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Iowa Conference Camping and Retreat Ministries Thrive under Johnson's leadership

Iowa Conference Camping and Retreat Ministries Thrive under Johnson's leadership

12/21/2022
After 20 years in the camping program, the Iowa Conference announces the resignation of Bryan Johnson. Johnson has served as the Director of Camping and Retreat Ministries since 2016. His last day will be December 30, 2022. “My first position with Iowa United Methodist Camps was as a Summer Staff member in 2002,” said Johnson. “I’ve been blessed to serve as a seasonal staff member, Program Coordinator, Site Director, and now as the Director of Camps for Iowa. So much of who I am today is a ...

Bishop Laurie's Appointive Cabinet's Letter of Open Churches 2023

Bishop Laurie's Appointive Cabinet's Letter of Open Churches 2023

12/6/2022
Dear Clergy in the Iowa Annual Conference, As we have for a number of years, the Appointive Cabinet is posting open churches where announced and approved retirements or leaves of absence are known. Our intention is to invite you to prayerfully discern whether you have the gifts and graces to serve in any of these communities and churches. You will note that each open appointment will list three to five clear missional needs identified by the district superintendent in consultation with the ...

Celebrating Bishop Lanette Plambeck’s ministry in Iowa and plans for ministry transitions

Celebrating Bishop Lanette Plambeck’s ministry in Iowa and plans for ministry transitions

11/18/2022
The Iowa Annual Conference is celebrating Bishop Lanette Plambeck’s election to the episcopal office of bishop and assignment to the Minnesota/Dakotas Conference by asking you to send your congratulations, memories, and thank you notes to The Iowa Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church at 2301 Rittenhouse Street, Des Moines, IA 50321. They will be collected and given to her before she moves. As Bishop Plambeck transitions to the Minnesota/Dakotas episcopal area, Rev. William Poland ...

Bishop Laurie’s Retirement Celebration -  Dec. 4 at 3pm

Bishop Laurie’s Retirement Celebration - Dec. 4 at 3pm

11/7/2022
Making A Difference A Retirement Celebration Honoring Bishop Laurie Haller Sunday, December 4, 3:00pm First United Methodist Church 1001 Pleasant St., Des Moines, Iowa United Methodists and ecumenical friends across Iowa are invited to celebrate the ministry of Iowa Bishop Laurie Haller as she prepares to retire at the end of 2022.   Bishop Laurie was elected to the Episcopacy in the North Central Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church on July 14, 2016. Prior to her election as a Bishop and...

Minshall retires after nearly thirty years of service for the Iowa Annual Conference

Minshall retires after nearly thirty years of service for the Iowa Annual Conference

10/31/2022
Roland Minshall, formally the Iowa Annual Conference Director of Information and Technology and Statistician, gave support and protected systems for nearly three decades. Minshall retired on October 7, 2022, after 27 years with the Conference.   “I think one of my proudest achievements is that in all the time I was at the conference, we never had a cybersecurity incident,” said Minshall.   For his first seven or so years, he solely supported approximately 80 computer systems, including the ...

Laity Day with the new Bishop will be in April 2023

Laity Day with the new Bishop will be in April 2023

9/20/2022
Laity Day with the Bishop, long planned for October 8, has been postponed and will be rescheduled for April 2023.   The Board of Laity’s decision was prompted by Bishop Laurie’s suggestion that such a change would allow our newly assigned Bishop to use that event to begin to become acquainted with the Laity of the Conference.   “Although we are sad not to have another Laity Day with Bishop Laurie, we are respectful of her thinking. We will also find other occasions to express our thanks and ...

Council on Finance and Administration seeks new members

Council on Finance and Administration seeks new members

9/12/2022
With the delay of General Conference, any new members of the Council on Finance and Administration (CFA) need to be appointed by the Bishop for an interim period.  The Council is seeking interested persons who might be willing to serve for these two years with the possibility of being elected to a full four-year term in 2024.  If you are one who could offer your skills and talents to this important conference agency, please submit a Leadership Pool form indicating your willingness to serve.  You...

