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News & Updates

February 23, 2022

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On Thurs., Feb. 9, Bishop Dan Schwerin spent his day in Prairie Central for the Day on the District. The morning started with the clergy gathering at Naperville Grace UMC. Following lunch, the Bishop and others explored the work of three river town churches on the Prairie Central District working cooperatively, Geneva, Batavia, and St. Charles: Baker Memorial, who are all partnering to bring ministries to their area. Dinner was eaten in the Elgin area, followed by the Bishop gathering with the laity at Journey of Hope UMC. More information about the Bishop's visits around the conference can be found here.

Friendship UMC in Bolingbrook hosted a Friendsgiving dinner on December 3 for people who are not invited to, or included in, family holiday celebrations. Friendship partnered with the Bolingbrook Pride organization for catered food, and the 55 guests brought a delicious variety of potluck dishes to share. Conversations were full every minute and guests thanked the church for the opportunity to be with loving, accepting people. One guest had not been in a social setting in years and hoped to keep in touch with people from the dinner. Another guest said the attendees were the nicest people he’d ever met and he had never felt more seen or accepted. Several attendees have started a coffee social club to continue to see each other.

On Sat., Feb. 18, at Journey of Hope United Methodist Church in Elgin the NIC United Methodist Men met at their annual Lenten breakfast and worship service. About 50 northern Illinois Methodist men attended the event. Herb John, United Methodist Men's president, and Rev. Jeffry Bross, Praire Central District Superintendent, spoke and shared news.

Prairie Central Informal Gatherings with the District Superintendent

Informational gatherings will be on the second Thursday, March 9. 

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 April 13, 2022

Upcoming Events.png

Click on the event title below to find out more information

Black History Month


Scouting Ministries Sunday

Any Sunday in Feb or March

Bishop Schwerin's Installation

February 26

Order of Elders

February 28

Prairie Central Lay Academy Spring

March 5, 12, 19 & 26

NIC Prayer Network Monthly Meeting

March 10

Black Healing Collective 4-Hour Retreat

March 11

Day Light Savings Begins

March 12

Becoming the Beloved Community

March 18

UMCOR Sunday

March 19

2023 Film Series - The Green Book

March 25

Palm/Passion Sunday

April 2

Annual Conference Registration Opens

April 3

Annual Conference Legislation and Documents Due

April 3

Maundy Thursday

April 6

Good Friday

April 7

Easter Sunday

April 9

On Sat., Feb. 11, North Central College’s student-led group, Voices of Praise (VOP), celebrated their 35th annual Gospel Extravaganza concert at Grace United Methodist Church. Gospel Extravaganza is a time to celebrate the unity of African American culture and religion. The gospel music featured has Christian roots and stems from popular hymns sung by Africans during slavery. The songs often tell a story of hope which inspires the audience to stay strong and continue to forge ahead. Watch a recording of the event here.

Click here for more information and register.

March Reporter Available Online

The March Reporter is now available to read online and will be delivered to mailboxes soon.

In this issue, we focus on connection. Learn about how Bishop Dan Schwerin has been connecting and forming relationships across the conference and read his column. Find the list of Apportionment 100% giving and Mission Links churches that are helping aid our connection across the world. Catch up on events with an update on Annual Conference, a recap of Laity Convocation, and a plan from the Net Zero team.

Also, in Local Church news, read about how a merged church continues a tradition and how visiting basketball games lead to a renewed youth program. Get more information on upcoming events, read how we are reconnecting, and find out information from around the conference and denomination.

Click here to read all this and more.

Mission Links Highlight - Midwest Mission

Midwest Mission brings the hearts and hands of God's people together to transform resources into humanitarian relief. they send tangible resources to those in need to make an intangible difference in their lives through hope and empowerment.

Personal Dignity Kits Needed in Turkey

Midwest Mission is preparing to send disaster relief supplies through their partner, North Star Foundation. They need to prepare upwards of 20,000 Personal Dignity Kits so they have what is needed to send to Turkey, as well as Ukraine and the other countries where they consistently send help. Learn more here.

What can you do? 

  1. You can donate! Monetary donations allow them to quickly buy supplies in bulk, and buy what is being requested by Turkey. Donate here.
  2. You can also buy items for the Personal Dignity Kit from their Amazon shopping list and have it delivered to Midwest Mission. To see the list, click here.
  3. You can pray! Disaster Relief is both a marathon and a sprint.

UMCOR’s longstanding humanitarian partner, International Blue Crescent (IBC), has multiple offices and project sites in Turkey. In IBC offices, people fill the halls as they seek shelter, warmth, and a hot meal. UMCOR has released initial solidarity grants to IBC and Forum for Development Culture and Dialogue (working in Syria) to help provide tents, heaters, blankets, warm clothes, ready-to-eat meals, and first aid kits to those who have been displaced. UMCOR staff members are also in touch with other partners in the region. Read more about UMCOR's response here. Support relief and recovery efforts for this and other international disasters by donating to UMCOR through Advance # 982450 here. 


Lead and Love in Mission

Dreaming of putting together a mission journey but need some help getting started? Lead mission journeys but want to be more intentional? Come to our one-hour panel discussion, "Connecting for Mission: a Conversation for Dreamers, Planners, and Volunteers," on February 23rd from 7-8 via Zoom. This will be a panel of experienced team leaders who have traveled nationally and internationally. This is a collaborative effort of the Anti-Racism and Discipleship Task Forces to equip our churches in leading youth mission experiences. We invite youth leaders and those who lead youth in mission to attend. Kris Aves, NIC UMVIM co-coordinator, with extensive experience leading youth in mission locally and nationally, will moderate. Click here to register for the link.

