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News & Updates

February 24, 2022

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Whenever I hear the word, "celebrate," I break into a "contemporary" song that I used to sing 20 plus years ago.   

Celebrate, Jesus, celebrate. He is risen. He is risen and he lives forever more. He is risen, he is risen. Come and celebrate the resurrection of our Lord.  

You all are preparing the celebration of life as Easter is quickly approaching for 2022. While the life and love, peace and hope of Jesus is worthy of all of our praise, there is something that I would like to celebrate with you that has happened in our district.

Six churches have paid more than their allotment of apportionments for the year. They went above and beyond. Doing this, they have lived out what it is to be connectional with all of us. Doing this, they helped make up some of the shortfalls that other churches faced this year in their giving. Doing this, they allowed for the conference to give health grants to pastors and churches in their time of need. Doing this, they helped the conference pay its full share of General Church apportionments. Doing this, they lived out United Methodist Connectionalism and shared the love, peace, hope, and joy of Christ.  

While I appreciate the hard work and dedication of all who strive to pay full apportionments or move towards increasing their apportionments, these six churches I lift up as they have gone above the 100% mark (note I did not add those who were at 101% as I am told most often this is just rounding up or something in accounting more than giving beyond the apportioned amount).

  •    Elmhurst First UMC - 102%
  •    Naperville Grace UMC - 104%
  •    Naperville Wesley UMC - 105%
  •    Winfield South Asian UMC - 107%
  •    Elgin Journey of Hope UMC - 111%
  •    Antioch UMC - 115%

Thank you to the laypersons and pastors who have worked so hard to give above and beyond! May we all find the blessings of living together in connected grace!


Rev. Jeffry Bross,

Prairie Central District Superintendent

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Apportionments allow us to do together what no church, district, or annual conference could do alone.

The Conference is thankful for the 198 churches that paid 100% apportionments in 2021 up from 159 in 2020. This is a great celebration as denominational giving dropped for the third year. Click here to read more.

We want to thank the following Prairie Central churches for giving 100% for at least 10 years in a row.

  • Bolingbrook: Crossroads of Faith 
  • Winfield: Community 
  • Winfield: South Asian

If your church paid 100% (see list), download a customizable press release to announce the news and celebrate your congregation's faithful generosity in your bulletins and newsletters. Click here.

For more resources on apportionments, check out a new revamped webpage on the NIC website,

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Black History Month


Scouting Ministries Sunday

Celebrated on a Sunday in February or March

Joy after the Storm Retreat

February 26

Statistical Reports Due

February 28

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

Palm Sunday

April 10

Maundy Thursday

April 14

Good Friday

April 15

Easter Sunday

April 17

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Mission Links help you live out the beatitudes and be a blessing for projects around the block and around the world.

The Advance for Christ and His Church (The Advance) is the United Methodist program for designated mission giving. The Northern Illinois Conference Global Board of Ministry has organized the options for giving through The Advance in our Mission Links booklet.

We would like to thank the following Prairie Central churches for being a 100% Mission Links Supporter.

  • Antioch
  • Cary
  • Elgin: Journey of Hope
  • McHenry: Mount Hope
  • Naperville: Community
  • Oswego: Good Shepherd
  • Schaumburg: Our Saviour's
  • Winfield: Community
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To become a Mission Links 100% supporter, Apportionments (conference and general church) need to be paid 100% and at least one project in each of the giving areas needs to be supported.

Find a detailed listing of the missionaries supported by our Conference and choose the projects to support in our Mission Links booklet.

For more resources on Mission Links, check out a new revamped webpage on the NIC website,

Still time to get your Statistical Numbers in!

Statistical Reports are due February 28, 2022. These numbers are important information both within our conference and for the larger denomination. The statistical numbers are also used in determining apportionmnent payments. Reach out to David Quin if you have any questions. If you need to find your church number, check this list.

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March Reporter Now Online - Special Issue on Apportionments

The March issue of the Reporter is dedicated to Apportionments with a special pull-out insert, "Connecting your Church to the World." Find resources on why we give, what your apportioned dollars fund, and how Mission Links support local and global ministry projects. Look for the print Reporter in the mail and post this special section on your church bulletin board or download here to share electronically.

Also, in the March issue read the Bishop's column on healthy living, and the cover story on how one small church is making a big impact in their community, thanks to a year-long coaching process to help reach new people. Read the full issue here.

Geneva United Methodists rededicate 150-year-old church


On February 6, 2022 Geneva UMC held a service to rededicate their 150-year-old building after a remodeling project had closed the church since January 3.

Pastor Rob Hamilton opened the service by inviting congregants to join in reading a litany of rededication for ministry. He said, "We gather with glad and grateful hearts to worship in this refreshed space. We are grateful for the gifts of Ruth Anderson and David Erickson that empowered these long-awaited plans to come to fruition."


At Pastor Hamilton's direction, congregants stood and raised hands upward to support ministries for the homeless. Then congregants turned west to envision a music room, south to Fellowship Hall, former sanctuary, to envision work to be done; east to envision library and office space; and finally to gaze on the church cross to offer the building and their lives for service.

After the rededication, Pastor Telomen offered words with children at the altar and preached on "Channeling God's Vision for Peace and Mercy."

Liturgist Nordine read scripture and offered a prayer for the community of faith. Congregant Mike Popplewell sang a solo, "Lord Make Me An Instrument." Sunday school classes resumed during worship.

The service concluded with communion, a hymn and benediction. Food donations for a Salvation Army pantry were collected in the church lobby.

After the worship service, attendees were invited to tour the building and visit new blessing tables in Fellowship Hall. Launched Feb. 6, tables will showcase congregants' hobbies and interests. Inaugural tables featured children and youth games, golf and generation conversation. While youth games will be offered weekly, new and different tables will be offered on following Sundays.

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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.

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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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Join First United Methodist Church at the Chicago Temple for their Joy after the Storm Virtual Retreat on February 26, from 9:00 am - noon with Rev. Dr. Hanna Ka as the guest speaker and a moderated panel to follow. Find out more details and download the flyer here.


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.

Nominations Seeking to fill Board of Trustees Committee

Have you enjoyed volunteering with the Appalachian Service Project (ASP) but want to serve closer to home? Are you a home inspector? Realtor? Construction worker? Insurance broker? Project manager? Please consider offering your time and gifts to the NIC Board of Trustees. Three people will be completing their terms of service and special consideration will be given to laywomen. The NIC Nominations Committee has begun its work for the 2022-2023 year and beyond. If you are curious about volunteering for this committee or any other ministry area, please find more information and the interest form on the NIC's Committee Volunteers webpage. 

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Early Bird Registration Deadline Approaching!

Register by March 20th for financial savings


One Earth Film Festival 2022

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.

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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.

Is your church information up to date?

When is the last time you reviewed your church’s Find-A-Church profile that is listed by The United Methodist Church? If it’s been awhile, it may be in need of an update. With people everywhere looking to connect and make new connections, there’s no time to waste.

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Take a book on your Lenten journey

United Methodists often take the Lenten season to grow and strengthen their faith, spending time reflecting on what it means to be a follower of Christ. Check out this book list that United Methodist Communications put together of both new and older releases to be used on your Lenten journey, either in a group or by yourself.

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Resources for the Local Church

  • UMCOR Sunday (March 27) - Worship Resources, Children's Resources, Social Media graphics, videos and more.
  • Lent - Worship Resources, Stations of the Cross, Studies, Spiritual Practices, and more.
  • Easter and Holy Week - Worship Resources, Hymns, Devotions, Outreach Resources, 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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