View as Webpage

eNews · January 24, 2024

Don't Miss the Laity Convocation!

These days, rancorous arguing seems to be the norm. Christians, however, can model respective disagreement. “Growing Together in Love,” NIC’s Laity Convocation, will demonstrate how to have courageous and respectful conversation. It’s a witness our world needs. If you are a layperson, you’ll want to attend this gathering on Feb. 10, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., at First UMC in Belvidere. Encourage others to join you, and register now. 

Read more

Wisconsin and Northern Illinois Will Share a Bishop

It’s official: Wisconsin and Northern Illinois Conferences will start sharing a bishop on Sept. 1. The North Central Jurisdiction, meeting online in a special session on Jan. 23, passed two motions: to form a new episcopal area composed of Northern Illinois and Wisconsin Conferences and to form another composed of East Ohio and West Ohio Conferences. 

Read more

What's 'Regionalization'?

Have you wondered about the talk of “regionalization” in the UMC? It’s a proposal to enable various regions of our worldwide denomination to make decisions for their own contexts without enjoining UMs in other areas. It would change the current practice, wherein General Conference delegates from all over the world make decisions that U.S. United Methodists must follow but conferences outside the U.S. may adapt.  


Read more

Become a Net-Zero Advocate

The NIC's Net-Zero Task Force encourages and advises churches to achieve net-zero emissions to limit greenhouse gases that cause global warming. They are inviting congregations to name an advocate who would work with the church's trustees and members to adopt sustainable practices. The task force will provide a list of possible steps to help advocates get started.

Read more

Help Lead Conference Ministries

The NIC needs your skills and talents to help advise congregations on program ministries, guide the administrative functions of the conference, and more. The NIC Nominations Committee invites lay and clergy to volunteer their time and gifts to strengthen the UM witness and ministry in our area. Learn what gifts are needed and how to volunteer. 

Read more

Will You Need Childcare at Annual Conference?

If you are a lay or clergy member of NIC annual conference session and will need childcare during the June 16-18 session, please let the Annual Conference Committee know what kind of care you would find most helpful. So that the committee can make plans, they seek your input by Jan. 31. 

Complete the survey

Obtain Your Certificates of Insurance & Auto ID Cards

You may download your 2024 Certificates of Insurance and auto ID cards via the NIC Lay Leadership portal. Instructions for accessing the portal are linked below. There are two certificates (property and liability) for each church building (church, parsonage, garage, annex, or shed). Certificates are also included for leased copiers, bank loan/mortgages, and daycares, if applicable. Access to the Lay Leadership portal is assigned to the church’s pastor and church administrator. For help accessing the portal, contact Debbie Rogers ([email protected]). For other related questions, contact Dwayne Jackson, Director of Risk Management & Ministry Protection ([email protected]). 

Portal access instructions

Lay leadership portal

Time to Upload Your Church's Statistics

It’s that time of year to gather your church's worship and program participation figures and financial records and record these on the UMC's online reporting site. The NIC uses these statistics to track trends at your church, share with the larger denomination, and calculate your church's apportionment. Accurate, up-to-date information is crucial. Enter your 2023 statistics at the AC Stats site no later than Feb. 29. If you have questions, contact David W. Quinn

Start here (and find resources and information)


History Agency Podcast Peaks Behind the Scenes 

The UMC Commission on Archives and History’s twice-monthly podcast, “Un-Tied Methodism,” will dive into General Conference, including its history, legislation, and what's coming at the 2024 event. The podcast’s name, based on a common typo of The United Methodist Church, acknowledges the denomination’s complexity. “The United Methodist Church has a complicated history, which is why our podcast tagline is ‘unraveling the past to make sense of today,’” explains Dr. Ashley Boggan D., the commission's general secretary and the podcast's host. Among its past topics are the connection between UMs and Welch’s Grape Juice, racism in the UMC, the history of the Reconciling Ministry Network, UMC Discipline Paragraph 2548.2, Native People and Methodism, and Methodism in Zimbabwe. Listen for some inside info!

List of episodes   

Church Connects Communities at Refugee Camp

Bright smiles, ululations, and drumbeats welcomed the convoy of Bishop Eben K. Nhiwatiwa and his cabinet, who lead the UMC's Zimbabwe Episcopal Area. This was their first visit to a community of UMs at Tongogara Refugee Camp, which is home to refugees and asylum-seekers who fled the war-torn Great Lakes region, predominantly Congo and Mozambique. Driven by passion to seek God within their new home, the camp residents found one another, congregated, and established a UM preaching point. The increasing numbers of seekers, believers, and community members continue to surprise the leaders. “The members have since increased numerically to 185; the sanctuary is now small, and we wish to expand it,” said Kelly Kasukulukatanga, who is from Congo and serves as the lay leader of the Tongogara Preaching Point.  Bishop Nhiwatiwa observed, “What has happened here is evangelism in action. No one planned this, but God. We were called to respond to God’s evangelism.” (Pictured: Rebeka Kaluta and Laliya Kasukulu, who fled from Congo, join in a celebration to welcome UM leaders to the newly constructed sanctuary at the Tongogara Refugee Camp. Photo by Kudzai Chingwe, UM News.)

Read more

Around the Conference

  • Every Wednesday at noon: Weekly Methodist Liaison Office update and virtual prayer meeting. Participants will hear from a Palestinian speaker and meet in small groups for prayer. Methodists and others from around the world participate. Send an email message to the MLO for instructions on how to join the online meeting.

Clergy will meet from 9:30 a.m. through lunch.

Lay will meet from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Information for all locations can be found here.

  • Lake North, Feb. 1: Clergy meet at Trinity UMC, Mt. Prospect. Laypeople meet at First UMC, Park Ridge.
  • Prairie South, Feb. 7: Both gatherings will meet at First UMC, DeKalb.
  • Prairie North, Feb. 8: Both gatherings will meet at First UMC, Freeport.
  • Lake South, Feb. 12: Both gatherings will meet at New Lenox UMC.
  • Prairie Central: Feb. 13: Clergy will meet at First UMC, Elmhurst. Laypeople will meet at First UMC, Lombard.

Clergy: be sure to register! Organizers must plan for lunch.

  • Laity Convocation, Feb. 10, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., at First UMC, Belvidere. Theme: "Growing Together in Love: Learning to Have Courageous/Respectful Conversations." Be sure to tell your lay people about this enriching event of learning and making new friends.

Around the Connection

Growing in the Virtue of Generosity

The United Media Resource Center has a number of books for church members to grow in generosity.

A few of the Resource Center offerings that you can borrow:

  • “Earn. Save. Give: Wesley's Simple Rules for Money,” a four-session DVD study

  • “Generosity Challenge: 28 Days of Gratitude, Prayer, and Faith,” – a four-session DVD study

  • “God vs. Money: Winning Strategies in the Combat Zone,” a six-session DVD study

  • “Theology of Stewardship and Biblical Generosity,” a DVD/CD-ROM resource that includes five DVD presentations and printable handouts

  • Church Finances for Missional Leaders: Best Practices for Faithful Stewardship, by Bonnie Ives Marden

  • Happy Surprises: Help Others Discover the Joy of Giving, by David Heetland

List of more selected resources

Find the online catalog here.

To contact the center, send them an email message.

Find It Fast

Subscribe to eNews & more
Visit our website
Connect With Us
Facebook  Twitter  Instagram  Youtube  

Please note: Unsubscribing from this eNews list will remove you from all notices from the Northern Illinois Conference, including messages from the bishop, appointment announcements, and sympathy notices.