April 19, 2024


Transforming Rights Justice through Faith

This summit will take place on Saturday, April 20th from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Did you know that the United States has not agreed to be governed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights or the Convention on the Rights of the Child? Add your voice to the wisdom exchange of people of all faiths to fully implement Human Rights and the Rights of Children. Special stipends to youth and young adults who attend and share their wisdom. We are calling on people of all faiths to be the catalysts in their settings for giving full recognition and life to the rights guaranteed to all by our Creator. Registration is open, but space is limited so don't wait! Learn more and register here.

The Purpose:

  • To engage persons and communities of faith around the intersections of faith, human rights, rights of the child and restorative/transformative justice.
  • Harvest ideas for increasing knowledge and mobilizing people for putting life into these values in relationships interpersonally, systemically, and structurally.

Youth and young adults between the ages of 14 and 24 will be provided with a $50 Stipend for their attendance. Space will be limited and stipends for youth and young adults are provided only for full attendance.

Strengthen the Church Offering

The Strengthen the Church offering supports the expansion of ministry and growth of UCC local congregations. Your support of this offering will help the UCC fulfill on its commitment to creating a just world for all by investing in new ministries and practices that meet the emerging needs of local communities. As God calls our congregations to be the church in new ways, your generosity will plant new churches, awaken new ideas in existing churches and develop the spiritual life in our youth and young adults. Most congregations will receive the STC offering on Pentecost Sunday, May 19, 2024. Download the resources here.

A message from the LEEAP Committee regarding Strengthen the Church Funds:

LEEAP (Local Envisioning Evangelizing And Planting) is under re-construction, as we emerge from the Pandemic. As the Conference is re-structuring itself to operate more effectively and efficiently with our reduced staff and resources, we are re-visioning and re-purposing many of our resources. LEEAP is being refocused and is envisioned to provide financial support to churches and ministries in three different categories: innovation, creative ministry ideas, and leadership development.

Annual Earth Summit

Saturday, April 20, 12:00 PM

The UCC's second annual Earth Summit will feature celebrated author and activist Bill McKibben delivering the Jim Antal Keynote Lecture with the title, "Energy from Heaven or Energy from Hell?" Additionally, the following panel of award-winning activists will speak about the multi-national struggle against the pollution of Formosa Plastics, one of the world's largest plastics producers.

Register Online

Stewardship Webinar

Wednesday, April 24, 6:30 PM

Once a upon a time, donors gave out of a sense of obligation and loyalty. Today, most donors care about the impact they make in the world. How do we understand the motivations of our donors? What kind of change do they want to make in the world? Andrew Warner will talk about five basic ways donors look to create change. We will discuss ways to discuss your congregation's impact on your community.

Register Online

Rethink Children & Youth Ministry Summit

In collaboration with leading practitioners and experts in the field, this summit is a unique opportunity for congregational leaders, educators, parents and caregivers, and anyone passionate about nurturing the spiritual growth and faith formation of children, youth, and their families. Our virtual gathering will delve into various aspects of these vital ministries, providing insights, practical tools, and strategies to foster a strong foundation of faith. The summit is free to attend and runs from May 20-24. Learn more and sign up here.

Pathways Spring and Summer Courses

Check out the Pathways Theological Education late Spring and Summer course offerings. Click here to view the schedule and sign up.

  • Ethics and a Life of Meaning begins May 1, 2024
  • Stories of Christian Saints and Sinners begins May 8, 2024
  • Preaching for Special Occasions begins May 8, 2024
  • UCC History and Polity begins May 8, 2024
  • Congregational Ministry and the Future Church begins May 15, 2024
  • What about the Bible begins June 1, 2024
  • Variety of Belief within Christianity Today begins June 19, 2024
  • Introduction to Spiritual Health (Pastoral Care) begins June 19, 2024
  • Practicing Our Faith in the Public Square begins June 26, 2024
  • Pluralism and Religion in North America begins July 10, 2024

OUR VISION: PATHWAYS responds to the educational needs of an evolving world by continually striving to create innovative, online progressive theological learning and discovery that promotes justice, peace and mutual understanding.

