The following action items were voted on and approved during the 2019 Annual Conference

Congratulations to the 23 churches being recognized in 2019 for their efforts to meet the requirements of the Rainbow Covenant! To be recognized as a Rainbow Covenant church, churches must pay their apportionments in full and select a project or missionary to support in each color band (or category) of the Rainbow Covenant. The eight color bands and the mission projects within them can be found in the Rainbow Covenant brochure

North Central

  • Amherst United Methodist Church
  • Portage United Methodist Church

North East

  • First United Methodist Church, Neenah-Menasha
  • Peace United Methodist Church, Kaukauna
  • Wesley United Methodist Church, Oshkosh

North West

  • Elmwood United Methodist Church
  • New Centerville United Methodist Church, Baldwin
  • New Richmond United Methodist Church
  • Tainter United Methodist Church, Colfax
  • Trinity United Methodist Church, Elk Mound

South East

  • Bristol United Methodist Church (Kenosha County)
  • Christ United Methodist Church, Watertown
  • Community United Methodist Church, Cedarburg
  • First United Methodist Church, Whitewater
  • United Methodist Church of Whitefish Bay
  • Wesley Chapel United Methodist (Kenosha County)
  • Yorkville United Methodist Church (Racine County)

South West

  • Columbus United Methodist Church
  • Fennimore United Methodist Church
  • Liberty Pole United Methodist Church, Viroqua
  • Platteville United Methodist Church
  • Trinity United Methodist Church, Richland Center
  • Viroqua United Methodist Church

The Rainbow Covenant has been designed to enable local congregations to participate in missions on many levels, from local to global. It is the intent of this program to help all United Methodists in the Wisconsin Conference understand the diversity of ministries and agencies that make up our Global Ministries. We invite you and your local church to consider participating as a Rainbow Covenant church. Visit www.WisconsinUMC.org/RainbowCovenant to learn more.

Peter Miano, Bible Study: Bible Study was led by Peter Miano, Executive Director of the Society for Biblical Studies. READ MORE.  

Bishop Jung, State of the Church: Bishop’s address was on the theme Leading with the Heart of Unity. He called for unity and offered his vision for the Wisconsin Option. Read his speech or watch it here.  

Deanna Shimko, Laity Address: Deanna Shimko, Conference Lay Leader, shared several highlights from the Board of Laity and introduced Board of Laity members. Ben Brancel was officially elected as the Associate Conference Lay Leader. Watch video.  

Youth Forum: 13 members of the Youth Delegation led this panel discussion on Gen Z and the Church. READ MORE.  

Vital Conversations: UMC Past, Present, and Future: Forrest Wells led this time for discussion on how members are feeling over the current state of The United Methodist Church. READ MORE.

Awards and Years of Service:Several individuals were recognized for their commitment to advancing missions and evangelism in Wisconsin and around the world. READ MORE.

New Ministries Strategy Board (formerly Conference Strategy Board): The New Ministries Strategy Board (formerly Conference Strategy Board) presentation celebrated New Church Starts and the 59 IDC Graduates. The Annual Conference voted on Action Item 7 to approve the board’s name change to “New Ministries Strategy Board.” View presentation.

Bible Study was led by Peter Miano, Executive Director of the Society for Biblical Studies. He spoke about the crisis facing our churches today, and how Biblical interpretation influences that crisis.

“Today our churches are facing a crisis… a crisis of Biblical illiteracy. It is not a crisis about the bible. It is a crisis about how we interpret the Bible and how we apply it in our world.”

Peter Miano shared his personal principle for Biblical interpretation, “If Bible interpretation leads to human suffering, it is best not to interpret the Bible in that way. If Bible interpretation leads to human suffering, that interpretation is defective.”

He continued, “I don’t believe that the Bible is meant to cause pain. And if our interpretation does cause pain, then maybe there is something about our interpretation. I often say that the beginning of Bible study is a broken heart... The interpreter should start with a broken heart. He or she should not intend to cause hurt in others, but first approach the Bible with a heart sandpapered into sensitivity. Biblical interpretation starts with compassion.”

Watch Part 1 of Peter Miano’s Bible Study. Part 2 to be posted soon. 

The Society for Biblical Studies offers Holy Land tours and Christian pilgrimages designed to help improve understanding of the Bible. The SBS focuses on mission, the application of the biblical faith in and for the world. Bishop Jung will be leading a Society for Biblical Studies Holy Land Tour in February 2020. View the brochure or visit the Society for Biblical Studies website to learn more.

