Wisconsin Conference Life Newsletter
May 9, 2019 
Are You Thinking of Volunteering at General Synod? Register by May 30!
More volunteers are needed!
From Franz Rigert

YOU are just what we need to help make Synod 32 in Milwaukee a success.
  • There are more than a dozen ways to help,
  • the schedule is flexible,
  • we'll train you for the position,
  • and if you want a t-shirt that fits, please register by May 30th so we order your size!
All you need to do is register, create a schedule, and then you'll receive information on your next steps.
While enjoying Synod, volunteers may:
  • Greet, guide, assist, and USHER. Dozens of additional volunteers are needed, especially to usher for services throughout Synod.
  • Be able to attend all Synod worship, events and presentations June 21-25 at the reduced rate of $60. (First you register to volunteer, set a schedule, and then register for Synod with a discount code.)
  • You can attend Synod FREE on Sunday, so why not usher while you are there?! While you don't need to register for Synod that day, volunteer registration and scheduling is still required.
  • Sign up to greet at the Airport, Intermodal (train/bus) station, or hotels without registering for Synod; however, volunteer registration and scheduling is still required.  
  • Receive information on FREE housing at local UCC homes and at nearby Marquette University for about ΒΌ the cost of a downtown hotel.
  • Receive information on cost-effective parking and shuttles.
We have more than 300 volunteers already scheduled--all that's missing is YOU!  Please register and schedule your time soon so YOU can get the best spot for your schedule.
Volunteer information here - wcucc.org/synodvolunteer 
Email your questions here - GS2019volunteer@wcucc.org 
YOU will help Wisconsin SHINE!   
Orlin Brommer makes Trees of Hope image "Trees of Hope" for General Synod
When the Wisconsin Conference UCC decided to host General Synod, Orlin Brommer, member of Hope UCC in Cochrane, Wis., volunteered to make 3,000 "Trees of Hope" to put into the welcome bags that each Synod attendee will receive!
With remnants of barn boards from his wife Kathy's family farm, the tree guy, Orlin Brommer, crafted small trees. His wife and daughters placed some over window and door frames. And from there, the project grew.
Why are they called "Trees of Hope?" Read Orlin's story
Several Social Justice Projects Will Keep General Synod-goers Engaged on Saturday, June 22

On Saturday, June 22, General Synod organizers hope to see hundreds of UCC volunteers spread out in service around Milwaukee, sharing the denomination's love of neighbor, love of children and love of creation with the people of their host community.
Keeping with tradition, the Local Arrangements Committee of the Milwaukee Conference is organizing several General Synod Social Justice Opportunities. All this year's projects are inspired by the Church's Three Great Love initiative.
"Each opportunity will include education and reflection on the organization's mission along with a service project," said the Rev. Tim Perkins, coordinator of the Local Arrangements Committee. "Our goal is to connect UCC Delegates and Guests with ministries that address human concerns and issues of social justice in the city of Milwaukee while celebrating The Three Great Loves initiative of the United Church of Christ."
Read more and view service opportunities 
Music Notes Children for General Synod Choir Needed

On Sunday afternoon, June 23, at 2:30pm is the Community Worship celebration at General Synod 32, which is open to all in the Wisconsin Conference. A children's choir is being formed to sing at this celebration. Children singers are needed to form this Conference-wide children's choir! Individual and small groups of children from churches are welcome and encouraged to participate. (An entire children's choir isn't required to participate in this event).
Church Partners to Provide New Little Food Pantry

The United Church of Christ in Shelby, in a collaborative effort with the Mormon Coulee Lions Club, recently opened a Little Food Pantry, placed in front of a local thrift shop. The church's pastor is Rev. Brandon Perrine. Watch a video about the food pantry here.

Note: the thrift store is also featured in the video, along with store manager Kari Tikal. Kari attended four years of the Wisconsin Conference Lay Academy program.
Cedar Community and United Church Camps, Inc. Form Ministry Partnership
Tiffany Ludwig, United Church Camps, Inc.
Carrie Sturn, Cedar Community
Cedar Community and United Church Camps, Inc. (UCCI) have formed a ministry partnership to enhance programming and bring additional outdoor ministry opportunities to Cedar Community's Cedar Valley Retreat Center located on Hwy D in West Bend. Cedar Valley Retreat Center has offered spiritual retreat opportunities for individuals and groups, artist workshops and a variety of classes since 1986. "We are very excited about our new partnership with UCCI. Many of our residents have been active participants and volunteers in UCCI ministry programs over the years. Having a UCCI campus close to West Bend will benefit not only our residents, but the people of the greater Milwaukee area as well," says Lynn Olson, Chief Executive Officer, Cedar Community.

