Wisconsin Conference Life Newsletter
Sept. 28, 2017
Catalyst Corner
Grant opportunities for your church
Catalyst's mission is to resource and encourage vital and innovative ministries that transform lives. The Catalyst Team, formerly Church Development and Renewal, is made up of representatives from all four associations. The team is working to spur, spark and stimulate innovation and creativity in congregations throughout the Wisconsin Conference in a variety of ways. One of our primary efforts is to provide grant funding to congregations for these transformative ministries. We will also consider grants for urgent short-term support that bridges congregations through crisis back to vitality.
Do you have an innovative, creative idea for ministry? Perhaps a Catalyst grant can help. The next deadline for consideration for a grant is October 9. If you'd like to check out what types of grants have already been awarded, check out the Catalyst Corner webpage. You can also access the grant submission form from this page. 
Namekagon Church Faith Art Collaboration

Members of Namekagon Church in Earl, Wis., worked together to create this sand art tabletop mural combining words and images of faith. Pastor Sharon Osborn and Trustee Greg Thompson brought the idea back from the Wisconsin Conference United Church of Christ Annual Meeting last June. The members all enjoyed creating an image in the artwork. Click on the photo to be redirected to a larger image.
Members in the photo include (front row left to right): Sharon White, Don Buckman, Nancy Benavides, Barb Held, Bonnie Meier, Betty Pinkston; (back row):  Kathy Helms, Carol Buckman, Greg Thompson, Cameron Ross, Larry Jensen, Pastor Sharon Osborn, Margie Ruid, and Dorothy Norstrom.
Boundary Training
December 9, 2017
First Congregational UCC, Oshkosh

Wisconsin Conference UCC ministers are required to renew their boundary training every four years. On December 9, the Northeast Association is hosting a boundary training to help ministers meet this need. Can't attend this session? An additional boundary training will be held next June at Green Lake Conference Center.
Reviving Hope logo Reviving Hope
Inspiration, Education and Action for Racial Equity
October 21, 2017
9:00am -2:30pm
Plymouth Church, Milwaukee

"Reviving Hope" aims to inspire using song, story, art, and study to engage in transformational conversations about race and racial justice. This revival will provide an opportunity for deeper learning about racial equity while also helping to make new connections for justice work. All are welcome.  We encourage teams from congregations to participate in the revival so that they can build their capacity for talking about issues of racial justice in their community.  
More information
Register online ($10/person)
Insurance Note

From the financial office: 2018 Health Insurance rates will be available on our website mid-October.
Still Shifting After 500 Years: The Reformation for Today
Saturday, October 28
Trost Center, DeForest

Join is in commemorating the Reformation as we hear from two scholars on the relevance of the 16th century Reformation on our 21st century lives. Professor Lee Palmer Wandel and Margaret Bendroth are the speakers.
Neighbors in Need
Special Mission Offering

Neighbors in Need (NIN) is a special mission offering of the UCC that supports ministries of justice and compassion throughout the United States. One-third of NIN funds support the Council for American Indian Ministry(CAIM). Two-thirds of the offering is used by the UCC's Justice and Witness Ministries(JWM) to support a variety of justice initiatives, advocacy efforts, and direct service projects through grants. Neighbors in Need is one of the UCC's four special mission offerings which comprise the "5 for 5" along with OCWM contributions.
You can order free NIN materials from UCC to use in your church, including posters, bulletin inserts, leader guide and more. 

Neighbors in Need grants are awarded to churches and organizations doing justice work in their communities. These grants fund projects whose work ranges from direct service to community organizing and advocacy to address systemic injustice. Funding is provided through donations to the Neighbors in Need offering.

Most UCC congregations will receive the NIN offering on October 1, 2017 as part of their World Communion Sunday observance. However, some local churches select another date.  
Go to the UCC's Neighbors in Need page at www.ucc.org/nin to find materials and grant form, or to donate and read about how this offering has transformed lives.
Give Yourself the Gift of a Coach this Fall

Gearing up for the Fall? Planning for Advent or Lent?
Launching a new initiative? Pursuing an important goal? Considering a change?
Engage a Wisconsin Conference Coach to accompany you on the journey!
Wisconsin Conference Coaches are peers and colleagues in ministry who have been trained to listen, ask questions, explore options, encourage goal setting, maintain confidentiality and support you in pursuing transformational ministry that truly matters to you and your congregation. Coaching is a co-creative relationship between you and your coach in which you set the agenda and your coach works with you to clarify and take action on that agenda.
For the incredibly low fee of $100 for the first six months, you can engage a coach today. You and your coach will meet for one or two sessions per month for no more than an hour total. Most sessions take place over the phone or via video conference. Your coach's main priority is to listen, explore options, support goal setting and provide accountability as you identify and pursue ministry activities and opportunities that are truly important to you and to your congregation.
Questions? Contact Tisha Brown
Cedar Community Seeks Director of Ministry

The Director of Ministry is responsible for directing and providing for the spiritual needs of Cedar Community's residents, families, staff, volunteers and the wider community. Plan, organize, manage and develop programs which support the ecumenical religious traditions of the entire organization. Master of Divinity degree preferred but will accept an ordained minister with an alternative master. Must be ordained in the UCC church. Must be willing to work flexible hours.

A 6-month Courage & Renewal Retreat Series

Are you committed to the work of spiritual formation for children and youth, but trying to sustain yourself in the midst of institutional tensions, relational expectations, and the internal pressure you feel to make a difference? Courage & Renewal for Faith Formation Leaders offers a rare opportunity to renew, reflect, and reconnect with what matters most to your vocation. The registration deadline has been extended until October 15, 2017. 
More information and registration
Church on the Move: Money & Ministry
Nov. 4, 2017, 9am - 4pm
United Theological Seminary
New Brighton, Minn.

Build relationships, network and share with fellow UCCers, and resource best practices on a wide variety of topics! Bring an entire team or committee from your congregation to dive in to topics like: Year-round stewardship, Planned Giving, OCWM 101, Developing a congregational budget, Endowments, Re-purposing your building,and Trends in giving. Sponsored by the Minnesota Conference UCC. Only $10! 
More information and registration
Youth Events

Youth Faith Formation Retreats
November 10-12, 2017, Moon Beach Registration available now
February 23-25, 2018, Pilgrim Center
March 2-4, 2018, Pilgrim Center

Knock Knock Middle School Retreat
November 17-19, 2017, Pilgrim Center Registration available now

Jesus Core High School Retreat Save the dates!
January 5-7, 2018, Pilgrim Center 
Conference Transitions

Searching Churches
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Installations and Ordinations
  • Rev. Gloria Van Houten was installed at Peace UCC in Schofield on September 24, 2017.
  • Rev. Jo Ann Schoblaski retired from the Federated Church of Berlin on September 17, 2017
  • St. Paul's UCC, Ellsworth, celebrated their 150th Anniversary on September 24, 2017

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
Faith art collaboration
Boundary Training
Reviving Hope
Insurance note
The Reformation for Today
Neighbors in Need
Cedar Community job
Courage & Renewal Retreat series
Money & Ministry
Youth events
Conference Transitions
Church Spotlight

Milton UCC church image

One of the Wisconsin Conference's oldest churches, this Southwest Association church has been serving its community since 1838. Their church building was built in 1892 with an expansion in 1990.  

Check the Conference calendar for upcoming events.
The Parish Paper
This month's Parish Paper is " Equipping  Volunteers Builds and Strong Church Community." Access this issue and archived issues here!
Quick Links

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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.