Rev. Dr. David Swinton

Rev. Dr. David Swinton

Senior Pastor

As Senior Pastor, I have oversight over five priorities: Preaching and Worship, Administration, Pastoral Care, Staff Supervision, and the Mission of the church.

My primary role is not only to put our “best practices” into place, but also to help the church to think theologically about our actions as individuals, as a church, and as a community. Where is God leading us? How are we called to challenge and to help each other? Are we acting in Christian ways and do the results match our intentions and our calling?

These questions matter whether we are worshipping together, doing missions and social justice, or simply planning our finances and building use policies. All of us can ask and struggle with these questions in our lives and in our church. I am here to keep the questions (and responses) lively, intrusive, and provocative.

If you would like to talk to me more about our church or your faith journey, please contact me. I can be reached at daveswinton@gracedesmoines.org or (515) 255-2131, extension 228.

PS: To keep up with what I’m up to, follow me on Facebook!

Coreen Witke

Coreen Witke

Director of Christian Education

On Sundays during the school year, our education wing is abuzz with lessons, activities, lively discussions and more! Here, grade school children begin their faith journeys with Bible stories, projects, songs, and prayer. In our middle school and high school classrooms, students deepen their faith alongside their peers, in an atmosphere that encourages questions, reflection, and sharing. All classes are led by trained adult teachers and meet from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

But Sunday school isn’t for children and youth only! Here at Grace, we have seven active and committed adult Sunday school classes, each with its own approach to supporting each other as we deepen the understanding and practice of our faith. We also offer a lectionary-based Bible study on Thursday mornings, and a contemporary Bible study–with a focus on today’s current events–on Thursday nights.

Click here for a list of all our Sunday school and Bible study classes.

In addition to overseeing all of these programs, my job is to help you find the right class for you. Please talk to me about your Christian education goals–I’m certain there’s a group at Grace that you’ll love being a part of.

To find out more about Christian Education at Grace, please call me at 515-255-2131 ext. 230; or, email me: coreenwitke@gracedesmoines.org

To keep up with what I’m up to, follow me on Facebook.

Rev. Gary Nims

Rev. Gary Nims

Minister of Congregational Care

As minister of Congregational Care, I visit people who are sick or grieving, as well as those who are homebound or confined to hospitals, care facilities, and other residences; I also coordinate our care for each other, including support groups, lay visitors, and Stephen’s Ministry.

I believe that the smallest act of kindness is the greatest thing in the world. Why not join me? I’d be happy to help you find ways to experience the joy of caring for others. There are roles for everyone; whether you wish to develop caring contacts in one of our many settings (from private homes to care facilities) or prefer to work behind the scenes, I can offer you some options, as well as the training, support, and advice you need to feel comfortable, confident, and effective in your outreach.

Please get in touch if you’d like to make a difference in someone’s life—including your own. I’m at the church on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday mornings, and other times by appointment. Email me at garynims@gracedesmoines.org; or call me (515) 255-2131, extension 223.

 

 

Josh Morgan

Josh Morgan

Director of Chancel and Bell Choirs, Organist

In addition to providing musical accompaniment for the 8:00 and 10:15 Sunday services, I also plan and coordinate service music, direct musical ensembles, and welcome guest musicians to share their talents with our congregation.

Music is a meaningful and pleasurable part of our worship service at Grace. If you’d like to join our Chancel Choir or our Bell Choir, we’d love to have you—no experience necessary! Please contact me—or simply show up at one of our rehearsals. Here are the practice times, held throughout the school year, for our choirs:

  • The Grace Chimers (our adult bell choir) practices from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m Wednesdays
  • The Chancel Choir (the adult vocal choir) practices at 7 p.m. Wednesdays.

Note that we will always provide free childcare for adults wishing to participate in our choir practices. You simply need to let Coreen Witke know of your needs in advance. Contact her at coreenwitke@gracedesmoines.org; or on voicemail at 255-6400, x230.

Finally, if you’re a vocalist or instrumental musician who would like to share your gifts with us, I’d love to hear from you. We offer many short-term experiences that can allow you to participate without a long-term commitment.

To find out how you can make music with us, please get in touch! I can be reached at joshmorgan@gracedesmoines.org or 255-2131, extension 234.

PS: Here’s the Rehearsal Schedule and the Performance Schedule for our Adult Choir and our Bell Choir.

