The Licensing school will be offered in French as well as English when it convenes at Iowa Wesleyan College May 10-16, 2015.
The French component is something that has been discussed for several years and with thanks to the Bishop, Cabinet and our French-speaking clergy in the Annual Conference it is becoming a reality!
Courses will be team taught in English with French translation, giving everyone a wonderful and enriching cross-cultural experience during our week together for Licensing school.
Why French? Because 30% of all United Methodists speak French as their primary language, and as more and more immigrants from Africa arrive in Iowa, the United Methodist church is already familiar as a faith community tied to their home countries.
As we work alongside our immigrant communities we have found that many African immigrants desire to worship in their native tongue. While they have lifted up leaders, within their communities of faith, these indigenous leaders are not yet credentialed to be pastors with sacramental authority in their faith communities.
Churches and District Committees on Ordained Ministry should be aware of the opportunities that the Iowa Annual Conference Licensing school will now offer, as we seek to make connections and provide leadership to immigrant communities across the connection.
To help candidates with the process we are offering 2 retreats that are geared for candidates, mentors and District Committee representatives.
The first is November 1, 2014 at Pictured Rocks UM Camp. This first retreat will help build bridges and facilitate conversations about the candidacy process. We will meet from 10am - 3pm. Lunch will be provided.
The second retreat is an overnight experience March 20-21, 2015 also at Pictured Rocks United Methodist Camp. This retreat will offer the course "Let's Preach," a pre-requisite to Licensing School and will facilitate team building and conversations around the candidacy process and expectations for licensing school.
Please share this information with the appropriate faith communities, district committees on ordained ministry and others who might know of leaders who are called to serve as licensed local pastors in the United Methodist Church.
Please also feel free to share this with other annual conferences, as a GBHEM approved United Methodist Licensing School students may attend from outside of Iowa too. Last year we were blessed with 15 candidates from Iowa and 5 from the Wisconsin Annual Conference!
If anyone has any questions please don't hesitate to contact me.
Rev. Deborah Coble Wise,