News


The School for Lay Ministry extended learning opportunities

The School for Lay Ministry extended learning opportunities

9/18/2019
The School for Lay Ministry (SLM) Commission is offering extended learning classes at Cornell College in Mount Vernon, IA beginning in October. These classes are open to anyone! Class Descriptions The "Gospel" of the Prophet Isaiah with Rev. Paul Wood pastor at St. Paul UMC in La Porte City on Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019 Who was the Prophet Isaiah? What was his mission in life? Can he be considered the writer of the Fifth Gospel? Is the Book of Isaiah truly a one man show? These are some of the ...

Midwest Mission's relief arrives in the Bahamas

Midwest Mission's relief arrives in the Bahamas

9/17/2019
In anticipation of the hurricane season, Midwest Mission Distribution Center had pre-staged relief items such as personal dignity kits, rice meal packs, and linens at their partner's (Food for the Poor) warehouse in Jacksonville, FL. Following the devastation caused by hurricane Dorian those items were immediately put to use and airlifted to the Bahamas arriving on September 7. Food for the Poor has sent a request for other items for the residents of the Bahamas and Midwest Mission's would like...

Adora S. Jones Ministerial Trust Scholarship application open

Adora S. Jones Ministerial Trust Scholarship application open

9/16/2019
The Adora S. Jones Ministerial Trust has been established by a lovely lady, who was a school teacher and a member of Salem United Methodist Church in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The following is paraphrased from Adora’s will:   “It is my wish that the Trustee shall use the income from the trust to the extent that the same shall become available, for the purpose of grants/scholarships from such income to seminary students from the State of Iowa who are in need of assistance to maintain them in seminary ...

UMCOR starts efforts for Bahamas relief

UMCOR starts efforts for Bahamas relief

9/16/2019
By Linda Bloom Sept. 5, 2019 | UM News How to help: Donations for the Bahamas can be made through UMCOR's International Disaster Response Advance #982450. Money from this fund is used to respond to disasters around the world. In the U.S., donate to the U.S. Disaster Response Advance #901670 for the United Methodist Committee on Relief. As Hurricane Dorian continued to threaten the U.S. east coast, United Methodists were connecting with Methodists in the Bahamas to start relief efforts. The ...

Connectional Table’s U.S. Regional Conference legislation now available

Connectional Table’s U.S. Regional Conference legislation now available

9/13/2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 13, 2019 Connectional Table’s U.S. Regional Conference legislation now available. Chicago, IL – The Connectional Table is publishing its legislative petition to create a U.S. Regional Conference, as well as a one-page frequently asked questions sheet and a narrative booklet.  The CT, who collaborated closely with Wespath on this legislation, shares the legislation and educational materials in advance of the 2020 General Conference as a reflection of the value it ...

Clergywomen retreat explores Celtic Christianity

Clergywomen retreat explores Celtic Christianity

9/9/2019
In the Sawtooth Mountains along the shore of Lake Superior, ten clergywomen spent a week exploring Celtic Christianity and immersing themselves in nature, prayer, art and exercises to deepen awareness of God’s presence.   Offered through the Office of Pastoral Care and Counseling, the week was led by Dr. Mary Bellon and Rev. Nan Smith and designed to allow the participants to bring leadership as well.   Dr. Lanette Plambeck, Rev. Lee Schott, Rev. Beth Harbaugh, Rev. Elizabeth Bell, Rev. Cathy ...

New rules for immigrants

New rules for immigrants

9/9/2019
Since the 19th century, self-sufficiency has been a foundation of U.S. immigration law. The Trump administration has expanded the definition “public charge” concerning immigrants. This policy makes it harder for legal migrants who use public benefits to get a green card. Low-income and less-educated foreigners will have a more difficult time getting into the U.S. Mike Howell, a former Department of Homeland Security and now an advisor at the Heritage Foundation, says, “If fully enforced, it’s ...

Thank You from Bishop Laurie

Thank You from Bishop Laurie

9/5/2019
I want to thank you for your kind expressions of love and support upon the death of my father. It is overwhelming to know that so many people care enough to send a card or an email or say a prayer. I will be forever grateful for your continued commitment to make a difference in our world by your prayers, your presence, your gifts, your service, and your witness to the love of Jesus for all people. Blessings, Bishop Laurie  

Labor Day pastoral letter from Bishop Laurie

Labor Day pastoral letter from Bishop Laurie

9/1/2019
Grace and peace over this Labor Day weekend. While many in our country celebrate the Labor Day weekend by traveling or simply enjoying the end of summer before church, school, and community activities begin in September, others are grieving or preparing to evacuate.  Yesterday, seven people were killed and twenty-two people were injured in Odessa, Texas. When a man was pulled over by state troopers, he opened fire, hijacked a van, and kept shooting until he was eventually killed by police. Among...

Fall 2019 Order of Elders, Order of Deacons, Fellowship of Local Pastors and Associate Members Event

Fall 2019 Order of Elders, Order of Deacons, Fellowship of Local Pastors and Associate Members Event

8/26/2019
Preacher, teacher, and author Lillian Daniel will be the featured presenter at our Fall 2019 Order of Elders. Our focus will be about how to be spiritual leaders in the unknown and she will be helping to nurture us spiritually around worship and preaching. All clergy should attend this event. Lillian Daniel is a preacher, teacher, writer, and speaker whose honesty and wit have taken her from the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. to the Festival of Homiletics in Denmark. Wherever she goes, ...

Pictured Rocks UMC Camp and Retreat Center closes

Pictured Rocks UMC Camp and Retreat Center closes

8/26/2019
Former campers, employees, camp counselors, board members, and supporters gathered on the grounds of Pictured Rocks United Methodist Camp and Retreat Center for the Deconsecrating Service held on August 25, 2019.  Speaking about the history of Pictured Rocks, Camp Director Gabe Dorrell said, “The reality came to fruition in 1961 when the first campers enjoyed camp here in this sacred space. History goes with us. When we leave this place, the relationships that have been built, that have been ...

