DuBois Center Fall Festival Postponed

Again, with a heavy heart, we announce that another major DuBois Center event is postponed. As you are hopefully aware, our priority is the health and safety of our campers, guests and staff. As COVID-19 cases rise steadily throughout Washington county, our region, and across the nation, it is clear that to proceed with this event would not be the cautious or sensible approach. As we examined the amount of nearly constant disinfecting, crowd control and monitoring that would be required, it became clear that to proceed was just not feasible. THANKS to everyone who has already invested time and energy in this event. We are looking forward to celebrating together again in 2021. The first Fall Open House was held in 1977; that was the beginning of our annual Fall Festival. This would have been year #43 for this important friend- and fund-raising event.

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.

Annual Meeting
October 24, 2020

Greetings from the Gatherings Team of the UCC Illinois South Conference:

As we all try to plan for future events, we are faced with many questions and considerations as to how we will function as a church for Sunday worship, Christian education programs, special events like funerals and weddings, and for our particular team, how to plan for our Conference annual meeting.

By this time in years past, your church would have received a pre-annual meeting mailing (90 days prior to the annual meeting, as per our by-laws) with a specific agenda of activities and registration information, as well as a reminder to send the names of your conference delegates to the ISC office. As much as the Gatherings Team would like to abide by the by-laws, we are just not able to provide a lot of specific information at this point.

The Covid-19 pandemic certainly threw a monkey wrench into the plans that we had been making since last November. By April we realized that a large, in-person annual meeting was not the best idea.  For the safety of our church leaders and pastors, we recommended to the Conference Council that a virtual meeting be considered. The Conference Council determined in May that we would hold a “virtual annual meeting.”

After five months of planning, we had to “throw out the book” and reconfigure a meeting in a way we have never done before. We still have a theme, a guest speaker, and a guest musician. We will still have a business meeting and worship service, but how this is all going to happen is still a work in progress.

At this point, we would like to ask for your support in two specific ways:

  • We ask for your patience as we put together a safe yet effective annual meeting. It will be held on October 24 with additional opportunities for continuing education and gathering during that weekend. There are still too many “unknowns.” Therefore, we hesitate to share specifics which may change a week later. Please know we will work to keep you updated with our plans. We will send out information as we have more clarity.
  • If you are still in the process of determining your delegates for annual meeting, we would ask you to consider approaching church members who have a computer (with video capability) and email to serve in this capacity. You may also consider having an annual meeting “watch party” at your church where your delegates can come together to experience annual meeting in a smaller, safer venue and without the travel.

We are deeply grateful for your support of us as we will work to make this annual meeting a meaningful experience for all.  Thank you for your patience and understanding.
Sincerely,
The Illinois South Conference Gatherings Team
Walt Hart, Chair                                              Carol Harms
Eileen Hoag                                                    Rev. Shana Johnson
Chilang Lawless                                              Mimi Llamas
Christy Pursell                                                 Pastor Jon Tinge
Rev. Michelle Torigian                                    Rev. Andy Wilson
Click here for a pdf to share with your church delegates.

Updates from your Conference about the Coronavirus-19

COVID Update #14, June 29, 2020
COVID Update #13, June 15, 2020
Previous Updates & Articles

Worship Resources

Faithfully Phasing Forward click here

Guidelines for Worship & Religious Services, click here.

UCC As Congregations Consider Re-opening Their Buildings for Worship

Click here for worship resources shared by the Pastors of Illinois South Conference and more.

UCC offers information about Social Media and Digital Downloads. Click here to download.

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Find out what is happening within the 77 churches within Illinois South Conference.

Yes, Your UCC Church Qualifies as a 501(c)(3)
During my 6-year tenure with ISC, I have been asked numerous times by numerous churches to provide proof and documentation for 501(c)(3) status.  One church recently told me that they researched for 3 weeks before calling into the ISC office.  I hated to hear that!  So, I want to make sure you know that proof of 501(c)(3) status is as easy as sending an email or making a phone call.
Being a 501(c)(3) means that a nonprofit organization has been approved by the IRS as a federal tax exempt, charitable organization.  Churches often need proof of this particular status when they are requesting money from a business for a ministry they support; they want to accept donations through Facebook or PayPal; or someone makes a large donation and the donor desires proof of the charitable status.
The Illinois South Conference and each of our churches have 501(c)(3) status.  The National UCC holds the 501(c)(3) status for all the conferences and therefore all of our UCC churches.  They act as an umbrella organization for all the UCC churches.  That's beneficial for all of us because it means that the National UCC does the paperwork for all of us!
It's important to provide current dates and documents when the request is made, so we suggest asking for this documentation when proof is actually needed.   When you need proof of 501(c)(3) status, contact Christy at email.
Christy Pursell
A Worship Service for Your Church

Here is a bulletin and a worship service video developed by Illinois South Conference for your use. The hope is to provide your pastor with a week of respite from planning worship. You may use it this Sunday, June 28 or any other Sunday of your choosing. Each church may choose the date and time to share with your congregation. Click here for the bulletin to accompany the above service.
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Changing Lives

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OCWM

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Friends of the Conference

Donate to
DuBois Center

Donate to
Ecuador Partnership

Donate to
Advent St. Nicholas
Church in Ecuador

Donate to
ISC Hunger/Food Action

Information through the UCC denomination 

Daily COVID-19 Briefing from UCC - Facts, Not Fear
If you would like to receive a Daily Briefing from UCC Disaster Ministries on COVID-19 which separates facts from falsehoods and fear, send an email by this link. It is prepared Monday through Friday by Barbara T. Baylor, MPH.

The UCC website has a page dedicated to the COVID-19 situation which is being regularly updated.

How to Do Electronic GIVING at Your Church

Websites to monitor 

These websites remain our best sources for accurate and regularly updated information.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has particular guidance for community and faith-based organizations you might review.

CDC Summary of the Situation

CDC Symptoms and Prevention

The Illinois Department of Health 

Legal/Copyright Advice

Many churches move to live broadcasts and shared videos of their worship services. Now that you’ve worked out the process, you need to give some thought to what kinds of licensing you need to share these works.  There was an initial window where licensing requirements were suspended, but that has passed.

Fortunately, Members of Faith INFO, The Pilgrim Press, and UCC Legal Counsel have your back. They have created a video to address your questions about copyright, legal implications, licensing, streaming, and more. Check it out on YouTube.