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2008 Ministerial Credentials Information Letter

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Iowa Nazarene Licensed Ministers:

It’s Time to Renew Your Iowa District Minister’s License

I’m looking forward to hearing what God has shown you this year, when we get together for the Iowa District Ministerial Credentials and Studies Boards interviews on Saturday, May 17, 2008 at Eastside Church of the Nazarene, 1541 E. 25th St., Des Moines, IA.

Your District Minister’s License is a one-year credential. You may apply to renew it (or apply for a first-time license), by following the following steps:

1. Get us a recommendation from your pastor and church board.

2. If you are a student, get transcripts of your work to the District Ministerial Studies Board.

3. Request an interview time on-line or by phone by May 1.

3. Complete the attached application and email it back to me by May 1.

4. Meet us in Des Moines at your interview time on May 17.

Here are the details:

1. Ask your pastor for a recommendation

If you are not currently as a senior or paid staff pastor:

a. We need the recommendation of the pastor and church board of the church where you hold membership. I’ll email forms to all Iowa pastors, but you are responsible to see that it happens. Make your request ASAP, for he/she needs time to meet with the church board.

b. Have the form mailed to me by the 1st of May.

If you are serving as a senior or paid staff pastor, the District Advisory Board will take care of this for you. You need no other recommendation.

2. Report your studies

Rev. Gary Snook, the Secretary of the District Ministerial Studies Board (which also meets on May 17th), asks me to remind you that every student who has not yet graduated from Studies needs to document completion of at least two courses via transcript to the MSB’s registrar, Glenn Kell. Do contact Gary at <> with studies-related questions.

Students who have not completed the minimum annual study requirement are obliged by our Manual to submit a written explanation. Please e-mail it to Gary by May 1, and copy me in.

3. Reserve your interview time

a. Visit the appointments page on the web (click here), and follow the instructions listed there. Call me if you have no web access.

b. Please be signed up by May 1. Naturally, the sooner you sign up, the more likely you’ll get the time you want.

c. If you are married and applying for ordination or your first license, your spouse is asked to attend with you.

4. Complete your application form

a. How to fill out the attached forms is described below.

b. Email your application back to me by May 1 (or print and mail it so I have it then.)

c. Ordination candidates: If you feel you have met the requirements in the Manual for ordination, and wish to apply, please return both the renewal application and the ordination application. Contact Garey Miller, District Superintendent, ASAP, (<>) if you plan to apply for ordination.

5. Join us at Eastside on May 17th. Preparation tips:

a. While first-time applicants and ordination candidates should expect discussion to cover a wide range of issues, this year’s conversation with renewal candidates will focus on your own call from God to the ministry. Please come ready to tell us about how God called you to ministry, and how that call has matured this year.

b. Before you come, please re-read sections 400 through 438.5 (on the ministry) in the Manual.

Drop me an email if you have any questions. It is an honor to serve you!


Monte Asbury, Secretary
Iowa District Board of Ministerial Credentials

Instructions from the General Secretary’s Office on the use of the application forms:

These forms are in Adobe Acrobat and Word format. You will need one of these programs. If you are going to use Adobe Acrobat Reader (which we recommend), you will need to download the latest version to fill out the forms. The Adobe Acrobat Reader and updates are free to download from You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader version 8, which is the latest release. You will be able to fill out the forms on the computer, and print them or e-mail them (you must use the “action” buttons at the top of the page to print or e-mail). You will not be able to save the files in Adobe. You will only be able to print the form. Please proof the form before you close the file. If you choose to use the Word format, you will be able to fill in, print, and save these files. But please remember to change the name of the file or you will lose the original form.

Navigation in the forms:

• Use the tab key or mouse to move from one field to another. (both)
• Please click in the Yes/No, Male/Female etc. check boxes. (both)
• Only Print or E-mail by using the “action” buttons on the top of the page (Adobe only)
• There are currently lines in case someone wishes to fill out the form by hand, once you type in the form the lines go away. (Word only)
• Remember to save your files under a different name, i.e. LowenbergSarah-minapp06. If you do not do this, your original form will now always be a copy of one particular minister’s information. (Word only)
You must sign the forms. Do not type your name on the Signature line.

Do not type your name on the Signature line. [I’ll give you hard copy to sign at your interview]

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Written by Monte

April 7, 2008 at 4:33 pm

Posted in IDMCB Archive, Nazarene

The Race Chasm and the campaign

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For a further observance of the death of Martin Luther King, Jr., take a look a David Sirota’s analysis of the impact of race on the current election. Ponder this graph for a minute (it took me at least a minute!), then I’ll give you a few excerpts from his thought-provoking post from In These Times.

