Wisconsin Conference Life Newsletter
Sept. 26, 2018 
America's Black Holocaust Museum
UCC churches are seeking funds to help ensure that this important story continues to be told.

In 1930, at the age of 16, Dr. Cameron survived a lynching in Indiana. Later he moved to Milwaukee and started America's Black Holocaust Museum (ABHM). For more than 20 years, the museum told the whole story of African-Americans in the United States -- pre-captivity in Africa, how they were captured and brought to this country, the years of slavery, the Jim Crow era, civil rights, and the present. In 2008, during the recession, the museum was forced to close for financial reasons. But a group of people got together and kept the vision alive with an online museum that tells the same story: http://abhmuseum.org. Now, the museum is being rebuilt on the same spot it existed originally -- 410 W. North Ave. in Milwaukee.
Damascus project image What's Happening with The Damascus Project?
First course starts; new course announced
by Tisha Brown

The Damascus Project, the leadership development collaboration between the Minnesota and Wisconsin Conferences, has successfully launched its first course. Exploring God's Call in a Changing World kicked off September 7-8 with a retreat at Plymouth, UCC in Eau Claire.
Eleven people from three conferences (Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota) gathered to form community and to begin answering the questions who am I and who is God calling me to be? This course continues online through early December when the participants will gather in person again for the final retreat. Participants reported gratitude for the community that formed and for the opportunity to affirm one another's gifts and witness one another's faith and vocational journeys.  
Another Damascus Project course will run from February through April 2019. Returning to Sacred Texts and Finding Stories You Can Live In begins on Monday, February 4, and runs through Friday, April 5, 2019. This course will be held entirely online and will be led by Dr. Pamela Shellberg, Scholar-in-Residence at the BTS Center. You can access more information about this course at this link.  
New Resource for Studying the Doctrine of Discovery

At our Annual meeting in June, a motion passed to study the issue of the repudiation of the Doctrine of Discovery and to vote on a witness resolution at our 2019 annual meeting. A new resource to use during discussions on this issue in your congregations is available. Rev. David McBride of Hocak UCC created the document, which details answers to questions like "What is the Doctrine of Discovery," "Why does it matter if it's over 500 years old?", and discusses the background and history of the Doctrine of Discovery.
Join Saukville UCC Church in Taking On Human Trafficking
Parkside Community UCC (formerly St. Peter's) in Saukville is taking on a new mission to build awareness of human trafficking. This is not just a problem in other parts of the world, but it is happening in all 50 states and in each of Wisconsin's 72 counties, in both rural and urban areas. The average age of sex trafficking victims is kids between the ages of 11 and 13, but they can be kids as young 2 or even adult women and men. The victims vary in ethnic backgrounds and social status. They can be straight A students, athletes, and the kid next door.

Will you help be a part of the solution? You can start by educating yourself about the warning signs. Please join us for an introductory presentation on Human Trafficking. This event is free and open to the public.

Chaplain Krista Hull will be presenting. Krista is the Founder and Executive Director of Redeem and Restore, an organization formed to build awareness, provide outreach services, and care for the victims of sex trafficking.
taste and see logo image Taste and See!
October 11, 2018
10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Grace UCC, Wausau

The Catalyst Team of the Wisconsin Conference invites you to this Taste and See Event to explore three programs designed to support your congregation in taking your next best step.
Readiness 360 helps congregations identify:
  • Where to start with a new ministry
  • How to get unstuck
  • Building on your strengths
  • How to shift focus from maintenance to mission
Coaching equips clergy to:
  • build on their strengths
  • identify and act on priorities
  • thrive in ministry
Five Practices equips you for:
  • Radical hospitality
  • Passionate worship
  • Risk-taking mission and service
  • Extravagant generosity
  • Intentional Faith Development
event image Cultivating Generous Congregations

Three people from the Wisconsin Conference joined representatives of 35 UCC Conferences at the Church House in Cleveland last week to participate in "Cultivating Generous Congregations," a seminar that changes the way churches and congregations approach giving and generosity. The goal of this event, attended by Franz Rigert, conference minister, Andrew Warner, pastor of Plymouth UCC in Milwaukee, and Deb Simon, conference communications director, is to better equip participants to grow stewardship in the churches of their conference and at the Conference level. 
You can read more about the event here. The article even includes a quote from Franz!
The Big Read logo Madison Christian Community Invites Wisconsin Churches to "The BIG Read"

The Madison Christian Community (the communal name of Community of Hope UCC and Advent Lutheran Church ELCA) have organized a "The BIG Read" event and you are invited to join in. Gather up your reading discussion groups for Trouble I've Seen: Changing the Way the Church Views Racism" by Drew Hart.

The MCC has also organized some events surrounding The BIG Read, which you can read about on this flyer. The first event is on October 6, and others are in November and December. The author, Drew Hart, will give a presentation on December 1 and he will preach on December 2. 
Leonard Pitts Jr image ESTHER Annual Banquet Features Leonard Pitts Jr.

Sunday, November 4, 2018 at 4:30pm

Liberty Hall, 800 Eisenhower Dr., Kimberly


ESTHER, an interfaith social justice organization, will feature Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Leonard Pitts Jr. at it's annual banquet.You are invited to come hear Mr. Pitts' talk, Finding Your Voice on Sunday, November 4.


