PLEASE NOTE: if you unsubscribe from this email you will no longer receive any communications from the Illinois Conference - including bereavement messages, event notices, and more.

Faithful Fridays

Friday, March 3, 2023

Sharing Conference News and Updates

There are a lot of things happening in the life of the Illinois Conference - including spring meetings, yearbook reporting, ecclesiastical councils, pastoral transitions, and recent job postings. Keep reading below to find out more!

Yearbook Reporting

  • Reporting is officially closed to churches, but it is not too late to submit your information! We are still at less than 50% of our churches reporting and we want to see that number go up!
  • If you missed the deadline, call Naomi in the Conference office (708-344-4470) Monday-Friday between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Naomi will get the data from you over the phone and take care of the input to Data Hub. The Conference deadline for reporting is March 18th.
  • Click here for the instructions.

Ecclesiastical Councils:

  • Monday, March 6 at 6:30 p.m. - Ecclesiastical Council for Benna Bell, Chicago Metropolitan Association.
  • Sunday, March 26 at 4:00 p.m. - Ecclesiastical Council for Duane Lahti, Fox Valley Association.
  • Thursday, March 30 at 7:30 p.m. - Ecclesiastical Council for Susan Steinmiller, Chicago Metropolitan Association.
  • Please note that ordination papers and information for how to participate will be send directly to our Association mailing lists.

Pastoral Transitions:

  • Rev. Catherine Erwin completed her service to Faith Community UCC of Prairie Grove on Sunday February 26. Rev. Stephanie Perdew was present in worship to celebrate the liturgy of release.
  • Rev. Benjamin Reynolds began his interim ministry at the First Congregational Church UCC of Naperville in February.
  • Rev. Peter McQueen will begin his interim ministry at Ravenswood UCC Chicago in March.

Association/Conference Meeting Save The Dates:

  • Eastern Association Spring Meeting - Saturday, April 22 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Pilgrim Park Camp.
  • Prairie/Western Association Joint Spring Meeting - Saturday, April 29 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Pilgrim Park Camp.
  • Illinois Conference Annual Celebration - November 3-4, 2023 at Yorkville Congregational Church.

Other Conference News/Updates:

  • The Tuthill Commission is now accepting grant applications through June 1st. Learn more and find out how to apply here.
  • There have been several recent lay employment opportunity postings within the Illinois Conference and the National UCC. Click here to see all the opportunities.
  • For ministerial opportunities through the UCC, click here.

One Great Hour of Sharing

Offering Date: March 19, 2023

One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) special mission offering of the United Church of Christ involves you in disaster, refugee/immigration, and development ministries throughout the world. When a disaster strikes or people are displaced or made refugees by violence or extreme poverty, you are part of the immediate response and of the long-term recovery. Through OGHS you engage in holistic development programs including health care, education, agriculture, food sustainability, micro-financing and women’s empowerment.

Learn More Here
Get the Resources

Outdoor Ministries - Camp of the Week!

Over the next several weeks, we will be highlighting the various camp and retreat opportunities at Pilgrim Park and Tower Hill this summer. There are many offerings happening this year including some new ones. We hope that you will come out of the ordinary and into the sacred and join us at camp this summer!

Grandparent & Me Family Camp

July 5 - 7 at Pilgrim Park

Fee: $320/first family member; $130/additional

Directors: Karen Karczewski & Lorri Foockle

This camp isn't just for grandparents. Substitute grandparents, parents, aunts, and uncles are welcome, too. Unable to stay overnight but live close to Pilgrim Park? No problem! Come for the first day and make memories to last a lifetime! Day Fee: First Family Member $175; Additional Family Members $95/each.

Online Registration

Youth/Faith Formation Mini Retreat

March 31st - April 1st

Tower Hill Camp

Join us from 2 p.m. March 31st to 2 p.m. April 1st for a gathering of those who have a passion for children and youth ministry! Our time together will include worship and community building, as well as dedicated time to compare ideas, share best practices and dream together of how we can support each other while nourishing the children and youth of our communities. And of course, there will be time to wander in the woods and walk the beach!

Registration fee is $100 and covers the cost of your room and meals.

Register here by March 17th.

Spring Quilt Retreat

April 4th - 7th

Pilgrim Park Camp

Create your masterpieces and work on your projects, all while enjoying the peaceful scenery of Pilgrim Park. Come join us for fun, great food and fellowship! We will provide sewing and cutting tables and ironing boards. You will need to bring your own supplies, projects, materials, iron, extension cord, machines and whatever else you need to have a successful and productive time. Included: 3 nights lodging, bedding and towels, 8 meals and lots of time to quilt! 

Private Rooms: $375/person

Double/Triple Rooms: $275/person

Registration Here by March 21st.

Upcoming UCC Webinars

Leaky Stoves & Deadly Gases

March 8 @ 12:00 PM CST

Gas and electric stoves have recently been a "hot topic." In this webinar, we will seek to put this "heated debate" within its proper ethical context in terms of environmental justice, public health, and concerns about methane pollution.

Register online here.

General Synod Frequency Town Hall

March 15 @ 1:00 PM CST

At General Synod 34 in Indianapolis, delegates will consider amendments to the UCC Bylaws that would change the frequency of General Synod from two years to three years. Join one of the Town Halls to learn more about the Bylaws changes recommended by the UCC Board.

Register online here.

Dollie Burwell Prophetic Action Award - April 1st Deadline

In 1982, Dollie Burwell was a lead organizer for a six-week nonviolent action campaign that served as a watershed event for the environmental justice movement.

In recognition of the vital power of bold faith leadership that publicly challenges the corporate and governmental institutions responsible for environmental injustices, this award will be given to congregations, ministerial teams, or other groups in the UCC who have exemplified the tradition of prophetic action that runs from biblical times to today. Central to applying for this award is documenting an action for which the applying group has played an integral role in organizing between April 1, 2022 and April 1, 2023.

Learn more and apply here.

Celebrating an Historic Moment!

Christ Church UCC in Des Plaines entered an historic chapter in its ministry with the election of an all-female council on Sunday, February 26, 2023, at its annual meeting. The congregation likewise voted to enter into a covenant in living to be an Open & Affirming and WISE congregation. WISE is the acronym for welcoming, inclusive, supportive, and engaged for mental health, a UCC Mental Health Network ministry. Christ Church UCC has been in ministry at its original location on the corner of Cora & Henry in Des Plaines for over 130 years. 

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FAITHFUL FRIDAYS 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: [email protected]

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