This Conference-wide stewardship event for clergy is being planned in partnership with the Wisconsin United Methodist Foundation (WUMF). Bishop’s Days Apart will take place March 25-28, 2019 at Green Lake Conference Center. WUMF is sponsoring room and meals. Registration price is $50 for full time appointments and $25 for part-time appointments.

The Annual Enrollment for HealthFlex insurance plans in 2019 will be October 31 - November 15, 2018. Login at https://www.webmdhealth.com/gbophb/ to access the new WebMD homepage. Please be sure you have an active account BEFORE annual enrollment begins! This is also where you can ask “Alex” to help you determine the best health insurance plan for you to enroll in for 2019. This is for clergy actively serving churches full-time or ¾ time – NOT retirees. If you have trouble establishing your HealthFlex/WebMD login, please contact Jean Nicholas, Conference Benefits Officer, for the Web MD customer service number.

Last Saturday, a group of United Methodists from different congregations throughout our conference gathered together to play soccer. There were five teams: four teams from congregations in Wisconsin and one from the Dongbu Conference of the Korean Methodist Church, our Sister Conference. The four teams from Wisconsin were formed by Koreans, Anglos, Hispanics, Africans, Burmese and Hmong. The tournament started at 10 a.m. and finished with the championship game at 2 p.m. A delicious lunch and music was provided by the Hispanic Caucus.

Sponsored by the Wisconsin Conference Connectional Table Resource Team, the Learner-Leader Academy (LLA) is an island of hope and strength that will encourage the culture of discipleship through collaborative leadership of laity and clergy in the Wisconsin Conference. LLA seeks to re-energize each church, laity and clergy, through effective resourcing and training to help make more disciples for the transformation of the world.

For over 30 years, the Wisconsin United Methodist Foundation has been offering grants to help creative projects and ministries get off the ground. If you have a creative and innovative program, ministry, project or activity which is new to your group, you may qualify for a grant from the Foundation! Looking for some inspiration? Please check out some wonderful ministries shared on the WUMF Facebook page.

Rhinelander UMC will host a Church Finance Training led by our Conference Treasurer. As a leader and steward, the conference wants to provide you with the tools you need to have an accountable and fruitful finance ministry. This training, led by our Conference Treasurer, will include best practices for handling church finances and a basic understanding of the roles of the church treasurer, financial secretary and finance committee members. There will also be time for asking questions and sharing common practices within our local churches. Click here for more information and to register.

Solomon Community Temple is celebrating their 44th year of ministry with the community at their annual Homecoming Banquet. Join them as they celebrate how far they've come by faith! The banquet is on October 27, 2018 from 6-8 p.m. at 3295 N Martin Luther King Dr., Milwaukee, WI 53212. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for children 12 and under. Download the event flyer here.

Africa University has announced the three students that are the recipients of the Wisconsin Conference Endowed Scholarships for the 2018-2019 academic year. Sandra Tafadzwa Mushata is a third year student in Humanities, Chimutanda Tinei is a second year student in Business, and Trevor Adonis Gusvu is a first year student in Agriculture. For the 2018-2019 academic year, the university has an enrollment of approximately 1,900, inclusive of part-time students; 53% of their students are female; and 24 of the 55 nations of Africa are represented in the student population.

The United Methodist-Episcopal dialogue committee held a meeting recently to continue its conversations about a proposal for full communion between these churches entitled “A Gift to the World: Co-Laborers for the Healing of Brokenness.” Members of the committee discussed and implemented a final round of edits to “A Gift to the World.” The document is now in its definitive form and will be going before The Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church for preliminary action the first week of November 2018. Read press release.

United Methodists are turning out in force for conference meetings aimed at informing people about the special 2019 General Conference. Most meetings feature tutorials on the legislative options for helping the denomination remain unified despite persistent division over homosexuality. UM News reports on how the conversations have gone. Read story.

The United Methodist Church’s top court is continuing to play a key role as the denomination prepares for the legislative meeting that will help decide its future. When the United Methodist Judicial Council convenes Oct. 23-26 in Zurich, its fall session will open with a three-part oral hearing related to a request for a “declaratory decision” on the constitutionality of three plans created by a special task force, the Commission on a Way Forward. Read story.

Methodists from across Asia recently came together on a mission: Help people around the world spend a moment with God each day. A leadership seminar was part of the celebration of the 80th anniversary of the Upper Room, a global ministry that supports the spiritual life of Christians. “Share your personal story or experience, make a connection to Scripture and Christian life, and have an application to daily life for readers,” the Rev. Im-Hyon Jung told the group. She oversees global programs in Asia for The Upper Room and is Bishop Jung’s wife. Read story.

The General Council on Finance & Administration has issued the following update in regards to the housing allowance litigation. After a lengthy briefing period, the 7th Circuit has finally set the date and time for oral argument in the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s challenge to the constitutionality of the housing allowance. The argument will be held on Wednesday, October 24, at 9:30 a.m. central time. As of now, the court has given each side 30 minutes to make their arguments. It has also permitted the “Amici Tax Law Professors” to use a portion of the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s time.

Brittanie Wilczak, Associate Director for CCS Fundraising, will be working on-site at the Wisconsin Conference Center to direct the Launch Out! faith-raising campaign. She began October 1, and will be working with us through much of 2019 to shepherd and direct our Launch Out! processes.

Everyone is welcome to play or cheer at the Bishop’s Cup 2018 Soccer Tournament. We’ll have the participation of three teams from the Wisconsin UM churches and one team that is coming directly from Korea. Our brothers from the Dongbu Conference of the Methodist Church of Korea are coming to visit Wisconsin in the middle of October, to worship, visit our cities, play soccer and celebrate our partnership.