Rev. Dr. Michel Lundula officially installed as new Camp Clear Lake District Superintendent

Rev. Dr. Michel Lundula officially installed as new Camp Clear Lake District Superintendent

8/19/2022
Written by Rev. Ryan Christenson “I feel the spirit of Pentecost with us this afternoon!” shared Rev. Dr. Michel Lundula, during the August 14 installation service, celebrating the start of his ministry as District Superintendent of the Camp Clear Lake district of The Iowa Conference of The United Methodist Church. View an album of images from the service “Because you are part of the Church, God has a mission for each one of us … The transformation of the world begins with the recognition of ...

Add local church help wanted ads to our classifieds

Add local church help wanted ads to our classifieds

8/5/2022
Are you a local church looking to fill staff for Fall programming and other open positions? We have an easy way to post those to our classified ads that are advertised in our Weekly 360 e-newsletter.  Our classified ads are listed in a tiny link at the bottom of each week's e-newsletter, yet that link is one of the most visited links on our website! So don't overlook a chance to advertise for local church staff by simply clicking here. Fill out the form and be as thorough as possible.  If you ...

Disaffiliation Information from Wespath: Video and Podcast Explain Pension Withdrawal Liability Payment

Disaffiliation Information from Wespath: Video and Podcast Explain Pension Withdrawal Liability Payment

7/8/2022
Submitted by Wespath In a new video, Wespath's Martin Bauer and Dale Jones offer easy-to-understand answers to the complex, multi-layered questions related to pension plan funding and the withdrawal liability payment. Understanding the nuances of long-term pension funding is critical as some local churches and UMC clergy consider disaffiliation. We encourage you to watch this video and share it with others in your conference. This 18-minute video addresses these and other questions: Are the ...

A farewell to the Riverview Park District from Rev. Dr. Heecheon Jeon

A farewell to the Riverview Park District from Rev. Dr. Heecheon Jeon

6/9/2022
Dear my beloved leaders at the Riverview Park District,  I am so grateful that I have had an opportunity to know you and to work with you as your district superintendent for last six years. My yes to God’s call in ministry has brought incredible joys and hopes because of your presence and witnesses. I will never forget every moment that I have walked closely with each of you in my daily prayer, and in meetings, and in all those ministries we’ve been together.  When I moved in Des Moines in 2016,...

Margaret Biggs retiring, Emily Graber named Interim Treasurer

Margaret Biggs retiring, Emily Graber named Interim Treasurer

5/13/2022
The Iowa Annual Conference announces the retirement of our beloved and much appreciated Conference Treasurer, Maggie Biggs on August 5, 2022. It is difficult if not impossible to sum up her achievements over 26 years of dedicated service!   Maggie will always be remembered as a hardworking, committed, and friendly co-worker and leader. Maggie’s hard work, commitment, and dedication have been priceless over the years. She will be greatly missed.   Please help us thank Maggie for her hard work ...

24-hour prayer vigil held for Iowa Churches

24-hour prayer vigil held for Iowa Churches

4/18/2022
A 24-hour prayer vigil was held last week for the people, the leaders, and the hope-seekers of the Iowa United Methodist churches as Easter approached. During this vigil, each 30-minute pray-er was given 15-16 churches from Ackley to Zearing. "In a time of silent prayer driving down the road, I 'felt' prompted surround the people in prayer," said Associate Director for Congregational Excellence Rev. Ryan Christenson. "In particular, I know so many folks show up at Easter who wouldn’t usually be...

Ingathering Hunger Grants are due March 15

Ingathering Hunger Grants are due March 15

3/1/2022
Iowa United Methodists are active in mission and outreach within and beyond their communities. Does your congregation have or support a local program to give hunger relief locally? A food bank? Serving community meals? Filling backpacks with healthy snacks? Every year, a portion of the giving received at our annual Ingathering is given back to programs right here in the state to help with various hunger-related projects. If your church is involved with a hunger project or wishes to begin a ...

