WI Conference Weekly ENews - January 11, 2023

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In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the Conference Offices will be closed on Monday, Jan. 16th. Regular business hours will resume on Tuesday, Jan. 17th.
Conference News


Dr. F. Willis Johnson At First UMC Kenosha for MLK Weekend
Sat. Jan 14th & Sun. Jan. 15th  /  First UMC, Kenosha, WI

Dr. F. Willis Johnson (Holding Up Your Corner) is coming to First United Methodist Church (FUMC) on Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend, January 14 and 15, 2023. He will engage with Kenoshans at a variety of events. We hope you can make your observance of those days more meaningful by joining in for one or more sessions. These sessions are open to all, including groups. 

The Sunday 10:30am and 4pm Worship Services will be livestreamed at www.firstumckenosha.org. This promises to be a remarkable weekend. We hope that you will be available to join for any or all events. 
Learn more & view weekend schedule / Register Here

The Korean Caucus of The WI Conference 2023 Winter Retreat
by Pastor KwangYu

On December 26, 2022, the Korean Caucus began its annual two-day winter retreat in Madison – a time of sharing and encouraging each pastor’s life and ministry. Because Koreans consciously and unconsciously believe that eating together is sharing lives together, the retreat began with eating lunch together. After lunch, we all moved to a place where we spent that night. No worries. Although we value communality highly, we don’t sleep together. 22 families participated in the retreat, willingly driving for 1 to 5 hours to come to Madison.

Surprisingly, there were 11 special guests – a group of Korean students who were visiting WI for studying English and a pastor’s three daughters and their boyfriends. Gathering in a hotel conference room, we laughed together with exciting and fun activities, we sympathized with each other when reflecting on how we could make 2022, and we passionately learned about what changes might happen to our ministry in WI in the era of post-covid and post-human. When all the schedule for the first day was complete, we gathered again to eat Korean traditional home-made snacks – Eomuk (Fish Cake Hot Pot) and Tteok-bokki (Stir-fried Rice Cake) – faithfully prepared by two pastors and bravely cooked by several. If you have never tried these two special snacks yet, please come and visit us when we gather in Madison after Christmas in 2023. We are sharing a picture from which you can easily take a glimpse of what our retreat was look like, wishing you a Happy New Year in the name of Jesus Christ!

2022 Statistical Reports NEW website! Same deadline: February 28th
Wisconsin Conference Finance Office

It’s that time of year again when each local church gathers their attendance, program and financial records and submits its statistical report to the Conference!  This process compiles data on Membership and Participation, Church Assets and Expenses, and Church Income for the entire denomination. This year, the year-end reporting will be done on a new website affiliated with our Brick River data system. Login information will be sent later this month. Our Conference Statistician, Donald Cramer, and Conference Treasurer, Sarah Sneider, will be offering several Zoom webinars to walk through the statistical report and answer any questions/share common problems. These statistics are our primary tool to track membership and expenses of our churches and this information will be used to calculate the 2024 Apportionment.  Your help in submitting accurate and timely statistics by February 28, 2023 is greatly appreciated.  Because we are using different software, WE STRONGLY ENCOURAGE EVERYONE WHO WILL BE COMPLETING THE STATISTICAL REPORT TO ATTEND ONE OF THESE SESSIONS:
Thursday, January 19th, 2023 at 12:00 pm:  Registration
Thursday, January 19th, 2023 at 4:00 pm:  Registration

Thursday, February 2nd, 2023 at 11:00 am:  Registration
Thursday, February 2nd, 2023 at 6:00 pm: Registration

XXVII Assembly of the Evangelical Methodist Church in Bolivia
by Pastor Anita Lang

I had the unique opportunity to meet missionaries from England, Deborah Coggrave - Member of the Women's Federation of British Methodists, Methodist Church of Great Britain; Switzerland, David and Monika Brenner; Mexico, Rev. Edgar Avitia Legarda Global Mission Relationships Team Lead. I felt honored to participate in the Assembly as a bilingual delegate from the WI Conference. 

