May 25, 2022
A Prayer for Today
Holy One,

Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of those in Uvalde, Texas.

We recognize, however, that this isn’t enough.

Mobilize us, God.

We do not want to be desensitized to violence.
Stir something deep within that empowers us to stand up to violence of all kinds but most especially to the violence that hurts your sweet children.

Give us words to speak truth to power.

Show us how to use our hands, our feet, and our hearts because we know that you require more from us in these times.
Provide us with the strength only you can provide as we seek to protect all of your children.

We pray for the healing of those who are in critical condition, for the parents and families who are grieving, and for this community who has suffered a great loss.

Amen

This prayer was written by Aimee Cox, director of children's ministry at Christ United Methodist Church in Franklin, TN, and was published on May 24, 2022, by United Methodist Communications.

Read a message from Bishop Robert Schnase, Rio Texas & New Mexico Annual Conferences.

Read a message from the Council of Bishops.

Related Links:
June Reporter Available Online
The June Reporter is now available online and is heading to the post office. Read more about how United Methodists are responding and taking action against recent racially motivated, deadly attacks.

Bishop Hopkins asks in his monthly column, "Will our hope be stronger than our memory?" Learn more about the Board of Pensions initiative to collect stories of Difference Makers among us and to raise funds for future clergy pensions.

Also, find out how local churches are continuing to support Ukraine refugees through mission and service. Read the full issue here.
2nd Annual Rally Against Racism

With recent racially motivated violence and deadly attacks in the news, once again we come together in solidarity to stand against hate and 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 rallies. Click here to watch a video from last summer's rallies.

Join with churches across the Northern Illinois Conference this summer (May through September) to Rally Against Racism. Learn more and sign up today.
Annual Conference Registration Ends May 29
Registration remains open through May 29 for the 2022 Northern Illinois Annual Conference,
June 8 - 10 at the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center.

Cost: $95.

*Make sure you have a file copy (.jpg, jpeg, png) of your proof of vaccination card handy to upload during registration, which is required.

Please note there will be no on-site registration except for switching to an alternate member in case of illness or emergencies.

All Guests should register to help the AC committee organize seating for both special services and plenaries. There's no cost for guest registration and it will be open until Monday, June 6.

For current requirements for AC members to attend, please read the health and safety statement.

More info:

  • Legislation and Historical documents are posted online at umcnic.org/AC2022docs. Assignments for legislative sections will be posted online no later than June 1.
  • For an abbreviated agenda, click here.
  • Click to learn more about this year's speakers and leaders.
  • The worship services and plenary sessions will be livestreamed on the NIC YouTube Channel and NIC Facebook page for guests and observers. Clergy and lay members of AC must be present in person to vote.
  • Volunteer opportunities. Ushers, plenary pages, greeters, secretarial pool members, set up/clean up crew, and more are needed to help Annual Conference run smoothly and efficiently. If interested, please contact Laura Lopez, Events Administrator, at llopez@umcnic.org.
  • For the latest updates, visit umcnic.org/AC2022.
Clergy Back Together

Clergy from across the conference gathered together in person for the first time in three years for a day apart with the bishop on May 24 and to kick off the 183rd Northern Illinois Annual Conference.

The morning began with worship and a presentation from Julian Davis Reid, an artist-theologian who uses words and music to focus on restful living.

During the Clergy Session, four candidates for commissioning as provisional elders, six candidates for ordination as elders, and one for ordination as a deacon were approved.

The Ordination and Commissioning Service will be held Friday, June 8 at 1:30 pm at the Schaumburg Convention Center.
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 long-term assistance. For more details on fundraiser ideas and bringing your collective offering to Annual Conference, visit umcnic.org/Bishopsappeal2022.

To watch a video to hear how donations to UMCOR are directly helping people from Ukraine and what is giving our partners hope, click here.
T-Shirt Sales

There's still time to buy a shirt or place a bulk order to help raise money for this year's Bishop's Appeal and support our brothers and sisters in Ukraine. T-shirts will also be for sale at Annual Conference. Cost: $20, cash or credit.

Click here to order.
AC Mission Challenge

The NIC Board of Global Ministries is coordinating with the Midwest Mission Distribution Center (MMDC) to organize its fill-the-truck collection drive for the most needed items at this time.

Drop off your donations at the MMDC truck located in the east parking lot outside the Schaumburg Convention Center during Annual Conference on Wed., June 8, 11 am - 4 pm and Thurs., June 9, 7 am - 2 pm.
Click here for items needed. Download flyer.

Ruling Opens Door for Bishop Elections in 2022
The United Methodist Church’s top court says that the Council of Bishops can call jurisdictional conferences to elect and assign new U.S. bishops.

