WI Conference Weekly ENews - January 18, 2023

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Conference News


Renewing Rural Ministry- Online Via Zoom
January 28, 2022  /  9:00am - 12:00pm 

Across North America, urban centers are growing, creating new challenges and opportunities for rural cities and towns. Rural churches, once a centerpiece of small- town life, need new tools for loving their neighbors, sharing the gospel, and connecting in community. This gathering will help our churches be prepared for the next season of ministry.

If you are a pastor, lay leader, or are simply interested in vital ministry in small towns, this opportunity is for you. There is an $18.00 non-refundable registration fee. 
Learn more

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

How Are Your Apportionment Dollars Spent?
Wisconsin Conference Finance Office

In an effort to simplify the 2023 apportionment statements, we left off the allocation of how the apportionment dollars are divided between our major budget areas.  If you would like to calculate this out for your church, you can use the following percentages.  We show both 2023 and 2022 below for comparison.  Based upon the number of churches who have requested this information, we will put it back on the statement when we notify you of your 2024 apportionment.
Budget Area                                                             2023                               2022

Local Congregational Development 29.57% 28.60%
Global Connectional Ministries 23.63% 26.06%
Clergy & Lay Leadership   8.81%   9.33%
Connectional Ministries 32.53% 31.36%
Conference Support Ministries   5.46%   4.65%
Total 100% 100%

We mailed the notification of the 2023 apportionments to each church in September 2023.  IF you cannot locate your letter or need a copy of this, please contact the Treasurer – ssneider@wisconsinumc.org.

Winter Laity Training South West District

What does it mean to be a lay leader in the local church? What does it mean to be a lay member to Annual Conference? Living these important positions isn’t as easy as getting your name in the Charge Conference paperwork. Join our South West District Lay Leader Robin Kelby to learn how to approach these vital roles. No matter how long you’ve been a lay leader or a lay member, this class will provide resources and support, as well as an opportunity to meet others in the district!
We will be meeting in a hybrid format in January and February. Each lay leader and lay member class will be taught twice to reach as many folks as possible (no need to attend both Lay Leader/Lay Member sessions!)

Lay Leader Dates:

  • January 21st from 10 AM to Noon at Sugar River UMC (and Zoom!)
  • February 11th from 10 AM to Noon at Viroqua UMC (and Zoom!)
Lay Member to Annual Conference Dates:
  • January 14th from 10 AM to Noon at Sun Prairie UMC (and Zoom!)
  • February 18th from 10 AM to Noon at Platteville UMC (and Zoom!)
We hope to see you there! If you would like to attend, please email robinkelby@gmail.com with the following information or any questions: Name, Church, How long you have been a lay leader, If you are planning to attend in-person or on Zoom

Save The Date! Wisconsin Annual Conference
June 9-12, 2023  /  KI Convention Center  / Green Bay, WI

What is “The Wisconsin Annual Conference”? It’s more than just an organization. It’s a way for United Methodists in the State of Wisconsin to be in ministry together in ways we couldn’t as individual local churches. All United Methodist Clergy in Wisconsin are members of the Wisconsin Annual Conference. Every “pastoral charge” in Wisconsin elects lay members of the Annual Conference to represent their church or churches. Once a year the elected lay members and all clergy members of the Wisconsin Conference gather in June for a time of worship, celebration, learning, discussion, and decision making. This “annual conference session” usually lasts about three or four days. The “conference” will discuss and approve a variety of ministry projects and take actions to make those ministries happen. New clergypersons will be ordained or licensed, and clergy retirements will be approved and celebrated.  We will remember those who have gone to their eternal home. But most importantly, we will connect with old friends and make new ones and praise God together.

Please help us with preparations by making sure that you have elected delegates from your church. Pastors, check to make sure that your church dashboard is up to date so the invitation can be sent to the delegates of your church. For those of you who were a lay member and are no longer, please remind your pastor to update the church dashboard with the correct information.

2022 Scholarship Recipients Include Wisconsin Conference Students
General Board of Higher Education and Ministry

We celebrate with the Office of Loans and Scholarships. They will be awarding over 2,000 students a total of $4 million in financial assistance for 2022! These future leaders range from first year Freshmen to Doctorate level students across the denomination.
Thank you for your support in recognizing United Methodist Student Day, World Communion Sunday, and Native American Sunday which help fund a portion of their scholarships. The remaining funds for these awards come from gifts, annuities, and endowments GBHEM has invested and administered for decades.

