Wisconsin Conference Life Newsletter
April 21, 2016 
shift logo
SHIFT in Action in Howards Grove

Two core components of the Shift initiative are building relationships and sharing resources. One of the ways we are doing both of these things is through telling our stories and getting to know what our various congregations are doing. This story was shared recently by Carl TenPas, member of Our Shepherd UCC in Howards Grove and a former participant of Lay Academy. Carl paints a hopeful picture of a congregation involved in its community and sharing God's peace, hospitality and love with our world.
Read more 
Follow the SHIFT blog 
Take the Creation Care Challenge

The national UCC is challenging UCC churches to either start an environmental ministry or take an existing ministry to the next level with the Creation Care Challenge. Five ways to meet the Creation Care Challenge are listed on the Creation Care website. Check them out here! 
Syrian Refugee Camp Visit
Conference Minister Franz Rigert was recently part of a visit to the Holy Land through a Leadership Delegation of the United Church of Christ and the Disciples of Christ. This delegation is part of the Global Ministries Middle East Initiative. The following article was created by the Orthodox Initiative, which hosted the visit to the refugee camp.
Read more 
mailbox image Drop the PO Box!

The Conference will now be getting mail delivered directly to the Trost Center. Please note the change to our address effective April 29, 2016:

Wisconsin Conference UCC
4459 Gray Road (no PO Box)
DeForest, WI 53532 (no plus-4)

But don't worry: you will still find us at the same place on Gray Road in DeForest!
Jesus' Wilderness Temptations: Perspectives from Honduras, Germany and Wisconsin
Tuesday, May 3 - Friday May 6
Pilgrim Center

Come to Pilgrim Center for three days of international fellowship, worship, study, and conversation around the economic, political, and religious dimensions of the three wilderness temptations of Jesus. General daily schedule consists of mornings at Pilgrim Center and afternoons at activities off-site. Clergy and laypersons are welcome to attend the full event (beginning Tuesday evening) or register as a day guest for individual dates.
More information
Register here by April 25
NOTE: Volunteers are needed to provide host homes. Contact Jim Gorman if interested
Exploring Digital Ministry Workshop
Featuring national experts on digital ministry
April 28, 2016, 9am-3pm, DeForest

The world around us keeps expanding the ways people can connect with one another and these connections offer us new opportunities and new challenges in ministry. Social media can help you extend your reach beyond the church walls, and increase your ability to share the Gospel. Join in a day of case studies, exploration of the theological dimension of digital ministry, boundary issues and practical aspects like how to make choices about where to invest your time. $25 includes lunch.
A New Look at Stewardship

Recently a group of people from around the Conference attended the Stepping into Stewardship Conference sponsored by the UCC and Disciples of Christ. Rev. Ann Utke, one of those who attended, shares her insights from the conference in this article (see link). Ann suggests "...let us offer learnings and resources to one another as we all seek to grow in this crucial activity of raising--not just funds--but raising people." Ann invites people to contact her with questions or if they are interested in having conversations on the topic of stewardship.
Read article
upcoming events image Upcoming Events

Digital Ministry Workshop
April 28
Trost Center, DeForest

Pre-Retirement Workshop

May 10
Memorial UCC, Fitchburg
More information

Interim Ministry Workshop
May 19, 2016 - DeForest
May 24, 2016 - Wausau
Informational flyer
Register for DeForest workshop
Register for Wausau workshop

Annual Meeting 
SHIFT: A Hope-filled Future
June 10-12
Green Lake Conference Center
More information

Pre-Meeting Thursday Workshop
Leading Adaptive Change with Your Congregation
June 9
Green Lake Conference Center
More information

Boundary Training
June 9-10
Green Lake Conference Center
More information

Lay Academy
Faith Foundations Year 1 & Lay Leadership Skills
More information

Lay Academy Alumni Event 
July 22-23
Trost Center, DeForest
More information

National Youth Event 
July 26-30
Walt Disney World
Register by May 27!
More information
Carol Howard Merritt image
The Church on the Edge
Wisconsin Council of Churches
2016 Washington Island Forum
June 20-24

When we look at our religious landscape, we can clearly see new growth arising in denominational churches, as people plant worshiping communities and revitalize existing congregations. While each gathering looks different, according to its context, there are patterns to the renewal. What are some common characteristics? What sort of needs are these churches meeting? What can existing churches learn from new congregations? We will explore these questions with Carol Howard Merritt, "Church in the Making" columnist for the Christian Century.
More information
Lakeland College logo Lakeland College Hiring
Assistant Professor, Philosophy and Religion and College Chaplain in Plymouth, Wis.

Lakeland College, an independent liberal arts institution located in east central Wisconsin, and related to the United Church of Christ, seeks qualified candidates for the combined position of Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Religion, and Chaplain, beginning in August 2016.
More information
Conference Transitions

Searching Churches
Churches that recently started searching for a new pastor:
  • Phleps Congregational UCC, Phelps
  • Ely Memorial UCC, Land O'Lakes
  • First Congregational UCC, Genesee
  • First Congregational UCC, Hartland
To see all searching churches, click here.

New Calls
  • Rev. Adam Westrich has been called as pastor at St. Paul's UCC in Ellsworth, effective April 11, 2016.
Installations and Ordinations
  • Rev. Rob MacDougall was installed as Associate Conference Minister at First Congregational UCC in La Crosse on April 9, 2016
  • Rev. Jane Anderson was installed as Associate Conference Minister at Bethlehem UCC in Kiel on April 16, 2016
  • Sonja Ingrebritsen was installed at Community of Hope UCC in Madison on April 17, 2016
  • Grace UCC in Milwaukee celebrated its 10th anniversary on April 9-10, 2016.

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.

Wisconsin Conference United Church of Christ
4459 Gray Road | DeForest, WI  53532

In This Issue
Creation Care Challenge
Syrian refugee camp visit
Drop the PO Box
Jesus' Wilderness Temptations
Digital Ministry workshop
A new look at stewardship
Upcoming events
Washington Island Forum
Lakeland College hiring
Conference transitions

Shift blog 
Check out the
SHIFT BLOG for inspiration! 
Read about & share congregational shift stories.
Church Spotlight

Rosendale UCC image
This church in the Northeast association has been ministering to the people of Rosendale for over 150 years. Rev. Wesley Wassell is pastor.  

Check the Conference calendar for upcoming events.
Revd Up logo
Follow Franz Rigert's Rev'd Up Blog for thought provoking ideas. Join the conversation!

First Congregational UCC in Appleton is hiring for two positions: 3/4 time Director for Middle School Ministries and 3/4 time Director for High School Ministries

Madison Christian Community is hiring for two positions: Administrative Secretary and Clerical Assistant

Quick Links

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.