Bishop Laurie's Appointive Cabinet's Letter of Open Churches 2023

Bishop Laurie's Appointive Cabinet's Letter of Open Churches 2023

December 06, 2022

Dear Clergy in the Iowa Annual Conference,

As we have for a number of years, the Appointive Cabinet is posting open churches where announced and approved retirements or leaves of absence are known. Our intention is to invite you to prayerfully discern whether you have the gifts and graces to serve in any of these communities and churches. You will note that each open appointment will list three to five clear missional needs identified by the district superintendent in consultation with the church/charge. It is the intent of the Cabinet to appoint pastors who are equipped to meet these expectations.  Therefore, if you seek to be considered for one of the open appointments, please be sure to explain why you believe you can meet the identified missional expectations.

The Iowa Appointive Cabinet has affirmed the following principles in making appointments:

  • Our priority is to make appointments that will further the mission of The United Methodist Church to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
  • The Appointive Cabinet will look at the context, the community, and the missional priorities of the congregation and the circuit in making appointments. We will then consider the needs of the pastor and her or his family.
  • Since past performance of both clergy and congregations (through collected data and direct observation) is a strong indicator of potential, we will focus our attention on matching highly effective clergy with high potential congregations. 
  • Salary level is a consideration in appointment-making but is not the primary consideration. 
  • While the Cabinet will do our best to keep pastoral family needs in mind, we expect Elders, Provisional Elders, Associate Members, and Full-Time Local Pastors to itinerate unless they choose to limit their itineracy, in which case the best fit may not be possible.
  • Clergy are appointed for one year at a time. We continue to affirm the value of long-term appointments. However, there are times when the missional needs of congregations and the Conference may necessitate a change that is not requested.
  • Please be aware that expressing interest in an appointment to a specific church or charge does not guarantee that appointment. 

Click here for a list of all full-time pastoral positions that will be open as of July 1, 2023, along with a synopsis of each congregation. Please indicate your interest in a church by completing and submitting the appointment interest form by January 2, 2023.

The Appointive Cabinet of the Iowa Annual Conference seeks to be as open and transparent as we can be in making appointments that demonstrate John Wesley’s hope that we “do no harm, do good, and stay in love with God.” We pray for each one of you and all of our congregations that the peace of Christ will fill you with hope and joy.

Blessings,

Rev. Ron Carlson, Dean of the Appointive Cabinet


Pictured Rocks District

Beaman and Conrad United Methodist Churches

Beaman and Conrad are communities that are located in southeast Grundy County, Iowa. They are both small farming communities. Both also have a small industrial base that also help support the community. Each church has a long and important history in their respective areas. Both continue to play a very active role in the leadership and support of their communities.

Conrad is the larger of the two churches, with both being very active in ministry to the community and through other organizational opportunities such as Ingathering, local schools and the Oakview Care Center.

Beaman United Methodist Church is a small but active congregation, averaging 15 to 20 people on a typical Sunday morning.  It is a church where relationships matter greatly both between the congregants and between the congregation and the pastor. 

Conrad United Methodist Church is the larger of the two churches. It, like Beaman, plays a central role in the community.  It is one of two churches in town, the other being the Presbyterian church which is just beginning a pastor search and is being served by an interim at the moment. 

Conrad also has a very active congregation, many within have connections to both the BCLUW school system and other local schools. This has enabled the church to be involved with the FCA group that is forming and being a support where needed. Conrad also has an active youth ministry which includes using the youth to help with technical production of the Sunday worship service. Average worship attendance on a regular Sunday will vary from 30-50 with these number increasing following the pandemic. 

The missional priorities that the churches will implement in next 3-5 years are, as follows:

  1. Conrad will continue to have an online presence with devotionals, and worship, which has been very successful in reaching many people.
  2. Intergenerational ministries. connections. abilities. While Beaman is an older congregation, it is young at heart; Conrad has Sunday School for all ages and has just started a children’s church program which has made it easier for young parents to come to worship.)
  3. Scripture-based preaching that also must be relatable to everyday life and how their faith relates to the world around them
  1. Continue to embrace new technology and to dream of innovative ministry. Flexible worship style.  

To fulfill those missional priorities, the churches are seeking pastoral leadership who has the following leadership attributes and passions:

  1. Whoever is appointed to Beaman needs to be community-minded and willing to step up during the very important community events that take place during the year.
  2. Theologically, both churches tend to fall on the Traditional side of the church. This, however, does not mean that everyone is Traditional nor closed-minded.  It is important that, theologically, whoever is appointed needs to keep Christ front and center. 
  3. Ability to make changes on the fly. Worship with these two churches can change in a moment, with weather, community circumstances, and the movement of the Holy Spirit.
  4. Be Relationship builder, both in the community and in the churches (this is imperative as both churches work best in a model of cooperative ministry between members, community and clergy.)

If you have prayerfully discerned you have the gifts and skill to be appointed to the Conrad and Beaman United Methodist Churches, please indicate your interest by completing the Appointment Interest Form by January 2, 2023.

Cedar Rapids, St. Paul’s United Methodist Church

St. Paul’s United Methodist Church is located in the heart of Cedar Rapids in a mixed-income neighborhood. Our location serves the community in many ways including partnerships with non-profits, hosting free neighborhood meals, and welcomes young children through an excellent Early Learning Center. Our church facility is on the National Historic Register and has been recently renovated. 

