March 23, 2022
April Reporter Available Online
The April issue of the Reporter is now available online and heading to the post office. Read more about the NIC's connection to a United Methodist District Superintendent and his wife in Ukraine who are working to support refugees fleeing the war-torn country.

Also, Bishop Hopkins addresses questions about a division in the church in his monthly column.

Also, learn how one church is giving to reparations efforts in their city. Plus, find out what some churches are fasting from this Lenten season that will help the environment. Read more and share with your churches.
2022 Bishop's Appeal for Ukraine Assistance
The 2022 Northern Illinois Annual Conference Bishop's Appeal special offering will go toward Ukraine assistance. While immediate needs are great, we know the people of Ukraine will need assistance in the long term. For more details on fundraiser ideas and bringing your collective offering to Annual Conference, visit umcnic.org/Bishopsappeal2022. In the meantime, you are encouraged to give to your local church and designate "Ukraine Assistance."
Speaker Series: Race, America, and the Church
The Northern Illinois Conference, in partnership with the Indiana Conference and other groups, is pleased to announce a 2022 Speaker Series.

During this 4-part series that extends into December and includes a 6-week book study in the fall, we will journey together to prayerfully learn, engage, and tackle our personal and corporate role in addressing racism. We invite you to journey with us.

The first event will be held March 24. Registration closes today, March 23 at 4 pm CT.

Thursday, March 24, 2022, 12 -1:30 pm
via Zoom
Speakers: Tim Alexander, Sandy Harlan, Dr. Betty Hart, and Rev. Dr. Michelle Oberwise Lacock
Sponsors
Annual Conference Registration Opens April 4
The 2022 Northern Illinois Annual Conference will meet in person June 8 - 10 at the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center. The Annual Conference Committee has been diligently working to make this a safe gathering for everyone while monitoring COVID-19 infection rates for the area. For current requirements for AC members to attend, please read the health and safety statement.

Important Dates:
April 4 - Online registration opens
April 6 - Legislation and Historical documents due (email to ACdocuments@umcnic.org - instructions at umcnic.org/AC2022)
May 24 - Clergy Session in person at New Lenox UMC starting at 9 am. Click for details.
June 1 & 2 - Pre-Conference Briefings
June 8 - Laity Session 11 am - 12 noon (register with AC registration)
June 8 - Annual Conference session opens with Memorial Service at 1:30 pm
June 8 - Legislative Sections at 7 pm
June 8 & 9 - On-site Blueprint for Wellness screenings 7 - 10 am
June 9 - Retirement Service at 8:45 am
June 10 - Ordination Service at 1:30 pm

Download a Fact Sheet with more details and information.

The worship services and plenary sessions will be livestreamed on the NIC YouTube Channel for guests and observers.
Communicator's Corner

Uplifting Young Methodists Scholarship
For many students, continuing education beyond high school is a challenging decision due to financial circumstances. The United Methodist Foundation wants to empower students to continue their education by providing financial assistance. This scholarship is designed to assist minority United Methodist students to attend a trade school, community college, college, or university. Applications are due April 30. Vist umfnic.org/uplift for more information and to apply.

Nominations Seeking to Fill Committees
Do you have a heart for hospitality? Is advocacy your ministry? Are you a professional social worker or occupational therapist? If so, the NIC Committee on Accessibility Ministries needs you! The committee supports congregations in becoming more accessible by working to eliminate physical and mental health barriers to ministry participation. The NIC Nominations Committee has begun its work for the 2022-2023 year and beyond. If you are curious about volunteering for this committee or any other ministry area, please find more information and the interest form on the NIC's Committee Volunteers webpage. 

Early-bird Discount Extended for Five-Day Academy Retreat
Registration is open for the Five Day Academy for Spiritual Formation, "Come to the Waters," at the Siena Retreat Center in Racine, WI on Lake Michigan from Oct. 2 - 7, 2022, sponsored by the NIC Spiritual Formation Committee. The cost is $625 per person if you register before April 15. This includes tuition, private room and bath, and all meals. Registration cost after that date is $700 per person. Click here for details and registration. Download the brochure.
Mark your calendar

Around the Conference
  • Preview of "How to Reach New People” - (April 2) from 10 - 11:30 am (via Zoom) The NIC Office of Congregational Development and Redevelopment will be sponsoring a cohort of churches that would like to reach new people and make a difference by undergoing coach training with Paul Nickerson. This is an opportunity to preview this process to see if it would be helpful for your church. Click here for details.

Around the Connection

  • UMCOR Sunday - (March 27) Giving to this Special Sunday offering allows us to make a difference in the lives of communities and individuals whose lives have been upset by storms, wars, fires, displacement and climate change. This offering underwrites UMCOR’s “costs of doing business,” allowing UMCOR to keep the promise that 100% of any gift to a specific UMCOR project will go toward that project, not administrative costs. Click here for resources.
United Media Resource Center
Click here for a list of Fresh Expressions books 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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