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News & Updates

February 10, 2021

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February is Black History Month. 

If you are looking for an interactive and culturally appropriate way to observe Black History Month in your local church, then Rev. Brittney Stephan of the Michigan Annual Conference of the UMC has a resource for you. The resource includes highlights of leadership for 28 historical figures that can be incorporated into a daily practice throughout February or better yet, become part of an ongoing journal/reflection process for people of all ages.

Read more and download the book here.

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Join the Conference-wide Book Club this Lent

What kind of experience do you have in your prayer life? Is it full of joy or does it fall flat? Gary Neal Hansen, author of the Discipleship Task Force’s first selection for the NIC Book Club, suggests if your experience is the latter, conceivably you haven’t found a prayer method that you really connect with. In his book, “Kneeling with Giants,” Hansen offers a wide range of approaches to prayer that are all classics. What better time than Lent to search out a deeper relationship with the God who so loved the world…? Join the Discipleship Task Force in dropping to our knees by joining a group this Lenten Season. If you're interested, visit to sign up.

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Laity Convocation registration is open until Friday, February 11 at noon.

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Black History Month


Scouting Ministries Sunday

Celebrated on a Sunday in February or March

Laity Convocation - Hold Fast to the Mast

February 12

UMW Learning and Sharing Morning - Prairie Central & Prairie North

February 19

Order of Elders Gathering

February 24

Ash Wednesday

March 2

One Earth Film Festival

March 4-13, 2022

Prairie Central District Lay Academy Spring 2022

March 6, 13, 2, 27 and April 3

NIC UMM Annual Breakfast Meeting

March 12

Day Light Savings Begins

March 13

Harmony for Hunger Concert

March 18

Vital Partnerships Workshop

March 19

Early Bird Registration closes for 5 Day Academy

March 20

Race, America and the Church Speaker Series - Undenied: Our Stories, Our Voices

March 24

UMCOR Sunday

March 27

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Methodist Olympian to be honored

Methodist Olympian Kevin McDowell will be inducted into Geneva, Ill., High School’s Athletic Hall of Fame Friday, Feb. 11. The induction will take place at halftime of the boys basketball game against Wheaton North. 

McDowell is a a cancer survivor from Geneva, Ill. and a first-time U.S. Olympian, made history at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo in the men's triathlon event on July 26. He earned the highest-ever finish by a U.S. man at the Olympic Games with sixth place.


In high school, McDowell began attending Flowing Forth United Methodist Church (formerly Flowing Grace UMC) in Aurora, Illinois, and he still visits the church when in town. The Geneva City Council announced last year that it planned to create a dedicated street sign with McDowell’s name on it welcoming people into the city as “the home of Kevin McDowell.”

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The Art of Holy Week Online Series Offered

Pastor Daniel Cochran (serving Wheaton: Aldersgate) is offering an online 3-week Lenten faith formation series for all churches in the Prairie Central District. Drawing upon his passion for and training in art history, Daniel will lead us on an exploration of Christian art that spans the centuries and takes us around the globe. For three evenings during Lent, beginning March 9, we will explore how Christians have understood and expressed through art the sacred events of Holy Week. We will learn more about our Christian tradition and theology while deepening our own spiritual engagement with this Lenten and Easter season. RSVP Required Contact Daniel Cochran for more information.


Cultivating the Craft of Asking Workshop

This series of five live interactive online workshops equips pastoral and church leaders for the craft of cultivating financial support for mission and ministry. Sponsored by the NIC UM Foundation. Starts February 23. Visit for more information and to register. View this video of participants in the Fall 2021 cohort.


NIC UMM Annual Breakfast

March 12 starting 8:30 am. In-person and livestreamed from Grace UMC, 3555 McFarland Rd, Rockford, IL. Guest Speaker Greg Arnold, UMM's new General Secretary. Cost $10. No cost for pastors. Click here for details.

Town and Rural Grant Applications Open

It's grant application season again for the Keagy/Town and Rural Committee. If you are a small town or rural congregation in need of financial assistance for ministry opportunities, we encourage you to apply for a Keagy/Town and Rural Committee grant. If your ministry is in need of minor funding ($300-$500) be sure to apply to the PACK application. If you have a more expensive ministry in mind ($500-$3,000,) then the Keagy application is the one you need. Applications must be completed online by March 15.

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Harmony For Hunger Concert

March 18 6:30 - 9 pm.

Hosted by the Prairie North District UMM at Hononegah High School Performing Arts Center, 307 Salem Street, Rockton, IL.

Cost $15.

100% of the proceeds will go toward area food pantries and the Society of St. Andrew's meals for millions.

Click here for details.

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Early Bird Registration Deadline Approaching!

Register by March 20th for financial savings


Invitation to join #BeUMC campaign

United Methodist Communications has launched a new #BeUMC online toolkit to assist church leaders in creating engagement in their church communities focused on the work of the Holy Spirit being done through the people of The United Methodist Church. #BeUMC is a grassroots effort built upon powerful stories of congregations and individuals living their faith. Read more.


One Earth Film Festival 2022 coming soon

Join the NIC Eco-Sustainability Task Force and One Earth Collective for the 11th annual One Earth Film Festival, March 4-13, 2022.

Learn about and protect God’s creation. Please attend these virtual and in-person events.

  • My Octopus Teacher - Sunday, March 6 online/virtually and Urban Village Church, River Forest
  • On the Fenceline: A Fight for Clean Air and The Sacrifice Zone: Life in an Industrial Wasteland - Sunday, March 6 online/virtually and at Euclid United Methodist Church, Oak Park
  • Inhabitants: Indigenous Perspectives on Restoring Our World Saturday, March 12 online/virtually and at Chicago Temple, Chicago

More information here.

Clergy Education Courses offered online

Pastor's are you looking for ways to get continuing education courses online? offers a variety of classes to take online. Check out the upcoming classes here.

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Global Ministries EarthKeepers 2022 trainings open

Global Ministries EarthKeepers is a training program that equips US-based United Methodists to launch and grow environmental projects in their communities. Topics include eco-theology, anti-racism, community organizing, and project planning. Spring classes are March 18 - April 2 online (application deadline March 1). Summer classes are July 18 - August 11 online (application deadline June 30).

Find out more information here.

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Resources for the Local Church

Like Us on Facebook: Prairie Central District

Rev. Jeffry Bross

Prairie Central District Superintendent

[email protected]

312-346-9766 ext. 783

Leola Tucker

Administrative Assistant

[email protected]

312-346-9766 ext. 733

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