Connecting and Empowering

Connecting and Empowering


East Central District Office - Holiday Closings
The East Central District Office will be closed from December 13th through January 3rd. Should you need to reach the Conference Superintendent during this time, please either email him directly ( or call the office and follow the prompts to leave him a voicemail.  (Voicemails left on the general East Central District line will not be received until January 7th.)

The Conference Center will be closed to the public from December 24th through January 1st and will resume regular business hours on January 2nd.

December 16, 2018 - Blue Christmas Grief Gathering - 3:00 PM
On Sunday, December 16 at 3:00 PM, Lovely Lane UMC will host a "Blue Christmas Gathering." We recognize that not all people will be able to celebrate happily this Christmas, and so we are offering you the opportunity to gather and name the grief. Even in sorrow, Christ's coming at Christmas brings light to the dark places in our lives.

Join us for a time of remembrance in the Fireside Room, with snacks following. All those who are grieving from los: loss of job, a loved one, mobility, health, are invited to come. For more information contact Pastor Jenny Seylar at the church: 319-393-6674 or

Lovely Lane UMC, 2424 42nd St. NE, Cedar Rapids

December 19, 2018 - Blue Christmas Service - 7:00 PM
*Blue? Yes, blue as in the blues. As in "I am feeling blue." Not everyone is up and cheery for the Christmas holiday. Dealing with the death of a loved one, facing life after divorce or separation, coping with the loss of a job, living with cancer or some other disease that puts a question mark over the future, and a number of other human situations make parties and joviality painful for many people in our congregations and communities. A "Blue Christmas" service is a wonderful alternative worship experience. Lights are low, music soft, readings, remembering and candle-light. Join Seeds of Faith Lutheran Church and Lisbon UM Church. Blue Christmas Service will be held at Lisbon UM Church, 200 E Market St, Lisbon IA
January 7, 2019 - Addressing Suicide in Our Communities and Congregations
Cedar Rapids Public Library Whipple Auditorium
Behavioral Health Providers and Clergy will be provided a foundation of confidence and comfort in discussing suicide with members of their communities and congregations who have lost someone to suicide or are facing suicidal ideation. Register at

January 2019 - Save the Dates - Budget Team Listening Sessions
The Budget Team has scheduled listening sessions around the Conference to gain feedback regarding their recently released recommendations. To read their recommendations, click 2018+November+30+Budget+Team+Update.pdf

Dates and locations for these meetings are;
January 13, 2019 ~ North Liberty UMC from 2:45 pm-4:15 pm (85 N. Jones Blvd, North Liberty IA)
January 20, 2019 ~ Carroll, First UMC from 2:00 pm-3:30 pm (1621 N Main St., Carroll IA)
January 26, 2019 ~ Ames, First UMC from 10:30 am-12:00 noon (516 Kellogg Ave, Ames IA)

January 15 and 17, 2019 - Mental Health First Aid -Anamosa UMC - Noon-4:15 PM
The Mental Health First Aid programs teach community members skills on identifying and responding to a person who may be experiencing a mental health issue. Cost - FREE; funded by the East Central Region Mental Health & Disability Services. This program has been approved for 8 contact hours through Abbe Center, IBON provider #304. Participants must attend the entire event to receive credit. READ MORE and to Register

February 2, 2019 - The PAUSE.learning to Seek God - Youth Conference - Center Point UMC - 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Doors open at 7:00 AM - 275 Green Street West, Center Point IA

Registration due by January 25, 2019

As the parent of a teenager, I'm sure you're well aware of the frantic pace of your child's life. (In fact, you're probably the leading expert on it!) Today's teenagers are constantly engaged in activities. And when they aren't, virtually every "free" moment is packed with media or entertainment of some kind. READ MORE and to register

Click here for a flyer to share with your church.

May 16-24, 2019 - Iowa Licensing School - Shalom Retreat Center in Dubuque IA
Here is link for the registration form, brochure, basic information, emergency contact form, and assignments Deadline to register is April 20 and all assignments will need to be submitted by May 1st. Contact Lisa Steel ( or Dean of the School, Rev. Arnette Pint ( with any questions.
General Conference Special Session 2019
Pre-registration for guests and observers is now open.  Click here for more information.

District Fundraising Challenge
Districts have been challenged to raise funds for a kitchen at the Ubuntu Retreat Centre at Africa University. Several weeks ago, a group of eleven clergy and ... READ MORE

Discipleship Pathway Processes
For the slides used at a Discipleship Pathway training held on February 1, 2018, click!Ageazcp5AwPRhAryx69cpmRvzRkr.
to watch the video that was produced and used at District Conference, click;
Phil Carver, ( is available to answer your questions or help you in working on your church's pathway.