Wisconsin Conference Life Newsletter
Oct. 20, 2016
community meal image Share YOUR Story
by Rev. Tisha Brown

I love stories! I love telling them, reading and listening to them and am a devoted fan of a number of story-telling podcasts.

I love how stories open us up to the lives and experiences of others. They reveal opportunities, possibilities and limitless worlds beyond what we already know. Stories help us understand and learn from one another and they often stretch us and challenge us to grow or expand our worlds.

As we continue to live into our conference's SH IFT: From Maintenance to Mission Initiative, we want to lift up as many stories as possible so that we can see more clearly what God is doing in the Wisconsin Conference to transform lives and change our world.

To get this story telling ball rolling, here's a quick story shared by Gail Irwin, Interim Pastor at Immanuel UCC in Kaukauna: Continue reading the post at shiftblog.org

SHIFT SIGN-UP FORM - Please fill out this form to let us know that you are participating in the SHIFT conversation.

New Faith Formation Resource Available

First Congregational UCC in River Falls has developed a wonderful faith formation resource that they are now making available to others. The Biblical Pictorial Timeline and related books are a creative, engaging way to foster bible literacy and interpretation, and encourage people to find their place in the unfolding drama of the Bible. The timeline is applicable to a wide variety of congregational settings; connects worship, education, and mission; and provides a link between church and home.
The three books are relevant for different points in the faith formation journey. One book is designed to be given at baptism, one for First Communion preparation, and the third book tells the overarching biblical story. The Biblical Pictorial Timeline is a collection of 36 images depicting Bible stories. There are reproductions of the timeline available as well as the capability of using a CD of the images for worship projection and bulletin covers.
Check out this wonderful resource in the online Conference Resource Center at wcucc.org/resource-center.
rainbow comma image "ONA 201" Webinar
Best practices for ONA church growth

Have you ever wondered, "What's next for our ONA church?" This webinar is for you! ONA 201 is the UCC's Open and Affirming Coalition's webinar series for congregations seeking new ways to renew and recharge their Open and Affirming (ONA) covenant. We focus on best practices from growing ONA congregations, including tips on communications, advocacy and personal evangelism. ONA churches can grow - if they "come out of the closet" and establish a bold, visible presence in their community! Congregations exploring the possibility of an ONA covenant will also benefit from this webinar. Andrew Lang, executive director of Open and Affirming Coalition of the UCC, will lead this for an interactive webinar.
Webinars are at 6 pm Central time on Nov. 15 or Dec. 6. The cost is $30. Click here to register 
Youth to Bring Climate Activism to Social Media

A new collaborative endeavor of youth from the United Church of Christ and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) has been launched. As part of this endeavor, youth groups from across the country will adopt a specific month during which they will create social media posts that raise awareness about climate change and encourage action. The name of this joint denominational project is Generation Green.
The primary social media platform used by Generation Green will be Instagram. People of all ages, however, are encouraged to follow Generation Green   and share its posts.    
Youth groups that would like to participate in Generation Green should contact Environmental Justice Minister Brooks Berndt.
Bernie Brewer dugout and slide image
Give for the Glide: Send Franz Down the Slide

Our very own Franz Rigert is in the running for a glide down Bernie Brewer's slide at Miller Park!
Upcoming Events

Leadership for Congregations and Community Transformation, a Lay Academy stand-alone class
Presenter: Wendy Cooper
November 4-5, 2016
Spring Prairie Lutheran Church near DeForest
More information

Mutton Lectureship: Be on Vocation for God: Discovering Our Calling of Imaging God's Care for the World
Friday, November 11, and Saturday, November 12.
Speaker: Calvin DeWitt
More information (Friday)
More information (Saturday)

Youth Faith Formation Retreat
November 11-13, 2016
Moon Beach Camp
More information
Scholarships available: more information

Knock Knock Middle School Retreat
November 18-20. 2016
Pilgrim Center
More information
The Local Church Profile: It's Not Just for Searching Churches
The National UCC office of MESA (Ministerial Excellence, Support & Authorization team) has created information for local churches regarding the Local Church Profile. This new Local Church Profile is not just for congregations in search of a pastor. All congregations are encouraged to engage in its process of discovery every 3-5 years. The Profile reflects valuable data, assesses ministry, clarifies change, and helps advance the calling of the congregation. Not just to be completed by a search committee: the more participation, the better!
CHHSM logo Please Respond to CHHSM Survey

