Illinois and Wisconsin District Conference Proclaims Good News

This article was taken from the Church of the Brethren Newsline on November 17, 2017. It was written by the District Executive minister and Canton Church of the Brethren Pastor Kevin Kessler.  

The Illinois and Wisconsin District Conference on Nov. 3-4 was held at York Center Church of the Brethren in Lombard, Ill., on the theme, “Don’t Be Afraid, I Bring You Good News” based on Luke 2:10. The conference was capably led by moderator Allegra Hess, a member of the York Center congregation.

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From the Pastor’s Desk, October 2017

Taken from the The Canton COB Chronicle Volume 2017, #7

A few days ago, I left the office around 11:00am, drove home, picked up Tammy, and went to CEFCU. We went inside, took care of our business, and then came back to the car to move on to a couple other errands. As normal, I inserted the key in the car’s ignition switch, turned it to start the car, and just as it sounded like the car would start, everything stopped. The lights on the dash went out. Turning the key to start produced absolutely no sound. And when I tried to turn the key to off and remove it, I could not do so. We all have many “firsts” in our lives; this was a “first” for me. I’ve experienced turning the key to start and nothing happens. But I’ve never been unable to remove the key from the ignition.

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DE Ponderings, September 2017

Taken from September 2017 edition of “The Reflector” (a publication of the IL/WI Church of the Brethren District Newsletter)

I have an appreciation for the writings of Vernard Eller, one time professor of Religion at the University of LaVerne, primarily because his views are cutting edge and sometimes cutting. I never knew him personally, but I gather from his books that he was a person comfortable in his own skin even if what he said or wrote stirred thoughts and emotions in others.

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From the Pastor’s Desk, August 2017

This article was taken from “The Canton Chronicle” September 2017, Volume 2017: Issue #6.

Tammy and I recently made our first trek on the new walking/bicycle trail that extends from Lakeland Park to Wallace Park. I’m not sure why we waited so long to check it out. It’s a peaceful place to walk while enjoying the beauty of nature.

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DE Ponderings, August 2017

Article taken from “The Reflector”  a publication of the IL/WI District of the Church of the Brethren August 2017 Volume 14, Issue 7.

I enjoy reading, especially a novel in which the author delves into a variety of subjects relevant to our human condition. George Saunders does this spectacularly in Lincoln and the Bardo. He is also, in my view, a master at character development. These two literary accomplishments alone put the book high on my list of good reads. However, one particular scene in Saunders’ novel sheds brilliant light on a matter that has been coursing through my mind most recently, which can be articulated best with a question: In all of our human diversity, what will open the door for us to exist in harmony while still holding on to and utilizing our unique identities?

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From the Pastor´s Desk, July 2017

On Wednesday, July 26, we will begin a study on Judaism. I have been fascinated with all I’ve learned in preparing to lead this study. What I found most interesting, though, is how the Jewish tradition approaches scripture. The Jewish emphasis is not about searching the scriptures to find ancient answers that speak to life matters for all time. Rather, the focus is more on asking questions about the text in understanding its relevancy for a particular time, or more to the point, for the present time, and to learn how the Divine becomes evident through the text.

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DE Ponderings, July 2017

The following article is taken from the IL/WI District Church of the Brethren newsletter  ¨The Reflector¨ July 2017, Volume 14, Issue 6.  If you´d like to subscribe to the Reflector, please leave a message in our contact box and we will have one sent directly to your inbox. 

Approximately one month ago, I served as the moderator for a public forum on the State Budget Impasse, which was held in the community of Canton. The forum focused on educating persons within our county about the adverse effects the state budget impasse was imposing on school districts, nursing homes, community colleges, and other social agencies, all of which depend on state funding for operational needs. Persons no longer receiving services from these agencies or who were likely to no longer be served as a result of the impasse stood to lose the most. For those of us who put the forum together, the impasse posed not so much a political matter but more so a justice issue.

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