eNews  · April 19, 2023
At this quarter’s Anti-Racism Film Series, discover the rich history and culture of the multitude of Asian communities. On May 25, from 6 to 8 p.m., ten host sites will serve a meal followed by a presentation and panel discussion. (You may also attend via Zoom.) The series guides participants into deeper awareness of race and ethnicity.

Dr. Anita Thomas will become the eleventh president of North Central College, effective July 1. A mission-driven leader, researcher, educator, and psychologist, Thomas has over 25 years’ experience in higher education. She is the first woman and first person of color to lead North Central in its 162-year history. In addition to leading the school, she will hold the faculty rank of professor of psychology.

Sexual harassment occurs in many places--including the church. The UM General Commission on the Status and Role of Women encourages all United Methodists to commit this month in particular to ending sexual harassment in the church. This form of abuse is fueled by deeply rooted attitudes about power, authority, and gender. It can be prevented when these attitudes are challenged and changed.

Register Now for Lowest Fee. Register for Annual Conference session before April 28 for the lowest fee ($100). Register also for clergy session (May 23) at this site. Register here.

Missed registering for clergy session? Visit this site to update your Annual Conference session registration, where you can add your clergy session attendance.
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. Ask your church to contribute and bring the donations to Annual Conference. Read more.

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. 
News & Resources

While early flowers and trees begin to bud this month, it's a good time to spring into your summer planning—including laying the groundwork for vacation Bible school. Set up a timeline for choosing curriculum, enlisting volunteers, promotion, and more to have everything in place by summer.

"Disciples Living Generously," a three-session online course offered by UM Discipleship Ministries, helps church leaders see stewardship and generosity as more than “how do we pay the bills” but rather “how do we grow generous disciples?" Move the focus beyond the church’s need for money to clearly highlight a disciple’s need to experience the joy of a generous life. Take it at your own pace. Free enrollment; your apportionment giving makes this available to you.

Hundreds of people packed into tiny Ambodifasika UMC in Madagascar to experience a series of firsts this past February: the church’s first visit from a bishop, who presided over the church's first baptisms, Holy Communion service, and confirmations. The church, the first UM congregation in Madagascar, began in 2018 and has been growing steadily.

  • 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 d[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.

  • Send-off for Jane Eesley, May 12, 7 to 8:30 p.m., at Kingswood UMC, 401 W. Dundee Rd., Buffalo Grove. Rev. Eesley will start her UM missionary appointment as the Methodist liaison office advocacy coordinator in Jerusalem on July 1. At this reception, you'll hear Jane speak about her calling and learn how you can support her work. Enjoy wonderful desserts and fellowship! Email Rev. David Aslesen or call him at (847) 825-3144 for additional information.  

During the summer months, many churches pause their usual learning and spiritual development schedule. This opens up time to offer some different kinds of gatherings. United Media Resource Center offers books and more to help.

Suggestions from the UMRC collection:

  • Arts Camp: A Creative, Customizable Alternative to Vacation Bible School and Beyond, by Christina Clark
  • Best VBS Workbook Ever! by Lisa Brown
  • Faithful Celebrations: Making Time with Family and Friends, by Sharon Ely Pearson
  • Harvesting Abundance: Local Initiatives of Food and Faith, by Brian Sellers-Petersen and Sarah Nolan
  • Retreats for Renewal, by Nancy Ferguson

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