WI Conference Weekly ENews - March 29, 2023

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Conference News


Response From The WI Conference Secretary To 2023 Election Inquiries 

The Judicial Council decision (1472) that was announced on Monday, March 21, regarding the filling of vacancies on General and Jurisdictional Conference delegations is considerably more complicated and technical than simply allowing conferences to elect new delegates to fill vacancies. There are several specific criteria that must be met before an election can be held, and then only under limited circumstances.
While we have been working on procedures for electing additional reserve delegates, and for inviting persons interested in serving to submit their biographical information as a candidate for election, that process has been delayed because of the Judicial Council’s decision.
Several groups at the denominational level, including the General Conference Secretary and his staff, probably the Commission on the General Conference and the Council of Bishops, to those of us in the annual conferences responsible for elections, are analyzing Judicial Council Decision 1472 to determine exactly what is allowed and under what circumstances.
In light of the Judicial Council’s decision, we are waiting on specific instructions from Gary Graves, the Secretary of the General Conference, regarding the possibility of filling vacancies in General and Jurisdictional Conference delegations before publicizing any specific process in the Wisconsin Conference.

When we have a clear picture of what we can do and cannot do, information about any election at the 2023 Annual Conference session and how people may put their name forward as a candidate will be distributed to the conference through the weekly ENews. More detailed information will then be available on the Conference website. At this point I do not expect an announcement to be made prior to the first week in April.

Wisconsin Conference Disaffiliation Update

We wanted to provide you an update on the number of churches that are currently in the Disaffiliation process in our Wisconsin Conference and the next steps in the process.

The 2019 Special General Conference established a limited window of opportunity, expiring December 31, 2023, for local churches to depart The United Methodist Church “over issues related to human sexuality.” Forty-four local congregations in the Wisconsin Annual Conference continue in the process following a required period of discernment and Church Conference vote, where the professing members present supported the disaffiliation motion by at least a 2/3 majority. Varying in size, the congregations are in four of the five districts, with no disaffiliation requests from the Northwest District. Approximately half are congregations reporting 55 or fewer members. These 44 local churches remain from the 75 who had initially expressed interest in learning more about what disaffiliation might mean. 

A 17-step process is being followed in Wisconsin. The next step, step 13, in the process is for the requests to be reviewed and acted on by the Conference Trustees before April 15 and by the Cabinet by May 1. Each church will be sent their calculated payment amount on May 1 and must fulfill their financial obligation by May 26. After funds are received and all obligations have been met, the churches will be voted upon at the Annual Conference.

The detailed process approved at the 2022 Annual Conference session is available at Approved 2022 Action Item wc111  Additional Disaffiliation Information remains available on the Wisconsin Conference web site.  Should a local church not fulfill all the prerequisites by their disaffiliation date, no later than December 31, 2023, their disaffiliation will be null and void and the church will remain United Methodist.

*Location Change* For Harmony Choir's Next Rehearsal
April 17th, 11am, Crossroads UMC, Waunakee, WI

Thanks to your prayers and support, we had a wonderful first rehearsal at Columbus UMC. Our 2nd rehearsal location has changed from Portage UMC to Crossroads UMC in Waunakee, 5901 Hogan Rd. Waunakee, WI 53597.

2023 Plans

  • Perform 2 Special Musical Selections at the Annual Conference Ordination Service
  • Fall Concert in November
Next Rehearsals
  • April 17th at 11:00 am at Crossroads UMC, Waunakee, WI
  • May 22nd at 11:00 am at Columbus UMC

All pastors (including retired pastors) and/or Pastor's spouses are welcome to join us. For questions or more information, please contact: 
   - The WAC Harmony Choir: wac.harmonychoir@gmail.com
   - Executive Director: Rev. David Kim (kdavidkim@naver.com 253-335-7480)
   - Music Director: Rev. Sangwook Park (hodiecond11@gmail.com 847-344-3667)

More info

NW District Youth Council To Host A Cross Cultural Youth Worship Service
April 29th, 10am, Whitehall UMC

The Northwest District Youth of The United Methodist Church are hosting a Cross Cultural Youth Event at Whitehall UMC, 36262 Main Street, Whitehall, WI 54773, on Saturday, April 29th from 10am-12pm. All are invited to attend this time of multicultural fellowship! A potluck lunch will follow the service- please bring a dish to pass from your culture. Please bring your friends and family!
Watch Video
Sign Up Sheet

National Workshop On Christian Unity
Hilton Milwaukee City Center, May 8-11, 2023

The National Workshop on Christian Unity is coming up quickly from May 8-11 in Milwaukee. It’s the annual gathering for many Christians in the US to get updates on ecumenical engagements and to worship and study ecumenism together. It’s also the venue through which UMEIT: USA takes place, the annual training for United Methodists who take leadership with ecumenism in the US. Bishop Jung will be one of the Opening Worship Leaders at the event.

