ENews 3-16-11 PDF Print E-mail

UPDATES POSTED AT www.wisconsinumc.org

Lent is a time for reflection, and Bishop Linda Lee suggests doing just that in her latest Soul Food entry entitled Look in the Mirror. Relating Luke 4:1-14 to Man in the Mirror, a song made popular by Michael Jackson, Bishop Lee encourages readers to take this time to look into their spiritual mirrors. Soul Food is available in a video format and will also continue to be posted on the Wisconsin Conference UMC website in online form. To watch the video, click here. The Wisconsin Conference will provide a DVD of the video free of charge to anyone who wishes to receive one. The DVD is an effective tool that can be shown during worship services, at meetings, in Sunday school, and at many other church-related events. Contact Communications Director Michele Virnig at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it to request a DVD.


  • Annual Conference: The 2011 Wisconsin Annual Conference will take place June 12th - 15th at the Chula Vista Resort in the Wisconsin Dells. Staff, clergy, and lay representatives from throughout Wisconsin will gather to conduct business, elect leaders, and celebrate our ministries. The session will also include worship, prayer, study, fellowship, ordination and commissioning, and establishing and implementing the ministry of the United Methodist Church in Wisconsin for the coming year and beyond. For more information and to register, click here.
  • Ingathering: Start collecting your Ingathering items for Annual Conference. View the list of Ingathering categories here. Please remember to bring money for shipping each kit with checks made out to the Wisconsin Annual Conference. If your kits are in a box, mark the number of kits on the outside of the box. The truck will be parked at the Dells Center at Chula Vista, which is where the plenary sessions will be held for Annual Conference. At this time, the truck is anticipated to be on site beginning Sunday afternoon. NOTE: The need for cleaning buckets is especially urgent due to the amount of snow in Wisconsin this winter. If you need 5 gallon buckets to make the kits, contact Ron Schobert at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .
  • Delegates: Delegates to the 2012 General Conference and North Central Jurisdictional Conference will be elected at Annual Conference. Information about the expectations and responsibilities of delegates and how to submit your name as a candidate for election is available on the Conference Secretary’s website. The deadline for submitting your name as a candidate is April 15, 2011. Questions about the election process should be directed to: Kevin Rice Myers, Wisconsin Conference Secretary, at 857 W. State Street, Burlington, WI 53105-1776 or 608-237-7399 or This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .
  • Note for Pastors: If the Local Church Officers List you sent to the conference did not include a Lay Member to Annual Conference or the person has changed, please e-mail the name of the lay member to Annual Conference to This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it . If the church does not give us that name, we cannot give your lay member voting credentials. 
  • Length of Service Recognition at Annual Conference: Each year, the Wisconsin Conference Commission on Archives and History presents length of service certificates at Annual Conference to clergy who have 25, 50, 60, and 70 or more years of service from the date of their first appointment. If you are approaching one of these milestones, or know of someone else in the Wisconsin Conference who is, the archives would appreciate hearing from you. They can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .


  • Update from UMCOR: The United Methodist Committee on Relief has been monitoring the situation in the Pacific, said Melissa Crutchfield, UMCOR executive for International Disaster Response, and is in contact with partners in the region. The Reverend Cynthia Fierro Harvey, UMCOR’s top executive, urged prayers for those affected by the disaster. Read United Methodist News Service coverage, donate to the Pacific emergency relief efforts, read the UMCOR report, download the Pacific emergency bulletin insert.
  • Update from General Board of Global Ministries: GBGM/UMCOR has taken initial action to provide humanitarian assistance through international partners in disaster relief and has also reached out to churches and church-related agencies in Japan that are organizing to provide assistance. They expect that mission partners and personnel in Japan will have key roles in implementing all United Methodist response to this disaster in a highly developed nation. GBGM will be posting updated information online as it becomes available.
  • Goodpaster Encourages Prayer, Support for Japan Quake Victims: Bishop Larry M. Goodpaster, President of the Council of Bishops, is urging United Methodists to pray for the victims of a devastating earthquake and tsunami that occurred last week, and encouraging support of relief efforts through the United Methodist Committee on Relief. Click here to read a letter from Bishop Goodpaster to fellow members of the Council of Bishops.
  • When Innocence Is Fractured - A hymn after the earthquake and tsunami by Gareth Hill: This hymn by British Methodist pastor and hymn writer Gareth Hill is especially appropriate following the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan. It reminds us that it is God we worship, even in disaster. Set to the familiar tune of Aurelia.

The Bishop’s Town Hall Meeting is coming to a church near you! Throughout the months of March and April, Bishop Linda Lee and Conference staff will travel to a church in each district of the Wisconsin Conference to meet with all clergy and laity. The meeting will focus on the theme Freely Receive…Freely Give. Attendees will discuss financial challenges in the local church and how to cultivate a spirit of generosity. Refreshments will be served. All meetings are complimentary and will take place from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. The dates and locations are: March 28th - Elm Grove Community UMC, March 29th - Appleton St. James UMC, April 1st - Eau Claire Lake Street UMC, and April 12th - Dodgeville UMC. Register online at www.wisconsinumc.org or call 888-240-7328. Click here to download the event poster. Please post it in your church and meeting rooms.

