Church Communities Needed to Assist in
Vaccination Efforts Across the State
Wisconsin is a leader in COVID-19 vaccinations, with around 40% of the population having received at least one dose. We need your help taking it to the next level!

Substantial barriers remain to vaccination across the state, especially in rural and underserved urban areas. The WCC COVID Outreach Program is dedicated to reducing barriers in information, costs in time and energy, and hesitancy.

To break those walls down, we need churches and individuals who can:
  • Maintain COVID-safe practices in worship and church life. See Returning To Church 2.1 guidelines.
  • Distribute information within the community and outside.
  • Be champions for vaccination.
  • Host vaccination clinics, particularly in areas of low availability
  • Staff or support clinics in other locations. We particularly need medically-trained personnel capable of administering doses.
  • Steer others through the registration and vaccination process.
  • Listen empathetically and with cultural sensitivity to fears, anxieties, and frustrations about vaccination, helping others work through their feelings and move toward getting their shots.

We are also hiring 1-2 Outstate Field Directors to coordinate project volunteers, participate in the coalition, manage data tools and reporting, and help guide strategy in rural and small-town areas of Wisconsin. If you are interested in applying, or would like to recommend someone for the position, please read the job description and send an email to our Project Director Rev. Daniel Schultz.

For more information about the program we have a one-page introduction, or a slightly longer overview. Or reach out to Daniel Schultz.

Retreat in a Box: For a New Creation
We know that rest is essential for healthy leadership, and too many leaders have set aside sabbath days, vacations and sabbaticals, having invested their whole selves in providing spiritual care during COVID and political and social upheaval. We have been encouraging leaders to take time away from their computers and seemingly-endless zoom meetings for a period of rest and renewal. In another time, we might offer an in-person renewal opportunity for church leaders. In our concern for safety and affordability, we have chosen another way.

This year, the WCC is offering a “retreat in a box” called For A New Creation. You are invited sign up for $25 (scholarships and gift subscriptions are available) and will then receive in the mail a box filled with activities and swag from sponsors, and access to an eleven episode podcast series with meditations and inspiring talks: material to inspire a week’s DIY retreat. We have also contacted camps across the state and have a list of options to get away. See our website to learn about speakers, sponsors, retreat options, and more.

"Bearing One Another in Love"
Updated Returning to Church Recommendations Released
Last week we released our latest Returning to Church supplement, "Bearing One Another in Love" with updated guidelines around:

  • Vaccine ethics: congregational vs. community statistics, herd immunity, gatherings of the vaccinated, requiring vaccines for church attendance, implications of availability of vaccines for children
  • Hybrid Church and Inclusion: how best to engage a broader vision of the church
  • Considering COVID variants and adjustments to benchmarks/allowances for risk
  • Church music: singing, wind instruments and mass speaking
  • Layering risk mitigations
  • Developing and working through a checklist for re-gathering

What is Womanism?
Survival and Love: A Womanist Preaching Series
Following the announcement about WCC's new preaching series, Survival and Love: A Womanist Preaching Series, we received several questions about womanism. According to this article by Robert Longley, "Womanist theology centers the experience and perspective of Black women in research, analysis, and reflection on theology and ethics. Womanist theologians analyze the impacts of class, gender, and race in a context of Black life and religious worldviews to formulate strategies for the elimination of oppression in the lives of Black Americans and the rest of humanity. Similar to womanism in general, womanist theology also examines how Black women are marginalized and portrayed in inadequate or biased ways in literature and other forms of expression. The area of womanist theology arose in the 1980s as more Black American women joined the clergy and began to question whether Black male theologians adequately and fairly addressed the unique life experiences of Black women in American society."

We will also feature Rev. Dr. Trinette V. McCray, American Baptist Church leader both locally and nationally, for our WCC Wednesday at 2:00pm on April 21st where she will share about womanism on our facebook page.

Learn more about our preachers and subscribe to Survival and Love: A Womanist Preaching Series to receive 7 sermons on video, liturgical elements, and a list of references and resources to inform your own scripture study and sermon preparation below.

