elvira arellano

Elvira Arellano: A Methodist in Ministry

By Anne Marie Gerhardt Elvira Arellano, an immigrant rights activist from Mexico who gained nationwide publicity for seeking shelter in a Northern Illinois Conference United Methodist church, is back in a familiar place. Seven years after U.S. immigration officers deported her to Mexico, she returned March 23 to Adalberto United Methodist Church in Chicago’s Humboldt…

layettekit247

Kit Challenge 2014

This year’s Annual Conference invites each district to participate in giving by donating items to help those with immediate needs. This year’s theme again asks, “Who is my neighbor?” and invites us to examine our work and witness with children. This year’s collection will benefit the Midwest Mission Distribution Center in their efforts to assemble…

tshala

Missionary Tshala Mwengo Dies After Bus Accident

On April 9, the General Board of Global Ministries shared the sad news that Tshala Mwengo passed away. Tshala and his wife, Betty, had served at the Mujilla Falls Agricultural Project in Northwestern Zambia. He last itinerated in the Northern Illinois Conference in 2012 and visited the Annual Conference (click to read more). Sensing a…

reddoorsmall

Red Door Fund Update

Just one year ago, at a special session of the Annual Conference, we as the Annual Conference, voted to assist churches in our conference who were having trouble re-financing or repaying church mortgages whose rate of interest was onerous. In a wonderful confirmation of the connection we have as United Methodists and in an effort…

immigrationrally2

Why I risked arrest for immigration reform

By Michael Mann, Assoc. Dir. of Mission and Advocacy Why are you involved in this action for immigrants? Throughout the Bible, God is concerned with those who are immigrants (see Deuteronomy 10:19 Jeremiah 22:3, Zechariah 7:10, and Matthew 25:35). In fact, God uses widows, orphans, and immigrants to be a special class of people to…

SpanishNeighbor800larger

Day of Friendship Spanish Camp for all ages

Spanish as a Second Language Dia de Amistad This summer, our Spanish as a Second Language class will invite all ages to participate in a one-day intergenerational experience we are calling Spanish Camp. It brings together those who have little or no prior experience of the Spanish language and Spanish speaking congregations as they together…

CLASP

Helping LGBT asylees seek safety in Chicago

By Anne Marie Gerhardt Fearing persecution for his sexual orientation, John Ademola Adewoye fled his home in Nigeria in 1999 to seek asylum in the U.S. “My life as a gay man (in Nigeria) was dark,” said Adewoye at a press conference at Broadway United Methodist Church on Mar. 6. “I met a number of…

womenhistory

Celebrating Women’s History Month

By Susan Keaton The General Commission on the Status and Role of Women is celebrating Women’s History Month with special resources every day of March. The 2014 theme is “Women of Character, Courage and Commitment,” and GCSRW is marking that theme in The United Methodist Church three different ways: Highlighting a different woman in UMC…

harry nicol

UM Foundation President announces retirement

United Methodist Foundation President the Rev. Harry Nicol announced his retirement effective the fall of 2014. Rev. Nicol served as president for 11 years and says it’s been a great job for him. “I’ve enjoyed working with the churches, clergy and lay people of the annual conference as they have considered their local church finances,…

Lay leaders

Laity gather at annual convocation

By Anne Marie Gerhardt More than 200 laity and clergy gathered at Barrington UMC on Feb. 8 for the 2014 Laity Convocation with the theme “Who is my neighbor? Who can’t I see?”. Keynote speaker the Rev. Dr. Elaine Heath, McCreless Professor of Evangelism at the Perkins School of Theology, challenged laity to “go out,…