Illinois Conference
United Church of Christ
E-Newsletter
May 2022, Second Edition
A Big Thank You to the Eastern Association
UCC Campus Ministry, University of Illinois

At the Eastern Association meeting in April, they decided to hold an offering for Campus Ministry in order to support our end of semester party which we held on May 10th. That offering covered the entirety of the food, drinks and entertainment and we had an absolute blast. We had dance offs, karaoke, great food, and amazing fellowship. We said some tearful goodbyes to graduates but also made plans for next year and how to keep things going over the summer. Everyone went home full and leftovers were split between students who got a little extra bump in goodies during finals week. This space was made possible by that generous offering and I wanted to say thank you! It is just wonderful when we get Conference and Association support, and that support empowers us to do cool things and give students amazing experiences. Thank you!!

Rev. Nate Brantingham (He, Him, His)
Director of Campus Ministry
Solidarity with Trans & Non-Binary Youth
UCC Open & Affirming Coalition

With more than 1,700 Open and Affirming congregations in 50 states, our churches can play a decisive role in interfaith coalitions opposed to laws and policies that attack families. But even more critical is the need for churches to send a clear message to LGBTQ+ youth that their lives matter, that their God-given gender identity or sexual orientation is a blessing, not a curse, that there are churches and faith communities where they are valued as children of God. In the weeks to come, the Coalition will join with the UCC’s National Ministries to provide the resources congregations need to join in statewide campaigns to safeguard the lives and dignity of LGBTQ+ youth. In the meantime, find your state’s LGBTQ+ advocacy organization here, and use the links below to learn more about how your church can act.
Disaster Ministry 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. Nothing was spared. 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.
IL Conference Disaster Relief Bucket Challenge

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 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. You can also watch the recording of our All Conference Chat on May 4 about the opportunities on our YouTube channel.

Our camps are working in creative ways for guests to have a camp experience "out of the ordinary and into the sacred''. 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
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 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.

May 30: Conference Office Closed in observance of Memorial Day.

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

June 21: Specialized Minister Boundary Awareness Training. 5:00-8:00 p.m. via Zoom. Sponsored by MESA. Registration is required.
Conference and Association Meetings
May 16: CMA Council Meeting. 6:30 p.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
Upcoming Events at Burr Ridge Community Church
Friday, May 20, 7:00 PM
Service of Grief & Healing

Whether you suffer from a physical ailment, are grieving the loss of a loved one, are struggling with your mental health, or any other difficulty, God cares about your pain and so do we. The service is open to anyone in the community.
Saturday, May 21
11:30 AM - 1:15 PM
Feed My Starving Children Packing Event

BRCC will be packing food for Feed My Starving Children in Schaumburg, IL. All are welcome! To sign up for our BRCC Packing Session please click here.
Sunday, May 22
11:30 AM
Free Community Workout with Hustle Fitness

Burr Ridge Community Church is partnering with Hustle Fitness for a free community workout on our lawn in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month! 
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
  • Distinguishing Between Acute Anxiety and Chronic Anxiety
  • Understanding the Roots of Anxiety
  • Societal Anxiety: Its Impact on the Church
  • Lessons for Leadership in Anxious Times
  • The Conversion of Paul in Art: Learning from Paul’s Experience with Radical Change
  • Self-Differentiated Leadership: A Key to Overcoming the Impact of Anxiety
AUCE National Event
June 8-9, 2022 (Virtual)
Association of United Church Educators

What is hybrid faith formation? How can we do it better and in a sustainable way? How can creativity help us unlock new ideas and extend our reach? How do we care for ourselves and lead well through times of transition? Join faith formation colleagues from across the country to learn, connect, worship, and renew.

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
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Click the links below for resources:
Mental Health and Wellness-Worship Resources
UCC Mental Health Network

It is Mental Health Awareness Month and the UCC MHN wants to make sure you have resources to best equip you for a Mental Health Sunday! We are sending our newest PDF for Worship Resources for your Mental Health Sunday created by the UCC, UCC MHN, and United Church of Canada, as well as two videos to use during this time.

One video by our chair, Bishop Allyson Abrams can be used to make an appeal to support the MHN and to become WISE congregations. The other video by Rev. Dr. Sarah Lund can be used to show the importance of caring for our youth and understanding their mental health needs. Please consider using both of these powerful videos during your worship services this month as we raise awareness about mental health challenges and mental wellness.
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 - NEW

Chicago, Church World Service seeks FT Community Engagement Specialist

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

Wayne, Little Home Church seeks PT Organist/Keyboardist

URGENT NEED: Ravenswood United Church of Christ (Chicago) is seeking a substitute organist/keyboardist/pianist upon the sudden loss of their beloved organist and choir director. A substitute could commit to one Sunday or several, with compensation on a per-Sunday basis for the time being. Ravenswood is an Open and Affirming congregation and home to an outstanding pipe organ as well as a lovely sanctuary piano. To inquire please contact Lenore Waters, Chair of the Ravenswood UCC Church Council at waters.l@sbcglobal.net.

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