The music program at St. Paul’s has long been recognized for its excellence. Our music staff is led by a Coordinator of Music Ministries, who is also our organist, a Sanctuary Choir Director, an accompanist, a Director of Handbell Ministries, a Contemporary & Youth Ministries Musician, and we have a vacancy for African National Choir Director.  

We currently have three services: 9:00 a.m. (traditional), 11:15 am (contemporary), and a 12:30 pm service which consists mainly of African Nationals.  We have Sunday school for all ages, an active Women United in Faith (formerly United Methodist Women), a strong lay ministry presence and a generous congregation.  We have successfully incorporated art into our services and have hosted artists in our art space and hosted a successful Artsfest in 2022.

We have recently established our church-wide missional priorities for 2023 with approval by the Church Council.  Those are as follows:

  1. Grow through vibrant ministries with children, youth, and families;
    • create a culture of belonging for our younger disciples
  2. Resist injustice by doing justice;
    • show God's love in the public square by pursuing systemic change
  3. Open ourselves to be a place of ever-increasing inclusion and belonging; 
    • continue to develop what is reflected in our Welcome Statement
  4. Work to develop deeper relationships, both inward and outward; 
    • foster places and times for meaningful connections
  5. Develop communication, a timeline and funding of planned projects with Trustees and Congregation

In April of 2022, after two years of listening, discussions, and consensus building to seek a path forward, St. Paul’s members developed a comprehensive welcoming statement and voted to allow same-gender marriage ceremonies to be officiated here. See Welcome Statement: https://www.stpaulsumc/welcome-all .

Expectations and aspirations we have for our new lead pastor:

  1. Be a motivational preacher and creative worship designer in traditional and contemporary styles, encouraging the congregation to be the hands and feet of Christ.
  2. Support and advocate for the missional goals we already have set. 
  3. Be a relational leader with constituents in and outside the church walls.
  4. Demonstrate collaborative management skills and have experience with multiple staff including other pastors.
  5. Have communication skills to facilitate change and growth.

If you have prayerfully discerned you have the gifts and skill to be appointed to Cedar Rapids, St. Paul’s United  Methodist Church, please indicate your interest by completing the Appointment Interest Form by January 2, 2023.

Dunkerton-Mt Hope United Methodist Churches

Dunkerton is located in Black Hawk County and has a population of around 900.  Dunkerton has an active school district with prekindergarten through 12th grade and within recent years has updated the school facilities.  Many medical, shopping, and entertainment opportunities are 20 minutes away in Waterloo and Cedar Falls.  The surrounding farming community adds to the vitality of the Dunkerton community with the Dunkerton COOP being a busy and expanding enterprise within the community.  In addition to the town library, which recently added a Dunkerton Historical Museum, there is a Community Hall, volunteer fire and ambulance services, a local newsletter/newspaper, and six in-town and rural churches.  The Dunkerton community offers blood drives, 4-H programs, a Women’s Club, Book Club, Garden Club, Sportsmen Club, and Senior Community meals (held at the Dunkerton UMC) twice a week.  There is a local food pantry supported by the Dunkerton United Methodist Church.  A new city playground was built in recent years.

Dunkerton United Methodist Church has been part of a two-point charge for many years with Mt. Hope United Methodist Church, a country church 7 miles west of Dunkerton.  The two churches combine for a joint service and potluck on the fifth Sunday of the month and have a joint Bible study in the summer. Dunkerton United Methodist Church maintained its strong financial support throughout the COVID crisis as it “met” through Zoom worship and came back for “in-person” worship as soon as possible.  The church loves to fellowship before and after the worship service and supports and cares for one another deeply.  Traditional hymns sung in harmony are beloved by the congregation as are sermons based on God’s Word.  An adult Sunday school class continues to meet during the school year.  The church supports the annual Ingathering with school kits and maintains a “blessing box” outside the church to supply the community in need with basic non-perishable food items and paper products.  For many years the ladies have hosted a Spring Women’s Event in the church inviting women from surrounding churches and the community to attend.  A two story, 4-bedroom parsonage sits adjacent to the church.

The missional priorities that the church desires to implement in the next 3-5 years are:

  1. Work with the next pastor in outreach ministries to reach young families and children within the community.
  2. To continue in-person, Christ-centered worship services
  3. To maintain current financial health and to grow in missional support within and outside the Dunkerton community.
  4. To become a more spiritually active presence within the Dunkerton community. 
  5. Further develop discipleship skills and servant leadership opportunities.

To assist in these missional priorities, the church is seeking pastoral leadership who has the following attributes.

  1. Strong preaching/teaching skills and who is orthodox/traditional in theology.
  2. The time and energy to relate with the community and participate in community outreach.
  3. Compassionate, empathetic, and skillful in pastoral care to all age groups.

Mt. Hope United Methodist Church is a community-minded country church that was established in 1881 and is located in Bennington Township in Black Hawk County.  We have members from Waterloo, Cedar Falls, Denver, Dunkerton, Janesville, and Waverly.  We have an active United Women in Faith (UMW) with monthly meetings.  An Adult Sunday School meets in the fall, winter, and spring.  We have an active prayer chain within the church.