United Church Camps, Inc. is an outdoor ministry program of the Wisconsin Conference of the United Church of Christ, its member congregations and ecumenical partners. Continue reading article

The Crux: Engaging the Wisdom of the Wilderness for Today's Changing Church
A Damascus Project Course
September 3-October 14, 2019
This course meets both online and in-person

Through the Crux, wilderness is experienced and explored as a source of wisdom for the challenges of facing unfamiliar terrain. Biblical narratives of transformation along with other spiritual practices and disciplines equip participants to move through change courageously and with less anxiety. Paddling through an undeveloped stretch of the Wisconsin River provides space to connect with the earth, with each other, and with one's own heart, at an unhurried pace, leading toward renewal and greater resilience.
This experiential course begins with four weeks of reading, journaling, and on-line meetings (September 3-26, 2019) during which time the wisdom in biblical and wilderness literature will be explored. Then follows the four-day, three-night wilderness retreat on the Wisconsin River (September 26-29). The course closes with two additional weeks of reflection on the experience (October 1-14).
More information and registration 
Join the UCC's All Church Read!

The subject of the United Church of Christ's All Church Read is Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City , by Matthew Desmond. Desmond is the keynote speaker at General Synod in June .
Evicted draws on years of embedded fieldwork and painstakingly gathered data. The book won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize, the National Books Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction, the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction, among other awards.
This landmark work takes us into the poorest neighborhoods of Milwaukee to tell the story of eight families on the edge. The book will transform our understanding of eviction as a root cause of poverty.
UCC congregations throughout the country are encouraged to organize book discussion groups around Evicted. D ownload the study guide at wcucc.org/allchurchread.

You can also join the UCC Racial Justice Ministry for a live webinar discussion of the book on Thursday, May 16, and 11:00am central time. To receive a link to attend the webinar, RSVP here.

Ho chunk church image Ho-Chunk Immersion Experience
June 7-8, 2019

The Ho-Chunk Church and the Northwest Association of the Wisconsin Conference of the United Church of Christ invite you for an immersion experience to learn more about tribal history, church history, and who the church and its people are today.
Lay Academy Registration Open

Lay Academy is a ministry of the Wisconsin Conference that forms a transformative learning community 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 2
Conference Transitions

Searching Churches
  • Namekagon Congregational Church in Earl is seeking a part time pastor. Details
To see all searching churches, click here.

Installations and Ordinations  
  • Rev. Mike Safford-Kennedy was installed at St. Johns UCC, New Holstein, on April 28, 2019.
  • Rev. Peter Norland was installed at Portage Lake United Church in Houghton, Michigan, on May 5, 2019.
  • Rev. Laura Kolden was installed at First UCC, Belleville, on May 5, 2019.
In Memoriam
  • Shirley Beers, wife of the late Rev. Ed Beers, passed away on April 5, 2019. More information
  • Janet Roberts, wife of the late Rev. David Roberts, passed away on April 24, 2019. Obituary
  • Joyce Kruse, wife of the late Rev. Dr. Earl Kruse, passed away on April 29, 2019. Obituary 
  • Jean Ilene Bailey, mother of Rev. Melinda Feller, passed away on May 5, 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.

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
General Synod volunteers needed
"Trees of Hope" for Synod
Social Justice projects at Synod
Child singers needed
New food pantry started
The Crux course
UCC's All Church Read
Ho-Chunk Immersion Experience
Register for Lay Academy
Conference Transitions

Community of Hope UCC in Madison is one half of the Madison Christian Community, an ecumenical partnership between the church and Advent Lutheran Church. The two congregations

usually worship separately, but share a building and an education program and work together through an interlocking Board of Directors. Together the congregations have developed ministries that neither might have tried alone.


Check the Conference calendar for upcoming events.
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.