Diverse group of United Methodists explores separation

Diverse group of United Methodists explores separation

8/19/2019
HERNDON, VA:  A group of theologically diverse United Methodists met at Floris United Methodist Church in Virginia on Friday and Saturday to continue seeking a way to resolve the impasse on the ordination of LGBTQ members and the blessing of same-gender marriages in the denomination. Organized by bishops from Central Conferences, the meeting was attended by Tom Berlin and Junius Dotson, representing Centrists; Jan Lawrence and Randall Miller, representing Progressives; and Patricia Miller and ...

UMCNext plan would end LGBTQ restrictions

UMCNext plan would end LGBTQ restrictions

8/19/2019
  By Sam Hodges Aug. 19, 2019 | DALLAS (UM News) UMCNext, a coalition that includes Reconciling Ministries Network, Uniting Methodists and Mainstream UMC, has offered a plan that would end The United Methodist Church's restrictions against same-sex weddings and LGBTQ ordination and offer a gracious exit to local churches that disagree with those changes.  A group of centrists and progressives is offering a plan that would eliminate The United Methodist Church’s restrictions against LGBTQ ...

Transitional Intentional Interim Ministry Specialist Training Seminar

Transitional Intentional Interim Ministry Specialist Training Seminar

8/15/2019
Do you like the idea of providing pastoral leadership which guides, restores, and renews a congregation spiritually and procedurally? Are you a pastoral leader who does your finest ministry “under pressure” and prefers to lead congregational “course reset” swiftly and surely? If this describes your pastoral leadership style and call, the training we are offering will be an opportunity of a lifetime for you and the congregations you will be appointed to serve! TRANSITIONAL INTENTIONAL INTERIM ...

Wersinger accepts new position

Wersinger accepts new position

8/14/2019
Karen Wersinger, the Northeast District Administrative Assistant, has accepted a new position with the Black Hawk County Sheriff’s Office in Waterloo beginning Monday, August 19.  Though Karen’s official last day with the Conference will be this coming Friday, August 16, her last physical day in the office was on Friday, August 9 as she enjoys some time with family before starting her new position. "Karen’s exceptional organizational skills and her kindness and easygoing manner will be missed ...

Prayers requested for Bishop Laurie

Prayers requested for Bishop Laurie

8/13/2019
Please keep Bishop Laurie Haller and her family in your prayers. Her father, Gerald F. Hartzel, Sr., passed away on Monday, August 12, 2019. Services will be at 11:00 am on Monday, August 26th at Peter Becker Community, 800 Maple Avenue, Harleysville, PA. Mr. Hartzell is survived by his children: Gerald F. Hartzel, Jr.; Bishop Laurie Haller, 2301 Rittenhouse Street, Des Moines, IA 50321; Randall L. Hartzel and Jennifer Handwerk. Memorial contributions can be made in his memory to Zion Mennonite...

2020 Iowa Annual Conference Session Dates

2020 Iowa Annual Conference Session Dates

8/12/2019
Over the past month, a team of Annual Conference Sessions Committee members and Conference Staff who work closely with the details of Annual Conference planning, reviewed some of the agendas and evaluations of previous sessions. They developed drafts of potential agendas that incorporate the essential functions necessary for the Annual Conference and renegotiated the contract with the Iowa Events Center where the Annual Conference session is held. This work was shared with Bishop Laurie Haller ...

GC Commission takes action following task force review

GC Commission takes action following task force review

8/10/2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE August 10, 2019  General Conference Commission Takes Action Following Task Force Review Lexington, Ky.: The Commission on the General Conference voted this week to implement new registration and credentialing procedures for General Conference delegates to safeguard against the possibility of unauthorized voting.  The Commission made the decision based on the results of an independent investigation into allegations of voting improprieties at the 2019 Special Session of the ...

Help children impacted by ICE raids

Help children impacted by ICE raids

8/10/2019
Help Children Impacted by ICE Raids 8/8/2019 UPDATED Giving Options for ICE-Impacted Assistance for Children People can support the ongoing efforts in helping impacted families and children by: mailing a check to Mississippi Conference of the UMC, 320-C Briarwood Drive, Attention: James Mason, Jackson, MS 39206. Please annotate “4ICE-Children” in the memo line of the check. making a fee-free donation using the PayPal Giving Fund website. sending an electronic donation via PayPal to paypal@miss...

Improper voting at GC2019 voids key vote

Improper voting at GC2019 voids key vote

8/10/2019
By Heather Hahn Aug. 10,2019 | LEXINGTON, Ky. (UM News) General Conference organizers have determined enough improper voting likely took place at the 2019 special session to nullify a key vote on how congregations can leave The United Methodist Church.   The Commission on General Conference — meeting behind closed doors during its Aug. 7-9 meeting — reviewed an investigation that found “credible objective evidence” of four ineligible people casting votes using the credentials of delegates who ...

The Iowa Conference Committee on Investigation meeting tomorrow

The Iowa Conference Committee on Investigation meeting tomorrow

8/7/2019
August 7, 2019 For Immediate Release   The Iowa Conference Committee on Investigation meeting tomorrow The Committee on Investigation for the Iowa Annual Conference is meeting Thursday, August 8, 2019, with United Methodist clergyperson Rev. Anna Blaedel and several support persons. Rev. Blaedel is the respondent to a formal complaint filed with the Iowa Conference Bishop’s Office by Mr. John Lomperis, a lay member of a United Methodist congregation in the Indiana Conference of The United ...

UMC bishops urge end to white supremacy, xenophobia

UMC bishops urge end to white supremacy, xenophobia

8/6/2019
August 6, 2019 For Immediate Release   UMC bishops call for discipleship; urges end to white supremacy, xenophobia   In the aftermath of the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, Council of Bishops President Bishop Ken Carter is calling for United Methodists to help end white supremacy and xenophobia which he says is fueling the culture of violence.   In a statement released today, August 6, 2019, Bishop Carter commend the statements of Bishop Gregory Palmer and Bishop Earl Bledsoe ...

Bishop Laurie laments gun violence in El Paso and Dayton

Bishop Laurie laments gun violence in El Paso and Dayton

8/5/2019
A PASTORAL LETTER TO THE IOWA ANNUAL CONFERENCE August 5, 2019   My heart was heavy this morning at Epworth Assembly in Ludington, Michigan, when the American flag was lowered to half-staff. It was a gesture of both mourning and respect for the victims of the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio over this past weekend. I have been at this summer resort with Methodist roots for several days of preaching and teaching. At an open forum this morning, we shared deep grief for the ...

