News

2017 Iowa Annual Conference


Board Exec Committee issues statement

Board Exec Committee issues statement

6/16/2017
The Executive Committee of the Iowa Conference Board of Ordained Ministry has said that “sexual orientation or gender identity” will not be criteria to “deny any candidate’s ability to live up to our United Methodist standards for fitness” for ministry.  The Committee also cited a footnote to paragraph 310 of the Book of Discipline which states, in part, “The United Methodist Church has moved away from prohibitions of specific acts, for such prohibitions can be endless.”   In a unanimous action,...

AC2017 Monday's Legislation

AC2017 Monday's Legislation

6/13/2017
Conference Session attendees voted Monday to suspend the rules for the purpose of taking up  ACTION ITEM # 201 Rules of Order - which had been removed from the Consent Calendar on Saturday. A motion was made from the floor for a Budget Amendment to add $60,000 to the Budget for Monsoon United Asian Women of Iowa; the Amendment was not supported. A motion was made from the floor for an Amendment to ACTION ITEM 201 that would allow for Conference members lacking Internet access to be provided a ...

AC2017 Special Offerings

AC2017 Special Offerings

6/13/2017
Several special offerings will be received during the June 10-12 Annual Conference event.   They included: The collection to benefit the Clergy Support Fund taken during the Clergy Session on Saturday netted $4591.02. An offering for Cass Community Ministries was taken during the Retirement Celebration and netted $4753.04 The collection taken at the Service of Ordering was for Simpson Youth Academy and netted $6050.63 At the Fixing of Appointments Service a collection was taken to support ...

AC2017 Acknowledgement of Diakonos

AC2017 Acknowledgement of Diakonos

6/12/2017
View images from the Monday session of the 2017 Iowa Annual Conference. The Diakonos for this year’s Iowan Annual Conference Session were acknowledged during the Monday session. “These young people are not your church children,” Diakonos Coordinator Steve Braudt told the Conference Session. “They are children of God and your brothers and sisters in Christ.” Rev. Braudt, associate pastor for Asbury United Methodist Church in Bettendorf, listed some of the numerous service tasks the Diakonos ...

AC2017 Change a Child's Story Celebration

AC2017 Change a Child's Story Celebration

6/12/2017
View images from the Monday session of the 2017 Iowa Annual Conference. The Change a Child’s Story ministry was celebrated Monday at the Annual Conference Session. Patty Link is Advocate for Change a Child’s Story and in her address before the Conference Session she called the ministry Task Force to the stage, as well as asked everyone else present who has taken part to raise their hand. This illustrated the widespread nature of participation in Change a Child’s Story. Link acknowledged them ...

AC2017 Fixing of Appointments Service

AC2017 Fixing of Appointments Service

6/12/2017
The final day of the 2017 Iowa Annual Conference Session opened with the Fixing of Appointments for the 2017-2018 Conference year. Newly appointed pastors were announced for each of the eight Iowa Annual Conference Districts. Bishop Laurie Haller asked for prayers in her opening remarks, especially for those in new appointments. Rev. Jackie Bradford, Superintendent Northeast District was Dean of the Appointive Cabinet this year and Bishop Laurie told the Annual Conference Session, “She has ...

AC2017 IUMF Annual Membership Meeting

AC2017 IUMF Annual Membership Meeting

6/12/2017
President-elect for the Iowa Annual Methodist Foundation Board of Directors Kris Manning called the Foundation’s annual meeting to order on Monday afternoon during the Annual Conference Session.   Manning ran down Foundation assets as of the end of 2016 for the Annual Conference Session.   The balance on January 1, 2016, was $34,999,682. The New Investments and Gifts figure was $839,845 and Investment Income was $554.789. The Change in Value $1,457,610.  Taken from this was Distributions to ...

