Thank you for continuing to support of the mission and ministry of the Illinois Conference and the United Church of Christ through your contributions. We want to ensure that each and every contribution sent is received, processed, and allocated without error. When sending money to the Conference, you MUST follow the protocols below. We have had recent problems with check processing due to checks being made out incorrectly or mailed to the wrong bank lockbox.

  • Make your check payable to "Illinois Conference of the United Church of Christ." DO NOT abbreviate the name (i.e. ILUCC) or make the check payable directly to the fund/offering name. Checks made out to campaigns (like OCWM) can be rejected by the bank, and the use of abbreviations could cause monies to be diverted to an incorrect bank account.
  • Note in the memo line was the money is for (i.e. OCWM, Friends of the Conference, etc.)
  • Use and completely fill out the CURRENT remittance form (dated 2021) which can be found here. Mail both the form and check to the bank lockbox address listed at the top of the form. Please include your church number on the form if it is known. If you have an older version of the remittance form, please delete and replace it with the current version.

These steps help ensure your valued donation arrives to the correct location and is processed properly. We appreciate your cooperation!
Taking Care
Rev. Molly Carlson

Several years ago, when I was serving as Senior Minister at a local church, I realized I was really starting to feel burned out. All sorts of things seemed to be going wrong and I felt like all of it was coming down on me. I remembered that a colleague had said that being a pastor was like being the lightning rod and I was feeling each and every one of those hits.

One day as I was prayerfully bemoaning this challenge with God, I had a vision of an actual lightning rod. It was shiny and clean. And it was GROUNDED. Of course! The lightning rod is not damaged, it just directs the energy away from the gathered community and into the ground where it can dissipate and cause no damage. That is how I need to be the lightning rod for my community.

Our Sympathy upon the Death of Rev. Bob Bayler

The Reverend Robert Lamar Bayler quietly passed away on July 19, 2022 surrounded by his family. In his lifetime Bob was a leader with Evangelical Health System, and eventually Advocate Health Care. There are no plans for a memorial service. More information will be shared if further details become available. Below are some words from Bob's son, David:

A voracious reader throughout his life, Bob possessed a quick wit and impish sense of humor. He loved the works of Mark Twain and was a true devotee to the Peanuts of Charles Schulz. Bob was a man of many talents – collegiate athlete, calligrapher, artist, philosopher, licensed carpenter, parish minister, mental health chaplain, gourmet chef, Presidential campaign county chairman, fire & police commission member, world traveler, and the architect of arguably the finest clinical pastoral care program in the health care industry with Evangelical Health Systems and Advocate Health Care. Bob had a strong will and was a man of integrity, an uncompromising advocate of the ethical high ground and for those in need. His good heart and true moral compass touched many, many lives, and we are better for having known him.
The Spirit of Amistad
Hans Holznagel, UCC News

Part of a sacred table from the United Church of Christ’s recently closed Cleveland chapel is back. So is some of the translucent glass that hovered above it. They appear in new forms in the UCC’s recently opened new offices, a half-mile from their old home. They’re embedded in a table and an overhead lighting array in the Amistad Conference Room. They embody the spirit of continuity, said the Rev. Traci Blackmon, who headed a design team for the new UCC office floor at 1300 East 9th Street. As they did in the chapel, the table and glass will remind staff and visitors of the ongoing work of liberation — and, in the words of the current UCC vision statement, “a just world for all.”
At both Pilgrim Park and Tower Hill, tucked back amid trees and trails, a special mailbox can be found - God's mailbox. This mailbox is a place for children and adults alike to write a letter or prayer to God. Whether it's a letter of praise, thanks, worry, or joy - it's a tactile way for folks of any age to communicate with their creator, while surrounded by the beauty of creation. Anyone who visits is free to wander to this special place, and leave a letter of their own.
For nearly 100 years, our camps have helped to create spiritually uplifting experiences for countless people of every age. Call Tower Hill (269-426-3881) or Pilgrim Park (815-447-2390) today to schedule a time for you, your family, or your church to discover this transformative experience firsthand.