Bishop Palmer urges prayer, action in wake of shootings

Bishop Palmer urges prayer, action in wake of shootings

8/4/2019
Grace and Peace to you, dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ Jesus. I was awakened early this morning with the news of the mass shooting in Dayton. I was stunned. Perhaps I should not have been, but it always seems even more chilling the closer it gets to home. All of this as we were all trying to make sense of the shooting in El Paso, Texas, barely 12 hours before. This tragedy in Dayton is one of more than a dozen mass shootings in the US in 2019. It now adds to the scores upon scores of mass ...

Ways United Methodists can take a stand against gun violence

Ways United Methodists can take a stand against gun violence

8/4/2019
WHAT IS THE BOOK OF RESOLUTIONS? The volume containing the text of all resolutions or pronouncements on issues approved by the General Conference and currently valid. The Book of Resolutions contains not only the resolutions and policy statements passed by the most recent General Conference, but also all such statements still considered to represent the position of The United Methodist Church. The text of any resolution is considered the official position of the denomination on that subject. —...

Chariton First UMC serves RAGBRAI XLVII riders

Chariton First UMC serves RAGBRAI XLVII riders

7/26/2019
Chariton First UM Church Serves RAGBRAI XLVII Riders from Iowa Annual Conference on Vimeo. Church and community members serve the thousands of cyclists descending on Chariton, Iowa. Courtney Levin chats with Pastor Dave Hobbs, Church Mission Committee Chair JoAnne Anderson, and two best friends from Texas riding RAGBRAI for the first time.

Simpson RLC and Indianola First serve RAGBRAI XLVII Riders

Simpson RLC and Indianola First serve RAGBRAI XLVII Riders

7/26/2019
What do live music, dancing chickens and iced coffee have in common? RAGBRAI and United Methodists of course! Simpson College Chaplain Mara Bailey chats with us about the space the Holy Grounds Coffee Shop provided riders to get away, and the team at Indianola First UMC talked about how RAGBRAI brings the congregation together. Simpson RLC and Indianola First serve RAGBRAI XLVII Riders from Iowa Annual Conference on Vimeo.  

Swanson accepts new position

Swanson accepts new position

7/25/2019
Sherry Swanson, the District Administrative Assistant in the Southeast District, has accepted a new position with the Iowa & Middletown Railway based at the Iowa Army Ammunition Plant in Burlington. Her last day in the district office will be on Friday, July 26. Sherry had previously worked out of the Iowa Army Ammunition Plant and is excited about this new opportunity with Iowa & Middletown Railway.   "I am certain that Sherry’s quick wit and laughter will be missed by all that had the ...

A study of Numbers based on Bewilderments

A study of Numbers based on Bewilderments

7/24/2019
Sefer Bamidbar: The Book of In-the-Wilderness A study of Numbers based on Bewilderments by Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg Beginning Fall 2019 for interested clergy   Dr Mary Lautzenhiser Bellon, Director of the Office of Pastoral Care and Counseling would like to invite interested clergy in a deep study of the Book of Numbers beginning Fall 2019. The text will be Bewilderments, written by Hebrew scholar and psychologist Avivah Zornberg who teaches at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Numbers, known in ...

Bishops call for new ways of embodying unity through mission, relationships

Bishops call for new ways of embodying unity through mission, relationships

7/17/2019
July 17, 2019 For immediate release   Bishops call for new ways of embodying unity through mission, relationships   CHICAGO – The bishops of The United Methodist Church will seek to strengthen annual conferences in 2019 through the ministries of sending and missional strategy, Bishop Kenneth Carter, president of the Council of Bishops, has said.     In a statement released at the end of the Executive Committee meeting outside Chicago on July 17, 2019, Bishop Carter said: “Our primary work is not...

A thank you from Hamburg UMC

A thank you from Hamburg UMC

7/11/2019
We recently received a letter from Hamburg Methodist Church thanking all who donated to help the town recover from the flooding. You can still donate to Iowa Disaster Recovery by visiting: https://www.iaumc.org/disasterministries The letter reads: "Our Hamburg, Iowa church family is very grateful for your donation to aid us in our recovery from the recent flood that affected much of our community. We were fortunate that our sanctuary was not flooded and that we only have a flooded basement to ...

Authors of 506 Respond to Ruling of Law

Authors of 506 Respond to Ruling of Law

7/10/2019
A response from the authors of the amended Action Item 506 respond to Bishop Laurie Haller's Ruling of Law.  Click here to read their statement.

Bishop Haller announces Ruling of Law

Bishop Haller announces Ruling of Law

7/9/2019
Bishop Laurie Haller has announced her Ruling of Law regarding Action Item 506, which was presented to the 2019 Annual Conference Session.  Click here to read her decision.

2019 In Mission Together trip to Nigeria

2019 In Mission Together trip to Nigeria

7/8/2019
By: Linda Rowe Bloomfield, Iowa For those who have traveled to Nigeria in the past as part of the Iowa Nigeria Partnership (INP), and all those who have contributed in any way, here is the latest update. We are now part of the In Mission Together program and are continuing with some of the ministry Iowa started.   My fourteenth trip to Nigeria since 2005 was very eventful as always. I traveled with Dorothy Halvorsen from the Great Plains Conference and Kathryn Witte, the coordinator for The ...

Grace is available to all - Wesley

Grace is available to all - Wesley

7/8/2019
by Rev. Laceye C. Warner*  Above all else, John Wesley emphasized God’s love and grace offered to all. Wesley tirelessly encouraged the people called Methodists to seek the one thing necessary: the renewal of the image of God in persons through receiving and responding to God’s love and grace in Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit. While Wesley asserted that God saves, he also acknowledged the role of good works in response to God’s grace freely given.  Wesley offered numerous comprehensive ...

Submitting petitions to General Conference 2020

Submitting petitions to General Conference 2020

7/3/2019
Petitions for consideration by the 2020 General Conference may be submitted to the Petitions Secretary now through September 18, 2019. According to church law, "Any organization, clergy member, or lay member of The United Methodist Church may petition the General Conference...". Detailed instructions for submitting a petition are available on the General Conference website at umc.org/gcpetition. Petitions must be typed and may be submitted through the General Conference website, by postal mail ...

