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Just Resolution achieved; church trial avoided

Just Resolution achieved; church trial avoided

11/13/2019
By Arthur McClanahan* A Just Resolution has been achieved in the matter of a judicial complaint filed against Rev. Anna Blaedel. As a result, there will not be a church trial.   In a larger context, it is Bishop Laurie Haller’s intention “to avoid, if at all possible, the processing of complaints, charges, and trials related to officiating at same-gendered weddings and LGBTQIA identity and credentialing.”  According to retired United Methodist Bishop S. Clifton Ives, who served as the ...

District Office Transitions

District Office Transitions

11/8/2019
Friends in Christ,    I give thanks to God for your faithful and effective ministries led by the Holy Spirit for the sake of Jesus Christ. You continue to find ways each day to share the love of God in Jesus Christ with your neighbors here and around the world encouraging growth in discipleship.    By December 30th of this year, the physical office spaces that have been used for district superintendents and district administrative assistants will be closed. This transition is taking place to ...

Hamburg UMC receives $30,000 from Iowa Disaster Ministries

Hamburg UMC receives $30,000 from Iowa Disaster Ministries

11/8/2019
Prayer for Continued Recovery in Hamburg, Iowa from Iowa Annual Conference on Vimeo. Prayers, hard work, and donations have poured into Hamburg, Iowa since the spring floods, and United Methodists were able to give church members some extra encouragement this week. Through giving across the connection, $30,000 from the Iowa Disaster Ministries Advance Special #223 was gifted to the church community for recovery.   “We came to support you, to love you, to care for you,” said Pastor Catie ...

Ingathering marks 40 years in mission

Ingathering marks 40 years in mission

11/2/2019
Mission Ingathering, formerly known as Thanksgiving Ingathering, marked forty years of making a difference on Saturday, November 2.  “The Mission Ingathering is a way for Iowa United Methodists to address humanitarian problems locally and around the world, including hunger, poverty, and disaster,” according to the Ingathering statements.  It’s a way “to show the love of Christ to the world’s people by ministering to their needs.”   What began as a small collection of blankets, kits, animals, and...

Pastors of Large Churches envision the future

Pastors of Large Churches envision the future

10/29/2019
Pastors of large churches gathered to envision the future of their congregations, themselves, and the Iowa Conference.  Coming together for the annual fall session, more than fifty of the conference’s pastors engaged in a day of worship, receiving and responding to Vision 2032, and sharing in some frank and open conversation with each other and the Bishop. Rev. Richard Boatman welcomed the group to Oakwood UMC in Pleasant Hill, where he is the lead pastor. A faithful journey Focusing on Psalm...

The Iowa Preaching and Worship Institute is taking applications

The Iowa Preaching and Worship Institute is taking applications

10/25/2019
The Iowa Preaching and Worship Institute is taking applications. Meeting quarterly for two days of immersion, this is an eighteen-month program of six retreats designed to support, resource and connect those who preach regularly in an effort to expand their styles of preparation and presentation, resource to relevant and creative design, and provide a means for richer supports and overall effectiveness. This Institute is designed to develop preachers in a model of immersion that brings together...

Hampton UMC gets to the heart of ministry with the poor

Hampton UMC gets to the heart of ministry with the poor

10/24/2019
When the youth group at Hampton United Methodist Church realized that there was a need in their community for items that couldn’t be purchased with food stamps, they decided to do something about it.   That was back in 2013, and the Hampton Clean Up Closet has been in operation ever since.   It all started with a mission trip, and the youth decided that they could do something to help people in poverty in their own community. The adults in the church quickly helped them find ways to make it ...

Ebony Bishops demand a voice in discussions on UMC future

Ebony Bishops demand a voice in discussions on UMC future

10/21/2019
For Immediate Release October 21, 2019 The Ebony Bishops of The United Methodists Church (African-American bishops serving in the United States) have called on the denomination to include African-American clergy and laity in the ongoing discussions on the future of the church, as they provide the unique voice of hope for the future, not only for the Black church, but also for the unity of the entire denomination.  In a statement released October 21, 2019 by co-chairs Bishop LaTrelle Miller ...

