By this time, we hope that all of our patrons and supporters are aware that Iowa Religious Media Service (IRMS) will be closing this summer. We were informed in January that support from the Iowa United Methodist Conference would be ending after the first quarter of this year. Based on projected income, our board of directors determined that we will be able to stay open through June 30, and then wrap up all the details of the business. Please know that through June 30, IRMS is still your full-service resource center, and there are literally thousands of program resources available to you, our longtime friends.
The brainchild of a group of mainline denominations in Iowa and the Upper Midwest, IRMS has been a bastion of congregational resources for 33 years. During that time, IRMS moved from filmstrips and 16 mm movies to video tapes to DVDs and finally to a limited number of streaming videos.
Because we have provided resources for confirmation programs, small groups meeting in homes, coffee shops, and retirement centers, for Sunday school classes of all sizes and age groups and for individual growth and development for clergy and lay persons alike, we are sad to see this ministry end. While denominations worry about keeping church doors open, IRMS has always focused on the caring people who come through those doors.
We live in challenging times for denominations and churches alike, both in terms of relevancy and funding. The Iowa United Methodist Conference has been the major source of funding for the last nine years, and when that Conference could no longer support IRMS, our board of directors made a commitment to conclude our service to you with honor.
As we approach the end of this long and winding road, we wish to thank you, the people of the Iowa Conference of the United Church of Christ for your covenantal support. We pledge to keep you informed about our situation, and in our thoughts and prayers, as we close this door after 33 years of ecumenical service. Thank you for sharing this ministry with us. You may be sure that for the last 19 years, I have found working with you to be a remarkable ride! We are grateful, and we celebrate the work that we have done together.
Sharon E. Strohmaier
Iowa Religious Media Services