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School for Lay Ministry advanced classes

School for Lay Ministry advanced classes

9/5/2018
The School for Lay Ministry Commission Advanced Classes begins October 13 at Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, Iowa. Each of the classes are available to all clergy, laity or those interested. Don’t wait to take advantage of these special learning opportunities. Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018 “Missionary Conferences” with Rev. Jon Disburg, from Ottumwa First     Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018 “Oh no, I forgot to order the Special Sunday envelopes!” with Rev. Denny Coon, from Union Park-Des Moines  Have you ever...

School for Lay Ministry classes for 2018-19

School for Lay Ministry classes for 2018-19

9/5/2018
School for Lay Ministry Classes Beginning Soon—Don’t Miss Out on an Exciting Journey in Your Spiritual Growth Check out The School for Lay Ministry brochure Gain knowledge and insight and become a tremendous asset to your pastor and your church through classes with the School for Lay Ministry. These inexpensive weekend long classes will help will grow beyond your expectations.  “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”  ...

Upcoming COWF gatherings

Upcoming COWF gatherings

9/5/2018
Bishop Laurie's Update on the Commission on a Way Forward Dear Friends, Grace and peace! I hope that you are enjoying this beautiful summer here in Iowa. At the same time, I would ask for your prayers for those parts of our state that experienced significant property damage as a result of severe storms over the past month, including United Methodist churches and parsonages. If you wish to make a contribution toward the relief effort, process, please click here. I also want to give you an ...

DATE CHANGE for The Center for Pastoral Effectiveness

DATE CHANGE for The Center for Pastoral Effectiveness

8/23/2018
IMPORTANT: DUE TO CLERGY ORDERS THE CENTER FOR PASTORAL EFFECTIVENESS WILL BEGIN NOVEMBER 14-16 RATHER THAN IN OCTOBER The Center for Pastoral Effectiveness has moved their First Retreat (Track 1) from October 29-31 to November 14-16 still meeting at Ankeny First United Methodist Church. Originally scheduled for Oct 29-31 that conflicts with next Clergy Orders Event Oct 30.  The Orders Event is very important and we encourage everyone to attend it in October than please join us at the Center in ...

JFON's Annual Fundraising and Award Ceremony

JFON's Annual Fundraising and Award Ceremony

8/23/2018
"Keeping Families Together" is the theme of the 2018 Justice for Our Neighbors Annual Fundraiser and Awards ceremony which will be held Saturday, October 6, 2018, 11:30 am to 2:00 pm at Coe College's Clark Alumni House in Cedar Rapids Iowa.    Register/Donate today! For more information, please go to http://www.iowajfon.org/annual-fundraising-event/​ For almost 20 years, Iowa Justice For Our Neighbors has helped transform the lives of thousands of low-income immigrants and refugees in urban ...

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 ...

Learning how to be healthy in ministry

Learning how to be healthy in ministry

11/2/2017
“When we look at healthy boundaries, we’re looking at how can we respect and honor those differences and be aware of how we relate to each other in ways that feel good and safe for everyone involved,” says Rev. Andrea Severson. She, along with Rev. Amy Spangler-Dunning and Rev. Diane McClanahan, all from the Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center, is leading a series of 16 workshops on healthy boundaries this fall and continuing into early 2018 across eight districts in the Iowa Annual ...

New director shares God's love through camping

New director shares God's love through camping

11/2/2017
Chip Hutler is the new site director for Wesley Woods Camp and Retreat Center, located in Indianola, Iowa. He’s been in the ‘camp business’ for nearly 30 years, working at camps and YMCAs from Wisconsin to Arizona. Strangely enough, though, he didn’t grow up as a camper – in fact, he found himself rather unexpectedly falling into his career. Click to watch the interview with the new Wesley Woods site director, Chip Hutler. “I blame my wife,” Chip laughs. “My wife and I met in college in an ...

Nurturing fruitful pastoral leadership

Nurturing fruitful pastoral leadership

11/2/2017
“It’s an alternative to the educational program offered by our seminaries,” explains Dr. Dennis Tevis, the director for the Upper Midwest Extension Course of Study. “It’s a 20-course program that covers things that pastors need to know in serving congregations, from congregational care, to preaching, to Old and New Testaments, to historical theology and contemporary theology.” Part of the Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois, the Upper Midwest school serves part-time ...

NW District changes how they handle charge conferences

NW District changes how they handle charge conferences

11/2/2017
By Phil Carver This fall the Northwest District churches are handling their annual charge conferences in a new way. Their district superintendent, Tom Carver, says that “charge conferences are one of the ways we support the mission and vision of the local church.” However, the business of the charge conference can be handled rather briefly during the course of congregation’s regular church council meeting. Elders in the area, therefore, have been asked to preside over these events, which frees ...

