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Most of my writing has been copy writing for the work that I am doing for a client. I have been entrusted with deciding whether a headline needs rewritten or editing copy to fit a certain layout and design.

When I began working for the Iowa Conference of the United Methodist Church, I was the content manager. This requires a large amount of writing, reading, proofreading and editing. I loved it! Below are a few examples of articles I have written.

I continue to write, proof and edit daily. It is an integral part of any of my work you see here on my website.

Faith and Fitness 

By: Liz Winders

James H. Roth Jr., the pastor of the New London United Methodist Church, will be running his sixth marathon, The Haunted Hustle in Middleton, WI, on October 26, 2014. It will be a celebration of Jim’s transformation through faith and fitness but also a birthday celebration for his role model and one of the 26 reasons he runs. This marathon coincides with his fathers’, James H. Roth Sr., 90th birthday and Jim looks forward to celebrating both accomplishments. 

Four years ago Jim was reeling from the loss of three significant deaths in his family; his sister, his mother and his 33-year-old nephew’s. His nephew’s passing hit him hard because he left four young children and died from complications from gastric surgery to lose weight. Jim knew he had to do something about his weight and health and it needed to start immediately. 

With the support of his wife Luanne, Jim joined Weight Watchers and as the weight came off, his motivation was boosted. For exercise, he walked and hiked the trails at the Anamosa Wapsipinicon State Park and after he lost about 40 pounds, Jim said, “My legs wanted to run. I had to rein them in because I didn’t think I could and I didn’t want to experience any set-backs from injured knees or joints.”  

Soon he had lost over 50 pounds and with the encouragement of his Weight Watchers leader, he took a leap-of-faith and purchased a pair of running shoes. His wife gave him a logbook and he found a Couch-2-5K walk/run interval training plan in a Weight Watchers magazine. After about eight weeks of training, Jim could run without walking and began to choose his first race. 

On May 19, 2012, Jim ran his first race, the six-mile Great River Bridge Race from Burlington to Gulf Port Illinois. Afterward, he decided to train for a half marathon and (because the training for each is very similar) a full marathon!  

In the fall of 2012, Jim ran three half marathons. His favorite was the 12:1 Run organized by Harmony Bible Church outside of Danville, IA which is run on paved roads and goes through Geode State Park. Named after scripture from Hebrews 12:1, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” The proceeds from the 12:1 Run are used to purchase water filtration units and to distribute them around the world to provide the gift of clean water to those in need.  

Jim’s first marathon was the 2012 Des Moines Marathon and he describes it as “kicking his butt” when he hit the runners wall around mile 19. He had to walk four or five miles until he found his second wind and the encouragement of his wife and two daughters, Emily and Christina, who cheered him on. He also decided he wasn’t going to stop at one and continued to train. He went on to run two more marathons in the spring of 2013, the Kenosha and Greenbay.  

Jim decided to beat the “demons” of Des Moines and trained hard using the Jeff Galloway method to run the 2013 Des Moines Marathon. He conquered them and ran his personal best time by coming in under five hours at 4:46. He went on to run the Marathon to Marathon in Storm Lake on June 14, 2014.  

Jim dedicated his first running of the Des Moines Marathon to the Imagine No Malaria campaign after being inspired to do so by three high school cross country runners who spoke at the Iowa Annual Conference in 2013. Their ambition to bike and run across the state of Iowa witnessing at churches about the Imagine No Malaria campaign inspired Jim to start his campaign called “I’m Jim.” 

He continues his marathon training to celebrate life and longevity and has dedicated his sixth marathon to his father’s 90 years and the New London United Methodist churches 179. 

In 2012 Bishop Julius Trimble’s Fit Challenge and the Wellness Ministry of the Iowa Conference was developed to encourage people in professional ministry and their families to maintain or improve their comprehensive health status. If you are interested in beginning a running program or training for a marathon using Jeff Galloway’s run walk run training methods visit www.jeffgalloway.com.  


Tiny Church Sets a Big Goal

By: Liz Winders

Brenda Core has been doing a lot of sewing lately. Her church, Farmers Chapel UMC, located south of Indianola Iowa, might have less than 50 members but that doesn’t stop them from setting some pretty big goals. They decided to sew 1601 school bags for children in Nigeria as their church’s Thanksgiving InGathering project.

