eNews  · April 12, 2023
First UMC in Morris has deployed its Early Response Team (ERT) to the Rolling Fork, MS, area to assist in cleanup after the March 27 tornadoes. Consider supporting this important ministry through monetary donations. Mail your gifts to First UMC, 118 W Jackson St, Morris, IL 60450. And pray for those whose homes, schools, and workplaces were damaged and for the Morris ERT’s compassionate efforts. [PHOTO BY COMMUNITY FDN NW MISSISSIPPI/UMNS]

As you may know, the Boy Scouts of America recently settled a lawsuit related to accusations of sexual abuse of children. Many UM churches chartered troops. Through the Repair the Harm to Children campaign, NIC will address survivors' needs in three ways; listening and providing healing to survivors, contributing $754,348 to the survivor fund, and creating safeguards against future harm.

Now that Amazon Smile is no longer available, encourage your supporters to use UMC Market. Like Amazon Smile, UMC Market enables online shoppers to raise donations for your ministry or church simply by making purchases. Nearly 2,000 vendors participate, including Expedia, Kohl’s, Ticketmaster, and Walmart.

Obtain your church's 2023 Certificates of Insurance by visiting the NIC church portal. On that page you will find a link to the Lay Leadership portal, where you will find the certificates. (Note: please discard all Certificates of Insurance sent earlier this year from Arthur J. Gallagher.) Have questions? Contact Dwayne Jackson, Director of Risk Management & Ministry Protection, at (312) 783-5945 or via email.

Register Now for Lowest Fee. Register for conference session before April 28 for the lowest fee ($100). The deadline is May 28. THERE WILL BE NO ON-SITE REGISTRATION. Register here.
Bishop's Appeal for Migrant Needs. The 2023 Bishop’s Appeal focuses on migrant needs. Your donations will help area organization provide migrants with immediate needs like hygiene kits, temporary shelter, and food, as well as longer-term needs like employment, housing, medical care, and legal assistance. Read more.

Schedule a Health Screening. The Blueprint for Wellness screening takes place at Annual Conference and is available for those who participate in the conference health insurance plan. Testing involves one blood draw and a few measurements. The results provide valuable information about several common health risks. Learn how to set an appointment. 

Fill the Truck with Disaster Relief Supplies. The NIC Board of Global Ministries is collecting items for disaster relief kits for Midwest Mission. Obtain items from their list of most-needed items and bring them to the mission truck, which will be parked in the east lot of the convention center. Learn more. 

See Annual Conference Up Close As a Volunteer. Annual Conference relies on volunteer ushers, pages, legislative section leaders, greeters, secretarial pool members and more in order to run smoothly and efficiently. If you'd like to help, contact Bri Wadlington, the NIC events coordinator. No previous experience is necessary. Volunteer via email here. 
News & Resources

Kids Above All's Happy Babies Drive is collecting childcare supplies until May 15 so that parents, caregivers, babies, and toddlers have the essentials they need for a happy and healthy start to their lives together. They've created a wish list of the most needed items.

Since July 1, 2021, employees of religious non-profit organizations have qualified for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. That means employees of churches, religious schools and camps, seminaries, church agencies, etc. can now qualify to have their student loans forgiven. Not everyone is eligible; click link below for more information.

Asked their perspectives of United Methodism’s future, more than 650 Black clergy and laity from every UMC jurisdiction listed three top concerns: discrimination and racism, inequities in appointments and salaries, and lack of young adults in church leadership. “We want to stay and see change creating a more equitable United Methodist Church,” says Rev. Candace Lewis, president and dean of Gammon Theological Seminary.

  • Discipling Anti-Racism Youth (DAY) Second-Quarter event, April 29, 9 a.m. to noon, at Community UMC, 20 N. Center St., Naperville. The workshop will be facilitated by the Becoming the Beloved Community team, led by Dr. Richard Guzman. The discussion will address ways to talk to youth about work on racial justice and equity. All conference youth leaders are encouraged to attend. Please click here to register. Questions? Contact Deacon Sharon Rice at [email protected].

  • Widening the Circle, May 3, 9 to 11 a.m., at Old St. Patrick’s Church, 700 W. Adams, Chicago. This breakfast gathering, hosted by Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America, will describe how faith communities and individuals can open their spaces and hearts to asylum seekers. Learn more here.

Pentecost falls on May 28 this year. It's an opportunity for churches and study groups to explore the role and significance of the Third Person of the Holy Trinity. United Media Resource Center offers some books and more to help.

Suggestions from the UMRC collection:

  • Help Is Here: Finding Fresh Strength and Purpose in The Power of the Holy Spirit, by Max Lucado
  • Christ in the Feast of Pentecost, by David Brickner and Rich Robinson
  • Livestream: Learning to Minister in the Power of the Holy Spirit, by Ivan Filby
  • Spirit-Filled Life, by Charles Stanley

Find the online catalog here. To contact the center, send a message to [email protected]. 
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