eNews  · September 6, 2023
The NIC directory is now published! It contains contact information for conference churches, clergy, laity, committees, and agencies. View online or download a free PDF version. Or purchase a paperback version from Amazon. Click below to learn about all these options.

This summer, St. Mark UMC in Chicago buzzed with the sound of children dancing, moving, or discussing a story they heard that day. Hosting a Children’s Defense Fund Freedom School, St. Mark gave neighborhood children and caring place where they could develop skills for learning and take pride in their achievements.

Maybe. Decreases in the UMC Episcopal Fund have resulted in restructured episcopal areas across the connection. When two conferences share a bishop, it is something like a two-point charge. It is not a merger of conferences. The conferences would continue as distinct entities. An NIC Bishop-Sharing Task Force met on Aug. 28 to plan next steps in the exploration.

Celebremos los Ministerios Hispanos/Latinos en nuestra Conferencia del Norte de Illinois con un tiempo de adoración, capacitación, compañerismo, renovación y camaradería. Ven con todos los miembros de tu iglesia. Tod@s son bienvenidos. Celebrate the Hispanic/Latino ministries in the conference with a time of worship, training, fellowship, renewal, and camaraderie. Invite your church to attend! All are welcome. Translation equipment and nursery will be provided. The celebration takes place at Franklin Park UMC, 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

On the delegation’s agenda are two matters related to petitions (proposed legislation) submitted to the UMC General Conference, which convenes next spring. The Commission on General Conference must decide on whether to allow previously submitted petitions from people who have since left the UMC. And three significant groups are backing a new petition on regionalized decision-making in the denomination. The delegation’s meetings are open to visitors; find the dates in the in the article linked below.

Predominantly white churches: here's a study to help your people perceive how racism remains at work, even if you don't notice it. "You Are Here: Small Group Discussion Guide in Seven Sessions for White Christians on Race and Racism" is an entry-level curriculum for people who are unsure about what racism is and its relevance to individuals, church, and society. This resource from the UM General Commission on Religion and Race is for Christians who are ready to learn about how racism operates, how it affects Christian communities, and how people of faith can begin to recognize and address racism. Learn more here.

UM Communications offers churches customizable Advent outreach resources―banners, postcards, invitation cards, posters, digital ads, worship graphics and more. Your church's name, website, street address, and information like service times and age-specific programming can be included. Over 20 designs are available. The agency is offering a $300 credit toward these resources.
Four UM mission farms in Zimbabwe got a major boost from the Yambasu Agriculture Initiative, with some seeing a bumper harvest for the first time in a decade. The farms at Nyadire, Hanwa, Old Mutare, and Mutambara missions had been mostly idle or only partially used. A Yambasu grant received during the 2022-23 production season enabled farms to obtain seeds, fertilizer, equipment, and technical support. An initiative of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries, named in honor of late UM Bishop John K. Yambasu, the program offers funding to episcopal areas in Africa that are developing new agricultural projects on United Methodist land holdings.

  • Black Healing Collective on trauma and racism starts Sept. 26. Most sessions will be held via Zoom on the fourth Tuesday of the month.

Market Square Books publishes the work of a number of respected United Methodist leaders. Here are a few examples; download the list (below) for more.

  • New Beginnings: The Gifts of Aging (DVD)
  • Spirituality and the Two Halves of Life (DVD with presenter Ron Rolheiser)
  • Celebrating the Graying Church: Mutual Ministry Today, Legacies Tomorrow, by Richard Olson
  • Ministry with the Forgotten: Dementia Through a Spiritual Lens, by Kenneth Carder
  • Safe Sanctuaries: The Church Responds to Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation of Older Adults, by Joy Thornburg Melton

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