Introducing: New Wineskins -Grant Program



The New Wineskins Grant Program seeks to nurture the birthing of new ministry initiatives within ABC/WI by planting seeds thru training, coaching, and financial support.



The pursuit of our Christ-centered mission calls for new paradigms, new sets of expectations, and new “containers.”

No one knows what new thing or new change will result in exactly the kingdom-results we hope for in all contexts, but through this program we hope to create a culture that is intentional, nimble, and dynamic. Ready for the unknown future, we seek to foster ideas that heed the Holy Spirit’s movement in places where Christian community is ready to be birthed.


  • New means new. This initiative is about supporting new ministries (new faith communities or missional efforts).
  • “With and among” not “to and for.” We are most excited about ministry that happens with and among people rather than to and for them.
  • New relationships. We encourage ideas that seek to reach and minister among populations currently not connected with, or who are underserved within, ABC/WI.

Stay tuned for a Day of Innovation coming early in 2019.

Click here for the official flier on the program.

Want to learn more about how you can help support or be supported by the New Wineskins initiative?

Rev. Dr. Marie Onwubuariri,

Rev. Jason Mack,

Rev. Carolyn Dugan,

Strengthening the Existing Network for Ministerial Support and Resourcing

Tuesday, November 6th 2018
12:00-1:30 PM

ABC-WI Regional Office
15330 Watertown Plank Rd., Elm Grove

(Video-conference and phone options available for those who cannot join in person. Please see below for information on how to join via video conference.)

This collegial luncheon will focus on naming and exploring sources and supporters that assist in fostering healthy and effective ministers – both those within and beyond the ABC-WI constituency.

Some of the questions & issues we will be examining are:

  • In what areas do ministers in our region feel they need support?
  • What sources/supports are currently meeting these needs?
  • What needs are currently not being met, and what resources are available to meet those needs?

Our goal will be to clarify network strategies moving forward as we seek to resource and support ABC/WI ministers.

RSVP to by Monday, Nov. 5 at 10:00 AM to help with lunch count. Please mention any food restrictions.

To join via video conference:

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android:
Or join via telephone: Dial 1 646 876 9923 Meeting ID: 899 885 984
(To see a quick user guide for Zoom, click HERE)  (but use the link above, not the link on this guide)

To prepare for our conversations, consider these “Network Principles” that will guide us as collaboratively work to strengthen our common network around for the mission of “fostering healthy and effective ministers.

Four Network Principles
(provided by American Baptist Home Mission Societies)

1. Mission, not organization: Advancing the mission takes priority over advancing the organization. Leaders adopt strategies and tactics to achieve the mission, not solely to stimulate organizational growth.
2. Trust, not control. Trust and shared values are far more important than formal control mechanisms such as contracts or accountability systems.
3. Humility, not brand. Organizations work alongside their peers as equals and willingly take a backseat when their partners are in a better position to lead.
4. Node, not hub. Those who embrace the network mindset see their organizations as one part of a larger web of activity directed toward a cause, not as the hub of the action.


ABC/WI Milwaukee Bucks Fellowship Event

The 4th Annual ABC/WI Fellowship event is happening on
Friday, January 4, 2019.

Friends and family of ABC/Wisconsin are invited to come out and enjoy Wisconsin’s NBA team, the Milwaukee Bucks, play the Atlanta Hawks at 7:30 PM at the new Fiserv Forum.

There are a limited number of tickets available on a first come first serve basis.  Tickets for the event are $25 and are in section 224, rows 8-9.

Get all the information and download the order form HERE

2018 Advent Retreat at Camp Tamarack

Join Us at Camp Tamarack before the hustle and bustle of Thanksgiving and Christmas during the weekend of November 2nd-4th, for some time to be creative and reflect on the season.

Each session will include a meditation on the Advent themes of Faith, Hope, Joy and Love, plus an opportunity to create 6 cards of one design on the left with Heidi Olsen.

Sunday morning will include a bonus session of present tags.

If you don’t want to make cards and want to spend time working on your own projects, you are welcome to do that as well!

You can find out more information here and register for the event here.

Register by Oct 1st to secure your spot and supplies.

Fall Out of Camp 2018

Help us “fall” out of camp…October 20th  and 21st


  • Forestry – trimming trees/branches
  • Waterfront – bring in boats, raft, lifejackets
  • Winterize cabins

There are other bigger projects that still need to be done – any time, so let Kim or Carolyn know if you are interested and when you are available.

Kim Drost –


Carolyn Dugan –    


For this event let us know by 10/17 if you plan to attend.

174th Annual Gathering of ABC/WI

American Baptist Churches of Wisconsin 174th Annual Gathering for all ages

Friday-Saturday, October 12-13, 2018

Click to view/download:

Program Booklet

State of the Region Report

Friday morning Interfaith Learning Event


Summary of Saturday Plenary Learning session


Lost and found:
A blue men's jacket was found in the fellowship hall/exhibit hall after the Annual Gathering. If this is yours, please contact the ABC/WI Region office.


Rev. John W. Polite III
Friday Night Worship Leader and
Saturday Youth Track Workshop Leader

Rev. Polite is well known across our ABC denominational family for his passion for and giftedness in bridging faith and the arts—in all its various forms—and people of all cultures and generations in worship and community.  His breadth of ministry experience includes settled and interim pastorates, serving on the ABC Biennial Worship Team (2009, 2011),  Youth Ministry Resource Team, Planning and Worship teams for ABC National Youth gatherings, to name a few. He currently serves as Pastor of Granada Hills Baptist Church, CA. He earned his Master of Divinity at the American Baptist Seminary of the West, where he also serves on the Board of Trustees, and his BA in Communications from Cal Poly Pomona, where he was active with campus journalism, NAACP, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., and Campus Crusades for Christ.

