Wisconsin Conference UCC
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Notice of Annual Meeting for the
Wisconsin Conference United Church of Christ
from Moderator Jim Hobbick

Shift: A Hope-Filled Future

Jeremiah 29:11 I know the plans I have in mind for you, declares the Lord; they are plans for peace, not disaster, to give you a future filled with hope.

(Common English Bible)

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 Struggle

            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 Convergence.

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 much more.

            Other highlights:

- Opportunities to connect with friends and colleagues

- Worship to deepen our collective faith

- Participate in the business of the Conference

- Saturday 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, Moderator

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