Thursday, February 01, 2024

The Reflector - February 2024


 

THE VILLAGE ILWIDIOT

Walt Wiltschek

“In Christ’s body we’re all connected to each other, after all.” —Eph. 4:25, The Message

Like many of you, I watched the NFL’s Super Bowl this past weekend, and apparently we weren’t alone. ESPN reported that the game averaged more than 123 million viewers, making it the most-watched program in the history of television. More than 200 million people watched at least part of the broadcast.

Whether they came for football fandom, for the commercials, for the frenetic halftime show, to catch some glimpses of Taylor Swift, or just to socialize and snack at a viewing party, something brought all those people together for part of a Sunday evening to join in a common experience.

Church used to occupy a similar place in our social rhythms, but any study will tell you that is decreasingly the case. A 2022 survey found that about 20 percent of people now attend church weekly (or near-weekly). Another put the average number of people who are in church on any given Sunday at about 25 million. In the Church of the Brethren, the average weekly worship attendance denomination-wide is a bit under 21,000, according to 2022 Yearbook figures.

What has eroded our place in the social fabric? Changing demographics, pandemic-driven changes in the ways we gather, different cadences of family life, schisms and division, perceived judgmentalism and hypocrisy, and a slowness to adapt have all been cited. Yet for some, there is still a desire for that sort of connection, a community of sacred relationship and meaning.

A Catholic university near here often talks about “the Red Thread” as a metaphor for its unique identity, something that connects current students, staff, and alumni over the decades. “The Red Thread ties us all together as a family, stitches together our collective experiences and cultures for the greater good,” a statement on the school’s website says.

I’ve appreciated the joy in relationships in this district, often despite our differences. We share a common desire to follow Jesus, a commitment to making a difference in the lives of others in need, a meaningful joy in worshiping together, a shared mission in supporting our camps and other larger ministries, and more.

What else would you name as the thread that stitches us together? And how do we extend that to connect others, or to connect them more fully? We might never lead the Nielsen ratings, but working and serving together, we can create shared experiences that are impactful far beyond what we might expect.

DISTRICT EXECUTIVE SCHEDULE

In addition to regular meetings, Walt will be visiting with Peoria and Canton Feb. 18, taking part in an Office of Ministry meeting Feb. 28, visiting Chicago-area churches March 3, joining a planning retreat with York Center March 16, and worshiping with Springfield First March 17. Walt will be taking vacation March 5-13.

Walt is available to visit your church, do pulpit supply, lead sessions, have conversation times, or otherwise connect with your congregation. Please contact IWDDE@outlook.com to schedule a time. He is usually on district duty Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, plus Sundays.

UPCOMING MEETINGS & EVENTS

  • Powerhouse Regional Youth Conference, Feb. 16-18, at Camp Mack, Milford, Ind.
  • Ministry Leadership Development Team, Feb. 21, 6:30 p.m.
  • Program & Arrangements Committee, Feb. 22, 7 p.m.
  • Gifts Discernment and Call Committee, March 19, 6:30 p.m.
  • Church Revitalization and Development Team, March 23, 9 a.m.
  • Leadership Team, April 2, 6:30 p.m.
  • Spring clergy retreat, April 15-16, Bishop Lane Retreat Center, Rockford
  • Council of District Executives executive committee, April 17, 11 a.m.
  • Creation care event, April 27, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. at Highland Avenue Church of the Brethren, Elgin, and via Zoom
[all meetings via Zoom unless otherwise noted]

IN OUR PRAYERS

A district prayer calendar has been created for your use in praying for our district and related programs through the year. We invite you to include the following in your prayers in coming weeks:

Week of Feb. 12: Be in prayer for the Leadership Team of our district as the members of that group meet and help the district to fulfill its call and vision.

Week of Feb. 19: Pray this week for the Milledgeville (Dutchtown) congregation. Pray also for Brethren Volunteer Service and all the volunteers serving across the US and around the world, and ponder how you can serve in your own communities.

Week of Feb. 26: As we enter this “Leap Day” week, pray about your own congregation and how you might take a leap of faith this year in your ministry.

Week of March 4: Pray for the York Center congregation as it works toward a pastoral transition this year. Also pray for the volunteers who serve through Children’s Disaster Services, and for CDS assistant director Carolyn Neher, who works from an office at York Center.

Week of March 11: Pray for the Rockford Community fellowship, and for the work of the denomination’s Intercultural Ministries office.

Week of March 18: Pray this week for the Oakley Brick congregation, especially as it prepares for a pastoral transition later this year, and for the work of the denomination’s Discipleship Ministries office as it equips congregations across the country.

MINISTRY NEWS

Larry Traxler
, pastor at Cerro Gordo, has been approved for commissioning by the district Ministry Leadership Development Team. Congratulations to Larry on the culmination of a long journey! We look forward to scheduling a commissioning service for him in the near future.

Pastors in the district’s Northwest region will gather Feb. 26 at Mount Morris Church of the Brethren, 2:30-4 p.m., for sharing, light refreshments, and informal fellowship.

Congratulations to Randall Westfall, manager at Camp Emmaus, on his recent completion of the TRIM ministry training program. Randall was recently ordained in the Michigan District, where he previously worked, and we are grateful now for his ministry here! He and his family have joined the Mount Morris congregation.

Anna Lee Hisey Pierson (York Center) was called as vice chair of the district Leadership Team at that group’s most recent meeting. Ed Carper (Canton) is serving as chair this year.

The five-year ethics training and CEU cycle for all ministers will be occurring in 2024-2025. An ethics training session will be held during the spring clergy retreat April 15-16 at Bishop Lane Retreat Center near Rockford. Another in-person training will likely be scheduled in the district at a later date for those unable to attend in April. All ministers should also begin gathering information for their CEU report, which will be due by early 2025.

Congregational vacancies:
  • Cherry Grove: Using regular pulpit supply
  • Girard: Terry Link is assisting in providing pastoral leadership
  • Oakley Brick: David Roe has announced his retirement effective November 2024
  • Springfield First: Bobbi Dykema will be completing her service in March
  • York Center: Christy Waltersdorff has announced her retirement effective December 2024
Grants available: The denomination’s Office of Ministry has shared that grants are available through the Part-Time Pastor, Full-Time Church program for pastors who would like to do a sabbatical or continuing education experience. For more information or an application, contact district executive minister Walt Wiltschek at IWDDE@outlook.com.

