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News & Updates

February 22, 2024

** 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)

Bishop Announces New Prairie Central District Superintendent

Bishop Dan Schwerin is pleased to announce the appointment of Rev. Wendy Hardin Hermann as Prairie Central District Superintendent, effective July 1, 2024.

Rev. Hardin Hermann currently serves at Mt. Prospect: Trinity and will follow Rev. Jeffry Bross, who has been appointed as lead pastor at Libertyville United Methodist Church effective July 1, 2024.  Click here to read more.

Learn more and register.

Thank you to all who attended the Laity Convocation. It was a great time of learning from LaToya Redd Thompson and Henrieta Ribeiro. The break-out group conversations were the highlight of the day, where participants learned how to use their courageous and respectful courageous and respectful conversation skills in action.

Watch a recording of the event and learn from the speakers here.

Upcoming Events.png

Click on the event title below to find out more information

Black History Month

February (Month)

Scouting Ministries Sunday

Any Sunday in Feb or March

Clergy Tax Seminar

Feb 22

Vital Partnerships

March 2

Martin Luther King Jr Celebration (rescheduled)

March 3

UMCOR Sunday

March 10

Daylight Savings Begins

March 10

NIC Delegates to General Conference meeting

March 10

Palm Sunday

March 24

Maundy Thursday

March 28

Good Friday

March 29


March 31

United Voices for Children Sunday

March 31

Learn About Youth (and Adult) Mission Trip Options at Naperville: Grace UMC

Grace UMC in Naperville invites people of all ages to an informational meeting on Feb. 25 at 12:30 p.m. to learn about youth summer mission trip opportunities. Learn about Hope@Home, a homebound mission experience in the Chicago area for those in junior high and older, and Side x Side, a week-long away trip for those who have completed eighth grade and older. Friends and neighbors are welcome too! Learn more.

Play Showing at Elmhurst: First UMC

Join Elmhurst: First UMC for the viewing of Late: A Love Story, a one-woman show and a true story about Rachelle Zola and the truths she learned too late. A tribute to the people that so many deem as invisible, dismiss, and or/hate because of the color of their skin. Late: A Love Story, is captivating and will leave you thinking about and reimaging the world we live in. Sat., Feb. 24, 9 a.m. Learn More.

Mission Links Highlight - UMCOR Sunday is Sunday, March 19

On UMCOR Sunday, we partner with other UMC congregations in a special offering to support the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), an organization that acts on our behalf when there is a crisis. When you give generously to support UMCOR Sunday, you embody compassion and you shine God’s light into the shadows as a beacon of hope.

The funds UMCOR receives on this special Sunday are offered by millions of United Methodists to help cover the costs of doing business. From training volunteers to keeping the office lights on, the UMCOR Sunday special offering equips the organization to respond quickly when disaster strikes. Thanks to UMCOR’s informed and reliable infrastructure, expert leadership and experienced volunteers, every dollar received is leveraged to work as hard as possible.

HOW TO GIVE: Write a check to your local church and write, “UMCOR Sunday offering” in the memo line. Churches can support UMCOR Sunday through their prosper payments. Learn more.

Annual Conference 2024 Updates

Sunday, June 16 - Tuesday, June 18

Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center

Important Dates

  • April 3: Registration opens 
  • April 15: Deadline for proposed legislation and historical documents. More information.
  • April 15: Deadline for requests for time for video and media presentations. Request Form.

Join the Mass Choir at Ordination & Commissioning

Do you have a gift for singing? The Annual Conference session music team is organizing a mass choir for the ordination and commissioning service on June 16 in Schaumburg. They’re inviting churches to send four or five members to participate. Encourage your church singers to participate! Find more information and sign up here.

Group Meals at Annual Conference 

Conference-related organizations and groups are encouraged to hold their group meals at the hotel. Plated meals, buffet, and reception-style food station options are available. Registration for meals will be included in AC registration. For more information, please contact Bri Wadlington. 

Volunteers Needed for Conference Ministries

The NIC needs the skills of lay and clergy to help guide program ministries, the administrative functions of the conference, and more. Read more.

General Conference News


Sat., March 2, 2024

9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Hope UMC

2506 Caton Farm Road, Joliet 

Read more.