AC2017 One Matters Discipleship Award

AC2017 One Matters Discipleship Award

6/12/2017
The two recipients of the 2017 One Matters award at the Iowa Annual Conference were Polk City United Methodist Church and the two-point charge of Graettinger and Terril United Methodist Churches. Graettinger and Terril United Methodist Churches The Graettinger and Terril United Methodist Churches are experiencing a time of revitalization. They are being led by Lana Williams, a lay person who responded to an invitation at Annual Conference Session for persons feeling called to pastoral ministry....

AC2017 Peacemaking Circle Training

AC2017 Peacemaking Circle Training

6/12/2017
Annual Conference Session attendees had the opportunity to take part in Peacemaking Circle Training on the Annual Conference Session’s final morning. The Peacemaking training has been conducted in three Conference sites involving six Districts over the last several months with more sessions planned. The training is facilitated by attorney and justice advocate Fred Van Liew, a consultant for the Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center (DMPC).  Van Liew introduced the process at the Monday ...

AC2017 Healthy Conference Vision Report

AC2017 Healthy Conference Vision Report

6/11/2017
Rev. Barrie Tritle presented on the Healthy Conference Initiative on Sunday afternoon at the Iowa Annual Conference Session, offering a brief history of the initiative and an update on its progress towards alignment of the Conference around its Vison, Mission, and Strategic Priorities.  The hope is for the work of this team to assist the Conference to thrive, he said.   The Healthy Conference Initiative (HCI) Team, or Bishop’s Operational Team, was formed in 2015. Spiritual Leadership ...

AC2017 Laity Address

AC2017 Laity Address

6/11/2017
The Laity Address for the 2017 Annual Conference Session opened with the hymn O For A Thousand Tongues to Sing.   Conference Lay Leader Margaret Borgen told 2017 Annual Conference Session attendees in her address that John Wesley’s writing on being altogether Christian has relevance to the Conference Session goal of being difference makers.   “The Almost Christian sermon is a very long sermon in which Wesley ultimately asks rhetorically “What it is to be 'altogether a Christian?'” Borgen said. ...

AC2017 Legislative Action

AC2017 Legislative Action

6/11/2017
The following legislative action took place Sunday at the Annual Conference Session. The action items can be accessed in the 2017 Pre-Conference Manual, with Section III amendments linked on the Conference homepage. Further additional items and corrections are available HERE. Information on the Rules of Order changes is available HERE.   The 2018 Working Budget was approved in a 782-168 vote   Section I: Constitutional Amendments Constitutional Amendments were voted upon at the Annual ...

AC2017 Service of Ordering of Ministry - “Will You Bear the Cross or Just Wear It?

AC2017 Service of Ordering of Ministry - “Will You Bear the Cross or Just Wear It?"

6/11/2017
View images from the Service of Ordering of Ministry Bishop Laurie Haller preached for the Ordering of Ministry service on Sunday morning during the 2017 Iowa Annual Conference Session, asking the faithful present, “Will you bear the cross or just wear it? The service saw 16 United Methodist individuals commissioned, ordained or recognized. The ecumenical representative for the Service was Rev. Bill Spangler-Dunning, Regional Minister and President Christian Church in the Upper Midwest. Rev. ...

AC2017 Service of Remembering

AC2017 Service of Remembering

6/11/2017
View images from the Service of Remembering. The Memorial Celebration for the 2017 Annual Conference Session honored 49 departed souls. The Annual Conference Session theme of “Creating Difference Makers” related directly to that afternoon’s celebration, Rev. Brian Milford told the gathering in his sermon for the service. “Celebrating the lives of those who now rest from their labors,” he said. “We do so acknowledging the differences they made in our lives. We celebrate the lasting fruit they ...

AC2017 Board of Pensions Annual Meeting

AC2017 Board of Pensions Annual Meeting

6/10/2017
Board of Pensions Chair Beverlee Bell told Annual Conference Session attendees at the Board’s meeting during the Conference that Pensions assets were higher than labilities. This news met with applause from those at the Conference Session.   As of January, they were 122.7%, she said, though the Board would like that to be at 130%.   “But we understand the financial climate we are in,” said Bell. “And we can grow it through good investments.”   Bell explained that the Pre-82 Pension Plan rate ...

