Rev. Julie Poulsen, Chair of the Iowa Conference Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministries, gave their report to the 2023 Iowa Conference Session, thanking the members for their apportionments that support six campus ministries in Iowa. They received $98,000 this year from apportionments.
She introduced Rev. Dr. Soomee Kim, the executive director of the Center for Integrative Pastoral Practice at the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM), who offered greetings from its board of directors, one of whom is our very own Rev. Dr. Heecheon Jeon, and from the General Secretary, Greg Bergquist, and the dedicated staff members.
"Our vision is to create a world where everyone is living fully into God’s call in their lives," she said. "As I sat this morning in the Ordering of Ministry and Retirement Service, my heart was filled with gratitude. GBHEM supports most of what happened this morning: support, train, and provide guidance to the annual conference Board of Ordained Ministries and monitor and keep records of the course of studies, to name a few."
Rev. Dr. Heecheon Jeon introduced the creation of a new Wesley Foundation in partnership with the First United Methodist Church of Iowa City
where he serves.
"First United Methodist Church of Iowa City has invested in the campus ministry from the beginning of our church history to serve students and faculty of the University of Iowa because our congregation has valued the same vision of John Wesley: transforming lives through education and creating a safer and inclusive space for all people and developing leadership for making a difference in the world," he said.
Rev. Rachel Lamparek added, "We are an intergenerational community of faith, meaning this college ministry is within the larger worshiping body of First United Methodist Church. One of the most vital aspects of campus ministry is offering space for spiritual growth, vocational discernment, and opportunities for young people to lead."
Poulsen ended the report by acknowledging the closing of Iowa Wesleyan College in Mt. Pleasant.
"Many present and former pastors and Christian educators in our Conference, as well as numerous lay people, graduated from Iowa Wesleyan," she said. "We pray for all the faculty, staff, and students as they find a new place to study and work. We pray for God’s comfort for all who have lost a job, a school, an alma mater, and a home."