News

Eighth Clergy Ballot Results

published 6/3/2011
Total Ballots Cast: 322 Needed to Elect: 162 Sylvester Weatherall 155 Shane Bishop 141 Jan Griffith 137 Andy Adams 116 Keith Zimmerman 111 Roger Ross 102 Gay Crede 65 Rose Booker-Jones 56 Jason Woolever 55 Alan Rhein 27 Dennis Price 26 Carol Lakota Eastin 23 Jeremiah Thompson 20 Rick Van Giesen 15 Bill Pyatt 12 Julie Smith 12 Kathy Crozier 12 Roger Perry 8 Tom Goodell 7 Dan Harry 5 Ted Hartley 5 Gerald Savage 5

Eighth Lay Ballot Results

published 6/3/2011
Total Number of Ballots: 588 Needed to Elect:  295 Ryan Davis 302 Marian McCray 287 Melissa Calvillo 172 Steve Schonert 80 Carolyn Yockey 47 Robin Williams 34 LaVon Wilson 24 Mary McQuilkin 19 Fred Iutzi 18 John Kauerauf 17 Alan Prass 12 Carol Rankin 8 Sally Smith 7

Faith of Youth Mirrors Who We Are

published 6/3/2011
In Christian formation and youth ministry, the task is to help young people see themselves from God’s perspective. But according to Christian author Kenda Creasy Dean, most youth ministry is falling short and is not helping youth change at all. Speaking as Friday’s Theologian-in-Residence, Dean shared some of the findings of a longitudinal study, the National Study of Youth and Religion, which measured the faith pulse of persons in their first one-third of life.   “Much of youth ministry is not ...

Lay, Clergy Partnership Key to Church Vitality

published 6/3/2011
Conference Lay Leader Rhonda Whitaker urged laity to accept their responsibility in working with their pastor to increase church vitality during the Laity Address at the 2011 Annual Conference. Referring to the Call to Action Report released last year, Whitaker spotlighted four key drivers for one of church vitality: Multiple small groups for children and youth High percentage of spiritually engaged laity who assume leadership roles A mix of traditional and contemporary worship services ...

Ninth Clergy Ballot Results

published 6/3/2011
Total Ballots Cast: 336 Needed to Elect: 169 Sylvester Weatherall 188 -- ELECTED Jan Griffith 162 Shane Bishop 148 Andy Adams 141 Keith Zimmerman 125 Roger Ross 93 Gay Crede 73 Rose Booker-Jones 62 Jason Woolever 49 Carol Lakota Eastin 23 Alan Rhein 20 Dennis Price 19 Jeremiah Thompson 17 Rick Van Giesen 15 Julie Smith 13 Kathy Crozier 11 Mary Arnold 9 Bill Pyatt 7 Roger Perry 6 Eric Swanson 5 Craig Sweet 5

Ninth Lay Ballot Results

published 6/3/2011
Total Ballots Cast: 574 Needed to Elect: 288 Marian McCray 292 -- ELECTED Melissa Calvillo 125 Steve Schonert 52 Robin Williams 18 Carolyn Yockey 18 Mary McQuilkin 11 Fred Iutzi 9 John Kauerauf 8 LaVon Wilson 8 Alan Prass 5 David Bell 5 Anthony Stauder 4 Carol Rankin 3

Religion and Race Monitoring Report #2

published 6/3/2011
The launch of Annual Conference has been an amazing and up-lifting experience. The laity session on Wednesday evening was well attended. The room arrangement, gathering by district, offered a welcoming environment for first-timers. The informational format offered each candidate running for the General Conference delegation time to address the group. The laity candidate delegation pool is split fairly evenly between males and females. Thirty-three percent of those seeking election possess an ...

Saturday at Annual Conference

published 6/3/2011
The final day of Annual Conference will be a full one, as voting for General and Jurisdictional delegates will continue. Laity have already completed their General Conference delegation and have also elected their first of six Jurisdictional delegates, leaving five delegates and alternates to be elected. Clergy have elected four of six General Conference delegates and will still need to elect six Jurisdictional delegates and alternates. Saturday's agenda begins at 8:30 a.m. with Bishop Gregory ...

