October 1, 2020

From the District Superintendent

When Moses led people to the promised land, he appointed a lay leader and his name was Greg Chapman. Greg led the people (with Joshua and the Israelites) into the glorious land we now call the Aurora District.  

Ok, maybe my Scripture reading is a bit off, but it is true that Greg Chapman has served the Aurora District very well over the past (many) years. It is time, however, for new energy to come in and continue the work that he has done so well. Greg has committed to staying involved in the life of the district and will be engaging in some new and exciting connectional work to help boost churches in their vitality. He has done so much for all of us and I know God is saying, “well done good and faithful servant, well done.” I hope you will all send a note to him thanking him for his service and his love. He always reminds me that the reason he has put in so many hours and resources into the church is because he is in love with Jesus. Well, Greg that is easy to see!
The task of replacing Greg was not easy, but what drew me to our new District Lay Leader was his humble love of the church and his passion for small groups. He will help us to move in the directly of connection and grace as we strive to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Please give a special welcome to our new District Lay Leader, Ayodeji Sanyaolu (Deji).
Deji is in his third year as the chairperson for the Church Council at Bolingbrook: Friendship (FUMC). He has been a member of FUMC for more 20 years, and Madison: Sun Prairie for 7 years. Deji was born and baptized into the Methodist Church in  Abeokuta, Nigeria, and came to the United States in 1975 to further his education. Deji is a widower and has two grown children and one grandchild. 
He obtained a bachelor's in Aerospace Engineering from West Virginia University, an MBA in Operations Management from Governors State University, IL; and a master's in Industrial and Systems Engineering from Virginia Tech. For the past 30 years he has worked and served the United States Postal Service in various capacities, including Industrial Engineer, Operations Manager, and Plant Manager. 
What Deji loves and appreciates most about the United Methodist Church is the love for our God and neighbors. In his experience, we are the voice for the voiceless and are called to provide greater outreach for the underprivileged and to practice inclusiveness for fellow human beings regardless of gender, race and wealth.
Please welcome Deji into our district leadership--we are blessed to have him!
Rev. Jeffry Bross, District Superintendent
Aurora District

You Can Do Something Great!

Naperville: Community UMC is holding a four-week "You Can Do Something Great" Evenings of Action series via Zoom that includes discussion and development of an action plan based on Matthew 25:35-36: "…for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me." The series begins on October 8 and will be held each Thursday from 7 - 8pm. Click here for more information. 

Bishop's Monday Message Sept. 28: "The Beauty and Efficacy of Diversity"

Along with many others (not just women, but many women), the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and all the articles and memorials to her life and contributions to our country have been inspiring to me. It’s been a glimmer of beauty in the midst of what have been some troubling times.  

I’ve been a bit of an RBG fan for a while. I thought I knew a fair amount about her—I’d seen the movie and documentary on her life.  But I learned new things that I hadn’t picked up or remembered along the way. Click here to read more.

Click here to watch a video of the Bishop's message.
CLICK on graphic to visit, learn more or register.

Help Children Have a Great Christmas

The holidays are right around the corner and that means it's time for Kids Above All's Holiday Gift Drive! Each year, through the generosity of our faith, community and corporate partners, Kids Above All (formerly ChildServe) helps the children in their programs have a great Christmas. Click here to watch a video and learn more. 

This year's drive runs from November 30 - December 16. For more information or to sponsor a child, contact Deaconess Catherine Inserra at or (847) 224-2870.

Featured Resource: "Finding Hope in the Pandemic"

A group of experienced leaders and professionals from Wheatland Salem Church is offering a 6-session workshop meeting weekly on Tuesdays from 7 - 8:30pm over Zoom video conferencing beginning Oct. 6. This collective grief and loss support seminar will provide a supportive community to explore all the losses and grief recently and over the years. From an exploration of the loss of job, income and identity to the loss of community, school structure, and relationships, we will try to “Find Hope” together.

Being Vital: A Virtual Gathering for Church Workers

The Minnesota Chapter of Professional Administrators of United Methodist Connectional Structure (PAUMCS) invites all church workers to an inspiring and informative day on Monday, Oct. 26 from 10am - 3pm exploring ways to navigate these difficult times. Click here for the flyer. Topics include virtual ministry, successful social media, best practices and doing the work of being anti-racist. $10 voluntary donation appreciated. Click here to register. To learn more about PAUMCS, click here

Be a Blessing to our Immigrant, Refugee and Asylum-Seeking Neighbors

Northern Illinois Justice for Our Neighbors (NIJFON) has been blessed with a $25,000 gift from Berry Memorial UMC in Chicago through the sale of their church’s historic building. During this harvest season, NIJFON would like to challenge NIC congregations to raise an additional $25,000 to double this blessing! The donations will help NIJFON to continue to provide free, high-quality immigration legal services to our immigrant, refugee and asylum-seeking neighbors. Click here to visit their website and donate.

October Reporter Now Available

The October Reporter is on its way to your mailbox! Learn how United Methodists across the country are helping victims of natural disasters. Find out more details about AC2020. Read encouraging stories about pastors finding new ways to engage in ministry.  
Can't wait for the U.S. Mail? Click here to read and share the full pdf edition

Rev. Jeffry Bross
Aurora District Superintendent
312-346-9766 ext. 784

Leola Tucker
Administrative Assistant
312-346-9766 ext. 733

Northern Illinois Conference
of The United Methodist Church
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Chicago, IL 60602

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