Lamplighter News

Weekly News:


Dates to Mark on Your Calendar

April 19-21– School for Ministry

May 1– Another Set of Eyes due in the District Office

May 6 – District and Pre-Annual Conference Gathering-Russell, Faith UMC

June 10-12– Annual Conference– Laity and Clergy Sessions will be on Saturday

Are you interested in serving at the Conference level?

We have these district openings:

Christian Unity

Higher Education

Rules of Order

Conference connection ministry council, planning and research.


Any questions contact me.



2017 Annual Conference - June 10th-12th
If you plan to stay in Des Moines for Annual Conference, it is advised that you reserve your hotel room early. Click here for the current listing.

Please visit the Conference website at

Harry Denman Evangelism Award for Clergy, Laity and Youth

The Iowa Annual Conference is now accepting nominations. To learn more about the award of to download a nomination form visit

2017 Another Set of Eyes Clergy Evaluation

Due May 1st.  All clergy appointed to the local church and their SPRC’s are to complete this evaluation form

South Central District Conference & Pre-Conference Gathering

May 6, 2017 9:00 am at Russell, Faith UMC 115 E Northumberland St. Russell, IA 50238

The Great Commission Fund-Board of Global Ministries

The Great Commission is found in Matthew 28:19 which gives the “GO” directive to humankind.

The Great Commission Fund was established in 1978 under the Board of Global Ministries of the Iowa Annual Conference. Monies are available for the following ministries/mission:

       * Volunteer in Mission (in U.S. and overseas)

  • Innovative ministry
  • Ethnic minority ministry
  • District, Conference and UMW mission outeach
  • Short term missioners

The fund does not assist with capital improvements, new staff positions, personal attendance at a mission conference, continuing education, community programs which do not promote the mission of the Iowa Anual Conference.


For more information and/or application form for Great Commission Funds, contact Beverly Nolte, 515 266 4186,


United Methodist Women Mission u

“We Are Called!”  That’s the theme of this year’s United Methodist Women Mission u, and we’re “calling” on women, men, youth, and children to share in a spiritual Covenant for Community, or your choice of study of the Missionary Conferences of the U.S., or Climate Justice.  These events qualify for CEUs for pastors or professionals. 

We have two dates from which you may choose:  Summer Mission u, July 16-18, Sunday afternoon 3 p.m. to Tuesday afternoon; or Fall Mission u, October 20-22, Friday afternoon 3:30 p.m. to Sunday afternoon.  Both are held at Iowa Valley Community College in Marshalltown, with several reasonably-priced hotels nearby for the two overnights. 

For a brochure and registration form, click on this link on the Conference Website: local United Methodist Women also have the information. 

Ask anyone who’s attended:  it’s a wonderful experience to spend a couple of days learning, singing, worshiping, and eating delicious food, with United Methodist Women from around Iowa.  You are called!  Please answer!

Homecoming Weekend - June 2nd-3rd, at Wesley Woods Camp & Retreat Center
All former Camp staff are invited to attend the festivities of the Summer Kick-Off by coming a day early and joining in a time of fellowship.  All former staff are welcome, with special emphasis on those serving in years ending with a 7 (i.e. '67, '77, '87, '97, '07).  Arrive any time after 4 pm. Limited overnight lodging is available. Call 515-961-4523 to reserve by May 1st..  Dinner: Packout Hot Dog Roast/S'mores Kit will be available - reserve ahead ($5/person). Saturday: Breakfast on your own. 10 am - Clergy Coffee. Noon: Sandwich Bar Lunch (free-will offering)

Summer Kick-Off - June 3rd at Wesley Woods Camp & Retreat Center
Events begin at 1 pm. Bring the whole family to start the summer off with a bang! Enjoy games and camp activities, including inflatables, canoeing, archery, high ropes, zip line/rock wall, swimming, a slip-n-slide, horseback rides, wagon tours, and more.  There will be a BBQ dinner from 4:30 - 6 pm (free will donation) and a silent auction supporting camperships.  The day will close with a worship service led by our 2017 Summer Staff and the announcement of the 2017 Volunteer of the Year.  Questions?  Call 515-961-4523.

9th Annual Men at the Woods - June 17th, 8:30 am, at Wesley Woods Camp & Retreat Center
This is a free day for boys and men of all ages to come together at camp for fellowship.  Activity choices will include fishing, wagon rides, archery, swimming, the mini-blob with trampoline, the iceberg, horse rides, inflatables, pontoon excursions, and more.  Watch the Camp website and May newsletter for more details.  The day will finish with worship and a hog roasted in the ground!


Equipping Ourselves and Others as Transformation Leaders

South Central District Advanced Lay Servant Training

Advanced Preaching-April 29 and May 6, 2017 classes will be held at Knoxville, First UMC, 313 E Montgomery St., Knoxville, IA 50138 from 2:00 p.m.—7:00 p.m.   All laity are invited to attend any of these classes even if you are not desiring recognition as a Certified Lay Servant.