Seventh Clergy Ballot Results

published 6/3/2011
Total Ballots Cast: 336 Needed to Elect: 169 Sara Isbell -- 195 ELECTED Sylvester Weatherall 158 Shane Bishop 147 Jan Griffith 144 Andy Adams 128 Keith Zimmerman 127 Roger Ross 110 Gay Crede 70 Jason Woolever 69 Rose Booker-Jones 66 Dennis Price 41 Carol Lakota Eastin 29 Alan Rhein 28 Beverly Wilkes-Null 23 Jeremiah Thompson 20 Rick Van Giesen 20 Bill Pyatt 17 Mary Arnold 11 Tom Goodell 10 Kathy Crozier 10

Seventh Lay Ballot Results

published 6/3/2011
Total Ballots Cast: 574  Needed to Elect: 288 Ryan Davis 238 Marian McCray 234 Melissa Calvillo 150 Steve Schonert 90 Carolyn Yockey 43 Robin Williams 34 LaVon Wilson 27 Fred Iutzi 24 John Kauerauf 19 Alan Prass 16 Mary McQuilkin 13 Carol Rankin 13 Mindy Farren 7

Sixth Clergy Ballot Results

published 6/3/2011
Total Ballots Cast: Needed to Elect: 171 Sara Isbell 170 Shane Bishop 144 Jan Griffith 124 Sylvester Weatherall 124 Andy Adams 122 Keith Zimmerman 111 Roger Ross 109 Jason Woolever 75 Gay Crede 69 Rose Booker-Jones 59 Dennis Price 47 Beverly Wilkes-Null 37 Alan Rhein 35 Rick Van Giesen 33 Carol Lakota Eastin 31 Jeremiah Thompson 21 Bill Pyatt 20 Roger Perry 15 Mary Arnold 13 Kathy Crozier 10  

Sixth Lay Ballot Results

published 6/3/2011
Total Ballots Cast: 634 Needed to Elect:  318 Mike Potts 352 -- ELECTED Bunny Wolfe 324 -- ELECTED Marian McCray 314 Ryan Davis 308 Melissa Calvillo 216 Steve Schonert 139 Carolyn Yockey 108 Robin Williams 105 Fred Iutzi 66 LaVon Wilson 60 John Kauerauf 51 Alan Prass 31 Carol Rankin 22  

Additional Candidate Numbers

published 6/2/2011
With the approval of 10 candidates for full membership in the Clergy Session Wednesday, the following persons are now eligible to vote and be elected as clergy delegates to General and Jurisdictional Conference. The following numbers have been assigned: Andrew Anthony -- 1857 Grant Armstrong -- 1858 Mary Alice Cunningham -- 1859 Lisa Guillams -- 1860 Andrew Hopp -- 1861 Patricia Hutton -- 1862 Anita Munden -- 1863 Florene Scott -- 1864 Mike Whitaker -- 1865 Beth Fender -- 1913 In addition, the ...

Additional Lay Delegate Nominee

published 6/2/2011
The following lay member has expressed interest in being considered for election and has been assigned the following voting number: Clark Barnes 2129

Bishop defines reality and says 'thank you'

published 6/2/2011
Bishop Gregory V. Palmer used his third Episcopal Address to report on the progress of four initiatives which he proposed at the 2010 Annual Conference and then said “thank you” to the Annual Conference for “showing up and responding in so many ways to the needs within our conference and around the world.” The Bishop reported that $1.5 million in pledges and financial commitments have been secured in the first six months of the $2.3 to $3.5 million Imagine No Malaria campaign, with 45 percent of...

Bringing Our Worst...Giving Our Best

published 6/2/2011
To Lori Bultemeier, lay, clergy, newly commissioned and newly retired have one thing in common: We are in a continual state of falling short of the glory of God. Recounting a story of having lunch with a grandmother and her grandchildren after church one Sunday, Bultemeier recalls asking one of the children, “What did you learn at Sunday School?” The girl replied, “We learned about the 12 despicables (disciples)."   "That preaches, girlfriend," Bultemeier said. "What choice did Jesus have but to...