Serve with Global Ministries!

Global Ministries seeks candidates to serve internationally. Opportunities to serve include:

Fully Supported Mission Co-Workers

  • Salary and Benefits Provided
  • Physician, East Timor
  • Physician, Zimbabwe
  • Academic, Philippines
  • Other Positions TBA, Africa Region

Global Mission Interns (21-30 years old)

Short-Term Volunteers (2 weeks - 6 months)

Long-Term Volunteers (1+ years)

To apply visit www.globalministries.org or contact Rev. James Semmelroth Darnell, International Recruitment and Training Coordinator at jsdarnell@dom.disciples.org.

Festival of Homiletics Retreat

Join with clergy from around the region to participate together virtually in the Festival of Homiletics, May 13-16. We will view the best sermons, lectures, and worship services together via the live feed, with opportunities to process and discuss the presentations. There will also be time for fellowship, resting, and outdoor activities. Double occupancy is $450. Single occupancy is $500. Tower Hill Camp is offering 10 scholarships of $150 towards the cost of this retreat, using discount code: IL150.

Register Online

UCCMA 2024 Conference

Conference 2024, the national biennial gathering of the United Church of Christ Musicians Association (UCCMA), will take place July 10-13, 2024 at the First Congregational Church of Greenwich, Connecticut. Designed for church musicians, choral and handbell choir members and worship leaders, the three-day event includes workshops, plenary sessions, worship services, evening entertainment and networking opportunities. The conference’s theme, “A place at the table,” inspired the planning for the entire conference experience. Our goal is to send participants home reenergized with lots of new resources and ideas to use in their local congregations.

This conference is open to all. THE EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO APRIL 30TH. Sign up now for the best rates! Learn more here.

Virtual Support Space for LGBTQ+ Clergy

Seeking connection with fellow licensed or ordained LGBTQ+ clergy? The Open and Affirming Coalition invites you to join our virtual support group, facilitated by Sarah Dundar, M.A., LPCC, a licensed clinical counselor specializing in spiritual and religious trauma. This informal and confidential space is designed for any licensed or ordained LGBTQ+ clergy to share experiences, challenges, and joys in leading their congregations. Any licensed or ordained LGBTQ+ clergy is welcome here regardless of your church’s Open and Affirming status. Sarah will guide the conversation and offer support as needed, fostering an atmosphere of understanding and camaraderie. This is a drop-in format, allowing you to join for the entire session or just for a portion. Learn more and register here.

Virtual Support Space for Pastors of ONA Churches

Build community and gain support from other ONA Pastors! Informal and confidential setting: Share your experiences, challenges, and joys in leading an ONA church with a group of understanding colleagues. Facilitated by an expert: Rabbi Dr. Edith Meyerson, a renowned spiritual care provider and facilitator, will guide the conversation and offer support as needed. Your level of participation: Feel free to share as much or as little as you’re comfortable with. Who should join: All pastors leading Open and Affirming churches. This is a great opportunity to connect with other pastors who share your commitment to inclusivity, gain insights, and receive/offer support in a nurturing space. Registration is required and the session is confidential. Learn more and register here.

Mental Health Sunday

May 19th is Mental Health Sunday this year, but any Sunday is a great Sunday to focus on mental health! Click here for a PDF of Worship Resources for your Mental Health Sunday created by the UCC, UCC MHN, and United Church of Canada. Below, you can also find videos you may use during your worship services as we raise awareness about mental health challenges and mental wellness.

Regional Youth Event

Registration is open for the Great Lakes/West Central Regional Youth Event this summer, July 17-20 at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois! The theme for the event is "Love is Greater Than Fear." The Many will be providing music and worship leadership, along with a special appearance by Flamy Grant! The event is open to youth who will have completed 6th grade through 12th grade in 2024. Groups are required to bring one chaperone for every 1-5 youth. Click here to download the flyer.