What We Believe - The United Methodist perspective

What We Believe - The United Methodist perspective

11/2/2017
What We Believe - The United Methodist perspective on “Global Climate Stewardship” This month we begin a new feature entitled, “What We Believe.”  The new series will highlight some the things that we, as United Methodists, hold in common. The United Methodist Church has adopted a set of Social Principles, perspectives about God’s human creation and the world in which we live.   The Social Principles address such diverse topics as: the natural world (plants, animal life, science and technology, ...

Retirees ‘celebrate the present,’ receive updates

Retirees ‘celebrate the present,’ receive updates

10/31/2017
Retired Iowa Conference clergy and spouses came to New Hope United Methodist Church for their fall gathering on October 31.  The more than 70 worshipped, heard from Bishop Laurie Haller, received a pension update, and, of course, caught up over morning coffee and the mid-day lunch. Rev. Bill Poland Rev. Bill Poland, the current assistant to the bishop for administration, welcomed the group and, along with his spouse, Judy, on the keyboard, led the opening worship.  In the shadow of All ...

Spiritual Care Trainings create listeners for everyone

Spiritual Care Trainings create listeners for everyone

10/31/2017
There are many devoted disaster response teams in the Iowa United Methodist community, but a new style of post-crisis care is emerging in the conference.   “Our whole motivation in disaster ministries is to be a caring, Christian presence in the midst of disaster,” said Rev. Catie Newman, the Iowa Disaster Response Coordinator. “Now, we'll have a Spiritual Care Team.”   The first of many Spiritual Care trainings was held at the Conference Office on Oct. 23. The training started from the ground ...

Judicial Council upholds Bishop’s ruling

Judicial Council upholds Bishop’s ruling

10/30/2017
The Judicial Council, United Methodism’s “supreme court,” upheld Bishop Laurie Haller’s ruling on a “decision of law” raised during the 2017 annual conference session.  The decision announced on October 26, 2017, came during the Council’s fall meeting.  The question was raised “regarding the complaint procedure involving a clergy member who was reported to have publicly declared to be ‘a self-avowed practicing homosexual’,” according to the opening of Decision 1351. In brief, the Judicial ...

63 years of Christmas sharing

63 years of Christmas sharing

10/25/2017
Bidwell Riverside Center has started to solicit help in making their 63rd year of sharing the most impactful yet. We’re seeking toys for all ages to make this year a success and bring joy to even more children.  Learn more about the Bidwell Riverside Center Toy Drive Most needed items include: Toys, stocking stuffers, books, hats & gloves, stuffed animals, $10 and $20 gift cards to Walmart, Target, and other grocery stores. Donated items can be dropped off in our administrative office located ...

Team focuses on building relationships

Team focuses on building relationships

10/23/2017
The 10-member Faithful Stewardship Team, which meets monthly and has gathered together four times so far, is fully into the process known as ‘loving, learning, and leading’. The team’s convener, Rev. Ron Carlson, says, “Our coaches, Betty Stone and Karen Kirkpatrick, have been leading us and guiding us as we’ve learned about each other and tried to get a feel for what was going on – a lot of the preparatory work, developing our team, understanding who we are and what assumptions we operate with....

Nonprofit seeks to reduce food insecurity

Nonprofit seeks to reduce food insecurity

10/19/2017
There are 99,000 Polk County residents who are food insecure1. Of those people, 72,000 have enough to eat thanks to supportive services such as Bidwell Riverside Center’s food pantry.  Bidwell Riverside Center works to reduce food insecurity every day. The pantry at Bidwell served more than 15,000 people in 2016. That’s 20% of the Polk County residents who were food insecure but still managed to have enough to eat. Last year, Bidwell distributed approximately 122,000 clothing items, 37,000 ...

Iowa Conference Conversations podcast

Iowa Conference Conversations podcast

10/17/2017
Iowa Conference Conversations podcast is now available on both iTunes and Google Play music.  “Thanks to the extraordinary work of Wil Ranney, ‘Conversations’ will be more widely available and something you can subscribe to,” said Dr. Arthur McClanahan, the Conference’s Director of Communications. Some 63 “Conversations” are posted, as of October 17, 2018.  The episodes range from brief three-minute dialogues to ten-minute interviews, to a few extended conversations and presentations.  Most ...

Iowans generous in disaster response

Iowans generous in disaster response

10/17/2017
Iowa United Methodist communities of faith were very generous in their giving to disaster response in September.  Giving from 155 congregations amounted to $59,386.41, of which $3,952.93 was designated for an international response and $55,433.48 for domestic disaster response. In this difficult 2017 storm season, the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) has been particularly attentive to the devastation in Texas, Florida, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.  The United Methodist News ...

