A congregation of Perry-area Methodists gathered in Minburn on the fourth Saturday in October for the annual United Methodist Charge Conference. The cluster conference included representatives from the First United Methodist Church in Perry, the Rippey United Methodist Church and the Fairview United Methodist Church as well as congregants from United Methodist Churches in Adel, DeSoto, Dexter, Minburn and Redfield.
Hosting this meeting was Rev. David Weesner, superintendent of the Central District of the Iowa United Methodist Church. Also reporting was Angela Abbas from the Rippey congregation. Abbas is the recently appointed district lay leader.
The Charge Conference is an opportunity for local churches to report to the district superintendent their ministries and goals. A variety of resolutions are also passed, including the approval of new members, officers and committees for the upcoming year and pastor salaries and housing exclusion. There are also pastor reports, removal of members from the membership rolls and other business.
Among the goals of the Perry First United congregation were an improved the Latino service, the building of bridges between the Latino and Anglo congregations, developing disciples, getting finances in order and improving the current facilities.
Strengths in the Perry church included its people, pastors, outreach efforts, books for children, experience brought to situations and the diverse use of the facilities.
Rev. Weesner shared news from the district level. One major item Weesner reported is the district’s efforts to find a permanent place of worship in Des Moines for Sudanese congregation of approximately 185 United Methodist members from one tribe.
He said this “congregation has the potential to grow significantly with more members of the tribe, other Sudanese and other African immigrants. Many of these members live in the Oak Ridge area of Des Moines and face transportation problems with getting to church.”
Weesner said they requested that a particular United Methodist minister from their tribe be moved from the east coast to Des Moines. He has moved and begun his ministry.
Weesner also reported on other successful ministries he has seen.
District Lay Leader Abbas said she has attended various Charge Conferences with Weesner, introducing herself and meeting the people in the several congregations in the Central District. Abbas also spoke about God’s plan for each of us.
The entire parish was represented by Senior Pastor Rev. Paul Burrow.
Cathy Clark, Duane Griffin, Doris Eldgridge and Doug Wood served as representative for the First United Methodist Church in Perry. Rippey United Methodist Church was represented by Kevin and Mary Hick, Dick and Jo Bardole and Abbas, with Brent Halling standing for congregants of the Fairview United Methodist Church