Grace and Peace to
Each and All of You!
Siblings in Christ I
am inviting and calling you to come and gather as the community of faith that
is the Wisconsin Conference of the United Church of Christ. The Wisconsin
Conference Annual meeting will gather again in the beautiful setting that is
The Green Lake Conference Center and you are invited. I trust that you have set
aside the dates of June 12-14, for gathering as the Conference to celebrate and
recognize both the joys and struggles for being the church. Our theme this year invites us to encounter
the places where we are fed for life's journey and where we find
Courage in the
Our theme, taken from
our UCC Statement of Faith, draws us to the places where we are energized and
the ways we engage the Divine calling that empowers us. Rev. Dr. Eric Elnes, well-known host of
Darkwood Brew, will lead us through the weekend with thought-provoking
presentations, worship and workshops. Rev. Elnes is Senior Minister at
Countryside Community Church (UCC) in Omaha, Nebraska, and was lead author and
editor of The Phoenix Affirmations. Dr. Elnes will take us on a journey into
the Dark Wood a place of struggle and uncertainty feared by the poet Dante
but that the ancient Christian mystics knew to be the central place where
revelation and hope is experienced. By exploring the Dark Wood
"gifts" of emptiness, uncertainty, getting lost, and misfit community
in their biblical and modern expressions, we will find ourselves - and our denomination
- poised to enter a beautiful clearing that some are calling The Great
In addition to Rev.
Elnes' program and a keynote address by Rev. Ben Guess, Executive Minister, UCC
Local Church Ministries, more than 20 workshops will enhance your life and ministry.
There will be workshops by Rev. Elnes, jazz musician Chuck Marohnic, and Ben
Guess. Dr. John Whitcomb will be back with his standing-room-only workshop on
stewarding your health, while Rev Holly Whitcomb will help us face life's
changes with courage. Rev. Winton Boyd
will share Parker Palmer's teachings on discussing difficult topics. And so
to connect with friends and colleagues
to deepen our collective faith
in the business of the Conference
night social event
- Gain respite in the beautiful setting
This gathering also
gives us an opportunity to get to know our new Conference Minister, the Rev.
Franz Rigert, and to hear more of his vision for our Conference.
The Annual Meeting
web site will give you more information on the specific workshops and faith
formation offerings, as well as the whole schedule for our plenary sessions and
all the celebrations that are planned for the weekend. As always, the exhibit
hall will be filled with information, books (yes, books but no "bookstore Bob"),
cookies and coffee.
I hope that you will
join me as we affirm our mutual calling to be the church in this time and
place, celebrating with joy our God who gives us courage to rise to that call.
Rev Laura J. McLeod,