In 2004 the Iowa Conference began a District Matthew 25 Initiative to support hands-on ministries that respond to basic human needs in our communities. Every year our districts receive apportionment dollars provided by the United Methodist churches of Iowa. This year a total of $144,000 will be distributed among the eight districts.
The funds are allocated to the districts based on a formula that takes into account the number of families living in poverty, the number of seniors, and the percentage of the population that is non-English-speaking within each district. The formula is reviewed, revised and adopted annually by the Conference Connectional Ministries Council.
Jesus told a parable that inspired this initiative. In it the king describes how people can inherit the kingdom: “I was hungry and you gave me food to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me. I was naked and you gave me clothes to wear. I was sick and you took care of me. I was in prison and you visited me” (Matt. 25:35-36).
These Matthew 25 grants help us align our resources with our historic commitment to mission and the strategic priorities of the Iowa Conference as we reach out “to persons living on the margins of society.”