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October 2016

Fall Is a Time of Fresh
Beginnings in Our Churches

  Many of our churches launched their church year with picnics, pot lucks or BBQs, including these: 1st UCC, Sauk City; Zwingli UCC, Monticello; 1st Congregational UCC, Fort Atkinson; Plymouth UCC, Madison; Lake Edge UCC, Madison; Orchard Ridge UCC, Madison; Middleton Community UCC .

Barneveld UCC
and 1st Congregational UCC, Madison, also honored the beginning of a new school year with a Blessing of the Backpacks in their worship services.

Barneveld UCC and 1st Congregational UCC, Madison, are also having a Blessing of the Animals in an October worship service to honor St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals and environmentalists, and friend to the poor.

1st Congregational UCC, Madison , is among the churches that provide materials for the 
children in their worship services
---in their case worship totes, which are knitted rainbow colored bags.

As they have done for many years, St. John's UCC, Monroe, had a Pie Outreach Sunday, in which they provided pies to the students at The Crossing, our ecumenical ministry to students at UW-Madison.

The Saturday Fellowship resumed for Middleton Community UCC.  In September they explored how persons have been hurt by the church and how the church can invite them to make a new beginning.

Middleton Community UCC will also have a Mindfulness Meditation Retreat at Holy Wisdom Monastery on October 15.

Lake Edge UCC, Madison, had a fund-raiser for the Interfaith Coalition for Worker Justice (ICWJ) at Fired Up Pottery.  Members made their own pottery or glass items with part of the proceeds going to ICWJ.

Orchard Ridge UCC, Madison, provides volunteers for the weekly Job Shop at Meadowood Neighborhood Center.  They help neighbors with online job applications,resumes and job searches.

Community of Hope UCC, Madison, also helps persons with employment--in their case persons with mental illness--as they partner with the non-profit Chrysalis. The church provided strawberries and raspberries from their garden for Chrysalis' Popworks program.

In partnership with Lutheran Social Services, Community of Hope UCC also helps with refugee resettlement by providing gently used household items and funds to buy essentials.

Several of our churches are encouraging their members to participate in the October CROP Walk in their community: Madison-area churches in the Madison CROP Walk; Washington Reformation UCC, Monticello, and St. John's, Monroe, in the Monroe CROP Walk; and Congregational UCC, Whitewater, in the Whitewater CROP Walk.

Memorial UCC, Fitchburg, shared with their members the invitation of DAIS (Domestic Abuse Intervention Services) to look at masculinity in America by watching the screening of the film, The Mask You Live In.

During October and November Orchard Ridge UCC, Madison, is offering four Home Groups off 10-12 persons each to read and discuss Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates.

Lake Edge UCC, Madison, is engaging in an All-church Book Read of Beyond Resistance: The Institutional Church Meets the Postmodern World, by Rev. John Dorhauer, General Minister and President of the UCC. The church is offering a variety of ways to engage with the book.

Members of  Memorial UCC, Fitchburg, went to the American Hindu Association Shiva Vishnu Temple for a tour and dialogue with a Hindu devotee.

In celebration of Swiss National Day, a Swiss yodeling group shared several songs during the worship of Swiss UCC, New Glarus.

Orchard Ridge UCC, Madison, hosted a Concert to End Gun Violence by the Madison Mennonite Church.  There were musical performances by various Madison-area congregations and speakers from Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort (WAVE).

Middleton Community UCC is providing an alternative for trick or treating--their 4th Annual Trunk or Treat event. Participants move from trunk to trunk in the church parking lot as costumed hosts share goodies from their decorated cars.  Family fun in the church completes the event.

1st UCC, Sauk City, is another church that joins with other churches in their community to deliver meals to the homebound.

1st Congregational UCC, Madison, is replacing their crumbling front steps and installing an accessibility ramp for that main entrance so as to project a more welcoming appearance to the wider community.

AIDS Memorial Quilt
Will Be on Display in October

Seven panels of the AIDS Memorial Quilt will be on display at 1st Congregational UCC, Madison, October 6-9.  Twenty years ago several members of the church went to Washington, DC, to participate in the last full display of the quilt on the National Mall--a moving experience to see the thousands of people lost to this disease.

