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2013 Iowa Annual Conference

2013 Iowa Annual Conference
June 8-10, Des Moines

The 2013 session of the Iowa Annual Conference convened under the banner of "Imagine a Healthy Church/Imagine a Healthy World," June 8-10, at the Iowa Events Center, Des Moines.

Bishop Julius Calvin Trimble, resident bishop of the Iowa Annual (regional) Conference, welcomed Bishop J. Michael Lowry (Central Texas) and Bishop Sally Dyck (Northern Illinois) as guest preachers. In addition, the Rev. J. Robert Burkhart, retiring Assistant to the Bishop for Administration, preached at the Memorial Service and Bishop Trimble was the preacher for the Retirement service.

In presenting his first treasurer's report, Todd Weber said, "finances, numbers, statistics and records are not why the Iowa Annual Conference exists. These items only provide support to ensure that the necessary resources are available for carrying out the mission of the conference."

In her sermon, as part of the Service for the Ordering of Ministry, Bishop Sally Dyck said, "the ministry of the church of Jesus Christ is like rocket science&ellipsis; I assure you, ministry takes all of our gifts, skills, grace and grit! It takes every ounce of who we are."

A new set of three strategic priorities was adopted, calling for: "creating world transforming communities of faith," "equipping ourselves and others as transformational leaders" and "directing our resources to our common goals."

In his episcopal address, Bishop Trimble invited the conference to "imagine a faithful church and healthy world. Imagine us living up to our kingdom potential as we embrace the mission of 'making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.'"

The Retirement Service for the 2013 Annual Conference celebrated the ministries of 37 clergy. In the Laity session, lay leaders from each of the conference's eight districts, the Conference Lay Leader and clergy and laity from several congregations shared examples of effective ministries.

It was reported that the support of Imagine No Malaria has reached nearly $1 million. The Office of Pastoral Care and Counseling celebrated its 40 years of ministry. The 100-year tradition of Wesley Foundation campus ministries in Iowa was also honored. Six special offerings raised nearly $38,000. Three clergywomen - the Revs. Diane McClanahan, Barb Dinnen and Carmen Lampe Zeitler jointly received the Bishop James S. Thomas Award Leadership Award for their work in social justice and community ministry.

After extensive discussion a budget of $16,273,502 was approved, representing a 3.8 percent increase over the 2013 budget. The proposed constitutional amendments were all approved overwhelmingly. Two resolutions - one calling for ending human trafficking the second calling for reducing military spending to meet human needs - were approved.

In his role as Conference Statistician, Todd Weber reported that conference membership stands at 171,706, a decrease of 3,781 (2 percent). Worship attendance stands at 55,274, a decrease of 452 (1 percent) from the previous year. The total number of baptisms celebrated during 2012 increased by 44 percent, from 2,212 in the prior year to 3,184 in 2012.

Six were ordained as elders, 10 were commissioned for the work of an elder, one was commissioned for the work of a deacon, three were recognized as course of study graduates, one associate member was received, one was received from another Methodist denomination and one was received from another denomination into full membership.

  • The Rev. Arthur McClanahan, director of communications