eNews - December 7, 2022
The December/January Reporter is now available to read online and will be delivered to mailboxes soon.

In this issue, Bishop John L. Hopkins reflects on the last two years in his final column and we welcome the Northern Illinois Conference's new Bishop Dan Schwerin, who begins his assignment on Jan. 1, 2023.

Also, read another last as Anne Marie Gerhardt signs off after more than 11 years as the Reporter's editor and Director of Communications. Plus, go behind the scenes with Sheila Carrasco, the daughter of former NIC District Superintendent Oscar Carrasco and star of the CBS TV show "Ghosts." Get more information on events in the new year and hear firsthand from an Early Response Team member on the ground helping Hurricane victims in Florida.

Click here to read all this and more.

Watch Bishop Hopkins' farewell.
The Anti-Racism Task Force (ARTF) and its partnering conferences and sponsors wrapped up its 2022 Speaker Series, “Race, America, and the Church: Unafraid and Unashamed to Tackle It.” The series concluded with a webinar featuring Dr. Andrew G. I. Hart, a theology professor and proponent for social change through Christian activism.

Dr. Hart’s webinar, “Called: Doing God’s Work for the Beloved Community,” was held online on December 1 and focused on what the local church can do to combat the continuation of racism in the church and in society.

Over the past year, the Speaker Series has covered the history, causes, and effects of racism and the church's role in America. Webinars and live gatherings presented other speakers ranging from a diverse panel of Christian authors sharing stories of how they were affected by racism, a panel of clergy addressing social justice issues, and an interview with the Executive Director of the UMC Native American Comprehensive Plan.

The ARTF looks forward to continuing this journey throughout its 2023 programming with additional opportunities for churches to learn prayerfully, engage, and tackle their personal and corporate role in addressing racism. (Check out the info below about the Civil Rights Pilgrimage.)

Visit the Speaker Series webpage to watch the recordings, learn from the resources, visit the sponsors, and find recommended books to further your learning.
September 15, 2023, will mark the 60th anniversary of the bombing of
16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., which killed four young
Black girls. That church is just one of the places we will visit on the NIC
2023 Civil Rights Pilgrimage from April 26 – May 1.

We will visit important sites in the struggle for civil rights in Nashville,
Birmingham, Montgomery, Selma, and Memphis. This is not a sightseeing tour. It is a historical and educational tour designed with intent and discernment to help journey-goers take action against racism. Seating is limited and will be first come, first served. Each day will include a debriefing session. The expectation is that participants will educate and advocate in their churches and communities. Advocacy training sessions will be conducted.

The NIC Anti-Racism Task Force is seeking grants to help fund a portion of the cost of the trip.

Additional information can be found here.
More details will be posted in early 2023.
We are currently seeking a qualified candidate to come join the NIC Program Area Team as the Director of Communications.

The primary role of the Director of Communications is to convey the Northern Illinois Conference of The United Methodist story in a holistic and fully representative manner. The Director will oversee the production of conference communications including print, news, and social media. Interested candidate must have excellent organizational, communication, and relationship skills as well as proficiency in multiple communication platforms. They must be able to consult with conference committees, boards and agencies in their communication efforts.

This position is a hybrid, full-time position with flexible hours. Some weekend and evening work is required. The position includes both Health Insurance upon hire (with wellness incentives) and Pension Benefits after a vesting period.

If you know someone who would be interested, click here for the job description and to apply.
Communicator's Corner
Each year, Kids Above All holds a Holiday Gift Drive, working with generous individuals, as well as community, corporate and faith partners, to provide toys, books and clothes to more than 1,400 young people who have experienced trauma in our programs. Click here for the Amazon wish list. This year's drive will be the first held at Kids Above All's A Better Life Distribution Center! This new site is located at 1801 E. Oakton St. in Des Plaines and will serve going forward as Kids Above All's hub for donations and volunteer activities. If you would like to volunteer, email Catherine Inserra at [email protected]. Download the flyer.

Global Ministries, the worldwide mission and development agency of The United Methodist Church, invites churches and individuals to give love, joy, hope, and peace through a denomination-wide year-end giving campaign. The United Methodist Committee on Relief, the denomination's relief arm, is part of Global Ministries. Click here to read the press release. Click here to give.

Global Ministries 2023 Racial Ethnic Local Church Grant (RELC) and the Annual Conference Multiethnic Ministries Grant cycle is now open. All applications are due by February 15, 2023. RELC grants are awarded to assist local racial/ethnic congregations (at least 51% racial/ethnic membership) and annual conferences with projects and programs on one of the three areas: 1) Leadership Development; 2) Church Growth, Congregational Development and Ministry Development; 3)Pastoral Salary Support. Click here for questions. Click here for the RELC Application. Click here for the AC Multiethnic Ministries Application.

In response to the Renewable Energy Summit last fall, there is a Conference Net Zero Task Force forming. We are called to have our own in-depth conversations while building and sharing long-term creation care efforts. Interested leaders are encouraged to gather to design and develop a Northern Illinois Conference Net Zero Strategic Plan. The first meeting will be on Fri., Jan. 20 at 4 pm. at the Wespath office in Glenview, IL. More information can be found here or by contacting Richard Alton at [email protected].

Gain a better understanding of what is going on in The United Methodist Church, find inspiration in stories of ministry, and learn how our denomination is transforming the world in this video series from United Methodist Communications. The most recent episode celebrates generous gifts, looks back at favorite umc.org stories, and more. Click here to watch the video and find inspiration.
Mark your calendar
Around the Conference
  • Winter Mission u - Sat., Jan. 8 and Sat., Jan. 29. Online. Who can we be together? The United Women in Faith will provide another opportunity to take a look at Luke 13. All are welcome. Winter Mission u will be a virtual-only class. Click here for details and to register.
  • Save the Date - Spring Leadership Training Events
  • Prairie South - Sat., Jan. 21
  • Prairie North - Sat., Jan. 28
  • Lake North - Sat., Jan. 28
  • Prairie Central - Sat., Feb. 4
  • Lake South - TBD
  • Laity Convocation - Sat., Feb. 11 from 9 am - 12:30 pm Available online and at three in-person locations (Barrington UMC, Disciples UMC in Mt. Morris, IL, and New Lennox UMC). This year's theme is Thinking outside the Church, Making Community Ministry Happen. The guest speaker is David Teel, Director of Laity & Leadership at Discipleship Ministries. Click here for details and to register.

Around the Connection
United Media Resource Center
New Resources: Click for a sampler list of the different resources available.

Find the online catalog here. The UMRC email address is [email protected].

The new mailing address is:

Kumler Outreach Ministries
Attn: United Media Resource Center
 303 E. North Grand Ave.
Springfield, IL 62702-3822
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