SRD District News

Meet Bishop Frank Beard

Effective September 1, 2016, Illinois Great Rivers Conference has a new Bishop.  For more information on Bishop Frank Beard, please follow this link.  Bishop Frank Beard 


Bishop Beard is one of the Bishops elected at the recent Jurisdictional Conference that was held in Peoria.  Please welcome Bishop Beard and his wife to IGRC.    

For information on the other Bishops in the North Central Jurisdiction, go to  Episcopal Assignments for NCJ.  

A Celebration of Service will be held for Bishop Beard on September 11 at Springfield First at 3:00 pm.  It is suggested that to help Bishop Frank and Mrs. Melissa Beard begin to discover the state of Illinois and the Illinois Great Rivers Conference in particular, that each district fill a basket with items unique to your district.  The baskets will be displayed on tables during the celebration service and reception. ( It is suggested that fresh flowers and berries NOT be included in these baskets due to allergies.)

Some of his favorite things are popcorn, oatmeal raisin cookies, dry roasted nuts.  He likes cooking and fishing.  His favorite color is Chicago Bears Blue.  Mrs. Beard collects buttons to make jewelry and she likes royal blue.  They both love antiquing and flea markets. 

We are asking that if your church would like to provide anything from your town or local area to go in the basket, that you bring it to the District office no later than noon on Wednesday, September 7.  This will allow us time to prepare the basket for display. 

It is not required that every church participate, but if you would like to, and have some unique item to represent your church and locality, it would be welcomed.  


Reaching New People

Saturday, September 17, 2016

9:00 am-3:00 pm

Did You Know?

  • 89% of new people who attend your church , and return, come with a friend
  • 82% of people not connected to a church are somewhat likely to attend if invited
  • 70% of people not connected to a church say they've never been invited

Workshop Leader: The Rev. Mike Crawford, Illinois Great Rivers Conference  

                                Coordinator of Congregational Development  


Date/Location: Saturday,  September 17, 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. On-site check-in begins at

                                   8:30 am. at the Argenta UMC, 520 W. Elm St., Argenta, Il

Cost:                    $10 per person (includes lunch)

For Whom:            A church team which includes a minimum of the pastor and three 

                                  laity.  The larger the number of people who attend, the greater the 

                                  likelihood the principles will have a positive impact on a church's 

                                  ability to reach new people.  BRING A LARGE TEAM !!

How to Register:  Click on this link to register online. 

Workshop Info:   Too often churches take a "wait for people to come" approach, or
                                  they think 'invitation' means standing on street corners or initiating 

                                  painfully difficult conversations. Not so!

                                  This workshop will teach principles which are effective in churches of

                                  all sizes that are making new disciples of Jesus Christ.  The key to

                                  reaching new people is to move beyond the walls of the building and

                                  develop relationships with people in the community. This workshop

                                  will equip the church to reach out in non-threatening ways.

                                  If more people in the church intentionally engage in this invitational

                                  model, the church will be more effective in reaching new people.


Food:                       Lunch and snacks will be provided for all who are registered. Please

                          indicate during the registration process if any participant of  

                          your church team has any dietary restrictions.       


Registration Deadline: September 11, 2016

Revision Conference

The ReVision Conference 2016 will be held on October 20 from 7:30 to 8:30 pm and October 21 from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm at the Springfield First UMC, 2941 S. Koke Mill Rd., Springfield 62711.  Register by September 20 to receive the early bird rate of $40 for both days and lunch on Friday.  After September 20, registration will be $50.  

Rev. Jim Ozier, Director of Congregational Development  - UMC North Texas Conference, Church Consultant, Coach and Author of "Clip In" and "the Change Zone" will be the featured speaker.  

(On a personal note, Jim grew up in Springfield and attended Church with his parents, brothers and sisters at the Douglas Avenue UMC.)  

Register by going to

Donations for Louisiana Flooding

If any churches wish to donate to assist with the Louisiana flooding, send contributions to the Conference Treasurer's office and in the memo line, write "Advance #901670 - US Disaster Response Fund". Volunteers will be requested at a later time.  That conference will let us know when they are ready to receive volunteers, so it is asked that people do not travel there just yet.

District Newsletter

If you are not already receiving the newsletter and would like to receive this, send an email to the District office to let us know and we will be glad to add you to the list.  This is sent normally one time each month, but there is no set date for it to be published.  If you have news that would be of interest to the entire District, send us an email and we will try to add it to the next one, or at least we can send the information out to our pastors and churches via email. 

Africa University Making Dreams Possible Pledges update

We thank you for making pledges for Africa University.  .As you probably know by now, The goal was surpassed!  The donations were given in honor of Bishop and Mrs. Keaton.  However, if you still have donations to send, you may send your donations to the Conference Treasurers office and write in the memo line, AU Making Dreams Possible #6980.   A Big THANK YOU to all that contributed toward this effort.   

United Methodist Handbook

The new United Methodist Handbook is now available in an easy-to-read and share digital format.

The handbook is among the best resources for laity providing leadership, people new to the United Methodist Church and clergy who occasionally get stumped by a question. 

You can download the Handbook for off-line reading, or print pages for as you may need or want them.  This is an excellent resource and there is no cost. 

It is available at 

Retired Clergy Luncheons

The West-Side District Retired Clergy group meets at the Lighthouse Restaurant in Rochester at 11:30 a.m. on the second Monday of each month.

Retired Ministers, spouses and Retired clergy widows are invited to attend. Everyone will order from the menu. While waiting for the food, announcements and prayer requests will be heard. If you have a prayer request or a concern, you can contact the District office or any of the Retired clergy. Any Retired Clergy or spouse in the general area are welcome and invited to attend. Reservations are NOT needed.

The East-Side District Retired Clergy group meets for lunch the third Wednesday of each month at Camp One-Way at noon.

All Retired Ministers, spouses and Retired clergy widows are invited to attend. From I-72, take exit 122 and travel South for 2 miles. Watch for the Mt Auburn sign and turn left. Go 3.5 miles to the Mt. Auburn blacktop (Christian County Hwy 2), turn left and go 3 miles. You will see Camp One Way's main building on the right.

To make reservations or ask questions, call Don Ferrill 217-935-3502 or Claude Mosher 217-877-6192.

Electronic District Newsletter

If you are not already receiving the District newsletter via your e-mail, please send the district office your name and e-mail address so you can be added to our list. This will be coming monthly and will have timely information about events in the district as well as an article from Conference Superintendent Terry Harter.

Additional Information

For a listing of items for sale or to be given away, go to the Classified section of the IGRC website. If your church has news you would like to see posted here, send it to the District Office.