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The Legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.—Love and Serve Humanity

The Legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.—Love and Serve Humanity

1/13/2023
By Rev. Dr. Jacqueline Thompson   When I was rostered as a teaching artist with the Iowa Arts Council, one of my programs centered around the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  I was dismayed when asking students what they knew about him the number of times I heard “he was the one who freed the slaves.”    The third Monday in January, the MLK Day of Service, is the only federal holiday observed as a national day of service—a "day on, not a day off." King believed life's most persistent and ...

Religion and Race Announces New Grant Cycle Funding Initiatives that Transform the UMC and the World

Religion and Race Announces New Grant Cycle Funding Initiatives that Transform the UMC and the World

9/20/2022
September 20, 2022 CONTACT: Jeehye Kim Pak, Senior Director of Communications and Marketing 202-495-2949 jpak@gcorr.org FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE WASHINGTON – The General Commission on Religion and Race (GCORR) is proud to announce a new cycle of the CORR Action Fund (CAF) grant program that will support creative initiatives that will transform the United Methodist Church (UMC) and the world. The 2022-2023 grant program will provide up to $10,000 to fund projects that increase ...

St. Paul's in Cedar Rapids partners with their community to host Peace Camp teaching young children antiracism

St. Paul's in Cedar Rapids partners with their community to host Peace Camp teaching young children antiracism

9/5/2022
Talented artist Emijah Jones designed the logo for Peace Camp. She is studying graphic design at the University of Northern Iowa this fall. St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Cedar Rapids fostered partnerships to bring a community member’s dream of an antiracism camp for young children into reality.   “I kept circling back to the idea that the church has to be a force for liberation in the world; otherwise, we’re not doing what we should be,” said Rev. Jonathan Heifner, Associate Pastor of ...

Dynamic Discussion Series at Jubilee UMC Freedom Center

Dynamic Discussion Series at Jubilee UMC Freedom Center

8/18/2022
Dynamic discussion and study of Jemar Tisby's "How To Fight Racism: Courageous Christianity and the Journey toward Racial Justice" will be held weekly at the Jubilee United Methodist Church and Freedom Center from August 11 through October 13. Participants will engage in embodied participation as we grapple with the "fierce urgency of now." Primary facilitators will be Kathy Kratchmer and Abraham L. Funchess, Jr. While possession of the book is not necessary for participation in this weekly ...

GCORR responds and resources the Church around Buffalo shooting

GCORR responds and resources the Church around Buffalo shooting

5/17/2022
The General Commission on Religion and Race is horrified and devastated by the recent shooting in Buffalo, NY. The white supremacist shooter acted with a violent and racist agenda against the Black community. This act of terrorism is a direct result of white supremacy and is unfortunately all too common in America. We grieve the victims of this senseless killing and stand in solidarity with the Black community of Buffalo and the United States. All our church and community leaders must act to ...

United Women in Faith announce Climate Action Fellowship for BIPOC youth

United Women in Faith announce Climate Action Fellowship for BIPOC youth

5/13/2022
United Women in Faith is excited to announce the 2022 Faithful Climate Action Fellowship. This is a wondeful opportunity for young Black, Indigenous, and People of Color to grow as climate activists and connect with other young people of faith working on climate issues across the country.    If you are not a young person or do not meet other application criteria, would you help spread the word and encourage young people in your network to apply?     Are you or do you know a young person who is...

Observing Juneteenth: An Invitation for Faith Leaders and Clergy

Observing Juneteenth: An Invitation for Faith Leaders and Clergy

5/6/2022
LIVING THE STORY OF FREEDOM Observing Juneteenth: An Invitation for Faith Leaders and Clergy   Juneteenth happens each June, but what is it? What is its origin, history, and purpose? How can faith leaders incorporate Juneteenth into sacred worship and gatherings in their communities of faith?    Faithful Voices for Racial Justice, a project of Interfaith Alliance of Iowa, invites every faith community across Iowa to join in unity with other Iowa congregations and communities to observe ...

Participate in the Iowa Juneteenth Gospel Celebration Choir

Participate in the Iowa Juneteenth Gospel Celebration Choir

5/6/2022
A community choir is coming together for the Iowa Juneteenth Gospel Celebration on Sunday, June 12, and we hope you'll help get the word out to your choir, your friends, your family. The first rehearsal was energizing and inspiring, and you have three more opportunities to join in, on Fridays at 7:00 pm on May 13, May 27, and June 10 at Faith Tabernacle C.O.G.I.C. in Valley Junction. Please consider it even if you can't make all the rehearsals or even the performance; you will be blessed by ...

