WI Conference Weekly ENews - May 3, 2023

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Conference News


Election of Additional Reserve Delegates to the Postponed 2020 General/Jurisdictional Conferences

In 2019, the Wisconsin Annual Conference elected delegates to the 2020 General and Jurisdictional Conferences of The United Methodist Church. Due to COVID-19, in 2020 the General and Jurisdictional Conferences have been postponed, first until 2021, then 2022, and now to 2024.

Since the election of delegates in 2019, there have been seven vacancies in the Wisconsin Conference delegation – 5 laity and 2 clergy.  At this time we are planning to elect additional Reserve Delegates during the 2023 Annual Conference Session. That may change. We are still waiting on instructions from the General Conference Secretary.

Additional information about the Responsibilities, Expectations, Eligibility for Election, and Practical Requirements for serving as a delegate and/or reserve delegate can be found on the Conference Website at Conference Secretary - Wisconsin Conference of the UMC.

If you are ready, willing and able to make the required commitments and would like to be considered as a candidate for election as a Reserve Delegate, please complete the Online Reserve Delegate Candidate Form, found on the Conference Website using the link above. The deadline for submitting Reserve Delegate Candidate Forms is Monday, May 8, 2023.

If you have questions about the responsibilities or the nomination/election process, please contact Kevin Rice Myers, Conference Secretary, at 608-837-7328, ext 2250 (Office), 608-478-4490 (Office-Direct Line) or ConfSec@wisconsinumc.org.

Farewell Celebration For Superintendent Barbara Certa-Werner
Saturday, May 20th, 10AM-Noon, First UMC-Rice Lake

Come and celebrate your gratitude and memories of Superintendent Barbara Certa-Werner with us! In lieu of gifts, please feel free to make a donation to Harbor House. Self-care gifts are also welcome!

Moving Forward With The Beloved Community

The mission of The United Methodist Church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.  This is our mandate regardless of what circumstances come our way and pull us off track. This is a difficult time for many in The United Methodist Church. Some of our congregations in the Conference have voted to disaffiliate from the denomination. 

In any congregation that leaves, there are people who want to remain faithful to The United Methodist Church and remain a part of our denomination. We most certainly welcome you to remain United Methodist and carry on the legacy we have had as a denomination that is rooted in the historic faith in Jesus Christ, committed to social justice and welcoming all people.

If your church has decided to disaffiliate and you would like to remain United Methodist, please visit our website at https://www.wisconsinumc.org/moving-forward-with-beloved-community   

Performers Wanted For Anti-Racism Task Force Performance At Annual Conference 2023

As our report to the 2023 Annual Conference, the Anti-Racism Task Force will conduct a 15 minute participatory theater performance during the plenary session. The performance requires 5-10 volunteers and will be about an issue that has arisen in a cross-cultural setting. Participatory theater performances are improvisational and include an invitation for the audience to participate in the solution. No previous performance experience is necessary.
Dr. Amy Sarno, director of the theater department at Beloit College will train performers and oversee the performance. Practice times are Thursday evening, June 8th at 6:00 pm and Friday morning, June 9th at 10:00 am.
For more information, contact Lamarr Gibson at lvgibson48@gmail.com or 608-509-6832.

Groat Grant Gratitude At Palmyra United Methodist Church

Palmyra UMC was awarded a $15,000 Groat Rural Ministry Grant to help support the costs of phase B construction work. The final cost of Phase B was $138,653.28. We are happy to report that the Phase B construction work on heating, ventilation and HVAC was completed as of March 20, 2023, just in time for many of our very special Easter worship services. Our congregation is extremely happy with the result of this project and the care given to our facility by the various construction staff.

We have now finished both phase A and B with only two more phases to complete. The work that has been done would have been much more difficult to accomplish without conference support. Thank you very much! View all photos

2023 Ingathering Updates-
Markesan UMC No Longer A Drop Site

The conference Mission Motivation Committee is working with Midwest Mission Distribution Center to collect items for Personal Dignity Kits and Home Care Kits. View kit details

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- Updated May 1, 2023
2023 Ingathering Bulletin Insert

Local Church Stories


175th Anniversary at Viroqua UMC
Sunday, May 7th at 10:30am with Bishop Jung & D.S. Amanda Stein

The Viroqua Methodist Episcopal Church had its beginnings in Viroqua in 1848. The organization of the Viroqua church took place in a grove one mile east of Viroqua with nine families present. The first building was erected on our present site in 1856. This building was destroyed by a tornado in 1865. The second building was erected in 1866. General Rusk donated a 500 point bell which is still in use today. That building was used until it was razed in 1888 to build our current brick structure. The present building was built in 1914 at a cost of $24,567. The congregation is known today as Viroqua United Methodist, and was first organized 175 years ago! In recognition of this milestone, a special worship service will be held on May 7th at 10:30 am with Bishop Hee-Soo Jung and District Superintendent, Amanda Stein participating. A potluck meal will follow the service.