When life gives you melons

When life gives you melons

7/3/2019
Written by Pastor Amy Johnson, Osceola United Methodist Church Some days, we wake in the morning with a plan. Tuesday was a full day: check messages, attend a member funeral, help with the church luncheon, prepare for worship, write the next funeral and weddings. Somehow, though, God has a way of reminding me that ministry happens in unexpected ways. At 8:30, as I was about to gather the pies I baked to take to the dinner I received a text from my secretary, Anna Frohling.  "Can you have the ...

Neglected children spark reform outcry

Neglected children spark reform outcry

6/27/2019
By Kathy L. Gilbert* June 27, 2019 | UM News Cindy Johnson, a United Methodist deaconess in the Rio Texas Conference, said the process for immigrants waiting in line to present their asylum appeal to border control agents has become so difficult that people are jumping into the Rio Grande in desperation. The world got a horrible look at the consequences of that decision in an Associated Press photo of a 23-month-old baby girl and her father who drowned and were found washed up on the banks of ...

Solidarity for Suffering Children Sun., June 30

Solidarity for Suffering Children Sun., June 30

6/26/2019
UMCOR, the United Methodist Committee on Relief, is calling for "A Sunday of Solidarity for Suffering Children" on June 20. In light of the recent news about children in U.S. government holding facilities along the U.S.-Mexico border, the United Methodist Committee on Relief has received numerous requests to respond. We have heard the plea for action from the church. Unfortunately, the facilities in question are managed in such a way that precludes even UMCOR’s assistance. Access to these ...

2019 Iowa Legislative Advocacy Report

2019 Iowa Legislative Advocacy Report

6/5/2019
Prepared by:  Robert Mulqueen, 2019 consultant Rev. Brian Carter, Legislative Team Leader June 2019   Since 2014, the Iowa Conference has had its presence at the Statehouse by means of volunteer advocates and professional consultants. The Advocacy staff has been led by Reverend Brian Carter and this year included Rita Carter, Sheila Corsbie, Reverend Gary Nims, and Reverend William Steward. A month into the 2019 legislative session, Bill Steward passed away. He was a passionate advocate and he ...

Glenwood pulls together to help

Glenwood pulls together to help

5/24/2019
Disaster Response in Glenwood and Pacific Junction from Iowa Annual Conference on Vimeo. Updated May 24, 2019 "This to me has been what it means to be the church and to be part of the connection," said Pastor Kimberly Bowles. "The calls from clergy across the conference saying, 'What do you need? What can we do? How can we help?" It's everything that I believe the church should be. To see your neighbor in need and say, 'What can I do?.'" Pastor Kimberly Bowles isn’t surprised at the way the ...

A New Way to Support Camping

A New Way to Support Camping

5/15/2019
A New Way to Support Camping Iowa United Methodist Camps are excited to launch the Kindling Club, a new way to ensure the sustainability of camping across the state for the next generation of youth and adults. Okoboji, Pictured Rocks and Wesley Woods United Methodist Camps have impacted hundreds of thousands of lives over the past 100+ years. Many people, myself included, look at their time at camp as the single most formational faith experience of their lives. If you weren’t already aware,...

FAQs about Pictured Rocks Camp

FAQs about Pictured Rocks Camp

5/15/2019
The status of Pictured Rocks United Methodist Camp has been a topic of conversation at the Pre-District Conferences around the state. To help provide clarity on the current status, answers to the following Frequently Asked Questions are provided below. Q: What is the status of Pictured Rocks United Methodist Camp? A: The Board of Camps has voted to recommend a sale of Pictured Rocks United Methodist Camp to Camp Courageous. The Board of Camps cannot execute a sale as it is the property of the ...

Want to be a GC2020 marshal or page?

Want to be a GC2020 marshal or page?

5/15/2019
Beginning today, United Methodists may apply online to serve as volunteer marshals or pages during The United Methodist Church’s 2020 General Conference. The denomination’s top legislative assembly will meet May 5-15, 2020, in Minneapolis. Approximately 175 volunteers are needed to serve as marshals and pages during General Conference. Marshals are responsible for assisting visitors and special guests in the visitor and reserved seating galleries, checking credentials to make sure that only ...

Iowa achieves 100% giving to Africa University in 2018

Iowa achieves 100% giving to Africa University in 2018

5/9/2019
The Iowa Conference of the United Methodist Church has successfully achieved 100% of its Africa University apportionments in 2018. In an email to the conference, James Salley, Associate Vice-Chancellor for Institutional Advancement in the Africa University Development Office, thanked Iowans for their invaluable support of the university. "Africa University students are called and committed to serve God in communities across the continent and in mission settings around the world," he said. "...

News from the Council of Bishops

News from the Council of Bishops

5/9/2019
May 9, 2019 Dear Friends in the Iowa Annual Conference, The Council of Bishops completed their spring meeting this morning, and I would like to share with you two documents. The first is a press release that summarizes the content of our discussions. The second document, “A Common Word from the Council of Bishops,” shares the collective heart of the Council as well as a pastoral and prophetic word. May God’s grace fill you with hope and joy as you continue to share the love of Jesus and make a ...

Court OKs part of Traditional Plan, exit plan

Court OKs part of Traditional Plan, exit plan

4/26/2019
Adapted from a story written by United Methodist News Reporter Linda Bloom. File photo by Kathleen Barry, UMNS. The United Methodist Church’s top court has found that while some provisions of the newly adopted Traditional Plan remain unconstitutional, the rest of the plan is valid as church law. That was the Judicial Council’s ruling on a requested review of the Traditional Plan, which was approved during a special denomination-wide legislative session in February to strengthen enforcement of ...

Hamburg Flood: Residents find strength through church, community

Hamburg Flood: Residents find strength through church, community

4/12/2019
Virginia Lynn, 93, has lived in Hamburg, Iowa, her entire life and not once experienced the floodwaters that have hit the town. Until now.   Lynn moved to the Park Washington Plaza apartments in July from the home she raised her family in after her husband passed away last January.   “I kept telling everybody I was so blessed because after I lost my husband my kids took me to visit, I sold my house and then I moved,” she said. “It’s just mind-boggling to me. I have literally lost everything. It’...

