Doing ministry  from  the  ground up

Doing ministry  from  the ground up

“We’re living in times different than ever before. Some would call it unprecedented times,” says Rev. Dr. Barrie Tritle, “And because of that, we need to think differently and strategically.”  Rev. Tritle, who serves as lead pastor of First United Methodist Church in Iowa City, is also the convener of the Bishop’s Operational Team, which was formerly known as the Healthy Conference Initiative. “We’re serving the bishop as an advisory council group that helps to think about ways to help this ...

Conference Alignment: Next Steps

Conference Alignment: Next Steps

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

Coaches ‘very encouraged, hopeful’

Coaches ‘very encouraged, hopeful’

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

Ministry groups gather in common purpose

Ministry groups gather in common purpose

Members of many ministry groups gathered at the Conference Center to affirm their common purpose and commitment to the emerging mission and vision of the Iowa Annual Conference.  The joint session of the operational teams, help on April 24, 2017, provided an opportunity to review the basis of their work together and to experience consensus about the mission and vision of the Conference.   The teams all relate to the L3 – loving, learning, leading – perspective that has been brought to the ...

Teams work to better conference

Teams work to better conference

By Robert Lyons* God has many tools at his disposal from inspirational pastors to dedicated congregants, but in the Iowa Conference, his tools are that of two very important committees.   These two committees are the Bishop’s Operational Team and the Bishop’s Appointive Cabinet and members of both serve at the behest of Bishop Laurie. The Operational Team, which was the brainchild of the Iowa Conference’s Design Task Force, is the youngest of the committees having only started in September of ...

SLI continues to grow

SLI continues to grow

As the Iowa Conference continues to work through the coaching tips of Spiritual Leadership Inc. (SLI), participants in the program are getting out to the districts to begin grassroots organizing.   “We have been learning about our ministries and where mission and ministry need to get realigned,” said Rev. Lanette Plambeck, Broadway UMC in Council Bluffs. “We have been learning, leading and loving together.”   Plambeck is part of the Bishop’s Operational Team. The Bishop’s Operational Team ...

Transforming the leadership of the Conference

Transforming the leadership of the Conference

by Robert Lyons Beginning a little over a year ago, the Iowa Conference entered into a transformative and collaborative partnership with Spiritual Leadership Inc. (SLI).   SLI is a coaching organization dedicated to educating, developing, and empowering religious leaders. One of the organization’s founders, Greg Survant, works directly with the Iowa Conference. According to Survant, the organization grew to fit a natural, unfulfilled need in the ministry.   “Some 16 years ago, a couple of us ...

Loving, Learning, Leading with SLI

Loving, Learning, Leading with SLI

Loving, Learning, Leading with SLI By Roxanne Strike*   Conference leaders are starting to see the impact from their Spiritual Leadership Incorporated (SLI) coaching as they come closer to the one-year anniversary of SLI’s implementation in the Iowa Conference.   “It has been a fruitful experience in the sense we have been given the opportunity to be a community,” said the Rev. Dr. Lilian Gallo Seagren, district superintendent for the Southeast District. “A community that is loving together, ...

Christin Nevins Talks About Conference Leadership Teams

Christin Nevins Talks About Conference Leadership Teams

The Iowa Conference is getting some serious coaching right now. Spiritual Leadership Incorporated (SLI), an organization that seeks to help church leaders grow and put their ideas into action, has provided two coaches to guide two teams – the Bishop’s Operating Team and the Bishop’s Appointive Cabinet – through a year-long process that will hopefully transform the culture of how ministry plans are put together and how lay and clergy leaders are brought into the ministry life at the Iowa ...



2021 Iowa Annual Conference

2022 Iowa Annual Conference

2023 Iowa Annual Conference

2024 General Conference



Aldersgate District



Ash Wednesday


Bishop Deb Kiesey

Bishop Kennetha Bigham-Tsai

Bishop Laurie

Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministry

Board of Ordained Ministry

Boy Scouts of America


Builder's Call

Camp Clear Lake District


Central District

Circuit Ministry



Congregational Development



Connectional Ministries

Connectional Table

Council of Bishops


Difference Makers


Disaster Response

Discipleship Pathways

Emerging Faith Communities


Faith in Action

Faithful Leaders


Fire-Filled People

Fresh Expressions

Fruitful Communities

Global Missionaries

Golden Valley District

Health-full Minute

Healthy Church Initiative

Hispanic Latino Ministry

Hope Made Real


In Mission Together


Iowa Migrant Movement for Justice

Judicial Council

Justice For Our Neighbors

Leading Now


Licensing School

Loving Learning Leading

Memo for Preachers

Mental Health Task Force


Ministry Development

Mission Ingathering


New Faith Communities

North Central Jurisdiction


Parish Development


Pictured Rocks District

Religion and Race


Riverview Park District

School for Lay Ministry


Social Principles

Southern Sudanese (Mabaan)

Special Sundays


Student Ministry

Thanksgiving/Advent/Christmas 2022

Transformational Leaders




United Methodist Church

United Women in Faith

Vision 2032

Volunteers in Mission

What We Believe

Women at the Well

Women in Ministry