Wisconsin Conference Life Newsletter
May 11, 2018
Why Are We Afraid? The Winds and Waves of Race and Privilege: Annual Meeting 2018
June 8-10, 2018
Green Lake Conference Center

Register now! Rates go up after May 13!

Come join friends and colleagues from around the  Wisconsin  Conference for our 2018 Annual Meeting,  Why Are We Afraid? The Winds and Waves of Race and Privilege. The dynamic Rev. Traci Blackmon will be our special keynote speaker.

Click here to download the meeting program book and read about the workshops and speakers at the meeting. You can also access the annual meeting information and registration from the Annual Meeting website.

Also, on  Thursday, June 7, don't miss Dr. Ben Sanders III presenting  White Identity and Christian Faith: Reflection and Practice at the Pre-Meeting Workshop (separate registration required). In this workshop, Rev. Sanders will use a combination of lecture, discussion, and small group work to:
  • help participants think about how white privilege functions in the life of the church, and
  • reflect on how to practice Christian faith in more effectively anti-racist ways.
Read all about the Thursday workshop and Rev. Sanders here

Find out everything about Annual meeting, including the optional Boundary Training, Volunteer Opportunities, and Exhibitor Opportunities at the Annual Meeting 2018 website 

How to Balance Hospitality and Church Security
by the Parish Paper

Churches live on the frontier of hospitality. They see their building and spaces as safe places to worship, grow in faith, and serve others. Churches wish to offer comfort and support to those who come in for any number of reasons. Weather-related emergencies arise (snowstorms, hurricanes, tornadoes) as well as events related to accidents (fires, flooding, toxic fumes), and people will often approach churches when they face difficult economic circumstances or challenging personal issues. Because of this commitment to serve all people, thinking about safety and security on church properties is far more complex than for most businesses, hospitals, and schools.
Damascus Project Courses Begin this Fall

Join us on this exciting journey this fall by registering now for our first course:
Exploring God's Call in a Changing World
Rev. Dr. Sandra Graham, Facilitator and Instructor
September 15-December 8, 2018

This course will help participants learn how to fully engage in theological reflection and how to share this engagement with others. Beginning and ending with a weekend retreat, the course will also include 4 "online sessions" that focus on mindful listening and self-awareness as well as the ways in which others have explored their own sense of call throughout history and in the contemporary world.
Lakeland University Offering Ulrich Scholarships

Lakeland University has started a new Ulrich Scholars program in honor of the late Rev. Dr. Reinhard Ulrich. This program offers $20,000 scholarships per year for up to ten new freshmen and transfer students entering Lakeland. These scholarships are available for students who 1) are eager to explore the intersection of faith, reason, and justice; 2) declare a major or minor in religion; and 3) agree to participate in programming of the Ulrich Center for Philosophy, Ethics and Christian Thought at Lakeland. There are still a few scholarships available for Fall 2018 admission. More details about these scholarships may be found at  Lakeland.edu/Ulrich
Strengthen the Church on May 20

The Strengthen the Church offering supports the expansion of ministry and growth of UCC local congregations. Your support of this offering will help the UCC fulfill on its commitment to creating a just world for all by investing in new ministries and practices that meet the emerging needs of local communities.

In the Wisconsin Conference, STC gifts go to support -
  • Catalyst, which supports congregations to build vital and innovative ministries
  • Lay Academy, which engages lay people in spiritual growth and builds congregational leaders, and
  • Communities of Practice, which support pastors in their practice of ministry

Great Lakes Regional Youth Event
July 5-8, 2018
Elmhurst College, Elmhurst, Ill.

It's only held once every four years, and this year is IT!

Come celebrate the ways in which young people shape our denomination and world by allowing them to grow their passions, discover new skills, and lift their voices. We are excited. We are energized. And we are hopeful that this year we will flood the campus with students from across the entire Great Lakes Region.
More information
Webinar: Going Solar - Connecting Faith, Finance, and Facilities

As part of the monthly Creation Justice Webinar series, the UCC has teamed with GreenFaith to offer a webinar designed to assist churches who are interested in going solar. On May 30th, the Rev. Fletcher Harper will address issues related to technology, finance, physical plant, communications, and more. Sign-up today for this webinar! Also, look up past webinars or subscribe for monthly updates on future webinars.
The Open and Affirming Coalition announces the 2018 Spring Webinar dates

The Open and Affirming Coalition's webinar series is designed both for congregations who have an Open and Affirming covenant, and for churches taking their first steps towards an ONA covenant. We're providing four webinars in spring 2018, and will add three new webinars in the fall. Dates and a link to the registration page for each webinar are available at   Open and Affirming Coalition Webinars All webinars  are on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. Eastern, 6 p.m. Central, 5 p.m. Mountain, 4 p.m. Pacific and 1 p.m. Hawai'ian, and run for about 90 minutes. The webinar includes time for questions and conversation. We offer discounts when more than three participants participate at one computer, so consider gathering a group  and projecting the webinar on a screen. Contact Andy Lang at  ed@openandaffirming.org  for more information!
Spiritual Life Teams: An Inspiring Model of Ministry

Many people have life transforming God experiences but they rarely share them with others. During this Inspiring Model of Ministry, you will have the opportunity to observe a Spiritual LifeTeam in action as they learn to identify and share God experiences and learn to pray out loud together. You will also have time to reflect on how to bring this type of program to your own ministries with the program's founder, Dr. Bobby McKay.  
  • Who Should Attend? Clergy, Faith Formation staff and volunteers, Adult education committees.
  • Where? Glenview Community Church, 1000 Elm Street, Glenview, IL
  • WhenSaturday, May 19, 20189:30am - 1:30pm
  • How much? $25.00 (Includes lunch and resource materials)
  • Click here to register by May 15, 2018 
Travel scholarships (up to $200) are available. Please contact Rev. Ivy Beckwith for more information at beckwithi@ucc.org or 216-736-3875. 
View Event Flyer
Conference Transitions

Searching Churches
  • First Congregational Church, Menomonie, is searching for a 3/4 time children and youth minister. Details
To see all searching churches, click here .

New Calls
  • Rev. Jon Pahl has been called to serve in faith formation ministry at Union Congregational UCC in Green Bay, effective May 11, 2018 
  • Rev. Marty Carney has been called as pastor at First Congregational UCC in Lake Geneva, effective May 11, 2018
Installations and Ordinations
  • Rev. Larry Treece was installed at First Congregational UCC in Lake Mills on April 22, 2018
  • Rev. RaeAnn Beebe was installed at Saron UCC in Sheboygan Falls on May 6, 2018
In Memoriam
  • Rev. John Jerome Staton died on April 14, 2018. Obituary
  • Rev. Edwin W. Stigen died on April 30, 2018. 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.

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

In This Issue
How to Balance Hospitality and Church Security
Exploring God's Call in a Changing World
20,000 Lakeland Scholarships
Strengthen the Church
Urgent help for Puerto Rico
Creation care webinar
ONA webinars
Spiritual Life Teams
Conference Transitions

Check the Conference calendar for upcoming events.
The Parish Paper
This month's Parish Paper is " How to Balance Hospitality and Church Security." 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.