This week Iowa is sending a delegation of 24 clergy and laity to the North Central Jurisdictional Conference in Peoria, Illinois. The United Methodist churches of Iowa are contributing $22,954 in apportionment gifts this year toward this quadrennial meeting, which is focusing on the election of four new bishops.
The conference is a time of worship, celebration of ministry, and discernment as delegates talk with nominees for bishop and ballot to complete the election process. By the end of the day on Friday the elections will be completed and a special team of representatives from each of the annual conferences of the jurisdiction will meet to assign bishops to their respective annual conferences. Those assignments are announced on Saturday morning at a closing service of consecration.
The North Central Jurisdiction also provides some program and leadership training events for annual conferences and regional ministries that are shared by United Methodist people in the states of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa.
Racial ethic ministries support Korean, Hispanic, Native American, Asian American, and African American communities. Specialized ministries coordinate discipleship development for youth, women, and men and respond to the unique circumstances affecting rural and urban regions. Emerging ministries encourage innovative outreach to create new places for new people.