On-site check-in for Annual Conference, which runs June 16-19 at the Madison Marriott West, begins this Friday, June 16 at 10 a.m. That afternoon, join us as the Oneida Drum Circle sanctifies our plenary and worship area at 1 p.m., and for opening worship with words from Dongbu Annual Conference Bishop Heon Young Choi, and music from Marcia McFee at 1:15 p.m. We look forward to seeing you there! Click here to see the final agenda and click here to visit our website for more information.

As a subscriber to eNews, you will be receiving daily news updates from Annual Conference. There will be no eNews on June 20, and the regular newsletter will resume on June 27.

In addition, please note that most of our staff will be at the Marriott beginning Friday morning for set-up, so the phones will be taking messages, but not answered by a person. Please pray for a successful Wisconsin Annual Conference session!

  • Download Official Annual Conference App: We've built a mobile app for WI Annual Conference 2017! It has all the important information you'll need for the event, and features to enhance your event experience, including the agenda, speaker information, and brochures and resources. Please Note: the only web browser that does not support the “Conference app” at this time is “Microsoft Edge,” which is the main Windows 10 browser. The App may be downloaded with Microsoft Explorer 11, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, or Apple Safari browsers. It is also available on the Apple App Store (for iPhones and iPads) and Android’s Google App Store (for Android phones and tablets). Content from the App can also be accessed at https://crowd.cc/s/trXe.
  • Watch Annual Conference Live Online: The Annual Conference session will be live-streamed, so you can watch from home or with a group at your church. Click here to connect to it once Annual Conference begins.
  • Stay Connected through Conference Communications: In addition to daily news updates from Annual Conference, you can also keep up with news and conversations online on our Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr pages and with the hashtag #wiumc.
  • A Reminder as We Welcome Adam Hamilton: We are blessed to welcome Adam Hamilton to our Annual Conference session, who will be leading a series of presentations entitled “Leading Beyond the Walls” throughout the weekend. Please understand that we are unable to accommodate any guest walk-ins for Adam Hamilton’s presentations. Only those registered for Annual Conference may attend his sessions. If you wish to watch Adam Hamilton's presentations, but are not registered for Conference, they will be live-streamed for free to the public. He is scheduled to speak on Friday from 3:30 to 5 p.m., and on Saturday from 9 to 10:30 a.m. and 2 to 3:30 p.m. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding!

What will it take to move us from the invitation to Imagine Wisconsin Anew to the challenge to Make A-New Wisconsin? We will be exploring together all of the possibilities--so we invite you to think in real and concrete ways how we can engage in mercy and justice ministries; launch new faith opportunities and revitalize existing congregations; feed people in body, mind, soul, and Spirit through Soul Food ministries; and welcome people of all nations, races, ethnicities, and backgrounds.

Enjoy the second installment of our ongoing series of short videos helping us move from “imagining” to “living” A New Wisconsin. Join Jorge Mayorga as he invites us to “Make A-New Wisconsin” through the identification, cultivation, and support of excellent, gifted laity and clergy leaders. Each week or so, we will share a new video; and all videos will eventually be available for streaming or download. Click here to see the first video in the series from Dan Dick.

On Sunday, June 4, Lake Mills UMC and Garrett-Evangelical Seminary helped Steve Zekoff commemorate 40 years of ministry with a scholarship established in his name. Garrett Vice President for Development Rev. Dr. David Heetland presented Steve with a plaque recognizing his years of ministry, and the endowed scholarship in his name during the 9 a.m. service on June 4 at Lake Mills. Steve served as pastor at Whitefish Bay UMC, as well as a variety of Conference-level appointments during his ministry, including Lake Okoboji (Iowa) Camp Director, Director of Camping, Associate Council Director, and Flood Recovery Project Director for the Wisconsin Conference. He has also held several risk management roles for GCFA, and has served in his current role of Conference Benefits Officer since 2010. Steve will retire from ministry on July 1, 2017.

Garrett-Evangelical has made an initial gift of $1,000 to establish the Steve Zekoff Endowed Scholarship whose earnings will assist some deserving student each year. The church has set a goal to reach at least $25,000, the minimum amount needed to permanently endow the scholarship. Members and friends of both Lake Mills UMC and Steve are invited to contribute to this scholarship fund to help reach the endowment goal. Checks can be made payable to Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, and mailed with this form. As many United Methodist pastors now enter ministry with sizeable student debt, your generous gift can help young pastors ease their financial burden.

