The Current Week in Review
October 19, 2018
Judicial Council hearings will be livestreamed

The United Methodist Judicial Council will partner with United Methodist Communications to livestream oral hearings held during the Council’s fall meeting at the Placid Hotel in Zürich, Switzerland.

All of the oral hearings will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 23, beginning at 8:30 a.m. CEST (Central European Summer Time) – which is seven hours ahead of Central Daylight Time.

The hearings will be open to the public and broadcast on the denomination’s website, , as well as via Facebook at . Hearings will remain available on the website throughout the month to make it convenient to watch despite time zone differences and will also be archived at .

More information about the docket for the meeting, which takes place Oct. 23-26, 2018, is available  online . Only Dockets 1, 12 and 13 involve oral hearings. Docket 12 hearings will be divided into three sections corresponding to the three plans coming from the Commission on a Way Forward, with a break between each. This will give an opportunity for comments and questions to be raised separately for each plan.
Single legislative committee to allow full participation as 2019 General Conference special session

The Commission on the General Conference has determined by a unanimous vote that there will be only one legislative committee—to which all delegates will be assigned—for the Special Session of the 2019 General Conference. All legislation deemed in harmony with the call will be assigned to that committee.

“Our goal was to establish a framework that enables the body of delegates to do the best work possible,” said Duncan McMillan, chairperson of the Commission on the General Conference. “We believe that the model selected by the Commission allows for the most transparency, fairness, best use of time and allows the full participation of delegates in the entire process.”

The decision was made after careful consideration of different legislative structures to determine how to facilitate the work of the legislative body within the allotted three days.

According to the Plan of Organization for the General Conference, petitions may not simply be considered in a plenary session. All properly submitted petitions and reports must be assigned to a legislative committee.

The Commission on the General Conference has the responsibility for setting the number of legislative committees in consultation with the Business Manager and the Secretary of the General Conference (par. 511.4f).
Cross Racial/Cross Cultural learning event

A cross racial/cross cultural learning event aimed at assisting churches which are in cross racial and cross cultural appointments will be held at Willow Hill UMC in East Peoria on Saturday, Nov. 10, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Who should participate?
  • Teams of persons from congregations/charges with cross-cultural appointments
  • A team is the pastor and a minimum of three laypersons from each congregation
What will I learn?
  • Explore our understanding of the meaning of culture
  • Identify commonalities, difficulties, joys and celebrations of cultural diversity
  • Inspiring, guided Bible Study
  • Cultural assessment exercises
  • Respectful communication guidelines
  • Shared stories and community-building skills
  • Grow in faith together

Registration is requested ahead of the event and participants will pay $10 at the door. Deadline is Nov. 6.

Rev, E. Michelle Ledder. Director of Program Ministries for the General Commission on Religion and Race, will be the facilitator.
Orion laywoman, 'model of generosity' dies at 105

Bernice Stropes, a lay person from Orion UMC, in the Spoon River District, passed away Aug. 10 at age 105. A celebration of her life will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20 at the church.

Bernice was featured on the cover of the December 2012 edition of The Current, the same month in which she turned 100. She was later featured in a video shown during our 2013 Annual Conference. Bernice was presented as an example of “Extravagant Generosity” for her work as “a missionary who doesn’t leave home,” thanks to her extensive sewing for Grace Children’s Hospital in the Haitian capital city of Port-au-Prince. Ever the giver, Bernice donated her body to science.
Associate pastor, staff members rescue Belleville woman from house fire

A Belleville woman was rescued from her home by a trio on staff at St. Matthew UMC after seeing smoke coming from a house two blocks from the church Oct. 4.

Signal Hill fire officials said it might have been a "tragic outcome" if three pastors hadn't driven by after their lunch and saved her life. Fire investigators said the woman had no way of getting out of her smoky home by herself.

However, St. Matthew United Methodist Church’s children’s minister Lindsay Vollmar, contemporary worship leader Matt Vollmar and associate pastor Andy Black drove by at just the right time.
Charitable giving and the new tax law

The United Methodist Foundation has produced a two-page flyer on charitable giving and the new tax law.

The flyer can easily be adapted as a bulletin insert and provides information to assist the church as it makes its financial commitment for 2019.
Participate in the young adult ministry survey

The Young Adult Committee of the Illinois Great Rivers Conference of the United Methodist Church seeks to help connect young adults in local churches and faith communities to one another and the resources of the United Methodist Church to foster their spiritual journey, advocate for their leadership, and affirm their gifts. The Young Adult Committee also seeks to help local churches connect with young adults on their spiritual journey. 

We need your input as we develop relationships and resources to help young adults (ages 18-35) on their spiritual journey. If you are a young adult, please take a moment to fill out this survey. Please share this survey with young adults you know. This survey is confidential and will take you no more than five minutes. There is an option to share your email and phone number to receive information from the committee about our work and ways to connect. Deadline is Nov. 5.
Bishop to host meetings on 2019 General Conference

Bishop Frank J. Beard has announced he will host meetings throughout the Illinois Great Rivers Conference discussing the three plans which have been offered as plans for A Way Forward with regard to the issues of human sexuality and unity.

The following dates have been confirmed:
  • Sunday, Nov. 11 -- Edwardsville St. Johns UMC, 4 to 6 p.m.
  • Monday, Nov. 12 -- Jacksonville Grace UMC, 4 to 6 p.m.
  • Thursday, Nov. 15 -- Marion First UMC, 7 to 9 p.m.
  • Saturday, Nov. 17 -- Chatsworth UMC, 10 a.m. to noon
  • Sunday, Nov. 18 -- Peoria First UMC, 4 to 6 p.m.
  • Monday, Nov. 19 -- Arthur UMC, 6 to 8 p.m.

Bishop Beard is asking that you register in advance as a courtesy to our venue host. We are wanting to have adequate seating for those wanting to attend.
United Methodist Center Contact Information
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Office Phone: 217-529-2040
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United Methodist Center
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