Wisconsin Conference Life Newsletter
Feb. 5, 2019 
Trost Center image Love of Creation Leads Wisconsin Conference to "Go Solar"
via UCC.org

Editor's note: our conference was recently featured in the national UCC's newsletter, Keeping You Posted and we are featuring the article here.

The Wisconsin Conference United Church of Christ (WCUCC) is making a major investment in creation care, with the installation of a large solar panel array on the roof of the Trost Center, the Conference office headquarters in DeForest, Wisc. The project, proposed by the Conference's Creation Care Team, endorsed by Conference Minister Franz Rigert, and unanimously and enthusiastically approved by the Conference Board of Directors, is a very tangible model of the UCC's 3 Great Loves initiative.

"One of the three Great loves is, expressly, love of Creation," said Rigert. "We have no time to waste, and all of us must act now if we are going to preserve this planet for sustainable living in the generations to come."
Read more
Synod 32 logo Shine Synod Volunteering
Please distribute the Synod Volunteering bulletin insert to your congregation!
Hosting General Synod is an honor and will require many people and talents to make it a success. Be sure to share this opportunity with your congregation. Volunteers will meet people from across the country, hear inspiring speakers and learn more about the many ministries of the UCC. Even if you don't plan to attend Synod, there are still ways to volunteer your time. 
Annual Meeting
April 5-6, 2019
Glacier Canyon Lodge at the Wilderness Resort
Wisconsin Dells

Join the Wisconsin Conference and all four associations for our Combined Annual Meeting at the Glacier Canyon Lodge in the Wisconsin Dells, April 5-6, 2019.  

The Annual Meeting is taking a different form for 2019. Due to hosting General Synod in June, the Associations and Conference decided to combine annual meetings this year into One Meeting to engage in the business of two settings of the Church.

In addition to taking care of business, the conference-wide planning team is scheduling time for fun and connecting with others from your Association and around the Conference.
More information and registration
Upcoming Conference-Sponsored Events
  • Creation Care Webinar, "Grounded in Spirit, Called to Action: From First Steps to Next Steps," February 21, 2019, 7:00pm-8:30pm. More information
  • Youth Faith Formation Retreats at Pilgrim Center, February 22-24 or March 1-3, 2019. These retreats are full with waiting lists. Spots on the waiting list are expected to open, so contact Pilgrim Center by February 8 at 920-745-4746 to be added to the list. More information
  • Taste and See: Three Programs to Benefit Your Congregation, March 12, 2019, 10:00am-3:00pm, First Congregational UCC, Watertown. More information
  • Catalyst Grants deadline: March 31. Got an innovative ministry idea? Apply for a grant to help get it off the ground. More information
  • Boundary Training, April 5 at Glacier Canyon Lodge at the Wilderness Resort, Wisconsin Dells. Details
  • Combined Conference and Associations Annual Meeting: Living the Light. April 5-6, 2019. Glacier Canyon Conference Center at the Wilderness Resort. More information
  • Anti-Racism Training and Retreat, April 28-30, 2019, at Moon Beach Camp. More information
  • Creation Care Webinar, "Love Your Mother - Give Her Flowers," May 2, 2019, 7:00pm-8:30pm. More information
Migrant Monthly: The Cost of Asylum
A new monthly blurb from the Conference's Immigration Working Group to keep you up to date with issues surrounding immigration

There seems to be a prevailing notion that immigrants from the global South can cross the U.S. border at a checkpoint, apply for asylum, and become citizens in a relatively short time, with little hassle or cost. Nothing could be farther from reality.

In January 2016, "Maria" and her four small children arrived in Wisconsin after trekking from Central America to escape violence. With a formal letter requesting asylum presented at the border, the family was permitted to cross. In October, Maria went before a federal immigration judge for four hours and, in a stunning and unusual ruling by the judge herself, was granted asylum. Now, 27 months and almost $7,000 later the family still has not received the Green Cards that permit them to stay in the U.S. and to apply for citizenship.

Maria's application filing cost $1,225; the children's $750 each ($4,225 total). Their routine physical exams by a government-approved doctor totaled $1,665. Significantly reduced legal fees ran $1,000. Countless asylum seekers face even longer delays under even tougher federal guidelines today, to say nothing of even higher costs and legal support.

Update: "Maria" and her children received their green cards shortly after this was written.
Bi-Vocational Ministry Incubator
Monthly, April-November, 2019
Increasingly, congregations can no longer afford a full-time, fully-supported pastor. And pastors are needing to wrestle with tough questions about how to sustain themselves while being faithful to their sense of call. The Bi-vocational Ministry Incubator provides a safe space where pastors can dig deeper into these questions, hone skills for doing ministry in a different way, develop tools to guide a congregation into making a transition into a more shared model of ministry, and find the courage to explore options.

