The Northern Illinois Conference of The United Methodist Church

Northern Illinois ConferenceOur conference includes more than 370 churches and 30 new faith communities spanning the upper one-third of the state of Illinois. Our resident episcopal leader is Bishop Sally Dyck.

Our Mission, Purpose and Priorities

MISSION is the action of the God of grace who creates out of love, who calls a covenant
people community, who graciously redeems and reconciles a broken and sinful people in
Jesus Christ, and who through the Holy Spirit calls the church into being as the instrument of the good news of grace to all people. Mission is also the church’s grateful response to what God has done, is doing, and will do. A grace formed church is one which responsibly participates in God’s action in and for the world. (¶ 69, page 85-1992 Discipline).

The United Methodist mission

The mission of The United Methodist Church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Congregations provide the most significant arena through which disciple-making occurs. (United Methodist Book of Discipline, para. 120).

Northern Illinois Conference purpose

The purpose of the Northern Illinois Annual Conference is to make disciples for Jesus Christ—disciples who, empowered by the Holy Spirit, will make a difference in the world—by equipping its local faith communities for a ministry of witness, justice, hope and love, and by providing a connection for mission beyond the congregation; all to the
glory of God.

Conference Priorities

1) Developing Leaders for the Church

Conference will further develop systems to identify, recruit, train, support, and
evaluate leaders, with particular attention directed to youth and young adults.
Recruitment of clergy, especially among racial/ethnic minorities, also is
essential to our mission and ministry and must be emphasized.

2) Developing and Redeveloping the Church

The Northern Illinois Conference must continue to provide direction and
resources (financial, human, and spiritual) for new church development and
the redevelopment of exiting congregations. We affirm our commitment to the
General Church priorities of the National Plan for Hispanic Ministries and
Strengthening the Black Church.

3) Reconnecting the Connection The Northern Illinois Conference must strive to repair our disunities and strengthen our connection, our “vital web of interactive relationships” (Book ofDiscipline,¶ 109) within our cultural, ethnic, and theological diversity. We will provide opportunities for dialogue around our rich Wesleyan heritage and
explicitly claim and clearly communicate our identity as the “ people called
Methodists”. To aid in doing so, we will use emerging technology, multi-language publications and media, and public relation strategies.

4) Claiming Christ on the Margins
The Northern Illinois Conference heeds the historic call of John Wesley to
“offer them Christ”, and it reasserts its commitment to serving the neediest in our
midst. We reaffirm our support of Shalom Zone, community development
efforts, the Bishop’s initiative on children and poverty, child, youth, adult, and
family-serving agencies that are in covenant with our conference, and other
emerging ministries with the poor.
~Adopted in Revision by Plenary Session, Sunday, June 6, 1999

Annual Conference Meetings

Each year in June, the clergy and lay leaders of the Northern Illinois Conference meet to conduct business, elect leaders and celebrate our ministries. Find out more about our 2017 conference.

What is an Annual Conference?

In The United Methodist Church, the annual conference serves as the “basic unit” of the church. The United States has 63 annual conferences, supervised by 50 bishops. There are 59 annual conferences in Africa, Europe, and the Philippines, which are supervised by 18 bishops. In the U.S., an annual conference may cover an entire state, only part of the state, or even parts of two or more states.


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