UPDATES POSTED AT www.wisconsinumc.org
SENDING PRAYERS TO CONNECTICUT: A MESSAGE FROM BISHOP JUNG AND OTHER RESOURCES
“Words alone are not sufficient to express our profound grief as we learn the details of the terrible tragedy in Connecticut, and the great loss of life there. We have experienced so much tragedy and loss in recent months and days, including the terrible tragedy in Oak Creek and other violence. When one human life is treated as expendable, all of us are diminished. As people of faith we find it nearly impossible to comprehend, and even harder to understand. Our hearts and minds are overwhelmed with sadness as we witness the terrible loss of the families whose children were killed. I invite you to join me in prayer as we ask God to bring comfort and peace where there is no comfort and no peace. I ask that we as Wisconsin United Methodists, not only pray for those who are directly affected, but for the people of Connecticut and our entire nation as we seek to join together for comfort and strength. We also pray for the transformation of all within each of us that feeds anger, hatred, or a desire to feel superior to others. A story attributed to the Cherokee People comes to my mind. An elder is teaching his grandchildren about life. He says to them, “A terrible fight is going on inside me – a fight between two wolves. One wolf is fear, anger, and the need to be superior. The other wolf is joy, kindness, and the blessing of living cooperatively with others. After a pause, one child asks, “Which wolf will win?”. The elder replies, “The one we feed.” As we pray for all in places of grief and violence this day, let us pray that we will learn to feed the joy, kindness, and the blessing of living in peace with each other.” – Bishop Hee-Soo Jung
More information and many resources are available to help cope with this tragedy:
- From Wisconsin Conference Board of Church & Society: Click here for information an recommended resources.
- From GBOD: Click here for tips on how to respond to children’s fears and concerns following a disaster.
- From United Methodist Publishing House: Below are resources to help children and adults in the wake of the tragedy in Connecticut.
- From UMNS: The United Methodist News Service has been covering the tragedy as well.
- From GodTube: Click here and here for video tributes
NOTE: WISCONSIN CONFERENCE CENTER HOLIDAY HOURS
Please note that the Wisconsin Conference Center will be closed December 24th and 25th, and January 1st. Enews will not be sent out next week, but will resume the first week of 2013. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Conference Center!
GIVING GIFTS IN GRATITUDE FOR GOD’S GREATEST GIFT TO US
Looking for the perfect gift to give as an expression of your faith during this Christmas season? Please consider making a gift to one, or more, of these very special ministries listed here through the United Methodist Foundation. It’s easy! Simply visit www.WUMF.org and click on “donate”.
A SPECIAL INVITE TO WISCONSIN’S MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. CELEBRATION
Save the date! A Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration hosted by Bishop Jung for the Wisconsin Conference will be held on Sunday, January 20 at 7 pm at Central UMC in Milwaukee. Bishop Linda Lee will be the preacher for the event.
JOIN THE WEEK OF PRAYER FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY ECUMENICAL WORSHIP SERVICE
You are invited to an ecumenical worship service in observance of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity on January 23, 2013 at 7 p.m. at First United Methodist Church, 501 Howe Street, Green Bay. The service will feature special speakers, youth choirs and preaching by Bishop Hee-Soo Jung. Reception to follow. In collaboration with: The Catholic Diocese of Green Bay, The East Central Synod of Wisconsin - Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, The Episcopal Diocese of Fond du Lac, The Northeast Wisconsin Association of the United Church of Christ, The Presbytery of Winnebago - Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), The Western District of the Moravian Church, and The Wisconsin Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church - Nicolet District.
SPECIAL PRAYERS FOR THE APPOINTMENT PROCESS
Bishop Jung and the Cabinet are prayerfully beginning their appointment process for the Conference year 2013-2014. Please uphold them in your prayers as they get engaged in the gift of discernment for matching the missional needs of local faith communities, and the gifts and graces of clergy.
TWO FINANCIAL WORKSHOPS COMING TO THE WISCONSIN CONFERENCE CENTER!
