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Glenwood pulls together to help

Glenwood pulls together to help

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

Keynoters to offer vision of 'God's new thing'

Keynoters to offer vision of 'God's new thing'

5/24/2019
“God is doing a new thing in our world and I think all of our churches can be a part of that.”  That’s the hope of Rev. Rob Cook, Sr. Pastor of Mt. Hope United Methodist Church.  (Click to see Mt. Hope's story)  Cook and Rev. Eric Mulanda, the congregation’s Associate Pastor, will lead the plenary teaching session for the 2019 Annual Conference session. (Click here to read more about Pastor Rob and Pastor Eric.)   Speaking about Mt. Hope, which is located in Lansing, Michigan, Cook says, “We ...

Weather Update from Disaster Ministries

Weather Update from Disaster Ministries

5/24/2019
Dear Friends in the Iowa Annual Conference, Over the last few days, the much of the Midwest and Iowa have been pummeled with severe storms, including a tornado on Tuesday early in the morning that resulted in a fatality near Adair, Iowa. Please keep the families and community affected in your prayers. Disaster can and does strike anywhere in a heartbeat. As Christians, we can rest in the knowledge that we are held close in the Savior's arms in trying and frightening times. Weather forecasters ...

Good News responds to UMC Next

Good News responds to UMC Next

5/22/2019
"The 2019 General Conference was proof that there is an impasse within The United Methodist Church with two irreconcilable viewpoints," said Rev. Thomas Lambrecht, Vice President and General Manager of Good News.  He expressed disappointment that the "institution-minded leadership of UMC Next...is determined to double down on the conflict in our church and refuse to acknowledge the decision made by the St. Louis General Conference reaffirming over 45 years of consistent United Methodist ...

UMC Next Plans new directions

UMC Next Plans new directions

5/22/2019
By Heather Hahn May 22, 2019 | LEAWOOD, Kan. (UM News) More than 600 U.S. United Methodists spent three days grappling with possible options for forging what they hope will be a more just and inclusive church future. What united those at UMCNext, which met May 20-22 behind closed doors, was their opposition to the Traditional Plan.  That legislation, which the special 2019 General Conference approved by a vote of 438-384, retains the church stance that the practice of homosexuality is “...

Welcome to Annual Conference 2019

Welcome to Annual Conference 2019

5/17/2019
The 2019 session of the Iowa Annual Conference is set to begin in less than three weeks.  The 176th yearly gathering of Iowa United Methodists will be a time to worship together; commit to a common ministry with the poor; be inspired by teaching sessions and workshops; celebrate decades of ministry by dedicated clergy; remember those who have gone on into God’s eternal kin-dom during the past year; ordain and commission a new generation of clergy leadership; recognize and encourage lay ...

Church future focus of annual conferences

Church future focus of annual conferences

5/16/2019
By Jim Patterson May 15, 2019 | NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) Resolutions dealing with sexuality, environmental stewardship and the slogan of The United Methodist Church are among topics facing clergy and lay members at the denomination’s 2019 annual conferences. The church’s regional governing bodies meet in the spring and summer in the U.S. Some conferences in Africa, Europe and the Philippines have already met, others won’t meet until as late as December.  Many resolutions before U.S. annual ...

A New Way to Support Camping

A New Way to Support Camping

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

FAQs about Pictured Rocks Camp

FAQs about Pictured Rocks Camp

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

Want to be a GC2020 marshal or page?

Want to be a GC2020 marshal or page?

5/15/2019
Beginning today, United Methodists may apply online to serve as volunteer marshals or pages during The United Methodist Church’s 2020 General Conference. The denomination’s top legislative assembly will meet May 5-15, 2020, in Minneapolis. Approximately 175 volunteers are needed to serve as marshals and pages during General Conference. Marshals are responsible for assisting visitors and special guests in the visitor and reserved seating galleries, checking credentials to make sure that only ...

Iowa achieves 100% giving to Africa University in 2018

Iowa achieves 100% giving to Africa University in 2018

5/9/2019
The Iowa Conference of the United Methodist Church has successfully achieved 100% of its Africa University apportionments in 2018. In an email to the conference, James Salley, Associate Vice-Chancellor for Institutional Advancement in the Africa University Development Office, thanked Iowans for their invaluable support of the university. "Africa University students are called and committed to serve God in communities across the continent and in mission settings around the world," he said. "...

Hamburg Flood: Residents find strength through church, community

Hamburg Flood: Residents find strength through church, community

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

Laity Day offers insights, opportunities

Laity Day offers insights, opportunities

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

Health-Full Minute

Health-Full Minute

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

Video tour of flooding in Hamburg, Iowa

Video tour of flooding in Hamburg, Iowa

4/1/2019
Pastor Luke Fillmore gave the Iowa Communications Team a brief tour of the devastating flooding in Hamburg, Iowa. Fillmore is appointed in Hamburg and also the nearby town of Shenandoah and has been balancing two congregations and building new relationships.   “There's a lot of trust I've already built, and there's a lot of trust being built, but it's taken a lot of humility to step back and say ‘I can only do what's been put in front of me and God has only given me so much to do,’” Fillmore ...

Annual mission trip to Honduras builds close bonds

Annual mission trip to Honduras builds close bonds

3/29/2019
Each year in January, Clayton Eakins of Bloomfield, Iowa, organizes a Volunteers in Mission trip out of Davis County, to Honduras.    This is the fifth time he has brought a group to these areas, and this year he was joined by Steve Davidson, Penny Warren, Pastor Donna Olinger and Linda Rowe. They worked primarily in the El Negrito and Subirana areas.   Eakins likes to go back to the same place as they keep adding on to their projects and especially because of the deeper relationships formed ...

