Wisconsin Conference Life Newsletter
Sept. 14, 2017
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Equipping Volunteers Builds a Strong Church Community
by The Parish Paper

Sociologist Joshua Packard describes an emerging population he calls the "dones." They are "spiritual refugees" from organized religion who were once long-time members, but who pass through the exit door of the church and never look back. Though many reasons exist for their departure, a significant theme is the feeling of being of ignored or underutilized. "It's hard for me to be just a passive worshiper," one of Packard's interview subjects said. "I've got to do things. That's how I understand my faith and how I understand God."

volunteer group raising hands against blue sky background
Wisconsin Conference Office Seeks Volunteers
by Franz Rigert

Our Conference Staff continues to search for ways to more efficiently fulfill our mission despite diminishing resources and reduced personnel. Since this trajectory will continue, we are exploring some creative ways to accomplish our work. We have a goal of cultivating a team of volunteers who would enjoy spending a few hours each week (or every couple of weeks) helping out at the Trost Center. We would provide mileage reimbursement and lunch on days when other groups are present. Volunteers would get to know our staff and enjoy the community camaraderie that we share.

We have identified four specific work tasks for volunteers:
  • Light Maintenance (changing bulbs, simple plumbing, window washing, etc.)
  • Warm Hospitality (welcoming groups, preparing coffee, setting up rooms, facilitating catered lunches, etc.)
  • Mailing Support (collating large mailings approximately 12 times per year)
  • Occasional projects (data entry, name tag preparation, production of packets, etc.)
Interested in volunteering? Contact Franz Rigert via email or phone at 608-846-7880.

Would you be willing to publicize these opportunities in your congregations? Also, perhaps you can identify a few people for whom this might be an ideal way to serve?

If we procured 5 or 6 volunteers willing to spend a few hours per month volunteering at the Trost Center it would greatly support our efforts! Many thanks!
Invitation to Pollinate and Bee the Church

The next 30 days are a Season of Pollination in the UCC! Yes, that's right! This is your chance to bee the church! How might you do that? By encouraging your friends, colleagues, and church members to subscribe to a fabulous UCC e-newsletter called... The Pollinator. This newsletter has as its purpose the sharing of ideas and inspiration in caring for God's creation. To learn more about how you can help pollinate via clipboard evangelism at church, social media, and other ways, visit the bee the church page at ucc.org.
Trans 101
A Webinar from the United Church of Christ
Tuesday, September 26, 6pm - 7:30pm Central time

Join the Rev. Mak Kneebone, president of the Open and Affirming Coalition and pastor at Plymouth United Church in Spring, Texas, for an interactive webinar for congregations about the transgender experience.

A confident and well-informed welcome to the transgender community is an essential commitment in every Open and Affirming covenant--especially now, when the basic rights of transgender citizens are under threat. This workshop is for congregations beginning their ONA journey and for existing ONA churches who need a "refresher course" on transgender experience. Churches that open their doors to the trans community are always enriched by the many gifts their transgender neighbors and members bring to the community of faith.
GLAUCE Conference
More than Enough: A Workshop Extravaganza!
October 17-19, 2017
Pokagon State Park, Indiana

GLAUCE (The Great Lakes Association of United Church Educators Conference) is just around the corner...don't miss out!
GLAUCE is an excellent opportunity for clergy and lay leaders who are invested in faith formation to network and be resourced.  This year's event is full of workshops to fill your toolkit.  It will also be a great opportunity to connect with people from around the Great Lakes Region of the United Church of Christ.
Sending your faith formation leader(s) to this conference is a great way to equip and support their ministry!
The registration deadline is this Friday (September 15)...after that registrations will be accepted as space is available.
If you have questions, please contact Becky Johnston.
More information and workshop descriptions
Registration link
Upcoming Youth Events
Register now, or save the dates!
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 Save the dates!
January 5-7, 2018, Pilgrim Center 
Hurricane Relief

Hurricane Irma made landfall in Florida on Sunday, September 10 with record-force winds and storm surges on the coasts. The storm continues to travel north. Millions of people in Florida evacuated or moved to approved shelters before the storm hit.
How to Avoid Background Screening Litigation
A Webinar from the Pension Boards
Wednesday, October 11, 2017, 1pm-2pm central time

Join the Pension Boards for this webinar for k ey compliance tips to help your church safely obtain and use background checks.
More information and registration
Martin Luther image Still Shifting After 500 Years: The Reformation for Today
Saturday, October 28, 2017
Trost Center, DeForest

On Saturday, October 28 at the Trost Center on Gray Road in De Forest, two scholars of church history, Professor Lee Palmer Wandell and Margaret Bendroth, will share their insights on the Reformation of the 16th century and its relevance for the world of the 21st century during a day-long event commemorating the 500th anniversary of Luther's posting his 95 theses for debate.
Healing Ourselves: Pathways to Emotional Well-Being and Spiritual Renewal
A Kettlewood Retreat 
Friday, October 6, 2017
Cedar Valley

We are all wounded in this life, whether by loss, betrayal, trauma, tragedy, poor choices, or other misfortunes. Just as the body strives to heal our physical injuries, so do psyche and soul seek to heal emotional and existential wounds and to restore well-being. Drawing from practices, both ancient and modern, this interactive retreat will focus on identifying healing pathways that nurture our renewal.
Our retreat leader: Philip Chard is a widely traveled speaker, a practicing psychotherapist, and the author of the popular and award-winning weekly column "Out of My Mind" featured in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He is also author of the books The Healing Earth and Nature's Ways.

Conference Transitions

Ministry Searches
New Calls
  • Rev. Kathryn Rust has been called as interim pastor at First Congregational UCC in Lake Geneva, effective August 28, 2017
  • Rev. Richard McLeer has been called as pastor at Congregational UCC in Mineral Point, effective September 5, 2017
Installations and Ordinations
  • Rev. David Bowles was installed at Congregational UCC in Ladysmith on September 10, 2017
In Memoriam
  • Rev. Dr. Ward B. Malloy passed away on September 8, 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
Seeking volunteers
ONA webinars
Bee the church
GLAUCE conference
Youth events
Hurricane relief
Pension Boards webinar
Reformation event
Healing Ourselves retreat
Conference Transitions

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   Rev. 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.