Important Upcoming Events

IRD Clergy and Laity Event

Date: Sunday, February 17, 2019

Time:  2:00 - 5:00pm

Location:  Cunningham Children’s Home, Urbana IL

Staff from Cunningham Children’s Home will provide us with practical information related to Trauma Informed Care.  This knowledge will allow us to understand better and provide ministry to many in our communities and churches who exhibit behaviors related to their trauma.

Bishop Beard will be joining us.  We will have some fun getting to know each other.  The Bishop will lead our closing devotion.

Seating capacity is limited to 100 and is on First come first serve basis.  On-line registration will be available on Monday, January 7, 2019.


The Unstuck Church Workshop

Paula Wallace will be the leader of this workshop on Monday, January 21 at Bondville UMC from 12:00 - 2pm, starting with lunch.  Contact the district office if you plan to attend.

Mission Outpost/Fresh Expression Writing Competition

We are collecting vision/missional ideas for birthing new faith communities and new missional outposts.  How can a church create new places for new faces? Do you have a dream for your ministry? Do you have successful stories in your ministry setting? Please share them with us! Your writing can be about:

· Creating a new faith community (worship and discipleship opportunities in existing churches at your current location which are designed to reach a different target audience within their community)

· Creating new mission outposts (new ministries developed outside the church building in a particular affinity and context to reach and disciple people where they are, focusing on those who are never likely to “go to church”)

· The missional ideas for the writing competition must: Be repeatable by other churches and be repeatable regularly.

Please send your submissions to the district office by January 31. The District Congregational Development Committee will choose the top 10.  Ten stories will be shared and awarded prizes (1-$100, 2-$50, 7-$25) at the District Clergy & Laity Event on Sunday, February 17.

Examples are available from the District Office.


General Conference Debriefing

The Iroquois River District will be hosting a General Conference Debriefing with Bishop Beard on  Saturday, March 2 at Champaign New Horizon UMC.  Details will be announced as soon as they are available.

2019 Church Conferences

The theme for this year's church conferences is “Who is your neighbor?” We will be putting the churches into 10 groups based on affinity as well as location so that we can focus on strategy.  We should not underestimate the impact of size on how a church operates.

Homework for 2019 Charge Conference:

I. Study your demographics and “See All the People.” Reflect on your church snap shot..

II. Ponder and pray about the following questions: 

1) Who are the most marginalized people in your church and in your       community? Why?

2) What kind of boundary crossing (i.e. social, cultural, racial, regional) does your church practice? What rewards and challenges has your church experienced as a result?

3) Re-call when a first-time guest decided to return to your church because of the welcome he/she received.  Has anyone in your local church asked that person how difficult/easy it was to enter, and then to adapt to their new church home?  If not, imagine yourself entering a local church as a first-time guest, looking for a church home.  What do you believe would help you to adapt to your new church family?

4) How can your church create new places for new faces (new faith communities or mission outposts)?

More detailed information will be available in early 2019.



Please remember these people in your prayers:

  • Rev Ed Davis (Mansfield) - health issues
  • Rev Ted Mitchell (medical leave) - health issues
  • Rev Kevin Nourie (Donovan/Crescent City) - health issues
  • Rev Dennis Divan (retired) - health issues
  • Connie Tennyson, wife of Rev John Tennyson (Gibson City) - health issues
  • Rev. Bob Hackl (Retired) - health issues
  • Rev. Jim Till (retired) - health issues