The quilt now weights 54 tons and represents 96,000 lives lost, so it is no longer feasible to display the complete quilt.

The public is invited.
Prepare for Mutton Lectures
by Dr. Calvin B. DeWitt

The 2016 Robert D. Mutton Lectures will be presented by Dr. Calvin B. DeWitt on Friday, November 11, 7:00-9:00, and Saturday, November  12, 8:30 a.m.-12:00, at Covenant Presbyterian Church, 326 S. Segoe Rd., Madison.

Dr. DeWitt will show that being made in the image of God includes the vocation of imaging God's love and care for the world.

A study guide, Earthwise: A Guide to Hopeful Creation Care, can be used by congregations and individuals to prepare for the lectures.  Find more information here.

Mediation Skills Training
Institute for Church Leaders

The Wisconsin Conference UCC is offering to our churches the Mediation Skills Training Institute for Church Leaders November 14-18 at Orchard Ridge UCC, Madison.

The Lombard Mennonite Peace Center, which is providing the leadership, has trained hundreds of church leaders in the skills needed to deal with conflict--an inevitable part of life--in the church setting.

Our Conference is sending their Conflict Resolution Team to the event, but is opening it to others who want to learn these skill sets.  Here is more information and a registration link.

Are You Considering Providing
Interim or Transition Ministry?

The Interim Ministry Training Institute is offering an eight-month program, October 2016 to May 2017, to build competency in pastors who are, or will be, guiding congregations through times of transition and change.

The location is planned for Portage, but it can be shifted to a more mutually-convenient location. The trainers Rev,.Linda Kuhn and Rev. Dave King, represent nearly 80 years of combined experience in ministry.

Here is a flyer that gives all the details.

Unusual Opportunity
to Explore Engineering and Ethics

On October 6-8 the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN,  faculty from the theology and engineering departments will provide a conference, "A Culture of Ethics: Engineering for Human Dignity and the Common Good."  Here is complete information.
Out of Office Hours
of JoanneThomson

Wednesday, October 19, 10:30-12:00, at Fat Cat Coffee House, New Glarus.
Installation of Rev. Kimberly Moeller on October 9

Swiss UCC in New Glarus will welcome clergy and laity from the Southwest Association as the Association installs Rev. Kimberly Moeller as pastor of their church on Sunday, October 9, 3:00 p.m.
Pastoral Transitions and News

Rev. Blair Hull has been called as pastor of Congregational UCC, Whitewater, effective in late September.  Having been a student at Wisconsin universities years ago, she comes most recently from northern California.

Rev. Kathleen Rinear was called to be Associate Pastor of St. John's UCC, Monroe, on September 11.

Rev. Donna Kavaloski left Congregational UCC, Barneveld, for a call in Ohio.

Rev. Ann Beaty was installed as Associate Minister of 1st Congregational UCC, Madison , on September 25.

Rev. Lance Smith will be installed as pastor of Zwingli UCC, Monticello , on October 16, 3:00. 

Rev. Herb Saunders will retire as pastor of 1st Congregational UCC, Milton, in December.

Rev. Leslie Schenck, pastor of Plymouth Congregational UCC, Madison, was introduced by the UCC Pension Boards newsletter as a newly-elected member of its Board of Trustees.
Faith Formation Leader and Christian Educator Retreat

The Christian Educators Retreat will be October 7-8 at Pilgrim Center. 
Susan Stabile will lead reflections on the theme of Come to Be Fed, Go Forth to Proclaim.

Click here for more information or to register for this"pay-as-you-are-able" event, or contact Laura Pine at laura@ucci.org

Youth Retreat Opportunities at
Pilgrim Center and Moon Beach

Youth Faith Formation Retreats of the Wisconsin Conference are geared toward those in confirmation, but open to any in grades 6-12 who wish to explore their faith and learn more about the United Church of Christ--

   November 11-13 at Moon Beach
    February 24-26 at Pilgrim Center
   March 3-5 at Pilgrim Center

Knock Knock Retreat is designed for middle school church groups to explore the challenges of middle school life from a faith perspective with group building emphasis--

   November 18-20 at Pilgrim Center
Faithful Voters:  Resources
for the 2016 General Election

The Wisconsin Council of Churches is offering a Voter Resources page to help people of faith exercise responsible citizenship for the well-being of our communities and the good of our neighbors.

