Wisconsin Conference Life Newsletter
Sept. 20, 2016 
Jane Anderson image The No-No's of Parking Lot Conversations
by Jane Anderson

How often have you walked out of church to your car only to be stopped by another member wanting to engage you in a conversation about what just transpired at the meeting you just attended? Or, how often have you left worship, only to overhear the chit chat in the parking lot about the pastor's sermon? Or how often have you participated in a conversation in the parking lot that began, "Did you hear what happened to Joe?" Or, "Did you hear what Mary said?" We've all been privy to, or joined in, such conversations.
I believe that the intent of such conversations comes from a place within all of us that cares. Many of us care deeply about our church family, want to be involved in what's happening in our church life, and are committed to improving our spiritual lives.
Read more 
financial_service_flat.jpg News from the Wisconsin Conference Financial Office
We realize many of our churches are in the process of budgeting for 2017. Our Churches Wider Mission (OCWM) goal requests for 2017 are in the mail. Please watch for them and make sure the appropriate leadership people are aware of the requests. The 2017 health insurance rates will not be available until late September. The Pension Boards have increased health care premiums by 9% for both non-Medicare and Medicare Supplements. Dental and Vision plans will see no increase. If your church needs to present the 2017 budget before early October please figure a 9% increase.

Many of our churches ask about computerized accounting systems for congregations. A survey was taken early this summer of Conference churches. You can find the results and information of churches willing to share their experience with the software they use on the Conference website. If you are thinking about computerizing or changing your current software you may want to reference this resource (Excel file).

Finally I have been receiving phone calls from churches requesting Neighbors in Need resources. Please order these from the National UCC office. There is no charge for these resources. The National church is no longer automatically sending these materials to churches.
missioninsite logo Targeted Mailing Lists Available Through MissionInsite

With fall ministries beginning many churches are interested in reaching their communities using the Targeted Address Lists feature. MissionInsite has made customizable address lists easily accessible. Simply log in to MissionInsite, select ANY geography and choose "Purchase Address List" from the Info box.
There are many address list attributes to choose from - including New Movers, Children in Household, Mosaic Code (Household Types) and now also Racial Ethnic Surnames. Pricing for targeted address lists begins at $50 for 500 records.
As part of the Wisconsin Conference of the United Church of Christ, you have free, unlimited access to MissionInsite, which provides access to community information for your church. If you aren't already using MissionInsite, go to our website to register.
For more information or questions about address lists contact miinfo@missioninsite.com or call 877-230-3212 Ext. 1011.
Conflict Resolution Training
November 14-18, 2016
Orchard Ridge UCC, Madison

Whether in the home, school, community, church or workplace conflict is an inevitable part of life. Having the skills to function effectively in emotionally intense, conflicted situations is important for all of us, especially those of us who are leaders.The Lombard Mennonite Peace Center has trained hundreds of church leaders from a wide range of denominations in the skills that are needed to deal with conflict in the church setting through its Mediation Skills Training Institute. The Mediation Skills Training Institute equips people for working in various conflicted situations, including church disputes. The Wisconsin Conference is sending our Conflict Resolution team members to this program, and it is open to others who want to learn these skill sets.
More information 
Youth Events 2016-2017
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

Jesus Core High School Retreat
January 6-8, 2017 - Pilgrim Center

german_flag_in_wind.jpg 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: lhart@wcucc.org.

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: gccucc@sbglobal.net.
Sacred Journey To Israel-Palestine
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.
Retired and Retiring Clergy Facebook Group
Are you getting close to retirement, or have you retired in the last few years? We have started a Facebook group just to discuss the many issues involved in that transition. It is open to all Authorized Clergy and any denomination.
More information 
Fall Clergy Retreat
Oct. 2 - Oct. 4
Moon Beach Camp near St. Germain

Join UCC clergy colleagues from across the state in the beautiful north woods for a time of learning, relaxation, and renewal. We will be thinking together about ways to talk about issues the church often shies away from. Our presenters will focus on the issues of suicide and sexual assault, but there will also be time for you to share issues of concern to you and your community. Deadline to register: September 24.
More information

Interim Ministry Training
October 2016 through May 2017

The Interim Ministry Training Institute (IMTI) is an intensive training program that is offered inter-denominationally at a location in Wisconsin. The rigorous program spans an eight-month period with monthly full-day sessions, reading and practicum assignments, and personal coaching. IMTI is designed for pastors considering or currently serving as interims, as well as settled pastors who wish to build skills and confidence in leading a congregation through an intentional time of change and challenge.
Wisconsin Council of Churches EcuNews Fall 2016

The Wisconsin Council of Churches publishes EcuNews twice a year, and it is now available digitally instead of on paper. You can check it out here.
UCCI logo Christian Educator's Retreat
Faith Formation Leaders and Christian Educators: Please join us for the Christian Educator's Retreat at Pilgrim Center on October 7-8. Our theme for this year is Come to Be Fed, Go Forth to Proclaim. Susan Stabile will be leading us in some personal reflective and prayerful practices, and we will create some time and space for cracker barrel discussions about current topics in the Faith Formation arena. Spend a day focusing on your own faith formation, learn new ways to be beacons of hope in our ever changing faith communities, and network with other educators and faith formation leaders in the Wisconsin Conference UCC and Winnebago Presbytery. This is a "pay as you are able" event: donations are appreciated, but not required.  You can find more information at www.ucci.org , or contact Laura Pine, laura@ucci.org.
Boundary Training
Thursday, October 20, 2016, 9:00am - 4:00pm
Grace UCC, Wausau

Do you need to update your Boundary Training? Join this training hosted by the Northwest Association in Wausau on October 20.
Register here
Conference Transitions

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

New Calls
  • Rev. Christopher Ross has been called as pastor at St. Peter's UCC in Kiel, effective September 1, 2016.
Installations and Ordinations
  • Rev. Julie Goranson was installed as pastor and teacher for Grace UCC in Wausau on September 11, 2016.
  • Rev. Michael Safford-Kennedy was installed as pastor and teacher for Ebenezer UCC in Chilton on September 18, 2016.
  • Rev. Nancy Zorn Micke was installed as pastor and teacher for First Congregational UCC in De Pere on September 18, 2016.
  • Rev. William Clyma was installed as pastor and teacher for Congregational UCC in Sparta on September 18, 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.

Image credits:
Jane Anderson image (c) Wisconsin Conference UCC
Financial image (c) Constant Contact Stock Images
MissionInsite logo from http://missioninsite.com/
Youth Events image (c) Shutterstock
German flag image (c) Constant Contact Stock Images
Airplane image (c) Constant Contact Stock Images
Facebook button from facebook.com
Wisconsin Council of Churches logo from wichurches.org
UCCI Camps Logo from ucci.org 

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
Financial Office Updates
Mailing Lists Available
Conflict resolution training
2016-2017 Youth Events
Retired and retiring Facebook group
Fall clergy retreat
Interim ministry training
Christian Educator's retreat
Conference Transitions
Featured Article
Shift blog 
Check out the
SHIFT BLOG for inspiration! 
Read about & share congregational shift stories.
Church Spotlight

This church in the Southeast Association is led by copastors (and married couple) Revs. Deborah and Tom Payden. The congregation supports a number of local missions and is dedicated to supporting the Conference's outdoor ministry program by sending youth campers to camp and holding three retreats at Pilgrim Center each year. 

Check the Conference calendar for upcoming events.
The Parish Paper
This month's Parish Paper is " What Keeps Congregations from Implementing New Ideas?" 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!

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.