of the church, as they provide the unique voice of hope for the future, not only for the Black church, but also for the unity of the entire denomination.  In a statement released October 21, 2019 by co-chairs Bishop LaTrelle Miller ...

Eric Scheve hired as Site Director at Okoboji U.M. Camp

Eric Scheve hired as Site Director at Okoboji U.M. Camp

10/21/2019
The Iowa Board of Conference Camps and Retreat Ministries is excited to announce that Eric Scheve has been hired as Site Director at the Lake Okoboji United Methodist Camp. Eric has been a long-time employee of the camp, starting as  summer staff in 2011 and progressing now into his new role. “I have always loved working with people and camp is a perfect place to make that happen,” says Eric. “I am excited for the opportunity to continue making the Lake Okoboji United Methodist Camp a place ...

What Happens After Happily Ever After?

What Happens After Happily Ever After?

10/21/2019
Tom Boomershine, a United Methodist pastor for over 20 years, is fortunate to have a marriage that gets noticed. “My lovely wife and I had people asking all the time, ‘You two really look happy–how do you do that?’” And while he and his wife Winter are indeed very happy, and love to spend as much time as they possibly can together, they have seen many couples around them struggle.  So Tom decided to put what he’s learned about marriage into a new book, After Ever After: Finding and Keeping the ...

Latinx worship celebration begins at First UMC, Des Moines

Latinx worship celebration begins at First UMC, Des Moines

10/18/2019
Nearly a hundred people gathered in the sanctuary of First United Methodist Church for “Diferente,” the initial Latinx ministry celebration. Coming together on September 29, 2019, the community experienced a time when “todos son Bienvenidos,” all are welcome.   According to First UMC Pastor Edgar Solis, the new ministry will be a celebration of community in which people will share in prayer ministry and be encouraged to participate in Bible studies. “We’ve had contact with people from Miami, ...

General Conference 2020: A preliminary look at key legislation

General Conference 2020: A preliminary look at key legislation

10/17/2019
By: Christa Meland Next May, 15 months after the top legislative body of The United Methodist Church voted to adopt the Traditional Plan, delegates at the 2020 General Conference will consider alternative options for a way forward. (View all General Conference 2019 coverage here.)   The Traditional Plan, approved at the 2019 Special Called Session of General Conference, maintains that homosexuality is “incompatible with Christian teaching” and increases penalties for self-avowed gay clergy and ...

Iowa Justice for Our Neighbors celebrating 20 years of ministry

Iowa Justice for Our Neighbors celebrating 20 years of ministry

10/17/2019
Iowa Justice for Our Neighbors (JFON) will celebrate its 20th anniversary this month, and you are invited. The board of Iowa JFON is encouraging everyone to join to learn about its history as well as the plans for the future of JFON in our state.  Iowa Justice For Our Neighbors is a non-profit organization, welcoming low-income immigrants of all faiths into churches and communities by providing free, high-quality immigration legal services, education, and advocacy.  Established by the United ...

Reentry Team Info/Training Meeting in Muscatine

Reentry Team Info/Training Meeting in Muscatine

10/17/2019
Pastor Paul Witmer, Minister of Reentry and Congregational Care for Women at the Well at the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women at Mitchellville, Iowa will be coming to the Muscatine area in October to offer a Reentry Team Training. It will be at Wesley UMC on October 27, from  1:30 – 4:30 p.m.    Reentry teams are faith-based teams of men and women who provide non-financial support for a woman leaving Mitchellville and reentering society. The women fill out an application and go through an...

Video offers insight into the UMC-Episcopal dialogue on Full Communion

Video offers insight into the UMC-Episcopal dialogue on Full Communion

10/16/2019
For immediate release                                                            October 14, 2019   Videos offer insight into the United Methodist-Episcopal Full Communion Dialogue WASHINGTON, D. C. -  The United Methodist Church – Episcopal Church Dialogue Committee has released a series of videos highlighting shared ministries between the churches and discussing the current full communion proposal developed by the committee.   The videos include a conversation between Bishop Gregory Palmer ...

Looking into the future - Vision 2032

Looking into the future - Vision 2032

10/15/2019
Faith communities, lay and clergy, and leaders are looking into the future of the Iowa Annual Conference, to discern Vision 2032.    To be able to do this most effectively, with the greatest input from across the Conference, a series of listening sessions has just begun. The first conversation took place on Sunday, October 13, at Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church. In the coming weeks, through the end of November, an additional seven sessions will take place. (See the schedule here.)   “The ...