Illinois Mass Poor People's and Low-Wage Workers' State House Assemblies and to the Polls Rally

The NIC Anti-Racism Task Force and Discipleship Task Force invite church members and friends to join them on March 2 in Springfield for this coordinated action to bring the demands of poor and low-wealth people to the Illinois State House. If at least 10 people plan to participate, task-force members will seek out a hospitality location where folks can meet up. Interested? Contact Amania Drane by Feb. 23. 

Saturday, April 13, 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Aurora: Wesley UMC, 14 N May St., Aurora

Cost $15

The fee includes registration, continental breakfast, and a light lunch.

If this fee precludes you from attending, please don't hesitate to contact Amania Drane.

Learn more.

Take the Wesley Pilgrimage This Summer 

The NIC Discipleship Task Force is once again pleased to share information about Discipleship Ministries’ 2024 Wesley Pilgrimage to England. Join United Methodist travelers worldwide on this 10-day immersion about the life and journeys of John and Charles Wesley. Click here for details. Rev. Katie Voigt, Pastor at Antioch UMC, and Amania Drane, Lay member at Friendship UMC (Bolingbrook), went on the 2023 Wesley Pilgrimage and loved it. Should you have any questions, please contact Amania Drane.

Other Upcoming Conference Events:


Statistical Reports Due Soon

The 2023 Statistics Reports for local churches are due on Thursday, February 29. Thank you to those who have already started and to those who have submitted their data. If you have yet to start, please find instructions and a new tutorial here. If you have questions, contact David W. Quinn at [email protected]. Click here to get started

Apply for a Migrant Ministries Grant

Is your church in ministry with migrants in your community? Apply for a Migrant Needs grant, funded by the 2023 Bishop’s Appeal. Priority will be given to proposals that directly assist individuals or families and include cost-sharing or additional sources of support, whether in-kind, volunteer hours, or financial contributions. Read more.

Other grants available

  • The Foundation for Evangelism grants are given to be a catalyst to equip disciples to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. They focus on three specific areas: Raising Up Gospel Leaders, Engaging the Ministry of the Laity, and Equipping the Local Church. Deadline: Feb. 29 Read more.
  • The PACK (Planned Act of Christian Kindness) Grant is meant to support churches' work to be a blessing to those in the neighboring community to show them the love of Jesus Christ. Awards range from $100 to $500. Deadline: March 31 Read more.
  • The Keagy Grant is for larger ministry projects that benefit the community and strengthen the church through evangelism, discipleship, justice, and compassion. Awards range from $500 to $5000.Deadline: March 31 Read more.

Update Your Find-A-Church Profile

Find-A-Church is one of the most visited sections of, averaging more than 1,000 page views a day. It is a free and easy to help you to connect with busy people in your community on their terms, on their time, and in their comfort zone. It also serves as a companion to your church’s existing website — giving you twice the local visibility online.

Last your United Methodist Communications made major improvements. The site has fully searchable attributes, such as worship style and language, and features event listings, ministries offered, driving directions and more. You can even link to your social media pages. It’s great for large churches and small ones. Make sure your page is up to date today! Click here for instructions on how to update.

NIC Property Insurance News

  • Churches with property and casualty insurance through the annual conference will now find it much easier to see their invoices. The requirement to log into the online site twice has been discontinued; there is now just one log in. The process has been streamlined to be less confusing. Diligent steps are underway to release the 2024 property insurance invoices. NIC churches enrolled in the conference property & casualty insurance program can expect a 10 percent increase over 2023 premiums. 
  • 2024 Certificates of Insurance are available on the Lay Leadership Portal Instructions are available here. Contact Debbie Rogers [email protected] for assistance accessing the portal. Contact Dwayne Jackson, Director of Ministry Protection & Ministry Protection [email protected], with questions and/or changes.
  • Additional information on the NIC Property & Casualty Insurance program is available on the conference website under Risk Management.

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

[email protected]

312-346-9766 ext. 783

Leola Tucker

Administrative Assistant

[email protected]

312-346-9766 ext. 733

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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 [email protected].

Check out our Submit News page for more details. 

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