Wisconsin Conference Life Newsletter
Feb. 7, 2017 
Annual Meeting 2017 logo Exciting Lineup for 2017 Annual Meeting!
SHIFT: Our Unfolding Story 
June 9-11, 2017

And what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?  Micah: 6:8

Our Unfolding Story focuses on collecting and sharing inspiring stories of faithful witness and ministry in the Wisconsin Conference, as together we envision the Church of the 21st Century.
The Rev. Dr. John Dorhauer, President and General Minister of the United Church of Christ, will be our Friday keynoter at this year's Annual Meeting. Rev. Dorhauer will speak about the vision of the United Church of Christ and the important justice issues of our time. Read John Dorhauer's bio
Saturday will feature special guest speaker Rev. Everett Mitchell, pastor of Christ the Solid Rock Baptist Church in Madison, and Dane County Circuit Court Judge. Read Everett Mitchell's bio 
New this year - Attendees will have an opportunity to dialogue with congregations that have inspiring stories of ministry at our Share Fair on Saturday. Leave with fresh ideas for new ministries you can take back to your congregation. More Share Fair info, including how to apply to be a Share Fair exhibitor. Sign up by February 28!
More info to come at wcucc.org/annualmeeting!
autumn-orange-tree.jpg Stewarding Our Resources
by Kerri Parker, Board Chair, and Franz Rigert, Conference Minister

Following a period of discernment, the Conference Board of Directors has unanimously approved a recommendation to sell a portion of our land. The Board spent a year prayerfully considering this option, weighing their responsibilities as preservers of our natural habitat and stewards of our financial resources.

We will retain the aesthetically beautiful woods and wetlands to the south of the Trost Center. These acres of green space will remain protected. Key Commercial Real Estate will list two parcels located to the west and southwest of the Trost Center, at the corner of Gray Road and Lake Road.

Conference Staff and Board representatives have worked closely with local officials, and with Deb Ersland of Key Commercial Real Estate, to ensure future development aligns with the intentions of the Village of Windsor and considers values that are important to our Christian identity. In our discernment process, we raised concerns such as the welfare of creation, economic and housing justice, and our responsibility to work creatively to foster development that does not wound the spirit. We assure you that these concerns were not neglected in negotiations.

Land proceeds would be used over a span of several years to support our essential mission - the equipping of congregations for effective ministry in the 21st century and the cultivation of clergy and lay leaders who will advance innovative, collaborative and community based ministries that transform lives and create a more just and generous world.
Support Youth with Mental Health Challenges

Join us for the Honest, Open, Proud (HOP) Facilitator Training on April 1 and learn how to support youth who may come to you with their stories about mental health issues and/or traumatic experiences. The HOP program is designed to help individuals look at the stories they have been telling themselves, discern helpful and hurtful self-attitudes, and analyze the pros and cons of disclosing in different settings to different people. This training is being offered by The Wisconsin Initiative for Stigma Elimination (WISE) and Rogers inHealth and will be held at the Conference Trost Center in DeForest. The all-day training costs just $20 and includes lunch.
More information

WISE Mental Health Conference
UCC for Mental Health
March 31, 2017
Omaha, Nebraska

Understand the challenges and help reduce the stigma about mental illness in our society. Equip your congregation with the resources to develop a mental health ministry at the first UCC WISE (Welcoming, Inclusive, Supportive, Engaged) Conference on Mental Health, Friday, March 31, in Omaha, Neb.
BTSS logo Break the Silence Sunday
April 23, 2017
Break The Silence Sunday is an effort to open up a conversation within the church about rape and sexual assault. Within the context of our faith communities we hope to:
  • acknowledge the reality of rape and sexual violence in our world;
  • support survivors by creating a place where they can tell their stories, feel loved and supported, and find encouragement on their healing journey;
  • commit ourselves to the work of changing the world, creating a future where rape is a memory.