Rev. Douglas Cue installed as new SE District Superintendent

Rev. Douglas Cue installed as new SE District Superintendent

10/14/2019
Lay and clergy of the Southeast District celebrated the installation of Rev. Douglas Cue as their new Superintendent on Sunday, October 13. Gathering at First United Methodist Church in Mt. Pleasant, the significant presence in that congregation’s sanctuary vocally expressed the commitment to “put one foot in front of the other and lead with love.” Bishop Laurie Haller asked the community, “Are you ready for the journey?” Together they declared, “We are ready! We gather as the people who are ...

Celebration of Life - Bob Morrison

Celebration of Life - Bob Morrison

10/10/2019
The Iowa Conference mourns the loss of Robert (Bob) Morrison, who is now in his heavenly home. Bob was incredibly active in The United Methodist Church and a faithful servant to Christ and all those around him. Bob loved people and his greatest joy was helping them grow in confidence, relationships, leadership, and faith. A Celebration of Life honoring Bob will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, October 19th at Wesley United Methodist Church, 400 Iowa Avenue, Muscatine, IA. Visitation will precede...

Pastor and author Lillian Daniel falls in love with Dubuque

Pastor and author Lillian Daniel falls in love with Dubuque

10/7/2019
Rev. Dr. Lillian Daniel, a graduate of Yale Divinity School, has worked as an adjunct professor and is the author of several books, but she considers herself “a parish pastor first.” She is currently the senior pastor of First Congregational Church in Dubuque, but it was a long and windy road that brought her to Iowa. From the suburbs to the city and back Rev. Daniel began as an associate pastor in Cheshire, Connecticut, which was a large, thriving suburban church. “I was there for three years ...

Two-day event brought pastoral leaders together

Two-day event brought pastoral leaders together

10/7/2019
Rev. Dr. Lillian Daniel was the featured presenter at the fall 2019 gathering of the Order of Elders, Order of Deacons, and Fellowship of Local Pastors and Associate Members of the Iowa Annual Conference.   The event, held at the Christian Life Center of Ankeny First United Methodist Church, brought together nearly two hundred pastoral leaders of the Conference for two days of thought-provoking reflection and earnest dialogue. During the opening worship, Rev. Heather Dorr asked, “When was the ...

Rev. Jim Morris: Called to serve and preserve

Rev. Jim Morris: Called to serve and preserve

10/6/2019
“I would remind people of what I consider one of the truisms of being a human being: if you don’t know where you’re coming from, you are not going to know where you’re going. Our history informs our future, very much,” says Rev. Jim Morris, who believes that this is why it’s important to maintain an awareness of the heritage and history of the Methodist movement. A retired United Methodist pastor of the Iowa Conference, Rev. Morris was recently presented with the Distinguished Service Award from...

Back-to-School Ministry continues to BLESS

Back-to-School Ministry continues to BLESS

10/4/2019
The Storm Lake United Methodist Church is now in its fourth year with BLESS, a special program that provides school supplies for children in the area. An acronym for Bless and Love Everyone School Supplies, the program has been a blessing indeed for everyone it has touched. Listening to the Lord It all started when Storm Lake member Sarah Low found out that parents were coming to the church asking for help purchasing school supplies, but there were no funds available to purchase them. As an ...

Now Receiving Candidates for Episcopal Nominee

Now Receiving Candidates for Episcopal Nominee

10/2/2019
The Iowa delegation of the North Central Jurisdictional Conference has the pleasure of presenting an Episcopal Nominee to the 2020 Iowa Annual Conference. This process involves receiving names of possible candidates now through October 31, 2019.   On November 1, 2019, those candidates will then receive the “Episcopal Nominee Information” form and the “Episcopal Election Covenant” which will be due by November 30, 2019.  In January 2020, candidates will be asked to interview with the delegation...

Annual event becomes forum on church’s future

Annual event becomes forum on church’s future

10/1/2019
By Sam Hodges Sept. 27, 2019 | LEAWOOD, Kan. (UM News) A typical Leadership Institute at the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection offers advice to church leaders of various denominations for growing their congregations in size and mission work. Not this year.   With The United Methodist Church actively entertaining the possibility of a breakup, due to longstanding divisions over homosexuality, Leadership Institute 2019 turned into a centrists’ and progressives’ forum for discussion and ...

Council of Bishops announces winners of Local Initiatives Grants

Council of Bishops announces winners of Local Initiatives Grants

10/1/2019
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church is pleased to announce the winners of the 2020 Local Initiatives Grants. The winners are: Columbia Wesley Foundation Methodist Student Network: Contact Tom H. Wall at WallBrodie@aol.com: This project gathers the United Methodist Wesley Foundation in Columbia, South Carolina, with the Hilell Foundation and the campus Muslim Student Association in order to get to know each other and be in ministry with each other during this...

