Friday, December 01, 2023


As noted earlier, the Mount Morris congregation is exploring the sale of its large building and property. Pastor Rodney Caldwell and other church leaders provided the following update:

Dear Brothers and Sisters of IL/WI District Church of the Brethren,

We, the Mount Morris Church of the Brethren, have recently listed our facility for sale with local Realtor Lori Peterson of Re/Max, Oregon, Ill.

First and foremost, we want you to know that we have no plans to disband. For now, while in this process, we continue to worship weekly as we have for decades. We expect to continue as an active witness for Christ in our community and as an active congregation in the ministry of the district. To leave the facility we have cherished for 70 years will be a significant transition. But, in the over-150-year history of our congregation we have been affiliated with six or so facilities. We will adapt to a new “meetinghouse” when required.

We have been debating this step for quite some time. We face the uncomfortable reality that we have far more space than our current congregation requires. The budgetary impact of supporting a facility built when our church had 600 members has become ever more difficult. Although we have sought alternatives, none have materialized. It is our hope that by enlisting a Realtor we may in fact discover a favorable solution.

We are concerned about the impact this step could potentially have on Mount Morris Loaves and Fish Food Pantry. The pantry is a community effort with its own board that we provide space to in our facility. We will do all we can to assist in securing the continuance of the pantry with as minimal disruption as possible. Please pray for the pantry’s provision during this transition.

You may be aware that for over a year the Little Prairie Mennonite church has shared our facility for weekly worship gatherings. We have been greatly blessed by this relationship. They hope to move to a newly constructed facility by August 2024. We pray God’s blessing upon them.

Please pray for us as we go through this process of leaving what has been our “church home” for so long and as we contemplate our next step as a congregation. Thank you in advance for your prayers and support.

Grace and Peace,

Mt. Morris Church of the Brethren, Mt. Morris, IL

Pastor Rodney Caldwell

Brenda Nevenhoven, Moderator

Dianne Swingel, Leadership Team Chair

We are grateful that Micah Kellerman, a member at Highland Avenue(Elgin) and a current student at UNLV in Las Vegas, was OK after a campus shooting incident at the school on Dec. 6. Micah was supposed to be in a class adjacent to the building where the shootings took place at the time of the incident, but the class had been cancelled earlier that day. Our prayers are with all those affected by these shootings, and for all those in the far-too-many other places where they have occurred. 

Our prayers are with Leonard Matheny (Peoria First), district financial secretary and Church Revitalization and Development Team chair, following news on Dec. 14 that his sister, Linda Crews, passed away in Tennessee following a lengthy illness. We also pray for Leonard’s wife, Vicki, and for Linda’s children, Dawn, Scott, and Heather, and other family members in this time of loss.

A series of short videos of conversations with Howard Royer, produced by David Sollenberger, have been published online by Messenger. Royer—a member of the Highland Avenue congregation in Elgin—is a former editor of Messenger who served on the denominational staff of the Church of the Brethren filling a wide variety of jobs for 50 consecutive years from 1953 to 2003, followed by eight years as part-time manager for the Global Food Crisis Fund (now Global Food Initiative). He started his career in the church as a 1-W conscientious objector and volunteer in stewardship, then filled successive roles as youth editor, news director, Messenger editor, coordinator of a salvation and justice program, and director of interpretation. Find the videos at [from Newsline]

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: