Church of the Brethren
Illinois & Wisconsin District

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


  • DE Ponderings - Kevin Kessler

    The state of affairs in many sectors of life right now is somewhat bleak. Transition, both expected and unexpected, in our denomination leaves us pondering about the direction that needs to be taken. The political climate in our country is anything but polite nowadays. Polarization on a variety of issues seems to be the norm rather than the exception. Fear and terror lurk around every corner of the world. Climate change opens the door to concern for the planet and all life on it. [more...]

  • From the Moderator - Ellis Boughton

    Easter; a time of bunnies, eggs, little children, and candy. Family gatherings, pictures, great food and laughter. We come together as one body. Church attendance swells as families gather to worship and praise God for being in their lives. Children sing special songs and stories of the risen Christ are portrayed. It is a very special season. What about the afternoons following Easter service and after the last meal is served? Each goes back to their own home and Easter begins to fade. What happens to that commonality of the Easter gathering? What happens to the unity felt of the earthly family and the church family that has been shared? [more...]

  • April Events

    1-3 - Midwest District Executives meet, place TBA
    4-5 - Continuing Education event for ministers, Rockford, IL
    9 - District Leadership Team meeting, place TBA
    16 - Program and Arrangements Committee meeting, Rockford, IL
    17 - Chicago Visioning Team meeting, Chicago, IL
    23-28 - Christian Citizenship Seminar

  • May Events

    1 - National Youth Sunday
    8 - Mother’s Day
    9 - Online Healthy Boundaries Training
    15 - Pentecost Sunday
    19-21 - Church Planting Conference, Richmond, IN
    22 -  Ecumenical Prayer Service
    27-30 - National Young Adult Conference
    27-30 - Camp Emmaus Memorial Day Family Camp


  • National Youth Sunday

    Mountains or Valleys, the Lord is Our Shepherd - Psalm 23

    Congregations are encouraged to celebrate youth by inviting high school youth to participate in leading worship on this Sunday. Go to the Youth and Young Adult Ministries website for worship resources.

    Congregations are encouraged to celebrate National Youth Sunday on May 1, 2016.

  • Mother's Day Gratitude Project
    Honor a woman you know and love by celebrating
    and supporting mothers around the world!

    Global Women’s Project announces our annual Mother’s Day Gratitude Project! Rather than buying more material gifts for your loved one, express your gratitude with a gift that helps other women around the world. Your donation allows us to fund projects focused on women’s health, education, and employment. In return, your chosen recipient(s) will receive a lovely, handwritten card indicating that a gift has been made in her honor, with a brief description of GWP.

    To participate, send a donation to:

    Global Women’s Project
    c/o Emily Matteson
    1405 Ashwood Dr. Modesto, CA 95350

    Remember to include your name(s) and recipient’s name and address. You may also make memorial donations, which will be honored on our website:

    Gratitude cards will be mailed in time for Mother’s Day if you send your request to Emily by May 3, 2016. After the 3rd, she will mail them as soon as she receives your request.

    This Mother’s Day, share a gift in honor of a woman you know and of women in Indiana, Rwanda, Uganda, Southern Sudan and India, who are improving the lives of women in their communities.

    Global Women’s Project seeks to raise awareness of the poverty, oppression and injustice suffered by women around the world; to recognize how our overconsumption and misuse of resources contributes to that suffering; to change our way of living; and to support self-help community projects that are led by, empower, and benefit women.

    Additional information can be found at

  • Online Healthy Boundaries Training

    Healthy Boundaries 101 – Basic Level Ethics in Ministry Relations Training

    The Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership is hosting a Healthy Boundaries 101 training session May 9, 2016 from 9:30am to 4:30pm (EDST). The session is offered via webcast. This event is provided for newly licensed, commissioned, or ordained clergy as well as for TRIM, EFSM or ACTS ministry training students. The fee for newly licensed, commissioned, or ordained clergy is $30, which includes a book and a CEU certificate. The fee for ministry students is $15. Registration forms are available from the district office. Registration deadline is April 25, 2016.

  • Annual Conference "Congregational Collage"

    The 2016 Annual Conference theme is “Carry the Light.” Program and Arrangements Committee is inviting all congregations to send creative pictures of different ministries from your church – the choir, the youth activities, mission work, fundraising events, fellowship, etc. that show how your congregation carries the light of Christ. We would like to develop a “congregational collage” that will be displayed on the video screens in the main hall before and after gathering for worship and business. Brother David Sollenberger will use his creativity to develop the collage.

    We are requesting no more than ten (10) pictures in jpeg format. If would be good if one of them could be your church building. If you use a phone or tablet, the format might be different, but we encourage you to send them as jpeg files, if possible, and make sure they are clear and are your best set. This might make a good project for your youth or others in your congregation interested in media. These pictures can be emailed to with the subject as “Collage and [the name of your congregation.]” Please send them no later than May 15, 2016.

  • Ecumenical Prayer Service
    Ecumenism Metro Chicago (EMC) is sponsoring the 16th Annual Ecumenical Prayer Service for Christian Unity on Sunday, May 22, 2016, at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 393 N. Main Street, Glen Ellyn, IL. Preaching at this event is the Rev. Dr. Larry L. Greenfield who is the executive minister of the American Baptist Churches of Metro Chicago, the theologian-in-residence for the Community Renewal Society, and the new executive director of the Parliament of the World’s Religions. The service begins at 5:00pm and is open to all who wish to attend.
  • 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
  • National Young Adult Conference

    Creating HarmonyWhere: Manchester University, Indiana
    When: May 27-30, 2016
    Who: All young adults are welcome (Ages 18-35)

    Would you like to get connected to the young adult community in the Church of the Brethren? Plan to attend Young Adult Conference. This three day event is typically full of worship, fun, and fellowship. Come to catch up with old friends and to meet new ones! We'll explore God’s word and learn about what it means to be a young adult in the Church of the Brethren.

    For conference information or follow-up:

    National Youth Conference

    Youth and Young Adult Ministry Office
    (800) 323-8039, ext. 385
    1451 Dundee Ave. Elgin, IL, 60120
  • June Events

    18 - District Leadership Team meeting
    19 - Father’s Day
    27-29 - Council of District Executives Summer Meeting
    29-July 3 - Annual Conference

  • 2016 District Conference

    Rockford Community Church
    November 4-5

  • 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

    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. A congregation in good standing is one that has in the past two years sent delegates to district conference and has supported the district with undesignated gifts of at least $100 per year.

    Assistance if provided up to a maximum of $7,500 of which $2,500 is a grant and the remainder is a loan. All requests for assistance shall be submitted to the district office.

  • 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.