eNews - February 15, 2023
Thousands have been killed in both Turkey and Syria after the recent earthquakes, and deaths continue to rise as rescue crews seek survivors in collapsed buildings. The humanitarian response is struggling to ramp up to meet the need among the devastation and winter weather.

UMCOR’s longstanding humanitarian partner, International Blue Crescent (IBC), has multiple offices and project sites in Turkey. In IBC offices, people fill the halls as they seek shelter, warmth, and a hot meal. UMCOR has released initial solidarity grants to IBC and Forum for Development Culture and Dialogue (working in Syria) to help provide tents, heaters, blankets, warm clothes, ready-to-eat meals, and first aid kits to those who have been displaced. UMCOR staff members are also in touch with other partners in the region. Read more here.

Please join UMCOR in prayer for the many people affected by these devastating earthquakes, including the rescue crews seeking survivors and those caring for the injured and displaced. Support relief and recovery efforts for this and other international disasters by donating to Advance # 982450 here. 

We are delighted to open registration for the 2023 Civil Rights Pilgrimage, which is scheduled for Wed., 4/26 - Mon., 5/1. We are confident that this journey will educate so that you can advocate and participate. Seating is limited. The cost is $999 for a single room ($599 per person for double occupancy) for an inclusive 6-day, 5-night trip that will cover motor coach transportation, accommodations, entrance fees, and meals as we visit Nashville, Birmingham, Montgomery, Selma, and Memphis sites. Other occupancy options are available. Please contact Amania Drane at adrane@umcnic.org for questions and more information.
Save the Date for the start of the 2023 Film Series
The 2023 Film Series is focused on increasing cultural competency and dialogue as a means to increase advocacy and participation in the spaces around the contexts, causes, and impacts of racism.

On Saturday, March 25 at 10:00 am, the Anti-Racism Series Team will be hosting a docent-lead tour of The Negro Motorist Green Book exhibit at the Illinois Holocaust Museum. More details to come soon. Interested people can email Tim Alexander tim@osumc.org
Rethink church is continuing its Lent Photo-A-Day prompts on Social Media. Each day, they present a scripture-inspired word for your consideration. Throughout the day, see how the word inspires you or shows up in your life, and share your thoughts by posting a picture. No explanation is needed in your post. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words. Tag them on your Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, or on Twitter with #rethinkchurch and/or #BeUMC. Click here for more information and the full list.
The Discipleship Task Force invites you to pray and fast with them on Ash Wednesday, February 22, 2023, and Good Friday, April 7, 2023. Lent is a wonderful time to practice this means of grace. It is a way of humbling ourselves before God. Fasting helps us hunger for God. Click here to learn more.
Communicator's Corner
Intentional Discipleship Team Meeting
Are you working on an Intentional Discipleship System at your church? Would you like to connect with other church leaders who are working on IDS in their settings? The Intentional Discipleship Team (part of the NIC Discipleship Task Force) invites you to join their quarterly meeting. Next meeting: Tuesday, February 21 @ 10 AM. Contact Caleb Hong (pastorcaleb@faithumcop.org) for the ZOOM link.
Dreaming of putting together a mission journey but need some help getting started? Lead mission journeys but want to be more intentional? Come to our one-hour panel discussion, "Connecting for Mission: a Conversation for Dreamers, Planners, and Volunteers," on February 23rd from 7-8 via Zoom. This will be a panel of experienced team leaders who have traveled nationally and internationally. This is a collaborative effort of the Anti-Racism and Discipleship Task Forces to equip our churches in leading youth mission experiences. We invite youth leaders and those who lead youth in mission to attend. Kris Aves, NIC UMVIM co-coordinator, with extensive experience leading youth in mission locally and nationally, will moderate. Click here to register for the link.
GCAH invites congregations to submit their stories
To celebrate Heritage Sunday 2023, the General Commission on Archives and History (GCAH) is asking local churches to submit their histories to GCAH for consideration to be chosen as one of a dozen histories to be highlighted on the agency website, social media channels, and in Heritage Sunday resources.
Church histories may be submitted in a variety of formats, including written, video, audio, timeline or another creative form. Please send all submissions to aboggan@gcah.org and type “Local Church History” in the subject line. Submissions are due March 1.

