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News & Updates

December 8, 2022

** 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 apportionment announcements, sympathy notices and weekly eNews)

No Email on December 21 - Enjoy your Christmas Season!

Click the video below to watch a Christmas Greeting from

Prairie Central District Superintendent Jeffry Bross.

Check out this video showcase for more Christmas Greetings.

Videos are downloadable and able to be shared with your congregation.

Elgin First Love Thy Neighbor Thanksgiving Dinner Fed 2000.

Dozens of volunteers, from the cooks to the servers, worked to create a memorable holiday for the "Love Thy Neighbor" community Thanksgiving held at First United Methodist Church. The dinner was not only for people who are of low income or houseless, it was for everyone and anyone who wanted to attend. Because of God's favor and blessing, they fed 2000 folks (1250 onsite and another 750 off-site including the migrants who have been sent here from Florida/TX, two housing authority complexes, Lazarus House in St. Charles, Elgin Fire Department, PADS, St. Joseph Hospital's Emergency Room Staff and others).  Between $25,000 and $30,000 in food and supplies was raised, in addition to $5000+ in cash. The Grand Victoria Casino cooked the turkeys and two executive chefs led teams of volunteers in making the meals.

Watch the Eyewitness 7 News report here.

Watch a longer video interview of the event here.

Aurora Boy Scout Leads Blanket-Making Bee for Charity

For his Eagle Scout project, Nathan Martinez, 16, of Montgomery mobilized 40 volunteers for the project by Blackhawk Troop 11 at Wesley United Methodist Church in Aurora.

Nathan, a junior at Oswego High School, learned about delegating, flexibility and time management during the effort. His project will benefit the Aurora chapter of Project Linus, a national nonprofit that supplies blankets to children in need through hospitals, shelters and social service agencies. He prepared for the project by collecting 140 donations of fleece fabric.Additionally, he produced blanket assembly directions, including a print guide and 10-minute video. Volunteers rounded up by Martinez included fellow Scouts, friends and family members.

During the three-hour session, blanket makers cut, tied and sewed fleece donations in two rooms at Wesley. They crafted 95 covers, set second session to work on 45 more.

Upcoming Events.png

Blue Christmas/ Longest Night December 21


December 25

New Years Day 

January 1


January 6

Mission u Winter 2023

January 8 & 29

Human Relations Day

January 15

Martin Luther King, Jr Day

January 17

United Voices for Children Sunday

January 29

Black History Month


Scouting Ministries Sunday

Any Sunday in Feb or March

Prairie Central Leadership Training

February 4

Laity Convocation

February 12

Surviving the Holidays Session Offered for Those Experiencing Grief

If you, or someone you know, are experiencing grief issues with the upcoming holidays, the United Methodist Church of Antioch hopes to provide some help by offering two separate sessions of "Surviving the Holidays." The session December 14 will run from 1:00 - 3:00 pm at the church located at 848 Main St in Antioch, IL. There will be no charge for the sessions. Contact the church office to sign up.

Save the Date

Prairie Central Informal Gatherings with the District Superintendent

Informational gatherings will be TONIGHT, on the second Thursday, December 8. 

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.

Next meeting will be January 12, 2022

December/January Reporter Available Online

The December/January Reporter is now available to read online and is being delivered to mailboxes soon.

In this issue, Bishop John L. Hopkins reflects on the last two years in his final column and we welcome the Northern Illinois Conference's new Bishop Dan Schwerin, who begins his assignment on Jan. 1, 2023.

Also, read another last as Anne Marie Gerhardt signs off after more than 11 years as the Reporter's editor and Director of Communications. Plus, go behind the scenes with Sheila Carrasco, the daughter of former NIC District Superintendent Oscar Carrasco and star of the CBS TV show "Ghosts." Get more information on events in the new year and hear firsthand from an Early Response Team member on the ground helping Hurricane victims in Florida.

Click here to read all this and more.

Watch Bishop Hopkins' farewell.