 

Ann Gerdom

Ann Gerdom

Director of Youth Choirs

The children and youth choirs–known as Choristers and the Chapel Choir, respectively,  have a special place in my heart—and not just because I direct them!

Throughout my childhood and youth, I sang my way through Grace United Methodist Church in our choirs. And my involvement with the youth choirs didn’t stop when I graduated from high school! Although I was in college at the time, I traveled with the Chapel Choir on our church’s first annual Wesley Heritage Trip to England in 1973, in the role as assistant organist.

This trip continues to be a meaningful part of “growing up at Grace”; every five years, our youth in grades 7 through 12 travel to England to walk in the footsteps of John Wesley, the founder of our religion. In 2013—40 years after the original John Wesley Heritage trip—I accompanied the youth once again on this tour I look forward to helping our youth prepare for the 2018 trip.

Meanwhile, our children’s and youth choirs continue to be a joyful part of our 10:15 services throughout the year. Every school-age child is welcome! To contact me about helping your child find their way into one of our choirs, email me at anngerdom@msn.com. Or, leave a message for me with the church office at 255-2131.

PS: Here’s a list of our Childrens & Youth Choir Schedule including when we practice and when we perform.

 

Kelly Donnelly

Kelly Donnelly

Grace Preschool Director

My job is to ensure that all children and families are welcomed to Grace Preschool and Grace United Methodist Church.

For the preschool, my staff and I provide high-quality care and early childhood education in a safe, nurturing play-based environment that will encourage hands-on exploration and build problem-solving skills.

Would you like to help? We’re always looking for “Field Experts” for our Projects Based Learning—projects that draw children’s attention to questions such as: How do things work? What do people do? What tools do people use? Possible Topics include Trees, Pumpkins, Robots, Water, Snow, Gardens, Pets, Buildings, Pizza, Lunch, and Wheels. So if you have any expertise in any of these things, I’d love to hear from you.

Families and parents can get involved in other ways. A few ideas:
• Come share knowledge of a topic: Gardeners, cooks, and others who work with their hands—I’m talking to you!
• Bring in materials that tell stories: Family photos, a rake, old cookie pans, etc.)
• Volunteer time in the classroom or on field trips.

Please contact me if you’d like to know more about Grace Preschool, or if you’d like to be a “field expert.” I’m at 515-279-5942 Ext. 100; Grace Preschool.

PS: To keep up with what I’m doing, follow Grace Preschool on Facebook!

 

Nathan DeLange

Nathan DeLange

Director of Youth Group and Grace Club

On any Wednesday afternoon, you’ll find me at Grace overseeing our rapidly growing Grace Club. For this after-school program, we welcome all middle-schoolers in our neighborhood and community into our church for crafts, games, and food, and–most importantly–a place where they can feel safe and cared for.

I also direct the United Methodist Youth Fellowship (UMYF) for our church. We meet on Sunday nights, and we have an active schedule, filled with plenty of learning, service opportunities and fun. For example, this semester alone will find us heading to a corn maze and a haunted house (for fun), preparing a Consecration Sunday dinner and singing Christmas Carols at Wesley Acres (as our service projects), and following a program on Poverty Awareness. And that’s just the fall semester. Spring semester brings even more–including our annual Ski Trip to Minnesota.

If you have any questions about either of these programs–or better yet, if you’d like to help out–I’d love to hear from you!

Find me at nathandelange@gracedesmoines.org or 255-6400, extension 231.

Patty Link

Patty Link

Program Director, Super Wednesday

Most Wednesdays throughout the school year, our church basement brims with 50 to 60 kids, ages K-5, plus 10 adult volunteers and a slew of high-school helpers. It’s a time for all kids in our community to come together for games, crafts, food–and the chance to interact with people of all ages in a safe, caring environment.

If you enjoy doing crafts with kids, if you  like playing active games with kids–or if you don’t like to work with kids, but would like to help out in the kitchen, please let me know! Email or call at the contact info below.

The Super Wednesday team is also eager to get our hands on any craft supplies you no longer want. All donations can be placed in the box by the inside front door of the church.

Contact me at pattylink@gracedesmoines.org or 255-2131 extension 229.

Charlene Hjort

Office Manager

 

Charlene Hjort is our office manager. She can be reached at 515-255-6400, ext. 222, or charlenehjort@gracedesmoines.org.

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