The Race Chasm may sound like a conventional discussion of the black-white divide, but it is one of the least-discussed geographic, demographic and political dynamics driving the contest between Clinton and Obama. I call it the Race Chasm because of what it looks like on a graph. … As the Race Chasm graph shows, when you chart Obama’s margin of victory or defeat against the percentage of African-Americans living in that state, a striking U trend emerges. …

On the left of the graph, Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Monte

April 4, 2008 at 6:53 pm

Posted in Politics

The ethanol effect: When alt fuels go bad

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Iowa grows corn. Miles and miles and miles of it. We don’t eat it, of course—it’s not that kind. We feed it to cattle and hogs, and we send it by the trainload to processing plants that make it into that “high-fructose corn syrup” that’s in everything else we eat. Read the labels in your pantry.

And, this year especially (the angst of the times being as it is), we plant corn in every available corner in order to save the planet (and make pretty good money) by selling it to ethanol plants.

Trouble is, it’s a little like tobacco and Kentucky: government subsidies contribute to the growth of something that we’d probably be better off without. Check out MotherJones excellent explanation:

clipped from
EVERYTHING ABOUT ETHANOL IS GOOD, GOOD, GOOD,” crows Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, echoing the conventional wisdom that corn-based ethanol will help us kick the oil habit, line the pockets of farmers, and usher in a new era of guilt-free motoring. But despite the wishes of Iowans (and the candidates courting them) the “dot-corn bubble” is too good to be true.

Click the thumbnail below to see the larger image
The Ethanol Effect
  blog it

And it’s impact on soil conservation is not good.

Corn is a hot potato here in Iowa. Though not a lot of us are still farmers, our friends, our industry, and our economy are linked to corn in a big way. But in the long run, it’ll be a bust. We need another scheme for agriculture, and we need pioneers and politicians and professors who’ll help us get there.

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Written by Monte

April 3, 2008 at 10:48 am

Posted in Environment, Iowa, Politics

Good news! There ARE clean elections!

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Swim Against the CurrentA blog friend of mine from Europe wrote recently about her amazement at the role money plays in US politics. The idea that donors would give big bucks and expect favors in returns was purely astonishing, I guess. Of course to me it’s astonishing that it would be astonishing, having never even imagined any other way.

She tells me that if politicians in her country received donations from corporations or individuals, they would be breaking the law! Imagine it! How different would US politics be if private money weren’t involved! How different would US law be if corporations could not fund campaigns! How different would the slate of candidates be, if one didn’t have to be rich to run! How different would our itch for war be, if munitions-makers and oil brokers didn’t elect candidates! How different campaigns would be, if candidates weren’t begging for money!

Now an even greater surprise. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Monte

March 12, 2008 at 9:57 pm

Posted in Politics, Social change

Fear: the other Palm Sunday emotion (Palm Sunday sermon, 2008)

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Provoking the Gospel of MatthewKeenerThis sermon leans hard on Provoking the Gospel of Matthew: A Storyteller’s Commentary by Richard W. Swanson and A Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew by Craig S. Keener, both of which I gladly recommend. I don’t think I have any direct quotes from them—but I’ll bet I come pretty close! Swanson’s approach, especially, left me with a desire to “set” the story this year, and let it make its own points, rather than turn it into a “sermon,” in the modern sense. My hope is that doing so anchors the Easter story a little more clearly in the discomfort and confusion of its day. Thanks for reading! – Monte

Liturgy of the Palms; Sixth Sunday in Lent; March 16, 2008
Matthew 21:1-11; Psalm 118:1-2,19-29

[See also the 2006 Palm Sunday sermon Whose Kingdom, Christian?]

It’s hard to feel the background of Palm Sunday. To us, it’s fun. Light.

2,000 years ago, Palm Sunday was ominous. Life under Roman rule could be terrifying; a competing king was reason enough for slaughter. News of Jesus’ arrival brought both hope and dread.

The best cultural analogy I can think of is modern Gaza. Here’s a recent description:

Israel has militarily occupied Gaza for forty years. It pulled out its colonials in 2005 but maintained an iron grip on the area, controlling all access, including its airspace and territorial waters. Its F-16s and helicopter gunships regularly shred more and more of the areas—public works, its neighborhoods—and inflict collective punishment on civilians in violation of Article 55 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. As the International Red Cross declares, citing treaties establishing international humanitarian law, “Neither the civilian population as a whole nor individual civilians may be attacked.”

You understand collective punishment. It’s as if your neighbor were accused of murder. Rather than being arrested, an F-16 thunders past, blasting his house into flying splinters with a missle.  Your neighbor is instantly killed, along with his wife and children. Your house falls as well; some of your children are screaming in agony; some will never cry again. You’ll never know if your neighbor had actually hurt anyone.

According to The Nation magazine, the great Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem, reports that the primitive rockets from Gaza, have taken thirteen Israeli lives in the past four years, while Israeli forces have killed more than one thousand  Palestinians in the occupied territories in the past two years alone. Almost half of them were civilians, including some 200 children.  [“Israel,” Mr. Bush says, “has a right to defend herself.” – M.] Read the rest of this entry »