January 26, 2022
Apportionment Receipts Exceed Expectations
Despite challenging times and strain on church finances because of the ongoing pandemic, apportionment receipts for 2021 far exceeded expectations and will allow the Conference to pay 100 percent General Church apportionments for the first time in a decade.

The Conference Council on Finance and Administration (CCFA) gives thanks to all the churches that faithfully paid their apportionments, which totaled nearly $5.6 million for the Conference budget and General Church funds. NIC Treasurer Lonnie Chafin says this year’s numbers improved $900,000 (19%) over 2020’s results.

CCFA Chair Tammy Scott says the Council set its expectations for 2021 with hopes of local church giving improving, but not nearly at this level. She says it’s a cause for celebration.

"Meeting our Annual Conference budget obligations and being able to pay our General Church apportionments at 100 percent calls for celebration any time it happens," said Scott. "But to be able to do this in a year when our churches are still adjusting to life and ministry in a pandemic is absolutely amazing!" Read More.
Laity Convocation Registration Open
The focus of Laity Convocation 2022 is spiritual formation. In Romans 12, Paul tells us “Don’t be conformed to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds.” We can do that by forming and growing our spiritual self, so join us on February 12 to learn how and what you can do to grow your spiritual life.

Join the Board of Laity online for a morning of conversation with speakers:

  • Kara Lassen Oliver - Associate Publisher with The Upper Room
  • Rev. Dr. Regina Bridges Davis - Spiritual Clinical Counselor & Ordained UMC Deacon
  • George Groves - NIC United Methodist Men President

Cost is $10. Registration deadline is Feb. 11. Click here for more info.
Communicator's Corner

5th Sunday Appeal - Jan. 30
For more than 30 years, United Voices for Children (UVC) has helped congregations serve Northern Illinois' most vulnerable populations through our partnership with Kids Above AllMYSI and Rosecrance. Be a part of this important work by supporting UVC's Fifth Sunday Appeal on Sunday, January 30, 2022Click here for resources for the local church to inform your congregation and community. Need 5th Sunday Appeal envelopes? Email UVC at unitedvoicesforchildren@gmail.com to request special giving envelopes. Click here to donate. Thank you for your support!

NIC Risk Management Ministry Memo - Winterizing your church
As winter arrives, the change of seasons brings with it special challenges for churches in all climates. Whether it is as obvious as ice and snow in the North or as simple as a change in temperatures or dropping leaves in the South, the changes call for attention in order to protect the ministries of your church and those in attendance. Read more.

NIC General and Jurisdictional Delegation Update
As the year 2022 starts, and another variant of COVID-19 results in more infections and even more breakthroughs diagnosed, we, as delegates, continue to live with the uncertainty of when the 2020 General Conference might be convened. Towards the end of 2021, the General Commission on General Conference (GCGC) shared that they will look into the situation closely and share their decision with us in the first quarter of 2022. We await that announcement from the commission, however, your delegation has continued to meet and has participated, around the connection, in many ways throughout these past two years. We are preparing a more detailed video report to share with you soon. We know this uncertainty is not helpful, so we
ask you to please continue to hold your delegation and members of the GCGC in your prayers. In the meantime, if you desire to reach out to us or have specific questions for any of us, please feel free to email us at

Scholarships Available for UM Students
The United Methodist Higher Education Foundation (UMHEF) is accepting scholarship applications for the 2022-2023 academic year until March 1, 2022. Students who are members of The United Methodist Church and planning to attend a United Methodist-related school, college, university, or seminary full-time are eligible to apply. More information on eligibility criteria, the application process, and FAQs can be found at umhef.org/scholarships. Applications and supporting materials must be submitted/postmarked no later than March 1, 2022. Download the flyer. Scholarship applications with the General Board of Higher Education are due March 24. Click here for details.
Mark your calendar
Around the Conference

  • 2022 District Leadership Training Events: Click dates for details and registration.


  • NIC UMM Annual Breakfast - (Mar. 12) 8:30 am. In-person and livestreamed from Grace UMC, 3555 McFarland Rd, Rockford, IL. Guest Speaker Greg Arnold, UMM's new General Secretary. Cost $10. No cost for pastors. Click here for details.

  • Harmony For Hunger Concert - (Mar. 18) 6:30 - 9 pm. Hosted by the Prairie North District UMM at Hononegah High School Performing Arts Center, 307 Salem Street, Rockton, IL. Cost $15. 100% of the proceeds will go toward area food pantries and the Society of St. Andrew's meals for millions. Click here for details.

Around the Connection

  • Winter Mission Academy 2022 - (Jan. 31 - Feb. 5.) Join United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) for the 2022 Winter Mission Academy. Register for as many workshops as you would like. All sessions will be on Zoom at 11:00 am CST. The Zoom link will be sent out to all registrants a few days before the Mission Academy begins. Click here for details.

  • Clergy Get Smart About Your Taxes - (Feb. 7) 11 am - 12 pm. Join this free webinar presented by Discipleship Ministries. Clergy face some unique challenges when it comes to things like Social Security payments, estimated tax payments, housing allowances or exclusions, and reimbursed expenses. Join the Rev. Don Joiner, a certified financial planner, to help navigate the preparation of taxes and planning for a sound financial future. Click here to register.
United Media Resource Center
Click here for a list of Lenten Studies that can be mailed to your church or home address.

Go to igrc.org/umrc to access the online catalog.

Questions, comments? Contact UMRC Director Jill Stone at umrc@igrc.org.
 
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