The Rev. Dr. Joel M. LeMon from Candler School of Theology in Atlanta approached the podium and began to sing the opening verse of Psalm 133 in Hebrew. He taught participants at the School for Ministry the words and melody, phrase by phrase, until the whole room was singing it together.
Only then did he reveal the meaning of the Hebrew text. “How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity!” The text is a Song of Ascent which was sung by worshipers as they traveled to Jerusalem to attend one of the annual festivals of the faith.
The Iowa United Methodist School for Ministry is a continuing education event for pastors. This year the event was held in the week following Easter at the Honey Creek Resort State Park outside of Moravia on the shores of Lake Rathbun.
The multi-day event centered around the Psalms. Worship, meals and recreation offered opportunities in addition to the lectures for each participant’s growth and learning in the company of ministry colleagues. The Iowa Conference Board of Ordained Ministry provides $10,000 annually to help support the School for Ministry. These funds are made possible from the apportionment gifts of United Methodist churches across the state.