The celebration continues with a catered meal on Wednesday, May 24th followed by a short program and pageant. All are invited, and need to let the church office (608-637-3551) know by Wednesday, May 17th if desiring to attend. View poster

Sun Prairie United Methodist Church Celebrates a Successful Community Easter Egg Hunt

On Saturday April 8th, Sun Prairie United Methodist Church hosted their annual community Easter Egg Hunt across the street from the church at Wetmore Park. Attendance grew again this year to between 150 and 200 children from the church and surrounding community who hunted for more than 8000 eggs filled and hidden by Sun Prairie UMC volunteers. This beloved community event has become a tradition that we hope will continue to flourish and grow! -Submitted by Claire Douglass

Free May Concerts At Wauwatosa Avenue UMC

In celebration of the church's 175th birthday, WAUMC is hosting two free concerts in May featuring local musicians as part of our "Arts at the Ave" series. May 7th at 2:00 will feature organist Sherri Masiakowski and trumpeter John Rose. There will also a special organ duet with our own Martha Aslakson. On May 18th at 7:30pm, we will host the classical trio of Peter Thomas, cello, Elena Abend, piano, and Orlando Pimentel, clarinet. This will concert will feature Classical and South American music, as well as the Brahms Clarinet Trio. These are free concerts and open to the public. A free will donation will be taken to benefit United Methodist Children's Services as well as other local ministries. Contact the church for more info, 414-453-0700.

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 Exiting Clergy And Churches
UM News

Clergy who leave The United Methodist Church do not surrender their clergy credentials unless they are facing some other disciplinary action, the denomination’s top court ruled.

“Clergy who withdraw from their annual conference membership by written request or by simply leaving their appointment have not surrendered their credentials unless action is taken against them,” the Judicial Council said in Decision 1482.

The decision was among five rulings the church court released April 25 that deal with church disaffiliations. Read more


Bishops Hold In-person Meeting
Council of Bishops

CHICAGO — The Council of Bishops plans to meet April 29 to May 5 to tackle the future of The United Methodist Church, welcome new bishops who were elected in November last year and work on other topics such as disaffiliations and fighting racism. This marks the bishops’ first in-person meeting since November 2019 in Lake Junaluska, North Carolina.
Read press release

Mission News


Toxic Fire in Richmond, IN displaces 2,000 residents - Midwest Mission Responds
Midwest Mission Distribution Center

April 11, 2023 was a typical spring day in Richmond, Indiana. The sun was out, birds were chirping, and everything seemed normal. That was until local residents began to smell a foul odor that seemed to seep into their homes. Upon looking outside, residents could see thick, black smoke billowing amongst tall flames in the distance. 

A building had caught fire. But not just any building, it was a plastic recycling plant. This large facility held 14 acres of plastic, all of which ignited in flames. The immense fire burned for two days, until the last hot spot was put out on the evening of April 13.

All residents within a .5-mile radius of the fire were evacuated, displacing over 2,000 people from their homes. Not only were they displaced, fear also settled into their hearts, causing a pit of worry over short-term and long-term medical concerns. They’re lives had been interrupted in a big way. Read more

Upcoming Events

May 6 - 2023 Transition Workshops - In-Person 
May 6 - Preaching- Advanced Lay Speaking Class 
May 6 - Basic Lay Ministry Class 
May 6 - Advanced Lay Speaking Class- Rhinelander UMC 
May 6 - Basic Lay Ministry class - Rhinelander UMC 
May 7- 175th Anniversary at Viroqua UMC

May 7 - United Methodist Heritage Lay Servant Class 
May 8 - National Workshop on Christian Unity 
May 14 - Annual Pine Lake Work Week 
May 21 - Wauwatosa Avenue United Methodist Church 175th Anniversary Celebration 
May 21 - United Methodist Heritage Lay Servant Class 

Other Resources


New Webinar on White Allyship
United Methodist Religion & Race

Becoming a white antiracist ally requires more than being a nice Christian who believes that racism is “wrong.” It requires critical thinking, a heart change, and an expansion of discipleship. Join us Wednesday, May 17, at 3 pm Eastern (2 pm Central; 12 pm Pacific) for this important virtual conversation on white allyship.
Learn more and register

Resources For Trinity Sunday 2023 
United Methodist Religion & Race

Trinity Sunday (June 4th) is a day in which we celebrate our love and faith (and mystery) in the Holy Trinity – Father*, Son, and Holy Spirit. This year’s Trinity Sunday, we provide resources that provide a theological understanding of how the Imago D.E.I. (Image of Diversity, Image of Equity, Image of Inclusion) which is foundational to the work of the Trinity.
Learn more

Where Churches Spend Too Little And Too Much
Lewis Center for Church Leadership

WASHINGTON — In working with more than 500 churches, The Unstuck Group identified certain expenditure areas where churches commonly invest too little and those where churches tend to invest too much. Their findings may offer clues to bringing a better balance to a church’s budget.
Read commentary

Wear Orange For National Gun Violence Awareness In June
Wisconsin Council of Churches

The first Friday in June begins National Gun Violence Awareness Day and Wear Orange Weekend. How is your congregation participating?

Here are a few ways for your congregation to speak out against gun violence:

Learn more
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