WI Conference ENews: Day of Remembrance for Native American Children, Pine Lake & Lake Lucerne Tackle Covid Concerns, Afghan Refugee Donations, Lake Lucerne Confirmation Retreat, WI Conference Connection to Bolivia

Conference News

Day of Remembrance for Native American Children- Oct. 6th

We are grateful that God was in Christ reconciling the world and entrusting to us a ministry of reconciliation. I write with an opportunity to follow the invitation of Paul to be reconciled to Christ, and to allow Christ to invite you to a deeper reconciliation with our First Nation siblings. You have seen the news of more graves of Native Children being found at sites of the boarding schools located across North America. These boarding schools gave rise to deplorable conditions, and many were engineered by religious groups proclaiming the faith of Jesus.

Although our systems have not produced the equity of Jesus, our United Methodist ancestors in Wisconsin did not operate boarding schools. The Native American International Caucus of the United Methodist Church is advancing “A Call to Truth Telling and Repentance” on October 6, 2021 and designating it “A Day of Truth and Repentance for Our Children.”  Read More


Pine Lake & Lake Lucerne Camps Tackle Covid Concerns

What joy, relief, and responsibility was felt as the UM Summer Camp ministries for the 2020 season began. Children, youth, counselors, grandparents, special needs campers, Rising Sun campers, and Deep Waters Latinx youth came and had wonderful, life-giving, spiritual and plain-old-fun experiences at our summer camp.
But, before they came, we had long conversations around how to assure the best of what we offer as UM camps (experiences of God’s presence in the outdoors and with others in community) – and plan for the health and safety for our campers. We explored what other camps and our General UM Camp and Retreat Ministries Board were recommending. We consulted with our Conference Covid-19 Task Team and kept track of national, state and county guidelines. The guidelines written by Nick Coenen, Site Director for Pine Lake, were used by many other UM Conferences, since they were compiled and written so well. Read more

Updated Donation Information for Afghan Refugees

As Afghan people are entering Fort McCoy, efforts are being coordinated to offer the needed support and care for them. Of the thousands of refugees coming to Wisconsin, 9% are under 3 years old; 60% are under 18. Rev. Deb Burkhalter, pastor at Winding Rivers UMC, has been working part-time for Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD). Following the relief efforts from flooding a few years ago, Winding Rivers UMC still has “dormitory” housing available. They are currently feeding and housing non-military people who are serving and supporting the relief efforts at Fort McCoy.
Rev. Mary Balson has been coordinating a list of items needed and drop-off locations across our Conference which will be picked up and delivered to the Fort McCoy warehouse area.  Please share this information with your congregations. Please be sure to use this link to access the most recent donation list information. This list is updated daily.

Lay Servant Classes at Cudahy UMC

Cudahy UMC will be having the Introduction Class to Lay Servant Ministries on October 2 & 9 from 1-4pm. The class is also relevant to all who are part of the leadership of their United Methodist Church. Pastors are also encouraged to take the course to better understand the use of Lay Servants and Lay Speakers in their congregation. Cost is $15 which includes the book and resources. 

For questions and to register, contact cudahyclasses@gmail.com.

New Saving Grace Grant

The Wisconsin United Methodist Foundation is excited to announce a new grant program called the Saving Grace grant. The grant is designed to give clergy, and eventually, congregations a firsthand experience of the new transformative Saving Grace Financial Well-Being program, along with financial incentives designed to both encourage and equip participants. Read more

To apply, email Rev. Jason Mahnke, Director of Programming and Campaigns at jmahnke@wumf.org. Participation is limited and on a first-come basis. Sign up today!

Webinar: Hybrid Models of Worship - Presented by Jason Moore

As we prepare for worship this fall – in the midst of the unknowns of another wave of COVID-19 – our Conference is sponsoring a follow up event with Jason Moore with practical knowledge of preparing for and running hybrid worship.  This is being offered to you at no cost (our apportionment dollars at work). In addition, he has made available at no extra cost, the recording of his first Both/And webinar. This link is available until the Both/And to be Continued webinar. This is a great opportunity for clergy and lay teams to learn together and support each other in worship preparation and presentation.

BOTH/AND: To Be Continued is offered September 28, from 11:30 – 1:00.