As I visited, the assembly recognized the WI Conference and its partnership as a blessing and source of mutual collaboration. They expressed gratitude to Bishop Hee-Soo Jung, Rev. Anita Lang, and Global Ministries for their assistance with the motorcycle project as well as the new project on which we are collaborating: the purchase of sewing machines and sponsoring a local church in Bolivia. All glory to God for what we do as his servants and as his people! 
Read more

WUMF Presents Seminar To Help Churches Reach New People And Get Grant Money from the Foundation
Feb. 4th, 9am-3pm / Oak Creek Community UMC or Online

On February 4th, the Conference and the Foundation are partnering together to offer a one-day virtual and in-person seminar called How to Reach and Welcome New People (and how Foundation Grants can help!). Participants will: 

  • Discover an effective, non-threatening way for your church to build new and deepening relationships with people in your neighborhood in order to grow your church, using MCCI’s triad model.
  • Find out how to create a culture of hospitality in your church and a simple process for to help new people build friendships in your church using The First Friends Program.
  • Learn how to secure funding for these new programs in your church through the Foundation’s New Ministry Grants.
Learn more and register

NW District Youth Snowtubing At Trollhaugen
Feb. 11, 1pm- 3pm

Calling all Northwest District Youth! You are invited to a Youth Snowtubing day at Trollhaugen, located at 2232 100th Avenue, Dresser, WI 54009. The event will be held on Feb. 11th and begins at 1pm (meet at 12:30pm). Snacks will be available afterwards at 3pm. 

This event is for Youth 6th- 12th grade and is FREE! Please invite all of your friends to this one of a kind event! Families are also welcome; admission is $16 per person.

Sign up here / Learn more / Watch FUN snowtubing video created by Pastor Paolo Vasquez

Scholarships Available For United Methodist Students!

Applications are now open for scholarships from the United Methodist Higher Education Foundation. Every year, UMHEF awards $2+ million to students planning to attend one of the 100+ UM-related colleges, universities, and seminaries across the country. Don’t let finances get in the way of achieving your dreams of a quality education! Apply by March 1 at https://umhef.org/apply. (Scholarships from UMHEF are separate from those offered by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry.)

The Exodus Experience With Rev. Forrest Wells

The Exodus Experience journey is a novel approach to Egypt specifically for Christians interested in biblical backgrounds. Of course, we will explore the usual points of interest in Egypt such as the pyramids of Giza and the monuments of Luxor. These focus on ancient Egyptian history and help illuminate Old Testament narratives. Our itinerary will follow the traditional pilgrimage route of the Israelite Exodus. Our special interest, though, is exploring New Testament backgrounds and Christian origins in Egypt. Commercial tours often overlook the flight of the holy family into Egypt, which presents an inverse Exodus story. Few are aware that by the middle of the 2nd century, half the population of Egypt was Christian. Not least of our interests is the development of Christian monasticism which literally began in Egypt. The Nag Hammadi library, a treasury of Christian writings, discovered deep in the Nile valley, and our most complete manuscript of the New Testament, dating to the 4th century, both lend witness to the rich heritage of Christianity in Egypt dating from very early in Christian history.
Learn more

The 2023 Institute of Congregational Development
Creating a Culture of Permanent Growth

The Institute of Congregational Development is a comprehensive, ten months leadership development opportunity for those leaders ready to take their ministry to the next level. This intensive training includes 10 on-site sessions, monthly reading assignments, monthly L3 Incubator (covenant) group meetings, two field trips, and the opportunity to learn, share, and celebrate alongside a dynamic group of clergy and laity from around the state. There will be specific training for people starting new ministry and for people working to revitalize established congregations.

For more information, or if you are interested in applying for the next class of the ICD, please contact: Rev. Scott Carlson, Director of Congregational Development Office (1-888-240-7328)/ Cell: (608) 834-8342 / Email: scottcarlson@wisconsinumc.org

Learn more  /  Register now

Local Church Stories


Sanctuary Mortgage Paid Off
Holy Trinity UMC Balsam Lake-Centuria

Holy Trinity UMC Balsam Lake-Centuria celebrates the good news that their mortgage has been paid in full. An October 2000 resolution to join the separate Methodist congregations of Balsam Lake and Centuria into one location resulted in the construction of a large hall used for worship and fellowship in Phase 1. The loan amount of $375,000 was outstanding from April 2006 until it was paid off in October 2013.

