Sunday, October 01, 2023


Make plans to join this year’s Illinois/Wisconsin District conference, which will be held Nov. 3-4 at Lanark Church of the Brethren (326 High St., Lanark, Ill.). Phyllis Batterton (Woodland) is serving as moderator this year and has chosen the theme “Encourage One Another.”

A pre-conference continuing education session for clergy (and other church leaders interested in attending) will feature Chris Douglas on the theme of spiritual practices. It will take place at Lanark on Friday, Nov. 3, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. with lunch (more information above).

Madalyn Metzger, the 2023-2024 Church of the Brethren moderator—originally from the Springfield congregation but now living in the Elkhart, Ind., area, will be with us and will share the message during the opening worship service Friday evening at 7:30 p.m. (hymn sing beginning at 7:10 p.m.). An ice cream social will follow. Registration opens at 5:30 p.m., and exhibits and the silent auction at 6 p.m.

Business begins Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m., continuing to about 4:30 p.m. with a break for lunch. Among business items coming to the conference will be consideration of the 2024 district budget; approval of the slate for the coming year; consideration of a query, “Regarding Greater Congregational Latitude on Matters of Sexuality,” coming from the York Center congregation; celebrating the long ministry of the Franklin Grove and Stanley congregations, which have both closed their doors, and the Pinecrest Retirement Community, which was sold to a for-profit corporation at the end of 2022; and marking the 75th anniversaries of our camps. As noted above, a virtual hearing on the query will be offered at 10 a.m. on Oct. 28.

Two equipping sessions will be offered Saturday: Ryan Braught of the denomination’s Part-Time Pastor, Full-Time Church program, will lead a session on “Exegeting Your Community,” looking at how we understand and meet the needs of our congregational neighborhoods; and Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of news services for the Church of the Brethren, will lead one on “Celebrating a Century in Nigeria,” looking at the story of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) from past to present, including this year’s milestone events.

Note that delegates will need to attend in person this year; no virtual option will be available. Worship and business will be streamed on Zoom for non-delegates who are unable to attend in person. Links were included in the conference schedule that was sent to congregations and registrants.

Saturday lunch is available for pre-order with a new deadline of Oct. 22. Registration for the conference and for the meal is available at the following links:

Please note that Lanark would like children to be registered by October 22. There will also be permission slips for parents/guardians to sign when they arrive at the conference. There will be no youth event this year, as Camp Emmaus is holding its annual youth retreat the following weekend, but youth are welcome and encouraged to attend.

For housing, a block of rooms has been reserved at the Savanna Inn and Suites in Savanna, about 18 miles from the Lanark church near the Mississippi River (101 Valley View Rd.). To reserve, call 815-273-2288 at least two weeks in advance of your stay. Cost is $98.10 for a king room or $107.10 for two queens. Some other smaller local accommodations may also be available in the area.

The conference booklet was sent via email to congregations and registrants at the beginning of October. Additional updates will be posted on the district conference page at