Praying for Buffalo

UCC officers pray for healing following racist killings at Buffalo grocery store. Read the prayer here.

Read more: Buffalo churches respond in the face of unspeakable death.
Praying for Uvalde

‘End the cycle of violence,’ UCC officers pray after a deadly Texas school attack. Read the prayer here.

Fight Hate & Gun Violence
UCC Justice & Peace Action Network

As white supremacist violence continues to claim innocent lives, so too has the threat of reckless gun policies. Gun violence has impacted every aspect of life in America, from grocery shopping to our places of worship. Paired with rising domestic extremism, the lack of common-sense gun legislation is a dual threat that will continue to claim more lives. Our faithful voice cries out, “how long, oh Lord” will these attacks keep happening? Until we address the threats of racist hate and gun violence, we cannot believe acts like this will not happen again.

Join us in taking an important step by demanding Senators take immediate bipartisan action on background check legislation. In addition to passing legislation on background checks, Congress should be pushed to ban large capacity ammunition magazines and to implement extreme risk protection measures.

As another important step, urge your lawmakers to strengthen national, regional and local capacity to engage in hate crime prevention, hate crime prosecution, and community support services for those impacted by hate violence. We are not powerless in making these changes; we can, and must, take steps to fight white supremacist hate and gun violence.
Disaster Response Opportunities
Help Little Farms UCC in Louisiana Rebuild!
One of our sister congregations, Little Farms UCC of River Ridge, Louisiana, suffered severe damage from Hurricane Ida. In December, the congregation made the difficult decision to demolish the entire building and replace it with a smaller, more efficient multipurpose structure. But insurance will not cover the cost for replacing the entire building. Read the full appeal here to learn more.
Disaster Relief Bucket Challenge
We put a challenge to the Conference to assemble 500 Church World Service Emergency Cleanup Buckets. Has your church collected money or items for buckets? Do you have buckets that are ready and need to be picked up?
If you have items, money, or completed buckets that need to be collected, please send an email to our Conference Disaster Coordinator, Roger Dart at disaster@ilucc.org.
Active UCC Global H.O.P.E. Appeals


Many retreats, camp offerings and special events are happening in 2022 promising a joyful experience for all. Visit the Outdoor Ministries website to see what is available this year. If a financial need is keeping someone from attending camp, there are several scholarships available. If you have a need, or know of a camper that has a need please contact Pilgrim Park at 815-447-2390 or Tower Hill at 269-426-3881 for information. Camps are open to all!

Both Pilgrim Park and Tower Hill are also seeking summer site staff. Click on the links below to learn more. Share the postings with anyone in your circle who might be interested!
Camp Sunday Resources

The Illinois Conference Outdoor Ministry Committee put together several resources that can be used in our local churches for a “Camp Sunday” in order to promote the various camps and retreats that are happening at Pilgrim Park and Tower Hill in 2022. Click here to access our Camp Sunday webpage where you can find resources to hold a Camp Sunday in your church!
Calendar At A Glance
Ordinations, Installations, Ecclesiastical Councils & More
June 26: Installation Service for Rev. David Fraccaro. Time TBD. At Rollo Congregational Church in Earlville. Prairie Association.
Events in the Illinois Conference & Beyond
June 1: All Conference Chat. 3:00 p.m. via Zoom. A Just Harvest

June 8: All Conference Chat. 3:00 p.m. via Zoom. Faithfully Responding to Anti-LGBTQ+ Legislation.

June 8-9: Association of United Church Educators National Event. Registration is open!

June 15: All Conference Chat. 3:00 p.m. via Zoom. The Importance of Juneteenth.

June 20: Conference Office Closed in observance of Juneteenth (Sunday, June 19).

June 21: Specialized Minister Boundary Awareness Training. 5:00-8:00 p.m. via Zoom. Sponsored by MESA. Registration is required.

June 22: All Conference Chat. 3:00 p.m. via Zoom. Violence as a Public Health Crisis.

June 29: All Conference Chat. 3:00 p.m. via Zoom. Conference Update.
Conference and Association Meetings
June 2: Prairie Committee on Ministry. 9:00 a.m. via Zoom.

June 4: Personnel Committee Meeting. 9:30 a.m. via Zoom.

June 6: Fox Valley Council Meeting. 6:00 p.m. via Zoom.

June 7: Property Committee Meeting. 10:00 a.m. via Zoom.

June 9: Fox Valley Committee on Ministry. 9:00 a.m. via Zoom.

June 9: CMA Church & Ministry. 12:00 p.m. via Zoom.

June 11: Outdoor Ministries Committee Meeting. 9:00 a.m. via Zoom.

June 11: CMA Spring Meeting. 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Events and Training Opportunities
Mental Health First Aid Training Opportunities
Multiple Dates - Youth and Adult
Community Wellness Center, La Grange
NAMI Metro Surburban and DuPage
June 25, 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Christ Church UCC, Des Plaines
Advocate Aurora Health
Road to Damascus: The Church & Change in an Age of Anxiety
Tuesday, June 7, 1:30-4 PM
SamaraCare Counseling

Virtual Webinar. Topics discussed include:
  • Anxiety in Action: A Congregational Case Study
  • Linear Cause-Effect Thinking vs. Systems Thinking
  • Understanding the Roots of Anxiety
  • Societal Anxiety: Its Impact on the Church
  • Lessons for Leadership in Anxious Times
  • Self-Differentiated Leadership: A Key to Overcoming the Impact of Anxiety
Bold Climate Action Webinar
Wednesday, June 8, 12 PM CST
United Church of Christ

