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Light Shines Through 2017 Annual Conference Rev. Anne Hampson delivers the message during the Memorial Service.
By Anne Marie Gerhardt
The Organizational Task Force leads its presentation with a skit outlining the need to streamline the conference structure. Dr. Marcia McFee brings light, song and sensory worship as this year’s Worship Design Leader.
Nearly 900 clergy and laity gathered together at the 178th Northern Illinois Annual Conference from June 4-6, 2017 at the Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles, Ill., to seek and share how God’s light is illuminating through our churches, congregations and ministries. This year’s Annual Conference focused on the theme “Light Shines Through…there are cracks in everything that’s how the light gets in,” based on lyrics from singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen. “The light shines through cracks all over the Northern Illinois Annual Conference,” said Bishop Sally Dyck during her Episcopal Address. Despite doors closing, financial challenges and a rapidly changing religious landscape, Bishop Dyck encouraged local churches to look for the cracks of hope that let the light in. “Let’s save cynicism, despair and dystopia for better times and live in the reality of our world with the faith and hope of Jesus’ followers,” said Dyck. “The good news is that we’re not alone – God and a connection of United Methodists – are with us!” Service of Commissioning and Ordination The two-and-a-half day conference opened Sunday afternoon with the Service of Commissioning and Ordination. Bishop 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 missionaries Rev. Kyeong-Ah (Kay) Woo and spouse Rev. Jin Yang Kim from the Northern Illinois Conference. They will be based in Geneva, Switzerland. Laity Address In 2016 Bishop Dyck named three co-lay leaders for the conference as something new in order to have better geographical representation as well as to divide the responsibilities of this role. Jessie Cunningham, Elisa Gatz and Mark Manzi have worked together over the last year hosting the Laity Convocation as well as reaching out to district lay members. They shared their vision for the Northern Illinois Conference in the annual Laity Address. 2 | The Reporter | July/August 2017
Worship This year’s worship design leader, Dr. Marcia McFee brought light into the Pheasant Run MegaCenter where the services and business were held. Artistic doors, windows and vases glowed serving as the backdrop along with a radiant baptismal font in the center aisle. The Rev. Kristine Marshall’s Retirement Service During the retirement service, 17 retired artwork, “The Great Hope”, hung from the drapery at the back of the stage. clergy and local pastors received recogniOther special guests included Pantion for their combined 529 years of service. Methodist partner Bishop John F. White, Before the passing of the mantle, the retirees who serves the Fourth Episcopal District of reflected on one of three questions around the African Methodist Episcopal Church, how the light has shone in their ministry in and Bishop John Schol, resident Bishop of both dark and good times. the Greater New Jersey Conference of The The Rev. Thomas Kingery said, “I don’t United Methodist Church, whose son Mark think we are meant to be the light but to was commissioned for the work of an elder. reflect it.” The Rev. Mary McKinney offered her wisdom saying it’s important to remem- Legislation ber those who shine a light on you and In legislation, the annual conference the Rev. Richard Mosely, Jr., shared three approved the organizational restructuring thoughts on where to find the light. He said, plan, which will create a central Shepherd“maintain a sense of humor, find a spiritual ing Team and six District Shepherding companion and read the prophets daily.” teams to focus on four core areas in an A special recognition was made to Sam- effort to streamline the work of the conferuel W. Witwer, Jr., who is retiring from his ence. The diverse organizational task force, law practice and served as the Conference which consisted of 27 members from across Chancellor for the last 40 years. The United the conference, worked for nine months toMethodist Foundation also recognized Janet taling more than 1,500 hours, held listening Boryk who is retiring after 12 years as the sessions, and organized teams to come up Foundation’s Director of Planned Giving. with the presented plan (the 6th iteration). The legislation allows room for adaptations Memorial Service During the Memorial service, we remem- and reevaluation in 2019. “We must have faith that we will conbered Bishop Felton May, 14 retired clergy, tinue to learn, evaluate and adapt,” said Task five spouses of retired clergy, two surviving Force Chair Liz Gracie. “Ultimately we must spouses of clergy and six lay members to have faith that God is at work in the NIC Annual Conference. and that this proposed structure is intended The Rev. Anne Hampson, an endorsed to be the best possible way to equip and pastoral counselor who works in the areas connect to the ministry which God is callof grief and depression, delivered the mesing each and every one of us.” sage, “Walking by Light.” Other legislation that passed included “I think learning to grieve is learning to holding the election of Delegates for the live,” she said. “We are here today to lament 2020 General Conference during the 2019 to God, to mourn and to memorialize toannual conference session, calling for afgether, as we find a path to enable us to walk fordable health care and recognizing the forward in the light and love of God.” closing of Bethany UMC in Itasca. Bible Study Doc. 700.01 which called for the NIC Drs. Jack Seymour and Margaret Ann to divest from Fossil Fuels was referred for Crain returned again this year to lead the further conversation and to be brought back Bible study looking at the scripture text in 2018. John 1: 1-18 and asking the question, “what A budget of $6,648,410, about the same does it mean to follow the way of Jesus?” amount as last year, was approved. “We are the word, we are the light, we are Our annual conference voted on the five the ones that reflect the way of Jesus,” said new amendments to the constitution of Seymour who referenced Hebrew scripThe United Methodist Church which were tures saying it is our responsibility to share approved by General Conference in 2016. Christ’s light for others to see. However, we will not know whether they “We see people coming together to look at new possibilities of how we organize ourselves and how we will staff what we do,” said Mark Manzi. “We see people coming together to try new things or old things in new ways to see if we can reach more people.”
passed right away. The amendments must pass by 2/3 of the aggregate of members of annual and central conferences from all over the world. Once the results are certified by the Council of Bishops at their first meeting following the last annual conference vote, we will find out the results. Special Offerings The 2017 Bishop’s Appeal special offering raised more than $71,400 dollars for the United Methodist Global AIDS Fund. Twenty-five percent of the money will stay in the Northern Illinois Conference for local projects including education on prevention and resources for those living with HIV/ AIDS. The Aurora District took home the Bishop’s Appeal traveling trophy for raising the most funds per capita. Sales of postcards featuring the annual conference artwork by Rev. Kristine Marshall raised an additional $300. Bishop Dyck thanked everyone for their contributions which will help to eradicate this disease. An offering for the Ministerial Education Fund totaled $4,043.20. Statistics Membership in the Northern Illinois Conference stands at 85,350, up 547 from the previous year. Worship attendance stands at 30,120, or down 1,366. Sunday school attendance stands at 7,836, down 561. Professions or reaffirmations of faith for 2016 was 1,355, down 584 from 2015.