If you have the ability, please consider a donation to our General Fund to help keep our doors open for many seasons to come!
Calendar At A Glance
Ordinations, Installations, Ecclesiastical Councils & More
Aug 21: Installation of Rev. Jamie D. Hawley. 3:00 p.m. at the Congregational Church of Park Manor. Chicago Metropolitan Association.
Events in the Illinois Conference & Beyond
Aug 5-7: National ONA Gathering - virtual. Learn more and register here.

Aug 10: UCC Webinar: Water & Environmental Justice. 12:00 p.m. CST via Zoom. Register Here.

Aug 16: Anti-Racism: A Dialogue for Religious Leaders. 10:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. via Zoom. Register here.

Aug 25: Addressing Racism in the Faith Community. 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. via Zoom. Register here.

Aug 27: Clergy Boundary Awareness Training. 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. via Zoom. Register online here.

Sep 16-17: TPIRC Education Summit. 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. via Zoom. All Illinois Conference churches are invited to participate!

Oct 11: Out & Faithful. A National Coming Out Day event. 7:00 p.m. at Elmhurst University. SAVE THE DATE! More information coming soon.

Oct 19-22: Illinois Conference Annual Celebration. More information coming soon.
Conference and Association Meetings
Aug 2: Property Committee Meeting. 10:00 a.m. via Zoom.
Aug 4: Prairie Committee on Ministry. 9:00 a.m. via Zoom.
Aug 6: Personnel Committee Meeting. 9:30 a.m. via Zoom.
Aug 8: FVA Council Meeting. 6:00 p.m. via Zoom.
Aug 11: FVA Committee on Ministry. 9:00 a.m. via Zoom.
Aug 11: CMA Church & Ministry. 12:00 p.m. via Zoom.
Aug 13: Outdoor Ministries Committee Meeting. 9:00 a.m. via Zoom.
Aug 13: Eastern Council Meeting. 11:00 a.m. via Zoom.
Aug 13: Stewardship Committee Meeting. 3:00 p.m. via Zoom.
Aug 16: FAB Committee Meeting. 9:00 a.m. via Zoom.
Aug 16: Western Committee on Ministry. 9:00 a.m. via Zoom.
Aug 20: Executive Committee Meeting. 10:00 a.m. via Zoom.
Aug 22: CMA Justice & Witness. 7:00 p.m. via Zoom.
Aug 24: Eastern Committee on Ministry. 9:30 a.m. via Zoom.
Events and Training Opportunities
National ONA Gathering
August 5-7, 2022, Virtual

Join us August 5-7 for our first National ONA Gathering since 2019! From Friday to Sunday evenings, our celebration will offer inspiring worship, powerful testimonies, and stories from our growing movement. We'll honor the past, lift up the present, and claim our visions for the future.
Anti-Racism: A Dialogue for Religious Leaders
Tuesday, August 16, 10 AM-2:30 PM

This online workshop, hosted by Blackhawk Presbytery, will help educate and encourage leaders in the church, particularly clergy, to sustain the work of anti-racism.
Addressing Racism in the Faith Community
Thursday, August 25, 9 AM-3 PM
Chicagoland Trauma Informed Congregations Network

Participants will engage in dialogue to build on and strengthen their understanding of racism in faith communities. The purpose of this community of practice is to strengthen participants' collective analysis of power while providing useful tools and framework to recognize racism’s many manifestations: institutional, interpersonal, and internalized. At the end of the dialogues, we hope to shift from talking about what we could do, to actually doing it! Register here.
Upcoming Boundary Trainings
Saturday, August 27, 9 AM-3 PM
Thursday, October 20, 9 AM-3 PM

The Illinois Conference is offering two more Boundary Trainings in 2022 via Zoom. These trainings are open to both active and retired clergy and meet the requirements in all five associations of the Illinois Conference. Registration is capped at 50. The training is based on the Ordained Minister's Code. Click on the link below to register for the date specified.

