WI Conference Weekly ENews - December 14, 2022

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Conference News


Welcome to Natalie Albrecht, New Site Director at Lake Lucerne Camp and Retreat Ministry

The Board of Camp and Retreat Ministry, along with our Conference Personnel Committee, announced that Natalie Albrecht had been hired as the new Site Director for Lake Lucerne Camp and Retreat Ministry. This past summer, she served as Program Coordinator for the camp. Her leadership, creativity, energy, faithfulness, and ability to handle stressful situations are some of the gifts she brings to this new position. Welcome, Natalie!
Read more about Natalie

Bishop Dan Schwerin Celebration 
Saturday, December 17  /  11AM  /  First UMC Waukesha

There will be a celebration for Bishop Schwerin in a service of worship on Saturday, December 17, 11:00 am, at First UMC Waukesha, 121 Wisconsin Ave., Waukesha, WI 53186. Refreshments will follow. There will be nursery care available, 10:30am – 12:15pm.

In lieu of gifts, please consider a contribution to either the ‘Keep Our Story Growing’ capital campaign at Sun Prairie UMC where Dan's wife, Julie has been worshipping, or the Wisconsin Conference Boy Scouts’ Survivors Fund, a feature of Dan’s ministry. Click here to make a donation.

Inquiring Candidates Retreat- January 2023

Do you know someone who is feeling called into ministry? 
Maybe you are feeling called, but don’t know where to begin.
The Inquiring Candidates Retreat is the starting place to exploring ministry in the United Methodist Church in Wisconsin. Participants will be offered time in community conversation, prayer and individual discernment about the call to ministry God is prompting in their lives. At the end of the retreat participants will know the next steps to pursue ministry in the UMC in WI. 

The retreat will be at Pine Lake (https://wiumcamps.org/pine-lake/) Friday, January 20 (evening) through Sunday, January 22 (morning).

Cost of this retreat is $75.00. Scholarships are available.

To register please contact Rev. Ty Hines, Coordinator of Clergy Credentialing and Vocational Discernment at bordmin@wisconsinumc.org. When registering, please indicate if you will need special accommodations or translation.

You Are Invited To Sponsor A Local Church In Bolivia 

With a small donation we can transform the lives of our neighbors near and far. Local churches in the Bolivian Evangelical Methodist Church are facing difficult times due to the pandemic, post-pandemic effects, inflation, and rural needs.

Bishop Huanca hopes that some of the churches in the WI Conference will sponsor a local church in Bolivia for one to two years. In Bolivia, Bishop Huanca listed eight local churches that are praying for a church in WI that might be ready to answer God's call. The goal is to build relationships, pray for each other, and learn and communicate with people from different cultures. 

Local churches in WI could assist local churches in Bolivia with minor projects like:

  • Instruments- guitar, bass, and drums for worship 
  • Mattresses, chairs, plates, a kitchen stove, chairs for the sanctuary, etc.

One of the first churches to support a church in Bolivia was Elkhorn FUMC. Thanks to the support of this congregation, the rural church in Bolivia is constructing a new church at the Zamora Location.

Watch Video: Bolivia Project Update

For questions, please contact Rev. Anita Lang at anitalang130@gmail.com. 

WUMF- Save the Dates (or Better Yet, Register Now!)

How to Reach & Welcome New People (and how Foundation Grants can help!) – Saturday, February 4 from 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. at Oak Creek Community United Methodist Church or virtually. Sponsored by the Wisconsin United Methodist Foundation and the Wisconsin Conference of the Methodist Church.
Clergy Tax Seminar – Monday, January 24 at 1 p.m. at Sun Prairie United Methodist Church or virtually. Sponsored by the Wisconsin United Methodist Foundation through a grant from a bequest from Rev. Carl Berry.
For more information and to register, visit www.wumf.org/upcoming-events/. Questions? Contact Jason Mahnke at jason@wumf.org

Save the Date for School for Ministry 2023
October 4-6, 2023

School for Ministry is scheduled for October 4-6, 2023 at Green Lake Conference Center. It’s essential that all clergy attend this training. By doing so, we can confidently support not only our congregations but also colleagues and the partners we work with. Purpose of the School for Ministry: To gather the community of clergy for renewal, mutual support, learning and deepening our relationship with God.

Local Church Stories


Elk Mound Trinity UMC Serves Community Hot Cocoa and Cider

When the Elk Mound Lions Club began planning for the inaugural "Lights of Love" Community Christmas Tree Event, Trinity UMC jumped into action, offering to distribute hot cocoa and cider. "What a great opportunity for our congregation to connect with our community!" Rev. Joel Certa-Werner stated. "There may not have been room in the inn for Jesus on the first Christmas, but we are doing everything we can to be inviting, welcoming, and hospitable to the community at this Christmas event!"

