Wisconsin Conference UMC ENews - January 8, 2019


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January 8, 2019

Soul Food

Encountering the Divine: Bishop Jung’s Epiphany Message

"When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure-chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh."

Matthew 2:10-11

Epiphany is a word that has lost much meaning in the church, though we do retain it in remembrance the first Sunday after Christmas as a commemoration of the visit of the magi to the infant King. But in its broadest and purest sense, an epiphany is a magnificent manifestation of the divine. The early church referred to the revelation of Jesus to the magi – Gentile astrologers and wise scholars, not of the Jewish faith – as both an epiphany and a theophany (appearance of God to humans). Interestingly, Jesus’ appearance before the shepherds was not considered epiphany, because in this context, he was the expected Messiah. This is another missing element of epiphany – unexpected as well as magnificent.

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Latest Conference News

You’re Invited to the Seventh Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration

We are excited to welcome Rev. Olu Brown as the keynote speaker for the seventh annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration and Service. This celebration includes participation from several of our Wisconsin Conference United Methodist congregations and clergy. Bishop Hee-Soo Jung will introduce Rev. Olu Brown and bless our time of gathering. Visit event Facebook page.

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Register for Upcoming Events

Several 2019 Conference events are open for registration, including ERT training, the WUMF Clergy Tax Workshop, Bishop’s Clergy Days Apart, Laity Convocation, the Spring Women’s Retreat, the bus ride to YOUTH 2019 and the Spiritual Formation Academy.

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Register Now for Bishop's Clergy Days Apart

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.

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New Ministry “Just Be Hope” to Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend

The Just Be Hope United Methodist Center and Wisconsin Conference Board of Trustees invite you to participate in a Martin Luther King Jr. Service Weekend. Just Be Hope is a flagship new Multicultural Ministries Center in Milwaukee. The Rev. Deborah Thompson, former District Superintendent of the South East District, is serving as the organizing Director of this new ministry.

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WIUMCamps: New Look, Same Spirit

Campers have been enjoying our camps for over 70 years – and we want to make sure they’re around for AT LEAST 70 more! Our new logo and look reflects our renewed and ever-growing commitment to keeping our camps competitive and strong for future generations of campers. Registration is open online, and churches will receive their promotional packets soon. We are still rolling out the new brand on all of our materials, so keep an eye out for more updates coming soon. Visit our website at www.wiumcamps.org.

A Congregation Committed to Connectional Giving: Oconomowoc Good Shepherd UMC

Pastor Dan Fahs from Oconomowoc Good Shepherd UMC writes, “I value apportionments because they reach around the world. Together we can accomplish what no single church can. I cannot hope to reach the places and people that we can reach together.

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Upcoming SPRC Trainings

SPRC trainings have been scheduled for the North West, North Central, North East and South West Districts. All pastors, SPRC chairs and SPRC committee members are encouraged to attend.

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Continuing Education Opportunity: Ministry with Dementia

Ministry with Dementia is an opportunity for clergy and faith leaders to explore the impact and challenges of Alzheimer’s and other forms of Dementia on your faith community, and practical ways that you and your congregation can be supportive. The training will be on February 7, 2019 at the Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College in New Richmond, WI.

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Celebrate Human Relations Sunday

Celebrate Human Relations Day on Sunday, January 20, 2019. This Special Sunday calls all of our churches to participate in helping all God’s children to realize their potential. Download resources from the Human Relations Day Pastor and Leader's Kit. The kit includes devotional podcasts, youth resources, reading lists, worship resources, social media resources and more. Learn more about the impact you are making with your gifts at UMC Giving.

LGBTQ Churchgoers Wary of Bishops’ Letter

At the prompting of some church members, the Council of Bishops published a letter lamenting harm to the global LGBTQ community. A number of LGBTQ United Methodists said the letter falls short. UM News reports. Read story.

Letter Advises St. Louis Delegates

Delegates should not reject the Connectional Conference Plan out-of-hand as too complicated or different, two of the moderators of the Commission on a Way Forward advised in a new letter. The commission said delegates should read the whole report before taking a position, noting that it provides context for understanding the three plans included in the report. Read letter.

United Methodists Fight Human Trafficking

According to a United Nations report, human trafficking has become the world’s fastest-growing global crime. The United Methodist Church in Zimbabwe is responding by raising awareness and becoming a secure haven for survivors. UM News reports. Read story.


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Input for ENews

If you have a Conference-related event, a hallelujah moment or a newsworthy story that you want included in ENEWS, or if you have a suggestion for ENEWS, contact: mediacontact@wisconsinumc.org. Please send your submissions by the Friday prior to the week you would like the information featured. Note that ENEWS is also posted weekly on the Wisconsin Conference website. If you experience a web problem after hours, please report the issue to 608-729-4349.

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