Kevin Kessler, District Executive
Stan Rodabaugh, Moderator
Dana McNeil, Moderator-elect
Beth Carpentier, Administrative Assistant
Gil Crosby, Newsletter Editor
Debbie Noffsinger, Newsletter Publisher
- Ventures in Christian Discipleship
Ventures in Christian Discipleship is an initiative developed by the Plans to Pacific Roundtable (PPR). PPR is a self-appointed group of Brethren who have been meeting for about 10 years looking for ways to support and encourage small congregations in the Church of the Brethren, particularly west of the Mississippi and now including Illinois and Wisconsin.
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 Jesusâ€™ footsteps to transform ourselves and the world. You are invited to journey with others on this new pathway sponsored by McPherson College.
The purpose of Ventures is to offer training in Christian discipleship for lay leaders in small congregations. The areas of training include courses each year in:
* positive envisionment of small congregational life.
download a brochure
* spiritual nurture.
* human justice and world issues.
* "how to" and operational training for effective small congregational life.
- Camp Emmanuel Schedule for 2015
March 8 - Directors Meeting
March 8 - CIT Training
April 11 - CIT Training
April 11 - Camp Opening/Work day
April 12-18 - Work week
June 5-7 - Womens' Camp
June 7-13 - High School Camp (9th-12th grade)
June 14-20 - Middle School Camp (6th-8th grade)
June 21-27 - Junior Camp (3rd-5th grade)
June 25-27 - Pre-Junior Camp (K-2nd grade)
July 31-August 2 - Mens' Camp
September 4-7 - Family Camp
September 19 - Fish Fry
October 24 - Camp Closing
- Camp Emmaus Schedule for 2015
Memorial Day Family Camp - May 22-25
Elementary II Camp - July 5-8
Women's Camp - July 9-11
Church of the Brethren Annual Conference - July 11-15
Counselor In Training Event - July 17-19
Elementary I Camp - July 18-19
Senior High Camp - July 19-25
Junior High Camp - July 26-August 1
Elementary III Camp - August 2-7
Young Adult and Young at Heart Camp - August 7-11
Labor Day Family Camp - September 4-7
- National Junior High Conference
National Junior High Conference will be held June 19-21 on the campus of Elizabethtown (Pa.) College. The conference will invite youth and their advisors to consider Romans 12:1-2. The theme, “Living the Change: Our Offering to God,” asks participants to consider taking their everyday, ordinary life--our sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking around life--and place it before God as an offering.
As junior high youth encounter a number of changes in their lives, the conference will encourage them to live the changes in ways pleasing to God. The event will be enriched by worship speakers Lauren Seganos, Steve Schweitzer, Amy Gall-Ritchey, and Eric Bishop. Seth Hendricks will be coordinating music, and worship will be coordinated by Rebekah Houff and Trent Smith.
In addition to four celebrations of worship, there will be time for learning during workshops and time for play during recreation and evening activities.
Online registration is open at www.brethren.org/njhc. Register now to take advantage of early bird rates! Through March 31, the cost is $160 per person. After March 31, the cost for regular registration is $185 per person. Travel scholarships are available to those who live west of the Mississippi River.
For more information and to register, visit www.brethren.org/njhc or call 847-429-4389. National Junior High Conference is sponsored by the Church of the Brethren Youth and Young Adult Office.
- 2015 National Older Adult Conference
Join us for the
2015 National Older Adult Conference
September 7-11, 2015
Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center
in the beautiful mountains of western North Carolina
Come. Listen to the stories of Jesus...
NOAC is a Spirit-filled gathering of adults who love learning and discerning together, exploring God's call for their lives and living out that call by sharing their energy, insight, and legacy with their families, communities, and the world.
Discern what truths are being revealed for our lives.
Explore the echoes of Christ's parables in our own life stories.
Discover the unfinished chapters in God's story of our lives.
Then go. Share the stories of Jesus and your own stories with others...
"Go back and weave those stories into the lives
of your grandchildren and great-grandchildren."
Indeed, into the lives of everyone your life touches.
Information about lodging reservations is in the registration brochure which is online. Conference center lodging can be arranged directly with Lake Junaluska Conference Center. People requesting special consideration due to age (75+) or physical/functional limitations can reserve lodging beginning April 1. All others are asked to wait to reserve lodging until April 16.
Right now, only the NOAC home page is online, including a PDF of the registration brochure, but very soon all the conference information will be available there. Please encourage people to visit the website.
Often people say that they don't want to attend NOAC because they aren't old! Please let people know the conference is for people age 50 and older, and many younger people - those in their 20s and 30s - love coming to NOAC to help the conference run smoothly. The younger adults don't understand why people age 50, 60, 70, and even older don't want to go to NOAC. The young adults encourage those over 50 to give it a try!
PS: go to www.brethren.org/NOAC and click on the link to the registration brochure for a sneak peak at all NOAC 2015 has to offer!
- 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, 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.
- 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