- Clergy Tax Workshop: Monday, January 28, 2013, 9:30 am – 2:00 pm (Snow date is January 29, 2013. Call 888-903-9863 for last minute update.) The Wisconsin United Methodist Foundation’s Clergy Tax Workshop is designed to assist you in the preparation of your 2012 Federal and Wisconsin State Income Tax filings. Betty Mennenga, a tax consultant with Mennenga Tax & Financial Service, will facilitate. Feel free to bring your tax returns, which you can finish filling out during the workshop. This workshop is made possible through a grant from a permanent fund established in the bequest of a deceased clergy, and is provided at no cost to the Wisconsin Conference or to apportionments. To register, visit www.wumf.org and click on the Clergy Tax and Freed Up From Debt Workshop link by January 24, 2013. The cost is $6.00 for lunch.
- Freed Up From Debt Workshop: Sunday, January 27, 2013, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm OR Monday, January 28, 2013 2:30 pm - 4:30 pm. You can get out—and stay out—of debt! Freed-Up from Debt is an all-inclusive, biblically-based workshop that provides the tools necessary to get out—and stay out—of debt for a lifetime. You will walk away with a biblical perspective on debt, a 7-step strategy for getting out of debt and staying out, action steps to immediately begin the journey towards freedom from debt, tools to help others who may be struggling, and ideas for offering this workshop in your own church. You do not need to attend the clergy tax seminar to attend this workshop. No sharing of personal financial information takes place, however, please bring the details of any debts. To register, visit www.wumf.org and click on the Clergy Tax and Freed Up From Debt Workshop link by January 24, 2013. The cost is $8.00.
2013 LAY SERVANT MINISTRY TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE IN WISCONSIN
Basic and Advanced Lay Servant Ministry training dates have been announced in three Wisconsin Regions!
- Capital/Coulee Region - Basic: Sign up for the basic course for Lay Servant Ministries either January 12 or 19, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Lake Mills UMS, 271 E. Prospect St., Lake Mills. The basic course for Lay Servant Ministries guides you to discover your gifts of caring, leading, and communicating. Sessions take you through thoughtful reflection on what it takes to make a congregation an outpost for mission and transformation and the role you can play — even if public speaking isn’t your gift. There are no prerequisites for participating in this course. Those completing this course will receive certification as a Local Lay Servant. Those wishing to pursue Certified Lay Servant certification must first complete a basic course. Students should purchase and read the Lay Speaking Ministries Basic Course Participant book by Sandy Zeigler Jackson & Brian Jackson prior to the first day of class. This book can be purchased through the Upper Room, Amazon, Cokesbury or several other booksellers. In addition to the book purchase, there is a $5 cost for attending this course. You may register on-line at: http://www.lakemillsumc.org/servant. If you do not have access to the internet or are unable to register through this on-line site, you may also register by contacting the Lake Mills United Methodist Church at 920-648-2614. Note: Beverages and coffee will be available but lunch will not be provided. You may bring a lunch or pick up lunch at nearby sandwich shops.
- Metro Region - Basic: Beginning January 12th, Milwaukee: Central UMC will be hosting basic Lay Servant Ministries classes most Saturdays through May. All are welcome! We'll learn more about the ministry of the baptized, discipleship, Methodist history, spiritual gifts, leading in prayer, new ways to worship, and how sermons get written. The six classes each take two Saturdays, from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.. None of these require prior knowledge, and you may pick and choose which two-session classes interest you. Completing all 6 will satisfy the academic requirements for the new lay preacher track. If you are already preaching, you need these! The first class, Today's Disciple, is a starting point for those who want to do more for Jesus. If one of your church's leaders has ever asked “Would you be willing to help with...”, then this class is for you. If you want to learn to teach these or other discipleship classes, call us! If you want these or other classes in your area, call us! For more information, go to DiscipleConnection.org, call your church office, or call Rex Nelson at 414-315-0754.