Myrtle Felkner—an extraordinary Christian educator

Myrtle Felkner—an extraordinary Christian educator

10/1/2019
Myrtle Felkner, an extraordinary Iowa Christian educator who had worked with many Iowa churches, passed away on September 25, 2019 at the age of 94.  Myrtle was the creator and author of the One Room Sunday School model, along with hundreds of articles and stories for children's curricula. She was very well known by members of CEF (Christian Educators Fellowship - now Christians Engaged in Faith Formation). Her last Christian education book came out when she was 84. She was also very active in ...

New policy on asylum seekers

New policy on asylum seekers

10/1/2019
Oct. 1, 2019 According to a recent Supreme Court decision, the Trump administration can deny asylum to most migrants coming to the southern border.  This policy will allow border personnel to reject anyone who passed through another country on their way to the United States unless they apply for and then are rejected safe haven in the first country they pass through upon leaving their home country.  This means that most would-be asylum seekers fleeing dangerous situations in their homeland will ...

Conference Directors dream of what God has in store for us

Conference Directors dream of what God has in store for us

9/30/2019
The term “director” can have a kind of dry, formal feel to it that sounds distinctly administrative and maybe even a little distant. But to hear three Iowa Conference directors describe their calling at a recent conference gathering, you can sense the excitement and passion they have for what they do. So what are their roles, and what has inspired them in their work? Revitalizing the church Rev. Dr. Jaye Johnson, who serves at Director of Congregational Excellence, was a beneficiary of the ...

N.E.W. Plan would create 4 denominations

N.E.W. Plan would create 4 denominations

9/26/2019
A United Methodist group has submitted legislation that would dissolve The United Methodist Church and form four new global denominations instead. The legislation says the new Methodist expressions would be traditionalist, moderate, progressive and liberationist in orientation.  The New Expressions Worldwide, or N.E.W., Plan is the work of UM-Forward, a group that identifies as a collective of United Methodist liberationists. By that, group members mean that they seek to advance the liberation ...

French Ministry celebrates first year

French Ministry celebrates first year

9/25/2019
The French Ministry of Sioux City celebrates a year of growth and connection “I have a feeling of joy in my heart, and a feeling of celebration. It has been a journey,” marvels Rev. Michel Okitakoyi Lundula. On September 22, 2019, he was worshipping with over 100 others of the French Ministry of Sioux CIty at First United Methodist Church as they celebrated the 1st year anniversary of the unique congregation of French-speaking United Methodists.  The rapidly growing French Ministry began ...

CCMC seeking Vice-Chair for 2019-2020 program

CCMC seeking Vice-Chair for 2019-2020 program

9/24/2019
The Conference Connectional Ministries Council is looking for a Vice-Chair for 2019-2020 program year who would be willing to become the Chair of the Council in July of 2020.  While the position could be open to anyone in the Iowa Annual Conference, female laypersons are strongly encouraged to serve in order to maintain a good rotation of leadership.   The Council normally meets 2-3 times per year and is responsible for overseeing the program ministries in the Annual Conference. The Chair of the...

Dorian response illustrates how UMCOR works

Dorian response illustrates how UMCOR works

9/19/2019
As the Bahamas and communities along the eastern coast of the United States begin to recover from Hurricane Dorian, the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is assisting with relief efforts everywhere. This article by Global Ministries’ senior writer Christie R. House uses the Hurricane Dorian response to illustrate how UMCOR responds to natural and other disasters in countries around the globe as well as in the United States. Read about how before Dorian had even hit the Bahamas, UMCOR'...

Midwest Mission's relief arrives in the Bahamas

Midwest Mission's relief arrives in the Bahamas

9/17/2019
In anticipation of the hurricane season, Midwest Mission Distribution Center had pre-staged relief items such as personal dignity kits, rice meal packs, and linens at their partner's (Food for the Poor) warehouse in Jacksonville, FL. Following the devastation caused by hurricane Dorian those items were immediately put to use and airlifted to the Bahamas arriving on September 7. Food for the Poor has sent a request for other items for the residents of the Bahamas and Midwest Mission's would like...

Adora S. Jones Ministerial Trust Scholarship application open

Adora S. Jones Ministerial Trust Scholarship application open

9/16/2019
The Adora S. Jones Ministerial Trust has been established by a lovely lady, who was a school teacher and a member of Salem United Methodist Church in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The following is paraphrased from Adora’s will:   “It is my wish that the Trustee shall use the income from the trust to the extent that the same shall become available, for the purpose of grants/scholarships from such income to seminary students from the State of Iowa who are in need of assistance to maintain them in seminary ...