Iowa Conference creating bi-district offices

Iowa Conference creating bi-district offices

3/29/2019
As a result of the Budget Team’s recommendations, the Iowa Conference will be creating bi-district offices and reducing the number of District Administrative Assistants. Iowa will continue to maintain eight districts with eight District Superintendents. The locations of the bi-district offices will be announced at a later date. "What is already happening is that we have been creative in realigning our resources in order to empower and develop more leaders. As a District Superintendent, I have ...

Lay, clergy call for ‘reconciliation and justice’

Lay, clergy call for ‘reconciliation and justice’

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

Prayers for victims of NZ tragedy and midwestern flooding

Prayers for victims of NZ tragedy and midwestern flooding

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

Clergy housing allowance constitutional

Clergy housing allowance constitutional

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

GC voting irregularities investigated

GC voting irregularities investigated

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

Pray…and be prepared to help

Pray…and be prepared to help

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

Appointive Cabinet statement regarding the Special Called General Conference

Appointive Cabinet statement regarding the Special Called General Conference

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

Hundreds gather for post-GC conversation

Hundreds gather for post-GC conversation

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

Health-Full Minute

Health-Full Minute

2/18/2019
On the eve of the Special General Conference, many of us are feeling anxiety and stress at a variety of levels; lay, clergy, congregations, persons, and our Connection itself. We know that some type of change is going to happen. We are not sure how this change is going to affect us; personally and connectionally. In the midst of this uncertain time, we as the Body of Christ and as persons are suffering within our relational, emotional, spiritual, and physical dimensions. How can we healthfully ...

Remembering William Edward Lux

Remembering William Edward Lux

2/14/2019
We have recently been informed of the passing of William (Bill) Edward Lux. Funeral services were held Monday, February 11, 2019, at The United Methodist Church in Manchester, Iowa. Bill was a member of the Hopkinton United Methodist Church and the Manchester United Methodist Church. He served on the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries and traveled throughout Africa providing mission oversight. He also served on UMCOR, traveling to the Philippines. Bill served on the Iowa Ecumenical ...

Packing meals for the hungry

Packing meals for the hungry

2/7/2019
A team of nine Conference Center staff members spent a morning volunteering at Meals From the Heartland and packaged 4,104 meals on Jan. 29. "Our mission is to empower people to save the starving, so it's those people who come in and give up their time to package meals, just like you did today that make this organization go," said Susan Bunz, Executive Director of Meals From the Heartland. "Last year we engaged over 75,000 volunteers, we would never be able to do what we do without the people ...

Recap of Fall COWF Gatherings

Recap of Fall COWF Gatherings

2/5/2019
Our Purpose is Love Bishop Laurie Haller would like to thank the nearly 1,600 people who joined her at one of the eight Fall Gatherings across the Conference to discuss the proposals made by the Commission on a Way Forward and the upcoming Special General Conference in St. Louis Feb. 23-26, 2019. During each of the gatherings, Bishop Laurie spoke about the Mission, Vision, Scope, and Theological framework of the Commission on a Way Forward and presented information about the three major plans. ...

Big changes for 2019 Ingathering

Big changes for 2019 Ingathering

2/1/2019
The 40th Annual Mission Ingathering will be held on Saturday, November 2, 2019. Reverend Eric Schubert, Greenfield UMC Pastor, spoke at the December task force meeting about what Ingathering says versus what it does. As a result, there is now a new vision: To show God's love in a practical way so people can meet Jesus Christ; a new mission: Mission Ingathering is a way for Iowa United Methodists to address humanitarian problems locally and around the world, including hunger, poverty, and ...

2019 Advocacy Day with Bishop Laurie Haller

2019 Advocacy Day with Bishop Laurie Haller

1/29/2019
Legislative advocacy has long been a part of the heritage of United Methodists in Iowa and continued in 2019 on Monday, January 28th at Wesley United Methodist Church, 800 E. 12th St., Des Moines. Advocacy Day took place from 9 am to 3:30 pm. Rev. Gary Nims greeted everyone and Bishop Laurie Haller lead the devotions. See more images from Advocacy Day Topics in discussion were Mental Health advocacy and funding for both adults and children. Stories of Iowan's affected by mental health issues ...

Announcing new Associate Directors of Congregational Excellence

Announcing new Associate Directors of Congregational Excellence

1/23/2019
Christenson, Drake to be Associates for Congregational Excellence   Bishop Laurie Haller has announced that Rev. Ryan Christenson and Rev. Melissa Drake will be the two new Associate Directors for Congregational Excellence.   Describing the role, Bishop Laurie Haller said, “the Associate Directors for Congregational Excellence are of critical importance for our conference because they will be working directly with local congregations around vital ministry. These churches, in return, will be ...

Rev. Doug Cue to be Southeast Superintendent

Rev. Doug Cue to be Southeast Superintendent

1/14/2019
Bishop Laurie Haller is happy to announce that Rev. Doug Cue will be the new Superintendent of the Southeast District. Rev. Cue will begin his new appointment on July 1, 2019.   “Rev. Cue has been an effective pastor in a number of different settings in the Iowa Conference for many years,” said Bishop Laurie Haller. “His focus on ‘getting things done’ has been especially helpful in his work in maintaining and improving the district parsonages." Currently, he is the lead pastor at the Boone ...

Two Conferences Offered by ShareChurch Conferences at Church of the Resurrection April 4-5

1/14/2019
The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection is excited to announce registration is now open for two conferences hosted by ShareChurch Conferences on April 4 – 5, 2019. Participants may select to attend either The Art of Radical Hospitality Conference or the Empowered: A Model of Care Conference. The conferences are hosted concurrently at Church of the Resurrection’s Leawood, KS Campus and feature combined opening and closing sessions, with distinctive sessions in between. Churches are ...

