Wisconsin Conference Life Newsletter
May 5, 2016 
SHIFT logo Does Your Church Need to SHIFT its Governance and Administration?
by Tisha Brown

Recently, I was talking with a pastor colleague and the topic of Shift: From Maintenance to Mission came up (imagine that J ). This pastor said the issue her congregation most needed to address before anything else was to shift its governance and administrative structure, which she said uses up all the volunteer time the folks in her congregation have to give and leaves very little time or energy for mission and ministry. She went on to add, "We have about 60 people in worship on Sunday morning and a little over a hundred members. There are 57 slots on boards and committees that get filled every year prior to our annual meeting. This is simply unsustainable. Some of these boards have not met in my three years as the pastor of this congregation."
Read more

SHIFT SIGN-UP FORM - Please fill out this form to let us know that you are participating in the SHIFT conversation.
Veterans and Moral Injury
by Rev. Lanny Kuester

Trauma and its Aftermath Conference
May 13-14, 2016
Spring House Ministry Center, Minneapolis

What does it mean to have a "soul wound?"
Moral injury is a relatively new term for describing the experience of veterans. Moral injury defines a profound change in or betrayal of one's sense of right or wrong. What is our part in creating space for healing? How can these injuries that have shown up, not only in the lives of individuals and families, but also in the worlds of mental health and spiritual care, be repaired?
Read more 
Suicide Prevention: Free Event
May 11, 2016

This event will sensitize and challenge us as health care providers and community leaders to move beyond accepting what we know about suicide risk, its prevention and its impact through postvention. This event will also challenge us to see those who are at risk and to collaborate together toward "whole persons in whole communities." Two professionals in the field and a panel of responders will offer their experience and perspectives on suicide and its impact. Each panelist will provide personal perspectives as suicide survivors or respond from the perspective of their religious/faith tradition and pastoral experience.
This event is free and open to the public, but is especially directed toward health care and community leaders who work in health care, congregations, schools, and with those at risk or affected by suicide.
Read more

Shift meeting logo Time to Register for the 2016 Annual Meeting

Time is flying! Check out all the Annual Meeting information and register soon! Registration fee increases after May 8.
You can find all the Annual Meeting information at wcucc.org/annualmeeting. Discover what good news keynoter Rev. Cameron Trimble will be sharing with us. Check out the workshops and breakout sessions -- lots of sharing and learning. Make sure you don't miss the fun entertainment and social opportunities.
Thursday's workshop promises to provide a foundation for the rest of the weekend, as well as your efforts back in your local church, with the workshop Leading Adaptive Change in Your Congregation.
Take advantage of the Volunteer Opportunities to be even more immersed in the meeting.
For all Annual Meeting information and registration go to wcucc.org/annualmeeting.
Interim Ministry Workshops
Thursday, May 19 - Trost Center, DeForest
Tuesday, May 24 - Grace UCC, Wausau

Beyond Being "Nice": Holding One Another Accountable to Behavior Befitting Christian Community

We will explore approaches, strategies, and tools particularly suited for interim situations for:
  • keeping the focus on behavior, not personality
  • developing standards and processes befitting covenant relationships
  • modeling accountability
  • interrupting patterns & holding "acting out" behavior in check
  • utilizing spiritual leadership skills to foster accountability

More information

Register for the DeForest workshop
Register for the Wausau workshop 

Lay Academy: Classes Forming Now

Lay Academy is a ministry of the Wisconsin Conference that engages lay people in spiritual growth and development through theological education. Anyone who longs to grow in faith, discover new ways to serve God and their community, and deepen their knowledge of Christian tradition, ministry, and mission is welcome.
More information
Register for Faith Foundations Year 1
Register for Lay Leadership Skills Year 3
Lay Academy Alumni Event
The Spirit Within: Where is God Leading You?
July 22-23, Trost Center, DeForest
Where is God leading me? is one of the most commonly asked and pondered questions in and around Lay Academy. This is a question of faith and discipleship; a question of discernment, personal and life transformation, quiet listening and hopeful yearning. It is a question that is never fully answered and that never goes away.

Join fellow Lay Academy participants from across the state for a weekend dedicated to the ongoing exploration of this question through drumming, worship, journaling and art, individual, small and large group conversation.

All current and past participants of Lay Academy are welcome to attend. If you know of people who are considering Lay Academy, feel free to invite them to join you.
More information
Conference Transitions

Searching Churches
Churches that recently started searching for a new pastor:
  • Congregational UCC - Ladysmith; yoked with Congregational UCC - Conrath
To see all searching churches, click here.

Installations and Ordinations
  • Rev. Nathan Athorp was ordained at Pilgrim Center on April 24, 2016
  • Rev. Jennifer Czarnota was installed at Immanuel UCC in Neenah on May 1, 2016
In Memoriam
  • Eugenia Webb, Rev. Janet Ruark's mother, died on April 13, 2016.  
  • Philip E. Crawford had served on the Conference Board of Directors and died on April 21, 2016. Obituary
  • George Bausch, Rev. Michael Bausch's father,  died on April 26, 2016.
  • Margo Vorys House, mother of Rev. Jeanny House, died on April 27, 2016. Obituary
  • Cheri Thomas, mother of Rev. Tanya Sadagopan, died on April 29, 2016.

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
Veterans and Moral Injury
Suicide Prevention workshop
Interim Ministry workshops
Lay Academy
Lay Academy Alumni Event
Conference Transitions
Shift blog 
Check out the
SHIFT BLOG for inspiration! 
Read about & share congregational shift stories.
Church Spotlight

Community UCC St. Germain image  

This church in the Northwest Association is led by Pastor Topher Mehlhoff. In 2006, the church started a Thrift Shop in their fellowship hall that  serves as an outreach in the community. In three years, the shop outgrew the church space and it is now housed in the community. 

Check the Conference calendar for upcoming events.
The Parish Paper
This month's Parish Paper is " How Do New People Hear About Your Church?" Access this issue and archived issues here!
Revd Up logo
Follow Franz Rigert's Rev'd Up Blog for thought provoking ideas. Join the conversation!

First Congregational Church UCC, Sheboygan, seeks part-time Youth Director (approx. 17 hrs/week).  For more information, go to www.fccsheboygan.org

St. Pauls UCC in Menomonee Falls is currently accepting resumes to fill a part time Administrative Coordinator position. The successful candidate will facilitate the day-to-day activities performed in the Church office by providing office and clerical support. Please email resumes, with 3 professional references (including emails and phone numbers) by May 15, 2016, and include "Administrative Coordinator" in the subject line. 

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 or Rich Fluechtling 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.