February 2022 E-News, First Edition
UCC 2022 Yearbook

An email was sent to all churches on Friday, January 7th with instructions regarding the UCC 2022 Yearbook. If you did not receive this email, or have any questions, please call the Conference Office at 708-344-4470 or email Naomi. Click here to download the instructions from National.

Welcoming Our New TPIRC Staff!

It is indeed an honor to serve as the next Project Director for TPIRC (Thriving Pastors in Revitalizing Congregations). It is also my pleasure to introduce, the Program Coordinator and Program Assistant, Marz Rivera and Kathy Brown respectively. We have hit the ground running and are looking forward to building on the vision of the originator of this grant as well as the previous leadership team. The support this grant provides to pastors and churches is more vital than ever. We have entered a new season of what church looks and feels like and our commitment is to assist in this revitalization. I’m looking forward to connecting with those currently in the program and welcome past and new congregations.

Blessings and Peace,
Rev. Melody L. Seaton
Rev. Melody Seaton
Program Director
Marz Rivera
Program Coordinator
Kathy Brown
Program Assistant
Willing to Respond - A New Resource!
UCC Disaster Ministries

Does your congregation desire to be more prepared for disasters, both to protect yourselves and to help your neighbors in time of need? Willing to Respond is for you! This new and rapidly growing network is providing congregations with practical tools, training and relationships, including online resources and connection to denominational, ecumenical and other disaster response resources. It's simple to access and easy to register.
If you would like to learn more, there is a 30-minute Zoom Meeting on February 10, 2022 at 12:00 p.m. Click here to join the meeting. To join by phone, dial 1-346-248-7799 and enter meeting ID 85435844266 when prompted.
UCC Credit Union Survey
UCC Pension Boards

The Pension Boards is working towards creating a credit union to provide banking services to all UCC members, not just clergy and lay church employees. The effort is in response to a Synod resolution that a credit union would benefit the UCC community, including those for whom traditional banks often don’t serve justly. Part of the process for obtaining a credit union charter is a survey of potential users. That survey has been circulated (you may have already received the invitation), and we’ve had good response from clergy, but we need to hear from laypeople.
Active UCC Global H.O.P.E. Appeals

UCC Haiti Appeal exceeded the $100,000 goal!
Our camp staff and leadership along with our Conference staff and leadership are excited to share with you a SAVE THE DATE for our 2022 Youth and Intergenerational Camps and Adult and Clergy Retreats. We are excited about being together again with you at Tower Hill and Pilgrim Park. Click the links below to see the specified Save the Date.

Calendar At A Glance
Ordinations, Installations, Ecclesiastical Councils & More
Feb. 6: Installation of Rev. Jon Gilbert Martinez. 9:30 a.m. at Christ Church UCC Des Plaines and via Facebook. Chicago Metropolitan Association.
Events in the Illinois Conference & Beyond
Feb. 2: All Conference Chat. 3:00 p.m. via Zoom. Support Staff for Communications and Technology Position Overview.

Feb. 6: Stories from the West Side Community Workshop. 2:00 p.m. at San Lucas Church/Iglesia San Lucas at 2914 W North Avenue, Chicago.

Feb. 7-8: Building the Future for Our Youth - Virtual Conference for youth ministers and leaders.

Feb. 9: When Disaster Strikes UCC Webinar. 12:00 p.m. via Zoom.

Feb. 9: All Conference Chat. 3:00 p.m. via Zoom. ACM with Responsibilities for Authorization and Oversight Position Overview.

Feb. 10: Willing to Respond Informational Meeting. 12:00 p.m. via Zoom.

Feb. 15: On Faith and Freedom virtual Teach In. 6:00 p.m. via Zoom.

Feb. 16: All Conference Chat. 3:00 p.m. via Zoom. Support Staff for Operations Position Overview.

Feb. 23: All Conference Chat. 3:00 p.m. via Zoom. Conference Council Update.

Feb. 27-Mar. 1: Light! A Pre-Lenten Retreat for Church Leaders. Tower Hill Camp and Retreat Center.

Mar. 8-10: CHHSM's 84th Annual Gathering. Louisville, KY.
Conference and Association Meetings
Feb. 1: Property Committee Meeting. 10:00 a.m. via Zoom.

Feb. 3: Prairie Association COM Meeting. 9:00 a.m. via Zoom.

Feb. 5: Personnel Committee Meeting. 9:30 a.m. via Zoom.

Feb. 7: Fox Valley Association Council Meeting. 7:00 p.m. via Zoom.

Feb. 12: Outdoor Ministries Committee Meeting. 9:00 a.m. via Zoom.

Feb. 12: Eastern Association Council Meeting. 11:00 a.m. via Zoom.

Feb. 12: Stewardship Committee Meeting. 3:00 p.m. via Zoom.

Feb. 15: FAB Committee Meeting. 9:00 a.m. via Zoom.

