The Current Week in Review
May 25, 2018
Judicial Council OKs submission of other petitions to General Conference 2019

The United Methodist Church’s top court has ruled that other petitions — in addition to legislation from the Council of Bishops — can be submitted for the 2019 special session of General Conference.

Any organization, as well as clergy members and lay members, can file a petition for the 2019 special session of General Conference, which is devoted to working through a longstanding impasse over homosexuality. Those petitions must be “in harmony with the purpose stated in the call” for the special session, the United Methodist Judicial Council said in Decision 1360.

In its analysis, the court cited Paragraph 14 of the church’s constitution in declaring that “petitions which are in harmony with any business which may be proposed in the Bishops’ Report are allowed.”
WHY the One Church Plan

Bishop Frank J. Beard offered insights into the background that led the Council of Bishops to recommend the One Church Model for consideration at the 2019 General Conference.

"We have a wide-range of opinions and a variety of theologies within our Methodist family," Bishop Beard wrote. "The One Church Plan provides conferences, churches, and pastors the flexibility to uniquely reach their missional context while retaining the connectional nature of The United Methodist Church."
Council of Bishops, Upper Room launch Phase 3 of Praying Our Way Forward

The Council of Bishops, in partnership with  The Upper Room , is launching Phase 3 of  Praying our Way Forward Phase 1  involved 84 members of the Council of Bishops praying for The United Methodist Church’s way forward for 15 minutes daily, from August to December 2016. This was followed by  Phase 2,  which resulted in 18 continuous months of daily individual and corporate prayer by faithful members of annual conferences around the globe.

“Now we are ready to launch Phase 3, which begins June 3 and continues through the  Special Session of General Conference  in February 2019. In this phase, we are encouraging every United Methodist to fast weekly and to pray daily with the  Council of Bishops ,” said Bishop Al Gwinn, the Prayer Team Coordinator.
Be a Prayer Delegate at General Conference

Bishop Frank Beard has passed on an invitation from 2017 Annual Conference speaker Terry Tekyl:

How can we keep the United Methodist Church united?
I believe the prayer of agreement that Jesus talked about in Matthew is a way to keep us one in heart and purpose. He said, “Again I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.” (Matt. 18:19)
Therefore at this crucial crossroads in the UMC I am asking pastors and churches to join us in agreement by Praying the Lord’s Prayer at Noon. Here in Houston, we have done this through a Christian radio station. (KSBJ) We call it Pray Down at High Noon. Thousands pray every day and the results in Houston have been outstanding.
Would you and your church pray His Prayer at noon every day? Both progressives and conservatives and middle of the road folks can do this. I want His Will to be done in the UMC, so let us ask Him. It only takes 21 seconds and unites us in prayer every day no matter where we are. For the last 25 years I have had a passion for prayer in the United Methodist Church. We have taken 100’s of Prayers Delegates to the last 6 General Conferences. We have built prayer rooms and raised up prayer for pastors. Plus we have encouraged churches under “house arrest” to go out into the community and claim it for Christ. As we pray we will find our way forward together. Amen
Just let me know if you will at .
We would like to register your intent to pray in agreement with so many others. Thank you.
Dr. Terry Teykl

P.S. Would you consider being a Prayer Delegate to General Conference in St Louis February 23-26? We are asking people to do this at their expense plus we will assign you a Bishop to pray for there. Perhaps your church would pay your way. Pray and the Holy Spirit may elect you as a delegate.
Registration reopens June 7

Registration for the 2018 Annual Conference is now closed. Persons still needing to register can do so onsite Thursday, June 7, beginning at 7:30 a.m. in the Terrazzo Lobby.

Persons who have already registered that have questions about registration issues may contact Laura Steinway at 217-529-2395.

The Annual Conference will get underway at 10 a.m. Thursday, June 7, with workshops and conclude by noon on Saturday, June 9 following the Service of Ordination. A tentative agenda has been posted and persons can use the Sched app to create their own customized schedule for the Annual Conference. The Sched app also allows for last-minute changes that are pushed out to everyone who is using it.

In addition, there are a number of resources online to assist you with your Annual Conference planning.
The June 2018 issue of The Current is now posted online and should be arriving in the mail early next week.

The June issue is the pre-Conference issue that outlines much of the information about the 2018 Annual Conference session.

Click on the cover to view or save an electronic copy
Ever wonder what the Connectional Ministry Staff do to equip and connect churches for ministry? Check out Illinois Great Rivers Conference -- The United Methodist Church Facebook group beginning Tuesday as Connectional Ministry staff introduce themselves and their roles via video. Find the Team at Annual Conference, especially during the Mission Fair Friday night.
New process for Annual Conference materials

All 2018 Conference Registration Material packets will be picked up ON SITE in the Registration Office in the Terrazo Lobby beginning Thursday, June 7 at 7:30 a.m. Registration materials include parking passes, special meal tickets, roll call card, name badges and supplemental packets.
Tornado totes offering at Annual Conference

Attendees to 2018 Annual Conference are urged to have their congregations collect items for the Midwest Mission Distribution Center. A truck will be located at the Peoria Civic Center to accept those donations during the Annual Conference.