CONGREGATIONAL/LOCAL NEWS

Peoria First is holding a spaghetti dinner after church on Feb. 18, and Canton is doing a creative trivia event with pizza at 4 p.m. that same day.

Cerro Gordo will have a soup supper from 4-6 p.m. Feb. 24.

Dutchtown (Milledgeville) welcomed two new members on Dec. 31 and will be officially receiving three more on Palm Sunday.

Yellow Creek (Pearl City) recently received a district Mission and Mortar grant to help with replacing its heating system. If your church has a need, please see the grants section below.

The Highland Avenue congregation (Elgin) is seeking a full-time office administrator. See more information in the “Job Opportunities” section below.

Two people connected to York Center (Lombard) were recently featured on Chicago’s WGN-TV. Those featured were member Darwin Walton, a 97-year-old who is encouraging other seniors to pen their life story after having authored nine children’s books earlier in her life, featured at https://wgntv.com/news/features/97-year-old-author-teaching-other-seniors-everyone-has-a-story, and Laura (Zayas) Magrini, featured in a WGN news piece called “Around Town – Closest Closet” in which she is interviewed about her work to make rugs out of damaged goods donated to a used clothing story, at www.youtube.com/watch?v=IfvtpGB0MFw.

Church of the Brethren Yearbook forms have been sent to congregations. Please take time to complete these important forms and return them to the denominational office by April 15.

The 2024 district directory was recently sent out via email. If you did not receive a copy and would like one, please contact the district office at andreag.iwdcob@gmail.com.

The district Gifts Discernment and Call Committee recently met and looked at district positions to be filled in the coming year. If you get a call from a GDCC member, please prayerfully consider whether you might be called to serve! Pat Ball (Dixon) is chairing the committee this year, with Dan McFadden (Highland Avenue) as vice chair.

Do you have congregational news: celebrations, milestones, “Jesus in the Neighborhood” stories or other things to share with our district family? Please send those to the district office: andreag.iwdcob@gmail.com.

REMEMBERING


Evelyn Wilderman, 92, a former member of and the long-time pianist for the now-closed Decatur congregation, passed away Jan. 23. Our prayers are with all her family members and friends.

Belita Mitchell, retired pastor and the denomination’s first Black female moderator, passed away on Saturday, Feb. 10, at her home in Mechanicsburg, Pa. The first African-American woman to be ordained in the Church of the Brethren, Mitchell was called as the 2007 Annual Conference moderator. She served as pastor to Church of the Brethren congregations at Imperial Heights (Los Angeles) and Harrisburg (Pa.) First. Along with her husband, Don, she was recognized in 2017 by the denomination’s Intercultural Ministries as a significant leader in efforts to make the Church of the Brethren an intercultural church, and in 2022 she was the preacher for the final worship service at Annual Conference in Omaha. Service arrangements are pending and will be shared when they become available.

SPRING CLERGY RETREAT

The district’s Ministry Leadership Development Team invites all ministers in Illinois and Wisconsin to this year’s district clergy retreat, which will take place April 15-16 at the beautiful Bishop Lane Retreat Center just southwest of Rockford, Ill. Thanks to a subsidy from special funds the district received, the cost will be just $50 per person, which covers leadership, lodging (private room with bath), and three meals. 

Our theme this year will be “Ethical Considerations,” as we take part in the denomination's every-five-years ethics training required for all credentialed ministers. Office of Ministry director Nancy Sollenberger Heishman will be the primary leader for the event, assisted by Naperville pastor Dennis Webb and district executive minister Walt Wiltschek. (Note that a CEU report for the past five-year period is also part of the credential renewal process; more information will be sent about that at a later date.)

The retreat will begin at 4 p.m. on Monday, April 15, and will end no later than 4 p.m. the following day. The ethics training will occur during three sessions over the course of our time together. Participants will receive 0.6 CEU's. In addition to the educational component and our common meals, we will also have times of worship together, as well as opportunities for fellowship, games, relaxation, and other activities. 

While we will likely offer another ethics training elsewhere in the district at a future date for those unable to attend the retreat, we encourage you to be part of this gathering in April if possible. Please register by using this link: https://forms.gle/rzsfE7cyUMRbgAke7 (note any dietary requirements or other special needs) and sending a check for $50 payable to “Church of the Brethren IL/WI District” to 269 E. Chestnut St., Canton, IL 61520. If you have questions, please contact the district office.

ONE EARTH, ONE CHANCE: A CONVERSATION ON CARE FOR CREATION

Since this is not a "Potluck Experience" year, the Illinois/Wisconsin District will be offering a free special event this spring focused on caring for God's creation. This hybrid event will take place Saturday, April 27, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Highland Avenue Church of the Brethren in Elgin or via YouTube/Zoom (links will be sent later).

David Radcliff of New Community Project will be our keynote speaker with a presentation titled “One Earth, One Chance” during the opening hour. That will be followed by several breakout options for further discussion and learning, and a resource table will be available. We hope you can join us for this important conversation on our role as Christians in being good stewards of the earth!

CAMP NEWS

A new “Escape to Emmaus” series of getaway/activity days begins March 2 with a woodcarving workshop led by new Camp Emmaus manager Randall Westfall. The event will run 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; cost is $20 (anyone under 18 must be accompanied by an adult). Participants should bring their own lunch, and a pocket/carving knife if they have one. Camp will provide extra knives if needed and all other materials. Contact manager.campemmaus@gmail.com or text 815-297-4435. The camp plans to begin offering similar opportunities monthly outside of the summer program season.

