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News & Updates

July 27, 2023

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Many churches have been holding Vacation Bible School and Day Camps through out the summer. We enjoy seeing churches getting back together - all the different themes, kids and fun being had.

In late June, the Tri-City Methodists teamed up for a combined VBS experience. The churches include Geneva UMC, Baker Memorial UMC in St Charles and Batavia UMC. They used the VBS program "DEEP BLUE" from the Grow Curriculum. The kids became S.E.A Agents. "Share your Story, Extraordinary Gifts, and Acts of Faith". A fun time was had by all as they learned about Moses and the Parting of the Red Sea, Jesus Feeds the 5,000 and Jonah and the Whale. 

Gary Memorial UMC in Wheaton's VBS theme was an out-of-this world adventure with Stellar. The campers raised $550 for Gary Church’s Educate a Girl/Change the World mission. Campers had a big incentive to exceed their goal: Christy Grace volunteered to have a bucket of water poured on her head, and Carter Gaul volunteered to have twinkies smashed in his face! Thank you to the campers and Christy and Carter for raising funds for scholarships for girls around the world.

Read more VBS stories from across the conference here.

Many churches are starting up Mission Trips after a pause or change due COVID. It is great to see everyone being the hands and feet of Christ in our word.

In July, 26 youth and 12 adults from the Tri-City Methodists (Geneva UMC, Batavia UMC and St. Charles: Baker Memoral UMC) went down to Breathitt County, KY to rehab houses with "Appalachia Service Project". The group was honored by the presence of ASP's CEO Walter Crouch who gave them a gift for volunteering for their 40th year! They took out drywall and insulation that had black mold from last summer's great flood, built new porches, new roofs, and installed new flooring and doors at 6 houses.

Read more Mission Trip stories from across the conference here.

We would love to hear your stories and see your photos.

Share with us by sending information and photos to

Upcoming Events.png

Click on the event title below to find out more information

Volunteers in Mission Sunday

Any Sunday in July or August

United Voices for Children Sunday

July 30

North Central Jurisdiction Mission Academy

Aug 9-12

NIC Prayer Network Monthly Zoom Meeting

August 11

Kids Above All Backpack Drive Deadline

August 11

Keep the Dream Alive Event

August 27

UVC Child Advocacy Award Nominations Due

August 30

Christian Education Sunday

Sept 3

Labor Day

Sept 4

Grandparent's Day

Sept 11

9/11 Remembrance

Sept 11

Hispanic Heritage Month

Sept 15 - Oct 15

UMM Men's Spiritual Congress

Sept 15-17

23 Film Series: Privilege, Power and Race

Sept 21

Prairie Central Informal Gatherings with the District Superintendent

Informational gatherings will be held on the second Thursday of the month, August 10 . 

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.

Nominate a Child Advocacy Leader

Each year the United Voices for Children Board of Directors selects individuals or groups to receive their Annual Child Advocacy Awards. These awards honor extraordinary service or advocacy efforts on behalf of children, youth, and/or families throughout the NIC. Any United Methodist member, congregation, or friend of UVC in Northern Illinois and the Chicago area can submit a nomination to receive one of these awards. Award winners will receive a grant for their organization or ministry, a commemorative plaque, recognition in the annual conference program, and local media outlets. Read about the award categories and nominate someone by Aug. 30. Read more.

Mission Links Highlight - United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR)

Originally founded in 1940 in response to displaced and vulnerable populations in the wake of World War II, The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is a ministry of The United Methodist Church through the General Board of Global Ministries. Their goal is to assist the most vulnerable people affected by crisis or chronic need without regard to their race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation.

Humanitarian Relief and Recovery

Global Ministries seeks to strengthen the ability of the church and communities to respond to disasters and provide humanitarian relief both near and far. The core of this work is accomplished through disaster relief and recovery, risk-reduction programming, addressing the needs and rights of migrants worldwide and improving livelihoods and food security. The intentional care of creation and advancing environmental sustainability also reduces the impact of disaster. Learn more.


Celebrate United Voices for Children Sunday on July 30

Be a part of this important work by supporting UVC's Fifth Sunday Appeal on Sunday, July 30, a part of the Mission Links program. Click here for resources for the local church to inform your congregation and community. Gifts designated for UVC can be indicated with a fund code of 778 or simply by writing “for United Voices for Children.”

Register for the Fall NIC Book Club Registration is open for this fall's groups that will be reading and discussing Living Our Beliefs: The United Methodist Way, by retired UMC Bishop Kenneth L. Carder. Starting in September, groups will meet throughout the conference, via Zoom, in person, and hybrid for five to six weeks. Learn more, find a listing of group options, and register here.

“Keep the Dream Alive” – United Methodists Stand for Racial Justice

On Sunday, August 27, 2023, the NIC Anti-Racism Task Force will be hosting two back-to-back events in Chicago to honor the 60th Anniversary of the March on Washington and to lift up the on-going work of seeking racial justice. 

Find more information and register here.

Save the Date: Men's Spiritual Congress, Sept. 15-17

Meet other UM men, relax, and nurture your faith at UM Men’s 2023 Spiritual Congress, Sept. 15-17, at Conference Point Center in Williams Bay, Wis. The theme is “Relevant Conversations”; guest speaker is Major Gen. John L. Borling, USAF (Ret.), a highly decorated veteran who spent more than six years as a POW in North Vietnam. He is the author of Taps on the Walls: Poems from the Hanoi Hilton. Read more.


Many Grant Options Available for Local Churches

  • North Central Jurisdiction Mission Grants: The North Central Jurisdiction Mission Council is now accepting applications for mission grants. Requests should describe how this grant will benefit a ministry for the entire jurisdiction and how you intend to communicate this connection. Applications are due Sept. 1. Read more.
  • Midwest Methodist Foundation Creative Ministry Grants: The foundation annually offers funding of $500 to $2,000 to churches and church-related organizations for new or expanded creative ministries. (A church-related organization is any organization within our conference area that partners with a local UM church and/or members of a UM congregation in our conference.) Applications are due Sept.15. Read more.
  • Grants Available to Help Strengthen the Ethnic Local Church: Discipleship Ministries is pleased to offer the Racial Ethnic Local Church Concerns (RELCC) Grant, which provides funding to support the ethnic local church through leadership training, small groups, worship, stewardship, and spiritual formation as it engages in developing disciple-making systems inside the church walls and in the community. Applications are due Sept. 30. Read more.

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. The next meeting is Friday, August 11 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.

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

312-346-9766 ext. 783

Leola Tucker

Administrative Assistant

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

Check out our Submit News page for more details. 

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