HadEnough, a United Methodist youth movement sponsored by the Special Program on Substance Abuse and Related-Violence (SPSARV), is looking for youth (ages 13 - 17) talk about their perspectives on substance abuse and what they and the church can do together to care for those who are affected by drug and alcohol abuse. To apply, e-mail the registration form to This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it by March 20th. For more information, visit the SPSARV website or view the online brochure.

All clergy and laity are invited to attend the 2011 Clergy and Laity Retreat with the Bishop April 1st - 2nd. The event will take place at Lake Street UMC in Eau Claire, and will open on Friday night at 6:30 p.m. with the Bishop's Town Hall Meeting. The Saturday event will feature the theme Give Wholeheartedly: Generous Spirit, Generous Lives with presenters Dan Dick, Dorthy Radley, and Deanna Shimko. The fee for the retreat is $15. Attendees are asked to make their own hotel reservations. For more information, view the event profile.

The 2011 African-American Clergy Leadership Retreat Bringing it All Together: Organizing Your Church for Successful Ministry will take place at Lake Junaluska Retreat Center April 4th - 6th. Learn strategies and techniques to become an even more effective administrator and organizer of your church’s ministry. The Reverend Junius Dotston, Senior Pastor at St. Mark UMC in Wichita, KS, and Michelle Whittaker, Digital Communications Director for the General Board of Church and Society will lead the retreat. 1.2 CEUs. For more information and to register, visit the Lake Junaluska website. If you have questions about registration, contact registrar Pam Naplen at 828-454-6656 or This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Bob Pierson, author of Needs-Based Evangelism, is coming to Wisconsin April 5th to lead a one-day workshop entitled Workable Evangelism. The workshop will take place from 10 - 4 p.m. at the United Methodist Church of Whitefish Bay. Cost is $40 per person or $100 per church plus $10 per person for lunch and snacks. If this amount is too expensive, please just come and pay what you can. To register, mail the participants’ names, a contact e-mail, and payment to United Methodist Church of Whitefish Bay, 819 E. Silver Spring Drive, Milwaukee, WI 53217, or call the church office at 414-964-2424. For more information, read the online event profile, visit the UMC of Whitefish Bay’s website, or call Susan Patterson-Sumwalt at 414-964-2424.

The Wisconsin Council of Churches will be hosting a one-day orientation May 5th to discuss a two-year pilot project with Faith Partners, an alcoholism/substance abuse recovery ministry. The orientation will take place at Covenant Presbyterian Church from 10 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. Interested congregations can send two people to this meeting, which will include lunch. The first formal training of congregational teams will be in the early fall of 2011. RSVP by May 1st to Lori Denoyer at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it (maximum of two people from each congregation). For more information, visit the WCC website or contact Executive Director Scott Anderson at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .

The Professional Association of United Methodist Church Secretaries Institute – an event that is sponsored by the General Council on Finance and Administration – will take place July 17th - 22nd in Nashville, Tennessee. The Institute provides advanced professional training and makes participants eligible to apply for certification as a Professional United Methodist Church Secretary. A limited amount of scholarships are available. For more information and to register, view the online brochure or e-mail Cynthia Haralson at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .
NOTE: After a long relationship with Candler School of Theology, the GCFA has been informed that under their new mission statement, Candler can no longer host our event. The GCFA has moved the Institute to Nashville starting this year.


  • World Water Day March 22nd: Accessing safe water is a challenge for the 20,000 residents of Tengecha. Women and children travel at least three miles each day to fetch water from the Mara River, which is often contaminated because it is shared by roaming animals. Hear the story of the Tengecha Community Water Project here. World Water Day is March 22nd. Observe this day by sharing the previous video, downloading the church bulletin, or presenting the World Water Day worship slide to your congregation. Learn here how UMCOR helps vulnerable communities throughout Africa gain access to safe water, and please consider a special offering to support UMCOR water projects through Global Water and Sanitation, UMCOR Advance number 3020600.
  • JFON - Safe at Last: Naledi Xinwana, her three children—Matsie, Emmanuel, and Jacob—and their stepfather, Robert (not their real names), entered the US from South Africa with temporary Religious Worker (R1) visas. Unbeknownst to their host community, Robert was a violent and manipulative man, who physically and psychologically abused Naledi and the children, and sexually abused Matsie. He confiscated their passports and kept them in the dark about their immigration status and how to maintain it. When Robert was finally arrested, Naledi and the children received help from UMCOR’s Justice for Our Neighbors (JFON) program. Read the full story JFON’s First Monday newsletter. Please send your check to the Wisconsin Conference Treasurer for Justice for Our Neighbors, UMCOR Advance number 901285, to support this valuable program.
  • Eco-Palm Sunday April 17th: UMCOR, in partnership with the University of Minnesota, supports the Eco-Palm Project which sustains forestry, protects local jobs, and preserves the livelihoods of small-scale farmers by ensuring fair wages. United Methodists are encouraged to support this project and purchase Eco-palms for Palm Sunday. The deadline to purchase Eco-Palms by check is March 29th. Eco-Palms will be delivered between April 11th and 14th (Palm Sunday is April 17th). Click here to place your order or visit www.ecopalms.org for more information. An Eco-Palms church bulletin and worship slide offer further information about the benefits of Eco-Palms. Your gift to UMCOR-SA&D, UMCOR Advance number 982188, supports sustainable agriculture projects. Please send your check to the Wisconsin Conference Treasurer.


