Online Disciple Bible Study groups forming

published 8/25/2011
Groups are beginning to take shape for the third year of Disciple Online, the online form of Disciple Bible Study.   Enrollment is now open at for individuals who wish to participate in Disciple I, Disciple II, and Disciple III in an online format with others from all over.  Participants follow the format of Disciple.  They study the Bible on their own during the week then meet with their group members through the Internet with special software at a set ...

Sims new PASBF administrative assistant

published 8/25/2011
Carol Sims is the new Administrative Assistant for Preachers’ Aid Society and Benefit Fund. Carol joins PASBF after 35 years of teaching in the Riverton School District. She also was a highly successful high school and junior high volleyball coach, earning nine state titles and 13 state trophies during her career. For the past three years, she was also co-owner and server at the Lighthouse Family Restaurant in Springfield.   “Teachers, like all of us, are life-long learners with a desire to ...

Stroble authors new six-week study

published 8/25/2011
Paul Stroble, an elder in the conference, is the principal author of the new six-week curriculum called Faithful Citizen. available from the Center for the Congregation in Public Life .  The Faith Citizen curriculum aims at helping church people recover a sense of mutual responsibility, covenant, and community. The lessons frame social issues using scripture, church tradition, and contemporary authors. The broad issues include ecology, international security, economy, globalization, health, and ...

Young adult mission interns commissioned

published 8/19/2011
NEW YORK – Two Illinois Great Rivers Conference young adults were commissioned Aug. 18 to serve in ministries of justice around the world. Rachel Rebecca Berry and Kara Johansen Crawford were among 26 individuals between the ages of 20 and 30 who became US-2 missionaries and mission interns. The commissioning service was led by Bishop Hope Morgan Ward, episcopal leader of the Mississippi Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.   Berry will be a mission intern with the General Board of ...

MacMurray College President Appeals to IGRC for Assistance

published 7/26/2011
The following letter was issued by Dr. Colleen Hester, President of MacMurray College in Jacksonville on July 25, 2011: Dear Friends of the Illinois Great Rivers Conference of the United Methodist Church, It is with sadness and urgency that I share the news of recent, devastating flooding at MacMurray College. On behalf of our students, faculty, and staff, I ask for your prayers and for your support. The MacMurray family has a strong history of support from our United Methodist community, and ...

MacMurray College seeks donations to repair flood damage

published 7/15/2011
JACKSONVILLE -- While a boil order has been lifted in this community, officials at MacMurray College are reaching out soliciting donations to make repairs sustained by the June 17-18 floods. Persons wishing to make donations to the MacMurray College Flood Relief Fund can do so online by visiting the college website, clicking on the Give Back to Mac button and noting the MacMurray College Flood Relief Fund as your designation. Donations may also be mailed to: MacMurray College, Office of ...

Partners in Prayer: When the Preacher Went to War, His Wife Stepped Up to the Pulpit

published 7/7/2011
In 1942, the Rev. C.C. Lowe was pastor of the Oblong circuit of six Methodist churches – Leeper, Stoy and Seed Chapel churches were south of state Route 33, and Dogwood, Prairie and Kirk Chapel churches were north of the highway. All were one-room buildings without indoor plumbing or running water. My family attended services at Dogwood Church. The area near our home included Dogwood School, Dogwood Grange and Dogwood Creek, which ran through the community of pastures, woods, hills and hollers ...

Lack of Health Care Claims Life of Liberian DS

published 7/2/2011
The lack of quality health care in Liberia has taken the life of a District Superintendent in the Liberia Annual Conference. Conference officials have confirmed the death of 40-year-old Fannah Tartieh, superitendent of the Grand Gedeh District in Liberia. According o reports, Tartieh was experiencing a toothache two weeks ago after returning from the Grand Gedah District where he was overseeing the survey of the property for the district center where the Flanagan UMC School is to be built. This ...

18-month Liberia Calendar on Sale

published 6/9/2011
An 18 month calendar from June 2011 through December 2012 entitled Scenes from Liberia is on sale for $10 postpaid. All of the photos have been taken by IGRC Liberia mission team participants. All proceeds above the printing cost will be donated to the John Kofi Asmah United Methodist School project in West Point.   To order your copy, contact Bunny Wolfe at or Christy Blickensderfer at at the Conference Center or call 217-529-2473.

