Highlights from the Wisconsin Conference UCC Annual Meeting

-Celebration of the 20th Anniversary of Wisconsin’s Lay Academy. Lay Academy is a program of courses available to lay people that assists participants in deepening their faith and knowledge of church and scripture, grow in spiritual maturity, and strengthen Christ’s church.

-Voted to become an Open and Affirming Conference. For those unfamiliar with this terminology: “Open and Affirming (ONA) is the United Church of Christ’s (UCC) designation for congregations, campus ministries, and other bodies in the UCC which make a public covenant of welcome into their full life and ministry to persons of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions.” From:http://www.ucc.org/lgbt/ona.html. This means that our conference office will not discriminate and will actively welcome individuals who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender in all of its conference level operations. While this does not directly affect our individual congregations it is a powerful witness to the call for us to treat all people as beloved children of God.

-Amazingly informative keynote speakers and workshops (see the pastor’s letter to learn more about a few of these workshops).

-Update on search for new conference minister.

-Approval of the 2015 conference budget of $2,151,751 which included $409,000 in National Basic Support to the UCC, $53,672 to the Wisconsin Council Health & Human Services ministry, and over $150,000 in support of Higher education (which includes money to Lakeland College and Northland College here in Wisconsin). For a complete listing of the 2015 Wisconsin Conference Annual Budget, please contact the church office.