In Mission Together projects support those in need in Iowa and throughout the world

In Mission Together projects support those in need in Iowa and throughout the world

2/9/2022
The In Mission Together team shares the following examples of how building relationships in shared ministries with people, programs, and projects continues throughout Iowa United Methodist Churches. In 2021, St. Paul's United Methodist Church in Williamsburg, IA packaged over 16,000 servings for Take Away Hunger. Being limited by the worldwide pandemic, St. Paul's continued to support a mission they are passionate about that feeds the hungry throughout the world. Take Away Hunger is a food ...

Introduction to Spiritual Companionship short course

Introduction to Spiritual Companionship short course

2/4/2022
"Do you feel called to be a spiritual companion to others? Do people seek you out when they need someone to listen to them? Do you enjoy being with others as they explore their spirituality? Are you intrigued by the gift of spiritual companioning?  If you answer yes to questions like these, we invite you to participate in a 3-week course that introduces spiritual companioning, as well as how Wayfaring Companions uniquely approaches this work. Each session includes experiential learning, ...

Welcome Kali Tomlinson as Lake Okoboji Program Coordinator

Welcome Kali Tomlinson as Lake Okoboji Program Coordinator

12/16/2021
We are excited to welcome Kali Tomlinson to the Lake Okoboji UM Camp Staff! Kali was born and raised in Flint, Michigan. She has a BA in Social Sciences from Michigan State University and a MS in Youth Development Leadership from Clemson University. When Kali isn’t working, she enjoys cooking, reading, kayaking, trivia, exercise and writing letters. She especially enjoys spending time with family, friends and my kitty, Clover. Some of her favorite camp activities include campfires and tie-dye. ...

Christmas Worship for December 26

Christmas Worship for December 26

12/12/2021
Dear Church Leader, The Episcopal Office of the Iowa Annual Conference has created a full worship service for pastoral leaders and worship teams to use on Sunday, December 26, 2021. Bishop Laurie and the Appointive Cabinet thank you for your tireless work during the COVID-19 pandemic. This worship service has been planned for your inspiration and encouragement while providing a moment of rest for our local church leaders. Merry Christmas! Bishop Laurie and the Appointive Cabinet VIEW ON OUR ...

Special Alert: Bishop Haller to continue to serve Iowa and the Dakotas in 2022

Special Alert: Bishop Haller to continue to serve Iowa and the Dakotas in 2022

11/8/2021
The United Methodist Council of Bishops on Friday, Nov. 5 approved a plan for episcopal oversight in the North Central Jurisdiction (NCJ) that includes Bishop Laurie Haller continuing to serve as interim bishop for the Dakotas Conference in 2022. She will also continue to serve as resident bishop for the Iowa Conference. Here is the press release the North Central Jurisdiction College of Bishops sent out: At the November, 5, 2021 meeting of the Council of Bishops of The United Methodist, the ...

New Facebook group created for local church communicators in Iowa

New Facebook group created for local church communicators in Iowa

10/28/2021
A new Facebook group has been created by the Communications Engagement Team of the Iowa Conference to encourage conversation between local church communicators across the state. The page's goal is to be "a place where conversations about church audio, video, social media and more can be discussed. We are a community where church members involved with their congregation's communications efforts can brainstorm and share resources with one another." It is open to both clergy and laity with an ...

The 2021 Iowa Conference Journal is now available

The 2021 Iowa Conference Journal is now available

10/12/2021
The 2021 Iowa Conference Journal, Clergy-Laity Directory, and Book of Resolutions are now available at www.iaumc.org/Journal. If you have forgotten the login information for the Clergy Lay Address Directory, please email Lisa Steel. If you would like a printed copy, it can be purchased directly through Lulu Publishing. 

2022 Apportionment calculations published

2022 Apportionment calculations published

9/3/2021
The calculations for the 2022 Iowa Annual Conference Apportionments have been completed and the information has been published on the Iowa Conference website under the Finance and Administration, Apportionment Resources page (https://www.iaumc.org/ApportionmentResources) This includes the 2022 Apportionments by Church, 2022 Apportionment Calculation Report by Church (Includes Districk Asking), and 2022 Apportionment Fund Breakdown (with Pie Charts). The 2022 Apportionment Budget for the Iowa ...

