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News & Updates

October 13, 2022

Prairie Central Informal Gatherings with the District Superintendent

October's Informational gatherings will be on the third Thursday, October 20. 

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.

*Note - Going forward, the meetings will be on the second Thursday of the month

Aurora Methodists launch 'Wednesday Night Gatherings'

With "Pasta and Painting," Aurora's Wesley United Methodist Church debuted a series of family-friendly community dinners with activities on Wednesday, Sept. 21.

The church's first "Wednesday Night Gatherings" event kicked off the series of community dinners with activities on first and third Wednesdays. 

Rev. John Bell, Wesley pastor, served mostaccioli pasta with sauce and meatballs, garlic bread and tossed salad. Cookies and beverages rounded out the menu.

After dinner, Michelle Curiel, Wesley's children and family director, led youth who painted pumpkin artworks.

Journey of Hope welcomes back the Gingerbread Bazaar after over a three-year break. Download a Flyer

Contact Good Samaritan UMC in Addison or visit their website for more information.

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Pastor Appreciation Month


NIC Latinx Ministries Celebration

October 15

Know Your Rights Workshop

October 15

Journey of Hope Gingerbread Bazaar

October 15

Laity Sunday

October 16

NIC Retired Clergy Luncheon

October 18

Prairie Central Information Gatherings with the DS

October 20

NIC United Women in Faith Annual Meeting

October 22

Becoming the Beloved Community Workshop

October 22

United Voices for Children Sunday

October 30

National Native American Heritage Month

November (month)

All Saints Day November 1

Jurisdictional Conference

November 2-5

Prairie Central Fall Lay Academy

November 5 & 12

Accessibility Sunday

November 6

Daylight Savings Time Ends

November 6

Veterans Day

November 11

Tending the Harvest Conference Worship

November 13

Town & Rural Festival

November 19

Migrant Assistance - Volunteers Needed

Latest reports indicate that 1,500 migrants have arrived so far on buses to Chicago from Texas and more continue to arrive almost every day. It's projected as many as 10,000 migrants could arrive in the Chicago area by the end of the calendar year. So, there continues to be a significant need to provide a welcome for those arriving.

"We primarily need volunteers right now to help with providing individuals and families transportation to various appointments (medical, legal, etc.)," said NIC Refugee Coordinator, Rev. Jonathan Crail. For anyone interested in volunteering, we encourage them to sign up as a volunteer as a first step (unless they are already a volunteer with the NIC), and list “Bus Response” on their volunteer application in the Volunteer Interests field.

Crail also says World Relief still needs hygiene kits, while the agency has begun to provide direct services to some of the families and individuals arriving on the buses. Hygiene kits include a durable bag to hold items, shampoo, soap, toothbrushes & toothpaste, deodorant, disposable razors & shaving cream, feminine hygiene products, socks, basic first aid supplies and ibuprofen/acetomenaphin.

The Prairie Central collection site is:

Aldersgate UMC, Wheaton, 1753 S Blanchard Street, Wheaton, IL 60189 

Contact: Daniel Cochran - Cell 401-864-2441 -

Hours: By Appointment with Daniel

Click to learn more about ways to help.

Becoming the Beloved Community: How to Talk About Race in America

Becoming the Beloved Community is a 4-hour workshop that conveys not only facts and essential knowledge about race and racism but also seeks to help us experience some of the harm and hurt racial prejudice has caused.

Oct. 22, 2022

9:00 am – 1:00 pm

Friendship UMC

305 E. Boughton Rd, Bolingbrook, Ill

Cost $20

Learn More and Register for this event here.

Learn More about future events or how to host a workshop at your own church here.

at Cornerstone UMC, 41W170 Russell Road, Elgin, IL. Registration $40.00

Books may be purchased at your favorite bookseller. More information here.

October is Pastor (or Clergy) Appreciation Month. It is a time to say “thank you” to the people who may be most visible as preachers and teachers, but who, in reality, are on-call 24/7 standing with congregants and others to offer spiritual and other support. Click here to find some ways for your congregation to show their appreciation.

Announcement: The Conference Office is Moving!

The Board of Trustees is excited to announce the Northern Illinois Conference office is moving to a new location in Chicago’s East Loop. The office will relocate to a 30-story building along the riverfront at 303 E. Wacker Drive on November 1.

Read more here.

Apportionments Highlight - General Commission on Archives and History (World Service Fund)

Thanks to United Methodist support of Archives and History through the World Service Fund, we learn about our church’s rich history.

The General Commission on Archives and History of The United Methodist Church recently announced the launching of their online teaching platform, the UM History Hub (

The hub homepage invites members to understand the past, investigate the present and envision the future. The hub currently offers registration for the Local Church Historians’ School; a fully online course that focuses on past denominational splits, separations and reconciliations; a timeline of UMC history by artist Charlie Baber; a fully online course for youth to pique their interest in Wesleyan roots; access to the “Un-Tied Methodism” podcast; and new UMC history swag.

