November 3, 2021
November Reporter Available Online
Access the latest NIC news and information in the November Reporter now available online. In his monthly column, Bishop John L. Hopkins poses his final question in a series about the future of the Church.

Learn more about how First UMC in Evanston is helping provide clean water in Kenya, read about the Prairie North District's United Methodist Men potato drop to help feed hundreds in the community, and get a year in review from United Voices for Children.
Tending to the Harvest Event Registration Sponsored by the NIC Discipleship Task Force
The "Growing Together Symposium" held via Zoom will focus on Ephesians 4:15 and be held Sat., Nov. 13 from
9 - 11 am.

Presenter: Rev. Kyungsu Park, who will talk about the connection between youth discipleship and relationship.

After the presentation, attendees are encouraged to participate in a breakout session,“Let’s Talk About IDS: Intentional Discipleship Systems” on discipling youth and other members of your church. Click button for more info and registration.
A Conference Worship Service will be held Sun. Nov. 14 at
4 pm (note new time).

Location: Our Saviour's UMC, 701 E. Schaumburg Rd., Schaumburg, IL. Space is limited and masks are required. The event will also be livestreamed.

Keynote Speaker: Rev. Olu Brown, Senior Pastor at Impact Church, Atlanta, GA.

The first 100 people to register will receive a special "Tending to the Harvest" lapel pin. Click below for more info and registration.
Vital Merger Event - Registration Open
Chose from one of two workshops:

Nov. 20 - 9 am - 3pm
March 19 - 9am - 3pm

Cost: $20 includes box lunch.

Speaker: Dirk Elliott, Director of Congregational Vibrancy and Leadership Development for the Michigan Conference

Churches come in all forms of health: some are healthy and growing, others are maintaining the status quo, and some are declining. But they all have one thing in common – they want to be fruitful and healthy. One way this can happen is through partnerships or mergers. Attend this workshop and explore new ways your church might become healthier through a merger. Click for details.
Communicator's Corner

New NIC Directory Available
The 2021-2022 NIC Directory of Churches, Clergy, Laity and Committees is available to purchase for $7 on Amazon or download a pdf for free at

HealthFlex Open Enrollment
The 2022 HealthFlex Annual Open Enrollment runs from November 3 – 18, 2021 for clergy and eligible members. You must register through and select new user registration. In addition to completing the Annual Election, Benefits Access also includes your HealthFlex plan details, shows any health account contributions, and provides direct access to medical, dental and vision providers. Please note, the plans have not changed from 2021. If you are contributing in the FSA and HSA, you must enroll since the system will not default to the amount you previously chose. If you have questions or experience trouble registering, contact Wespath Customer Service at 1-800-851-2201.

United Methodist Layman Creates Army hymn
Tom Lough, an Army veteran and United Methodist layman, was frustrated that there was no Army counterpart to a well-known Navy Hymn (“Eternal Father, Strong to Save”). He finally decided to write one. Vance Morton and Dustin Kaps share the story of Lough and his new composition, “Ever Faithful to the Call,” which is winning praise as Veterans Day (Nov. 11) approaches. Read more and listen to the song.

Kids Above All Holiday Gift Drive
Put your Holiday Spirit into action by stepping up to support Kids Above All’s Holiday Gift Drive 2021. You can help make the holidays joyful and bright for all the children they serve in a variety of ways, including sponsoring children, volunteering in their toy room Dec 1-13, and/or ordering online to help stock their pop-up toy store. If you would like to help, contact Deaconess Catherine Inserra at 847-224-2870 or
Mark your calendar
Around the Conference