Feb. 15: Western COM Meeting. 9:00 a.m. via Zoom.

Feb. 28: CMA Justice & Witness Committee Meeting. 7:00 p.m. via Zoom.
Events and Training Opportunities
Building the Future for Our Youth
February 7-8, 2022
United Church of Christ

On February 7-8th, the national setting will offer a virtual conference for 100 youth ministers and leaders to reimagine youth ministry, National Youth Event and other events for the future. For more information about the event and updates regarding National Youth Event, you can read this article.
When Disaster Strikes
Wednesday, February 9, 12:00 PM CST
United Church of Christ

Faith communities are often on the frontlines of responding to climate-related disasters. More than a spirit of goodwill is required to effectively respond and minister in such critically important times. Because disasters often expose, widen, and exacerbate the gaps of pre-existing disparities, it is essential that communities of faith prioritize and hold fast in their commitments to equity and justice. This webinar will equip faith communities with the knowledge and awareness required to act in accordance with our values. Even if you can’t make the scheduled time of 1 pm ET on Wednesday, February 9th, still sign-up, and we will send you a recording. Register now!
On Faith and Freedom: A Teach In on the Pretrial Fairness Act
Tuesday, February 15, 6:00 PM
Illinois Network for Pretrial Justice

Join us on February 15th at 6pm for a focused, energizing virtual teach-in for clergy and people of faith throughout Illinois on the Pretrial Fairness Act and the movement for pretrial freedom. We will give you an opportunity to reflect on how our respective faiths call us to defend this historic transformation of our state’s pretrial justice system, with a presentation followed by time for discussion.
Light! A Pre-Lenten Retreat for Church Leaders
February 27 - March 1, 2022
Tower Hill Camp and Retreat Center

We invite church leaders to step away from responsibilities for an opportunity to feed the yearning we have for connection, have space for our wisdom to emerge around questions we are wrestling with, and learn some practices that you can use in your own setting to build meaningful conversations and connection.

Mental Health First Aid Classes

NAMI Metro Suburban, NAMI DuPage and the Community Memorial Foundation are excited to be offering Mental Health First Aid in LaGrange at the Community Wellness Center (4731 Willow Springs Road). We have Youth and Adult classes scheduled for January, February and March. The flyer can be downloaded here.

Registration is via the QR code and the link on the flyer or HERE.
Resources and More
Resources to Support the Safety/Security of Religious Organizations
Department of Homeland Security

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships (DHS Center) works across DHS on policies and program priorities impacting faith and community-based organizations related to all-hazards preparedness, emergency and disaster response and recovery, safety and security. The DHS Center partners with the DHS Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA) to develop resources that support the safety and security for faith and community organizations.
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA) works regularly with the faith-based community to enhance the security and safety of houses of worship. The agency provides a variety of training, exercise materials, products, and resources designed to enhance risk mitigation capabilities while maintaining their open and welcoming environment. A full list of resources is available at CISA.gov. CISA’s protective security advisors are located in communities across the United States, and can assist in assessments, planning, coordination and training for any organization, including houses of worship. Click here to read more.
Legal Helpline
UCC Insurance Board

Insurance Board announces the launch of a Legal Helpline through our partnership with the Association of Conference Attorneys (ACA) of the United Church of Christ.

Starting today, all Insurance Board participants can access legal counsel that will provide a free legal consultation and referral service. Ministries will benefit from connecting with attorneys who have an intimate understanding of polity and how issues are processed in observance of free church traditions. Ministries can contact the Legal Helpline at 800-437-8830 (prompt #7) or email an inquiry to legalhelpline@insuranceboard.org.
Please note the free consultation does not include contract reviews.
Cook County Mass Vaccination Sites
Justice Resources
UCC Justice and Peace Action Network

DC Action Center
Each week, the D.C. Office creates an action alert based on what is happening at that time in Congress, and offers you the opportunity to contact your legislators with just one click! You can find all the alerts here.

The Pollinator
The Pollinator is a digital platform of the UCC for the sharing of ideas and inspiration. Its focus is the building of a faith-filled and faith-rooted movement for the care of creation.

Witness for Justice
Looking for up-to-date social justice commentary? Check out Witness for Justice, a weekly editorial opinion column written by the staff of Justice and Witness Ministries.
Employment Opportunities
Ministerial opportunities within the United Church of Christ.

Recently Added Lay Employment Opportunities:

Chicago, The People's Church seeks PT Bookkeeper

Church World Service seeks Community Engagement Specialist (remote position)

Heartland & Indiana-Kentucky Conferences seek PT Director of Communications

Oak Park, Pilgrim Congregational Church seeks PT Assistant Pastor

For more lay employment opportunity postings, click here.

Please let us know if you have a job opening you would like to have shared,
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 SarahLohrbach@ilucc.org to your church’s mailing list.
THE ILLINOIS CONFERENCE UCC E-BLAST 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: SarahLohrbach@ilucc.org. 
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