Illinois Conference
United Church of Christ
May 2022, First Edition
  1. Make your check payable to "Illinois Conference".
  2. Use the memo line to specify what the money is for (i.e. OCWM, Strengthen the Church, Friends of the Conference).
  3. Use this remittance form to note what the check is for so that we can ensure it is properly attributed to the right account. Mail this form in along with your check to the lockbox address as noted on the form.
An Appeal for Financial Help -
Little Farms UCC in Louisiana
IL Conference Disaster Ministries

One of our sister congregations, Little Farms UCC of River Ridge, Louisiana, suffered severe damage from Hurricane Ida. Some one hundred members of Illinois Conference churches spent time and energy as volunteers in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. Little Farms UCC was our anchor location. We received our initial welcome and briefing in the Little Farms sanctuary, and every morning we loaded up our tools stored in the storage barn in the "backyard" of Little Farms.

Then in August 2021, Hurricane Ida came. The storm damaged the roof and the sanctuary and education wing were flooded from above. Nothing was spared. There was significant asbestos and mold throughout the building. In December, the congregation made the difficult decision to demolish the entire building and replace it with a smaller, greener, more efficient multipurpose structure. But insurance will not cover the cost for replacing the entire building, and Little Farms needs our help!

Read the full appeal here to learn more, including how to donate.
Trees and Climate Change
CMA Justice & Witness Committee

Trees help to combat climate change while cooling neighborhoods and connecting us to nature. It is hard to overstate the value of trees. Planting a tree on your property or requesting that your city or village plants a tree on your parkway benefits everyone. Studies show that disinvested neighborhoods also have the less tree coverage than wealthier neighborhoods. If you live in the City of Chicago or the suburbs, there are resources for acquiring trees at no financial cost. Click here to find out how!

So many aspects of addressing climate change seem to be outside of our individual control, but planting a tree is something that we can do to honor God’s creation. 
Disaster Relief Bucket Challenge
Illinois Conference Disaster Ministries

We have a challenge from now through May 30th to assemble 500 Church World Service Emergency Cleanup Buckets. Will your church commit to assemble at least ten (10) buckets to help us meet this goal?

For more information, email our Conference Disaster Coordinator, Roger Dart at
Active UCC Global H.O.P.E. Appeals

Register Today!
Many retreats, camp offerings and special events are happening in 2022 promising a joyful experience for all. Call Tower Hill at 269-426-3881 or Pilgrim Park at 815-447-2390 for details or visit the Outdoor Ministries website to see what is available this year.

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
May 1: Installation Service for Rev. Rachel Kirk. 2:00 p.m. at St. John UCC in Freeport and online. Prairie Association.

May 15: Installation Service for Rev. Michael Smith. 3:00 p.m. at First Congregational Church of Huntley. Fox Valley Assocation.

May 22: Ordination Service for Pamela Floyd. 3:00 p.m. at Covenant United Church of Christ in South Holland. Chicago Metropolitan Association Cluster 5.
Events in the Illinois Conference & Beyond
May 3: Clergy Boundary Awareness Training. 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. via Zoom. Registration is required. Limit of 50 participants. THERE IS STILL ROOM!

May 4: All Conference Chat. 3:00 p.m. via Zoom. ODM 2022 Camp Opportunities.

May 11: Climate Migration UCC Webinar. 12:00 p.m. via Zoom. Registration is required.

May 11: All Conference Chat. 3:00 p.m. via Zoom. Two IL churches share successes and challenges they have experienced.

May 14: Just Roots Chicago Open House. 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at It Takes a Village Community Farm.

May 18: All Conference Chat. 3:00 p.m. via Zoom. Elmhurst University and the UCC.

May 25: All Conference Chat. 3:00 p.m. via Zoom. Conference Update.

June 8-9: Association of United Church Educators National Event. Save the date!
Conference and Association Meetings
Apr. 30: Eastern Association Spring Meeting. 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m at St. Peter's UCC, Champaign.

May 3: FAB Committee Meeting (rescheduled from April). 9:00 a.m. via Zoom.

May 5: Prairie Association COM Meeting. 9:00 a.m. via Zoom.

May 7: Prairie Association Spring Meeting. 9:30 a.m. via Zoom. Registration Required.

May 12: Fox Valley Association COM Meeting. 9:00 a.m. via Zoom.

May 12: Chicago Metropolitan Association COM Meeting. 12:00 p.m. via Zoom.

May 14: ODM Committee Meeting. 9:00 a.m. via Zoom.

May 14: Eastern Association Council Meeting. 11:00 a.m. via Zoom.

May 14: Stewardship Meeting. 3:00 p.m. via Zoom.

May 16: CMA Council Meeting. 6:30 p.m. via Zoom.

May 17: FAB Committee Meeting. 9:00 a.m. via Zoom.

May 17: Western Association COM Meeting. 9:00 a.m. via Zoom.

May 21: Executive Committee Meeting. 10:00 a.m. via Zoom.

May 23: CMA Justice & Witness Committee Meeting. 7:00 p.m. via Zoom.

