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Announcement: We're moving!

Posted: October 3 2022 at 06:47 PM
Photo Of New Office

The Northern Illinois Conference offices are moving to 303 E. Wacker Dr. in Chicago's East Loop on Nov. 1.

The Board of Trustees is excited to announce the Northern Illinois Conference office is moving to a new location in Chicago’s East Loop to a 30-story building along the riverfront at 303 E. Wacker Drive, Suite 2020, on November 1.

When the Conference’s current lease at 77 W. Washington St. at the Chicago Temple came up for renewal this summer, the Trustees took the opportunity to reassess office needs and survey many other factors in whether to stay or go.

“The Trustee Board heavily considered the needs of the Conference staff for space, environment, security, amenities, and purpose for coming into the office, and decided not to renew at 77 W. Washington,” NIC Board of Trustees Chair Rev. Nancy Blade said. “The move-in ready office at 303 E. Wacker will help us downsize and think creatively about how we resource our local churches.”

Blade added the new office will also better equip the Episcopal needs and help the Conference be well prepared to welcome a new bishop who will arrive in January.

Since moving to the Chicago Temple building from Higgins Road in 2002, a lot has changed, from staff size to better technology.

“In 2002, we needed dedicated office space for 32 persons and five part-time offices,” NIC Treasurer Lonnie Chafin noted. “Today, in 2022, we need dedicated office space for ten people. We have eight hybrid positions in the office weekly, and District Superintendents now work fully remote.”

With the move, Conference office space will decrease from 9,400 square feet to 7,100 square feet. The board explored smaller footprints with 77 W. Washington building management, but those options required costly renovation and construction.

Chafin said the new office lease contract is a deal almost too good to pass up.

“With a great number of companies abandoning office space or moving to smaller offices now that hybrid and work from home has become the norm, Loop commercial real estate is cheaper than it’s been in a long time,” said Chafin. “Consequently, landlords are providing unprecedented incentives to new tenants.”

Chafin said the Conference is subleasing space from a marketing company that has decided to go fully remote. He said we’ve signed a ten-year agreement and will receive 13 months of free rent, 40 months at half price, and 500 square feet for free the entire period. It also comes fully furnished. 

The Board of Trustees considered input from many conference leaders and the Annual Conference Shepherding Team, including suggestions to relocate outside the city and concerns about distance and accessibility to staff. 

“We have heard clearly the desire for connection between the Conference staff and the local church and will continue to make that available and improve services wherever we are located,” said Blade. 

Bishop John L. Hopkins added the high level of customer service will stay the same since the staff and Episcopal offices are primarily administrative, and we use local churches and Zoom for training, conferences, and other events.

“I am grateful to our Conference Trustees, especially Rev. Nancy Blade and Lonnie Chafin, for vetting their decision with the Annual Conference Shepherding Team, the Conference Council on Finance and Administration, and the Cabinet,” said Bishop Hopkins. “The staff team will benefit from having a better place for collaboration and service.”

Postcards with the new address will be mailed to local churches later this month. Apportionments and benefit payments should continue to mail to the same post office box. Property Insurance payments will have a new post office box. All other communications with the Conference should be sent to the new address. 

While the Conference has enjoyed being housed at the Chicago Temple for over 20 years, the new office accommodates current changes in reduced staff and increased online ministry connections, plus it provides the flexibility to adapt to a rapidly changing working environment.

Please read the FAQs that may help answer any questions.

Relocation FAQs

Change of address effective Nov. 1:

303 E. Wacker Dr., Suite 2020
Chicago, IL 60601

‌Things to Note:

  • All phone extensions and email addresses will stay the same.
  • Send Apportionment & Health Insurance/Pension checks to the same PO Box address:
    Northern Illinois Conference
    PO Box 5646, Carol Stream, IL 60197-5646.
  • Property Insurance Checks may be sent to: 

    Northern Illinois Conference
    PO Box 8246
    Carol Stream, IL 60197-8246

United Methodist Foundation Announces Move

The United Methodist Foundation of the Northern Illinois Conference has also decided to move to a new location in the west end of Chicago’s Loop at the intersection of Wacker Drive and Randolph Street on November 1. Their new address will be 155 North Wacker Drive, Suite 4250, Chicago, IL 60606. Look for postcards with the new address mailed to local churches later this month. 

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