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Wisconsin Conference Life Newsletter
Aug. 20, 2019 
Solar Installation Celebrated

Friends, donors and partners in the Conference's Creation Care Team solar project gathered together to celebrate the installation of a 19.95 kilowatt solar array on August 13, 2019. We are grateful for 
contributing partners RENEW Wisconsin, Focus on Energy, the Wisconsin Council of Churches, project donors, and installer Arch Electric, who all shared in the celebration. The celebration was streamed via Facebook Live, which you can view here. You can also view photos from the event here.

The Conference received generous donations from donors within the conference, plus a $4,000 incentive from Focus on Energy. We were also awarded a $10,000 grant from RENEW Wisconsin's Solar for Good program, which fosters the expansion of solar power among mission-based nonprofits and houses of worship in Wisconsin.  
The solar array will offset 74% of the Conference's annual electric use, reducing electrical bills by approximately $3,600 per year. We plan to reinvest these savings back into Conference missions and programs. Our solar array helps us communicate about and live into our identity that care for the earth is central to who we are as people of faith. The array has already generated 11.67 megawatt hours! 
Stay tuned to coming Wisconsin Conference Life newsletters to hear about how your church can invest in solar power, too!  
dyslexia tutoring image Dyslexia Tutoring a Matter of Justice for Wisconsin Kids
Union Congregational UCC in Green Bay is changing the lives of kids with dyslexia through it's On the Mark Dyslexia Clinic. A Neighbors in Need grant is helping. Read this National UCC news story about the genesis and work of the clinic.
Youth Events Schedule for 2019-2020 Announced

The Wisconsin Conference UCC and United Church Camps, Inc., are pleased to present the following youth events for 2019-2020!

Knock Knock Middle School Retreat
November 22-24, 2019
Pilgrim Center

Jesus Core High School Retreat
January 9-12, 2020
Pilgrim Center
Registration available in November

Youth Faith Formation Retreats
November 8-10, 2019
February 28-March 1, 2020
March 6-8, 2020
Pilgrim Center
A Civil Rights Pilgrimage for Pastors and Leaders of Communities of Faith
October 21-24, 2019

Over the course of four days, traveling by bus from Memphis to Montgomery, we will visit and reflect on some of the iconic sites in our nation's history of grappling with slavery, Jim Crow, the Civil Rights movement and our contemporary reality. We will meet with people who can help us understand how the past shapes our present, and will spend time as a group of faith leaders considering how this experience can shape our ministries here in Wisconsin.
We will gather in Memphis early on Monday afternoon. We will be in Birmingham on Tuesday, drive through Selma and spend Wednesday and Thursday morning in Montgomery. Detailed itinerary to be announced to registrants at two pre-trip meetings. The trip will be jointly led by the Rev. Kerri Parker, Rev. Winton Boyd and Rev. Phil Haslanger.
More information
Dive Deeper into your Faith with these Damascus Project Offerings

The Crux: Engaging the Wisdom of the Wilderness for Today's Changing Church
This course will offer rich opportunities for reflection on the metaphor of the wilderness in scripture and in our lives personally as well as within our congregations. Any church leader (lay and ordained) grappling with the future of their congregation would benefit from this course. Any person of faith grappling with their own future in this rapidly changing world will find something to hold on to in this wilderness time in which we live.   More information
A Flavor of the Old Testament
This is an introductory scripture course for anyone seeking to develop a deeper connection with scripture or to develop tools for reading. It could also be a fruitful refresher course for Clergy as they engage the text from a fresh perspective. More information 
What Does it Mean to Be UCC? Theology, History and Polity
This course is for anyone who is interested in learning more about our unique denomination from someone who has lived the history, theology and polity of the United Church of Christ. Rev. Dr. Clyde Steckel will delight with first person stories and a deep love for our denomination. Deepen your understanding of what it means to be UCC. More information
Last Chance to Register for Annual Campaigns 101 Webinar
August 28th, 5:30 - 7:00 pm
Presenter: Andrew Warner
Due to high interest, we are offering this webinar again on August 28 . Designed for pastors and lay leaders planning an annual pledge campaign, we will explore ways to create an effective campaign using the materials provided by the national setting of the UCC. The webinar will include developing a campaign calendar, key messaging, recruiting advocates, engaging lay leadership in making early pledges, and thanking donors.
Invite others in your congregation to join in this webinar too, and gain a good foundation for planning a pledge campaign that will be stronger than ever.
There is no fee for participating in this webinar; however, registration is required so we can send you the link to join the webinar.
Register here
Interim Ministry Training Institute
October 2019 - May 2020