Mt. Hope United Methodist Church completed a new building addition in 2022 that includes a handicapped bathroom, kitchen, and fellowship area.  The addition was completed debt free.  Mt. Hope United Methodist Church is a financially stable church and has paid apportionments in full.

Mt. Hope United Methodist is a family-based church that knows, supports, and understands the hopes, needs, and desires of each other.  Volunteers willingly step forward as needs arise.  We work closely with our sister church, Dunkerton United Methodist Church.  We have joint services on fifth Sunday months and for special holidays with the two churches alternating these services.  We have an active missions’ team and generously give to mission concerns locally and globally.

The mission priorities that the congregation will implement in the next 3-5 years are as follows:

  1. Meaningful worship that connects with the lives of members and visitors.
  2. Continue to expand mission opportunities.
  3. Maintain pastoral care and visitation.
  4. Attracting new families to the church.

To fulfill these mission priorities, the church is seeking a pastoral leader who has the following leadership attributes and passions:

  1. Appreciates traditional services and offers engaging and dynamic preaching from the Old and New Testaments that connects with laity and with a sense of humor.
  2. Keeps Christ front and center in Sunday service and in daily life.
  3. Is caring and compassionate.
  4. Can relate to all ages and is welcoming and inviting to all.

If you have prayerfully discerned you have the gifts and skill to be appointed to Dunkerton-Mt. Hope United Methodist Churches, please indicate your interest by completing the Appointment Interest Form by January 2, 2023.

Dysart United Methodist Church

Dysart is a stable, small community (approximately 1300 residents), located 25 miles south of Waterloo and 45 miles northwest of Cedar Rapids.  Dysart is part of the Union Community School District with an elementary & middle school located in Dysart and the high school about 15 miles away in La Porte City.  A new daycare center opened in 2021.  Dysart is home to a nice variety of small businesses, a medical clinic (Mercy One), and is 15-20 miles from hospitals in Vinton & Waterloo.  There are several pharmacies available to residents that are 10-20 miles away.  Just about any shopping desire is within 50 miles of town.  We have a wonderful library, modern community swimming pool, country club, beautiful city park, and access to bike trails.

We would consider our current church family to be traditional, but open.  Our typical Sunday morning worship attendance is 50-80 on average with over 100 on occasion.  We have a somewhat traditional worship experience each week with some contemporary music occasionally.  We have a great after-school ministry on Wednesdays that is attracting 30+ kids on a weekly basis.  In addition to a full-time pastor, we have a part-time administrative assistant and a part-time custodian that make up our paid staff.  We currently have a part-time organist that is paid to play several Sundays each month, and another volunteer pianist that plays once a month.  In addition, we have a former pianist that will come in and record music on our Clavinova for use on Sunday mornings with the choir.

We have developed a good Tech Team over the past several years and started recording our services during the COVID shutdown and have continued for our homebound parishioners.  Several volunteers assist in the weekly functions of our Tech Department.  We formerly had a very active youth group and there is a great desire to see that return.  We hope that the current work done with our younger youth will help produce that in the future.  We have a very active Mission Group and have very good support in our membership towards all of our other church committees.  We are very proud of our past ability to pay our apportionments 100% and look forward to continuing that achievement.  Our current pastor uses several volunteers on a rotating basis to serve as liturgist for each week.  Currently, our pastor provides a short Children’s Sermon early in the service and then the kids are excused to our Fellowship Hall area for Children’s Church (which is handled by several volunteers), which usually lasts until just after the sermon.  This is a Vital Congregation.

The missional priorities that the church will implement in next 3-5 years are, as follows: 

  1. Traditional Worship Service with added variety of contemporary music and creative worship improvisation ideas
  2. Visitation to elderly, shut-ins, nursing home
  3. Keep the youth program growing
  4. Building relationship with non-members through bridge events and hospitality efforts
  5. Outreach to the needy in the community
  6. Grow the Prayer Group ministry, continue and grow the Wesley Type classes

To fulfill those missional priorities, the church is seeking pastoral leadership who has the following leadership attributes and passions: 

  1. Relational to all ages, compassionate, extrovert, likes to mingle in the general community
  2. Moderate Traditional; handles varies worships: traditional, contemporary, and improvisation
  3. Prayerful
  4. Good sense of humor

If you have prayerfully discerned you have the gifts and skill to be appointed to Dysart United Methodist Church, please indicate your interest by completing the Appointment Interest Form by January 2, 2023.

Living Faith (Tama-Montour)-Toledo, Christ United Methodist Churches

The cities of Tama and Toledo are located in east central Iowa at the junction of Highways 63 and 30. The twin towns are centrally located about an hour away from Des Moines, Cedar Falls/Waterloo, Cedar Rapids, and Ames, as well as 90 minutes from Iowa City. Montour is 7 miles to the west of Tama/Toledo. This is an ethnically diverse area, with a mixture of Caucasian, Native American, Hispanic, and a growing number of African residents. 

Toledo, a community of 2100, is the county seat of Tama County. Tama is a town of 2500 and is south of Toledo. Montour has about 250 residents. The economy, which is agricultural, manufacturing, and service-based, includes family farms, a packing plant, a paper mill, a seed corn company, grocery stores, museums, motels, casino, medical clinics, city parks with soccer fields, baseball/softball fields, a skate park, disc golf; and an ATV Park.