Break the Silence Sunday website 

2017 Break the Silence Sunday liturgy materials (PDF)

2017 Break the Silence Sunday liturgy materials (Word) 

lab beaker image Interim Ministry Workshop

Bring your skills and experience to "the lab" to examine various selected case studies about churches in transition.
  • explore "best practices" as interim pastors
  • hone your skills in analysis
  • understand congregations as systems
  • develop leadership skills
  • identify and utilize reachable and teachable moments
The same workshop will be held in two locations :
Tuesday, February 21, at First Congregational UCC, Eau Claire and Thursday, February 23, at the Wisconsin Conference Trost Center in DeForest. Cost: $25 for ministers with standing in the Wisconsin Conference; $60 for others. Led by Linda Kuhn and Dave King of Sand Bur Consulting, LLC.
Register for the Eau Claire workshop
Register for the DeForest workshop
Youth Faith Formation Retreats
February 24-26, 2017
March 3-5, 2017
Pilgrim Center

Take your pick of two weekends of faith formation for grades 6-12!

We often compare being a person of faith with being on a journey. In fact, confirmation is viewed as the next step of the faith journey. In this year's Youth Faith Formation retreats, we will focus on many aspects of the faith journey. We'll explore different biblical journeys, talk about the journey of the UCC, and tell the stories of our own journeys. Activities may include orienteering with compasses, creative storytelling opportunities, song writing, map or maze making. Bring your confirmation class or youth group to travel together with us through this confirmation odyssey.
More information and link to registration
floral image Discernment Workshop
Friday, March 3, 2017
10:00am - 3:00pm
Trost Center, DeForest
The journey of Christian discernment can be as joyful and fulfilling as it is frustrating and confusing. How do we know what God intends for our lives? How do we hear God's voice among the many voices speaking? What does it mean to be "called"? What does the UCC mean by "ministry of all" and "ministry of some"? What does this mean for me? What's next for my walk of faith? Join Dr. Marti Baumer for day of exploration and discussion.
More information
Conference Transitions

Searching Churches
  • Union Congregational Church, Three Lakes, is seeking a part-time pastor, effective January 24, 2017
  • First Congregational Church, Appleton, is seeking a full-time Associate Pastor, effective January 27, 2017

To see all searching churches, click here.

New Calls
  • Rev. Thomas Fritz has been called as interim pastor at St. John's UCC, Black Creek, effective Jnuary 15, 2017
  • Rev. Gail Irwin has been called as interim pastor at St. John UCC, Appleton, effective February 1, 2017. She also serves as interim pastor at Immanuel UCC in Kaukauna.
  • Rev. Gloria Van Houten has been called as interim pastor at Peace UCC, Schofield, effective February 1, 2017
  • Rev. Thomas Williams has been called as interim pastor at Peace UCC, Brillion, effective February 1, 2017
Installations and Ordinations
  • Rev. Kathleen Remund was installed as minister of First Congregational United Church of Christ in Menomonie on January 28, 2017
  • Rev. Blair Hull was installed as pastor at the Congregational United Church of Christ in Whitewater on January 29, 2017

The Conference Transitions feature appears monthly in the Wisconsin Conference Life. Please share your transition information, including church anniversaries, with the newsletter editor by emailing Nola.
This newsletter is made possible by contributions to Our Church's Wider Mission Basic Support.

The Wisconsin Conference UCC is an Open and Affirming Conference.

Image credits:
Autumn tree from Constant Contact
Floral image with dark background from Shutterstock

Wisconsin Conference United Church of Christ
4459 Gray Road | DeForest, WI  53532

In This Issue
Stewarding Our Resources
Mental Health Training
WISE Mental Health Conference
Break the Silence Sunday
Interim Ministry Workshop
Youth Faith Formation Retreats
Discernment Workshop
Conference Transitions
Church Spotlight

Faith UCC Slinger image

Faith UCC, Slinger, in the Southeast Association, was formed in 1961 when two neighboring churches merged: St. Paul's E&R (founded 1844) and St. John's E&R (founded 1852). Not only did the two congregations merge, but so did the buildings: St. Paul's was moved four miles to the St. John's site and the two buildings were merged.  

Check the Conference calendar for upcoming events.
The Parish Paper
This month's Parish Paper is " How do Congregations Respond to Interfaith Couples?" Access this issue and archived issues here!
Quick Links

Is your church considering an Open and Affirming Process? The Wisconsin Conference has a committee to help!  Please feel free to use us as resources for your discussions and preparations. Contact Micah Schlobohm of the Wisconsin Conference UCC Committee on Ministry with LGBTQ Persons.
Got News?
Let us know! If you have something you'd like considered for publication in
Wisconsin Conference Life, email Nola at the Wisconsin Conference.