What Happens After Happily Ever After?

What Happens After Happily Ever After?

10/21/2019
Tom Boomershine, a United Methodist pastor for over 20 years, is fortunate to have a marriage that gets noticed. “My lovely wife and I had people asking all the time, ‘You two really look happy–how do you do that?’” And while he and his wife Winter are indeed very happy, and love to spend as much time as they possibly can together, they have seen many couples around them struggle.  So Tom decided to put what he’s learned about marriage into a new book, After Ever After: Finding and Keeping the ...

Latinx worship celebration begins at First UMC, Des Moines

Latinx worship celebration begins at First UMC, Des Moines

10/18/2019
Nearly a hundred people gathered in the sanctuary of First United Methodist Church for “Diferente,” the initial Latinx ministry celebration. Coming together on September 29, 2019, the community experienced a time when “todos son Bienvenidos,” all are welcome.   According to First UMC Pastor Edgar Solis, the new ministry will be a celebration of community in which people will share in prayer ministry and be encouraged to participate in Bible studies. “We’ve had contact with people from Miami, ...

General Conference 2020: A preliminary look at key legislation

General Conference 2020: A preliminary look at key legislation

10/17/2019
By: Christa Meland Next May, 15 months after the top legislative body of The United Methodist Church voted to adopt the Traditional Plan, delegates at the 2020 General Conference will consider alternative options for a way forward. (View all General Conference 2019 coverage here.)   The Traditional Plan, approved at the 2019 Special Called Session of General Conference, maintains that homosexuality is “incompatible with Christian teaching” and increases penalties for self-avowed gay clergy and ...

Video offers insight into the UMC-Episcopal dialogue on Full Communion

Video offers insight into the UMC-Episcopal dialogue on Full Communion

10/16/2019
For immediate release                                                            October 14, 2019   Videos offer insight into the United Methodist-Episcopal Full Communion Dialogue WASHINGTON, D. C. -  The United Methodist Church – Episcopal Church Dialogue Committee has released a series of videos highlighting shared ministries between the churches and discussing the current full communion proposal developed by the committee.   The videos include a conversation between Bishop Gregory Palmer ...

Looking into the future - Vision 2032

Looking into the future - Vision 2032

10/15/2019
Faith communities, lay and clergy, and leaders are looking into the future of the Iowa Annual Conference, to discern Vision 2032.    To be able to do this most effectively, with the greatest input from across the Conference, a series of listening sessions has just begun. The first conversation took place on Sunday, October 13, at Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church. In the coming weeks, through the end of November, an additional seven sessions will take place. (See the schedule here.)   “The ...

Rev. Douglas Cue installed as new SE District Superintendent

Rev. Douglas Cue installed as new SE District Superintendent

10/14/2019
Lay and clergy of the Southeast District celebrated the installation of Rev. Douglas Cue as their new Superintendent on Sunday, October 13. Gathering at First United Methodist Church in Mt. Pleasant, the significant presence in that congregation’s sanctuary vocally expressed the commitment to “put one foot in front of the other and lead with love.” Bishop Laurie Haller asked the community, “Are you ready for the journey?” Together they declared, “We are ready! We gather as the people who are ...

AC2020 Global Health Initiative

AC2020 Global Health Initiative

10/9/2019
The 2020 Iowa Annual Conference will be focusing on Global Health and we are excited to share about two very deserving groups who are making a difference in the lives of others here in Iowa and around the world.   Iowa Mission of Mercy is a large scale, two-day community dental clinic where dental professionals and general volunteers donate their time to provide free oral health care to individuals who face barriers to receiving dental care. The clinic moves to different areas of the state each...

You're invited to a visioning session with Bishop Laurie

You're invited to a visioning session with Bishop Laurie

10/9/2019
Dear Friends,   Do you have a vision for the future of Iowa United Methodist Church?   You are invited to attend Vision 2032: All In — A Visioning Session with Bishop Laurie where we can share dialogue on how we build our future together. Bishop Laurie will talk about her ideas including new faith communities, healthy relationships, focused programming, empowered laity, effective clergy, our present financial condition, and the probability the Iowa Annual Conference may not continue as we are. ...

