News

Woman's heart reaches out to Romania's children

published 4/28/2010
(Editor’s note: Melissa Melvin is a member of Saunemin UMC and has made several trips to Romania. She has cerebral palsy and walks with the aid of two canes). Abandoned, abused, forgotten, neglected, malnourished and unwanted. These are the themes the run through the life stories of more than 160,000 children living on the streets, in the sewers, and in hundreds of placement centers throughout the small, poor, spiritually dark country of Romania. For so many of these children hope is not ...

Speakers announced for memorial, retirees service

published 4/21/2010
Dr. Karen Westerfield Tucker, an IGRC elder, will be preaching the opening worship of the 2010 Annual Conference to be held in Peoria June 2-5. Rev. John Hamilton, pastor of Springfield Laurel UMC, will be preaching at the Thursday afternoon Service of Commissioning and Retirees Recognition. Hamilton is one of 15 clergy members that comprise the retiree class of 2010. Tucker is professor of worship at Boston University School of Theology and has done extensive work in the area of liturgical ...

WIU Wesley Foundation announces new director

published 4/19/2010
The Board of Directors at the Wesley Foundation at Western Illinois University, Macomb, announces that Nathan Hopping has been hired to serve as the director beginning July 1, 2010. Nate is a graduate of WIU and will graduate from Garrett-Evangelical Divinity School in May. Previously, Nate has served in the IGRC summer camping program and as a student pastor while in seminary. Nate’s wife, Meredith, is the daughter of Rev. Ray and Susan Owens (Pontiac First). The Board would also like to ...

IGRC selected for scouting pilot project

published 4/13/2010
The United Methodist Office of Scouting Ministries is looking for advocates to help Illinois Great Rivers Conference churches establish and expand scouting ministry opportunities. The National Office of Scouting Ministries has selected the area as a pilot conference to test the effectiveness of “scouting ministry specialists.”  Volunteer specialists will provide neighboring churches with information about the Programs of Religious Activities with Youth (PRAY), training opportunities, ...

Rayson to lead worship at annual conference

published 3/15/2010
Evangelist Mike Rayson will be leading worship during the 2010 Annual Conference, Bishop Gregory V. Palmer announced. Rayson, of Pleasant View, Tenn., is a native of Australia and no stranger to the Illinois Great Rivers Conference, as he has ministered in a number of local congregations and most recently, served as worship leader for Covenant Keepers 2009. After completing his education in tiny rural Australian schools, Rayson went on to a career in the media. After hosting number 1 rated ...

Burton-Edwards conference speaker

published 3/11/2010
The Rev. Taylor Burton-Edwards will be the guest speaker at the 2010 Annual Conference, Bishop Gregory V. Palmer has announced. Burton-Edwards serves as Director of Worship Resources for the General Board of Discipleship of The United Methodist Church. The 2010 Annual Conference theme is Passionate Worship: Lost in Wonder, Love and Praise. An elder in the North Indiana Conference of The United Methodist Church, Burton-Edwards was Director of Community Impact with United Way of Madison County...

CCFA forwards 2011 budget plan to annual conference session

published 3/11/2010
The conference Council on Finance and Administration approved an $11.5 million budget plan for 2011, which will be forwarded to the 2010 Annual Conference session for action. The budget plan provides a plan to fund an additional $2.9 million in payments to the General Board of Pensions and Health Benefits due to the downturn in the economic markets in 2008 and early 2009. The $2.9 million in additional payment is over and above the $3.2 million already paid annually for pensions. At the same ...

Acts Bible Study to be released for post-Easter use

published 2/26/2010
A six-week Bible Study on the Book of Acts, which brings together scripture, the teachings of John Wesley and the Four Areas of Focus, will be released online March 1 for IGRC congregations to use in the 50 days leading up to Pentecost. The Acts of the Apostles: Hearts Afire and the Four Areas of Focus is a collaborative effort that has involved a team of writers and resource people across the United Methodist connection. “Following last year’s Annual Conference, Bishop Palmer came to me with ...

Pastoral counselors are available

published 2/24/2010
David Wence, Decatur, Linda Horrell, St.Louis area, and Steve Busick, Champaign, have all been providing therapy for clergy, spouses, and family members this past year. The first three visits are free with additional sessions provided by insurance. Presently the Board of Pastoral Care and Counseling is evaluation and revising the service but therapy continues to be available. Contact David Wence at 217-872-1700 or ; Linda Horrell at 636-527-7615 or ; or Steve Busick at 217-363-1700.  

By Paul Black The year 2016 has certainly been busy for New Testament scholar and IGRC Elder Craig Hill. In July, Hill was named Dean of Perkins School of Theology, succeeding the retiring William Lawrence. It was during this time that Hill was completing the manuscript for Servant of All: Status, Ambition and the Way of Jesus (2016, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 203 pages, available through Cokesbury).  And Hill said that much of the material for the book came from hard-won lessons in ...

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