Living Faith (Tama-Montour)-Toledo, Christ United Methodist Churches are a shared charge with a 60%/40% split of common expenses (i.e., pastor’s salary). Living Faith is comprised of two churches, the Tama center and Montour center. Each charge maintains its own building. Each church offers a unique type of service. Living Faith in Tama offers a traditional service at 9 a.m. Sunday. Christ in Toledo offers a traditional/contemporary service at 10 a.m. with praise songs and adult Sunday school. Montour has the relaxed atmosphere of an old country church at 11 a.m. There is a shared contemporary worship at the Tama center on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. The parsonage is currently located in Tama, north of the church. Toledo, Christ United Methodist Church offers a live Facebook feed of the service for those who cannot attend Sunday services. Each church has a half-time secretary and a part-time custodian.

The two charges work together on missions, United Women in Faith, and the recently formed W.O.W. (Worship on Wednesday) program. W.O.W. offers families another opportunity to worship, along with Christian Education for pre-school through adults, and a fellowship meal. The leadership works with other local churches through the South Tama Ministerial Association, the ecumenical Vacation Bible School, the food pantry, the mobile food distribution, and Lenten services.

There are many young families in the area without a connection to any church. There is also rural poverty, which affects a significant percentage of the population in the county. The population is aging. There is a lot of food insecurity and a need for daycare. There is cultural diversity which offers an opportunity to learn and experience diversity in a positive way.

The missional priorities that the church will implement in next 3-5 years are, as follows: 

Living Faith

  1. Help re-establish community within the church after COVID, including those who are not able to attend 
  2. Be visible and participate in local community activities
  3. Continue to share church services, programs, and so on, among the three centers

Toledo, Christ

  1. Continue to support local and United Methodist missions
  2. Reconnect with members who haven’t been here in a while, as well as members who are homebound and in nursing homes
  3. Refresh God’s house with stained glass windows replaced, kitchen remodeled, and bathroom remodeled

To fulfill those ministerial priorities, the churches are seeking pastoral leadership with the following leadership attributes and passions:

  1. Is an excellent preacher
  2. Is a spiritual leader
  3. Is approachable and relatable
  4. Has the passion to follow the lead of the congregations’ traditions/missions of a three-church charge
  5. Respectful of all church services
  6. Is community-minded
  7. Able to work with a range of theological beliefs

If you have prayerfully discerned you have the gifts and skill to be appointed to Living Faith (Tama-Montour)-Toledo, Christ United Methodist Churches, please indicate your interest by completing the Appointment Interest Form by January 2, 2023.

Rockford, First-Marble Rock United Methodist Churches

Rockford is a community of approximately 850 people. The school system is the Rudd-Rockford-Marble Rock (RRMR) Community School which is located in Rockford.   

Rockford, First United Methodist Church currently has a traditional worship service at 10:30 am on Sunday mornings.  Sunday School classes meet prior to church and there are approximately 20 children preschool – 8th grade who participate as well as an adult Seekers Class which has approximately 5 members currently.  There is also an active Jewel Kids Program for preschool – 6th grade students that meets twice a month and a United Methodist Youth Fellowship group for 7th grade and up that also meets twice a month, as well as sponsoring an election night soup supper, Christmas Eve Candlelight services, and Sunrise Easter services. United Women of Faith (UMW) has started meeting again after COVID had everything shut down.  We have a couple from our church who host a weekly Soup and Scripture Bible Study night for anyone to attend in their home.  Amy’s Food Pantry is also housed in our building that is open the third Saturday of each month, as well as by appointment, which is supported by other local churches as well as surrounding communities.

Marble Rock is a community of approximately 300 people. The school system is the Rudd-Rockford-Marble Rock (RRMR) Community School which is located in Rockford about 10 miles away. There is an after-school program at the library which provides age-appropriate activities, snacks, and opportunities to interact with other adults and children within the Marble Rock community. The Marble Rock Journal, a monthly newspaper, reaches a circulation of every household within the 50653 zip code area and outlying households by email. The nearest medical, dental, and eye clinics are located about 10-15 miles away in Rockford, Greene, Charles City, or Mason City. Nearest hospitals are in Charles City and Mason City. Downtown businesses include a bar and grill restaurant, a gas and convenience store, agriculture co-op, insurance, city office, and post office. 

The Marble Rock United Methodist Church currently has a traditional service at 9:00 am on Sunday mornings.  Currently there is not an active Sunday School program although youth are invited to participate with Jewel Kids and UMYF in Rockford.  Prior to COVID, there was an active United Methodist Women group which has not been able to start back up again.  There was also a weekly Bible Study on Sundays before service which the pastor led and which the congregation would like to see started again.  Marble Rock shares ecumenical services with St. Paul’s Lutheran Church for Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve. 

The missional priorities that the church will implement in next 3-5 years are, as follows: 

  1. Children’s Ministries, High School, Confirmation Class. Joint Bible School with Catholics and Lutherans.
  2. Building relationships and maintain church fellowship 
  3. Bible Studies
  4. Outreach and community visibility. Support global missions such as UMCOR, Ingathering, Church World Blankets
  5. Be a welcoming church while worship leans toward traditional. Continue online worship.

