Exciting News for DuBois Center and the Illinois South Conference of the United Church of Christ

The Search Committee and the Executive Committee are pleased to announce the Illinois South Conference has extended a two-year contract with Hayley Elliott for the position of Acting Director of Outdoor Ministry. After an extensive search process which included: Zoom interviews; submissions of candidates’ faith journeys and personal theology; a strategic plan of staffing, programming, finances, and partnerships for the coming year at DuBois Center; checking candidates’ professional references; and an onsite tour of DuBois, the Search Committee unanimously recommended Hayley to serve as the Acting Director of Outdoor Ministry.

Hayley Elliott was born and raised in West Virginia, where love of nature and earth were instilled in her from a young age. She spent most of her formative summers at church camp and has fond memories of learning to swim, making friends, playing games, and learning the importance of faith formation in this setting. As she grew up, she began volunteering at camp and eventually became a camp counselor.

Hayley received a B.S. in Business Administration from Mars Hill University. Her undergraduate capstone project was related to the digital and social marketing of camps and how to reach new audiences and form new partnerships. After completing undergraduate studies, Hayley entered Vanderbilt Divinity School in Nashville, where she completed an MTS (Master of Theological Studies) degree. While in divinity school, Hayley furthered her commitment to youth education by working at a local elementary and middle school as the lead counselor in their afterschool and summer programs.

After graduating from Vanderbilt Divinity School, Hayley and her wife, Rachel, moved to Denver, Colorado so that Rachel could complete a yearlong CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education) residency. During this time, Hayley worked full time as an anti-money laundering analyst while maintaining an additional role as a co-director for youth and children at Sixth Avenue UCC and sharing her gifts at LaForet Conference and Retreat Center, the Rocky Mountain Conference's camp.

Hayley is very passionate about outdoor ministry within the United Church of Christ and excited about the future of caring for God's creation and extending God's extravagant welcome at DuBois Center!

Hayley will begin her new ministry with us on Monday, April 5, 2021. In the meantime, the Outdoor Ministry Team has done a phenomenal job creating staffing, programming, and safety contingency plans to hold programming this summer in some form at DuBois Center with summer staff onsite to welcome children, youth, and adults to experience what makes DuBois Center such a special and sacred space.

The Illinois South Conference sincerely thanks the Search Committee for the time and energy they spent in prayerful and Spirit-led discussions, deliberations, and decisions.

Its members were:
Craig Bielke, Illinois South Conference member at large and leader of Conference-wide youth retreats held at DuBois Center
Hank Henderson, representative of the Personnel Committee of the Conference and member of St. John UCC, Trenton, Illinois
Rachel Kinzinger, representative of the Outdoor Ministry Team of the Conference and former staff member of DuBois Center
Nancy Wagner, current chairperson of the Outdoor Ministry Team of the Conference and member of St. Paul UCC, Lebanon, IL
Dr. Jill Baker, ex-officio member and Moderator of the Illinois South Conference
Rev. Shana Johnson, ex-officio member and Conference Minister of the Illinois South Conference
We can’t wait for you to meet Hayley soon!! Click here for a pdf version of the announcement to share with your congregations.

Illinois South  Conference shares  the  inspiring  stories  that  show the  faith-filled  lives  within  our  Conference.  We  hope this  gives  you  comfort  during  this  time  of  sheltering  in  place.

If you know of stories that show people being the church, please send it to ISCspirit@iscucc.org. Share the stories that are warming your heart. #ISCspirit.

To see all of the #iscspirit stories, click here.

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Zoom Prayer and Lectionary Lunch Hour for Pastors
The Local Church Ministries team hosts a weekly Zoom Prayer and Lectionary Lunch Hour on Wednesdays from 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm for all Illinois South Conference pastors. This is an opportunity for clergy in the Conference to get together for weekly prayer, support, and the sharing of preaching and worship ideas for the coming Sunday.  An email with Zoom link was sent to all pastors. The same link is used each week.
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UPCOMING STEWARDSHIP WEBINARS From the UCC Generosity Outreach Officer, Rev. Andrew Warner

July 28 at 3 pm:           Pastors & Paychecks: The Inner Work of our Relationship with Money
A Reflection with Pastors. Click here to join the meeting at that date and time.

Aug 23 at 5:30 pm: Annual Campaigns 101
An Introduction to Stewardship for Pastors and Lay Leaders

Designed for pastors and lay leaders planning an annual pledge campaign, we will explore ways to create an effective campaign.  We will reflect on core purpose of a campaign, discuss practical steps leaders can take, and explore creative ideas to design a campaign uniquely suited to your congregation.  Join this webinar to develop and strengthen plans for a successful fall campaign.  Click here to join the meeting at that date and time.

Oct 6 at 4 pm: Don’t Beg – Rethinking the Stewardship Sermon
A Conversation with Pastors

A Bible Study for pastors as we think through options for sermons on Stewardship for a fall pledge campaign.  We will be guided by Henri Nouwen’s observation, “Fundraising is precisely the opposite of begging. Rather, we are declaring, ‘We have a vision that is amazing and exciting.’” Click here to join the meeting at that date and time.

Nov 10 at 5:30 pm: Planned Giving to Support Mission and Ministry
An Introduction to Planned Giving for Pastors and Lay Leaders

While a significant wealth transfer occurs (and will occur) in our country as our eldest generation passes, many congregations and ministries remain unprepared to promote planned giving options among their members.  Only 5% of people leave a charitable bequest even though nearly a third of people would if asked or invited to consider one.  Through this webinar, you will learn key concepts and create an actionable plan for your congregation or ministry. Click here to join the meeting at that date and time.