Pastor and author Lillian Daniel falls in love with Dubuque

Pastor and author Lillian Daniel falls in love with Dubuque

10/7/2019
Rev. Dr. Lillian Daniel, a graduate of Yale Divinity School, has worked as an adjunct professor and is the author of several books, but she considers herself “a parish pastor first.” She is currently the senior pastor of First Congregational Church in Dubuque, but it was a long and windy road that brought her to Iowa. From the suburbs to the city and back Rev. Daniel began as an associate pastor in Cheshire, Connecticut, which was a large, thriving suburban church. “I was there for three years ...

Two-day event brought pastoral leaders together

Two-day event brought pastoral leaders together

10/7/2019
Rev. Dr. Lillian Daniel was the featured presenter at the fall 2019 gathering of the Order of Elders, Order of Deacons, and Fellowship of Local Pastors and Associate Members of the Iowa Annual Conference.   The event, held at the Christian Life Center of Ankeny First United Methodist Church, brought together nearly two hundred pastoral leaders of the Conference for two days of thought-provoking reflection and earnest dialogue. During the opening worship, Rev. Heather Dorr asked, “When was the ...

Rev. Jim Morris: Called to serve and preserve

Rev. Jim Morris: Called to serve and preserve

10/6/2019
“I would remind people of what I consider one of the truisms of being a human being: if you don’t know where you’re coming from, you are not going to know where you’re going. Our history informs our future, very much,” says Rev. Jim Morris, who believes that this is why it’s important to maintain an awareness of the heritage and history of the Methodist movement. A retired United Methodist pastor of the Iowa Conference, Rev. Morris was recently presented with the Distinguished Service Award from...

Back-to-School Ministry continues to BLESS

Back-to-School Ministry continues to BLESS

10/4/2019
The Storm Lake United Methodist Church is now in its fourth year with BLESS, a special program that provides school supplies for children in the area. An acronym for Bless and Love Everyone School Supplies, the program has been a blessing indeed for everyone it has touched. Listening to the Lord It all started when Storm Lake member Sarah Low found out that parents were coming to the church asking for help purchasing school supplies, but there were no funds available to purchase them. As an ...

Now Receiving Candidates for Episcopal Nominee

Now Receiving Candidates for Episcopal Nominee

10/2/2019
The Iowa delegation of the North Central Jurisdictional Conference has the pleasure of presenting an Episcopal Nominee to the 2020 Iowa Annual Conference. This process involves receiving names of possible candidates now through October 31, 2019.   On November 1, 2019, those candidates will then receive the “Episcopal Nominee Information” form and the “Episcopal Election Covenant” which will be due by November 30, 2019.  In January 2020, candidates will be asked to interview with the delegation...

Bloomfield UMC to receive Fall 2019 Builder's Call gifts

Bloomfield UMC to receive Fall 2019 Builder's Call gifts

10/1/2019
The Conference Parish Development Committee is delighted to announce that Bloomfield United Methodist Church in Bloomfield, Iowa, has been selected as the recipient of the Fall Builder's Call. Bloomfield UM Church draws hundreds of people from the community each week for its Wednesday evening activities. Receiving the funds from the Fall Builder's Call will help them create a café-style space for people in the community to continue gathering and building relationships within the church. This ...

Annual event becomes forum on church’s future

Annual event becomes forum on church’s future

10/1/2019
By Sam Hodges Sept. 27, 2019 | LEAWOOD, Kan. (UM News) A typical Leadership Institute at the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection offers advice to church leaders of various denominations for growing their congregations in size and mission work. Not this year.   With The United Methodist Church actively entertaining the possibility of a breakup, due to longstanding divisions over homosexuality, Leadership Institute 2019 turned into a centrists’ and progressives’ forum for discussion and ...

Council of Bishops announces winners of Local Initiatives Grants

Council of Bishops announces winners of Local Initiatives Grants

10/1/2019
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church is pleased to announce the winners of the 2020 Local Initiatives Grants. The winners are: Columbia Wesley Foundation Methodist Student Network: Contact Tom H. Wall at WallBrodie@aol.com: This project gathers the United Methodist Wesley Foundation in Columbia, South Carolina, with the Hilell Foundation and the campus Muslim Student Association in order to get to know each other and be in ministry with each other during this...