Budget Team hears suggestions

Budget Team hears suggestions

12/11/2018
Iowa Conference boards and agencies had the opportunity to come and offer suggestions to the Budget Review Team on the newly released recommendations to cut approximately $1.3 million from the 2020 budget. About 16 members from various boards and agencies came to the Conference Office for the discussion." "We've been entrusted by Jesus with a mission to make disciples throughout the world," said Rev. Bill Poland, chairperson of the Budget Team, "so that we - us, in our congregations, and around...

Response to Budget Team Proposal

Response to Budget Team Proposal

12/6/2018
Ryan Risdal Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministries Chairperson Iowa Conference, United Methodist Church   Dear Friends:   As Chair of the Iowa Conference Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministries I am truly saddened to have received the finding proposal to dramatically defund the BHECM in 2020. This proposal will severely impact the BHECM and the important ministries we support across Iowa. This is a tough situation. The BHECM has been preparing for financial uncertainty but this...

Migrant Caravan

Migrant Caravan

11/19/2018
What started as a group of 160 people from the Honduran crime-ridden city of San Pedro Sula has swelled to more than 7000 in Mexico City.  They are fleeing persecution, poverty, and violence in their home countries, primarily Honduras although people from Guatemala and El Salvador are also part of the group. Spreading word through social media, their numbers grew. They have banded together seeking safety in numbers. Migrants traveling alone face many dangers, including people traffickers, drug ...

Open Letter from IAUMC Budget Team

Open Letter from IAUMC Budget Team

10/23/2018
To: All Pastors & Local Church Leadership Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ, Thank you for your leadership in the Iowa Annual Conference during this time of both transition and transformation. Recently, the Bishop’s Operational Team formed a Budget Team, of which we are a part. We write to a) inform you of our work; b) begin building lines of communication and relationship, and; c) ask for your input. First, we want to make sure you are aware of the status of the 2018 apportionment receipts. ...

Bishop Laurie begins COWF Fall Gatherings

Bishop Laurie begins COWF Fall Gatherings

9/27/2018
More than 300 people gathered at Salem and Washington United Methodist Churches to listen and join in on the Conversation on a Way Forward on Sunday, Sept. 23.   Bishop Laurie Haller spoke about convicted humility, and about how she hopes that attitude can carry the denomination and the Iowa Conference through the upcoming decision.    “Convicted humility is an attitude that Jesus wants us to show in our lives, and not only in the way we relate to our family and friends and work colleagues,” ...

Navigating through charitable giving

Navigating through charitable giving

6/21/2018
With all the social causes, particularly immigration related issues, in the news lately, there are many charities vying for your attention and support.   How can you know if these groups are real, and if they are effective in their mission? The best website to check is www.charitynavigator.org – and UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) has the highest 4 star rating. If you or your congregation are interested in setting up a directed fund for social causes, or any other ministry, ...

'Zero tolerance' Bible quote criticized

'Zero tolerance' Bible quote criticized

6/18/2018
By Sam Hodges June 15, 2018 | UMNS U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ quoting of a New Testament verse to justify a new zero tolerance policy on illegal immigration has brought a fresh round of criticism from religious leaders, including fellow United Methodists. Sessions used a June 14 address in Fort Wayne, Indiana, to defend the Trump administration’s tougher approach on immigration as being in the national interest and children’s safety. He specifically noted the criticism he’d received ...

Bishop's statement on family separation

Bishop's statement on family separation

6/15/2018
Dear Friends, Last week, the United Methodist Council of Bishops joined other faith organizations in issuing a statement asking the United States government to end its policy of separating immigrant families. The statement includes these words, “Recently, the U.S. Administration announced that it will begin separating families and criminally prosecuting all people who enter the U.S. without previous authorization. As religious leaders representing diverse faith perspectives, united in our ...

Report to the UM News Service—AC2018

Report to the UM News Service—AC2018

6/15/2018
2018 Annual Conference Report Worksheet   Name of conference: 2018 Iowa Annual Conference — Creating Difference Makers in New Communities of Faith   Location of conference gathering: Iowa Events Center, Hy-Vee Hall, Des Moines, IA   Dates of conference gathering: June 8-11, 2017   Officiating bishop: Bishop Laurie Haller   Guest speakers and memorable points or quotes by speakers: Bishop Laurie Haller opened the 2018 Annual Conference Session with an Episcopal Address that challenged the ...

Guidelines for Petitions submitted to the 2018 Iowa Annual Conference Session

Guidelines for Petitions submitted to the 2018 Iowa Annual Conference Session

6/7/2018
Guidelines for Petitions submitted to the 2018 Iowa Annual Conference Session Related to the Proposals of the Council of Bishops Regarding a “Way Forward” For The United Methodist Church   Persons or groups seeking Iowa Annual Conference endorsement of petitions to the 2019 General Conference must submit the petition in electronic form to the Iowa Annual Conference Secretary by 1:30 p.m., Saturday, June 9, 2018. Petitions may only originate with or be sponsored by individuals who are members of,...

Can't attend AC2018? Watch it Live instead!

Can't attend AC2018? Watch it Live instead!

6/6/2018
The live-stream of the annual conference session will appear on the home page of the website (www.iaumc.org) on Friday at noon and will continue to be available there for the run of the Conference.  The live-stream will be up for all the hours that the Conference is gathered in plenary session as well as for the laity session on Friday evening (beginning at 7 pm). The clergy session will not be streamed. When the session breaks for the workshops on Saturday afternoon (at 4 pm) the stream will ...