(continued on page 3, see Light)
In Memoriam: We remembered the following who faithfully served God and now rest in the light of God’s eternal love: Bishops Bishop Felton May Retired Clergy James Edward Allen Theoburn Anderson William Raymond Baily Roger Eugene Creek Gregory Dell Marshall Esty Jack Hayes
Robert Harry King Laura Lee Odegard John Karl Rankin Ermalou Roller Gordon Grant Smith James Barrett Swain James E. Will
Spouses of Retired Clergy Dorothy L. Kenworthy Donald Laverne Pleas Joseph R. Ganzel Linda Sue Young Marilyn Winkler Surviving Spouses Margaret Henzlik
Lay Members to Annual Conference Mary Akers Jean Bonningoff Dickson Harold “Tom” McCoy Eleanor Mulligan Elizabeth Couch John Nelson
Episcopal Address: Let the Light Shine Through The theme for our annual conference this year is: light shines through. The words come from a Leonard Cohen song. Leonard Cohen was a “spiritual” person, actually an ordained Buddhist monk. His writings and music didn’t flinch from human frailty or flaw, whether it was personal or political. He saw the reality around him and it wasn’t always bright and shiny. He died the day before the election last November, but throughout that week, his music and words rang in many ears as this song resonated with the state of our souls: Ring the bells that still can ring Forget your perfect offering There is a crack, a crack in everything That’s how the light gets in. That’s how the light gets in. That’s how the light gets in.
One church—Wedron—merged in with another and then there were four – SerenaSheridan-Harding-Norway. These churches became a cooperative. They hold worship services at the various churches on Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday. They come together to provide a thriving weekday children’s program that any one of them couldn’t provide but they are better together! Ministry has become vital through this cooperative and while some of you are afraid that all the annual conference wants to do is shut your church, quite the au contraire. We want to have a vital ministry in our communities, especially our rural villages where it can be a struggle. But it
The Northern Illinois Conference of The United Methodist Church OUR VISION (WHERE) “Making and supporting vital Christians in vital congregations that engage with their communities and the world for peace, justice and mercy.”
Life is not perfect; there’s a crack or imperfection in everything but in fact through that imperfection, light can shine through. We are like those cracks—imperfect as we are—that actually let light through…here and there! The light shines through cracks in our local churches Our local churches increasingly experience the literal closing of doors, or at least the threat of it, in many places. There are more part-time churches, lowering of salaries, heavy financial liabilities for massive buildings, and of course a rapidly changing religious landscape where fewer and fewer people of all ages, not just young people, are involved in church. No more can we rely on a sense of duty, winsome fellowship and chicken dinners to entice people to come and know us…and Jesus, too. Many people just aren’t into us! Our Mission/Priorities/Values/Vision diagram continues to guide our work. Under values, you will see “experimentation and risk-taking (with room for failure).” There are some amazing experiments going on in our local churches. I can’t begin to do justice to them all, but I want to give a few examples. We have some new configurations of churches working together to be in ministry, like the Barrington/W. Dundee/ Carpentersville/El Mesias “cooperative”. As these congregations or at least their clergy work together, have staff meetings together, coordinate worship together, interact with each other’s congregations in order to better resource each other, I personally believe this configuration contributes to a higher clergy morale. It doesn’t just happen with a large suburban church and a few other smaller ones around it. It also happens in the rural areas. Five churches in four small villages in La Salle County who are just a few miles apart from each other wanted to keep a United Methodist witness in each village, but wanted a more dynamic ministry together.
One of the ways that we have been working on this has been to develop a new annual conference organizational plan. This plan is designed to “enhance our connectionalism” so that local churches are better connected to each other (through districts) and so the annual conference can better equip local churches to do ministry. The new design for our annual conference organization isn’t perfect; all who participated in the Task Force would readily agree to that, but we are confident that we can get it up and running by the first of the year (January 2018) with built-in opportunities for evaluation to see how it is working by Annual Conference 2019.
OUR VALUES (HOW) • Focus on mission • Evaluations, accountability and support for growth. • Experimentation and risk-taking (with room for failure) for the purpose of learning. • Transparency, honesty and graciousness with each other. • Safe spaces for sharing. • Building relationships. • Provision of resources/services closer to the local church. • Fostering and celebrating diversity (as a conference, in our community and in the world).
Based on Landscape Survey and Annual Conference Presentation June, 2016
takes some creativity, experimentation and risk-taking! We also have a couple of churches in Chicago whose massive old buildings are literally falling down around their heads. They are working with district committees as well as their own leadership to see if they can redevelop the property to include such things as senior living units, a parsonage, a worship space, maybe some retail space and community space. With the support of various architectural and building people who are United Methodist, and with a very clear vision of who they want to be, we pray that these experiments will produce fruit. We don’t know whether any of these experiments will pan out or not, but there is no failure unless we fail to learn from what doesn’t work and allow others to benefit from it. If they take these risks, and it doesn’t go well, what will happen? But let me ask you: If they don’t take these risks, what will happen? What about your church? What’s the risk you need to take? The light shines through cracks in our annual conference One of my goals as the bishop of the NIC is to work on what I call the “infrastructure” of this conference. We need to be more streamlined, better coordinated and focused, aligned in mission and money, and more nimble in how we make decisions.
Light (continued from page 2)
The number of adults and young adults in small groups for 2016 was 16,836, down 342 from 2015. The number of worshippers engaged in mission for 2016 was 20,402, up 660 from 2015.
