Conference called to Imagine during 2013 annual session

May 23, 2013

“Imagine: a Faithful Church - a Healthy World” is the theme of the 2013 session of the Iowa Annual Conference.  This 170th gathering of laity and clergy will formally open on Saturday, June 8, at 9:30 am and is scheduled to adjourn on Monday, June 10, at 4 pm.  The Conference will be held at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines.

The Conference session will feature the preaching of Bishop Julius Calvin Trimble, Rev. J. Robert Burkhart, and two guest Bishops – Bishop Sally Dyck of the Chicago Area, for the service of Ordering of Ministry and Bishop Mike Lowry of the Central Texas area for the Opening worship service.  Bishop Lowry will also address the Clergy Session that convenes on Friday afternoon, June 7, at 4 pm.

According to Rev. Karen Dungan, Assistant to the Bishop for Administration, “we will have times for Holy Conferencing in order to address critical issues facing our Annual Conference.”  In her introduction to the Pre-Conference manual she adds, “We will be discussing whether to adopt Strategic Priorities that are designed to help our Conference enter a ‘season of Resurrection’ – renewed vitality in our outreach and witness so that we an fulfill our vocation to ‘make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.’”

In a change from previous Annual Conference sessions all legislation will be addressed in the plenary session rather than in breakout groups focusing on specific sections.  The material in the Pre-Conference manual is divided into five segments, each of which will be presented for discussion and approval by the nearly 1800 clergy and laity who will be present.  The Pre-Conference manual is posted on the website at:

As in 2012, this years work be done in an “as paperless as possible” fashion.  Worship services and key elements of the legislative work will be projected, as will video images.  The entire Annual Conference session will be live streamed over the internet at:   The Twitter hashtag for sharing a comment/observation about the Annual Conference session is: #iaumc13

Session Highlights

Friday, June 7

Clergy Session begins at 4:00 pm in the Veterans Memorial Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center area of the Iowa Events Center.  Bishop Mike Lowry is the guest speaker.

Saturday, June 8
Bishop Julius Calvin Trimble calls the 170th Annual Conference session to order at 9:30 am.  The Opening worship service follow immediately, with Bishop Lowry at the guest preacher.  Holy Communion will be celebrated.  Conference Treasurer, Todd Weber, will present his report and the working budget during the morning session.

Bishop Trimble will offer his Episcopal Address, beginning at 2:07 pm followed by the emerging Strategic Priorities presentation and discussion.  Bishop Trimble will preach at the Retirement Celebration, which begins at 4:00 pm.  A plenary session led by the Board of Laity, and including the Lay Leader’s address, convenes at 7:00 pm.

Sunday, June 9
The service of the Ordering of Ministry begins at 9:00 am.  Bishop Sally Dyck is the guest preacher.  Episcopal Bishop Alan Scarfe will be the ecumenical representative.  Legislative action will take place in the afternoon including a report on the Imagine No Malaria campaign.  The Memorial Celebration will begin at 4:00 pm with Rev. J. Robert Burkhart preaching.  Conference artist Rev. Ted Lyddon Hatten will speak in the evening, followed by a “Prelude to Repentance” at 7:45 pm.

Monday, June 10
The day begins with the Fixing of Appointments service at 8:45 am.  The 40th anniversary of the Office of Pastoral Care and Counseling will be observed at 11:05 am.  The Bishop Thomas award presentation, Iowa United Methodist Foundation annual meeting, and celebration of the 100th anniversary of Wesley Foundations will take place in the afternoon along with legislative action.

Special offerings

Five special offerings will be received during the course of the Annual Conference: Africa University on Saturday morning during the Opening worship service; Nigerian Students Scholarship on Saturday afternoon during the Retirement celebration; Imagine No Malaria during the service of Ordering of Ministry on Sunday morning; an offering for the Diakanos on Monday morning; and Bishop’s Discretionary Fund on Monday afternoon.

Other events

Health screenings will take place on Saturday and Monday.  The Bishop’s Walk/Run is set for 6:15 am on Sunday morning.  A complete list of events is included in “Everything You Need to Know about 2013 Annual Conference” (