Southeast Association
Rev. Barber’s Poems Published

This month “Rebirth: The Journey of Pregnancy After A Loss” by Joey Miller, MSW, LCSW, was published by Go Hachette Books. Ms. Miller is a Chicago based therapist and social worker who has helped grieving families for the last 20 years. Her practice has centered around pregnancy and infant loss.

Rev. Barber and her husband, Kevin, were counseled by Ms. Miller after the 2008 stillbirth of their son Lucas. When asked to contribute her story to Ms. Miller’s forthcoming book, Rev. Brittany shared both her story and some of the poems that she has written in the aftermath of their loss. She said, “I told Joey that if these poems might help someone else, please feel free to use them in your book.”

Rev. Barber was surprised when her advance copy of the book arrived and it contained not one – but instead five of her poems! The poetry works with first hand narratives and Ms. Miller’s therapeutic advice to flesh out the entire experience of losing a child and then deciding to try again through another pregnancy. The loss becomes part of parents’ lives and informs their decisions well into the future. Subsequent pregnancy can be especially fraught with anxiety and worry.

In praise of “Rebirth,” Dr. Gwyneth Bryant, MD, writes: “I have worked with Joey Miller as both an obstetrician working in Chicago and as a patient myself. It was because of Joey that I was able to return to delivering babies in the very hospital I lost my own. I know [this book] will help women who are grieving as well as the health professionals who grieve alongside them but often struggle with how best to support their patients emotionally.”

Included in the book are Rev. Barber’s poems entitled: “Totally Unprepared,” “Future Grief,” “I Wanted to Know You,” “Metamorphosis,” and “My Otherwise” (which appears below).

“My Otherwise” by Brittany Barber

         (Written after the prompt of hearing “Otherwise” by Jane Kenyon)

Had the heavens not opened up
and swallowed you
it would have been

Our path took a jarring turn over a cliff
the wheels left the rails
the way laid out before us

Parallel realities sparred
for dominance
new roads were cut from
the vast wilderness of grief

Today your brother lights
our lives
his laughter the breath
that billows our sails

This new life
after death
no less holy than what
we would have had with you, could have had with you

Yet there are still moments
set in busy days
when I wonder what would have been

August 5, 2015

Ordination of Leanne Rose
January 23, 2021 - 3 pm
Plymouth United Church of Christ
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
This ordination rite will be virtual.

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Passcode: 643172
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Leanne plans to have a celebratory meal in the future
when COVID is no longer with us.
These upcoming webinars can help fuel your 2021 Generosity program. Check them out!
2020 Hindsight - A Conversation for Pastors and Lay Leaders
January 19, 5:30 pm

As we close out the books on 2020, we want to consider lessons learned about the finances of our congregations and the generosity of our community. Join Andrew Warner to talk about the financial situation of your congregation, identify options and opportunities for promoting generosity in 2021, and develop a plan for the new year. Register here

What’s Next: Best Practices for Financial Sustainability - An Orientation for Lay Leaders
February 4, 5:30 pm
For Treasurers, Financial Secretaries, and Stewardship Chairs

This webinar reviews basic aspects of the treasurer, financial secretary, and stewardship chair roles. Please complete the Congregational Economic Evaluation (CEE) Survey from CARDD before the webinar. The CEE Survey will inform our conversation. We focus on how to organize and lead an effective year-around practice of storytelling (or testimonials) related to generosity, effective ways to record and thank donors for their gifts, and creating a “financial dashboard” to help fellow board members understand the finances of the congregation. 

Cultivating Generous Congregations Seminar - Webinar in 6 sessions
Feb 9 – Apr 27

Stewardship in any season can be stressful for pastors. It can feel awkward, unspiritual. The Cultivating Generous Congregations Seminar for pastors and lay leaders offers an opportunity to explore faithful, practical, and tested ways for promoting generosity in our congregations. We will draw on current research, seek guidance from the wisdom of scripture, and discuss the best practices in church-based fundraising. 
This seminar will help pastors and leaders engage generosity as a spiritual practice, and will improve the “bottom line” of your congregation – mission and ministry. Six online sessions run on Tuesdays at 5:30-7:00 pm, from Feb. 9th through Apr. 27th, and will be taught by the Rev. Andrew Warner, Wisconsin Conference Director of Development and the Rev. Andy DeBraber, Generosity Officer of the national setting. Between class sessions, Andy and Andrew will provide materials to help you analyze the culture of your own congregation and learn how to create change. Invite at least one other person to achieve the most impact. By the end of the seminar, pastors and leaders will be equipped to lead effective fundraising and you will have a strategy to guide your success moving forward.
The CGC Seminar is $150 per participant. Register Here by January 31.