Wisconsin Clergy Invited to Participate
in WCC's Latest COVID Impact Survey
Wisconsin clergy: we want to hear from you! In summer 2020 we completed a groundbreaking survey of pastors in our state, exploring their ministry experiences during the time of COVID and uncovering the significant stressors in their (your) practice of ministry during the pandemic. We’re now conducting a followup, asking similar questions, and expanding to new topics which are pertinent to the evolving circumstances we find ourselves in.

All respondents have the opportunity to have their responses remain confidential. There are clear options before you complete the survey. These include giving us no personally identifying information; giving us personally identifying information but asking us to keep it internal to our analysis; giving us that information but asking us to redact personally identifying details when we share outlines or composite situations; or giving us full permission to share your responses and your individual story.

Your responses are critical to our efforts to understand and quantify the impact of the pandemic on clergy and churches; and curate resources to assist with toxic stress and trauma which can affect many dimensions of health, as well as vocational health – our ability to continue in ministry.

We estimate that it is possible to complete this survey in 15 minutes or less. If you are a person who composes long answers in comment fields, it may take you a bit longer.

You do not need to be part of a WCC member tradition to respond to the survey. Those who intend to participate should have responsibility for gathering a faith community in Wisconsin – either as clergy, or a layperson in a community which is entirely lay led.

The spring 2021 clergy survey will be open until May 1st.

Last Minute Ideas for Observing Earth Day
and Faith Climate Action Week
Faith Climate Action Week (FCAW) is sponsored every year by the national Interfaith Power and Light campaign as a time for congregations of all faiths to lift up climate justice and the care of creation. This year's theme is "Sacred Ground: Cultivating Connections between our Food, our Faith, and the Climate." FCAW runs through Sunday, April 25, so you can still participate in these activities:

  • “Kiss the Ground” is a hopeful and inspiring new film that explains why regenerative agriculture could be key in rehabilitating our planet. You and members of your congregation can view the film for free at home at your leisure through April 26 by registering at this link. You will automatically get the Zoom link to join “Sacred Ground: A Message of Hope”, a webinar with the filmmakers on April 21, 11am PT/2pm ET
  • Join the nationwide climate prayer at noon (local time) on Earth Day. Download the prayer text here  
  • Find more ideas and resources at the FCAW website Faith Climate Action Week — A moral call for climate change action, including a free digital download of the FCAW Organizer’s kit and free worship resources.

Also, check out "A New Heaven and a New Earth," this year's Earth Day Sunday resource from Creation Justice Ministries on health, racism, and environmental justice. Download this education, action, and worship resource at Earth Day Sunday - CREATION JUSTICE MINISTRIES. Earth Day is every day, so this and previous year's resources are appropriate for any time during the year.
Upcoming WCC events
Environmental Racism:
What is It, and How Should the Church Respond?
May 11, 6:00 CST
The Clergy Emergency League and the Wisconsin Council of Churches invite clergy, church leaders, and community partners to join this important discussion about the church’s response to environmental racism. Our distinguished panel will share their reflections on the role of the church in addressing this intersection of systemic racism and environmental justice. Why should congregations care about environmental racism? How can a church’s ministries address this issue? What are biblical and theological ways to frame environmental racism? What are the challenges – and opportunities – for living out the gospel by taking up the work of dismantling the twin oppressions of white supremacy and ecological destruction? This panel
discussion will help us cast a vision for repairing communities of color and the Earth as a way of co-creating the Realm of God.
Events from our Partners around the State
Virtual Tour of the Alleluia Sound High School Choir and Good Vibrations Handbell Choir
The Alleluia Sound High School Choir and the Good Vibrations Handbell Choir from the First Congregational Church, 461 Pierson St., Crystal Lake, IL, will present their 49th Annual Spring Concert Tour virtually to interested congregations due to the pandemic. You can register at to access the webpage with videos and download individual songs or the entire program.
Securing Public Gatherings
Safety in public gatherings is important. To help organizations and specifically houses of worship, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency has released a new CISA Securing Public Gatherings website that provides security resources that address a variety of threat vectors impacting public gatherings and crowded places. All CISA products posted on the website are categorized by audience and topic area with clickable icons to help users easily navigate to the most relevant information.

