"See you in October" just doesn't have the same ring.

Northeast Update - Mid September 2017 
Around the Association

Peace Garden
A Peace Garden constructed by the Confirmation Class of 2017 is the latest addition to the welcoming front yard of Bethany United Church of Christ, 145 W. 24th Ave., Oshkosh.

It's fitting that the Peace Garden will be dedicated Sunday, Sept. 17, just days before the observance of the International Day of Peace, which is Sept. 21. The day's theme this year is "Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All."

Bethany's Peace Garden, which will be dedicated at the 10 a.m. worship service next Sunday, was constructed by students Catarina Bennett and Kelsey Bennett, daughters of Jessica and Tony Bennett, and by Braden Cooper, son of Jaci and Sheldon Cooper.

Rev. Deborah Bartelt, pastor of Bethany, in an email said the garden, the dedication of which was planned to coincide with the international observance, contains four poles, meant to represent "May Peace Prevail on Earth." Three of the poles represent the three students who built the garden; the fourth pole represents the congregation itself.

Bethany, Oshkosh via the Oshkosh Northwestern

Shanty Town for Habitat for Humanity

OVERNIGHT, Friday, September 22nd , 6:00 p.m - 8:00 a.m. This overnight is really different from the typical overnights we do at church! We raise funds for Habitat for Humanity by building CARDBOARD SHANTIES (just cardboard and duct tape!) and sleep in them overnight to raise funds (you get pledges) and also raise awareness for the need for affordable housing for families. We will get together at 6pm so you can build your shanty in the light of day. If you want to secure a refrigerator or stove box, they are always warmer! Your shanty can be as large or small as you would like. Your shanty can be large enough for one OR you can build one as a group of 2 or 3 or more. 

Ebenezer, Sheboygan


The cribbage season is about to begin and everyone is invited to join the league. You will find a sign-up poster in the narthex of the church. If you don't have a partner we will help you find one.  The season will kick off with a potluck supper at church on September 26th at 6:00 pm.

Pilgrim, Fond du Lac

Music Festivals 
Faith in the Fall 
Please join us for the 8th Annual "Faith in the Fall" Music Festival Sunday, September 17, 2017 10:00-3:00 Our Shepherd UCC Howards Grove, WI

"Voices of Peace" a Southern Gospel Music Ministry duo, of Potter, Wisconsin, will be performing at our 10:00 "Faith in the Fall" Service.

Bud, originally from Michigan, is a dedicated bluegrass gospel flat picker, lead singer and harmonizer. Carolyn, a Wisconsinite, sings lead vocal and fills in harmony. They have written 15 original songs and recorded nine CD's. Their music can be heard on numerous radio stations throughout the Midwest, Alaska, Canada and literally around the world. They have also appeared on several TV stations throughout Wisconsin. The music is soothing, comforting, and easy listening. Their goal is to not only provide Christian entertainment, but to minister to those who are searching for a closer walk with God. For more information, please go to www.voicesofpeace.net.

Music Schedule
10:00 Worship Service with Voices of Peace (Potter, WI)
11:00 VBS Children from Howard's Grove
11:20 Danise Esswein (West Allis, WI)
11:45 Gospel Guys (Howard's Grove)
12:00 Peguero Sister (Green Bay, WI)
1:00 Praiseworthy (Howard's Grove)
2:00 Harvest (Sheboygan Falls)

Our Shepherd, Howard's Grove

Knee Patches  
We have had Knee Patches from the very first Bazaars when Arline Waehler started this favorite. Yes..favorite. Visitors stand in line to get their favorite Knee Patch. It would be a shame to discontinue. We need several to take turns in preparing, frying and serving this mouth-watering, delicious annual favorite.
Pilgrim, Fond du Lac  
Apple Pie
I hope this summer has treated you all well! I have discussed the apple harvest with the Ada Orchard, and it looks like the best date for making apple pies this fall is Saturday, September 30th. Please mark your calendars and save this date to help out. With Chili Supper on Wednesday, October 4th , we can make extra to sell. In the next couple weeks, I will get more detailed information out and make the order slips available so we can start getting our orders in. Please keep this in mind when talking with family and friends. Start getting the word out.*

*[For apple pie, absolutely. -Ed.]