Camp Emmaus (Mount Morris, Ill.) has also announced its summer camping schedule for 2024. Registration will open soon. This year’s curriculum theme will be “Linked by Love”:

April 13                       Spring Into Camp
May 24-27                   Memorial Day Family Camp
July 7-11                      Intermediate Camp (grades 3-5)
July 12-14                    Young Adult and Young at
                                          Heart Camp (YAAYAH)
July 14-20                    Senior High Camp (grades 9-12)
July 21-27                    Middle School Camp (grades 6-8)
Aug. 2-4                       CIT training
Aug. 3-4                       Elementary Camp (grades 1-2)
Aug. 8-10                     Women’s Camp
Aug. 16-18                   Men’s Camp
Aug. 30-Sept. 2            Labor Day Family Camp

Camp Emmanuel (Astoria, Ill.) has announced its summer 2024 camping schedule. Registration will open in March:

Women’s Camp                                    May 31-June 2                                   
Youth Camp (grades 9-12)                  2nd week in June or 2nd weekend
                                                                  in June (to be determined)
Middle School Camp (grades 6-8)      June 9-15
Junior Camp (grades 3-5)                   June 19-23
Pre-Junior Camp (grades K-2)            June 28-30
Day Camp (grades K-5)                      July 15-19
Men’s Camp                                        Aug. 9-11
Family Camp                                       Aug. 30-Sept. 2
Creation Camp (grades 3-6)                Sept. 6-8

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

YOUTH NEWS

Be in prayer for the Midwest region’s Powerhouse Regional Youth Conference, taking place Feb. 16-18 at Camp Mack in Milford, Ind. Sponsored by Northern Indiana District’s youth cabinet with assistance from some Manchester University students, the event brings together youth and advisors from a six-district region. David Radcliff, director of New Community Project, will be the keynote speaker on the theme “Caring for Others and Caring for God’s Creation.” Workshops will include leadership from Brethren Volunteer Service and FaithX, with other workshop options, worship, and recreation through the weekend.

The next Church of the Brethren Christian Citizenship Seminar, for senior high youth and first-year college students and advisors, will be April 11-16, 2024, in Washington, D.C. Online registration opens Dec. 1 at 12 p.m. Central. A non-refundable deposit of $250 is due within two weeks of registration in order to hold a spot. The 2024 theme is “And They Fled: Advocating for Just Immigration Policy,” drawing from Matthew 2:13-23. Registration cost is $500. Learn more at https://www.brethren.org/yya/ccs.

DISASTER RESPONSE

Rick Koch (Lanark) has agreed to become the district’s new disaster response coordinator. He succeeds Loren Habegger (York Center), who has been serving in the role in recent years. Loren plans to stay involved with Brethren Disaster Ministries but asked to step back from the coordinator role. We’re extraordinarily grateful for all of Loren’s good work and dedication, and also glad for Rick’s willingness to step into this important position. Rick has some past experience in the role and has been a regular in disaster ministry. Watch for more updates on disaster response opportunities in the months ahead!

More information about the Brethren Disaster Ministries tornado recovery project in Dawson Springs, Kentucky, is at www.brethren.org/bdm/rebuild/projects. A complete schedule can be found here.

CHILDREN’S DISASTER SERVICES TRAINING

Freeport Church of the Brethren (777 W. Pleasant St., Freeport) will be hosting a Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) volunteer training workshop May 3-4.

The CDS workshop is a comprehensive 25-hour workshop (4:30 p.m. Friday to 5:30 p.m. Saturday) that uses applied, experiential activities to help participants integrate their learning. The workshop will train you to understand and respond to children who have experienced a disaster. Designed for people who have a heart and passion for children, the workshop helps you recognize and understand the fears and other emotions children experience during and following a disaster and how child-led play and various art mediums can start the healing process in children. Participants will experience a simulated shelter, sleeping on cots and eating simple meals. Once training is completed, participants have the opportunity to become a certified CDS volunteer by providing two personal references and a criminal and sexual offender background check. The workshop is open to anyone age 18 and over.

Participants should bring comfortable clothes, refillable water bottle, camping gear (sleeping bag or blankets, pillow, air mattress, flashlight), earplugs or sleep mask, and personal items (towel, washcloth, toiletries), as well as a desire to help others in need! Cost is $55 for early registration (postmarked at least three weeks before the workshop), and $65 thereafter. A reduced registration of $32.50 is available for current students. Meals and simple overnight accommodations are included.

To register, go to Workshop dates and locations – Children's Disaster Services (brethren.org). If you are interested but can’t make the Freeport dates, another training session will occur April 12-13 in Ankeny, Iowa.

FAITHX

Church of the Brethren FaithX trips are short-term service experiences that challenge us to be more aware of ourselves, our communities, and our world.

The trips provide opportunities for all ages to serve. Traditional junior and senior high youth trips are happening during summer, and a few new trip options are also available. During the summer, a family trip with childcare provided will allow attendees of any age to experience service together. Additionally, the summer schedule includes adult trips in the US with Brethren Disaster Ministries and in Ecuador, a We Are Able trip for persons with intellectual disabilities, options for combined junior and senior high youth groups to attend together, or the opportunity to create a custom trip.

Registration for summer FaithX trips is now open! To register or to view the full 2024 FaithX schedule and learn more about the trips, go to www.brethren.org/faithx. If you did not receive a 2024 FaithX brochure in the mail, reach out to the FaithX Office to have one sent to you. The FaithX Office can be contacted at faithx@brethren.org or 847-429-4337.

ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2024

The 2024 Church of the Brethren Annual Conference will take place July 3-7 (plus some pre-Conference meetings) in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Madalyn Metzger, who grew up in the Springfield First congregation, will serve as moderator, with the theme “Welcome and Worthy.”

Daily scripture themes are as follows: Wednesday, July 3: Romans 16:1-4 (CEB) with supporting scriptures from Matthew 5:1-16 (CEB) and Revelation 7:9-10; Thursday, July 4: Luke 1:46-49 (NIV) with supporting scriptures from Jeremiah 1:4-10 and 2 Samuel 9:1-10a; Friday, July 5: Romans 12:3-10 with supporting scriptures from John 15:9-13 and 2 Chronicles 30:18-21; Saturday, July 6: Acts 2:42-47 with supporting scriptures from Ephesians 4:1-6 and 1 Peter 4:8-11; Sunday, July 7: Philippians 2:1-11 with supporting scriptures from Micah 6:8, Zechariah 7:8-10, and Galatians 6:2 and 6-10.

Worship preachers will be moderator Madalyn Metzger on Wednesday; Greg Broyles of Roanoke, Va. (Germantown Brick Church of the Brethren) on Thursday; Brandon Grady of Glenville, Pa. (Black Rock Church of the Brethren) on Friday; Leonard M. Dow, vice president of Community and Church Development for Everence and previously pastor of Oxford Circle Mennonite Church in Philadelphia on Saturday; and Cindy Laprade Lattimer of Huntingdon, Pa. (Stone Church of the Brethren) on Sunday morning.