Advent through Christmas—Coming Home Worship Series

Advent through Christmas—Coming Home Worship Series

10/16/2017
In the United States, Christmastime and thoughts of home just go together. “I’ll be Home for Christmas,” and “There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays,” are two of the most popular holiday songs, year after year. Christmas movies and television shows regularly feature stories of people going to their family home or extended family home over the holidays. Among the rituals we create for this darkest time of the year in the Northern hemisphere, perhaps the majority of them are associated with ...

PET renamed Mobility Worldwide

PET renamed Mobility Worldwide

10/16/2017
Pastor Audrey Young shares how the Personal Energy Transportation (PET) got its start in Iowa and how they are made, delivered and received.

Prayer and Mission

Prayer and Mission

10/16/2017
Ryan Christenson, Northwest District Field Outreach Minister shares ideas for churches to expand their prayer life and mission.

Begins tenure on July 1, 2018

Begins tenure on July 1, 2018

10/13/2017
Bishop Laurie Haller announced today that Rev. Harlan Gillespie will be the new Assistant to the Bishop for Administration, effective July 1, 2018.  Gillespie, Superintendent for the North Central District, also currently serves as Dean of the Appointive Cabinet. “The Assistant to the Bishop works with the Bishop in administering the life of the annual conference,” said Bishop Laurie. This includes representing the Bishop on conference administrative committees and at conference events, ...

Re: Letter from United Methodist Insurance

Re: Letter from United Methodist Insurance

10/10/2017
TO ALL IOWA UNITED METHODIST CHURCHES - October 2017 RE: United Methodist Church Minimum Insurance Requirements The Iowa Conference has become aware that United Methodist Insurance is sending each church a letter attempting to enroll you in their insurance program. The mailing indicates that there are new “minimum insurance requirements” that each church must comply with. Please click here to read a letter from Conference Treasurer Maggie Biggs for more information.

Wesley in Muscatine recovers and grows together after tornado

Wesley in Muscatine recovers and grows together after tornado

10/7/2017
By Katie Roquet Worshiping and ministering while there is a construction zone filling your main sanctuary is certainly a challenge. Here at Wesley United Methodist Church in Muscatine, we were hit by an EF2 tornado on March 6th, 2017. The damage it left behind was significant, destroying our beautiful Casavant pipe organ, damaging much of our chancel area, leaving a gaping hole in the roof, and causing minor damage in many other areas of our main church building and our Family Life Center. ...

An important message from Bishop Laurie

An important message from Bishop Laurie

10/6/2017
The entire country woke up on Monday morning to the shocking news that a lone gunman unleashed hundreds of rounds from high-velocity semi-automatic weapons from the 32nd floor of a Las Vegas hotel onto a crowd of 22,000 people at an outdoor music festival. It was the deadliest mass shooting modern US history. 58 people were killed and hundreds more were injured. Among the victims was Carly Kreibaum of Sutherland, Iowa, who had a husband and two children. Authorities are just beginning to piece ...

Clean-up buckets on the way to help

Clean-up buckets on the way to help

10/6/2017
On Monday, October 2, Addison Gaskin and Barbara Hartsock, two drivers for the family-run Weinrich Trucking business, stood in the parking lot of Altoona United Methodist Church, waiting to have their rig filled with nearly 400 clean-up buckets, plus boxes full of hygiene kits, that volunteers had assembled to help hurricane victims.  (Later in the day, more than 300 additional clean-up buckets were collected from First United Methodist Church in Marion.)  “It’s 53 foot long, and it’s about 8, ...

Discipleship Pathways presentations offer challenges, hope

Discipleship Pathways presentations offer challenges, hope

10/3/2017
In the opening days of October, Ken Willard led “Discipleship Pathways” presentations in the Southwest, North Central, Northwest and South Central districts. Designed in part to further the conference’s “Wildly Important Goal” to see every community of faith develop a discipleship pathway by 2020, Willard’s workshops attracted hundreds of clergy and lay people eager to learn the process for developing a discipleship pathway. Making the Connections For those who don’t quite know what to make of...

Upper Midwest Extension Course of Study nurtures fruitful pastoral leadership

Upper Midwest Extension Course of Study nurtures fruitful pastoral leadership

10/3/2017
“It’s an alternative to the educational program offered by our seminaries,” explains Dr. Dennis Tevis, the director for the Upper Midwest Extension Course of Study. “It’s a 20-course program that covers things that pastors need to know in serving congregations, from congregational care to preaching to Old and New Testaments, to historical theology and contemporary theology.” Part of the Garett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois, the Upper Midwest school serves part-time ...

