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New Hope UMC thankful for pastor and congregation during pandemic

New Hope UMC thankful for pastor and congregation during pandemic

9/23/2020
Submitted by Nancy Monthei, Office Administrator of Des Moines New Hope United Methodist Church New Hope UMC in Des Moines didn’t let the pandemic slow down its outreach to the community or connection with its congregation. The church continued to monetarily support the Urbandale Food Pantry and the Johnston Partnership in its community. New Hope also provides a monthly meal for Central Iowa Shelter and Services. Meal volunteers are more creative with the meal preparations and taken new ...

Grace Fellowship — a new community of faith

Grace Fellowship — a new community of faith

9/12/2020
On August 30, 2020, over 100 people gathered at Grace Fellowship, a United Methodist Congregation for Ottumwa to celebrate the end of their capital campaign, Growing Forward as Grace, and to dedicate their new building by offering a pledge to God and encircling the building with prayer.   “We started the prayer facing towards the building and praying for the ministry God's going to do here in this space and then we had everyone turn around and pray out into the world that Jesus is sending us,” ...

Answered prayers lead New Hartford UMC to create a

Answered prayers lead New Hartford UMC to create a "Viral" Bible school

9/9/2020
Submitted by Sandy Becker, New Hartford United Methodist Church Lay Leader and Christian Education Coordinator The New Hartford United Methodist Church is a typical rural small church in Iowa. In 2019, New Hartford's population dropped 5.4% from 2010, which has continued since the 1980s. Nevertheless, members of the New Hartford UMC are making every effort to make disciples by serving the community and spreading the gospel. Then we came across the COVID-19 pandemic. We made the very difficult...

Monroe UM Church donates 1000 face masks

Monroe UM Church donates 1000 face masks

9/8/2020
Submitted by Van Dickens, Monroe United Methodist Church “We are a friendly, faithful, loving family dedicated to sharing God’s love with our neighbor.” The Nurture and Outreach Committee of the Monroe United Methodist Church began Operation Face Mask on April 13 with the goal of providing free face masks to the community. We began by offering sewing kits with directions, fabric, elastic, etc., so individuals could make their own face masks. We also had no-sew kits with directions, fabric, ...

A Quilter's Heart for Missions

A Quilter's Heart for Missions

9/6/2020
Submitted by Linda Porter The women of Archer United Methodist Church met September 2, 2020, for the first time since March, 2020. A portion of our program was devoted to our activities we had accomplished during the pandemic. One of our dear members, nonagenarian Betty Johnson, crafted several quilts which she had lovingly stitched throughout the spring and summer. She graciously decided to donate each baby quilt, doing so in her typical quiet and unassuming manner, by giving them to another ...

With a little nudge from God, Monique Shore turns her children's message into a book

With a little nudge from God, Monique Shore turns her children's message into a book

9/4/2020
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Grinnell United Methodist Church's Lay Leader, Monique Shore, would share her children’s message in person to the youth during church. When it was her turn last May during their new online worship, she created a video and a children’s story that addresses the emotional struggles everyone is experiencing because of the pandemic. She then took it one step further. Her message is now a book with proceeds go to support multiple mission projects at her church. As the ...

Iowa City First UMC partners with local school to provide care packages

Iowa City First UMC partners with local school to provide care packages

8/9/2020
First UMC in Iowa City responded to the COVID-19 situation by forming a partnership with their neighborhood. Working with Horace Mann School Principal, Julie Robertson, the church provided rent assistance, food gift cards, and quarantine care packages to families in the neighborhood connected to the school.  “I spoke about this project in our Livestream worship and many families have responded with donations to help with this ministry,” said Rev. Dr. Barrie Tritle.  One person who is an ...

Silver Creek UMC is

Silver Creek UMC is "Chalk-Full" of positive vides during COVID-19

8/9/2020
In May 2020, responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, Silver Creek UMC near Galva, Iowa sought to bring a little joy into the lives of their community by encouraging youth to decorate their sidewalks by passing out the sidewalk chalk.  They were able to collect around $70 dollars and a couple of 24 packs of chalk. They delivered the chalk to homes in the community, left baggies on the front step, or for those in the country in their mailboxes.  “We also handed them out to kids that were out ...

