Church of the Brethren
Illinois & Wisconsin District

Kevin Kessler, District Executive
Dana McNeil, Moderator
Ellis Boughton, Moderator-Elect
Beth Kelly, Administrative Assistant
Debbie Noffsinger, Newsletter Publisher
Jim Miner, District Webmaster


  • November Events
    November 1 - All Saints Day
    1 - National Junior High Sunday
    1 - Daylight Savings Time
    3 - Election Day
    8 - Stewardship Sunday
    11 - Veteran's Day
    13-15 - District Youth Retreat @ Camp Emmaus
    14 - Camp Emmaus Leaf Raking
    21 - District LT Meeting - Pleasant Hill
    22 - Christ the King Sunday
    26 - Thanksgiving
    29 - First Sunday of Advent
  • Camp Emmaus Schedule for 2015
    District Youth Fall Retreat - November 13-15
    Leaf Raking Day - November 14
  • Ventures in Christian Discipleship

    Nov 21 - Congregational Ethics: Patterns of Healthy Communities - Joshua Brockway
    Jan 16 - The Road we Travel... a journey shared - Deb and Dale Ziegler
    Feb 13 - From Call to Empty Tomb: An Encounter with Jesus - Steve Crain
    Mar 5 - Cymbals and Silence: The Changing Sounds of Worship and Prayer - Dawn Ottoni-Wilhelm
    Apr 23 - Technology for Congregations - Enten Eller

    About the Courses

    Equipping lay people of all ages and education levels with skills and understandings for faithful and dynamic Christian living, action, and leadership with special emphasis on small congregations.

    Registering online is the preferred method. All course times are Central Time. Costs listed are per person. Group rates of $75 per webinar are available for five or more participants who wish to gather in one location for viewing and discussion. Prices are highly subsidized to encourage participation.

    Ventures courses, while not for college credit, offer high-quality instruction at a reasonable cost. The goal of the program is to empower lay people, especially in smaller congregations, to more effectively carry out the work of discipleship, following in Jesus� footsteps to transform ourselves and the world. You are invited to journey with others on this new pathway sponsored by McPherson College.

    Technology Requirements for Live Courses: If you can surf the web, you will be able to participate in our online courses! For the best experience, we recommend that you have a computer with high-speed internet connection and external powered speakers. We encourage several people to share a computer to participate in a course together! No camera or microphone needed for most courses.

  • December Events
    1 - Aids Awareness Day
    6 - Second Sunday of Advent
    10 - Human Right's Day
    13 - Third Sunday of Advent
    20 - Fourth Sunday of Advent
    22 - First day of Winter
    24 - Christmas Eve
    25 - Christmas Day
    31 - New Year's Eve
  • Thank Your From 2015 Moderator Dana McNeil

    Fellow servants of our Lord Jesus Christ

    Thank you for allowing me the honor of being your District Moderator for 2015. It has been a great privilege to serve you.

    I want to offer special thanks to all who served as delegates this year and others who attended our time of business. Your cooperation during the business session was a blessing to all of us as we worked through some difficult issues. Your spirit was commendable as you shared with passion and honesty, and did so with respect for one another.

    I also want to thank those congregations with whom I visited. The conversations were often just as passionate and honest, but again these were always shared with respect and dignity. I ask that you show our new Moderator, Ellis Boughton the same courtesy and love you have shown to me and that you will join me in continually holding him in prayer.

    Lastly, I lift prayers of praise to our Lord Jesus Christ. There is no question that can be asked that He does not have an answer. I thank Him for His great mercy and patience with us as we seek these answers together. Let us truly have ears to hear and eyes to see the fullness of His Glory.

    Yours in Christ Jesus,
    Dana McNeil
    2015 Moderator

  • Spring Continuing Education Event
    Save the date!!!

    Spring Continuing Education Event

    Presenter: Dawn Ottoni-Wilhelm, Brightbill Professor of Preaching and Worship at Bethany Theological Seminary, Richmond, IN

    Topic: Preaching the Reign of God

    Born and reared in Detroit, Michigan, Professor Ottoni-Wilhelm was ordained in the Church of the Brethren in 1987. After serving for three years as a hospital chaplain and nine as a pastor, she completed her doctoral work in Practical Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary in 2004 (focusing on Homiletics and Biblical Studies). She is the Brightbill Professor of Preaching and Worship at Bethany and teaches doctoral courses for the Association of Chicago Theological Seminaries D Min. Program in Preaching. She is an active member of the North American Academy of Homiletics and serves on the governing board of Societas Homiletica (the international association of homileticians).

    Date: April 4-5, 2016

    Time: Beginning Monday evening though Tuesday afternoon

    Location: Bishop Lane Retreat Center, Rockford, IL

    Registration information will follow in a few weeks. Expected fee for the Continuing Education Units offered with this event.

    For more information, contact the District Office:

    Illinois/Wisconsin District Office
    269 E Chestnut St.
    Canton, IL 61520
    Ph: 309-649-6008
    Email: or
    Sponsoring by the Ministerial Leadership Development Team
  • District Potluck
    Breathing in the Spirit

    IL/WI District Potluck
    April 23, 2016

    Registration opens at 8:30am
    Closing Worship finishes at 3:15pm

    Registration Fee:
    $10 per person
    $20 per family
    (No one will be turned away.)

    Hosted by the
    Virden Church of the Brethren

  • Camp Emmaus Schedule for 2016
    Memorial Day Family Camp - May 27-30
    Senior High Camp - July 10-16
    Elementary II Camp - July 17-20
    Young @ Heart Camp - July 20-24
    Junior High Camp - July 24-30
    Elementary III Camp - July 31-August 5
    CIT Training - August 5-7
    Elementary I Camp - August 6-7
    Women's Camp - August 11-14
    Labor Day Family Camp - September 3-5
    Trail Race - September 16-17
  • 2015 District Conference Documents
    * 2015 IL WI District Conference Summary
    * Query Creation Care final (Polo) Dist Conf (Peoria)
    * Response to Human Sexuality Concerns (2015) from District Leadership Team
  • 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
    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, whose mission is to support the growth and development of member congregations, realizes that this dilemma exists and desires to financially support congregations that are in good standing with the district and have specific needs. Congregations in good standing are those that for the past two years have sent delegates to district conference and have supported the district financially with undesignated gifts of at least $100 per year for the past two years.
  • Information Reporting
    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 Beth Carpentier, 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.

  • Gifts Discernment
    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

  • Please check the District Disaster Response website for disaster relief news.