- Nicolet/Winnebago Region - Advanced: Attend one of various options for Advanced Lay Servant Ministry Training in January and February 2013 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Peace United Methodist Church, 919 Schwartz St., Green Bay, WI 54302. Classes will be offered on the following Thursdays: January 17, 24, 31; February 7,14, and 21. The theme of the class is United Methodist History. The book to be used, which costs $10, is “United Methodist Questions and United Methodist Answers”, by F. Belton Joyner, Jr. Contact Barbara Franken in the Regional Office by Jan. 4, 2013 to register for the class at 920.991.0548 or
. Please make checks payable to Wisconsin Conference UMC Regional Office and send to 1500 N. Casaloma Drive, Ste 409, Appleton, WI 54913. The text will be sent to you prior to the class. There is no work to be done ahead of time. You only need to bring questions that you want addressed in the class.
WISCONSIN CONFERENCE UMC ARCHIVES CELEBRATES RETURN OF HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS
Archivist Lynn Lubkeman and Commission on Archives and History Chair Sandy Kintner have received thirteen boxes of historical documents that have been cared for by the Wisconsin Historical Society in Madison, Wisconsin. The records returned include hand-written documents from the mid-19th century from the Wisconsin Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church and the original records of the West Wisconsin Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Kintner and Lubkeman made the final step in a 40-year process to return the documents to the Archives at the Wisconsin Conference Center, which they both agree was not an easy process, but worth it in the end. “Throughout the years, our Conference has tried to have the records returned,” Lubkeman said. “They're our Conference’s records; they complete a series of records already stored here in our Archives, and this is the right home for them.” The materials were officially welcomed into the Archives on December 7th by Bishop Hee-Soo Jung and Conference staff members, with a blessing by Rev. Steve Polster and Bishop Jung. Click here to read more about the history of the documents and click here to view pictures from the blessing and celebration.
CHESSER TO SERVE AS DIRECTOR OF PREACHING MINISTRIES AT GBOD
Rev. Pamela Dawn Chesser, an ordained elder in the Holston Conference, will become Director of Preaching Ministries at the General Board of Discipleship on January 1, according to MaryJane Pierce Norton, Associate General Secretary for Leadership Ministries at GBOD. Chesser currently is chaplain at Hiwassee College and pastor of the college chapel, Buckner Memorial United Methodist Church in Madisonville, Tenn. “The GBOD has a deep commitment to supporting the preaching ministry of The United Methodist Church through our on-line resources with staff who are skilled in preaching, but more importantly skilled in listening to those entrusted with preaching week-by-week and with leading and teaching others,” Norton said. “We believe Rev. Chesser brings passion, knowledge and commitment to the position of director of preaching ministries.” Chesser, who lives in Oak Ridge, Tenn., previously served in the Northern Illinois Conference as pastor of Christ UMC in Algonquin, Ill.; Church of the Three Crosses in Chicago and Christ UMC, Lockport, Ill. She also served as associate pastor at Downers Grove UMC, Downers Grove, Ill. She is a graduate of Southern Arkansas University and Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary and is a doctoral candidate at Garrett-Evangelical with a major in liturgical studies.
NEW CERTIFICATION: MINISTRY WITH PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
Many churches want to do a better job of ministry with children and adults with disabilities, but often simply don’t know how. United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio, now offers classes that can help laity and clergy serve an underserved population. Read full story
GENERAL BOARD OF CHURCH AND SOCIETY ASKS FOR FAITHFUL ALTERNATIVE TO FISCAL CLIFF
Bishop Robert Hoshibata, president of the United Methodist General Board of Church & Society, and Jim Winkler, general secretary, wrote a letter on December 18 to President Obama and members of Congress urging that their negotiations on the so-called "fiscal cliff" include a vision for a moral budget and economy. The social justice agency also issued an "action alert" urging United Methodists to contact their members of Congress in support of a moral budget. You can access the action alert at "A Faithful Alternative to the Fiscal Cliff."
- Relief and Donations Still Needed to Help Hurricane Sandy Victims: According to UMCOR and the Disaster Response Coordinators of the North Central Jurisdiction 20,000+ cleaning buckets went to New York and New Jersey Annual Conferences. Therefore, the UMCOR supply chain is pretty much depleted. Please send new cleaning supply buckets or supplies for the buckets to the Midwest Mission Distribution Center in Chatham, IL. Contact Kathy Kraiza at
for more information. Keep the care going. Financial donations are also needed. Your contribution will help UMCOR to be with storm survivors over the long term of their recovery. To donate, send your check to Wisconsin Conference UMC Treasurer for Fund no. 6027, Hurricanes 2012.