Nathan Hollenberg of Broadway, Va., is serving as the Program and Arrangements Committee liaison to the worship team, which also includes Founa Augustin Badet of Delray Beach, Fla.; Calvin Park of Knoxville, Md.; and Amber Harris of Winston-Salem, N.C. The music coordinator is Seth Crissman of Harrisonburg, Va.; choir director is Julie Richard of Finksburg, Md.; and pianist is Jocelyn Watkins of East Peoria, Ill. The organist is Robin Risser Mundey of Frederick, Md., and the children’s choir director is Stephanie Rappatta of Elkhart, Ind.

Registration opens at 12 p.m. Central Time on March 1. Note that a new registration system is being used this year and might require some adjustments. Advance registration will be $330 for delegates and $150 for non-delegates attending the full conference (or $50 daily rate). Current high school students and younger can attend with no registration charge; those post-high school through age 21 are $40. Advance registration closes June 10. Fees are higher for on-site registration beginning July 2. For virtual participation only, the non-delegate rate is $195 (or $75 daily) before June 10 and $225 thereafter. New this year is an option for groups and institutions to participate virtually from a common location. For more information go to www.brethren.org/ac2024/registration and select Virtual. 

All Conregations are encouraged to send delegates for which they are eligible. Congregations of up to 200 members receive one delegate, with an additional delegate for every 200 members or portion thereof beyond that. Our own Leonard and Vicki Matheny (Peoria First) head up on-site registration.

Two hotel options, the Amway Grand Plaza and the Courtyard Grand Rapids Downtown, will be available for $119 plus tax (total of $136.90) per night with complimentary self-parking and in-room WiFi. Housing reservations also open to the public March 1. For more information, visit https://www.brethren.org/ac2024.

EDUCATION OPPORTUNITIES

Upcoming courses from the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership include “Polarization as an Opportunity for Ministry,” led by Russell Haitch April 13 in person at Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Ind., with a Zoom session before and after (registration deadline March 7); and “Cultivating an Everyday Faith,” led by Joan Daggett, April 17-June 11 online (registration deadline March 13). CEU’s are available for clergy taking the courses. Register for other courses and pay online at Brethren Academy Course Registration/Biannual TRIM Payment | Bethany Theological Seminary (bethanyseminary.edu)

McPherson College’s Ventures in Christian Discipleship program will offer the two-part course “Divine Creativity and Holy Imagination: Cultivating a Creative Church” Feb. 13 and 20, 7:30-9 p.m. Central each evening. The presenter is Liz Ullery Swenson, pastor at the Wild Wood Gathering in Olympia, Wash. Participants can receive 0.3 CEU’s. Register and learn more at Ventures in Christian Discipleship - McPherson College. Other upcoming courses include “Introduction to Afrofuturism and Theology,” with instructor Tamisha Tyler, on April 2, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Central; and the two-part “Becoming a More Loving and Inclusive Church,” with instructor Tim McElwee, May 7 and 9, 7-8:30 p.m. Central each night. Suggested donation is $25 per course.

“Church of the Brethren Polity” will be offered March 22-23 and April 26-27online via Zoom by the Susquehanna Valley Ministry Center (SVMC). Randy Yoder will teach the course. Register by contacting Karen Hodges at karenhodges@svmccob.org. SVMC is also offering “Worship Models from Genesis to Revelation” led by Leah Hileman April 13, 8-11 a.m. Central, via Zoom and “Christian ID in an Age of AI” led by Bethany Theological Seminary Russell Haitch April 27, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Central, also via Zoom. Cost for either seminar is $45 including 0.5 CEU’s or $35 without CEU’s.

On Earth Peace is offering an overview of Kingian Nonviolence Conflict Reconciliation at 1 p.m. (Central time) on Feb. 23 as an online event. “Kingian Nonviolence is an approach to conflict and community leadership that offers values and methods useful for anyone who wants to use conflict constructively in your personal life, in group settings, or in community issues and building a reconciled world,” said an announcement. The two-hour webinar will be co-facilitated by Sheila Burton and Cristobal Van Breen. To register, go to www.onearthpeace.org/2024_02_23_2hr_intro_kingian_nonviolence_20240223.

Video recordings of online events sponsored by the Part-time Pastor, Full-time Church program of the Church of the Brethren’s Office of Ministry are available online at https://vimeo.com/ptpftcbrethren. Among the most recent is a webinar with Jon Ritner, author of the book Positively Irritating: Embracing a Post-Christian World to Form a More Faithful and Innovative Church, hosted by Ryan Braught, church planter and pastor of Veritas Community, a Church of the Brethren congregation. For more information contact Tabitha H. Rudy, administrative assistant for Part-time Pastor, Full-time Church, at adminptpftc@brethren.org.

Lombard Mennonite Peace Center is offering its one-day “Healthy Congregations” training March 5, “Conflict Transformation Skills for Churches” April 4, and “Restorative Conversations” April 17. For more details and registration information, and to see other events, go to https://lmpeacecenter.org/all-events/.

 NCP Learning Tours: New Community Project will offer an educational trip to Ecuador’s Amazon region May 30-June 5; to Lybrook, N.M., June 20-26; to the Denali/Kenai Fjords region of Alaska July 28-Aug. 4; and to Arctic Village, Alaska, Aug. 4-12. These trips are open to all ages and explore the beauty of andchallenges facing God’s creation and God’s children. Learn more at https://www.newcommunityproject.info/learning-tours.

FROM BRETHREN PRESS

This year’s Lenten devotional, “Through Thick and Thin,” is available through Brethren Press. Written by Beth Sollenberger from Goshen, Ind., the devotional “shares stories of God’s presence in everyday people along the journey” and “invites you to identify God’s presence in the people you meet along your own journey.” It runs from Ash Wednesday through Easter. Cost is $4.50 for regular print and $8.95 for large print editions. Order at www.brethrenpress.com or call 800-441-3712.

Brethren Press has also announced a new title in the Covenant Bible Studies series, titled “Passion of Jesus” and written by Richard B. Gardner (Highland Avenue). The study will “focus on Mark's passion narrative. How does the passion of Jesus—his suffering on the cross—relate to his life and mission? Is this a story of defeat or one of redemption? Was the cross inevitable, or could Jesus' mission have led to a different outcome? What do the events of Jesus' final days mean for us as Christians today?” The study book costs $11.99 per copy. Visit www.brethrenpress.com or call 800-441-3712.