Join UMCOR in prayer for Ukraine

Fri., Feb. 24, 2023, marks one year since Russian forces invaded Ukraine, continuing a war started in 2014 when Russia annexed Crimea and other Ukrainian territories. United Methodists have joined with other people of faith and people of good will across the world to provide relief for the people of Ukraine and support for those who care for refugees.

Together, we unite in prayer to seek God’s strength and guidance and acknowledge God’s love and power to give relief to the oppressed and turn the hearts and minds of oppressors. Please join Roland Fernandes, Global Ministries’ general secretary, on Fri., Feb. 24, at 1:00 pm central, via Facebook Live in a prayer for comfort and peace for the people of Ukraine. More information available here.

Join us for the Formal Installation of Bishop Dan Schwerin to the Northern Illinois Conference

Sunday, February 26, at 3:00 pm, we will be holding a formal installation service for Bishop Dan Schwerin. The service will be held at First UMC in Elgin at 216 E. Highland Ave. Members of the Northern Illinois Conference will be joined by ecumenical and connectional guests. There will be hospitality to follow service.

Anti-Racism Task Force announces the 2023 Film Series

The 2023 Film Series is focused on increasing cultural competency and dialogue as a means to increase advocacy and participation in the spaces around the contexts, causes, and impacts of racism. It will consist consists of viewing a documentary film or movie each quarter, followed by expert-led discussions. Find out more about the Film series here.

For the first quarter event, the Anti-Racism Series Team will be hosting a docent-lead tour of The Negro Motorist Green Book exhibit at the Illinois Holocaust Museum. The event will occur on Saturday, March 25 at 10:00 am and include lunch and a discussion afterward with Dr. Richard Guzman. Find more information and register here.

2023 Becoming the Beloved Community Workshops

The Northern Illinois Conference's anti-racism workshop Becoming the Beloved Community: How to Talk About Race in America announces its 2023 schedule:

  • March 18 - Bolingbrook: Friendship UMC
  • April 15 - Rochelle UMC
  • April 29 - Special Youth Leaders presentation
  • September 30 - Mt. Prospect: Trinity UMC
  • October 14 - Naperville: Community UMC
  • October 28 - Glen Ellyn: First UMC
  • November 11 - Hindsdale UMC

The workshop helps churches begin, re-energize, or re-focus their anti-racism journey. It not only conveys essential information about race in America but tries to encourage the process of forming relationships and alliances that will help us move together towards more racially just and equitable churches and communities. Fighting the continuing scourge of racism was one of the three primary goals the Northern Illinois Conference set for itself in 2019, and hosting a Becoming the Beloved Community Workshop is one way a church can begin to fulfill that goal. Learn more here.

Kids Above All Distribution Center Grand Opening

Join Kids Above All for Continental Breakfast and tours of the New Better Life Distribution Center on Mon., March 20 at 10:00 am at the Better Life Distribution Center, 1801 E. Oakton St, Des Plaines, IL. Questions and RSVP to Deaconess Catherine Inserra, or Zulma Colon,

Registration Now Open for NIC 2023 Civil Rights Pilgrimage

Wed., April 26 - Mon., May 1 A historical and educational tour designed with intent and discernment to help journey-goers take action against racism. Each day will include a debriefing session, and advocacy training sessions will be conducted. The cost will is $999 for a single room ($599 per person for double occupancy) for an inclusive 6-day, 5-night trip that will cover transportation, accommodations, entrance fees, and meals as we visit Nashville, Birmingham, Montgomery, Selma, and Memphis sites. Other occupancy options are available. Please contact Amania Drane at for questions and more information. Click here to find out more


Rethink church is continuing its Lent Photo-A-Day prompts on Social Media. Each day, they present a scripture-inspired word for your consideration. Throughout the day, see how the word inspires you or shows up in your life, and share your thoughts by posting a picture. No explanation is needed in your post. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words. Tag them on your Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, or on Twitter with #rethinkchurch and/or #BeUMC. Click here for more information and the full list.

GCAH invites congregations to submit their stories

To celebrate Heritage Sunday 2023, the General Commission on Archives and History (GCAH) is asking local churches to submit their histories to GCAH for consideration to be chosen as one of a dozen histories to be highlighted on the agency website, social media channels, and in Heritage Sunday resources. Church histories may be submitted in a variety of formats, including written, video, audio, timeline or another creative form. Please send all submissions to and type “Local Church History” in the subject line. Submissions are due March 1.

Scholarships Available for United Methodist Students

Scholarship Applications are now being accepted for the following UMC-based scholarships:

  • United Methodist Higher Education Foundation - for students planning to attend one of the 100+ UM-related colleges, universities, and seminaries across the country. Scholarship applications are open until March 1st, 2023. To learn more and apply, click here.
  • Archives and History Grants/Awards - for students and researchers to in a number of fields of study, including United Methodist history, particularly as it relates to women and ethnic groups and archival science. Deadline for applications is March 17, 2023. For the complete list, along with details about applying, click here.
  • General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) - for United Methodist students pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees. Scholarship applications are open until March 30th, 2023. To learn more and apply, click here.
  • United Methodist Foundation - for students to empower them to continue their education. This scholarship is designed to assist minority United Methodist students to attend a trade school, community college, college, or university. Applications are due April 30, 2023. Click here for more information and to appl

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. You’re welcome to join in praying for the upcoming events of our conference. Yes, God can do things without our praying, but God chooses to involve us. And without God, our work is futile. The next meeting is Friday, March 10 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.

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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