Updated May 30, 2019

Rev. Beth Odor and Rev. Robyn Plocher invite Iowa United Methodists to participate in the Ministry with the Poor mission project for the 2019 session of the Iowa Annual Conference.

Our theme this year is Creating Difference Makers in Ministry to the PoorGod wants us to make a difference in our communities and throughout the state and world. This year we are especially mindful of those in our midst who are struggling: the oppressed, the immigrants, the unemployed, the abused, the broken, addicted, the rejected, and those with mental illness.

“As people of faith, God desires for us to always be looking for new ways to reach out with Christ’s love and be in ministry with the poor and marginalized,” said Bishop Laurie Haller of the initiative.

In response to our theme, we’re inviting congregations to purchase gift cards for restaurants, gas stations, convenience or grocery stores, or refillable cards. Bring half of the cards you collect with you to Annual Conference and leave the other half back at your church, where you can share them with local food pantries, shelters, or perhaps through support services at the local hospital or even through police or fire departments. Be creative in your local area. Imagine, if we can get 2,000 people to donate $20 cards that would be $40,000!

The local church can use these resources to celebrate in their own communities. Please direct questions to communications@iaumc.org.

We will be blessing the cards at the Annual Conference Session before Saturday’s lunch break so that they can go out in the world and make a difference. Please bring them with you on that day.

Join us as we make a difference together.

This is great! But what do I say when I give someone a card?

Say whatever the spirit moves you to say, or use this draft message:

“Hi, I’m (first name). I’m in town attending a United Methodist Church conference, and I have a gift for you. This gift has been blessed in prayer and I have been led to give it to you. I hope it will be a blessing to you!”

What if they say they don’t need it?

Ask them to pass it on to someone they know who does.

What if I don’t find anyone to give it to when I’m at Annual Conference?

Take it back home with you and share it with someone in your community, or ask the Information Desk for local charities or food banks that may need it.