eNews - February 22, 2023
The March Reporter is now available to read online and will be delivered to mailboxes soon.

In this issue, we focus on connection. Learn about how Bishop Dan Schwerin has been connecting and forming relationships across the conference and read his column. Find the list of Apportionment 100% giving and Mission Links churches that are helping aid our connection across the world. Catch up on events with an update on Annual Conference, a recap of Laity Convocation, and a plan from the Net Zero team.

Also, in Local Church news, read about how a merged church continues a tradition and how visiting basketball games lead to a renewed youth program. Get more information on upcoming events, read how we are reconnecting, and find out information from around the conference and denomination.

Fri., Feb. 24, 2023, marks one year since Russian forces invaded Ukraine, continuing a war started in 2014 when Russia annexed Crimea and other Ukrainian territories. United Methodists have joined with other people of faith and people of good will across the world to provide relief for the people of Ukraine and support for those who care for refugees.

Together, we unite in prayer to seek God’s strength and guidance and acknowledge God’s love and power to give relief to the oppressed and turn the hearts and minds of oppressors. Please join Roland Fernandes, Global Ministries’ general secretary, on Fri., Feb. 24, via Facebook Live in a prayer for comfort and peace for the people of Ukraine.
More information available here.
Sunday, February 26 at 3:00 pm we will be holding a formal installation service for Bishop Dan Schwerin. The service will be held at First UMC in Elgin at 216 E. Highland Ave. Members of the Northern Illinois Conference will be joined by ecumenical and connectional guests. There will be hospitality to follow service.
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.
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.
The Northern Illinois Conference's anti-racism workshop Becoming the Beloved Community: How to Talk About Race in America announces its 2023 schedule:
  • March 18 - Bolingbrook: Friendship UMC
  • April 15 - Rochelle UMC
  • April 29 - Special Youth Leaders presentation
  • September 30 - Mt. Prospect: Trinity UMC
  • October 14 - Naperville: Community UMC
  • October 28 - Glen Ellyn: First UMC
  • November 11 - Hindsdale UMC

The workshop helps churches begin, re-energize, or re-focus their anti-racism journey. It not only conveys essential information about race in America but tries to encourage the process of forming relationships and alliances that will help us move together towards more racially just and equitable churches and communities. Fighting the continuing scourge of racism was one of the three primary goals the Northern Illinois Conference set for itself in 2019, and hosting a Becoming the Beloved Community Workshop is one way a church can begin to fulfill that goal. Learn more here.
Communicator's Corner
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.

Scholarship Applications are now being accepted for the following UMC-based scholarships:
  • United Methodist Higher Education Foundation - for students planning to attend one of the 100+ UM-related colleges, universities, and seminaries across the country. Scholarship applications are open until March 1st, 2023. To learn more and apply, click here.
  • Archives and History Grants/Awards - for students and researchers to in a number of fields of study, including United Methodist history, particularly as it relates to women and ethnic groups and archival science. Deadline for applications is March 17, 2023. For the complete list, along with details about applying, click here.
  • General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) - for United Methodist students pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees. Scholarship applications are open until March 30th, 2023. To learn more and apply, click here.
  • United Methodist Foundation - for students to empower them to continue their education. 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, 2023. Click here for more information and to apply.

The United Methodist Foundation of Northern Illinois Conference and Horizons Stewardship are partnering to provide on-demand generosity coaching to Northern Illinois United Methodist Churches at no cost and no obligation to you or your church. Click here to learn more and connect with Horizons.

The Ethnic Young Adult (EYA) program, through the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society (GBCS), is for young justice seekers willing to unpack their faith and identity and develop a deeper understanding of justice. Applications for the 2023 Summer Co-hort are due by March 6th, 2023. To learn more and apply, visit the internship page. 

Church archivists worry that congregations disaffiliating from The United Methodist Church will fail to make arrangements to preserve the papers that tell their story. Records maintained by the denomination are accessible to anybody, not just United Methodists. Learn more here.
Mission Around the Denomination
Midwest Mission is preparing to send disaster relief supplies through their partner, North Star Foundation. They need to prepare upwards of 20,000 Personal Dignity Kits so they have what is needed to send to Turkey, as well as Ukraine and the other countries where they consistently send help.

What can you do? 
  1. You can donate! Monetary donations allow them to quickly buy supplies in bulk, and buy what is being requested by Turkey. Donate here.
  2. You can also buy items for the Personal Dignity Kit from their Amazon shopping list and have it delivered to Midwest Mission. To see the list, click here.
  3. You can pray! Disaster Relief is both a marathon and a sprint. There are years of recovery to come in Turkey. Pray for the people who are in crisis, pray for the people who are responding, and pray for God’s hand in the process so that the people who are in need will receive life-saving supplies.

This is the first request for the first shipment - and there will be more.
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.
  • 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. Registration closing, Fri., Feb 24.
  • Kids Avove All Distribution Center Grand Opening - Mon., March 20 at 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
  • 2023 NIC Film Series - The Green Book Exhibit - Saturday, March 25 from 10:00 am - 1:00 pm at the Illinois Holocaust Museum. As the first quarter event in the 2023 Film series, the Anti-Racism Series Team will focus on Black History and Culture. The event will be a docent-led tour of The Negro Motorist Green Book exhibit at the Illinois Holocaust Museum. After the event, there will be lunch and a panel discussion with Dr. Richard Guzman. Learn more about the 2023 Film Series here. Cost Adults: $20, Seniors, (65 and older): $17, Teens and Youth: $15, Active Military/Veterans: $13. Learn more and register for the event here.
  • NIC 2023 Civil Rights Pilgrimage - Wed., April 26 - Mon., May 1 A historical and educational tour designed with intent and discernment to help journey-goers take action against racism. Each day will include a debriefing session, and advocacy training sessions will be conducted. The cost will is $999 for a single room ($599 per person for double occupancy) for an inclusive 6-day, 5-night trip that will cover 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. Registration now open! Click here to find out more.

Around the Connection

The United Media Resource Center has over 13 Easter DVD for Adults available to borrow. Check out the listing here.

Resources include:
  • Christ in the Passover by David Brickner
  • Cross of Christ by Ron Rolheiser
  • Passion of Christ by Ron Rolheiser
  • Passion: A SandStory Presentation by Joe Castillo
  • Path to the Cross by Ray Vander Laan

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