Kevin Kessler, District Executive
Paul Kohler, Moderator
Leslie Lake, Moderator-Elect
Andrea Garnett, Administrative Assistant
Debbie Noffsinger, Newsletter Publisher
Jim Miner, District Webmaster
|Upcoming Dates: National Junior High Conference|
National Junior High Conference registration opens on Jan. 14. The conference is scheduled for June 14-16.
For more info and registration links go to www.brethren.org/yya
|Upcoming Dates: Young Adult Conference|
Young Adult Conference registration opens Jan. 25, for the conference on May 24 – 26.
For more info and registration links go to www.brethren.org/yya
Camp Emmaus to Offer Eco-Discipleship Retreat
Camp was likely one of the first places where you had the opportunity to explore the values of biblical earthkeeping. Whether it was activities like participating in worship outdoors, composting food scraps, or learning how to “leave no trace” while hiking in the woods; each experience left an indelible imprint on your faith formation.
Outdoor Ministry Association Board members Jonathan Stauffer and Randall Westfall have come to believe that living attuned with God’s creation is now essential to our discipleship with Jesus. In recent years, we have rediscovered just how attuned to creation Jesus was. His teachings often made a point by drawing on the natural world around him. He knew God’s wisdom came from these encounters and sought them out intentionally. He sought the solace of the wilderness, the sea, the mountain, and the garden to regenerate his ministry and mission. Jesus was drawing on a blueprint as old as creation itself.
As a result, Jonathan and Randall have crafted an innovative weekend retreat entitled “Cultivating a Verdant Faith.” Sessions are scheduled for March 8 - 10 in the winter retreat lodge at Camp Emmaus. Each day weaves eco-practices into the fabric of one’s discipleship and spiritual formation with Christ. By exploring the four directions of eco-discipleship, along with bible study, worship, and group discussions; participants will unearth their relationship with creation in new and profound ways. Ages 18 and up, are invited to unplug and rediscover the eco-blueprint of faith that our Creator gave us.
If you’re interested in registering for this unique spiritual formation experience, please read the brochure. You may contact retreat leaders for more event information. CEUs will be available through Brethren Academy. (Note: The retreat needs at least 10 registrants committed by Feb 4 to carry out and is limited to 25 participants.) They hope to see you at Camp Emmaus in March 2019!
Contact info: Email: Phone:
Jonathan Stauffer firstname.lastname@example.org (815) 973-0247
Randall Westfall email@example.com (231) 867-3618
Please complete brochure flap, tear it off and send the slip to:
506 S Franklin Ave
Polo, IL 61064
Checks for the retreat can be made payable to Jonathan Stauffer.
|Christian Citizenship Seminar 2019|
The next Christian Citizenship Seminar will be April 27 – May 2, 2019
Christian Citizenship Seminar (CSS) provides high school aged students the chance to explore the relationship between faith and a particular political issue, and then act from a faith perspective regarding that issue.
This Christian Citizenship Seminar will focus on innovative approaches to resolving conflict and preventing civilian harm.
Who is eligible to attend?
All high school youth and their adult advisors are eligible to attend the seminar. Churches are strongly encouraged to send an advisor with their youth, even if only one or two youth attend. Churches are required to send one advisor for every four youth.
Registration is limited to the first 60 participants.
What is the cost?
The $425 registration fee includes:
- Event programming
- Lodging for five nights
- 2 dinner meals, one in New York City and one in Washington D.C.
- Transportation from New York to Washington D.C.
Note: Each participant will need to bring additional money for most meals, sightseeing, personal expenses, and subway/taxi fares.
What if I have questions?
If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact Emmett Witkovsky-Eldred, the Youth and Young Adult Ministry Assistant, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 847-429-4385.
|National Youth Sunday - May 5, 2019|
National Youth Sunday will be May 5, 2019.
Resources for 2019 workshop planning will be available early in the year.
|2019 Camp Emmaus Schedule|
|Memorial Day Family Camp
||5/24 thru 5/27
||7/7 thru 7/13
||7/14 thru 7/17
|Young at Heart
||7/17 thru 7/21
||7/21 thru 7/27
||7/28 thru 8/2
||8/2 thru 8/4
||8/3 thru 8/4
||8/8 thru 8/10
|Labor Day Family Camp
||8/30 thru 9/2
Tentative - Wilderness Camp/Retreat held during spring break on a Friday thru Sunday
Directed by Jonathan Stauffer & Randall Westphall
|Young Adult Conference 2019|
May 24-26, 2019
Camp Blue Diamond, near Petersburg, Pennsylvania
Young Adult Conference (YAC) offers people ages 18-35 a chance to enjoy fellowship, worship, recreation, Bible study, service projects and more…
Plan to spend Memorial Day weekend with awesome young adults! There will be worship, fellowship, recreation, learning... There will be a lot of coffee, s'mores, good camp food, and laughter. Sleep? Probably not. Too much fun to be had!
For updates, follow Church of the Brethren Youth and Young Adult Ministries, and visit http://www.brethren.org/yac/, and RSVP! All Church of the Brethren Young Adults (18-35) are invited and encouraged to attend!
- Registration ($150) includes food, lodging and programming!
- Scholarships: Upon request, we will send a letter to your congregation asking them to provide a $75 scholarship. Make your request by April 1. Scholarships are also available to BVSers who are currently serving.
- A non-refundable deposit of $75 is due within two weeks of registering.
Questions? Contact Emmett Witkovsky-Eldred, email@example.com, 847-429-4376.
|National Junior High Conference|
National Junior High Conference 2019:
Strong and Courageous
National Junior High Conference will be June 14-16, 2019 at Elizabethtown College in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania
Register by March 31 to take advantage of our early-bird registration fee: $180 per person. Starting April 1, registration increases to $210 per person. A non-refundable deposit of $100 is required within two weeks of submitting your online registration to hold your spot. Registration opens January 14.