Myrtle Felkner—an extraordinary Christian educator

Myrtle Felkner—an extraordinary Christian educator

10/1/2019
Myrtle Felkner, an extraordinary Iowa Christian educator who had worked with many Iowa churches, passed away on September 25, 2019 at the age of 94.  Myrtle was the creator and author of the One Room Sunday School model, along with hundreds of articles and stories for children's curricula. She was very well known by members of CEF (Christian Educators Fellowship - now Christians Engaged in Faith Formation). Her last Christian education book came out when she was 84. She was also very active in ...

Conference Directors dream of what God has in store for us

Conference Directors dream of what God has in store for us

9/30/2019
The term “director” can have a kind of dry, formal feel to it that sounds distinctly administrative and maybe even a little distant. But to hear three Iowa Conference directors describe their calling at a recent conference gathering, you can sense the excitement and passion they have for what they do. So what are their roles, and what has inspired them in their work? Revitalizing the church Rev. Dr. Jaye Johnson, who serves at Director of Congregational Excellence, was a beneficiary of the ...

French Ministry celebrates first year

French Ministry celebrates first year

9/25/2019
The French Ministry of Sioux City celebrates a year of growth and connection “I have a feeling of joy in my heart, and a feeling of celebration. It has been a journey,” marvels Rev. Michel Okitakoyi Lundula. On September 22, 2019, he was worshipping with over 100 others of the French Ministry of Sioux CIty at First United Methodist Church as they celebrated the 1st year anniversary of the unique congregation of French-speaking United Methodists.  The rapidly growing French Ministry began ...

CCMC seeking Vice-Chair for 2019-2020 program

CCMC seeking Vice-Chair for 2019-2020 program

9/24/2019
The Conference Connectional Ministries Council is looking for a Vice-Chair for 2019-2020 program year who would be willing to become the Chair of the Council in July of 2020.  While the position could be open to anyone in the Iowa Annual Conference, female laypersons are strongly encouraged to serve in order to maintain a good rotation of leadership.   The Council normally meets 2-3 times per year and is responsible for overseeing the program ministries in the Annual Conference. The Chair of the...

Dorian response illustrates how UMCOR works

Dorian response illustrates how UMCOR works

9/19/2019
As the Bahamas and communities along the eastern coast of the United States begin to recover from Hurricane Dorian, the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is assisting with relief efforts everywhere. This article by Global Ministries’ senior writer Christie R. House uses the Hurricane Dorian response to illustrate how UMCOR responds to natural and other disasters in countries around the globe as well as in the United States. Read about how before Dorian had even hit the Bahamas, UMCOR'...

The School for Lay Ministry extended learning opportunities

The School for Lay Ministry extended learning opportunities

9/18/2019
The School for Lay Ministry (SLM) Commission is offering extended learning classes at Cornell College in Mount Vernon, IA beginning in November. These classes are open to anyone! Class Descriptions The Book of Mark with Rev. Lanette Plambeck, Iowa Annual Conference Director of Clergy & Leadership Excellence on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019 Book needed: Practicing Resurrection by Janet Wolf  This study presents this well-known Gospel through voices and experiences that are often relegated to the ...

Midwest Mission's relief arrives in the Bahamas

Midwest Mission's relief arrives in the Bahamas

9/17/2019
In anticipation of the hurricane season, Midwest Mission Distribution Center had pre-staged relief items such as personal dignity kits, rice meal packs, and linens at their partner's (Food for the Poor) warehouse in Jacksonville, FL. Following the devastation caused by hurricane Dorian those items were immediately put to use and airlifted to the Bahamas arriving on September 7. Food for the Poor has sent a request for other items for the residents of the Bahamas and Midwest Mission's would like...