- Typhoon Bopha Hits Philippines: More than 600 people died and at least 800 more remain missing after Typhoon Bopha (known locally as Pablo), struck the Philippines last week. The category 5 storm cut a swath of devastation mainly across the southern island of Mindanao. It forced some 300,000 people to flee to evacuation centers and other temporary shelters. In a pattern all too familiar to Filipinos, high winds—including gusts of about 130 miles per hour—and torrential rains washed away homes, ripped off rooftops, provoked landslides, mudslides, and extensive flooding in many communities. UMCOR Philippines—the national field office of the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR)—has long dedicated itself to anticipating communities’ needs in this typhoon-prone archipelago, and is already at work responding to Bopha. Please give to Philippines Emergency, UMCOR Advance #240235 and bring relief to the typhoon-battered communities of Mindanao and elsewhere.
- Media: A Look At HIV and Aids with Thomas Kemper: In this week’s installment of “A Look at HIV and AIDS,” Thomas Kemper, general secretary of the General Board of Global Ministries, shares his reflection about the church and AIDS in light of 1 Corinthians 1:26. Watch video here.
- Resource: Christmas Giving with UMCOR: As you complete your Christmas shopping, consider giving a gift that will make a difference by purchasing an alternative gift through UMCOR’s partners gift catalog. You can provide food to a child, give a storm-stricken family assistance, or provide lifesaving mosquito nets to a vulnerable family. Also available through UMCOR are gift sets that support fair trade. These sets include fair-trade coffee, chocolate, or tea, and a candle made by a refugee in the United States. The special sets include the following. Holiday Cheer, A Peaceful Moment, and Start the Day Right. UMCOR provides emergency relief in many areas of the world. To find out more about UMCOR's ministries, visit umcor.org. You can donate to any project by placing a contribution in the offering plate at a local United Methodist church; by sending a check to the Wisconsin Conference Treasurer and specify UMCOR, or make a $10 donation anytime by texting “UMCOR” to 80888. UMCOR is exempt from tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of the United States and qualifies for the maximum charitable contribution deduction by donors. And, please pray for those who are hungry, displaced, sick or in poverty because of natural and human-made disasters, and for the workers who minister to them.
- Wisconsin Disaster Ministry In Search of ERT Training Sites: The Disaster Ministry is looking for two sites across the State of Wisconsin to host two Early Response Team (ERT) training events on March 9th or 16th, 2013. One site is preferred in Central or Northern Wisconsin and one site in Southern Wisconsin. There will also be an opportunity to have an evening Connecting Neighbors training event, and all training events will be conducted by UMCOR Trainers. This will be a great opportunity to get disaster preparedness training and provide a great help in this Ministry of Caring. Those interested can contact Wisconsin Conference Disaster Response Coordinator Tom Rossmiller at 262-642-3727 or
for further details.
TIPS AND RESOURCES
- Remember Human Relations Day is January 20: In the 1700s, John and Charles Wesley visited prisoners at Oxford Castle in England, sharing food, medicine and Holy Communion. Those early Methodists began a rich tradition that continues today. Human Relations Day calls United Methodists to recognize the right of all God's children to realize their potential. The special offering benefits Community Developers, United Methodist Voluntary Services and Youth Offender Rehabilitation programs. Click here for more information and resources.
- Five New Ideas from GBOD: Click here to read five ways you can better equip Vital Congregations from the General Board of Discipleship!
- 2013 Special Sundays Resources Now Available: A variety of resources for all six Special Sundays in 2013 are now available by clicking here. Resources for each Sunday include children’s sermons, bulletin inserts, information on how your congregation can give to each cause and more.
- Reaching Out to the Boomerang Generation: In June 2012, CNN reported that more than half of adults ages 18-24 have moved back with their parents at some point. How can your church connect with this group of young adults? Click here to find out.
