Kevin Kessler, District Executive
Stan Rodabaugh, Moderator
Willard Dulabaum, Institute for Lay & Set-Apart Ministry
Beth Carpentier, Administrative Assistant
- Tornado Response
By now most all of you have heard of the devastation that tornadoes brought on Sunday to areas in central Illinois. Hardest hit is the Washington, Illinois area.
First and foremost, please pray for the families who have lost loved ones, for those injured and for those who have been displaced.
As your District Disaster Coordinator, I have been in conversation with people in the affected area as they have shared with me about the damage done and that some of our Brethren families have been affected directly as well. Gil Crosby of the Peoria Church has been a big help in keeping me informed. I have also been in conversation with folks in New Windsor from Brethren Disaster Ministries. They, along with myself, are trying to get a seat at the table as recovery effort conversations get underway. Right now very few people are being allowed into the affected area because of the danger factor. Our Church is committed to helping!
I know also that several groups have popped up that are collecting funds for the disaster victims. If you would like to give monetarily, I suggest that you give directly to Brethren Disaster Ministries 601 Main St.. Post Office Box 188, New Windsor, Maryland, 21776 or give to our own District Disaster Fund.
I promise to keep you all informed of the situation and how you might help in the future. If you wish to contact me, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your Brother in Christ,
- From the Moderator - Stan Rodabaugh
Will you join me now in pursuing how to live for Christ Jesus and His Kingdom in the coming year? It is my blessing and honor to serve Him and the members of Illinois/Wisconsin District of the Church of the Brethren as moderator for 2014. Jesus' words in John 15:4 (NIV) challenge us: "Remain in me as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me." My chosen theme, "Abide in the Vine/Abide in My Love," challenges us to be mindful of our personal relationship with our Friend and Savior Jesus, to seek his help as we abide in Him. As He teaches us, all our fruitfulness hinges on our relationship with him. The fruit we bear as we abide in him will be revealed: answered prayer, his joy in us and our joy complete, the capacity to love one another. As we abide in Jesus, the Living Vine, and remain in His love, we will surely bear the fruit of his love, grace and mercy. He goes on to teach us that the fruit produced by those remaining in the Vine is enduring fruit. It doesn't wear out, grow stale or rot! [more...]
- DE Ponderings - Kevin Kessler
The Hallmark Channel this time of the year provides a preponderance of shows giving viewers a message that Christmas is frequently about finding happiness and fulfilled relationships. Comparatively speaking, I guess it's better than all the violence encountered in so much of the other TV programming that comes into our homes. However, I still find HallmarkÃƒÂ¢'s depiction of Christmas somewhat skewed. My intent is not to pick on Hallmark but rather allow this popular channel to help me make a point. In my view, much of their programming focuses on people coming from various places in life to a common area that is comfortable and peaceful, absent of the difficulties that have been or are still present in other surroundings. It's the old "home for the holidays" perception of Christmas. It depicts a message of people coming to the meaning of Christmas rather than Christmas reaching out to people. And so for me it is a backward depiction of Christmas. [more...]
- December Events
1 - First Sunday of Advent
1 - World Aids Day
8 - Second Sunday of Advent
15 - Third Sunday of Advent
21 - First day of Winter
22 - Fourth Sunday of Advent
25 - Christmas Day
31 - New Year's Eve
- January Events
1 - New Year's Day
6 - Epiphany
20 - Martin Luther King Day
- Lands of the Bible Study Tour in January, 2014
In January 2014, Bridgewater College chaplain Dr. Robbie Miller will again lead a 15 day study tour of Israel/Palestine as part of his Lands of the Bible interterm course. The tour, conducted by the University of the Holy Land in Jerusalem, will visit sites of biblical and religious importance including Jerusalem, Jericho, Bethlehem, Nazareth, Capernaum, Caesarea, Masada, Qumran, Shechem, Samaria and many more. The tentative itinerary is attached. The Susquehanna Valley Ministry Center will grant 8 CEUs for the study tour. Pastors and members of the Illinois and Wisconsin District are welcome to participate in the tour as space permits. Inquiries should be directed to Robbie Miller at email@example.com or at 540-828-5383.