Lent starts on February 22. There are many resources available around from around the denomination. Click here for a sample of the resources.

It’s that time of year again when each local church gathers its attendance, program, and financial records and submits its statistical report to the Conference.2022 statistics can be entered at umctables.org. The deadline is February 28, 2023. For resources and more information, click here. If you have questions, contact David Quinn at dquinn@umcnic.org.
Click here to get started.

For many students, continuing education beyond high school is challenging due to financial circumstances. The United Methodist Foundation wants to empower students to continue their education by providing financial assistance. This scholarship is designed to assist minority United Methodist students to attend a trade school, community college, college, or university. Applications are due April 30. Click here for more information and to apply. 
Mission Around the Denomination

United Methodist Committee On Relief has awarded $2.5 million in grants to International Orthodox Christian Charities to help thousands of people suffering as a result of the war in Ukraine.

"The ongoing attacks underscore the importance of this project that provides an opportunity to expand UMCOR’s response in Ukraine and also addresses pressing needs for early recovery and winterization." - Roland Fernandes, general secretary of Global Ministries & UMCOR

Click here to learn more about this partnership and how the grants will help Ukrainians find hope and healing.
Mark your calendar
  • Order of Elders - Tues., Feb. 28, 9:30 am - 1:00 pm at Sycamore UMC, 160 Johnson Ave, Sycamore. Pastoral colleagues will speak in a TED Talk platform (short presentations) to share their ministry, followed by group conversations with a couple of questions. The Bishop will share a message about his vision with a short Q&A afterward. Cost $15. Click here for details and to register.
  • Formal Installation for Bishop Dan Schwerin to Northern Illinois Conference - Sun., Feb. 26 at 3:00 pm at First UMC in Elgin at 216 E. Highland Ave., Elgin. Hospitality to follow service.
  • Spring Lay Academies - Lay Servant Ministries is holding many different Lay Academies across the conference this spring. Click on the district name below or visit www.umcnic.org/calendar for more information and registration. Look for more Lay Academies coming this Summer.
  • Lake North - 2 courses offered: Saturdays, starting March 18, or Thursdays, Starting March 2
  • Lake South - 5 courses offered: Saturday, March 4 and 11
  • Prairie Central - 4 courses offered: Sunday, March 5, 12, 19 & 26
  • Prairie South - 4 courses offered: Saturday, March 11 and 18
  • Black Healing Collective Workshop - Sat., March 11 from 9 am - 1 pm at St. Mark UMC, 8441 S. St. Lawrence Ave., Chicago. This 4-hour workshop is for people of Black African descent and will define racial trauma, discuss the significant impact that racial trauma has historically had and continues to have within the Black community, including the UMC, and discuss coping strategies that have been used within the Black community for healing our trauma. Cost: $25 (includes lunch). Learn more and register here.
  • Kids Avove All Distribution Center Grand Opening - Mon., March 20 10:00 am at the Better Life Distribution Center, 1801 E. Oakton St, Des Plaines, IL. Join Kids Above All for Continental Breakfast and tours of the New Better Life Distribution Center. Questions and RSVP to Deaconess Catherine Inserra, cinserra@kidsaboveall.org

Around the Connection
“Our studies and books are designed for Christian women of all ages and stages of life who are looking for inspiration and encouragement as they navigate the ups and downs of life. From personal faith topics to devotionals and more, our studies and books help women live in the Word as they live in the world.” - Abingdon Women

The United Media Resource Center has over 20 DVD studies available to borrow from Abingdon Press's Women Studies collection. Check out the listing here.

Resources include:
  • Belonging Project: Finding Your Tribe and Learning to Thrive - by Amberly Neese
  • Names of God: His Character Revealed - by Spoelstra, Melissa Spoelstra
  • Pursued: God's Relentless Love for YOU - by Jennifer Cowart
  • Surrendered: Letting Go and Living Like Jesus - by Barbara Roose

Find the online catalog here. The UMRC email address is umrc@igrc.org. 
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