Wisconsin Conference Life Newsletter
May 5, 2021
2021 Wisconsin Conference UCC Annual Meeting
May 11-16, 2021
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Registration Closes Tomorrow!
 
Today is your last chance to register for the Annual Meeting! All are invited to attend and take advantage of our low registration rates.
 
While we won't all be in the same location, we have worked hard to develop a fantastic program with engaging speakers, inspiring worship services and plenty of time to connect with fellow attendees.
 
Workshop Previews Now Available
Are you having difficulty deciding which practical workshops to attend on Thursday, May 13? There are so many great choices, but we’ve created a solution! All workshop speakers have created short preview videos summarizing the main points of their session. Click here to view the videos.
 
Questions?
Do you have a question about the 2021 Annual Meeting? Visit our FAQ page.
In This Issue: scroll down to find these articles
  • Annual Report Available
  • General Synod 2021
  • Conference Communications Job Opening
  • Overcoming Barriers to Vaccination
  • Volunteer at Camp AweSum!
  • Help Others
  • Conference Transitions
Wisconsin Conference 2021 Annual Report Available Online
The Wisconsin Conference UCC Annual Report is now available online. Download the report for an overview of life in the conference in the past year, including glimpses into how congregations explored new ways to “Be the Church” during a pandemic, and how Conference staff and services adapted to continue our care of pastors and churches. You’ll also learn about how the pandemic was the genesis for some continuing adaptations in Conference programs. Please forward this link to others in your congregation who might be interested.
 
Registration for the UCC’s Special Edition General Synod opens mid-May
Online event allows unique opportunity for all to register
Registration for the UCC’s Special Edition General Synod opens mid-May with a challenge for churches. The virtual event is open to all. Some sessions, like the worship services, are free, but registration is required.

The Rev. Anna Golladay, of UCC partner Convergence, is working with national staff on the marketing effort.

“We want to encourage every single UCC congregation to send at least one member to General Synod,” she said. She noted that, in the past, churches may not have even thought about sending people to the biennial gathering because of travel and other costs. But now, since anyone who would like to see what happens at Synod can do so, administrators decided to make it interesting.

“We are creating this challenge between congregations and Conferences,” Golladay said. “We will be tracking the number of people registered from every church in each Conference. The total will be tracked by the percentage of congregations participating in each Conference, so locations with larger number of churches don’t have an advantage.”

The numbers registered by each Conference will be posted on a leader board, first in early June and again a few weeks before Synod. The top three Conferences will be announced on Thursday, July 15, during a 7 p.m. CDT evening of celebration. While prizes have not been mentioned, Golladay said Synod planners are still working on incentives.

Wisconsin Conference Seeks Candidates for Communications Job Opening
Do you know someone who is looking for a flexible schedule? The ability to work from home a couple days a week? The Wisconsin Conference has a great opportunity for an experienced communications person to fill a new half-time position, with benefits.
 
The Wisconsin Conference UCC seeks a Communications Specialist Lead to drive the overall communications strategy and implementation for the Conference. This is a half-time position. We're hoping you can help spread the word about this opportunity. If you know of anyone who might be interested in this position, please forward this email to them. A detailed job description is available on our website at wcucc.org/CommLead. Thank you for your help!
 
The primary purpose of this position is to design and execute communications that increase awareness of and engagement with Conference services. This person works closely with staff and various teams on initiatives utilizing an array of communication vehicles, including digital and print.
 
Requirements include a Bachelor's degree in communications, marketing, journalism, or a related field, and a minimum of 5 years of experience in a similar role. We’re seeking a candidate who possesses a strong command of communications practices, methodologies and technologies who can effectively managing multiple concurrent initiatives. The ability to view opportunities and interrelationships with an organization-wide perspective is important, as is the ability to achieve goals working with teams and independently.
 
The application deadline is May 16, 2021. A resume with cover letter can be sent to resourcecenter@wcucc.org.
How Can We Overcome Barriers to Vaccination?
From the Parish Paper
The end of the COVID-19 pandemic and a return to normal life requires that a majority of the population get vaccinated. While those who are vaccine-hesitant present one set of challenges, another set of obstacles remains. How do we get more people to the vaccine center, especially the hard-to-reach and those who face socioeconomic barriers to access?

Some of the methods presented here are borrowed from methods used by political campaigns as part of a get-out-the-vote strategy, while others are based on insights by clergy and community organizers who have worked in economically struggling urban neighbor-hoods or culturally and geographically isolated rural areas.
Volunteer Opportunities at Camp AweSum
We invite volunteers to camp to help support our mission!

Registration is now open and Camp AweSum Family Camp 2021 dates are:
  • Camp AweSum Family 1: June 13-19, 2021
  • Camp AweSum Family 2: June 20-26, 2021
  • Camp AweSum Family 3: August 1-7, 2021
  • Camp AweSum Family 4: August 8-14, 2021
 
A few things to consider:
  • In order to make Camp AweSum sustainable, we have a suggested donation of $290.00 to cover food and lodging costs of volunteers on-site. PLEASE note that we do not want cost to be preventative in participation and that it is only a suggested cost.
  • Volunteers 14-17 need to be supervised by a chaperone.
  • Mobility: All volunteers need to be able to walk around camp in order to ensure the safety of campers and volunteers.
  • With COVID in mind, UCCI has non-negotiable policies, safety practices, and procedures in place that will help keep our community safe. This will look like: masks, decreased capacities, health screenings, enhanced cleaning, and more.

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
  • Pilgrim UCC in Fond du Lac is searching for a pastor. Details
  • To see all searching churches, click here.

New Calls
  • Rev. James McKenzie has been called as interim pastor at St. Peter's UCC in Kiel, effective May 2, 2021.

Installations and Ordinations
  • Rev. Peter Haskins was installed at St. Paul's UCC in Menomonee Falls on May 2, 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 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 Can we Overcome Barriers to Vaccination?." 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