Storm Lake Mabaan help family and friends in South Sudan

Storm Lake Mabaan help family and friends in South Sudan

6/23/2020
Submitted by Rev. Phil Webb Pastor at Storm Lake United Methodist Church Member, Iowa Conference Mabaan Flood Relief Fund Raiser Committee On the beautiful shores of Storm Lake, there is a community by the same name, rich in cultural and racial diversity. More recent arrivals that add to this wonderful city are people who have come here from the country of South Sudan. Many work at the two meat processing plants in town. Most of the 300+ South Sudanese in Storm Lake are from the Mabaan tribe, ...

Worship Service for use during three day renewal leave

Worship Service for use during three day renewal leave

4/30/2020
Dear Iowa United Methodist Clergy, Worship Leaders, Lay Leaders, and Staff, Bishop Laurie recently shared, “For the past five weeks, our clergy and laity have been working tirelessly to provide vital worship, pastoral care, and hope for our local churches in the Iowa Annual Conference. I also know that many of our clergy, church staff, and worship teams are utterly exhausted in mind, body, and spirit. Therefore, I am requiring those teams to find three days back-to-back between now and Pentecost...

Midwest Mission send relief shipment to Jamaica

Midwest Mission send relief shipment to Jamaica

4/13/2020
By: Chantel Corrie, Executive Director, Midwest Mission Pawnee, IL (April 13, 2020) – Midwest Mission will be sending their fourth relief shipment to Jamaica on Tuesday, April 13 with their international partner, Food for the Poor. “The container will be valued over $150,000 and consist of medical items, cleaning supplies, hygiene supplies (towel, washcloth, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant, finger nail clippers, Band-Aids and comb), sewing items, and education supplies along ...

Grimes Storehouse steps up in crisis times

Grimes Storehouse steps up in crisis times

4/6/2020
A record number of people have been cared for this month by the Grimes Storehouse, said Pastor Ben Wedeking of Grimes United Methodist Church, and he expects that the need will continue to increase.    “We have had record numbers already and it has gone up every month, even before the crisis,” he said. “This month we served 74 families, which is a massive amount for us, and I expect those numbers to go up.”   Listen to an interview with Pastor Ben Wedeking about how the Storehouse is adapting to...

Iowa U.M. Camps Campaign enters its third week

Iowa U.M. Camps Campaign enters its third week

2/17/2020
The first-ever Iowa United Methodist Camps Annual Campaign is in its third week with positive results. “We are thrilled that people are saying yes to outdoor youth ministry,” says Duane Daby, campaign chair. “For young people camping is so often the catalyst for faith formation and discipleship. The Iowa Board of Camps and Retreats is positioning itself to thrive not just this year, but future years.” Through the first two full weeks of the campaign over 150 people have made pledges to either ...

Collegiate United Methodist Church and Wesley Foundation Raises $48,950 to Pay Off Meal Debt at Ames Community School District

Collegiate United Methodist Church and Wesley Foundation Raises $48,950 to Pay Off Meal Debt at Ames Community School District

1/28/2020
Press release from Collegiate United Methodist Church and Wesley Foundation AMES, IA Collegiate United Methodist Church and Wesley Foundation is excited to announce that, due to the generosity of its members and the wider community, $48,950 was raised last month to help pay down the school meal debt at Ames Community School District (ACSD). The church donated the $48,950 to ACSD to help fight food insecurity in Ames and support all students in the district. An estimated 575 Ames families’ ...

Serving without expectation of return

Serving without expectation of return

12/4/2019
A challenge was given to Christ United Methodist Church in Davenport, Iowa, that they gladly accepted.   “We were challenged by the superintendent to pick one school (in our school district) and really focus our resources in partnering with just that school,” said April Buske, Director of Discipleship.   In the past, the school district had been reluctant to partner with churches but was willing to give it a try with Christ UMC. Buchanan Elementary School was chosen as a partner school since the...

Iowa Justice for Our Neighbors celebrating 20 years of ministry

Iowa Justice for Our Neighbors celebrating 20 years of ministry

10/17/2019
Iowa Justice for Our Neighbors (JFON) will celebrate its 20th anniversary this month, and you are invited. The board of Iowa JFON is encouraging everyone to join to learn about its history as well as the plans for the future of JFON in our state.  Iowa Justice For Our Neighbors is a non-profit organization, welcoming low-income immigrants of all faiths into churches and communities by providing free, high-quality immigration legal services, education, and advocacy.  Established by the United ...