- February Events
1 - District Leadership Team Meeting
14 - Valentines Day
- March Events
2 - Transfiguration Sunday
5 - Ash Wednesday
7 - World Day of Prayer
9 - First Sunday of Lent (Daylight Savings Time)
14 - Mission and Ministry Board, Elgin
14-16 - Spring District Youth Retreat @ Naperville COB
- Spring District Youth Retreat: - March 14-16
Understanding Other Faith Traditions
March 14th - March 16th, 2014
Naperville Church of the Brethren, Naperville
When: Registration will begin at 7 pm on Friday Night. Retreat participants will be dismissed on Sunday after worship around Noon.
Who: Everyone currently in 9th through 12th grades during the 2013-2014 school year. Friends and advisors are welcome.
Where: The Naperville Church of the Brethren is located at 1020 W Jefferson Ave; Naperville IL, 60540-5120
Service Project: Feed My Starving Children - Please consider making an extra donation to them online. (If you donate mention the Church of the Brethren Youth Retreat in the "Tell us your story of what led you to give today" box. We will be at the Aurora facility.)
Cost: $40 for youth - no charge for advisors. Make checks payable to "Illinois/Wisconsin District Youth"
What to Bring: Bible, Games, Sleeping Bag, Snacks to share, Towel. Closed-Toed Shoes are required for the service project.
Registration Deadline: March 2nd, 2014. Note that the retreat will be cancelled if we don't have 12 youth registered by the deadline. ( Click for Registration Form )
- Camp Emmanuel Schedule for 2014
Camp Opening - Saturday, April 5, 2014
Camp Work Week - Sunday - Wednesday (Thursday & Friday if needed)
April 6-12, 2014
Womens' Camp - May 30, 31 and June 1, 2014
Youth Camp - June 8-14, 2014
Junior High Camp - June 15-21, 2014
Junior Camp - June 22-28, 2014
Pre-Junior Camp - June 26-28, 2014
National Youth Conference - July 19-24
Mens' Camp - August 1-3, 2014
Family Camp - August 29 - September 1, 2014
10th Annual Fish Fry - September 20, 2014
Camp Closing - October 25, 2014
Mandatory CIT training:
3/9 1:00 p.m. at Virden COB or 4/12 1:00 at Camp
(2 dates, your options) Camp rules/video
- District NYC Bus Information
Hop on the bus for fun and adventure as the IL/WI District Youth travel to NYC in Ft Collins, CO! Join other youth and advisors from exotic far away places like Canton, Elgin, Freeport, Lombard, Milledgeville, Naperville, and Peoria. The 2014 National Youth Conference theme is "Called by Christ, blessed for the journey together," based on Ephesians 4:1-7.
Relax and have fun while you journey together to what others have referred to as "a once in a lifetime, life changing experience!"
When: Buses will leave Illinois in the evening on July 18 and return in the morning on July 25th, see the registration form for exact times for each location.
Where: We will have pick up in Central, Northeast, and Northwest locations. Bus pickups and drop offs will occur at Naperville Church of the Brethren, Peoria First Church of the Brethren and Milledgville Church of the Brethren
Cost: $ 375 (this is the cost of the bus only, and does not include your NYC registration or meals along the way) $175 deposit are due by April 18. The remaining $200 balance is due by June 7. This does include the cost of a District NYC T-shirt.
Reservations: E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with basic information (name, address, e-mail, church, and advisor) as soon as possible. Complete the registration form and return to Ralph Miner, 7 South DuBois Avenue; Elgin Illinois 60123 with your deposit by April 18th.
- Camp Emmaus 2014 Schedule
May 23-26, 2014 - Memorial Day Family Camp
T.B.A. - June - Counselor-in-Training Event
July 6-12 - Senior High Camp
July 13-16 - Elementary II Camp
July 18-19 - Elementary I
July 19-24 - National Youth Conference
July 20-25 - Elementary III Camp
July 27-August 2 - Junior High Camp
August 8-10 - Women's Camp
August 15-17 - Time Capsule Weekend
Aug 29 - September 1 - Labor Day Family Camp
- 2014 National Youth Conference - July 19-24, 2014
Dates for the next National Youth Conference have been announced. NYC will be held July 19-24, 2014, in Fort Collins, Colo.
NYC is a week long faith formation extravaganza for high school youth and their advisors. All youth who have completed ninth grade through one year of college (at the time of NYC) are eligible to attend.
Registration opens Friday, January 3 (@ 7pm central)!
Plan your registration party now!
- 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