Monday, January 01, 2024


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: 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

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