Generosity How-To Video Series
Check out this 14-video series "Extravagant Generosity" - The series begins by looking at the spirituality of generosity through conversations with the national leaders of the UCC. Then, it looks at ways to express gratitude for people's generosity. Lastly, the series turns to the practical elements of a campaign, such as giving a testimonial and creating a narrative budget. You can watch the videos as a series or singly. The videos on the spirituality of generosity might be useful as devotionals before a board or committee meeting. Find the videos HERE.
Generosity Resources on the Web
Check out the resources available on the Wisconsin Conference Generosity Resources website at

Generosity Forward Newsletters
Another resource for your generosity practices:

40-Day Lenten Practice: Strengthening Emotional Stamina to Counter White Fragility
White supremacy is both internalized and institutional; it’s both systemic and enacted through everyday interactions. And it’s certainly, undeniably, the work of white people to resist, reckon with, and repair.
As part of this work, this 40-day practice shares frameworks for recognizing and responding to white supremacy within ourselves, in our interactions, and in our communities, including in our families, workplaces, and holidays.

As the title indicates, this practice engages participants in strengthening emotional stamina, which is needed to counter white fragility, or the discomfort and defensiveness—and related power abuses and harms—that arise within white folks when confronted with racial injustice. Such work means sitting with discomfort, identifying and naming emotions as they arise, and developing staying power to be in the work for racial justice for the long haul.

This practice, therefore, is for anyone who experiences white fragility, who identifies as white, or who’s working to unlearn whiteness (which includes ways of feeling, thinking, being, doing, and relating).

Instructor: Beth Godbee.
When you purchase this course, you will receive:
A digital workbook for the core 40-day practice
Access to four online workshops (participate live or view recordings on your own time)
Tuesdays, 6:00-7:30 p.m. CST, February 16, March 2, March 16, March 30
An online community for ongoing reflection on your experience

Throughout the practice, you’ll have the opportunity to:
engage in contemplative practices (meditation and journaling, among others)
receive support for processing difficult emotions and countering white fragility (the myth, the harm, and the learned behaviors)
articulate commitments that drive everyday decision-making
set intentions and increase readiness for showing up for racial justice in 2021 and beyond.

Sign up for this and other DAMASCUS PROJECT courses here.
Antisemitism, Islamophobia, and Christianity:
Sharing our faith stories to increase understanding and respect

February 1, 2021
6:30-8:00 pm
Fear, distrust, and misinformation have often characterized the relationships between Jewish, Muslim, and Christian communities. This is still the case today. Featuring a panel of Jewish, Muslim and Christian thinkers, this program will help participants understand forms of antisemitism and Islamophobia in contemporary American society, and dispel the biases that contribute to these occurences of prejudice and hate.
Featured panelists are Dr. Charles Cohen, E. Gordon Fox Professor of American Institutions, Emeritus, at UW-Madison, Dr. Sulfiqar Shah, Director of Religious Affairs of the Islamic Society of Milwaukee, and Rev. Dr. Julie Mavity Maddalena, Ulrich Ethicist in Residence, Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Religion and Chaplain at Lakeland University. The panel will be moderated by Rev. Dr. Karl Kuhn, Grace Chair of Religious Studies and Professor of Religion at Lakeland University.
The presentation will include time for questions.

To receive a Zoom link or phone number to access this virtual program, please register at by Jan. 28 or call 920-565-1023 ext. 2151.
FCAST met last week and the various groups in this ecumenical coalition, including St. John's UCC of Merton,have been doing a lot. Here is a brief update.

HOTEL Outreach: There is continuing outreach and educational support for the hotels and motels in Waukesha County. This is being done in conjunction with the County Tourism offices. There are resources being developed for 1st responders to assure that they have education as to what trafficking might look like and how to report it if they see it.

CURRICULUM Development: Some of the group members are working to create and evaluate curriculum resources that meet DPI standards and that can be integrated into school curriculums outside of health classes.

SPEAKERS List is being developed to make sure that any group that wants information and education about Human Trafficking can have a speaker come to their group in person or virtually.

RESOUCES are constantly updated on the FCAST Website

If you want to know more about what is happening in Waukesha County you can CLICK HERE to see a printable flyer. If you have the opportunity to print and post this flyer at a place of business or share it with other groups, that would be greatly appreciated.

FCAST will meet again on February 4 and the topic for discussion will be the issue of Demand and Pornography as they affect Human Trafficking.
Quick Links

Newsletter submissions
are due the first and third Wednesday of the month.
Send pulpit supply updates to Terri Allen.

Mission Team Grants
Southeast Wisconsin Association UCC
Moderator: Mr. Mike Mallwitz
Vice Moderator: Rev. Brittany Barber
Newsletter Editor: Rev. Mary Jane Huber