Church of the Brethren
Illinois & Wisconsin District

Walt Wiltschek, District Executive Minister
Blaine Miner, Moderator
Harold Rose, Moderator-Elect
Andrea Garnett, Administrative Assistant
Andrea Garnett, Newsletter Publisher
Jim Miner, District Webmaster


  • Donate
  • District YouTube Channel

  • 'Calling the Called' Postponed

    Due to schedule conflicts for some participants in the district's "Calling the Called" online event that had been scheduled for Oct. 23, the planning committee has decided to reschedule it in late winter or early spring 2022. Look for more details soon. In the meantime, please continue to tap the shoulders of people in your congregation and community who might have gifts for ministry!

  • Disaster Ministries Updates

    From district disaster ministries coordinator Loren Habegger:

    It is time to begin to finalize plans for participation in the Illinois/Wisconsin District project to provide 8-10 volunteers for the Coastal North Carolina Brethren Disaster Ministries rebuild project near Bayboro, N.C., Nov. 28-Dec. 4. If you, or members or friends in your congregation think serving on the North Carolina BDM project is a possibility, please contact me by Nov. 1, if possible, at Detailed information about the project can be found at The volunteer assignment will again be shared with South/Central Indiana.

    Costs for travel by air from Chicago O'Hare, for example, to the Coastal Regional Airport (EWN) on American Airlines is currently at $429 plus tax, luggage fees, and transportation to the airport. Alternatively, for travel by car the N.C. site is about 1,000 miles or 2,000 round-trip. At the IRS rate of 14 cents per mile for charitable travel the estimated travel cost is $280 plus approximately $200 for two in-transit stays at a hotel, for a total of $480. As has been the past practice for travel to BDM project sites, the district is offering to assist with 50 percent of the cost of volunteer travel to the project, with the balance to be provided by the local congregation or personal funds.


    From Church World Service (CWS):

    CWS invites you to join them Nov. 7-11 from 5-8 p.m. CDT for “Together We Welcome, a national faith gathering to strengthen support for refugees, immigrants, and migrants.” Participants will have the opportunity to learn from experts in the field, build relationships with other leaders, and walk away with specific actions to foster welcome in their local communities. You can register at

    CWS is also welcoming donations of and for a new Welcome Backpack Kit. CWS Welcome Backpacks are a new part of the process for welcoming refugees and immigrants: providing unaccompanied minors and families with the essentials for their transition, including food and water, children’s activities, a blanket, basic hygiene items, and personal protective equipment (PPE). If you care not able to assemble these kits at home but still want to support them, you can also donate funds to CWS to create and distribute them. Completed kits should be sent to the CWS location in Elkhart, Ind.  For more information visit:


    Donations are also still welcome for the Haiti earthquake response effort. You can give to the Emergency Disaster Fund's Haiti Earthquake Response by sending checks to 1451 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60120, or visit

  • District Conference Registration
    The Illinois/Wisconsin District conference is coming up soon! A prerecorded worship service will kick things off the evening of Nov. 5, at 7 p.m., with the main conference agenda beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 6. Both events will take place virtually this year, via ZOOM. 

    If you haven't yet registered, you can do so at the following links:

    Non-delegate registration:
    Delegate registration:
    Once you register, you will receive ZOOM links for practice sessions (if needed) and the events Nov. 5-6. Conference booklets will be sent to registrants via email by the end of October. If you have already registered and haven't received a confirmation, please contact the district office at
    Please be in prayer for this annual event in our district life. We hope to 'see' you there. 
  • National Junior High Sunday - November 7, 2021

    “Build Wisely”

    Matthew 7:24

    Worship resources available at

  • Clergy Tax Seminar 2022

    January 29, 2022

    Students, clergy, and anyone who deals with clergy finances are invited to participate in this online Zoom seminar.

    • Learn how to prepare clergy taxes correctly and legally.
    • Comply with regulations while maximizing tax deductions.
    • Earn 0.3 CEUs – for the morning session only.

    The annual Clergy Tax Seminar will consist of two sessions:

    • Session 1, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. EST, will focus on the rules surrounding Clergy Tax Returns, including who is subject to these rules, what income is subject to tax, and how to reduce total tax liability using various methods, including housing allowance, business expenses, and medical reimbursement plans. Credit for 0.3 CEUs will be available for attending Session 1 only.
    • In Session 2, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. EST, participants will complete a clergy tax return using H&R Block’s highest tier (Premium and Business) downloadable software.

    This seminar is highly recommended for all clergy and anyone who deals with clergy finances who wish to understand clergy taxes, including treasurers, steward commission chairs, and church board chairs.

    Sponsors: The Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership, the Church of the Brethren Office of Ministry, and Bethany Theological Seminary

    Seminar Schedule

    • 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. EST: Morning session
    • 2:00-2:30 p.m. EST: Lunch on your own
    • 2:30-4:30 p.m. EST: Afternoon session

    Registration and Cost

    Registration is $40 per person (generally nonrefundable to keep fees and overhead low). Current Brethren Academy, Bethany Theological Seminary and Earlham School of Religion students may attend the seminar at no cost, although registration is still required to allow us to provide you with web access to the seminar. Instructions and handouts will be sent a few days prior to the event. Registrations are not complete until payment is received. For quality reasons, registrations may be capped at eighty-five persons.
    Prompt registration is advised – registration deadline is January 19, 2022.
    A Zoom link will be sent prior to the seminar.

  • National Youth Conference 2022

    The next National Youth Conference will be held in the summer of 2022.

    National Youth Conference (NYC) provides high school aged students and their advisors the chance to gather for a week of fellowship, worship, workshops, recreation and more!

    Who is eligible to attend?

    Youth who have completed ninth grade through one year of college at the time of NYC (or are age equivalent) and their adult advisors are invited to attend. All youth must be accompanied by an adult advisor. All adult advisors must be a minimum of 22 years of age.

  • 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.