Abiding in Exile - Mining the Negative Space 09/02/2021

Abiding in Exile - Mining the Negative Space 09/02/2021

9/2/2021
By: Rev. Lee Roorda Schott I’m just back from a much-needed vacation that included four days on the road between here and southwest Colorado. Playing the alphabet game to pass the time, I was helped by the many FedEx trucks. And while logging the sometimes elusive “F,” I found myself marveling again at the arrow in their logo. You know about that, right? It’s been there all along, but I didn’t see it until someone pointed it out. You have to look at the white space between the E and the X. See ...

For Immediate Release — The Iowa Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church Responds to the Boy Scouts of American Bankruptcy Case

For Immediate Release — The Iowa Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church Responds to the Boy Scouts of American Bankruptcy Case

8/26/2021
For Immediate Release August 26, 2021 THE IOWA ANNUAL CONFERENCE OF THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH RESPONDS TO THE BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA BANKRUPTCY CASE Des Moines, Iowa: The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) is overwhelmed with potential liability exposure from sexual assault allegations nationwide. The BSA has filed for bankruptcy protection. Under both of the proposed plans that the BSA has suggested as a way to continue after the bankruptcy, they are leaving their Chartered Organizations out on a ...

Abiding in Exile - Beloved Space 08/26/2021

Abiding in Exile - Beloved Space 08/26/2021

8/26/2021
By: Pastor Nate Mason I am a proud Dork Dad, and one of my favorite Dork Dad activities is reading Ms. Marvel comics to my four-year-old daughter, Lily.  For those of you who are more productive with your reading time, there is a new Ms. Marvel character.  Kamala Khan is a sixteen-year-old daughter of Pakistani immigrants who gets shape changing superpowers. The comics teach inspiring lessons about life and the experience of the modern American Muslim. Lily loves it almost as much as I do.   One...

Re: Boy Scout Units Chartered by Local United Methodist Churches

Re: Boy Scout Units Chartered by Local United Methodist Churches

8/24/2021
Dear Iowa United Methodists:  We write this letter with heavy hearts.  The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) is overwhelmed with potential liability exposure from sexual assault allegations nationwide. The BSA has filed for bankruptcy protection. Under both of the proposed plans that the BSA has suggested as a way to continue after the bankruptcy, they are leaving their Chartered Organizations out on a limb by themselves. The Chartered Organizations are the local churches, schools, and civic groups ...

Update regarding the delayed General Conference 2020

Update regarding the delayed General Conference 2020

8/12/2021
With a little over one year before the delayed General Conference 2020, the Iowa Conference Communications office reached out to Heather Hahn, UM News assistant editor, asking what important information can we share with Iowa about the delayed 2020 General Conference of The United Methodist Church. General Conference 2020 is scheduled for August 29 through September 6, 2022. “First, I’ll just say that the legislation in the Advance Daily Christian Advocate remains unchanged. But because the ...

New Riverview Park District Administrative Assistant Hired

New Riverview Park District Administrative Assistant Hired

7/9/2021
The Iowa Annual Conference is happy to announce that Amy Keenan has been hired as the new Riverview Park District Administrative Assistant.  Keenan began her work with the conference in mid-June. Previously, she served as the Administrative Assistant and Financial Coordinator at the Grinnell United Methodist Church for four years. "I grew up in Kellogg and have been a member of the Kellogg United Methodist Church my whole life," she said. "I am married to Brandon Keenan and we have three ...

Iowa Conference Re-entry team update after CDC eases guidelines for Americans fully vaccinated from COVID-19

Iowa Conference Re-entry team update after CDC eases guidelines for Americans fully vaccinated from COVID-19

5/13/2021
On Thursday, May 13, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eased their indoor mask-wearing guidelines for Americans who are fully vaccinated from COVID-19. A summary of the recent change said that “fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance in any setting, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.”    “Church leadership should determine their best...

