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eNews · March 13, 2024

Elaine Moy Named NIC Treasurer

Elaine Moy, who has over two decades of experience working for the UMC's general agencies, has been named treasurer and director of administrative services for the Northern Illinois Conference. “As a member of First UMC in Evanston and a lay member of the NIC, I am excited to represent lay people and serve in this role,” Moy said.  She begins work on April 15.

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How $100 Bills Changed Lives in Belvidere

Love rippled through Belvidere and beyond when the people of First UMC in Belvidere turned $100 into compassion. In September, Rev. Jim Bell, senior pastor, gave a “Kingdom Assignment” to 60 members of the church: he gave $100 bills to each and told them to do good with the money. Scholarships, plarn looms, Bibles in Spanish, and much more grew from this seed money.

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Receive and Extend Grace in a Time of Uncertainty

"As we move forward through Lent and beyond, we will face many challenges in life of our denomination, the political landscape, and acts of senseless violence in our streets," observes Eugene Williams, NIC co-lay leader. He invites us to flip the script: "For every challenge that may arise, I invite you to receive and extend grace in our interactions with each other."

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Golden Cross Winners Offer Compassion to Seniors

NIC has recognized five exemplary leaders in senior services by granting them Golden Cross awards. Donations to Golden Cross Sunday offerings fund grants for deserving workers in senior-serving institutions to further their service among older adults. Chaplain Melanie Myatt, Jillian Price, Lana Pearson, Ashley Pinedo-Belmontes, and Jobert Dulay were honored.

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Journey with Christ on a Walk to Emmaus Retreat

When is the last time you spent 72 hours focusing on your spiritual life? The NIC Emmaus community invites you to the Walk to Emmaus Weekends (April 4-7 Men’s Walk or April 11-14 Women’s Walk). Walks inspire, challenge, and equip Christian disciples and leaders for faithful action in their homes, churches, workplaces, and communities. It also benefits those who seek a renewed relationship with God. Apply soon.

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Women's History Month: Mary Bosanquet Fletcher

Methodist preacher, author, theologian and philanthropist Mary Bosanquet Fletcher lived an extraordinary life. A child of wealth and privilege, she gave it all up to preach the gospel and serve the poor. She urged John Wesley to recognize the calling of women to preach. Converting one of her family’s properties, she founded an orphanage and school. Future generations of women leaders gained inspiration from her.

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United Methodist Bishops Call for Cease-fire in Gaza

The UMC Council of Bishops has called for an immediate and permanent cease-fire in the conflict between Hamas and Israel in Gaza. “The lack of a true cease-fire after more than five months of this deadly conflict compels us to raise our voices now,” the bishops say. They also pledge their prayers and commitment to work for a durable peace for Israelis, Palestinians, and all in the region. 

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In Case You Missed It . . .

  • The 2024 property insurance statements are now available on the Prosper website. You need to log in only once to access apportionment, group health, pension, and property insurance statements. Review this letter, which addresses premium allocation, statements, and more. Read the Prosper website log-in instructions.

Annual Conference Session Updates

Special Observances and Sessions

  • Clergy session: June 5 (location to be announced) 
  • Laity session: Sunday afternoon, June 16
  • Ordination and commissioning: Sunday evening, June 16 
  • Retirement: Monday morning, June 17 
  • Memorial: Tuesday morning, June 18 

Start planning now:

  • Legislation: Those who are planning to propose ministry actions and resolutions for annual conference vote must submit these by April 15. Legislation must be submitted via the form posted here. No exceptions.  Legislation and historical documents will be posted online by May 16.

  • Memorial Service: The service takes place on June 18. Names and photos of annual conference session lay members who have passed since May 2023 are due May 9. Submit them by email.

  • Childcare: Grants for defraying the costs of your childcare arrangements must be requested by May 15. Complete the form here.

  • Hotel rooms: The Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center Hotel is holding a block of rooms at a special rate. The reservation deadline is May 25. The hotel offers reservations for two nights, June 16-17 (check in on June 16 and check out the morning of June 18). Cost: $185 plus 11% tax per night. Call (888) 236-2427 (mention Northern Illinois Conference UMC) or reserve online.

  • Group meals: Conference-related organizations and groups are encouraged to hold their group meals at the hotel. Plated meals, buffet, and reception-style food station options are available. Participants will be able to sign up for group meals when they register for conference session. For more information, contact Bri Wadlington at [email protected] by March 25.

Other action items:


Our UM Relationship with Muslim Neighbors

For Muslims, Ramadan (March 10 through April 8 this year) is a period of introspection, communal prayer in the mosque, and reading of the Qur'an. Islam teaches that God forgives the past sins of those who observe the holy month with fasting, prayer, and faithful intention. According to the UM Book of Resolutions (#6006), "Christians are called to initiate and promote better relationships between Christians and Muslims on the basis of informed understanding, critical appreciation, and balanced perspective of one another's basic beliefs." The resolution further urges that "United Methodists, seeking to be faithful neighbors and witnesses to other members of the human family, recognize with respect peoples of the religion of Islam." Read more

Evangelism in Zimbabwe Amplified by PA System

Striving to bring more people to Christ, a Zimbabwean UM group gathered resources to buy a public address system, keyboard and generator valued at more than $15,000.

Members of the Murewa UMP Plough Back Home Group are former residents of the district who are now successful church and business leaders. The gift is a way for them to give back to the community that helped nurture them and prepared them for adulthood. Murewa is in the Murewa Uzumba Maramba Pfungwe District.

Pastor Christopher Ngoni Muponda, Murewa UMP district evangelism chair, said the initiative is part of a broader collaboration with the Plough Back Home Group.

“When countless people gathered at Murewa Mission,” he recalled, “the borrowed PA system could not reach out effectively to the furthest person. Congregants would get frustrated and would justifiably leave before the end of the program. With this generous donation of a powerful new PA system, generator and keyboard, we will go a long way to bring more to Christ.

“Preachers no longer need to deliver their message away from the pulpit, but it is now a choice. The message can be effectively received by anyone. Youth are happy because they can use the keyboard to quench their thirst for contemporary music.” (Photo: Simba Muchenga operates the new sound board. Photo by Kudzai Chingwe, UM News.)

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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. Send an email message to the MLO for instructions on how to join the online meeting.

  • Transition workshop, April 13, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (for clergy and SPRC members preparing for an appointment change), Our Saviour's UMC, Schaumburg.

Around the Connection

Resources for Prayer Ministry

These resources can help your congregation grow in its prayer life. Some examples:

House of Prayer: The Power of Praying in Community, by Thomas Steagald

Open Road: The Adventure of a Breakthrough Prayer Initiative, by Sue Nilson Kibbey

Power of Group Prayer: How Intercession Transforms Us and the World, by Carolyn Carney

Praying Together: Forming Prayer Ministries in Your Congregation, by Martha Graybeal Rowlett

List of more selected resources

Find the online catalog here.

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