The Current Week in Review
May 18, 2018
Southern Illinois facing water crisis

Some Southern Illinois cities are out of water, schools and businesses are closing, several communities are under boil orders and many residents are being asked to conserve water after a breach in a pipe at the water plant for Rend Lake Conservancy District.

Those affected by the breach include: Akin Water District, Benton, Bonnie, Buckner, Cambria, Carterville, Christopher, Coal Valley Water District, Colp, Crainville, Dahlgren, DuQuoin, Ewing-Ina Water District, Ferges Water District, Galatia, Greenwood Creek Water District, Hamilton County Water District, Hanford, Herrin, Highway 37 North Water District, Hill City Water District, Johnston City, Macedonia, Marion, McLeansboro, Mt. Vernon, Mulkeytown, Pittsburg Water District, Royalton Water District, Sesser, Tamaroa, Thompsonville, Valier, Washington County Water District, West City, West Frankfort, Zeigler and 1,200 retail customers that also receive water from the Inter-City Water Plant operated by Rend Lake Conservancy District.
Annual Conference will re-vote on Amendment I

Delegates to the 2018 Annual Conference will be participating in a re-vote on Amendment I due to an error being made in the text of the proposed Constitutional amendment which was presented to annual conferences for ratification in 2017.

Annual Conference Secretary Alice J. Shirley received the materials this week and they will be prepared for this year's annual conference session. Constitutional amendments, which garner 2/3 approval of the General Conference are forwarded to annual conferences for ratification. No amendments can be made to the constitutional amendment and the vote totals are not announced until the Council of Bishops canvasses the vote after all annual conferences have completed their balloting.

Amendment I, as it was presented in 2017, would have created a new paragraph focused on gender justice, was approved by 31,304 voters (66.5%), as opposed to 15,753 "no" votes. A two-thirds majority is required for passage.

In the Illinois Great Rivers Conference, the 2017 Annual Conference voted 365-360 in favor of ratification. 
Visitors' registration fee enacted to pay for special session of General Conference

Visitors to the special 2019 General Conference will need to pay at least a $200 registration fee to witness The United Methodist Church’s top policymaking assembly first hand.

Many expect the gathering to be historic. The denomination’s Council of Bishops has called the special General Conference for Feb. 23-26, 2019, to act on its report and possibly other petitions related to the denomination’s stance on homosexuality. Longtime debate over how to minister with LGBTQ individuals has threatened to split the 12.5 million-member, multinational denomination.

After a long discussion wrestling with different alternatives, the group that plans General Conference concluded the registration fees are necessary to help cover the costs of the special — and initially unfunded — meeting.

“This is a tough decision,” Moses Kumar told the Commission on General Conference. He is the General Conference treasurer and top executive of the denomination’s finance agency.
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.
Annual Conference registration is open!

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 last day to receive refunds on any Annual Conference fees is Monday, May 21.

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.
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."

Wesleyan Covenant Association, Friday breakfast – This special meal will be held off-site at Peoria First UMC, 7 p.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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