Conference Ends Due to Lack of Quorum

published 6/9/2011
The 2011 Annual Conference ended upon an abrupt note when a quorum count revealed there was an insufficient number of persons present to conduct business. In order to conduct business, conference rules require a majority of those that answered roll call to be present. The quorum for 2011 was 681. The quorum count was answered by 592.   As a result, Bishop Gregory V. Palmer adjourned the 2011 session with several items of business not considered.   Those legislative items not considered were: ...

From St. Elmo to Sumatra: Dale and Alice Walker find new mission in retirement at Asbury Seminary

published 6/9/2011
WILMORE, Ky. – When Dale Walker left his home in St. Elmo to become a student pastor at Cypress and a student at nearby Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, he didn’t know he would, with the help of his wife Alice, someday begin a seminary in Indonesia. In fact, he didn’t yet know the former Alice Chiarello. Neither of them knew that someday Alice would publish the first hymnal of indigenous hymns in Indonesia. He also didn’t know he would author the first concordance every in the major ...

Henson Appointed General Evangelist

published 6/9/2011
Bishop Gregory Palmer has announced the appointment of the Rev. Matthew Henson as General Evangelist in the United Methodist Church. Rev. Henson founded Living the Adventure Ministries in 2007 and has served part-time as this ministry’s executive director and lead evangelist for the past three years. Living the Adventure Ministries seeks to work for the transformation of the world through the awakening of the Church, evangelistic preaching, and Christian people putting their faith into action by...

Hungry Kids Unzip Blessing-Filled Backpacks

published 6/9/2011
GENESEO -- When some kids from ''food-insecure households'' unpack their bookbags after a week of school, they find more than homework and textbooks.   They find a weekend's worth of food and a local church's blessings, too.   Needy students in the Geneseo School District earlier this year began finding one-gallon Ziploc bags containing six to eight food items, including cereal bars, cereal, canned fruit, juice boxes, instant oatmeal and canned meals such as stew, soup or pasta in their ...

Religion and Race Monitoring -- Final Report for Annual Conference 2011

published 6/9/2011
Greetings in the name of Christ: “I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, because of your sharing in the Gospel from the first day until now. For I am confident of this very thing, that he who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:3)   As Paul says, I give thanks for you and I celebrate the work God is doing in all of our lives. As God continues to perfect us we are called to...

Wardrobe Rolls On at Riverside UMC

published 6/9/2011
MOLINE -- A feature-length wardrobe program has played for a year now. A clothing ministry produced by Riverside United Methodist Church, and based on the C.S. Lewis book The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe celebrated its first anniversary with an open house June 4 at its 2418 41st St. site.   The building used for the clothing ministry is a former parsonage near Riverside's Life Center. It opened last May in a garage at the church's 712 16th St., downtown Moline location.   ''We have grown a ...

Annual Conference Summary

published 6/7/2011
The Illinois Great Rivers Annual Conference was held in Peoria, Ill., June 1-4, under the theme of Intentional Faith Development: Growing Up to the Full Measure of Jesus Christ. Theologians in Residence for the conference were Dr. Paul Chilcote, Professor of Historical Theology and Wesleyan Studies, and Director of the Center for Applied Wesleyan Studies at Ashland Theological Seminary in Ohio, and Dr. Kenda Creasy Dean, Professor of Youth, Church and Culture at Princeton Theological Seminary. ...

11th Lay Ballot Results

published 6/4/2011
Total Ballots Cast: 542 Needed to Elect: 272 Robin Williams 258 Steve Schonert 239 Fred Iutzi 230 Carolyn Yockey 207 LaVon Wilson 181 John Kauerauf 144 Carol Rankin 126 Alan Prass 123 Mary McQuilkin 101 Mindy Farren 84 Ava Williams 75 Sarah Brian 59 Anthony Stauder 52

12th Clergy Ballot Results

published 6/4/2011
Total Ballots Cast: 300 Needed to Elect: 151 Jan Griffith 156 -- ELECTED Shane Bishop 130 Keith Zimmerman 100 Roger Ross 45 Gay Crede 32 Rose Booker-Jones 24 Jason Woolever 20

