News


Caring Connections for April 29, 2020—

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

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

Bishop

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

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

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

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

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

Caring Connections for April 22, 2020—

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

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

Tentative General Conference dates publicized

Tentative General Conference dates publicized

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

Health-Full Moment

Health-Full Moment

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

Mabaan Flood Relief fundraiser put aside at the present time

Mabaan Flood Relief fundraiser put aside at the present time

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

Support Peace with Justice on June 7

Support Peace with Justice on June 7

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

Next Good Idea Webinars focus on small churches and youth ministry

Next Good Idea Webinars focus on small churches and youth ministry

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

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

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

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

The 2020 Iowa Licensing School will be online through Emory

The 2020 Iowa Licensing School will be online through Emory

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

2020 Annual Conference Session to be Postponed and Held Electronically

2020 Annual Conference Session to be Postponed and Held Electronically

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

Caring Connections for April 15, 2020—

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

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

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

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

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

Midwest Mission send relief shipment to Jamaica

Midwest Mission send relief shipment to Jamaica

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

Easter Devotion from Bishop Laurie: Practice Resurrection

Easter Devotion from Bishop Laurie: Practice Resurrection

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Pastoral Letter to the Clergy of The Iowa Annual Conference

A Pastoral Letter to the Clergy of The Iowa Annual Conference

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

Wespath/GCFA guidance for local churches applying for PPP loans

Wespath/GCFA guidance for local churches applying for PPP loans

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

Caring Connections for April 8, 2020

Caring Connections for April 8, 2020

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

A note from the Iowa Annual Conference Treasurer

A note from the Iowa Annual Conference Treasurer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FUMC Jefferson featured on KCCI tonight

FUMC Jefferson featured on KCCI tonight

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

All US Jurisdictional Conferences for 2020 are postponed

All US Jurisdictional Conferences for 2020 are postponed

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

Grace United Methodist Church comes together despite changing times

Grace United Methodist Church comes together despite changing times

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

Grimes Storehouse steps up in crisis times

Grimes Storehouse steps up in crisis times

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

Public assistance possibilities from Iowa Disaster Ministries

Public assistance possibilities from Iowa Disaster Ministries

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

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

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

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

‘The Resurrection is Still with Us’

‘The Resurrection is Still with Us’

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

Be Bold grants for women in ministry

Be Bold grants for women in ministry

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

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

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

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

The CARES Act may save your church during COVID-19

The CARES Act may save your church during COVID-19

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

Would your church like to begin receiving online gifts?

Would your church like to begin receiving online gifts?

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

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

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

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

"Faith & Finances in Difficult Times" Good Idea Webinar

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

Cabinet letter to the churches of Iowa Annual Conference

Cabinet letter to the churches of Iowa Annual Conference

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

Change in refund policy for Iowa United Methodist camps

Change in refund policy for Iowa United Methodist camps

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

Payroll Protection letter to conference

Payroll Protection letter to conference

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

Caring Connections for April 1, 2020

Caring Connections for April 1, 2020

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

Chaplaincy program for clergy off the ground in all eight districts

Chaplaincy program for clergy off the ground in all eight districts

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

Eight district websites merge to four co-district webpages

Eight district websites merge to four co-district webpages

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

Holy Week message from Bishop Laurie

Holy Week message from Bishop Laurie

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

Iowa Annual Conference Licensing School cancelled with new alternative

Iowa Annual Conference Licensing School cancelled with new alternative

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

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

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

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

Emotional well being

Emotional well being

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trump tightens procedures for migrants trying to gain asylum

Trump tightens procedures for migrants trying to gain asylum

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

A Pastoral Care letter to Iowa Clergy

A Pastoral Care letter to Iowa Clergy

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

Caring Connections for March 25, 2020

Caring Connections for March 25, 2020

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

NEW! Webinars and unscripted conversations available for clergy and laity

NEW! Webinars and unscripted conversations available for clergy and laity

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

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

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

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

Status update for the 2020 Iowa Annual Conference session

Status update for the 2020 Iowa Annual Conference session

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

General Conference to move to 2021

General Conference to move to 2021

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

‘Hope is Never Going to Be Canceled’

‘Hope is Never Going to Be Canceled’

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

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

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

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

New video resource – Caring Connections with Bishop Laurie

New video resource – Caring Connections with Bishop Laurie

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

Chuck Knows Church: Things We Can Do

Chuck Knows Church: Things We Can Do

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

A note from Bishop Laurie and the Appointive Cabinet

A note from Bishop Laurie and the Appointive Cabinet

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

United Methodist General Conference to be postponed

United Methodist General Conference to be postponed

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

Health-Full coping strategies for COVID-19

Health-Full coping strategies for COVID-19

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Canceled - Spring Orders and Fellowship: Connecting with those we disagree with

