Mobile United Methodist Missionaries (MUMMS)

As a part of their Christmas celebration, MUMMS kids packed sacks for a local shelter.

Mobile United Methodist Missionaries, or MUMMS, is a rural ministry in southern Iowa that exists to spread the Gospel and to facilitate the growth of United Methodist churches. Inspired by the former Ottumwa District’s response to flooding in 1993, MUMMS was launched in 1996, offering a variety of opportunities for ministry from work team projects and mission trips to after-school programs and Vacation Bible Schools.

Director Peg Egbert suggested that random acts of kindness are “ways we can share Jesus’ love” and remember our Savior’s birth. She organized an opportunity for some children served by the MUMMS ministry to get some hands-on practice themselves last December. ”Remember,” she reminded them, “the angels said that Jesus was coming for all people!”

MUMMS is supported in part with Community and Institutional Ministries funds from the Iowa Board of Global Ministries budget. You can learn about MUMMS online or contact Peg for current information about MUMMS activities. Email her at pjemumm@gmail.com or call 641.919.1533.

Student Essays on Peace with Justice

Three Iowa students received scholarships funded through a special offering for their essays about peace.

The Peace with Justice Sunday offering is received in United Methodist churches annually to support ministries in each annual conference and around the world. One of the ways Iowa invests these gifts is through an essay contest to develop young leaders.

Each year the Iowa Board of Church and Society selects a topic to inspire and challenge young people to work for peace with justice. In 2012 students were invited to write on the topic, “The Road to Peace Between Israelis and Palestinians.” Jeffrey Critchlow from Carlisle, Britta Wilson from Urbandale, and Natalie Billenwater from Indianola each received a $500 award. Their essays are posted on the Iowa Conference website.

The contest is open to juniors and seniors in high school living in Iowa. The suggested date for receiving this year’s offering is May 26, 2013.

In addition to the student scholarships, the General Board of Church and Society awards grants to ministries that witness “to God’s demands for a faithful, just, disarmed and secure world.” Visit the GBCS website for more information about these opportunities.

Conference Superintendents

Superintendents inspire church leaders by reflecting how God is at work in the world.

“One of the privileges of my position,” writes Brian Milford, superintendent of the Southwest District, “is that I get to hear those stories of transformed lives and communities. I stopped by one of our churches to join the Sunday morning worship celebration and a young man approaches me with tears in his eyes as he tells me how his life has been changed from having no direction to serving Jesus. He tells me he will never be the same again! And I believe him.

“Another church describes to me how they are now working with elementary school kids to mentor them in a reading program. Yet another describes the impact of a recent volunteer in mission trip on members of the congregation. Then I meet a woman whose house was reclaimed by United Methodists after the Missouri River flood and with tears in her eyes she says, ‘Thank You.’

“These experiences and stories are beyond measurement. They are priceless. They keep me going when I get discouraged. They refocus my energies on Christ and remind me why he is the hope of the world. Whenever we reach out in love, in the name and spirit of Christ, we are making a difference for the sake of the reign of God.”

Student Day Merit Awards

Two Simpson College students are receiving scholarships this school year from the United Methodist Student Day offering.

Sarah Daby is a sophomore from Indianola. Randa Wall is a junior from Casey. Both young women are studying elementary education. They have received $1,000 each to support them in their career pursuits.

Each year United Methodist churches in the Iowa Conference are invited to nominate one student from their congregation to be considered for a United Methodist Student Day Merit Scholarship. Iowa United Methodist students who will attend a United Methodist college, university, or seminary in the coming year are eligible for nomination.

The United Methodist Student Day offering is received each November. Ninety percent of those gifts go to support scholarships throughout the United Methodist connection. The remaining ten percent is rebated back to the Iowa Conference for distribution. Learn about additional scholarship opportunities in the United Methodist connection by visiting the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry website at www.gbhem.org.