Iowa Events Center works to create convenient access to AC2018

Iowa Events Center works to create convenient access to AC2018

6/6/2018
Access to Northeast door will be available during AC2018 Although the Iowa Events Center has closed the sidewalk between the North parking lot and the Northeast door due to construction and repair on the building, access through the Northeast door will be available. For convenient access to the 2018 Iowa Annual Conference, the Iowa Events Center will close the traffic lane on 3rd Street closest to the East side of the building to allow pedestrians and golf carts to use this lane to enter through...

Laity Session at AC2018—inspiration and friendship

Laity Session at AC2018—inspiration and friendship

6/6/2018
Laity Session will be Friday, June 8 beginning at 7:00 p.m. This will be a time to meet friends old and new, be inspired, learn, sing and pray together.  The evening will begin with a special presentation from Bishop Laurie. Look forward to hearing her words of inspiration and grace, meeting the Board of Laity, and congratulating the new certified Lay Speakers and School for Lay Ministry graduates.  New this year, will be a once in a lifetime chance to hear the Board of Laity perform their ...

Treasurer Maggie Biggs looking forward to Annual Conference

Treasurer Maggie Biggs looking forward to Annual Conference

6/6/2018
The following is a transcript of the Iowa Conference Conversations Podcast featuring Maggie Biggs, Conference Treasurer and Director of Administrative Services, and Communications Director Rev. Dr. Art McClanahan. Art:  Maggie Biggs is the Iowa Annual Conference Treasurer and Director of Administrative Services. Maggie this third Annual  Conference coming up to present the treasurer's report and the statistics to the yearly gathering. It's two days ahead of time now. How are you looking forward...

Tornado season is upon us

Tornado season is upon us

6/5/2018
Tornado season is typically June through October for the Midwest states but tornados can, and have, struck in Iowa in every month of the year. Storms in Iowa can develop suddenly and move with great speed.     Hurricane season has also arrived and it usually lasts from June through November. We have already had our first named storm—Alberto, a sub-tropical storm—that brought heavy rain to the Gulf Coast, the Florida Keys, Alabama and Mississippi. Rain and wind from Alberto reached all the way to...

Retiree Reflections

Retiree Reflections

5/29/2018
  Some of the 2018 retiring clergy reflect on their time in ministry. A Retirement Celebration will be held during Annual Conference on Saturday, June 9 at 1:30 p.m. in the Iowa Events Center. The service will be led by Rev. LaTonya Calderon with an offering giving to Nigerian Students studying at Iowa colleges.     Barbara Krueger "My road to becoming a pastor began by serving as secretary for my local church. My pastor recommended my services to the District Superintendent, which led to ...

Statement from Bishop Laurie about the Called 2019 General Conference and the 2018 Iowa Annual Conference

Statement from Bishop Laurie about the Called 2019 General Conference and the 2018 Iowa Annual Conference

5/29/2018
May 29, 2018 Dear Friends, You may have heard that our United Methodist Judicial Council met last week. Their purpose was to consider a request from the Council of Bishops for a declaratory decision on whether petitions inconsistent with the Bishops’ own report could be considered at the Special General Conference, set for Feb. 23-26, 2019, in St. Louis. (Click here to read the Bishops’ proposal.)              The following is the summary of Decision 1360 of the Judicial Council: “The purpose...

New Way to be current at AC2018

New Way to be current at AC2018

5/25/2018
The Communications Office is excited to announce a new feature to make this year's annual conference easier to navigate: the 2018 Iowa Annual Conference Sched App. The Sched App (short for schedule) contains everything you need to know about AC2018, from workshops and meal break events to worship times and offerings. You can even create your own agenda to quickly look up the things that are most important to you. Sched also has links to important documents like the Pre-Conference Manual, ...

Building Relationships to End Poverty

Building Relationships to End Poverty

5/24/2018
Food pantries, free clinics, and education opportunities are just a few of the things the congregation of Greenfield United Methodist Church has its hands in after a Rural Poverty Workshop held in November 2017 at the church. It has joined forces with other churches, the school, and local Crisis Intervention and Community Action services to begin relationship building with those struggling in the community.   “Many people in our community have been transformed in their thinking toward those who ...

Concerning Middle-East Violence

Concerning Middle-East Violence

5/18/2018
(This letter is from Rev. Susan Henry-Crowe, General Secretary of the General Board of Church and Society) This week, we grieve the fear, horror, terror, violence, bloodshed, and death of children, youth, women, and men in Gaza. Israeli forces killed 59 Palestinians, most by gunfire, and injured more than 2,700 on Monday, Gaza Health Ministry said. (US News) I have led many groups of Christian, Muslim and Jewish students, faculty members and staff to Israel, the West Bank and Jordan. We ...

Pastoral Letter about Santa Fe shooting

Pastoral Letter about Santa Fe shooting

5/18/2018
Once again, our hearts are broken by the violence at a high school in Santa Fe, Texas, this morning, where ten people were killed and another ten were wounded. In the midst of unspeakable horror, we lament along with the psalmist.   I cry out to you from the depths, Lord my Lord, listen to my voice!     Let your ears pay close attention to my request for mercy! If you kept track of sins, Lord,     my Lord, who would stand a chance? But forgiveness is with you;     that’s why you are honored. I ...

What We Believe: Immigration

What We Believe: Immigration

5/11/2018
What We Believe: United Methodist Perspectives on Immigration in the United States Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it. (Hebrews 13:2) “Welcoming the Migrant to the US” is a hallmark of United Methodist communities of faith, according to the 2016 Book of Resolutions of The United Methodist Church. “Throughout Scripture,” document 3281 notes, “the people of God are called to love sojourners in our midst, treating them ...