2022 MLK Freedom Bus Tour

2022 MLK Freedom Bus Tour

4/4/2022
2022 MLK Freedom Bus Tour - November 14-18 Presenting Sponsor:  MLK New Jerusalem   Costs:  $399/person (covers costs of travel, hotel stay, and museum admissions). Food not included. Payment deadline Oct. 1, 2022.   Participants engage in a week-long journey exploring iconic human and civil rights spaces in Memphis, Birmingham, Montgomery and Selma. In addition to museums in most of the cities, we also visit the Lorraine Motel in Memphis; the 16th Street Baptist Church and Kelly Ingram Park in ...

Iowa Conference UMW Charter for Racial Justice Committee presents “Conversations to Build Awareness” on February 26

Iowa Conference UMW Charter for Racial Justice Committee presents “Conversations to Build Awareness” on February 26

2/4/2022
The Iowa Conference UMW Charter for Racial Justice Committee has planned an amazing event for Feb. 26 from 10 a.m. until noon (Central time) via zoom called “Conversations to Build Awareness”.    Using videos from the East Ohio Conference Black Pastor’s Fellowship and the office of Multicultural Vitality to provide a framework, we will begin some discussions in smaller breakout sessions on moving towards racial justice. All are welcome to attend. We would encourage you to register by Feb. 19. ...

The General Board of Global Ministries marks September 30 as a day to remember native Americans as victims of US schools

The General Board of Global Ministries marks September 30 as a day to remember native Americans as victims of US schools

10/1/2021
From The General Board of Global Ministries Additional Resources • Native American/Indigenous Ministries of The United Methodist Church • Native American Sunday • Impact on Iowa Native Americans • The History of Native American Boarding Schools • Federal Investigation Seeks to Uncover the History • Souix Tribe Host Prayer Services • Caravan Stops in Iowa with Remains of Native American students United Methodist leaders decry church sponsorship of U.S. abusive “Indian boarding schools” and ...

Learn about being Ignited for Justice at UMW's Iowa Conference Annual Meeting featuring Flora Lee

Learn about being Ignited for Justice at UMW's Iowa Conference Annual Meeting featuring Flora Lee

9/20/2021
The Iowa Conference’s United Methodist Women will host their annual meeting on Zoom Livestream or in-person at the Cherokee United Methodist Church on Saturday, October 2, 2021. Coffee and registration will be from 9:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., and the meeting will begin at 9:30 a.m. This year’s theme is Ignited for Justice. It will feature a video drama called “Grace Notes,” and notable speakers are Flora Lee from Sioux City, Iowa, and Sue Ritts, from Shesler Hall. Registration ends September 24, ...

2021 MLK Waterloo Freedom Bus Tour

2021 MLK Waterloo Freedom Bus Tour

6/18/2021
Waterloo Freedom Bus TourSM Presenting Sponsor ALLEN COLLEGE  November 8 - 12, 2021 Memphis, Birmingham, Montgomery, and Selma Cost $399/person Please make checks/money orders out to MLK New Jerusalem  with MLK Freedom Bus Tour in the memo line For more information and registration for the trip, please contact Shelly Burch or Abraham L Funchess at 319-291-4441 Participants engage in a week-long journey exploring iconic human and civil rights spaces in Memphis, Birmingham, Montgomery, and ...

Juneteenth National Independence Day

Juneteenth National Independence Day

6/17/2021
President Joe Biden signed legislation into law on Thursday, June 17, 2021, officially marking June 19 as Juneteenth National Independence Day, which will now be a U.S. federal holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States.   Juneteenth is the oldest national commemoration marking the end of slavery in the United States. Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19 that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, arrived at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended...

Antiracism Task Force Team Report - AC2021

Antiracism Task Force Team Report - AC2021

6/9/2021
Video Transcript: Hello, My name is Lanette Plambeck and I am your Director of Clergy and Leadership Excellence here in the Iowa Conference of The United Methodist Church. And I am Lisa Steel Director of Ministerial Service & Journal Editor. In a few moments, you will hear reflections from members of the Iowa Conference Antiracism Team regarding our charge given at our formation last summer, which has guided our work this past year. Much of this work has been held within our group as we grew ...

