Wisconsin Conference Life Newsletter
Nov. 19, 2015
Rob MacDougall image Faithful Small Churches
by Rev. Rob MacDougall

Up near the Wisconsin/Upper Michigan state border is the little town of Phelps. Phelps, like many Northwest Wisconsin towns has its roots in the logging era of the late 1800s. The Congregational Church of Phelps was built by lumber barons along North Twin Lake.

In its heyday the church filled its pews on Sunday mornings. It had more than forty children in its Sunday school each week and it was a hub of community activity. When the forests were mostly harvested the town of Phelps lost its economic engine. In its glory years Phelps had three large grocery stores; now it doesn't have any.
New Ministry Opportunity: Immigration Working Group

What is our "still speaking" God calling us to today? How can we live out the good news of our faith to love and serve our neighbors? How can we respond to the needs of displaced people in our local, or global, community?
Over the past year, a group of lay leaders, clergy, and conference staff from across the state of Wisconsin have come together to respond to issues facing immigrants and refugees right here in our state and across the globe. Today the Immigration Working Group is extending an invitation to anyone inspired to join the struggle for more fair and humane treatment of people who have been pushed out of their native countries due to turmoil or persecution, or who have voluntarily left home seeking a better life for themselves and their children.
UCC Board to Gather Feedback On Constitution and Bylaws Change
Taking a step back after a failed resolution at General Synod 30
in July, the UCC board began a process to gather "as much feedback as possible" on possible UCC Constitution and Bylaws changes. One of the main concerns heard after General Synod was how these significant proposed changes were brought before Synod delegates without the opportunity for prior dialogue among the settings of the church. The UCC board will begin engaging the church in that conversation now. 
Read more about the board's plans
apple core image Jesus Core High School Retreat
January 8-10, 2016
Pilgrim Center

Find your way to the core! Jesus Core is a retreat for high school students, individually or with their church groups, designed to help teens gain a sense of the direction God is leading them. In the Jesus Core community, teens with experience worship, music, prayer, rest and inspiration. Details can be found at wcucc.org/youth
our whole lives image
Our Whole Lives Training
January 29-31, 2016
Lake Edge UCC, Madison

Our Whole Lives is a comprehensive, kindergarten through adult sexuality education curriculum series. It provides youth with accurate information on sexual health, human development, sexual behavior, relationships, and personal skills in the supportive setting of their faith community. This workshop trains teachers in how to teach participants about sexuality in age-appropriate ways. The workshop will focus on the curricula for grades K-1 and grades 4-6.
Registration and more information
global ministries logo image Global Ministries Releases Statement on Terrorism in Beirut and Paris

In recent days, the world has witnessed heinous acts of violence in Beirut and Paris. These horrible attacks have claimed the lives of more than 170 people, and traumatized so many others physically, emotionally, and spiritually. In the aftermath of this violence, we observe a time of silence and offer our fervent prayers for all who have suffered this week.
Keep reading
2015 OCWM and Special Gifts
Please note: all OCWM and Special Gifts checks for 2015 need to be in the Conference office by Friday, January 15, 2016. Indicate "2015" in the memo area of the check. Please contact Vicki Graff or Tracy Hauge with the amount of your gifts if you are not able to send a check so it arrives by January 15th. Thank you!
Conference Transitions

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  • Greendale Community UCC in Greendale celebrated its 75th Anniversary on November 8.
  • Trinity UCC in La Crosse celebrated its 150th Anniversary on November 15.
In Memoriam

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
Immigration Working Group
UCC Constitution and Bylaws feedback
Jesus Core Retreat
OWL training
Global Ministries terrorism statement
2015 OCWM deadline
Conference Transitions
Church Spotlight

  First Cong church sheboygan image
First Congregational Church in Sheboygan, in the Northeast Association, is celebrating 170 years as a church this year. For the past 20 years, the church has had two co-pastors, married couple Revs. Julia and Jim Hollister.

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.