Wisconsin Conference Life Newsletter
Aug. 16, 2017 
Sowing Seeds of Mercy: Hope for the Homeless
by Rev. Jacoba Koppert

Some Northwest Association churches and pastors have joined an ecumenical group supporting the House of Mercy, a program that is part of the Beyond Shelter Program. The mission is to provide dignity and stability of a permanent home, as well as supportive services to homeless individuals.
Read Rev. Koppert's article about the opening event here! 
God's Doors Are Open to All
These "rainbow doors" are a colorful representation of the Delevan UCC's Open and Affirming congregation. The church would love to share them with you to encourage us all to let love be stronger than hate! To borrow the doors, view the Rainbow Doors flyer and follow the simple steps on page 2. Questions? Contact the church at 262-728-2212 or via email at webmaster@delavanucc.org.
Communities of Practice Groups for Clergy and Christian Educators

In Clergy Communities of Practice (COP), pastors find shared wisdom and support from colleagues gathered into community focused on the practice of ministry and the pastor's vocation as leader. COP groups encourage peer support, care, and reflection. Facilitated by a seasoned pastor or experienced therapist, COPs meet monthly for a 2 1/2 hour session, September through May. Deadline to register so groups can be formed: August 28. 
More information and registration

Communities of Practice groups for Christian educators are facilitated by people who have served Christian education ministry, and have experience and training in group dynamics and training in the Communities of Practice facilitation model. Now is the time to talk with the volunteer or staff person in your church to see if they would like more support and enrichment to better practice their ministry. It will be the greatest gift you and your local church could give them to support them in connecting with others doing faith formation ministry.
More information and registration

Upcoming Youth Events
Save the dates or register now!

Youth Faith Formation Retreats
November 10-12, 2017, Moon Beach Registration available now
February 23-25, 2018, Pilgrim Center
March 2-4, 2018, Pilgrim Center

Knock Knock Middle School Retreat
November 17-19, 2017, Pilgrim Center Registration available now

Jesus Core High School Retreat
January 5-7, 2018, Pilgrim Center

Apply for a Neighbors in Need Grant

Neighbors in Need grants are awarded by the national UCC to churches and organizations doing justice work in their communities. These grants fund projects whose work ranges from direct service to community organizing and advocacy to address systemic injustice. Apply for a grant now! The deadline for submissions is September 30th.
GLAUCE Fall Conference
More than Enough: A Workshop Extravaganza!
October 17-19, 2017
Pokagon State Park, Angola, Indiana

Are you engaged in a teaching ministry? Join the Great Lakes Association of United Church Educators (GLAUCE) for a workshop extravaganza! Sixteen workshops will be offered, including personal growth and development, faith formation, missions, stewardship, worship, messy church, sabbath, creativity and fun.
Event flyer
Online registration  
Wisconsin Gospellers Build Spirit-Filled Relationships with New York Conference
by Lori Bocher, for the Wisconsin Gospellers

The Wisconsin Gospellers, a state-wide gospel choir of the Wisconsin Conference UCC, traveled to New York City July 28 to August 5 to sing with and learn from members of Inspirational Voices, the New York Conference's new gospel choir. The learning came in many forms and on many levels.
Read more

Come-Down-to-The-Lakeshore Writer's Retreat
October 13-15, 2017
Pilgrim Center 

This is an invitation to your congregation and others to come down to the shores of Wisconsin's 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, you are welcome.
  • Whether you are writing a magazine article, mystery novel, newsletter, poem, devotion, journal, blog or Christmas letter, you are welcome.
  • No matter where you are on your writing and faith journeys, you are welcome to Come-Down-to-the-Lakeshore.
  • Come-Down-to-the-Lakeshore Writer's Retreat is where everyone's muse will come alive through the community's binding ties of writing and faith!
Visit www.comedowntothelakeshore.com  for more information and registration. Feel free to post this flyer at your church to invite your congregation!

