Annual Celebration is Almost Here!
Register to Participate Today!

The 2022 Annual Celebration of the Illinois Conference will take place virtually from Wednesday, October 19 to Saturday, October 22. This year, we will be using a new platform from Zoom for our meeting called Zoom Events. All aspects of the event will be organized together into one place! You will have the opportunity to set your own schedule by choosing the workshops you want to attend, chat in the event lobby with others who are attending the meeting, learn about our speakers and the sessions they are leading, and even view recordings of the sessions you missed - all from one central location!

Those who have already registered will receive an email early next week with the information to access the event and begin to build your schedule.

The fee to attend is $50 per person, except for retired clergy and youth who are free. Register online here. Registration is open through October 11th. Please download the flyer here to post in your church and invite others to join you. We need a quorum present at the meeting in order to conduct the vital business of the Conference - approving next year's budget, approving the slate of nominees, and more. Sign-up to participate today and help spread the word!
Out and Faithful
Tuesday, October 11, 7-8:30 PM
Elmhurst University

The Illinois Conference, Elmhurst University, and Community Renewal Society have partnered together to create a special National Coming Out Day event titled "Out & Faithful"! This will be a multi-faith celebration of LGBTQ+ spirituality and a reminder that our work towards full inclusion of LGBTQ+ persons is far from over. We will celebrate and honor the 50th ordination anniversary of Elmhurst alumnus, Rev. William R. Johnson, the first openly gay man ordained in a mainline Protestant denomination, and give thanks for ALL who have led us to this moment and who continue to pave the way forward.

Our diverse group of panelists will be reflecting on the intersections of spirituality and sexuality/gender. The panelists include: Rev. Shawna Bowman, Rabbi Andrea Cosnowsky, Rev. Dr. Eddie Journey, Rev. Dr. Pamela Lightsey, and Rev. Dr. Marilyn Pagán-Banks. Download the flyer to learn more.

We hope you will join us at 7:00 p.m. in Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel at Elmhurst University on October 11th for this spirit-filled celebration of National Coming Out Day!
My Congregation Votes
Community Renewal Society

Community Renewal Society presents My Congregation Votes, a campaign to encourage voter engagement and civic participation in the upcoming mid-term and municipal elections. CRS will coordinate various events during the month of October to promote voter registration in our member congregations, as well as provide a voter guide that will help inform local and statewide communities. We look forward to partnering with you to work to build electoral power and push for progressive leaders and legislation.  
For nearly 100 years, our camps have helped to create spiritually uplifting experiences for countless people of every age. Call Tower Hill (269-426-3881) or Pilgrim Park (815-447-2390) today to schedule a time for you, your family, or your church to discover this transformative experience firsthand.

If you have the ability, please consider a donation to the Outdoor Ministries General Fund to help keep our doors open for many seasons to come!
Upcoming Outdoor Ministries Events
Youth Leader Retreat
October 14-15
Pilgrim Park
Autumn Adult Retreat
October 23-25
Tower Hill
Register by Oct. 3!
Quilt Retreat
December 8-11
Pilgrim Park
Events and Training Opportunities
Faith & Blue Weekend
October 7-10

Faith & Blue was inaugurated in 2020 by MovementForward, Inc., working with the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) at the U.S. Department of Justice. The idea was a simple but powerful one — the ties that bind officers and residents must be reinforced if we are to build neighborhoods where everyone feels safe and included. Faith-based organizations are key to building these bonds because they are not only the largest community resource in the nation, with 65 million participants in weekly events, but because they are as diverse as our nation. Moreover, they speak to Americans’ shared conviction that we are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers.

At the heart of this initiative is the reinforcement of connections between law enforcement professionals and the communities they serve through the reach of houses of worship. There is no resource that can match the depth of the faith community in facilitating productive engagement with law enforcement, which is needed now more than ever. These connections are built through activities that are held in neighborhoods of every kind across the United States, jointly hosted by houses of worship and local law enforcement entities.
Inflation Reduction Act Webinar
Wednesday, October 12, 12 PM CST
United Church of Christ

For the next Creation Justice Webinar, we will focus on how faith communities can benefit from the Inflation Reduction Act. Did you know that this new law now makes it possible for nonprofit organizations to receive a direct payment from the federal government that equals 30% of a solar installation’s cost? There are also possibilities for taking advantage of incentives for energy efficiency upgrades. Yet there is much about the law that requires careful attention and navigation. Even if you can’t make the scheduled time on Wednesday, October 12th at 1 pm ET/12 pm CT/11 am MT/10 am PT, still sign-up, and we will send you a recording. Register online here.
C. Shelby Rooks Lecture
Thursday, October 13, 6:00 PM
Chicago Theological Seminary

