“Back to the Future”, the theme of the 2019 Northern Illinois Annual Conference was held from June 2 through 4th at the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center in Schaumburg. Sunday afternoon was A Service of Commissioning & Ordination. Bishop ordained 7 elders & 2 deacons and commissioned 4 for the work of a deacon and 2 for the work of an elder. This is an impressive service and the many, many pastors who attend march in & I always look for ones I know!
Monday morning started at 8:30. Much of the legislation passed reflected the disapproval of the Traditional Plan adopted at February’s General Conference Special Session. Also including suspending payments to the General Administration Fund, which underwrites the General Conference and Judicial Council. Also approved was a call to form a task force to explore a way forward for the NIC, including the possibility of a new Methodist expression.
A total of $53,437 was raised in response to the Bishop’s appeal for the NIC youth camps. Our D.S. Darneather & I collected offerings from Elgin District! With this money we’ll be able to send many kids to camp!
2020 General & Jurisdictional Delegates were elected! There were 3 clergy & 3 laity delegates elected to the 2020 General Conference, 3 clergy & 3 laity elected to the Jurisdictional Conference with 2 clergy & 2 laity alternates. General Conference will be held in Minneapolis, MN on May 5-15, 2020. Jurisdictional Conference (where Bishops are elected) will be July 15-18, 2020 In Ft. Wayne, IN. We used voting devices to vote. There were 12 laity seeking to be delegates and all clergy were eligible. As part of the Credentials Committee, the 6 of us were to help with anyone having a problem with their device. Laity voting & clergy voting were done separately. Monday was a busy day, chasing down problems! Tuesday was much better!
Highlights always include the 2 special services. One is the Retirement Service. Steve Moon, who was here 2004 to 2005, gave a retirement speech. The other is the Memorial Service when we remember and honor the legacies of pastors, spouses and lay members who have gone on before us.
The Annual Conference Shepherding Team (of which I am a member) presented 3 top goals for the conference & were approved. #1. To grow and reach new disciples of Jesus Christ, # 2. To live out the conviction that racism is incompatible with Christian Teaching and # 3. To increase the number of Highly vital Congregations. These were approved.
4 churches were closed: Elmwood Park, New Hope in Chicago, Pilgrimage Protestant Church in University Park & Lindenhurst Trinity. There was a new beginning of a recent chartering of The Center in Itasca.
We celebrated 150 years of ministry and mission with the UMW. Harriett Olson, UMW’s General Secretary was this year’s Bible study leader.
We celebrated the 180th year of our conference. Bishop said that to go forward we have to look at where we’ve been. We have quite an impressive time line! Bishop announced that our next NIAC will be June 7-9, 2020, at this same location. She also announced that one will be her last as our Bishop. She will be leaving on Sept. 1, 2020.
It is quite an experience! Seeing old friends, meeting new ones! The table displays, including Cokesbury, were located in a huge room next to the conference room.
-Kathy Dickerson, Lay Member from HUMC