Laity Day offers insights, opportunities

Laity Day offers insights, opportunities

4/10/2019
With worship, conversation, insights, and shared opportunities, the 2019 edition of Laity Day with the Bishop, brought together more than one hundred people in attendance and others via livestream.  It was an opportunity to hear a message from Bishop Laurie Haller, appreciate some open question and answer time with her, listen to some delegates to the 2019 special called General Conference, be informed by leaders from the Legislative Advocacy Team and School for Lay Ministry, and focus on ...

Orders & Fellowship respond to key questions

Orders & Fellowship respond to key questions

4/9/2019
“How are you doing in your care for your colleagues who are hurting?” “Are you gentle with those who are struggling?” These and more were among the key questions asked of the Iowa Conference’s clergy during the spring 2019 gathering of the Order of Elders, Order of Deacons, and Fellowship of Local Pastors and Associate Members.   From an opening message from Bishop Laurie Haller to several opportunities for small-group conversation to the closing Holy Communion, the filled sanctuary at First ...

'Hornick Strong', Iowa town begins flood recovery

'Hornick Strong', Iowa town begins flood recovery

4/1/2019
“The water came from the north,” said Pastor Catie Newman. “The fire department tried to build a berm on Thursday night, and at about nine ‘o clock in the evening the levee broke and they could see the water come into town and come over the berm.”   After being given only 10 minutes to evacuate the town, she, her husband John, and the rest of the residents of Hornick, Iowa, were left to wonder what would happen after the last-ditch effort by the fire department was destroyed by water.   Newman ...

2019 Annual Conference News

4/1/2019
Please visit https://ac2019.iaumc.org to see all the news from the 2019 Iowa Annual Conference Session.

First glimpse of recovery in Hamburg, Iowa

First glimpse of recovery in Hamburg, Iowa

4/1/2019
The record floodwaters of 2019 are finally beginning to recede in the Southwest Iowa town of Hamburg.    Reverend Luke Fillmore, who is appointed to Hamburg United Methodist Church and Shenandoah United Methodist Church, reported in a phone conversation that people should be able to get in and start working on their homes and businesses within the next few days.   “The flag pole is kind of a landmark in the town, it's about the halfway point in the middle of the town,” he said. “Typically, the ...

Health-Full Minute

Health-Full Minute

4/1/2019
UMC in a Time of Transition As I experienced February’s Special General Conference, it became clear that our denomination is divided regarding full inclusion of LBGQI+ persons. As I read people’s responses and reflected upon what happened at General Conference, it seems to me that our UMC denomination is in the midst of a major change/transition process.    A transition is defined as “a passage from one place or stage to another.”  In other words; we are moving from what has been towards what ...

Annual mission trip to Honduras builds close bonds

Annual mission trip to Honduras builds close bonds

3/29/2019
Each year in January, Clayton Eakins of Bloomfield, Iowa, organizes a Volunteers in Mission trip out of Davis County, to Honduras.    This is the fifth time he has brought a group to these areas, and this year he was joined by Steve Davidson, Penny Warren, Pastor Donna Olinger and Linda Rowe. They worked primarily in the El Negrito and Subirana areas.   Eakins likes to go back to the same place as they keep adding on to their projects and especially because of the deeper relationships formed ...

Iowa Conference creating bi-district offices

Iowa Conference creating bi-district offices

3/29/2019
As a result of the Budget Team’s recommendations, the Iowa Conference will be creating bi-district offices and reducing the number of District Administrative Assistants. Iowa will continue to maintain eight districts with eight District Superintendents. The locations of the bi-district offices will be announced at a later date. "What is already happening is that we have been creative in realigning our resources in order to empower and develop more leaders. As a District Superintendent, I have ...

Lay, clergy call for ‘reconciliation and justice’

Lay, clergy call for ‘reconciliation and justice’

3/20/2019
Over 1100 Iowa United Methodist lay and clergy have signed a statement committing “ourselves and our churches to the necessary and ongoing work of reconciliation and justice.”  The statement is a “witness to the grace of God that is available to all persons.”   Crafted in “this moment [of] repentance,” according to Rev. Anna Blaedel, a co-author of the statement, the 89 original signers believe that “there is so much work to do to learn and unlearn…if we have a faithful future together.”   The ...

Prayers for victims of NZ tragedy and midwestern flooding

Prayers for victims of NZ tragedy and midwestern flooding

3/18/2019
Dear Friends, Over the past several days, two significant events have impacted the lives of people in New Zealand and right here in Iowa. On Friday, at least fifty people were killed at two mosques in Christchurch, and more than fifty others were injured. It was the most horrific mass killing in the modern history of New Zealand, which is one of the safest and most highly developed countries in the world. The alleged perpetrator, an apparent white right-wing extremist from Australia, was taken ...

Budget Team recommendations approved

Budget Team recommendations approved

3/15/2019
The Budget Team has completed its work. According to the Rev. Bill Poland, Budget Team Chair and Director of New Communities of Faith, several recommendations have been reviewed and approved by the Bishop’s Operational Team, the Cabinet Operational Team, the Conference Connectional Ministries Council and the Council on Finance and Administration. Poland notes that one of the questions that the Budget Team continued to ask all the way through its meetings was how to become a better-connected ...

Clergy housing allowance constitutional

Clergy housing allowance constitutional

3/15/2019
March 15, 2019 – In a ruling with major implications for clergy across the United States, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has issued its decision holding that the clergy housing allowance exclusion in federal tax law is constitutional. This appeals court decision reverses the lower court’s decision in which the housing allowance exclusion was ruled unconstitutional. It is unknown at this time whether the case will be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, and if so, whether the Supreme Court will ...

GC voting irregularities investigated

GC voting irregularities investigated

3/15/2019
In a story reported by UM News on March 14[1], a review is underway to determine if ineligible votes were cast at the 2019  Special Called General Conference.   According to Rev. Gary Graves, secretary of the General Conference, it appears possible that “a very limited number”1 of ineligible votes were cast at the worldwide gathering, held in St. Louis in February.   Click here to read the United Methodist News report  Click here to read the story posted in the New York Times Click here to read...

