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News & Updates

August 11, 2022

Prairie Central clergy and lay person Zoom gatherings

Pastors and Lay leaders, 

Thank you for being so wonderful and doing such a great job leading your congregations during these challenging and changing times. God has blessed you, and the Holy Spirit is dancing in your midst. However, I know how stressful and challenging that could be. One of the ways that we, as United Methodists, navigate the challenges of life and ministry is to stay connectional. We are stronger together. When we are connectional, we learn more, grow more, do more and are supported more.

We want to continue the connection that we made last year through our Zoom gatherings. Clergy meet together and lay persons meet at a different time. They are intended to be informal gatherings where I will share news from the district. We can ask questions or bring up concerns and then share resources and ideas of things that are working in your setting with your colleagues and friends. No attendance will be taken. The meetings are intended to support you, give you fresh ideas, keep you informed and stay connected to colleagues, so you know that you are not alone. 

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. 

Clergy: Please invite your members to join the Lay meeting.

Prairie Central Gatherings will begin Thursday, September 8 and every second Thursday through May 11. We will break for the summer and get back at it the following September. 

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

Clergy Gathering link.

Lay Gathering link.

I am so excited to meet with my brothers and sisters again!

Rev. Jeffry Bross

Prairie Central District Superintendent

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Volunteers in Mission Sunday

Any Sunday in July or August

Safe Sanctuary Trainings

August 20

Mission u

August 19

August 20

Prairie Central Picnic in the Park

August 28

Christian Education Sunday

September 4

Labor Day

September 5

Renewable Energy Summit

September 10

CPRES Retreat

September 11-13

UMM Spiritual Congress

September 16-18

Fresh Expressions 2022

September 18-21

Race, America and the Church - Undenied

September 22

NIC Fall Youth Retreat

September 23-25


Summer 2022 Mission Trip Updates

The Elmhurst First United Methodist Church youth group traveled to Knoxville, TN for a mission trip with Next Step Ministries. While there, they were able to complete a roofing project from beginning to end for their new friend, the wonderful Miss Linda. They all worked hard together to complete the project and learned new skills along the way. They were happy to partner with Operation Backyard, an organization dedicated to helping low-income people in need in Knoxville. The biggest blessing was getting to know Miss Linda throughout the week. They all promised to keep in touch in the future.

In addition to working on the project, they enjoyed spirited music and a great message each night during the worship service. They are grateful to have been given the opportunity to serve and grow during our mission trip experience. 

Submitted by Lisa Rogers, Director of Children and Youth Ministries, Elmhurst First United Methodist Church

Apportionment Highlight - General Commission on the Status and Role of Women (World Service Fund)

The General Commission on the Status and Role of Women (GCSRW), which has its offices located right here in Chicago, and was started in the Northern Illinois Conference, is funded through the World Service Fund portion of our apportionments.

The General Commission on the Status and Role of Women is 50 years young! The agency’s work now spans the world and connects United Methodists to valuable resources that enable all levels of the church to champion the full inclusion of women in the denomination. Thanks to generous congregational support through the World Service Fund, GCSRW employs a small but mighty team dedicated to women’s full and equal participation in the life of The United Methodist Church. Over the past 50 years, the agency has accomplished much in terms of advocacy for women, but as data indicates, its work is far from complete.

Celebrating successes, commemorating a difficult journey and organizing future work, GCSRW staff and supporters remain committed to greater advocacy for women. Recognizing the challenges, the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women looks forward to the next 50 years, grounded with the enlivening hope that, together, we will fulfill our mission.

Since 1894, Kids Above All (formerly ChildServ) has placed the safety, well-being, and education of kids above everything else. Running through the summer, you can help ensure that the hundreds of kids in their care have the supplies they need to succeed this school year through the agency's annual backpack drive. Click for details.

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The Northern Illinois Conference is offering 6 training options to help meet our goal of ensuring safe spaces in our churches.

Only one training left - both in person and on Zoom!

Saturday, August 20 - 1:00 pm - Des Plaines: First UMC

Find more information and register here.

**This free training is an alternative for those who cannot participate in other training options and does not include a background check.

Also, we have redone our NIC Safe Sanctuaries Website. Check out the site for videos, policies, FAQ, downloads and more resources. 

