Wisconsin Conference Life Newsletter
Feb. 20, 2019 
The Damascus Project and The Lay Academy: A Comparison
by Rev. Tisha Brown

Over the last year I have received a number of inquiries about the similarities and differences between the Wisconsin Conference Lay Academy and the newly emerging Damascus Project. I hope this article will help answer some of your questions. In addition, I am always available and eager to respond to questions and to receive comments. You can reach me at tbrown@wcucc.org or call m
e at 608-846-7880.
Read the article 
The Doctrine of Discovery and Its Ongoing Effects
Ethics Colloquy, Lakeland University
March 4, 2019, 7:00pm-8:15pm
Presenters: Larry Littlegeorge and Rev. Rob MacDougall

Larry and Rob will provide an overview of the Doctrine of Discovery and explain why the issue is being studied by Conference churches prior to considering a resolution to repudiate the document at the 2019 Annual Meeting.

Larry is a member of the Hochunk Nation, the Warrior Clan.  He was baptized in 1957 at the Hocak (Hochunk) Church, which is part of the WI Conference of the UCC.  He completed the WI Conference Lay Academy in 2016 and is currently a spiritual leader of the Hocak Church. Larry has personally felt the effects of racism that he traces back to historic documents like Papal Bulls laying out the Doctrine of Discovery, and he has done a great deal of study and speaking on the topic. Rev. Rob McDougall is Associate Conference Minister with primary responsibility for the Northwest Association of the Conference. The location for the event is Younger Family Campus Center (second floor), Lakeland University, W3718 South Dr., Plymouth, Wis.
Free; reservations requested. Please register online.
For more information about the Doctrine of Discovery and for study materials for your congregation leading up to the vote at Annual Meeting, please see our Doctrine of Discovery webpage.
2019 Combined Conference and Associations Annual Meeting
Living the Light
April 5-6, 2019
Glacier Canyon Conference Center in the Wilderness Resort in the Wisconsin Dells

Important: Hotel rates increase after March 5. Also, please register by March 20. This will help us get accurate counts for meals.
The Annual Meeting is taking a different form for 2019. Due to hosting General Synod in June, the Associations and Conference decided to combine annual meetings this year into One Meeting to engage in the business of two settings of the Church. The meeting will include sessions for Conference business and breakout sessions by Association.
In addition to taking care of business, the conference-wide planning team is scheduling time for fun and connecting with others from your Association and around the Conference, including live music Friday night!

Annual Meeting relies on the help of volunteers! Give a little of your time and get to connect with everyone attending Annual Meeting. Greet friends and acquaintances you haven't seen since the last Annual Meeting. Your spouse/partner is also welcome to be a volunteer. Volunteer opportunities 
Just prior to Annual Meeting, the Conference is offering a Boundary Training. Boundary Training information and registration. Space is limited to the first 32 participants. Register by March 20.
Taste and See Event
March 12, 2019 -- 10:00am - 3:00pm
First Congregational UCC, Watertown

The Catalyst Team of the Wisconsin Conference invites you to this Taste and See Event to explore three programs designed to support your congregation in taking your next best step.
Readiness 360 helps congregations identify:
  • Where to start with a new ministry
  • How to get unstuck
  • Building on your strengths
  • How to shift focus from maintenance to mission
Coaching equips clergy to:
  • build on their strengths
  • identify and act on priorities

  • identify ministry goals and work toward them

  • thrive in ministry

Five Practices equips you for:
  • Radical hospitality
  • Passionate worship
  • Risk-taking mission and service
  • Extravagant generosity
  • Intentional Faith Development

More information and registration 

woke program logo WOKE! A Community Conversation About Racial Justice
Sunday Lenten Series: March 10, March 17, March 24, March 31, April 7

This Lenten series is sponsored by the Southeast Wisconsin Racial Justice Consortium (a group of UCC churches) with partial funding through a Wisconsin Conference UCC Catalyst Grant.

