February 2022 E-News, Second Edition

If you have any questions, please call the Conference Office at 708-344-4470 or email Naomi. Click here to download the instructions from National.

Celebrating Black History Month
Rev. Molly Carlson

This last Sunday, I was blessed to celebrate just one of the Sundays of Black History month with a day full of worship. I started at 7:30 am online with Trinity UCC in Chicago with a powerful worship experience. Then at 10, I attended my home church, St. John Freeport, and heard Rev. Rachel Kirk (newly ordained within the last month!) preach on racial justice. Then I logged back into Facebook and enjoyed the recording of worship from Covenant UCC in South Holland. Wow! Was it a day of blessing, inspiration, challenge and hope!

The Illinois Conference is celebrating Black History Month. As a Conference, we are committed to dismantling racism AND celebrating the gifts, contributions and legacies of African Americans. There is much work to be done and I am grateful to be journeying alongside your congregations as you each live into this commitment. I’d love to know how your church is celebrating Black History Month! I hope you will send stories and articles into the Conference office so we can compile and celebrate the good work that is being done. Email your stories here.

I also encourage all of you to JOIN THE MOVEMENT. This is a national UCC initiative toward racial justice. The website just launched on MLK day 2022. Check it out, sign up to be part of the movement, find resources to use in you church and more!  
Disaster Relief Bucket Challenge
Illinois Conference Disaster Ministries

We have a challenge from now through May 30th to assemble 500 Church World Service Emergency Cleanup Buckets. Will your church commit to assemble at least ten (10) buckets to help us meet this goal? Download the flyer here. For more information, email our Conference Disaster Coordinator, Roger Dart at disaster@ilucc.org.
Black History Month Social Justice Action
Rev. Vilius Rudra Dundzila, Peoples Church of Chicago

Since Martin Luther King, Jr weekend through all of Black History Month, Peoples Church is conducting a letter writing campaign in support of HR 40. We have asked other congregations in Uptown to participate as well.

You can participate too! Just sign and mail these three letters, urging both our senators and your representative in Congress to support HB40. If you live outside Illinois Congressional District 9, you will need to customize the third letter for your representative.

About HR40: Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act
"This bill establishes the Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African-Americans. The commission shall examine slavery and discrimination in the colonies and the United States from 1619 to the present and recommend appropriate remedies. Among other requirements, the commission shall identify (1) the role of the federal and state governments in supporting the institution of slavery, (2) forms of discrimination in the public and private sectors against freed slaves and their descendants, and (3) lingering negative effects of slavery on living African-Americans and society."
Summer Volunteers Needed!
Tower Hill Camp and Retreat Center

Volunteer and enrich your life by helping others! Tower Hill Camp needs you in 2022, especially during the month of July, to work our dining hall. You would be setting up, serving, and cleaning up3 meals a day for our youth camps. We would provide you housing in Gammon Hall and meals for a week. As a "blessing" we offer volunteers a week stay (off season) in return for their week of volunteering! So connect, engage, and enhance your life by calling Tower Hill at 269-426-3881 for details!
Active UCC Global H.O.P.E. Appeals

UCC Haiti Appeal exceeded the $100,000 goal!
2022 Youth and Intergenerational Camps
2022 Adult and Clergy Retreats
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
Mar. 20: Ordination and Installation of Keitric Emory. 1:00 p.m. at Faith United Protestant UCC in Park Forest and via Facebook. Chicago Metropolitan Association Cluster 5.

Mar. 20: Installation of David Sheridan. 3:00 p.m. at Spring Creek UCC in Rockford. Prairie Association.
Events in the Illinois Conference & Beyond
Feb. 23: All Conference Chat. 3:00 p.m. via Zoom. Conference Council Update.

Feb. 23: Descended From the Promised Land: The Legacy of Black Wall Street film screening and panel discussion. 5:00 p.m. via Zoom. Registration is required.

Feb. 26: Royalties for Spirituals Webinar. 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. via Zoom. Registration is required.

Feb. 27-Mar. 1: Light! A Pre-Lenten Retreat for Church Leaders. Tower Hill Camp and Retreat Center. Registration deadline is February 17th.

Mar. 2: Ash Wednesday. There will be NO All Conference Chat.

Mar. 8-10: CHHSM's 84th Annual Gathering. Louisville, KY.

Mar. 9: The US Military & Environmental Justice webinar. 12:00 p.m. via Zoom. Registration is required.

Mar. 9: All Conference Chat. 3:00 p.m. via Zoom. ACM with Responsibilities for Program, Innovation, and Events Position Overview.
Conference and Association Meetings
Feb. 28: CMA Justice & Witness Committee Meeting. 7:00 p.m. via Zoom.

Mar. 1: Property Committee Meeting. 10:00 a.m. via Zoom.

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

Mar. 10: Fox Valley Association COM Meeting. 9:00 a.m. via Zoom.

Mar. 10: CMA Church & Ministry Committee Meeting. 12:00 p.m. via Zoom.

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

Mar. 12: Eastern Association Council Meeting. 11:00 a.m. via Zoom.
Events and Training Opportunities
Royalties for Spirituals Webinar
Saturday, Feb. 26, 1-2:30 PM CST
UCC Musicians Association

Negro Spirituals are iconic in the classic American songbook and have been widely used in performances, concerts and worship services for more than 150 years. The words and melodies have been woven into countless compositions for all of us to enjoy. But at what cost? These songs born out of the pathos of slavery have provided little if any monetary compensation to those who created them or their descendants. Is it appropriate for us to use this music today? What is our moral responsibility? In this webinar, we will explore what two congregations have done to address this issue and what you and your congregation can do.

The webinar will take place via Zoom and is offered for free. A link to a recording of the webinar will be sent to all registrants in a follow-up email. Registration is limited to 500 and is open to all who are interested. Register online here.
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.

Download the flyer for further details. Register online here before February 17th!
US Military & Environmental Justice
Wednesday, March 9 @ 12 PM CST
United Church of Christ Webinars

The United States military is one of the world’s biggest polluters. As an institution, it leads the world in oil consumption and emits enormous amounts of greenhouse gases. To grasp the environmental impact of the U.S. military, however, requires us to go beyond statistics and numbers. One must listen to those from the communities directly affected. This webinar will provide an overview of environmental justice concerns pertaining to the U.S. military while also centering the voices of those engaged in the struggle to stop the pollution caused by the Navy’s Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility on the island of Oahu. Faith communities will not only learn about the issues, but also how they can take action for justice. Even if you can’t make the scheduled time of 12 PM CST on Wednesday, March 9th, still sign-up, and we will send you a recording. Register now!
Resources and More
One Great Hour of Sharing 2022
United Church of Christ

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.

The 2022 OGHS offering date is March 27th. View more information and access the resources by clicking here.
Free Chairs!!
Christ Church UCC - Des Plaines

Christ Church UCC - Des Plaines (located at 1492 Henry Avenue) has about 35-40 folding chairs free to whoever would like them and can pick them up. Call the church office (847-297-4230 to make arrangements Monday through Friday between the hours of 10 am and 3 pm.
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.
Resources to Support the Safety/Security of Religious Organizations
Department of Homeland Security

Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have shared information on to protect against and prevent violence aimed at houses of worship. 
Legal Helpline
UCC Insurance Board

All Insurance Board participants can now 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.
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:

Church World Service seeks Community Engagement Specialist (remote position)

Elmhurst, St. Peter's UCC seeks PT Office Manager

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
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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. 
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Illinois Conference of the United Church of Christ | (708) 344-4470
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