News

Fairview Heights kicks off national Christmas tour

published 11/20/2018
“The True Meaning of Christmas Tour,” sponsored by The United Methodist Church, will be bringing its signature gift-wrapped truck to the mall on Sunday, Nov. 25 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., outside the food court entrance located between Macy's and Dillard's. The family-friendly festivities are free and open to everyone.

Camping and Retreat Ministry Staffing Changes

published 11/15/2018
Camping and Retreat Ministry Staffing Changes   On November 3, 2018, the Conference Commission on Camping and Retreat Ministry met to discuss creative options to decrease administrative expenses and to best position the ministry to achieve an increased quality of programs. The Commission determined that several changes would be made in 2019 to accomplish these goals. It is our desire to be the best stewards of our resources and we have determined that we are overstaffed and utilizing strategic ...

Booker-Jones to retire Dec. 31, Russell to stay on as interim until June 30

published 10/25/2018
Bishop Frank J. Beard has announced that Rev. Dr. Rose Booker-Jones has requested retirement, effective Dec. 31, and that Rev. Roger Russell, who retired in June and has been interim district superintendent since July, will continue in his role until June 30, at which time a new superintendent will be named.

Hall of Fame singer, five-time Grammy winner in concert at 2019 Annual Conference

published 10/25/2018
The only person in history to be a member of the Gospel Music Hall of Fame, the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame and the Amateur Radio Hall of Fame is 5-time Grammy and 11-time Dove Award winner Larnelle Harris. Harris will be in concert on Friday, June 7, 7:30 p.m. at Peoria Civic Center’s Carver Arena in a concert for the Our Conference, Our Kids campaign.   Harris recently released his first memoir entitled, Shaped Notes: How Ordinary People with Extraordinary Gifts Influenced my Life and Career ...

A Story of Hope

published 10/24/2018
As a Golden Cross ministry, Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House is called to provide support services to the East St. Louis community. For many in the community, daily life is a constant struggle. However, through our programs we strive to transform lives for those we serve. One of those life-changing transformations came in the life of Angelita.   Angelita had a rough start in life. She was mixed up in drug use and much more. However, when her father died, she had a wakeup call and knew she ...

Christ Church named one of the fastest-growing churches in America

published 10/24/2018
Outreach Magazine and Lifeway Research announced that Christ Church in Fairview Heights as a member of the 2018 Outreach 100, that includes the 100 fastest-growing churches in America. Christ Church is listed as 54th on the list of 100.   Rev. Shane L. Bishop, the church’s senior pastor, attributes much of the success of Christ Church to remaining focused on their mission to connect people to Jesus Christ. “When we connect people with Jesus, we are able to overcome other things for which we may ...

Contact the IGRC delegation

published 10/24/2018
The Illinois Great Rivers Conference elected five clergy and five lay delegates for the 2016 General Conference to be held in Portland, Oregon, May 10-20, 2016. They will also represent the Illinois Great Rivers Conference at the special called session of General Conference Feb. 23-29, 2019, in St. Louis, Mo. Clergy Sylvester Weatherall, Delegation Chair, 3100 Saint Helen’s Ct, Springfield 62704-6501, sweatherall@igrc.org Andy Adams, 312 Old Homestead Dr, Troy 62294-1295, andy@troyumc.org Sara ...

Drawing from the Sun to Draw to the Son

published 10/24/2018
There are three things a pastor loves to do -- tell the congregation they are saving money, use catchy plays on words, and create opportunities to tell people about Jesus. It is a rare occasion when one can do all three.    But when Colchester UMC installed its new solar panel last summer, the opportunity to do all three was created as a result.    The church found out Tri-States Renewable Energy (Tri-States) through electrician Mark Lowman of Nauvoo. He was making sure the church knew it was ...

Field of greens: Bethalto UMC gives youth club a lesson in gardening

published 10/24/2018
“If you plant it, they will come.” A group of volunteers from the United Methodist Church in Bethalto pursued a different field of dreams this summer in the backyard of the church property. Rev. Bill Pyatt’s vision was to offer a community garden project to be used by the children attending the Bethalto Boys and Girls Club during their summer camp sessions. The church would offer positive adult mentors to engage kids in a fun, hands-on experience of gardening. Boys and Girls Club Executive ...

I spent my summer witnessing everyday miracles at the Baby Fold

published 10/24/2018
This past summer, I got to spend a week in one of the most magical places on Earth. It may sound impossible, but in this place, miracles are common. They happen everyday, not that their abundance makes them any less astounding to witness.   And no, I’m not talking about Disney World.   The place I’m talking about is East Bay Camp in Hudson, Illinois, a camp where, every year, lives are changed in just one week’s time. The site plays host to a variety of organizations throughout the summer, all ...

