eNews - January 11, 2023
Commemorate the day with your church by sharing the video above (downloadable on Vimeo).

Join in the Conference event: Notes of Rest for Martin Luther Kind, Jr. Day at First UMC of Oak Park (324 N. Oak Park Ave., Oak Park, IL) on Sun., Jan. 15 at 4:00 pm. This event will highlight how rest can fuel and re-charge Dr. King's dream of the Beloved Community and the quest for justice. More information can be found here.

The day can also be commemorated by participating in your community, or by visiting one these celebrations:

The NIC offers workshops on Becoming the Beloved Community for your church or district, there are openings for 2023. Please contact Dr. Richard Guzman at rrguzman@comcast.net if you are interested in hosting a workshop. Learn more about the workshops by clicking here. Learn more about the NIC Anti-Racism Task Force here.

The General Commission on Religion and Race (GCORR) has the following resources to help:

Are you interested in learning to take action against racism? Click here to find out more information about the NIC 2023 Civil Rights Pilgrimage.
Human Relations Day is a denomination-wide Special Sunday designed to celebrate and raise awareness to further the development of better human relations by involving congregations in community and youth outreach. A special offering taken the Sunday before Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. Gifts received for the offering build King’s vision of “the beloved community” through programs such as Community Developers and United Methodist Voluntary Services, and Youth Offender Rehabilitation Programs. Churches are encouraged to donate through their local churches or give online here.
Join leaders in your district in various training opportunities.
Click on the district names below to find out more details and register.
  • Prairie South - Sat., Jan. 21, 8:30 am - Noon at Dixon: First UMC
  • Prairie North - Sat., Jan. 28, 8:30 am - Noon at Freeport: Faith UMC
  • Lake North - Sat., Jan. 28, 8:30 am - 12:30 pm Online and at Buffalo Grove: Kingswood UMC
  • Prairie Central - Sat., Feb. 4, 8:30 am - 12:30 pm at Wheaton: Gary UMC
  • Lake South - Sat. Feb 25 - More details coming soon.
Clergy will gather with their district for fellowship at 9:30 am with the program beginning at 10:00 am. Concluding with lunch. Laity will gather with their district for an evening conversation from 7:00 to 8:30 pm (unless otherwise noted).
  • Prairie North - Wed., Feb. 8 - Clergy: Rockford UMC: Christ, Laity: Freeport: Harmony UMC (6:00 pm)
  • Prairie Central - Thurs., Feb. 9 - Clergy: Naperville: Grace UMC, Laity: Elgin: Journey of Hope UMC
  • Lake North - Mon., Feb. 13 - Clergy: Chicago: Olivet UMC, Laity: Glenview UMC
  • Prairie South - Wed., Feb. 15 - Clergy and Laity: Sycamore UMC
  • Lake South - Thurs., Feb. 16 - Clergy: Hinsdale UMC, Laity: Palos Heights UMC
Communicator's Corner
A friendly reminder that the deadline to pay apportionments is approaching quickly. Be sure to check your Prosper account at app.prosperumc.com. Payments must be postmarked by Jan. 13. As United Methodists, we are committed to connectional giving, and our primary way of doing that is through apportioned giving. By being a faithful 100% church, you allow the United Methodist faith to continue to grow around the world and here at home. Help spread our ministry and mission by catching up on your apportionments payment today. To find more information about apportionments, visit the Apportionments page
A reminder statistical reports are due Feb. 28. Click here to get started.

It is a good thing to be about our Father’s work. But maybe we need to begin by listening to our Creator to get our priorities straight. Two new classes are starting - Rev Caleb Hong on Zoom class Sunday evenings January 8 - February 19 at 7:00 PM or Rev Becky Nicol's Zoom class has a new start date and will run from January 17th to February 21 at 2:00 PM. Books are available through Cokesbury, Upper Room, and Amazon.

