Wisconsin Conference Life Newsletter
April 18, 2018
parish paper logo Church Energy Use: Can We Harness Hope?
by The Parish Paper

Carbon dioxide emissions have been implicated as a key factor in rising global temperatures. Because all church buildings use energy, much of it derived from carbon-based sources such as oil and coal, congregations play a role in energy consumption. Although congregations represent a small piece of the big picture, they can still offer hope for the community or the wider church.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that if every house of worship nationwide (about 300,000) cut back energy use by 10%:
  • $200 million could be saved and used for other projects for the community good
  • 5.4 billion kilowatt hours of electricity could be used elsewhere without generating additional pollution
  • 200 million tons of greenhouse gases would not be emitted--the equivalent of keeping 400,000 cars off the road or planting half a million trees.

Continue reading 

graphic-fist-globe.gif The Gift of Trees Worship Liturgy

Celebrate the Gift of Trees in worship on Earth Day, Arbor Day, or any  Sunday  this Spring! Earth Day is  Sunday April 22nd . Arbor Day is  April 27th  but could be celebrated on  Sunday April 29th . The Wisconsin Conference Creation Care Team has compiled a special worship service for your use and enjoyment. There are also two puzzles about Trees of the Bible and Trees of Wisconsin.

Find the links to all these resources at the Creation Care page in the Wisconsin Conference UCC Resource Center on our website.
New Webinar Series on Environmental Practices for Churches

As part of a new monthly UCC program called Creation Justice Church Webinars, Jerry Lawson from the EPA is leading a series of informational sessions. Last month, he introduced the EPA's Energy Star program for helping congregations to lower energy costs.  Watch it online . This month he is leading a webinar on no-cost/low-cost energy savers for churches.  Register now .
Annual Meeting Keynote Speaker, Rev. Traci Blackmon, Receives Spiritual Leadership Award
The Center for Spirituality and Sustainability recently honored Rev. Traci Blackmon with their Spiritual Leadership Award. The award reflects the center's mission to "promote humanity's sacred connection to the Earth and each other." You can read more about this award and why Rev. Blackmon was chosen in this article.
Come to Annual Meeting in June to hear Rev. Blackmon preach at worship on Friday evening, and deliver a keynote address on Saturday. Everything you need to know about Annual Meeting -- workshops to attend, how to register, exhibitor opportunities, volunteer opportunities, information about how to register, other special guests, meals and lodging, childcare, and more -- can be found on the Annual Meeting webpages on the Wisconsin Conference website. See you there!

Also at Annual Meeting:
Thursday Workshop: White Identity and Christian Faith: Reflection and Practice with Dr. Ben Sanders III. More information
Boundary Training. More information 
Great Lakes Regional Youth Event
July 5-8, 2018
Elmhurst College, Elmhurst, Ill.   
It's only held once every four years, and this year is IT!

Come celebrate the ways in which young people shape our denomination and world by allowing them to grow their passions, discover new skills, and lift their voices. We are excited.  We are energized. And we are hopeful that this year we will flood the campus with students from across the entire Great Lakes Region.
More information 
Wisconsin Council of Churches Reading the Verbs: Finding the Script in the Scripture
Wisconsin Council of Churches Washington Island Forum
June 25-29, 2018
If you do a quick survey of any bible passage, you'll find that what is true in life is also true in scripture: the verbs dominate. Not adjectives; verbs. It's what we do and don't do that preoccupies human beings. And it's the verbs we cannot imagine for ourselves (live, liberate, forgive, resurrect) that the church offers, and that we reach for, week after week. So what happens when we read scripture and let the verbs lead? Through four comprehensive lectures, Anna Carter Florence will put a twist on dramatic theory and invite us to read the biblical "script" by focusing on the verbs that are given and chosen by the characters, based on her upcoming book "Rehearsing Scripture: Discovering God's Word in Community." What new things will we see and hear in both our sacred text and our human drama when we connect the verbs? How can that, in turn, change and renew our reading and speaking about scripture? 
An Inspiring Model of Ministry: Spiritual Life Teams

Many people have life transforming God experiences but they rarely share them with others. During this Inspiring Model of Ministry, you will have the opportunity to observe a Spiritual Life Team in action as they learn to identify and share God experiences and learn to pray out loud together. You will also have time to reflect on how to bring this type of program to your own ministries with the program's founder, Dr. Bobby McKay.  
  • Who Should Attend? Clergy, Faith Formation staff and volunteers, Adult education committees.
  • Where? Glenview Community Church, 1000 Elm Street, Glenview, IL
  • When? Saturday, May 19, 20189:30am - 1:30pm
  • How much? $25.00 (Includes lunch and resource materials)
  • Click here to register by May 15, 2018 
Travel scholarships (up to $200) are available. Please contact Rev. Ivy Beckwith for more information at beckwithi@ucc.org or 216-736-3875.
View event flyer
Creating an Emergency Plan Workshop

The Southwest Association will sponsor an introductory workshop on Creating An Emergency Action Plan on May 17, 2018, from 7pm-9pm, at Memorial UCC, Fitchburg. Leading the workshop will be the Rev. Jan Doleschal, pastor of Trinity UCC in Brookfield, who has worked as a security consultant for the Milwaukee Public Schools and other organizations. Jan offered this workshop in the Southeast Association several years ago following the Sikh Temple shooting, with much positive response. Jan has also designed the resource material for emergency planning that is posted on the Wisconsin Conference website.  There is no cost for the workshop.

5 Do's and 5 Don'ts for Using Your Church Building Well

A physical space can be at the vital center of ministry-if you don't make it an idol.
Guiding Congregations in Times of Transition Workshop
May 1, 2018
Trost Center, Deforest

Come to this workshop to learn how to help a congregation move beyond inertia by:
  • Building Consensus
  • Dealing graciously with resistance
  • Identifying reach-able, teach-able moments
  • Deciding when to go ahead and ask for forgiveness later
  • Developing tools and strategies for making change that "sticks"
  • Marshalling spiritual resources
  • Fostering a spirit of curiosity
More information and registration 
Are You a WISE Congregation?

Mental health challenges affect 1 out of 4 people--and churches can be a resource in response. Learn action steps both individuals and congregations can use to become WISE (Welcoming, Inclusive, Supportive and Engaged) about mental health  May 4  in Downers Grove, Ill.
Conference Transitions

  • Pilgrim UCC in Grafton is searching for a director of family ministries and congregational life. More information
  • St. Mark's (Cleveland) and St. James (Newton) are seeking a full time pastor for their yoked churches. More information
  • United Campus Ministry in La Crosse is seeking a campus minister/ministry coordinator. More information
To see all searching churches, click here.

In Memoriam
  • Rev. Kenneth Kuenning, father of Paul Keunning, President and CEO of Fairhaven, and the father of Mary Gross, spouse of Rev. Bob Gross, has passed away. Obituary
  • Eunice Drewsen, mother of Rev. Ted Drewsen, passed away on April 6, 2018. 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, and an Immigrant Welcoming Conference.

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

In This Issue
UCC History and Polity
Arts Committee
Annual Meeting keynoter honored
Washington Island Forum
Spiritual Life Teams
Emergency plan workshop
Using your church building well
Transitions workshop
WISE Congregations conference
Conference Transitions

Check the Conference calendar for upcoming events.
2018 Annual Meeting 
June 8-10, 2018 
Green Lake Conference Center

Get all the info you need on the Annual Meeting webpages
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.