IGRC elder Margaret Siemer promoted

published 10/24/2018
IGRC elder Margaret Siemer was promoted on September 1 to the rank of Commander in the US Navy at a ceremony held at the Navy Yard Chapel in Washington, DC. Administering the oath was another IGRC elder, retired Navy chaplain Bob Phillips, who was pastor of the Navy Yard chapel in the mid-1980's. Margaret is the only conference clergy member serving in active duty ministry to military members and their families. Entering the Navy from appointment as associate pastor at Springfield First UMC, ...

Mississippi River District mission team travels to Montana

published 10/24/2018
A total of 11 persons from five congregations formed a district mission team traveling to Montana to engage in mission at the Blackfeet United Methodist Parish (BUMP) Aug. 6-10.   BUMP serves the people who live on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation located just East of Glacier National Park in the State of Montana. The majority of the present day residents living on the Blackfeet Reservation are bloodline descendants of the original indigenous inhabitants of this area. Since 1882, the United ...

Trio on lunch break run into smoke-filled home and rescue woman near Belleville

published 10/23/2018
Had three church employees just kept driving to work after lunch Oct. 4 instead of stopping to check out a smoking house on Thursday afternoon, Signal Hill Fire Chief Tom Elliff said there “certainly would have had a tragic outcome.” A house in the 1300 block of Express Drive near Belleville had a kitchen fire that rendered the occupant helpless, Elliff said. But St. Matthew United Methodist Church’s children’s minister, contemporary worship leader and the associate pastor drove by at just the ...

Danville St. James UMC renovation project ‘a great joy’

published 10/3/2018
With a major renovation project nearly finished at St. James United Methodist Church, the Rev. Randy Robinson said, “We’re all smiles.”

Rossville UMC celebrates 150th anniversary

published 10/3/2018
The Rossville United Methodist Church observed its 150th year with a celebration Sept. 30 with worship services at 9 a.m. and a dinner at noon followed by a celebration at 1:30 p.m.

Conversion of former Springfield First downtown location moving along

published 10/2/2018
The long-awaited conversion of a former downtown church to apartments, office and retail space could be complete by late spring to early summer, according to project stakeholders.

Fairfield First UMC celebrates 200 years of ministry

published 10/2/2018
On Sunday, Oct. 14, the members of Fairfield First United Methodist Church will be celebrating 200 years of Methodist worship in Wayne County.

Wooden It Be Lovely

published 10/1/2018
Their next sale date is November 10th at Douglas Avenue United Methodist Church

Bloomington Wesley converts bank into distribution ministry

published 8/31/2018
No family with young children can thrive without toilet paper, diapers and bandages.

Galesburg First renovates for children’s wing

published 8/31/2018
The children’s ministry at Galesburg First United Methodist Church is on track for an exciting year. The children’s area of the church just completed its first renovation since 1962, and the colorful new railroad theme was chosen with Galesburg in mind.

Rutland, Moore keynote speakers for Covenant Keepers 2019

published 8/31/2018
Bishop Frank J. Beard has announced that Dr. Mark Rutland and Dr. Joy Moore will be the keynote speakers for Covenant Keepers 2019 which will be Jan. 28-29 at the Regency Convention Center in O'Fallon.

Suits for Success helping parolees get back on their feet

published 8/31/2018
Getting out of prison can be a jarring experience, especially when it comes to finding employment. One organization is helping parolees across the state find employment by providing them with professional clothing.

Bishop, conference working with UM Village to repair relationships, build trust

published 8/30/2018
Bishop Frank J. Beard and conference officials are working with the administration and board at the United Methodist Village in Lawrenceville following a summer of financial stress triggered by the state’s delay in reimbursements of Medicaid payments for residents at the main and North campuses.

Decatur Grace hosts block party for neighborhood

published 8/30/2018
Grace United Methodist Church in Decatur believes the mission to reach souls for Jesus doesn’t have to involve a lot of travel.

Donovan Gardner Room dedicated at Evenglow Lodge

published 8/30/2018
Donovan Gardner had a long association with Evenglow. He served as Administrator for almost 15 years beginning in 1965. He later returned to Evenglow service as a member of the Board of Trustees, and in 2002 for two years as Interim President and CEO.

