Wisconsin Conference Annual Meeting: Our Connection!

Every year our members have the opportunity to be part of the statewide annual meeting. This year our delegates were Tom Rickner, Moderator, and Paul Karch, Moderator-Elect. I have asked them to share some thoughts about their experience, and maybe even get more of us excited to attend next year!!

~ Eldonna Hazen


Worship? Not that big a deal to me. I’m more into bible study and mission. So I was a little dismayed when, after agreeing to go to the June Wisconsin Conference Meeting as our Moderator-Elect, I saw that the meetings and workshops were focused on worship. But the Spirit swept away my misgivings through the enthusiasm and joy of singing, praying and preaching too, but mostly singing, in a crowd of fellow Christians at the Green Lake Conference Center. The first time the praise band folks who were leading the sessions asked the audience to sing along, I glanced at the reserved-looking UCC faithful in the room and figured the band had their work cut out for them.  So, I was surprised when, after only the first line of song, the congregation loudly came to life. For a very weak, almost non-singer like me, it’s exhilarating to be carried along on a sea of strong and beautiful voices. 

In addition to the music, I was inspired by being in a crowd of enthusiastic fellow true believers. At meals and in sessions large and small, I met, or became reacquainted with, good and capable people who believe in UCC faith and our call to mission enough to assume leadership in the Conference and their churches and communities.  Thank you for giving me the opportunity to participate in the Wisconsin Conference meeting – I look forward to more of you joining us there next year!

~ Paul Karch


The first weekend in June marked the annual gathering of the Wisconsin Conference of the United Church of Christ. Clergy, staff, lay leaders, church members and visiting speakers gathered at the Green Lake Conference Center for worship, prayer, presentations, meetings, meals and fellowship. This was my second year attending as a delegate of First Congregational, and it was no less invigorating, inspirational, or spiritually fulfilling than my first eye-opening conference last year.

A gathering such as this is a unique experience, as you get to meet, worship with and learn from people in congregations of all shapes and sizes around our wonderful state. I shared meals and conversations with delegates from Green Bay, La Crosse, Brown Deer, and elsewhere. I met people from churches who are open and affirming, others who are in the O&A process, and some who have yet to hear or respond to the call to increase their welcome. In the case of this last group, I felt proud to represent First Congregational Church, and to be a witness for God’s unconditional love and acceptance of all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

You don’t have to be a leader of the church in order to attend this meeting. All are welcome, and I think that many of you would find something of real value in participating in such a unique event. I would encourage anyone who has an interest in experiencing different kinds of worship, exploring their own faith development, or learning about our involvement with the wider church to attend next years conference!

~ Tom Rickner – Moderator


Posted on July 9, 2013 at 9:40 am in Featured Content.

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