Wisconsin Conference Life Newsletter
Oct. 4, 2016 
Rigert image The Confluence of Church and Culture
by Franz Rigert

A few weeks ago I preached at Prescott UCC, the place where the muddy Mississippi and the crystal clear St. Croix come together . . . well that's the perspective from the green and gold riverbank! In geographical terms this is called a confluence - the place where two rivers flow together to become one. A parishioner told me that from a high vantage point one can see the churning of the waters for several hundred yards until the rivers finally settled into one calmer, albeit cloudy, flow.

This image has stuck with me as a fitting metaphor depicting the confluence of Church and Culture during these challenging days. They don't come together very smoothly. There are competing forces and lots of turbulence. Yet many community based ministries have become the very nexus place where the Gospel and grass roots agencies partner to make the world a more just and compassionate place. I think of monthly community meals, clothing closets, food pantries, afterschool tutoring, and overnight shelters just to name a few.
Read more about confluences and convergences we are navigating in the Wisconsin Conference  
Health and Dental Insurance Rates for 2017
Health insurance rates for 2017 can be found under the financial section on the Conference website, which is in the Resource Center under church ministry and management.

The Dental Plan continues as a stand alone plan, meaning you don't need to participate in the health insurance to have dental insurance. There is an open enrollment for anyone wishing to join. You may print an application form the Pension Boards. You will need to send the annual premium (listed) with the application to the Pension Boards before October 31, 2016. This dental coverage will be effective January 1, 2017.

Information about the health insurance, dental and vision plans can be found on the Pension Boards website.

Mediation Skills Training Institute for Church Leaders
November 14-18, 2016
Orchard Ridge UCC, Madison
The Lombard Mennonite Peace Center, which is providing the training, has trained hundreds of church leaders in the skills needed to deal with conflict--an inevitable part of life--in the church setting.

Our Conference is sending their Conflict Resolution Team to the event, but is opening it to others who want to learn these skill sets. More information and registration
movie-director-items.jpg Video Contest for UCC Youth: Syrian Refugee Accompaniment
Youth in Grades 9-12  
Win Scholarship

The world today has more refugees and internally displaced people than at any time since World War II. Be part of the United Church of Christ's "Our Still Speaking Voice" Initiative that will highlight ministries with Syrian Refugees. "Our Stillspeaking Voice" is a monthly issues-oriented multimedia initiative created to amplify the bold public voice of the United Church of Christ. Check out other monthly highlights at Our Still Speaking Voice.
Selected videos from this contest will go public on UCC media throughout December 2016. (Deadline: November 11, 2016)
More information
Boundary Training

We ask that all authorized ministers -- members in discernment, active pastors, chaplains, licensed and commissioned ministers, retired ministers still performing some ministerial functions -- attend a boundary training session every four years to stay current on the latest thinking and laws that affect our work as faith leaders in our denomination. There are several opportunities for Boundary Training this month:
  • The Northwest Association of the Wisconsin Conference will present boundary training on Thursday, Oct 20, at Grace UCC in Wausau from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. More information and registration
  • The Wisconsin Council of Churches is offering three boundary training sessions in October:
    • Healthy Boundaries 101 for those who are relatively new to ministry or have not had boundary training - Oct. 26 at the United Methodist Conference Center in Sun Prairie. More information and registration
    • Healthy Boundaries 201 for those who have had previous boundary training - Oct.12 at Midvale Community Lutheran Church in Madison or Oct. 13 at Christ Lutheran Church in Spring Green. More information and registration

The next Wisconsin Conference UCC-sponsored Boundary training following the October training in Wausau will be held in June at Green Lake Conference Center near Green Lake. 

Lay Academy for Anyone

Anyone who is interested, whether they've attended Lay Academy before or not, is invited to attend one or more Lay Leadership Skills à la carte sessions. The primary goal of Lay Leadership Skills is to equip participants to be spiritually grounded, faithful and effective leaders in local congregations and in their wider communities. The next session is "Leadership for Congregation and Community Transformation" with Wendy Cooper and will be held on November 4-5, 2016, at Spring Prairie Lutheran Church near DeForest.
Read more
Lay Academy for Alumni

Anyone who has completed at least two years of Lay Academy is invited to return for any of the classes being offered in any given year. The alumni cost for individual sessions is $25 per session which includes lunch on Saturday. Alumni will need to purchase their own books and make their own hotel reservations if needed. The next session is "The Older Testament - Part 1" with Carolyn Pressler on November 4-5, 2016, at the Trost Center in DeForest.
Read more
Youth group image
Youth Events! Register your Groups Now

Contact United Church Camps, Inc. to register for any of these great events! Need to post a flyer on your church bulletin board to share news of coming youth events? Access the flyer here.