Canceled - Spring Orders and Fellowship: Connecting with those we disagree with

3/12/2020
This event has been canceled. Due to travel bans our presenters, Rev. Dr. Greg Jones, Dean of Duke Divinity School, and the Rev. Dr. Susan Pendleton Jones of the North Carolina Conference’s Church Transformation Ministries are unable to be here to present. Your registration will be carried over to the Fall 2020 event which will be October 19 & 20 where Rev. Dr. Greg Jones, Dean of Duke Divinity School, and the Rev. Dr. Susan Pendleton Jones of the North Carolina Conference’s Church ...

Applications available for Harry Denman Award

Applications available for Harry Denman Award

3/10/2020
The Iowa Annual Conference is now accepting nominations for The Harry Denman Evangelism Award for Clergy, Lay, and Youth. The Harry Denman Evangelism Awards honor United Methodists in each annual conference whose exceptional ministry of evangelism – expressed in Word (what), Sign (why) and Deed (how) – brings people into a life transforming relationship with Jesus Christ. Each year Annual Conferences join The Foundation for Evangelism to recognize one youth, one clergy, and one lay person in ...

Camp Lake Okoboji hires new Program Director

Camp Lake Okoboji hires new Program Director

3/10/2020
It is an exciting week as we welcome Phil Bargfrede as the Program Coordinator at Lake Okoboji United Methodist Camp and Retreat Center (LOUMC).  Phil, and his wife Theresa, are moving to Spirit Lake from Grimes, Iowa where Phil served as the Children’s Director at Grimes United Methodist Church for ten years. Phil was also a member of the Iowa Board of Camps, a volunteer-based team working to better Iowa UMC Camping Ministries.  Phil is passionate about youth ministry because, “…it is not ...

Karen Lampe Congregational Care Training

Karen Lampe Congregational Care Training

3/10/2020
Congregational Care, for both clergy and lay members, can be intimidating. The needs are many and can be overwhelming. Nationally renowned expert, Rev. Karen Lampe, will lead a 2-day Congregational Care Ministry Workshop, September 11 & 12, 2020 at the Iowa Annual Conference Center that will teach churches how to organize their care ministries and train participants to provide compassionate care for people experiencing a variety of life crises.  Rev. Karen Lampe served as the Executive Pastor ...

Lent 2020 Daily Devotions: 3/16 - 3/22

Lent 2020 Daily Devotions: 3/16 - 3/22

3/10/2020
The 40-day season of Lent began on February 26 and Bishop Laurie, clergy, and friends of The Iowa Annual Conference have written short devotionals for each day to help us journey through this season together.  If you would like to receive these daily in an email, subscribe here. They will also be published in the News and will be included in our Weekly 360 e-news each Friday during Lent.  Monday, March 16, 2020 Scripture: Now, dear friends, I am requesting that we love each other. It’s not as ...

Take the next step—attend the Iowa UMC Licensing School

Take the next step—attend the Iowa UMC Licensing School

3/10/2020
The 2020 Iowa Licensing School will be May 19-May 26 at the Shalom Retreat Center in Dubuque, IA. The registration deadline for the school is April 20th. All assignments will need to be completed and submitted by May 1st. Additional information including registration and assignments can be found at https://www.iaumc.org/iowalicensingschool. Licensing school, followed by the Course of Study or seminary, provides the foundation for ministry to become a pastor. By attending The Iowa United ...

Iowa Conference Camping – a life-changing experience

Iowa Conference Camping – a life-changing experience

3/9/2020
Before you know it, summer will be here, and with it, an opportunity for kids of all ages to enjoy the unique experience that only an Iowa United Methodist camp can bring. Naturally that includes fun stuff like swimming, hiking, canoeing, archery, and crafts – but there’s so much more to it.  Click here to listen to the Iowa Conference Conversations podcast with Bryan Johnson  “We have three core values,” states Bryan Johnson, Director of Camping and Christian Formation.  “We want to make sure ...

Laity Day with Bishop Laurie is April 4

Laity Day with Bishop Laurie is April 4

3/6/2020
Laity Day with Bishop Laurie will be held on Saturday, April 4, 2020, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Ames, First UMC (516 Kellogg Ave., Ames, IA.) The program will begin at 9:50 a.m. At Laity Day you can look forward to a full day of learning and activities that will include Bishop Laurie’s presentations, worship, missional topics, lunch and closing communion. There will also be displays helpful to local church leaders. Registration is free but important in planning for meals and materials.  ...