Even though this webinar is free, we ask you to register, so you can receive the materials and the link of the recording which will be provided after the webinar is presented. Register Here

Lake Lucerne Annual Fall Confirmation Retreat

Lake Lucerne will be hosting our annual fall confirmation retreat on October 16-17. Foundations is a confirmation retreat for church groups led in partnership by Lake Lucerne staff and church youth leaders from around the state. Focusing on the scriptural foundations of our faith, this retreat is a great way to kick off your confirmation year and meet others who are just beginning their confirmation journey. Open to all confirmation aged youth for the 2021-2022 program year and their adult chaperones. Join us for a great weekend focused on Loving God, Loving Others, and Loving the Bible and featuring large group worship, small group study, great food, new and old friends, and time to enjoy camp in the fall.

Registration Information/ General Information

Partnership of The Wisconsin Conference and The Evangelical Methodist Church in Bolivia

The Wisconsin Annual Conference signed a partnership with the Evangelical Methodist Church in Bolivia. This is one of the greatest gifts of our Conference, to be in mission with other Methodist churches around the world. 

We have the opportunity to participate in the mission of sharing the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ through contributing to buy four motorcycles for pastors in Bolivia. This will help them to mobilize through difficult roads where cars can’t ride, but still the need to bring words of hope and salvation are needed for God’s children. These pastors are the feet, arms and hands of Jesus, as well as ours to expand God’s kingdom in this place, where we can’t be fiscally present, but we can do it through our giving. For more information, contact Rev. Rosita Mayorga: pastorarosita98@gmail.com

Denominational News

United Methodist Men's Annual Give Day- Oct. 18th

October 18th is the third annual United Methodist Men's Give Day. The General Commission on United Methodist Men receives less than 25% of its yearly budget funding from World Service Funds. Give Day is an essential funding source that enables the commission to provide resources and support to United Methodist Men in your conference and local churches. Read more and learn about ways to contribute.

Latinx Community Merits More Attention

Seeing this musical "In the Heights" inspired Rev. Lydia Muñoz to ponder the attention the Latinx community gets in The United Methodist church. Constantly shifting between two cultures and languages is exhausting, Muñoz writes in a commentary distributed by MARCHA (Methodist Associated Representing the Cause of Hispanic Americans, an official caucus of the denomination. Read Commentary.

Mark Your Calendars- World Communion Sunday is October 3rd

On October 3, 2021, we will celebrate World Communion Sunday. Please mark your calendars to celebrate this Special Sunday. We look forward to this celebration each year when we participate in holy communion together and share our gifts to support racial-ethnic students and trainees in their quest to become leaders who embody the mission of The United Methodist Church. Your gifts provide scholarships for ethnic students and trainees from the U.S. and around the world. Learn more

Mission News & Information


#StillinMission September 2021

Despite the pandemic, United Methodist missionaries remain deeply engaged in work around the world. Normally, a number of them "itinerate" each year to visit the churches and individuals that support them in ministry. Covid-19 has put a stop to most travel but that doesn't mean the missionaries aren't available to meet virtually! Each month, we invite four missionaries to be in conversation with laity and clergy throughout the church to share the joys and challenges they've experienced. Click here to Register and learn Zoom dates and times

Other Resources


Summit Youth Academy Helps Teens Hear God's Calling 

Most talented high school students know how to make the most of their abilities. Athletes work with top coaches; musicians, actors, or artists find outstanding teachers; all practice countless hours. Many spend part of their summer vacations polishing skills at camps or conferences recommended by adult mentors.   

At one Kansas college, though, a unique camp is teaching juniors and seniors an even more crucial skill. "We look for youth who want to hear God’s calling,” says Wendy Mohler-Seib, “because we believe when people hear God’s call we come alive.” For more information on the Summit Youth Academy, contact Wendy Mohler-Seib at Wendy.MohlerSeib@sckans.edu. Read more

Creating a Narrative Budget Course

Discipleship Ministries is excited to announce the launch of a new course for local church leaders: Creating a Narrative Budget – The Story Behind the Numbers. We anticipate the course opening in early to mid-September.

The new course is written and hosted by the Rev. Dr. Ken Sloane, Director of Stewardship & Generosity, who will introduce the course and set up each of the sessions in videos. Ken will also serve as instructor for the course, interacting with participants through their responses to questions throughout the course, and answering questions that might arise. Learn More / Pre-Register


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