CROP Hunger Walks raise over $10 million across million across the country. Of that amount, $2.5 million come back to local hunger and feeding ministries and agencies. Join a team and WALK! Find your local Walk at crophungerwalk.org.
Join Pilgrim UCC in Fond du Lac for Jesus Seminar on the Road
Changing Perceptions: Earth, Self, God
October 6-7, 2017
Pilgrim United Church of Christ and Open Circle Fellowship Unitarian Universalist are partnering with the Jesus Seminar on the Road program to ask how new scientific insights are changing the way people conceive of the earth, the human self, and the divine. The event is led by guest scholars Clayton Crockett of the University of Central Arkansas and Susan Elliott, a writer and environmental activist based in Red Lodge, Montana.

The program kicks off with a lecture on Friday, Oct. 6, 7:30-9pm, and continues on Saturday, Oct. 7, with a series of daytime sessions 9:30am-4pm. Beginning with an overview of how human relationships with the earth have changed from ancient to modem times, Elliott and Crockett will move on to ancient and modem conceptions of the self. The event will conclude by tackling the question of God's meaning and value, if any, for the future.
Read more and register here
Still Shifting After All These Years: The Reformation for Today
October 28, 2017
Trost Center, DeForest
It's not every day that we get to celebrate a shift as BIG as that of the Reformation of the Sixteenth Century. But this year our Conference joins the rest of the Western world to recognize Martin Luther's hammering start of the Protestant movement five hundred years ago.

On  Saturday, October 28, at the Trost Center in DeForest,  the historical committee of our Conference will sponsor two presentations from noted Reformation scholars, have lunch together, and hear from our own Wisconsin pilgrims who will have recently returned from Luther's Germany. Margaret Bendroth of the Congregational Library in Boston, and Lee Palmer Wandel of UW's history department will help us focus on the contemporary relevance of this half a millennium old shift that some have regarded as more revolution than reformation.

The program runs from 10:00 am to 3:30 pm and includes lunch. Registration begins at 9:30am. The fee for the event is $20.
Online registration
Save the Dates for These Two Events at Lakeland University
  • Event for Confirmation-age Youth, Teachers and Mentors
    Presented by Rev. Steve and Dee Savides

    Wednesday, Sept. 27,
    7 to 8:30 p.m.
    Bradley Fine Arts Auditorium, Lakeland University
    More information
  • Mission House Lecture
    Raising awareness about human trafficking

    Featuring Sr. Joan Dawber of LifeWay Network

    Tuesday, Oct. 17, 11 a.m. - noon; lunch with Sr. Dawber to follow
    Bradley Fine Arts Auditorium, Lakeland University
Conference Transitions

Searching Churches
  • First Congregational UCC in Milton seeks a part time pastor. More information
  • St. John's UCC in Monroe is seeking to fill a half time music ministry position. More information

To see all searching churches, click here.

New Calls
  • Rev. Julie Eklund has been called as pastor at Redeemer UCC in Sussex, effective August 1, 2017
  • Rev. Judine Duerwaechter and Rev. Dr. Matthew Sauer were installed on July 30, 2017, as co-pastors with dual standing in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and United Church of Christ, serving the people of Manitowoc through the three Manitowoc Cooperative Ministry congregations
  • Rev. Linda Forray was installed on August 13, 2017, at Peace UCC in Marinette
In Memoriam
  • Jane Morse Cushman Deyo, mother of Janet Pugh, the Annual Meeting Coordinator for the Conference, passed away on July 26, 2017. Obituary

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.

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

In This Issue
Borrow the Rainbow Doors
COP groups for clergy and Christian educators
Youth Events
Neighbors in Need Grants
GLAUCE fall conference
Wisconsin Gospellers
Writer's retreat
CROP Hunger Walks
Jesus on the Road seminar
Reformation event
Lakeland University events
Conference Transitions
Church Spotlight

Rev. Wanda Veldman  is the pastor of this Northwest Association church. Pittsville, Wis., is located in the center of the state. The A-Frame church was built in 1962, but this church has been serving the community since 1881! 

Check the Conference calendar for upcoming events.
Help Wanted at St. John's UCC, Monroe 
An office administrator and a director of youth ministry are being sought by St. John's UCC in Monroe. See the St. John's website for more information. 
Quick Links

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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.

Also: check out the Facebook page for ONA churches
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.