Sarahi Monterrey, an English-as-a-second-language teacher at Waukesha North High School, has been named a Wisconsin High School Teacher of the Year. Sarahi is the daughter of Jorge Luis Mayorga, the Director of Congregational Development for the Wisconsin Conference.

Last month, the United Methodist Endorsing Agency (UMEA) sponsored Boundary and Ethics Training for 18 endorsed chaplains and pastoral counselors in the South East District. Some, but not all, of the participants were United Methodist clergy from various healthcare organizations and a couple of private practices in the area.

“Crochet for Christ” Ministry shares God’s healing prayers through shawls. The shawls, made by New Hope/Albright UMC members and the community, are given freely to those in need. The ministry began in March 2018, and has taught 26 people how to crochet shawls and hats. On April 29, 2018, Pastor Thomas Thao blessed thirty-five shawls/yarns during their first Prayer Shawl Ceremony. These prayer shawls will reach 30 people who have suffered a stroke, had surgery, or are celebrating a newborn. Their hope is that people will encounter the Lord’s presence and healing when they receive these shawls.

For the first time, Madison’s homeless community will have a softball team in the Madison School & Community Recreation city-wide league. “The Street Pulse Sluggers,” an all men’s team, and “The Beacon Eagles,” a co-ed team, are comprised of current homeless people, former homeless, and homeless activists.

Over 50 women gathered at Lake Lucerne Camp and Retreat Center April 27-29, 2018 to Walk in God’s Light. We were drawn to His light there as we participated in devotions and workshops, shared meals together and fellowship with each other. We read God’s Word, sang it, and shared it.

During a recent Mission Motivation Committee meeting, the group made plans for a wide variety of global ministry awareness activities. They set the dates for the upcoming District Global Ministries Awareness Events: Saturday, October 13 for the North Central District, and Saturday, November 10 for the South East District. These events are designed to provide information about the many facets of global ministries.

Last Friday, April 27 and Saturday, April 28, the Wisconsin Annual Conference hosted a Training event of the new Module I of the National Plan For Hispanic/Latino Ministries to train Lay Missioners. There were 43 participants, including people from the Minnesota Annual Conference and the Michigan Annual Conference. 17 people from Wisconsin participated.

Asbury United Methodist church in Janesville hosted a community gathering with former Governor Martin Schreiber speaking on Alzheimer’s as he shared his book “My Two Elaine’s” Learning, Coping and Surviving as an Alzheimer’s Caregiver. He described the devastating toll Alzheimer’s has on a caregiver and patient suffering from this progressive disease that has no cure. He stressed that it is important to learn all one can from the resources and help that is available.

The Church Women United Milwaukee Unit held a meeting discussing Veterans Benefits on April 25th, 2018 at The Church of the Good Hope UMC. The New St. James Community Church UMC also participated in the meeting. This discussion was about how Veterans can obtain benefits via the Milwaukee Vet Center and the Veterans Administration overall. It also featured how families of Veterans can receive information regarding support for spouses, etc. There was also a discussion of Mental Health, which is an ongoing topic regarding how to recognize the examples and find ways to cope and gain support. The featured speakers were Richard Clark, Jr. and Bevelyn Johnson of the Milwaukee Vet Center. Approximately 50 women from different churches attended the meeting.

Coats Were Gathered for Needy on Palm Sunday at Yorkville UMC

The traditional processional of waving palm branches had the addition of cloaks/coats being placed down the center aisle of the sanctuary on Palm Sunday at Yorkville UMC. The congregation was asked to donate new or gently used coats. Pastor Sue Leih reported that there were 18 coats at the 8 AM worship service, and the number grew to 52 coats at the 10:15 AM service.

Bishop Jung’s birthday was April 19th. Conference Staff celebrated on Wednesday, April 18th with cake and coffee. Other April birthdays that were celebrated included Michele Virnig’s, Dan Dick’s and Susan Haller (even though she wasn’t present). View photos here.

Rev. Cathy Christman, Nancy Fuhrman, and Dottie Petersen of Stoughton UMC spent a week of service, learning, fellowship, and connection at the Midwest Mission Distribution Center (MMDC). MMDC provides opportunities for individuals and groups of all walks of life, denominational backgrounds, abilities, and ages to help provide disaster relief, education and medical supplies to those in need both locally, nationally and internationally. MMDC provides a "hands on" mission experience. For those receiving the supplies, they are bringing hope that someone, somewhere loves them.

During the Superior, WI mayoral address to the city, Mayor Jim Paine awarded Rev. Barb Certa-Werner “Citizen of the Year.” She was presented with a plaque, and a key to the city, and received a standing ovation.

The Personal Essentials Pantry, or PEP, in Rhinelander First UMC helps hundreds of families every year with cleaning supplies and personal care items. Barbara Oestreicher, the founder of PEP, explained “These are items that are not covered by the Foodshare program. It helps families when they can’t get free items, and they don’t have to use budget dollars for these necessities.” Barbara received the April Jefferson Award for her devotion to volunteering.

Circuit SE-06 used a new format for Confirmation this year. After spending most of the school year in self-study, the circuit Confirmands came together for a retreat weekend at Pine Lake from April 6-8, 2018. The retreated included youth from Christ UMC Watertown, Concord UMC, Johnson Creek UMC, and Good Shepherd UMC Oconomowoc. Rev. Dan Fahs, Pastor of Good Shepherd Church, uploaded a video with photos from the weekend on YouTube. Watch video here.