Fifth Clergy Ballot Results

published 6/2/2011
Needed to Elect: 180 Shane Bishop 170 Sara Isbell 170 Roger Ross 142 Andy Adams 138 Jan Griffith 131 Keith Zimmerman 131 Sylvester Weatherall 110 Jason Woolever 83 Gay Crede 73 Dennis Price 58 Rose Booker-Jones 57 Rick Van Giesen 40 Alan Rhein 37 Carol Lakota Eastin 32 Beverly Wilkes-Null 27 Jeremiah Thompson 25 Mary Arnold 16 Dan Harry 15 Tom Goodell 14 Roger Perry 10

Fifth Lay Ballot Results

published 6/2/2011
Needed to Elect: 316 Mike Potts 309 Bunny Wolfe 292 Ryan Davis 270 Marian McCray 260 Melissa Calvillo 182 Steve Schonert 144 Carolyn Yockey 112 Robin Williams 103 Fred Iutzi 82 LaVon Wilson 56 John Kauerauf 54 Alan Prass 27 Carol Rankin 26

First Clergy Ballot Results

published 6/2/2011
Total Ballots Cast: 367  Needed to Elect: 184 Shane Bishop 110 Sara Isbell 107 Randy Robinson 86 Roger Ross 80 Andy Adams 75 Jan Griffith 73 Keith Zimmerman 66 Jason Woolever 65 Dennis Price 63 Sylvester Weatherall 60 Alan Rhein 57 Gay Crede 56 Rick Van Giesen 56 Beverly Wilkes Null 53 Rose Booker-Jones 51 Tom Goodell 47 Carol Lakota Eastin 45 Jeremiah Thompson 44 Ted Hartley 37 Tim Ozment 37 Bill Pyatt 37 Mary Arnold 36 Dan Harry 35 Roger Perry 34 Julie Smith 34 James McClarey 30 Rachel Stockle...

First Lay Ballot Results

published 6/2/2011
Total Valid Ballots Cast: 640 Needed to Elected: 321 Rhonda Whitaker 259 Mike Potts 258 Paul Black 238 Marian McCray 228 Bunny Wolfe 209 Ryan Davis 198 Melissa Calvillo 196 Robin Williams 149 John Kauerauf 148 Steve Schonert 148 Carolyn Yockey 144 Fred Iutzi 131 LaVon Wilson 129 Sarah Brian 117 Carol Rankin 114 Alan Prass 109 Mindy Farren 101 Ava Williams 78 Mary McQuilkin 72 Sally Smith 61 Anthony Stauder 61 Sharon Atchison 54 Karen Hart 53 Noel Madding 43 Kara Crawford 37 David Bell 33 Susan ...

Fourth Clergy Ballot Results

published 6/2/2011
Total Ballots Cast: 374 Needed to Elect: 188 Randy Robinson 198 -- ELECTED Shane Bishop 178 Sara Isbell 177 Roger Ross 137 Andy Adams 129 Jan Griffith 126 Keith Zimmerman 126 Sylvester Weatherall 104 Jason Woolever 80 Gay Crede 76 Rose Booker-Jones 67 Dennis Price 65 Rick Van Giesen 55 Alan Rhein 52 Carol Lakota Eastin 35 Beverly Wilkes-Null 33 Jeremiah Thompson 28 Mary Arnold 24 Tom Goodell 24 Dan Harry 24

Fourth Lay Ballot Results

published 6/2/2011
Total Ballots Cast: Needed to Elect: 316 Rhonda Whitaker 371 -- ELECTED Paul Black 318 -- ELECTED Bunny Wolfe 311 Mike Potts 296 Marian McCray 270 Ryan Davis 268 Melissa Calvillio 178 Steve Schonert 149 Carolyn Yockey 143 Robin Williams 137 Fred Iutzi 110 LaVon Wilson 80 John Kauerauf 78  

Nation Needs United Methodist Example of Imagine No Malaria

published 6/2/2011
In the rough and tumble world of politics, Mike McCurry has seen it all. From his days of work on a Senate staff to Presidential Press Secretary McCurry, has experienced the give and take and sometimes, the gridlock of Washington, D.C.   As a United Methodist layman, however, McCurry has found the church to be a place that can model the kind of civility lacking in our public discourse where partisan leadership is “dripping with sulfur.”   “I honestly believe churches are one of the last places ...