The NIC Prayer Network is an entryway for joining in common prayer for the ministries of the Northern Illinois Conference. As we draw near to God, we can listen and ask for direction and inspiration. This team meets every month on the 2nd Friday at 10:00 AM to pray for the churches, pastors and ministries of Northern Illinois.  The next meeting is Friday, January 13 at 10:00 am. All are invited to join.  No preparation is necessary, just log in.  The Zoom link is available here. Meeting ID: 897 7835 0821 Passcode: 152529 For more information email the Discipleship Task Force at DiscipleshipTF@umcnic.org.

Applications are now open for scholarships from the United Methodist Higher Education Foundation. Every year, UMHEF awards $2+ million to students planning to attend one of the 100+ UM-related colleges, universities, and seminaries across the country. Don’t let finances get in the way of achieving your dreams of a quality education! Scholarship applications are open until March 1st, 2023. To learn more and apply, click here.

The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) offers financial aid to United Methodist students pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees. Every year, they award an average of $5.5 million to help students in the United States and abroad pursue their dreams through higher education. With this financial aid, GBHEM is opening pathways for students of all backgrounds to earn their degrees and serve as the next generation of leaders for the church and the world. Scholarship applications are open until March 30th, 2023. To learn more and apply, click here.
The NIC 2023 Civil Rights Pilgrimage was first reported in the December Reporter. Plans have been finalized and we can assure you that we will educate so that you can advocate and participate. Seating is limited. 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.

IRS releases 2023 business mileage rates
The Internal Revenue Service on Dec. 29 issued the 2023 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes. Beginning on Jan. 1, 2023, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be: 65.5 cents per mile, up 3 cents from the midyear increase setting the rate for the second half of 2022.

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.
Mission Around the Denomination
Over the past three years, the Zimbabwe Episcopal Area witnessed the dawn of a new era as The United Methodist Church founded two state-of-the-art private schools in Harare. An international high school for girls is set to open its doors in Mutare early in 2023.

“Our church has a very strong rural and peri-urban education system,” said Bishop Eben K. Nhiwatiwa, Zimbabwe Episcopal Area, “but we didn’t have any schools in the urban areas. “I think it’s a very good phenomenon that we now have city schools, which provide top-notch education. Barrington School and Revelation College are starting to do that.”
Mark your calendar

Around the Connection
  • United Methodists in Palestine - TODAY, Wed., Jan 11 at 12:00 pm online. United Methodists leaders give a briefing on Palestine. Representatives of GBCS, GCORR and UMKR report on recent first-hand experiences with Israeli apartheid and Palestinian resilience in the Holy Land
. Two of the speakers are members of the Northern Illinois Conference: Rev. Alka Lyall and J. Paular Roderick. Click here to learn more and register.
  • Justice Talks: Our 2023 Priorities - Sat., Jan. 25 at 2:00 pm online. Join Church and Society staff for a discussion on their legislative priorities for 2023 and the 118th Congress. Hear from - John Hill - Interim General Secretary, Rev. Camille Henderson-Edwards - Director of Economic, Health and Gender Justice, Rev. Laura Kigweba James - Director of Grassroots Organizing, Hollv Metcalf - Director of Peace With Justice, and Rev. Kendal McBroom - Director of Civil and Human Rights. Click here to register.
  • Deaconess and Home Missioner Virtual Discernment Event - Thurs., Feb. 2 at 7:00 pm online. The Office of Deaconess and Home Missioner invites those who are discerning a call to ministry to attend a virtual discernment event. This event is for laity in the United Methodist Church who feel called to full-time vocational ministries in diverse contexts. Click here to learn more and register.
With the start of a new year, there are new leaders and new possibilities for us all to learn. The United Media Resource Center has several DVD and book titles to help further your knowledge. Check out this listing of over 45 titles!

Resources include Claiming Resurrection in the Dying Church by Anna Olson,
Externally Focused Quest: Becoming the Best Church for the Community by Eric Swanson and Rick Rusaw, Fishing in a Shallow Sea: Church Strategies in the 21st Century by Michael Piazza and Messy Church: Fresh Ideas for Building a Christ-Centered Community by Lucy Moore. Read the full list of resources here. 

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