The Current Week in Review
June 1, 2018
Logsdon to seek disability, medical leave

IGRC Director of Connectional Ministries, the Rev. Dr. Thomas R. Logsdon has announced that he will be applying for disability benefits and has requested an appointment to Medical Leave. The announcement was made June 1 through the office of Resident Bishop Frank J. Beard.
"It has been one of the greatest joys of my life to serve as the Director of Connectional Ministries of the Illinois Great Rivers Conference," Logsdon said. ."My body has gradually let me down, but the wonderful staff with which I have been privileged to work never have. Thank you to Bishop Beard, the Appointive and Extended Cabinet, the Conference Center Staff, and the everyone on the Board, Committees, Commissions, and Councils to which I have been assigned who have worked with and made reasonable (and sometimes far more than reasonable) accommodations for me as I have gradually lost the ability to walk."
Registration reopens Thursday

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.
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.

As has been past practice, parking without a permit will not be in force on Thursday. Persons ordering parking passes are urged to place their placards in their window once they have completed the pickup process.
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.”

Personnel from the Midwest Mission Distribution Center will be at Annual Conference with the truck parked outside the Terrazzo Lobby accepting collections on Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

The tornado totes 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. Some tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis when registration resumes on Thursday morning at the Peoria Civic Center.

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. 
Pre-Annual Conference issue of The Current

The June 2018 issue of The Current is now posted online and should have arrived in the mail this 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

Download Sched app

Keep up on the latest information about the 2018 Annual Conference by downloading the Sched app.

Users are able to go into the 2018 Annual Conference agenda and select which schedule items apply to them. The app then creates a customizable schedule for the smartphone or tablet.

When room assignments change or things are moved, the information is updated on the app and it updates seamlessly to the user's mobile device.

Room assignments for special meals and other items within the Annual Conference have been posted
Bishop rules two LGBTQ candidates ineligible

Baltimore-Washington Area Bishop LaTrelle Easterling ruled that two individuals the Board of Ordained Ministry had approved were not eligible for ordination and commissioning because they are “self-avowed practicing homosexuals.”

She issued the ruling during the conference’s clergy session on May 30, after the Rev. Mark Gorman asked for a ruling.

Gorman asked for the bishop’s ruling after discussion about the board’s report which contained two names of individuals the board had approved but who he said did not meet the criteria set by the church’s Judicial Council for “full examination” of a candidate.
Conference claims property of exiting church

Mississippi Conference leaders have decided the church property used by a breakaway congregation should remain in United Methodist hands.

Under the leadership of its pastor, the congregation now is suing to keep the building.

On March 25, 175 members of First United Methodist Church in Louisville  voted to withdraw  from the denomination, six voted to remain and one was undecided. That same day, 22 members at nearby Bevil Hill United Methodist Church also voted to leave. The churches in Winston County are about 95 miles (153 kilometers) northeast of Jackson.

The Rev. Mike Childs, pastor of both congregations for 13 years, expressed growing dissatisfaction with other conferences’ lack of enforcement  of church laws  against the practice of homosexuality.

That same day, Childs — a United Methodist pastor for 43 years — surrendered his clergy credentials. The conference also gave him 30 days to vacate the parsonage, he said.

The Mississippi Conference can claim the property used by congregations under the  trust clause  of the Book of Discipline, the denomination’s policy book. The clause, which dates to 1797, states that local church properties are held “in trust” for the denomination, even if the congregation’s name is on the title.

However, Childs argues that under Mississippi law, the property should belong to the congregation that now identifies as First Methodist Church of Louisville.
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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