Volume 3, Issue 2
April 2022
Come Say Hello at the Annual Meeting
Planning to attend the 2022 Annual Meeting of the Wisconsin Conference? Make sure to connect with the Creation Care Team.
This year’s Annual Meeting theme is “Building Up the Beloved Community,” and members of the Creation Care Team will be on hand to talk about the many ways the work of creation care is becoming a vital part of congregational ministries and community outreach in Wisconsin and beyond.
So come see us at our exhibit table and join us . . .
  • Friday evening for social time in the exhibit space.
  • Saturday evening for a meet-and-greet following the concert.
  • Sunday morning for a spiritual wellness/spiritual practice activity.
We’ll have lots of information to share about creation care resources available to congregations, fun eco-friendly options, and a Conference-wide push to work with community groups on caring for our rivers and lakes.
Annual Meeting 2022 will take place June 10-12 at the Green Lake Conference Center. Full information and registration link is here.
A Special Invitation from United Church Camps, Inc.
Dear Creation Care Friends:
I personally have found opportunities where I am immersed in nature to be some of the most powerful and transformative experiences in my lifetime. These include family camping experiences as a youth, including a hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and back. Seven years of Boy Scout camping and hiking experiences including a 50 mile High Adventure Canoe Trip in Wisconsin’s north woods. The awakening of my sense of faith and connection to our Creator came through our UCCI Moon Beach Camp. And, significantly, my sense of calling to a ministerial vocation came while immersed in nature.
I found last year’s Big Read of Robin Wall-Kimmerer’s “Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom and the Teaching of the Plants,” to be spiritually moving and transforming. I could continue with example after example of transforming and moving life experiences that are connected to nature. I have also heard, with joy, testimonials from our guests who have had equally moving experiences. 
The mission of United Church Camps, Inc. is simple: We will love God, all others, and the Earth, by providing sanctuary, practicing hospitality, and performing ministry. It seems to follow that those churches and organizations that have heeded the call to care for creation, might utilize our UCCI sites in a manner that transforms, energizes, and launches their group’s creation care efforts. Our three sites – Moon Beach, Daycholah Center, and Cedar Valley Retreat Center – offer a varied but equally impactful experience. I am writing to encourage you and your organization to consider opportunities to utilize the UCCI sites for a focused experience to empower and supercharge your congregation or group. If you would like assistance with creating an event, our team of professionals would love to discuss your needs and work with you to make it happen.
Summer family camp, youth camp, and retreat event registrations are open, and our staff is ready to assist you with questions and registration. You might also consider a special private retreat for your church or creation care group. If you prefer a personal visit and a site tour, we can arrange that for you as well.
Please see our website, ucci.org, for more information and to explore event opportunities. If you have any questions, please email or call 800-683-8224. We will provide you with a warm, welcoming, and safe experience, and our Creator will do the rest!
We look forward to seeing and serving you soon.
With many blessings,
The Rev. James Schleif
Interim Executive Director
United Church Camps, Inc.
TIME SENSITIVE: UCC Offers Climate Justice Fellowship Grants

