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News & Updates

August 10, 2023

** Note ** You are receiving the district eNews because your name is in our Lay Leadership Database as a leader in your local church. If you are no longer interested in receiving the District eNews, please click the Update Profile link at the bottom of the email. (Clicking UnSubscribe means you will not receive ANY emails from the conference including appointment announcements, sympathy notices and weekly eNews)

It's Back to School Season!

Over the next month or two, students, teachers, and school staff across the conference will return to the classroom. Back-to-school Sundays or nights are a beloved and much-needed mainstay in many United Methodist churches. Congregations will be blessing backpacks, collecting and distributing school supplies, hosting seasonal events, supporting teachers and other staff, and beginning or continuing partnerships with schools.

There are many resources available for your church:

Pews available for a new home

As they proceed with the merger of Journey of Hope and Good Shepherd, the churches are looking for a new home for some decent church pews. There are 20 pews in total. They are (18) 16’5” long x 22” wide pews; (1) 11’6” x 22” pew; and (1) 3’9”x22” pew. They are available for pick up The pews originally came from Elmhurst College. Those interested should contact Jarrod Severing at Journey of Hope, 815.378.7754 or

Many churches have been holding Vacation Bible School and Day Camps through out the summer. Read Vacation Bible School stories from across the conference.

Many churches are also going on Mission Trips this summer. It is great to see everyone being the hands and feet of Christ in our word. Read Mission Trip stories from across the conference.

We would love to hear your stories and see your photos.

Share with us by sending information and photos to

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Click on the event title below to find out more information

Volunteers in Mission Sunday

Any Sunday in July or August

NIC Prayer Network Monthly Zoom Meeting

August 11

Kids Above All Backpack Drive Deadline

August 11

Keep the Dream Alive Event

August 27

UVC Child Advocacy Award Nominations Due

August 30

Christian Education Sunday

Sept 3

Labor Day

Sept 4

Grandparent's Day

Sept 11

9/11 Remembrance

Sept 11

Hispanic Heritage Month

Sept 15 - Oct 15

UMM Men's Spiritual Congress

Sept 15-17

23 Film Series: Privilege, Power and Race

Sept 21

Prairie Central Informal Gatherings with the District Superintendent

Informational gatherings will be held today, second Thursday of the month, August 10 . 

Zoom Links (The links will stay the same for all meetings, though clergy links and lay links will be different)

Clergy Gathering 9:00 am link.

Lay Gathering 7:00 pm link.

Lay persons: This is NOT for Lay Leaders only. It is intended for all lay persons who want to know more about what is going on and be connected.

The next meeting will be September 7.

Register for the Fall NIC Book Club Registration is open for this fall's groups that will be reading and discussing Living Our Beliefs: The United Methodist Way, by retired UMC Bishop Kenneth L. Carder. Starting in September, groups will meet throughout the conference, via Zoom, in person, and hybrid for five to six weeks. Learn more, find a listing of group options, and register here.

Watch the video intro for the Fall NIC Book Club here.

See you at church!

The end of summer brings new opportunities to grow in our faith and reignite our passion for serving others. It’s time to head back to church, and as we connect with each other, let’s invite someone to join us on the life-changing journey of discipleship and ministry.

Watch this video to find inspiration and share it with others as an invitation.


“Keep the Dream Alive” – United Methodists Stand for Racial Justice

On Sunday, August 27, 2023, the NIC Anti-Racism Task Force will be hosting two back-to-back events in Chicago to honor the 60th Anniversary of the March on Washington and to lift up the on-going work of seeking racial justice. 

Find more information and register here.

Nominate a Child Advocacy Leader

Each year the United Voices for Children Board of Directors selects individuals or groups to receive their Annual Child Advocacy Awards. These awards honor extraordinary service or advocacy efforts on behalf of children, youth, and/or families throughout the NIC. Any United Methodist member, congregation, or friend of UVC in Northern Illinois and the Chicago area can submit a nomination to receive one of these awards. Award winners will receive a grant for their organization or ministry, a commemorative plaque, recognition in the annual conference program, and local media outlets. Read about the award categories and nominate someone by Aug. 30. Read more.

NIC Youth Fall Retreat

The NIC Youth Fall Retreat Team is excited to invite you to our second annual retreat, intended for 6th-12th graders in the Northern Illinois Conference. This year's theme is "Behold." The retreat will happen Fri., Sept. 29 - Sun., Oct. 1 at the Lake Geneva Youth Camp in Lake Geneva, WI. The cost is $140 each person. There is a requirement of one adult who is Safe Sanctuary certified for up to every six youth. We hope you'll join us for a time of rejuvenation, growth and connection!

Click here for more information and to register.

12 - 18 month Cohort Program beginning in Fall

The Black Healing Collective Cohort is a small group created to understand racial trauma personally, congregationally, and in society. The cohort program will utilize trauma-informed research and practices to develop a pathway(s) toward healing. The cohort will be 12-18 months with various leadership development and skill-building monthly meetings, outings, travel, and learning and engagement opportunities to enhance individual capacity to support the church and community in becoming more trauma-informed and resilient. Learn more here.

Other Upcoming Conference Events:


Apportionment Highlight - Interdenominational Cooperation Fund

In the United Methodist Church, we deeply appreciate the value of ecumenism—the desire to find common ground and foster unity among different Christian traditions. The Interdenominational Cooperation Fund allows The United Methodist Church to partner with our Christian family worldwide to fulfill our shared mission. As followers of Christ, we are bound together by a common purpose: to love and serve God wholeheartedly. Our faith teaches us that through the Holy Spirit, we become part of God's family, joining the multitude of believers across various churches and denominations.

Many Grant Options Available for Local Churches

NIC Prayer Network Monthly Zoom Meetings

The NIC Prayer Network is an entryway for joining in common prayer for the ministries of the Northern Illinois Conference. The next meeting is Friday, August 11 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

If you’d like to pray but have other appointments at that time, email us and request the agenda or add to the agenda. Also, pray along each week for clergy, churches, leaders, and NIC Advances by visiting the Prayer Network website.

Other Resources

  • #BeUMC Resources -Tool Kits, Social Media Kits, Graphics, and more.
  • Social Media Shareables - Free graphics for social media for different events, months, and ministries. (Through Outreach, log-in is needed, but resources are free)
  • UMC Giving Resources - Mission Moments, Special Sunday Info, Leader Kits, Pew Cards, and more.
  • United Media Resource Center - Lending library of Christian materials for local churches, small groups, pastors, children, and individuals.

Like Us on Facebook: Prairie Central District

Rev. Jeffry Bross

Prairie Central District Superintendent

312-346-9766 ext. 783

Leola Tucker

Administrative Assistant

312-346-9766 ext. 733

Facebook  Instagram  Twitter  YouTube  Web

Do you have news to share?

We are always looking for stories of what is happening in your church.  We welcome articles from churches highlighting ministries, outreach, and missions that tell the story of being vital Christians. Events considered should be of conference-wide appeal and United Methodist-related. 

District eNews are sent out the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of the month. Please submit stories and events by end of business on the 2nd and 4th Mondays. Space is limited. Stories of fewer than 250 words are preferred. Submissions will be edited at the discretion of Communications staff. Information can be emailed to

Check out our Submit News page for more details. 

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