For more than 50 years, Graebel Van Lines has been under contract with the Wisconsin Annual Conference. They are the moving company that has been entrusted with moving our pastors from one appointment to the next. In mid-March, Graebel notified the Wisconsin Conference that they were discontinuing their moving service. The majority of the 2017 moves are being handled by a company out of Waukesha. Some of the interstate moves are being facilitated by a company out of the Madison area. In late May, conversations were held with three moving companies. The short-term decision was to use the services of all three companies between July and December. The goal is to secure an intentional contract for 2018, with the hope that this will evolve into a long-term arrangement. When a final decision is made and a contract is written, an announcement will be made via eNews so that the entire Conference is aware of our new carrier. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we move our Moving Program forward. With any questions, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Moving Director

Wespath Benefits and Investments, the United Methodist pension agency, filed and actively supported successful shareholder resolutions asking the world’s largest oil and gas companies for greater transparency on how they are preparing for a low-carbon future. Under these resolutions — which received overwhelming shareholder support — Chevron, Occidental Petroleum and ExxonMobil will provide detailed reports assessing the impact of climate change. Harvard Business Review said the ExxonMobil resolution, in particular, suggests the investment community has reached “a tipping point” in the recognition of climate risks. Read Wespath press release. Read Harvard Business Review story.

The Rev. Jenny Phillips, most recently minister for environmental stewardship and advocacy of the United Methodist Pacific Northwest Conference and a creation care leader in the denomination, is joining the staff of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries, effective July 1. Elliott Wright reports for Global Ministries. Read story.

There is still time to register for Annual Conference! Please note that the registration rate has increased to $215, and no refunds on food, registrations, or lanyards will be given at this time. Visit https://tinyurl.com/WAC2017 to register today! This year’s Conference will be held June 16-19 at the Madison Marriott West, with Monday, June 19 as a Learning Day. The theme will be “One with Christ.” Please join us as we rejoice in our unity with the Lord or watch the live stream if you cannot join us in person. Click here to see this year's Ingathering list and click here to watch a video invitation from many of our Conference Staff members with more exciting information about this year's gathering. With any further questions, contact Registrar Kellye Walker-Pontius at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (608) 837-7328.

  • Latest Updates

    • Download Official Conference App on Thursday: We’ve built a mobile app for our WI Annual Conference 2017 session! It has all the important information you’ll need for the event, including a customizable schedule and the ability to view handouts from the Annual Conference packet. The app is called “WI Annual Conference 2017” and will be available after 5 p.m. on Thursday, June 8. The app is free on the Google Play store for Android devices and on the App store for Apple devices. Content from the App can also be accessed at https://crowd.cc/s/trXe.
    • Stay Connected to Latest News and Communications: As a subscriber to our eNews, you will be receiving daily news updates from Annual Conference. You can also keep up with news and conversations online on our Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr pages and with the hashtag #wiumc. While at Conference, be sure to stop by the Communications Table for resources for you and your church. Click here for more information about how your Wisconsin Conference Communications, IT, and Service team will be available to serve you and help you stay connected.
  • Registration Announcements

    • Walk-In Registration Notice: Lay Members to Annual Conference and clergy who choose to register on site will be charged a $50 late registration and extra $75 walk-in fee, bringing the registration to a total of $290.
    • Changes to Registration in 2017: Click here for more information.
  • Other Reminders

    • Download Pre-Conference Workbook: Click here to download an electronic copy of the Pre-Conference Workbook featuring all of the action items. All members to Annual Conference should have received a hard copy of this document in the mail. If not, please contact Katie Hoeppner in the Service Department at (608) 837-3367.
    • Order a 2017 Journal and Directory CD-ROM: Click here for more information.
    • Fill out Clergy Information Form: Click here to download the form with more information.
    • Fill out Nominations Form: Fill out the nominations form to volunteer for a board, agency, or committee of the Wisconsin Annual Conference. Click here to view the most recent Nominations Committee Report, updated June 6.
    • Register for Blueprint for Wellness Screening: Click here for more information.
    • Donations Needed at Midwest Missions Distribution Center (MMDC): MMDC recently sent out almost 4,000 buckets to Missouri and Illinois flood areas. For Ingathering, monetary donations are very helpful, as MMDC is able to buy in bulk at a discount. If actual buckets are provided, they must be new and 5-gallon sized only.
  • Conference Highlights

    • View Updated Agenda: Click here to view the latest agenda, updated May 8.
    • General Conference Amendments to be Presented at Annual Conference: Click here for more information.
    • Adam Hamilton to be Featured Speaker: Click here for more information. Note that we are unable to accommodate guest walk-ins for Adam Hamilton’s presentations. All of Adam Hamilton's sessions will be live-streamed for free to the public during Annual Conference.
    • Attend Friday MFSA Dinner with Rabbi Renee Bauer: Click here for more information.
    • Attend Mission Luncheon on Sunday: Click here for more information.
    • Opening Worship and Ordination Service Designations Announced: Click here to read more about the Milwaukee Urban Ministry Fund and Clergy Transition Funds.
    • Future Annual Conference Themes and Dates Announced: The Annual Conference dates and themes for the remainder of the quadrennium will be "One with Each Other" June 15-18, 2018; "One in Ministry to All the World" June 14-17, 2019; and "One in Community" June 12-15, 2020.

