WI Conference Weekly ENews - January 4, 2023

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Conference News


Welcome to Julie Wiedmeyer, Executive Administrative Assistant for the Episcopal Office

We are happy to announce that GCFA and the Personnel Committee have hired Julie Wiedmeyer as the Executive Administrative Assistant for the Episcopal Office.

Julie and her husband Chad have been married for 30 years and have 2 adult children, Jake (married to Tessa) and Henry. She also has a bonus son, Noa. Julie became a grandma in November to Theo.

Julie and her husband live in Sun Prairie, and she is active in the community. She co-founded Sunshine Supper in 2010 which provides a hot, healthy, nutritious meal to individuals and families in the Sun Prairie area who would otherwise go without. She continues to coordinate this program on Monday evenings.

She recently worked at The River Food Pantry as Director of Development and at St. Albert Church as Parish Administrator.  When she is not at work, she likes to spend time up north in Boulder Junction and loves bicycling and kayaking.

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

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


Christmas Eve At Shell Lake UMC 2022

45 people attended the Christmas Eve Service at Shell Lake UMC, 8pm. The first part of the service was a "No Rehearsal" play. Sheep, Cows, Donkeys, Angels and Shepherds. Wise Men, Mary, Joseph and especially Jesus were in the play. Following the play, the Choir sang a beautiful variety of Christmas Carols. The service concluded with everyone holding a lit candle and singing, "Silent Night". Look at all the smiles. Submitted by: Pastor Jean Waldron

Church creates Christmas Special that gets big response!

Because Christmas Day fell on a Sunday this past year, Stoughton UMC decided to worship online together from home. So, instead of the usual prerecorded service, Pastor Kellen Roggenbuck decided to get creative and play on the animated Christmas specials on TV and put together an animated "Christmas Special" Sunday worship. Since then, there have been over 500 views of the video on Youtube!

Pastor Kellen is consistently trying to find creative and innovative ways to engage the church. His sermon series are often fun, with engaging videos and graphics, but this animated special was way, way out of the box. "I wanted to push the limits and try to do something I've never seen before. Hopefully, other churches will see this and be inspired to go big on the creativity. This is one way we're working here in Stoughton to meet new people where they are to bring the gospel and connect." Pastor Kellen shared. He has committed to a year of innovation, so Stoughton UMC will be a church to watch in 2023. Submitted by: Graham Park

Click here to view the animated special or to follow SUMC's Youtube

Christmas Eve At Whitewater Area Regional Ministry
by Rev. Beth Staniforth-Seamster, Provisional Deacon

Every year I lead the 4pm Christmas Eve worship service which is specifically geared for Children and Families and we always do something interactive for a sermon. This year, I decided to show pictures of the Nativity from Around the World; my goal was to help kids understand that people all over the world celebrate Jesus's birth on Christmas Eve, and we all imagine the story a little differently, based on our own culture.
As we read the Christmas Scriptures, we paused and looked at various images.  One of the pictures was from Korea and the kids were so interested in this nativity.  At the end, I asked if anyone had a favorite picture and the picture from Korea was a favorite for many of the kids because it features snow, wise men on horseback, women at the manger, and the manger outside vs. inside.

I loved being able to tell the kids "our Bishop is from Korea originally and our Conference has many churches we are connected to in Korea. Maybe this is how they picture the nativity."
Read more about the Christmas Eve Service

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