Early bird registration ends on April 19, so now is the time to register. Go to www.nwcu.org for information, and/or contact Jean Hawxhurst  at jhawxhurst@umc-cob.org.  

More information and event agenda
Register here

Rainbow Covenant Reports Due March 31st

Congregational reports for Rainbow Covenant 2022 activities are due by March 31st.The brochures and forms are on the website and below. 

All churches are encouraged to check out the Rainbow Covenant brochure to see if they have qualified for recognition as a Rainbow Covenant church in 2022. The brochure includes instructions for reporting and lists the various areas of mission and possible ministries and agencies you may have already contributed to in 2022. It could also help Mission Committees as they plan for 2023 activities!

The Rainbow Covenant was designed to enable local congregations to participate in missions on many levels, from local to global. It is the intent of the program to help all United Methodists in the Wisconsin Conference to understand the diversity of ministries and agencies that make up our Global Ministries.

Rainbow Covenant Brochure
Rainbow Covenant Fillable Form
Rainbow Covenant Download Form
Board of Global Ministries- Wisconsin Conference of the UMC

You Are Invited To Sponsor A Local Church In Bolivia
Partnership with the Evangelical Methodist Church in Bolivia

"With a small donation, we can transform the lives of our neighbors near and far. "-Rev. Anita Lang. Local churches in the Bolivian Evangelical Methodist Church are facing difficult times due to the pandemic, post-pandemic effects, inflation, and rural needs. The newly appointed bishop, Rev. Medardo Vedia Gutierrez 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 Vedia listed nine 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. The rural church in Bolivia is building a new church at the Zamora location thanks to the support of this congregation. A total of 10 sewing machines have been offered by Bethany UMC, Madison, but our goal is 40.Additionally, Bethany UMC sponsors a local church in Bolivia, and congregations here in the USA have donated 12 pews to Huanacollo Methodist Church.

Linked below are eight churches in Bolivia along with their information about how local churches of the WI Conference can help. For more information or questions, contact Pastor Anita Lang at anitalang130@gmail.com.

Churches Needing A Sponsor
Video: Greetings from the Bolivian Task Force of The Wisconsin Conference

2023 Ingathering Updates
New Items Needed & Updated Drop Off Sites List

The conference Mission Motivation Committee is working with Midwest Mission Distribution Center to collect items for Personal Dignity Kits and Home Care Kits. Midwest Mission distributes these items locally, nationally and internationally to those in need during times of crisis. All supplies are given free of charge regardless of gender, race or religion.  Although we are focusing on these two kits, we appreciate any items found at midwestmission.org.  All items should be NEW – and all kits should have only the items requested. View kit details

Urgent needs include the following:

  • Shampoo (in bulk), 12-19 oz. 
  • 100-150 oz. EMPTY liquid laundry detergent containers. We can use containers of any size up to 150 oz. (we are collecting full or empty liquid laundry detergent containers) 
  • Sewing machines, electric and treadles (they don't have to be new; we accept sewing machines that need a little tuning up; we cannot accept the computerized ones. 
  • Medical equipment -folding walkers, wheelchairs, crutches, canes, walking boots, slings 
  • Blankets- new or gently used for disaster response  
  • Non electric tools specifically shovels, brooms, rakes

Kits and items that make up those kits, should be brought to Annual Conference at the KICenter in Green Bay. The Midwest Mission truck will be there for collection on June 9th & 10th. To process donations efficiently and get them where needed quickly, we ask for a list of the items donated. You can help the person who delivers the items -and save everyone some time- by filling out the Donation Form ahead of time.  

Volunteers are needed to check in and load donations at Annual Conference in Green Bay anytime during our drop off hours: Friday, June 9th 10am-4pm and Saturday, June 10th 8am-2pm. Contact bonnieclement05@gmail.com to help.

2023 Ingathering Drop Sites List
2023 Ingathering Bulletin Insert
Ingathering Update 3-6-2023

New Enews Submission Form For Articles In The WI Conference Weekly Enews

A new Enews submission form, located in the 'Quick Links' box on the WI Conference homepage, is for everyone, staff as well as the general public, to use to submit an article for ENews. You may use this form to create a news article to be published, if approved, in the Wisconsin Conference weekly ENews. We do reserve the right to edit submitted information for grammar, clarity and context. This is a tool to help streamline the content we put in the ENews. The submission deadline is Tuesday at 1:00pm for the current week's ENewsPlease contact Lisa Wink, Communications Director, at lwink@wisconsinumc.org or Carly Ochoa, Communications Assistant, at cochoa@wisconsinumc.org with any questions.

