Wisconsin Conference Life Newsletter
March 17, 2016 
SHIFT logo Community Engagement
by Rev. Tisha Brown

Continuing the SHIFT Conversation

In Video #4 of the SHIFT Conversation series, Franz Rigert shares the Five Areas of Ministry around which we are focusing on developing resources. From time to time I will lift up examples in Shift Space from one of these areas of ministry as a way to highlight the possibilities and inspire creative thinking.

One of the five resource areas is community engagement. Congregations that are vital and alive are often engaged with their local communities in meaningful ways. This engagement often rises out of a sense of identity or passion within the congregation-a gift the congregation has to give. It also comes from an understanding of a community need that the congregation is able to address in some meaningful way. Often, congregations develop partnerships with other community organizations through which both parties pursue goals that are mutually agreed upon and beneficial to all in some way. The primary reason to engage our communities is because of the gospel call to love God the most and our neighbor as ourselves.
Read more at the SHIFT Space blog 
Boundary Training
June 9-10, 2016
Green Lake Conference Center

Authorized ministers and members in discernment have an opportunity to participate in boundary training just prior to the opening of the Wisconsin Conference annual meeting in June. The boundary training will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 9, at the Green Lake Conference Center, and then will resume on Friday morning from 9 a.m. to 11:30. 
Rev. Heide Hackman and Rev. Phil Haslanger will lead the training, which will include general sessions as well as workshops on topics such as social media, financial issues, ministerial transitions, self-care and family led by a variety of facilitators.
Each Association requires authorized clergy to participate in an approved boundary training course once every four years. This will meet that requirement. There will also be boundary training offered in the fall by the Northwest Association.
The cost of the training is $15. You can register for the boundary training here.
Participants will also need to arrange with Green Lake Conference Center for lodging and dinner Thursday evening and for breakfast and lunch on Friday. Mention you are attending the Wisconsin Conference UCC meeting to get the meeting price.
If you are attending Annual Meeting and/or the Thursday Pre-meeting Workshop, separate meeting registration is required.

Help the UCC Celebrate Church Anniversaries
The UCC Historical Council wants to lift up churches celebrating significant anniversaries by featuring them on the UCC Facebook page with stories and photographs.  If you'd like to share your church's anniversary story with the wider church, contact Rev. Dr. Carolyne Call of the Indiana-Kentucky Conference at c.call@ikcucc.org
Jesus' Wilderness Temptations:
Perspectives from Honduras, Germany & Wisconsin
May 3-6, 2016
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
campital campaign image Campital Campaign Update

As of March 1, 2016, Glenn Svetnicka has taken on the responsibility of Follow-Up Campaign Director. He will be following up with the churches who have not pledged to date as well as the volunteers who still have visits to be made.
UCCI logo
Let Go, Let Be, Let Come Clergy Retreat
April 25-27 
Pilgrim Center

Clergy you are invited to come to Pilgrim Center to let go, let be, and let come. Leave your active life behind for a couple of days and step into the flow of the living flames of the Spirit where you will "find restoration for your soul." As a community of clergy gathered for a few days, come to refill your cup, allow yourself to be restored through both optional guided sessions of story, scripture, and meditation as well as time to explore the outdoors, indoor labyrinth, connect with others, or take a nap if you wish. 

For those clergy in the Wisconsin Conference of the United Church of Christ this is a pay as you are able event. The retreat starts with dinner on Sunday evening at 5 PM; however we invite you to join us for Nathan Athorp's Ordination and Installation at 3PM. The event will officially conclude Tuesday morning; however, you are welcome to stay at Pilgrim Center through lunch. Please register at ucci.org and select 2016 Schedule and scroll down to Let Go, Let Be, Let Come Clergy Retreat.
Rev. Carol Howard Merritt image
The Church on the Edge: 2016 Washington Island Forum
June 20-24, 2016
Rev. Carol Howard Merritt will present The Church on the Edge at the Wisconsin Council of Churches 2016 Washington Island Forum. Rev. Merritt is a Presbyterian (USA) minister whose writing, speaking, and teaching is anchored in theological wisdom and fresh sociological insight.

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
John Shelby Spong image Rev. John Shelby Spong to Speak

Join Trinity UCC in Brookfield on April 17 for an event with Rev. John Shelby Spong. He will talk about his new book, Biblical Literalism: A Gentile Heresy.
More information
Upcoming Events
Oral History Workshop
April 16, 2016
Trost Center, DeForest 
Digital Ministry Workshop
April 27, 2016
Trost Center, DeForest
More information 
Clergy Pre-Retirement Workshop
May 10, 2016
Memorial UCC, Fitchburg
Leading Adaptive Change with Your Congregation
Pre-Meeting Thursday Workshop
June 9, 2016
Green Lake Conference Center
More information

Annual Meeting
Shift: A Hope-Filled Future
June 10-12, 2016
Green Lake Conference Center
More information

Lay Academy Alumni Event
The Spirit Within: Where is God Leading You?
July 22-23, 2016
Trost Center, DeForest
More information

Lay Academy 2016-2017
Faith Foundations Year 1 and Lay Leadership Skills
First session: September 9-10, 2016
Trost Center, DeForest
More information

National Youth Event
July 26-30, 2016 (register by May 27)
Walt Disney World
More information
Conference Transitions

Searching Churches
Churches that started searching for a new pastor in March:
  • Congregational UCC, Whitewater
  • First Congregational, Redgranite
To see all searching churches, click here.

New Calls
  • Rev. Deborah Bartelt has been called as pastor at Bethany UCC in Oshkosh effective March 1, 2016.
Installations and Ordinations
  • Rev. Dr. David Schnepf was installed as pastor at First Congregational UCC in Oconomowoc on March 6, 2016
  • Rev. Asafa Rajaofera was ordained and installed as pastor and teacher for Immanuel UCC in Greenwood and First Congregational UCC in Owen, on March 13.
In Memoriam
  • Rev. Lloyd Fried passed away on March 11, 2016. Obituary

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 | PO Box 435 | DeForest, WI  53532

In This Issue
Boundary training
Church anniversaries
Temptations of Jesus international event
Campital Campaign update
Clergy retreat
Washington Island Forum
Rev. Spong to speak
Upcoming events
Conference Transitions
Church Spotlight

This Southeast Association church proclaims itself as a "small church with a big spirit" and aims to let the light of Christ shine through in all that they do. Their pastor is Rev. Judith Wang. 

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 Micah Schlobohm or Rich Fluechtling of the Wisconsin Conference UCC Committee on Ministry with LGBTQ Persons.
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Wisconsin Conference Life, email Nola at the Wisconsin Conference.