JOB OPPORTUNITIES

Highland Avenue Church of the Brethren (Elgin, Ill.) is seeking a full-time office administrator . The ideal candidate will have a bachelor’s degree and/or equivalent office work experience. This position requires a person who enjoys working with people; has a professional, positive mannerism; has an understanding of office administration and bookkeeping; has exceptional organizational skills; is very detail-oriented and has the ability to prioritize workloads; and is proficient with and/or adept at learning computer systems and applications. Impeccable follow-up abilities are a must. Candidates should have strong English verbal and written communications skills and proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite. Knowledge of Google Docs and Power Church software is a plus, but not a requirement. Experience with a faith community is preferred. Respect for all individuals regardless of background or affiliation is required. Bilingual English and Spanish is a plus. A willingness to learn basic Spanish phrases and a fluency in English is required. To apply, send a letter of interest, resumé , three professional references, and salary-range expectation to Highland Avenue Church of the Brethren, ATTN: Donna March, 783 West Highland Avenue, Elgin, IL 60120, or at hiring@hacob.org. Members of Highland Avenue are not eligible to apply due to a conflict of interest.

The Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership is seeking a part-time (25 to 30hours per week) administrative assistant to work in the Richmond, Ind., office, providing direct secretarial and administrative support to the BAML staff, students, and programs and working collegially with other offices. High school diploma is required, with associate’s degree preferred. Desired skills include clerical experience, strong professional and interpersonal skills, organizational and proofreading skills, knowledge of Microsoft Office suite and databases, and flexible schedule. Bilingual (English/Spanish) preferred. To apply, send resume’, letter of interest, and contact information for three references to Janet L. Ober Lambert, director, at academysearch@bethanyseminary.edu .

The Church of the Brethren is seeking an individual to fill a part-time (40 hours biweekly) salaried position of manager of the Global Food Initiative Fund (GFIF). This position reports directly to the executive director of Global Mission and is responsible for providing oversight and administration of the Global Food Initiative Fund and coordinates hunger-based programming with Global Mission, particularly with sister churches. This position is based in Elgin and can be remote with some travel required. Education or interest in agriculture or community development is preferred, as is language ability in French, Spanish, or Haitian Creole and experience in budget management. A bachelor’s degree is required, and a master’s or equivalent work experience is helpful. Interested applicants should send their resume’ to COBApply@brethren.org .

The Church of the Brethren is seeking an individual to fill a full-time salaried position of director of the Brethren Historical Library and Archives . The archivist promotes the history and heritage of the Church of the Brethren by administering BHLA and by facilitating research and the study of Brethren history. Skills and knowledge required include familiarity with Church of the Brethren heritage, theology, and polity; familiarity with library and archival disciplines; customer service skills; research and problem-solving skills, and proficiency in Microsoft software and experience with OCLC products, plus at least 3 to 5 years of experience in a library or archives. Master’s degree in library science/archival studies or a public history related program, and extensive knowledge of Church of the Brethren history and beliefs, or graduate degree in history or theology and/or certification by the Academy of Certified Archivists. This position is based at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill. Applications will be received beginning immediately and reviewed on an ongoing basis until the position is filled. Qualified candidates are invited to send a resume to COBApply@brethren.org.

The Western Plains District is seeking a half-time district executive minister to serve its 36 congregations located in New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas, and Nebraska. This is a half-time time position (approximately 25 hours per week). The office location is negotiable. Travel is required both within and outside of the district. The full position description is posted at: https://www.brethren.org/about/employment/ . Responsibilities include leading and coordinating district ministries, providing a strong emphasis on the missional church, working with congregations in calling and credentialing ministers and placing pastors, and providing a link between the district and denomination. Candidates should be ordained through an accredited program, have skills inorganization and communication, and be committed to the Church of the Brethren, with five to 10 years of pastoral experience preferred. Interested and qualified persons may apply for this position by sending a letter of interest and resume’ to Nancy Sollenberger Heishman, Director of Ministry, via email at officeofministry@brethren.org . Applicants are requested to contact three persons who are willing to provide a letter of reference. Upon receipt of the resume’, the individual will be sent a candidate profile that must be completed and returned before the application is considered complete. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

PERSONNEL NOTES

Bethany Theological Seminary has hired Maya Ballard as its admissions recruiter. Ballard earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Kent State University, and her academic background includes coursework in business analytics, operations management, accounting and finance. She has professional experience in retail management. Her first day in the office was Feb.1.

Vicki Ehret has announced her retirement as director of administration for the district executive minister team of the Atlantic Southeast District. Vicki began in the position as interim district executive minister on Jan. 25, 2021, for a period of six months, after which she transitioned to her present role. She will conclude her role by June 30, or sooner upon the hiring by the district board of an interim to fill her position. An ordained minister in the Church of the Brethren, Vicki previously served as clerk of the district, moderator of the district conference, and has been active in district ministry since 2002, including serving as the TRIM and SeBAH-CoB Coordinator for the district. She completed the Training in Ministry program of the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership in 2008 and served as pastor of Celebration of Christ Church in St. Petersburg, Fla., for seven years. She and her family currently reside in Indianapolis, where she has carried out her district administrative duties on behalf of the district team.

DENOMINATIONAL NEWS/NEWSLINE

The 2024 Song and Story Fest family camp co-sponsored by On Earth Peace will be hosted at Camp Brethren Heights in the Michigan District, July 7-13, immediately after Annual Conference in Grand Rapids. This is the 28th Song and Story Fest. The theme for this year’s Muddy Waters Song and Story Fest is “Exploring the Heights and Depths of Community.” The event is billed as an intergenerational camp for all ages, individuals, and families. Storytellers ,musicians, and workshop leaders include Rhonda & Greg Baker, Susan Boyer, Louise Brodie, Hannah Button-Harrison, Debbie Eisenbise, Jenny & Jeffrey Faus Family, Erin & Cody Flory Robertson, Chris Good, Anna Lisa Gross, Kathy Guisewite, Jonathan Hunter, Tim & Byron Joseph & Marlene Wood, Brian Kruschwitz, Jim Lehman, Peg Lehman, and Mike Stern. The schedule includes morning intergenerational gatherings and worship followed by workshops for adults, children, and youth; in the afternoons, family time, recreation, story swaps, and music-making; and in the evenings, campfires, snacks, and concerts or a folkdance. Registration includes all meals, on-site facilities, and leadership, and is based upon age—adults $370, teens $240, children age 5 to 12 $160, children 4and under free—with a maximum fee per family of $1,000. Daily fees are available. Registrations after June 1 add 10 percent as a late fee. Register online at http://onearthpeace.org/song_and_story_fest_2024 .