Mission u Summer 2022

August 19 & 20

United Women in Faith Northern Illinois Conference (formerly UMW) is offering classes for all ages. Choose from one of four locations for in person and or a virtual option.

  • The adult curriculum, Who Can We Be Together, brings participants deeper into Jesus’ teachings to explore what it means to be in community.
  • The youth curriculum, Community in the Midst of Challenging Times, will help young people interpret scripture for today’s world, and deepen community connections through intergenerational dialogue.
  • Through transformative activities and spiritual practices, participants in the children’s curriculum, Our Growing Tree, will discover joy and empowerment in the scriptures and find support in their journeys of self-love and community building.

Find out more information here. Deadline to register is Aug. 17.

Online Via Zoom & In Person - Euclid Avenue UMC, 405 S Euclid Ave, Oak Park, IL

Free event with lunch included. More information here.

More information here.

CPRES (Clergy Peer Reflection & Engagement Series) was created for clergy. The premise is simple offer a brave space for clergy to have the difficult conversations about racism without fear of judgement, condemnation, and always in a spirit of understanding. The retreat (Sunday, September 11, 6:00 pm - Tuesday, September 13, 12:00 pm Noon) is designed to build a beloved community, willing to share from deep within their hearts. Participants will spend 3 days and two nights at the retreat, building community through worship, Eucharist, spiritual renewal, and holy conversations in small groups. Learn more and register here.

Speaker Series: Race, America, and the Church

The Northern Illinois Conference, in partnership with the Indiana Conference and other groups, is pleased to announce the 2022 Speaker Series.

The third event in this series will be held September 22.

Undenied: No Longer Willing to be Unheard

Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022, 12:00 - 1:30 pm

Rev. Chebon Kernell shares insights and learning related to indigenous communities’ history, present work being done, and how we can be in solidarity as we prepare for the future.

In-person at Our Redeemer's in Schaumburg and online

Register and Learn More

2nd Annual Rally Against Racism

Church and community members gathered on the First United Methodist Church lawn in Elmhurst to celebrate Juneteenth with music, education, and guest speakers from the DuPage County NAACP, Patrick Watson and Michael Childress.

In addition to listening to Jazz music and moving spirituals, participants could visit several education stations to look at resources, talk with leading activists in our area, learn how to register to vote, and make anti-racism posters. The event ended with a lively rally on York Road where people rang cowbells and raised their anti-racist signs telling those who passed the church that United Methodists Stand Against racism.

The church took part for the second year in the DIY Rally Against Racism organized by the NIC Annual Conference Shepherding Team (ACST) and the Anti-racism Task Force (ARTF).

There's still time to hold your own rally. Learn more and sign up today.

NIC Job Opening - Events Coordinator

We are currently seeking a qualified candidate to come join the NIC Program Area team as an Events Coordinator/Administrative Assistant.

The event planner is responsible for all events and registration offered at the conference and district level, either through planning or guidance for those who do the planning so that every event will have the same high quality of branding and execution. The event planner must have exceptional customer service skills and support capabilities with a passion for planning events. They must be able to work with staff teams and engage volunteer committees to accomplish the task.

This job is a hybrid, full-time position with flexible hours. Some weekend and evening work is required for event support. The position includes both Health Insurance upon hire (with wellness incentives) and Pension Benefits after a vesting period. 

If you know someone who would be interested, click here for the job description and to apply.

Last Call!

The first NIC Book Club session Kneeling with Giants by Gary Neal Hansen is winding up. Dr. Hansen’s videos will only be available on the Discipleship Task Force website for a few more weeks. 

If you haven’t seen them yet, please treat yourself and take time to see all four. Many have already gained invaluable tools for enhancing and enriching their prayer styles. You can access the recordings here.

Then, watch for our next NIC Book Club selection! Coming soon!

Do you have news to share?

We are always looking for stories of what is happening in the local church.  We welcome articles from churches highlighting ministries, outreach, and missions which 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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Resources for the Local Church

  • Volunteers in Mission Sunday (Any Sunday in July or August) - Songs, Liturgy, Posters, Mission Moments, Sermon Starters, and more
  • Christian Education Sunday (September 4) -Tips for getting your christian education started and to continue it growing.
  • Labor Day (September 5) - Ways Churches can honor the weekend.
  • #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 - for 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

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