For the past 15 years, the Equipping Conference for Effective Christian Leaders (Wisconsin Conference Advance Special #7945) has been offering Bible studies and leadership training with pastors and other Christian leaders in rural Mbale, Uganda. Two years ago, an ecumenical gathering of Christian leaders in Mbale took up the challenge of starting a seminary that intentionally addressed the needs of rural Christian leaders in their economically poor communities. With the help of Christians in Maryland and Wisconsin, scholarships were provided to 20 students at the non-denominational Green Pasture School of Theology over the last two years. On May 12, 2017, the pioneer class of 9 men and 3 women received their diplomas signifying their completion of the two-year program; 10 more received their one year certificates. Considering how many Ugandans did not have access to primary or secondary education prior to 2000, it is very exciting to note that two graduates are ages 68 and 70, and still very vital and enthusiastic in sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ and leading congregations. This seminary would not be possible if it wasn’t for the support of United Methodists in Wisconsin and their contributions toward the Equipping Conference. Click here to read more.

June 30th is the last day that churches can take advantage of the incentives related to our Empowering Generosity initiative with Vanco Processing Solutions. Vanco offers a way for churches to receive tithes and offerings electronically from members and other donors. Churches using eGiving see an overall increase in their income. eGiving allows donors to “give in the moment”, even when they do not have cash or checks with them. eGiving also insulates your church from attendance dips. As members travel and vacation this summer, they can still manage to give electronically in their absence. We invite you to sign up your church without paying the initial enrollment fee or monthly service fees for 12 months.You will also receive a $100 check from our Wisconsin UM Foundation to offset transaction fees. Click here to watch a video with more information!

Wauwatosa Avenue UMC is announcing the availability of a yearly seminary scholarship for persons pursuing a Master of Divinity or Master of Christian Education degree, or persons seeking training as a local pastor. First priority will be given to members of Wauwatosa Ave UMC, second priority to UMC members in the South East District, and third priority to anyone who is a member of the UMC, and is entering ministry from Wisconsin. Applications are due July 1stat the Wisconsin United Methodist Foundation Office in Sun Prairie. Click here for more information.

Your Board of Higher Education and Student Ministries is proud to bring you this occasional series of articles about the people of faith and the ministry of joy that overflows your campus ministries in Wisconsin. If anyone tells you that the Church is dying, all you have to do is point them to your campus ministries across our Annual Conference! There you will find hope, deep faith, great food, and holy humor. Your support of campus ministries across our Conference makes it possible for students to explore and develop their faith in safe, inspiring surroundings. Your campus ministers are dedicated and enthusiastic. They encourage student leadership; foster engagement with the needs and challenges of the community and the world; and help students deepen their relationship with God, with others, and with themselves. The following is an Easter story from The Place Campus Ministry at UW-Stout:

It all started one cold night in January 2016 when I sat down for tea with a campus ministry colleague who coordinates ministry with Bridges International Student Ministry. We were thinking of ways that we might partner together so that the International students could get to know the UM students. We considered the upcoming Lent and Easter seasons. We were wondering how we might commemorate this special season of the Church calendar year. My colleague was especially wondering how to help the International students understand the significance of the Easter story. That’s when we considered putting together an event featuring the Stations of the Cross.

The images of Christ have long been a meaningful way to meditate on the sacrifice God made on our behalf. We decided to tweak the stations a little with images featuring major story highlights from Holy Week, so that international students, especially, could follow the important parts of the Easter Story. The stations we featured were: The Last Supper, Foot Washing, Peter’s Betrayal, The Thief on the Cross, Christ’s Death, and The Resurrection. In addition to pictures at each station, we collected artifacts that could symbolize the events in the story—a crown of thorns, a table set for the last supper, etc. We set up the Stations of the Cross on Good Friday. We invited all of the students and made the event open to the public as well, advertising broadly. On Good Friday, we served lemonade and freshly baked cookies. We also handed out fresh flowers (daffodils) to those who stopped by to see the stations. Many said the event was a meaningful way for them to prepare for Easter. And the International students got a better idea of what this Christian holiday is all about in North America. Over the summer, we applied for and received a grant to acquire new artwork for A Walk through Easter 2017. We’re hoping to see the event expand even wider than ever. By Rachel Rizzo, Campus Ministry Coordinator (Sponsored by Menomonie UMC)

Join Bishop Jung and Rev. Scott Carlson, on a 10-Day Journey to the Biblical Lands of Israel, the West Bank, and Jordan March 7-17, 2018. There is also an option to extend the trip with a four-day visit to Jordan and Petra. Flights will depart from Chicago to Tel Aviv. For any questions, contact Scott Carlson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. New ordinands from this past Annual Conference session can receive a discounted rate. Click here for more information and to register.

