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Wisconsin Conference Life Newsletter
Jan. 8, 2020 
Jane Anderson image Authorizing Ministry in Today's Church
by Rev. Jane Anderson

How do Church and Ministry Committees in our associations discern whether a candidate is ready to serve the United Church of Christ as an ordained minister? How do these committees know that the person has the knowledge, skills, wisdom and life experience to serve in a variety of settings (local church, hospital, prison, healthcare facility) that a candidate feels called to minister? These are some of the big questions that our Committees on Ministry wrestle with in their work to authorize, support and oversee ministers and churches in their respective associations.
McFarland UCC Invites You to Join Its "Not In Our Name" Campaign

"Not in Our Name" is McFarland UCC's campaign to end child separation at our nation's borders.

This group, started by members and friends of McFarland United Church of Christ in McFarland, is open to people of all faiths, spiritual perspectives and worldviews who are committed to compassion, justice, kindness and love. Our government has separated hundreds of immigrant children from their parents upon arriving at the border. These families are often fleeing horrific violence and crippling poverty, and parents are doing everything they can to protect their children by coming to the United States. Taking these children from their parents is inhumane, unnecessary, and unacceptable. It is easy to feel powerless when confronting an issue like this. We feel strongly about giving a voice to those who agree with us. We demand that all children must be reunited with their families and sponsors, and that the current practice of separation and detaining immigrant children and immigrants of all ages must end immediately. This will no longer be done in our name! Not In Our Name!!
You can find out more about this campaign and how to join in here
Stewardship Skill Building Webinars for Congregations

The Wisconsin Conference continues to offer new learning opportunities around stewardship. Designed and presented by the Rev. Andrew Warner, several upcoming webinars will help strengthen your stewardship and fundraising initiatives. Two tracks of webinars are scheduled for early 2020. The first track explores how to preach and teach about generosity in the seasons of Epiphany, Lent and Easter. The second track provides an orientation for new lay leaders in your church - or current folks - who'd like to learn or review best practices related to lay leadership roles. See the schedule below, and go to our Stewardship Learning Opportunities webpage for complete information and links to register.
Preaching Generosity
It can be hard to talk about money. And yet Jesus talked about it often, second only to the Kingdom of God. Explore how to preach and teach about generosity and the use of our financial resources. Each webinar will focus on a specific liturgical season and a set of readings. We will plan out at least one preaching opportunity for teaching generosity as a spiritual practice.
  • Jan. 14, 2:00 pm: The Season of Epiphany - Disciples and Generosity
  • Feb. 25, 2:00 pm: The Season of Lent: A Changed Life
  • April 21, 2:00 pm: The Season of Easter: Beloved Community - The stories of GoodShepherd Sunday
Orientation for New Congregational Leaders
Take time at the beginning of the year to learn/review best practices related to your lay leadership role through an upcoming webinar:
  • Jan. 28, 6:30 pm: For Treasurers and Financial Secretaries
  • Jan. 30,6:30pm: For Stewardship Chair and Team
  • Feb. 3, 6:30pm: For Mission, Outreach, Justice, or Stewardship Teams
Go to the Conference website at to get full details and links to register for these webinars.
John Dorhauer image Invitation to Join Rev. Dr. John Dorhauer at Cedar Community
January 20, 2020

Cedar Community welcomes the Rev. Dr. John C. Dorhauer to Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration
On January 20, 2020, Cedar Community will host a public celebration of the life and witness of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.. The uplifting community event features inspiring words and stirring music to honor the legacy of Dr. King and continue the important work of advancing civil rights, eradicating inequalities and prejudices and building healthy communities. This year, we are pleased to welcome the Rev. Dr. John C. Dorhauer, General Minister and President of the United Church of Christ, as the guest speaker. The event is organized by the Diversity Committee of Cedar Community, a resident group that "educates, promotes and partners with others in activities and events that affirm diversity". It will be held at 10:30 am in the Grand Hall of the Cedar Ridge Apartments, 113 Cedar Ridge Drive, West Bend . All are welcome to attend! A member organization of the UCC's Council for Health and Human Services Ministries, Cedar Community is an engaged living community where adults age 55 and better enjoy, explore and embrace their best lives. 
For more information, please contact Julie Jennings, Vice President of Ministry at Cedar Community, at 262-306-4200 or
New Scholarship Opportunity at Lakeland University

Is making the world a better place your passion?
Interested in exploring world religions and cultures while growing spiritually and intellectually?
Turn these interests into a full-tuition scholarship at Lakeland University.
Through the Ulrich Scholars program, Lakeland University will award one full-tuition scholarship and nine scholarships of $20,000 a year for new students.
Application Deadline: Feb. 1, 2020
Scholarship flyer (PDF)
Scholarship website link