Rev. LaTonya P. Calderon to become Part-time Associate Director of Clergy and Leadership Excellence (ACLE) for the Iowa Conference

Rev. LaTonya P. Calderon to become Part-time Associate Director of Clergy and Leadership Excellence (ACLE) for the Iowa Conference

5/10/2021
It is with great celebration we announce Rev. LaTonya P. Calderon as Part-time Associate Director of Clergy and Leadership Excellence (ACLE) for the Iowa Conference. Beginning July 1, 2021, LaTonya will be serving ¾ time at Windsor Heights UMC and ¼ time in this conference role. As Associate Director, LaTonya will be a strategic partner alongside Rev. Dr. Lanette Plambeck, who, on July 1, will become the Assistant to the Bishop while also maintaining her role and responsibilities as Director of...

Worship in The Post Pandemic World with Jason Moore

Worship in The Post Pandemic World with Jason Moore

4/21/2021
Worship and ministry have radically shifted in this COVID-19 age, yet we hear a call to go back to “normal.” Returning to exactly how things were in the past may not be possible, so you might ask yourself, "How do we, as the church, refocus our efforts and embrace the changes in healthy ways?"  The Iowa Conference's Office of Congregational Excellence, along with the Office of Clergy and Leadership Excellence, invite you to attend four upcoming webinars presented by Jason Moore July 12-13 that ...

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

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

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

Iowa Conference renaming districts to honor the legacy of camping program

Iowa Conference renaming districts to honor the legacy of camping program

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

Streamed Services: Staying socially connected during COVID-19

Streamed Services: Staying socially connected during COVID-19

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

Journey to South Sudan for Mabaan Flood Relief Rescheduled

Journey to South Sudan for Mabaan Flood Relief Rescheduled

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Iowa Conference Center visitor and COVID-19 guidelines

Iowa Conference Center visitor and COVID-19 guidelines

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

Urgent appeal to assist an Iowa clergy member's son

Urgent appeal to assist an Iowa clergy member's son

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

AC2021 to be held virtually from June 4-6

AC2021 to be held virtually from June 4-6

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

A community on earth as it is in heaven

A community on earth as it is in heaven

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

Plans for immigration reform

Plans for immigration reform

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

A year of transition

A year of transition

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

DisAbility Ministries Committee would like to be a resource to clergy

DisAbility Ministries Committee would like to be a resource to clergy

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

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

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

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

MUMM plans to get back on the road

MUMM plans to get back on the road

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Abiding in Exile - Lament 03/04/2021

Abiding in Exile - Lament 03/04/2021

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

Remembering Rev. David R. Wendel

Remembering Rev. David R. Wendel

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

The Wesley Center at the University of Iowa welcomes all

The Wesley Center at the University of Iowa welcomes all

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

Abiding in Exile - Suffering 02/25/2021

Abiding in Exile - Suffering 02/25/2021

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

SYA provides free virtual service for Sunday after Easter Sunday

SYA provides free virtual service for Sunday after Easter Sunday

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

United Methodist Volunteers In Mission ask,

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

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

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

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

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

Candidacy Summit still spirit-filled in virtual setting

Candidacy Summit still spirit-filled in virtual setting

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

Iowa United Methodist Camps Announces Matching Gifts

Iowa United Methodist Camps Announces Matching Gifts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Annual Conference 2021 important information and dates

