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Online Learning

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The NIC's Communications team and Office of Congregational Development and Redevelopment are producing online learning sessions via Zoom on Thursdays at either 10 am or 1 pm with practical information on how to do a variety of ministries during the COVID-19 outbreak. To join the meeting, you'll need to download the Zoom app. Click here for a tutorial on how to join. Watch the NIC eNews for announcements about upcoming online learning opportunities.

Recent Online Learning Webinars

  • Online Campus - Dec. 16
    Many churches are discovering digital to be a viable and even compelling arena for vital ministry during an unprecedented and demanding season. But how do we meet people where they are and go from a strong Sunday service presence to a fully digital church experience? Learn more from Rev. Tony,  a church planter in the Virginia Annual Conference of the UMC. ►Watch recording.
  • Advent/Christmas Planning - Nov. 19 at 10 am. 
    ►Watch recording (we apologize the first minute was not recorded)

    Whether you are like so many retail stores and have been planning Christmas at your church since August or you are just now starting to think about how you can make the season special for your church and community, you are invited to an online Zoom conversation to exchange ideas. A panel of church leaders will offer creative ideas for the season and we will learn from one another in the hopes of sharing the love of Christ in new ways.​ 

Archived Trainings:


  • ReTurn to Church - NIC pastors and ReTurn Team members share their COVID-19 health and safety plans to return to in-person worship and to their church buildings. On the panel: Rev. Grace Imathiu, Evanston: First and ReTurn Team; Rev. Caleb Hong, Orland Park: Faith UMC; Sandy Ward, Orland Park: Faith UMC; Rev. Seamus Enright, Reynolds UMC and ReTurnTeam; Rev. Brian Gilbert, DeKalb District Superintendent. ►Watch the recording •Download text of chat
  • Responding to Our Call to End Racism - Bishop Sally Dyck along with Chicago Southern District Superintendent Rev. Jacques Conway, NIC Anti-Racism Task Force Co-Chair Rev. Jarrod Severing, GCSRW Dir. of Leadership Development Rev. Pamela Pirtle and NIC Co-Lay Leader Mark Manzi will lead a panel discussion via Zoom in response to the past week's events gripping our nation after the killing of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis. How will the church respond? What is our role in addressing systemic racism, oppression, and injustice in our country? In what ways can we take a stand against police brutality and violence? As our nation grieves, we will offer a time for lamentations and prayer, and address ways we can respond. We hope you will join this important discussion. ►Watch the recording  ♦Download reading list and resources
  • ReTurn Plan - The ReTurn Team has released its first version of their five-phase plan for returning to our church buildings and in-person ministries safely.  Bishop Sally Dyck and members of the Team held a panel discussion on May 28 and answered questions from clergy and church leaders. ►Watch the recording  •Read/Download the plan.
  • Leading Beyond the COVID-19 Pandemic - with Rev. Adam Hamilton. As we think about how we will eventually reopen our church buildings and prepare to reconnect with our church communities, Rev. Adam Hamilton, Senior Pastor at the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, KS, guided us in a discussion on best ways to move forward. ►Watch recording Download PowerPoint slides
  • Local Church Strategies for Surviving COVID-19 Pandemic - Rev. Olu Brown from Impact UMC in Atlanta, GA shares ideas for Easter Sunday online services and reaching people during this pandemic. ►Click here to watch. To download the outline, click here.
  • The Impact of COVID-19 in Communities of Chicago - May 14 at 1 pm with Bishop Sally Dyck and Dr. LaMenta "Sweetie" Conway, Deputy Chief of Medicine for the Illinois Department of Health. They will discuss Dr. Sweetie's experience and insights on how Christians can live out our love of neighbor during these difficult times when healthcare access is unequal and front-line workers are vulnerable. ►Watch recording


  • Discussion on online communion and safety measures for serving communion during and after the pandemic. ►Watch recording  ♦Read the Bishop's advisory team's findings.
  • Ways to Worship Online: Urban Village Church (UVC) in Chicago shares how they use Livestreaming, Facebook Live, YouTube and other creative uses of technology to continue communicating with their faith communities. ►Watch recording
  • Online Worship Content: Rev. Dawn Chesser, an ordained NIC elder who transferred to the Holston Conference and former Director of Preaching Ministries at the UM General Board of Discipleship. She also holds a Ph.D. in liturgical studies with a dissertation on online worship. Chesser will be joined by Rev. Taylor Burton-Edwards, a consultant for InfoServ/Ask The UMC with United Methodist Communications. They will discuss best practices for online worship content and copyright guidelines. ►Watch recording.
  • Singing a tune during COVD-19 pandemic": A discussion on singing, assembling choirs and providing music online and under COVID-19 safety guidelines with Jeff Hunt, Director of Music, Baker Memorial United Methodist Church, St. Charles, Founder and Director of the St. Charles Singers, Adjunct Instructor of Music History, World Music, Elgin Community College. ►Watch recording ♦Download FAQs and Resources


  • Virtual Gathering Training - Rich Havard, Pastor and Executive Director of the Inclusive Collective, one of our NIC campus ministry partners. Anxiety is on the rise. Isolation is rampant. Sometimes, even our prayers can seem empty. In the midst of this pandemic and its ramifications, how do we gather virtually in ways that nurture relationships, connect us to God, and make us come alive (or at least stay sane!)? There are a lot of great resources out there on how to lead worship services, but our people also need more intimate community during these hard days. Join Rich Havard to learn some strategies and tips for leading your virtual small group gatherings during COVID-19. If you missed this one but want to be contacted about future events, email Rich ( Download PowerPoint slides. 


  • Finance Helps in the Midst of this Crisis  -  with Ken Sloane,  Director of Stewardship & Connectional Ministries at Discipleship Ministries. Watch Recording
  • Online giving and promoting generosity: NIC Treasurer Lonnie Chafin, Apportionments Administrator David Quinn, and Generosity Group Consultant Harry Nicol share recommendations for electronic giving services and how to encourage online giving. ►Click here to watch.


  • Digging Deeper in Intentional Discipleship Preview - with Ken Sloane and M. Scott Hughes. Learn more about intentional discipleship making in your ministry setting. ►Watch Recording
  • "How is it with Your Soul?" A panel of pastors and clinicians help us identify signs of anxiety and depression, ways to release and renew, as well as other self-care practices and how we find God in the midst of this COVID-19 crisis. Panelists include Deacon Anne Hampson, Rev. Cheryl Magrini, Rosecrance Chaplain Rev. Bill Lenters, and Rev. Claude King. ►Watch Recording Download resources shared by Rev. Anne Hampson here.

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