12th Lay Ballot Results

published 6/4/2011
Total Ballots Cast: 562 Needed to Elect: 282 Robin Williams 340 -- ELECTED; SERvES AS SECOND GC ALTERNATE Fred Iutzi -- 311 -- ELECTED Steve Schonert 290 -- ELECTED Carolyn Yockey 288 -- ELECTED LaVon Wilson 233 John Kauerauf 162 Carol Rankin 137 Alan Prass 111 Mary McQuilkin 101 Ava Williams 69 Mindy Farren 62 Anthony Stauder 51 Sarah Brian 38

13th Clergy Ballot Results

published 6/4/2011
Total Ballots Cast: 256 Needed to Elect: 129 Shane Bishop 106 Keith Zimmerman 90 Gay Crede 15 Rose Booker-Jones 12 Roger Ross 12

13th Lay Ballot Results

published 6/4/2011
Total Ballots Cast: 444 Needed to Elect: 223 LaVon Wilson 155 John Kauerauf 89 Alan Prass 40 Carol Rankin 35 Mary McQuilkin 25 Mindy Farren 15 Mark Crawford 15 Ava Williams 14 Anthony Stauder 12 Sally Smith 8 Sharon Atchison 7 Sarah Brian 6 Karen Hart 6

14th Clergy Ballot Results

published 6/4/2011
Total Ballots Cast: 280 Needed to Elect: 141 Shane Bishop 128 Keith Zimmerman 110 Gay Crede 13

14th Lay Ballot Results

published 6/4/2011
Total Ballots Cast: 484 Needed to Elect: 243 J. LaVon Wilson 257 -- ELECTED John Kauerauf 104 Alan Prass 36 Mary McQuilkin 25 Mark Crawford 12 Anthony Stauder 9 Ava Williams 9 Mindy Farren 8 Sally Smith 5 Sharon Atchison 4 Sarah Brian 2 Karen Hart 2 Dennis Hunt 2 David Bell 2 Andy Black 2

15th Clergy Ballot Results

published 6/4/2011
By rule, top vote getter was elected. Keith Zimmerman 146 -- ELECTED Shane Bishop 134

15th Lay Ballot Results

published 6/4/2011
Total Ballots Cast: 430 Needed to Elect: 216 John Kauerauf 164 Alan Prass 105 Mary McQuilkin 70 Carol Rankin 69 Ava Williams 40 Mindy Farren 37 Mark Crawford 26 Sally Smith 25 Anthony Stauder 24 Sharon Atchison 20 David Bell 16 Sarah Brian 15 Kara Crawford 12

16th Clergy Ballot Results

published 6/4/2011
Total Ballots Cast: 306 Needed to Elect: 154 Shane Bishop 153 Roger Ross 126 Rose Booker-Jones 124 Gay Crede 113 Jason Woolever 96 Dennis Price 77 Rick Van Giesen 67 Beverly Wilkes-Null 67 Carol Lakota Eastin 66 Jeremiah Thompson 63 Alan Rhein 58 Bill Pyatt 51

16th Lay Ballot Results

published 6/4/2011
By rule, the alternate delegates were elected by a plurality. John Kauerauf 197 Alan Prass 136

17th Clergy Ballot Results

published 6/4/2011
Total Ballots Cast:  288 Needed to Elect: 145 Shane Bishop 168 -- ELECTED Rose Booker-Jones 154 -- ELECTED Roger Ross 148 -- ELECTED Gay Crede 138 Jason Woolever 112 Dennis Price 91 Jeremiah Thompson 77 Beverly Wilkes-Null 74 Carol Lakota Eastin 67 Bill Pyatt 63 Alan Rhein 58 Kathy Crozier 37  

18th Clergy Ballot Results

published 6/4/2011
Total Ballots Cast: 298 Needed to Elect: 150 Gay Crede 147 Jason Woolever 111 Dennis Price 98 Jeremiah Thompson 69 Carol Lakota Eastin 65 Beverly Wilkes Null 50 Alan Rhein 48 Bill Pyatt 38 Kathy Crozier 34 Beth Fender 15 Mary Arnold 14 Roger Perry 13