Lent 2020 Daily Devotions: 3/9 - 3/15

Lent 2020 Daily Devotions: 3/9 - 3/15

3/6/2020
The 40-day season of Lent began on February 26 and Bishop Laurie, clergy, and friends of The Iowa Annual Conference have written short devotionals for each day to help us journey through this season together.  If you would like to receive these daily in an email, subscribe here. They will also be published in the News and will be included in our Weekly 360 e-news each Friday during Lent.  Monday, March 9, 2020 Blessed are all who fear the Lord,     who walk in obedience to him. You will eat ...

It’s about relationships

It’s about relationships

3/5/2020
Submitted by Linda Rowe*   A group of 11 Davis County residents led by Clayton Eakins returned once again to the area of El Negrito, Honduras, for a United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) trip in January. Team members were: Eakins, Steve and Donna Olinger, Linda Rowe, Butch Priester, Steve Davidson, Penny Warren, Julie Griffin, Marisela Sanchez, Lynn Roberts, and Mary Jo Johnson.   “Sitting outside in a church service the last night we were there, I looked around at all that has happened...

March 2020 Disaster Response Update

March 2020 Disaster Response Update

3/4/2020
The images from Tennessee strike close to home. Many of us want to help.  The best way at this time is with prayers and financial donations through UMCOR Special Advance #901670. After the affected communities have had time to access the damage, to account for all their residents and to make the communities secure, there will be opportunities to “go and help.” PLEASE DO NOT simply go at this time. There are currently many opportunities to help all over the country. Since January 2020 we have had...

A Future with Hope for the Iowa Annual Conference

A Future with Hope for the Iowa Annual Conference

3/2/2020
Over the past several years, we have been discerning a new future for The United Methodist Church in Iowa. In order to better address the adaptive challenges of the Iowa Annual Conference and our call to reach out to our communities with grace and hope, we have been developing a significant structural realignment of resources, both human and financial. Our goal is to be better equipped to lead, equip, and serve in a rapidly changing world.    Clergy and laity from across the Conference were ...

Letter from Rev. Heeheon Jeon: Mabaan Flood Relief

3/2/2020
The South Sudan is the newest nation in the world but has struggled as a fledgling country due to fighting among their leadership. The Mabaan speaking ethnic group occupies Mabaan County of the Northern Upper Nile State. In July 2019, heavy rainfall from a weather phenomenon called the Indian Ocean Dipole flooded the war-torn county and an estimated 420,000 people have been displaced.

Letter from Rev. Moody Colorado: Mabaan Flood Relief

3/2/2020
The South Sudan is the newest nation in the world but has struggled as a fledgling country due to fighting among their leadership. The Mabaan speaking ethnic group occupies Mabaan County of the Northern Upper Nile State. In July 2019, heavy rainfall from a weather phenomenon called the Indian Ocean Dipole flooded the war-torn county and an estimated 420,000 people have been displaced.

Rev. Melissa Drake to be New Superintendent

Rev. Melissa Drake to be New Superintendent

3/2/2020
Bishop Laurie Haller has announced that Rev. Melissa Drake will become one of the Superintendents effective July 1, 2020.  She will serve the southwest region, which comprises the current Southwest District and some adjacent areas of the current Northwest District. Rev. Drake will follow Rev. Terra Amundson, who concludes her tenure on the Appointive Cabinet this year, having served most recently as the Dean of that group. She becomes lead pastor of the Mount Vernon United Methodist Church in ...

Bishop urges congregations to be prepared, be calm

Bishop urges congregations to be prepared, be calm

2/28/2020
Bishop Laurie Haller is urging Iowa United Methodist congregations to be prepared as reports of the spread of the coronavirus (also known as “COVID-19”) makes the news.    “Let’s all be calm here in Iowa,” Bishop Laurie said, “even as we receive reports of the spread of the coronavirus disease in regions across the world. We pray for recovery for those who have fallen ill.  We also pray for the medical teams who are working to contain the outbreak.”   It’s suggested that leaders of Iowa United ...

Lent 2020 Daily Devotions: 3/2 - 3/8

Lent 2020 Daily Devotions: 3/2 - 3/8

2/28/2020
The 40-day season of Lent began on February 26 and Bishop Laurie, clergy, and friends of The Iowa Annual Conference have written short devotionals for each day to help us journey through this season together.  If you would like to receive these daily in an email, subscribe here. They will also be published in the News and will be included in our Weekly 360 e-news each Friday during Lent.  Monday, March 2, 2020 Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, how he had killed all Baal’s prophets ...

