eNews July 13, 2022
Healing for Highland Park
United Methodist churches and the faith community continue to be a place of comfort and healing from the trauma after the horrific Fourth of July parade shooting in Highland Park.

On Wednesday, July 6, Galilee Korean UMC in Highland Park, which is located just blocks away from the parade route and site of the rampage, held a prayer vigil to remember the seven victims and the dozens of others wounded. United Methodist clergy and members from neighboring churches attended the service to stand in solidarity with Highland Park. A crisis response canine team from New Jersey came to support and provide comfort to those attending the prayer vigil and the community. Click here for more photos from Journalist/Producer Won Jung Park for Korean American News Magazine Chicago.

The Glencoe Clergy Association, which North Shore UMC is a part of and borders Highland Park, held a candlelight vigil at Am Shalom on Thursday, July 7 in Glencoe. Three members of Am Shalom were shot and are recovering. North Shore Congregation Israel lost Jacki Sundheim, a beloved staff member. An Interfaith Service was held at Glencoe Union Church and North Shore held a healing service, both on Sunday, July 10.

"Sunday’s afternoon worship was a service that touched on the anguish of the community and the need for an end to gun violence," said Rev. Barb Javore, Deacon at North Shore UMC and president of the Glencoe Clergy Association. Javore spoke with ABC7 saying that it's going to take a long time for this community to heal. Watch the report.

Many other churches and pastors across the Northern Illinois Conference called out the violence and offered prayers during this time of tremendous heartache. Kingswood UMC in Buffalo Grove opened its sanctuary last week for people to come and pray and held a special prayer time during Sunday's services.

"As we continue to shed tears, Jesus is calling us to do more for peace and healing. I ask you to move beyond just prayers to action—actions to help Highland Park and actions to end gun violence in every place," Kingswood's Rev. James Preston wrote in an email to the congregation.

For gun violence prevention resources, visit the Everytown for Gun Safety website at everytown.org or the General Board of Church and Society at umcjustice.org.
Safe Sanctuaries Training

Remaining dates:

  • Saturday, July 16 - 1:00 pm - Des Plaines: First UMC
  • Saturday, July 30 - 10:00 am - Rockford: Christ UMC
  • Saturday, August 6 - 10:00 am - Rockford: Christ UMC
  • Saturday, August 20 - 1:00 pm - Des Plaines: First UMC

**This free training is an alternate for those who cannot participate in other training options and does not include a background check. For videos, policies, FAQs, downloads, and more resources, visit umcnic.org/safesanctuaries.
New Facility Agreements Between Congregations, Boy Scouts of America
United Methodist leaders and the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) have reached an agreement about new Affiliation and Facility Use Agreements between congregations, scouting units and the BSA.

Over the last year, leaders of The United Methodist Church engaged in the Boy Scouts of America reorganization because of sexual abuse in scouting programs over the last 80 years.

As United Methodists, we have reached a settlement by working closely with representatives for the survivors. Our agreement which includes education about safety, review of current policies and a $30 million settlement was developed by listening to and conversations with survivors. The judge has yet to announce her ruling on the reorganization plan or a specific timeline for the release of the ruling.

UM leaders also recognized that the chartering system needed to be updated. UM leaders and the BSA have agreed to a new Affiliation Agreement that replaces former charters with an Affiliation Agreement. Read more.

Resources and information about the new affiliation agreement may be found here GCUMM.org/Scouting or directly at methodistscouter.org/a-new-agreement.
2nd Annual DIY Rally Against Racism
Last summer, the NIC Annual Conference Shepherding Team (ACST) and the Anti-racism Task Force (ARTF) joined together to spearhead a way for churches to visibly show their commitment “to live out the conviction that racism is incompatible with Christian teaching.”

Several churches participated by holding rallies in a variety of different ways. Churches were encouraged to be creative and hold Do-it-Yourself or DIY ralliesClick here to watch a video from last summer's rallies.

Thank you to Bolingbrook: Friendship, Elmhurst: First, Schaumburg: Our Saviour’s and Cary UMC for signing up to participate this year! Learn more about holding your own rally and sign up today.
Communicator's Corner

UVC Seeking Award Nominations
Do you know an individual or group who exemplifies service and advocacy efforts on behalf of children, youth and/or families throughout the Northern Illinois Conference? Any United Methodist member or congregation in Northern Illinois can nominate individuals both laity and clergy to receive one of three distinguished awards – Bishop Jesse. R. DeWitt, Katherine B. Greene, and Rev. Margaret Ann Williams – please click here for descriptions, nomination forms and event information. Nominations are due July 31. These awards will be given virtually during the Raising Our Voices Through Resources; A Bridge for the Gap event on Tuesday, Sept. 13 at 11:00 am.