AC2017 Celebration of Ministry — Graduates & Award Recipients

AC2017 Celebration of Ministry — Graduates & Award Recipients

6/10/2017
View an album of images from the awards banquet At the Celebration of Ministry awards banquet, 39 people from the School for Lay Ministry were awarded for their 2017 graduation. From Cornell College where Lynn Calvert is the dean, the graduates were: Margaret Adams, Uyntha Duncan, Patty Ferrel, Steven Grace, Jessica Lake, Eileen McPherson, Sue Ney, Jolyn Richards, Kristine Rodney, Steve Schmudde Harry Stimson, Deb Streff, and Christine Werling-Witkoske. From Morningside College, the graduates ...

AC2017 EmpowHer gives women entrepreneurs a leg-up

AC2017 EmpowHer gives women entrepreneurs a leg-up

6/10/2017
On day one of the 2017 Iowa Annual Conference, attendees had the choice of attending nine workshops following the afternoon session. Attendees were given a glimpse into the United Methodist Organization EmpowHer.   EmpowHer was started in association with the Iowa Nigeria Partnership (INP). EmpowHer follows a microfinance model, where entrepreneurs, specifically women, are given small loans to start a business.   Microfinance has around for centuries, the modern model of microfinance is ...

AC2017 Laity Session

AC2017 Laity Session

6/10/2017
View an album of images from the 2017 Laity Session on Flickr Bishop Laurie Haller opened the Laity Session on the first day of the 2017 Annual Conference Session, telling the laity, “We are partners together.” The bishop addressed lay persons of the Iowa Annual Conference before leaving to attend the Clergy Session, saying first she’s always it was important for the Episcopal leader to be part of the Laity Session. The bishop cited President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 1941 Four Freedoms speech ...

AC2017 Nine Breakout Teaching Workshops

AC2017 Nine Breakout Teaching Workshops

6/10/2017
Nine workshops and teaching sessions were presented on Saturday afternoon.   Approximately 900 took advantage of the offerings that included Faith-based Community Ministry; School for Lay Ministry; EmpowHer; Navigating Your Benefits; Tiny House Homeless Project; Women at the Well Community Reentry Program; Mental Health Support and Advocacy; Immigration and Refugee Services and Making a Difference Through Prayer.   Faith-based Community Ministry, part of Cass Community Social Services, provides ...

AC2017 Plenary Teaching Session with Faith Fowler

AC2017 Plenary Teaching Session with Faith Fowler

6/10/2017
Rev. Faith Fowler offered the Plenary Teaching Session address Saturday at the Iowa Annual Conference Session, weaving humor, grit and moving, real-world excerpts from her ministry. Rev. Fowler has been the Senior Pastor of Cass Community United Methodist Church and Executive Director of Cass Community Social Services (CCSS) since 1994. The Detroit nonprofit agency addresses poverty with food, health care, housing and employment programs.   She has also served in several community-focused Board...

AC2017 Presentation of Working Budget &Treasurer’s Report

AC2017 Presentation of Working Budget &Treasurer’s Report

6/10/2017
Maggie Biggs presented the Treasurer’s Report and 2018 working budget on Saturday at the Annual Conference Session. Biggs was officially approved as Conference Treasurer by a voice vote in advance of her the presentation.   She detailed for Session attendees the Iowa Annual Conference and budget process, statistical data, the 2018 working budget, apportionment receipts for 2016 and how Conference monies are spent.   Biggs began with the analogy of the Iowa Annual Conference as an automobile with...

AC2017 Retirement Celebration - Bishop Kiesey

AC2017 Retirement Celebration - Bishop Kiesey

6/10/2017
Click here to view an album of images from the Retirement Celebration “What a joy it is to be here tonight,” Bishop Kiesey told the Iowa Annual Conference Session. She said that being there at the Conference Session felt like coming home. A native of Sioux City, Iowa, Bishop Kiesey served in several Iowa churches after her ordination. She was elected to the episcopacy in 2004 by the North Central Jurisdictional Conference and appointed to the Dakotas Area. After eight years there, Bishop Kiesey...