National Junior High Conference is for youth who have completed 6-8 grades and their advisors.
Sing, laugh, worship, make friends from all over the country, and spend time with God!
A travel scholarship is available to those who live west of the Mississippi. Click here to download a scholarship request form.
Contact Emmett Witkovsky-Eldred in the Youth/Young Adult Ministry Office at 847-429-4385 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
|2019 Annual Conference|
Annual Conference 2019
“Proclaim Christ; Reclaim Passion”
The Church of the Brethren Annual Conference Office has announced speakers and other worship leadership for the 2019 Annual Conference.
With the unique format of this year’s Conference, in which most business will be suspended so that delegates and others can engage in the “Compelling Vision” process, the worship schedule will differ from its typical format. Evening worship will be similar to previous years, but each day will also feature a morning worship service, with an abbreviated singing time and a shorter sermon, for a total service length of about half an hour.
Donita Keister, moderator of the 2019 Conference and associate pastor of Buffalo ValleyChurch of the Brethren in Mifflinburg, Pa., will speak at the opening worship service on Wednesday evening. Other evening worship speakers include Jonathan Prater of Rockingham, Va., on Thursday; Tim and Audrey Hollenberg-Duffey of Hagerstown, Md., on Friday; and Jeremy Ashworth of Peoria, Ariz., on Saturday.
Morning speakers include Brethren Press publisher Wendy McFadden of Elgin, Ill., on Thursday; Joel Peña of Lancaster, Pa., on Friday; and LaDonna Sanders Nkosi of Chicago on Saturday. Tim Harvey, of Roanoke, Va., will speak at the traditional closing worship on Sunday morning.
Members of this year’s worship planning team are Joel Gibbel of York, Pa.; Erin Matteson of Modesto, Calif.; and Cesia Morrison of Christiansburg, Va. Danielle Sommers of Lewisburg, Pa., will serve as music coordinator; Geneva Price of New Madison, Ohio, as choir director; Jonathan Emmons of Greensboro, N.C., as organist; Lucas Finet of Nokesville, Va., as pianist; and Karen Stutzman of Winston-Salem, N.C., as children’s choir director. Bethany Theological Seminary faculty member Dan Ulrich of Greenville, Ohio, will be the Bible study leader.
For more information on Annual Conference, visit www.brethren.org/ac.
|Guest Speaker List|
There is a Speakers List for the Illinois/Wisconsin District. Persons included in this document have accepted the invitation to be available to preach during worship services or for other special events as indicated. Hopefully you will find this tool useful and valuable when the need arises for inviting a guest speaker.
The speakers on this list are all credentialed ministers, either licensed or ordained. We would like to expand the list to include more credentialed ministers as well as interested laity. If your name is absent from the list and you have interest in serving as a guest speaker, please inform the district office. We would also welcome the names of persons you might suggest for inclusion on the list.
Since this is a new venture, it is likely we may need to provide more information than is included. Your input as to how the list can be improved would be welcomed.
Please share with the District Office any questions, comments, or concerns you may have.
|Mission and Mortar|
The purpose of the Illinois/Wisconsin District is supporting the growth and development of the member churches. One means of support is financial assistance. Congregations in good standing are eligible to apply for assistance through the Mission and Mortar Program.
Sustaining and developing ministry (mission) within congregations, as well as maintaining property (mortar), is sometimes hindered because of inadequate financial resources. The Illinois/Wisconsin District realizes that this dilemma exists and desires to financially support congregations that are in good standing with the district and have specific needs. Application for assistance may be made for up to a three-year period with reductions in the amount of support for each subsequent year. In the event that multi-year assistance is needed, a graduated agreement for funding will be arranged, but a request for the funds must be made annually.
Read the brochure for more details.
All ordained ministers, licensed ministers, and congregations need to keep the District Office informed of changes in contact information. Changes include: phone number, cell phone number, email address, mailing address, and congregational email or website. Please email Andrea Garnett, email@example.com, or call (309)649-6008 with your updates. Your effort will save valuable staff time trying to track down these changes. Other information to share: changes in key leadership positions at the church or the death or serious illnesses of minister, retired ministers, or spouses. Help us serve better!
|CEU Credits for Ordained Ministers|
Do not wait to begin to log your Continuing Education Units. The 2015 Five-year Ordination Review process for ALL ordained ministers will launch in 2014. Ordained ministers are required to produce verification of 5 CEU credits for this five-year period. It is your responsibility to secure certificates, letters or verifying documentation regarding CEU credit. Retired clergy are exempt from this requirement with the exception of those retired clergy actively involved in Interim Ministry.
CEU Notation: The district does not grant CEU credit for personal study and/or self-designed experiences you have had and/or books you have read. It is the minister's responsibility to secure a CEU certificate, Letter of Verification, and/or authentication document for completed training, seminars or workshops, or learning experiences offered by the presenting organization. This verification should always state the number of hours of the training - 10 hours of training equals 1.0 CEU credits. Please take personal initiative to become a life-long learner and increasingly effective minister of the Gospel.
The Gifts Discernment and Call Committee seeks your help. We are commissioned to call active, informed, and committed members of congregations or fellowships from within our District to positions of service. These persons, both pastors and lay members, are to be called from all parts of the District and to represent the diversity among us. Our committee's knowledge of members eligible and capable to serve is limited. Therefore, we make this appeal for assistance.
- Each congregation in the district has a Liaison Leadership Team member who may be contacted with any questions or concerns about the ministries of our district.
- Add news, announcements, or your congregation's web site URL to the district site. Email your information to the