APPLICATION DEADLINE: 11:59 p.m. Eastern time, July 1

The United Church of Christ Council for Climate Justice is allotting $20,000 in grants of $2,500 and $5,000 to UCC congregations, conferences, and associations as well as UCC-affiliated theological schools and nonprofit organizations for the purposes of developing and furthering the work of youth and young adult leaders in the movement for climate justice. The goals of this grant program grow out of the Council's commitment to developing a prophetic culture of faith leadership that goes beyond a focus on individual behaviors to collectively addressing the institutions and systems responsible for the present crisis. In so doing, the Council seeks to promote a climate justice movement that recognizes the root causes of the climate crisis in relation to corporate power and government policy as well as racial and economic inequity. As a result of this orientation, the Council seeks to advance climate solutions that effectively center the needs of those most affected by the climate crisis, especially Black, Indigenous, and People of Color communities. Attention will be given as to whether grant applications align with these movement-building goals. Click for more information and to apply.  
Join Our Divestment Effort
The Creation Care Team of the Wisconsin Conference is working with colleagues in other conferences to increase focus on divestment from fossil fuels. If you want to help in this area, or would like more information, please contact Creation Care Team co-chair John Helt.
Sustainability Book Review: Working Harder to Reduce Waste and Plastic Use
By Kathy Bartilson
Over a decade ago, I noticed a forlorn cornfield next to a big-box store. There were hundreds of plastic shopping bags in the field, caught on the previous summer’s corn stubble. I resolved to sew durable, cloth bags for the three households in our family. We’re still using the same cloth bags, which have been used to carry groceries and goods on three continents. I estimate the number of plastic and paper shopping bags we haven’t used to be at least 10 per week, or 520 per year, and 5,200 in a decade. Our steel coffee mugs saved a similar quantity of disposable carry-out cups. I bet most families reading this have a story very like ours.
While this is a great track record, reading Kathryn Kellogg’s book “101 Ways to Go Zero Waste” convinced me that we still have a long way to go.
For Your Bulletin and/or Newsletter
Please share this newsletter with your congregation!
Below are links bulletin inserts so that everyone in your congregation and community who shares a love for Creation can connect to the Creation Care efforts of the Wisconsin Conference!
Memorial UCC in Fitchburg Uses Diverse Activities to Care for Mother Earth
By Jill Carlson
Memorial UCC in Fitchburg has undertaken a range of activities in response to the Kairos Call to Action. They include:
●      Writing a covenant
●      Establishing sustainability goals
●      Planning nature-oriented events
MUCC has planned and carried out a number of events and activities to encourage members to grow in their commitment to Creation Care. Two specific projects designed to move the needle on the congregation’s sustainability goals: distributing Earth-friendly cleaning and personal care products and a “Three Sisters” seed distribution.
The story of this initiative at MUCC’s is an example of how Creation Care work provides a variety of activities for congregational involvement.
Will You Share YOUR Creation Care Story with Us?
We’re here to spread the word! Do you have a story about how creation care efforts have impacted you, your congregation, and your community? Please contact Kairos Newsletter editor Joe Scarry.
Video of Awe

Enjoy these beautiful images from the video compilation “"Sweetwater Rivers" - Rivers of the Great Lakes in Music, Photos, and Words.”

There’s lots more great material at Dan Robinson’s “Great Lakes Spirituality Project” blog. Enjoy!
We need you!
Please consider taking an active role with other volunteers from throughout the conference in shaping the work of the Conference Creation Care Team.
We have numerous areas of activity, including providing resources to congregations for projects as well as study and worship … encouraging advocacy on behalf of climate justice … helping congregations and their members connect with partners who share this common concern and commitment … and more!
Contact Bob Ullman to get involved.
Moment of Awe
Early Morning Fishing: Lake Michigan
Photograph by Gary Hueppchen, August 2010.
Share your awesome images with us via our Wisconsin Conference UCC Creation Care Facebook group

Creation Care Good News!
Advocacy: The Latest from Honor the Earth
As we continue our commitment to support the work of Honor the Earth, there will be frequent updates on the Honor the Earth Twitter account.
. . . and another Kairos Congregation: Wash Park UCC, Denver, Colorado!
“We planned and implemented several activities centered in three areas: awareness, reflection/ritual, and action/connection.” Read about how one congregation is putting its Kairos commitment into action. (This and lots more at the UCC’s environmental justice blog, The Pollinator … )
Just in time for summer travel: Drive $mart Wisconsin
Many of you have benefitted from our webinar on saving money and saving the environment through safe, fuel efficient driving and alternative fuel technology. There are frequent updates on additional learning opportunities from Bradlee Fons. “At D$W, our purpose is to educate and train any driver to become safer and more fuel efficient with their current vehicle.”
PFAS in the News in Wisconsin
One of the many factors causing concern about water safety is the presence of chemicals; a particular concern is Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), which do not break down. (Hence the nickname “forever chemicals.”) A Waukesha County judge thrust the issue into the national spotlight with a ruling in April about how PFAS may be regulated in Wisconsin. To learn more about PFAS and what you can do about them, see this article from the Spooner Advocate, courtesy of the Washburn County Lakes and River Association.
Do you bird?
Check out the news from the Creation Care birding group at Ladysmith and Conrath UCC's on the Facebook group for Wisconsin Conference UCC Creation Care. Please share news from your congregation’s birding and other Creation Care groups!
Do you have a news item for the Kairos Newsletter? Send it to Joe Scarry.

View Franz Rigert's video Announcing the Wisconsin Conference UCC Kairos Call To Action and share with your congregation!

Sign up for the Kairos Call to Action Newsletter to ensure you don't miss future issues!
This newsletter is made possible by your contributions to Our Church's Wider Mission Basic Support.
Wisconsin Conference UCC | wcucc.org