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The Northern Illinois Conference of The United Methodist Church includes more than 330 churches and new faith communities spanning the upper one-third of the state of Illinois in five regional districts. Our episcopal leader is Bishop Dan Schwerin.

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). 

Our Mission (Why)
The purpose of the annual conference is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world by equipping its local churches for ministry and by providing a connection for ministry beyond the local church; all to the glory of God. (Par. 601)  

Mission Vision Values Priorities 2016

Our Priorities (What)
1. Equip both Leaders and Churches:

  • To reach new members using new strategies.
  • To help members grow as disciples.
  • To be more effective in community outreach.

2. Resource struggling churches.

3. Rethink how to be vital churches.

4. Cultivate trust within the conference.

Our Vision (Where)
Making and supporting vital Christians in vital congregations that engage with their communities and the world for peace, justice and mercy.  

Our Core Values (How)
In responding together to God’s call for our Annual Conference, we desire a culture that values:  

  • Focus on mission
  • Evaluation, accountability and support for growth
  • Experimentation and risk-taking (with room for failure) for the purpose of learning
  • Transparency
  • Honesty and graciousness with each other
  • Safe spaces for sharing
  • Relationship-building
  • Provision of resources/services closer to the local church
  • Fostering and celebrating diversity (as a conference, in our community and in the world)

Download our Mission, Values, Vision, and Priorities graphic.

Ac Booklet Goals

Our Goals

  • To Grow and Reach New Disciples of Jesus Christ; 
  • To Live Out the Conviction that Racism is Incompatible with Christian Teaching; and 
  • To increase the Number of Highly Vital Congregations. 

In 2017, the Northern Illinois Annual Conference approved a restructuring plan, which creates a central, diverse Shepherding Team and District Shepherding teams to focus on four core areas in an effort to streamline the work of the conference. Those four areas are Congregational Life, Clergy Life, Missional Life, and Connectional Resources

Who to call
Our Conference staff is located at 303 E. Wacker Dr., Suite 2020, Chicago, IL 60601. Have a question and are unsure who to contact? Click here for a staff directory. 

Annual Conference meeting
Each year in June, the clergy and lay members of the Northern Illinois Conference meet to conduct business, elect leaders, and celebrate our ministries.

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. Find more about The United Methodist Church at

In 2014, the Northern Illinois Conference celebrated its 175th anniversary and our beginnings to the first conference session held August 26, 1840, in Mt. Morris, Illinois. Click here to read a two-part article on our past.

Questions about What we Believe and more?
Visit Ask UMC.

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Permission to use the Cross and Flame must be obtained from the General Council on Finance and Administration of The United Methodist Church: Legal Department GCFA Post Office Box 340029 Nashville, TN 37203-0029 Phone: 615.369.2334 Fax: 866.246.2516 

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