Doing ministry  from  the  ground up

Doing ministry  from  the ground up

2/27/2020
“We’re living in times different than ever before. Some would call it unprecedented times,” says Rev. Dr. Barrie Tritle, “And because of that, we need to think differently and strategically.”  Rev. Tritle, who serves as lead pastor of First United Methodist Church in Iowa City, is also the convener of the Bishop’s Operational Team, which was formerly known as the Healthy Conference Initiative. “We’re serving the bishop as an advisory council group that helps to think about ways to help this ...

The Arco Iris

The Arco Iris

2/25/2020
Submitted by Beverly Nolte From Bloomfield to Wilton, Moscow to Manning, fifteen Iowa United Methodists left wintry Iowa for tropical Costa Rica on a United Methodist Volunteer in Mission work experience. “Rich Coast” is situated between Nicaragua and Panama, the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. Known as “Ticos” their land has a variety of exotic flora, fauna, rainforests, and volcanoes. Scarlet macaws, frigate birds, flashing butterflies and howler monkeys are caught on camera in many ...

Becoming a movement again through circuit ministry

Becoming a movement again through circuit ministry

2/24/2020
In response to a changing world, the Iowa Annual Conference is in the process of going through some major structural shifts right now. One of the biggest changes in the works is the adoption of a circuit model that is designed to bring clergy and lay leaders together for missional accountability and to provide a sense of connection between each other and with the conference.  If the idea of circuits sounds a bit old-fashioned to your ear, that’s because it’s a concept that was originally ...

Iowa clergywomen contribute to

Iowa clergywomen contribute to "Speaking Truth"

2/21/2020
In September 2018, young clergywomen from across the United Methodist Church came together to write the devotional book We Pray With Her: Encouragement for All Women Who Lead.  The editors were excited to partner with Abingdon Press and additional clergywomen to publish a companion devotional Speaking Truth: Women Raising Their Voices in Prayer, released February 18, 2020. Among the 92 contributors to Speaking Truth are five Iowa Annual Conference clergywomen: Rev. Mara LeHew Bailey, Rev. ...

Lent 2020 Daily Devotions: 2/26 - 3/1

Lent 2020 Daily Devotions: 2/26 - 3/1

2/21/2020
The 40-day season of Lent begins on February 26 and Bishop Laurie, clergy, and friends of The Iowa Annual Conference have written short devotionals for each day to help us journey through this season together.  If you would like to receive these daily in an email, subscribe here. They will also be published in the News and will be included in our Weekly 360 e-news each Friday during Lent.  Wednesday, February 26, 2020 I give you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, so ...

St. Paul's United Methodist Church receives national spotlight

St. Paul's United Methodist Church receives national spotlight

2/21/2020
St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Cedar Rapids was recently featured as a “modern landmark” in the Winter 2019 issue of Sacred Places – The Magazine of Partners for Sacred Places.  Built in 1913 and designed by renown architect Louis Sullivan, the church was chosen by Partners for Sacred Places in 2017 to participate in the National Fund for Sacred Places program. This prestigious program administered by Partners in collaboration with the National Trust for Historic Preservation ...

New at AC2020—Option Technologies provides virtual voting through your smart phone or tablet

New at AC2020—Option Technologies provides virtual voting through your smart phone or tablet

2/20/2020
Option Technologies Inc. (OTI) has provided electronic voting support for the Iowa Annual Conference since 2007. New at the 2020 Iowa Annual Conference, OTI will be providing Virtual Voting (VVoter) through a web browser on your smart device. Most iOS, Android or Windows phones or tablets purchased since 2016 should be compatible. Here is a list of VVoter web browsers that are compatible and how to find the version you are using. Voting pads will also be available for those who do not have or ...

The School for Practical Ministry will feature Bishop Laurie Haller, Rev. Dr. Carolyn Moore and Iowa UMC workshop leaders

The School for Practical Ministry will feature Bishop Laurie Haller, Rev. Dr. Carolyn Moore and Iowa UMC workshop leaders

2/19/2020
Bishop Laurie Haller, resident bishop of the Iowa Annual Conference, will be the featured speaker on the opening day of the 2020 Iowa School for Practical Ministry. The event registration is now open and is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, April 17 and 18 at the Altoona United Methodist Church.   Register here.  Download the brochure. Bishop Laurie will talk about "The Dark Side of Ministry: Lessons in Self-Care" where she will discuss the importance of taking care of our mind, body and ...