To fulfill those missional priorities, the church is seeking pastoral leadership who has the following leadership attributes and passions: 

  1. Outgoing to the community. Willing to help in local outreach such as food pantry.
  2. Uses Bible effectively in worship and studies
  3. Flexibility in local situations and work hours 
  4. Will visit/call on the sick and those in mourning
  5. Will participate in Breakfast group  

If you have prayerfully discerned you have the gifts and skill to be appointed to Rockford, First-Marble Rock United Methodist Churches, please indicate your interest by completing the Appointment Interest Form by January 2, 2023.

The United Methodist Church of Mount Vernon

Mount Vernon is a unique community, known for hospitality, fine arts, and unique shops. The Mount Vernon-Lisbon Community Development Group has over 500 volunteers active in many special events throughout the calendar year. Mount Vernon is home to Cornell College, a small private school with an enrollment of 1,000 students. Mount Vernon boasts three registered National Historic Districts within the town. Along with the well-preserved buildings of the past, Mount Vernon recently opened a new Community Wellness Center. The Mount Vernon School District along with neighboring Lisbon School District provide excellent education opportunities for their students. Both school districts excel in music, drama, and athletics. Church Information: The United Methodist Church of Mount Vernon is a congregation with an open and affirming commitment to all. Physically, it is located between the city’s commercial district and Cornell College. The church was established in the mid-1800s and is a beautiful historic building. We offer two worship styles every Sunday with a praise service and a traditional service. Music has always been a strength of our congregation. We have a talented praise band, a chancel choir, a bell choir, a talented organist, and several pianists. The United Methodist Church of Mount Vernon has been blessed with gifted lay leadership. Updated technology allows us to offer an online service each Sunday. Sunday school and youth programs are offered. The church also houses a community pre-school. Our members provide strong mission support to the community and beyond. We support Willis Dady Homeless Services, Catherine McAuley Center, and the Mission of Hope shelter in the Cedar Rapids area by providing clothing, hygiene kits, and monetary donations. We collect school supplies, bulk food orders and other goods for our local S.E. Linn Community Center. At Christmas, we have a Tag Tree to purchase Christmas gifts for the underprivileged in our community. The churches in our community have established a FISH fund to provide funds for transient persons in need of money for gas or food. We have six special offering throughout the calendar year to support missions of the greater United Methodist Church. 

The missional priorities that the church will implement in next 3-5 years are, as follows: 

  1. Increased Congregational membership
  2. Maintain and strengthen relationship with Cornell 
  3. Community Outreach

To fulfill those missional priorities, the church is seeking pastoral leadership who has the following leadership attributes and passions: 

  1. Able to lead an action-oriented church focusing on community involvement, focusing on congregational growth following COVID era, specifically efforts to interact with our local college
  2. Lead vibrant and fulfilling contemporary and traditional worship services
  3. Special interest in youth ministry, youth involvement, and youth education
  4. Effective administrator
  5. We are an open and affirming congregation supportive of the LGBTQ community
  6. Excels at congregational healing

If you have prayerfully discerned you have the gifts and skill to be appointed to The United Methodist Church of Mount Vernon, please indicate your interest by completing the Appointment Interest Form by January 2, 2023.


Riverview Park District

Carlisle United Methodist Church

Carlisle United Methodist Church is in the community of Carlisle, Iowa.  The City of Carlisle is located in Warren and Polk Counties in central Iowa.  The 2020 census put the population at 4,160 which was a 7.3% increase over the 2010 census.  Carlisle is expected to continue to grow as more people are drawn to the convenient location with minimal commute.  Carlisle is a suburb of Des Moines and provides residents a chance to live in a smaller community and easily commute to work. It is a school centered community where youth sports are abundant. There are areas of indoor and outdoor recreation and nature. There are plenty of retail and restaurants in town and a short drive away. There are clinics and doctors in town and the greater Des Moines area has medical hospitals and specialists in abundance.

The Carlisle United Methodist Church statistical numbers for 2021 reflect a membership of 473, an average worship attendance (in person) of 73, an average on-line worship of 399, and an average of 57 participants in Christian formation groups. The church has paid 100% of their apportionments since 2016. Lay leadership is strong in this missionally minded church. They are currently in the middle of an expansion to their family life center like area which will help their preschool expand and further help the community in this much needed area. There is a number of small groups and short-term studies. There is an annual ASP mission trip which is the center piece of a strong youth group. They have a family ministries group that connects young children and families to the church.

The missional priorities that the church will implement in next 3-5 years are, as follows: 

  1. They will have a continued emphasis on children and youth, connecting to the school system in new and exciting ways. Utilizing the new space to further become a central part of young families’ lives.
  2. Continue to connect and rebuild the in-person worship opportunities. Providing quality worship that connects to members lives and needs. 
  3. Continue to be a church where outreach and mission are active part of who Carlisle United Methodist Church is and how people better know Jesus.

To fulfill those missional priorities, the church is seeking pastoral leadership who has the following leadership attributes and passions: 

  1. Lead relevant worship utilizing various styles and elements.
  2. Excels in outreach and active in the community (outside of the church).
  3. Good leadership and administrative skills. 
  4. Positive energy, enthusiasm, and flexibility.
  5. Relational with good conflict resolution skills.

If you have prayerfully discerned you have the gifts and skill to be appointed to Carlisle United Methodist Church, please indicate your interest by completing the Appointment Interest Form by January 2, 2023.