According to a recent UN climate report, the world has less than three years for its greenhouse gas emissions to peak and head into a relatively rapid decline. Careful discernment is needed on where to place our time and energy in seeking policies that will lead to a more just and hospitable world. This webinar will feature three leaders in the climate movement: Keya Chatterjee from the U.S. Climate Action Network, Miranda Ehrlich from the Sierra Club, and Jean Su from the Center for Biological Diversity. Even if you can’t make the scheduled time of 1 pm ET on Wednesday, June 8th, still sign-up, and we will send you a recording. Register now!
Companionship Training
July 9, 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Christ Church UCC, Des Plaines

Companionship is a practice of presence and is rooted in our natural capacities as humans to act on our concern for another person. Companionship is a relational response to isolation and distress, supportive of healing and recovery. Companionship is not about “fixing” but instead welcomes the stranger, building a circle of care with individuals who are facing emotional and mental health challenges. A fee of $20 covers the cost of materials. Click here to download the flyer.
Restorative Church
July 11, 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Chicago Theological Seminary

An open invitation to church leaders / members who want to:
  • Learn more about restorative justice
  • Find out what science teaches about trauma and healing
  • Connect biblical narratives to restorative work
  • Apply restorative practices to church conflicts
  • Hear about church-supported restorative ministries

Cost of $40 or $20 for student/scholarship level. Includes the day’s events and a box lunch. Covid protocols recommended by the CDC at that time will be followed. Click here to download the flyer.
Meditation Skills Training Institute
Lombard Mennonite Peace Center

This workshop is designed for pastors and other church leaders who want to learn how to deal more effectively with interpersonal, congregational, and other forms of group conflict. Participants will acquire knowledge and skills that will help them guide their congregations towards greater unity of spirit and purpose. Click here for more information.
Resources and More
The Strengthen the Church offering supports the expansion of ministry and growth of local UCC congregations. Click here to access the resources.
Worship Resources: Faithfully Supporting Reproductive Justice
June is Pride Month!
Find Resources by clicking on the links below.
World Refugee Day - June 20
United Church of Christ

June 20 is recognized annually as World Refugee Day. The resources linked to below are designed to inform and inspire worship, engagement, and support. The toolkit begins: “The world continues to face an increase in forced migration, with a record 26 million refugees and 47 million internally displaced peoples in 2021. The UCC has a long history of supporting refugees and asylum seekers with many congregations serving as community sponsors for newly arriving refugees, accompanying asylum seekers and engaging in robust advocacy efforts.” Follow these links to learn more and get involved.

Click here to view the available resources.
Low-Cost Loans for Churches
UCC Cornerstone Fund

Is your congregation considering making improvements on your building to expand ministry or increase revenue? Is it finally addressing deferred maintenance items that worsen every year? Are you ready to reduce your building’s carbon footprint and save money on utilities in the process? Can you enhance digital capabilities to maintain and grow your online community? If any of these questions apply to you, then now is a good time to talk with the Cornerstone Fund about low-cost loan options that will directly improve your facility and potentially strengthen your congregation. Click to learn more.
Climate Justice Grants
UCC Council for Climate Justice

The United Church of Christ Council for Climate Justice is allotting $20,000 in grants of $2,500 and $5,000 each to UCC churches, conferences, and associations as well as UCC affiliated theological schools and non-profit organizations for the purposes of developing and furthering the work of youth and young adult leaders in the movement for climate justice. Click here to learn more and apply. If you apply and receive a grant, please share the news with the Conference so that we can celebrate the ministry you are doing!
Advocate Health Care
Advocate Aurora Health Care


Safely Reopening Our Doors Toolkit

Employment Opportunities
Ministerial opportunities within the United Church of Christ.

Recently Added Lay Employment Opportunities:

Aurora, New England Congregational Church seeks Choir Director

Burr Ridge Community Church seeks PT Custodian

Elburn Community Congregational seeks Sunday School Teachers - NEW

Lombard, First Church of Lombard seeks PT Community Engagement Coordinator

Princeton, Pilgrim Park Camp seeks Summer Staff

Sawyer (MI), Tower Hill Camp seeks Summer Staff

Sedona (AZ), Hope House seeks Live-In House Manager - NEW

Wayne, Little Home Church seeks PT Organist/Keyboardist

Wheaton, St. Matthew UCC seeks FT Director of Children/Youth Ministries - NEW


For more lay employment opportunity postings, click here.

Please let us know if you have a job opening you would like to share,
and also update us once the position is filled. Contact Sarah Lohrbach.
Church Newsletter Request
Please send us your newsletters so we can keep up with what's going on in your church.
 
Address for printed newsletters: Illinois Conference UCC, 1840 Westchester Blvd., Suite 200, Westchester, IL 60154. Electronic newsletters: Please add Sarah Lohrbach at SarahLohrbach@ilucc.org to your church’s mailing list.
THE ILLINOIS CONFERENCE UCC E-NEWSLETTER is published by the Illinois Conference of the United Church of Christ, 1840 Westchester Blvd., Suite 200, Westchester, IL 60154. The Rev. Molly Carlson, Conference Minister; Sarah Lohrbach, Editor. Copy may be sent to: SarahLohrbach@ilucc.org. 
 
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Illinois Conference of the United Church of Christ | (708) 344-4470
1840 Westchester Blvd., Suite 200, Westchester, IL 60154