November 2021 E-Blast, First Edition
Introducing our Transitional ACM: The Rev. Dr. Stephanie Perdew
Stephanie Perdew, M.Div., Ph.D. currently serves as the Senior Pastor of the First Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, Wilmette, and as affiliate professor of Christian History at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Evanston. She is originally from Lincoln, Nebraska, and is a tribal citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. She is a lifelong member of the United Church of Christ - baptized, confirmed, and ordained all within the Nebraska Conference UCC. She received her BA in Religion, Women’s Studies & Native American Studies from St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN, and her M.Div. and Ph.D. from Garrett Theological Seminary. She serves as an educator and advocate in Native American affairs, and as an interfaith leader in the Chicago area. She is one of the Christian co-chairs of the Jewish-Christian interfaith dialogue for women religious leaders sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Chicago. She is currently pursuing training as a Spiritual Director through the Siena Center of the Racine Dominican Sisters, Racine, Wisconsin. She makes her home in Evanston, Illinois.
Annual Celebration!
November 16-20, Virtual

REGISTRATION IS OPEN! The registration process is a little different this year because of the $100 per church fee. There is not an individual registration option. Registrations are to be completed by churches. Those who have vote (Authorized Ministers with UCC Standing, Lay Delegates, and IL Conference Council Members) MUST BE listed on the registration form as "Voting Members." Each church is allowed ONE ADULT LAY DELEGATE and ONE YOUTH LAY DELEGATE (age 14-22). Churches with 800+ members are allowed one additional delegate in each category. If the person completing the form is also a voting member, they need to be including in the voting member section as well.
Medical Debt Relief Campaign
10 Million in 10 Weeks

We just finished week FOUR of our "$10 Million in 10 Weeks" Medical Debt Relief Campaign and have raised $9270 which equals $92,700 in medical debt that will be erased. We are almost 1/10th of the way to our goal with several local church campaigns in the works!

The Illinois Conference is STRONGER TOGETHER when we act together for mission and justice. What is your church doing to raise money? Let us know so we can add your ideas and plans to our list to help inspire others to participate as well!
Givers: Grumpy, Grouchy, and Cheerful
Lauri Allen, Stewardship Committee

I frequently talk about money and giving as a member of the Illinois Conference Stewardship Committee, as a pastor, and as an accountant. It probably comes as no surprise to you that I have found many people are uncomfortable when the subject of money comes up. What happens at your church when you ask directly for increased pledges or present a specific fundraising need? Perhaps there are a few non-committal murmurs, or people edge away from the conversation, or a silence descends. The pandemic has added another dimension of difficulty for churches.

Community Renewal Society Recognizes
Champions of Social Justice

Community Renewal Society (CRS) recognized and awarded champions of social justice during “Liberating Love”, the 139th Annual Membership Assembly held Saturday, October 23, 2021. We celebrate with two Illinois Conference UCC Clergy who were award recipients, and we offer thanks and praise for their social justice advocacy in the UCC and in the broader world! Read the full press release here.
Rev. Jason Coulter - pic
The John Purdy, Sr. Memorial Leadership Award recipient, Rev. Jason W. Coulter is a former member of the Community Renewal Society Board of Directors and Pastor of Ravenswood United Church of Christ, a vital and progressive community of faith whose mission statement is “Making God’s Love Visible!”
Pic-Jorge L. Morales
The Yvonne V. Delk Courage Legacy Award recipient, Rev. Dr. Jorge Morales is a former Community Renewal Society Board President. He has served as the Illinois Conference of the United Church of Christ Conference Minister and is one of the founders of San Lucas United Church of Christ on the west side of Chicago. 
A Reflection on the UCC Webinar: Thursdays for the Soul
Rev. Michelle Hughes
This October, Rev. Dr. Marilyn Pagán-Banks of San Lucas UCC in Chicago was one of the featured presenters on: Latin Caribbean Celebration in Words of Praise, which included stories from the Latin American diaspora as well as a Bomba musical selection. It was a rich and informative time. Rev. Pagán-Banks shared a powerful piece she composed at our BIPOC retreat at Tower Hill in May titled, “How Can I Return to A Place I Don’t Know.” Read More.
Our camps are working in creative ways for the guests of coming generations to continue having an experience to carry them “out of the ordinary and into the sacred”.
This fall we are offering rental of cabins and facilities for short term getaways, a unique way to enjoy time in a natural, safe environment. Guests are asked to provide their own meals. Each rental has cooking capacity for easy meals and there are take-out options at local restaurants as well. This is also a great opportunity for guests who have an option to work "away" as our views inspire and renew.
If you wish to escape for a needed rest call Pilgrim Park at 815-447-2390 or Tower Hill at 269-426-3881. Dates may fill up quickly, as we are close, yet far away, a perfect place to recharge.
Events and Training Opportunities
Accessible to All? A Faithful Response to Disabilities
Saturday, Nov. 6, 10 AM - 3:30 PM CST
North Park Theological Seminary

