Laity Day with Bishop Trimble

The United Methodist Church in Hampton will be hosting a day with Bishop Trimble for laity across the Iowa Conference on Saturday, April 6th.

The Great Commission of Jesus to the disciples, which is found in Matthew 28:16-20, will be the theme for the day. Bishop Julius C. Trimble will be discussing what it looks like to be a witness in today’s world as a disciple of Jesus Christ. There will be opportunities for interaction with the bishop as well as small group discussions.

Another focus for the day will be the Imagine No Malaria initiative, which helps to purchase mosquito nets to protect families from being bitten. Katie Dawson, coordinator of the Iowa Conference’s response to the effort, will update participants on our fundraising goals and offer suggestions for involving local churches.

The event will be simulcast to remote sites around the state with the help of the communications staff at the Iowa Conference Center. The Iowa Conference Board of Laity is sponsoring the day in part through apportionment gifts from local churches. Registration information is available at http://nc.iaumc.org/laityday.

University of Iowa Wesley Foundation

Student interns develop skills and expand ministry at the University of Iowa Wesley Foundation. Located in downtown Iowa City right next door to First United Methodist Church, UI Wesley is an extension of our local churches supported with apportionment gifts from across the state.

For decades UI Wesley pioneered in developing student faith leaders through what was called Peer Ministry. Peer Ministers practiced and shared their faith, built up community, and led small groups and events. Their leadership connected to other students as peers.

This year Wesley tweaked the Peer Ministry program to create a five-person Campus Ministry Intern Team. These Student Interns still practice and develop spiritual leadership, but they also work in specific areas of campus ministry, including social media and communications, graphic arts, teaching, and religious programs. Their campus ministry internship develops not only their leadership, but specific skills for future work.

Interns work 10 hours per week and receive stipends. They participate in individual mentoring with a campus minister and work collaboratively on the team. Everyone does outreach to new students for Christian community and helps draw out the leadership of other students.

Learn more about their ministry at www.iowawesley.org.

Missional Transformation Process

Conference resources support local churches in developing their ministries for reaching others in the 21st century. The Missional Transformation Process provides an intentional, systematic way for congregations to embrace their future. The process is a two-year journey that assumes God is at work in the world and that the task of the church is to participate faithfully in what God is already doing.

Congregations who embark on the Missional Transformation Process are involved in a learning journey of spiritual depth and significance to discern and embody God’s mission anew. The Iowa Conference Committee on Parish Development, supported by Leadership Development Minister Scott Hibben and the eight district Field Outreach Ministers, underwrites and facilitates the intentional work of each church through the process.

Seven congregations were recognized last summer for completing the process: First UMC in Iowa Falls, First UMC in Marengo, St. Mark’s UMC in Iowa City, Malvern UMC, Strahan UMC, St. James UMC in Cedar Rapids, and Walker UMC.

The potential benefits of the process are numerous. Some that have been experienced by churches in Iowa include raising up and equipping new leaders as well as discovering new ways of reaching people for Christ in our communities. Visit the Missional Transformation Process webpage for more information.

Disaster Response Trailer

An emergency response team from Kentucky inspired a new ministry in the Iowa Conference. During the flood of 2010 the Kentucky team set up a shower trailer across the street from the Colfax United Methodict Church. The trailer provided modern sanitary shower facilities for both response team workers and the victims of the flood — an important part of the recovery effort.

Now Iowans will be able to provide a shower trailer ministry of their own. Volunteers will help transport and set up the equipment at disaster sites. They will be responsible for equipment maintenance and cleaning, operation of the washer and dryer, and logging of necessary statistics regarding use of the facilities. This Disaster Response Shower Trailer Team (DRSTT) will be a partner with the Emergency Response Team ministry of the Iowa Conference.

Trish Burket, the Disaster Response Coordinator for the Iowa Annual Conference, expressed her thanks to the United Methodist Church, who “has been our primary partner, financial backer, and facilitator. This shared ministry is made possible by the connectional nature” of the Church.

If you would like to be a trained and certified member of this ministry, or have questions concerning the responsibility of volunteers, call Duane Skidmore at (515) 674-4135 or Trish Burket at (515) 460-4892.