Iowa Annual Conference Establishes an Oasis Network

Iowa Annual Conference Establishes an Oasis Network

June 13, 2023

The Iowa Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church (UMC) is proactively trying to make it possible for every person who desires to remain United Methodist to have a home in the Iowa Annual Conference will have one. While only 12-15% of Iowa congregations will leave the UMC, we also hear, “How can I remain United Methodist if my church disaffiliates?” and want to provide spaces for all.
As an act of hospitality, building on work done by Texas and the Dakotas Conferences, the Iowa Annual Conference has established an OASIS NETWORK
OASIS NETWORK churches are congregations that remain confident in their UMC identity and mission and whose desire it is to offer outreach to, welcoming of, and caring for laity who want a faith community in which to retain a United Methodist membership after their present congregation disaffiliates. OASIS NETWORK congregations and pastors are committed to and are ready to provide an interim haven of rest and refreshment in which UMC members and seekers can faithfully determine their next church home.
The following is a list of congregations that have discerned the capacity to have a pastor/lay care team with the power, space, and desire to provide additional pastoral care and offer intentional welcome, hospitality, and connection. The District Superintendents nominated these congregations, but this does not mean other United Methodist Churches will not accept disaffiliating members, only that the District Superintendents have approved these congregations and that they can provide outreach and care to those hurting individuals.

“We are committed to making space for all those who wish to remain UMC,” said Rev. Dr. Jaye Johnson, Director of Congregational Excellence and New Communities of Faith. “The Oasis Network is one way to ensure that is the case.”

To become a part of the OASIS NETWORK, a church can request to be added. First, the pastor must approve then the board needs to vote that the church is willing to receive members they may not see often and will provide care teams to reach out to disaffiliated members. After the approval, the pastor and care team can participate in online training on August 5, 2023. If a church meets those criteria and wishes to be added to the list, it should email [email protected].

If you have questions about the Oasis Network, email [email protected]