Pastoral Letter from Bishop Laurie

Pastoral Letter from Bishop Laurie

5/5/2018
A PASTORAL LETTER FROM BISHOP LAURIE   May 5, 2018   Dear Laity and Clergy in the Iowa Annual Conference,   Grace and peace! I am writing to you with an update from the Council of Bishops around the work of the Commission on a Way Forward. I am deeply grateful for your interest in and prayers for the Commission and for your presence at seven district gatherings around the state in March and April. As many of you know, the 2016 General Conference voted to form a special Commission to help us ...

Building Beloved Clergy Community

Building Beloved Clergy Community

5/3/2018
A beloved community was in full bloom at the spring Order of Elders, Order of Deacons, Fellowship of Local Pastors & Associate Members Gathering on April 26, 2018. Clergy gathered at Ames First United Methodist Church to address the common anxiety in the Iowa Conference around the upcoming General Conference sessions.   “Today is an opportunity to be together, take a deep breath, and address our common anxiety about where our church is right now,” said Rev. Scott Lothe, an Orders planning ...

Disaster Response — prepare yourself and help you neighbor

Disaster Response — prepare yourself and help you neighbor

5/1/2018
Hurricanes. Flooding. Active aggressors. God watches over us, but disaster happens, and we need to be prepared and ready to help those around us. Here’s the latest on United Methodists helping in times of disaster, and what to do when disaster strikes.   UMC Helping in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico   United Methodists’ recovery efforts are ongoing in two Texas conferences (Texas Conference and Rio Texas Conference), Florida and Puerto Rico. It will take an estimated 10 to 12 years until ...

Calling all singers!

Calling all singers!

4/17/2018
CONFERENCE CHOIR Calling all singers! The Memorial Service (scheduled for Sunday, June 10 at 4:00) will host a Conference Choir!  All singers are invited and encouraged to participate—regardless of whether you are a member of Annual Conference. You will be responsible for securing your own octavos and practicing ahead of the conference rehearsals.  The choir will offer two anthems:  Shepherd Me, O God - Haugen (Gia Publications #G-295) and Hymn of Promise - Sleeth/arr. Ferguson (Hope ...

Camp Hope 2018

Camp Hope 2018

4/10/2018
Camp Hope, a camp for children and youth with family members who are or have been incarcerated, is happening again this summer at Wesley Woods Camp and Pictured Rocks Camp. This three-day camp focuses on having fun in a safe space where campers can just be kids, and also learn about Christ's love for them. The Camp Hope team knows the difference that this program makes in the lives of its campers, so a Camp Hope experience is completely covered through scholarships. The Board of Church and ...

Native American Sunday

Native American Sunday

4/3/2018
One of six churchwide Special Sundays with offerings of The United Methodist Church, Native American Ministries Sunday serves to remind United Methodists of the gifts and contributions made by Native Americans to our society. The special offering supports Native American outreach within annual conferences and across the United States and provides seminary scholarships for Native Americans. When you give generously on Native American Ministries Sunday, you equip seminary students who will honor ...

IA Conf. communicators receive awards

IA Conf. communicators receive awards

3/20/2018
The Communications Ministry Team of the Iowa Conference was recognized for its work during the awards gala of the 2018 gathering of the United Methodist Association of Communicators.  The event, held in Philadelphia, brought together denominational communicators from across the country as well as Nigerian Episcopal Area communicator, Rev. Ande Emmanuel.  (Ande was ordained as an Elder in the UMC during an Iowa Annual Conference session.)   Associate Director of Communications, Liz Winders, ...

curious.church

curious.church

3/19/2018
This year, from October 9-12 Iowa will serve as host to the National Christians Engaged in Faith Formation Conference called ‘curious.church’ (www.curious.church). The Conference will offer a diverse lineup of educational opportunities with workshops, keynotes and worship all highlighted. The conference will also feature authors and speakers Brian McLaren, John Roberto and Mary Scifres as well as United Methodist Bishops Laurie Haller from Iowa, Cynthia Fierro Harvey from Louisiana and Tracy ...

Destruction allows new growth

Destruction allows new growth

3/19/2018
By: Morgan Frideres, Spring 2018 Intern, Simpson College A tornado destroyed part of the sanctuary at the Wesley United Methodist Church in Muscatine in March 2017, causing $1 million of damages to the building and destroying the 5200 pipe Casavant organ.   This didn’t destroy the congregation’s spirit, though. Although it was inconvenient, Board of Trustees chair Greg Wall said they took advantage of the situation.   “We seized the opportunity with the church being in disarray and we made a ...

Justice For Our Neighbors quarterly newsletter

Justice For Our Neighbors quarterly newsletter

3/15/2018
Click to read the March 2018 JFON newsletter.

Polk City U.M. Church embarks on mission trip to Puerto Rico

Polk City U.M. Church embarks on mission trip to Puerto Rico

3/6/2018
In response to the devastation that was caused by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, 15 Iowans are preparing to leave Thursday for Puerto Rico to help a United Methodist church rebuild.   The volunteers include high-schoolers through retirees, and not just United Methodists.   “We were able to get a good group of people from many denominations from all across the state of Iowa,” said the group’s leader, Reverend Hugh Stone. “We have a student at Simpson College, some retired doctors, a retired nurse, ...

AC2018 - Creating Difference Makers in New Communities of Faith

AC2018 - Creating Difference Makers in New Communities of Faith

3/3/2018
Creating Difference Makers in New Communities of Faith is the theme for the 2018 Iowa Annual Conference session where lay and clergy will gather for the three-day event will be held at the Iowa Events Center/Hy-Vee Hall in Des Moines. The 175th annual yearly meeting will feature powerful preaching, inspiring singing, informative teaching sessions, vital reporting, and the reconnection of fellow United Methodists from across the state.   Following Lay and Clergy sessions that will be held on ...

