News from the Northwest

We are trying something new in the Northwest District.  We will no longer be publishing Letters from the Lakeshore.  We will be posting information on this page as it becomes available.  You will want to check back to this page frequently to see any updates.  When important information comes up, we will continue to send emails to those signed up for the newsletter list and it will be posted on Facebook.
updated April 2, 2019




2019-2020 Northwest District Committees

The Northwest District Nominating Committee is looking for people who would be willing to serve on the Conference and District levels on Boards, Agencies and Committees.  Please contact Robin Thomas ( if you would like more information about a specific committee and/or if you are interested in serving.


Here are the list of openings that we currently have:

District Openings

District Church Location and Building  (there are 3 openings)

Committee on Lay Servant Ministries (there is an opening for a lay person and also for an elder)

Nominating Committee (there are 3 openings)

Grants Committee (there are 3 openings)

Committee on Superintendency and Field Outreach Minister (there are 4 openings—one lay woman, 2 lay men, and 2 at large members)

Conference Openings:

                Board of Pensions
                Commission on Equitable Compensation
                Program Review Committee
                BOGM Committee on Community & Institutional Ministries
                BOGM Mission Education
                BOGM Volunteers in Mission
                Board of Higher Education & Campus Ministry
                Commission on Christian Unity & Interreligious Concerns
                Commission on the Status & Role of Women (COSROW)

Another Set of Eyes

Another Set of Eyes is an evaluation form that needs to be completed by every pastor serving a church and their SPRC.  The form can be located by clicking here.  These must be returned to the District Office no later than May 1.  Even if a pastor is moving or retiring, we request that Another Set of Eyes be filled out and sent to the District Office

Nominations for 2020 General/Jurisdictional Conference

The General Conference of the United Methodist Church meets every four years to make important decisions about the mission emphasis, denominational structure and other topics that impact the global church. The 2020 General Conference will be held in Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 5-15, 2020. All who are interested in being a delegate to General Conference must complete a nomination form.  Click here to find out more information

Missionary Available for Speaking 

UMC missionary, Katherine Parker, is available to speak at one of the NW District churches on Fri. April 26, any time is available.  She will be in Storm Lake on Thur. April 25 If there is/are churches close to Storm Lake that would to host her , she would be free. 


Katherine serves in Nepal working with women in very rural, remote villages.  She has been in Iowa previously as she has several supporting churches here.  At one time she worked in Ames and attended Collegiate UMC. 


Please contact Beverly Nolte, 515 266 4186,,  if you/your church would be willing to host her and let her share her missionary story.   



A Note from Disaster Response 

Please click here to read a message from Conference Disaster Response.

Annual Conference Registration

Laity registrations were emailed to all lay members to Annual Conference this week.  They are due April 15.  Each email contains a specific link for each person, so we are unable to send the link to the church or someone else.  Please make sure that you lay member received their email.  They may need to check their spam folder.  

Clergy were registered at their annual professional interview last fall.  If you would like to order a hard copy of the pre-conference manual, please click here:

Ubuntu Kitchen Fundraiser

I am writing to make a small request of the churches in the Northwest District. Last fall, my wife Beth and I were part of a delegation from our conference that went to Africa University in Zimbabwe. As part of our stay we were able to stay in the Ubuntu Center, an on-campus visitor housing location. Our own Bishop Laurie with the help of her friends in Michigan and across the connection raised the majority of the funds needed to build this great place for people to stay when they are on campus.  The Ubuntu Center is a jewel on the campus.

As in most building projects, funds did not cover all the needs at the Center. A kitchen was cut from the plans for this reason. With no kitchen, our delicious meals were brought in across the campus to be served in the Ubuntu Center. Hospitality is one of the core values at Africa University, and this process greatly saddens them, and they are looking forward to the day they can have a restaurant quality kitchen on site. To that end, our delegation has decided to raise the money needed to fund this kitchen.  The goal for the Northwest District is $5000.

With our special General Conference slated to conclude the end of February, I would like us to show our unity for the missions and ministries of the greater church by receiving a Fund the Kitchen at the Ubuntu Center offering on March 3, 2019. No matter the result of the conference we can all act together to help Africa University in this way. Together we can do much more than any one of us could do individually.

Make checks payable to "IAUMC" and note "Project 402: Africa University Kitchen" on the memo line and send to the Iowa Methodist Conference Center, 2301 Rittenhouse St., Des Moines, IA 50321.


I Am Because We Are

Ron Carlson, District Superintendent

Lay Servant Training

Saturday, April 6

8:00 am to 6:00 pm

Early United Methodist Church

Classes will be Basic, Life Together in the UM Connection (Polity) and Accountable Discipleship.  The cost will be $20 per person.  It will need to be paid online at the time of registration.  



2019 District Conference

Sunday, April 28

Spencer, Grace United Methodist Church

3:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Ron's Blog

District Superintendent Ron Carlson would like to invite all to read his blog.  It can be found here