Wisconsin Conference Life Newsletter
Aug. 31, 2018 
Doctrine of Discovery study manual image Doctrine of Discovery

In June, delegates at the Wisconsin Conference UCC Annual Meeting voted to enter into a time of study about the Doctrine of Discovery. This vote calls on congregations to spend time between now and the Annual Meeting in April 2019 learning about the history and consequences of the Doctrine of Discovery, including the role the Christian church has played. We are called to consider how our faith informs our response to the Doctrine of Discovery. The vote of the delegates requires that 65 congregations of the Wisconsin Conference UCC must report having studied this issue in order for a resolution calling on the Wisconsin Conference of the United Church of Christ to repudiate the Doctrine of Discovery to come to the floor for a vote at our April 2019 Annual Meeting. During this time of study, the Racial Justice Task Force of the Conference will provide resources and support to congregations who engage in this study.
To start, the Racial Justice Task Force encourages members of congregations to become familiar with the Doctrine of Discovery and its history and to become aware of how religious communities have responded to the call from indigenous peoples to live out their faith. This article, published by the Religious News Service earlier this month, gives a brief overview of the Doctrine of Discovery and the ways in which Christian denominations have responded to this call. You can read the article here and access other resources on this issue on the Conference website Doctrine of Discovery webpage.   
Plymouth UCC in Eau Claire Holds First Worship Service in New Building 

Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ held a worship service in its own building Sunday for the first time in nearly two years. The new building is on the site of the one that burned nearly two years ago after a lightning strike.

The Congregation is holding a ribbon cutting ceremony and an open house for the community at 4 p.m. on Sept. 13. A dedication service is scheduled for 4 p.m. on Sept. 23.
Sacred Converstations on Race with Rev. Velda Love
September 22, 2018, 3:00pm - 5:00pm
Plymouth UCC, Milwaukee

The Rev. Dr. Velda Love, UCC Minister for Racial Justice, will hold an afternoon workshop titled "For God So Loved the World . . ." at Plymouth UCC in Milwaukee on September 22. This engaging and interactive workshop is an opportunity to join together with people of faith in "sacred conversations to end racism."
More information and registration
Online Conference Directory Available
Do you ever need to find a phone number or email address for a pastor at another church? Or look up someone who's on your committee? Have you heard of Church Life--the smartphone app that is the Conference digital directory? This app is easy to install and use.
To install, go to either the Apple Store or Google Play Store and search for the ACS  Church Life app. Install the app.
To log in you will need to use the same email address and password that you use when registering for Conference events. Don't have an account for that? We can help you get that set up. Just contact Deb Simon in the Conference office. You can also contact Deb if you have problems getting the app to work for you. Email Deb or call 608-846-7880.
You can also access the directory from your computer! Open a browser (Internet Explorer, Chrome etc.) and enter www.churchlife.mobi. Then enter your email address and password (as above).
Neighbors in Need Offering
Suggested date: October 7, 2018

We invite you to join the call to participate in the Neighbors in Need Offering! The suggested offering date is Sunday, October 7th. 
Please visit UCC Resources to find everything your congregation needs for a successful offering:
  • 11x17 Poster
  • Leader's Guide
  • Offering Envelopes
  • Bulletin Inserts (PDF download only)
  • Bulletin Covers (PDF download only)
  • Activity Book (PDF download only)
All supplies are free and shipped directly to you free of charge.
Digital resources can be downloaded at www.ucc.org/nin.
Thank you for supporting the Neighbors in Need (NIN) Offering, and for continuing to work towards a Just World for All. Read how NIN grants are changing lives here: Neighbors in Need stories.
September is Hunger Awareness Month
from the Wisconsin Council of Churches

Educate your church members about hunger in Wisconsin and  
what we must do to fight it! As followers of Jesus, who had compassion on the hungry crowd and made sure that they were fed, physically as well as spiritually, we are called to care for our hungry neighbors. In Wisconsin, 247,000 households experience hunger or are at risk of hunger. What can be done?  
Food pantries and free meals can help, but our nation's most powerful tool for fighting hunger is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, called FoodShare in Wisconsin).  SNAP helps 700,000 Wisconsinites meet their nutritional needs, and it must be kept strong and effective. Right now, Congress is debating the Farm Bill, which provides funding and sets the rules for SNAP. Many proposed changes would hurt children, seniors, veterans, working families, and others who struggle to get enough to eat.  
Click here to request a bulletin insert you can print to inform your congregation about these important issues and urge them to take action!
UCC Missionary Visiting Wisconsin

Mr. Mark Behle, a United Church of Christ missionary, is on home assignment. He will be in Wisconsin October 2-25.  He has experience in Zambia for 11 years as a math teacher, and 22 years in the Kingdom of Lesotho as a teacher and planning officer. Due to his previous visits to Wisconsin and the relationships with congregation that have been established in the past, the dates of October 9th,10th, 14th, and 21st are taken. He is experienced in sharing with any and all groups.
Please e-mail The Rev. William Kesting if you wish to have Mr. Behle speak at your church, sharing possible dates and times.
Health Insurance Informational Meetings 

During the last week of September, representatives from the Pension Boards will join Conference staff Franz Rigert and Vicki Graff in hosting five regional Health Insurance informational meetings. The purpose of these gatherings is to provide an overview of UCC Health Insurance options (A, B and C), as well as details about the retiree supplemental plans (with particular regard to prescription coverage options).