Second Clergy Ballot Results

published 6/2/2011
Total Ballots Cast: 368 Needed to Elect: 185 Shane Bishop 150 Sara Isbell 132 Randy Robinson 128 Roger Ross 108 Andy Adams 99 Jan Griffith 99 Keith Zimmerman 83 Gay Crede 69 Sylvester Weatherall 68 Jason Woolever 68 Alan Rhein 63 Dennis Price 61 Rick Van Giesen 58 Rose Booker-Jones 55 Beverly Wilkes-Null 41 Jeremiah Thompson 39 Carol Lakota Eastin 35 Tom Goodell 34 Mary Arnold 32 Ted Hartley 28 Dan Harry 25 Tim Ozment 25 Roger Perry 24 Bill Pyatt 24 Julie Smith 24 Kathy Crozier 22 Craig Sweet 19...

Second Lay Ballot Results

published 6/2/2011
Total Ballots Cast: 620 Total Needed to Elect: 311 Rhonda Whitaker 307 Bunny Wolfe 250 Paul Black 243 Mike Potts 240 Ryan Davis 205 Marian McCray 202 Melissa Calvillo 168 Steve Schonert 158 Carolyn Yockey 156 Robin Williams 141 LaVon Wilson 128 Fred Iutzi 127 John Kauerauf 126 Alan Pratts 104 Carol Rankin 99 Mindy Farren 80 Sarah Brian 79 Ava Williams 73 Sally Smith 66 Mary McQuilkin 59 Anthony Stauder 55 Karen Hart 49 Sharon Atchison 42 Kara Crawford 33 Noel Madding 31 David Bell 20 Clark ...

Third Clergy Ballot Results

published 6/2/2011
Total Ballots Cast 350 Needed to Elect: 176 Shane Bishop 154 Randy Robinson 147 Sara Isbell 138 Roger Ross 116 Andy Adams 104 Jan Griffith 104 Keith Zimmerman 101 Sylvester Weatherall 77 Gay Crede 75 Jason Woolever 65 Dennis Price 64 Rose Booker-Jones 58 Rick Van Giesen 56 Alan Rhein 54 Beverly Wilkes-Null 42 Jeremiah Thompson 36 Carol Lakota Eastin 31 Mary Arnold 27 Tom Goodell 26 Dan Harry 21

Third Lay Ballot Results

published 6/2/2011
Total Ballots Cast: 575 Needed to Elect:  288 Rhonda Whitaker  284 Paul Black 251 Mike Potts 246 Bunny Wolfe 238 Marian McCray 211 Ryan Davis 205 Melissa Calvillo 174 Steve Schonert 119 Robin Williams 119 Carolyn Yockey 110 Fred Iutzi 96 LaVon Wilson 81 John Kauerauf 75  

Wesley's Way: Accountable Discipleship

published 6/2/2011
Intentional Faith Development in the way of John Wesley is one of “accountable discipleship,” according to Dr. Paul Chilcote. “Despite the sibling rivalry that characterized the relationship between John and Charles Wesley, it’s abundantly clear that they were intentional about being accountable to one another in virtually every aspect of their living,” Chilcote said. Chilcote, the director of Applied Wesleyan Studies at Ashland Theological Seminary in Ohio, was Thursday’s Theologian in ...

God's Best: A Promise

published 6/1/2011
Bishop Woodie White said he had a list of questions for God when he gets to heaven. "That's one of the reasons I want to go to heaven," White said during the Memorial Sermon that opened the 2011 Annual Conference. "I think of all those different tragedies ... accidents, Alzheimer's cancer... and I say, 'God is that the best you can do?'" And then, White said, "God says, 'Woodie, I anticipated your question and I thought I would answer before you asked: In my Father's House are many ...

IGRC Commission on Religion & Race Initial Report

published 6/1/2011
In a recent sermon the pastor stated, “one of the highest calling and highest challenge is to live in community”. He reminded us of the Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood that was so peaceful, however, not many  people lived there! Indeed, when we live in community we live with all the idiosyncrasies of our neighbors. Wow, how do we learn to build relationship and live in community?   Here at our Annual Conference it’s like being at the annual family reunion or big block party. Indeed, the Annual ...

Webstream Cancelled for Entire Conference

published 6/1/2011

Due to unexpected circumstances, there will be no webstreaming of the 2011 Annual Conference session.


