Church of the Brethren
Illinois & Wisconsin District

Walt Wiltschek, District Executive Minister
Phyllis Batterton, Moderator
Christy Waltersdorff, Moderator-Elect
Andrea Garnett, Administrative Assistant
Andrea Garnett, Newsletter Publisher
Jim Miner, District Webmaster



    📅 District book study (“Dear White Peacemakers”) continues each Wednesday evening through May via Zoom, 7-8:30 p.m.

    📅 Leadership Team meeting, June 6, 6:30 p.m.

    📅 Annual Conference briefing, June 10, 10 a.m.

    📅 Ministry Leadership Development Team meeting, June 13, 6 p.m.

    📅 Program and Arrangements Committee meeting, June 18, 6:30 p.m.

    [all meetings via Zoom unless otherwise noted]


    May Newsletter


    The next Church of the Brethren National Junior High Conference will take place June 16-18, 2023, at Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pa., for youth in grades 6-8 and their advisors. The theme is “What Does God Want from Me?”, drawing on Micah 6:8. Registration cost is $300 through May 31. A $200 non-refundable deposit is due within two weeks of registration. Register and learn more at

    The Center on Conscience & War (formerly NISBCO) was started by the Historic Peace Churches and supports people who are seeking conscientious objector status. The organization is running a contest for youth in grades 9-12 about why the military draft should be permanently eliminated. Top entries (a video and essay) win prizes up to $1,000. Submission deadline is June 30. Details and a link to the entry form are at #NoDraft Video/Essay Challenge - Center on Conscience & War. Winners will be announced in September. For questions, call 202-483-2220 or email


    Contact for Questions:
    📞 (224)-391-7873

    Camp Emmauel has announced its 2023 schedule:

    April 22 - 27 Work Week
    June 2-4 Women's Camp
    June 9-11 High School Camp
    June 11-17 Middle School Camp
    June 18-21 Junior Camp
    June 23-25 Pre-Junior Camp
    July 17-21 Day Camp
    August 11-13 Men's Camp
    September 1-4 Family Camp
    In addition, Camp Emmanuel will be celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2023! A celebration at the camp, including a fish fry, is being planned for Sept. 30 next year. Watch for details as they become available.

    Camp Emmaus has announced its camping schedule for 2023:

    April 22 Spring Into Camp
    May 26-29 Memorial Day Weekend Family Camp
    July 9-15 Senior High Camp (Grades 9-12)
    July 16-20 Intermediate Camp (Grades 3-5)
    July 21-23 Young at Heart Camp (Young Adults/Adults)
    July 23-29 Middle School Camp (Grades 6-8)
    Aug. 4-6 Counselor-in-Training (CIT)
    Aug. 5-6 Elementary Camp (Grades 1-2)
    Aug. 10-12 Women’s Camp
    Aug. 18-20 Men’s Camp
    Sept. 1-4 Labor Day Weekend Family Camp
    The Camp Emmaus board has announced the launch of the Camp Emmaus Endowment Fund. The board has set a goal of raising $100,000 for this fund in the next 12 months, helping to provide a new revenue stream for camp and allowing a wider range of planned and deferred gifts. To learn more about this endowment, arrange to make a donation, or discover other ways to get involved, please reach out to treasurer Dan Radcliff at

    Stay up to date on what’s happening at our district camps! Visit for Camp Emmanuel news and for Camp Emmaus news.


    The Illinois/Wisconsin District will offer an Annual Conference briefing on Saturday, June 10, at 10 a.m., via Zoom. Annual Conference moderator Tim McElwee will be joining us for this time together. It is especially designed for delegates, but anyone is welcome to attend. Lasting no more than an hour, the briefing will include an overview video from Annual Conference, updates from the moderator and from Standing Committee, and a time for questions. The Zoom link will be sent out at a later date. 
    If you have questions about this event or Annual Conference more generally, please be in touch with the district office.
  • 2023 ANNUAL CONFERENCE - July 4-8

    Ephesians 5:1-2

    Annual Conference 2023

    “Living Gods' Love”

    Annual Conference 2023
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    July 4-8

    The 2023 Church of the Brethren Annual Conference will take place July 4-8 (a Tuesday-through-Saturday schedule) in Cincinnati with the theme “Living God’s Love.” Advance delegate registration will be $340 per person; non-delegate adult advance registration is $140 for the week ($40 for post-high school through age 21, free for high school age and below). Conference hotels will be $144 per night, including tax. Registration and housing reservations will open to the public March 1.