A new organizational structure won’t make disciples in and of itself. But it can help us work together better, strengthening the annual conference’s ability to equip local churches in what is needed to fulfill our vision: Making and supporting vital Christians in vital congregations that engage with their communities and the world for peace, justice and mercy. The light shines through the cracks in the denomination Sometimes it’s hard to see where the light shines through in our denomination right now when there is so much chaos, uncertainty, hurt, fear, mistrust and anger. A member of this annual conference requested a ruling last year on the Board or Ordained Ministry’s (BOOM) statement about its aspiration to be fully inclusive in its consideration and protection of candidates regardless of sexual orientation in the commissioning and ordination process. The result was a Judicial Council decision—the Judicial Council is like the Supreme Court of the UMC—that reinforced the Discipline’s statement that persons who are LGBTQ cannot be recommended by the BOOM. The NIC Board of Ordained Ministry is committed to fulfilling their responsibilities but will review their policies and procedures in the coming year.
Closing The 2017 Annual Conference closed Tuesday afternoon with the Fixing of Appointments and sending forth. The 2018 Annual Conference will be held June 3-5 once
This ruling along with other related Judicial Council decisions are painful for many LGBTQ persons, friends, families and supporting congregations. Yet the light shines through… I grieve at the pain that exists in our church—I am pained myself—over a matter which we can’t seem to agree on so we continue to hurt each other. If you read the section of the Discipline entitled, “Doctrinal Standards and Our Theological Task,” you will find that John Wesley never intended for us to agree on all matters. In fact, I commend that section to you. It says in part: United Methodists respect the diversity of opinions held by conscientious persons of faith. Wesley followed a time-tested approach: ‘In essentials, unity; in nonessential, liberty; and in all things, charity.’ On September 16, we will have a conversation around Unity and Human Sexuality. Retired Bishop Sharon Zimmerman Radar will be leading us in conversations based on the resources that have come to us through the book Unity of the Church and Human Sexuality by the General Board of Higher Education, which all active clergy should have received. Please pray for our church and each other. Please be gentle and kind with one another even in our differences. Please pray for the Commission on the Way Forward and the Special General Conference in 2019. Conclusion Perhaps it feels like there’s more “bad news” than good; I said that it seems in so many places doors of welcome keep closing instead of opening, minds get stopped up with certainty instead of curiosity, and hearts shut others out. But there are still cracks of hope throughout where the light of Christ keeps shining through…through you and all of us together…in our local churches, through our annual conference and, yes, the UMC! I believe that it’s in your hands as to whether or not our local churches, annual conference and the UMC are the cracks of hope in an otherwise dismal church and world. You/we all hold the mission of Jesus in our hands! Let’s save cynicism, despair and dystopia for better times and live in the reality of our world with the faith and hope of Jesus’ followers! Where do you see light shining through in unexpected but beautiful ways in your local church, the annual conference, the denomination and/or through us as United Methodist Christians in the world? The good news is that we’re not alone— God and a connection of United Methodists—are with us! We’re better together! It’s in your hands to let the light shine through! *This is an abbreviated version of Bishop Sally Dyck’s Episcopal Address from the 2017 Annual Conference. For the full text visit www.umcnic.org/bishopdyck.
again in St. Charles. To download a pdf report to share with your church and more information from this year’s conference visit: www.umcnic.org/AC2017. July/August 2017 | The Reporter | 3
Bishop’s Appeal raises more than $70,000 for UM Global AIDS Fund
Superintendent Dick Wisdom accepts the Bishop’s Appeal traveling trophy on behalf of the Aurora District.
The Northern Illinois Conference HIV/ AIDS task force thanks the many NIC churches and individuals across the conference for raising more than $71,400 toward the 2017 Bishop’s Appeal special offering. Sales of postcards featuring the Annual Conference artwork by the Rev. Kristine Marshall brought in an additional $300. The money will go toward the UM Global AIDS Fund (UMGAF) and 25% of the monies will stay in the conference for local projects including providing education and other resources. The Aurora District took home the coveted traveling trophy for raising the most money per capita. Rockford District held the trophy in 2016 and Aurora in 2015. Unable to be with us in person, Bishop Julius C. Trimble from the Indiana Conference sent his greetings and support for the
Bishop’s Appeal for the UM Global AIDS Fund. “As Chairperson of UMGAF and a Bishop whose roots are in this conference, I want to commend the Northern Illinois Conference for the outstanding work and focused attention to HIV and AIDS as it impacts our own families and neighbors in Chicago and communities in northern Illinois. Today we know that your generous support for the Bishops appeal will save the lives of adults and children including the children not yet born to mothers infected with HIV. This work is transforming the world. Thank You.” Bishop Sally Dyck introduced the Bishop’s Appeal offering in 2013 to raise a significant amount of money for a significant mission or outreach. Tens of thousands of dollars have been raised for
Harvest 2020, Imagine No Malaria, Justice for Our Neighbors and Rosecrance. Bishop Dyck is grateful for the outpouring of support for this year’s cause, too. “The response to the United Methodist Global Aids Fund was phenomenal!” said Bishop Dyck. “Thank you to all of you who helped raise $71,000! Your support will make a big difference in many peoples’ lives, including people in our own communities since 25% will stay in our annual conference. Thank you!” Irma Clark, one of the original NIC HIV/AIDS task force members, shared her appreciation and said the donations will go a long way, but there’s still work to do. “We must work together toward the vision of a world without AIDS by 2020,” Clark said.
Budget passes along with apportionment formula changes At the 2017 Session of Annual Conference, your Council on Finance and Administration (CCFA) presented a more than $6.6 million dollar 2018 budget, which the body approved. The 2018 budget’s income assumption is relative to income received in 2016. For 2018 we expect to receive $6.06 million dollars from churches. We apportion $8.26 million dollars and only receive about 74% of what we apportion. We would need an additional $422,000 in order to make our commitment to the General Church in full - therefore the budget total is $6,648,410. Feel free to use the stories from the Narrative Budget (found on the conference website under apportionments) or umcgiving.org to invite your church to give general to missions through apportionment giving.