The little church that CAN

The little church that CAN

3/3/2018
By: Morgan Frideres, Spring 2018 Intern, Simpson College Prole, IA – Linn Grove United Methodist Church in Prole, Iowa is home to a congregation of around only 40 regular worshipers, but they’ve proven their slogan as the “little church that CAN.” Their small congregation raised $5,580 for Heifer International to purchase animals for families in poverty.   Heifer International’s expression is “Passing on the Gift,” according to their website. The purchase of animals brings sustainable ...

Active aggressor training and resources

Active aggressor training and resources

3/2/2018
There is no way that we can be prepared for everything that “could” happen but we can discuss and be ready for many things. In 2017, a total of 108 fatalities happened in places of worship in the United States. So far in 2018, we have 18 confirmed occurrences of guns in school with two of these resulting in fatalities. There is no “one” training or plan that will work for every church or community. Catie Newman, IAUMC Disaster Response Coordinator has compiled some resources to start the ...

DMPCC offers opportunities for clergy and laity

DMPCC offers opportunities for clergy and laity

3/2/2018
The Daring Way.™ Show Up. Be Seen. Live Brave.™  The Daring Way™ is a one-day workshop based on the work of Dr. Brené Brown. Participants can take this opportunity to learn how to show up, be seen and live brave in the challenging arenas of life. In this workshop we will learn about how to understand shame and move through shame towards wholeheartedness. Through experiential learning, we will explore key components of Dr. Brené Brown's research regarding shame, vulnerability and wholehearted ...

Bishops receive 2

Bishops receive 2 "sketches" for Way Forward

2/28/2018
  DALLAS -  What is the Christ’s way forward for doing mission and ministry in the worldwide United Methodist Church? That is the question bishops pondered during their February meeting in Dallas this week as they received an updated report from the Commission on a Way Forward. In the report given to the Council this week, the Commission shared with the bishops two sketches that carry forward many of the values and principles of the three sketches that were presented to the bishops at their ...

Conference Alignment: Next Steps

Conference Alignment: Next Steps

2/26/2018
The Iowa Conference has been on a journey towards greater health for the past several years. From the adoption of our strategic priorities in 2014 to the approval of the Conference mission and vision in 2016, operational teams across the state have worked diligently to align our systems and structure to create and support vital communities of faith and transformational leaders. The healthy process implemented through these operational teams has equipped our leaders and our local churches to ...

Gallo Seagren appointed to SE District for seventh year

Gallo Seagren appointed to SE District for seventh year

2/20/2018
Bishop Laurie Haller has announced that she will be appointing the Rev. Dr. Lilian Gallo Seagren to serve to serve as Superintendent of the Southeast District for the for another year, beginning July 1, 2018. This will be Superintendent Gallo Seagren’s seventh year leading the District. Since transferring to the Iowa Conference from Northeast Philippines in 1999, Dr. Gallo Seagren has served communities of faith in Hamburg; Guthrie Center-Bowman Chapel; and Waterloo, Kimball Avenue, prior to ...

Bishop's Statement about Florida tragedy

Bishop's Statement about Florida tragedy

2/15/2018
On the afternoon of Ash Wednesday, seventeen students and teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, Florida were killed by alleged gunman, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, who used a semi-automatic AR-15 rifle. This was the eighth school shooting in the US in 2018, and we are only 47 days into the year.   Our American love affair with guns and the challenge of passing gun legislation is well portrayed by the sign on the United Methodist Building in Washington D.C., which is the ...

Lenten Message from the Council of Bishops

Lenten Message from the Council of Bishops

2/14/2018
Dear Friends, On behalf of the entire Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church, I greet you as we enter the Lenten Season – a season of reflection and preparation for the celebration of Jesus’ triumphant resurrection on Easter. The pattern of our Lenten journey was set by Jesus during his 40 days of solitude, fasting, prayer and testing in the Judean desert. This was an essential period of preparation for Jesus’ public ministry. But, the goal of our Lenten journey was revealed by Jesus...

Scholarships offered for 2018 UMEIT:USA and NWCU events

Scholarships offered for 2018 UMEIT:USA and NWCU events

2/7/2018
WASHINGTON -The Council of Bishops is offering scholarships for young adults (age 21-35) to attend the 2018 United Methodist Ecumenical and Interreligious Training (UMEIT:USA) and the National Workshop on Christian Unity (NWCU) this Spring.   UMEIT:USA is the annual training in the United States for United Methodists engaged in ecumenical and inter-religious ministry through the church. The NWCU is an opportunity for Christians who care about ecumenical and inter-religious ministry to learn and ...

2018 Marks the beginning of a Jubilee for United Methodists.

2018 Marks the beginning of a Jubilee for United Methodists.

1/30/2018
By: Rev. Fred Day, General Secretary General Commission on Archives and History (GCAH) Fifty years ago, Evangelical United Brethren (EUB) Bishop Rueben H. Mueller and Methodist Bishop Lloyd C. Wicke joined hands over a table laden with symbols—the Bible, hymnals, books of Discipline and a 307-page "Plan of Union." 1,300 delegates and 10,000 visitors met in Dallas, Texas on April 23, 1968 proclaiming the formation of the newly-constituted United Methodist Church. 10.3 million Methodists and ...

