Meeting under the banner of “Creating Difference Makers,” lay and clergy will gather for the 2017 Iowa Annual Conference session. The three-day event will be held at the Iowa Events Center/Hy-Vee Hall in Des Moines. The 174th yearly meeting will feature powerful preaching, inspiring singing, informative teaching sessions, vital reporting, and the reconnection of fellow United Methodists from across the State.
Bishop Laurie Haller will call the members of the annual conference to order on Saturday, June 10, to begin the three-day session. “This will be my first annual conference in Iowa,” said Bishop Laurie. “I can’t wait to experience the Holy Spirit power of the body of Christ that is the Iowa Annual Conference.” In her Episcopal Address, she will “lay out the mission, vision, and priorities for our years ahead as United Methodists in Iowa.”
Rev. Faith Fowler, founder and Executive Director of Cass Community Social Services in Detroit, Michigan, will be the keynote speaker. Bishop Laurie describes her as “the rock star of Detroit who is transforming the city through Cass and their Tiny Homes.” In 2016, Fowler received Detroit’s Shining Light Award for being a difference maker in the city. She was also named to the Women’s Hall of Fame in Michigan. In addition to her presentation, she’ll be leading a workshop on Saturday afternoon.
Retired Bishop Deb Kiesey will preach at the Retirement service. Iowa Conference member, Rev. Brian Milford, new President and CEO of the United Methodist Publishing House, will preach at the Memorial service. Bishop Laurie Haller will be preaching at the Ordering of Ministry service. The ecumenical representative at the Service for the Ordering of Ministry will be Rev. Bill Spangler-Dunning, Regional Minister and President of the Christian Church in the Upper Midwest.
Nine workshops/teaching sessions are set for Saturday afternoon, beginning at 4:10 pm. They include EmpowHer; Matthew 25 & Community Ministries; School for Lay Ministry; Tiny House Homeless Project; Women at the Well Community reentry program; Mental health support and advocacy; Making a difference through prayer; and Immigration and refugee services.
Several special offerings will be received. They will include support for the Nigerian students who are enrolled at Morningside College and Simpson College, Cass Community Ministries and Iowa Health Ministries, the Youth Theology Institute at Simpson College, and the Diakonos, youth who serve the Annual Conference so faithfully during the June 10-12 event.
“Through inspiring speakers, creative worship, amazing workshops, and opportunities to connect with old friends and make new friends,” Bishop Laurie believes “your faith will be strengthened and you will be equipped and energized to go make a difference.”
Saturday – Episcopal Address; Clergy and Laity Sessions; Presentation of the working budget; Keynote address – Rev. Faith Fowler; Workshops; Retirement Celebration
Sunday – Bishop’s walk/run; Service of Ordering of Ministry; legislation, Simpson Youth Academy; Memorial Celebration; Recognizing Bishop Laurie and Rev. Gary Haller; celebrating the diversity of Iowa United Methodist ministries
Monday – Fixing of Appointments; Holy Conferencing; Foundation Meeting; Acknowledging the Diakonos; legislation; finalizing the budget