Annual Conference 2021 important information and dates

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

Conference Connectional Ministries Council (CCMC) Realignment Team update

Conference Connectional Ministries Council (CCMC) Realignment Team update

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

Exciting future for Iowa Justice For Our Neighbors

Exciting future for Iowa Justice For Our Neighbors

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

The Circuit Ministry Transition Team hosts third Circuit Leader meeting

The Circuit Ministry Transition Team hosts third Circuit Leader meeting

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

Abiding in Exile - Differentiated 01/28/2021

Abiding in Exile - Differentiated 01/28/2021

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

Deadline nears for communications ministry scholarship and fellowship

Deadline nears for communications ministry scholarship and fellowship

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

Vision 2032: Conversations on Local Church and Conference Finances

Vision 2032: Conversations on Local Church and Conference Finances

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

Iowa United Methodist Camps launches annual campaign

Iowa United Methodist Camps launches annual campaign

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

Self-care—patience and perseverance

Self-care—patience and perseverance

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

Remembering Richard “Dick” Wonderlich

Remembering Richard “Dick” Wonderlich

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

Abiding in Exile - Expectations 01/21/2021

Abiding in Exile - Expectations 01/21/2021

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

Cedar Falls First UMC virtual training conference on January 31—

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

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

Transitional Intentional Interim Ministry Committee hosts Zoom event

Transitional Intentional Interim Ministry Committee hosts Zoom event

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

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

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

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

Updates on United Methodist Missionaries related to Iowa

Updates on United Methodist Missionaries related to Iowa

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

2021 Virtual Advocacy Day is Jan 25

2021 Virtual Advocacy Day is Jan 25

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

Epiphany Address: Watching Over One Another in Love

Epiphany Address: Watching Over One Another in Love

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

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

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

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

Abiding in Exile - Tempered 01/07/2021

Abiding in Exile - Tempered 01/07/2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

12/29/2020
By: Liz Winders, Director of Communications Pastor Regina Harrison was finishing a long day in the Woodbine First United Methodist Church office when she heard the winter wind howling and sleet hitting the church’s windows. She decided it was time to pack up her things and head home. Little did she know, Harrison would be doing much more work that night.   “I grew up in the south and have been through hurricanes, and it literally sounded like a hurricane out there,” Harrison said. “The wind was...

Ministry reports for the January 4th Epiphany Address

Ministry reports for the January 4th Epiphany Address

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

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

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

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

A Pastoral Message from Bishop Laurie

A Pastoral Message from Bishop Laurie

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

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

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

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

Circuits Ministries update through 2020

Circuits Ministries update through 2020

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

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

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

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

Celebrate Advent and Christmas with Bishop Laurie Haller

Celebrate Advent and Christmas with Bishop Laurie Haller

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

UMC Bishops call for optimism and hope in 2021

UMC Bishops call for optimism and hope in 2021

12/15/2020
WASHINGTON, D.C. -  Despite the trials and tribulations of 2020 brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, bishops in The United Methodist Church are calling on United Methodists and other people of faith to be optimistic about 2021 and to trust that God will make things better in the coming year.  In the 2020 Advent letter released today, the bishops urged people of faith to continue to have love, joy, hope and peace, especially during the season of Advent, which is a time of anticipation and longing in...

A letter of encouragement from the Covid-19 Re-Entry & Response Team

A letter of encouragement from the Covid-19 Re-Entry & Response Team

12/3/2020
In a letter to the people of Philippi, the Apostle Paul writes:   “Be glad in the Lord always…Don’t be anxious about anything; rather, bring up all of your requests to God in your prayers and petitions, along with giving thanks. Then the peace of God that exceeds all understanding will keep your hearts and minds safe in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:4-7)   There is a lot to be anxious about these days. We are worried about the health of our community and the stress upon our hospital systems. Our...

A Blue Christmas Worship Service for churches to use during the Christmas season

A Blue Christmas Worship Service for churches to use during the Christmas season

12/1/2020
As a gift to our pastors and churches during the Christmas season, we are creating a Blue Christmas Worship Service for use in your online church messages, to share with members, or on your social media channels.   We know that not everyone is experiencing joy and excitement during the Christmas season. Dealing with the isolation of a global pandemic, job losses, COVID-19 infections, deaths of loved ones, divorces, the political and religious divisions all contribute to feelings of pain and ...

Abiding in Exile - Running with Horses 12/3/2020

Abiding in Exile - Running with Horses 12/3/2020

11/30/2020
By Eric Rucker December 3, 2020 “Jeremiah, if you have raced with foot-runners and they have wearied you, how will you run with horses?” (Jeremiah 12:5)   As the catastrophe of the Babylonian exile approached, Jeremiah lamented to God – about the people’s self-centeredness, about Israel’s disregard for vulnerable people and the land. Jeremiah was fed up with it all. And then God spoke to Jeremiah this question:    “If you have raced with foot-runners and they have wearied you, how will you run ...

