April 5, 2024


Re-Imagine My Church - Interest Survey

The Illinois Conference is considering a partnership with Convergence (formerly known as Center For Progressive Renewal) called: "Re-Imagine My Church." This initiative is a comprehensive program which is designed to help churches "Re-Imagine " themselves. This comprehensive program can be used as a tool to help Pastor's and Lay Leaders evaluate your congregation's health and provide your church leadership with insights which can be used to guide much of your church's decision-making process as you discern your future.

This program has four major components:

  • Congregational Assessment
  • Strategic Evaluation
  • Future Considerations (Merger, Re-Imagination, Legacy)
  • Congregational Coaching

Please email Rev. Dr. Terrill Murff no later than April 10th if you are interested in participating in this exciting and comprehensive program. Send your email to terrillmurff@ilucc.org and include “Interested in RIMC” in the subject line.

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.

Navigating Interfaith Relations

Wednesday, April 10, 10:30 AM

Over the past few months since the escalation of violence in the Middle East, we have seen a rise in both anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim rhetoric and actions, including here in the United States. For some congregations that have nurtured interfaith relations over the years, the crisis in the Middle East has presented a challenge: how to remain faithful to a Christian witness for justice and peace, accompanying Palestinian partners while also maintaining relationships with Jewish and Muslim neighbors locally. Join us in this webinar to hear from two UCC local church pastors about their interfaith relationships and responses to hateful actions in their communities; and from staff of the Shoulder to Shoulder campaign, of which the UCC and Disciples are founding members, who will provide some strategies and tools to help navigate interfaith relationships in these times of increased hatred.

Register Online

Earth Sunday Resource

Wednesday, April 10, 12:00 PM

Everywhere we look in our society we find plastic. It surrounds our food, it makes up our technology, and it is a standard element in our household items. Unfortunately, it is also overflowing from our landfills, floating in our waters, and polluting our soil. More and more, we can even find it in our own bodies and those of other living creatures. Creation Justice Ministries has created an Earth Sunday resource designed to help congregations think more deeply about the ways that plastics impact our lives and God's creation. It is also intended to equip people of faith to take actions to address this epidemic in faithful and practical ways. The title of this new resource is "Plastic Jesus: Real Faith in a Synthetic World." Join us as we hear from Derrick Weston, the lead author of the resource. This monthly installment of Creation Justice Webinars is co-hosted by the Rev. Dr. Brooks Berndt and the Rev. Michael Malcom.

Register Online

Brush Harbor Retreat for Clergy of Color

Come join us Thursday, May 2 - Saturday, May 4 at the Tower Hill Retreat Center in Sawyer, Michigan. As Clergy you constantly pour into others - our job is to pour into you. Come to connect deeply with your peers surrounded by the healing power of nature. The Brush Harbor Retreat for Visionaries of Color is led by Rev. Michelle Hughes and Eyvette Jones-Johnson. The cost is $150/person and includes meals and lodging. All participants will have private bedrooms (all bedding and towels provided) in cottages or retreat centers that also have comfortable indoor and outdoor gathering spaces.  We invite you to check in at our office, Gammon Hall, any time after 3pm. After you’ve settled into your room, take time to relax, take a nap, read or take a walk. Our opening circle will begin at 5:30pm at the Cross at Vesper Hill.

Register Online

Building Networks for Small Church Vitality

This event will take place on Saturday, April 13th from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Digital attendance is $7.00. Register online by Monday April 8th. Inspiring us will be the Reverend Timoth Sylvia or “Rev. Timoth” as he is known on social media. He is honored to serve the community as Pastor from First Congregational Church, United Church of Christ in Randolph, Massachusetts and has been serving in various ministry roles for nearly three decades. A graduate of Bangor Theological Seminary, Timoth has served the community as Youth Pastor, University Campus Chaplain and local church Pastor. In addition, as a byproduct of the COVID pandemic, Timoth has cultivated a vibrant digital ministry where he engages with a vast number of individuals, many of whom have been hurt by the institutional church in the past. Register online here.

UCCMA Conference

This summer, the UCC Musicians Association is hosting a national conference, the first in-person conference in 5 years! The Conference 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. Learn more 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.

  • Small Church Administration begins April 10, 2024
  • Contemporary Homiletics begins April 10, 2024
  • Living the Heart of Progressive Christian Theology begins April 10, 2024
  • 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.

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

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

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

Palestine 101

First Congregational Church, Glen Ellyn

The history of Palestinian-Israeli relations is long and tumultuous. Today a brutal war rages in the Gaza strip which has caused a humanitarian nightmare and political firestorm. This interfaith panel of Jewish, Muslim and Christian presenters will help us better understand the history--how we arrived at this point--and how we might respond as a community of faith. There will be ample time for questions and discussion. Lunch is included. First Congregational Church in Glen Ellyn invites you to join them on Sunday, April 14th at 11:15 a.m. for this special event. Register online here by April 7th to let us know you are coming so we may plan lunch accordingly.

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.

Boundary Training

The Illinois Conference is hosting Clergy Boundary Awareness Training, facilitated by the Rev. Molly Carlson, on Tuesday, April 23rd from 9:00-11:00 a.m. This two-hour training via Zoom will be based on the book Sustaining Ministry: Foundations and Practices for Serving Faithfully by Sondra Wheeler. There is no cost for Authorized Ministers in the IL Conference. In order to register, participants are expected to read the book and submit a short 1-2 page reflection on the book. This training needs a minimum of 10 participants will be capped at 48. In order to register, please email your reflection to the Conference office. You will then be sent the information to register online for the training.

Messy Church Conference at Northfield

You don’t want to miss the Messy Church USA National Conference “Celebrate the Mess” coming April 18-20, 2024 in the greater Chicago area! Celebrate the Mess Conference begins at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 18th and ends with a take away lunch at 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 20th at Northfield Community Church, a UCC church, in Northfield, IL. The conference will include workshops, large group sessions, and Messy Church sessions with worship, music with Music Makes Community that all will: help Messy Churches start, create, and grow; share wonderful successes and fantastic failures; and connect old and new friends. Check out messychurchusa.org for more conference info, workshops and keynote speakers, discount rate to the Renaissance Hotel, and more.

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

Apr 6: Personnel Committee Meeting. 9:30 a.m. via Zoom.

Apr 6: Annual MID Gathering. 10:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. at Pilgrim Congregational Church in Oak Park.

Apr 9: LEEAP Committee Meeting. 6:00 p.m. via Zoom.

Apr 10: ODM Committee Meeting. 9:30 a.m. via Zoom.

Apr 11: Fox Valley Committee on Ministry Meeting. 9:00 a.m. via Zoom.

Apr 11: CMA Committee on Ministry Meeting. 12:00 p.m. via Zoom.

Apr 16: FAB Meeting. 9:00 a.m. via Zoom.

Apr 16: Western Committee on Ministry Meeting. 9:00 a.m. via Zoom.

Apr 17: Eastern Committee on Ministry Meeting. 9:30 a.m. via Zoom.

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.

Spring Association Meetings

April 13: Fox Valley Spring Meeting. 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. at Christ Tamil Church in Downers Grove. Learn more and register online here.

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

May 4: Chicago Metropolitan Spring Meeting. 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at The Church of the Good Shepherd. Registration will open next week.

There will not be an Eastern Association Spring Meeting.

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


Facebook  Instagram  YouTube  Email