Wisconsin Conference Life Newsletter
March 20, 2019 
Honoring Our Pledge to Address Racism 
by Rev. Bridget Flad Daniels

The first time I remember being aware of my white privilege was when I was in college. I was newly aware of the importance of being environmentally conscious and "going green." When a group of friends and I stopped at a convenience store for a cold drink, I smugly called out the two fellas who accepted the clerk's offer of a bag. What a waste of a dinosaur! They were literally going to put the bag in the next trash can they saw! I was proud of my minor activism, maybe even a little haughty...until they explained to me that, as young men of color, they didn't have the luxury of declining a plastic bag for their Gatorade. They were no less pro-earth than I was; they simply knew that as young black men, the optics of them walking out the door of a store with an un-bagged item were just too fraught. In just this minor exchange, I realized how privileged I had been, and that I really knew nothing.
 
It's a simple, sad memory, but it comes to mind as the Wisconsin Conference Racial Justice Working Group encourages clergy and lay leaders to register for the Anti-Racism Training and Retreat at Moon Beach from April 28-30.
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Plymouth UCC_ Eau Claire image Sprouting Up Green from the Ashes 
by Rev. David Huber, Creation Care Team member

The evening after the September 2016 fire that burned down the church building of Plymouth UCC Eau Claire, the Leadership Team of Plymouth came together to discuss what to do in the wake of the tragedy. At that first meeting, we decided tha t rebuilding as environmentally- friendly as possible was an essential part of whatever plan we came up with, within the capacity of our budget.
 
Our insurance policy covered us for the replacement cost of the building and the contents. We were also fortunate that our policy had an extra $50,000 rider for green improvements. That gave some wiggle room for making the new building more efficient than the local code requires.
 
Without getting too specific, and in a somewhat random order, here are the things that were done to help with energy efficiency, many of which could be used in current buildings or could be considered for anyone doing a remodel or adding an expansion.
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annual meeting 2019 image Combined Annual Meeting - Associations and Conference
April 5th 5:00 pm to April 6th 3:45 pm
Glacier Canyon Conference Center, Wisconsin Dells

Annual Meeting is rapidly approaching - in just over 3 weeks we'll be gathered in the Dells! Time to register! Also we still need volunteers for registration, hospitality and ushering. Please consider signing up to volunteer
 
Take part in both your Association's annual business meeting and the Conference business meeting all in one weekend! Plus enjoy a community worship service, and fellowship time at the Friday social event. Special business on the Conference agenda is a vote on a resolution to repudiate the Doctrine of Discovery
 
Find all Annual Meeting information at wcucc.org/annualmeeting
advocacy day image
People of Faith United for Justice
Thursday, April 11
8:30 am - 4:00 pm
First United Methodist Church
203 Wisconsin Avenue, Madison

This event is sponsored in part by the Wisconsin Council of Churches and is supported in part by a UCC Neighbors in Need Grant  
 
As people of faith we are called to join the public conversation about the common good - about the kind of a state and nation we can be justifiably proud of, the legacy we want to leave our children and future generations. Past generations of citizens, through government, made the decisions and investments that benefit us today. Now it is our turn.

People of Faith United for Justice is a day-long gathering to learn, discuss, pray and advocate together for social justice issues of importance to all the people of Wisconsin. As a new legislature starts work on the next state budget, our representatives need to hear our values, priorities, and concerns, our expectations and aspirations.  Issues for Advocacy will be Clean Water, Expanding Badger Care and Early Child Education. Whether we expect them to agree with us or not, they need to hear from us. Together, we can ensure that our commitment to compassion and justice is reflected in that budget.
More information and registration here
Boundary Waters Canoe Trip
July 13-19, 2019

BWCA pic with lake and canoe This summer United Church Camps, Inc., will be hosting an Intergenerational Boundary Waters Canoe Trip July 13-19th. The trip is open to any adult, and youth age 12-18th accompanied by another adult. Having a wide age of ranges is inviting for families and makes for a wonderful experience. We will be starting at Moon Beach for an afternoon of learning about gear, getting to know one another, packing, and even enjoying a paddle on the lake. On Sunday morning we will have breakfast, pack up, and meet at Seagull Outfitters by dinner that same day. On Monday we depart for 5 days of canoeing in the BWCA in one of the most beautiful and remote sections of this gem of a wilderness.
 
Regardless of your experience level, this is your opportunity to experience the trip of a lifetime and make enduring memories. You are welcome to come just yourself or bring a family members. Your guide and trip director, Pastor Nick Hatch, serves First Congregational Church in Appleton and is a Wilderness First Responder an certified Outdoor Educator. Join Nick and your fellow adventurers on the trip of a lifetime!
Register here
Immigration Advocacy: From Compassion to Action
Saturday, May 4
8:30am-1:30pm + worship
Latin Jazz worship service to follow
Union Congregational UCC, Green Bay

From Rev. Bridget Flad Daniels: I invite you and your congregations to join with Union UCC in Green Bay on Saturday, May 4th, for a great day of inspiration and learning around the issue of Immigration Advocacy. I'm particularly excited that the United Church of Christ and Church World Service Grassroots Coordinator for Immigrants' Rights Noel Anderson will be one of our keynotes, as well as Milwaukee Immigration Lawyer Gabriella Parra. 