UMCOR starts efforts for Bahamas relief

UMCOR starts efforts for Bahamas relief

9/16/2019
By Linda Bloom Sept. 5, 2019 | UM News How to help: Donations for the Bahamas can be made through UMCOR's International Disaster Response Advance #982450. Money from this fund is used to respond to disasters around the world. In the U.S., donate to the U.S. Disaster Response Advance #901670 for the United Methodist Committee on Relief. As Hurricane Dorian continued to threaten the U.S. east coast, United Methodists were connecting with Methodists in the Bahamas to start relief efforts. The ...

Connectional Table’s U.S. Regional Conference legislation now available

Connectional Table’s U.S. Regional Conference legislation now available

9/13/2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 13, 2019 Connectional Table’s U.S. Regional Conference legislation now available. Chicago, IL – The Connectional Table is publishing its legislative petition to create a U.S. Regional Conference, as well as a one-page frequently asked questions sheet and a narrative booklet.  The CT, who collaborated closely with Wespath on this legislation, shares the legislation and educational materials in advance of the 2020 General Conference as a reflection of the value it ...

Clergywomen retreat explores Celtic Christianity

Clergywomen retreat explores Celtic Christianity

9/9/2019
In the Sawtooth Mountains along the shore of Lake Superior, ten clergywomen spent a week exploring Celtic Christianity and immersing themselves in nature, prayer, art and exercises to deepen awareness of God’s presence.   Offered through the Office of Pastoral Care and Counseling, the week was led by Dr. Mary Bellon and Rev. Nan Smith and designed to allow the participants to bring leadership as well.   Dr. Lanette Plambeck, Rev. Lee Schott, Rev. Beth Harbaugh, Rev. Elizabeth Bell, Rev. Cathy ...

New rules for immigrants

New rules for immigrants

9/9/2019
Since the 19th century, self-sufficiency has been a foundation of U.S. immigration law. The Trump administration has expanded the definition “public charge” concerning immigrants. This policy makes it harder for legal migrants who use public benefits to get a green card. Low-income and less-educated foreigners will have a more difficult time getting into the U.S. Mike Howell, a former Department of Homeland Security and now an advisor at the Heritage Foundation, says, “If fully enforced, it’s ...

Thank You from Bishop Laurie

Thank You from Bishop Laurie

9/5/2019
I want to thank you for your kind expressions of love and support upon the death of my father. It is overwhelming to know that so many people care enough to send a card or an email or say a prayer. I will be forever grateful for your continued commitment to make a difference in our world by your prayers, your presence, your gifts, your service, and your witness to the love of Jesus for all people. Blessings, Bishop Laurie  

Pictured Rocks UMC Camp and Retreat Center closes

Pictured Rocks UMC Camp and Retreat Center closes

8/26/2019
Former campers, employees, camp counselors, board members, and supporters gathered on the grounds of Pictured Rocks United Methodist Camp and Retreat Center for the Deconsecrating Service held on August 25, 2019.  Speaking about the history of Pictured Rocks, Camp Director Gabe Dorrell said, “The reality came to fruition in 1961 when the first campers enjoyed camp here in this sacred space. History goes with us. When we leave this place, the relationships that have been built, that have been ...

UMCNext plan would end LGBTQ restrictions

UMCNext plan would end LGBTQ restrictions

8/19/2019
  By Sam Hodges Aug. 19, 2019 | DALLAS (UM News) UMCNext, a coalition that includes Reconciling Ministries Network, Uniting Methodists and Mainstream UMC, has offered a plan that would end The United Methodist Church's restrictions against same-sex weddings and LGBTQ ordination and offer a gracious exit to local churches that disagree with those changes.  A group of centrists and progressives is offering a plan that would eliminate The United Methodist Church’s restrictions against LGBTQ ...

Group drafts separation plan for denomination

Group drafts separation plan for denomination

8/13/2019
A group of centrist, progressive and traditionalist church leaders have come up with a plan for The United Methodist Church to separate amicably into two or more denominations. It's called the Indianapolis Plan, after where the group met. Photo by William Sturgell, courtesy of Pixabay; graphic by UM News.

2020 Iowa Annual Conference Session Dates

2020 Iowa Annual Conference Session Dates

8/12/2019
Over the past month, a team of Annual Conference Sessions Committee members and Conference Staff who work closely with the details of Annual Conference planning, reviewed some of the agendas and evaluations of previous sessions. They developed drafts of potential agendas that incorporate the essential functions necessary for the Annual Conference and renegotiated the contract with the Iowa Events Center where the Annual Conference session is held. This work was shared with Bishop Laurie Haller ...