Des Moines, Grace United Methodist Church

Grace United Methodist Church is in the heart of Des Moines near the Drake neighborhood and easily accessible by many major roads. Des Moines is the capital of Iowa and has an abundance of retail, recreational and educational opportunities. Des Moines had a population of 214,133 at the 2020 census which was a 5.3% increase over the 2010 census. Growth in Des Moines is expected to remain flat with most of the population increases found in the neighboring suburbs. Grace is within walking distance of many folks in need. The church continuously is looking for better ways to reach out and welcome ALL. The Des Moines metro provides opportunities for employment in many areas including government, education, and insurance. There is adequate public transportation and automobile travel is relatively simple. There are many doctors, clinics, and hospitals in the metro. 

The Des Moines, Grace United Methodist Church statistical numbers for 2021 reflect a membership of 816, an average worship attendance (in person) of 210, an average on-line worship of 241, and an average of 187 participants in Christian formation groups. The church has struggled to pay their apportionments at any more than a few percentage points. It is the desire of the Cabinet and the Bishop to rectify this and return to paying 100% of their apportionments. The church does amazing outreach to the community. There is a weekly community meal, medical clinic, and mental health counseling sessions. The choir is exceptional in their skill and the pieces they perform. There are small groups and classes held throughout the week. There is a strong history of exceptional lay leadership and involvement. 

The missional priorities that the church will implement in next 3-5 years are, as follows: 

  1. They will have a continued emphasis on children and youth, with a desire to connect to young families. 
  2. Continue to connect and rebuild the in-person worship opportunities. Providing quality worship and relevant preaching that connects to members lives and needs. 
  3. Continue to be a church where outreach and mission are important. 
  4. Develop a stewardship plan that allows the church to grow in meeting their responsibilities and meeting the needs of the community.
  5. Develop pastoral care teams to reach across generations and provide connection points for young and experienced alike.

To fulfill those missional priorities, the church is seeking pastoral leadership who has the following leadership attributes and passions: 

  1. Team builder.
  2. Excels in outreach and active in the community (outside of the church).
  3. Good leadership and administrative skills. 
  4. Positive energy, enthusiasm, and flexibility.
  5. Good pastoral care skills.

If you have prayerfully discerned you have the gifts and skill to be appointed to Des Moines, Grace United Methodist Church, please indicate your interest by completing the Appointment Interest Form by January 2, 2023.

Nevada, First United Methodist Church

Nevada, First United Methodist Church is in the community of Nevada, Iowa. The City of Nevada is located in Story County in central Iowa.  The 2020 census put the population at 6,925 which was a 2% increase over the 2010 census. Nevada is expected to continue to grow as more people are drawn to the convenient location with a relatively minimal commute.  Nevada is a 10-mile drive to Ames and the Iowa State University community and is a 35-minute drive to the greater Des Moines community and its attractions. Nevada’s location provides residents a chance to live in a smaller community and easily commute to work. Nevada has excellent schools and many quality service organizations. The park and rec department is award-winning and provides many recreational opportunities. There are many retail stores and restaurants in and close to town. The main street has undergone a re-conditioning and new stores and restaurants are popping up on a regular basis. There is an activity center, clinics, doctors, and a hospital in town. Nevada is a community that, if you don’t want to leave town, you will not have to leave. 

The Nevada, First United Methodist Church statistical numbers for 2021 reflect a membership of 702, an average worship attendance (in person) of 65, an average on-line worship of 400, and an average of 158 participants in Christian formation groups. The church has traditionally paid 100% of their apportionments. The church is experiencing a growth in their youth and young family’s ministry with a new Saturday night worship that provides a different time and approach to worship. They provide opportunities for young mothers to connect and care for their children. The church houses one of the most successful feeding ministries in central Iowa. The church has recently made financial gains and accomplishments by paying off their mortgage and addressing some capital needs in a new roof and boiler work. They are musically inclined with a number of choirs and two praise bands. This is a church with many young children and young families who are present and actively involved. One of their unique ministries is a stand at the county fair where they raise money for missions and outreach. This a church where people are involved and want to do their part in making it vibrant and healthy.

The missional priorities that the church will implement in next 3-5 years are, as follows: 

  1. They will have a continued emphasis on children and youth, connecting to the school system in new and exciting ways. 
  2. Continue to connect and rebuild the in-person worship opportunities. Providing quality worship and relevant preaching that connects to members lives and needs. 
  3. Continue to be a church where outreach and mission are important. 

To fulfill those missional priorities, the church is seeking pastoral leadership who has the following leadership attributes and passions: 

  1. Team builder.
  2. Excels in outreach and active in the community (outside of the church).
  3. Good leadership and administrative skills. 
  4. Positive energy, enthusiasm, and flexibility.
  5. Good pastoral care skills.

If you have prayerfully discerned you have the gifts and skill to be appointed to Nevada, First United Methodist Church, please indicate your interest by completing the Appointment Interest Form by January 2, 2023.

Newton, First United Methodist Church

Newton, First United Methodist Church is in Jasper County in central Iowa. It is 35 minutes from the middle of the Des Moines metro. Newton had a population of 15,760 at the 2020 census which was a 3.3% increase over the 2010 census. Growth in Newton is expected to slowly continue with people who desire small town living, but the benefits of a larger metro area like Des Moines. Newton has retail and recreation in town and larger attractions are readily accessible within a very short drive. There are doctors, clinics, and a hospital in town with more intensive needs met by the hospitals of the Des Moines area. 

