Wisconsin Conference Life Newsletter
Aug. 30, 2017 
Plymouth UCC in Eau Claire on fire Creation Care, Climate Change, and Insurance
by Rev. David Huber, pastor, Plymouth UCC, Eau Claire, and Wisconsin Conference UCC Creation Care Team Member

Just under a year ago on the evening of Monday, September 19, I attended a climate change seminar at our church in River Falls that was led by Mark Kulda, VP of Public Affairs for the Insurance Federation of Minnesota. I had been invited to be there to do a short presentation on the Citizen's Climate Lobby, of which I am a member. But mostly I was very curious about what the insurance industry has to say about climate change. Turns out, they have a lot to say.
Mr. Kulda began his presentation saying, "Insurers are not scientists, but we are numbers people. In fact, we are very, very good at numbers." And their numbers clearly point to something seriously wrong with the world's climate.
Continue reading
Support Hurricane Harvey Victims through UCC Disaster Ministries
Hurricane Harvey is the first Category 4 Hurricane to make landfall in the US since 2004. Harvey's full impact is yet to be determined, but history tells us that the need will extend beyond the capacity of local, state, and federal government. There will most definitely be a need for helping families recover after initial emergency response efforts have ceased. This is one of the main reasons the United Church of Christ continues to focus our efforts on recovery. We recognize walking with families and communities is what we are called to do.  
The UCC Disaster Ministries is already gearing up for long-term recovery work in the area and your contributions for Harvey survivors means providing community support for holistic recovery, repairing homes for families, and restoring dignity for the most vulnerable who have lost everything in the wake of this catastrophic event. 100% of funds designated for disaster relief to the United Church of Christ are used for disaster relief and rehabilitation programing.
Read more and help now

money_sack.jpg What is the True Wealth of Our Nation?
By Alan Green, Wisconsin Conference Creation Care team member

National Public Radio, the one mass medium my wife and I listen to regularly, informs us several times a day of the rise and fall of the stock market. This "information" plays out against the oft-repeated claim that the U.S. is the richest nation on earth, as shown by the GNP/GDP.

But, if we are so wealthy, why is there so much poverty, homelessness, and hunger abroad in our land? Why is the use of opioids and other mind-altering drugs rampant when employment is hovering around the highest levels ever? Why is the distance between the richest and the poorest increasing every year? Why does the United States reveal serious disturbances and uncertainties regarding the "progress" we are supposed to be witnessing? If the GNP/GDP is rising why is our society so fraught?
Reach Out to Your Community through an Aging and Disability Resource Center
by Caroline Kennedy, interim pastor at Barneveld Congregational UCC

If the call to SH/FT, reach out to your community in new and creative ways, has got you wondering what to try next, you might want to call your area ADRC. ADRC stands for Aging and Disability Resource Center. These are government agencies, usually covering several counties, that help families and individuals find the right care for their loved ones. ADRCs match older adults and people with disabilities with services that help people stay as independent as possible for as long as possible. ADRCs also do education programming on issues such as diabetes maintenance, Alzheimer's Disease, pain management, and caregiver support.

If a congregation wants to put on a program with broad appeal to older adults, people with disabilities, their family members, and those who love someone with a long-term illness, the ADRC can help.

Early this summer, Barneveld Congregational UCC hosted an event for clergy and church leaders on ministering to people with Alzheimer's Disease and other forms of dementia. The Alzheimer's educator from Southwest ADRC did almost all of the planning and organizing. We led a brief worship service, sent some emails, and opened the doors. The ADRC put together the program, designed a flyer, and even brought snacks. It was an easy way for our congregation to serve the community.

