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

In this issue, we focus on highlighting Lent and Holy Week traditions in local churches as well as readers' reflections on the season. In their columns, both Bishop Schwerin and Rev. Arlene Christopherson share thoughts on the mid-term address by Bishop Bickerton. Learn about the historical display that highlighted our conference, the Black Teens Matter event, and the Annual Conference Speakers.

Also, in local church news, read about the Tri-City Methodists reconnecting the connection, Valentine's baskets from Hannover UMC, and a welcoming space at Bolingbrook: Friendship UMC.

Rev. Victoria Rebeck joined the Northern Illinois Conference staff as Director of Communications, effective March 15, 2023. She will oversee the communications strategy and execution for the conference.

Victoria was ordained a deacon in the Northern Illinois Conference in 2001. (She is now a member of the Minnesota Conference.)

“I am very pleased to be back in the Northern Illinois Conference and to be able to put my ministry gifts to work for Northern Illinois,” she said. “I share the conference’s priorities and mission. I am grateful to be part of making those a reality."

You may reach her by email at [email protected] or [email protected].
Committee members continue to plan for the 184th session of the Northern Illinois Annual Conference, which will be held June 6-8, 2023, at the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center at 1551 N. Thoreau Dr., Schaumburg, Ill.
  • April 3 - Online registration begins
  • April 3 - Historical Documents & Proposed Legislation due - Form found here.
  • April 28 - Early Bird Registration ends (changes to $125)
  • May 8 - Video and Media presentations due - Form found here.
  • May 15 - Childcare Scholarships due - Form found here.
  • May 23 - Clergy Session
  • May 28 - Registration closes
  • May 30 at 7:00 pm - Pre-conference Briefing, online
  • May 31 at 10:00 am - Pre-conference Briefing, online
  • June 6
  • 9:00 am - Laity Convocation
  • 10:30 am - Opening Session
  • Evening, Ordination Service
  • June 7 - Morning, Retirement Service
  • June 8 - Morning, Memorial Service
Registration for display tables is open. The cost is $50
per eight-foot table, and electricity is not available.
Display tables will be open all three days in the Nirvana
Threshold. Find the guidelines here. Click here for registration.

We need ushers, plenary pages, legislative section leaders,  greeters, secretarial pool members and more to help Annual Conference run smoothly and efficiently. Please contact Bri Wadlington, Events Administrator, at [email protected] if you are interested in serving.

Lay Members to AC
If a church's Lay Member is going to be different from those currently listed in the portal, s/he must contact the Conference office to be included.
More updates and details will be posted in the NIC eNews and on the website at umcnic.org/AC2023.
Communicator's Corner
We apologize to the churches we missed in the 100% apportionment listing. We want to acknowledge the following: 
  • 100% Churches: 
  • Chicago: South Shore 
  • Downers Grove: First 
  • Lombard: First 
  • Oswego: Good Shephard
  • 10 + year churches: 
  • Buffalo Grove: Kingswood 
  • Evanston: First 
March is Women’s History Month, and the Methodist Church has a rich history of women’s leadership. Many different organizations across the denomination have wonderful resources. UMC.org offers this helpful Timeline of Women in Methodism. The General Commission on Religion and Race celebrates women of color in our Methodist lineage with a great infographic along with a litany of thanks for women of color leaders. They also offer ideas for worship, Sunday school, mission, outreach, and advocacy. Ask the UMC highlighted the stories of groundbreaking Black women in U.S. Methodist history including Ida Bell Wells-Barnett, Mary McLeod Bethune, Rev. Sallie Crenshaw, and Bishop Leontine T.C. Kelly. Find more resources here.

On April 23 we will be celebrating and collecting money for the Native American Ministries Special Sunday. The day serves to remind United Methodists of the gifts and contributions made by Native Americans to our society and in our communities. Donations support vital ministries and churches in the Native American communities and allow The UMC to partner with existing native ministries to develop new programs on behalf of Native Americans. Half of the donations collected remain within the Annual Conference to provide hope to children and youth, hope for a brighter future in impoverished communities, and a voice to those who have felt voiceless for years. Pastor and Leader resources are available here.
Mission Around the Denomination
Project ARK (Advancing Resilient Khmer) and missionary Patrick Booth provide vocational training, housing, community inclusion, and introductory Bible lessons to individual human trafficking survivors in Camboia. Their ministry has grown from a community outreach program to a reliable and dependable construction company that provides quality service while also providing a service to the community.

Read more about their latest updates here.
Mark your calendar
  • 2023 Anti-Racism Task Force Film Discussion Series: The Green Book Online Discussion - Sat., March 25, 11:15 am Online. In-person participation is full and has led to opening up the opportunity for online participation via Zoom. Participants will join in a presentation by Dr. Richard Guzman, followed by a discussion with NIC and Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary panelists. Online participation is free, and no registration is needed. Click here for the Zoom link. Learn more about the event and the participants here.
  • NICUMM 2023 Annual Meeting - Sat., March 25 at 8:30 at Kingswood UMC, 401 W. Dundee Rd., Buffalo Grove, IL. Join the Northern Illinois Conference United Methodist Men for their Annual Meeting and Communion Service. Breakfast will be served, followed by the UMMen annual meeting, worship service, and communion. The event will also be live-streamed. Click here to register and for more information.
  • Conference-wide UMVIM Leader Mission Journey Training - Sat. April 22 9:00 am - noon at Freeport: Harmony UMC, 2600 W Pearl City Road, Freeport, IL. This training is available to anyone leading a mission or going on a mission journey across town or across the world. A light breakfast and lunch will be served. A free-will offering will be taken. More information to come.
  • Discipling Anti-racism Youth (DAY) 2nd quarter event - Sat., April 29, 9:00 am – noon at Naperville: Community UMC, 20 N Center St., Naperville, IL. The workshop will be facilitated by the Becoming the Beloved Community (BBC) team led by Dr. Richard Guzman. The discussion will engage participants and get their feedback on ways to talk to youth about racial justice and equity work. All conference youth leaders are encouraged to attend. Please click here to register. Questions? contact Deacon Sharon Rice at [email protected]. More information on the Becoming Beloved Community available here.

Around the Connection

Understanding Agriculture is important to our biblical and faith understandings. United Media Resource Center has some resources for more learning.

Resources include:
  • Organic Wesley: A Christian Perspective on Food, Farming, & Faith DVD
  • Troubled Waters: A Mississippi River Story DVD
  • Harvesting Abundance: Local Initiatives of Food and Faith by Brian Sellers-Peterson

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