19th Clergy Ballot Results

published 6/4/2011
Total Ballots Cast: 246 Needed to Elect: 124 Gay Crede 125 -- ELECTED Jason Woolever 121 Dennis Price 96 Jeremiah Thompson 56 Carol Lakota Eastin 48 Alan Rhein 38 Beverly Wilkes Null 27 Bill Pyatt 22 Kathy Crozier 19 Beth Fender 15 Mary Arnold 13 Roger Perry 12

20th Clergy Ballot Results

published 6/4/2011
Total Ballots Cast: 248 Needed to Elect: 125 Jason Woolever 138 -- ELECTED Dennis Price 110 Jeremiah Thompson 57 Carol Lakota Eastin 46 Alan Rhein 20 Beverly Wilkes Null 13 Beth Fender 13

21st Clergy Ballot Results

published 6/4/2011
By rule, the top three vote getters were elected for the remaining jurisdictional clergy delegate and two alternate positions: Dennis Price 114 -- ELECTED Jeremiah Thompson 94 -- ELECTED FIRST ALTERNATE Carol Lakota Eastin 71 -- ELECTED SECOND ALTERNATE

Morning Manna focuses on Word, Sign and Deed

published 6/4/2011
Bishop Gregory Palmer used the morning devotional times to examine the Conference theme of Intentional Faith Development from three perspectives: from Word, a focus on Scripture; Sign, a focus on the Sacraments; and Deed, a focus on works. Word “If we are to grow in Christ, we must have a life-long love affair with the Scriptures,” Palmer said, drawing upon Psalm 119: 103, 105.   Utilizing data from the Barna Research Group, Palmer noted the need for being better students of the Bible: People ...

10th Clergy Ballot Results

published 6/3/2011
Total Ballots Cast: 320 Needed to Elect: 161 Jan Griffith 146 Andy Adams 142 Shane Bishop 140 Keith Zimmerman 108 Roger Ross 67 Gay Crede 61 Rose Booker-Jones 35 Jason Woolever 31 Carol Lakota Eastin 16 Jeremiah Thompson 13 Kathy Crozier 12 Dennis Price 11 Bill Pyatt 11 Beth Fender 11

10th Lay Ballot Results

published 6/3/2011
Total Ballots Cast: 588 Needed to Elect: 295 Melissa Cavillo 373 -- ELECTED ALTERNATE TO GC; first NCJ delegate Robin Williams 287 Fred Iutzi 259 Steve Schonert 259 Carolyn Yockey 237 LaVon Wilson 215 John Kauerauf 194 Alan Prass 154 Carol Rankin 147 Mary McQuilkin 129 Mindy Farren 105 Ava Williams 103 Sarah Brian 84  

11th Clergy Ballot Results

published 6/3/2011
Total Ballots Cast: 326 Needed to Elect: 164 Andy Adams 167 -- ELECTED Jan Griffith 162 Shane Bishop 147 Keith Zimmerman 116 Roger Ross 59 Gay Crede 56 Rose Booker-Jones 34 Jason Woolever 31 Carol Lakota Eastin 20 Kathy Crozier 16 Beth Fender 13 Jeremiah Thompson 11

Bishop White Offers Advice to Newly Ordained

published 6/3/2011
Work like heaven. Learn when to let go and let God. Enjoy the Ride! Those words of advice were given by retired Bishop Woodie  White to the Class of 2011 Ordinands of the IGRC.   The occasion was especially meaningful for White, who 50 years ago this month married and also was ordained as a pastor. "I made two vows that June," White said. "Til death do we part to my wonderful wife and til death do we part to The Methodist Church. What a gift and what a June it was."   Interspersing stories from ...

Cabinet Challenges Congregations to Read Through Bible in a Year

published 6/3/2011
The IGRC Cabinet used its address to encourage United Methodists to continue to practice the spiritual disciplines of fasting and add an additional component: reading through the Bible within the next year. “Teams that consistently win keep doing the basics well,” IGRC Co-Chair Randy Reese said. “The cabinet will lead you again this year in a call to First Thursdays … a call to prayer and fasting. It’s a spiritual discipline that is much more than a one-year fling.”   Co-Chair In-Sook Hwang ...

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  

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