- Avoid Computer Nightmares – Free and Paid Backup Solutions: Allay your computer-crashing fears by backing up data regularly. For those without the “techie” gene, we have provided all the info you need to know about online data- backup services. Click here to read more.
- Five Tips For Conducting A Church Communications Audit: Even if communications is already a priority in your church, might there be opportunities for growth? Find out. Gather a team and perform a church communications audit. Click here to learn more.
- Reclaim Christmas – Spend Less and Give More: Take the pledge and Reclaim Christmas this year. Click here for resources and more information from Rethink Church. Click here for UMCOR alternative giving opportunities.
- Conference Chancellors Receive National Honors: Wisconsin Conference Chancellor William F. White, a partner in the Madison office of Michael, Best and Friedrich, LLP, has been awarded with the Porchlight, Inc. “Distinguished Service Award” for his pro bono work related to the Capital Campaign Project at Nakoosa Trail, as well as development and approvals for the project from the City of Madison and the State of Wisconsin. The Porchlight Distinguished Service Award is given to those who have shown exceptional volunteer assistance and commitment to the organization. “Bill is a real professional and handles our cases just like any other client, regardless of whether he is doing the work pro bono,” said Steve Schooler, Executive Director of Porchlight. “He has put hundreds, probably over a thousand hours in assisting Porchlight over the past several years. Click here to read more.
- Chaplain Tackles Mount Kilimanjaro: The Rev. Karen Meeker is between peaks in her career. Really, really tall peaks. Lt. Col. Meeker, an Army chaplain and United Methodist ordained elder, is on her way up Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, Africa. She also is between two top Army posts. Read story and post a comment
- Church Outreach Up Despite Fewer Funds: Despite budget cuts, program agencies say “thanks” for the support, recall accomplishments and look ahead to 2013-16. Agency representatives report highlights of 2012. Read full story and post a comment
- Malaria-Fighting Partnership All About Nets: Bishop Scott Jones of the Kansas West Conference will attempt 1,000 free throws on Feb. 23 for “Shoot for No Malaria,” a fundraising venture for the Great Plains (Kansas East and West and Nebraska) Annual (regional) Conference sparked by the partnership between the U.S. conferences and the Zimbabwe East Annual Conference. Read full story and post a comment
- Christmas Giving Blesses Giver, Receiver: Across the United States — in big cities and tiny hamlets — United Methodist congregations are encouraging people to spend less on forgettable, consumer-driven gifts and more on thoughtful gifts that benefit others. Find out how. Read story and post a comment
- ‘Blue Christmas’ Service Reaches Out: For many people, the Christmas season is a time of loneliness and depression, and wishing there was more to give. The folks at St. Andrew United Methodist Church in Highlands Ranch, Colorado have two words for people who are feeling down: “It’s OK,” reports ourhighlandsranchnews.com. Read story
- Free Speakers and Amplifier Available: Blue River UMC has 2 speakers and an amplifier available for pick up. It is free to any UM church that can put it to good use. For details or to schedule a pick-up, email Angie at
- First United Methodist Church of Oshkosh Seeks Two Part-Time Employees: First UMC in Oshkosh is hiring for two part-time staff positions: (1) a lay person or retired pastor (non-appointed) who would lead worship and preach one Sunday a month, and help out in other ways in accord with gifts and experience (compensation: $5,000 annually); (2) a lay person who would help establish a post-confirmation youth group for First Church and a partner church, Calvary Lutheran (ELCA) (compensation: $5,000 annually). Interested parties should contact Tina Laborde (SPRC chair, FUMC-Oshkosh) by noon on December 20th. Send inquiries to:
INPUT FOR ENEWS
If you have a Conference-related event, a hallelujah moment or a newsworthy story that you want included in ENEWS, or if you have a suggestion for ENEWS, please contact:
. Please send your submissions by the Friday prior to the week you would like the information featured. Note that ENEWS is also posted weekly on the home page under Newsletters at www.wisconsinumc.org. If you experience a web problem after hours, please report the issue to 608-729-4349.