 

Workshops will be led by local social service agencies, local police, public school officials, immigration attorneys, and clergy.Cost is $10 (scholarships available). Individuals or groups from churches are encouraged to participate. Request registration materials by contacting the Union Church office with your name, email, and phone - office@unionucc.com or 920-437-9266. Please  plan to join us on 5/4! 

Urban Mission Experience Available
 
Urban Mission Experience St. Louis provides groups with meaningful mission work in quality agencies AND tools to think about the systems of injustice that make such work necessary. Dates available for Summer (May-August) 2019.
 
UME StL is hosted at Epiphany United Church of Christ. Epiphany is an ONA, Just Peace, Whole Earth congregation seeking to become intentionally multicultural while living out a faithful and active social justice ministry in the city.
 
On your week's trip (usually arriving Sunday and heading home on Saturday) you will:
  • Have 4 days of meaningful work at at least two agencies.
  • Have one full day for sightseeing and fun activities.
  • Sleep lock-in style in an urban church - in a safe and convenient neighborhood.
  • Have full use of the kitchen to save on food costs.
  • Have access to showers at the local YMCA.
  • Learn more about yourselves, our society, and God's call to justice.
  • AND help a small urban congregation with your ridiculously low cost of $25 per person per night!!
The Practice of Finding: How Gratitude Leads the Way to Enough
An Eastertide Retreat
May 3, 2019, 9:30am - 3:00pm
Cedar Valley near West Bend

Seeking is in vogue these days. Many of us are continually striving and seeking - for one thing or another. This retreat presents the spiritual practice of finding as the antidote to chronic seeking, the awareness of having received enough. Based on Holly Whitcomb's latest book, The Practice of Finding, this retreat is a guide to that surprising journey of discovery. Holly writes in the introduction to her book: "The practice of finding has been saving my life for a long time. It is an old friend that has stayed by my side during times of lavish joy and exuberance as well as in times of debilitating grief and loss." Ponder the words: practice, finding, enough. You will marvel at what you have already found and what you readily possess. (Holly's new book will be for sale at this retreat.) Deadline for registering is April 27.
More information 
BTSS logo Break the Silence Sunday
Suggested date: April 28, 2019
 
Break The Silence Sunday is an effort to open up a conversation within the church about rape and sexual assault . Within the context of our faith communities we hope to:
  • acknowledge the reality of rape and sexual violence in our world;
  • support survivors by creating a place where they can tell their stories, feel loved and supported, and find encouragement on their healing journey;
  • commit ourselves to the work of changing the world, creating a future where rape is a memory.
2019 Break the Silence Sunday liturgy materials (Word)
Conference Transitions

Searching Churches
  • There are no new church searches. To see all searching churches, click here.
Wider Church Searches
  • The national United Church of Christ has several open positions. More information

Installations and Ordinations

  • Rev. Bryan Sirchio was installed at McFarland UCC in McFarland on March 17, 2019.

In Memoriam

  • Dorthea "Dottie" Miller, wife of Rev. Roy Dean Miller, passed away on February 16, 2019. Obituary 
  • Rev. Curtis R. Clare passed away on March 3, 2019.
  • Dale Laedtke, nephew of Rev. Jean Wallenfang, passed away on March 4, 2019. Obituary
  • Rev. Harley C. W. Tretow passed away on March 15, 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.
 
Image credits:
  • Plymouth Church UCC courtesy of Rev. David Huber
  • Candles image purchased from iStock, credit MarianVejcik
  • Advocacy Day image courtesy of the Wisconsin Council of Churches
  • Boundary Waters image of lake and canoe copyright Nola Risse-Connolly and used with permission
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
Sprouting Up Green
Combined Annual Meeting
Advocacy Day
BWCA trip
Immigration Advocacy Day
Urban mission experience
Eastertide Retreat
Break the Silence Sunday
Conference Transitions
Congregations studying the Doctrine of Discovery
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Can we count you in?
Church Spotlight
Immanuel Church Neenah image
This Northeast Association church is led by Pastor Jen Czarnota. Community service is an important ministry at Immanuel. The church works together with New Hope Lutheran Church to serve twice-monthly community meals.  The church also runs a weekly free food panty. 
 
CONFERENCE CALENDAR

Check the Conference calendar for upcoming events.
The Parish Paper
 
This month's Parish Paper is " Media Technology for 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!
 
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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.