Wisconsin Conference Life Newsletter
Aug.  24, 2016
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Trend Lines to Consider as we Shift: From Maintenance to Mission
by Tisha Brown

In her Friday evening presentation at annual meeting, Cameron Trimble shared brief thoughts on six trend lines operating in our culture. A trend line according to Google is "a line indicating the general course or tendency of something." I believe consideration of the trend lines Cameron shared might be one way for us to continue imagining ways for our congregations to make small but significant shifts from maintenance to mission. I thought I would share my recollections from Cameron's talk along with some of my own musings about how we might engage these trend lines in our particular contexts. There are six trend lines to consider, and so I've broken this post up into two parts. The first three trend lines are discussed here. The second set of three will be shared in a future article.

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Lamplight image Is Your Congregation Supporting a Homeless Shelter Ministry?

The Lamplight Concert is a resource to raise funds for homeless shelters.  
Kate Jennings and Judith Permann will come to your church and community free of charge and perform a benefit concert.  
If you would like to schedule this duo, please contact them at 715.684.3942 or at  lamplightproject.org
This ministry is being sponsored by First Congregational United Church of Christ, River Falls.
Lay Academy for Anyone

Anyone who is interested, whether they've attended Lay Academy before or not, is invited to attend one or more Lay Leadership Skills à la carte sessions. The primary goal of Lay Leadership Skills is to equip participants to be spiritually grounded, faithful and effective leaders in local congregations and in their wider communities.
Read more 
Lay Academy for Alumni

Anyone who has completed at least two years of Lay Academy is invited to return for any of the classes being offered in any given year. The alumni cost for individual sessions is $25 per session which includes lunch on Saturday. Alumni will need to purchase their own books and make their own hotel reservations if needed.
More information 
Baton Rouge flooding image Donations and Prayers for Louisiana

As devastating floodwaters continue to rise in Southeastern Louisiana, and rescues continue after torrential rain, United Church of Christ Disaster Ministries is calling for prayer for the people affected, and monetary donations to help the survivors facing long-term recovery assistance.
Read more 
Save the Dates for Youth Events!

Youth Faith Formation Retreats for grades 6-12
November 11-13, 2016, at Moon Beach
February 24-26, 2017, at Pilgrim Center
March 3-5, 2017, at Pilgrim Center

Knock Knock Middle School Retreat for grades 6-8
November 18-20, 2016, at Pilgrim Center

Jesus Core High School Retreat for grades 9-12
January 6-8, 2017 at Pilgrim Center

Registration coming soon for these events. For questions, contact Lisa Hart at 608-846-7880.
Mediation Skills Training Institute for Church Leaders
November 14-18, 2016
Orchard Ridge UCC, Madison

Whether in the home, school, community, church or workplace conflict is an inevitable part of life. Having the skills to function effectively in emotionally intense, conflicted situations is important for all of us, especially those of us who are leaders.The Lombard Mennonite Peace Center has trained hundred of church leaders from a wide range of denominations in the skills that are needed to deal with conflict in the church setting through its Mediation Skills Training Institute. The Mediation Skills Training Institute equips people for working in various conflicted situations, including church disputes. The Wisconsin Conference is sending our Conflict Resolution team members to this program, and it is open to others who want to learn these skill sets.
More information
Leadership and Anxiety in the Church: A Family Systems Perspective
September 28, 2016
Orchard Ridge UCC, Madison

This seminar on Leadership and Anxiety in the Church looks at the challenge presented by the rising levels of anxiety being experienced in churches today, as well as the role that self-differentiated leadership can play in calming such anxiety.
More information
Interim Ministry Training
October, 2016, though May, 2017
The Interim Ministry Training Institute (IMTI) is an intensive training program that is offered inter-denominationally at a location in Wisconsin. The rigorous program spans an eight-month period with monthly full-day sessions, reading and practicum assignments, and personal coaching. IMTI is designed for pastors considering or currently serving as interims, as well as settled pastors who wish to build skills and confidence in leading a congregation through an intentional time of change and challenge. Brochure
Writer's Retreat at Pilgrim Center
October 14-16, 2016

The Come-Down-to-the-Lakeshore Writer's Retreat is a sacred space for writers, words and wonder! 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, where everyone's muse will come alive through the community's binding ties of writing and faith.
More information
Upcoming Lakeland College Events
  • Event for Confirmation-age Youth, Teachers and Mentors "Valuing Others: It's Good for Everyone"
    Presented by Charles Krebs, Associate Professor of Theatre and Communication, Lakeland University. Wednesday, Sept. 28, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m., Bradley Fine Arts Auditorium, Lakeland University
    More information
  • Mission House Lecture
    "Love in a time of resentment: Seeking Jesus in today's politics"

    Presented by Rev. Phil Haslanger, Pastor, Memorial UCC, Fitchburg, Tuesday, Oct. 18, 11 a.m. lecture; lunch to follow. Bradley Fine Arts Auditorium, Lakeland University. More information coming soon at lakeland.edu.
Conference Transitions

Searching Churches
No churches started searching for a new pastor recently. To see all searching churches, click here.

New Calls
  • Rev. Jim Deters has been called as pastor at the Presbyterian - Congregational UCC in Ashland, effective August 14, 2016.
  • Rev. Nancy Zorn Micke has been called as pastor at First Congregational UCC, DePere, effective August 15, 2016.
Installations and Ordinations
  • Rev. Donald Quigley was installed at First Congregational UCC in Park Falls on August 20, 2016, and at Congregational UCC in Mellen on August 21, 2016.
  • You are invited! First Congregational UCC, Oconomowoc, is celebrating their 175th Anniversary on Sunday, September 18, at 9:00am. A luncheon will follow worship. Please let them know if you plan to attend by calling the church at 262-567-4461.
In Memoriam
  • George Friedley died on June 27, 2016. George was a former moderator of the Conference. Obituary
  • William Wenzler died on June 29, 2016. William was the architect of the Wisconsin Conference Trost Center. Obituary
  • Rev. Joe Medina died on August 12, 2016. 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.

Image credits: Lamplight Project image from the Lamplight website. Flooding image from ucc.org

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

In This Issue
Fundraising for shelter ministries
Lay Academy for anyone
Lay Academy for alumni
Flooding donations
Youth events
Mediation Skills Tranining Institute
Leadership and Anxiety in the Church workshop
Interim Ministry Training
Writer's Retreat
Lakeland College events
Conference transitions
Shift blog 
Check out the
SHIFT BLOG for inspiration! 
Read about & share congregational shift stories.
Church Spotlight

This Northwest Association church was founded in 1863. Their building houses the Roberts Food Pantry and this is a significant mission for the church. The congregation is also proud of the church's active youth ministry, Music & a Meal monthly community program, and hand bell choir. 

Check the Conference calendar for upcoming events.
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Follow Franz Rigert's Rev'd Up Blog for thought provoking ideas. Join the conversation!

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.