Registration deadline is April 21, 2017  

2017 Iowa Annual Conference Diakonos Message from Pastor Steve Braudt

Greetings Iowa United Methodist Youth and the people who love and support them!

Have you ever wanted to be a part of something bigger than the local church? Have you ever wanted to serve your church brothers and sisters in Christ? We have two opportunities for you!  The first is called the Diakonos (Greek for servant) Leadership Development program! This is a time for 32 youth from around the state to help with the Iowa Annual Conference. You will be running messages, helping with worshiping, learning about the United Methodist church and our process, along with having fun and lots of other activities. Attached you will find the application forms and more information. Second: each District also has two positions for Youth Delegates to Annual Conference. These are youth that vote and work the process of the Annual Conference. Please contact your District Office if you are interested in being considered. The good news is that delegates this year will have the option of staying, traveling, worshipping and having fun with the Diakonos! (District Superintendents and District Administrative Secretaries please have the District Youth Representatives fill out the Diakonos application form and write in that they are delegates.)

 Diakonos Application link - Click HERE

 Pastor Steve Braudt Asbury United Methodist Church 1809 Mississippi Blvd., Bettendorf, Iowa 52722 Cell - (319) 939-4777 Office - (563)355-5218 ext.205     

Greetings Christian Educators,

With all the late great weather it seems that summer is just around the corner, but then Mother Nature sometimes just teases us and we remember what season it is really with a big snowstorm after not wearing jackets for a week... I know many of us are busy planning for big events like VBS, Graduations, Confirmations, and even after that, the list goes on and on.  It seems that we are always so busy that we don’t make a lot of time to share with others.  Do you need some fresh ideas?  Do you need to be rejuvenated? Maybe just take some time away from the demands of the office?  I would love to invite you all to an Iowa CEF member Workshop on Thursday May 4th at Norwalk United Methodist Church.  We will be discussing where we are now, what are our current needs as Christian Educators in the state, what are our current needs as CEF, hold our Annual CEF meeting and discuss future goals for Iowa CEF. We will discuss and plan a fall seminar, plan the areas of focus for the Spring Workshop 2018, discuss National Conference and our fall seminar for 2018.  It does not matter if you are full time, part time or volunteer, or if you work with children, youth or adults, there will be something for everyone.  There is no cost for this workshop, however we do ask that you have your annual dues paid by the time of the workshop. If you do not know if your dues are current, please contact Coreen Witke, treasurer, at  If you know you will be attending, please contact Crystal Ellis at as lunch will be provided and it will help with our planning.

Please consider this a valuable time to learn, grow, plan and be with others that are passionate about sharing the love of God with our children, youth, and adults.

I look forward to seeing you again or meeting you for the first time in April. God Bless you in your ministry!

To find a 2017 Membership Form you can go to this site or contact Sue at the District Office for a printed form.

God Bless,

Suzanne Olberding

President, Iowa Christian Educators Fellowship

World Transforming Communities of Faith

Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center

Our mission is to bring understanding, hope and healing to people of all ages through counseling and education. 

Who we are: 

Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center is a nonprofit, nonsectarian organization offering a broad range of mental health services, serving 4,000 individuals annually including up to 800 children plus their families. Although best known for its 44 years of quality, professional mental health therapy, the Center is a multi-faceted organization providing a range of services through 26 licensed counselors including:

Counseling, including specialized services for children and adolescents

Psychological testing and assessment

Psychiatric consultation and care

Training for clinical professionals

Leadership and spiritual life programming 

Career Coaching

Conflict transformation and strategic planning services for congregations, nonprofits and businesses

For more information on any services, programs, or events contact Diane McClananahan, M.Div., Director of Leadership and Spiritual Life at the Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center, 515-251-6667,

Des Moines Pastoral Counseling -  or call 515-274-4006

Spiritual Leadership Incorporated

As the Iowa Conference continues to work through the coaching tips of Spiritual Leadership Inc. (SLI), participants in the program are getting out to the districts to begin grassroots organizing.  

“We have been learning about our ministries and where mission and ministry need to get realigned,” said Rev. Lanette Plambeck, Broadway UMC in Council Bluffs. “We have been learning, leading and loving together.”   Plambeck is part of the Bishop’s Operational Team.

The Bishop’s Operational Team consists of the Bishop, two assistants to the bishop, the conference treasurer, the communications director, the human resources director, two clergy and two lay leaders. It focuses on looking at the processes in the conference and strategically aligns what it’s doing with focusing on creating new faith communities and renewing congregations. 

 See more at:

Laity Day with Bishop Laurie Haller

April 22, 9:30 AM-3:00 PM First UMC in Indianola This year's special feature will be Bishop Laurie's presentations. She will also have her book, Recess; Rediscovering Play and Purpose, available for purchase and signing. Bishop Laurie is a prolific writer, including a weekly blog, “Leading From the Heart” at

Bishop Laurie's book speaks to her spiritual journey which she will share in her afternoon presentation. There will be lunch, worship, hymns in addition to opportunities to look at the displays and visit with Mission, Cokesbury and Iowa Religious Media Services representatives. 

Laity Day is FREE! Registration