Wisconsin Conference Life Newsletter
February 10, 2021
The Time is Now: Join the Kairos Call to Action!
The Wisconsin Conference adopted the United Church of Christ’s Kairos Call to Action at the 2020 annual meeting. The Kairos Call to Action is a ten-year action plan to inspire and guide faithful action in response to global climate change. In his recent video, Franz Rigert, Conference Minister, invites all congregations and their members to join in the Wisconsin Conference’s Kairos Call to Action.
Whether you have already begun a creation care journey or are just contemplating action, we encourage congregations to take the next step and share their commitment by creating a Kairos Call to Action Covenant
To assist congregations in their earth care commitment, the Conference Creation Care Team works to provide resources and connections through the Kairos Call to Action website, the Kairos newsletter, webinars and many other actions. The Wisconsin Conference Board of Directors, along with the Creation Care Team, hopes to have at least 100 congregations joining in this call by the end of 2021! 
Please read the full article to see a sample Kairos Call to Action Covenant and find resources to begin (or expand) your creation care activities.
In This Issue: scroll down to find these articles
  • Save the Date for Annual Meeting
  • Engating Ministry with Cultural Traditionalists
  • Immigration Justice Reset workshops
  • What Unites Us? Conflict Transformation workshop
  • Ministry with LGBTQIA+ workshop
  • 40-Day Lenten Practice
  • RESHAPE: Emerging Church Practice in a Volatile World
  • Antisemitism, Islamophobia and Christianity webinar recording
  • AUCE Event
  • Lenten worship video available
  • Yearbook information
  • Help Others
  • Conference Transitions
Save the Date! Wisconsin Conference UCC Annual Meeting
Powered by Generosity
May 11-16, 2021
God makes grace abound, more than enough, so you may do every good deed abundantly - 2 Corinthians 9:8

The fully virtual meeting will include an exciting keynote address, a variety of workshops, and several opportunities for small group discussions on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings. The business meeting will take place on Saturday morning and the meeting will conclude with a Conference-wide worship service on Sunday. More details will be available soon on the Annual Meeting website.
Engaging and Ministry with Cultural Traditionalists
40th Annual Rural Ministry Conference
Monday, March 8, 8:30 AM – 3:30 PM via Zoom
We live in a deeply divided society with divisions along political, social, cultural, urban/rural lines. This conference will be helpful for pastors who see these divisions in their communities and congregations and are looking for ways to minister to all people.

Keynote Speaker Tex Sample will explore this division by looking at a key demographic: cultural traditionalists, the largest demographic in rural America and one of the largest in the country. This demographic is not limited by age, gender, or denomination – who knows; you may be a cultural traditionalist.

The presentations of Tex Sample will provide a description of this important group and offer suggestions for working with cultural traditionalists. These presentations are valuable not only for small town and rural congregations but will provide a greater understanding of this demographic found in many, if not most, congregations.

The cost is only $25.00! Details and registration

Co-Sponsored by Wartburg Theological Seminary and The University of Dubuque Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa
Join us for Immigration Justice Reset
Register today: Deadline February 16
Workshops held on Feb. 16, March 16, and April 20
What does President Biden's ambitious and progressive immigration policy agenda mean for immigrants and their allies? How can you and your congregation get involved? To learn more, join the Immigration Working Group for "Immigration Justice Reset", a three-part Zoom workshop series that will explore what immigration policy (and reality) may look like in 2021 nationally, on the border, and in Wisconsin. The series will begin on February 16 with a conversation featuring Noel Andersen, the UCC & CWS Grassroots Coordinator for Immigrants' Rights, the Rev. Randy Mayer of Good Shepherd UCC in Sahuarita, Arizona, Katie Adams, Policy Advocate for Domestic Issues in the UCC's Washington, D.C. office, attorney Linda Zuba, and representatives from Al Otro Lado who will talk about the work they are doing with family reunification.  Workshops will be held on February 16, March 16, and April 20 (all Tuesdays) from 6:30-8pm. Register here