Christmas Eve candle light service alternative for all

Christmas Eve candle light service alternative for all

11/30/2020
The West Des Moines UMC's worship committee is inviting you to participate in an at-home candlelight service on Christmas Eve. In addition to their online worship services planned for the evening of Christmas Eve, at 9:00 pm they are asking people to light a candle and step out their front doors, and wish their neighbors Merry Christmas.  They have prepared the attached invitation (word doc.) that people can give to their neighbors ahead of time. This is a great way for us to share Christ with ...

GBHEM 2020 Scholarship applications open December 15

GBHEM 2020 Scholarship applications open December 15

11/30/2020
GBHEM’s Office of Loans and Scholarships provides millions of dollars in scholarships to students every year. Finances should never be a barrier to answering your calling in life. GBHEM is here to help as you follow the educational path that’s right for you.     Scholarship Application Opens: December 15th – March 24th Explore the Scholarships page to find more information on: Eligibility List of available scholarships How to apply Grants and fellowships Frequently asked scholarship questions

UMC's spiritual giant, the Rev. Dr. Larry Sonner, is remembered

UMC's spiritual giant, the Rev. Dr. Larry Sonner, is remembered

11/30/2020
"Rev. Dr. Larry Sonner was a spiritual giant in the Iowa Annual Conference. As the founder and director of the Office of Pastoral Care and Counseling, Dr. Sonner was a fierce advocate for the mental, emotional, and spiritual health of countless clergy," said Bishop Laurie Haller. "Larry was also highly respected across the United Methodist connection and was not afraid to speak out on behalf of the least, the last, and the lost, regardless of the consequences. Our hearts are filled with ...

Alert to Churches with BSA Charters

Alert to Churches with BSA Charters

10/28/2020
ALL LOCAL CHURCHES:  If your congregation has ever had a charter with the Boy Scouts of America (BSA)  — troop, pack, or crew — please read this important alert from Conference Treasurer, Maggie Biggs. The deadline for action is November 16, 2020. Please read through all the materials (documents are linked below) and then if you have questions, email her at mbiggs@iaumc.org.     Important Documents IAC Cover Sheet and Instructions Line by Line Instruction Sheet for Filling Out Proof of Claim IAC...

Fire destroys Gladbrook Chapel in rural Marshall County

Fire destroys Gladbrook Chapel in rural Marshall County

10/13/2020
Sadly, we report that an accidental fire destroyed Gladbrook Chapel in Marshall County on the afternoon of October 12, 2020.  No one was injured and firefighters stayed on the scene until the fire was completely contained to ensure it didn't spread to corn and bean fields nearby. Please pray for the pastor and members of Gladbrook Chapel as they mourn and recover from such a difficult loss. For more in-depth coverage, please go to WHO13 or KWWL.

Faith and Democracy statement calling on all people of the UMC to support voter registration and encourage voting

Faith and Democracy statement calling on all people of the UMC to support voter registration and encourage voting

10/12/2020
For Immediate Release Monday, October 12, 2020   WASHINGTON, D.C. – United Methodist bishops based in the United States today issued a statement on Faith and Democracy, calling on the people of The United Methodist Church to support voter registration and encourage people to vote in the November 3 elections.   Council of Bishops President Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey made it clear that the statement is not a statement of or from the Council of Bishops but is a conciliar statement by United ...

An introduction to Abiding in Exile

An introduction to Abiding in Exile

10/9/2020
A NEW weekly e-newsletter to support the mental health and wellness of lay and clergy leaders living through the pandemic.

An introduction to Abiding in Exile

An introduction to Abiding in Exile

10/9/2020
A NEW weekly e-newsletter to support the mental health and wellness of lay and clergy leaders living through the pandemic.

Bible Land Exploration Tour with the Bishop Laurie and Gary Haller

Bible Land Exploration Tour with the Bishop Laurie and Gary Haller

10/9/2020
As many of you know, my husband Gary and I will be leading a pilgrimage to the Holy Land from February 2-12, 2021. We have led a number of trips to Israel over the years and never tire of “walking where Jesus walked.” Every disciple of Jesus Christ should have the opportunity to experience a pilgrimage to Israel. Because of Covid-19, travel to Israel has been temporarily halted. However, our travel company, Educational Opportunities, has been working tirelessly with Israeli authorities to ...

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