CCFA also presented and the body approved a change to the apportionment formula to help local churches. The previous formula apportioned pastoral costs at 16%. We reduced it to 14% to align it with the apportionment rate on church operation costs. As a result, 226 churches will experience a decrease in apportionments in 2018. Forty churches will see little change. Ninety-five will experience an increase due to being currently under apportioned or these churches have recently started participation in apportionment giving. This change was offered in lieu of a tithe-base apportionment formula. We reported at Conference that the Red Door mortgage program continues to be a success. All churches are current. We have $350,000 in the reserve fund and performance has been so great that we’ve made an additional $1.1million in additional
principle payments. We’ll also be moving to paperless billing for apportionments, health benefits, insurance, and pension. There will also be an option to have these bills paid electronically twice a month. Churches who do not want to go paperless must opt-out of the system. Watch for more info on this later this summer. Also this summer we will offer local church audits for a small fee. Certain restrictions apply. Please contact Lonnie Chafin at email@example.com to inquire about these. Thank you for your continued faithfulness
By Rev. Rob Hamilton, CCFA Chair
and generous support. If you have questions, please contact Rev. Rob Hamilton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chancellor retires after 40 years of service to thank him for his some 40 years as the Northern Illinois Conference Chancellor. “He was always a calm thoughtful presence in what could be difficult situations,” said Christopherson. While there is no known official records, it’s believed Witwer began as chancellor for the Northern Illinois Conference in 1972 about the time the merger of The United Methodist Church was implemented said A moment at Annual Conference to thank Sam Conference Treasurer Lonnie Chafin. Witwer Jr., (at podium) for his more than 40 years “We want to acknowledge all the work he as the Conference Chancellor and congratulations has done for us,” said Chafin before presenton his retirement. Photo Courtesy Aquilino (Pong) Javier ing Witwer with a few gifts. “He has always demonstrated a comprehensive knowlServing The United Methodist Church as chancellor has been as much a calling for edge of the law, answered endless Book of Sam Witwer Jr. as is the calling to ordained Discipline questions, wrote Judicial Council responses and represented us well.” ministry for clergy said Assistant to the Sam Jr., grew up in the church and Bishop Rev. Arlene Christopherson. remembers crawling underneath the pews Christopherson welcomed Witwer on the at St. James Methodist Episcopal Church stage at the closing of Annual Conference in Chicago as a child. He followed in his 4 | The Reporter | July/August 2017
father’s footsteps, attorney Sam Witwer Sr., who was the Conference chancellor in the 50s and 60s and a national leader in the church, including serving as a member of the Judicial Council through 1972. “I celebrate Sam’s pride of family as I have heard stories of his parents, wife and children,” said Christopherson. “We have followed the progress of his son Sam Jr., who is a successful actor staring in the Star Wars TV series, as a vampire in another series and a video game character. Our only regret is that one of the Witwer siblings did not go into law so we could continue the legacy.” About 10 years ago Sam was our shepherd as we took a property dispute with the Village of Long Grove from local courts through the judicial process and all the way to the Supreme Court said Christopherson. “Over the course of five years we attended hearings and meetings and faced challenges, culminating with a petition to the
highest court in the land. Our case was not chosen by the court for review but through it all Sam remained an incredible witness: balancing legal strategy, faith and grace.” Christopherson also thanked Witwer’s assistant Corinne Pardon who’s retiring along with her long-time boss. The Witwer Law office, houses files from the inception of The United Methodist Church and the Northern Illinois Conference going back to 1968 and Corinne has been the go-to person for her well organized and reliable files offering historic perspective and facts when needed. “We have been blessed by Corinne’s dedication and impeccable work and we will miss her as part of our UM family,” said Christopherson. As Witwer moves into retirement, Richard C. Godfrey with Kirkland and Ellis LLP steps into the role as the new NIC Chancellor.
Youth learn about famine crisis
By Rev. Barbara Javore
This year’s Annual Conference Youth Session’s theme was centered on discovering your light within and being a light in the world. The Spirit was definitely with us on Pentecost Sunday at Pheasant Run on Sunday, June 4. Youth Groups and Youth Leaders from the Aurora, Chicago Northwest, Chicago Southern, and Rockford Districts gathered to discover their leadership styles and then used their strengths to learn about the famine that is spreading beyond the Horn of Africa. The worst human famine disaster since World War II impacts over thirteen countries with the threat that 80 million people are in perilous danger of dying from hunger in the next six months. Unless the world resolves that this cannot happen, the effects of severe drought, war and
fragile economies will be horrific. Half of the people in danger are children. In some regions, children under the age of three no longer exist. We learned that this can be prevented.
“Discover your light”
Dr. Sam Kormoi, a physician and founder of Pan African Rural Health and Social Services, shared with us the physical, psychological and emotional effects of Severe Acute Malnutrition [SAM]. We then explored why there is so little coverage in the press regarding this issue. We prepared “message doves” to be sent to the White House to prompt the President to maintain UN funding and to turn our country’s vast resources to help prevent this disaster from getting worse.
Annual Conference Awards
The Council on Older Adult Ministries (OAM) presented three scholarship awards at the 2017 Annual Conference made possible through the Golden Cross Sunday Offering Fund. The recipients were Hope Riley, Shirley Terrell and Dan Windham.
Hope Riley For more than 10 years, Hope’s service to Wesley Willows has embodied their mission – to promote active, secure lifestyles for seniors through ongoing, personalized care. When starting with Wesley Willows, she enjoyed caring for seniors so much that she decided to go back to school to pursue a degree in nursing. She is continually looking for scholarship support, and this dedication has kept her grades high. Her deep sense of commitment to the residents is one of the chief reasons she was selected from hundreds as an Employee of the Month in both 2010 and 2016.
Rainbow Covenant Advances for 2016
The Philip Otterbein Award – Highest Amount Given Barrington United Methodist Church The John Wesley Award – Highest Per Capita Giving Redeemer of Calvary/El Redentor del Calvario UMC
United Voices for Children:
Bishop Jesse R. DeWitt Award Lorena Coy, First UMC Arlington Heights Rev. Dr. William Lenters, Chaplain at Rosecrance Bishop’s 2017 Ecumenical and Interreligious Award First United Methodist Church at the Chicago Temple OAM Co-chair Jim Barry presents Hope Riley her scholarship made possible through Golden Cross Sunday.