These workshops are sponsored by The Immigration Working Group (IWG). The IWG introduced the 2017 Wisconsin Conference Resolution inviting our churches to become “Immigrant Welcoming” so that we might be inspired to practice the Old Testament mandate to welcome the stranger as well as follow Jesus who went out and healed the most desperate people of his time. Everyone is invited to our monthly zoom meetings on the second Tuesday of the month at 1pm. Contact Lisa Hart to be added to our email list. To find out more about our work, check out our webpage and please join us for our upcoming workshops.
What Unites Us? Using Core Values to Navigate Conflict
On Zoom, Sunday, February 21, from 3:00 – 5:00 pm
“Love God and your neighbor as yourself.” Upon these commandments depend our mission and vision as covenant congregations in the ‘United’ Church of Christ. Since our unity isn’t uniform, what holds us together? What essential, core values serve the church when times are tough? Let’s talk! Join our Conference Conflict Transformation Team for a Zoom workshop on Sunday, February 21, from 3:00 – 5:00 pm to discuss the role of core values when dealing with church conflict. The cost is $50 per church (up to four participants) or $15 for individuals. Register online by Monday, February 15.
Ministry with LGBTQIA+ Youth
March 12-13 | Only $49
When we baptize children into our community, we promise to nurture them in the faith and support them as they grow. In addition, many of our churches make commitments to be open and affirming. But what does that support really look like for LGBTQIA+ youth? How do we proactively create spaces in church so LGBTQIA+ youth in the wider community know they are welcome? 

This weekend workshop from The Damascus Project will include practical and meaningful information for building or strengthening a ministry among LGBTQIA+ youth in your church. 

More information and registration here. Registration deadline: March 10.

This learning opportunity is generously underwritten by the Ashley Endowment of the Minnesota Conference UCC.

Other Damascus Project Learning Opportunities:

Hoping to show up for racial justice in 2021 and beyond? Looking for a way to focus your intentions this Lent? The Damascus Project invites you to participate in our 40-Day Lenten Practice: Strengthening Emotional Stamina to Counter White Fragility
  • $50 for individuals
  • $150 for groups 4-6
  • $300 for groups 7+
More info & registration. Register by February 12

RESHAPE: Emerging Church Practice in a Volatile World
April 15 – June 3, 2021
A guided, proactive process for capturing & integrating the innovation & adaptation resulting from volatile life experiences, transforming churches into greater expressions of the Body of Christ. From $149.
Webinar Recording Available
Antisemitism, Islamophobia, and Christianity: Sharing our faith stories to increase understanding and respect
The Christian Education/Faith Formation Commission of the Wisconsin Conference UCC, along with Lakeland University, invite you to share this webinar recording on Antisemitism, Islamophobia, and Christianity with your congregation. This recording is appropriate for use with confirmation classes, for a youth group discussion, or for adult study and discussion groups. A list of additional resources is also provided in the show notes for the video. If you have questions, please contact Lisa Hart.

The Association of United Church Educators (AUCE) is celebrating 50 years!
Join us on Saturday, February 13 from 11 am – 2:30 pm (CT) if you are passionate about faith formation and youth ministries in the United Church of Christ (and beyond). Come celebrate with us as we look at the ministry of faith formation over the past 50 years, to bring what we've learned into the vibrant ministries needed for today - from roots to shoots!
Worship Preacher: Rev. Molly Baskette, Lead Pastor, First Church UCC, Berkeley (CA)
Guest Speaker: Melvin Bray, Emmy award-winning storyteller and author of Better: Waking Up to Who We Could Be
Stories & Song with Water & Kassie Runsabove and music by Mark Miller
Conference Ministerial Staff Offers Lenten Worship Service
Here is a full Sunday worship service provided by members of the Conference Ministerial Staff. The music features a band called Karma’s Mailbox. The scripture passage and worship theme are about healing, and it is designed to be used any Sunday during the season of Lent. 
It's Yearbook Time – Deadline March 3, 2021
The National Office had some website and link issues, but everything is working now.  
The Data Hub is now open and will be available until March 3, 2021, at midnight.
All churches are required to submit their data online. To avoid potential delays please be sure to enter your information as soon as possible. For instructions and all pertinent and helpful documents, click here.
If you have any problems or questions, please email Susan Taylor. Please do not contact the National Office. Deadline for reporting: March 3, 2021. 
Again this year! The church officer data form can now be filled out online. Access this new link here!
Thank you for your time and effort with this project and for providing this important information.
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
  • Zwingli UCC in Paoli is seeking a pastor. Details
  • To see all searching churches, click here.

New Calls
  • Rev. Rebecca Johnston has been called as interim pastor at Plymouth Congregational UCC in Burlington, effective Feb. 1, 2021.
  • Rev. Daniel Krueger has been called as interim pastor at Trinity UCC in Brookfield, effective Feb. 1, 2021.

Installations and Ordinations
  • Rev. Leanne Rose was ordained at Emmanuel UCC in Dousman on January 24, 2021.
  • Rev. Stephen Stepp was installed at Church of Peace UCC in Fond du Lac on Feb. 7, 2021.

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 Kairos Call to Action 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 "Connect with Spiritual Seekers Through the Arts." 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