News

Equip


SYA Alumni release Youth Leaders Training

SYA Alumni release Youth Leaders Training

9/9/2020
A message from the Simpson Youth Academy Hello friends - As your communities embark upon uncharted territory, doing ministry with youth in the context of COVID-19, SYA wants to support you in your efforts. We are therefore pleased to share with you a FREE 30-MINUTE VIDEO recording of four of our gifted SYA alumni and staff reflecting upon faith and leadership in this challenging time. This panel was recorded during our recent youth leaders training. (Note that the first 60 seconds are spotty ...

Next week's Good Idea Webinar — Hospitality Beyond the Screen

Next week's Good Idea Webinar — Hospitality Beyond the Screen

9/4/2020
The Thursday, September 10th Good Idea Webinar will be focusing on how to extend hospitality beyond our computer screens.  We know how to do hospitality in a normal season, but the question that will be addressed in this webinar is, "How do we extend hospitality that links our online worship to our in-person worship?" Join us to learn how to include and welcome the people we have reached in our online worship when we are able to return to in-person worship. April Buske joins us for a Good Idea...

New cohort for youth ministry training begins soon

New cohort for youth ministry training begins soon

7/28/2020
The Institute for Discipleship and Youth Ministry Institute are partnering to offer a Certification in Youth Ministry that is designed to equip lay people who work with youth in local churches – both paid staff and volunteer. Four 6-week courses and one 12-week practicum provide solid instruction and best practice in topics ranging from teaching the Bible to understanding adolescent development, with youth ministry veterans providing all-online content and coaching from start to finish. ...

Next webinar topics are: What’s Up With Camps, and Stewardship in a Covid-19 World

Next webinar topics are: What’s Up With Camps, and Stewardship in a Covid-19 World

5/15/2020
5/21/20: What’s Up With Camps?  @ 2 p.m. Bryan Johnson, Director of Camping and Christian Formation for the Iowa Annual Conference will be sharing what is going on with camps this summer. It was announced at the end of April there will be no onsite camping at Wesley Woods or Camp Okoboji this summer. Join us using this link https://tinyurl.com/IAUMCCamp. The host will be Rev. Ron Carson, District Superintendent of the Northwest District.  The webinars will be recorded and posted here www.iaumc.o...

Creative way to boost local church giving and social media engagement — #IGiveUMC

Creative way to boost local church giving and social media engagement — #IGiveUMC

5/4/2020
Looking for a creative way to boost local church giving and social media engagement? #IGiveUMC is your answer. This new campaign inspires United Methodists, and others, to make donations to local United Methodist churches in honor/memory of someone who’s made a difference to them. Then, donors will post on social media about their honoree and their gift, along with a request for others to make a donation of their own. #IGiveUMC will focus on these celebrations during the spring of 2020. ...

Streamed Services: Staying socially connected during COVID-19

Streamed Services: Staying socially connected during COVID-19

5/1/2020
Updated Friday, May 1 The Iowa Conference Communications Office is assembling a list of ways you can continue socially engage in worship while practicing physical distancing. We will update this story with new resources as they become available. To submit a service time, please email courtney@iaumc.org with your church name, service time and a link to where the service is found online, television station or radio station.   Thinking of starting to livestream? Ask The UMC can help you jump the ...

An important message from Bishop Laurie: Three-day renewal leave required for clergy, church staffs and worship teams

An important message from Bishop Laurie: Three-day renewal leave required for clergy, church staffs and worship teams

4/23/2020
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 Sunday, May 31, to experience rest, renewal, and sabbath. That means no work on those three days. To make ...

Next Good Idea Webinars focus on small churches and youth ministry

Next Good Idea Webinars focus on small churches and youth ministry

4/17/2020
4/21/2020: Small Church Struggles & Solutions   Small Church Struggles & Solutions - Are you part of a small church? Have you felt like the resources and ideas offered to deal with Covid-19 are not possible for you? Do you have some ideas that have worked for your small church you would like to share with others? If so join us for a Good Idea Webinar titled Small Church Struggles & Solutions using this link  https://tinyurl.com/IAUMCSmallChurch  Small membership and rural churches have faced ...

