Extended Stay Program, Shesler Hall

Shesler Hall in Sioux City is a home for women with special needs, primarily chronic mental illness. These women are provided a loving home with a private furnished room, meals, 24-hour staff availability, medication supervision, and a variety of other supportive services to assist them in stabilizing and bettering their situation. All this is provided for a monthly fee based upon the individual’s ability to pay, although fees collected from Shesler residents account for only a third of the actual cost of care.

A Matthew 25 grant from the Northwest District, which is made possible with apportionment gifts from United Methodist churches across Iowa, helps to support their Extended Stay Program. This ministry allows deserving residents to live at Shesler Hall at little or no cost beyond the standard thirty days of a typical client.

Executive Director Meg Armstrong indicated that three of their newer residents “would have been forced to find other housing” if the extended stay option were not available. The Extended Stay housing option “has become a critical and essential part of the overall Shesler Hall program offering. We are profoundly grateful for the help and support of the Matthew 25 grant in this mission work.”

Shesler Hall is one of about 100 national mission institutions under the umbrella of the General Board of Global Ministries. Learn more at their website http://www.sheslerhall.com.


New Accessible Rest Rooms in Tipton

For the first time First United Methodist Church in Tipton has a rest room on the same level as their sanctuary. They have been working to make their building more accessible, and their Fellowship Room was a natural choice for the remodeling project.

The update has made the building more attractive to guests and members alike with the addition of a kitchenette, improved lighting, and more usable storage space. They raised over $12,000 themselves for the effort. A grant from the Commission on Ministry with Persons with Disabilities, which is made possible with gifts to the Disabilities Sunday Offering from United Methodist churches throughout Iowa, helped to support facility upgrades that addressed accessibility needs.

“Thank you!!” Paul Frederiksen, the pastor of the congregation, wrote to the commission. “Our project is not totally complete but close enough to send affirmation and gratitude to your group.”

They envision others in their community using this newly remodeled space, as well. Their newsletter declares, “We are the hands of Christ” as the church “invites people into a relationship with Jesus, provides all we need to grow to be like him, and sends us to be his hands and feet in our community and world.”

Student Scholarships

Three United Methodist students from Iowa are returning to classes this fall with a $1,000 scholarship provided by the generosity of our congregations throughout the state.

Felicity Eward is a first year student at Simpson College in Indianola. A member of Trinity United Methodist Church in Keokuk, she plans to study music.

Brian Williams is also a student at Simpson. He is a junior this fall, studying music and exploring candidacy into ministry with the United Methodist Church. His home congregation is Broadway United Methodist Church in Council Bluffs.

Humberto Gonzalez Santana is a student at St. Paul School of Theology in the Kansas City area. He is a certified candidate for ministry in the United Methodist Church. He was prepared for this new stage of ministry through participation with his local church, Trinity Las Americas United Methodist Church in Des Moines.

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.

Hadley Chapel, Hillcrest Family Services

A new chapel now graces the campus of Hillcrest Family Services in Dubuque. Both the United Methodist Church and the Presbyterian Church (USA) have contributed to the building of Hadley Chapel, which for the first time is providing a place of worship on their campus.

Michelle Watters of the Hillcrest staff wrote that they “seek and depend upon faith-based support for our important efforts to bring the people we serve and those who serve a spiritual connection.” The chapel is now is a gathering place for all Hillcrest clients, staff, and community, including opportunities for weekly services of worship. The floor of the chapel includes an inlaid Chartres labyrinth to allow children and adults space for personal prayer and reflection.

Hillcrest serves the spiritual needs of approximately 71 residential youth who have been abused, neglected, and abandoned and 66 residential adults who are not able to live independently due to mental, emotional, or behavioral health needs. A Matthew 25 grant from the East Central District, made possible through apportionment gifts from the United Methodist churches of Iowa, helped to support the construction of the chapel.