  • Chain Saw Training Course: A chain saw training course for beginners and experienced cutters with emphasis on safety and working with basic hazards evaluation will take place May 14th at 9 a.m. at Pine Lake United Methodist Camp. Nathan Stanford, a highly-qualified Independent Chain Saw Safety Trainer, will teach the course. There is a limit of 10 - 15 people. Please bring helmet, ear and eye protection. Also bring work boots, gloves, chaps and chain saw if you have them, and dress for the weather. Cost is $35 per person. Please send your name, address, email address, and money (make check out to VIM Camps) to: Chuck Wedemeyer, 8389 N. Ivy St., Brown Deer, WI 53223 by May 7th.
  • 2011 VIM Family Summer Camp: The 2011 VIM Family Summer Camp will take place at Camp Michigamme in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan July 3rd - 8th. A list of possible projects is available for reference, though projects will be determined prior to the camp based on need and work completed by that time. Some group activities and time to enjoy the camp resources will be available. More information will be forthcoming on the Wisconsin VIM website, or you can contact registrars Dan and Lora Landgraf at 920-458-9730 or This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .      
  • Wisconsin VIM 25th Anniversary Reunion: The Wisconsin Volunteers in Mission will celebrate their 25th anniversary May 21st - 22nd at Pine Lake camp near Westfield, Wisconsin. The anniversary celebration is intended to be a reunion for all VIMers who have been part of a work team at any time during those 25 years. Those attending may arrive at any time on Saturday morning. There will be a noon meal and an afternoon program of celebration. Send your registration to: Vince and Carol Ramsden, 5811 County Rd.  P, Highland, WI 53543 or This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it by April 1st. For more information, visit the Wisconsin VIM website.


  • Worship & Song Can Bridge Traditional-Contemporary Worship Styles: Worship & Song, the just-released collection of songs, hymns and worship resources, can become a bridge between traditional and contemporary worship styles, according to an octogenarian described as the most significant Methodist musician since John and Charles Wesley. Read full article.
  • Flood Awareness Week: This week is Flood Awareness Week. The recent tsunami in Japan, as well as the increase in flooding in the Midwest and other parts of the United States over the past several years makes flood awareness especially prevalent. 90 percent of all natural disasters are from flooding and 20 percent of flood insurance claims come from outside of high risk areas. Here are some simple steps to help you be prepared for the occurrence of a flood:
  • Put together an emergency kit: Include a 3-day supply of food and water for each family member, radio (battery or hand-cranked), flashlights and extra batteries (emergency flashlights are best), copies of prescriptions medications, basic medical supplies, bedding, clothing, and copies of important papers (Social Security card, driver’s license, wills, deeds, birth and marriage certificates, insurance policies, proof of residence (a flash drive that is encrypted is a good back up).
  • Make a Plan: Decide where to meet your family and establish a contact person to call to say you’re okay and where you are (calling across the country is often better than calling in the local area).
  • Be Informed: Learn which areas you frequent are vulnerable to flooding.

Click here for a more extensive list. Please pray for Japan and consider contributions to UMCOR through your local church.

  • Free Trustees Webinar March 24th: The General Board of Discipleship is offering a free webinar March 24th at 6:30 p.m. Central. The webinar is entitled Trustees: Stewards of Church Property. The role of trustees is practical, legal and Biblical. Every trustee willbenefit with a review of responsibilities, advice from conferencechancellors, and a reminder of effective ministry through this leadership. Click here to register. Webinar cost is covered by your gifts to World Service.


  • Harbor House Featured in Interpreter Magazine: Some victims of domestic violence are finding places of hope and healing in The United Methodist Church. Ministries provided through congregations, annual conferences and church-wide agencies offer refuge, escape, hope and help for rebuilding lives. Read full article.


  • New Richmond United Methodist Church Seeks a Church Organist. Read more.
  • The General Commission on Religion and Race, The General Commission on Finance and Administration, The General Board of Discipleship, and United Methodist Communications is looking for a Team Leader for the Renewal of Existing Congregations Project. Read more.


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: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it . Note that ENEWS is also posted weekly on the home page under Newsletters at www.wisconsinumc.org
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