Wisconsin Conference Life Newsletter
March 21, 2017
The Parish Paper logo
Guide to Good Governance
by The Parish Paper

Governance is how we make decisions as a congregation. Typically, the board takes responsibility for big-picture issues and works to help the congregation achieve its mission. The board accepts responsibility for keeping the church's resources--people, money, and property--safe. The board also pursues ways to creatively leverage resources to more effectively serve the congregation's mission. 

Ministry is different from governance. Ministry is all the other things a congregation does: offering meaningful worship, spiritual development groups, community service, and outreach.  Why is the distinction important? Churches tend to spend less time ensuring that the way they govern does not impede the growth and vitality of their ministries. Dysfunctional governance structures can create an inward focus, a resistance to change, complacency, arrogance, and diffuse accountability. 

Read The Parish Paper for March 2017 to learn more about how governance differs from ministry, signs of healthy governance, common mistakes, and how to go from good to great. 
community meal servers image
Union Grove Church Serves Their Community

Many Wisconsin UCC congregations are engaged in building food security among people in their community who are challenged with a reliable food supply. Read the story about how Congregational UCC in Union Grove is helping in their community.

Congregations are sharing their stories of what God is doing in the Wisconsin Conference to transform lives and change our world. To read more stories, or to submit your congregation's story, check out "Sharing Our Stories" in the Resource Center at wcucc.org.
Rev. Laura Yurs image
What Scripture Says About Refugees
by Rev. Laura Yurs, pastor of Immanuel UCC, Plymouth

A few weeks ago, I received an anonymous question left in the pulpit on a torn piece of paper. It is an important and timely question, one that I would appreciate the opportunity to make an effort to answer, not just for the one (unknown to me) who asked, but for us all. 

The question was about what God has to say about refugees. The short answer is: Much. Scripture is filled with references to foreigners, strangers, asylum-seekers, and the dispossessed. While the topic is one that has become an increasingly polarizing and contention-fraught issue of late, I am of the mind that the issue need not be nearly so contentious for we who call ourselves Christians.
Honest, Open Proud
Facilitator Training
April 1, 2017
Wisconsin Conference Trost Center

Ever wonder how to best support a youth (or anyone) in your congregation who is struggling with mental health issues?
Join us on Saturday, April 1, for a HOP (Honest, Open, Proud) Facilitator Training. Whether you hope to facilitate this program in your congregation or you just want to be better prepared to offer support to those in your congregation and community, we hope you will join us.
More information
Register online by March 26, 2017
For more information, contact Lisa Hart 

AM 2017 image Plan Now for the 2017 Annual Meeting
SHIFT: Our Unfolding Story
June 9-11, 2017
Green Lake Conference Center

Here are some highlights of this year's annual meeting. Check it out at wcucc.org/annualmeeting.
  • Attend the Share Fair to learn about creative ministries being done in congregations across Wisconsin
  • Keynote speaker Rev. John Dorhauer, President and General Minister of the United Church of Christ
  • Inspiring and engaging worship created by Gary Rand and accompanied by musicians The Many and Rob Clearfield
  • Pre-meeting workshop "Sparking Creativity and Expanding Vision" with Paul Nixon, author of Weird Church
  • Vote on becoming an Immigrant Welcoming Conference
  • Gather with friends at the Friday evening social with live music, food and beverages
  • All in the beautiful setting of Green Lake Conference Center
Find all the info at www.wcucc.org/annualmeeting
Holly Whitcomb image
Allowing Resurrection: A One-Day Retreat
with Rev. Holly Whitcomb, Kettlewood Retreats
April 28, 2017
Cedar Valley, West Bend

The season of Eastertide is teeming with possibility and new life. Are you held down and suffocated by your woundedness, your hurts, or your unremitting sense of unworthiness? What might God be inviting you to release in order to rise and become more whole? Come explore how we can allow and practice resurrection.
Wisconsin Council of Churches logo Advocacy Day 2017
Wisconsin Council of Churches
Tuesday, April 4, 2017

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. Join the Wisconsin Council of Churches for their 2017 Advocacy Day.
More information
Insurance Board image Sanctuary Church: Legal Implications Webinar
Tuesay, April 18, 2017
Do you know the legal implications if your church wants to be a sanctuary church for at-risk immigrants? Join the Insurance Board at this webinar to find out.

Heather Kimmel, General Counsel for the United Church of Christ, addresses the current interest of faith communities in operating as sanctuary churches, the legal risks, and ways churches can minister to undocumented persons.
Conference Transitions

Searching Churches
  • Union Congregational UCC in Green Bay is seeking a full time Associate Pastor, effective March 13, 2017
To see all searching churches, click here.

In Memoriam
  • Violet E. Alberswerth died March 10, 2017. She was the mother of Rev. Deborah Payden and spouse of the late Rev. Roy Alberswerth. Obituary
  • Nathan Knospe, the son of Mary Jo Laabs, died March 13, 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
Church Serves Community Meals
What Scripture Says about Refugees
HOP Facilitator Training
2017 Annual Meeting
Allowing Resurrection retreat
WCOC Advocacy Day 2017
Sanctuary church webinar
Conference Transitions
Church Spotlight

UCC Prescott image
United Church of Christ, Prescott
The United Church of Christ in Prescott, in the Northwest Association, is served by pastor Matt Schneider-Adams. The church was founded in 1852 and has a long history of community involvement. The church enjoys a wide variety of musical styles during worship.

Check the Conference calendar for upcoming events.
The Parish Paper
This month's Parish Paper is " Guide to Good Governance." 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 Micah Schlobohm of the Wisconsin Conference UCC Committee on Ministry with LGBTQ Persons.
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.