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Difference Makers

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Thank you for seeking out the webpage for “Because They Made a Difference!”

This initiative offers a new way to recognize, honor, and thank those clergy and other church leaders that have made a difference in our lives by sharing their stories and making a contribution in their name to support NIC clergy retirement funds. This initiative is the result of a resolution brought by the NIC Board of Pensions and approved at the October 2021 virtual annual conference session.

We’re looking for stories of how those who serve in leadership roles in our local churches influence our lives. Just look at all that those in leadership at our local churches do that may make a difference in our lives.


  • preach and lead worship,
  • help us fall in love with Jesus,
  • visit those who are ill and/or homebound,
  • help our local churches cast a vision for ministry,
  • encourage us to live with joy and hope,
  • are there when we just need to talk,
  • inspire us to grow in our faith,
  • help bind us together and create community in our local churches,
  • point us to where we can find our own calling to serve Christ in the world, and
  • help us celebrate joyous occasions and grieve when we lose loved ones.

In short, they have the capacity to “make a difference” in our lives! 

As you reflect on this, if you have a story, we’d love to hear it. We believe that our collective stories can help us build community and realize that we have much to be grateful for within the Northern Illinois Conference.

“Stories are the essential building block of empathy and human connection. Since the beginning of mankind, storytelling has been used to connect, engage, inspire, heal and create a brighter future.”- from the website of “Solar Sister.”

The initial intent of this initiative was to honor our ordained clergy, both elders and deacons. This remains the primary focus. However, we recognize that the pool of potential honorees is broader and includes local pastors, DS supply pastors, and local church youth pastors. We encourage you to honor anyone who has made a difference in your faith journey as a disciple of Jesus Christ. You may honor those who are serving currently or who have retired. It may be someone from your past as well as your present. It may be someone in Northern Illinois or someplace else. It may be someone who has gone on to glory.

So we ask, “Do you have a story of a church leader who was a difference-maker for you?”

“The greatest art in the world is the art of storytelling.” - Cecil B DeMille

To tell your story click on the “Tell Your Story” button on this page to fill out an online form. When you complete your story and click the “submit” your story will be saved and shared on this website (honored Difference Makers tab). When your story has been submitted, you’ll receive a confirmation window with a  “donate” button that will enable you to give a “thank you” gift in honor of the “difference maker” you have named. 

“After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.” — Philip Pullman

Note that the suggested gift to honor a “difference maker” is $100. Gifts of less or more than this can be made. You will know what amount is right for you. While a donation is requested and appreciated, it is not required. All funds raised will be used exclusively by the NIC Board of Pensions to support future clergy retirement benefits. The person you are honoring as a “Difference Maker” will be notified of this recognition.

You can tell multiple stories! Come back soon to tell another!

Thank you so much for your participation!

Tell Your Story

If you’re ready to tell your story,  click on the “Tell Your Story” button at the top of this page. If you would need assistance or would like to print a form and mail it in, please email (Filling out the online form is preferred)


If you have questions, check out the "FAQs" button above.

More Information

For a downloadable flyer to share, click on the "more information" button above or click here.

Contact Us

If you still have questions, email us at


If you would like to make a one-time donation to the clergy pension initiative without naming a difference maker, click on the donate button.


Tell your story of who made a difference in your life!

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