 

Congratulations to the Delegates for General and Jurisdictional Conference 2020.

Over 100 people attended the panel discussion led by our Youth Delegation. The Youth Delegation was comprised of 13 youth, ages 14-17, from 10 churches across Wisconsin. The delegation was led by Kellen Roggenbuck, chairperson of the Conference Youth Council.  

The youth are members of Generation Z and began by educating the attendees about their generation. Gen Z is the most racially, sexually, and religiously diverse generation in American history. A higher percentage of Gen Z’s identify as atheists than previous generations. However, that does not necessarily mean their generation has a negative view of church. They often do not have any experience with church.

There were two main themes that emerged on the topic of how churches can reach members of their generation: inclusivity and activism/mission work. As members of the most diverse generation, they feel most comfortable in churches that are inclusive of all people.

The youth repeatedly emphasized that they are a generation who wants to do things. They are not waiting for the church to do service; they are doing it on their own. If a church can provide opportunities for them to engage in mission work or activism, they are more likely to stay involved in that church.

A suggestion for how churches can start applying their advice is to offer occasional “Service Sundays.” Plan a mission project or activity on Sunday morning, instead of a traditional sermon and service. Provide youth with opportunities to be active and engage directly in mission work. They would much rather be out there doing God’s mission, instead of sitting in pews and learning about it.

The delegation also discussed how important it was to have a voice in their church. They are the future of the church, and do not want to be involved in an organization that does not value them due to their age. Suggestions on how to give the youth in your church more of a voice included giving them opportunities to lead, hold meeting space time dedicated to listening to youth, and having a structured youth leadership.

Throughout the panel, the delegation frequently referenced a study from Barna on Gen Z and Morality. Youth group leader Kellen Roggenbuck recommended two books: Generational IQ by Haydn Shaw and Meet Generation Z by James Emery White.

 

The following individuals were recognized for their commitment to advancing missions and evangelism in Wisconsin and around the world

  • The Harry Denman Award is given in recognition of outstanding ministry in the area of evangelism: Rev. Barbara Certa-Werner
  • The Love in Action Award is given in recognition of outstanding commitment and passion to God’s mission through disaster response and relief: Carol Davis 
  • The Thelma W Gregg Award is given to someone who has demonstrated Christian commitment in tireless promotion of the missionary outreach of the Church: Billie LaBumbard
  • The Francis Asbury Award is given to persons who have been instrumental in supporting, strengthening, and promoting the church’s work in higher education ministries.: Andi Nelson
  • The Lois C. Olsen “Ministry of Memory” is given to recognize and encourage excellence in archival and historical work in our local churches and Annual Conference: Edward Johnson
  • The Perry Saito Award was given to three individuals who demonstrate their loyalty to Christ through faith and work to further justice and peace : Tom Popp, Mary Tryggeseth, and Jonah Overton

Additionally, Kristina Androsky received a Certificate of Completion from the Council of Bishops for attending the 2019 United Methodist Ecumenical Interfaith Training

Each year at Annual Conference, the Commission on Archives and History celebrates length of service to The United Methodist Church at the points of 25 years, 50 years, 60 years, and 70 or more years. View the Length of Service honorees.

In the midst of so much anxiety, fear, hurt, and distress over the current state of The United Methodist Church, clergy and laity members to Annual Conference were invited to share “how it is with my soul”.  Participants were asked to share the impact on them personally as well as on their congregations.  Two reports from recent meetings in Kansas and Minnesota offered passionate perspectives on our current reality.  While the time offered was short, it was intended to make sure all our members to Annual Conference had opportunity to share feelings, thoughts, and reactions.

The following action items were voted on and approved during the 2019 Annual Conference

Reverend Ana Luisa Mayorga de Chacon, preached the sermon during the Retiree Service. In her sermon, she said that although she is retiring, she still “has plans to continue serving God in another capacity, such as loving my neighbors, helping the needy, comforting those who suffer, and also celebrating those who are happy in life.”

The Consent Agenda, Nominations Report, and Statistics and Budget Report were presented. 

Bishop Hee-Soo Jung preached the sermon during Opening Worship at the Wisconsin Annual Conference. He took time to acknowledge the “challenges facing our denomination globally and the distress facing our own Annual Conference,” and that is why we changed the Annual Conference theme to Wilderness. He explained, “We are in a time of disagreement, hurt, anger, anxiety, and division. This is not where we would like to be, but where we find ourselves none the less.”