We have seen an increase in email scams that look like they are coming from our office, including membership "notices". Please be cautious where you click. If you receive emails from the conference that are not from, or from non-conference staff, it is a spam email. To be clear, the conference will NOT contact you or solicit anything via generic email. All financial gifts always go through the conference's regular collections process. If you ever get an email or phone call that seems strange or odd, contact your district administrative assistant to check it out before responding to such a request.


NIC Hispanic/Latinx Ministries Celebration - Oct. 15 from 9 am - 1 pm at Des Plaines First UMC, 668 Graceland Ave, Des Plaines, IL. This event is free and breakfast and lunch will be offered. Guest Preacher: Javier A. Viera, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, President and Professor of Education and Leadership. Guest Speaker: Paola Márquez, first-year Ph.D. student at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. RSVP to Patricia Bonilla at Click here to learn more.

Join us at the Albany UMC (at 502 First Ave in Albany, Ill) for the Town & Rural Festival on Saturday, Nov. 19 from 9 am - 12 noon. Keagy and PACK grant recipients will present their ministries. All are welcome to attend.

NIC United Women in Faith Annual Meeting - Sat., Oct. 22. Theme: Turn it Up! Registration opens at 8:30 am, and Program begins at 9:00 am at Sycamore UMC, 160 Johnson Ave., Sycamore, IL. Cost $5. Click here for more information and registration.

The Discipleship Task Force is excited about the Fall NIC Book Club selection, Soul Reset by the late Junius Dotson! Rev Dotson spoke at one of our Laity Convocations and also led the Bible Study for our Annual Conference. Here Junius Dotson tells his story, and here is how this study works for congregations. Click here for details and to sign up today!

Nov. 13 at 4 pm at Journey of Hope UMC, 37W040 Highland Ave., Elgin, IL. The Discipleship Task Force is delighted to announce the NIC’s second Tending to the Harvest fall conference-wide worship service based on Matthew 9:37, “Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few.’”Guest preacher: Rev. Dr. Mai-Anh Le Tran from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. The service will also be livestreamed. Click here for more information and registration.


Laity Sunday is coming up

Laity Sunday is a day set aside to remember that every person is invited to embody God’s restoration project of healing love, justice, and world-repair. Sunday this year is October 16th, 2022, but Laity Sunday may be celebrated any Sunday in October to meet your church’s worship schedule. The theme for Laity Sunday this year is RISE UP! And Reveal God’s Grace (2 Timothy - 1: 8-12). Take the opportunity in your church to be in partnership with your pastor and give rest to your pastor by having a laity run worship service. Find resources here.

2022-2023 NIC Directory Available to Purchase

Are you looking to replace your NIC directory with one that has the most recent info?

A paperback copy of the 2022-2023 Directory of NIC churches, clergy, laity, committees, and agencies is now available to purchase for $6.25 on Amazon or available for free to download on the NIC website.

Go to for details.

Accessibility Committee

Are you working to make your church more accessible to everyone? The NIC Committee on Accessibility Ministries invites you to apply for this year's grant program! An inquiry form can be found here. To stay up to date with the committee's work, follow their Facebook page here.

They are also working to grow our committee and would love any volunteers who are passionate about inclusive ministry. Please contact Violet Johnicker if you are interested / 847-651-4857.

Don’t miss discounted Advent resources!

Invite your community to worship with you this Advent with the help of customizable outreach resources. Choose from banners, signs, postcards, invitation cards, posters and more. All are available in a wide variety of designs, languages and messaging. Get up to $250 off these resources by using code UMCA22. This code is available on a first-come, first-served basis until funds are depleted, so don’t delay! (Free social media graphics always available)

Resources in English    Resources in Spanish

Looking for a new study for your small group, congregation or family this Advent? Cokesbury, the retail arm of the United Methodist Publishing House, has put together an interactive comparison chart of its Advent studies so Christians can find the study that best fits their need. Learn more.

The Society of St. Andrew has also created an advent devotional for free. Find out more here.

Church Conference Forms Available Online

2022 Church Conference materials, including the agenda, are available online at Please encourage your church leadership to begin working on gathering the information as soon as possible. The forms are designed for online submission and will look very similar to last year’s.

NIC Program Ministry Grants Now Open

Applications are being accepted for the NIC's three ministry grants, Social Reform, Congregational Development, and Creative Ministries. The deadline to apply is Nov. 14. To learn more about each grant and for an online application, click here.

New October Devotion from NIC Co-Lay Leader Eugene Williams and this month's weekly prayers over pastors, churches, and ministries.

Resources for the Local Church

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 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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