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North Central Jurisdiction retains same number of Bishops

After further review of the numbers, the General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA) reports that the North Central Jurisdiction (NCJ) does have enough members to retain nine bishops for the episcopal area. In September GCFA notified NCJ leadership that membership totals from 2014’s statistics showed a drop below the threshold formula required by the Book…

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Enhanced Find-A-Church features now available

Today’s tech-savvy seekers turn to the Internet as their primary source for information. Local United Methodist churches can be prepared with an updated profile on Find-A-Church, which now has enhanced tools to create easily viewed events, social media links, and worship information. New Find-A-Church features include: GoogleMap with movable pin to exactly communicate location Links…

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Paper Angel Closet Ministry

A closet filled with paper products, toiletries, soap and much more is an angel in disguise at New Life United Methodist Church in Machensney Park, Ill. What started out as a small in-house mission to distribute these essential items has grown to a multi-county outreach project. “We have been able to help 89 individuals this…

Tracy Smith Malone

Rev. Malone endorsed as Episcopal Nominee

Members of the NIC General/Jurisdictional Delegation unanimously endorsed the Rev. Dr. Tracy Smith Malone as their episcopal nominee at their Sept. 27, 2015 meeting. “I’m honored by the trust and confidence that my colleagues (lay and clergy) have in my gifts and leadership,” said Rev. Malone responding to the endorsement. Rev. Malone serves as the…

Vaccinations Van

Grants help churches get creative

Thanks to your apportionment dollars 17 ministries in the Northern Illinois Conference received Creative Ministries Grants from the Program Council totaling close to $20,000. The grants helped fund a music academy, vacation Bible schools, a paper products pantry for homeless families, senior resource workshops, school supply giveaways and a weekend retreat for Chicago youth caught…

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Membership decline may mean fewer bishops

Nashville, TN – The General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA), notified the North Central and Northeastern Jurisdictional leadership that the number of bishops representing the areas could be reduced based on reported membership numbers. GCFA, responding to responsibilities and membership formulas outlined in ¶ 404.2 of the Book of Discipline, and the responsibilities of…

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New head of ChildServ

Following a unanimous vote of support, the ChildServ Board of Trustees is pleased to announce the appointment of Dan Kotowski as its new President and CEO. Kotowski will begin in his new role at the 120-year-old Chicago social service agency on October 5. Kotowski joins ChildServ after serving nine years in the Illinois State Senate…

Train passengers, including migrants, wait Sept. 2 at the Keleti pályaudvar station in Budapest in hopes of boarding trains to other countries in western Europe. Some, frustrated with waiting, scuffled with police outside the station, according to news reports.  Photo by Daniel Peters for UMNS

Prayer for the Refugee-Migrant Crisis

Recent news report that more than 16,000 migrants have streamed into Austria since the weekend and more than 17,500 people were received in Munich, Germany, alone. According to the United Nations Refugee Agency estimates, more than 366,000 refugees and migrants have crossed the Mediterranean Sea to Europe this year and at least 2,800 have died…

Migrants form a crowd at the Keleti pályaudvar train station Sept. 2 in Budapest while waiting passage to Germany, Austria and other wealthier countries within the European Union where the laws on refugee protection are better. Photo by Daniel Peters for UMNS

Responding to the Syrian Crisis

By Rev. Michael Mann Over the past two weeks, many congregations throughout the United States have vocalized their deep lament in response what has been called “the biggest refugee crisis since World War II” as nearly 4 million Syrian refugees have fled their country over the past few years. The Northern Illinois Justice For Our…

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A Time to Replenish

2015 Northern Illinois Annual Conference Report By Anne Marie Gerhardt, Dir. of Communications With imagery of water from baptismal fonts to beautiful artwork throughout the three days, heavy downpours outside and a worship theme of “Replenish,” Bishop Sally Dyck called those gathered at the 2015 Northern Illinois Annual Conference to “restore, renew, refresh and fill…