Dear Sisters and Brothers in the Iowa Annual Conference,
Grace and peace in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. As summer concludes and students prepare to return to school, I rejoice in anticipation of the coming of fall as well as the changing seasons of life.
As you are aware, I have been on a six-month medical leave since April 1, 2022. On February 16, I fell on black ice while running outside and sustained a significant concussion as well as a fractured wrist. Over the course of these last months, I have engaged diligently in concussion therapy, often several times a week. I also had surgery on my wrist, followed by extensive wrist therapy. I am deeply grateful for your prayers and support during this challenging time. The medical leave has given me the opportunity to draw closer to God as well as restore my health and tend to my spirit. I have treasured this time to read, write, and do some long-distance running.
I wish to thank Bishop Deborah Kiesey for her gracious willingness to lead the Iowa and Dakotas Annual Conferences during my recovery. I am also grateful for the excellent ministry of the Iowa Cabinet and Conference leadership during this time. And I am especially grateful for my husband, Gary, who has been my greatest support, companion, and sounding board.
This has been a time of discernment for me. I am writing to let you know that I plan to return to active ministry in the Iowa Annual Conference on October 1 until the end of 2022. At that time, I intend to retire. I have been under appointment for forty-one years, having started my ministry in Michigan on January 1, 1982, five months after our first child was born. I am looking forward to having more time to spend with our three adult children and two grandchildren and to travel and write.
Thank you for your prayers over these past six years. Thank you for your gracious spirit. Thank you for the hope that is in you. And thank you for the opportunity that each one of us has to make a positive difference in our world. Thanks be to God!
Bishop Laurie Haller