Wisconsin Conference Life Newsletter
July 8, 2021
Commission on Ministry Tackles Anti-Racism Training
The Commission on Ministry is currently in the process of considering possible opportunities that would meet the Manual on Ministry new expectation for “Diversity and Anti-Racism Training” (MoM Section 2:3). While we expect in time that more numerous opportunities for this training will develop, the commission is examining what is already available as well as considering opportunities that can be developed in the near future.

An interactive book will be the initial opportunity offered. We are looking toward a requirement that all authorized ministers would need to participate in a book study between January 2022 and December of 2023. The Commission on Ministry will also be seeking facilitators for the book study groups later this year. Select learning opportunities such as “Sacred Conversations about Race” may be individually approved by each association’s Committee on Ministry as an alternative to a book study.
More information will be available in the fall.

The Commission on Ministry of the Wisconsin Conference has two representatives from each of the four Association Church and Ministry committees as well as the Associate Conference Ministers. The Commission has accomplished significant work over recent years in coordinating aspects of C&M work so that these are consistent across the Wisconsin Conference. For example, the Commission has developed plans for the Boundary Training expectation so that each association does not have to individually plan for this, and more recently the Commission has worked on a unified assessment for Members in Discernment. This coordination has eased the demands for planning within the association C&M teams so they can engage in work with congregations, ministers and Members in Discernment as well as providing consistency when ministers move between associations within our conference.
In This Issue: scroll down to find these articles
  • Ending Mass Incarceration event
  • General Synod: July 11-18
  • German Partnership anniversary
  • Restoring Relationship with Mother Earth event / Conference-wide Big Read
  • Communities of Practice for Clergy
  • Fall Stewardship program opportunities
  • Climate Policies that Fail Webinar
  • Help Others
  • Conference Transitions
Faith Communities Take Aim at Mass Incarceration
U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., will share his reflections on the mass incarceration crisis with Wisconsin faith leaders from all traditions during a virtual gathering on Saturday, July 10.

The event, "Ending Mass Incarceration: Building a Theology of Restoration and Fairness in Wisconsin," will take place on Zoom from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Register here

Warnock, pastor of Atlanta's historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, is a founding member of the Interfaith Initiative to End Mass Incarceration. The gathering is hosted by the Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee.
It's Not Too Late To Attend General Synod - From the Comfort of Home!
July 11-18, 2021
This summer's UCC General Synod is virtual, so it's an accessible opportunity for anyone attend and participate in the activities of the wider church. It's affordable and visitors can register by day or for the entire event. There are great keynote speakers and amazing, inspiring worship. 

More information about General Synod
Register here, by the day or for the whole event
Celebrating 40 Years of German Partnership
Former Wisconsin Conference Minister Fred Trost will help lead the celebration of the 40th anniversary Kirchengemeinschaft, the relationship of “church communion” between the United Church of Christ and Germany’s Union of Evangelical Churches (UEK).

The event will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. CDT Tuesday, July 13, during the UCC’s Virtual General Synod. To register for General Synod, click here.

Trost, a fluent German speaker, played a pivotal role in building the relationship, traveling frequently to Germany over the years and developing deep ties within German Protestantism. Germany’s UEK is the ancestral tradition of many of the German-American pioneers who founded the Evangelical Synod in the United States, one of the antecedents of the UCC.
Restoring Relationship with Mother Earth: A Four-Day Immersion Event on Ho Chunk Ancestral Lands
October 7-10, 2021
Pilgrim Center
"Restoring Relationship with Mother Earth: A Four-Day Immersion Event on Ho Chunk Ancestral Lands” will offer a Native American perspective on nature and ideas of creation care. Event co-sponsors are the Alliance for Justice, Inc.; United Church Camps; and Hocak UCC in Black River Falls. This event will be a great way to connect with people from other UCC congregations from throughout Wisconsin, learn about justice and reconciliation efforts being made with Native peoples of Wisconsin, and deepen your understanding of the importance of indigenous wisdom to addressing the environmental crisis we find ourselves in. Robin Wall Kimmerer, author of "Braiding Sweetgrass," will offer the keynote presentation. More information and registration

The event fee for this four-day event is $300. Participants are encouraged to check with your local congregation to see if scholarship monies are available to help defray costs. The United Church Camps, Inc. will also offer scholarships to anyone who applies (details will be included in registration confirmation email).