Three Good Idea webinars next week: Ministry Ideas for Laity, God is With Us, and Fighting Isolation

Three Good Idea webinars next week: Ministry Ideas for Laity, God is With Us, and Fighting Isolation

4/10/2020
4/14/2020: Ministry Ideas for Laity Ministry Ideas for Laity - As United Methodists we believe in the priesthood of all believers. We believe that all people are called to ministry through baptism and not just our clergy. Wondering how lay people might be engaged in ministry given the Covid-19 outbreak? Want to know more about how you might make a difference? Have some ideas to share? Please join us for a Good Idea Webinar on Ministry Ideas for Laity using this link https://tinyurl.com/IAUMCIdea...

Don't miss a good idea! Learn best practices from Iowa clergy and laity experts

Don't miss a good idea! Learn best practices from Iowa clergy and laity experts

4/8/2020
Good Idea webinars are a series of interactive presentations designed to address issues and concerns of pastors and laity during the COVID-19 crisis. Good Idea webinars are a joint effort of the Office of Congregational Excellence, Office of Clergy Leadership and Excellence, the Cabinet, and lay leaders of the Iowa Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church. Please join the conversations! Thursday, April 9, 2020: Best Practices for Funerals: A Conversation with A Funeral Director  ...

Good Idea webinars for April 7 and April 9 focus on caring for our neighbors and best practices for funerals

Good Idea webinars for April 7 and April 9 focus on caring for our neighbors and best practices for funerals

4/3/2020
Caring for Our Neighbors Looking for ways to connect with your neighbors and be in ministry during this age of social distancing? Looking for some ideas how to show you care? Perhaps you have some ideas to share. If so, please join us for our Good Idea Webinar titled: Caring for Our Neighbors on Tuesday April 7, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. Our guests will be the staff of Ames, Collegiate United Methodist Church. Join us using this link: https://tinyurl.com/IAUMCNeighbors    Our host will be Rev. Dr. ...

Karen Lampe Congregational Care Training

Karen Lampe Congregational Care Training

3/10/2020
Congregational Care, for both clergy and lay members, can be intimidating. The needs are many and can be overwhelming. Nationally renowned expert, Rev. Karen Lampe, will lead a 2-day Congregational Care Ministry Workshop, September 11 & 12, 2020 at the Iowa Annual Conference Center that will teach churches how to organize their care ministries and train participants to provide compassionate care for people experiencing a variety of life crises.  Rev. Karen Lampe served as the Executive Pastor ...

Laity Day with Bishop Laurie is April 4

Laity Day with Bishop Laurie is April 4

3/6/2020
Laity Day with Bishop Laurie will be held on Saturday, April 4, 2020, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Ames, First UMC (516 Kellogg Ave., Ames, IA.) The program will begin at 9:50 a.m. At Laity Day you can look forward to a full day of learning and activities that will include Bishop Laurie’s presentations, worship, missional topics, lunch and closing communion. There will also be displays helpful to local church leaders. Registration is free but important in planning for meals and materials.  ...

Fresh Expressions—taking the church Jesus loves closer to the people Jesus loves

Fresh Expressions—taking the church Jesus loves closer to the people Jesus loves

2/16/2020
Over ninety people gathered at First United Methodist Church in Ankeny on Saturday, February 15, for the first Iowa Fresh Expressions Vision Day.  The gathering, clergy and lay, came to discover what it means to be the church in new and creative ways, hear from Fresh Expressions practitioners, learn how to renew existing congregations through Fresh Expressions of church, and discern what this could mean for their region, community, or neighborhood. Presenters were Matt Lake, Lead Pastor of the ...

