The Bertram United Methodist Church was one of twelve churches recognized at the 2016 Iowa Annual Conference for completing the Healthy Church Initiative consultation process. The HCI process helped the people of Bertram to think differently about ministry.
The church is located just outside of Cedar Rapids, but the old railroad town they are in is now the center of a sprawl of new houses. Their worshiping congregation hovers around thirty people each Sunday.
HCI discussions have helped them develop more intentionality in reaching out to the people of their community. “We talk a lot about building relationships,” says their pastor, Jenny Seylar, “so that people know Jesus Christ and know that the people of the Bertram church are people of love and grace.”
One result of Bertram’s HCI consultation was a plan to remodel their church. “We had a desire to bring it back to its 1866 look, while updating all the amenities so that things worked better.” Members of the church have mentioned that the refurbished sanctuary “has deepened their worship experience and allowed them to worship more fully,” says Rev. Seylar.
The East Central District contributed $3,000 toward HCI ministries in their area in 2015. These funds were made possible through the apportionment gifts of the United Methodist churches of Iowa.