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Iowa Annual Conference

The Iowa Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church is a connection of some 158,000 people who gather in 760 communities of faith across the state, and as people of "open hearts, open minds, and open doors" are committed to making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

  1. 11 - Good Idea Webinars - Youth Ministry_ Staying Connected with Kelsie DeReus

    Are you a youth group leader or Sunday School teacher? Wondering how to stay connected with the kids and youth? Are you looking for ways to encourage them in faith when you can’t meet face-to-face? Have some thoughts or ideas to share with others on this topic? Our guest is Kelsie DeReus, Director of Youth and Connectional Mission at First United Methodist Church in Marion, IA.“ None of us were trained for this, but I think back to Paul, when he wrote the letters to the various cities and he would often express his yearning to be with them, but despite not being able to be with them he could still encourage them on in the faith,” DeReus said “That’s where we are at in youth ministry right now. While we yearn to be with our students, to disciple them, we simply cannot.” During this webinar DeReus will be discussing the strategy for ministry that some of their student leaders, Tyler Hungate, and she put together not only to stay connected, but to encourage them on in this time. DeReus has been with Marion church for about 2 ½ years. She and her family are very passionate about youth ministry, discipleship, and shaping leaders. She is the proud parent of 4-year-old, Brinley, and 2-year-old, Daxton, who like to call their youth students their friends, and often have Jesus dance parties with them. The host for this Good Idea Webinar is Rev. Dr. Jaye Johnson, Director of Congregational Excellence for the Iowa Annual Conference. The Good Idea Webinars are a joint effort of the Office of Congregational Excellence, Office of Leadership and Clergy Excellence, the cabinet, lay leaders Lynn Calvert and Angela Hansen-Abbas and the Communications team.

  2. 10 - Good Idea Webinars - Small_Rural Church Struggles and Solutions with Rev Allen Stanton

    Are you part of a small church? Have you felt like the resources and ideas offered to deal with Covid-19 are not possible for you? Do you have some ideas that have worked for your small church you would like to share with others? Small membership and rural churches have faced unique challenges during the COVID-19 outbreak. During this webinar, we’ll talk about how they can utilize their strengths to overcome these challenges and lead in unique and creative ways. Our guest is Rev. Allen Stanton is the Executive Director of the Turner Center at Martin Methodist College. Before coming to Martin Methodist College, he served as the pastor of a small United Methodist Congregation in North Carolina. Prior to serving in the local church, he served as the Rural Church Fellow at the Institute for Emerging Issues, a non-partisan public-policy think tank at N.C. State University. At the Turner Center, Allen focuses on how rural churches can become leaders in economic and community development and building strong community partnerships. Allen has written for a variety of publications, including Practical Matters, Faith and Leadership, and Ministry Matters. He is currently completing his first book, Reclaiming Rural, for publication in late 2020. Our host is Rev. Melissa Drake, currently Associate Director of Congregational Excellence of the Iowa Annual Conference. The Good Idea Webinars are a joint effort of the Office of Congregational Excellence, Office of Leadership and Clergy Excellence, the cabinet, lay leaders Lynn Calvert and Angela Hansen-Abbas and the Communications team.   

  3. Learning New Ways of Being the Church

    "We are learning new ways of being the church virtually," says Bishop Laurie Haller in this week's episode of Caring Connections. "Not only is worship now online, but prayer groups, Bible studies, covenant groups, and youth groups are all meeting online. And many people have committed to calling individuals in their congregations, especially the elderly, just to keep in touch. In the past six weeks, thousands of people in our state have discovered The United Methodist Church through you."

  4. 2020 District Conference Message from Bishop Laurie

    Bishop Laurie Haller's message to the 2020 District Conferences of the Iowa Annual Conference.

  5. 09 - Good Idea Webinars - Fighting Isolation During Social Distancing with Rev Dr Mary Bellon

    Fighting Isolation During Social Distancing - Struggling with social distancing? Lonely? Missing people? Want ways to avoid feeling down? Do you have some ideas to share that have worked for you? This episode of Good Idea focuses on Fighting Isolation During Social Distancing. The guest presenter is Rev. Dr. Mary Bellon, PhD. Mary is the Director of the Office of Pastoral Care and Counseling for the Iowa Annual Conference. Dr. Bellon’s ministry provides confidential counseling and consultation for clergy and ministerial professionals and their families. She teaches about ethics and care and nurture at the School for Lay Ministry and in the Course of Study and provides consultation and support at the School for Ministry. She leads staff days apart and district support days for groups desiring coaching and leadership development. Dr. Bellon employs a range of mental health techniques, such as mindfulness, humor, spirituality and listening, to help people strengthen personal practices of wellness, contemplation, and relaxation. Her ministry also gives people opportunities to address issues from spiritual growth, depression or burn out to anxiety or concerns with family relationships. The host is Rev. Dr. Jaye Johnson, Director of Congregational Excellence for the Iowa Annual Conference.

  6. 08 - Good Idea Webinars - Care of Self, Congregation, and Community Through Grief and Fear

    How many times have you heard “the world will never be the same” or watched the news and been horrified by the growing number of Covid-19 cases? Have you wondered what the long-term impact of Covid-19 might be on the wellbeing of your congregation and community? United States Air National Guard Chaplain Rev. Dr. Steve Peters will lead a conversation entitled, “God is With Us: Care of Self, Congregation & Community through Trauma, Grief and Fear.” It will focus on moral injury, trauma response, and grief as experienced with his deployment with Angel Flights and what that might teach us about dealing with the grief our communities are experiencing. Chaplain Peters is assigned to the 185th Air Recovery Wing and was commissioned in 2008. Before going full-time with the Air Guard, he pastored Trinity United Methodist Church in Fort Dodge, Iowa. He is a graduate of Newton High School, Newton, Iowa; Central College, Pella, Iowa; and Candler School of Theology, Atlanta Georgia and Wesley Theological Seminary. Prior to moving to Fort Dodge, Chaplain Peters served St. Paul's United Methodist Church, Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Ankeny 1st United Methodist Church and Bedford/Gravity United Methodist churches, all in Iowa. Our host will be Rev. Dr. Lanette Plambeck, Director of Clergy & Leadership Excellence. 

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