Shirley Terrell Shirley has been with Chicago Methodist Senior Services for 32 years. She is described by her supervisor as having one of the best work ethics “I have ever seen.” Shirley never calls in unless she is really sick. She arrives on time and takes care of her residents with respect. She treats residents like they are her family member. Even if they are shorthanded, she never complains and never rushes the resident. She is very calm, patient and respectful to residents. The residents like and respect her – even the most difficult ones. Asked when she will retire she said, “I enjoy what I’m doing. I will retire when you don’t want me anymore.” Chicago Methodist wishes they could clone her. Dan Windham Dan is a third-year seminarian at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. He has served as a chaplain intern at Bethany Retirement Community and The Methodist Hospital for the past year. He will continue serving with them for a second year while he completes his degree at Garrett. He leads weekly worship services, visits residents and patients in the hospital and teaches Bible study. OAM also welcomed Dr. William Randolph, the director of the Office of Aging and Older Adult Ministry with the General Board of Discipleship to the 2017 Northern Illinois Annual Conference. “Thank you for your support for Older Adult ministry,” said Randolph. “The role of the church and the Northern Illinois Annual Conference is to help people grow up, upward to God, and to grow old.”
We shared a meal together with the performers from FCBC theatre and then engaged with the actors ranging in age from 8 to 23. They presented monologues about how to be the light by overcoming fear, doubts about self-image, and caring about the feelings of others. It was a powerful performance that moved many of us to tears. We ended our time together with a service of light remembering our baptisms and our call to serve. Our next steps are to communicate, educate and inspire our congregations and communities to be the light in the darkness. But the Lord said to me, ‘Do not say that I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send to you and say whatever I command you. Jeremiah 1:7
One Matters Awards
Shirley Terrell receives a Golden Cross Sunday award for her work at Chicago Methodist Senior Services.
For the first time, six churches in the NIC received the One Matters Award. Disicpleship Ministries created the award in 2015 to lift up churches who have in recent years moved from zero baptisms and zero professions of faith into positive numbers and they redirected their focus toward intentional discipleship. In addition to a plaque, each church received $1,000 to encourage the continuation of their work in discipleship. The following churches were presented the One Matters Award: Aurora District: Orland Park: Faith United Methodist Church Chicago Northwestern District: Skokie: Jesus-Love Korean New Faith Community Chicago Southern District: Oak Lawn: First United Methodist Church DeKalb District: Morrison United Methodist Church Elgin District: Elmhurst Faith Evangelical United Methodist Church Rockford District: Roscoe United Methodist Church You can read their stories at www.umcnic.org/onematters.
Dan Windham receives a Golden Cross Sunday award for his chaplaincy work at Bethany Retirement Community and The Methodist Hospital.
For more information contact Rev. J. Martin Lee at email@example.com or visit: www.umcdiscipleship.org/about/one-matters.
July/August 2017 | The Reporter | 5
Professional Certification Enhances Ministry In explaining her professional certification in Spiritual Formation, Catherine Inserra said it pushed her “to explore and question my faith in order to provide me with a pathway for life-long spiritual growth as a lay woman in ministry.” Catherine was recognized at the 178th Northern Illinois Annual Conference at Pheasant Run Resort for completing professional certification in Spiritual Formation. The impact of the learning at the seminary level supported the areas in which she serves, Catherine observed. The Rev. Lynn Mikels, Certification Registrar on the NIC Board of Ordained Ministry, commended Catherine for her professional certification. “Catherine and other certified professionals attest to the importance of best practices in specific areas of ministry for the benefit of the church,” she added. Professional certification for both laity and clergy is available in several areas in addition to Spiritual Formation, including Christian Education, Youth Ministry, Church Administration, and Ministry with the Poor. Certification attests to a high level of knowledge and skill in ministry, according to Mikels. The Director of Christian Formation and Youth Ministry at Trinity United Methodist Church in Wilmette, Catherine began seeking professional certification some eight years ago at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. She credits her home church, First United Methodist
By Linda Hendelman
Church in Park Ridge, where she coordinated Children’s ministry and helped plan worship, with encouraging her to try seminary course work and discovered the professional certification option for laity. Both her home church and Trinity UMC supported her spiritually and financially with scholarships.
Bishop Dyck and Lynn Mikels present Catherine Inserra (right) with a professional certification in Spiritual Formation during the 2017 Annual Conference.
The requirements for professional certification are established and monitored by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) and administered by the conference through the Board of Ordained Ministry. Requirements include course work, psychological assessment, personal and professional references, and an
interview with the Board of Ordained Ministry. The NIC supports certification through administration of the psychological assessment, recordkeeping, and interviews. According to Catherine, her professional certification influences her pastoral skills as well as the practical application of resources in the area of Christian Formation. Additionally, “meeting others in seminary [and] sharing rich experiences and insights into the Christian faith and journey are priceless,” she stated. Having completed professional certification, Catherine is now a Deaconess candidate. She feels that both clergy and lay professors at Garrett provided excellent instruction. Certification, she explains, builds strong and informed leaders to be the church and deepens commitment. She explained that professional certification gave her the opportunity to expand her knowledge and understanding of prayer, discipleship, and overall Christian formation. “Churches can feel confident in seeking the services of these professionals for consultation, workshops, or employment,” said Mikels, and churches should encourage certification for church staff and seek to employ those who are certified. For further information on specific requirements and procedures, see the GBHEM website at www.gbhem.org or contact Rev. Mikels at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Methodists with a Mission - Pedaling with a Purpose
By Harry Nicol, Retired NIC Clergy
The weekend of June 10 and 11 was hot and windy on many non-church people from the community have been than they had ever ridden in one day. Christ UMC had the country roads surrounding DeKalb IL as 1,800 cyclists drawn to participate. some team members who rode 100 miles on Saturday! participated in the Bike MS 2017 “Tour de Farms.” 2017 was the first year that my wife, Lois, and I Among the riders were 15 people on the “Methodists participated in this ride and we had a challenging with a Mission” team from Christ UMC Deerfield who and wonderful time! rode to raise funds for research and treatment related Seeing the 1800 riders from across the Chicagoto Multiple Sclerosis (MS). land area ride away from the Convocation Center at Riders from Christ UMC have been doing this for 13 Northern Illinois University that first morning was years. The church was motivated to participate because inspiring. The “Methodists with a Mission” from some of their members and friends were afflicted with Christ UMC Deerfield were among them. MS. Funds raised in this ride make life easier for those If your church would like to engage in an imporsuffering with this disease. tant missional adventure, you could check this out for Over the years the cyclists from Christ UMC have 2018. You’ll be doing something important for people raised well over $200,000 to support the annual Bike who are struggling with MS. You’ll encourage fitness MS event which in 2017 took place at 60+ sites around among participants. You just may attract some nonthe country. church folks from your community, including young Besides raising these funds the ride has many other adults and teens, to participate. benefits. The church and the riders participate in an The organizers of the ride are very helpful with important mission. As they ride over the space of two resources to get you started, to recruit your team, to A team from Christ UMC in Deerfield participated in an annual bike tour to raise days, the riders get to know each other better. As ridraise funds and even to prepare yourself to ride the money for Multiple Sclerosis research. ers face the physical challenge of completing the ride, miles you select as your challenge. they experience the support of their teammates. The ride In this ride each person peddles 15, 35, 50, 75, 100 or To learn more please contact the Christ UMC Deerfield supports fitness. This ride is appealing to people of all ages, 125 miles each day. In our group this year we had three office: 847-945-3040 or visit the MS Ride 2017 Facebook including young adults and even teens. Over the years people ride 35 miles on Saturday which was more miles page at www.facebook.com/National.BikeMS.
