Wisconsin Conference Life Newsletter
October 21, 2020
Scripture and Creation
Thoughts on the intersection between scripture and care of creation
by Tisha Brown and Karen Miller, member, First Congregational UCC in Menomonie
This year’s Faith Foundations (formerly Lay Academy year 1) is off to a fantastic start with twenty-four participants from four conferences. The first learning unit was titled “Theological Thinking, Theological Living.” The primary assignments centered around reading all 150 Psalms and discussing what one discovered there in a variety of ways. Instructor Dow Edgerton provided a framework for this discussion.
Karen Miller, a member of First Congregational in Menomonie shared these thoughts on the intersection between what she finds in scripture and what she observes about how humanity relates to God’s creation. As an enrolled member of the Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohican Nation, Karen carries a passion to see that stereotypes of tribal indigenous people are changed, that reparations are made to tribal communities who suffer environmental harms, and that indigenous knowledge and wisdom is brought to bear on climate change issues and decisions that affect us all. In light of the conference’s emphasis on the Kairos Call to Action, I thought Karen’s thoughts should be shared more broadly as food for thought and as a call to action for all of us in this crucial time.
Karen Miller writes: Read more here
In This Issue: scroll down to find these articles
  • New resources for Wisconsin Conference congregations
  • Our Faith, Our Vote
  • Active shooter preparedness webinar
  • Color your way through Advent
  • Reset for Renewal event
  • Creation Care grants available; deadline October 31
  • Help Others
  • Conference Transitions
NEW! Timely Resources for Wisconsin Conference Congregations
The Wisconsin Conference recently launched two new initiatives to expand the resources available to pastors and congregations, thanks to a cadre of passionate, dedicated volunteers, along with conference staff.
  • Tending the Soul of the Beloved Community
  • The Kairos Call to Action
The Kairos Call to Action
Early in 2020, the UCC Council for Climate Justice issued an urgent plea to help rescue our planet from peril. The Kairos Call to Action invites congregations of the United Church of Christ to commit to a series of climate saving actions over the next 10 years. Guided by the Kairos Call to Action adopted at the 2020 Annual Meeting of the Wisconsin Conference, we seek to covenant with congregations and their members, empowering all of us to take on the crucial work of climate justice.
The Wisconsin Conference Creation Care Team stands ready to support you in this work, providing resources for study and worship, encouraging advocacy on behalf of climate justice, and helping congregations find and connect with partners who share this common concern and commitment. Be sure to sign up for the monthly Kairos Call to Action Newsletter and check out the Kairos website for valuable information and resources.
Tending the Soul of the Beloved Community

During this ongoing pandemic, life in the Church has changed dramatically. We have heard the desire from many of you to create a space for the support, nurture and guidance of congregational life and pastors during the coming year. The Wisconsin Conference has launched a new communication called Tending the Soul of the Beloved Community, created by the Supportive Ministries Team. The purpose of this initiative is to lift up programs, writings, tools and strategies for nurturing and enhancing congregational life during this time of social distancing. Each edition will highlight a rich and meaningful article along with resource links and information about several support and nurturing programs available to your congregation and pastor. 

Sign up for Tending the Soul of the Beloved Community and check out the website to learn more.
Our Faith - Our Vote - Our Voice
Vote, stay vigilant in this election season, UCC leaders urge - Read article here

Election protection resources for religious communities - This publicly available toolkit is designed for faith, religious, and spirit-rooted communities that are mobilizing to protect the vote in the 2020 general election. Access toolkit here

Souls to the Polls 2020 - Calling on all people of faith, congregations, churches, synagogues, temples, and mosques to establish a volunteer network within their congregations to Get Out the Vote. This election will be the most critical in our lifetime! - Access toolkit here

Equipping for the election - To help provide a vigilant spiritual witness at the polls on Election Day, the UCC's Justice and Local Church Minisitries is offering a webinar on Sunday, Oct. 25, to train clergy to stand as precinct chaplains. The instructional discussion will offer strategies for monitoring precincts, offer best practices for voter care and comfort as well as providing de-escalation training and tools for crisis management at the polls. The 5 p.m. CDT session will be led by Billy M. Honor, director of faith organizing for the New Georgia Project. Interested parties can register here

Active Shooter Preparedness Webinar
Thursday, October 29 at 1pm CT
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, Region V (OH) invites you to join a two-hour security webinar to enhance awareness of and response to an active shooter event. Preparing employees for a potential active shooter incident is an integral component of an organization’s incident response planning. Because active shooter incidents are unpredictable and evolve quickly, preparing for and knowing what to do in an active shooter situation can be the difference between life and death. Every second counts! Faith-based leaders are invited to participate.
Color Your Way through Advent as You Anticipate the Christmas Celebration of Jesus!
Coloring Book produced by Wisconsin Conference Church published at the Pilgrim Press
Emmanuel-God’s Gift to the World coloring book
Available through Pilgrim Press. $2.99/copy or 10 for $25. Order yours today! What a great gift to share with the children in your congregation. Also, the book makes a great gift for parents, grandparents and Godparents to give.

