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News & Updates

July 28, 2022

Summer Mission Trips

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 world.

Gary UMC in Wheaton helped fix homes in Appalachia 

Youth from Gary United Methodist Church in Wheaton traveled to Floyd County, Kentucky this summer to serve with the Appalachia Service Project. Students and adult volunteers worked on two homes. On one house, they built stairs and installed siding. On another, they built a porch and ramp and installed a door, plus worked underneath the house to keep it dry and free from animals. (One of the houses was started on by a team from Batavia! - the NIC works together even when they don't know it) Youth learned new skills and helped to make homes in Appalachia drier and safer. Read more.

Written by Janet Mathis, Gary UMC

38 Geneva Methodists rehab low-income West Virginia homes

On June 11, the church team carpooled to West Virginia in five passenger vans and a cargo van. While most volunteers were from Geneva, others represented Aurora, North Aurora, Batavia, Dekalb and Lincoln Park. Rehab projects ranged from indoor bathroom plumbing and kitchen floor repair to roofing and deck and stairs replacement. A group dug holes for a wheelchair ramp attached to the side of a house. In the evenings, team members attended a ritual circle and meetings held by the host Appalachia Service Project group to teach about local areas and problems including poverty, unemployment and low-income housing.Read more

Written by Al Benson

Spirit Lake Mission Success for Joyrney of Hope UMC

Dark and early on a Sunday morning, 15 bleary eyed people loaded up into vehicles and began a 13 hour drive. Through dark of night, dense fog of morning, and into the bright sunshine of the afternoon, these hopeful individuals arrived some 750 miles later in remote North Dakota, ready to “be flexible” with whatever is asked of them. After an evening worship service from Pastor Mike, and a wonderful meal prepared by our in-residence chef, Libby, they were ready.

Inclement weather, inconsistent tools, and a request to be flexible would not slow this group down. They attacked projects with passion, pouring their heart and souls into construction, scraping, priming, and painting. By the time the week was over, even though the projects were not completed, there was a sense of accomplishment, maybe not so much in the projects, but in building relationships and loving on neighbors.

This team of energizer bunnies learned about the culture, the surroundings, and the horrific pasts that many of our Native American siblings have endured. Drumbeats ring through their heads as they try to be still before unmarked graves, boarding schools, and sacred spaces of the past. They returned just six days later with hearts and minds opened, forever changed.

Written by Pastor Jarrod Severing, Journey of Hope UMC

We would love to hear your stories and see your photos. Share with us by sending information and photos to

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Volunteers in Mission Sunday

Any Sunday in July or August

Safe Sanctuary Trainings

July 30

August 6

August 20

United Voices for Children Sunday

July 31

Mission u

August 19

August 20

Christian Education Sunday

September 4

Labor Day

September 5

Renewable Energy Summit

September 10

CPRES Retreat

September 11-13

Fresh Expressions 2022

September 18-21

Race, America and the Church - Undenied

September 22

NIC Fall Youth Retreat

September 23-25

Mission Links Highlight - United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM)

United Methodist Volunteers in Mission is a grassroots movement of United Methodists who seek to put their “Christian Love in Action.” Since the 1970s, UMVIM has offered a framework through which disciples can engage in short-term mission locally, nationally, and globally.

Our volunteers are lay and clergy, young and old, with differing abilities and vocations, from all walks of life. Tens of thousands of United Methodists engage in short-term mission each year in ministries as varied as disaster response, community development, pastor training, microenterprise, agriculture, Vacation Bible School, building repair and construction, and medical/dental services. There is a place for everyone to serve.

The Northern Illinois Conference celebrates Volunteers in Mission any Sunday in July or August (NIC Fund #901375) To learn about VIM or how to organize a team in your congregation, visit here.

UMVIM Mission Journey Grants

If your congregation is looking for support, there are grants available. These grants, up to $1000, provide financial support for Northern Illinois Conference (NIC) districts and local churches with a passion and plan for organizing, funding and leading youth and/or adult Mission Journey teams. Find more information here.

To register click here.

VBS Materials Needed

Barrington UMC's Director of Children's Ministry is looking to borrow or purchase a Vacation Bible School curriculum entitled, "Treasured" by Group Publishing. It was introduced in 2021. If you can loan or sell the material to them, please contact Susan Brown at

Since 1894, Kids Above All (formerly ChildServ) has placed the safety, well-being, and education of kids above everything else. Running through the summer, you can help ensure that the hundreds of kids in their care have the supplies they need to succeed this school year through the agency's annual backpack drive. Click for details.

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The Northern Illinois Conference is offering 6 training options to help meet our goal of ensuring safe spaces in our churches.