Rising Sun Camp, a United Methodist Camp for children ages 10-14 who have one or both parents incarcerated, takes place at Camp Lucerne on July 9-14, 2017. The registration cost to campers is only $5.00, and round trip bus transportation from Madison and Milwaukee is provided. Click here to view the camp brochure. Thirty campers will be accepted on a first come, first served basis. Click here to sponsor a Rising Sun camper. Donations can also be made to the Wisconsin Conference UMC Treasurer with Rising Sun Camp Fund No. 7783 in the memo line. Make copies of the camp brochure as needed, and get them into the hands of families caring for children who would qualify to attend. Please have them fill out both the registration form and health form. Contact Afi Dobbins at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

United Methodist bishops and other Christian leaders objected to President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris accord on climate change. The bishops urged Trump and other U.S. leaders to reconsider the decision, while also calling on Christians to prioritize climate justice. Heather Hahn reports. Read story.

There is still time to register for Annual Conference! Please note that the registration rate has increased to $215, and no refunds on food, registrations, or lanyards will be given at this time. Visit https://tinyurl.com/WAC2017 to register today! This year’s Conference will be held June 16-19 at the Madison Marriott West, with Monday, June 19 as a Learning Day. The theme will be “One with Christ.” Please join us as we rejoice in our unity with the Lord or watch the live stream if you cannot join us in person. Click here to see this year's Ingathering list and click here to watch a video invitation from many of our Conference Staff members with more exciting information about this year's gathering. With any further questions, contact Registrar Kellye Walker-Pontius at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (608) 837-7328.

  • Latest Updates

    • Attend Friday MFSA Dinner with Rabbi Renee Bauer: The annual supper and program for the Wisconsin United Methodist Federation for Social Action (and friends!) will be Friday evening, June 16, 5:30 to 7:00 pm at Asbury United Methodist Church, 6101 University Avenue, Madison. Connect with other progressive United Methodists for the conferring of the Perry Saito Awards, and a timely presentation on refugee resettlement efforts. The speaker will be Rabbi Renée Bauer, who serves as the Director of Chaplaincy and Outreach at Jewish Social Services. Rabbi Bauer will share insights from working with refugee resettlements in her current position. To assist with meal planning, reservations for the light supper should be made by June 14 with Jane Daniels at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Donations of $7 will cover the meal cost. The gathering will adjourn prior to the convening of the Laity Session at 7 p.m., and the Clergy Session at 7:30 p.m., both at the Marriott. All are welcome!
  • Registration Announcements

    • Walk-In Registration Notice: Lay Members to Annual Conference and clergy who choose to register on site will be charged a $50 late registration and extra $75 walk-in fee, bringing the registration to a total of $290.
    • Changes to Registration in 2017: Click here for more information.
  • Other Reminders

    • Download Pre-Conference Workbook: Click here to download an electronic copy of the Pre-Conference Workbook featuring all of the action items. All members to Annual Conference should have received a hard copy of this document in the mail. If not, please contact Katie Hoeppner in the Service Department at (608) 837-3367.
    • Order a 2017 Journal and Directory CD-ROM: Click here for more information.
    • Fill out Clergy Information Form: Click here to download the form with more information.
    • Fill out Nominations Form: Fill out the nominations form to volunteer for a board, agency, or committee of the Wisconsin Annual Conference. Click here to view the most recent Nominations Committee Report, updated May 23.
    • Register for Blueprint for Wellness Screening: Click here for more information.
    • Donations Needed at Midwest Missions Distribution Center (MMDC): MMDC recently sent out almost 4,000 buckets to Missouri and Illinois flood areas. For Ingathering, monetary donations are very helpful, as MMDC is able to buy in bulk at a discount. If actual buckets are provided, they must be new and 5-gallon sized only.
  • Conference Highlights

    • View Updated Agenda: Click here to view the latest agenda, updated May 1.
    • General Conference Amendments to be Presented at Annual Conference: Click here for more information.
    • Adam Hamilton to be Featured Speaker: Click here for more information. Note that we are unable to accommodate guest walk-ins for Adam Hamilton’s presentations. All of Adam Hamilton's sessions will be live-streamed for free to the public during Annual Conference.
    • Attend Mission Luncheon on Sunday: Click here for more information.
    • Opening Worship and Ordination Service Designations Announced: Click here to read more about the Milwaukee Urban Ministry Fund and Clergy Transition Funds.
    • Future Annual Conference Themes and Dates Announced: The Annual Conference dates and themes for the remainder of the quadrennium will be "One with Each Other" June 15-18, 2018; "One in Ministry to All the World" June 14-17, 2019; and "One in Community" June 12-15, 2020.