The Church of the Brethren Leadership Team recently issued a statement that said, in part: “With deep sadness, the Church of the Brethren Leadership Team acknowledges news received of the withdrawal of all six congregations in the Puerto Rico District from the Church of the Brethren, as of Oct. 26, 2023. The Puerto Rican congregations’ decisions, which were affirmed by the Puerto Rico District board, came following contacts and visits by leaders of the Covenant Brethren Church—and each of the six congregations have since joined the Covenant Brethren Church. … The withdrawal of the six Puerto Rican congregations—as well as other churches across the denomination—brings heartache to many in the Church of the Brethren. ‘We mourn the loss of any of our members and congregations,’ said general secretary David Steele. ‘There is very real grief and pain when saying good-bye to those we’ve had relationships with and who have walked alongside us on our shared faith journeys.’”

The Council of District Executives (CODE) held its annual winter meetings Jan.20-24 near Melbourne, Fla., with some members also attending the Church of theBrethren Inter-Agency Forum (IAF) meeting that followed. Twenty-two of thedenomination’s 24 districts were represented, along with Office of Ministry directorNancy Sollenberger Heishman. Significant conversation was given to the changingrealities of the church and creative possibilities for moving forward. In addition to continuing education sessions, other business included worship and devotionaltimes focused on Colossians 3:12-17, receiving reports, approving appointmentsto committees, calling members for a new Matthew 18 Team to provide conflictresolution when needed, a review of the upcoming ministerial ethics trainingprocess, conversations with agency staff and Annual Conference leadership, ameal and worship with IAF members, and sharing news from the various districts.

Church of the Brethren membership in the United States in 2022 was 81,345,according to the statistical report in the 2023 Church of the Brethren Yearbook ,published by Brethren Press. The 2023 edition—published late last year—includes the 2022 statistical report and the 2023 directory for the denomination. The Yearbook reported 857 local worshiping communities (823 congregations, 22 fellowships, and 12 new church projects) in 2022. This represents a net loss of 5,836 members over 2021. Average weekly worship attendance for the denomination was reported as 20,733. To compare denominational membership over 15 years, for 2008 the Yearbook reported a total membership of 124,408–the first time since the 1920s that Church of the Brethren membership fell below 125,000.

Harold S. Martin (93), a leader in and one of the founders of the Brethren Revival Fellowship (BRF), died on Jan. 5 at the Lincoln Christian Home in Ephrata, Pa. He served on the BRF Committee, was the first editor of the BRF Witness newsletter and served in that capacity for 50 years, preached at the BRF General Meeting as well as at revival services and numerous other venues, taught courses at the BRF’s Brethren Bible Institute, and was one of the leading free ministers serving in BRF-related congregations.

Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) has announced the dates for the next two volunteer orientations that will take place in 2024. The summer unit (Unit 335)will have orientation July 28-Aug. 5 at Camp Colorado, located near Sedalia, Colo., southwest of Denver. The fall unit (Unit 336) will take place Sept. 17-25 at Camp Brethren Heights in Rodney, Mich., north of Grand Rapids. Online pre-orientation meetings also take place before each group gathers together in person. To apply or to learn more, visit www.brethrenvolunteerservice.org .

The 2024 Earth Day resource from Creation Justice Ministries is titled “Plastic Jesus: Real Faith in a Synthetic World,” and is available to download at www.creationjustice.org/plasticjesus.html . Said an announcement: “Every year at Creation Justice Ministries, we create a resource to help churches prepare for Earth Day. It’s always our hope that these resources won’t just inform the congregation’s actions for a day, but will inform their actions on behalf of God’s creation throughout the year.”

The Church of the Brethren Nursing Scholarship is available for 2024,providing up to $2,000 for RN and graduate nurse candidates and up to $1,000 for LPN candidates. Scholarships are awarded to a limited number of applicants each year. This scholarship, made possible by the Health, Education and Research Endowment, is available to members of the Church of the Brethren enrolled in LPN, RN, or nursing graduate programs. More information and an application form are at www.brethren.org/nursingscholarships . Applications and supporting documentation are due by April 1 of each year.

GRANTS AND GIVING

Grants available through the district include the following:

1. Mission and Mortar: 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. More information can be found here.

2. Being Jesus in the Neighborhood: Congregations can apply for $100 in seed money to start a new outreach project or initiative in their local communities, or to expand an existing one. These should be projects that intentionally engage with the neighborhood immediately around the congregation, or for those in rural locations, with the town or area around the church. Each congregation receiving a grant will be asked to share a little about their project at district conference. More information can be found here.

3. Give Your Pastor a Break: Congregations can apply for up to $100 for a grant to cover or help cover a guest speaker for an extra Sunday to give your pastor a day off—or at least a day off from having to prepare and preach a sermon. We hope this might be part of the ways you care for your pastor. More information can be found here.

4. Emerging Missions Fund: To facilitate the growth and establishment of new faith communities, this grant is available for church and ministry planting initiatives. New church and ministry plants are encouraged to apply by contacting the district office and/or the CRDT.

SUPPORTING YOUR DISTRICT

The Illinois/Wisconsin District is active in a variety of ministry and mission efforts, both directly and indirectly. For these efforts to continue, resources are needed in the form of time, tools, knowledge, and especially finances.

Consider making a contribution to one or more of the following:

  • Disaster Relief Fund
  • Endowment Fund
  • Mission and Mortar Fund
  • Youth Fund (new!)
  • General Fund
  • Emerging Ministries
  • Ministry Training

Look for the donate button at iwdcob.org, or send your checks to the district office: 269 E. Chestnut St., Canton, IL 61520. Thank you!

Tuesday, January 02, 2024

The Reflector - January 2024


 

Monday, January 01, 2024

THE VILLAGE ILWIDIOT

Walt Wiltschek

“The violence of the wicked will sweep them away, for they refuse to act with justice.” –Prov. 21:7, CEB

It’s become all too common: The breaking news on a web page or a radio or TV broadcast brings word of yet another mass shooting event—at schools, at malls, at supermarkets, at theaters, even in houses of worship.

I remember vividly the inner gut punch I felt on hearing news of a shooting that took place on Valentine’s Day 2008 at Northern Illinois University. It occurred two years after I finished my graduate degree there, in a building I passed through often. That tragedy left five students dead and 17 others injured.