Tornado totes include the basic necessities for persons whose homes have been affected by tornadoes or floods. The items needed for each tote include the following:
  • $9 Donation for 2 Totes
  • 2 pairs of work gloves
  • 2 boxes of gallon-size plastic bags
  • 2 permanent markers (i.e. Sharpie)
  • 1 roll of duct tape (prefer colored) (to label household items)
  • 2 dust masks (no surgical)
  • 24 heavy duty trash bags rolled (33-45 gallon) (more for trash removal)
  • 24 clear trash bags (20-33 gallon) (for larger, personal items that need containment)
  • 1 canister disinfectant wipes

Supplies can be collected and brought to Annual Conference and/or contribute to: Advance Special #6620 and indicate “Tornado Tote”.

The in-kind offering is in addition to special offerings for Our Conference, Our Kids; the Tom Brown Scholarship at Wiley College and an offering for the Ordinands' Trip.
Special meals speakers announced

More speakers have been announced for special meals at Annual Conference. Special meal tickets are part of the Annual Conference registration process. Deadline for tickets is May 17.

The following groups have announced speakers as part of their luncheons:

Fellowship of Local Pastors and Associate Members Luncheon, Thursday noon – Speakers will be Buzz Swett, who will talk about College of Christian Life and Randy Azbell, who will update attendees on the national happenings for the FLP&AM’s.

Commission on Archives and History Luncheon, Thursday noon – Churches that are celebrating milestones in the past year (150, 175 and 200th anniversaries) will be recognized and presented with a certificate of recognition.

IGRC Youth Ministry Luncheon, Thursday noon – Findings of an assessment of IGRC Camping and Youth Ministries will be presented by representatives of Ministry Architect, the group working with the Conference on the assessment.

Committee on Disability Concerns, Thursday evening -- Tracy Bollinger of Colchester, director of the Wee Care Center in Macomb, will be sharing her story of raising a child with autism. Bollinger and her husband, Rick, are parents of a 12-year-old living with autism. Tracy has a degree in child development which prepared her for her career but not for raising an autistic child. Her daily struggles, humor and insight will provide insight into the world of an "Autism Mom."

Illinois Wesleyan University, Thursday evening -- Guest speaker will be Karla Carney-Hall, IWU vice president for student affairs and dean of students. Persons are welcome to come hear Dr. Carney-Hall following dinner even without the purchase of a meal ticket.

Wesleyan Covenant Association, Friday breakfast – This special meal will be held off-site at Peoria First UMC, 7 a.m. However, you can order tickets as part of the Annual Conference registration.

Conference Board of Church and Society/Utah Wilderness Alliance, Friday breakfast -- Guest speaker will be Clayton Daughenbaugh, Midwest Coordinator for the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance .  Clayton is a member of First UMC in LaGrange,   The Alliance is involved in efforts to protect the natural places and cultural resources pursuant to the United Methodist Social Principles and Resolutions .

Hispanic Luncheon, Friday noon -- The Hispanic luncheon will be held off-site at Peoria First UMC at noon. Lunch is $5 and includes two steak tacos with rice, salsa and drink. For more information or to register your plans to attend, contact Rev. Adrian Garcia at 309-673-3641.

United Methodist Women’s dinner, Friday evening – Dinner’s theme will be Stop the Violence. Speaking will be Mary Kay Mace, daughter of retired pastor Miley Palmer and mother of Ryanne Mace, one of four students at Northern Illinois University killed and 21 injured in a Feb. 14, 2008 mass shooting.

Additional information on speakers will be added to the Sched app as it is received. 
Native American study guides sought

A few years ago the UMW did a study called Giving Our Hearts Away. It is a study that is on Native Americans. The Commission on Native American Ministries will be doing this study in different locations in the conference and are looking for the study guides. 

Churches that have copies gathering dust and would like to donate them can do so by bringing them to the Native American Ministries booth at Annual Conference or by contacting Lisa Wiedman, pastor of New Baden UMC at
Trenton UMC offers JAM Scholarship

Trenton UMC is offering a $500 scholarship for a person who is an active participant in a music ministry within their church. Applicants must be a member of a United Methodist Church within the IGRC and may be graduating high school seniors, college undergraduates or students attending a tech or trade school.

Deadline to apply is June 15 with the recipient announced by the church in July.

The scholarship is named Justin Melzer and his ministry through music and to encourage participation in church music ministries. Justin is the youngest son of Rev. Debbie Melzer Reese (former pastor of Trenton FUMC) and Rev. Dr. Ron Melzer. Justin played guitar in the Crossroads Praise Band. He also played the bass guitar in the Wesclin Jazz and Pep bands, alto saxophone in the Wesclin High Marching Band as well as the church’s Chancel Band. Music was a big part of his life. It is our prayer and intention that this scholarship will cultivate and stimulate a future generation of church musicians. 
Upcoming events
Sexual ethics makeup session

A Sexual Ethics Training makeup session has been scheduled for those who were unable to attend any of the three February sessions, on Saturday, June 23, at the Sugar Creek UMC, 1022 New City Road, Chatham. The session will be from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and is mandatory for all pastors and laypersons appointed or assigned to local churches.

Registration is open through June 16.
United Methodist Center Contact Information
USPS (U.S. Postal Service)
P.O. Box 19207, Springfield, IL 62794-9207
Office Phone: 217-529-2040
UPS and FedEx deliveries only use the street address:
United Methodist Center
5900 S. 2nd Street
Springfield, IL 62711
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