Iowa leaders of the United Methodist Church are opening their annual conference today in Des Moines. Reverend Arthur McClanahan, the Church’s communications director, says the gathered clergy and lay leaders are representing 824 Methodist churches across Iowa with 195-thousand members.
Reverend McClanahan says, “We will gather together to worship and we will ordain 13 United Methodist clergy as elders and that’s up a factor of ten from last year’s group of three that we ordained as elders.” The meeting corresponds with what he says is Statewide Missions Day, where members of congregations across Iowa embark on a variety of community projects.
The projects may be as small as cleaning out an elderly person’s garage to helping collect food to feed the hungry. One congregation will spend the day making stuffed animals which will be taken in a few weeks by a surgical team to Guatemala, a team that will perform facial repair surgeries on children. This is the first time in many years that the conference is being held in Des Moines, after some 20 years in Ames. The conference underway at Hy-Vee Hall continues through Tuesday. Proceedings can be viewed on line at “www.iaumc.org”.
By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City