Register Online Here

Conference/Local Church News & Events

HOPE UCC Stands Proud in the Face of Vandalism

HOPE United Church of Christ, Aurora

On April 7th, the sign on the property HOPE UCC rents from was vandalized. The Progress Pride flag portion was torn off the sign and left on the fence it was attached to. They responded to this hateful act on Sunday, April 14th by resurrecting what was left of our sign along with over 600 ribbons tied around it, containing all the colors of the progress pride flag. Click here to read the press release shared a couple of days after the vandalism occurred, which was sent to various news outlets in the area. The Chicago Tribune ran an article about the church's response - you can read the article here.

African Sanctus Free Concert

Pilgrim Congregational Church, Oak Park

Pilgrim Congregational Church is proud present a multicultural musical event, as David Fanshawe’s transcendent masterpiece, African Sanctus, comes to life within our hallowed halls. This harmonious fusion of cultures promises to be an unforgettable celebration of unity and musical diversity. For this special performance at Pilgrim Congregational Church, commemorating our 150th anniversary, African Sanctus was carefully chosen to resonate with our commitment to embracing diversity and fostering inclusivity within our community. Join us on Sunday, April 21 at 4:00 pm for an afternoon of engaging and mesmerizing sounds, as we come together for the allure of African Sanctus at Pilgrim Church. Don’t miss this free concert and opportunity to be a part of a truly transformative musical journey. Learn more here.

Celebrating 20 Years of ONA Ministry

Mayfield Congregational Church

Mayfield voted to become an official Open and Affirming (ONA) church on April 27, 2004. They will be celebrating the anniversary of this historic vote on Sunday, April 28, 2024.

It's Showtime! Stewardship Event

The Illinois Conference Stewardship Committee looks forward to a stronger, more hopeful future with churches throughout the Conference starting on June 1st! It's time to turn on the lights, adjust the sound, open the curtain, it's show time! Time for churches to show the true ministers of God which they were pre-pandemic and can be again. Don't miss this opportunity to interact with your peers on Saturday, June 1st. Doors open at 9:15 a.m. The seminar is being held live at Peace Memorial Church (10300 W 131st St, Palos Park, IL 60464). Click here to download the flyer.

Register Online Here

Does your church have news to share or an upcoming event you would like to advertise? Email us the information and any accompanying graphics/flyers.

Calendar At a Glance

Ordinations, Installations, and Ecclesiastical Councils

April 28: Joint Ordination Service for M. Michelle Day and Victor Parrott. 1:30 p.m. at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago. Chicago Metropolitan Association.

Meetings and Events

Apr 22: Fox Valley Council Meeting. 6:30 p.m. via Zoom.

Apr 23: Boundary Awareness Training. 9:00 - 11:00 a.m. via Zoom.

Apr 24: Eastern Council Meeting. 6:30 p.m. via Zoom.

Apr 27: Conference Council Meeting. 9:00 a.m. via Zoom.

May 2: Prairie Committee on Ministry Meeting. 9:00 a.m. via Zoom.

May 6: Stewardship Committee Meeting. 6:00 p.m. via Zoom.

May 8: Outdoor Ministries Committee Meeting. 9:30 a.m. via Zoom.

May 9: Fox Valley Committee on Ministry Meeting. 9:00 a.m. via Zoom.

May 9: CMA Committee on Ministry Meeting. 12:00 p.m. via Zoom.

May 14: LEEAP Committee Meeting. 6:00 p.m. via Zoom.

May 14: Tuthill Committee Meeting. 7:00 p.m. via Zoom.

May 15: Eastern Committee on Ministry Meeting. 9:30 a.m. via Zoom.

Spring Association Meetings

April 20: Joint Prairie and Western Spring Meeting. Eastern Association also invited. 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. at Pilgrim Park Camp.

May 4: Chicago Metropolitan Spring Meeting. 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at The Church of the Good Shepherd. Learn more and register here.

Employment Opportunities


St. Paul UCC in Palatine is seeking a PT Office Administrator.

United Protestant Church in Grayslake is seeking a Music Director.

Lay Employment Postings
Ministerial Positions
National UCC Openings

Please let us know if you have a job opening you would like to share,

and also update us once the position is filled. Contact Sarah Lohrbach.

Contact Us

Mon-Fri 8:30 - 4:30


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