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Who we are
Please use the contact form to contact Illinois Yearly Meeting. Your message will be directed to the proper person. Please also use the contact form to request a contact phone number or mailing address (mail should not be sent to the meetinghouse).
You are also welcome to join our email announcements list. Just send us a message and ask that your name be added.
ILYM is a spiritual community of Quakers, also known as the Religious Society of Friends. Though the individuals in this community attend some 21 affiliated local Meetings across four states, each summer the Meeting gathers in a retreat near McNabb, Illinois to worship together and to conduct the business of the community. This business includes issues related to lay ministry, religious education, the practice of faith, volunteer service, public witness, publications, Meetinghouse site improvement, and finances. The ILYM Meetinghouse is also the worship site for Clear Creek Friends, as well as for workshops, retreats and committee meetings.
ILYM includes Blue River Quarterly Meeting and has an overlay with Metropolitan Chicago General Meeting of Friends. Histories are available for Blue River Quarterly Meeting and Meetings in the area of Chicago General Meeting.
In 1834, Friends began to worship in the Clear Creek area at the site of what is now the Friends Cemetery (where Quaker abolitionist Benjamin Lundy is buried). Indeed, the Clear Creek Monthly Meeting of Friends is the oldest continuous monthly meeting in Illinois Yearly Meeting. The current Meetinghouse was built about two miles east of the cemetery in 1875, when Illinois Yearly Meeting was formed.
For more information about the Religious Society of Friends, please consult this list for a collection of internet resources.
The meetinghouse is located in the peaceful, fertile midst of corn and soybean fields near McNabb, which is 110 miles southwest of Chicago, 220 miles north-northeast of Saint Louis, Missouri, 60 miles north of Bloomington-Normal, and 90 miles south of Rockford.
The historic meetinghouse is wheelchair accessible, with an accessible restroom. Some of the other buildings at the site are not.
McNabb is about fifteen miles southwest of the intersection of I-39 and I-80.
From the south, northbound on I-39, take exit 41 left/west on Rt. 18 toward Henry. After Magnolia, turn right/north on Rt. 89 and continue as below.
From the north, southbound on I-39, take exit 51 right/west on Rt. 71 toward Hennepin. After Standard, turn left/south on Rt. 89 and continue as below.
The meetinghouse lane is signposted (see photo below) on Rt. 89, about one mile south of McNabb and two miles north of Magnolia. Turn east on the lane and go ½ mile; parking is on the north side and the large white meetinghouse is on the south side of the lane.
The following image is from Mapquest. Zoom out to see the context amid the Interstate system. The yearly meeting's 12-acre campus includes a variety of environments and buildings and has three distinct parts. The south campus near the center of the property is home to the historic Illinois Yearly Meetinghouse built in 1875, the largest and most prominent building on the grounds (the star marks the driveway to the meetinghouse). It includes a large lawn that often serves as a gathering and play-space in front of the open meetinghouse porch, and is framed by groves of trees to each side. The north campus, across the road from the meetinghouse is shaded by trees and includes a bathhouse, six unheated cabins without electricity, as well as space for tents and camping vehicles to set up. It also includes a bunkhouse building, a rustic meeting space called the Fox Hole and a large fire pit. The west campus originally was a farmstead and includes the Clear Creek House. There are also old farm buildings including a post and beam barn with attached milking
shed, three silos, a grain bin, an equipment shed and a long chicken shed. The site has beautiful views across open farm fields in all directions.
The 911 address assignment is 14365 N. 350 Ave., McNabb, IL, 61335 (phone 815-882-2214) — but this may not work in the some gps systems or mapping websites. The street may be listed in those systems as "N. 350th Ave" or "County Road 350 N." For postal mail please contact us through the contact form for appropriate addresses.