From the creators of Picture the Bible -- a stunning new children's Bible forthcoming from The Pilgrim Press in 2021 -- Emmanuel highlights the life story of Jesus for the Advent season.

Emmanuel is an educational coloring book for all ages, featuring 12 short stories about Jesus. Great for “quiet bags” in worship, faith formation programs, and family time at home.

About the authors: Storyteller and pastor Stacy Johnson Myers, and artist Kathryn Brewer, designed Emmanuel based on the vivid images and straightforward stories of Picture the Bible. First Congregational Church (FCC) UCC (River Falls) designed Picture the Bible educational materials as a fresh new approach to Bible study, especially with children, for use in church and home. The Emmanuel coloring book is a product of FCC.
Reset for Renewal
As an attendee at Reset for Renewal, you will foster relationships, reclaim your own resilience and gifts for ministry, and reconnect with the pulse of young people in the midst of today’s world.

This conference is designed for individuals who are working with youth and young adult ministries in any of the following ways: Conference level, Outdoor Ministries Association or Education/Campus Ministry settings of the United Church of Christ (and beyond) and local churches.

We have intentionally designed this program to meet the needs of those serving young people in a variety of ways for personal development, spiritual grounding, and the building of collaboration to strengthen our individual and collective witness to the Church and world.

Reset for Renewal is a virtual gathering taking place over three consecutive days:
November 12, 2020, 1:00pm - 7:00pm CT
November 13, 2020, 12:00pm - 6:00pm CT
November 14, 2020, 1:00 - 4:00pm CT

Sponsored by the national setting and the Network for Wider Church Youth Ministries (NOWCYM). More info and registration here. Deadline: November 10.
Creation Care Grants Application Deadline October 31!
Would your church like help funding your next step to a healthier Earth? In response to the Kairos Call to Action, the Conference Creation Care Team is offering grants of up to $1000 available to Wisconsin Conference UCC Congregations that are planning initiatives to deepen their love of creation and positively change their relationship with the environment. The application deadline is October 31 so apply now! For more information and to submit a grant application, go to Creation Care Grants under “Kairos Call to Action” at wcucc.org. Contact Lisa Hart with questions.

Additionally, the Wisconsin Conference Emergency Response Fund provides resources as congregations experience financial hardship, meet crucial needs in their community, and adapt to new ways of ministry during the pandemic. Click here for more information and to apply.
Help Others - Donate Now
The General Fund of the Wisconsin Conference helps us connect, support, and resource pastors, leaders, and congregations. Your gift allows the Conference to provide relevant and timely help during the pandemic and beyond. Donate to the General Fund
Conference Transitions
Searching Churches
No churches recently started a new search. To see all searching churches, click here.

Wider Church Searches
  • The Cornerstone Fund is searching for a Client Lending and Portfolio Specialist. Details

New Calls
  • Rev. Gail Irwin has been called as interim pastor at First Congregational UCC in Eagle River, effective Oct. 15, 2020.

Installations and Ordinations
  • Rev. Janis K. Doleschal was installed at St. John UCC in Germantown on October 18, 2020.

In Memoriam
  • You are invited to join a service in thanksgiving and celebration for the life of Rev. Dr. Avery Post, past UCC General Minister and President, November 1, 1pm - 3pm CT. Register here

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.
The Kairos Call to Action Newsletter was created to support the efforts of congregations, families and individuals who want to be a part of the UCC’s Kairos Call to Action. Through this newsletter the Conference Creation Care Team will provide resources for study and worship, encourage advocacy on behalf of climate justice, and help congregations find and connect with partners who share this common concern and commitment.
Tending the Soul of the Beloved Community is a monthly communication dedicated to sharing resources and tools, wisdom and insight for congregations and individuals navigating these challenging days. Created by the Conference Supportive Ministries Team, this publication will highlight resources to aid in steering your path forward.
Join the Conference-wide Creation Care Team!

Are you passionate about Creation Care? Want to connect with others who are taking action to care for the earth? The Creation Care Team's primary focus is to encourage, support and provide resources to congregations in the Wisconsin Conference as they do what they can to care for creation. If you would like to be a part of this team, or for more information on the Creation Care Team, contact John Helt. You can also go to the Creation Care webpage to learn more.
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!
Get Involved! A Conference-wide Racial Justice Task Force gathers resources and encourages congregations to engage in conversations around race. If you and your congregation are interested in participating in this group, you are welcome. Contact Lisa Hart get involved.

More information on the Racial Justice Task force is available on the Conference's Racial Justice webpages.

This month's Parish Paper is "How to foster deep listening amid political difference." Access this issue and archived issues here!
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