eNews - November 16, 2022
An Early Response Team (ERT) from Northern Illinois Conference deployed to Port Charlotte, Fla., on Nov. 10 to help with cleanup from Hurricane Ian. The team consists of nine members (four from Morris FUMC, four from Kingswood UMC in Buffalo Grove, and one from the Michigan Conference).

The team has been posting daily updates on the NIC Disaster Relief Facebook page. They have helped many homeowners in the area. Their projects included tree and debris removal, roof tarping, and interior removal including appliances, drywall, and insulation. The team not only works with the homeowners, but they spend time talking with them about their lives and God. The homeowners express thankfulness to God for survival and help during the recovery. The ERT group feels so blessed and humbled to be able to spend a few minutes of "down" time with those they serve. They all get to witness the healing power of our God.  

Please spread the word that the team would greatly appreciate monetary donations to help fund the trip and provide urgently needed funds for those greatly impacted by the hurricane. Donations can be dropped off at the Morris FUMC office during business hours (8:30am-noon, Monday thru Friday), dropped in the secure mailbox near the front door of the church, or mailed to FUMC- Morris, 118 W. Jackson St. Morris, IL 60450. Please make the check to FUMC-Morris and write “ERT – Florida” on the check comment line. 

Keep up to date with what the team is doing, click here.
What a joy it is to be in the house of the Lord to hear the Word and sing songs of praise to God. For the second year, the NIC Discipleship Task Force held a Fall conference-wide worship service. This year’s service was held at Journey of Hope UMC in Elgin. The service was also available via livestream. Rev. P. Devon Brown of St. Mark UMC (Chicago) and Rev. Heewon Kim of Evans UMC & Harlem UMCs (Rockford) and New Life UMC (Machesney Park) led the worship service planning. Rev. Dr. Mai-Anh Le Tran, VP for Academic Affairs and Academic Dean and Associate Professor of Religious Education and Practical Theology at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, was the preacher. She delivered an inspiring call-to-action message on what the church should be as a “redemptive community that is unafraid of the life-changing challenges and life-giving possibilities of skin-to-skin contact with those who are profoundly other to us.” Choirs from Journey of Hope UMC in Elgin, Korean UMC in Flossmoor and St. Mark UMC (St. Mark Gospirational Choir) in Chicago provided moving musical selections.

To download the Service Booklet, click here.
Please plan on joining the next event in the 2022 Anti-Racism Speaker Series on December 1, 2022. Our guest speaker is Dr. Drew G. I. Hart, author, activist, and professor in theology in the Bible and Religion department at Messiah University. Dr. Hart addresses what the local church can do to combat the continuation of racism in the church and in society. After Dr. Hart presents his program, two members of the Speaker Series Team – Dr. Richard Guzman and Dr. Betty Hart will be presenting questions from the audience for Dr. Drew Hart. Find more information and register here.

For more information about the 2022 Speaker Series and for recordings of the past events, click here.
Communicator's Corner
Fresh Expressions Grants
After a series of teaching offerings across the conference in September, Rev. Martin Lee, Dir. of Congregational Development and Redevelopment, is offering micro-grants to churches that would like to start a Fresh Expressions project. The churches will raise a minimum of $500 to support the project, and the conference will match up to $500. Please obtain a letter of support from your District Superintendent and your congregation's church council and submit your completed application along with support letters by Nov. 30, 2022, to mlee@umcnic.org. To download the application, click here. The grants are limited to 20 churches.

Kids Above All Holiday Gift Drive 🎁
Each year, Kids Above All holds a Holiday Gift Drive, working with generous individuals, as well as community, corporate and faith partners, to provide toys, books and clothes to more than 1,400 young people who have experienced trauma in our programs. Click here for the Amazon wish list. This year's drive will be the first held at Kids Above All's A Better Life Distribution Center! This new site is located at 1801 E. Oakton St. in Des Plaines and will serve going forward as Kids Above All's hub for donations and volunteer activities. If you would like to volunteer, email Catherine Inserra at cinserra@kidsaboveall.org. Download the flyer.

A Welcoming State
The first bus of immigrants from Texas arrived in Chicago on August 31. Staff and volunteers from local organizations were there to receive them, offering shelter, food, clothing, and other basic necessities. Northern Illinois JFON Executive Director Claudia Marchan reports on their ongoing efforts to assist these asylum-seeking families. Read more. If you would like to help, visit umcnic.org/Chicagomigrants for updates from NIC's Refugee Coordinator.

Quarterly NIC Youth Leader Gathering
Sponsored by the collaboration of the NIC Discipleship Task Force and Anti-Racism Task Force, youth leaders from across the conference will meet for their second quarterly gathering Saturday, Nov. 19 at 9:30 am at First United Methodist Church of Belvidere,  610 Bonus Ave., Belvidere. The group last met back in August, with an opportunity to learn more about the wonderful ministerial work of Kids Above All, and had the chance to stuff some backpacks! At the November meeting, we will meet with Rev. Violet Johnicker, one of the co-leaders for Rockford Urban Ministries. If you are interested in being part of the day, please email Rev. Sharon Rice, at 
deacon_sharon@hotmail.com no later than Thursday, Nov. 17 (so we know how many people to expect). Read more.
The Fall NIC Book Club groups are well underway! The NIC Discipleship Task Force is engaging in some great discussions on hard topics like burnout, depression, grief, or just over-extension. It’s time for a reset! The late Rev. Junius Dotson walks us through his experiences and daily spiritual practices that put that reset in motion in his book "Soul Reset." It's not too late to join! You may register for the group that will be meeting during Advent or one of the two groups meeting at the beginning of 2023. You may read it on your own or gather your own small group.
Mark your calendar
Around the Conference

  • Town and Rural Festival - Sat., Nov. 19, from 9 am to Noon at Albany UMC, 502 First Ave., Albany, IL. Keagy and PACK grant recipients will present their ministries. All are welcome to attend. Please register here to help with the meal count.
  • Vital Partnerships - Sat., Dec. 3, from 9 am to 3 pm at The Center UMC, 400 N Walnut Street, Itasca, IL. Speaker Dirk Elliot will share and help explore new ways your church might become healthier through a merger. Click here for details and to register.

Around the Connection
  • Native American Month - (Nov. 1 - 30) Learn more and celebrate with resources from the General Commission on Religion and Race. Click here for 11 Facts about Native People in Society and The Church
  • Facing the Future 2022 - Nov. 16, 12 - 6 pm. After a brief hiatus during the pandemic, the General Commission on Religion and Race (GCORR) is bringing back the agency's Facing the Future "Be Still as a Spiritual Practice" online training for pastors serving cross-racial, cross-cultural, and multicultural contexts. Registration cost is $45. Click here for details.
  • United Methodist Student Day - Nov. 27 Without your generosity, this ministry could not be achieved! You gave $272,159 last year toward ministries funded by the United Methodist Student Day Special Sunday offering. Your gifts support over 70 loans and scholarships for undergraduate and graduate United Methodist students. Click here for resources to promote this Special Sunday offering.
United Media Resource Center
New Resources: Click for a list of Advent and Christmas books for adults ready to check out.

The UMRC has relocated to Kumler Outreach Ministries in Springfield, IL. Find more information at igrc.org/UMRC.

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

The new mailing address is:

Kumler Outreach Ministries
Attn: United Media Resource Center
 303 E. North Grand Ave.
Springfield, IL 62702-3822
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