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News & Updates

June 22, 2023

** 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)

Congratulations Wellspring New Faith Community

The One Matters Discipleship Award highlights churches who have in recent years moved from zero baptisms and zero professions of faith into positive numbers.Wellspring is the 2023 winner for Prairie Central.

Wellspring United Methodist Church launched on January

1st, 2021 with 57 members. Since its conception, Wellspring has become an oasis for many in the Oswegoland area of Illinois. People from all backgrounds, many of whom have felt excluded from regular church life, are discovering that Wellspring is embodying the vision that has been claimed over the last year: “We are a Godloving, inclusive community of compassion, healing, growth and service.” Read more of their story.

Watch the One Matters Award presentation here.

Prairie Central Informal Gatherings with the District Superintendent

Informational gatherings will be held on the second Thursday of the month, July 13. 

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.

Upcoming Events.png

Click on the event title below to find out more information

John Wesley’s Birthday

June 28

Volunteers in Mission Sunday

Any Sunday in July or August

Independence Day

July 4

Prairie Central Gatherings with the DS

July 13

NIC Prayer Network Monthly Zoom Meeting

July 14

United Voices for Children Sunday

July 30

Community UMC, Naperville, travels to border to learn about migrants' lives

Meeting and speaking with those who are crossing or live near the U.S./Mexico border, seven lay people and three clergy saw up close the hardship and courage of those who migrate between the two countries. The trip was organized by Community UMC and hosted by Border Community Alliance in Tucson.

The group took a pilgrimage to Nogales from March 20 to 24 to learn about the migrant experience. Nogales—a city divided by the international border—is located 60 miles south of Tucson. Participants crossed the border several times, visiting churches, migrant shelters, and nonprofit organizations.

“Christ's presence in the suffering of migrants was evident at every step of the journey,” said Rev. Hwa-Young Chong. “Christ’s call for compassion will always empower and challenge them.”

Read Rev. Chong's report on the pilgrimage.

Bike Donation event at West Dundee: First

On July 21, First UMC in West Dunee will be hosting an event for youth from Noon until 7:00 pm. Bike in all sizes will be distributed to interested youth. You can sponsor a helmet for $10 when the bike is given.

If you need information or to schedule an appointment outside main date contact Marcia Buchs text/call 331-276-7979

Pews available for a new home

As they proceed with the merger of Journey of Hope and Good Shepherd, the churches are looking for a new home for some decent church pews. There are 20 pews in total. They are (18) 16’5” long x 22” wide pews; (1) 11’6” x 22” pew; and (1) 3’9”x22” pew. They are available for pick up The pews originally came from Elmhurst College. Those interested should contact Jarrod Severing at Journey of Hope, 815.378.7754 or [email protected].

Bumper Sticker Theology Sermon Props Available

At Naperville: Grace, they are trying to have some fun this summer with summer sermon series that begins in June and ends in August called “Bumper Sticker Theology.” In a culture with a limited attention span, sayings and axioms that fit conveniently in a soundbite, a 1 minute TikTok video, or on the back of a bumper sticker tend to become popular. The problem is that these “sample size” statements that make for memorable, funny, or interesting bumper stickers are often far less wise, helpful, or true as they might initially sound. Each week they will explore a different phrase and stick it on the sanctuary bumper.

For anyone interested in doing the series in the future, they would be happy to share their resources (graphics, scriptures, etc) and even the bumpers! There are two bumpers that they would happily share with any church on a first come, first serve basis after the series is complete. Just contact Pastor Eric Blachford at [email protected]. They will be available for pickup in September!

Annual Conference Updates

Read news articles about all that happened during our busy three days of Annual Conference on the news page of our website here. Articles include the Bishop's State of the Conference Address, the Shepherding Team talking about change, a listing of those highlighted in the Celebration of Ministry, discussing the practices of civil conversations during Laity Convocation, disaffiliations, and more. Check out this chart for a summary of the legislation results.