Right around last year’s InGathering time; Pastor La Tonya Calderon received what she calls “a blessing bug” about sewing school bags. She did a little research and discovered that the most bags any church in Iowa had donated in one year were 1600. So she set their goal at 1601, somewhat doubting that they could reach it until she got reassurance from Brenda. “Oh, we can do it!” was Brenda’s response.

 “Our goal of 1601 bags was not made to accomplish breaking another church’s record, but instead to stand on the faith of the ministry that was done before us and to see what God could do,” explained Pastor Calderon.

Amazingly they have not purchased any material. Everything, including over 800 yards of fabric has been donated. Brenda says she has made bags out of almost any kind of fabric including curtains, tablecloths, shirts, jeans and grass seed bags. She has tried to sew close to 100 bags per week sometimes getting up at 4 a.m. if God calls her to.

A group of volunteers meets at 5:30 pm on Wednesday evenings to cut, sew and iron the bags. The whole membership has gotten involved in donating, cutting, and ironing the fabric. They also bring meals so the volunteers can keep sewing. The Sunday school children have been able to pitch in too. They put out an offering and were able to raise enough money to purchase school supplies such as crayons, paper, pencils, pencil sharpeners, and scissors to fill 102 of the bags.

Brenda Core has a special place in her heart for this project having experienced firsthand the needs of children when she traveled to Africa in 2013. She feels blessed and motivated knowing these bags will touch the lives of those in need. Reaching this goal has added a little stress on all of them but Brenda is so inspired and excited she set a new goal to sew 2014 bags for the year 2014!

Pastor Calderon wants other churches to know that they should do whatever God has placed there for them to do. “It has just been a Godsend for us to be part of the work that God is doing.” She said that their motivation does not come from meeting a specific number but it comes from being a part of God’s work, blessing people and the joy of it. She calls it being in the “blessing business.” 

The Thanksgiving InGathering project has done more than just fill a need for impoverished children in Africa; it has given Farmers Chapel a greater sense of how God is working in their lives. They are seeing what God can do through them, not by their power, but through God’s power. Pastor Calderon said, “This project has brought a new vision to the church and we are just starting to live into it. It is Loving Bigger, Loving Deeper and Loving More. Having this new vision has brought a lot of excitement too, knowing now what we can accomplish through Christ.”


The Village Transforms the Impression and Experience of Aging

By: Liz Winders

Rev. Myron Brockmeyer, a resident of The Village in Indianola Iowa, woke up one morning praising God that he and his wife, Delpha lived there. He asked God how he should celebrate and commemorate the new fulfilling chapter in their life and he immediately thought of Bishop Trimble. 

With an “in” at the Bishop’s office, his daughter Diane Brockmeyer is the Bishop’s Executive Secretary, he arranged a luncheon where Bishop Julius Calvin Trimble, First Lady Racelder Granberry-Trimble and other employees of the Iowa Conference of the United Methodist Church could enjoy the good food, fellowship, and hospitality of The Village and learn more about the giving spirit of their community and facility.

Chad Piper, Executive Director of The Village, gave a short presentation about Wesleylife and specifically about what the residents of The Village experience. He said, “Wesleylife’s non-profit mission is focused on the quality of life not the quantity of life.” He referred to the acronym C.H.L. which stands for the Community for Healthy Living which is a holistic approached to well-being, focusing on the mind, body, and spirit and trying to enhance the aging experience. “Our mission goes beyond the walls of this operation. Our goal is to serve seniors, wherever they call home.” 

The Village is a very unique property. In many senior life organizations, individuals are focused on being served. But at The Village, the focus is much different. With 18 religious officials who call The Village home, the sense of duty and service resonates with the entire population, providing purpose and passion. The residents and staff foster and build their community by taking care of one another, serving on committees and giving to those around them inside and outside the walls of The Village.

The Village provides a home, a vibrant social life, plenty of friends, in addition to a variety of intellectual, physical and spiritual opportunities to Rev. Myron Brockmeyer, his wife, and all the residents. Bishop Trimble was delighted to be a guest and commented, “The Village is not only a Five Star facility but is made up of Five Star people and it was a privilege and honor to be here.”

Wesleylife’s family of services provides retirement living, healthcare and rehabilitation, in-home health, adult day centers, community wellness, and public health.

For more information about The Village, and other Wesleylife Communities visit www.wesleylife.org.