Growing Into the Full Measure of Jesus Christ

published 5/21/2011

2011 Annual Conference explores Intentional Faith Development in Peoria June 1-4


Assessing the Damage

published 5/20/2011


Disaster response officials begin recovery phase in flooded areas of Southern Illinois



McCoy to speak at Clergy Session

published 5/19/2011
Dr. Myron McCoy, president of St. Paul School of Theology in Kansas City, Mo., and Oklahoma City, Okla., will be the speaker for clergy session at the 2011 Annual Conference which will begin on Wednesday, June 1 in Peoria. The Clergy Session will be held in the Grand Ballroom of the Pere Marquette Hotel, beginning at 2 p.m. McCoy has been president of St. Paul School of Theology since August 2003. Bringing more than two decades of experience in local church leadership, including serving as a ...

Shirley appointed Interim Coordinator of Camping, Retreat and Youth Ministries

published 5/19/2011
SPRINGFIELD – Bishop Gregory V. Palmer, in consultation with the IGRC Cabinet, the Director of Connectional Ministries and leadership  in both the Camping Commission and the Conference Personnel Committee, has announced the appointment of the Rev. Alice Shirley as Interim Coordinator of Camping, Retreat and Youth Ministries effective June 15. Shirley is no stranger to camping both as a pastor and as a youth. From 1980 to 1991, she served as co-director of the conference camps in the former ...

New Director of Pastoral Care and Counseling

published 5/15/2011
Bishop Gregory Palmer and the Committee on Pastoral Care and Counseling announce the appointment of the Reverend Karen Blank-Ewell as Director of Pastoral Care and Counseling in the Illinois Great Rivers Conference.   Over the past several years a new understanding of the work the office of Pastoral Care and Counseling has evolved. Many persons across the conference have participated in the dialogue. The Committee on Pastoral Care and Counseling, Cabinet and Bishop celebrate the ...

Palmer awarded honorary doctorate from Garrett

published 5/14/2011
EVANSTON – Bishop Gregory V. Palmer delivered the address at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary’s 154th commencement, where he was also awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity Degree. The service was held at First United Methodist Church in Evanston May 13. Bishop Palmer’s address titled, There’s a Crown Above Your Head, spoke of Howard Thurman’s experience as a student at Morehouse College. In his autobiography, With Head and Heart, Thurman said of his faculty and mentors, “It was as if ...

Sand bagging volunteers sought in Southern Illinois

published 5/3/2011
Sand-bagging volunteers are being sought for Southern Illinois.   Please  call ahead to one of the following numbers to ensure a need and your safety before going to sand-bag: Rep. Brandon Phelps office 618-253-4189  Red Cross Little Egypt Network 800-272-2984   In addition, churches that are looking for a couple of resources may want to take a look at the following bulletin insert and a litany for flooding disasters that can be incorporated into a worship service.   Download bulletin insert......

IGRC ERT & Spring Storms

published 5/2/2011
As spring storms are bringing damaging winds and widespread flooding throughout our conference, IGRC Early Response Teams are available to assist with storm cleanup. ERT volunteers are trained and badged by the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) to respond with a caring, Christian presence while cleaning out flooded homes, preventing mold, removing debris and tarping roofs. ERT’s respond in the relief phase after a disaster and are not rebuild teams. If there is an emergency in your ...

Letter from Bishop Palmer

published 4/29/2011
Over the last ten days we have been witnesses to life changing disruptions from flood and tornados. In the last few days we have watched the damage, injury and loss of human life across a wide region of the United States but especially Alabama. I have already felt us praying together in behalf of our sisters and brothers most acutely affected by the havoc. Thank you. I also feel you mobilizing your physical energies and financial resources to do what we do which is to help and heal. You are ...

About Methodist Mission in Cambodia

published 4/26/2011
The Methodist Mission in Cambodia represents the combined efforts of Methodists and United Methodists in the U.S., Europe, Singapore, Korea and Malaysia working to engage in ministry and missions with the people of Cambodia. Some of the programs sponsored by the United Methodist Church include:   Community Health and Agriculture Development (CHAD): Focuses on food security, health care, leadership development and entrepreneurship, including creating rice and cow banks to ensure stable food ...

