Wisconsin Conference Life Newsletter
July 27, 2017 
St. Pauls UCC_ Oshkosh_ image St. Paul's UCC, Oshkosh, Finds Innovative Approach to Faith Formation for All Ages
Sharing Our Stories

When traditional Sunday School just wasn't working anymore for the few children at St. Paul's UCC in Oshkosh, the congregation thought outside the box and created The Path, an evening inter-generational combination meal, worship and faith formation session.
Read more
Share your congregation's story
Communities of Practice Groups for Clergy and Christian Educators
In Clergy Communities of Practice (COP), pastors find shared wisdom and support from colleagues gathered into community focused on the practice of ministry and the pastor's vocation as leader. COP groups encourage peer support, care, and reflection. Facilitated by a seasoned pastor or experienced therapist, COPs meet monthly for a 2 1/2 hour session, September through May. More information and registration

Communities of Practice groups for Christian educators are facilitated by people who have served Christian education ministry, and have experience and training in group dynamics and training in the Communities of Practice facilitation model. Now is the time to talk with the volunteer or staff person in your church to see if they would like more support and enrichment to better practice their ministry. It will be the greatest gift you and your local church could give them to support them in connecting with others doing faith formation ministry.
More information and registration  
yard sign image Plant a Yard Sign for the Paris Accord

In response to the United States pulling out of the Paris Climate Accord, General Synod passed an emergency resolution entitled "The Earth Is the Lord's--Not Ours to Wreck" With 16 conferences as sponsors and 97% of delegates voting in its favor, the resolution reflects a denomination in which two recent surveys found that climate is the number one issue of concern for members. As a tangible act of witness related to the resolution, churches are invited to plant yard signs that declare, "We [heart] Planet Earth. We Support the Paris Accord." The graphic for the sign can be downloaded along with a sample press release (Word file).
GLAUCE 2017 - More than Enough
A Workshop Extravaganza!
October 17-19, 2017
Pokagon State Park, Angola, Indiana
Are you a church educator in need of refreshment, revival, and rest? Connect with colleagues at the Great Lakes Association of United Church Educators 2017 conference! Sixteen workshops will be offered, including sessions on personal growth and development, faith formation, missions, stewardship, worship, "messy church," creativity and fun, and sabbath.
Last Call for the Lay Academy Summer Event 2017!
Compassionate Communication: 
Living Life with Clarity and Connection within our Community
August 11-12, 2017
Trost Center, DeForest
The Lay Academy Summer Event will build community as we explore Nonviolent-Compassionate Communication. Friday evening features a drumming circle led by Elmore Lawson. On Saturday, CaSandra May will share tools for communicating effectively with people from different backgrounds and perspectives. You do not have to be a Lay Academy student or alumni to attend: all are welcome! Please register by August 6, 2017.
More information and registration

Pastor Mary Gafner imageInvitation to Retirement Celebration

Pastor Mary Gafner is retiring from Washington Reformation UCC after 19 years of faithful, loving service to the congregation. Mary has also been involved with a number of things at the Conference level, such as the Lay Academy and the Arts Committee. Her last worship service will be Sunday, August 27, 2017 at 9:15 a.m. The congregation is planning a joyous service filled with special music, retirement ceremony led by Rev. Joanne Thomson, and a fond farewell to their beloved pastor. An Open House and Celebration will be held that afternoon, and the congregation is extending a warm invitation to all who know and love this dear woman. She has touched many lives in and out of the church, and they want everyone to have an opportunity to share in this celebration of her ministry and wish her well as she begins this new chapter in her life. 

Open House 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, August 27, 2017, with
Celebration of Mary at 2:00 p.m.
T & D's Bar and Grill (formerly Monticello House Supper Club) 
149 N Main Street 
Monticello, WI 53570
If you have questions or need further information, please call Julie Ruegsegger at (608) 558-2397.
2017-2018 Youth Events: 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
January 5-7, 2018, Pilgrim Center
Conference Transitions

Searching Churches
  • No new churches recently started a search. To see all searching churches, click here.
New Calls
  • Rev. Kathy Gibson-Christensen has been called as interim pastor at the United Church of Christ in Prescott, effective June 6, 2017
  • Rev. Pamela Priewe has been called as pastor at Hancock UCC in Hancock, and as pastor at Wild Rose UMC in Wild Rose, effective July 7, 2017.
  • Rev. Kathryn Kuhn has been called as Associate Pastor at First Congregational Church in Appleton, effective July 24, 2017
In Memoriam
  • Rev. George Million passed away on July 7, 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
COP for Clergy and CE/FF
Paris Accord signs
Lay Academy Summer Event
Mary Gafner retirement
2017-2018 Youth Events
Conference Transitions
Church Spotlight

Immanuel UCC was formed by German immigrants in 1847. The congregation was influential with the foundation of Mission House Seminary (now part of United Theological Seminary in New Brighton, Minn.). This Northeast Association church is now led by Rev. Laura Yurs. 
Solid wood pulpit

Trinity UCC in La Crosse as a solid wood pulpit they no longer need and would accept any offer on. Please contact Steve Schmaltz via email or at 608-317-0005. 
The Parish Paper
This month's Parish Paper is " How Can We Help Immigrants?" Access this issue and archived issues here!

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 Micah Schlobohm 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.