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


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  • DE Ponderings - Kevin Kessler

    In 1992, the second Sunday of October was designated as Clergy Appreciation Sunday, evolving into October as Clergy Appreciation Month.1 Doing a Google search on Clergy Appreciation Month provides about 140,000 results ranging from information about the celebration to ways which clergy can be appreciated, to clergy writing about their dislike of the observance to clergy offering essays on why it’s a bad idea.

    [Read More]

  • Moderator Notes

    As for me and my house, I am continuing to learn to read and write Syriac Eastern Archaic. As you may remember, this was Jesus’ native language and only language for most of the Nazritzii, citizens of Nazareth of synagogue members, he taught. You may also remember that speaking in any language other than Syriac while in the synagogue was forbidden.

     [Read More]

  • 2018 Illinois/Wisconsin District Conference

    IL/WI District Conference

    Come Join us!
    November 2 & 3, 2018
    Cerro Gordo Church of the Brethren

    Friday Evening:
       Worship: Paul Kohler, Champaign Church of the Brethren

    Friday Evening After Worship:
       Ice Cream Social

       Business Session, Live & Silent Auctions

    Downloadable Documents:

    District Conference Poster
    Full Schedule
    Hotel Information
    Registration Form (Online Registration is also an option)
    K-5 Registration Form
    Silent  Auction Poster
    Moderator's Letter
    Service Project Information
    Conference Checklist

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  • 2018 Camp Emmaus Schedule
    September 22 Camp Celebration Dinner
    November 9‑11 District Youth Retreat
    November 10 Leaf Raking

    Check for details.

  • Compelling Vision Process Sessions

    The IL/WI District invites you to attend one of the Compelling Vision Process Sessions listed below. The Compelling Vision Process is designed to hear many voices from across the denomination to develop a vision for the Church of the Brethren. This vision includes energy, enthusiasm, and excitement for sharing ministry together far into the future. Every voice is important to this process. Please share this information in your congregation and encourage as many who can attend to engage in this important and compelling conversation! This opportunity is yours to help shape the future of the Church of the Brethren. Every voice counts, and every thought is important!

    1) Locations:
     * Mt. Morris COB: September 16, 2018
     * Decatur COB: October 14, 2018
     * York Center COB: October 21, 2018

    2) All sessions will start at 4 p.m. with a tentative end time of 6 p.m., depending on discussion and the needs of those attending.

    3) Beverages and cookies will be provided.

    4) Please RSVP to the District Office by:
     * Mt. Morris COB Session: September 9, 2018
     * Decatur COB Session: October 7, 2018
     * York Center COB Session: October 14, 2018

    Click Here for more information, including registration information.

  • 2018 Fall Youth Retreat / Leaf Raking

    November 9-11, 2018

    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 noon. 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 2018- 2019 school year. Friends and advisors are welcome.

    Cost: $30 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.

    [Registration Information]

  • District Potluck


  • 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

  • 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.