A newly connected sanctuary was built and consecrated in a special service as part of Phase 2 in 2016. This new sanctuary mortgage of $168,207 was paid off in December 2022. Holy Trinity UMC Balsam Lake-Centuria praises the vision and dedication of the congregation to fulfill this mission. Submitted by Sheryl Kieselhorst

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


GCORR Awards Over $325,000 In CORR Action Funds

The General Commission on Religion and Race (GCORR) is proud to announce the awarding of $325,614 in grants to 38 projects that will increase intercultural competency and support vital conversations about race, cultural diversity, and systemic equity leading to action. The transformative initiatives supported through these grants will have far-reaching impacts both within the United Methodist Church and throughout the world.
Read press release

Special Sundays: Human Relations Day is January 15

Resources are now available to help churches celebrate Human Relations Day on January 15, 2023. This special offering benefits neighborhood ministries through community developers, community advocacy through United Methodist Voluntary Services and works with at-risk teens through the Youth Offender Rehabilitation Program. Find resources here.

Mission News


Midwest Mission
Hospital Bed Provides Peace Of Mind For Local Family 

When area resident, Chuck Williams, 86, lost his wife earlier this year, it was heart-wrenching and has taken a toll on the family, especially Chuck. But they look out for each other. Midwest Mission had the privilege recently of being part of their story.

On Thursday, December 1, Taylor, from Synergy Home Healthcare of Springfield called Development Manager, Lisa Rigoni, here at Midwest Mission. “I was at Midwest Mission for the Good Morning Springfield Chamber breakfast you hosted back in February. It might be my imagination, but I was thinking you had medical supplies. So, I thought I’d call in case I didn’t dream it. I work for Synergy and the Dad of one of my client’s needs a hospital bed. Would you have something like that? Is it even something you do?” Lisa said, “Yes, Midwest Mission does receive various medical supplies and sometimes beds.”
Read more

Upcoming Events

January 14 - SW Laity Training: Lay Member to Annual Conference 
January 19 - 2022 Statistical Reports Training Session 
January 19 - 2022 Statistical Reports Training Session 
January 21 - SW Laity Training: Lay Leader 
January 23 - Clergy Tax Seminar 
January 28 - Fresh Expressions - Renewing Rural Ministry- Online via Zoom 
February 2 - 2022 Statistical Reports Training Session 
February 2 - 2022 Statistical Reports Training Session 
February 4 - How to Reach & Welcome New People (and how Foundation Grants can help!) 
February 6 - Rediscovering Your Spiritual Gifts-Advanced Class

Other Resources


United Methodist Communications
Resources Available for Human Relations Day

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — On the Sunday before the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday observance, United Methodists come together to help bridge the gap between church and community by participating in a special offering on Human Relations Day. This year, Human Relations Day is Jan. 15. Some 57% of the offering helps support the Community Developers program, which is dedicated to building and strengthening racial/ethnic minority United Methodist congregations.
See resources

Martin Luther King Jr. Day, January 16th
General Council on Race & Religion

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is observed on Monday, January 16th. To help commemorate the day, consider using some of the resources listed below.

Updates to Book of Discipline Available
United Methodist Publishing House

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — New updates to the 2016 Book of Discipline, the denomination’s policy book, are now online. This updated version contains additions to the list of United Methodist bishops, to include bishops elected in late 2016, 2017 and 2022, as well as a correction to the index.
See updates

January is Mental Wellness Month
Wisconsin Council of Churches

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 43.8 million, or 1 in 5 adults in the U.S., suffer from mental health issues annually. However, the effects of mental illness are spread throughout society and affect us all directly or indirectly. That’s why Mental Wellness Month is celebrated annually from January 1 to 31 to combat mental illness and spread awareness.

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