The Iowa Conference Committee on Investigation meeting tomorrow

The Iowa Conference Committee on Investigation meeting tomorrow

8/7/2019
August 7, 2019 For Immediate Release   The Iowa Conference Committee on Investigation meeting tomorrow The Committee on Investigation for the Iowa Annual Conference is meeting Thursday, August 8, 2019, with United Methodist clergyperson Rev. Anna Blaedel and several support persons. Rev. Blaedel is the respondent to a formal complaint filed with the Iowa Conference Bishop’s Office by Mr. John Lomperis, a lay member of a United Methodist congregation in the Indiana Conference of The United ...

Ways United Methodists can take a stand against gun violence

Ways United Methodists can take a stand against gun violence

8/4/2019
WHAT IS THE BOOK OF RESOLUTIONS? The volume containing the text of all resolutions or pronouncements on issues approved by the General Conference and currently valid. The Book of Resolutions contains not only the resolutions and policy statements passed by the most recent General Conference, but also all such statements still considered to represent the position of The United Methodist Church. The text of any resolution is considered the official position of the denomination on that subject. —...

Simpson RLC and Indianola First serve RAGBRAI XLVII Riders

Simpson RLC and Indianola First serve RAGBRAI XLVII Riders

7/26/2019
What do live music, dancing chickens and iced coffee have in common? RAGBRAI and United Methodists of course! Simpson College Chaplain Mara Bailey chats with us about the space the Holy Grounds Coffee Shop provided riders to get away, and the team at Indianola First UMC talked about how RAGBRAI brings the congregation together. Simpson RLC and Indianola First serve RAGBRAI XLVII Riders from Iowa Annual Conference on Vimeo.  

Elected delegates to General and Jurisdictional Conferences in 2020

Elected delegates to General and Jurisdictional Conferences in 2020

7/13/2019
CLERGY: Lanette Plambeck  Katie Dawson LaTonya Calderon Chad Jennings  Nathaniel Nims Alejandro Alfaro-Santiz Andrea Kraushaar Frederick Lewis Tyler Schwaller Joshua Steward Sean McRoberts Melissa Warren Clergy Alternates: Barrie Tritle Amy Johnson Matt German Scott Kober William Ranney Brian Oliver LAITY: John Rothlisberger Lynn Calvert Lindsay Drake Erica Shannon Stueve Angela Hansen-Abbas Nitza Dovenspike Rachel Hollingsworth Catherine Rohret Alexe Johnson James Baty Michael Serface ...

2 bishops offer plan for denomination’s future

2 bishops offer plan for denomination’s future

7/10/2019
By Sam Hodges July 10, 2019 | UM News   Two bishops propose turning The United Methodist Church into an umbrella organization for new, self-governing church groups that would offer different approaches on ordination of gay clergy and same-sex unions. Michigan Conference Bishop David Bard and Texas Conference Bishop Scott Jones began collaborating on a plan after the rancorous 2019 General Conference and shared it with United Methodist News this week. “We both envision a future where the church ...

Authors of 506 Respond to Ruling of Law

Authors of 506 Respond to Ruling of Law

7/10/2019
A response from the authors of the amended Action Item 506 respond to Bishop Laurie Haller's Ruling of Law.  Click here to read their statement.

Bishop Haller announces Ruling of Law

Bishop Haller announces Ruling of Law

7/9/2019
Bishop Laurie Haller has announced her Ruling of Law regarding Action Item 506, which was presented to the 2019 Annual Conference Session.  Click here to read her decision.

2019 In Mission Together trip to Nigeria

2019 In Mission Together trip to Nigeria

7/8/2019
By: Linda Rowe Bloomfield, Iowa For those who have traveled to Nigeria in the past as part of the Iowa Nigeria Partnership (INP), and all those who have contributed in any way, here is the latest update. We are now part of the In Mission Together program and are continuing with some of the ministry Iowa started.   My fourteenth trip to Nigeria since 2005 was very eventful as always. I traveled with Dorothy Halvorsen from the Great Plains Conference and Kathryn Witte, the coordinator for The ...

Grace is available to all - Wesley

Grace is available to all - Wesley

7/8/2019
by Rev. Laceye C. Warner*  Above all else, John Wesley emphasized God’s love and grace offered to all. Wesley tirelessly encouraged the people called Methodists to seek the one thing necessary: the renewal of the image of God in persons through receiving and responding to God’s love and grace in Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit. While Wesley asserted that God saves, he also acknowledged the role of good works in response to God’s grace freely given.  Wesley offered numerous comprehensive ...

