Church of the Brethren
Illinois & Wisconsin District

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


  • Donate
  • Upcoming Dates: Christian Citizenship Seminar

    The next Christian Citizenship Seminar will be April 27 – May 2, 2019. Registration opened Dec. 3.

    For more info and registration links go to

  • Celebrating the Birth of Christ

  • 2019 Brethren Workcamps

    Inspired by 2 Peter 1:5-8 (The Message), the theme for the 2019 Church of the Brethren workcamp season is “Grow.” This theme focuses on complementing basic faith with qualities that encourage steady and active growth. Workcampers will connect to 2 Peter’s spiritual principles through the stages of a plant and explore God’s call, Christ’s example, and living with purpose. More information and a complete schedule will be available online by the middle of October. 

    Visit to stay up to date.

    Registrations will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis starting January 17, 2019, at 7 p.m. (central time). Participants must register on the workcamp webpage at A $150 non-refundable deposit is due seven days after the online registration confirmation is sent. This deposit holds each registrant’s workcamp location “spot.” The full balance of the registration fee is due by April 1, 2019. Make checks payable to Church of the Brethren and mail them to Workcamp Office, Church of the Brethren, 1451 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60120.

    January 17, 2019: Workcamp registration opens.

  • Upcoming Dates: MSS and TPTT

    Ministry Summer Service and Youth Peace Travel Team applications are due Jan. 4.

    For more info and registration links go to

  • Upcoming Dates: National Junior High Conference

    National Junior High Conference registration opens on Jan. 14. The conference is scheduled for June 14-16.

    For more info and registration links go to

  • Upcoming Dates: Young Adult Conference

    Young Adult Conference registration opens Jan. 25, for the conference on May 24 – 26.

    For more info and registration links go to

  • District Potluck


  • Christian Citizenship Seminar 2019

    The next Christian Citizenship Seminar will be April 27 – May 2, 2019 

    Christian Citizenship Seminar (CSS) provides high school aged students the chance to explore the relationship between faith and a particular political issue, and then act from a faith perspective regarding that issue.

    This Christian Citizenship Seminar will focus on innovative approaches to resolving conflict and preventing civilian harm.

    Who is eligible to attend?

    All high school youth and their adult advisors are eligible to attend the seminar. Churches are strongly encouraged to send an advisor with their youth, even if only one or two youth attend. Churches are required to send one advisor for every four youth.

    Registration is limited to the first 60 participants.

    What is the cost?

    The $425 registration fee includes:

    • Event programming
    • Lodging for five nights
    • 2 dinner meals, one in New York City and one in Washington D.C.
    • Transportation from New York to Washington D.C.

    Note: Each participant will need to bring additional money for most meals, sightseeing, personal expenses, and subway/taxi fares.

    What if I have questions?

    If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact Emmett Witkovsky-Eldred, the Youth and Young Adult Ministry Assistant, at or 847-429-4385.

  • National Youth Sunday - May 5, 2019

    National Youth Sunday will be May 5, 2019.

    Resources for 2019 workshop planning will be available early in the year.

  • 2019 Camp Emmaus Schedule
    Memorial Day Family Camp 5/24 thru 5/27
    Senior High 7/7 thru 7/13
    Elementary II 7/14 thru 7/17
    Young at Heart 7/17 thru 7/21
    Junior High 7/21 thru 7/27
    Elementary III 7/28 thru 8/2
    CIT 8/2 thru 8/4
    Elementary I 8/3 thru 8/4
    Women's Camp 8/8 thru 8/10
    Labor Day Family Camp 8/30 thru 9/2

    Tentative - Wilderness Camp/Retreat held during spring break on a Friday thru Sunday
    Directed by Jonathan Stauffer & Randall Westphall

  • Young Adult Conference 2019

    May 24-26, 2019
    Camp Blue Diamond, near Petersburg, Pennsylvania

    Young Adult Conference (YAC) offers people ages 18-35 a chance to enjoy fellowship, worship, recreation, Bible study, service projects and more… 

    Plan to spend Memorial Day weekend with awesome young adults! There will be worship, fellowship, recreation, learning... There will be a lot of coffee, s'mores, good camp food, and laughter. Sleep? Probably not. Too much fun to be had!

    For updates, follow Church of the Brethren Youth and Young Adult Ministries, and visit, and RSVP! All Church of the Brethren Young Adults (18-35) are invited and encouraged to attend!

    • Registration ($150) includes food, lodging and programming!
    • Scholarships: Upon request, we will send a letter to your congregation asking them to provide a $75 scholarship. Make your request by April 1. Scholarships are also available to BVSers who are currently serving.
    • A non-refundable deposit of $75 is due within two weeks of registering.

    Questions? Contact Emmett Witkovsky-Eldred,, 847-429-4376.

  • National Junior High Conference

    National Junior High Conference 2019  Save the Date!

    National Junior High Conference will be June 14-16, 2019 at Elizabethtown College in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania

    Stay tuned for theme information, cost, and registration information!

    National Junior High Conference is for youth who have completed 6-8 grades and their advisors.

    Sing, laugh, worship, make friends from all over the country, and spend time with God!


    Contact Becky Ullom Naugle in the Youth/Young Adult Ministry Office at 847-429-4385 or

  • 2019 Annual Conference

    Proclaim Christ; Reclaim PassionAnnual Conference 2019

    “Proclaim Christ; Reclaim Passion”

     July 3–7
    Greensboro, NC

    The Church of the Brethren Annual Conference Office has announced speakers and other worship leadership for the 2019 Annual Conference.

    With the unique format of this year’s Conference, in which most business will be suspended so that delegates and others can engage in the “Compelling Vision” process, the worship schedule will differ from its typical format. Evening worship will be similar to previous years, but each day will also feature a morning worship service, with an abbreviated singing time and a shorter sermon, for a total service length of about half an hour.

    Donita Keister, moderator of the 2019 Conference and associate pastor of Buffalo ValleyChurch of the Brethren in Mifflinburg, Pa., will speak at the opening worship service on Wednesday evening. Other evening worship speakers include Jonathan Prater of Rockingham, Va., on Thursday; Tim and Audrey Hollenberg-Duffey of Hagerstown, Md., on Friday; and Jeremy Ashworth of Peoria, Ariz., on Saturday.

    Morning speakers include Brethren Press publisher Wendy McFadden of Elgin, Ill., on Thursday; Joel Peña of Lancaster, Pa., on Friday; and LaDonna Sanders Nkosi of Chicago on Saturday. Tim Harvey, of Roanoke, Va., will speak at the traditional closing worship on Sunday morning.

    Members of this year’s worship planning team are Joel Gibbel of York, Pa.; Erin Matteson of Modesto, Calif.; and Cesia Morrison of Christiansburg, Va. Danielle Sommers of Lewisburg, Pa., will serve as music coordinator; Geneva Price of New Madison, Ohio, as choir director; Jonathan Emmons of Greensboro, N.C., as organist; Lucas Finet of Nokesville, Va., as pianist; and Karen Stutzman of Winston-Salem, N.C., as children’s choir director. Bethany Theological Seminary faculty member Dan Ulrich of Greenville, Ohio, will be the Bible study leader.

    For more information on Annual Conference, visit

  • 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.