While persons of diverse abilities and their families live throughout our communities, the church has been challenged to move beyond accommodation to full inclusion. Imagine how the well-being of everyone in the church would be strengthened by being fully welcoming of persons of all abilities, reflecting the kingdom of God. Working together congregations and healthcare professionals can collaborate in responding faithfully to the challenge of disabilities, considering what can be done together that neither can do alone. This fourth biennial faith and health symposium is provided by North Park Theological Seminary and North Park University School of Nursing and Health Sciences as education for healthcare and ministry professionals in service to the church.
UN Climate Conference Webinar
Wednesday, Nov. 10, 12 PM CST
United Church of Christ

Not since the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015 has there been a UN climate conference as important as the one taking place in Glasgow, Scotland from October 31st to November 12th. In a world where global inequality is thoroughly enmeshed with the climate crisis, there are a number of key moral questions at stake in this gathering of leaders from over 200 countries. Of central importance is whether wealthy countries will stop investing in fossil fuels and start investing in a clean and just transition to renewable energy. Even if you can’t make the scheduled time of 1 pm ET [12 pm CST] on Wednesday, November 10th, still sign-up, and they will send you a recording. Register now!
How To Do Online Church
Thursday, Nov. 11, 12 PM CST

How do you lead hybrid worship? Hybrid small groups or Bible studies? Any event that combines an in person and online audience or congregation? In this free webinar Rev. Jim Keat, the Digital Minister at The Riverside Church and the Director of Online Innovation at Convergence, will share ten tips, tricks, and best practices that he has learned over the past few years in his work at Riverside and with hundreds of other congregations. Click here to register.
Colectivo's First Official Assembly!
Saturday, Nov. 13, 1 PM CST
Colectivo de UCC Latinx Ministries

[Latinx members of the United Church of Christ] marked the end of Latinx Heritage Month, which was Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, with an online worship service, “Caminemos Juntes,” or “Walking Together.” The one-hour service is now available on YouTube

Affirming Latinx cultures in all their goodness — “for inspiration and courage” — is a good reason for Latinx UCC people and their allies to gather, [first Latinx woman Conference Minister, the Rev. Lorraine Ceniceros] said. “We are here,” she said. “We belong, and we are on the move.” A big step in that movement will take place Saturday, Nov. 13, at 2 p.m. ET [1 p.m. CST]. That’s when the Colectivo will hold its first official assembly, or asemblea. The online event, to be held via Zoom, is open to all. People will be able to register soon at the Colectivo website and via its Facebook and Twitter feeds.
The Mind, Body and Spirit Connection
for Individuals Living with Dementia
Tuesday, Nov. 16, 8-10 AM CST
Plymouth Place, LaGrange Park

Plymouth Place invites local clergy to attend this interactive presentation to assist clergy on the causes of dementia that affect the function of the brain, and practical tips on how spiritual experiences can improve relationships and connection for the individual and those who love them. RSVP to Gaye Wagner (630-991-6663) by November 12.
Calendar At A Glance
Ordinations, Installations, and Other Celebrations

Nov. 4: Ecclesiastical Council for Grant Glowiak. 7:00 p.m. via Zoom. Chicago Metropolitan Association Cluster 4. RSVP to Meredith Onion.

Nov. 4: Installation Service for Rev. Niel Shoffner at First Congregational UCC in Rock Falls. 1:00 p.m. Prairie Association.

Nov. 7: Installation Service for Rev. Paige Wolfanger at Congregational United Church of Christ of Batavia. 10:00 a.m. Fox Valley Association.

Nov. 7: Service of Ordination for Quinn Rosenthal at St. Matthew United Church of Christ in Wheaton. 4:00 p.m. Fox Valley Association.

Nov. 7/14: Mont Clare UCC 20th Anniversary Celebration. Worship at 11:00 a.m. both days. Celebration from 2:00 - 6:00 p.m. on the 14th. Chicago Metropolitan Association.

