Church of the Brethren
Illinois & Wisconsin District

Kevin Kessler, District Executive
Allegra Hess, Moderator
Paul Kohler, Moderator-Elect
Andrea Garnett, Administrative Assistant
Debbie Noffsinger, Newsletter Publisher
Jim Miner, District Webmaster


  • Donate
  • Camp Emmanuel Schedule for 2017

    September 1-4 - Family Camp 
    September 23 - Fish Fry
    October 13-15 - Husbands and Wives Camp

    DIRECTORS MEETING – 3/4/17 1:00 p.m. (Virden)
    CIT TRAINING– 3/4/17 1:00 p.m. Virden and 4/1/17 1:00 pm – Camp Emmanuel
    SPRING WORK DAY/WEEK – April 1 / April 2 - 7
    FALL WORK WEEK – October 21 - 24
    CAMP CLOSING – October 24 

  • Camp Emmaus Schedule for 2017

    September 1-4 - Labor Day Weekend Family Camp
    September 17 - Camp Appreciation Dinner

    Camp Director's Meeting - Saturday, October 21 at 10 am - Naperville COB

  • District Conference

    Come Join us!
    November 3 & 4, 2017
    York Center Church of the Brethren, HOST
    Lombard, IL

    Friday Evening:

    Worship: Pastor Christy Waltersdorff, York Center Church of the Brethren

    Friday Evening After Worship:

    Ice Cream Social & entertainment by Song and Storyfest Participants


    Business Session, Live & Silent Auctions

    Registration Form

    Online Registration

    Lodging Information

    Nursery & Pre-Kindergarten Care Registration Form and Permission Slip

    Kindergarten - 3rd grade Registration Form and Permission Slip

    Discovery Field Trip for Children Saturday, November 4, 2017 Grades: 4th-Jr. High

  • Moderator's Letter

    Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

    I bring you greetings in the name of our Savior Jesus Christ. On behalf of the York Center congregation and the IL/WI District of the Church of the Brethren, I welcome you to the 2017 District Conference. We are delighted you are here and want to be a welcoming community for you. A special thanks to Twila Habegger and Nancy Ulrich, who worked tirelessly to coordinate this conference. I ask that you pray for our time together in discussions and in fellowship. May we prayerfully lift up our leaders and delegates, so that the Holy Spirit will inspire and lead us as we meet.

    During this year attempted to facilitate processes that will connect congregations. I am excited about how each congregation has developed ways of sharing the Good News in their respective communities and these acts of service reflect the immediate needs in the area where they live. There is a rich diversity of Biblical understandings, but there is also a clear pattern of living out the Good News, which is accomplished by sharing God’s Love with each other and their neighbors. We plan to show videos of “How WE Serve”, which will give you a sense of the diversity of “continuing the work of Jesus, simply, peacefully, together”.

    You may have read meditations in the, “Moderator’s Column”, of the monthly newsletter, which are written by individuals from across the district. I want to thank all those who accepted my invitation to contribute; again, reflecting the diversity which makes this district a special place. Thank them when you meet them here!

    Technology has helped to facilitate meetings of the Leadership and other district teams, but there are also times when these elected persons spend many hours in travel for face to face meetings. I am grateful this gift of time and talent and for the on-going dedicated leadership of Kevin and Andrea, without whom the district would not be the place it is today.

    The IL/WI District has a storied history of fostering pioneer efforts in the Church of the Brethren: early college programs, publication printing, and mission work abroad. I sense that Spirit is still alive here. God is doing new things, and “we are not afraid” because we know and experience that the Good News is for all people. With God’s help we will continue to lead. May it be so!

    God’s richest blessings to all,
    Allegra Hess, Moderator
    2017 District Conference

  • District Conference Schedule

    Friday Evening, November 3rd

                5:30 – 7:15        Registration open – Outside Sanctuary

                6:00 – 7:30        Exhibits open – Fellowship Hall

                6:00                  Silent Auction begins–Fellowship Hall

                7:10 – 7:30        Hymn Sing – Sanctuary      

                7:30 – 8:30        Worship – Sanctuary

                8:45 – 9:15        Registration open – Outside Sanctuary

                8:45 – 9:30        Ice Cream, Fellowship Hall

                8:45 – 9:15        Entertainment by Song and Storyfest Participants, Louise Brodie & Ruth Karasek

    Saturday Morning, November 4th

                7:45 – 8:20        Continental Breakfast – Fellowship Hall

                8:00 – 8:30        Registration Open – Outside Sanctuary

                8:00 – 5:00        Exhibits open – Fellowship Hall

                8:15 – 11:25      Nursery & Pre-kindergarten – Room 1

                                          Kindergarten – 3rd Grade – Room 2

                                          4th grade to Middle School – TBD

                8:20 – 8:30        Opening Music & Meditation – Sanctuary

                8:30                   Business Session – Sanctuary

                10:00 – 10:15    Drinks & Snacks available – Fellowship Hall

                11:25                 Pick up Children for lunch

                11:30 – 1:30      Lunch – Fellowship Hall

    Saturday Afternoon

                1:30 – 4:45        Nursery & Pre-kindergarten – Room 1

                                          Kindergarten – 3rd Grade – Room 2 

                                          4th Grade to Middle School – TBD

                1:30                   Business Session – Sanctuary

                2:30 – 2:45        Drinks and Snacks available – Fellowship Hall

                4:05                   Commissioning Newly Elected

                4:25                   Silent Auction results – Sanctuary

                4:30                   End of Business Session

                                          Live Auction – Sanctuary

                4:45                   Pick-up all children from Childcare

  • It's Auction Time!

    Once again, we are calling upon all churches to donate a colorful basket filled with goodies, as well as baked goods and other crafts. These items are needed for this year’s Silent & Live Auctions to be to be held at the 2017 District Conference. Please let me know what your church is bringing! Thank You!

    - Rick Koch,

  • 2017 District Youth Retreat

    For the Glory of God and Our Neighbors Good

    My friends, what good is it to say you have faith, when you don’t do anything to show that you really do have faith? –James 2:14

    November 10th through November 12th 2017
    Camp Emmaus, 3011 W. Camp Road, Oregon, Illinois 61061

    When: Registration will begin at 7 pm on Friday Night. Retreat participants will be dismissed on Sunday around 11:30 AM. We are open to people coming late or leaving early so long as they are at the retreat Saturday Morning.

    Who: Everyone currently in 9th through 12th grades plus First Year College students during the 2017-2018 school year. Friends and advisors are welcome.

    Cost: $25 for youth and adults. Make checks payable to “Illinois/Wisconsin District Youth”

    What to Bring: Games, Bible, Rake, Sleeping Bag, Snacks to share, Towel, and Work clothes.

    Service Project Information: We recommend dressing comfortably and in layers – it can be chilly in the morning – and you may warm up while raking leaves.

  • 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.

  • 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 Andrea Garnett,, 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.