eNews -March 8, 2023
Amid vitriolic rhetoric about disaffiliations and decline, Council of Bishops President Thomas Bickerton called people who are staying United Methodist to change the conversation.

“It is time — no, dare I say, long overdue — for us to go back to the heart of who we are, to use words once again like reclamation, revival and renewal because we believe that those words lead to nothing less than a conversion of the heart,” Bishop Bickerton said in an unusual midterm address aired Thursday.

He also urged the denomination to reclaim its evangelistic mission to “make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” He pointed to examples of where that is already occurring, especially in Texas.
As the first quarter event in the 2023 Anti-Racism Task Force Film Series will focus on Black History and Culture. The event on Sat., March 25, from 10:00 am - 1:00 pm, will be a docent-led tour of The Negro Motorist Green Book exhibit at the Illinois Holocaust Museum.

In The Negro Motorist Green Book Exhibit, visitors will explore film, photographs, interactives, and oral histories from travelers and “Green Book” business owners; compare “Green Book” sites then and now; and appreciate historical objects from the Smithsonian and from a variety of “Green Book” sites. The exhibition includes artifacts from business signs and postcards to historic footage, images, and firsthand accounts that illustrate not just the apprehension felt by Black travelers but also the resilience, innovation, and elegance of people choosing to live a full American existence. Shopping at the museum gift shop is available afterward.
Cost: (includes tour, lunch, and panel discussion with Dr. Richard Guzman)
  • Adults: $20
  • Seniors (65 and older): $17
  • Teens and Youth: $15
  • Active Military/Veterans: $13

*Before visiting the exhibit, it is recommended to read the book Overground Railroad: The Green Book and the Roots of Black Travel in America by Candace Taylor, as well as watch the documentary The Green Book: Guide to Freedom (2019), and the Award Winning movie The Green Book (2018).
UMCOR Sunday is a denomination-wide celebration designed to raise awareness and support for UMCOR. UMCOR, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization, is dedicated to alleviating human suffering around the globe. Working in more than 80 countries worldwide, UMCOR provides survivors with temporary relief and long-term education, training and support. UMCOR spends 100 percent of designated gifts on the projects that donors specify. None of these designated gifts support administrative or operating costs.
Every year on the fourth Sunday in Lent, we celebrate UMCOR Sunday, a day when individual and local church gifts are received to support UMCOR’s administrative costs.
Committee members continue to plan for the 184th session of the Northern Illinois Annual Conference that 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 ($100)
  • April 3 - Historical Documents and Proposed Legislation due - Form found here.
  • Apil 28 - Early Bird Registration ends (changes to $125)
  • May 8 - Video and Media presentations due - Form found here.
  • May 23 - Clergy Session
  • May 28 - Registration closes
  • June 6 - Evening, Ordination Service
  • June 7 - Morning, Retirement Service
  • June 8 - Morning, Memorial Service

More updates and details will be posted in the NIC eNews and on the website at umcnic.org/AC2023.
For the April issue of The Reporter - we would like your input.

"What is the most meaningful or most moving part of your Lent observance or Easter celebration? Why?" Share your answers with communications@umcnic.org and get featured on the website or in The Reporter.

We are also looking for churches that are doing something different than past years. If your church, your cluster or a church you know is doing something different this year - please share with communications@umcnic.org.

Send your submissions (50-100 words) in by March 10.
Communicator's Corner
In celebration of Women’s History Month 2023, The General Commission on the Status and Role of Women (GCSRW) will be publishing eight blog articles written by the Rev. Emily Nelms Chastain in order to highlight the newly elected women bishops by The United Methodist Church. This blog series will follow the national theme of “Celebrating Women who tell our Stories.” Additionally, they encourage you to document your own celebrations of women in leadership and that you share these stories with your Annual Conference COSROWs through social media using the #GCSRW. Learn more and read the current article here.

Scholarship Applications are now being accepted for the following UMC-based scholarships:
  • 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.
Mission Around the Denomination
Kairos Ministry, similar to an Emmaus Walk, brings volunteers into prisons to minister to inmates while Catalyst Ministries trains the inmates to minister to one another and to the prison administration. Inmates often say the unconditional love from the Kairos volunteers is the first time they felt like someone cared about them.
Mark your calendar

Around the Connection

Looking to restart or invigorate prayer ministry at your church? United Media Resource Center has resources available to borrow. Check out the listing here.

Resources include:
  • House of Prayer: The Power of Praying in Community by Thomas Steagald
  • Open Road: The Adventure of a Breakthrough Prayer Initiative by Sue Nilson Kibbey
  • Praying Together: Forming Prayer Ministries in Your Congregation by Martha Graybeal Rowlett

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