Bethel, Ada
Educational Opportunities & Retreats
Active Adult Adventure Retreat
The beautiful colors of fall in the Northwoods make the perfect setting for all kinds of adventures, and we invite you to come and join in the beauty of the natural world, the hospitality of Moon Beach, and the joy and encouragement of community. Join us for the Active Adult Adventure Retreat (formerly called the Baby Boomer Camp). Our leader for this retreat is Rev. David Moyer, the retired Conference Minister of the Wisconsin Conference. For further information and to register, please go to www.ucci.org! 9/25-29


Confirmation Event
An inspirational evening of drama and dialogue for Confirmation-age youth, teachers & mentors.

Our lives are filled with the noise of music, chatter, classes, the rumble and rattle of the every-day, serious conversations, and playful banter. Often times we ourselves serve as the chief noisemaker in our life. Yet our faith declares that the most important sound for us to hear is the voice of God.

In this free workshop on Wednesday, September 27 from 7:00-8:15 p.m., Dee and Steve Savides will offer a step-by-step process in learning the art and skill of listening in order to hear and discern God's calling for our lives.

Please register online at Lakeland.edu/Confirmation or by contacting Linda Bosman at bosmanlr@lakeland.edu or 920-565-1023 ext. 2151.

via St. Mark's, Cleveland

Book Study on Dear White Christians
Clergy and others are invited to participate in a study and discussion of Jennifer Harvey's book Dear White Christians on three Wednesdays this fall: September 27, October 25, and November 15. These discussions will take place at Bethel-Bethany UCC, 2866 N. 54th St., Milwaukee, from 11:30am to 1:00. We are invited to bring our own lunches.  Bethel-Bethany will provide beverages. These discussions are part of the effort in the Wisconsin Conference UCC to have various conversations about racial issues in preparation for the 2019 General Synod to be held in Milwaukee.  Also, they are in preparation for Jennifer Harvey speaking in Milwaukee on Saturday, February 10, 2018, from 10am to noon. Tim Perkins and Curt Anderson will moderate the three Wednesday discussions. We hope many people are able to attend.  It is not necessary to attend all three discussions; come when you can. If you know of others who might be interested, please invite them, also.

[Jane Anderson informs us that she is planning to attend these sessions, and invites Northeast Clergy to join her. -Ed.]
Three Great Loves Initiative Launches
Article Headline

To follow God's call to build a just world for all as a united church, United Church of Christ General Minister and President John C. Dorhauer is calling the entire denomination to pull together under a new, shared mission - the Three Great Loves initiative.

"What is Three Great Loves? It is a call to the love of children, to the love of neighbor, and to the love of creation," Dorhauer told the gathering on Saturday morning, July 1. "During the next biennium, we want to discover what an entire denomination committed to Three Great Loves can do to change the world."

Launching today at General Synod and continuing until the 2019 gathering in Milwaukee, Three Great Loves seeks to build on and amplify the sacred work UCC churches are already doing in their communities to care for children, reach out in welcome to their neighbors, and act as good stewards of the earth and all creation.
UCC President _ General Minister John Dorhauer
UCC President & General Minister John Dorhauer

Dorhauer invited participation around this shared mission, urging congregations and other ministerial settings to explore new ways to embrace those commitments with a clear intent and shared purpose in a dedicated call to action over the next two years.

"There will be three significant requests of you: three occasions in which we invite us all to participate as one in a collective effort," Dorhauer said. "Each of the Three Great Loves will have a dedicated call to action with three components: an invitation to give, an invitation to act, an invitation to connect."