The trainings are being offered both on-line via zoom and in-person.

The dates offered are:

  • Thursday, June 23 - 6:30 pm - Plainfield UMC (Event Complete)
  • Wednesday, June 29 - 6:30 pm - Plainfield UMC (Event Complete)
  • Saturday, July 16 - 1:00 pm - Des Plaines: First UMC (Event Complete)
  • Saturday, July 30 - 10:00 am - Rockford: Christ UMC
  • Saturday, August 6 - 10:00 am - Rockford: Christ UMC
  • Saturday, August 20 - 1:00 pm - Des Plaines: First UMC

Find more information and register here.

**This free training is an alternative for those who cannot participate in other training options and does not include a background check.

Also, we have redone our NIC Safe Sanctuaries Website. Check out the site for videos, policies, FAQ, downloads and more resources. 

Connecting NIC Youth Leaders in Learning & Service

The Discipleship Task Force began a collaboration with the Anti-racism Task Force in February of this year to discern a way forward to best engage local church youth leaders in meaningful, connectional experiences where Christ is revealed through prayer, information sharing, reflections, and action to better serve our youth. As a follow-up, youth leaders are invited for a meeting, lunch, and volunteer opportunity on Sat., August 6, from 9 am – 12 pm. We will spend about one hour of our time together filling backpacks for Kids Above All, which will be given to youth returning to school. The meeting location is 8765 W. Higgins Rd., Chicago, IL. Space is limited. Please email Amania Drane at by Fri., July 29, 4 pm if you are interested. You will be notified to let you know if space is still available.

Mission u Summer 2022

August 19 & 20

United Women in Faith Northern Illinois Conference (formerly UMW) is offering classes for all ages. There are 4 locations for in person and will also offer a virtual option.

  • The adult curriculum, Who Can We Be Together, brings participants deeper into Jesus’ teachings to explore what it means to be in community.
  • The youth curriculum, Community in the Midst of Challenging Times, will help young people interpret scripture for today’s world, and deepen community connections through intergenerational dialogue.
  • Through transformative activities and spiritual practices, participants in the children’s curriculum, Our Growing Tree, will discover joy and empowerment in the scriptures and find support in their journeys of self-love and community building.

Find out more information here.

Online Via Zoom & In Person - Euclid Avenue UMC, 405 S Euclid Ave, Oak Park, IL

Free event with lunch included. More information here.

2nd Annual Rally Against Racism

With recent racially motivated violence and deadly attacks in the news, once again we come together in solidarity to stand against hate and racism.

Last summer, the NIC Annual Conference Shepherding Team (ACST) and the Anti-racism Task Force (ARTF) joined together to spearhead a way for churches to visibly show their commitment “to live out the conviction that racism is incompatible with Christian teaching.”

Several churches participated by holding rallies in a variety of different ways. Churches were encouraged to be creative and hold Do-it-Yourself or DIY rallies. Click here to watch a video from last summer's rallies.

Join with churches across the Northern Illinois Conference this summer (May through September) to Rally Against Racism. Learn more and sign up today.

Difference Makers Initiative

The Difference Maker initiative is up and running! Please go to the Difference Maker webpage. Click on the Honored Difference Makers tab to read a stories including one about Rev. Brittany Isaac and a story about Rev. Raydean Davis, a Different Maker in her life. You can also view a video made by Rev. Jacques Conway about a Difference Maker in his life.

Please go to and click on Tell Your Story to open an online form. You can also click on the Honored Difference Makers tab to read stories that have been told by others.

UVC 2022 Award Nominations

Each year, UVC gives these special awards to honor extraordinary volunteer service or advocacy efforts on behalf of children, youth and/or families throughout the Northern Illinois Conference. There are three awards: the Bishop Jesse. R. DeWitt Award, the Katherine B. Greene Award, and the Rev. Margaret Ann Williams Award. Learn more and submit nominations. Nominations are due July 31st.

NIC Job Opening - Events Coodinator

We are currently seeking a qualified candidate to come join the NIC Program Area team as an Events Coordinator/Administrative Assistant.

The event planner is responsible for all events and registration offered at the conference and district level, either through planning, or guidance for those who do the planning, so every event will have the same high quality of branding and execution. The event planner must have exceptional customer service skills and support capabilities with a passion for planning events. They must be able to work with staff teams and engage volunteer committees to accomplish the task.

This job is a hybrid, full-time position with flexible hours. Some weekend and evening work is required for event support. The position includes both Health Insurance upon hire (with wellness incentives) and Pension Benefits after a vesting period. 

If you know someone who would be interested, click here for the job description and to apply.

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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Resources for the Local Church

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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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