Wisconsin Conference Life Newsletter
Sept. 8, 2016 
Trend Lines to Consider as we SHIFT: From Maintenance to Mission (Part 2)
by Tisha Brown

In her Friday evening presentation at annual meeting, Cameron Trimble shared brief thoughts on 6 trend lines operating in our culture. A trend line according to Google is "a line indicating the general course or tendency of something." I believe consideration of the trend lines Cameron shared might be one way for us to continue imagining ways for our congregations to make small but significant shifts from maintenance to mission so I thought I would share my recollections from Cameron's talk along with some of my own musings about how we might engage these trend lines in our particular contexts. There are 6 trend lines to consider and so I've broken this post up into two parts. The first three trend lines were shared in an earlier post. The second set of three are shared here.

SHIFT SIGN-UP FORM - Please fill out this form to let us know that you are participating in the SHIFT conversation.  
Grace Congregational in Two Rivers Helps Flood Victims


Buddy Davidson asked his fellow church members if they might have a few extra clothes lying around that he could send them to a friend in Baton Rouge following the devastating flooding that occurred there recently. The response he received was far more than he expected and has turned into a congregation- and community-wide project. The picture doesn't quite do the amount of goods being donated justice: there's so many, one picture is inadequate. 
Lay Academy Partners with Local Church

Lay Academy has become so popular in our Conference that the office is not large enough to host both Lay Academy classes for this year's sessions. We have partnered with Spring Prairie Lutheran Church to hold the next two years of advanced Lay Academy classes, starting this year with Lay Leadership Skills. Their pastor, Sylvia Lee-Thompson, was looking for a way to be a good steward of their building, and we were looking for space; now we will "be the church together."

Faith Foundations Year 1 will meet as usual in the Conference Chapel. The new session of Lay Academy classes begins on September 9, 2016.
Fall Clergy Retreat

Sunday, Oct. 2 - Tuesday, 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.
On Behalf of Our Children: Wisconsin's Racial Disparities and the Call of the Gospel

Members of the Wisconsin Council of Churches' Peace and Justice Commission produced this study-action guide with the hope that it will be a starting point for constructive conversation about the stark racial disparities in our state and to consider what congregations can do at the local level to address them. The guide has been mailed to all member churches. Additional copies and resources may be downloaded from the Wisconsin Council of Churches website

2016-2017 Youth Events

Contact United Church Camps, Inc. to register for any of these great events!

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

Knock Knock Middle School Retreat
November 18-20, 2016 - Pilgrim Center

Jesus Core High School Retreat
January 6-8, 2017 - Pilgrim Center
How Does Your Church Reject Racism?

Let the national UCC know how your church "reject[s] racism" and your church could be the next Church of the Month. "Be the Church of the Month" is a new, church-wide contest inviting all UCC churches to participate by living out the statements of the UCC's popular "Be the Church" message. The church that wins will "Be the Church of the Month" for October.

Our Address has Changed though Our Location is the Same
Wisconsin Conference UCC and all Association addresses have changed

The Wisconsin Conference, including all four Associations, now receives mail directly at the Trost Center office and there is no longer a PO Box. Please change your church's mailing records to reflect this change. Mail for the Conference or for any of the four Associations should be addressed to:

4459 Gray Road 
DeForest, WI  53532 
Faith Formation Leader and Christian Educator Retreat

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 ucci.org, or contact Laura Pine.
Link to registration
Interim Ministry Training Institute
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. It will run October, 2016, through May, 2017, and is led by Linda Kuhn and Dave King of Sand Bur Consulting, who have extensive experience working with congregations in interim and transitional situations. Hurry - the deadline to register is September 15.
More information 
Events and Conferences of Interest Around the Region

"Earth Care: A Faith Imperative," September 18, 2016, First Congregational UCC, Appleton
More information

"Reviving Peace: Inspiration, Education & Action for Change," September 24-25, 2016, Plymouth Church UCC, Milwaukee
More information
"Celebrating Hope: Promoting Mental Wellness and Resiliency," September 28, 2016, Addison, Illinois. Recommended by the UCC Mental Health Network.
More information

"Working With Clergy and Congregations: Resources for Mental Health Care and Recovery Support," September 29-30, 2016, Addison, Illinois. Recommended by the UCC Mental Health Network. 
More information

"Into the Woods: Henry David Thoreau as Spiritual Guide," September 30, 2016, near West Bend at Cedar Valley.
More information
"A Culture of Ethics: Engineering for Human Dignity and the Common Good," a conference on faith, ethics, and engineering at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, October 6-8, 2016
More information

"The Prophet in his Day and Ours: Hearing Isaiah Anew" with Dr. Karl Kuhn, October 13, 2016, Immanuel UCC, West Bend.
More information

"Come-Down-to-the-Lakeshore Writer's Retreat," October 14-16, 2016, Pilgrim Center
Letter to churches

"Making the Irrelevant Church Relevant: Attracting and Retaining Parishioners by Deepening Every Relationship," October 16-18, 2016, Hiawatha, Iowa
More information  
Conference Transitions

Searching Churches
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Installations and Ordinations
  • Rev. Donald Quigley was installed as Pastor and Teacher at First Congregational UCC in Park Falls on August 20, 2016.
  • Rev. Christopher Hucker retired from First Congregational UCC in Rhinelander effective August 28, 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.
Image credits:
Tisha Brown image (c) Wisconsin Conference UCC
On Behalf of Our Children image (c) Wisconsin Council of Churches
UCCI logo image (c) United Church Camps, Inc.
Spring Prairie Lutheran Church image from http://www.springprairie.org/.
Youth programs image from Shutterstock: Image ID:102470873, Copyright: Alex Emanuel Koch 

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
Helping others
Lay Academy Partnership
Fall Clergy Retreat
Wisconsin's Racial Disparities
Address change
CE/FF Retreat
Interim Ministry training
Area events
Conference Transitions
Featured Article
Shift blog 
Check out the
SHIFT BLOG for inspiration! 
Read about & share congregational shift stories.
Church Spotlight

 Church name 
Church info 

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.

Immanuel UCC in Neenah is seeking a part time secretary.
More information

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Let us know! If you have something you'd like considered for publication in
Wisconsin Conference Life, email Nola at the Wisconsin Conference.