Submitting petitions to General Conference 2020

Submitting petitions to General Conference 2020

7/3/2019
Petitions for consideration by the 2020 General Conference may be submitted to the Petitions Secretary now through September 18, 2019. According to church law, "Any organization, clergy member, or lay member of The United Methodist Church may petition the General Conference...". Detailed instructions for submitting a petition are available on the General Conference website at umc.org/gcpetition. Petitions must be typed and may be submitted through the General Conference website, by postal mail ...

Neglected children spark reform outcry

Neglected children spark reform outcry

6/27/2019
By Kathy L. Gilbert* June 27, 2019 | UM News Cindy Johnson, a United Methodist deaconess in the Rio Texas Conference, said the process for immigrants waiting in line to present their asylum appeal to border control agents has become so difficult that people are jumping into the Rio Grande in desperation. The world got a horrible look at the consequences of that decision in an Associated Press photo of a 23-month-old baby girl and her father who drowned and were found washed up on the banks of ...

Solidarity for Suffering Children Sun., June 30

Solidarity for Suffering Children Sun., June 30

6/26/2019
UMCOR, the United Methodist Committee on Relief, is calling for "A Sunday of Solidarity for Suffering Children" on June 20. In light of the recent news about children in U.S. government holding facilities along the U.S.-Mexico border, the United Methodist Committee on Relief has received numerous requests to respond. We have heard the plea for action from the church. Unfortunately, the facilities in question are managed in such a way that precludes even UMCOR’s assistance. Access to these ...

2019 Iowa Legislative Advocacy Report

2019 Iowa Legislative Advocacy Report

6/5/2019
Prepared by:  Robert Mulqueen, 2019 consultant Rev. Brian Carter, Legislative Team Leader June 2019   Since 2014, the Iowa Conference has had its presence at the Statehouse by means of volunteer advocates and professional consultants. The Advocacy staff has been led by Reverend Brian Carter and this year included Rita Carter, Sheila Corsbie, Reverend Gary Nims, and Reverend William Steward. A month into the 2019 legislative session, Bill Steward passed away. He was a passionate advocate and he ...

Glenwood pulls together to help

Glenwood pulls together to help

5/24/2019
Disaster Response in Glenwood and Pacific Junction from Iowa Annual Conference on Vimeo. Updated May 24, 2019 "This to me has been what it means to be the church and to be part of the connection," said Pastor Kimberly Bowles. "The calls from clergy across the conference saying, 'What do you need? What can we do? How can we help?" It's everything that I believe the church should be. To see your neighbor in need and say, 'What can I do?.'" Pastor Kimberly Bowles isn’t surprised at the way the ...

A New Way to Support Camping

A New Way to Support Camping

5/15/2019
A New Way to Support Camping Iowa United Methodist Camps are excited to launch the Kindling Club, a new way to ensure the sustainability of camping across the state for the next generation of youth and adults. Okoboji, Pictured Rocks and Wesley Woods United Methodist Camps have impacted hundreds of thousands of lives over the past 100+ years. Many people, myself included, look at their time at camp as the single most formational faith experience of their lives. If you weren’t already aware,...

FAQs about Pictured Rocks Camp

FAQs about Pictured Rocks Camp

5/15/2019
The status of Pictured Rocks United Methodist Camp has been a topic of conversation at the Pre-District Conferences around the state. To help provide clarity on the current status, answers to the following Frequently Asked Questions are provided below. Q: What is the status of Pictured Rocks United Methodist Camp? A: The Board of Camps has voted to recommend a sale of Pictured Rocks United Methodist Camp to Camp Courageous. The Board of Camps cannot execute a sale as it is the property of the ...

Court OKs part of Traditional Plan, exit plan

Court OKs part of Traditional Plan, exit plan

4/26/2019
Adapted from a story written by United Methodist News Reporter Linda Bloom. File photo by Kathleen Barry, UMNS. The United Methodist Church’s top court has found that while some provisions of the newly adopted Traditional Plan remain unconstitutional, the rest of the plan is valid as church law. That was the Judicial Council’s ruling on a requested review of the Traditional Plan, which was approved during a special denomination-wide legislative session in February to strengthen enforcement of ...

Hamburg Flood: Residents find strength through church, community

Hamburg Flood: Residents find strength through church, community

4/12/2019
Virginia Lynn, 93, has lived in Hamburg, Iowa, her entire life and not once experienced the floodwaters that have hit the town. Until now.   Lynn moved to the Park Washington Plaza apartments in July from the home she raised her family in after her husband passed away last January.   “I kept telling everybody I was so blessed because after I lost my husband my kids took me to visit, I sold my house and then I moved,” she said. “It’s just mind-boggling to me. I have literally lost everything. It’...

