More than 100 people gathered at our Wisconsin Conference Sixth Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration on Sunday, January 14 at Brown Deer UMC. Many others also joined via a live stream. John Grisson and Rev. Deborah Thompson, South East District Superintendent, gave opening remarks. The Vocal Jazz Ensemble from Milwaukee School of the Arts performed several songs. Donations were collected for Rising Sun Camp, a ministry that serves school-age children who have an incarcerated parent. Donations cover nearly all of the camp costs for these children. Bishop Hee-Soo Jung introduced the featured speaker, Bishop Melvin Talbert.

The Wisconsin Conference is pleased to announce that Susan Haller became the new Conference Secretary beginning January 1, 2018. The Conference Secretary is an officer of the Annual Conference whose primary responsibilities are to prepare materials to facilitate the work of the Annual Conference Session, keep the record of the proceedings of the Annual Conference, publish that record in the Annual Conference Yearbook and Journal, and maintain updated service records of ordained and diaconal ministry personnel. Susan is taking over for Kevin Rice Myers, who has been serving as the Interim Conference Secretary. Susan is also a Deacon of the Wisconsin Conference. Welcome Susan! And many thanks to Kevin for stepping in for the interim need.

Note: The year-end statistical reports need to be completed through Ezra, the Data Management System of the General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA). There is one username and password per church, and this was mailed to the Lead Pastor and Church Treasurer in December, along with a giving report.

There's a lot going-on over the next few months, including the North West District Conference, the Clergy Tax Workshop, the Super Bowl of Stewardship, Praying Our Way Forward, the 2018 Bishop's Days Apart for Clergy & Laity, and the Laity Convocation in March.

The 2018 Annual Conference is scheduled for Friday, June 15 – Monday, June 18 at the Madison Marriott West. The theme is “One With Each Other.” Additional details and registration information will be available in the coming weeks.
 

  • 2018 Speakers
  • Youth Delegates Encouraged to Apply:  Every year, up to 15 youth (one from each district plus 10 at-large) are invited to attend Annual Conference as full members, with full voting rights. Like last year, this year’s program will include a day of learning about the Church, our Conference, and issues expected to arise during plenary sessions. The youth will also plan and present a panel discussion to share the youth perspective on current issues in the Church and in greater society. It’s time now to start finding the youth who will speak up at this year’s Annual Conference. The application can be found here, which must be completed and returned by February 15. Learn more.

Whitefish Bay UMC is traveling to Oxford and London, England and Belfast, Ireland to experience the life of C.S. Lewis, disciple and renowned Christian writer of the 20th century, and John Wesley, the co-founder of Methodism in the 1700’s. Over ten days, they will travel to many of the places that shaped the lives and faith of Lewis and Wesley.

Stan Pegram, Pastor of BMZ Church in Southwest Wisconsin, has created Exponential Church Leader Coaching, a year-long, relationship-based coaching network for pastors seeking to create healthy churches and break through growth barriers. The heart of the network is found in a group of senior pastors meeting together monthly for training, coaching, and networking. The Exponential Coaching Network will follow the outline of the 8 Healthy Systems of the Church as taught to Stan by Nelson Searcy, and will be customized according to the specific needs of those accepted. The program costs $150 per month ($1800 total), or pay $1500 upfront. Application is due by January 19, 2018. Learn more here.

The Council of Bishops is urging all United Methodists to join with other Christians throughout the world to participate in the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, which begins today, January 18, 2018. The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is promoted by the World Council of Churches, most regional councils of churches, and most mainline denominations, including The United Methodist Church.

ACT stands for Awaken, Confront, and Transform. The campaign will launch April 3, 4 and 5, 2018 in Washington, D.C. The United Methodist Church is joining other churches in the United States to bring thousands of Christians to the Mall on Capitol Hill on April 4 for a rally and kick-off event. There will also be a worship service the evening of April 3 and organized visits to legislators on April 5. All United Methodists are encouraged to attend.

The Council of Bishops is offering scholarships for young adults (age 21-35) to attend the 2018 United Methodist Ecumenical and Interreligious Training (UMEIT: USA) and the National Workshop on Christian Unity (NWCU) this spring. UMEIT: USA is the annual training in the United States for United Methodists engaged in ecumenical and inter-religious ministry through the church.

Following the reported remarks made by President Trump on immigrants from African countries and from Haiti, multiple branches of the United Methodist Church have responded. The Council of Bishops issued a statement saying, “We call upon all Christians, especially United Methodists, to condemn this characterization and further call for President Trump to apologize."

Bishop Jung invites everyone to attend the Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration and Service on Sunday, January 14, 2018 at 7 p.m. The service will be held at Brown Deer UMC, 5736 W Brown Deer Rd., Brown Deer, WI 53223. Bishop Melvin George Talbert will be the guest speaker.

It’s not too late for your church to give towards 2017! Please send your final 2017 apportionment so that it is received by the Conference Finance Office no later than January 16th. Click here for the latest report on church giving. We are almost there! The Wisconsin Conference is blessed to have faithful and supportive congregations who see the importance of our shared ministry together.

The Council of Bishops initiated Praying Our Way Forward to support the work of the Commission on a Way Forward and prepare the UMC for the specially called General Conference in February 2019. Prayers are being developed by the annual conferences across our international connection for the weeks leading up to the General Conference session in Saint Louis. 

Every year, up to 15 youth (one from each district plus 10 at-large) are invited to attend Annual Conference as full members, with full voting rights. Like last year, this year’s program will include a day of learning about the Church, our Conference, and issues expected to arise during plenary sessions. The youth will also plan and present a panel discussion to share the youth perspective on current issues in the Church and in greater society. Last year, Adam Hamilton attended the youth panel, and he heartily affirmed the youth by telling them, “If I had known what your panel would be, I would have given you one of my presentation times in the plenary session.”