Living Faith celebrates six Eagle Scouts

published 8/30/2018
Living Faith UMC in Bowen has been the Charter Sponsor of BSA Troop 32 for many years. Ranking high on a list of proud moments has been the advancement of six Eagle Scouts from the same patrol.

Preachers’ Aid Society unveils mission and giving websites

published 8/30/2018
The primary mission of Preacher's Aid Society and Benefit Fund is to take care of our IGRC pastors in their retirement years.   We accomplish that mission by providing a medicare supplement to our retirees (certain conference qualifications must be met); providing emergency financial assistance to retirees; providing pre-retirement training; providing numerous fellowship opportunities and much more.

Viola UMC food pantry

published 8/30/2018
Viola UMC in the Spoon River District held a grand opening of its new food pantry May 23. The ministry is open two times a month and serves approximately 45 persons and is the third location due to the ministry’s growth. The former parsonage garage was remodeled to become the new location for the food pantry as there are no stairs to navigate and the building is situated at ground level. Pictured at the grand opening were from left, Spoon River District Superintendent Stephen Granadosin, ...

Bishop, conference working with UM Village to repair relationships, build trust

published 8/24/2018
Bishop Frank J. Beard and conference officials are working with the administration and board at the United Methodist Village in Lawrenceville following a summer of financial stress triggered by the state’s delay in reimbursements of Medicaid payments for residents at the main and North campuses.

Brown selected as new DCM

published 8/23/2018
Bishop Frank J. Beard has announced the appointment of the Rev. Dr. Curtis Brown as the new Director of Connectional Ministries, effective Oct. 1. Brown will succeed the Rev. Dr. Thomas Logsdon who went on medical leave June 30.

Brown emerged from a field of more than 20 candidates in a nationwide search in which six finalists were selected. A pastor, church planter, consultant and coach who has worked with hundreds of churches and leaders across the United States and currently serves as strategist for the Western Jurisdiction for Path One, the church planting office for Discipleship Ministries (formerly the General Board of Discipleship.

Totten receives Advance Special Number

published 7/23/2018
Rev Erin Totten of the Illinois Great Rivers Conference has received her Advance Special Number for Global Missionary.  That number is 3022468.  To donate to Erin send your check with the Advance Special Number in the memo section to Finance Team Office, PO Box 19207 Springfield IL 62794-9207.      

UM Village Lawrenceville

published 7/17/2018
The Bishop and Cabinet in consultation with the UM Village Lawrenceville Board solicit your prayers during this challenging time.  The Bishop expresses confidence and support in the Board and their planned direction.  Please continue to pray for the Director, the Board and the residents.   

Interim District Superintendent

published 7/16/2018
Bishop Beard has announced that the Rev. Roger Russell, retired elder, will be serving as the part-time interim District Superintendent of the Mississippi River District.  The Rev. Dr. Rose Booker-Jones remains in the hospital in St. Louis Missouri. Rev. Russell will fill the void created by her absence effective July 16, 2018.  

Logsdon to seek medical leave

published 6/1/2018
IGRC Director of Connectional Ministries, the Rev. Dr. Thomas R. Logsdon has announced that he will be applying for disability benefits and has requested an appointment to Medical Leave. The announcement was made June 1 through the office of Resident Bishop Frank J. Beard.

Historic church organ cabinet finally reassembled after being taken apart decades ago

published 5/22/2018
With the help of a power lift at Union United Methodist Church in downtown Belleville, three church members were able to finish reassembling an historic organ cabinet that had been taken apart decades ago.
 
The 21-foot-tall wooden cabinet was originally part of an organ installed in 1937 in the former First Methodist Church on Washington Street.
 
But since then, it has taken many twists and turns before Mike Engel, Dick Frette and Don Stein attached the cabinet to a wall May 9 in the atrium of Union United Methodist Church at 721 E. Main St.

Wanda, Wood River UMC’s partner with students on community projects

published 5/22/2018
Roxana High School students are taking to the streets to better the community.

Students have taken on projects to benefit the community including painting houses and making pillowcases.

It’s all a part of what the Roxana School District is about, according to Superintendent Debra Kreutiztrager.

“The purpose is to develop partnerships between the school and community to improve the lives of individuals, the community, and our students,” said Kreutiztrager. “The District vision is ‘excellence with passion, pride, and partnership.’ We believe in serving others and providing diversified experiences to promote the vision.”

Additionally, in a collaborative effort, some students joined together with Wanda United Methodist Church and Wood River United Methodist Church to make sleeping mats for the homeless.

