eNews  · May 11, 2023
Congratulations to Grace UMC, Logan Square, and Hartzell Memorial UMC (both in Chicago) for receiving Chicago Recovery Plan Grants. The funds will help these churches with climate projects. The grant program aims to boost sustainable economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The two churches were among only 133 organizations that won grants.

At this quarter’s Anti-Racism Film Series, discover the rich history and culture of the multitude of Asian communities. On May 25, from 6 to 8 p.m., ten host sites will serve a meal followed by a presentation and panel discussion (also available via Zoom). The series guides participants into deeper awareness of race and ethnicity. Before attending the event, watch the documentary Being Asian in America, by Pew Research (linked from Film Series web page).

The NIC Prayer Network meets on the second Friday of every month at 10 a.m. to pray for our conference's churches, pastors, and ministries. You are invited to join them for their online prayer meetings. Their web page provides information on how to log in.

Bishop Tracy Malone (UMC Council of Bishops president-designate) and others tell us that even though the church is experiencing grief, there is reason for hope. "God is doing a new thing . . . While we are going through a time of crisis, God is always birthing something new," she says. In a wrap-up video, Bishop Malone and others review the COB meeting held in Chicago last week.

Here are your checklist items this week:

  • Think you registered? Double-check now. Avoid misunderstandings at the check-in table.

  • Review your hotel reservations. We have noticed that there are more registrations for Tuesday, June 6, than Wednesday, June 7. If you plan on staying at the hotel for the entire AC, please confirm your reservations.

  • Preconference Briefings take place on May 30, 7 p.m., and May 31, 10 a.m.; both online. Set aside the dates. Registered Annual Conference session members will receive log-in information.

Other Annual Conference News

Korea Peace Reflections and Prayer Service will take place on June 7. As this year marks the 70th anniversary of the armistice of the Korean War, Annual Conference members will pray that the armistice treaty would be superseded by a peace treaty.

Fellowship of Asian Americans Dinner takes place on June 7, 5 to 7 p.m., at Our Saviour's UMC, Schaumburg. Program includes honoring retiring Asian American clergy, welcoming new Asian American clergy, and welcoming Rev. Hwa-Young Chong as Prairie North District Superintendent. Fee: $15. Contact Rev. Ayla Samson at pastorayla05@gmail.com to reserve your place.
News & Resources

UM Communications has attractive, branded direct mail, banners, and invitations that you can customize for your church's neighborhood events. For a limited time, UM Communications is giving churches a $200 credit for these promotional tools. Use the promo code UMCFA23 at checkout. Act fast as this is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Read more.

Being a white antiracist ally requires more than being a nice Christian who believes that racism is wrong. It requires critical thinking, a heart change, and an expansion of discipleship. The UM Commission on Religion and Race's webinar on May 17, 2 p.m., provides an important virtual conversation on white allyship. Read more and register.

Eight young artists enrolled in Kids Above All's Becoming Me program have artwork on exhibit at the First UMC at the Chicago Temple. Each piece is available for sale for $25, and all proceeds go to the young artists. A reception will take place at the church May 21 following the 11 a.m. worship.
For questions about the program and the exhibit, email Deaconess Catherine Inserra at cinserra@kidsaboveall.org.

“Sunday-morning sports are taking people away from worship!” many complain. What if instead of grieving the church's privileged place in society, we came alongside our neighbors and made their time at church something that renews and strengthens them for their ministry of family and parenting? The Lewis Center at Wesley Seminary has ideas. Read more.
Africa University is becoming the UMC's world-class university for leadership development in Africa. Your gifts are expanding educational opportunities for young people who will strengthen their countries. Share this video with your church to accept students' thanks and take pride in what we do together as United Methodists to help people reach their dreams.

  • Send-off for Jane Eesley, May 12, 7 to 8:30 p.m., at Kingswood UMC, 401 W. Dundee Rd., Buffalo Grove. Hear Rev. Eesley speak about her calling to her new UM missionary appointment as the Methodist liaison office advocacy coordinator in Jerusalem. Find additional information here.  
  • Intentional Discipleship System Conversation, May 16, 10 a.m. Those who are developing an Intentional Discipleship System at their church can attend and connect with others who are also working on this. Contact Caleb Hong (pastorcaleb@faithumcop.org) for the Zoom link.

"Blessed are the peacemakers," Jesus said (Matt. 5:9). How might we participate in that ministry? Here are some resources that may prompt some ideas.

Suggestions from the UMRC collection:

  • Fear of the Other: No Fear in Love, by William Willimon and Delia Catalina Ramirez
  • Listen, Love, Repeat: Other-Centered Living In a Self-Centered World, by Karen Ehman
  • Deep Peace: Finding Calm in a World of Conflict and Anxiety, by Todd Hunter
  • Gospel of Peace in a Violent World: Christian Nonviolence for Communal Flourishing, by Shawn Graves and Marlena Graves
  • We Will Seek Peace and Pursue It, by Neil Paynter

Find the online catalog here. To contact the center, send a message to umrc@igrc.org. 
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