Videos and Photos

If you were unable to attend Annual Conference, missed any moments or want to share portions with your congregation, most of the videos are posted on our Vimeo channel. You'll also find some videos that we ran out of time to show. Click on this Vimeo Showcase to find all of the Services, including the powerful Korean Peace Reflection and Prayer, a Bible Study with Dr. Rolf Nolasco (2 parts), Bishop Dan Schwerin's Episcopal Address, a Laity Address from Mark Manzi, Hwa-Young Chong and Liz Gracie for the Shepherding Team reminding us that Urgency is Not Enough, and more. All of the plenary sessions are available on the NIC YouTube channel here.  

To view photos from the three days, click here. For Ordination photos, click here.

Good work, Northern Illinois Conference, for donating about 7,000 pounds of goods to the Midwest Mission truck through the Mission Challenge! We helped provide for their most urgent needs.

If you missed out on the challenge, don’t worry. A list of the most needed items can be found here. There are also online shopping and donation options (see the side bar on the page here). You also can always send donations to the center directly or drop off at the NIC permanent sites:

  • Lake North: Maywood: Neighborhood UMC or Glenview UMC
  • Lake South: New Lenox UMC
  • Prairie Central: Fox River Grove: Community
  • Prairie North: Lanark UMC

Churches and individuals across the Northern Illinois Conference responded with overwhelming generosity to this year's Bishop's Appeal to help support migrant needs in our community. A total of over $23,000 was raised so far. If you missed bringing your church's donation, you can still donate online.

Watch the Bishop's Appeal presentation from Annual Conference here.


Prepare for the Fall NIC Book Club

For more than 10 years, retired Bishop Kenneth L. Carder’s book, Living our Beliefs: The United Methodist Way, has been a staple for essential reading by the United Methodist Church Discipleship Ministries. The prayerful reading and study of this book provides an understanding of the beliefs and practices of the United Methodist Church as defined in Part II of The Book of Discipline.

Rev. G. Morris Jarkloh, Chair of The Discipleship Task Force NIC Book Club, invites you to join us as we learn together. If you’re interested in being a Discussion Leader, please sign up by clicking here.

Learn more about the NIC Book Club here.

This festival celebrates the rich cultural diversity of the Muslim world and offers delicious halal food options. Experience traditional clothing, music, cultural performances, kid's activities, and more - it's an opportunity to learn and have fun! Click here for more information.


We need your photos!

We are looking to highlight Mission Trips and VBS Programs in the NIC district eNews later this summer. We need your photos! Please send any photos and short descriptions to [email protected].

Free - Ritual of Fellowship Attendance Pads!

Because of an ordering error, the First UMC of DeKalb has over 200,000 attendance pads. We would like to give away the bulk of them to any church in the district. Just call and make arrangements with us to pick up a box or two.

The attendance form is ½ regular paper size, and is printed as shown on the front and blank on the back. There is no church notification on the form, only the cross and flame. Each box of pads contains 96 pads of 50 sheets.

In July, they are moving to a new location and do not have room to store them all. Please take our extras!

Please call or email Jan Lam, church administrator, at 815.756.6301 or [email protected] and leave a message with your name, church, and contact information. We will get back to you.

It's Appointment Change Season.

In the months of June and July, many United Methodist congregations are in the midst of a pastoral change. Perhaps the pastor your church has known for years is being appointed to another congregation or retiring, and a new pastor is on the way. Many of our churches are welcoming new pastors. Find resources for welcoming a new pastor here.

Do you know why United Methodists have itinernant pastors? Check out this article from Ask the UMC about why United Methodist pastors change churches.

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 September 30, 2023. Click here for more information.

Did you or someone you know participate in the March on Washington in 1963?

The Anti-racism Task Force is currently planning a 60-Year Anniversary Celebration of the 8/28/1963 March on Washington. If you know someone who participated in the 1963 March on Washington, please contact Amania Drane at [email protected]. Additional details will be forthcoming.

What is your DNA?

The Discipleship Task Force will be rolling out a new initiative called Disciple Nurturing Attitude or DNA. DNA will provide opportunities for small group learning, engagement, prayer, and Biblical insight around your mental, physical, and nutritional health. If you are interested in volunteering on the planning team, please email Amania Drane at [email protected]

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, July 14 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 [email protected] 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

[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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