Pray…and be prepared to help

Pray…and be prepared to help

3/15/2019
“Pray, pray, pray,” asks Rev, Catie Newman, disaster response coordinator for the Iowa Annual Conference, in this time of widespread flooding across the State.    In the aftermath of winter snows, rising temperatures, and recent heavy rains, significant parts of Iowa are inundated by flood waters.  In fact, Newman, who is also the pastor of the Hornick and Salix United Methodist churches, had just 10 minutes to evacuate her home, something she said was “a little unsettling…I’ve talked about ...

Appointive Cabinet statement regarding the Special Called General Conference

Appointive Cabinet statement regarding the Special Called General Conference

3/14/2019
Dear sisters and brothers of the Iowa United Methodist community, The Appointive Cabinet of the Iowa Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church has issued a statement in response to the Special Called General Conference of the denomination.   In it they share their concerns and share their “commitment to lead the Iowa Annual Conference, even as “we recognize our own diversity when it comes to theological and biblical interpretation.”  They express the hope that, “as we all navigate these ...

Hundreds gather for post-GC conversation

Hundreds gather for post-GC conversation

3/13/2019
Iowa United Methodists began a conversation about the 2019 special called General Conference and its impact on their faith communities with a gathering on Sunday, March 10.  The first of three such sessions offered an opportunity to hear from Bishop Laurie Haller, learn about the worldwide gathering’s primary decisions, engage in some Q&A dialogue, and share in Communion and offered healing prayers.   “Because we are all made in God’s image,” Bishop Laurie said, “God will work in our lives.”  In...

Disaster Ministries: Update on Southern Storms

Disaster Ministries: Update on Southern Storms

3/6/2019
This weekend, severe storms made their way through Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. We have received reports of a tornado and other weather-related damage. As our partners continue to assess, we ask that you please do not self-deploy but wait for information from the conferences. We will continue to update you here and at UMCOR.org/response. For now, we invite you to pray with us for those affected, for hope and healing, and for the wonderful UMCOR network. Pastor Catie...

Free social media graphics library

Free social media graphics library

2/27/2019
Need a last-minute image for a Facebook post? Lack the time, tools or know-how to create your own?  Good news, United Methodist Communications has done the work for you! Browse through this collection of free seasonal and thematic graphics below.  They've gathered a collection of graphics for the most important seasons of the church.  Use these memes on Facebook and other social media outlets to promote your Holy Week and Easter services.    Download image (The image will be opened in a new ...

Iowa Wild Hockey Faith and Family Night

Iowa Wild Hockey Faith and Family Night

2/19/2019
Bring your congregation or youth group to Faith and Family Night with the Iowa Wild! Deadline for registration is March 1. For more information, email Kyle Weeden at kyle.weeden@iowawild.com or call 515-564-8728. Register online: https://fevo.me/methodistiowawild Download flyer and registration form: Faith Family Night - Iowa Wild.pdf    

Communicators at forefront of GC2019

Communicators at forefront of GC2019

2/18/2019
By Sam Hodges, UMNS, with additions from Iowa Conference Communications. Photos by Kathleen Barry, UMNS. Communication is a varied and vital part of any General Conference, and that’s emphatically true for the special called session of General Conference set for February 23-26 in St. Louis. The Daily Christian Advocate. Livestreaming. News reports, press conferences, podcasts, and language interpretation. These and other communication methods will help tell the story, and in some cases allow ...

Health-Full Minute

Health-Full Minute

2/18/2019
On the eve of the Special General Conference, many of us are feeling anxiety and stress at a variety of levels; lay, clergy, congregations, persons, and our Connection itself. We know that some type of change is going to happen. We are not sure how this change is going to affect us; personally and connectionally. In the midst of this uncertain time, we as the Body of Christ and as persons are suffering within our relational, emotional, spiritual, and physical dimensions. How can we healthfully ...

One Minute with the Delegates: Rev. Brian Milford

One Minute with the Delegates: Rev. Brian Milford

2/15/2019
Editor's note: In the days leading up to the Special Called General Conference, we'll take a minute and catch up with a few of our delegates before they head to St. Louis February 23-26, 2019. This is final interview. Click here to view the rest. "I'm praying that we can provide room for diverse opinions on matters of conscience," said Rev. Brian Milford of the upcoming 2019 Special Called General Conference. Milford shares three hopes for the time delegates from around the world gather together...

Write a Daily Devotion for Lent

Write a Daily Devotion for Lent

2/15/2019
To the Clergy of The Iowa Annual Conference, The 40-day season of Lent will be beginning soon and Bishop Laurie invites clergy of The Iowa Annual Conference to prayerfully consider writing a short devotional to help members and friends of the Conference journey through this season of spiritual refocusing and renewal.  Every morning during Lent, these short devotionals are delivered via email to every person who has subscribed to help facilitate their journey during the 40 days. You are invited ...

A model for alternatives to stemming migration

2/14/2019
By: Karlene Neal Iowa Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church Advocate for Immigrants and Refugees On Feb. 3, Nayib Bukele was elected the new president for El Salvador. Citizens of El Salvador demanded a policy of clean governance, which was Bukele’s main promise. He has invited the UN to set up an anti-corruption committee in El Salvador, similar to those which have been set up in Guatemala and Honduras which have had some success. Curbing corruption will free up tax revenue which ...

One Minute with the Delegates: Rev. Diane Wasson Eberhart

One Minute with the Delegates: Rev. Diane Wasson Eberhart

2/14/2019
Editor's note: This is the fourth video of five in a series where we have been taking a moment to catch up with a few of our General Conference delegates prior to the February 23-26, 2019 Speical Session being held in St. Louis, Missouri. The rest of the videos can be viewed here. "It's a lot of responsibility," said Rev. Diane Wasson Eberhart about being a delegate to the 2019 Speical Called General Conference. "I feel it's important to do a lot of preparation in prayer and reading, and be open...

Remembering William Edward Lux

Remembering William Edward Lux

2/14/2019
We have recently been informed of the passing of William (Bill) Edward Lux. Funeral services were held Monday, February 11, 2019, at The United Methodist Church in Manchester, Iowa. Bill was a member of the Hopkinton United Methodist Church and the Manchester United Methodist Church. He served on the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries and traveled throughout Africa providing mission oversight. He also served on UMCOR, traveling to the Philippines. Bill served on the Iowa Ecumenical ...