Your ADRC may be willing to speak about their services on a Sunday morning or a week night. They may be willing to hold an education series on good nutrition at your church. They may be willing to help you become a dementia-friendly congregation. Give them a call and bounce around ideas. The ADRC's services are generally free.
Find your county's ARDC here
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
Kevin Kling image Be Inspired by Nationally-Known Storyteller and Disability Advocate Kevin Kling
September 23 and 24, 2017
First Congregational UCC, Madison

Kevin Kling, best known for his popular commentaries on NPR's All Things Considered and his storytelling stage shows like Tales from the Charred Underbelly of the Yule Log, delivers hilarious, often tender stories about life.  Kling's autobiographical tales are as enchanting as they are true to life: hopping freight trains, getting hit by lightning, performing his banned play in Czechoslovakia, growing up in Minnesota, and eating things before knowing what they are. Kevin was featured in a recent PBS documentary: "Kevin Kling: Lost & Found."

Kevin will share his true-to-life story of overcoming barriers in a special presentation at First Congregational Church on Saturday, September 23, at 7:00 pm. ALL are welcome, and encouraged to experience the profound and inspirational message of this gifted storyteller. Bring your friends to laugh, and cry, and enjoy! Kevin will also be the guest preacher for First Cong's Accessibility Worship Service on Sunday, September 24. Please contact Jeff Rabe via email or by phone at
608.233.9751 x 106 at  for more information.
View event flyer
Singers are Invited to the Wisconsin Gospellers Fall Workshop
September 15-16, 2017
Pilgrim Center

The Wisconsin Gospellers, a state-wide choir of the Wisconsin Conference, will begin its 2017-18 program year with a special workshop Sept. 15-16 at Pilgrim Center in Green Lake, Wis. Any singer who is interested in joining, or just learning more about the choir, is invited to attend. The workshop will be led by Dr. Martin Ulrich, the Wisconsin Gospellers music director; and by the Rev. Carolyn C. Blair, founding director of the New York Conference UCC's Inspirational Voices.
More information  
Moon Beach camp sunset image NE and NW Fall Clergy Retreat
Sabbath as Resistance
October 1 - October 3, 2017
Moon Beach Camp

Join UCC clergy colleagues from the Northwest and Northeast Association at Moon Beach for a time of Sabbath. We will experience Sabbath as Resistance as Pastor Julie Garber, Spiritual Director/ Licensed Minister, invites us to "refresh" our faith and ourselves. She will lead us in practices to "remember" and "reconnect," individually and as a community. Rev. Dr. Karl Kuhn will lead us in bible study rooting "Sabbath as Resistance" in the scriptures. In addition he will help us prepare for preaching in Epiphany 2018.
Retired clergy and clergy new to the Association are invited to attend as guests of their Association. Scholarships assistance is available. Contact your Association Church and Ministry Committee for details.
Register at www.ucci.org
Come-Down-to-the-Lakeshore Writer's Retreat
October 13-15, 2017
Pilgrim Center

Come-Down-to-the-Lakeshore is a Christian writing retreat held October 13 - 15, 2017, at Pilgrim Center of Ripon, Wisconsin. 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!

More information and registration 

Conference Transitions

Searching Churches
To see all searching churches, click here.


New Calls
  • Rev. N. Kendell Nordstrom has been called as interim pastor at Washington Reformation UCC, Monticello, effective August 28, 2017
Installations and Ordinations
  • Rev. Eric Ogi was ordained at Peace UCC, Kewaskum, on August 27, 2017
  • Mary Gafner retired from Washington Reformation UCC, Monticello, effective August 27, 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.

Plymouth UCC, Eau Claire, fire image copyright WEAU.

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
Hurricane Harvey support
Our nation's true wealth
ARDC resources
Youth events
Kevin Kling event
Gospellers workshop
Fall clergy retreat
Writer's retreat
Conference Transitions
Church Spotlight


This Southeast Association church has served the Port Washington community since 1898. Their current pastor is Rev. Jeff Suddendorf, who has served the congregation since 1989!  

Check the Conference calendar for upcoming events.
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
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Let us know! If you have something you'd like considered for publication in
Wisconsin Conference Life, email Nola at the Wisconsin Conference.