"Wandering Into Grace" available to order today

2/18/2020
"Last week my office at the Conference Center was so cold that I had to move elsewhere to work. I thought it was due to the intense cold and wind chill until someone finally checked the thermostat and discovered that the heat wasn’t working!" said Bishop Laurie. "It reminded me of the night before my daughter Talitha and I crested the Larkya Pass in Nepal at 17,060 feet. Sleeping in a small stone hut with no heat and the wind howling all around us, we soon realized that we had to get creative in...

MUMM available to assist with Vacation Bible School in a Southeast, South Central or Southwest district

MUMM available to assist with Vacation Bible School in a Southeast, South Central or Southwest district

2/18/2020
You might think, “We don’t have kids at our church!” They are there and they need you. Even if only two or three kids, they still need you and their parents might, too.   Brian Dembowczyk writes in Gospel Centered Kids Ministry, "Theologically, functionally, and missionally, kids are an essential part of the church today. Right now." Are they a part of your church? Vacation Bible School (VBS) is one way to reach out to serve kids.    Let Mobile United Methodist Missionaries (MUMM) know if you’...

Iowa U.M. Camps Campaign enters its third week

Iowa U.M. Camps Campaign enters its third week

2/17/2020
The first-ever Iowa United Methodist Camps Annual Campaign is in its third week with positive results. “We are thrilled that people are saying yes to outdoor youth ministry,” says Duane Daby, campaign chair. “For young people camping is so often the catalyst for faith formation and discipleship. The Iowa Board of Camps and Retreats is positioning itself to thrive not just this year, but future years.” Through the first two full weeks of the campaign over 150 people have made pledges to either ...

Fresh Expressions—taking the church Jesus loves closer to the people Jesus loves

Fresh Expressions—taking the church Jesus loves closer to the people Jesus loves

2/16/2020
Over ninety people gathered at First United Methodist Church in Ankeny on Saturday, February 15, for the first Iowa Fresh Expressions Vision Day.  The gathering, clergy and lay, came to discover what it means to be the church in new and creative ways, hear from Fresh Expressions practitioners, learn how to renew existing congregations through Fresh Expressions of church, and discern what this could mean for their region, community, or neighborhood. Presenters were Matt Lake, Lead Pastor of the ...

Candidacy Retreat an

Candidacy Retreat an "opportunity to connect" with others in process

2/12/2020
Candidates for ministry in the Iowa Annual Conference participated in a retreat as part of their candidacy process on Saturday, February 1 at the Conference Center.   Recently redesigned, the Candidacy Retreat is required for all candidates in process, but it is also an opportunity for those considering their call to ministry to speak with others in process or in positions of leadership.   “It’s a place of discernment where we focus on the steps of the candidacy process among other avenues of ...

Consider a Lenten Journey by Wandering Into Grace

Consider a Lenten Journey by Wandering Into Grace

2/10/2020
Looking for a meaningful Lenten journey?  For yourself?  For a group in your faith community?   Consider Bishop Laurie Haller’s new book, Wandering Into Grace: A Journey of Discovery and Hope for your personal devotion or small-group study.   “Wandering is a way of life for those who seek to create a world where grace leads us into new ways of seeing, serving, leading, and reaching out,”  Bishop Laurie writes.   Her 2018 trekking trip to Nepal is chronicled in the book in six chapters.  Each has...

Opportunity to Experience the World Methodist Council

Opportunity to Experience the World Methodist Council

2/10/2020
Would you like to be the Iowa Conference representative to the World Methodist Council?  Bishop Laurie Haller is extending an invitation to become one of Iowa’s two Council members.   The World Methodist Council finds its origins in a conference held in London, England at Wesley’s Chapel in 1881 where some 400 delegates from 30 Methodist bodies around the world gathered in an Ecumenical Methodist Conference. The WMC website reports, “In 1931 a decision was made to organize a Council – a new ...

Office furniture available at the Iowa Conference Center

Office furniture available at the Iowa Conference Center

2/7/2020
A collection of office furniture has accumulated at the Iowa Annual Conference center after the closure of the district offices. We will be open to the public the following dates for people to come take a look and take whatever they want. It is the responsibility of those taking the furniture to remove and haul the furniture from the conference center to its new home. A donation to the IAUMC is appreciated. Checks can be made payable to the Iowa Annual Conference, with "furniture" in the memo ...

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