WI Conference Weekly ENews - January 25, 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

Bishop's Convocation Of Laity Leadership 2023
Saturday, March 4, 2023, 9:00am - 4:00pm

You are invited to join us at this year’s Bishop’s Convocation of Laity Leadership 2023. If you belong to a United Methodist Church, you are a leader and disciple for Jesus Christ and this gathering is for you!
Connect with our Conference Leadership during this event to:

  • Learn of connectional ministries within The United Methodist Church.
  • Listen to the Bishop and others share how their faith journey brought them to the United Methodist Church.
  • Be encouraged to broaden your God given gifts and talents within the work of the church.
  • Worship and study scripture on this inspiration filled day.

Stevens Point: St. Paul's - The Springs UMC
600 Wilshire Blvd, Stevens Point, WI 54481

Registration deadline is February 17, 2023 at noon.
Register here 

Join us for Rev. Dr. Amanda Stein's Installation as 
District Superintendent! 
Saturday, February 11 at 2pm, First UMC, Mineral Point, WI 

All are welcome! This is a worship celebration for the SW District-- lay and clergy alike-- as well as friends and representatives of the Conference. In celebration of Valentine's Day, the theme will be "WI United Methodists - the People of the Heart." We invite you to consider wearing red, white, or pink to join in the fun. Can you consider a gift? There will be an offering taken to support the clergy of the SW District "The DS's Discretionary Fund" to help clergy and their families during times of hardship or crisis. There will be a "Flash Mob" choir. Are you interested in singing? We'll get you the music!* Congregants- bring a banner, flag, or sign designating your home church! Clergy- we invite you to go "High Church-" collars or stoles are welcome!

*Please check out the SW District of the Wisconsin UMC Facebook page for more detailed information

Mission Zoom Webinar
Saturday, February 25, 8:45 am-12 noon

Are you looking for a way to develop or increase enthusiasm for missions in your local church? Does your Mission Committee need some inspiration or assistance in planning for 2023? What exactly is the Rainbow Covenant and why is it a part of conference missions? Where do we go to learn more about global missionaries and projects?

Join members of the Conference Mission Motivation Committee on Saturday, February 25 between 8:45 and noon – on ZOOM – to discover and share plans for staking a claim for missions in your local church. Committee chair Mary Balson will share an invitation to covenant together to lift up missions in our conference.
View agenda and register today

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 Member to Annual Conference Dates:

  • 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.

Local Church Stories


Arts and Culture Series at Wauwatosa Avenue UMC

The new 22-23 Arts At The Ave Season is in full swing and is proud to share the Winter and Spring events. These are free or low cost events in support of our church missions and community outreach. Join us together in Community | Concerts | Culture | Fellowship. Contact the church office for more info at 414-453-0700.

Sharing God's Love
Ono United Methodist Church

At a Council meeting in November, Pastor Dave Kim suggested that maybe it would be a heartfelt idea to give a small gift to our shut ins. A committee was formed; the Sunday School Children made Christmas cards and women of the church donated cookies. Ono UMC also included migrant farm workers in their outreach gestures. The farm owners were surprised and very thankful for this gesture. Another group of women made banana bread to share with members we haven’t seen for sometime because of various reasons. The people were thrilled with this caring act of love and those who delivered them were gifted with the joy they felt from giving. God’s love was shared and received in many ways this Christmas season. As Pastor Dave might say “God is good, God is good all the time.” -Submitted by Diane Johnson

Salem UMC Waukesha Supports Healing Hearts Organization

This past Christmas, Salem United Methodist Church of Waukesha dedicated its special Christmas offering to support Healing Hearts of SE Wisconsin. Healing Hearts is a community-based organization whose mission is to serve and support grieving children and their families. Salem was one of the original founding partners of this organization and continues that partnership today. In the attached picture is Paul Becher, member of Salem and a Healing Hearts board director receiving a check for $3569 from Salem's Pastor Paola Benecchi. -Submitted by Pat Bohning

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

Mission News


Underdog Sports Donates ?Soccer Cleats for Ukraine
Midwest Mission Distribution Center

Before the war, a day in the life of a Ukrainian child would likely include watching or playing in a soccer (called football in Ukraine) match. Soccer, the most popular sport in Ukraine, brought joy to a lot of Ukrainian children and teens. But, as the war began and survival became the focus of each person’s life, their beloved sport was left behind. Soccer cleats and balls became just another piece of the dirt and rubble that reflected their life before the war. There was no time or mental energy to play or think about soccer. Safety and family were all that mattered. 
Read more

More Midwest News: KIT CHANGES

Upcoming Events

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 
February 8 - A Journey to the Holy Land with Rev. Scott Carlson 
February 11 - NW District Youth Snowtubing 
February 13 - Racial Ethnic Clergy Summit 
February 18 - SW Laity Training: Lay Member to Annual Conference

Other Resources


Imago Dei Lenten Bible Study is Out Now!
United Methodist Race & Religion

The Imago Dei (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion) Lenten Bible Study is a five-week study written in the style of Lectio Divina. In this form of Bible study all participants are equal, all insights are of equal value, and there are no wrong answers to correct. This form of Bible study is built upon prayerful listening to the Holy Spirit and to each other. Each person takes turns sharing by mutual invitation. In this Bible study we seek to share with one another the image of God, celebrating our diversity, our equity and our inclusion.
Learn more

Teaching and Preaching Lent 2023 with Adam Hamilton
Thursday, February 2nd - 1:00 p.m. CT

Join pastor and best-selling author Adam Hamilton as he shares what he has learned through teaching church-wide and small group study, as well as preaching in the Lenten season. Engaging in a Bible study together as a church family has tremendous potential to bring a congregation together, deepen a sense of community, and foster spiritual growth. It also provides an opportunity for community outreach, creating a clear and specific touchpoint for inviting new people to worship and study. Adam will give practical advice on how you can have the greatest impact during the Lenten season.  

Adam will also preview his new Lenten study, Luke: Jesus and the Outsiders, Outcasts, and Outlaws, exploring the life, teachings, death, and resurrection of Jesus as told in the Gospel of Luke. Through Luke’s stories we find Jesus’ care and compassion for all as he welcomes sinners and outcasts.
Register today

Ideas For Church Budgeting
United Methodist Church Discipleship Ministries

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — COVID-19 and the climate crisis have resulted in changes, some of which may be permanent. The Rev. Ken Sloane of Discipleship Ministries offers five suggestions church leaders can adapt to be more realistic about their church budgets. The suggestions include figuring in inflation and asking how technology might save money.
Read more

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