Youth Faith Formation retreats (grades 6-12)
November 11-13, 2016 - Moon Beach Camp
February 24-26, 2017 - Pilgrim Center
March 3-5, 2017 - Pilgrim Center
Register your church group

Knock Knock Middle School retreat
November 18-20, 2016 - Pilgrim Center
Register your church group

Earthwise: A Guide to Hopeful Creation Care

2016 Mutton Lectureship
Friday, November 11 and Saturday, November 12
Covenant Presbyterian Church, Madison
Speaker: Calvin B. DeWitt
More information
Register for Friday lecture
Register for Saturday lecture
Free ACE Interface Training
Saturday, October 15, 2016
Brookfield Congregational Church

For UCC Pastors, Christian Education staff, or anyone who works with children and/or adults!
If you have ever encountered a hurting, chronically ill, or disruptive child or adult, the chances are very good that they have one or more ACE in their background.
An ACE is an Adverse Childhood Experience, including: physical, sexual and/or emotional abuse; violence; substance abuse; incarceration; mental illness; physical and/or emotional neglect; and abandonment. 67% of adults have had one or more of these experiences, which express in physical and behavioral health issues such as depression, suicide, heart disease, diabetes, and early death.
Learn how to identify and respond to the toxic stress of childhood adversity and make appropriate referrals with this FREE Ace Interface Training provided by Milwaukee-based SaintA, a national leader in trauma informed care.
Register online by Friday, October 7 for ACE Interface Training at: 
500th Anniversary of the Reformation Trips to Germany
May 2017

Kirchentag 2017
will be a special Reformation Jubilee celebration of the Protestant Church in Germany. The Wisconsin Conference is coordinating two trips, both of which will involve time with our German partners, visits to the castle in Wittenberg, and extensive time in the Rhineland and Berlin.  
Next Generation Project (18-35 year old trip) - our German partners have invited 5 representatives from each of three Conferences (Penn Central, Wisconsin and Southern) to engage in a week of travel, culture, and relational connection. The team will have ample time at Kirchentag in Berlin and will visit sites in Silesian Upper-Lusatia as well as the Rhineland. Clergy and lay members are invited to apply. Cost includes airline tickets and incidentals. Our partners will provide meals, transportation and lodging. If you are interested, please contact Lisa Hart for an application.

Conference trip coordinated by Rev. David Gaeth - We are assembling a Germany delegation (12-14 team of clergy/lay people) departing May 18th or 19th and returning on June 2. The itinerary includes time with our EKBO partners in the Goerlitz region (May 20-24), a full experience of the Kirchentag festival (May 24-28), and then a visit with Church of the Rhineland (May 28-31). We anticipate the cost of this trip to be between $2000 and $2400 per person. If you are interested in more information, please contact Dave Gaeth. 
Conference Transitions

Searching Churches
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New Calls
  • Rev. Lex Cade-White has been called as university chaplain for Lakeland College, effective September 13, 2016.
Installations and Ordinations
  • Rev. Ann Beaty was installed as Associate Pastor at First Congregational UCC in Madison on September 25, 2016.
  • Rev. Bill Rishel retired from First Congregational Church in Plymouth after 34 years of faithful service.
  • First Congregational Church in Fort Atkinson marked 175 years on October 3, 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
Health and Dental Rates
Mediation Skills Training
Video Contest
Boundary Trainings
Youth events
2016 Mutton Lecture
ACE Interface Training
Reformation Anniversary trips
Conference Transitions
Shift blog 
Check out the
SHIFT BLOG for inspiration! 
Read about & share congregational shift stories.
Church Spotlight

Swiss church image
This church in the Southwest Association traces its roots all the way back to 1845 and the first settlers to the region: a group of families from Canton Glarus in Switzerland. Their pastor is Rev. Kim Moeller. 

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.