  • Center for Changing Lives Virtual Gala - (Nov. 6) 6 - 8 pm. The Center for Changing Lives (CCL), formerly known as Humboldt Park Social Services, a bilingual (English/Spanish) Financial Opportunity Center that connects people, resources and opportunities, invites you to join them for an evening of hope, resilience, and solidarity. The virtual event on Zoom will include an interactive cooking demonstration of sofrito y pastelón de yuca with Urban Pilón, danzas (dances) from Ballet Folklórico de Chicago, and saludos (greetings) from the danzantes (dancers) of Aztec Dance of Chicago. Click here for tickets and sponsorship.
  • NIJFON's 10th Anniversary Virtual Celebration - (Nov. 7) 4 - 5 pm. Facebook live. Northern Illinois Justice for Our Neighbors (NIJFON) is celebrating its 10-year anniversary with the More Justice, More Love Campaign: Welcoming and supporting immigrants with compassion towards freedom and liberation, one client at a time. Click for more information.
  • KAIROS interactive Blanket Exercise - (Nov. 7) 11:30 am - 1 pm. Join Wesley UMC Aurora, 14 N. May St., Aurora, and special guest, Joseph Standing Bear, for a teaching moment of the history between the Indigenous and non-indigenous peoples of North America. Light refreshments will be served prior to the event. This event is free and will be held outdoors (weather permitting). Pre-registration is requested by clicking here. This event is in partnership with the NIC Anti-Racism Task Force as well as the NIC Committee on Native American Ministries.
  • Doctor of Philosophy Information Session - (Nov. 11) at 12 pm via Zoom. Join Dr. Wonhee Anne Joh, Professor of Theology and Culture and Director of the Ph.D. program at Garrett-Evangelical, for a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) informative virtual session. Register now to learn about the Ph.D. program at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary.
  • 2021 Styberg Preaching Workshop - (Nov. 16-17) 9 am - 3 pm via Zoom. "The Content and Contexts of Preaching in the Face of Today's National and Global Challenges." This workshop, led by Rev. Dr. Marvin A. McMickle, will examine ways to use scripture in addressing many of the pressing social, political, ecumenical, and personal challenges faced by people in the current national and global context. It will also examine ways by which such preaching can be done during the COVID-19 pandemic through the use of virtual, print, indoor, and outdoor settings. Thanks to the Styberg Preaching Institute at Garrett-Evangelical and the Lilly Endowment Inc., there is no cost to attend this workshop but registration is required. Click here for details.
  • Chaplain at Work: A Launch Event for Garrett's New M.A. in Pastoral Care and Counseling in Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care - (Nov. 17) at 11 am via Zoom. Join Dr. Rolf Nolasco, Rueben P. Job Professor of Spiritual Formation and Pastoral Theology, and Rev. Michael Washington, Chaplain and CPE Supervisor at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, for a virtual information session for Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary's new Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care Track of the Master of Arts in Pastoral Care and Counseling (MAPCC) degree. Click for details.

Around the Connection

  • Discussion Series Explores What it Means to be United Methodist - (Oct. 5 - Dec. 21) “Tuesdays at the Table: Should I stay? Or should I go?” is a new discussion series for United Methodists, presented by the Connectional Table (CT) in cooperation with general agencies and contributors. Weekly segments will explore topics aimed at helping viewers better understand their faith, their church and themselves. The sessions will premiere every Tuesday at 10:00 am CT on Facebook, and will also be available for later viewing at and the UMC YouTube channel. For details, click here.
  • North Central Jurisdiction Virtual Conference - (Nov. 10 & 11) A special called session of the North Central Jurisdictional Conference will take place virtually. Delegates from each conference will be part of the official Zoom meeting, and others can watch the livestream online. Click here for link and a detailed agenda for the two days. The three big topics of conversation include dismantling racism, episcopal leadership, and the future of The United Methodist Church.
  • Early Response Team Basic Training - (Nov. 19 & 20) Online. Contact Mariellyn Grace for more information and registration.
  • Special Sunday: United Methodist Student Day 2021 - (Nov. 28) United Methodist Student Day (last Sunday of November) furnishes scholarships and loans for students attending United Methodist-related and other accredited colleges and universities. This offering helps provide for more than 70 scholarships available for United Methodist students to further their education and enrich the life of the Church. The fund is administered by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. Click for resources.
United Media Resource Center
Click here for Christmas DVDs that can be mailed to your church or home address.

Go to to access the online catalog.

Questions, comments? Contact UMRC Director Jill Stone at
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