Robin Wall Kimmerer's book is also the focus of a conference-wide Big Read being planned by the Conference Creation Care Team. More details will be available later this summer, but start planning to make this a part of your congregation’s fall program!
Communities of Practice for Clergy
Registration now open for groups starting in September
Note: Previous COP participants need to register again each year to continue in a group
 
Communities of Practice (COP) clergy groups provide the sustenance that your ministry needs in order to be effective well into the future! COP groups are designed to be peer learning groups, focused both on the practice of ministry and your growth in your role as a pastoral minister.

Gear Up for Your Fall Stewardship Program with These New Opportunities
Campaign materials – The 2021 UCC Stewardship Theme Materials are now available at UCCresources.com. These new stewardship materials help congregations tell their story while making a request for financial support. The materials include everything needed to run an effective campaign such as bulletin inserts, pledge cards, and graphics. A practical campaign guide provides support for leaders running their first campaign and offers suggestions for those looking to customize stewardship messages to their own setting. 
 
The materials use the same theme as General Synod - Rooted in Love. They’re available now at Stewardship Theme Materials | UCC Resources.
 
Workshops – A series of online workshops is also being offered this summer and fall:
 
  • Pastors & Paychecks: The Inner Work of our Relationship with Money. A Reflection with Pastors. July 28, 3:00 pm More info and registration.
  • Annual Campaigns 101.  An Introduction to Stewardship for Pastors and Lay Leaders. Aug 23, 5:30 pm More info and registration This popular workshop has helped many congregations run more successful campaigns. Don’t miss it!
  • Don’t Beg – Rethinking the Stewardship Sermon.  A Conversation with Pastors Oct 6, 4:00 pm More information and registration
 
Find information about all Generosity workshops on the Conference website.
UCC Webinar—False Solutions: Climate Policies That Fail
Some proposed climate policies have been described as false solutions by climate activists and policy analysts because they fall short in meeting the moral demands of science, equity, and justice. Learn what faith communities need to know in this webinar that will feature Leah Stokes, who authored of the acclaimed book Short Circuiting Policy, and Gabriela Sarri-Tobar, who serves the Center for Biological Diversity as the Energy Justice Campaigner. Even if you can’t make the scheduled time of 12 pm CT on Thursday, July 22, still sign-up, and we will send you a recording. Register now!
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
  • The Alliance@4200, a covenant between Christ the Solid Rock Baptist Church and Lake Edge United Church of Christ, is searching for a Director of Community Engagement (Alliance Shepherd). Job cover letter and detailed job description
  • First Congregational UCC in Appleton is searching for a Director for Children’s and Middle School Ministry. Details
  • First Congregational UCC in Genesee and First Congregational UCC in Hartland are searching for a shared pastor. Details are here and here.
  • Ely Memorial UCC in Land O' Lakes is searching for a pastor. Details
  • Plymouth UCC in Madison is searching for a part-time youth leader. Details

To see all searching churches, click here.

Wider Church Searches
  • The national UCC is searching for a Join The Movement Curator. Details

New Calls
  • Rev. Christine Wilke has been called as interim pastor at St. John's UCC in Hartford, effective June 23, 2021
  • Rev. Patricia Handley has been called as pastor at First Congregational UCC in Genoa City, effective June 25, 2021. Patricia is new to the Conference. Welcome!
  • Stephen Ottman has been called as interim pastor at St. Paul's UCC in Ellsworth, effective July 5, 2021.
  • Uriah Williams has been called as supply pastor for United Church of Christ Congregational in Osseo, effective July 7, 2021.

Installations and Ordinations
  • Amy Ruth Allridge was ordained at Pilgrim UCC in Grafton on June 27, 2021.

In Memoriam
  • Rev. Dr. Joan E. Jacobson-Wolf passed away on June 13, 2021. 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.
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 "Is Drive-In Church a Good Idea?." 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