The Newton, First United Methodist Church statistical numbers for 2021 reflect a membership of 628, an average worship attendance (in person) of 105, an average on-line worship of 60, and an average of 49 participants in Christian formation groups. The church has paid their apportionments in full because that is what you do as a United Methodist Church. The church has strong outreach and mission ministries. The musical tradition is strong with choirs and a praise band. The youth and children ministry were hurt by COVID and is now returning to the place that it was pre-pandemic with a growing ministry. 

The missional priorities that the church will implement in next 3-5 years are, as follows: 

  1. Utilize pastoral care teams to care for homebound.
  2. Continue to be a church where outreach and mission are important. 
  3. Continued emphasis on children and youth, with a desire to connect to young families.
  4. Continue to connect and rebuild the in-person worship opportunities. Providing quality worship and relevant preaching that connects to members lives and needs.

To fulfill those missional priorities, the church is seeking pastoral leadership who has the following leadership attributes and passions: 

  1. Good communicator
  2. Excels in outreach and active in the community (outside of the church).
  3. Cast a Vision 
  4. Pastoral Care
  5. Good Administrator  

If you have prayerfully discerned you have the gifts and skill to be appointed to Newton, First United Methodist Church, please indicate your interest by completing the Appointment Interest Form by January 2, 2023.

Camp Clear Lake District

Estherville United Methodist Church

Estherville is the county seat of Emmet County, Iowa, located on the northern border of the State of Iowa and around 15 miles east of lake Okoboji. The city population was 5729 in 2020. Estherville is within the Estherville Lincoln Central Community School District that provides quality education and other activities for students and families. It is the home of Iowa Lake Community College. The city also has a good quality hospital and many recreational opportunities, including a wellness center, swimming pool, lake, etc. It is a peaceful and safe place to raise children. 

Estherville United Methodist Church is located at 102 S 8th St, Estherville, IA 51334. The congregation has a membership of 653, with the average worship attendance after the COVID-19 season having been 116. It is involved in community activities such as providing spiritual formation to children, youth, and adults, and the ecumenical churches. Church members are connected and actively engaged in church activities. Estherville United Methodist Church has a good history of paying 100% of apportionments.

The missional priorities that the church will implement in the next three to five years are as follows:

  1. Continue growing disciples through different spiritual formation activities, including Walk to Emmaus and Discipleship classes. 
  2. Connect people to God and continue to grow in relationship with God. 
  3. Strengthen youth and children ministry and adult Sunday School. 
  4. Maintain good worship attendance.
  5. Keep music ministry vibrating in the congregation. 

To fulfill those missional priorities, the church is seeking a pastoral leader who has the following attributes and passions:

  1. Pastoral experience and willingness to live in small towns. 
  2. The ability to relate and build relationships with all generations.
  3. Good preacher with a good presentation.
  4. Preaching from the Bible and relating sermons to the life of the congregation. 
  5. Grow disciples and encourage them to be involved in the life of the church. 
  6. Appreciate the ministry of music

If you have prayerfully discerned you have the gifts and skill to be appointed to Estherville United Methodist Church, please indicate your interest by completing the Appointment Interest Form by
January 2, 2023.

Mason City, First United Methodist Church

Mason City is the county seat of Cerro Gordo County, Iowa. The city is located in the north-central part of the state of Iowa. This city's population is estimated to be 28,000. Mason City is well known for its musical heritage, several restaurants and shopping areas, a good regional hospital with many specialists, community arts, recreational programming, and a good school system. Mason City is the home of the Northern Iowa Community College. The Mason City School District has one public and one Catholic (Newman) High School, two middle schools, and four elementary schools. The city has a good quality hospital with many specialists who provide good patient care. It also has the largest hockey arena in the northern part of the state. Mason City has more work opportunities in different fields.  

Mason City, First United Methodist Church is located at 119 S Georgia Ave, Mason City, IA 50401. The congregation has a membership of 710, with an average worship attendance of 115. The congregation is involved in many local mission activities and has a good history of paying 100% of apportionments. Church members are connected and actively engaged in the life of the congregation. The congregation has a three-bedroom parsonage.

The missional priorities that the church will implement in the next three to five years are as follows:

  1. To grow by getting many people and children in the church
  2. To create dynamic worship
  3. To develop networks to connect members to one another
  4. To work in the world beyond our walls
  5. To have a long-term pastor who can stay longer

To fulfill those missional priorities, the church is seeking a pastoral leader who has the following attributes and passions:

  1. Pastoral experience in working with youth and children.
  2. Ability to work, relate, supervise, and direct staff
  3. Open-minded and welcoming spiritual leader
  4. Provide dynamic and diverse worship services and support the ministry of music
  5. Relate sermons to what is happening today

If you have prayerfully discerned you have the gifts and skill to be appointed to Mason City, First United Methodist Church, please indicate your interest by completing the Appointment Interest Form by January 2, 2023.

