“Do you know why we are here,” asked Bishop Julius Calvin Trimble as he began his Episcopal
Address to the 2014 Iowa Annual Conference. “We are here because Jesus is Lord!”
This is our annual Christian Conference, our big family meeting in Iowa, he said.
Bishop Trimble told the Conference, “We are here because we are family; and when we gather
as a family, God is always with us, stirring our imagination, moving our hearts and freeing our
lives from the bondage of our sins and fears.”
After listing the number of Methodist Conferences across the nation and world, the Bishop
focused on the fact that the Conferences are all connected, all one family.
“We declare our connectedness in the very first paragraph of the Adopted Strategic Priorities,”
said Bishop Trimble, before quoting the content of that declaration.
“Our strength and source of power as a church is not out budget or our stated beliefs,” he said.
“But in what God has done and Jesus has promised to continue to do through us.”
The work of the Holy Spirit is everywhere and for everyone, he said.
Quoting the Common English Bible, vs. 26, the Bishop said: From one person God created
every human nation to live on the whole earth, having determined their appointed times and the
boundaries of their lands.
“We are one family,” said Bishop Trimble. “We are his offspring.”
He spoke of unleashing the laity in the Conference to do the work of Christ together with the
“We can imagine a faithful church at its best,” Bishop Trimble said. “When people on
the outside can’t wait to come in and experience radical hospitality and meaningful,
moving worship; and people on the inside can’t wait ti get out to share the love of Jesus in
neighborhoods all over the world.”
“As a bishop of the church, privileged to serve in Iowa, I am going to pray, preach and push, as
hard as I can, to promote the unity of the church,” said Bishop Trimble. “We pray thy will be
done. I invite you to join me.”
The Bishop detailed the success of Imagine No Malaria Iowa, to applause in the hall.
Speaking further about unity, the Bishop said when we get to heaven there won’t be a section for
different religious denominations and political ideologies.
“We are family;” he concluded “Let it be so.”
Conference attendees viewed a slideshow with images of the ministry and work of the Iowa
Annual Conference and the United Methodist Church in the last year.
“I love Annual Conference,” said Bishop Trimble. “Because I love my family.”