June 11: CMA Spring Meeting. 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. More details coming soon!
Events and Training Opportunities
Clergy Boundary Awareness Training
Tuesday, May 3, 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Illinois Conference UCC

There is still room for participants in our next Clergy Boundary Awareness Training next Tuesday, May 3, 2022 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. This training will take place via Zoom and is based on the Ordained Minister's Code. Registration is required.
A Just Harvest Annual Meeting
Wednesday, May 11 @ 10 AM CST
A Just Harvest

A Just Harvest is known for being a resource for feeding much more than hunger. In 2022 and beyond, we recognize that we will never manifest true community wellness until we set our intentions toward collective healing. And we want to continue doing that with you. 

On May 11th, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. CST, we invite you to pull up a virtual chair and join our Annual Meeting followed by our Roundtable Offering - Radical Wellness: The Saving Power of Relationship. Moving toward abundance, healing, and change will require all of us in 2022. The healing work we must all do together will be discussed by our partners at Advocate Aurora, FLY Radical Therapy, the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, and others. You will hear program updates and learn about our increased wellness work, as well as experience a special performance by HerStoryteller, Manon Voice.
Climate Migration: Responding with Faith, Care, and Equity
Wednesday, May 11 @ 12 PM CST
United Church of Christ Webinars

According to a recent UN climate report, 20 million people have been displaced each year since 2008 due to extreme weather that is often exacerbated by the climate crisis. There is much we can do as people of faith in responding with deeply held values to this critical situation. To inform and guide us, this webinar will feature Drocella Mugorewera from Bridge Refugee Services, Tomas Matom Ramirez from the Indigenous Maya Ixil people, and the Rev. Irene Hassan from the UCC’s Minister of Refugee and Migration Services. Even if you can’t make the scheduled time of 12:00 PM CST on Wednesday, May 11th, still sign-up, and we will send you a recording. Register now!
Specialized Boundary Trainings
UCC Ministerial Excellence, Support and Authorization
Maintaining healthy boundaries is challenging at any stage in ministry and it is particularly tender and difficult attending to boundaries as we transition out of our last call, and while in retirement. Using "A Sure Foundation", "The Ministerial Code" and Rev. Dr. Bruce Epperly's new book, "The Jubilee Years", Rev. Stephen Boyd and Rev. Tara Barber will offer a focused Boundary Awareness Training for those entering and living in retirement.
*Note - This training completes individual requirements for boundary training ONLY WHEN authorized by a local Committee on Ministry.
This training is open to ministers serving in specialized settings throughout the United Church of Christ. Serving in specialized setting requires particular attention to boundaries within the ministry setting and home church that are challenging and different from those serving as local church pastors. This training will focus on matters that relate specifically to issues that these ministers face.

*Note - This training completes individual requirements for boundary training ONLY WHEN authorized by a local Committee on Ministry.
Mental Health First Aid Training
Multiple Dates
NAMI - Metro Suburban and DuPage

NAMI Metro Suburban, NAMI DuPage and the Community Memorial Foundation are excited to offer Mental Health First Aid in LaGrange at the Community Wellness Center. In celebration of Mental Health Awareness Month in May, we are holding weekly Youth Mental Health First Aid classes on Saturdays from April 30-May 20. Mental Health First Aid takes the fear and hesitation out of addressing someone with a mental illness by improving understanding and providing an action plan that teaches people to safely and responsibly identify and address a mental illness or substance use disorder. Register to participate here.
TPIRC Education Summit
Sept. 16-17, 2022
Lux Cantorum Chicago
Spring Concerts
AUCE National Event
June 8-9, 2022
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.
New Stewardship Materials: “From Bread and Cup to Faith and Giving”. Materials are available for purchase in the UCC Resource Store.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Click the links below for resources:
Mental Health and Wellness-Worship Resources
UCC and United Church of Canada

The United Church of Christ and its Canadian partner are offering an extensive new set of worship materials for Mental Health Sunday and for use year-round. Mental Health and Wellness: Worship Resources for All is a free, 31-page PDF document. It offers prayers, litanies, sermon starters, hymn suggestions, study ideas and 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 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. The goals of this grant program grow out of the Council's commitment to developing a prophetic culture of faith leadership that goes beyond a focus on individual behaviors to collectively addressing the institutions and systems responsible for the present crisis. In so doing, the Council seeks to promote a climate justice movement that recognizes the root causes of the climate crisis in relation to corporate power and government policy as well as racial and economic inequity.

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

Chicago, A Just Harvest seeks PT Contract Fundraiser

Chicago, A Just Harvest seeks FT Organizer/Communications Coordinator

Chicago, Church World Service seeks FT Community Engagement Specialist

Edgebrook Community Church seeks PT Church Administrator

Elmhurst, St. Peter's UCC seeks PT Office Manager

Lombard, First Church of Lombard seeks PT Community Engagement Coordinator - NEW

Princeton, Pilgrim Park Camp seeks Summer Staff

Sawyer (MI), Tower Hill Camp seeks Summer Staff

Wayne, Little Home Church seeks PT Organist/Keyboardist - NEW

Wheaton, St. Matthew UCC seeks PT Director of Children's Ministry

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 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: 
This communication is made possible by your contributions to

Our Church's Wider Mission
Illinois Conference of the United Church of Christ | (708) 344-4470
1840 Westchester Blvd., Suite 200, Westchester, IL 60154