Adora S. Jones Ministerial Trust Scholarship application open

Adora S. Jones Ministerial Trust Scholarship application open

9/16/2019
The Adora S. Jones Ministerial Trust has been established by a lovely lady, who was a school teacher and a member of Salem United Methodist Church in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The following is paraphrased from Adora’s will:   “It is my wish that the Trustee shall use the income from the trust to the extent that the same shall become available, for the purpose of grants/scholarships from such income to seminary students from the State of Iowa who are in need of assistance to maintain them in seminary ...

Clergywomen retreat explores Celtic Christianity

Clergywomen retreat explores Celtic Christianity

9/9/2019
In the Sawtooth Mountains along the shore of Lake Superior, ten clergywomen spent a week exploring Celtic Christianity and immersing themselves in nature, prayer, art and exercises to deepen awareness of God’s presence.   Offered through the Office of Pastoral Care and Counseling, the week was led by Dr. Mary Bellon and Rev. Nan Smith and designed to allow the participants to bring leadership as well.   Dr. Lanette Plambeck, Rev. Lee Schott, Rev. Beth Harbaugh, Rev. Elizabeth Bell, Rev. Cathy ...

New rules for immigrants

New rules for immigrants

9/9/2019
Since the 19th century, self-sufficiency has been a foundation of U.S. immigration law. The Trump administration has expanded the definition “public charge” concerning immigrants. This policy makes it harder for legal migrants who use public benefits to get a green card. Low-income and less-educated foreigners will have a more difficult time getting into the U.S. Mike Howell, a former Department of Homeland Security and now an advisor at the Heritage Foundation, says, “If fully enforced, it’s ...

Pictured Rocks UMC Camp and Retreat Center closes

Pictured Rocks UMC Camp and Retreat Center closes

8/26/2019
Former campers, employees, camp counselors, board members, and supporters gathered on the grounds of Pictured Rocks United Methodist Camp and Retreat Center for the Deconsecrating Service held on August 25, 2019.  Speaking about the history of Pictured Rocks, Camp Director Gabe Dorrell said, “The reality came to fruition in 1961 when the first campers enjoyed camp here in this sacred space. History goes with us. When we leave this place, the relationships that have been built, that have been ...

UMCNext plan would end LGBTQ restrictions

UMCNext plan would end LGBTQ restrictions

8/19/2019
  By Sam Hodges Aug. 19, 2019 | DALLAS (UM News) UMCNext, a coalition that includes Reconciling Ministries Network, Uniting Methodists and Mainstream UMC, has offered a plan that would end The United Methodist Church's restrictions against same-sex weddings and LGBTQ ordination and offer a gracious exit to local churches that disagree with those changes.  A group of centrists and progressives is offering a plan that would eliminate The United Methodist Church’s restrictions against LGBTQ ...

Wersinger accepts new position

Wersinger accepts new position

8/14/2019
Karen Wersinger, the Northeast District Administrative Assistant, has accepted a new position with the Black Hawk County Sheriff’s Office in Waterloo beginning Monday, August 19.  Though Karen’s official last day with the Conference will be this coming Friday, August 16, her last physical day in the office was on Friday, August 9 as she enjoys some time with family before starting her new position. "Karen’s exceptional organizational skills and her kindness and easygoing manner will be missed ...

Group drafts separation plan for denomination

Group drafts separation plan for denomination

8/13/2019
A group of centrist, progressive and traditionalist church leaders have come up with a plan for The United Methodist Church to separate amicably into two or more denominations. It's called the Indianapolis Plan, after where the group met. Photo by William Sturgell, courtesy of Pixabay; graphic by UM News.

Prayers requested for Bishop Laurie

Prayers requested for Bishop Laurie

8/13/2019
Please keep Bishop Laurie Haller and her family in your prayers. Her father, Gerald F. Hartzel, Sr., passed away on Monday, August 12, 2019. Services will be at 11:00 am on Monday, August 26th at Peter Becker Community, 800 Maple Avenue, Harleysville, PA. Mr. Hartzell is survived by his children: Gerald F. Hartzel, Jr.; Bishop Laurie Haller, 2301 Rittenhouse Street, Des Moines, IA 50321; Randall L. Hartzel and Jennifer Handwerk. Memorial contributions can be made in his memory to Zion Mennonite...