Commission moderators emphasize mission as key to way forward

Commission moderators emphasize mission as key to way forward

1/30/2018
The moderators of the Commission on a Way Forward are urging United Methodists to engage in reflections on where they see mission at the heart of the denomination as well as seeing mission as significant for resolving conflict. Below is the statement from Bishops David Yemba, Sandra Steiner Ball, and Ken Carter: Mission and the Way Forward in the Season after the Epiphany At the conclusion of the recent meeting of the Commission on a Way Forward, the members were asked to share three words that...

Puerto Rico Mission Trip

Puerto Rico Mission Trip

1/27/2018
Volunteers are needed to participate in a Mission Trip to Puerto Rico from March 9 - 17, 2018—$1600/person In response to the devastation that was caused when back to back hurricanes slammed Puerto Rico, a mission trip has been organized by Rev. Hugh Stone from March 9 - 17 that will help repair a church just outside of San Juan.  Travel, lodging and meals are all included. The volunteers will be staying in a Methodist church in San Juan.  Please contact Rev. Stone at (641) 414-4876 or ...

The New Tax Law and Church Budgets

The New Tax Law and Church Budgets

1/23/2018
How will the new tax law (TCJA – Tax Cuts and Jobs Act) affect church budgets? First, what probably WON’T change.   Gifts to the church from people’s wills and estates probably won’t change.  Most people include a gift to the church in their will because they love the mission and ministry that is happening, and they want to leave a legacy that will survive their time on earth. Now is a great time to start or rejuvenate your church’s Endowment, and be able to receive bequests. Second, what ...

Rev. Paul Wilcox to become Northeast Superintendent

Rev. Paul Wilcox to become Northeast Superintendent

1/22/2018
  Bishop Laurie Haller has announced that Rev. Paul Wilcox will become the Superintendent of the Northeast District. He succeeds Rev. Jackie Bradford, who has served the district since 2011.  “The Iowa Annual Conference has eight districts, each led by a Superintendent who works with me to appoint the very best clergy to our congregations,” said Bishop Laurie Haller. The superintendents are the chief missional strategists for the districts, developing programs of mission and ...

UMW priorities a focus at the 2018 Legislative Advocacy Day

UMW priorities a focus at the 2018 Legislative Advocacy Day

1/19/2018
Close to thirty people gathered at Wesley United Methodist Church on E. 12th Street in Des Moines on Thursday morning January 17th to participate in the 2018 Legislative Advocacy Day which was hosted by the Iowa United Methodist Women.   Marty Ryan, a lobbyist for the Justice Reform Consortium, a prison advocacy group lead the orientation before the group of Methodist’s headed to the Iowa State Capitol.   During session, the Legislative Team, who are all volunteers, met with legislators and ...

2018 Camp registration is now open

2018 Camp registration is now open

1/12/2018
Camp registration for the 2018 season is officially open! Come join us at Lake Okoboji, Pictured Rocks, or Wesley Woods Camp and Retreat Centers for an Adventure of a Lifetime! Registration information can be found at www.iaumc.org/camps, or by calling the camp registrar at 1-800-765-1651.   Camp Ambassador Packets will be mailed to churches soon, so watch your mailboxes! These guides help you promote camps at your church with a start-to-finish program including recommended Bible verses and ...

Carlson to become NW Superintendent

Carlson to become NW Superintendent

1/8/2018
Bishop Laurie Haller has announced her intention to name Rev. Ronald L. Carlson to the Appointive Cabinet, beginning July 1, 2018.   “The Iowa Annual Conference has eight districts, each led by a Superintendent who works with me to appoint the very best clergy to our congregations,” said Bishop Laurie.  “The superintendents are the chief missional strategists for the districts, developing programs of mission and ministry that extend the witness of Christ into the world.  In addition, the ...

School for Ministry ends

School for Ministry ends

1/5/2018
The School for Ministry, the multi-day experience of worship, enrichment and resourcing, and renewal, has come to an end.  The commission voted, on November 16, 2017, to officially end its existence. For many years the school for ministry has been the continuing education choice for many United Methodist clergy in the state of Iowa. Over the years it has had an array of highly qualified faculty members, was held top-notch facilities and offered the best value possible for clergy of the Iowa ...

2017 Ingathering presents mission opportunity

2017 Ingathering presents mission opportunity

1/2/2018
Just a month after another successful Thanksgiving Ingathering for Iowa United Methodists, the Ingathering’s state coordinator, Mary Davis, sat down along with treasurer Marilyn Jensen and Greenfield site co-chair Jim Tussey to talk about the event. Marilyn reported that donations this year amounted to “about $985,000 dollars’ worth of both cash and in-kind gifts. Which, the in-kind is kits that are donated. So just short of a million dollars’ worth of giving for Thanksgiving Ingathering. And ...

Coaches ‘very encouraged, hopeful’

Coaches ‘very encouraged, hopeful’

1/2/2018
For two years, the Iowa Conference has been taking part in the Healthy Conference Initiative process with the coaching guidance of Greg Survant and Christin Nevins from Spiritual Leadership Incorporated (SLI). It is now a critical juncture in the process, as the coaches lessen their roles and the teams that they have been working with are charged with stepping up to the plate. “Iowa was very astute in recognizing that the problems facing the conference and all the churches is what’s known as an...

DMARC food pantry network – Iowa Annual Conference volunteers

DMARC food pantry network – Iowa Annual Conference volunteers

1/2/2018
The issue of hunger continues to touch Des Moines-area residents across all demographics, as demonstrated by statistics from the Des Moines Area Religious Council’s (DMARC) Food Pantry Network. In Fiscal Year 2016-2017, the DMARC Food Pantry Network assisted more than 48,000 unique individuals and nearly 20,000 unique households, as well as distributed more than 1.8 million food items. November is always the DMARC Food Pantry’s highest volume month, said Luke Elzinga, DMARC’s communications ...

