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News & Updates

May 12, 2022

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No cost to attend but please register here. 


Mission Links Highlight UMCOR collaborating to relieve the suffering of Ukrainians

The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), the Arlene Campbell Foundation – a Texas-based humanitarian organization focused on Ukraine – and Ohio Health are collaborating to send 47,895 pounds of medical supplies and equipment worth $935,000.00 to three hospitals in Kyiv, Ukraine. AEC Parcel Services is handling transport of the supplies, which are being sent in three shipments.

The effort was put together by the Arlene Campbell Humanitarian Foundation, headquartered in North Zulch, Texas, which has links to health facilities in Ukraine. UMCOR is paying specific costs, including transportation, of approximately $160,000. Ohio Health, a not-for-profit, charitable, health care ministry of The United Methodist Church, donated the supplies through a medical surplus program. UMCOR put the foundation in touch with Ohio Health and coordinated with the United Nation’s Logistics Cluster to move the supplies into Ukraine from Poland through AEC Parcel, a private shipping company. Read more.

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Through the Mission Links giving, United Methodist congregations support the running of UMCORTo support UMCOR’s continued efforts to offer immediate relief and long-term recovery for the war in Ukraine, make a gift to Advance #982450.

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Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month Celebration

May 22

Heritage Sunday

May 22

Clergy Ministry Review Due

May 24

United Voices for Children Sunday

May 29

2022 NIC Annual Conference Registration Closes


May 29

2022 AC Pre-Conference Briefings

June 1 & 2


June 5

2022 Annual Conference

(See Full Schedule)

June 8-10

Peace with Justice Sunday

June 12  


June 19

Father's Day

June 19


Display spotlights missing, murdered indigenous women

Thursday, May 5, was national Missing Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Awareness day.

Wesley United Methodist Church in Aurora observed the day by installing eight red dresses on a clothesline between poles on the church lawn.

Michelle Curiel, installation coordinator and Wesley director of praise and worship, said "The REDress Project is a visual reminder of the staggering number of missing or murdered Indigenous women who are no longer with us. We hope to draw attention to the gendered and racialized nature of violent crimes against Indigenous women and to evoke a presence through the marking of absence," Curiel said.

According to Curiel, the installation is scheduled to continue 24/7 through May. Assisting her were congregants Jim Merk and Faith Burnett.

Curiel added that MMIW USA, a nonprofit, is dedicated to helping missing and murdered American Indian women and their families. MMIW USA is sponsored by Tryon Life Community Farm of Portland, Ore., another nonprofit.

Curiel explained that murder is the third leading cause of death in native women. Their median age is 29. Native women have a murder rate of 10 times higher than the national average.

Lack of communication combined with jurisdictional issues between state, local, federal and tribal law enforcement make it nearly impossible to begin the investigative process.

Curiel said, "We must protect the sacred and bring awareness to this crisis that has been overlooked." For more information, visit or visit


Church partners with dance center to host youth arts camp

Aurora's Wesley United Methodist Church and Simply Destinee youth dance center will co-host a free arts camp for youth ages 4-12 from June 20-23 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. 

Registration is now open for the free arts camp at Wesley United Methodist Church.

Michelle Curiel, Wesley director of praise and worship, is the camp coordinator. She said, "Join us each night for dinner and a fun-filled time as we explore the importance of self love through music, dance and culinary skills."

For more information, call (630) 229-0231 or visit the website.

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Methodist and Catholic women partnering to send quilts to Ukraine

Aurora-area United Methodist and Catholic women are sending 30 handmade quilts to Ukraine refugees. 

Mona Middleton of Montgomery coordinated the month-long project. She said, "One night I had the TV on and the coverage was the conflict in Ukraine. As I watched, I felt God tapping me on the shoulder reminding me that I had a room full of fabric just waiting to be put to a good use." Middleton, an avid quilter, formerly led the fabric department of the now closed Walmart store in Aurora.

"Patchwork quilts immediately came to mind," Middleton said. "I was not thinking of quilts made in a specific pattern, not hand quilted, but new fabric made into warm, old fashioned patchwork and tied with embroidery thread or yarn." 

So she contacted friends in Prayers and Squares Quilters, a women's group that meets weekly at the former Fourth Street United Methodist Church in Aurora. The church closed in 2018 after 125 years. 

Middleton said, "We got lots of support from our quilters, some Methodist and some Catholic, and set up an assembly line. Some people pieced tops and bottoms together, then added quilt batting to the sandwich and then sewed all together around the edge and turned it right side out. After top stitching the edges, we tied them to complete the quilts. 

"Each quilt is labeled, 'With love in every stitch from the Prayers and Squares Quilters, Aurora, Ill., USA.'" 

(Lisa Brawner photo)

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. 

