July 20, 2022 eNews
Safe Sanctuaries Training

Remaining dates:

  • 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.
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.
Thank you, Laura!
If you organized or attended an event with the Northern Illinois Conference, you likely interfaced with Laura Lopez, pictured (left) busy working at the 2022 Annual Conference.

Laura began working with the Northern Illinois Conference in January 2017 as an administrative assistant and event planner. During her time with us, the position has become a key component of our work with hundreds of conference and district events. 

In the 2021-2022 church year alone, Laura coordinated 68 events for more than 7,000 participants. She has given support to more than six annual conference sessions, numerous Lay Academies, Congregational Development, Board of Laity, Credentialing Committee, our strategic initiatives, and more. 

Many know Laura for her calm presence and supportive personality. She is the voice on the phone or behind an email answering questions about events or helping with registration. 

We are grateful for Laura’s years with us as she helped us build a customer-friendly system for our activities, trainings, and gatherings. 

We send Laura off with our blessing as she moves to a new position in event planning. Her last day is Friday, July 22.

We are currently seeking applicants to fill the position. Click here for the job description.
Communicator's Corner
A Prayer for Highland Park
The NIC Discipleship Task Force is grateful for the Bishop’s letter and clergy and laity from Galilee UMC (Highland Park), Christ UMC (Deerfield), Northbrook UMC, Grace UMC (Lake Bluff), and many others who responded after the horrific rampage in Highland Park on July 4th. Although the Discipleship Task Force invites all in our Conference to join us in prayer. O, Most High God of Love, You are Counselor, Peacemaker, Comforter, Provider, and Shepherd. You are fully able and yet You enlist our prayers and works. Your heart broke at yet another mass shooting—the one at Highland Park during Fourth of July celebrations. Read more.

NIC Youth Leaders in Learning & Service
The Discipleship Task Force began a collaboration with the Anti-racism Task Force in February of this year to discern a way forward to best engage local church youth leaders in meaningful, connectional experiences where Christ is revealed through prayer, information sharing, reflections, and action to better serve our youth. Relationships and shared experiences are a priority. Therefore, we invite you to join us on Sat., August 6, from 9 am – 12 pm for a meeting, lunch, and volunteer opportunity. We will spend about one hour of our time together filling backpacks for Kids Above All which will be given to youth returning to school. Click here to learn more about this 128-year-old United Methodist agency. The meeting location is 8765 W. Higgins Rd., Chicago, IL. However, space is very limited. Therefore, if you would like to join us, please email Amania Drane at adrane@umcnic.org by Fri., July 29, 4 pm. You will be notified to let you know if space is still available.

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
"Rev. Raydean Davis, the campus minister at ISU Wesley Foundation, played a strong role in my faith formation and in my call to ordained ministry. He invited me to lead a small group, be a peer minister and lead parts of worship. In doing so, he allowed me to experience how fun and challenging ministry can be, but also what a privilege it is to walk with people on their journey of faith." ~Rev. Brittany Isaac
The NIC Board of Pensions is seeking more stories like this one from Rev. Isaac for its “You Made a Difference” initiative. The goal is to show 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.
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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