Monthly day-long gatherings over the course of 8 months will offer skill-building, peer support and coaching/mentoring. The program is offered inter-denominationally and designed for both ordained and licensed/commissioned pastors, for those who want to explore this option and for those who have already made the transition and want additional support and tools, for those who seek additional income and for those who seek part-time arrangements in order to juggle home and care-giving responsibilities. Offered by Sand Bur Consulting, LLC. Brochure and application available at sandburconsulting.com. For more info, contact dave@sandburconsulting.com. Registration is limited and deadline is March 22, 2019.
UCCI logo "Steps on the Journey of Healing" - A Retreat for Sexual Abuse Survivors
April 26-28, 2019
Moon Beach Camp

Plan to join us as "companions on the journey" for a time of sharing, reflecting, growing, and celebrating. This retreat is for women (18 years and older) who have experienced sexual abuse of any kind. Our weekend will include group time, quiet time, crafts, food, music, and of course, time to enjoy the beauty and sacredness of Moon Beach. Gathering together is an important part of the healing process. There is something so comforting about being with those who "get me", even though our stories may be different. Gathering together each year encourages and supports us to do the work needed to continue the steps of healing and wholeness. Our retreat will be facilitated by women who have experienced this abuse and supported by professional counseling staff.
Register here
Patty Loew image Environmental Ethics of Indigenous Cultures of Wisconsin
Led by Patty Loew
March 20, 2019, 5:30pm - 8:00pm
Holy Wisdom Monastery
Middleton, Wis.
Enjoy dinner at the monastery and learn about the environmental ethics of the first people of this land. The speaker is Patty Loew, a Professor of Journalism at Northwestern University and Director of Native American and Indigenous Research. Patty is a member of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe, Director of Native American and Indigenous Research at Northwestern University and a professor in the Medill School of Journalism. She has conducted research on Wisconsin's native people and has written several books on the subject.
Editor's note: this event ties in with our Conference's year-long study of the Doctrine of Discovery leading up to a vote to repudiate the Doctrine at our Annual Meeting in April. Learn more 
Climate Change and Forced Migration: A Faith Response
Wednesday, February 13, 2019
12:00pm Central time

An upcoming UCC webinar will address one of the most important issues of our time: climate change and forced migration. War, agricultural hardship, severe weather-all of these can connect to climate change and the factors behind migration for millions of people. For example, one of the factors behind the much discussed caravan of migrants from Central America was climate change. How can people of faith respond to increasing climate migration? This webinar will feature four panelists who will address this.
Sign-up now to join! Register even if you can't make it, and a recording will be sent to you. This webinar is co-hosted by the Rev. Dr. Brooks Berndt of the United Church of Christ Environmental Justice Ministry and the Rev. Michael Malcom of Alabama Interfaith Power & Light. 
yearbook logo We Need Your Annual Yearbook Data!

But why do we need it? Here are 11 reasons why reporting your church's annual data is important. Reason #1 is: Annual reporting allows you to update your church's contact information so that the UCC Yearbook & Directory, Access UCC, and Find A Church on ucc.org are accurate.  
Click this link to read all 11 reasons. 
Conference Transitions

Searching Churches
  • No churches recently started searching for a pastor. To see all searching churches, click here.
  • Christ Church UCC in Milwaukee seeks a church musician. Details
Conference Search

Wider Church Searches

  • The United Church of Christ is seeking a National Coordinator - Proyecto Encuentros de Gracia y Bienvenida. Details
New Calls
  • Rev. Thad Winkle has been called as pastor at Bethel-Bethany UCC in Milwaukee. Thad is new to the Conference. Welcome!
Installations and Ordinations
  • Rev. Dave Frey was installed at Congregational UCC in Neenah on January 27, 2019.
In Memoriam
  • Rev. Charles A. Rota passed away on January 31, 2019. 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.

Image credits: Trost Center at Sunset image by Nola Risse-Connolly

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

In This Issue
Synod volunteering
Annual Meeting
Conference events
Migrant monthly
Bi-vocational ministry incubator
Survivor retreat
Patty Loew event
UCC Webinar
Yearbook data
Conference Transitions
Congregations studying the Doctrine of Discovery
Can we count you in?
Church Spotlight

Founded in 1865, this Northeast Association church is led by pastor Michael Safford-Kennedy. The church recently entered into a shared ministry agreement with Ebenezer UCC in nearby Chilton.
UCC logo carvings

Somers Community UCC parishioner Kent Mayes makes these beautiful wood carvings of the traditional UCC logo. If you are interested in purchasing one for your church, you can reach Kent at 262-412-8629.

Check the Conference calendar for upcoming events.
The Parish Paper
This month's Parish Paper is " What is Contemporary Worship?" Access this issue and archived issues here!
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.