Bishop Laurie's prayer for GC2019

Bishop Laurie's prayer for GC2019

2/13/2019
Editor's note: This is the third and final video interview with Bishop Laurie Haller in the days leading up to the Special Called General Conference February 23-26, 2019 in St. Louis, Missouri. In this video, Bishop Laurie offers a prayer for Iowa United Methodists and for the upcoming conference.   Bishop Laurie Haller prays for Iowa UM's and the General Conference from Iowa Annual Conference on Vimeo.  

A bishop's role at GC2019

A bishop's role at GC2019

2/12/2019
Editor's note: This is the second of three video interviews with Bishop Laurie Haller leading up to the Special Called General Conference February 23-26, 2019 in St. Louis, Missouri. In this video, Bishop Laurie discusses what the role of the bishops is during the conference.    A Bishop's Role at the General Conference from Iowa Annual Conference on Vimeo.  

Praying together for the Special Called General Conference

Praying together for the Special Called General Conference

2/11/2019
Grace and peace, In a little over a week, United Methodists from around the world will gather together for the 2019 Special Called General Conference in St. Louis, Missouri. I invite you and your congregation to join me in praying the unison prayer I've written below during worship on Sunday, February 17, 2019. We will pray together for our delegation, the General Conference, and The United Methodist Church. Please feel free reprint the prayer I've written below in your bulletin, share on social...

One Minute with the Delegates: Phil Carver

One Minute with the Delegates: Phil Carver

2/11/2019
Editor's note: In the days leading up to the Special Called General Conference, we'll take a minute and catch up with a few of our delegates before they head to St. Louis February 23-26, 2019. This is the thrid of five interviews. Phil Carver, a delegate from Iowa heading to the 2019 Special General Conference, talks about his spiritual and mental preparation. "I'm accustomed to taking spiritual walks each day," he said. "It's another time for me to reflect on the legislation that's before us, ...

One Minute with the delegates: Rev. Lilian Gallo Seagren

One Minute with the delegates: Rev. Lilian Gallo Seagren

2/8/2019
Editor's note: This is the second of five interviews with Iowa Conference delegates prior to the Special Called General Conference. Rev. Lilian Gallo Seagren discusses her prayers for the upcoming Special Called General Conference. "We pray that we will be gifted with peace, patience and hope so that we may be the best church and witness of Christ's body to the whole world," she said. One Minute with the Delegates - Rev. Lilian Gallo Seagren from Iowa Annual Conference on Vimeo.    

A moment with Bishop Laurie before GC2019

A moment with Bishop Laurie before GC2019

2/7/2019
Editor's note: This is the first of three videos interviews with Bishop Laurie Haller leading up to the Special Called General Conference February 23-26, 2019 in St. Louis, Missouri. In the first interview, Bishop Laurie talks about how she's feeling in the weeks leading up to the conference. This will be her first General Conference as a bishop of the United Methodist Church.   Bishop Laurie Haller looks ahead to the 2019 General Conference from Iowa Annual Conference on Vimeo.  

Packing meals for the hungry

Packing meals for the hungry

2/7/2019
A team of nine Conference Center staff members spent a morning volunteering at Meals From the Heartland and packaged 4,104 meals on Jan. 29. "Our mission is to empower people to save the starving, so it's those people who come in and give up their time to package meals, just like you did today that make this organization go," said Susan Bunz, Executive Director of Meals From the Heartland. "Last year we engaged over 75,000 volunteers, we would never be able to do what we do without the people ...

One minute with the delegates: Rev. Tom Shinkle

One minute with the delegates: Rev. Tom Shinkle

2/6/2019
Editor's note: In the days leading up to the Special Called General Conference, we'll take a minute and catch up with a few of our delegates before they head to St. Louis February 23-26, 2019. This is the first of five interviews. Our first minute is spent with Reverend Tom Shinkle. He talks about what it means to him to represent the Iowa Conference and the people in his church. "In the end, we know this is God's church with a capital 'C' so we know God will prevail," he said.  

Recap of Fall COWF Gatherings

Recap of Fall COWF Gatherings

2/5/2019
Our Purpose is Love Bishop Laurie Haller would like to thank the nearly 1,600 people who joined her at one of the eight Fall Gatherings across the Conference to discuss the proposals made by the Commission on a Way Forward and the upcoming Special General Conference in St. Louis Feb. 23-26, 2019. During each of the gatherings, Bishop Laurie spoke about the Mission, Vision, Scope, and Theological framework of the Commission on a Way Forward and presented information about the three major plans. ...

Big changes for 2019 Ingathering

Big changes for 2019 Ingathering

2/1/2019
The 40th Annual Mission Ingathering will be held on Saturday, November 2, 2019. Reverend Eric Schubert, Greenfield UMC Pastor, spoke at the December task force meeting about what Ingathering says versus what it does. As a result, there is now a new vision: To show God's love in a practical way so people can meet Jesus Christ; a new mission: Mission Ingathering is a way for Iowa United Methodists to address humanitarian problems locally and around the world, including hunger, poverty, and ...

2019 Advocacy Day with Bishop Laurie Haller

2019 Advocacy Day with Bishop Laurie Haller

1/29/2019
Legislative advocacy has long been a part of the heritage of United Methodists in Iowa and continued in 2019 on Monday, January 28th at Wesley United Methodist Church, 800 E. 12th St., Des Moines. Advocacy Day took place from 9 am to 3:30 pm. Rev. Gary Nims greeted everyone and Bishop Laurie Haller lead the devotions. See more images from Advocacy Day Topics in discussion were Mental Health advocacy and funding for both adults and children. Stories of Iowan's affected by mental health issues ...

Cold weather safety update, Disaster Ministries

Cold weather safety update, Disaster Ministries

1/29/2019
Cold Weather Tips Record-breaking cold weather is expected all across Iowa Tuesday, January 29, 2019, thru Thursday, January 31, 2019. National Weather Service Forecast   For Your Vehicle Keep your vehicle full of gas. If you get stranded/break-down, stay with your vehicle. It will shield you from the wind. Have some emergency supplies in your vehicle: - Blanket or sleeping bag - Water - Snacks - Water - Hats, gloves, mittens  In Your Home or Church Open the cabinet doors under sinks to allow...