Waterloo Kimball receives award

Waterloo Kimball receives award

10/2/2017
Waterloo Kimball UMC has received The State of Iowa Governor’s Volunteer Award for their Partner in Education program with Orange Elementary School where they had 16 reading buddies during the 2016-17 school year who read over 400 hours. They also have volunteers with Habitat for Humanity, Eye of the Needle and the local hospitals. Congratulations Waterlook Kimball, that's how you show the world that the United Methodist Church is filled with Difference Makers!

Cleaning kits are on the way

Cleaning kits are on the way

9/29/2017
“The final trucks that we’ve arranged so far, on Monday, will be picking up just under 2,000 buckets across Iowa and delivering them to Midwest Missions,” reports Rev. Catie Newman, who is the disaster response coordinator for the Iowa Conference. “We’ve tried to get all the buckets into three locations so we just have three pick-ups for them that day.” Those kits will soon be helping people in the many areas ravaged by hurricane begin the overwhelming task of cleaning up, but of course there is...

Reaching out to storm survivors in Puerto Rico

Reaching out to storm survivors in Puerto Rico

9/29/2017
Photo credit: Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images

Celebrating traditions at Santiago UMC

Celebrating traditions at Santiago UMC

9/28/2017
While the farmers are harvesting crops in the fields around it, the children are gathered inside the small country church assembling over two dozen school kits for Ingathering and rehearsing a song for the church's 125th Anniversary celebration Sunday, October 1. Santiago UMC has invited the public to an open house from 1 to 4 PM with historic displays, homemade desserts, and ice cream. A free-will offering will be received for an upper level handicapped accessible project. At 2 PM former ...

Conversations about mental health

Conversations about mental health

9/26/2017
By Monique Shore Mental health issues touch the lives of many in our pews and in our communities. And yet, even in what should be the safety of our family of faith, it can be difficult for individuals to share these burdens. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Iowa consistently ranks at the bottom of all states for mental health programs and services.  Inadequate mental health services are a contributing factor to nearly every issue our society struggles with - health care, ...

Poland looks to build community

Poland looks to build community

9/26/2017
Starting in January, Rev. Bill Poland, currently serving as the Assistant to the Bishop for Administration, will become the Director of New Faith Communities. He’s excited about the opportunity and looks forward to engaging with people throughout the Iowa Annual Conference as he works to help “build systems for building new faith communities.” New Position This is actually a brand new position that grew out of a study of the Healthy Church Initiative (HCI) where it was determined that there ...

Wesley Woods Promises “Amazing Experiences” for Youth and Adults

Wesley Woods Promises “Amazing Experiences” for Youth and Adults

9/25/2017
Coming off of a life-changing 62nd summer of ministry, Wesley Woods United Methodist Camp and Retreat Center is growing in new and exciting ways to meet the ministry needs of the Iowa United Methodist Church. To help usher in growth and new experiences, Wesley Woods is excited to welcome new Site Director Chip Hutler to Iowa. “We are thrilled to have Chip here in Iowa,” says Bryan Johnson, LDM for Camping and Christian Formation. “We think you are going to love getting to know him and will ...

Helping Disaster Survivors

Helping Disaster Survivors

9/20/2017
A Conversation with Disaster Response Coordinator, Rev. Catie Newman The sheer number of natural disasters in recent weeks has been overwhelming. Hurricanes have wreaked havoc in the Virgin Islands, Cuba, Texas, Louisiana, Florida, and now Puerto Rico, while wildfires have raged out west. “Everybody really wants to do something to help when we see those pictures of folks surrounded by devastation,” says Rev. Catie Newman, the disaster response coordinator for the Iowa Annual Conference. “And ...

Big changes at UMCOR and for next year's Ingathering

Big changes at UMCOR and for next year's Ingathering

9/19/2017
By Audrey Young, Iowa’s General Secretary for the Iowa Board of Global Ministries It may be a good idea to bring all leftover bulk items for kits to our 2017 Ingathering, rather than holding anything over for 2018, as is the custom of some local churches. “We have been assured UMCOR will accept all of our kits from our 2017 Thanksgiving Ingathering this year. The book for next year, 2018, will reflect the changes,” stated Dan Houston, Iowa Ingathering Chairperson. The first big changes already...

Dir. of New Faith Communities named

Dir. of New Faith Communities named

9/18/2017
Rev. Bill Poland to become Director of New Faith Communities  Bishop Laurie Haller announced today that she will name the Rev. William W. Poland to the newly-created position of Director of New Faith Communities.  He will begin his new responsibilities on January 1, 2018. “Our first strategic priority in the Iowa Annual Conference,” said Bishop Laurie, is “‘creating world-transforming communities of faith.’ Because we believe that Jesus’ mandate to his followers to ‘go and make disciples’ ...

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