Child advocates attend annual breakfast
Photo Courtesy Marc Dean. 6 | The Reporter | July/August 2017
The United Voices for Children (UVC) Annual Breakfast drew 125 friends and supporters for a time of sharing, listening and celebrating on June 6, 2017. The Rev. Dr. Reggie Blount, Assistant Professor of Formation Youth and Culture at GarrettEvangelical Theological Seminary urged those present to remember the covenant made at a child’s baptism — “to increase their faith, confirm their faith, and perfect them in love.” In living out that covenant with children within the congregation and in the neighboring community, congregations can truly embody “compassion
and justice to young people yearning to experience the love of Jesus that cares, that nurtures, that empowers, that loves, that heals.” UVC also honored two persons for outstanding ministries with children, youth and families in Northern Illinois with the 2017 Bishop Jesse DeWitt Child Advocacy Award. Lorena Corey, of First UMC Arlington Heights, was recognized for founding and leading Pinwheels, a groundbreaking ministry for families with gendercreative children. The Rev. Dr. William Lenters was honored for years of faithful
service as chaplain at Rosecrance serving youth and young adults struggling with substance abuse and for his inspirational writings for church leaders responding to persons with addictions. “This Annual Breakfast is the opportunity for UVC to lift up before our friends and colleagues in the Northern Illinois Annual Conference the many ministries that serve and advocate for at-risk children and youth,” noted board president Kim Coffing. “We are reminded that by working together
(continued on page 8, see Congregations)
DAY OF CONVERSATION:
“The United Methodist Church: Into the Future” Saturday, September 16 Location: Grace UMC, 300 E Gartner Rd, Naperville, IL A day of conversation using the book Unity of the Church and Human Sexuality, led by retired Bishop Sharon Zimmerman Rader. As part of that conversation, we will reflect on the questions that the Council of Bishops has crafted for the church as we prepare for the Commission’s report: • In our diverse and global existence, what is the shared mission/purpose of the Church?
• Is there a proactive way for us to live together in our differences that doesn’t presume that we will resolve our differ• ences? What would it be? • What might be a form of unity that would empower us living together? • What is our witness and what can be our witness to the world in relation to our differences? For more information visit: www.umcnic.org/wayforward.
NICUMM Spiritual Congress September 15-17, 2017
The theme for this year’s Spiritual Congress is Location: Conference Point Center, Williams A Fresh Anointing with the Rev. Dr. Rick Vance, Bay, Wisconsin Director of Men’s Ministry for the GCUMM, as For more info visit: www.umcnic.org/umm. the keynote speaker.
Youth Group Opportunities Are you looking for ways to connect with youth leaders and for your youth to connect with other youth? A group of NIC youth leaders have collaborated to provide the following gatherings open to all youth groups in the conference. We hope you can join us for one or all of these! September 24, 2017: Meet at Northbrook UMC, 5:00 – 7:00 p.m., for a meal and Capture the Flag. For more information and to rsvp for food contact Christine Hides at Christine@northbrookumc.org.
February 25, 2018: Meet at Glenview UMC, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., for a meal, Gaga Ball and games. For more info and to rsvp for food contact Linda Duback at email@example.com. Spring of 2018 - Youth Ministry in a Changing Church Workshop: For youth leaders (clergy, staff, and volunteer). Planning is underway. If you would like to be put on the workshop email list or join our monthly gathering for resources, prayer, and support, please contact Christine Hides at Christine@Northbrookumc.org.
EQUIP your church for transformation Two sessions remain for TeamWorks training taking place in the Northern Illinois Conference through the Office of Congregational Development and Redevelopment with Dr. Craig Kennet Miller from Discipleship Ministries. Registration for Session 3 will open soon. During these seminars participants are introduced to the TeamWorks material written by Dr. Miller which offers an opportunity to deepen your leadership by creating a healthy, dynamic team of leaders in your congregation. In the month following the one-day experience, the pastor and one key congregational leader will present the same material to a team of seven to fifteen people in their church who will be committed to working together throughout the year.
• Living as a Covenant Community • Missionary Conferences of the U.S. (Red Bird, Oklahoma & Alaska)
Studies this year: • Climate Justice: Call to Hope and Action
For more info and registration visit the NIC UMW’s new website: www.umwnic.org.
July 13-16, Mission U - Weekend Event (Camp Reynoldswood, Dixon) July 22, Mission U - One Day Event (First UMC, Downers Grove)
Skin in the Game Workshop August 19 Congregations in Northern Illinois are invited to participate in an important growth and training opportunity, Skin in the Game: Equipping Congregations to Challenge Racism. This half-day workshop on August 19 will provide practical guidance and resources for clergy, lay leaders and Christian Educators to address one of the most troublesome issues in our churches. The guest speaker will be Rev. Dr. Felicia LaBoy who has 14 years of urban and multicultural pastoral ministry as someone who
moves from the “seminary to the street, from the pulpit to the pavement.” The Skin in the Game workshop will be held at First UMC Elmhurst on Saturday, April 19, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Registration fee of $10 is requested to cover expenses. For registration and more information visit www.unitedvoicesforchildren.org. Skin in the Game is cosponsored by United Voices for Children, the Northern Illinois Chapter or Christians Engaged in Faith Formation and the NIC.