Milwaukee's Struggle for Fair Housing: The History and the Poetry
March 10, 2019 -- 3:00-4:30 pm --  Margaret Rozga
First Congregational UCC, 131 N. Webster St, Port Washington
The History and Worship of the African American Church in word and music
March 17, 2019 -- 6:00 -7:30 pm -- Bryan Johnson
Parkside Community UCC, 166 W Dekora St, Saukville
Our Youth, Our future: Racial disparities in the Criminal Justice System
March 24, 2019 -- 3:00-4:30 pm -- Emilio De Torre
First Congregational UCC, 131 N. Webster St, Port Washington
The Hidden Impacts of Segregation in Wisconsin: Why It Matters to Us All
March 31, 2019 -- 3:00-4:30 pm -- Reggie Jackson
First Congregational UCC, 131 N. Webster St, Port Washington
EVICTED by Matthew Desmond
April 7, 2019 -- 3:00-4:30 pm -- Community Book Discussion (book will be available at prior events)
First Congregational UCC, 131 N. Webster St, Port Washington
Flyer for Lenten series
Event speaker bios 
OGHS logo One Great Hour of Sharing
Offering to be collected March 31, 2019
One Great Hour of Sharing® (OGHS) is the Lenten Offering of the United Church of Christ that supports disaster, refugee, and development activities worldwide. This offering will be collected in our church and other UCC Churches on March 31, 2019.

About 62% of this offering goes overseas in partnership with Church World Service, several Denominations in the US (including the UCC), and local relief agencies who have staff and volunteers organized in areas of need. Most of the expenditures are put into the budget to support long-term sustainable development. All funding is reviewed and monitored by a leadership committee that also reviews grant requests for long-term disaster rehabilitation initiatives. The remainder of the OGHS offering, approximately 38%, is used domestically for disaster relief, and to aid refugees and immigrants fleeing to the US and territories for a better life.    
One Great Hour of Sharing Offering is extremely efficient, cost-effective way to reach out and help people near and far. On average, for every dollar given to One Great Hour of Sharing, 95 cents is used directly for mission programming; and 5 cents for interpretation materials. Any associated administrative costs are paid by gifts to Our Church's Wider Mission National Basic Support. Let's all reach out on March 31 to people who need our help including immigrants, people in the US and its territories, and people all over the world. 
More information about OGHS
Racism dehumanizes us all - Dismantling racism heals us all.
Increase your understanding of the systemic violence that is racism in our society, our communities, and our churches by attending this workshop and retreat. As the church, it is our duty to not just be not racist, but to be anti-racist. This means we need to identify and work against racism. This workshop will help us to identify the insidious ways we perpetuate racism without even thinking about it. Whether this is your first step or a continuation of your journey, this workshop will meet you where you are to help you get closer to being an anti-racist, pro-reconciling leader for your church and community.
More information

New Services for Congregations

Church Building and Loan Fund is offering new services to congregations - stewardship, re-purposing, and capital campaign consultations! Click HERE for more information. I'd love to hear from you!   
--Chuck Blaisdell, Regional Mission Interpreter, Church Building & Loan Fund
A Modern Response to Modern Day Slavery
Founders' Day Lecture
Bradley Theater, Lakeland University, W3718 South Dr., Plymouth, Wis.
Presenter: Sr. Joan Dawber, founder and executive director of Lifeway Network in New York City
March 26, 2019, 11am-Noon

Sr. Joan will present the story of LifeWay Network and its response to human trafficking, or what it is more correctly named modern-day slavery. Learn about human trafficking globally and right here in the United States, who it impacts, tactics used by traffickers and red flags in order to prevent, recognize and report trafficking. Lecture is free; lunch with Sr. Joan following presentation is $10. For more information, click here.
Conference Transitions

Searching Churches
  • Hope UCC in Sturgeon Bay seeks a full time pastor. Details
  • Hope UCC in Fremont seeks a full time pastor. Details
  • First Congregational  UCC in La Crosse a full time Christian educator. Details 
  • First Congregational UCC in Tomah seeks a 3/4 time pastor. Details
To see all searching churches, click here.
Wider Church Searches
  • The national United Church of Christ is seeking a Digital Content Specialist. Details 
New Calls
  • Rev. Laura Kolden has been called as pastor at First UCC in Belleville, effective February 3, 2019.
  • Rev. Peter Norland has been called as pastor at Portage Lake United Church in Houghton, Mich., effective February 3, 2019.
Installations and Ordinations
  • Laura Kolden was ordained at Salem UCC in Verona on February 10, 2019.
Good Tidings
  • Community UCC in Medford became an ONA church on February 14, 2019
  • Pilgrim UCC in Fond du Lac became an ONA church on February 19, 2019

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
Doctrine of Discovery
Annual Meeting
Taste & See event
Racial Justice event
Anti-racism training
New services for congregations
Modern day slavery lecture
Conference Transitions
Congregations studying the Doctrine of Discovery
Can we count you in?
Church Spotlight

Rev. Reno Wright is the pastor of this Southeast Association church. Grace is the Conference's youngest church, having been established in 2006.  

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.