This program prepares pastors in a wide range of situations to address the many transitions of contemporary churches, whether a change in pastors, a change in size of congregation, the challenges of a new direction in ministry, or other types of movements happening today. Students in the Interim Ministry Training Institute  have included settled pastors, pastors looking for a career in Intentional Interim Ministry, and pastors exploring a succession model. The program is ecumenical and will address the specific needs of each person's polity and position.The class meets monthly for about 6 hours, with readings and assignments designed to generate discussion and learning depth.  
Kindling Our Light: A Wellness Retreat
For Ministers and MIDs and their spouses/partners
October 6-8, 2019
Moon Beach Camp

Join the Wisconsin Conference and the Pension Boards at Moon Beach camp for this wellness retreat, focusing on Spiritual, Physical, Financial, and Ministry Wellness.
Be refreshed and renewed in your life and ministry through:
  • inspiring and creative worship
  • workshops on health and wellness, personal fitness, and work/life balance
  • reconnecting with colleagues and friends
  • personal time for reflection, prayer, and self-care
The retreat begins with dinner at 5:30pm on Sunday, October 6, and concludes at 11:30am on Tuesday, October 8. The cost for participants, which includes meals and accommodations, is $50.
"Capitalism vs. the Climate" Movie Event

"This Changes Everything," a Naomi Klein & Avi Lewis documentary, about capitalism versus the climate will be shown at the First Unitarian Society in Madison on September 6, 2019. Dinner will be served at 5:45 pm and the movie will be shown at 6:30 pm. A kid-friendly movie will be available. 

The  Interfaith Peace Working Group, a Conference-related justice group, is a co-sponsor of this event.
Mental Health Weekend
You are warmly invited to attend the UCC Mental Health Weekend that includes two programs, the Mental Health First Aid on Nov. 1, and the UCC WISE Conference on Mental Health on Nov. 2. This will be a fruitful time together of learning about mental health, how congregations can be welcoming, inclusive, supportive, and engaged in mental health, and share practical steps that can be taken. We hope you will attend!
More information
Conference Transitions

Searching Churches
  • St. John's UCC in Monroe is searching for a part-time Associate Pastor. Details

To see all searching churches, click here.

Wider Church Searches
  • The National office of the UCC has several openings. Details
Installations and Ordinations
  • Rev. Rachel Baumann was installed at St. John's UCC in La Point on August 18, 2019.
  • Rev. Joanne Thomson retired from the Wisconsin Conference as Associate Conference Minister on August 4, 2019.
  • Union Congregational UCC in Three Lakes celebrated their 100th Anniversary on August 12, 2019
In Memoriam
  • Rev. Maynard Beemer passed away on August 6, 2019. 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
Church starts dyslexia clinic
Upcoming Youth Events
Civil rights pilgrimage
Damascus Project courses
Annual Campaigns webinar
Interim Ministry Training Institute
Wellness retreat for ministers
Climate movie event
Mental Health weekend
Conference Transitions
Church Spotlight

Peace UCC in Marinette, in the Northeast Association, is led by pastor Linda Forray. The church is a leader in their community, serving up many local outreach projects. The church is also celebrating their 125th Anniversary this year. 
Check the Conference calendar for upcoming events.
The Parish Paper
This month's Parish Paper is " Learn More About Your Congregation Through Focus Groups." 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.