Nov. 14: Installation Service for Larry Dieffenbach, Lay Ministerial Standing, at Little Home Church by the Wayside in Wayne, IL. 3:00 p.m. Fox Valley Association.
Conference and Association Meetings
Oct. 30: Prairie Association Fall Meeting. 9:30 - 11:30 a.m. via Zoom.

Oct. 30: Eastern Association Fall Meeting. 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. via Zoom.

Nov. 2: Property Committee Meeting. 10:00 a.m. via Zoom.

Nov. 6: Fox Valley Association Fall Meeting. 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. via Zoom.

Nov. 7: Western Association Fall Meeting. 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. via Zoom.

Nov. 13: Stewardship Committee Meeting. 3:00 p.m. via Zoom.

Nov. 22: CMA Justice & Witness Team meeting. 7:00 p.m. via Zoom.

Nov. 25-26: Conference Office Closed. Happy Thanksgiving!
Events and More!
Nov. 3: All Conference Chat. 3:00 p.m. via Zoom.

Nov. 8: Boundary Training for all Authorized Persons. 6:30-8:30 p.m. via Zoom.

Nov. 10: All Conference Chat. 3:00 p.m. via Zoom.

Nov. 17: All Conference Chat. 3:00 p.m. via Zoom.

Nov. 21: Boundary Training for Retired Persons. 3:30-5:30 p.m. via Zoom.

Nov. 24: There will be no All Conference Chat this week.
Resources and More
Click here to view and purchase the UCC "Rooted in Love" 2021 Stewardship theme resources.
Click here for information on several upcoming training programs for ONA and not-yet ONA churches.
Click here to learn about the UCC Brand Guidelines and how you can use the UCC logos in your church.
Elmhurst University 150th Anniversary
& Higher Education Sunday

Sunday, October 31st is Higher Education Sunday in the United Church of Christ and Elmhurst University Chaplain, H. Scott Matheney, crafted a prayer in celebration of this special day. Permission is granted to reproduce or adapt this material for use in services of worship or church education. You can find the prayer here.

Churches in the Illinois Conference have also been asked to renew our covenant with Elmhurst University as they celebrate their 150th Anniversary. View the invitation here.

July 8, 2021 also marked the 150th anniversary of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. speaking in the chapel at Elmhurst University. Click here to watch the video remembering this momentous event.
Advocate Aurora Health News

Advocate Aurora Health is one of the top 12 non-for-profit health systems in the country and is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America and the United Church of Christ. Advocate invites you to start receiving their mailings with news, events, and practical tools to help support the well-being of your church members and ministries.
Employment Opportunities
Ministerial opportunities within the United Church of Christ.

Chicago, Onward House seeks Mental Health Specialist

Chicago, Wellington UCC seeks PT Worship Technology Coordinator

Crystal Lake, St. Paul's UCC seeks PT Youth Director

Crystal Lake, St. Paul's UCC seeks PT Program Director

Elgin, First Congregational Church seeks Organist/Music Director

Grayslake, United Protestant Church seeks PT Director of Youth Fellowship

La Grange Park, Plymouth Place Employment Opportunities

Lombard, First Church of Lombard seeks PT Community Engagement Coordinator

Park Ridge Community Church seeks PT Children's Minister

St. Charles, Congregational UCC seeks Office Administrator

Westchester, Midwest Ministry Development seeks Contract Counselors

Winnetka Congregational Church seeks Interim Youth & Children Staff Person

Off the Pews seeks Executive Director

Please let us know if you have a job opening you would like to have shared,
and also update us once the position is filled. Contact Sarah Lohrbach.
Church Newsletter Request
Please send us your newsletters so we can keep up with what's going on in your church.
Address for printed newsletters: Illinois Conference UCC, 1840 Westchester Blvd., Suite 200, Westchester, IL 60154. Electronic newsletters: Please add Sarah Lohrbach at to your church’s mailing list.
THE ILLINOIS CONFERENCE UCC E-BLAST is published by the Illinois Conference of the United Church of Christ, 1840 Westchester Blvd., Suite 200, Westchester, IL 60154. The Rev. Molly Carlson, Conference Minister; Sarah Lohrbach, Editor. Copy may be sent to: 
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Illinois Conference of the United Church of Christ | (708) 344-4470
1840 Westchester Blvd., Suite 200, Westchester, IL 60154