Men's Retreat - Tower Hill Camp - September 23-25
Farm to Table Dinner - Grace UCC/It Takes a Village - September 24
Clergywomen's Leadership Event - Georgia - September 27-29
Learn more here. In-Person registration ends Aug. 15.
Book Lovers Retreat - Tower Hill Camp - October 7-9
Resources and More
Mission Dash 5K
UCC Global Ministries

Join Global Ministries for a 5K for climate justice! Creation care efforts by international partners evolve with each natural disaster and shift in weather patterns. Partners cope with the negative impacts of climate change by protecting and nurturing the natural world, preserving resources, and seeking to ensure food security. You are encouraged to walk, roll, run, jog, or spiritually sprint wherever you are! You may choose to do the 5K with neighbors, friends, family, church, or on your own. The cost is $25 per person, and each registrant will receive a collapsible water bottle and magnet. 

Throughout the 5K month of August, there will be opportunities to participate in advocacy actions in solidarity with international partners. Part of the registration fee will also support the work of international partners in their climate justice efforts and additional fundraising opportunities are available. Click here to learn more, sign-up and access the toolkit.
UCC (CHHSM/JLCM): Reproductive Justice Toolkit
National Council of Churches: Voter Empowerment
UCC: New and growing Trans-Nonbinary Toolkit
New Webinar Series on Justice Covenants
United Church of Christ

A yearlong series of United Church of Christ webinars is underway, highlighting Christian social justice programs available to local churches. The monthly "Just World Covenants" program kicked off during Pride month with "Open and Affirming: The Power of Covenant." The Just World Covenants webinars are set for the third Thursday of each month. They’re part of the UCC’s weekly "Thursdays for the Soul" series. See the schedule here.
Allowing Others to Use Church Property
Heather Kimmel, UCC General Counsel

This year the UCC has received a number of questions about third party use of property—both leasing and one-time or short-term use by individuals and groups. Heather has written and posted two articles to help answer some of the basic questions around these topics: 
Advocate Health Care
Advocate Aurora Health Care

Safely Reopening Our Doors Toolkit

Employment Opportunities
Ministerial opportunities within the United Church of Christ.

Recently Added Lay Employment Opportunities:

Burr Ridge Community Church seeks PT Administrative Assistant - NEW

Cleveland (OH), National UCC seeks FT Research Analyst - NEW

Cleveland (OH), National UCC seeks FT Area Exec for Southern Asia - NEW

Elmhurst, Bethel UCC seeks PT Dir. of Children/Youth Ministries - NEW

Minier, St. John's UCC seeks PT Church Choir Director

Palatine, St. Paul UCC seeks PT Christian Ed Coordinator - NEW

Wheaton, St. Matthew UCC seeks FT Director of Children/Youth Ministries

For more lay employment opportunity postings, click here.

Please let us know if you have a job opening you would like to share,
and also update us once the position is filled. Contact Sarah Lohrbach.
Church Newsletter Request
Please send us your newsletters so we can keep up with what's going on in your church.
Address for printed newsletters: Illinois Conference UCC, 1840 Westchester Blvd., Suite 200, Westchester, IL 60154. Electronic newsletters: Please add Sarah Lohrbach at to your church’s mailing list.
THE ILLINOIS CONFERENCE UCC E-NEWSLETTER is published by the Illinois Conference of the United Church of Christ, 1840 Westchester Blvd., Suite 200, Westchester, IL 60154. The Rev. Molly Carlson, Conference Minister; Sarah Lohrbach, Editor. Copy may be sent to: 
This communication is made possible by your contributions to

Our Church's Wider Mission
Illinois Conference of the United Church of Christ | (708) 344-4470
1840 Westchester Blvd., Suite 200, Westchester, IL 60154