2017 Stewardship Summit Sat., August 26 Location: Barrington UMC, 98 Algonquin Rd., Barrington, IL Keynote: Rev. Molly Phinney Baskette. Check out her Molly Phinney recent book Real Good Baskette Church: How our church came back from the dead, and yours can, too.
For more info visit: www.nicumf.org. Thank you for your past support of this conference. In response to your feedback, this year’s summit will include both a plenary session and time for churches to work with their teams to begin building financially healthy congregations. Sponsored by NIC United Methodist Foundation.
The final two sessions will be: 3rd Session: Saturday, September 23, 2017 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. TeamWorks: “Creating a Discipleship System” 4th Session: Saturday, November 11, 2017 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. TeamWorks: “Futurecasting” If you would like to register, register by contacting Laura Lopez at (312) 346-9766 x724 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also register online beginning one month prior to each event by visiting www.umcnic.org and click on the conference calendar.
Sixty Plus Retreat: Spiritual Journey into Deeper Place Who? For those 60 and above Why? Experience spiritual growth, next chapter The theme of the Session? Living Life to the Fullest, Exercising the Total Self, Gift of Stability, Power Within You When: September 28, 2017 (1:00 pm), until September 29, 2017 (3:00 pm)
Where: Northern Illinois University Hotel, DeKalb Sponsored by the NIC Older Adult Ministries. Registration info will be released in early July. For inquiries, email Pastor Rosa Lee email@example.com or Pong Javier firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.facebook.com/nicolderadultministries. Marcia Mibbs, Logan prison casework supervisor and a member of Lincoln First UMC, gratefully accepts a carload of donated clothes for the prison’s Out In A Week Boutique.
UMW Summer Mission U Opportunities The NIC United Methodist Women may present and support Mission u, but the events are open to all. Come to the One-Day Event or save $75 as a first-timer at the Weekend Event (in-depth on two studies). Children and youth have classes on the Missionary Conferences at the One-Day Event. Adults can attend either event.
Registration is ongoing for the remaining three sessions. Each will be held at the Belvidere: First United Methodist Church, 610 Bonus Ave., Belvidere, IL.
Sometimes God’s Timing Leaves You Gasping! By Rev. Beth Galbreath
In the June Reporter we introduced you to a new prison ministry Suits for Success and the Out in a Week Boutique. Here’s a followup: When the first delivery of clothing from Illinois Professional Dry Cleaners and Launderers (IPDL) members, two full racks of beautiful business-appropriate garments, arrived at Logan women’s prison, it helped refill the inventory at the Out In A Week Boutique. The free store, which reopened a year ago, lets women scheduled to return home select their own going-home outfits. In winter, warm coats are available as well. About one thousand women are served by the store every year, so stocking it is an ongoing project of Crossroads of Life Prison Faith Community. Many van and carloads full of “lovingly worn and freshly laundered” clothing (and shoes) have been delivered to the store, and to the parallel program for Lincoln men’s prison across the road from Logan. The clothing is donated by Crossroads of Life PFC supporters in both Northern Illinois and Illinois Great Rivers conferences. Crossroads’ lead Pastor Linda Walker
knows first-hand what the Boutique means to the women. One day she boarded the Amtrak train for the trip north, and saw four women newly released from Logan happily wearing their own selected fashions. One of them, April, spent the ride sharing her hopes for the future and her questions about God with Pastor Linda. On arrival in Chicago, she was so thrilled with her outfit that she posed for a “fashion shoot” in Union Station! “It makes a huge difference in the women’s confidence to look like everyone else on the street instead of a former offender,” says Pastor Linda. “It’s the start of a new life. We’re so grateful to all who have donated – keep it up!” But the dry cleaners’ donations organized by United Methodist Bill Denwood of Naperville in May were the first professionally dry cleaned offerings, and the first shipment to be nearly exclusively “business-appropriate” wear. The IPDL gifts are clothing left at dry cleaners but (continued on page 8, see Suits)
July/August 2017 | The Reporter | 7
2017 APPOINTMENTS: JUNE ANNOUNCEMENTS
Did You Know:
Jonathan Crail (Elder) to DeKalb: First (DeKalb District) from Oak Lawn: First (Chicago Southern District). Jonathan follows Paul Judd who is taking an appointment in Texas.
“Leaning into Change”
By Rev. Arlene Christopherson, Assistant to the Bishop/Dir. Connectional Ministries
The 2016-2017 Annual Conference year was a time of innovation. This June, the annual conference approved implementation of a new model for coordination at the conference and district levels continuing the trajectory of innovation. We have been called into a time of “Adaptive Change”. Adaptive change is defined as a change that requires new learning when the challenge, problem or situation has no clear, proven, technical solution. This past year’s staff transitions pushed us to rethink what it means to be in “connectional ministries”. We are no longer a staffdriven organization creating and staffing programs when someone expresses an interest. We have addressed the challenge of a smaller staff through “adaptive change” working to become an organization providing a platform to support passionate leaders. Here are some examples of ways we have been working from this perspective, creating platforms for passion: The Sustainability Taskforce wanted to host an event in each region this year, they sought the support of the annual conference with registration and best practices but did the design and implementation of two successful, self-funding events themselves. The Rev. Martin Lee, Director of Congregational Development and Redevelopment, began a training program titled: “Team Works”. Rather than a predetermined “do this, not that” curriculum this four-session training, spread out over a year, invites teams from churches to learn together, design their own approach to the topic, implement their design, then gather again for reflection, sharing and more learning. We can be a platform for the passions of our conference as we frame our work around the conference priorities. Conference priorities were identified in 2016 through a yearlong assessment. The priorities are: (1) Equipping both leaders and churches to reach new members using new strategies, help members grow as disciples and be more effective in community outreach, (2) resource struggling churches, (3) rethink how to be vital churches and (4) cultivate trust within the conference. This conference year, through the formation of District and Conference Shepherding Teams we will have the opportunity to drill deeper into the needs of our churches at every level, resourcing the local church as we turn our priorities into coordinated, defined action. The Annual Conference Shepherding Team will bring together both administrative and programmatic entities to one table where they can work in cooperation with one another. Following carefully crafted guidelines for the team’s makeup, members will be identified and recruited through the summer months. The organizing meeting of this new entity will take place in November. The District Shepherding Teams will also be formed this fall. With representation from each district at the central table, the design gives way for a flow of communication from the local church to the conference and from the conference to the local church. Even though “we’ve never done it this way before”, through the hard work of visionary leaders on the Organizational Task Force we have an opportunity to lean into change and work on equipping churches, clergy and laity as we strengthen our faith and find ways to give witness to Christ in a rapidly changing world.