Hot cocoa was donated by the Swiss Miss ConAgra plant in Menomonie. The event included sacred(!) music sung and played by the school choir and band. Over 200 people were present at the lighting ceremony. Signs on the table and stickers on each cup invited people to enjoy the beverage, complements of Trinity UMC and Swiss Miss. Pictured are David, Stacy and Chloe Dummer and Rev. Joel Certa-Werner handed out the beverages. -Submitted by Joel Certa-Werner

Share Your Story!

We are called to share the good news in all the ways we can. Sharing your stories is way for us to be in community together. Every church has a story to tell and we want to hear about them and what is happening in the life of your church.  We want to hear from churches around our conference so if you have a story that you would like included in an upcoming ENews please use the link below and fill out the form.  We would love to have pictures to accompany the story! Submit story here

Share Your Event!

We're looking for events that celebrate local church communities across the state. Help us spread the word about your upcoming event by sharing it with us here!  Please be sure that your submission provides complete details. Subject to our editorial review, we will add your event to our Events Calendar and share it in the weekly Enews. Submit your event here 

Denominational News


Human Relations Day is January 15

We have an opportunity to make an impact in communities and support our neighbors that may lack tools or resources to reach their full God-given potential. The Pastor and Leader's kit has everything you need to empower your congregation to give generously this upcoming Special Sunday.
Learn more

New Resources From GCORR
Four African Perspectives Bible Study

Looking for a new Bible study curriculum for your small group? Consider using Being the Church with the Oppressed: Four African Perspectives in the new year.

This four session PDF downloadable small-group Biblical study (for groups meeting in-person or virtually) was created by and written from the perspectives of four Christian clergypersons from the continent of Africa. Africa, a continent, not a country, comprises of 54 different countries with 1.3 billion people (compared to the 748 million people in all of Europe), and more than 1,500 different languages spoken. 
Learn more

Mission News


Midwest Mission
Second Shipment Of Hurricane Ian Relief Leaves For Florida

On Friday, December 2, a container arrived at Midwest Mission that would be filled with needed aid and sent to those whose lives have been turned upside down by Hurricane Ian. 

After the first shipment had arrived in Florida, we were swiftly met with another list of needed items. Like the first, this second shipment would not have happened without partnership and collaboration. Food For The Poor, who is our international partner, connected us with a stateside partner - the Florida Catholic Conference. Through the conference, we are working with the Catholic Charities of Florida.
Read more

UMCOR Assists Displaced Families In East Congo

BENI, Congo (UM News) — Five hundred of “the most vulnerable displaced households” in northeastern Congo recently received food and other assistance from The United Methodist Church. Money from the United Methodist Committee on Relief’s International Disaster Response program helped purchase 38 tons of food for families who have fled insecurity in the region. Chadrack Tambwe Londe reports. 
Read story

Upcoming Events

December 17 - Celebration for Bishop Dan Schwerin 
December 17 - Drive Through Live Nativity 
January 23 - Clergy Tax Seminar 
January 28 - Fresh Expressions - Renewing Rural Ministry- Online via Zoom 
February 4 - How to Reach & Welcome New People (and how Foundation Grants can help!) 
February 8 - A Journey to the Holy Land with Rev. Scott Carlson 
February 24 - Basic Lay Servant Class 
March 4 - Bishop's Laity Convocation - Hybrid 
March 4 - Bishop's Convocation of Laity Leadership 
April 11 - Join Rev. Forrest Wells for The Exodus Experience in Egypt

Other Resources


Convergence Weekly
What Is Digital Ministry? And Why Should I Care?

Setting up the cameras for the livestream. Sharing the link for the Zoom call. Sending a few social media posts throughout the week. Maybe even editing a sermon clip to post on TikTok or YouTube Shorts. Is this digital ministry? 

Yes. Sort of. But it’s missing something. The most essential part of digital ministry is not all the digital platforms and online content. The most important part is the ministry, the ways you create spaces for community to grow and develop, connecting with God, self, and others in real and meaningful and digital ways. The content is important, but only as it supports the community. Read more

Lewis Center for Church Leadership
7 Ideas For Reaching People This Christmas

WASHINGTON — Is your church ready to roll out the holiday welcome mat? Now is the time to equip your congregation so that visitors are warmly welcomed online and in person this holiday season. Ann Michel offers seven suggestions for helping people meet Christ anew this Christmas.
Read commentary

UMC Support: Is Your Ministries Data Safe?
7 Steps To Minimize Exposure Of Your Ministries Sensitive Digital Assets 

Fire and natural disaster – two ways a church’s data could be compromised. Unfortunately, identity theft, ransomware, and digital breaches are also ways a church’s sensitive assets can be stolen or burglarized. However, there are steps a church can take to minimize the occurrence of digital poaching within its IT systems.
Read more

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