Church of the Brethren
Illinois & Wisconsin District

Kevin Kessler, District Executive
Ellis Boughton, Moderator
Allegra Hess, Moderator-Elect
Beth Kelly, Administrative Assistant
Debbie Noffsinger, Newsletter Publisher
Jim Miner, District Webmaster


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  • DE Ponderings - Kevin Kessler

    A benefit of my work as District Executive is visiting congregations and pastors throughout our district. Reasons for visits are varied, such as providing support to pastoral search teams; helping with conflict; responding to concerns; conducting licensing, ordination, and installation services; and simply meeting with no specific agenda at all. Whatever the purpose, the opportunity to connect and foster relationships is, in my view, the most vital piece of the visit experience. [more...]

  • From the Moderator - Ellis Boughton

    Just as Jesus so fervently prayed for his disciples and future believers, that same cry permeates our lives today. In the current world Satan is pulling us away from Jesus in such strong terms that he seeks to divide and conquer our faith. Our churches continue to shrink and die off while many never attend any church at all. We must seek to make Jesus and our faith the number one priority in our lives. We must strive to find unity within and without our churches. [more...]

  • Brethren Disaster Ministries Needs Volunteers

    Brethren Disaster Ministries Needs District Volunteers

    The major Church of the Brethren Disaster Ministries program is designed to assist in the rebuilding of homes and nurturing children affected by natural disasters. In 2015 over 1200 volunteers contributed nearly 67,000 hours serving 65 families nationwide. With the ongoing frequent news of major disasters the District is formulating plans to increase its involvement in this program.

    A tentative goal has been established to send a District team of 10 to 15 volunteers to a rebuild site the two weeks of January 22-28 and November 12-18, 2017. Potential sites are Detroit where flooding in 2014 affected over 100,000 homes. Other possibilities are near Columbia, SC; St. Louis, MO; and sites in Louisiana and Mississippi. The Illinois Wisconsin District is teaming with the Indiana South Central District to fill the teams for these weeks.

    Volunteers for the week-long service are housed in a local church or similar facility, and receive 3 prepared meals each day. The only significant cost is travel to and from the site, which is typically covered by the District or the volunteer’s local church. Only basic construction skills are required, and some volunteers also are involved in meal preparation.

    Don’t be surprised if the gift you receive from serving in this capacity with fellow Christians in Christ’s name equals or exceeds the gift of your contribution.

    To indicate your interest in participating, or to request more information, contact Loren Habegger, District Disaster Coordinator,, or 630-707-7446. Additional BDM information is at

  • September Events

    2-5 - Camp Emmanuel Family Camp
    3-5 - Camp Emmaus Family Camp
    3 - Camp Emmaus Appreciation Dinner
    24 - Camp Emmanuel Fish Fry


  • Camp Emmaus Schedule for 2016

    September 3-5 - Labor Day Family Camp
    November 12 - Leaf Raking

  • Camp Emmanuel Schedule for 2016

    September 2-5 - Family Camp
    September 16 - Work Week
    September 24 - Fish Fry
    October 14-16 - Married Couple Retreat
    October 22-29 - Fall Work Week and Closing

  • York Center COB News

    Sept. 24- Unity Picnic

    The three congregations that share our building- YCCOB, Parables Community (Jeanne Davies' new church project), and God's Congregation Worship Center (African American congregation) have invited the DuPage County Sheriff's Department and the Villa Park Police Department to enjoy good food, games, and fellowship from noon-3 p.m.
    60/20 Celebration- 60 years in our building, 20 years of my pastorate (March 1, 2016)
    August 26 is the 60th anniversary of ministry in our current building. We will have an ice cream social to celebrate.
    On Sunday, October 16 we will celebrate both anniversaries in worship with the theme, "Here in this Place. A catered meal and program will follow worship and Sunday School.


  • Pleasant Hill Village - A Night with the Stars

    Auction and Dinner on October 15

    It will not matter if the skies are cloudy or bright on Oct. 15, 2016. On that date, the “Stars” of Pleasant Hill Village will shine at the Brethren Home of Girard’s annual Auction and Dinner fundraiser.

    Titled “A Night with the Stars,” Pleasant Hill Village will celebrate the stars who comprise our galaxy as we honor residents, families, staff, volunteers, sponsors and board members. Proceeds for the event will pay for needed projects at Pleasant Hill Residence and Pleasant Hill Healthcare.

    The event is presented by Designer Landscapes of Farmersville and Sav-Mor Pharmacy of Virden.

    Doors will open at 5 p.m. and the prime rib dinner will begin at 6 p.m. The auction will begin at 7 p.m. The event is at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Virden, IL.

    Since 1905, Pleasant Hill Village has been a vital part of Girard and Virden. We offer, on a non-profit basis, an independent living and assisted living facility at Pleasant Hill Residence and a skilled nursing facility, complete with an Alzheimer’s and dementia unit, at Pleasant Hill Healthcare.

    We hope to raise $38,000 at this event and we plan to use the proceeds to pay for needed items such as new vital sign machines, an updated shower room for Pleasant Hill Healthcare, new room curtains and improvement of our walking paths and other landscaping work. We also will use the proceeds to make improvements on Girard Area Homes, a lowincome housing unit owned and operated by Pleasant Hill Village.

    The financial troubles in the State of Illinois have impacted Pleasant Hill Village. Our calculations are that the state owes the facility about $1.5 million in reimbursements for care. PHV’s annual revenue is about $5.3 million.

    This lack of funding has strangled cash flow, forcing us to delay payments to vendors and take out a line of credit with a financial institution. In spite of all this, we are proud to say that we have worked diligently and creatively to maintain the same excellent care our residents expect and deserve.

    The Auction and Dinner gives us a chance to raise money for projects that are not luxuries, but are forced to be because of our budget realities.

    To join us at the event, please contact Darrin Burnett at or 217-627-2181. Tickets are $40 per person. To donate an auction item or make a monetary donation, please contact Darrin.

    The event is also sponsored by Rovey Seed, Burgess & Son Plumbing, the Bettis Family, and Smoky- Jennings Chevrolet.
  • 2016 District Conference

    Living Together in Unity

    Rockford Community Church
    November 4-5


    Friday Evening:
      Worship: Ellis Boughton, Yellow Creek Church of the Brethren Pastor 

    Friday Evening After Worship:
       Ice Cream Social

       Business Session, Live & Silent Auctions



  • 2015 District Conference Documents
    * 2015 IL WI District Conference Summary
    * Query Creation Care final (Polo) Dist Conf (Peoria)
    * Response to Human Sexuality Concerns (2015) from District Leadership Team
  • 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. A congregation in good standing is one that has in the past two years sent delegates to district conference and has supported the district with undesignated gifts of at least $100 per year.

    Assistance if provided up to a maximum of $7,500 of which $2,500 is a grant and the remainder is a loan. All requests for assistance shall be submitted to the district office.

  • 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, 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.