With a backdrop of light vibrantly shining through an artistic door, windows and vases, the 178th Northern Illinois Annual Conference opened with the Commissioning and Ordination Service inside the MegaCenter at the Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles, Ill., on Sunday, June 4, 2017.
This year’s Annual Conference theme was “Light Shines Through…there are cracks in everything, that’s how the light gets in,” based on a lyric from singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen.
Bishop Sally Dyck commissioned four candidates for the work of a deacon and eight for the work of an elder. She ordained two deacons and six elders. The Rev. Francisco Cañas, national coordinator for Hispanic/Latino Ministry at the General Board of Global Ministries, introduced the 13 lay missioners who were commissioned.
The Rev. Judy Y. Chung, associate general secretary for Missionary Services at the General Board of Global Ministries, commissioned two clergy from the Northern Illinois Conference for the work as missionaries.
The Rev. Kyeong-Ah (Kay) Woo and spouse Rev. Jin Yang Kim along with their young son Micah will be based in Geneva, Switzerland. Rev. Woo will serve as the Coordinator of the World Mission and Evangelism (CWME) of the World Council of Churches and Rev. Kim will serve the coordinator of Korean Peninsula Dialogue and Peacebuilding of the World Council of Churches
Special ecumenical guest Bishop John White, 4th District of the A.M.E. Church, brought greetings and Bishop John Schol of the Greater New Jersey Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church led communion.
This year’s special guest choir came from Barrington United Methodist Church and Dr. Marcia McFee was this year’s worship design leader.
‘Now we’re cooking’
Bishop Sally Dyck preached on Matthew 25:1-13 and the story of the ten bridesmaids who took their lamps to meet the bridegroom.
“We’re used to thinking of this story in terms of preparedness, but I really think it’s about paying attention not to what happened at the last wedding, but figuring out what you need to know at this one; who this bridal couple is and where they’re from,” said Dyck. “Being ready means you understand the context of this specific wedding.”
Dyck said this also applies to ministry and reading the context of where we are in ministry.
“We can’t count on doing what we did last time—even last year or in our last appointment,” said Dyck. “We have to read the context of where we are now, what the realities of our situation are now in the religious landscape of our time.”
There are two types of cooking she described. One is the new trend of boxes containing pre-prepped food with step-by-step instructions and the other way is simply looking in your refrigerator and making a meal out of what’s on hand, which may apply to your ministry setting.
“Every context of ministry gives us some “ingredients,” some we would choose and others maybe not. And we bring to ministry through our own gifts as clergy and laity other ingredients,” said Dyck. “Being in ministry today means you figure out what you have in order to be the church, to help people grow in faith and to engage your communities!”
Dyck encouraged the newly ordained and provisional clergy to try new things and expand their skills to meet the needs of the community and to stop wishing we were in another time or place with people or resources that we don’t have.
“I have a vision that all of you – clergy and laity – are wearing these big chef hats and aprons and you’ve signed up for the culinary institute of The United Methodist Church,” said Dyck. “You open the refrigerator door of the community, use what exists in the community, and add your ingredients. And when we do, now we’re cooking!”
Commissioned for the work of a deacon:
- Debby Ingram
- Erin Michelle Simmons’
- Kathy Wellman
Commissioned for the work of an elder:
- Kihwan Choi
- Scort Christy
- Daniel Cochran
- Hyewon Sophia Hyon
- Ayla Sampson
- Mark Schol
- Ashish Singh
- Matthew Smith
Ordained as deacon:
- Danice Loveridge
- Mary Stenzel Rawlinson
Ordained as elder:
- Calvin Haines, Jr.
- Lindsey Long Joyce
- Matthew Krings
- Heewon Kim
- Hogun Kim
- Laura Wilson Underwood
- Miguel Aguilar
- Carla Camacho
- Jonathan Camacho
- Xiomara Castro
- Enrique Cervantes
- Kwang Pyo Chung Rocio Gonzalez
- Jung J. Kim
- Belia Melendez
- Norma Rodriguez
- Rufino Leyva
- Belia Melendez
- Norma Rodriguez
- Gladys Rosales
- Orsoo Torres