There are still chances to help kids this holiday season with Kids Above All!

Visit their webpage here or contact Catherine Inserra to learn more or to set up a time to volunteer

Apportionments Highlight - Ministerial Education Fund

Since 1968 the Ministerial Education Fund has helped thousands of men and women become pastoral leaders in The United Methodist Church. It is nurtured and funded by United Methodists to provide:

  • Needed scholarships through annual conferences
  • Funding for the support of our thirteen United Methodist seminaries in the United States
  • Programs that encourage men and women to respond to the call to ordained ministry
  • Continuing-education opportunities for pastors across the connection
  • Course-of-study education for local pastors

Through the Ministerial Education Fund, leaders in The United Methodist Church are being sent into the world to serve Jesus Christ and his church.

A friendly reminder that the deadline to pay apportionments is approaching quickly. Be sure to check your Prosper account at before the year is over. As United Methodists, we are committed to connectional giving, and our primary way of doing that is through apportioned giving. By being a faithful 100% church, you allow the United Methodist faith to continue to grow around the world and here at home. Help spread our ministry and mission by catching up on your apportionments payment today.

To find more information about apportionments, visit the Apportionments page.

NIC Job Opening - Director of Communications

We are currently seeking a qualified candidate to come join the NIC Program Area Team as the Director of Communications.

The primary role of the Director of Communications is to convey the Northern Illinois Conference of The United Methodist story in a holistic and fully representative manner. The Director will oversee the production of conference communications including print, news, and social media. Interested candidate must have excellent organizational, communication, and relationship skills as well as proficiency in multiple communication platforms. They must be able to Consult with conference committees, boards and agencies in their communication efforts.

This position is a hybrid, full-time position with flexible hours. Some weekend and evening work is required. 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.


Join United Women in Faith (formerly UMW) at Mission u

Take another opportunity to take a look at Luke 13!

Winter Mission u will be a virtual-only class. There will be an opening and 1st class on Sunday, January 8th. Then there will be three 2-hour classes held over the next 3 weeks either during the morning or evening, whichever works best for you. Last, there will be a final class and a closing ceremony on Sunday, January 29th to finish off the event. All are welcome. Winter Mission u will be a virtual-only class.

Click here for details and to register.

NIC 2023 Civil Rights Pilgrimage from April 26 – May 1

We will visit important sites in the struggle for civil rights in Nashville, Birmingham, Montgomery, Selma, and Memphis. This is not a sightseeing tour. It is a historical and educational tour designed with intent and discernment to help journey-goers take action against racism. Seating is limited and will be first come, first served. Each day will include a debriefing session. The expectation is that participants will educate and advocate in their churches and communities. Advocacy training sessions will be conducted.

The NIC Anti-Racism Task Force is seeking grants to help fund a portion of the cost of the trip.

Additional information can be found here.

More details will be posted in early 2023.


2022 Speaker Series Final Event Focused on the Local Church

The Anti-Racism Task Force (ARTF) and its partnering conferences and sponsors wrapped up its 2022 Speaker Series, “Race, America, and the Church: Unafraid and Unashamed to Tackle It.The series concluded with a webinar featuring Dr. Andrew G. I. Hart, a theology professor and proponent for social change through Christian activism.

Dr. Hart’s webinar, Called: Doing God’s Work for the Beloved Community,” was held online on December 1 and focused on what the local church can do to combat the continuation of racism in the church and in society.

Read more here.

Give Campaign Encourages Year-End Giving

Global Ministries, the worldwide mission and development agency of The United Methodist Church, invites churches and individuals to give love, joy, hope, and peace through a denomination-wide yearend giving campaign. The United Methodist Committee on Relief, the denomination's relief arm, is part of Global Ministries. Click here to read the press release. Click here to give.

New December Devotion from Pastor Marcia Peddicord, Certified Lay Minister and Pastor at Malden UMC and December prayer focus.

Resources for the Local Church

  • #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

Facebook  Instagram  Twitter  YouTube  Web

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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