Today officially begins a new appointment year for UMC pastors in Iowa and today marks the beginning of my second year of appointment at Grace UMC in Sioux City, Iowa.
This has been a great year to be at Grace UMC! I’ve had opportunity to welcome a number of new members into the church, I’ve had quite a few baptisms, a large confirmation class of a dozen new professing members, and this year we are celebrating Grace’s 125th anniversary.
As part of our anniversary celebration we are raising $12,500 to divide between Imagine No Malaria and a Backpack food assistance program at Spalding Park Elementary School.
In my first year at Grace I have found this church to be a welcoming and friendly group of people who want to serve the Church and serve Christ. Grace is a church with a heart for its community, the Morningside neighborhood of Sioux City, Morningside College and the Sioux City metro.
I am very much looking forward to my second year at Grace UMC and am exciting for what God will be doing here through all of us as we work together by the grace of God through Jesus Christ!
This week I am attending the annual conference of the Academy of Parish Clergy.
“The Academy of Parish Clergy is an international organization of clergy serving in faith communities of all sizes and in a variety of locales. Members value honest and affirming dialogue, collegiality and continued enhancement of pastoral skills and competency, all directed towards identifying and addressing the spiritual needs and welfare of their communities, both nearby and globally. Our members seek to give and receive support from their colleagues, both in personal gatherings and through meaningful connections made possible by today’s technological world.”
I became involved with the APC three years ago when I attended my first annual conference. In the academy I have found a wonderful group of colleagues from many different faith backgrounds who have a hart and passion for parish ministry and the support of the clergy.
This year we are fortunate to have Dr. Martin Marty as our speaker. Dr. Marty has been sharing with us insights from his latest book dealing with issues of trust in our culture. This includes trust issues on all levels of life and leadership but specifically he is dealing with trust as it relates to the culture, the church, and the trusst of the clergy and the church.