For more information and to access the website, visit
Environmental Justice:
Where, How, and Why is it Missing in Milwaukee
Thursday, May 13, at 7 p.m.
Participants in the Zoom session will learn how they can support revitalization of Milwaukee's north side neighborhoods. The concept of environmental justice recognizes that the benefits and burdens of environmental quality are unevenly distributed through communities. The presentation will discuss the history of environmental racism in Milwaukee, what the Buildings-Landscapes-Cultures Field School has learned from working with residents in north side neighborhoods, and possible next steps. The panel is sponsored by the Church & Society Committee of United Methodist Church of Whitefish Bay (UMCWFB). For the Zoom link and more information about the May 13 panel, visit
MICAH offers Community-Building Leadership Development
Thursdays, 5 weeks, April 22nd to May 20th 6.30- 8.00 p.m.
An interactive, community-building leadership development series; The basic concepts, attitudes and disciplines needed to build strong, effective organizations capable of making real change. Offered Online via zoom, information will be emailed prior to training. RSVP at 5 Week Registration link for more info contact
414-614-3675, or [email protected]. To ensure everyone can have training who wants to attend, we are opening it to the community free of charge. If you are able to cover the $60 cost training or additional
monies for scholarships you can donate at . We do ask people to sign up ONLY if they anticipate that they can participate in at least four of the five sessions.
Themes to be discussed - Week One (April 22): Attitudes and Disciplines of Organizing Power; Week Two (April 29) One-on-Ones; Week Three (May 6) Issues and Actions; Week Four (May 13) Building Teams and recruiting new leaders; Week Five (May 20) Effective Meetings and Campaigns
Lombard Mennonite Peace Center Training
For those who have already taken our Mediation Skills Training Institute (MSTI), we are pleased to offer a new one-day event: the MSTI Refresher Course! Sessions are available on Tuesday, May 11 and Saturday, June 12. The fee is $99, and the event runs from 9:00am to 4:00pm Central Time. The full five-day version of MSTI is also available on May 3-7, June 21-25, August 2-6, October 11-15, and November 15-19, 2021. The session in August will include the option for in-person attendance in the Chicago area. Registration for all events being offered by the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center is open now at Questions? Please consult the attached MSTI Brochure, call 630-627-0507, or send an email to [email protected].
Summer Stewards at Holy Wisdom Monastery
Are you looking for a meaningful summer experience that connects your faith with care for the earth? Be a Summer Steward at Holy Wisdom Monastery for six days in July. The program includes prairie and oak savanna restoration, vegetable gardening, reading and discussion around eco-spirituality and the Rule of Benedict, practicing contemplative prayer, and sharing your life story with others – all this while living in community on the monastery grounds. We are an ecumenical community and encourage single women 18-35 of any denomination to apply.
Link to Summer Steward information:
Social Justice Study of Fratelli Tutti
Thursdays 6:30 to 8:00pm 4/15-5/27 on Zoom
The Catholic Multicultural Center (CMC) invites you to an online 6-week study of Pope Francis’s latest encyclical, Fratelli Tutti, through the lens of social justice issues. This engaging and interactive study will feature presentations on social justice themes related to the encyclical, videos with songs and prayers, and reflective group discussion. Each week will feature guests who will talk about issues like racism, immigration, the environment, and other topics that come up in the encyclical. The goals of this study are to become more familiar with Fratelli Tutti, better understand the issues we are seeing in our world and communities today, and explore how we can truly live as one human family sharing one common home, as Fratelli Tutti calls us to do. All are welcome to this inter-faith study. 4/15 will be an introductory meeting, we will skip meeting on 4/22, and we will begin reviewing the chapters starting 4/29. Contact Laura at the CMC to register: [email protected].
Help Continue the Ministry of the Wisconsin Council of Churches
The Wisconsin Council of Churches has been active in making connections, gathering information and addressing questions regarding COVID, violence, elections, racial justice and other issues facing all of us. We continue to support faith leaders and inspire churches in a time of rapid change. Will you help support this important work with a gift to the Council?

You can set up recurring gifts easily on our website with a debit card, credit card, or EFT. A gift today will sustain ministries that resource churches to respond to current events in our state and nation.
Wisconsin Council of Churches |
30 W. Mifflin St, Suite 602, Madison, WI 53703
(608) 837-3108 | [email protected]