Candidacy Retreat an

Candidacy Retreat an "opportunity to connect" with others in process

2/12/2020
Candidates for ministry in the Iowa Annual Conference participated in a retreat as part of their candidacy process on Saturday, February 1 at the Conference Center.   Recently redesigned, the Candidacy Retreat is required for all candidates in process, but it is also an opportunity for those considering their call to ministry to speak with others in process or in positions of leadership.   “It’s a place of discernment where we focus on the steps of the candidacy process among other avenues of ...

Rebuilding the Connection – Spring 2020 Orders & Fellowship Event

Rebuilding the Connection – Spring 2020 Orders & Fellowship Event

1/2/2020
Spring 2020 Order of Elders, Order of Deacons, Fellowship of Local Pastors and Associate Members Event Tuesday, March 24 at 10 a.m. through Wednesday, March 25th at 3 p.m. Ankeny, First UMC Christian Life Center (710 NE 36th Street, Ankeny, IA 50021) Registration fee is $45 and includes lunch on Tuesday and Wednesday. Childcare is available but must be requested by Tuesday, March 10th. Online Registration Printable Registration Whether the United Methodist Church ends up in one, four, or even ...

Creating new faith communities through Fresh Expressions

Creating new faith communities through Fresh Expressions

12/16/2019
“Because I didn’t grow up in the church, it’s always been important to me to go to those who are outside of the church,” says Rev. Bill Poland, Director of New Communities of Faith for the Iowa Conference. One of the newest ways he has found of doing that is through the worldwide movement Fresh Expressions of Church, or Fresh Expressions for short.  “It is a missionary-oriented movement that recognizes in today’s increasingly secular world that folks are less likely to make the entrance into the...

The Iowa Preaching and Worship Institute is taking applications

The Iowa Preaching and Worship Institute is taking applications

11/22/2019
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...

Reentry Team Info/Training Meeting in Muscatine

Reentry Team Info/Training Meeting in Muscatine

10/17/2019
Pastor Paul Witmer, Minister of Reentry and Congregational Care for Women at the Well at the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women at Mitchellville, Iowa will be coming to the Muscatine area in October to offer a Reentry Team Training. It will be at Wesley UMC on October 27, from  1:30 – 4:30 p.m.    Reentry teams are faith-based teams of men and women who provide non-financial support for a woman leaving Mitchellville and reentering society. The women fill out an application and go through an...

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 ...

A new perspective—Workshops AC2018

A new perspective—Workshops AC2018

6/9/2018
Participants broke out into smaller groups for workshops to further explore different topics including mental health, discipleship, Justice For Our Neighbors, benefits and mission education.  Two different workshops discussed mental health—a topic becoming increasingly important.  One workshop gathered people in small circles to have conversations that prepared participants to lead similar conversations in their local churches.  The other workshop held a panel with mental health clinicians ...

Young adults called to ministry

Young adults called to ministry

6/9/2018
By: Morgan Frideres   It’s hard enough being a college student. Many young adults are also exploring their call to ministry in the United Methodist Church—and they need your support.  Lewis Cox, an upcoming junior at Simpson, didn’t realize his call right away.  “I always thought that had to be a burning bush moment or God speaking through a thunderstorm, but that’s just not my story,” Cox said.      Instead, he saw a progressive call, noticing how his gifts, passions and talents best serve...

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...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

Walk to Emmaus builds faithful leaders

Walk to Emmaus builds faithful leaders

1/10/2018
The Walk to Emmaus is a lay-driven weekend experience that’s about spiritual renewal and formation, and Jeff Anderson and Dick Pipho are two of its biggest proponents within the Iowa Conference. “It’s an opportunity to meet Christ in a new way, as revealed through other voyagers,” says Dick, who explains that participants “spend three days with pilgrims who come through the walk, a series of talks, and group activities and so on.” But first, it may help to recall what the Walk to Emmaus derives...

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...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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.