Sherrie Lowly (Elder) to Northbrook: Northbrook (Chicago Northwestern District) from an interim appointment at Waukegan: Living Faith (Elgin District). Sherri follows Melissa Earley who is appointed to Arlington Heights: First (Elgin District). Cris Ramirez (Local Pastor) to Rockford: Harlem (1/2 time) (Rockford District) while remaining at Belvidere: Emerge (1/4 time)(New Faith Community) (Rockford District). Cris follows Rolland Harkleroad who is retiring. Leslie Stanford (District Superintendent Supply) to Shirland (1/4 time) (Rockford District). Leslie follows Mark Meyers who is appointed to Prophetstown (DeKalb District). DaeGyu Yim (Local Pastor) to Ottawa: Evangelical (1/2 time) (DeKalb District) while remaining in his appointment to Leland (DeKalb District). DaeGyu follows Grace Oh who is appointed to Chicago: Englewood and Rust (Chicago Southern District). M Barclay (Provisional Deacon) to The Reconciling Ministry Network as Director of Communications.
Daniel Cochran (Provisional Elder) to Hinsdale (Associate) (1/2 time) (Aurora District).
Mark Himel (Local Pastor) to Naperville: Grace (Associate) (1/4 time) (Aurora District). Effective June 1. Debby Ingram (Provisional Deacon) to Appointment to Attend School as CPE residency at Elmhurst Memorial Hospital. Felicia LaBoy (Elder) to Oak Park: St. John’s (Chicago Northwestern District) from Extension Ministry. Felicia follows Lindsey Long Joyce who is appointed to Chicago: United Church of Rogers Park and Chicago: Irving Park. Mary Rawlinson (Deacon) to Aurora: Hesed House from Chicago: Night Ministry. Effective March 15. Sharon Rice (Deacon) to Sugar Grove (1/4 time) (Aurora District) from Leave of Absence. Allyson Talbert (Deacon) to UI Health as Staff Chaplain from Northwestern Medicine. Kathy Wellman (Provisional Deacon) to Naperville: Wesley (Aurora District). Paul Lawson (District Superintendent Supply) to Hazel Crest/Blue Island (Chicago Southern District). Paul follows Juancho Campanano who is appointed to extension ministry.
Danice Lovridge (Deacon) to Belvidere Boon County Food Pantry as Executive Director from Rockford Urban Ministries. Carol Madalin (Deacon) to Pinnacle Care as a Health Care Advisor from appointment as Hospice Chaplain. Matthew Mariani (District Superintendent Supply) to Hampshire: First (Elgin District). Matthew follows Thomas Yang who is appointed to the Pacific Northwest as a 346.1. Chuck Wolbers (District Superintendent Supply) to Stockton: Wesley, Kent and Willow (3/4 time) (Rockford District). Chuck follows Brenda Morris who is appointed to Dakota: Rock Grove (Rockford District). Effective 8/1. Min Hyuk Woo (Elder) to Mundelein: Vision Korean (Elgin District) returning from 346.1 in Wisconsin. Min Hyuk follows Soon Chang Jang who is retiring. Effective 8/1.
For the appointment sheet from Annual Conference visit: www.umcnic.org/appointments.
Congregations (continued from page 6)
Rev. Dr. Reggie Blount with UVC President Kim Coffing. Photo Courtesy Marc Dean
Suits (continued from page 7) never picked up. Denwood has been organizing “Suits for Success” for men’s prisons but this was the first IPDL load for women. And when Marcia Mibbs, Logan prison casework supervisor and a member of Lincoln First UMC, saw them, she was really excited. She shared a dream she has been working on: A new program to specifically train women in job seeking and job holding skills. As the reward for completing the program,
we can truly make a difference in the lives of the most vulnerable.” UVC also recognized the 68 United Methodist congregations that participated in the Fifth Sunday Appeal in 2016, providing over $29,000 in financial support for UVC and its affiliated agencies: ChildServ, MYSI Corporation, and Rosecrance. Recognition was given to congregations contributing for the first time: Brookfield: Compassion, Chicago: St. Mark, Earlville, Erie, Mt. Hope, and Wilmette: Trinity. Congregations whose giving increased the most
were: Chicago: First (Temple), Durand, Evanston: Sherman, Lake Bluff: Grace, Oregon and Western Springs. Congregations honored for the largest amount given were: Chicago: First (Temple), Downers Grove: First, Elmhurst: First, Lake Bluff: Grace, Rockford: Christ, and Wheaton: Gary. At the close of the Breakfast, several participants responded to the invitation to step up and commit to becoming a Child Advocate with UVC. More info on UVC and its programs can be found at www.unitedvoicesforchildren.org.
each graduate will be invited to a special, business-attire-only room of the Out In A Week Boutique to select an interview suit, in addition to an everyday outfit from the main store. And here was the first stock for Marcia’s “Business Boutique” expansion, all ready to move in and hang up! (Meanwhile Pastor Linda and Deacon Beth, who have both owned their own businesses, volunteered to help with mock interviews.)
Marcia didn’t know what Bill was sending down from IPDL members. Bill didn’t know what Marcia was planning. But God did, and the timing was perfect. For more information on Crossroads of Life Prison Faith Community’s many ministries at Logan, visit: www.crossroadsoflifepfc.org. For more information on the dry cleaners ministry and drop-off locations visit: www.suitsforsuccess.net.
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Job Openings For the latest NIC job openings, visit www.umcnic.org/jobs 8 | The Reporter | July/August 2017
Anne Marie Gerhardt, Dir. of Communications email@example.com 312-346-9766 ext. 766 77 W. Washington St. Suite 1820 Chicago, IL 60062