Student Recipients from The Wisconsin Conference:

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
Local Church Stories


Live Nativity at Sun Prairie UMC

This year, the Sun Prairie United Methodist Church had their 3rd Annual Drive-Through Live Nativity. Hot chocolate and carolers greeted people as they started their drive. Then there were 6 different Biblical scenes that were brought to life to tell the story of Jesus’ birth, including live animals and a live baby Jesus. This has been a favorite Christmas tradition for the church and the community. There were 128 volunteers and 448 people drove through.  This was one of the “good” things that started during the pandemic and has continued! Submitted by Pastor Jenny Arneson


Solar Panels Coming To Emmanuel Community UMC

MENOMONEE FALLS, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Right now, the roof of Emmanuel Community United Methodist Church (EC-UMC) in Menomonee Falls is decorated with brightly colored flags. But in just a few weeks, over 100 solar panels will adorn the top of the building as part of the church's latest efforts to go green.

It's a project that's been in the making over the last year.

Doug Walters, the chair of EC-UMC's "Green Team" -- a ministry team focused on helping the church be more eco-friendly -- said their council had elected a five-person special task force to research and work on the idea. 
Read full story on CBS58.com

Harbor House Crisis Shelter Appoints New Interim Executive Director
Faith United Methodist Church

Harbor House Crisis Shelters in Superior, WI is pleased to announce the hiring of Krystal Brandstatter as the new Interim Executive Director. Krystal has been active in supporting Harbor House since early 2009 when she began as a case manager. Prior to this, Krystal graduated with a Bachelor's of Science in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Superior.

Krystal's passion for helping the homeless and experience working within the shelter setting make Krystal a great asset to the position of executive director. Krystal is very excited to embark on this new journey. She is committed to providing services to single women and families, and continuing the connection in the United Methodist Church.

To support Harbor House, please contact Krystal at 715-396-9608 ext 6 or check out our website: https://harborhousecs.org/ -Submitted by Krystal Brandstatter

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


What Is The Week Of Prayer For Christian Unity?
Ask The UMC

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — During the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, held Jan. 18-25, Christians everywhere are invited to remember one another in prayer and strengthen the bonds of love and mutual mission shared in Jesus Christ. Ask The UMC, a ministry of United Methodist Communications, has more on the annual observance, which is sponsored by the World Council of Churches and the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity.
Read story
See World Council of Churches resources
Read more Ask The UMC

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

Mission News


New Year Begins with Two International Shipments
Midwest Mission Distribution Center

In 2022, we sent 48 international shipments, surpassing the 33 we sent in 2021. We are excited to see how many shipments God will call us to send around the world this year. We started right out of the gate, sending two shipments to Honduras in the first week of the year. The first shipment left Midwest Mission on January 4. 
It contained:

  • 384 Home Care Kits
  • 560 Personal Dignity Kits
  • Disinfectant Wipes
  • Antibacterial Hand Cleaner
Value: $55,490.00
Read about second shipment
Upcoming Events

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; How Foundation Grants can help! 
February 6 - Rediscovering Your Spiritual Gifts-Advanced Class 
February 6 - Rediscovering Your Spiritual Gifts

Other Resources


More Than $2 Million In Scholarships Available
United Methodist Higher Education Foundation

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Every year, the United Methodist Higher Education Foundation awards more than $2 million in scholarships to students attending the more than 100 United Methodist-related colleges, universities and seminaries. These awards are separate from those offered by the United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry. Applications are open through March 1.
Learn more and apply

Faith & Democracy With Rev. Jen Butler
Wisconsin Council Of Churches

Please join us for 4 events.

Workshop: Talking to Friends and Loved Ones Caught up in Conspiracy Theories and Christian Nationalism
Sunday, Feb 5th in Waukesha – 2:00-4:00pm – First Baptist Church of Waukesha (247 Wisconsin Ave, Waukesha).In-person only.
The Rise of the Christian Right and White Christian Nationalism
Monday, Feb 6th in Brookfield – 7:00pm – Unitarian Universalist Church West (13001 W North Ave, Brookfield). Livestream option available.
Christian Nationalism in Congregations – A Conversation for Clergy and Faith Leaders
Tuesday, Feb 7th Online Only – 9:00- 10:30am
American Democracy and the Role of Faith
Tuesday, Feb 7th in Madison – 7:00pm – First Baptist Church of Madison (518 N Franklin Ave, Madison). Livestream option available. 
Learn more and register

Scholarship For Lay Women Available
United Women In Faith

NEW YORK — The deadline to apply for the United Women in Faith National Scholarship for lay women is April 18. The scholarships are designed to be used for undergraduate or graduate study or student internships in religion or a related field such as social work. Preference will be given to people affiliated with The United Methodist Church and women involved with UWF. The average scholarship is $1,000, and the maximum is $5,000.
Read press release

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