A newly formed cooperative parish is adding energy to the ministry of New Horizons United Methodist Church in Coralville. The congregation formed about twenty years ago as a new church start of the Iowa Conference. Over the years they have struggled to reach out to their neighbors in an affluent subdivision of the city.
This spring they were pleased with the response to an Easter mailer that was sent out to their neighbors. Their pastor, Josh Rath, who also serves as the associate pastor at First United Methodist Church in nearby North Liberty, reported that 84 people attended worship, “which was the biggest Easter Sunday in many years here at New Horizons.” Empowered by this success, they anticipate a Vacation Bible School and a neighborhood cookout planned for late July.
“One of the biggest challenges we have encountered is people within the neighborhood knowing we are here.” Their current street sign, which will soon be replaced, sits along a busy corridor in the city but is not visible from both sides of the road. Passersby “are aware of the building, but have no idea that it is a church.” A grant for this ministry was provided by the Standing Committee on Parish Development of the Iowa Conference Board of Global Ministries with apportionment gifts from United Methodist churches across the state.