2020 Iowa Annual Conference Session Dates

2020 Iowa Annual Conference Session Dates

8/12/2019
Over the past month, a team of Annual Conference Sessions Committee members and Conference Staff who work closely with the details of Annual Conference planning, reviewed some of the agendas and evaluations of previous sessions. They developed drafts of potential agendas that incorporate the essential functions necessary for the Annual Conference and renegotiated the contract with the Iowa Events Center where the Annual Conference session is held. This work was shared with Bishop Laurie Haller ...

Help children impacted by ICE raids

Help children impacted by ICE raids

8/10/2019
Help Children Impacted by ICE Raids 8/8/2019 UPDATED Giving Options for ICE-Impacted Assistance for Children People can support the ongoing efforts in helping impacted families and children by: mailing a check to Mississippi Conference of the UMC, 320-C Briarwood Drive, Attention: James Mason, Jackson, MS 39206. Please annotate “4ICE-Children” in the memo line of the check. making a fee-free donation using the PayPal Giving Fund website. sending an electronic donation via PayPal to paypal@miss...

Bishop Palmer urges prayer, action in wake of shootings

Bishop Palmer urges prayer, action in wake of shootings

8/4/2019
Grace and Peace to you, dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ Jesus. I was awakened early this morning with the news of the mass shooting in Dayton. I was stunned. Perhaps I should not have been, but it always seems even more chilling the closer it gets to home. All of this as we were all trying to make sense of the shooting in El Paso, Texas, barely 12 hours before. This tragedy in Dayton is one of more than a dozen mass shootings in the US in 2019. It now adds to the scores upon scores of mass ...

Chariton First UMC serves RAGBRAI XLVII riders

Chariton First UMC serves RAGBRAI XLVII riders

7/26/2019
Chariton First UM Church Serves RAGBRAI XLVII Riders from Iowa Annual Conference on Vimeo. Church and community members serve the thousands of cyclists descending on Chariton, Iowa. Courtney Levin chats with Pastor Dave Hobbs, Church Mission Committee Chair JoAnne Anderson, and two best friends from Texas riding RAGBRAI for the first time.

Simpson RLC and Indianola First serve RAGBRAI XLVII Riders

Simpson RLC and Indianola First serve RAGBRAI XLVII Riders

7/26/2019
What do live music, dancing chickens and iced coffee have in common? RAGBRAI and United Methodists of course! Simpson College Chaplain Mara Bailey chats with us about the space the Holy Grounds Coffee Shop provided riders to get away, and the team at Indianola First UMC talked about how RAGBRAI brings the congregation together. Simpson RLC and Indianola First serve RAGBRAI XLVII Riders from Iowa Annual Conference on Vimeo.  

Elected delegates to General and Jurisdictional Conferences in 2020

Elected delegates to General and Jurisdictional Conferences in 2020

7/13/2019
CLERGY: Lanette Plambeck  Katie Dawson LaTonya Calderon Chad Jennings  Nathaniel Nims Alejandro Alfaro-Santiz Andrea Kraushaar Frederick Lewis Tyler Schwaller Joshua Steward Sean McRoberts Melissa Warren Clergy Alternates: Barrie Tritle Amy Johnson Matt German Scott Kober William Ranney Brian Oliver LAITY: John Rothlisberger Lynn Calvert Lindsay Drake Erica Shannon Stueve Angela Hansen-Abbas Nitza Dovenspike Rachel Hollingsworth Catherine Rohret Alexe Johnson James Baty Michael Serface ...

2 bishops offer plan for denomination’s future

2 bishops offer plan for denomination’s future

7/10/2019
By Sam Hodges July 10, 2019 | UM News   Two bishops propose turning The United Methodist Church into an umbrella organization for new, self-governing church groups that would offer different approaches on ordination of gay clergy and same-sex unions. Michigan Conference Bishop David Bard and Texas Conference Bishop Scott Jones began collaborating on a plan after the rancorous 2019 General Conference and shared it with United Methodist News this week. “We both envision a future where the church ...