We will also provide a detailed analysis, for each congregation represented, that projects insurance cost adjustments (increases or decreases) related to the ending of our Shared Cost Program.
Continue reading 
Note: Meeting details can be accessed by the above "continue reading" link and scrolling to the bottom portion of the message. 
Great Lakes Association of United Church Educators (GLAUCE) Conference
October 9-11, 2018
Techny Towers, Northbrook, Illinois

The GLAUCE Conference is just around the corner...don't miss out!
GLAUCE is an excellent opportunity for clergy and lay leaders who are invested in faith formation to network and be resourced. This year's theme is Standing Together: A Sacred Conversation on Race. Our keynote speaker will be the Rev. Traci Blackmon, Executive Minister for Justice and Local Church Ministries for the United Church of Christ. The event will also be a great opportunity to connect with people from around the Great Lakes Region of the United Church of Christ.
Conference flyer If you have questions, please contact Becky Johnston
Youth Events for 2018-2019 

Gather up your youth groups! Plan to attend one (or more) of these youth camps this program year.
  • Youth Faith Formation Retreats at Pilgrim Center
    • November 9-11, 2018
    • February 22-24, 2019
    • March 1-3, 2019
  • Knock Knock Middle School Retreat at Pilgrim Center
    • November 16-18, 2018
  • Jesus Core Retreat at Pilgrim Center
    • January 11-13, 2019

More information on the retreats

Youth events flyer

Webinar: What Faith Communities Need to Know about Carbon Pricing
September 5, 2018 at 12:00pm Central time

For this month's Creation Justice Webinar, four panelists will discuss what faith communities need to know about "carbon pricing," policies that seek to establish a cost for carbon pollution. There are a range of mechanisms for doing this and strongly felt assessments for each. Sign-up to join this informative webinar!
Get-Out-the-Vote Webinar Series 
From the National Council of Churches (NCC)

Our congregations can become active in their communities to help increase voter turnout. Over the past 60 years, only about 40% of registered voters turn out for midterm elections.  

Every other Tuesday beginning on September 4 until election day, NCC will present a webinar series to provide constituents with resources and tools to develop a non-partisan get-out-the-vote campaign that can make a measurable difference in their community. Topics will include organizing non-partisan candidate forums, understanding what congregations can and cannot do during elections, and strategies to improve local voter turnout. Attendees will be able to participate in the live webinars as well as have access to the playback following each recording. 

The five webinars will be hosted by LaKesha Womack and will feature a subject-matter expert as her guest.
More information 
"The State of the Church"
Rev. Dr. Tony Campolo to speak at Lakeland University

Lakeland University is pleased to have the Rev. Dr. Tony Campolo, professor emeritus of sociology at Eastern University and a former faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania, return to campus to offer his thoughts about the current state of affairs in the church. A renowned social activist, sociologist, pastor, author and public speaker, Dr. Campolo is co-founder of the progressive Christian movement, Red Letter Christians and continues to provide leadership for the group. For over 40 years, he has also led the Evangelical Association for the Promotion of Education, an organization which he founded to offer and support programs serving needy communities and creating opportunities to involve young people in ministry. He has written more than 35 books and can be found blogging regularly on tonycampolo.org and redletterchristians.org.

Monday, Sept. 10, 2018 at 7 p.m.
Younger Family Campus Center, Lakeland University
W3718 South Dr, Plymouth, Wis.
Admission is free, but reservations are appreciated. Email Linda at bosmanlr@lakeland.edu or call 920-565-1023, ext. 2151. 
Boundary Training
Tuesday, October 30, 2018
First Congregational UCC, Oconomowoc
9:00am - 3:00pm

We ask that all authorized ministers - members in discernment, active pastors, chaplains, licensed and commissioned ministers, retired ministers still performing ministerial functions - attend a boundary training session every four years to stay current on the latest thinking and laws that affect our work as faith leaders in our denomination.
More information and registration

Conference Transitions

Searching Churches
  • Parkside Community UCC and the Port Washington/ Saukville Ecumenical Youth Ministry is searching for a part-time Director of Youth Ministry. More information  
  • To see all searching churches, click here.
Wider Church Job Opportunities 
  • The United Church of Christ is searching for a Minister for Economic Justice. More information 
  • The United Church of Christ is searching for an Associate General Minister for the Global Engagement ministry team. More information 
  • CHHSM is seeking an Associate for Advocacy and Leadership Development. More information
New Calls
  • Rev. Aaron Alfred has been called as pastor at Trinity UCC in Endeavor, effective July 1, 2018.
  • Rev. Ernest Huntzinger has been called as interim pastor at Community UCC in Elkhart Lake, effective July 24, 2018.
  • Rev. Gail Irwin has been called as interim pastor at Peace UCC in Shawano, effective August 1, 2018.
  • Lois Buchholz has been called as pastor at United Church of Christ Congregational in Osseo, effective August 19, 2018.
  • Rev. Shaun Drefahl has been called as pastor at Congregational UCC in Evansville, effective August 20, 2018.
  • First Congregational UCC, Bloomer, is celebrating their 150th Anniversary on September 23, 2018. A special worship service will be held at 10:00am followed by an afternoon of food and fellowship.

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.
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

In This Issue
New Plymouth UCC building
Sacred Conversations event
Online Conference directory
Neighbors in Need Offering
Missionary visit
Health Insurance meetings
GLAUCE conference
Youth Events
Creation Care webinar
Voting webinar
Boundary Training
Featured Article
Church Spotlight

This Northeast Association church has been serving the Oshkosh area for over 50 years, though the church's roots go back much farther to 1867. Rev. Deborah L. Bartelt is the pastor. The church is proud of supporting it's local and national missions, and holds a yearly Polka Worship service.  

Check the Conference calendar for upcoming events.
Quick Links

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
Got News?
Let us know! If you have something you'd like considered for publication in
Wisconsin Conference Life, email Nola at the Wisconsin Conference.