The One With Each Other SE District Youth Event was held on March 2-4, 2017 at Wesley Woods Camp, Williams Bay, WI. A total of 112 registered for the event and 10 churches were represented. The youth event started out on Friday evening with a video greeting from Bishop Hee-Soo Jung, then icebreakers led by Rev. Deborah Thompson, and followed by a bonfire.

Social Justice Ministry of Grace UMC in Wautoma WI, welcomed Dr. Fred Groos, of Bread for the World, who presented an informative and educational program about the work of the organization in the United States and abroad. A total of 21 people attended the presentation at a luncheon following service March 11th. 

Over the weekend of UMCOR Sunday, New Hope UMC in Milwaukee held a fundraiser. They sold bowls of pho to raise money for UMCOR. With the support of friends and families, they sold 210 bowls of pho, and raised $1,148.25. In addition to the fundraiser, they held a special offering for UMCOR Sunday.

Forest United Methodist Church delivered 15 Valentine’s Day bags across their community to shut-ins or those in need. The bags were brought to those that might need a little extra love this time of year and an extra smile. It was meant to share love to others. The Sunday School children helped deliver the Valentines. See photo

The New Life UMC Mission Group will be working with the Appalachia Service Project (ASP) in Eastern Kentucky and Tennessee from July 14-21. The upcoming trip and the work of ASP was recently highlighted in the local news. ASP works to bring thousands of volunteers from around the country to rural Central Appalachia to repair homes for low-income families.

New Hope UMC in De Pere was featured in an article and video on PBS’s Wisconsin Life to highlight their unique location. The church shares a building with Chicago Street Pub. Customers of the pub often find it humorous that a bar and church share the same building, but the neighbors have learned to celebrate their similarities. In the article, New Hope Pastor Rebecca Voss says, “We’re both places that are welcoming to all people, we’re both places where people feel connection and a sense of family, and while they feed people and quench thirst in a very physical sense, we do that spiritually; and so in a way there’s a lot of overlap.” Watch the video and read the full article here.

Harbor House Crisis Shelters is one of 14 Health and Welfare Ministries serving persons of all faiths and races as an outreach of The United Methodist Church. Harbor House is committed to ending homelessness by providing children’s programming and direct services for homeless single women and families, conducting public education and analysis of model programs and practices that create permanent housing opportunities, and shaping policies to prevent future homelessness.

The mission of Women’s March is to harness the political power of diverse women and their communities to create transformative social change. Women’s March is a women-led movement providing intersectional education on a diverse range of issues, and creating entry points for new grassroots activists and organizers to engage in their local communities through training, outreach programs and events. On January 20, 2018, the National Women’s March held an Anniversary Day of Action event in Nevada, while local chapters throughout the country organized state-specific anniversary events.

In January, the Westby United Methodist Church opened its doors and reached out to the community by being the new location for the Westby Senior Meal Site. The Vernon County Unit on Aging needed a new stable and secure location for serving their lunchtime meals to seniors in the Westby area, and now they are using the fellowship hall at Westby UMC for this.

The church website company Aboundant recently posted The Best Church Websites of 2018, Non-Megachurch Edition. According to the article, they “only considered churches with an average weekly worship attendance under 400, since the United States average is still around 75-80. Smaller churches often have to sacrifice to prioritize their web ministry and should be commended.” Two Wisconsin UMC churches were featured in this article.

Wellspring UMC, on the west side of Madison, began a missional giving/outreach program called 1Thing in the fall of 2017. Each month, they choose one thing to give to people in need in order to plant love in their community. The collection spot is at the front of the sanctuary, where items are blessed before delivery.

Salem UMC in Waukesha held their “Battle of the Lasagna Chefs” on Sunday February 4th. After worship, everyone received a sample of each lasagna, and then placed their vote for the best. The winner was Richard Manns, and he was bestowed with a white chef’s hat, and also a hand-crafted trophy that was made with dry lasagna noodles!

Over the past two years with the help of the congregation, the Confirmation Class at First United Methodist Church in Barron worked to purchase an ARK for Heifer International through special fundraisers, such as a wild game feed, spaghetti dinner, and selling cookie mixes in a jar. These four confirmation students were able to raise over $5,000, which will help many people throughout the world. Heifer International’s mission is to work with communities to end world hunger and poverty, and to care for the earth.

Lewis Memorial UMC held a Cradle Rocking Service in January. The service dates back to 1692, and originated in The Bidworth Parish in England. When the tradition originated, the service would take place on the first Sunday in February. The baby born closest to Christmas had their Baptism on that Sunday, and then participated in the Cradle Rocking Service. 

First UMC Madison has many outreach ministries focused on helping the homeless. One of these lifesaving initiatives is related to Street Outreach during extreme weather. Karen Andro, Director of Hope’s Home Ministries for First UMC Madison, began going out on Saturday and Sunday evenings from 9 p.m. to after midnight seeking those in need.