Laity Day offers insights, opportunities

Laity Day offers insights, opportunities

4/10/2019
With worship, conversation, insights, and shared opportunities, the 2019 edition of Laity Day with the Bishop, brought together more than one hundred people in attendance and others via livestream.  It was an opportunity to hear a message from Bishop Laurie Haller, appreciate some open question and answer time with her, listen to some delegates to the 2019 special called General Conference, be informed by leaders from the Legislative Advocacy Team and School for Lay Ministry, and focus on ...

Orders & Fellowship respond to key questions

Orders & Fellowship respond to key questions

4/9/2019
“How are you doing in your care for your colleagues who are hurting?” “Are you gentle with those who are struggling?” These and more were among the key questions asked of the Iowa Conference’s clergy during the spring 2019 gathering of the Order of Elders, Order of Deacons, and Fellowship of Local Pastors and Associate Members.   From an opening message from Bishop Laurie Haller to several opportunities for small-group conversation to the closing Holy Communion, the filled sanctuary at First ...

'Hornick Strong', Iowa town begins flood recovery

'Hornick Strong', Iowa town begins flood recovery

4/1/2019
“The water came from the north,” said Pastor Catie Newman. “The fire department tried to build a berm on Thursday night, and at about nine ‘o clock in the evening the levee broke and they could see the water come into town and come over the berm.”   After being given only 10 minutes to evacuate the town, she, her husband John, and the rest of the residents of Hornick, Iowa, were left to wonder what would happen after the last-ditch effort by the fire department was destroyed by water.   Newman ...

2019 Annual Conference News

4/1/2019
Please visit https://ac2019.iaumc.org to see all the news from the 2019 Iowa Annual Conference Session.

First glimpse of recovery in Hamburg, Iowa

First glimpse of recovery in Hamburg, Iowa

4/1/2019
The record floodwaters of 2019 are finally beginning to recede in the Southwest Iowa town of Hamburg.    Reverend Luke Fillmore, who is appointed to Hamburg United Methodist Church and Shenandoah United Methodist Church, reported in a phone conversation that people should be able to get in and start working on their homes and businesses within the next few days.   “The flag pole is kind of a landmark in the town, it's about the halfway point in the middle of the town,” he said. “Typically, the ...

Health-Full Minute

Health-Full Minute

4/1/2019
UMC in a Time of Transition As I experienced February’s Special General Conference, it became clear that our denomination is divided regarding full inclusion of LBGQI+ persons. As I read people’s responses and reflected upon what happened at General Conference, it seems to me that our UMC denomination is in the midst of a major change/transition process.    A transition is defined as “a passage from one place or stage to another.”  In other words; we are moving from what has been towards what ...

Laity Day with Bishop Laurie

Laity Day with Bishop Laurie

3/22/2019
Join us for the Iowa Conference Laity Day with the Bishop on Saturday, April 6 at Collegiate United Methodist Church in Ames. Bishop Laurie’s sermon, which will be part of Morning Worship, is titled “The Same but Different.” She will also participate in a discussion of General Conference 2019 and an afternoon question and answer session.   The current situation in the United Methodist church will be explored in a morning session, “The UMC: Taking Stock and Looking Forward.” Compare the ...

Lay, clergy call for ‘reconciliation and justice’

Lay, clergy call for ‘reconciliation and justice’

3/20/2019
Over 1100 Iowa United Methodist lay and clergy have signed a statement committing “ourselves and our churches to the necessary and ongoing work of reconciliation and justice.”  The statement is a “witness to the grace of God that is available to all persons.”   Crafted in “this moment [of] repentance,” according to Rev. Anna Blaedel, a co-author of the statement, the 89 original signers believe that “there is so much work to do to learn and unlearn…if we have a faithful future together.”   The ...

Prayers for victims of NZ tragedy and midwestern flooding

Prayers for victims of NZ tragedy and midwestern flooding

3/18/2019
Dear Friends, Over the past several days, two significant events have impacted the lives of people in New Zealand and right here in Iowa. On Friday, at least fifty people were killed at two mosques in Christchurch, and more than fifty others were injured. It was the most horrific mass killing in the modern history of New Zealand, which is one of the safest and most highly developed countries in the world. The alleged perpetrator, an apparent white right-wing extremist from Australia, was taken ...