However, the Judicial Council also says that the bishops cannot change the established date of Sept. 1 when church law mandates that newly elected U.S. bishops take office.

The church court also said the number of bishops approved by the 2016 General Conference for each U.S. jurisdiction remains legally binding. The last election of bishops at jurisdictional conferences took place in 2016. Read more.

Read the reaction from the Council of Bishops, which has tentatively set November 2-5, 2022, for Jurisdictional Conferences.
Communicator's Corner
Please note: the NIC office will be closed Monday, May 30 in observance of Memorial Day.

Urgent Masonry Work Needed at Reynoldswood
An installation crew arrived Monday at Camp Reynoldswood in Dixon, Ill., to install a new pool liner but determined that work still needs to be done. NIC Outdoor and Retreat Ministries Executive Director Jeff Casey says they urgently need a skilled mason who can either perform work to fill holes in the concrete wall to support the anchors for the liner or provide guidance to staff who has masonry experience but not around pools. The first summer campers arrive for J.O.Y. Camp starting June 19, so timing is extremely critical. Please text or call Jeff Casey at 815-494-3877 or John Rocke at 815-494-4315. (John is on-site at Reynoldswood, but Casey may be more accessible). Thank you for any and all help that you can provide. For more information on summer camp registration, visit niccamp.org/summercamps.

Global Ministries Features Northern Illinois Conference Elder
NIC Missionary Rev. Jin Yang Kim, who is serving the World Council of Churches (WCC) in Geneva, Switzerland, will be one of several missionaries featured on the Global Ministries' monthly Zoom meeting, #StillinMission, on June 2 at 11 am CST. Register here. You will have the opportunity to meet in a small group to hear a presentation from each missionary during the call. Registration is limited.

Racial Justice Prayer & Action Challenge
The General Commission on Religion and Race (GCORR) recently launched the Racial Justice Prayer & Action Challenge, which starts on Juneteenth. Check out the resource webpage which now features weekly prayers and litanies, and will soon include French, Korean, Spanish, and Tagalog translations. Click here for more details.

YOUTH 2023 Registration Open
Every four years, youth from throughout The United Methodist Church have gathered for four days of discipleship, fun, and fellowship at the YOUTH event. The event is filled with interactive learning, worship, Bible study, service opportunities, and fellowship time. Adult leaders who bring youth to our event can expect inspiration, support, and chances to authentically experience what it means to be part of the Methodist and Wesleyan family. Start planning today and register for this great event in Daytona Beach, Florida from July 25-28, 2023. Click here for more information.
Mark your calendar

Around the Conference

Around the Connection

  • SBC21/Resource UMC Mental Health Awareness Month Webinar - (May 26) 6:30 pm via Zoom. As National Mental Health Awareness Month comes to a close, please join SBC21 and Resource UMC for a conversation and real-time resource sharing to help break the stigma of mental health in the Black Church and Community. Register to be part of a healing, inspiring and safe place for learning and conversation. Investing the time for this resource will allow you, your leaders and your ministry to become a valuable resource for those who are struggling and need a reset. This webinar will be the start of your journey to wholeness. Click here for more information.
  • Peace with Justice Sunday - (June 12) Half of the funds collected for this Special Sunday offering provide grants to local churches, districts, conferences, and other affiliated organizations that advocate for peace with justice. The other fifty percent of the offering remains in our annual conference to develop local peace with justice ministries. Click here for a promotional toolkit and resources.
United Media Resource Center: Retirement News, New Location Announcement
Note from UMRC Director Jill Stone

Hi friends!

I will be retiring as Director of the United Media Resource Center at the end of May but the UMRC will continue operating in a new location and under new management! Read more.

The UMRC is moving to a ministry center located in Springfield, Ill., and will be run by volunteers. I will be spending many hours in the transition period and beyond to help things go as smoothly as possible. I am so excited and thankful that the UMRC will continue after my retirement to be of service to you who faithfully serve and who pursue spiritual growth!
 
Please note that the services of the UMRC will be paused in June and July to make transitional changes.

Request items by June 1 so I can mail them to you for summer use. Items will not be mailed in the transition period.
 
During the two-month transition time . . .
 
  • In June and 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.
  • Explore the UMRC online catalog for ideas for fall programming. Resources will not be sent in June or July but you can request resources during the transition time using the online catalog.
  • Pray for the UMRC - for a smooth transition into the future and for its volunteers.
  • Be on the lookout for more details and information that will be released during the transition period.

Questions, comments? Contact UMRC Director Jill Stone at umrc@igrc.org.
 
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