eNews - November 9, 2022
Welcome Bishop Dan Schwerin to Northern Illinois
As announced on Nov. 5, the Northern Illinois Conference is assigned Bishop Dan Schwerin starting in the new year through 2024.

Schwerin was elected to the episcopacy at the 2022 North Central Jurisdictional Conference held Nov. 2-5 in Fort Wayne, Ind. Before his election, he served as the Assistant to the Bishop in the Wisconsin Conference. Read more.

Did you know Bishop Schwerin starts each day reading the Psalms and is a haiku poet?

Watch this video interview with Bishop Schwerin to get to know him a little better and learn of his hopes for working with clergy and laity in Northern Illinois.

Bishop Sally Dyck Retirement Celebrated
Nearly two years after officially retiring, Bishop Sally Dyck was recognized at the North Central Jurisdictional Conference (NCJ) along with Bishop Laurie Haller and Bishop Bruce Ough—during a moving celebration of ministry filled with gratitude and love.

This official recognition service had been postponed because of the delayed NCJ Conference, originally scheduled for 2020. Both Bishop Dyck and Bishop Ough retired in 2020 and took staff positions within the Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church, and Bishop Haller plans to retire at the end of 2022. After the service, clergy and laity from the NIC greeted and thanked Bishop Dyck for her ministry.

Bishop Dyck has been busy during retirement serving as Ecumenical Officer of the Council of Bishops and was recently assigned in 2022 as the interim bishop for the California-Nevada Annual Conference until the end of the year. She said she is enjoying as much time as possible outdoors living in Napa, California, mainly taking long hikes with her husband, Rev. Ken Ehrman.
Fall Conference-Wide Worship this Sunday
The Discipleship Task Force is delighted to announce the NIC’s second "Tending to the Harvest" fall conference-wide worship service based on Matthew 9:37, “Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few.’”

Plan to attend and be in worship together on November 13 at 4:00 pm at Journey of Hope, 37W040 Highland Ave., Elgin, IL. This is a hybrid event and will be livestreamed on the NIC YouTube Channel. Light refreshments will be served after the service.

Guest preacher
Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary's Rev. Dr. Mai-Anh Le Tran, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Academic Dean and Associate Professor of Religious Education and Practical Theology.

To learn more and register, click here.
Disaster Relief Team Heading to Florida
An Early Response Team (ERT) is getting ready to deploy to Port Charlotte, Fla., to assist the Florida Conference with hurricane Ian relief efforts from Nov. 10-19. The team consists of nine members (four from Morris FUMC, four from Kingswood UMC in Buffalo Grove and one from the Michigan Conference).

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.

Follow their trip on the NIC Disaster Relief Facebook page.

Thank you and keep this team and the residents of Florida, especially as they face another possible hurricane.
Communicator's Corner
Thank you,
Anne Marie!

After more than 11 years serving as the Dir. of Communications, Anne Marie Gerhardt is turning in her press badge with the Northern Illinois Confernece.

Anne Marie began in April 2011 and has covered dozens of conference news, events and happenings under three bishops (close to four). She's published over a hundred Reporters and sent countless tweets, Facebook posts and Instagram stories. She helped build and refresh the conference website two times and continued to seek ways to keep the conference information fresh and up to date. She's covered many Annual Conferences, General Conferences, Special Sessions, and Jurisdictional Conferences. She was active as a leader with the United Methodist Association of Communicators and will miss the camaraderie among colleagues across the denomination. During the pandemic, she was crucial in helping communicate the changing landscape and producing online videos and Zoom meetings/webinars. She's been the conference public relations manager and crisis communicator.

"I will miss telling the faithful stories of churches, laity and clergy making a difference across the Northern Illinois Conference," Anne Marie said with a grateful heart. "I've traveled this conference from urban to rural areas and have enjoyed the many relationships I've made along the way. Keep sharing your story of making disciples for the transformation of the world!"

Rev. Arlene Christopherson, Dir. of Connectional Ministries and Ass't to the Bishop, said it's with mixed feelings that we say goodbye to Anne Marie.

"We bless her as she moves to a job in the private sector that matches her growing professional journey," said Christopherson. "I am grateful for Anne Marie's communication skills and her managing all our growing communication platforms as our director. Anne Marie's faith and love of the church gave her work grounding and provided us with 11 wonderful years."

Anne Marie's last day is November 11, but she will stay on hourly for one final assignment, the December/January Reporter. As the conference looks for a replacement, you may direct communications questions or submissions to Lisa Smith at lsmith@umcnic.org.
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.

November is Native American Heritage Month
It's a time to celebrate the rich histories, diverse cultures and important contributions of our nation's first people. Please join the NIC Anti-Racism Task Force and Champion Team as they support/participate in the Midwest SOARRING Foundation (MSF) 26th Annual Harvest Pow Wow on Sat., Nov. 12 and/or Sun., Nov. 13. Please click here for details and to purchase a ticket. Please read about Pow Wow etiquette before attending by clicking here. Joseph Standing Bear, MSF’s Board President, is a United Methodist and is delighted with our conference’s support of this important and meaningful event. Hope to see you at the Pow Wow!

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.

NIC Church and Society Legislation Follow Up
At the last Annual Conference, the NIC Church and Society committee sponsored several pieces of legislation. Over the next year, we will be providing more information on some of those resolutions that passed. Our first topic will be resolution 700.09, Let’s Overcome Christian Nationalism. Click to read more and find resources to learn more. You're also encouraged to watch the General Board of Church and Society's recent webinar discussing the rise of Christian Nationalism and its history in the United States. Click to watch on YouTube.

NIC Program Ministry Grant Applications Open
Applications are being accepted for the NIC's three ministry grants, Social Reform, Congregational Development, and Creative Ministries. The deadline to apply is Nov. 14. To learn more about each grant and for an online application, click here.
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

  • Becoming the Beloved Community Workshop - Sat., Nov. 12 from 9 am - 12 pm at Hinsdale UMC, 945 S Garfield Ave, Hinsdale, IL. This 4-hour workshop, developed by the NIC Anti-Racism Task Force's Champion Team, conveys facts and essential knowledge about race and racism and seeks to help participants experience some of the harm and hurt racial prejudice has caused. Cost: $20. Click here for more information and to register.
  • Mission Journey Leader Training - Nov. 14 from 8:30 am to Noon in person at Euclid Avenue UMC, 405 S Euclid Ave Oak Park, IL. For anyone going or planning on going on a Mission Trip. Trainer: Kris Aves, co-chair of NIC UMVIM. Open to all. For more information, email aveskris0@gmail.com.
  • 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.

Around the Connection
  • 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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