Council for Health and Human Service Ministries has launched a denomination-wide survey to glean the United Church of Christ's collective understandings of, attitudes about, and involvement with health and human service ministries today.  Please complete the survey before October 31 and share it widely among your networks. Respondents do not necessarily need any knowledge of CHHSM or its member ministries, or even the UCC, in order to provide the constructive feedback being sought. The results will help to shape CHHSM's strategic planning process and impact future ministry initiatives.
Take the survey here
Join Peter Makari on November 20

On November 20, Peter Makari, our UCC National Executive for the Middle East and Europe, will be in Madison as part of the Southwest Association's Bethlehem Partnership. In 2015, Global Ministries launched two Middle East Initiatives inviting churches to learn about and pray for our partners in the region and the issues they face and the context in which they face them. November and December are dedicated to Israel-Palestine and you are invited to come and hear about the programs and witness of our partners in Israel and Palestine. Peter travels frequently to the area and is a knowledgeable and experienced advocate for our ministries in this part of our world torn by conflict yet deeply faithful to God's vision for justice and peace.
As a Conference we have been in partnership with Christmas Lutheran Church in Bethlehem since 2004. Our hope is to increase awareness in our Conference of not only what our national church is doing in this region but how our local churches been involved in this region of the world.
Join us from 2:00-5:00pm at the Conference Office in DeForest on Sunday, November 20, and welcome Peter to Wisconsin. If you have any questions, contact Franz Rigert or Bonnie Van Overbeke
Prints from the Saint John's Bible Coming to Kenosha
November 6 - December 14, 2016

The Saint John's Bible is the first completely handwritten and illuminated Bible commissioned by a Benedictine Abbey since the invention of the printing press. Prints from this marvelous creation will be on display from Nov. 6 through Dec. 14 in the H. F. Johnson Gallery of Art at Carthage College.
More information
Join a Sacred Journey to Israel-Palestine
April 20-30, 2017

Join Fitchburg UCC and the Southwest Association on a trip to the Holy Land, April 20-30, 2017. Be part of a movement to build greater understanding and foundations for peace in this land considered holy by many. Sign up by November 1.
Conference Transitions

Searching Churches
No churches have recently started searching for a new pastor. To see all searching churches, click here.

New Calls
  • Rev. Luke Bocher has been called as interim pastor at  Congregational Church, Mineral Point, effective October 1, 2016
  • Rev. Ann Utke has been called as interim pastor at St. John's UCC, Random Lake, effective October 2, 2016
  • Rev. Kathleen Rinear has been called as associate pastor at St. John's UCC, Monroe, effective October 3, 2016
Installations and Ordinations
  • Rev. Kimberly Moeller was installed as pastor at Swiss UCC in New Glarus on October 9, 2016
  • Rev. Lance Smith was installed as pastor at Zwingli UCC in Monticello on October 14, 2016
Good Tidings
  • Rev. Adam Westrich and his wife JaNae are expecting their third child next May. Congratulations!
In Memoriam
  • Rev. Glenn Wernecke passed away on September 1, 2016.
  • Margaret Wilke, mother of Rev. Christine Wilke, passed away on September 2, 2016. Obituary
  • Rev. Grandon Harris died on October 9, 2016.
  • Rev. Mary Ann Neevel died on October 12, 2016. Obituary
  • Thomas Duerwaechter, father of Rev. Judine Duerwaechter, died on October 12, 2016. Obituary
  • Rev. Heide Hackman died on October 14, 2016. 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.

Image credits:

Bernie Brewer image by The original uploader was Mattingly23 at English Wikipedia [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.

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
Faith formation resource
ONA 201 webinar
Youth and Climate Action
Give for the Glide
CHHSM survey
Peter Makari event
St. John's Bible prints
Israel-Palestine trip
Conference Transitions
Featured Article
Shift blog 
Check out the
SHIFT BLOG for inspiration! 
Read about & share congregational shift stories.
Church Spotlight

First Congregational Ripon image

The First Congregational Church in Ripon, in the Northeast Association, is the oldest continuous congregation in Ripon, (est. 1850). The original meeting house for the church was also the site of the first 1854 meeting that led up the founding of the Republican Party. Their current church building was erected in 1868 and is listed on the National Register and State Register of Historic Places. The current pastor is Joanna D'Agostino.  

Check the Conference calendar for upcoming events.
Revd Up logo
Follow Franz Rigert's Rev'd Up Blog for thought provoking ideas. Join the conversation!

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.