Kids Above All Back-to-School Drive
Running through August 26, you can help ensure that the hundreds of kids in the care of Kids Above All have the supplies they need to succeed this school year through the agency's annual backpack drive. Recommended donation drop-off is between July 27 and August 12. If you have a small group interested in volunteering, Kids Above All needs many helping hands to assemble the backpacks. To find a link to the Amazon wish list and more information, visit kidsaboveall.org/bts-drive. To volunteer, please contact Catherine Inserra, Manager of Faith & Community Relations, at cinserra@kidsaboveall.org or 847-224-2870.

Share Stories of Difference Makers in Your Life
The NIC Board of Pensions is seeking stories for its “You Made a Difference” initiative introduced at the 2022 Northern Illinois Annual Conference. The goal is to help share stories of how others within the UMC connection made a difference in our lives and also raise funds to support future clergy pension programs. Please go to umcnic.org/differencemakers and click on “Tell Your Story” to open an online form. After hitting submit, click on the donate button to give a gift in honor of your Difference Maker. Click on the “Honored Difference Makers” tab to read stories that have been told by others.
Mark your calendar

Around the Conference
  • From Surviving to Thriving: Platinum Rule Leadership for Changing Times - Wednesdays, July 27, Aug. 3, and Aug. 10. Fun and insightful online workshops that empower you to communicate with greater emotional intelligence! Sponsored by the United Methodist Foundation of the Northern Illinois Conference. Cost: $99. Limited to 36 participants. Click here for details.
  • Celebrate African Day - July 31 from 9 am - 1 pm. First United Methodist Church of Oak Lawn (10000 Central Avenue (100th & Central) Oak Lawn) presents a family-friendly free event. Come and enjoy the African style of worship, songs, cultural dances, delicious African food, and an exhibition of African Arts. Come and experience Africa in America at Oak Lawn. If you have questions please contact Pastor Amos Oladipo, at oladipoamos@yahoo.com or the church office at fumcoffice1@att.net.
  • United Voices for Children 5th Sunday Appeal - July 31. This special offering supports United Voices for Children’s affiliated agencies—Kids Above All, MYSI and Rosecrance. Congregations participate by inviting their members to give to a special offering on the fifth Sunday of any month (happens four times a year). Through this collaborative giving effort, United Methodist congregations of all sizes can make a real difference in the lives of at-risk children, youth and families. To learn more, visit unitedvoicesforchildren.org.
  • Renewable Energy Summit - Saturday, Sept. 10 from 9 am - 2 pm. Hosted by NIC Eco-Sustainability Task Force and Co-Sponsored by Wespath and Global Ministries at Euclid Avenue UMC, 405 S. Euclid Ave., Oak Park. Learn about sustainable renewable energy practices for local churches, ways to reduce your carbon footprint, and hear a report on the United Methodist Interagency Just and Equitable Net-Zero Commitment. Click here to register.

Around the Connection

  • GCSRW Lunch & Learn - Thursday, July 21 at noon. Join the Rev. Pamela Pirtle, the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women (GCSRW), and other annual conference COSROWs to discuss preparations for the agency's 50th-anniversary celebration. Click here to register.
  • Volunteers in Mission Sunday (UMVIM) - Any Sunday in July or August - Find resources: songs, liturgy, posters, Mission Moments, sermon starters, and more to help your church celebrate by clicking here.
United Media Resource Summer Update
Please note that UMRC services remain paused in July to prepare for and implement the transition to Kumler Outreach Ministries in Springfield with a target date of August 1.
Items will not be mailed in the transition period but explore the UMRC online catalog for ideas for fall programming. You can request resources during the transition time using the online catalog and items will begin shipping in August. What ministries would you like to expand or begin this fall? What topics might new small groups like to explore? Borrow some resources and try something new!
In July continue returning resources to the UMRC at the usual address:

United Media Resource Center
P.O. Box 19207
Springfield, IL 62794-9207
If you have overdue UMRC resources that are not being used this summer, please get them returned. Thank you!

Questions? Contact Jill Stone at umrc@igrc.org.
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