Budget Team recommendations approved

Budget Team recommendations approved

3/15/2019
The Budget Team has completed its work. According to the Rev. Bill Poland, Budget Team Chair and Director of New Communities of Faith, several recommendations have been reviewed and approved by the Bishop’s Operational Team, the Cabinet Operational Team, the Conference Connectional Ministries Council and the Council on Finance and Administration. Poland notes that one of the questions that the Budget Team continued to ask all the way through its meetings was how to become a better-connected ...

Clergy housing allowance constitutional

Clergy housing allowance constitutional

3/15/2019
March 15, 2019 – In a ruling with major implications for clergy across the United States, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has issued its decision holding that the clergy housing allowance exclusion in federal tax law is constitutional. This appeals court decision reverses the lower court’s decision in which the housing allowance exclusion was ruled unconstitutional. It is unknown at this time whether the case will be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, and if so, whether the Supreme Court will ...

GC voting irregularities investigated

GC voting irregularities investigated

3/15/2019
In a story reported by UM News on March 14[1], a review is underway to determine if ineligible votes were cast at the 2019  Special Called General Conference.   According to Rev. Gary Graves, secretary of the General Conference, it appears possible that “a very limited number”1 of ineligible votes were cast at the worldwide gathering, held in St. Louis in February.   Click here to read the United Methodist News report  Click here to read the story posted in the New York Times Click here to read...

Pray…and be prepared to help

Pray…and be prepared to help

3/15/2019
“Pray, pray, pray,” asks Rev, Catie Newman, disaster response coordinator for the Iowa Annual Conference, in this time of widespread flooding across the State.    In the aftermath of winter snows, rising temperatures, and recent heavy rains, significant parts of Iowa are inundated by flood waters.  In fact, Newman, who is also the pastor of the Hornick and Salix United Methodist churches, had just 10 minutes to evacuate her home, something she said was “a little unsettling…I’ve talked about ...

Appointive Cabinet statement regarding the Special Called General Conference

Appointive Cabinet statement regarding the Special Called General Conference

3/14/2019
Dear sisters and brothers of the Iowa United Methodist community, The Appointive Cabinet of the Iowa Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church has issued a statement in response to the Special Called General Conference of the denomination.   In it they share their concerns and share their “commitment to lead the Iowa Annual Conference, even as “we recognize our own diversity when it comes to theological and biblical interpretation.”  They express the hope that, “as we all navigate these ...

Hundreds gather for post-GC conversation

Hundreds gather for post-GC conversation

3/13/2019
Iowa United Methodists began a conversation about the 2019 special called General Conference and its impact on their faith communities with a gathering on Sunday, March 10.  The first of three such sessions offered an opportunity to hear from Bishop Laurie Haller, learn about the worldwide gathering’s primary decisions, engage in some Q&A dialogue, and share in Communion and offered healing prayers.   “Because we are all made in God’s image,” Bishop Laurie said, “God will work in our lives.”  In...

Disaster Ministries: Update on Southern Storms

Disaster Ministries: Update on Southern Storms

3/6/2019
This weekend, severe storms made their way through Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. We have received reports of a tornado and other weather-related damage. As our partners continue to assess, we ask that you please do not self-deploy but wait for information from the conferences. We will continue to update you here and at UMCOR.org/response. For now, we invite you to pray with us for those affected, for hope and healing, and for the wonderful UMCOR network. Pastor Catie...

Free social media graphics library

Free social media graphics library

2/27/2019
Need a last-minute image for a Facebook post? Lack the time, tools or know-how to create your own?  Good news, United Methodist Communications has done the work for you! Browse through this collection of free seasonal and thematic graphics below.  They've gathered a collection of graphics for the most important seasons of the church.  Use these memes on Facebook and other social media outlets to promote your Holy Week and Easter services.    Download image (The image will be opened in a new ...

Iowa Wild Hockey Faith and Family Night

Iowa Wild Hockey Faith and Family Night

2/19/2019
Bring your congregation or youth group to Faith and Family Night with the Iowa Wild! Deadline for registration is March 1. For more information, email Kyle Weeden at kyle.weeden@iowawild.com or call 515-564-8728. Register online: https://fevo.me/methodistiowawild Download flyer and registration form: Faith Family Night - Iowa Wild.pdf    

Communicators at forefront of GC2019

Communicators at forefront of GC2019

2/18/2019
By Sam Hodges, UMNS, with additions from Iowa Conference Communications. Photos by Kathleen Barry, UMNS. Communication is a varied and vital part of any General Conference, and that’s emphatically true for the special called session of General Conference set for February 23-26 in St. Louis. The Daily Christian Advocate. Livestreaming. News reports, press conferences, podcasts, and language interpretation. These and other communication methods will help tell the story, and in some cases allow ...

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