Farewell, welcoming celebration information


SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Great Rivers Conference will say farewell to Bishop Gregory and Cynthia Palmer in two weekend events and will welcome its new episcopal leader in a Sept. 30 worship service.

Farewell celebrations will be held on Sunday, Aug. 12 at Normal Calvary UMC and on Sunday, Aug. 19 at Fairview Heights Christ UMC.  Both services will be from 3 to 5 p.m.
The Area Episcopacy Committee will host a welcome celebration for Bishop Jonathan and Beverly Keaton on Sunday, Sept. 30 at Springfield First UMC. The service will begin at 4 p.m.  The Keatons are completing their second four-year term in the Michigan Area and will be moving to Springfield Sept. 1.
Persons wishing to send greetings of welcome to the Keatons may do so by emailing: bishopsoffice@miareaumc.org until Sept. 1 and to bishop@igrc.org after Sept. 1.  Letters can be mailed to the Illinois Area Office, P. O. Box 19215, Springfield, IL  62794-9215.
As a way of saying thanks to the Palmers, congregations are urged to take up a special offering as a farewell gift aimed at finishing the $2.3 million fundraising effort for Imagine No Malaria.  Currently, the conference is just under $400,000 from meeting its goal. Bishop Palmer, in his farewell message in the August Current, mentioned that this was the one piece of unfinished work he regrets isn’t finished when he leaves Illinois.
“The remaining $400,000 is achievable if each congregation, based on its weekly worship attendance would give $7 per regular attendee,” said the Rev. Jan Griffith, executive assistant to the bishop and one of the conference leaders of the Imagine No Malaria campaign. “We have made great strides toward doing our part to eradicate deaths by malaria. Let’s honor Bishop and Mrs. Palmer by stretching ourselves to reach this goal.” 
The two celebrations will include a time of remembering the four years of ministry under Bishop Palmer. IGRC Communications is inviting congregations and individuals wishing to express their thanks to the Palmers by taping those greetings and sending a DVD to IGRC Communications to be included in the farewell video.
Videos need to be recorded and sent to: IGRC Communications, P. O. Box 19207, Springfield, IL 62794-9207, no later than Friday, Aug. 3. If you are planning to submit a video clip, please contact Michele Willson so clips can be tracked as they arrive. Persons and churches submitting are asked to keep their remarks brief so major editing will not have to occur in order to fit the time constraints. All videos should begin with the name of who is speaking and if there is a group, the name of the church and district.