Why Racial Justice

Why Racial Justice

5/4/2021
10-11:30 a.m. CST, Sat., May 22 via Zoom  As Iowa United Methodist Women explore Racial Justice, we asked Dr. Eddie Moore, Jr. to lead this event. His presentation is: America is Changing: #StayWoke The session will challenge the audience to examine and explore issues related to bias, privilege, supremacy and #BecomingAntiRacism.  Dr. Eddie Moore, Jr. is the Founder/Program Director for the White Privilege Conference (WPC). In 2014 Dr. Moore founded The Privilege Institute (TPI) which engages ...

Lean on Christ: Statement on the Chauvin verdict from Bishop Laurie

Lean on Christ: Statement on the Chauvin verdict from Bishop Laurie

4/20/2021
The effect of righteousness will be peace and the result of righteousness, quietness, and trust forever. Isaiah 32:17, NRVS    The words of Isaiah are on my heart as I search my soul for peace and understanding during this time of deadly tensions, the COVID-19 pandemic, political divisiveness, and racism. This afternoon we heard the announcement of the conviction of Derek Chauvin on all counts in the death of George Floyd.      The tragic, racially charged, and unnecessary death of Floyd at the ...

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

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

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

A community on earth as it is in heaven

A community on earth as it is in heaven

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

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

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

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

Are we complacent or complicit with systems of racial injustice?

Are we complacent or complicit with systems of racial injustice?

12/14/2020
By: Nitza Dovenspike, member of the Iowa Annual Conference Anti-racism Leadership Team Complicity is defined as an involvement in a crime or something that is wrong. The word is sometimes confused with complacent which is more about going along with the current situation, the status quo. Perhaps complacent is a softer adjective or noun the complicit. And it may be difficult for us to see ourselves as complicit in doing harm.     One of the goals for the work of the Iowa Annual Conference ...

Let us introduce you to Rust College

Let us introduce you to Rust College

10/15/2020
Rust College is the oldest of 11 HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) related to the United Methodist Church. The Iowa Annual Conference has had a special relationship of encouragement and support with Rust College for many years and would like to introduce or reintroduce the Iowa United Methodist family to why Rust is so unique.      Rust is located in northern Mississippi and serves a student body where a significant percentage of students are the first in their families to ...

A Cabinet response to the escalation of hate crimes and violence in Iowa

A Cabinet response to the escalation of hate crimes and violence in Iowa

9/20/2020
Siblings in Christ of the Iowa Annual Conference:   In recent weeks, we have seen the escalation of hate crimes and violence across Iowa. In the small community of Stuart, a family discovered racial epithets spray-painted on their home. Near the college town of Grinnell, authorities are investigating an apparent homicide after witnesses discovered the body of Michael Williams, a Black man, burning in a Jasper county ditch. Too frequently, we receive reports from laity and clergy around our state...

Pastoral Letter from Bishop Laurie regarding IAUMC's Missional Direction

Pastoral Letter from Bishop Laurie regarding IAUMC's Missional Direction

8/21/2020
August 21, 2020 To the saints of God in the Iowa Annual Conference, Grace and peace in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Where did the summer go? It’s getting toward the end of August, and our children and youth have already begun or are about to return to school in a variety of configurations due to COVID-19. After the conclusion of our Iowa Annual Conference Clergy and Laity Sessions, the Legislative Session, two Orders services, and several town hall meetings, we have all needed ...

A Conversation on Race with two young leaders of the Iowa Conference

A Conversation on Race with two young leaders of the Iowa Conference

7/30/2020
Believe. Serve. Grow.   "We aim to empower young people as world-changing disciples of Jesus Christ, to nurture their faith development, and to equip young leaders." - Young People's Ministries of The United Methodist Church.  On Monday, July 27th, Madeline St. Clair and Grace Kiboko – two young leaders of the Iowa Conference – joined Bishop Laurie Haller, members of the Appointive Cabinet and a “live audience” of their family and friends for a conversation on race. Watch the conversation with ...

“Sometimes I feel like a motherless child” - a presentation from the Iowa UMC Black Minister Caucus

“Sometimes I feel like a motherless child” - a presentation from the Iowa UMC Black Minister Caucus

7/21/2020
Bishop Laurie introduced ​The UMC Black Ministers Caucus presentation saying, “We need our church to say something. We need our church to do something. I give thanks to the Iowa United Methodist black minister caucus for the advocacy. Thank you for the Anti-Racism Task Force that we have begun here in the Iowa Annual Conference.  Pastor Cephas Z.K. Davis of the Des Moines Easton Place United Methodist Church and chair of the Black Ministers Caucus of the Iowa Annual Conference began the ...

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