Authors of 506 Respond to Ruling of Law

Authors of 506 Respond to Ruling of Law

7/10/2019
A response from the authors of the amended Action Item 506 respond to Bishop Laurie Haller's Ruling of Law.  Click here to read their statement.

Bishop Haller announces Ruling of Law

Bishop Haller announces Ruling of Law

7/9/2019
Bishop Laurie Haller has announced her Ruling of Law regarding Action Item 506, which was presented to the 2019 Annual Conference Session.  Click here to read her decision.

2019 In Mission Together trip to Nigeria

2019 In Mission Together trip to Nigeria

7/8/2019
By: Linda Rowe Bloomfield, Iowa For those who have traveled to Nigeria in the past as part of the Iowa Nigeria Partnership (INP), and all those who have contributed in any way, here is the latest update. We are now part of the In Mission Together program and are continuing with some of the ministry Iowa started.   My fourteenth trip to Nigeria since 2005 was very eventful as always. I traveled with Dorothy Halvorsen from the Great Plains Conference and Kathryn Witte, the coordinator for The ...

Grace is available to all - Wesley

Grace is available to all - Wesley

7/8/2019
by Rev. Laceye C. Warner*  Above all else, John Wesley emphasized God’s love and grace offered to all. Wesley tirelessly encouraged the people called Methodists to seek the one thing necessary: the renewal of the image of God in persons through receiving and responding to God’s love and grace in Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit. While Wesley asserted that God saves, he also acknowledged the role of good works in response to God’s grace freely given.  Wesley offered numerous comprehensive ...

Submitting petitions to General Conference 2020

Submitting petitions to General Conference 2020

7/3/2019
Petitions for consideration by the 2020 General Conference may be submitted to the Petitions Secretary now through September 18, 2019. According to church law, "Any organization, clergy member, or lay member of The United Methodist Church may petition the General Conference...". Detailed instructions for submitting a petition are available on the General Conference website at umc.org/gcpetition. Petitions must be typed and may be submitted through the General Conference website, by postal mail ...

When life gives you melons

When life gives you melons

7/3/2019
By: Pastor Amy Johnson, Osceola United Methodist Church Some days, we wake in the morning with a plan. Tuesday was a full day: check messages, attend a member funeral, help with the church luncheon, prepare for worship, write the next funeral and weddings. Somehow, though, God has a way of reminding me that ministry happens in unexpected ways. At 8:30, as I was about to gather the pies I baked to take to the dinner I received a text from my secretary, Anna Frohling.  "Can you have the kids ...

Neglected children spark reform outcry

Neglected children spark reform outcry

6/27/2019
By Kathy L. Gilbert* June 27, 2019 | UM News Cindy Johnson, a United Methodist deaconess in the Rio Texas Conference, said the process for immigrants waiting in line to present their asylum appeal to border control agents has become so difficult that people are jumping into the Rio Grande in desperation. The world got a horrible look at the consequences of that decision in an Associated Press photo of a 23-month-old baby girl and her father who drowned and were found washed up on the banks of ...

Solidarity for Suffering Children Sun., June 30

Solidarity for Suffering Children Sun., June 30

6/26/2019
UMCOR, the United Methodist Committee on Relief, is calling for "A Sunday of Solidarity for Suffering Children" on June 20. In light of the recent news about children in U.S. government holding facilities along the U.S.-Mexico border, the United Methodist Committee on Relief has received numerous requests to respond. We have heard the plea for action from the church. Unfortunately, the facilities in question are managed in such a way that precludes even UMCOR’s assistance. Access to these ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

Rev. Moody Colorado appointed Superintendent of SC District

Rev. Moody Colorado appointed Superintendent of SC District

1/7/2019
Bishop Laurie Haller announced that Rev. Colorado’s new appointment will begin on July 1, 2019. “I am delighted that Rev. Moody Colorado will be joining the appointive cabinet as the superintendent of the South Central District,” she said. She noted that Rev. Colorado, his wife, Elizabeth, and son John moved from the Philippines to Iowa is presently serving at Wellman, Asbury and West Chester United Methodist Churches. “As a kid I struggled with stage fright and I thought it would take a miracle...

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, ...

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 ...

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