College of Bishops: 'The mission continues'

College of Bishops: 'The mission continues'

1/29/2019
Dear Friends,             At a meeting of the North Central Jurisdiction College of Bishops last week, we spent time in prayer for the 2019 General Conference in St. Louis from February 23-26. Knowing that whatever decisions are made will impact United Methodists around the world, we want to offer the attached letter as encouragement and gift to the clergy and laity in our local churches.             Every day United Methodists are changing the world. Every day people hear the gospel for the ...

Announcing new Associate Directors of Congregational Excellence

Announcing new Associate Directors of Congregational Excellence

1/23/2019
Christenson, Drake to be Associates for Congregational Excellence   Bishop Laurie Haller has announced that Rev. Ryan Christenson and Rev. Melissa Drake will be the two new Associate Directors for Congregational Excellence.   Describing the role, Bishop Laurie Haller said, “the Associate Directors for Congregational Excellence are of critical importance for our conference because they will be working directly with local congregations around vital ministry. These churches, in return, will be ...

Lubkeman to be Cabinet Exec Secretary

Lubkeman to be Cabinet Exec Secretary

1/23/2019
Wendy Lubkeman will become the Executive Secretary to the Cabinet.   In that role, she will provide a wide range of administrative support for the Appointive Cabinet.  “The Executive Secretary will meet with the Cabinet, take minutes, track the appointment process, manage the moving process, and coordinate the district administrative assistants,” said Dr. Harlan Gillespie, Assistant to the Bishop.  “Wendy will also closely collaborate with the Episcopal Office, Communications, and Administrative...

Budget Team continues listening sessions

Budget Team continues listening sessions

1/16/2019
The Budget Team held the second of its series of listening sessions on Sunday, January 13. Approximately 45 persons attended the gathering, which was designed to receive suggestions and reactions to a series of proposals impacting the 2019 and 2020 financial plans of the Iowa Annual Conference. In addition, well over 100 people watched the conversation held at North Liberty First United Methodist Church The Budget Team spoke about its goal of creating a spending plan that "connects our [Iowa ...

Rev. Doug Cue to be Southeast Superintendent

Rev. Doug Cue to be Southeast Superintendent

1/14/2019
Bishop Laurie Haller is happy to announce that Rev. Doug Cue will be the new Superintendent of the Southeast District. Rev. Cue will begin his new appointment on July 1, 2019.   “Rev. Cue has been an effective pastor in a number of different settings in the Iowa Conference for many years,” said Bishop Laurie Haller. “His focus on ‘getting things done’ has been especially helpful in his work in maintaining and improving the district parsonages." Currently, he is the lead pastor at the Boone ...

Two Conferences Offered by ShareChurch Conferences at Church of the Resurrection April 4-5

1/14/2019
The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection is excited to announce registration is now open for two conferences hosted by ShareChurch Conferences on April 4 – 5, 2019. Participants may select to attend either The Art of Radical Hospitality Conference or the Empowered: A Model of Care Conference. The conferences are hosted concurrently at Church of the Resurrection’s Leawood, KS Campus and feature combined opening and closing sessions, with distinctive sessions in between. Churches are ...

November JFON Newsletter

November JFON Newsletter

1/7/2019
Iowa JFON Newsletter November 2018, "Give Light, Give Love, Give Life". 

Rev. Moody Colorado appointed Superintendent of SC District

Rev. Moody Colorado appointed Superintendent of SC District

1/7/2019
Bishop Laurie Haller announced that Rev. Colorado’s new appointment will begin on July 1, 2019. “I am delighted that Rev. Moody Colorado will be joining the appointive cabinet as the superintendent of the South Central District,” she said. She noted that Rev. Colorado, his wife, Elizabeth, and son John moved from the Philippines to Iowa is presently serving at Wellman, Asbury and West Chester United Methodist Churches. “As a kid I struggled with stage fright and I thought it would take a miracle...

Budget Team hears suggestions

Budget Team hears suggestions

12/11/2018
Iowa Conference boards and agencies had the opportunity to come and offer suggestions to the Budget Review Team on the newly released recommendations to cut approximately $1.3 million from the 2020 budget. About 16 members from various boards and agencies came to the Conference Office for the discussion." "We've been entrusted by Jesus with a mission to make disciples throughout the world," said Rev. Bill Poland, chairperson of the Budget Team, "so that we - us, in our congregations, and around...

Response to Budget Team Proposal

Response to Budget Team Proposal

12/6/2018
Ryan Risdal Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministries Chairperson Iowa Conference, United Methodist Church   Dear Friends:   As Chair of the Iowa Conference Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministries I am truly saddened to have received the finding proposal to dramatically defund the BHECM in 2020. This proposal will severely impact the BHECM and the important ministries we support across Iowa. This is a tough situation. The BHECM has been preparing for financial uncertainty but this...

Changes in policy for immigrants/refugees

12/3/2018
One of the strengths of our democracy is to have the right to challenge policy that Governments have put in place when a new administration takes office.  Jeff Sessions, previously the US Attorney General, did that upon taking office. President Obama and previous presidents had made policy regarding treatment of immigrants, border issues, and number of refugees admitted each year.  But upon President Trump’s taking office, his new Attorney-General, Jeff Sessions, had the right to amend policy to...

Budget Team update from Bill Poland

Budget Team update from Bill Poland

11/30/2018
In the most recent episode of Iowa Conference Conversations, Rev. Bill Poland describes the work of the Budget Review team and its proposals. The Budget Team has been tasked to recommend a 2020 budget that is missionally-directed by the three Strategic Priorities adopted by the Annual Conference (2013). The Team has also been tasked to propose expense reductions by $1 million.

Migrant Caravan

Migrant Caravan

11/19/2018
What started as a group of 160 people from the Honduran crime-ridden city of San Pedro Sula has swelled to more than 7000 in Mexico City.  They are fleeing persecution, poverty, and violence in their home countries, primarily Honduras although people from Guatemala and El Salvador are also part of the group. Spreading word through social media, their numbers grew. They have banded together seeking safety in numbers. Migrants traveling alone face many dangers, including people traffickers, drug ...

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