    The Annual Conference Office is seeking nominations for denominational positions to be considered for next year’s ballot. More detailed information about each office open for nominations is provided at in the “Information about Offices Open for Nomination” document. Please note that some nominations must be made according to specific categories and that certain areas of expertise are needed for some offices. If you know persons who work in one of the areas from which nominees need to come this next year, please make a special effort to prayerfully submit the names of persons you know who can make a valuable contribution to the denomination. All nominations are due by Dec. 1.


    General registration for the biennial Church of the Brethren National Older Adult Conference is open. NOAC will be held Sept. 4-8 at the Lake Junaluska Conference Center in western North Carolina. It's a beautiful setting and an energetic and inspirational event, so we hope you consider attending if you're eligible. 
    Conference registration is $200 until July 15 (this does not including lodging and meals, which require a separate registration with the conference center—you will receive a link after registering). An online participation option is also available for $100. Special accommodations are available for those with mobility issues. Registration and more information are available at National Older Adult Conference (NOAC) – Discipleship Ministries ( There is also a NOAC Facebook page. 
    The week includes worship, workshops, Bible study, ice cream socials, fellowship and activities, and more. The worship speakers this year include our own Christina Singh (Freeport) and Katie Shaw Thompson (Highland Avenue). Christy Waltersdorff (York Center) is the conference coordinator, and Leonard Matheny (Peoria) and Josh Brockway (Highland Avenue) are part of the planning team. Mark Charles, Ken Medema, Ted Swartz, Osheta Moore, Jeremy Ashworth, Deanna Brown, and Lexi Aligarbes are among the other featured speakers and performers, along with the famed "NOAC News" team.
    For transportation, a bus is available through Western Plains District with pick-up points in St. Louis/southern Illinois available. Information on that is below. The return hotel stop is in Mount Vernon, IL. If you need assistance in making this rendezvous, please contact the district office. Direct flights to Asheville, N.C., are available from Chicago O'Hare or Midway airports (via United, American, or Allegiant), or connecting service is available from other cities. 

    Please be in prayer for this important event in our denomination!

    BUS INFORMATION (David Fruth, coordinator):
    A bus leaving from McPherson, KS, Sun., Sept. 3, will arrive at the conference on Mon., Sept. 4.  After the conference is over the bus will return to McPherson arriving Sat., Sept. 9.  Costs for the bus trip will be $425 including bus travel and two nights at a motel.  For more information or to reserve a space on the bus contact David Fruth at 620-245-0674 or 316-708-1760 or email at  

    We have 28 who have told me they want to reserve a seat on the bus.  This is based on the price on 50 passengers.  To hold a seat a $100 deposit is required by June 1.  

    Announcing the 2023 BDM volunteer opportunities for persons from the IL/WI District:

    As has been the practice in recent years, IL/WI District has agreed to provide up to 8 volunteers for the week following Thanksgiving, November 26 – December 2, 2023. That week of volunteering is again shared with the Indiana South Central District. A major change from recent past BDM assignments for IL/WI, is that the project site, Dawson Springs, Kentucky, is a nearby “neighbor” just 70 miles south of Evansville, Indiana. This provides a great opportunity for those who want to serve with BDM but hesitate to travel hundreds of miles to a project site.

    Dawson Springs was in the path of the devastating outbreak of tornados that swept through eight states in December 2021 with Kentucky, Illinois, and Missouri being the most impacted. Estimates are that around 75 percent of the town of Dawson Springs, which was home to around 2,500 people, was leveled by a tornado. More information about the Dawson Springs BDM project is at

    Click here to access a complete 2023 schedule for the Dawson Creek project. You will note that, in addition to the week of November 26 – December 2, there are openings in other weeks in 2023 joining other districts. To register your interest in joining the IL/WI-IN S/C group, contact Loren Habegger. To volunteer with other groups for the listed openings, contact Kim Gingerich at



    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.


    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, 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.

    Read the brochure for more details.


    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!


    Do not wait to begin to log your Continuing Education Units. The 2025 Five-year Ordination Review process for ALL ordained ministers will launch in 2024. 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.


    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.