2022 Bishop's Appeal for Ukraine Assistance


The 2022 Northern Illinois Annual Conference Bishop's Appeal special offering will go toward Ukraine assistance. While immediate needs are great, we know the people of Ukraine will need assistance in the long term. For more details on fundraiser ideas and bringing your collective offering to Annual Conference, visit


There's still time to buy a shirt or place a bulk order to help raise money for this year's Bishop's Appeal and support our brothers and sisters in Ukraine.

Click here to order.

Annual Conference Needs Your Help

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AC Ushers Needed

As we gather in-person this June 8-10 for Annual Conference, ushers will once again be needed to help the event run smoothly. During the daily proceedings ushers often help with distribution of materials. Ushers are also needed to distribute worship programs at the Memorial Service (Wed. 6/8 1:30 pm), Retirement Service (Thurs. 6/9, 8:45 am), and Ordination (Friday, 6/10 1:30 pm). Ushers do not need to be present the entire day, shifts can be arranged. If you are able to volunteer some time, please contact Laura Lopez,

Last call for notification of Lay Members no longer with us for the Memorial Service

The Memorial Service Committee needs your help in collecting names and photos of AC lay members who have passed since July 2021. Lay members can be current or former representatives. Submission can be sent to

AC Mission Challenge

The NIC Board of Global Ministries is coordinating with the Midwest Mission Distribution Center (MMDC) to organize its fill-the-truck collection drive for the most needed items at this time. The truck will be parked at the Schaumburg Convention Center on June 8 and 9 to take in your donations. Click here for items needed. Download flyer.

Annual Conference Registration
Annual Conference Updates
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Heritage Sunday, May 22

Heritage Sunday, (Aldersgate Day) calls the Church to remember the past by committing itself to the continuing call of God. This year's theme is “Splits, Separations, and Reconciliations.” From now through the remainder of the year, the General Commission on Archives and History (GCAH) will be producing and releasing a number of resources to help the denomination better understand the multifaceted and multi-faced history of the Methodist movement in a global context. Click to read more.

Clergy Ministry Review due date is May 24

Each year, it is helpful to church leadership and their clergy/pastors to take time to reflect on their goals and life together in the past year. The evaluation tool seeks to foster opportunities for dialogue, support, and accountability in order to enable growth and ministry for the congregational and pastoral team. It is available on the NIC website on the Clergy Life Forms Page under the heading, CLERGY MINISTRY REVIEW. Like last year, the Clergy Profile information questions are included to help keep the Conference database current and are on the clergy/pastor’s EM360 online form for simplicity. The deadline to complete the evaluation and update the Clergy Profile Sheet is May 24, 2022.

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Global Ministries Features Northern Illinois Conference Elder

Rev. Jin Kim, an elder in the Northern Illinois Conference, will be featured in the General Board of Global Ministries #StillInMission Episode 43. on on June 2 at 11 am CST. Register here. Rev. Jin Kim serves as the Coordinator of Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace with the World Council of Churches in SwitzerlandRegister here. You will have the opportunity to meet in a small group to hear a presentation from each missionary during the call. Registration is limited.

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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
  • Wednesday, June 29 - 6:30 pm - Plainfield UMC
  • Saturday, July 16 - 1:00 pm - Des Plaines: First UMC
  • Saturday, July 30 - 10:00 am - Rockford: Christ UMC
  • Saturday, August 6 - 10:00 am - Rockford: Christ UMC
  • Saturday, August 10 - 1:00 pm - Des Plaines: First UMC

Find more information and register here.

**This free training is an alternate 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.

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Speaker Series: Race, America, and the Church

The Northern Illinois Conference, in partnership with the Indiana Conference and other groups, is pleased to announce a 2022 Speaker Series.

The second event will be held June 23.

Unafraid: Stand up for Social Justice

Thursday, June 23, 2022, 12:00 -1:30 PM

via Zoom

Speakers: Rev. Derrek Belase, Rev. David Lagos-Fonseca, Rev. Dana Neuhasuer, Rev. Brian Tillman, & Rev. Kathy L. Williams Moderator: Rev. Pamela Pirtle

Representatives from different conferences discuss what the local church and their conferences are doing to address racism.

Register and Learn More

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Clergy Retreat Directory Created

As clergy navigate their ministry year, may they find comfort knowing that there are "sacred places apart" prepared for them. United Methodist camps and retreat centers across the country have created the Clergy Retreat Directory, as they continually strive to provide intentional, sacred spaces where the faithful can find rest and rejuvenation. The directory is a list of UM sites across the connection that offer free or reduced cost retreat space for United Methodist clergy. Check out the resource here.

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Resources for the Local Church

  • Heritage Sunday (May 22) - Resources and information on this year's theme "Splits, Separations and Reconciliations."
  • United Voices for Children Sunday (May 29) - Information and videos to share with your congregation.
  • Pentecost (June 5) - Resources, planning materials and more.
  • Peace with Justice Sunday (June 12) - Worship Resources, pew cards, prayers and more.
  • Junteenth (June 19) - Overview and ideas to celebrate as well as links to worship resources.
  • Father's Day (June 19) - Prayer and video as well as links to 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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