Golden Valley District

Iowa City, St Mark’s United Methodist Church

St Mark’s United Methodist Church is in the community of Iowa City which is located in Johnson County with a population of 74,828 (2020 census).  It is the county seat of Johnson County.   Iowa City is commonly known as a college town. It is home to the University of Iowa and a smaller campus of Kirkwood Community College. The population increases during the months when the two schools are in session. Iowa City is contiguous with the community of Coralville to the northwest. University Heights is completely contained within the boundaries of Iowa City. Tiffin, North Liberty, Solon, and Hills are other communities within a few miles. Iowa City has a variety and diversity of cultural events. The leading employers for the community are the University of Iowa and University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, the Iowa City VA Medical Center, the Iowa City Community School District, Mercy Hospital, ACT Inc. (college testing services), and Procter & Gamble.

The St. Mark’s United Methodist Church statistical numbers for 2021 reflect a membership of 347, an average worship attendance (in person) of 45, an average on-line worship of 121, and a historical pattern of honoring apportionments at 100% through 2017 and struggling to reach that in recent years.  Outreach and mission work is generous, outgoing, and impactful.  The congregation values inclusivity, openness, and being welcoming.  Justice ministries are embraced and supported.  St Mark’s has strong United Methodist Men and United Women in Faith groups.  Individuals and small groups are passionate about their outreach and mission.  An existing daycare/after-school program is on site in the facility.  Community groups and other church groups use the facility for regular events.   

The missional priorities that the church will implement in next 3-5 years are, as follows: 

  1. Return to a path for growth.  Discern and execute on activities that engage the wider community to help people “find” St Mark’s and choose to participate on a more regular basis.
  2. Re-engage a larger portion of the existing membership, facilitating healing and reconciliation, and rebuilding of trust.
  3. Increase the number of families that participate in the life of the church.
  4. Generate and live into discipleship and security as a congregation…allowing for authentic outreach to others in the community that will be welcoming and service oriented.

To fulfill those missional priorities, the church is seeking pastoral leadership who has the following leadership attributes and passions: 

Ability to foster and develop relationships across generations.

  1. Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  2. Identify and cultivate leaders to support the ministries of the church.
  3. Planning, organizational and leadership skills that help volunteers and staff successfully execute our ministries.
  4. Preaching that is relevant and speaks to the listener knowing they are loved, renewed, enabled, and challenged to meet the week ahead.  The ability to understand and explain the scriptures with the heart of a teacher.

If you have prayerfully discerned you have the gifts and skill to be appointed to Iowa City, St. Mark’s United Methodist Church, please indicate your interest by completing the Appointment Interest Form by January 2, 2023.

Solon United Methodist Church - Golden Valley District

Solon United Methodist Church is in the community of Solon, Iowa.  The City of Solon is located in Johnson County in eastern Iowa.  The 2020 census calculations denote the population of Solon as 2,690.  This reflects an increase in population from the 2010 census.  Solon is expected to continue to grow as more people are drawn to the convenient location with minimal commute.  Solon is in close proximity to four larger communities-Iowa City, Coralville, North Liberty, and Cedar Rapids. The town provides a good location for residents to live in a smaller community and easily commute to work in the nearby larger communities.  The University of Iowa is located in Iowa City, offering employment and education opportunities.  Solon's economy is composed of a few service industries, but still functions primarily as a bedroom community for the larger cities of Cedar Rapids, North Liberty, Coralville and Iowa City. Over the last two decades, construction has increased on the east, west, and south peripheries of the community.  Solon allows for close proximity to Lake Macbride State Park and the Coralville Reservoir.

The Solon United Methodist Church statistical numbers for 2021 reflect a membership of 363, an average worship attendance (in person) of 70, an average on-line worship of 17, and an average of 102 participants in Christian formation groups.  There is a pattern of struggling to fully fund apportionments in recent years.  Solon United Methodist Church has committed leaders concerned about the church and community and willing to explore new directions and needs.  There is a strong support of local groups and events…site for the Solon Food Pantry, church garden, COVID and flu clinics, scouting.  The Family Life Center hosts church and community events and fund raisers.  It (the Family Life Center) also brings in people from the Solon community and surrounding area.  There is strong foundation for both music and Christian education.  Their Vision:  God is leading our congregation to be a beacon for all persons who are looking and longing for a place of spiritual refuge, inspiration, discipleship, and transformation.  We will welcome them, connect, and ignite the spirit within each and show love and support to all.

The missional priorities that the church will implement in next 3-5 years are, as follows: 

  1. Create an atmosphere for all demographics and backgrounds that people may come to the church and feel that their spiritual needs are met.  A congregation that embraces inclusivity.  All are welcome.  All are loved.
  2. Rebuild to a thriving church that is ready and prepared to accept the influx of new persons.
  3. Intentional development and implementation of sound financial stewardship…and its relationship to worship, community, and making disciples.

To fulfill those missional priorities, the church is seeking pastoral leadership who has the following leadership attributes and passions: 

  1. Relevant, positive communication skills in preaching.  Dynamic spiritual leader.
  2. Excels in outreach and active in the community (outside of the church).
  3. Visitation skills for shut-ins, new visitors, and the dis-engaged community.
  4. Positive energy, enthusiasm, and flexibility.
  5. Leadership skills and experience in church and organizational programming.

If you have prayerfully discerned you have the gifts and skill to be appointed to Solon United Methodist Church, please indicate your interest by completing the Appointment Interest Form by January 2, 2023.