That was more than 15 years and many deaths ago. And many other such incidents preceded it. This past week, a school shooting in Perry, Iowa—in a district where several Church of the Brethren members work—joined the horrific list. A sixth grader was killed, and the young shooter took his own life. Others were injured, and more families shattered.

While the exact statistics of such incidents vary depending on one’s definition of a mass shooting, the bottom line is that it’s much too large of a number. The Pew Research Center, for example, reported a total of 48,830 gun deaths (of all kinds) in 2021. And the US far outpaces most of the developed world in that category.

In a Messenger magazine column last year, Virginia pastor Nathan Hollenberg called the US’ blind fealty to the Second Amendment a form of idolatry, much like the golden calf in the wilderness of Sinai. “We must recapture the narrative of our faith,” he said. “There is no faith argument in support of weapons that are built to kill other humans as quickly and destructively as possible.”

The causes of our epidemic are complex, including the prevalence of bullying and mental health issues along with our culture of violence and social media and other venues that stoke the seeds of anger. We will not agree on the solutions to this disturbing reality, but as followers of Christ who are part of a historic peace church, I hope that we can acknowledge the problem.

Alongside our thoughts and prayers, what steps can we take to begin to make a difference? A few of our congregations have already held events around this topic, and a larger event took place at Annual Conference last year. What will our witness be?

As Northern Plains District executive Tim Button-Harrison wrote this past week: “Let us genuinely renew our commitment to teach and walk in the pathway of non-violence and love taught by Jesus and courageously raise our voices with all who are crying ENOUGH.”

DISTRICT EXECUTIVE SCHEDULE


In addition to regular meetings, Walt will be worshiping with Chicago First Jan. 14, attending CODE meetings in Florida Jan. 19-25 (with some travel before and after), preaching at York Center Feb. 4, preaching at Highland Avenue Feb. 11, and leading a youth retreat in Maryland Feb. 23-25.

Walt is available to visit your church, do pulpit supply, lead sessions, have conversation times, or otherwise connect with your congregation. Please contact IWDDE@outlook.com to schedule a time. He is usually on district duty Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, plus Sundays.

FASHION ADVICE FROM THE DISTRICT MODERATOR

“Who Are You Wearing?”

by Christy Waltersdorff

We are in the midst of the Hollywood Awards season. As celebrities walk the red carpet in expensive designer clothing, dripping with jewels, reporters shove microphones in their faces and ask, “Who are you wearing?” That question has always annoyed me. I know the reporter wants the name of a famous designer, but it always reduces the person to merely a mannequin, placing the focus on their clothing and not their character. Perhaps they are mannequins on that red carpet, showcasing the finest work of a “fashion house,” but they are also unique and talented human beings.

Of course, what we wear matters. In the middle of winter, here in Illinois, most of us are wrapped up in warm sweaters and parkas. As the snow falls, we would soon regret going outside to shovel in shorts and flip flops. Likewise, as Christians, the way we present ourselves to the world matters a great deal.

In his letter to the Christians in Colossae, Paul reminds them that they are God’s chosen ones. They are God’s beloved, created in God’s own image. Paul encourages them to clothe themselves with the characteristics of Jesus: compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. He wants God’s people to live their lives as Jesus did so that when others see them, they won’t have to ask, “Who are you wearing?”

As we choose what to wear each day, let’s not forget to also choose the things of God. Let’s greet the world dressed in the goodness of God every day.

Upcoming Meetings & Events

  • Program and Arrangements Committee, Jan. 11, 6:30 p.m.
  • Camp Emmaus board retreat, Jan. 13 (may be postponed due to weather)
  • Council of District Executives winter meetings/InterAgency Forum, Jan. 19-25, Melbourne, Fla.
  • Church Revitalization and Development Team, Jan. 27, 9 a.m.
  • Gifts Discernment and Call Committee, Jan. 31, 6:30 p.m.
  • Leadership Team, Feb. 6, 6:30 p.m.
  • Ministry Leadership Development Team, Feb. 21, 6:30 p.m.
  • Leadership Team, April 2, 6:30 p.m.
  • Spring clergy retreat, April 15-16, Bishop Lane Retreat Center, Rockford
  • Creation care event, April 27, details TBA

    [all meetings via Zoom unless otherwise noted]

IN OUR PRAYERS

A district prayer calendar has been created for your use in praying for our district and related programs through the year. We invite you to include the following in your prayers in coming weeks:


Week of Jan. 15: Pray for Brethren Disaster Ministries and its wide-ranging work, for outgoing district disaster coordinator Loren Habegger, and for all those who go out to serve across the country.

Week of Jan. 22: Pray for the Council of District Executives as they hold their winter meetings this week, and for all the work of the 24 districts of our denomination stretching across the US and Puerto Rico.

Week of Jan. 29: Pray for the Dixon congregation, and all the varied work that happens at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md.

Week of Feb. 5: Pray for the district’s Program and Arrangements Committee and the Gifts Discernment and Call Committee, as the members of those teams work to plan district conference and call out leadership for our district.

Week of Feb. 12: Be in prayer for the Leadership Team of our district as the members of that group meet and help the district to fulfill its call and vision.

MINISTRY NEWS

The five-year ethics training and CEU cycle for all ministers will be occurring in 2024-2025. An ethics training session will be held during the spring clergy retreat April 15-16 at Bishop Lane Retreat Center near Rockford. Another in-person training will likely be scheduled in the district at a later date for those unable to attend in April. All ministers should also begin gathering information for their CEU report, which will be due in late 2024 or early 2025.

Congratulations to Randall Westfall, manager at Camp Emmaus, on his recent completion of the TRIM ministry training program. Randall was recently ordained in the Michigan District, where he previously worked, and we are grateful now for his ministry here!

Congratulations also to the Dixon congregation and Michael Cole, who had been serving as interim pastor but in December was called as Dixon’s permanent part-time pastor by a unanimous vote. We’re glad for this excellent partnership to continue.

Bobbi Dykema will be concluding her pastoral ministry at the Springfield First congregation in March, with her last Sunday in the pulpit on March 17. She has served there for five years and currently also serves as the district’s Annual Conference Standing Committee delegate. We wish her the best in her future endeavors.