Diana Butler Bass image Diana Butler Bass to Speak in Milwaukee
October 13 and 14, 2018
Immanuel Presbyterian Church
1100 N Astor St., Milwaukee
Dr. Diana Butler Bass will illumine the themes of her latest book, Gratitude: The Transformative Power of Giving Thanks, exploring why gratitude is missing as a modern spiritual practice, offering practical suggestions for reclaiming it, and illuminating how the shared practice of gratitude can lead to greater connection with God, our world, and our own souls. On Saturday, she will give two separate lectures, followed by Q&A, at 1:30pm and 3:00pm, respectively. On Sunday, she will be Immanuel's guest preacher, and the service will be followed by conversation with Dr. Butler Bass. The event is free due to a special gift.
View event flyer 
Our Faith Our Vote image Our Faith, Our Vote
Join the Our Faith, Our Vote campaign. Discover how your congregation can participate in the electoral process through faithful, nonpartisan engagement. The United Church of Christ can help with resources on civic engagement, voter registration information, issue education, and voter mobilization.
This election season it is essential that people raise their voices and vote. Will you join us? Click here for resources, videos and more information about the UCC's Our Faith, Our Vote campaign.

Learn more about how your congregation can legally engage in the elections
Reggie Jackson image Reggie Jackson to Speak: Do Black Votes Matter?
October 2, 2018 at 6:30pm
Brown Deer United Methodist Church

Even in a state that incarcerates more Black men than any other and in a country with appalling race relations, you may believe that it's easy to answer that: of course the votes of Black people count, just as much as any other person's vote. But it's a question with many nuanced answers. Reggie Jackson will explore the myriad dimensions of this question with Q & A and conversation to follow his talk. Mr. Jackson is the head "griot" (storyteller, docent) at America's Black Holocaust Museum and was the keynote speaker at the last Southeast Association Annual Meeting.
The program will take place in the church sanctuary. Doors open at 6; program begins at 6:30. Light refreshments will be served.
RSVP for the talk here
Wisconsin Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival
October 17, 2018 at 6:00pm
St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church

Join the Wisconsin Poor People's Campaign and National Co-Chairs Rev. Drs. Barber and Theoharis as we hold a Poor People's Hearing in Racine to lift up the voices of the poor, directly impacted, and faith leaders, to demand that our nation's elected officials take action to fight systemic racism, poverty, the war economy and militarism, ecological devastation, and our nation's distorted moral narrative of Christian nationalism.
More information and event RSVP
Neighbors in Need Offering
October 7, 2018

Don't forget! The suggested date for the Neighbors In Need Offering is October 7, 2018. Neighbors in Need supports ministries of justice and compassion throughout the United States. There's still time to order UCC Resources if you act quickly, and digital resources can be downloaded at ucc.org/nin. Thank you for supporting the Neighbors in Need (NIN) Offering, and for continuing to work towards a Just World for All. Read how NIN grants are changing lives here: Neighbors in Need stories.
Two Upcoming Youth Events

Two youth events are coming up in November! The Youth Faith Formation Retreat meets at Pilgrim Center on November 9-11, 2018, and the Knock Knock Middle School retreat meets November 16-18, 2018, also at Pilgrim Center. You can find out more about these events, and find the links to register, on the youth pages on our website.
Rev. Traci Blackmon to be Featured at GLAUCE Conference
Register by noon on Friday, September 28!
October 9-11, 2018
Techny Towers, Northbrook, Illinois
Last chance to register for Standing Together: A Sacred Conversation on Race with keynote speaker Rev. Traci Blackmon!  
This year's event is October 9-11 at Techny Towers, just north of Chicago in Northbrook. 
If you have questions, please contact Becky Johnston.
Faith In Numbers video image
Faith in Numbers Event
Tuesday, October 30, 2018
9:00am - 4:00pm
Blackhawk Church, Middleton
Stay informed of how accounting and other financial related issues affect your church by attending this workshop hosted by Wegner CPAs. Join them for a full day of education guiding churches and religious organizations on a path to financial accountability. Cost: $50. 
More information
Conference Transitions

Searching Churches
  • First Congregational UCC in Eagle River is seeking a full time pastor. View details
  • St. John's UCC in Sheboygan is seeking a Director of Faith Formation. View details
  • To see all searching churches, click here.
Installations and Ordinations
  • Karin Wells was ordained at Memorial UCC in Fitchburg on September 23, 2018
  • Rev. Beth Petzke was installed at Grace UCC in Kohler on September 23, 2018
  • Rev. Robert Koepcke was installed at First Congregational UCC in Watertown on September 23, 2018.
  • First Congregational UCC in Bloomer celebrated their 150th Anniversary on September 23, 2018
In Memoriam
  • Gladys Whelton, mother of Rev. Greg Whelton, passed away on September 17, 2018. 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
Damascus Project
New Doctrine of Discovery resource
Church attacks human trafficking
Taste and See event
Generous Congregations event
The BIG Read
Leonard Pitts Jr to speak
Diana Butler Bass to speak
Our Faith, our Vote
Do Black Votes Matter? event
Poor People's Campaign event
Neighbors in Need
Youth Events
GLAUCE conference
Faith in Numbers
Conference Transitions
Church Spotlight

 Zion UCC in Milwaukee is led by Pastor Andre Pirtle. The church is very involved in their south side Milwaukee community, with a thriving youth mission, serving at the Despensa de la Paz food pantry, and serving with a group called StreetLife Communities. 

Check the Conference calendar for upcoming events.
The Parish Paper
This month's Parish Paper is " Checking Up On Clergy Health." Access this issue and archived issues here!
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.