Festival of Quilts raises $34,000 for Cunningham Home

published 4/26/2011
URBANA – More than 100 handcrafted quilts were on display recently at Cunningham Children’s Home for the 7th Annual Festival of Quilts in the Spiritual Life Center on the Cunningham campus. More than 1,000 people attended the Festival April 8-9. The annual event benefits Cunningham children and youth and this year the net proceeds were $34,000. “We are so pleased that the Festival of Quilts has been so warmly received by the community and our friends throughout Illinois,” said Cloydia Hill ...

Former Gov. Ryan: It Was the Right Thing To Do

published 4/26/2011
Editor’s note: The following was taken from a speech delivered by Gov. George Ryan to University of Chicago Divinity School on June 3, 2002. The speech was part of a forum sponsored by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, in which Gov. Ryan was asked to speak upon how his religious and personal views have impacted his actions on the issue of the death penalty. The complete speech can be viewed at: http://pewforum.org/Death-Penalty/Governor-George-Ryan-An-Address-on-the-Death-Penalty.aspx. ...

Gov. Pat Quinn's Signing Statement on Repeal of Death Penalty

published 4/26/2011
Today I have signed Senate Bill 3539, which abolishes the death penalty in Illinois. For me, this was a difficult decision, quite literally the choice between life and death. This was not a decision to be made lightly, or a decision that I came to without deep personal reflection.   Since the General Assembly passed this bill, I have met or heard from a wide variety of people on both sides of the issue. I have talked with prosecutors, judges, elected officials, religious leaders from around the ...

Illinois abolishes the death penalty

published 4/26/2011
SPRINGFIELD (UMNS) -- On Ash Wednesday, March 9, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn abolished the death penalty, making it the 16th state to choose life over death. United Methodists have been working to get the death penalty abolished worldwide since they first adopted a resolution at the 1956 Methodist General Conference officially stating the church’s opposition to the death penalty. General Conference is the denomination’s top legislative gathering that meets every four years to consider changes to...

Missionary storyteller: Effingham reporter spending year in Cambodia

published 4/26/2011
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia -- The evening was unseasonably temperate, even for Cambodia’s dry season, and as the sun crept closer to the palm-tree-studded horizon, it was almost chilly. I had my camera trained away from the impending sunset, taking advantage of the golden sheen it was throwing across a very quaint village and its inhabitants — the men with kromas wrapped around their waists, women with babies bouncing on their hips and children eyeing me curiously from their perch atop a nearby fence....

Prosecutor: Death Penalty Has Place in Legal System

published 4/26/2011
CHARLESTON – On June 12, 2001, Eastern Illinois University student Shannon McNamara was found dead in her Charleston apartment. The crime scene revealed that McNamara was sexually assaulted, choked to death with a washcloth and her body was slashed several times before her body was drug from the apartment’s bathroom and “put on display” for whoever found her as prosecution witnesses would testify at trial.   Piecing together physical evidence, including blood DNA, Coles County State’s Attorney ...

United Methodist Position on the Death Penalty

published 4/26/2011
We believe the death penalty denies the power of Christ to redeem, restore and transform all human beings. …We believe all human life is sacred and created by God and therefore, we must see all human life as significant and valuable. When governments implement the death penalty (capital punishment), then the life of the convicted person is devalued and all possibility of change in that person’s life ends. We believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ and that the possibility of reconciliation ...

Westerfield Tucker honored by Emory & Henry College

published 4/26/2011
IGRC clergy member Karen Westerfield Tucker was recently honored by Emory & Henry College for significant contributions to the college and the region. Westerfield Tucker was one of several honored during the school’s Charter Day celebration March 24. A member of the Class of 1976, Tucker received the Distinguished Achievement Award.   A professor of worship for the School of Theology at Boston University, Westerfield Tucker currently serves as president of Societas Liturgica and is ...

Girard UMC Gives Thanks After the Storm

published 4/25/2011
GIRARD – The Easter service at Girard UMC had a different feeling April 23. Five days after an EF-3 tornado – winds of 136 to 165 mph – struck portions of Girard, members of the congregation said the destruction and disruption of lives still weigh heavily on their minds. The storm damaged 22 structures and destroyed five homes.   During the April 24 service, several members spoke out, saying they were thankful there had been no deaths and that the damage wasn’t greater.   The Rev. Mary Alice ...

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