He outlined three initiatives - in the winter of 2017, a denomination-wide drive to provide basic human needs items to shelters housing refugees or the homeless; next fall 2018, there will be a denomination-wide school supplies drive to address inequalities in our education systems, and at Synod in 2019, a sponsored 5K walk to raise money and awareness for the earth.

Over the course of the two years, on the Three Great Loves website, the national setting will be collecting stories from commitments to the love of children, the love of neighbor, the love of creation, and how those ministries have had an impact. The UCC is also looking to lift up Three Great Loves Heroes, and will be taking nominations, looking for members who have made a difference in the world.

"Our hope is to be able to document 50 percent congregational participation by Synod 2019; to collect 3,000 stories from across the denomination about how we are building a Just World for All through love of children, love of neighbor, and love of creation; to collect 100 stories from other covenant partners, like our CHHSM agencies; and we want to name 300 Three Great Loves Heroes, asking you to nominate somebody who is working to care for children, for neighbor, and for creation."

He urged Synod participants to get started on this mission today, signing up in the exhibit hall to be part of the Three Great Loves online community.

"Three Great Loves is an invitation to act as one and to deepen our impact by pulling together in love, for justice, and with purpose," Dorhauer said "As disciples of the Risen Christ, we call ourselves to embody love and incarnate justice."

"Hey, United Church of Christ. The Holy Spirit is relying on you, and envisions a future in which you matter."

Connie Larkman
Congregational UCC Evansville, via the Southwest Association Shalom

Wisconsin Conference Office Seeks Volunteers

Our Conference Staff continues to search for ways to more efficiently fulfill our mission despite diminishing resources and reduced personnel. Since this trajectory will continue, we are exploring some creative ways to accomplish our work. We have a goal of cultivating a team of volunteers who would enjoy spending a few hours each week (or every couple of weeks) helping out at the Trost Center. We would provide mileage reimbursement and lunch on days when other groups are present. Volunteers would get to know our staff and enjoy the community camaraderie that we share.

We have identified four specific work tasks for volunteers:
  • Light Maintenance (changing bulbs, simple plumbing, window washing, etc.)
  • Warm Hospitality (welcoming groups, preparing coffee, setting up rooms, facilitating catered lunches, etc.)
  • Mailing Support (collating large mailings approximately 12 times per year)
  • Occasional projects (data entry, name tag preparation, production of packets, etc.)
Interested in volunteering? Contact Franz Rigert via email or phone at 608-846-7880.

Would you be willing to publicize these opportunities in your congregations? Also, perhaps you can identify a few people for whom this might be an ideal way to serve?

If we procured 5 or 6 volunteers willing to spend a few hours per month volunteering at the Trost Center it would greatly support our efforts! Many thanks!

Franz Rigert
One Last Thing
A Brief History of Sunday School

The modern Sunday School movement was established by Robert Raikes and Rev. Thomas Stock in Gloucester, England in 1780. Raikes was a newspaper publisher involved in prison ministry (including youth) and realized that there was a need to begin an earlier prevention to more effectively provide Christian outreach. His idea was to "School on Sundays," which were literally schools, where poor children could learn to read and write part of the day and be taught the Bible for the rest of the day.

The idea of Sunday school faced many obstacles from the very start. It was separate from church, so some churches rejected it. Sunday school ministered to the poor, making a class-distinction at a very high level in England at the time.

In the 1780's, the Industrial Revolution had resulted in many children spending all week long working in factories. Sunday was the only available time for these children to gain some education. Raikes knew that the future was grim for these children who had to work all the time with no hope of an education. Worse yet, with no one to teach them the good news of the Gospel or how to live God's way. Even though the children were taught only one day a week, their behavior improved and they had something to look forward to after working so hard all week.

After the War of 1812, Sunday school spread widely in the United States. However, due to the availability of public schools, Sunday school's emphasis was strictly for teaching the Bible.

via the Hope, Fremont Whispers
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