Submit an article for ENews

Local Church Stories


Blessings In A Backpack Award
North Windsor UMC

On Sunday, March 12th, North Windsor UMC in DeForest, WI presented Blessings in a Backpack with a check for $3500.00. Blessings in a Backpack is a local organization supported by local volunteers who pack food for children and youth to take home for their families over the weekend. This year they are serving 190+ households. The money was raised in August 2022 bn a free-will offering garage sale and with the special Sunday noisy offering that our children collect throughout the year.

We would like to thank everyone in our church ministry who spent many hours hanging clothes, setting up tables and unloading boxes to display items donated, and cleaning up. This is an all-church effort!

We would also like to thank many of our community members who dropped off donations and worked to help make the sale a success. Garage sale left overs were donated to Glinda’s house. Many items were shipped to Haiti. Some items went to dog rescues and the remainder of the items went to St. Vinnie’s.

We believe that church exists to be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ and to aid the call to feed the hungry and to support our community. This work of love is extended to many families through the Blessing in a backpack program. -Submitted by Patricia Tristan

WinterRice Challenge
Bristol and Wesley Chapel UMCs

In the past, Bristol and Wesley Chapel Churches have challenged each other during a Winter Challenge to bring in food items and other articles that are then delivered to the local Sharing Center in Kenosha County. This year has been different, however, because Bristol and Wesley Chapel members are worshipping together. So, instead of a contest with one church as the winner, we created a WinterRice Challenge in which the number of items collected in the first month provided the total to beat. During the four weeks of February, 79 boxes and bags of rice were brought in. This included all sizes and all kinds of rice. The challenge was to bring in more than 79 items in March -- and the congregation succeeded! An additional 95 boxes and bags weighing 184 pounds were brought in! The picture below shows the rice collected in March.

Submitted by Gail Burgess, Bristol UMC Missions Chair

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


Court Rules On General Conference Questions
UM News

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UM News) — The United Methodist Church’s top court released a decision about the long-delayed General Conference, now set for 2024. The Judicial Council addressed bishops’ questions about how to deal with delegate vacancies and whether another General Conference must be scheduled before 2028. Heather Hahn reports.
Read story

Mission News


Ukraine Shipments #9 and #10 Leave ?Midwest Mission in Same Week
Midwest Mission Distribution Center

On Monday, March 20, a semi truck hauling an empty container backed up to the loading dock at Midwest Mission. Inside the warehouse, stacks of pallets lined the aisles and filled the loading dock, waiting to be rolled into the container. It was the day to load Ukraine shipment #9. 

Since April 2022, Midwest Mission has shipped 10 containers full of disaster relief and health supplies to help those affected by the war.

We have seen how these donated items have been blessings for those who receive them. Rice Meals to feed a community near the front lines of the war; disposable diapers to a family who can’t go to the store; rain ponchos to create some sort of comfort despite rough conditions; socks and underwear to those who never thought they would be in such dire need of these simple necessities; and the list goes on. 

Our partner in Ukraine, North Star Foundation, told us the needs - and you have continuously responded, sending tangible items they need, but also sending the life-changing intangibles: hope and empowerment to people you may never meet. 

Read more

Upcoming Events

March 29 - Bishop's Day Apart for Clergy- South East District 
March 31 - Bishop Jung To Present At Garrett Seminary 
April 3 - A Dramatic Recreation of The Last Supper 
April 5 - A Dramatic Recreation of The Last Supper 
April 7 - Final Words From the Cross 
April 11 - Join Rev. Forrest Wells for The Exodus Experience in Egypt 
April 15 - United Women in Faith - Social Action Day 
April 16 - Leading Public Prayer Lay Servant Class 
April 16 - Cudahy UMC- Lay Servant Social 
April 17 - Harmony Choir Rehearsal

Other Resources


'The Recap' Rounds Up Latest News
United Methodist Communications

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — In the latest episode of "The Recap," watch excerpts from Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton’s recent State of The United Methodist Church address, learn about existing and new congregations that are growing and thriving across the U.S. and check out #BeUMC social media posts that show how God is at work in congregations and communities around the world. 
Watch latest episode

Online Service Of Lament Planned
Discipleship Ministries

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Discipleship Ministries is planning an online worship experience titled “Out of Ashes: A Service of Lament in a Season of Disaffiliation.” The service is scheduled for 11 a.m. U.S. Central time April 20 and is intended to be a time to name loss while seeking the new thing God is doing.
Read press release
To register

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