During the 2021 Iowa Annual Conference, only two items were removed from the action calendars, items 101 and 211.
Rev. Carolyn Bitner proposed an amendment to Action item #101 so that the location of the annual conference session is recommended at least two years in advance when feasible. This was approved as amended by the body.
Rev. Lee Schott made an amendment for Action Item #211. “In 2004 action by the Annual Conference Session created this pool of funding to support hands-on ministry and address needs as outlined in Matthew 25.31-46 (see pages 157-160 of the 2004 Iowa Conference Annual Journal). The funds are allocated to the districts based on a formula that takes into account the number of families living in poverty, the number of seniors, and the percentage of the population that is non-English speaking within each district. The formula is reviewed, revised, and adopted annually by the Conference Connectional Ministries Council.
All of the districts use the same application and process for determining distribution of the funds in their respective areas. Each ministry must submit mid-year and year-end reports to both the district that gave the grant and the Conference Connectional Ministries Council. The districts’ reports of how the grants were distributed are to be included in their ministry plans.
With the COVID-19 pandemic and the Contingency Plan that went into effect in the first half of 2020, and with districts being realigned, solicited no Matthew 25 grant applications in the Fall of 2020 for disbursement of funds allocated to this program for 2021. However, the new districts’ Connectional Ministries Committees will undertake, as soon as practicable and before the end of 2021, the following steps:
- Allocation and disbursement of the $38,000 carryover of 2020 Matthew 25 funds that have recently been released by the Council on Finance & Administration.
- Allocation and disbursement of as much as possible of the $111,616 budgeted for 2021, subject to limitations imposed by the Contingency Plan (50%), until lifted, and any spending caps (currently 84%).
The District Connectional Ministries Committees will obtain assistance from Planning & Research to promptly update the distribution formula for the five new districts. They will determine how they can make decisions on allocating the 2020 and 2021 funds under Matthew 25. This may include allocating 2021 funds using the same process each DCMC will put in place for applications, decisions, and allocation of Matthew 25 funds approved for 2022.
The CCMCs will report on ministries receiving distribution of these funds at the 2022 Iowa Annual Conference.
CCMC approved for 2022: $111,616
This amendment details the District Connectional Ministries Matthew 25 grants and allocation of the funds that support conference ministries.
There was a new resolution, The George Floyd Justice Policing Act which “urges church members to contact Iowa US Senators, requesting passage of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.”
Another new resolution will add a column to the statistical reports so that starting with the 2021 reports, non-binary gender identity can be reported.
There was an update to the current resolution to the Palestine Human Rights for members of the conference to urge Congress members to support H.R. 2590 so that US tax dollars are not used to violate Palestinian human rights.
Two additional Action Items were submitted: #802 and #803.
Action Item #802
, which would address food insecurity, was laid aside because of a lack of time.
Action Item #803
, an aspirational vision for the Iowa Conference, although called out of order, will be handed to the Ezekiel Team and the Iowa General Conference delegation for collaboration work.