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 ...

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’...

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 ...

5K helps 'end the stigma' of mental health

5K helps 'end the stigma' of mental health

9/26/2018
Photos from the End the Stigma Mental Health Awareness 5K and Forum on Sept. 15, 2018 in Carlisle. When Linda Benton went to Annual Conference in 2018 as a lay delegate, she didn’t expect to walk away with a mission from God.   “I attended one of the workshops about mental health, and God put a bug in my ear,” she said. “I just thought, ‘Linda, you’ve got to do something with this.’”   She came back to her church in Carlisle intending to host a forum about the stigma surrounding ...

Coming alongside others in care

Coming alongside others in care

9/25/2018
Written by Rev. Nan Smith, Pastor at Marshalltown Hope UMC  On Thursday afternoon, July 19, when an F3 tornado roared through Marshalltown, the United Methodist Women here at Marshalltown Hope were putting the final touches on their annual fundraiser — a rummage sale set to open the next day. As our church had suffered no damage because of the storm, the women went ahead and opened the doors on Friday. However, as the reports began to roll in that morning about the extent of the tornado damage,...

God is the Potter who molds us—Ordering service AC2018

God is the Potter who molds us—Ordering service AC2018

6/10/2018
God is the potter who continually molds us to reflect his grace, love, and hope, Bishop Laurie Haller told those gathered for Sunday's Ordering of Ministry service.   And it is in being His creation that we can find purpose and the beauty of our individual “Gloria.”   The Iowa Annual Conference ordained five elders at the 2018 Annual Conference Session, also commissioning six for the work of an elder, and recognizing six others as Course of Study graduates.    See more images from the Ordering ...

A holy conferencing, not a kind of arguing conferencing

A holy conferencing, not a kind of arguing conferencing

6/9/2018
Kinnick Driscoll gave the benediction at the close of the AC2018 Episcopal Address. Kinnick—Kid Pastor at Broadway United Methodist Church in Council Bluffs—told Bishop Laurie, "I will pray my very best prayer!" "Dear God, thank you for leading us down the road here. Thank you for our worship day and night. Thank you for making this a holy conferencing, not a kind of arguing conferencing. Help us to recognize you more and to show courage when making decisions about the church. Thank you for ...

"God bless this holy place and all who enter here"

3/23/2018
Psalm 127:1 Unless it is the Lord who builds the house, the builder’s work is pointless. Unless it is the Lord who protects the city, the guard on duty is pointless.   “You are the ones who are building the house, you are the ones who are protecting those who are defenseless, and God blesses you for your ministry here,” read Bishop Laurie Haller at the blessing celebrating the new office of Iowa Justice For Our Neighbors (JFON) on March 15, 2018.   “We think that all means all, and that all ...

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 ...

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 ...

Meet JFON's new director, Sol Varisco-Santini

Meet JFON's new director, Sol Varisco-Santini

1/2/2018
A ministry of the Iowa Annual Conference, Justice For Our Neighbors (JFON) has been in operation for more than 18 years now. Now, for the first time ever, the organization has hired a paid executive director. “When I saw the position was available, I was very excited to have the opportunity to be a part of this wonderful team,” says Sol Varisco-Santini, who is now leading a small but dedicated group of immigrant lawyers, paralegals, and an intake specialist. Iowa JFON’s first executive director ...

High School student starts a choir

High School student starts a choir

12/27/2017
Katie Palmer is a difference maker at the West Chester United Methodist Church. When she was a sophomore in high school, she had the idea to start a children’s chime choir. She presented a proposal to the Administrative Council of the church, complete with PowerPoint slides, to ask them to buy the chimes. She sent letters to all the parents in the community who had children in kindergarten through the fifth grade to invite them to participate in the chime choir. Only two of the first dozen kids ...

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 ...

Meeting Needs; Meeting the Community

Meeting Needs; Meeting the Community

11/7/2017
By: Amy Johnson New Virginia United Methodist Church has found a new way to meet new needs in its community. As the resources in Warren County become more and more centralized in Indianola, it became clear through interviews with the schools and community leaders that local resources are scarce. This led to several ministries in the past, such as the Winter Coat drive and support to keep the local food pantry open. As of September, though, it has led to an even wider ministry in Southwest ...

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 ...

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 ...

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!