The denomination’s Part-Time Pastor, Full-Time Church program invites multi-vocational clergywomen to join Erin Matteson, spiritual director and circuit rider, for a monthly gathering during which Erin will facilitate various spiritual practices such as lectio divina and visio divina. These gatherings, which will be held February to June, offer the opportunity to form sacred circles with others in hopes of nourishing spiritual wellbeing. Join Erin on the second Monday of each month by registering for either the first (11 a.m. Central) or second (6 p.m. Central) session at:  
https://forms.gle/JWi3m7pfAP6ZUCzL9. Registration closes Feb. 1.  More information about the gatherings is included on the registration form.

The 2024 IRS standard mileage rate for business use of personal vehicles is 67 cents per mile. More information can be found at

https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-issues-standard-mileage-rates-for-2024-mileage-rate-increases-to-67-cents-a-mile-up-1-point-5-cents-from-2023.

Congregational vacancies:
Cherry Grove: Using regular pulpit supply
Girard: Terry Link is assisting in providing pastoral leadership
Oakley Brick: David Roe has announced his retirement effective November 2024
Springfield First: Bobbi Dykema will be completing her service in March
York Center: Christy Waltersdorff has announced her retirement effective December 2024

Grants available: The denomination’s Office of Ministry has shared that grants are available through the Part-Time Pastor, Full-Time Church program for pastors who would like to do a sabbatical or continuing education experience. For more information or an application, contact district executive minister Walt Wiltschek at 
IWDDE@outlook.com.

CONGREGATIONAL/LOCAL NEWS

Congregational giving to the district in 2023 totaled about $32,000, not counting funds received from some properties that were sold. Thank you to everyone who gave for your generosity in supporting the district’s ministries! We encourage you to keep the district in mind in the new year.

An additional gift of $3,000 was received from the Church of the Brethren Mission & Ministry Board at the end of 2023, part of ministry partnership funds received from the Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company due to a favorable claim history.

Christine Knotts (Peoria First) completed her term as financial secretary for the district at the end of 2023, and we are grateful for her good work over the years. Leonard Matheny (Peoria First) has taken over that role as of Jan. 1. Any donations sent directly to the district financial secretary should now go to Leonard at 1231 W. Wonderview Dr., Dunlap, IL 61525.

The Highland Avenue congregation (Elgin) is seeking a full-time office administrator. See more information in the “Job Opportunities” section below.

Church of the Brethren Yearbook forms are on their way to congregations. Please take time to complete these forms and return them to the denominational office by April 15.

Do you have congregational news: celebrations, milestones, “Jesus in the Neighborhood” stories or other things to share with our district family? Please send those to the district office: andreag.iwdcob@gmail.com.

REMEMBERING

Phoebe Sue Hayes of Sycamore, Ill., a former employee at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill., passed away on Jan. 1. She was born on July 7, 1949, in Bluffton, Ind., the daughter of Roy and Wilda Olwin. She worked for several years in the 1980s and 1990s as secretary for Interpretation among other positions at the denomination’s General Offices. A memorial service was held on Jan. 8 at Highland Avenue Church of the Brethren in Elgin.

SPRING CLERGY RETREAT

Pastors, chaplains, and other ministers: Mark your calendars! The district’s spring 2024 clergy retreat will take place April 15-16, again at the beautiful Bishop Lane Retreat Center near Rockford. The main event will be the every-five-years ethics training, led by Office of Ministry director Nancy Sollenberger Heishman, Naperville pastor Dennis Webb, and district executive minister Walt Wiltschek.

The ethics training will occur during three sessions over the course of our time together. The retreat will be about 24 hours, beginning Monday late afternoon and concluding Tuesday afternoon. All participants will have a private room with bathroom. Food, fun, worship, and other activities will also be part of this time together. Watch for additional details soon.

CREATION CARE CONFAB

Mark your calendars! Plans are coming together for a creation care-focused district event on Saturday, April 27, tentatively in the late-morning time frame. New Community Project director David Radcliff will be the featured speaker, along with other educational pieces still in the works. It will likely be a hybrid event—held in person at one of our congregations with a Zoom option available. Watch for more details soon.

CAMP NEWS

On your next visit to Camp Emmaus, hike over to the meadow that

 borders the boys’ cabins and check out the newest addition—the camp council ring. It consists of 42 unique blocks of 1,800-pound limestone arranged in two concentric circles. Installed in late November, the ring was formed from locally based materials: limestone from Freeport, mulch from Dixon, and landscaping from Polo. The construction is the latest of a series of physical improvements donated over the years to the camp by Highland Avenue member and long-time Camp Emmaus volunteer Ralph Miner.

Inspired by Danish landscape architect Jens Jensen (1860-1951), the council ring is a symbolic representation of both ancient Danish village gatherings and newer ideals of American democracy. The circular design invites people to come together in an egalitarian way, Ralph notes. Just as a circle has no beginning or end, there is no hierarchy within a group seated around a ring. He adds that Jensen placed council rings in the Chicago-area parks he designed to encourage neighbors to come together as equals to share ideas, experiences, and stories and to enjoy the beauty of nature.

As Camp Emmaus starts its journey on the next 75 years of ministry, the dream is that this installation will invite people to gather, because camp believes that when people gather together, awesome things can occur.


Camp Emmaus has announced its summer camping schedule for 2024:
May 24-27                   Memorial Day Family Camp
July 7-11                      Intermediate Camp (grades 3-5)
July 12-14                    Young Adult and Young at Heart Camp (YAAYAH)
July 14-20                    Senior High Camp (grades 9-12)
July 21-27                    Middle School Camp (grades 6-8)
Aug. 2-4                       CIT training
Aug. 3-4                       Elementary Camp (grades 1-2)
Aug. 8-10                     Women’s Camp
Aug. 16-18                   Men’s Camp
Aug. 30-Sept. 2           Labor Day Family Camp


Camp Emmanuel has announced its summer 2024 camping schedule. Registration will open in March:
Women’s Camp                                 May 31-June 2                                   
Youth Camp (grades 9-12)      2nd week in June or 2nd weekend in June (to be determined)
Middle School Camp (grades 6-8)      June 9-15
Junior Camp (grades 3-5)                    June 19-23
Pre-Junior Camp (grades K-2)             June 28-30
Day Camp (grades K-5)                       July 15-19
Men’s Camp                                       Aug. 9-11
Family Camp                                       Aug. 30-Sept. 2
Creation Camp (grades 3-6)                Sept. 6-8

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