“We ended up getting the churches involved and it took off from there,” said Floyd.

2018 Bishop's Open

published 5/21/2018
Beardstown UMC emerged as the top team among 35 foursomes that participated in the 2018 Bishop’s Open at Piper Glen Golf Course in Chatham May 11. The foursome of Dan McClenning, Larry Kight, Wayne Kight and Wade Mathis is pictured with Bishop Frank Beard on the 18th green. The team from Bloomington Wesley placed second. Members included Brad Schumann, Dave Koth, Rusty DePew and Craig Lutes. In all, more than $22,000 was raised for the Our Conference Our Kids campaign.    

Church ceiling collapse displaces Ellsworth congregation

published 5/16/2018
Services at Ellsworth United Methodist Church have been relocated to the nearby American Legion after the sanctuary ceiling collapsed last week.

Shortly after members left choir practice at 8:30 p.m. May 9, neighbors heard a crash from inside the building at 101 Main St., said Roger Wilke, the church's board of trustees chairman.

No one was in the church, which has about 50 members, at the time of the ceiling collapse.

Christ Church exploring possibility of Carbondale area satellite campus

published 4/25/2018
Christ Church in Fairview Heights has begun the exploration phase for its next satellite campus in the Carbondale area.

Living Biblically

published 4/25/2018
A couple of weeks ago, I happened upon a new television show called, Living Biblically. It’s a sitcom which airs Mondays on CBS.

Franklin promoted to Associate Coordinator of Camping and Youth Ministry

published 3/26/2018
To better support the Conference Camping and Youth Ministries, Curt Franklin has been named Associate Coordinator of Camping and Youth Ministries.

Mississippi River District Administrative Assistant

published 3/20/2018
The Mississippi River District office has announced that Bonnie C. Abel has joined its staff as administrative assistant.

Prentice Sermon at Mt. Vernon First April 8

published 3/20/2018
MT. VERNON – The IGRC Commission on Archives and History has announced that the annual Prentice Memorial Sermon will be held at Mt. Vernon First UMC, April 8 at 10:45 a.m. The Rev. Dr. Paul Stroble, chair of the IGRC Commission on Archives and History, will be the speaker. Stroble has done extensive research on Zadok Casey, the organizer of the Methodist Society in Mt. Vernon which later became Mt. Vernon First. The site was selected to correspond with the church’s 200th anniversary and how it ...

Annual Conference app wins UMAC award

published 3/19/2018
The 2017 Annual Conference mobile app was recently awarded top honors by the United Methodist Association of Communicators meeting held March 7-9.

Abuse survivor moves forward, one act of kindness at a time

published 3/16/2018
Dan Koenigs is a man who'd give you the shirt off his back.

Statham dismissed as McKendree men’s basketball coach

published 3/16/2018
McKendree University Coach Harry Statham, who with 1,122 wins over a storied 52-year career became the winningest men’s basketball coach among four-year colleges and universities, was dismissed from his post March 6.

Serving others strengthens Anderson’s faith

published 3/7/2018
Before 2006, Miles, Iowa, native and current Monmouth resident Anita Anderson had no passport and had never been farther from home than Colorado.

Cunningham Home hosts 14th Annual Festival of Quilts

published 3/5/2018
Cunningham Children’s Home will host the 14th Annual Festival of Quilts on Friday, April 13 and Saturday, April 14 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., in the Spiritual Life Center on the Cunningham campus in Urbana. The Festival is Cunningham’s largest fundraiser and honors the tradition of the United Methodist Women, and the quilts they, and quilters from across Illinois, have donated for our kids for more than 120 years.

Phillips selected as conference archivist

published 3/5/2018
Lynne Phillips of Appleton, Wis., was selected from a field of 35 candidates for the shared position between the conference and college. The recommendation was forwarded to the Conference Commission on Archives and History which affirmed the decision at its Feb. 13 meeting. Phillips begins work at MacMurray’s Pfeiffer Library – the location of the Conference Archives – on March 1.

To the Point: Suggestions for churches with young pastors

published 3/5/2018
Churches that receive a young pastor need to remember how lucky they are. Many congregations say they want a younger pastor, but few have the opportunity. They ought not, however, assume their church will automatically reach younger people simply because of the age of the pastor. Having a young pastor might improve the likelihood of a congregation connecting with young people, but not without openness to other kinds of change. Congregations sincere in their desire to work with a younger pastor to reach emerging generations must be flexible and open to new ideas and possibilities. Take the initiative in asking the young pastor for ways in which your church can become more inviting for younger people.

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