Are You a Difference Maker? - AC2017 Episcopal Address

Are You a Difference Maker? - AC2017 Episcopal Address

6/10/2017
Watch the video of the Episcopal Address. Watch the video played during the Episcopal Address. Bishop Laurie Haller offered the episcopal address Saturday at the 2017 Iowa Annual Conference session, her first since being named bishop of the Iowa Annual Conference. Bishop Laurie spoke to the Conference on the session’s opening day about how abiding in Christ’s love empowers us to bear fruit so that we become difference-makers. Her address opened with the Scripture verse John 15:1-17, which ...

AC 2017 – Creating Difference-Makers

AC 2017 – Creating Difference-Makers

6/1/2017
Meeting under the banner of “Creating Difference Makers,” lay and clergy will gather for the 2017 Iowa Annual Conference session.  The three-day event will be held at the Iowa Events Center/Hy-Vee Hall in Des Moines.  The 174th yearly meeting will feature powerful preaching, inspiring singing, informative teaching sessions, vital reporting, and the reconnection of fellow United Methodists from across the State.   Bishop Laurie Haller will call the members of the annual conference to order on ...

AC2017 Mission Project tackles hunger

AC2017 Mission Project tackles hunger

5/4/2017
Childhood hunger doesn’t just happen in large cities like New York or Los Angeles or in developing countries. It happens in towns of all sizes and in all states. That is the issue Rev. Catie Newman and Rev. Jena Manchester want to highlight with this year’s Annual Conference Bishop’s Special Mission Project.   “We’ve chosen to support ministries that help feed children in our communities,” said Newman. “It is becoming increasingly more important for churches and community members to step up and ...

Large-Scale Overhaul of Rules of Order Proposed for Annual Conference

Large-Scale Overhaul of Rules of Order Proposed for Annual Conference

4/19/2017
By Robert Lyons* A proposal at this summer’s annual conference would separate the Rules of Order into three documents and shorten it all from its current 144 pages to just 25 pages.   The proposal is the product of countless hours of work done by the Iowa Conference’s Rules of Order Committee over the past year. Committee members were joined by representatives of Spiritual Leadership, Inc. (Click here for more information about SLI) who encouraged the large-scale overhaul.   Click here to view...

Board of Ministry 'has an important thing to do'

Board of Ministry 'has an important thing to do'

4/9/2017
The Board of Ordained Ministry has a “responsibility for every moment when someone senses a call from God,” says Rev. Deborah Stowers, the Board’s chairperson, “until the time when their ministry is recognized, after their death, at the Memorial Service.”   “A group of wonderful people,” she observes, “who have been elected by the Iowa Annual Conference upon the nomination of the resident bishop,” the Board is involved in recruiting, setting education requirements, dealing with matters of ...

AC 2017 - Creating Difference Makers

AC 2017 - Creating Difference Makers

4/8/2017
Meeting under the banner of “Creating Difference Makers,” lay and clergy will gather for the 2017 Iowa Annual Conference session.  The three-day event will be held at the Iowa Events Center/Hy-Vee Hall in Des Moines.  The 174th yearly meeting will feature powerful preaching, inspiring singing, informative teaching sessions, vital reporting, and the reconnection of fellow United Methodists from across the State.   Bishop Laurie Haller will call the members of the annual conference to order on ...

Be a Diakonos or a Youth Delegate at AC2017

Be a Diakonos or a Youth Delegate at AC2017

2/1/2017
Greetings Iowa United Methodist Youth and the people who love and support them!  Have you ever wanted to be a part of something bigger than the local church? Have you ever wanted to serve your church brothers and sisters in Christ? We have two opportunities for you!  The first is called the Diakonos (Greek for servant) Leadership Development program! This is a time for 32 youth from around the state to help with the Iowa Annual Conference. You will be running messages, helping with worshiping, ...