Today is the closing day for the 2016 Iowa Annual Conference. The event is a gathering of lay and clergy leaders from across the state, who are meeting to plan for another year of ministry in our shared mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
Monday morning’s schedule begins with a worship service celebrating the “Fixing of Appointments.” This is the time when we formally acknowledge the changes in pastoral leadership anticipated this summer in the local United Methodist churches of Iowa.
Another highlight of the Annual Conference is aligning our ministries to our three strategic priorities. Our focus is on “Creating World-Transforming Communities of Faith.” This fundamental purpose is pursued both by starting and nurturing new churches as well as in revitalizing our existing congregations.
Two additional priorities support this development of vital churches. The first, equipping transformational leaders, is accomplished in a variety of training events throughout the year to help lay and clergy leaders guide churches in effective ministries.
The second, aligning our resources in support of local church ministries and their leaders, is affirmed in one of our final actions as adjournment approaches, the approval of our 2016-2017 budget. Apportionment gifts of $185,000 from the United Methodist churches of Iowa have been spent on facilities and equipment for our 2016 Iowa Annual Conference.