Your Foundation is growing!

Your Foundation is growing!

1/2/2018
The Iowa United Methodist Foundation is growing again this year. Not only your investments and funds at the Foundation, but also with new faces around the office. Kevin Gowdy retired as Director Emeritus at the end of 2017, after several decades at the helm. He will be working on his Gowdy Christmas Tree farm in Melbourne, and enjoying his children’s high school years. He will work with his wife Laurie, a Financial Advisor with Thrivent Financial Services in Marshalltown and Baxter. He has had ...

Social Holiness

Social Holiness

12/5/2017
Social Holiness What We Believe series “Social holiness is the practice of obeying Jesus’ commandments to love God with all your heart, soul, and mind,” writes Dr. Steve Manskar.  It also includes “loving your neighbor as yourself, and loving one another one another (fellow members of your local congregation) as Christ loves.” Citing a passage in 1 John, Manskar adds, “When Wesley says that holiness is social he means that the depth of your love for God is revealed by the way you love whom God ...

Come and See Holy Land Tour

Come and See Holy Land Tour

12/1/2017
Palestinian Christians are asking us to come and see. That is what we will do. April 16-27, 2018 First United Methodist Church in Des Moines is hosting a trip to Israel/Palestine. We will “come and see” the cities of Nazareth, Tiberius, Ibillin, Haifa, Capernaum, Cana, Nablus, Hebron, Bethlehem, Jerusalem and Jericho. We will visit many holy sites. But just as importantly we will also listen. We will hear from: Archbishop Elias Chacour as he talks about the plight of Christians in the Holy Land...

United Methodist stance on taxes

United Methodist stance on taxes

11/29/2017
Like much of the current debate in Washington, The United Methodist Church is calling for changes in the tax code.  A resolution, adopted by the 2016 General Conference states, “[we] need to reform these tax structures.” Understanding “the vital role of governments” that provide order and structure and provide services that only a collective can offer, Resolution 4063 affirms that taxes “are necessary to provide adequate revenue that supports our shared commitment to a just society, including ...

Distinctive Wesleyan Emphases

Distinctive Wesleyan Emphases

11/17/2017
What Makes United Methodists Unique - “Distinctive Wesleyan Emphases” What We Believe series “The underlying energy of the Wesleyan theological heritage stems from an emphasis upon practical divinity, the implementation of genuine Christianity in the lives of believers.” (The Book of Discipline, 2016, p. 51) While the early roots of the Methodist experience emerge from John Wesley’s experience in the Church of England, he never thought his responsibility was to “reformulate doctrine.” (p. 51) ...

Final sea container on its way to Nigeria

Final sea container on its way to Nigeria

11/16/2017
The last sea container headed to Nigeria from the Iowa Conference of The United Methodist Church was loaded and sent on its way. Fourteen volunteers transferred boxes from a tractor-trailer to the container on Friday, November 10, 2017.   Jeremy Poland along with the driver, Eric, wait to load the last few boxes. The sea container was filled to the top with kits delivered to the 2016 Thanksgiving Ingathering sites across the state—the last year the Iowa Nigeria Partnership accepted school, ...

Clergywomen's Convocation

Clergywomen's Convocation

11/15/2017
From November 12-14, more than 60 clergywomen from across the Iowa Annual Conference gathered at First United Methodist Church in Ames for the Iowa Clergywomen’s Convocation. “It’s the time for us to get together, to worship together, to hear some of the great preachers that we have in Iowa, have some fun breakout sessions,” said one of the event’s organizers, Rev. Dr. Sarah Rohret as it was getting ready to kick off. “It’s just a time to gather together and hang out and have fun.” When she ...

Parish nurses receive Trinity Hospital's FOCUS award

Parish nurses receive Trinity Hospital's FOCUS award

11/13/2017
The October Trinity Hospital Foundation newsletter featured two parish nurses, Brenda Sherrick and Carol Jackson.  These two parish nurses were the first-ever recipients of Trinity Hospital's FOCUS award.  Brenda is technically a Trinity employee working at Asbury; Asbury pays her salary to Trinity. Carol is considered a "volunteer" for the Trinity Parish Nurse program, as she is a direct employee of Asbury. Both Carol and Brenda are long time members of Asbury United Methodist Church in ...

Exploring deeper questions of faith

Exploring deeper questions of faith

11/7/2017
The Simpson Youth Academy, which includes a 10-day residence on the Simpson College campus each summer, offers a unique opportunity for high school juniors and seniors in the Iowa Annual Conference. “We’re creating a community of adult mentors and high school students that are together exploring deeper questions about their faith, about social justice and service, and about vocation,” explains Rev. Eric Rucker, the program’s director. Founded by the Lilly Endowment and Simpson College, the Youth...

CORR creates conversation

CORR creates conversation

11/3/2017
On November 17, the Iowa Conference Commission on Religion and Race invites all ethnic clergy and laity, and all members of the church (especially members of their congregation’s Staff-Parish Relations Committee), to the Iowa Conference Center for a special workshop on cross-cultural and cross-racial appointments. “Iowa is a welcoming conference, and we are so blessed that we have a lot of ethnic pastors appointed right now within the whole conference,” says Rev. Dan Fernandez, chairperson of ...

Excited for his new role

Excited for his new role

11/2/2017
Rev. Harlan Gillespie, Superintendent for the North Central District, who also serves as Dean of the Appointive Cabinet, will be taking on a very important new role starting July 1: Assistant to the Bishop for Administration. For the new position, he and his wife will be leaving their home in the North Central District, where they’ve enjoyed living for the last four years, and relocating to Des Moines. Click to listen to the interview with Rev. Harlan Gillespie. “When I think about it, my ...

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