Wisconsin Conference Life Newsletter
June 9, 2021
Start a Conversation about Generosity in your Congregation
by Lisa Hart
Have you ever stopped to think about what inspires you to be generous? Do you have a plan for how and where you donate your time and money?

A Philanthropic Autobiography can help us identify our passions and provide a meaningful guide for how we want to direct our generosity and engage in faithful stewardship. In fact, a Philanthropic Autobiography can be an engaging and fun group activity for adult education, either in-person or virtually.
Through this activity, we invite people to think consciously about their involvement with giving, volunteering and all charitable activities. People recall the ways in which they first came to experience and learn about giving and volunteering. Along the way, people rediscover what it is in their own story that motivates them to be generous on behalf of others.

We help people grow in their giving when we create opportunities for reflection on their life story. The experiences in our lives that have meaning and shape who we are inform our giving and generosity. Through reflecting on questions such as, “What is your earliest memory of giving or receiving?” or “To what people and places do you feel a sense of gratitude?” and then sharing responses with a conversation partner, people begin the process of creating their Philanthropic Autobiography.

I’ve created a resource available here to help you organize an in-person or virtual Philanthropic Autobiography in your congregation.
Find a Wealth of Inspiration and Resources in the Kairos Call to Action Newsletter
Check out the latest issue of the Kairos Call to Action Newsletter for stories about creation care initiatives in local congregations, inspiration from features like "Moment of Awe" and resources for your own creation care journey. 

For example, First Congregational UCC in La Crosse shared their story and some of their resources in this issue. As the congregation transitions back to a more “normal” summer schedule, staff and lay leadership are thinking creatively about how to make Creation Care and the Kairos Covenant central to the life of the community. Creating videos on creation care and organizing activities like Holy Hikes with the Psalms are raising awareness and getting members involved. Access the full story and downloadable resources in the Kairos newsletter.

Resources for You – The Creation Care Team works to provide congregations and leaders with resources that will assist you in engaging in the Kairos Call to Action and mobilizing for climate justice. In addition to this newsletter, many resources are available through the Kairos Call to Action website at wcucc.org/kairos.

Sign up here to receive the bi-monthly Kairos Call to Action newsletter.
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.
BE(Coming) the Church Today: Learning and Sharing in Community
3 sessions remaining, 12:00 pm-1:00 pm, Wednesdays, June 16 through June 30
Note: June 30 session will be repeated at 6:30 pm
What challenges are you encountering as we move to re-open churches and re-engage our worship communities? What are you learning? What questions do you wish you had answers to? The Wisconsin Conference invites you to a series of facilitated conversations focusing on the questions being raised as we move through this liminal/transitional period of re-gathering, re-forming and re-newing our congregations. 
 
Please join the conversation! Discussion topics are as follows:
  • June 16: Cultivating a Hybrid Community (Without Burning Out)
  • June 23: Mental Health and Spiritual Care: The Impact of the Covid 19 Pandemic on our Mental Health & Congregational Life
  • June 30: Tending the Soul: Ongoing Supportive Ministries

NEW: the June 30 session will be re-played in the evening with a live Q&A at 6:30 PM, for those who are unable to make the session at noon. To sign up for this evening session, click here.
 
For more information and to register go to wcucc.org/conversations
National Open and Affirming Sunday
June 27 is National Open and Affirming Sunday! Always celebrated on the fourth Sunday of June, the UCC Open and Affirming Coalition created ONA Sunday as an opportunity for congregations to renew their commitment to support LGBTQIA+ neighbors and their families. The Coalition will be releasing an inspiring worship and music video, along with worship resources to help you build your own ONA service. Let’s celebrate the rapid growth of our movement, hold our 1,700 ONA churches and ministries in prayer, and commit to growing our movement until the UCC is not just 33%, but 100% ONA!
The Cost of White Christian Nationalism: Seeking a Faithful Response
Save the Date: November 6, 2021
Younger Family Campus Center, Lakeland University
Featured Panelists:
  • Rev. Dr. Julie Mavity Maddalena, Chaplain and Ethicist in Residence, Lakeland University
  • Dr. Zulfiqar Ali Shah, Religious Director, Islamic Society of Milwaukee
  • Dr. Charles Cohen, Professor Emeritus, UW Madison
  • Pardeep Singh Kaleka, Executive Director, Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee
Moderator:
  • Rev. Dr. Karl Kuhn, Grace Chair of Religious Studies, Lakeland University


This program is sponsored by the Wisconsin Conference UCC Christian Education/Faith Formation Commission, Lakeland University’s Ulrich Center for Faith, Ethics and Justice and the Wisconsin Council of Churches.
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
  • Peace UCC in Shawano is searching for a pastor. Details
  • First Congregational UCC in Appleton is searching for a Director for Children's and Middle School Ministry. Details
  • To see all searching churches, click 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 "Is it Time to Relocate?" 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