Conference-Wide Trip to Germany

Since 1981, the Wisconsin Conference has had a partnership with the Evangelical Church of Berlin, Brandenburg, and Silesian Upper Lusatia (EKBO). Over the years our partnership has been enhanced by cultural exchanges and intentional theological discussions. A trip is currently coming together to visit our brothers and sisters in the EKBO to explore how our sister churches in Germany identify their mission fields and how they make faithful responses to them. The dates of the trip are November 5-16, 2020. The majority of the trip will be spent in and around Berlin. If you would like more information, please contact David Gaeth at He will send you a thumbnail sketch of what is in place so far, as well as answer any preliminary questions you might have. It is anticipated that the cost of the trip will be in the $1200-1400 range. Deadline to register is January 15, 2020
Youth Faith Formation Retreats
February 28-March 1, 2020 or
March 6-8, 2020
Pilgrim Center
Bring your confirmation class or other interested participants and join us for a weekend of faith and team building. We will explore what it means to be the church and how that commitment continues to evolve. Our focus this year will be on our faith journeys, both personal and as part of a greater faith community. Participants will explore the journey stories within our scriptures and identify the parallels in our world today. Check-in begins at 7pm on Friday. The retreat ends after worship on Sunday, between 11:00 and 11:30am.
Register for the February retreat (deadline: February 21, 2020)
Register for the March retreat (deadline: February 28, 2020)
National Youth Event 2020
July 22-25, 2020
Purdue University

United Church of Christ's National Youth Event will take place at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, July 22-25th 2020. This 4-day event is celebrated as the largest denominational gathering. Often bringing in 4,000 participants, this time together is centered on faith, leadership, service and social justice to empower our youth. Start planning now! Registration is opens February 1.

Who: Young people who have completed 6th through 12th grade.
What: United Church of Christ's National Youth Event
When: July 22-25th 2020
Where: Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana
Cost: $375 (February 1st-February 29th) | $435 starting March 1st (Details/cost for a bus trip to the event is forthcoming)

To receive updates about NYE, click here

Creation Justice Webinar: Activist Theology with Robyn Henderson-Espinoza
January 14, 2020 at Noon CST

This month's  Creation Justice Webinar will feature the theologian Robyn Henderson-Espinoza who has been named one of 10 Faith Leaders to Watch by the Center for American Progress. With a new book entitled "Activist Theology," Henderson-Espinoza will help us connect the struggle for creation justice to the kind of theological reflection needed to build a movement. Even if you can't make the webinar's scheduled time, still sign-up, and we will send a recording. Register today!
Conference Transitions

Searching Churches
  • New Horizon UCC in Kewaskum is searching for a pastor. Details

To see all searching churches, click here.

New Calls
  • Rev. Douglas Pierce has been called as interim pastor at Congregational UCC in Whitewater, effective Jan. 3, 2020.
  • Rev. Thomas Fritz has been called as interim pastor at Immanuel UCC in Neenah, effective Jan. 1, 2020.
Installations and Ordinations
  • Rev. Melinda Feller was installed at St. Paul UCC in Malone on December 15, 2019
In Memoriam
  • Ayleene Grabow, mother of Rev. RaeAnn Beebe, passed away on December 11, 2019. Obituary
  • Jeanette (Jean) Claybaugh, wife of the late Rev. Ralph Claybaugh, passed away on December 9, 2019. Obituary
  • Viviananne Jung, wife of the late Rev. Herbert Huebschmann, passed away on December 11, 2019. Obituary
  • Rev. Roger Harris passed away on December 18, 2019. Obituary
  • Rev. Jack Seville passed away on December 18, 2019. Obituary and tribute from the National office of the UCC
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, and an Immigrant Welcoming Conference.

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

In This Issue
Not in Our Name campaign
Stewardship webinars
Rev. John Dorhauer to speak
Scholarship opportunity
Trip to Germany
Youth Faith Formation retreats
NYE 2020
Creation Justice webinar
Conference Transitions
Church Spotlight

St. Stephen's UCC, Juneau   

For over 125 years, this church has served Juneau, the county seat of Dodge County. Since 1989, the church has been yoked with First UCC in Lowell. Pastor Brad Bergin serves both churches. 
Subscribe to the
Generosity Forward e-newsletter
to learn about new ideas, best practices, and training opportunities around
congregational fundraising .
Check the Conference calendar for upcoming events.
Communion bread plates for sale 
We have 9 stacking bread plates for sale. They are  like new. $5 each. Contact First congregational UCC, De Pere, at 920-336-4038.  
Pick up preferred. 
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 Laura McLeod 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.