CTS is excited to announce that Dr. Obery M. Hendricks, Jr. will present the 2022 C. Shelby Rooks Lecture on Zoom on Thursday, October 13 at 6:00 p.m. Click here to register for this virtual event! A lifelong social activist, Obery Hendricks is one of the foremost commentators on the intersection of religion and political economy in America. He is the most widely read and perhaps the most influential African American biblical scholar writing today. His recent book, Christians Against Christianity: How Right-Wing Evangelicals Are Destroying Our Nation and Our Faith (Beacon Press, 2021) has gathered wide acclaim. Cornel West calls him "one of the last few grand prophetic intellectuals."
Upcoming Boundary Training
Thursday, October 20, 9 AM-3 PM

The final Boundary Training offering from the Illinois Conference this year will be held on Thursday, October 20, 2022 during Annual Celebration via Zoom. Registration is required. After you register, you will receive an email directly from Zoom with the information on how to join. You must be present for the full duration of the training in order to receive credit. This training fulfills the requirements in all five Associations of the Illinois Conference and is based on the Ordained Ministers Code. Registration is open to both active and retired ministers. Call the Conference office at 708-344-4470 with questions. Click here to register.
Calendar At A Glance
Ordinations, Installations, Ecclesiastical Councils & More
Oct 8: Ecclesiastical Council for Lesa Branham. 10:30 a.m. at First Congregational UCC in Springfield. Western Association.

Oct 23: Installation of Rev. Dr. James Matarazzo. 3:00 p.m. at Glenview Community Church. Chicago Metropolitan Association.
Events in the Illinois Conference & Beyond
Oct 1: Prairie Association Fall Meeting. 9:00 a.m. at Pilgrim Park.
Oct 5: All Conference Chat. 3:00 p.m. via Zoom.
Oct 8: Western Association Fall Meeting. 10:30 a.m. at First Congregational UCC, Springfield and via Zoom.
Oct 9: Eastern Association Fall Meeting. 4:00 p.m. via Zoom. Register here.
Oct 10: Indigenous Peoples' Day. Conference office CLOSED.
Oct 11: Out & Faithful. 7:00 p.m. at Elmhurst University.
Oct 12: All Conference Chat. 3:00 p.m. via Zoom. Doctrine of Discovery.
Oct 19: NO ALL CONFERENCE CHAT. Opening day of Annual Celebration.
Oct 20: Boundary Training. 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. via Zoom. Registration Required.
Oct 26: All Conference Chat. 3:00 p.m. via Zoom.
Conference and Association Committee Meetings
Oct 4: Property Committee Meeting. 10:00 a.m. via Zoom.
Oct 6: Prairie Committee on Ministry. 9:00 a.m. via Zoom.
Oct 13: FVA Committee on Ministry. 9:00 a.m. via Zoom.
Oct 13: CMA Church & Ministry. 12:00 p.m. via Zoom.
Oct 18: FAB Committee Meeting. 9:00 a.m. via Zoom.
Oct 18: Western Committee on Ministry. 9:00 a.m. via Zoom.
Oct 24: CMA Justice & Witness. 7:00 p.m. via Zoom.
Oct 26: Eastern Committee on Ministry. 9:30 a.m. via Zoom.
Resources and More
United Theological Seminary Scholarship

Are you called to seminary?
United will prepare you to be a transformational leader in today's world!

The world needs your voice, your leadership. At United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, you will be equipped as a creative, innovative faith leader and change agent - whatever your vocational calling may be.

We are a welcoming, progressive seminary historically rooted in the United Church of Christ (UCC). Built on a foundation of social transformation, theology and the arts, interreligious engagement, and public theology, our unique coursework is transformational, designed to help you lead in today's world.

We offer maximum flexibility to fit the lives of our students. Full-time or part-time, on campus or online, we support you in your calling no matter where you are on the journey.

If you apply by October 15, you will automatically receive a $1,000 scholarship for the Spring '23 term! Our supportive admissions team will also help walk you through robust scholarship and financial aid options to make your calling a reality.

Learn more at Our helpful Enrollment Team is ready to speak with you at
UCC (CHHSM/JLCM): Reproductive Justice Toolkit
National Council of Churches: Voter Empowerment
UCC: New and growing Trans-Nonbinary Toolkit
Advocate Health Care
Advocate Aurora Health Care

Safely Reopening Our Doors Toolkit

Employment Opportunities
Ministerial opportunities within the United Church of Christ.

Recently Added Lay Employment Opportunities:

Elmhurst, Bethel UCC seeks PT Dir. of Children/Youth Ministries

Minier, St. John's UCC seeks PT Church Choir Director

Palatine, St. Paul UCC seeks PT Christian Ed Coordinator

For more lay employment opportunity postings, click here.

Please let us know if you have a job opening you would like to share,
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-NEWSLETTER 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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Our Church's Wider Mission
Illinois Conference of the United Church of Christ | (708) 344-4470
1840 Westchester Blvd., Suite 200, Westchester, IL 60154