We can download a congregational voter education guide and election year bulletin inserts.

An Invitation to Persons
Interested in Ministry to Detained Immigrants

The Dodge County Detention Facility, 216 W. Center St. in Juneau, has granted access to the 200 persons detained there by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) as a result of pressure from the UN High Commissioner on Refugees.

A group in northern Illinois has been engaged in a ministry of visitation/presence to detainees in Woodstock, IL, and Kenosha.  If you would like to join with others in Madison, Beaver Dam and Milwaukee who have expressed interest in joining a visitation group to Juneau detainees, contact Pam Shearman at jaropasm@hotmail.com (847-867-4375).
Boundary Training Opportunities

Offered by the Wisconsin Conference:

   October 20 at Grace UCC,
   Wausau, led by Phil Haslanger
   and Heide Hackman.  registration here .

Offered by Wis. Council of Churches:

   October 12 in Madison *
   October 13 in Spring Green *
   October 26 in Sun Prarie #
     * For those who have had previous
       boundary training (details here)
     # Basics for first-call pastors, those new to
       Wisconsin (info here)
   Led by Scott Anderson; 
Retired and Retiring Clergy Facebook Group

Are you getting close to retirement, or have you retired in the last few years? The Conference has started a Facebook group just to discuss the many issues involved in that transition.  it is open to all Authorized Clergy and any denomination.   Here is more information.
Grieving Israeli and Palestinian Parents in Madison
to Share Their Story

In Madison on October 23, a Palestinian parent and an Israeli parent, each of whom has lost a close family member as a result of the conflict there, will share their stories and their hopes for the future.

They will speak for the general public at First Unitarian Society (in the Landmark Auditorium), 900 University Bay Dr., at 2:00.

An event for students at The Crossing, 1127 University Ave., will begin with an ecumenical worship at 5:00, followed by dinner and a presentation on the work of the Parent Circle Family Forum.

The Parent Circle Family Forum is a joint Palestinian-Israeli organization of over 600 families who have committed themselves to work together to build a just future for all in their troubled land.

Sponsors for the events include the Southwest Wisconsin Association, UCC; Memorial UCC in Fitchburg; and Bright Stars of Bethlehem Madison Chapter.

Retreat for Writers

You are invited to the shores of Green Lake for a weekend of writing in a relaxed and Spirit-filled setting. Whether you are just starting out or have been writing for years (magazine article, poem, devotion, newsletter, novel, jourrnal, blog, or...), you are welcome!  More information here .
Save the Date:
Association Annual Meeting

The Annual Meeting of the Southwest Association will be Saturday, May 6, at St. Johns UCC, Monroe.
Women Authors
Reading Group

The group will meet on Thursday, October 20, 1:00 p.m., at Windsor UCC.  They will discuss  White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide, by Carol Anderson, pp. 67-137.
Contemporary Theology
Book Group

The group will next meet on Tuesday, October 18, 2:00 p.m., at Plymouth UCC, Madison, discussing The Word That Redescribes the World: The Bible and Discipleship, by Walter Brueggemann, thru page 44.

Not Receiving Shalom?

If you, or someone you know, is not currently receiving Shalom, and would like to, please email Roger Brooks at swacommunications.com.. Please provide the email address, church affiliation and town.
Check Out Our New
Association Website!

The involved process of changing our Conference and Association websites to make them consistent and user friendly has been completed!   Check out ours and use it frequently!
 Southwest Association
Pulpit Supply List

The current Pulpit Supply List can be accessed through our Southwest Association website. Click on Information for Pastors.

Associate Conference Minister  
608-630-2992 (cell)
608-846-7880 (conference office)



Rev. Mark Yurs 



Petra Streiff


Acting Secretary

Beth Voigt



Rev. Jim Iliff


Division on Church & Ministry: 

Rev. Heide Hackman, Chair


Social Concerns Committee

Rev. Lois Rosko, Chair

Shalom Editor:

Roger Brooks


Southwest Association | swacommunications@gmail.com
4459 Gray Road | PO Box 435 | DeForest, WI  53532 | 608-846-7780