Rev. Dr. Patricia Hernandez
ABCUSA Associate General Secretary, Women in Ministry
and Transition Ministries
Saturday Co-Preacher

Read full bio HERE.

Rev. Dr. Don Ng
ABCUSA Board of General Ministries Past President
Saturday Co-Preacher

Read full bio HERE

Congregational Missions – 2018 Web Conference #1

Web Conference:
“Developing Community Partnerships: When all you have is a peanut butter sandwich…”
MONDAY, JUNE 18, 2018  @ 7:00 PM

Link to audio recording available HERE

The ABC/WI Commission on Congregational Missions had its first mission web conference. This was the first of a series of web conferences, which hopes to offer churches that are engaged in similar mission an opportunity to network with each other to share ideas and learn together.

The theme of the first web conference was “Developing Community Partnerships,” and focused on ways to invite people outside of the church to participate in mission, and how to get involved with mission that is already happening in your community. Knowing that it can feel especially challenging for churches to have enough volunteers or energy to engage in mission in the community, this web conference discussed what to do if you feel like the disciples trying to figure out how to feed thousands of hungry people have nothing but a kid’s bag lunch.


1.) Apprenticing – learning from another person/group

2.) Finding a need and those who already have relationship in the midst of that need

3.) Listening – letting the community tell us what the need is, instead of assuming we are framing the answers to the questions they’re asking or needs they have

4.) [Reflecting] What is a simple resource you have available — and — also ask of and listen to those with whom you hope to connect/develop community

5.) Who else might have resources that could enhance the mission and what might you have to offer for mutual sharing?

6.) Announce/articulate needs (i.e. social media) – you never know who might respond.

7.) Tell the stories – in all kinds of contexts

8.) Be prepared as you can be but leave room for contributions from others and for God to move in unexpected ways

9.) Churches networking and trusting that people will be connected to the appropriate place (church) [as opposed to being competitive with one another]

10.) Invitation for people to participate: People may need specific guidance on what they can do beyond the church

11.)  Mission work does not always have to be “organized” — sometimes you just share what you are willing and have a heart to do.

12.) Rule of thirds: only a third of core group from within the church, another church from the “fringe” of the church, and another third from the community you seek to connect with/serve alongside


Stone Soup Community on Facebook –

Love, Inc.  (Love in the Name of Christ) Wisconsin Rapids, WI, local affiliate of national organization. –

To listen to an audio recording of the web conference, click HERE.


Here are three questions that were asked of participants ahead of the web conference:

1) What are a few of the areas of need in your community/context that God seems to draw the heart and attention of you and your congregation?  (it may be something you are already involved in, or something you care about but haven’t yet found leverage into)

2) In those areas of need, do you know of any potential partners in terms of agencies, churches, or individuals who are already active in that area or who share that passion and concern regarding that need?

3) Who are some people in your ministry setting that have a passion or concern about this (or other) areas of need, looking for an opportunity to do something about it?


Stay tuned…date and topic of next online discussion will be posted soon.

Minister Meet-Ups : Spring/Summer Series 2018

…A time for American Baptist ministers to come together for mutual support, networking, mental and physical nourishment, and Holy Spirit stirring around topics that matter to our vocational health and missional purpose…


Below is a list of the events this year. Please let the region office know if you are interested in information from these gathering. Thank you to everyone for participating in the 2018 Spring/Summer Series.  We look forward to gathering again next year.


Open House Fellowship for Women in Ministry

→ Friday, April 6, 2018    →11 AM-3 PM    ⌂Home of Marie Onwubuariri – Brookfield, WI
→ Hosted by Marie Onwubuariri; Co-Sponsored by American Baptist Women in Ministry (ABWIM)

The women of the American Baptist National Leadership Council (NLC*) and the women ministers of the American Baptist Churches of Wisconsin are invited to a time of food and fellowship at the home of Rev. Dr. Marie Onwubuariri, ABC/WI Regional Executive Minister.

*The NLC meets annually at the Green Lake Conference Center and includes American Baptist executive leadership of our national boards, regions, and affiliated ministry partners. More can be learned at (page 37-38.)

National Week of Conversation: helping to bridge the divides in our country

→ Wednesday, April 25, 2018    →12-1:30 PM    ⌂ABC/WI Region Office
→ Facilitated by Marie Onwubuariri

National Week of Conversation is a unique opportunity for Americans of different views to talk with each other and, more importantly, really listen to each other. To learn more about this national initiative, visit

Tending our Roots: In Faith and Work

→ Friday, May 18, 2018    →2-3:30 PM    ⌂Camp Tamarack –  E879 Golke Road, Waupaca, WI

→ Facilitated by Carolyn Dugan, Associate Regional Minister – Camping

This will be a time to reconnect with God’s creation as we explore how we stay rooted in our faith and discuss the challenges as ministers being pulled in many directions.

In nature there is a rhythm of growth, a time when roots are growing deeper or reaching out and a time of maintenance or even dormancy.

* What is your initial faith story and how does it affect your current story of “be”ing with God?
* How do you respond to the rhythm in your own faith journey?
* What are reasons our roots would need to grow deeper, outwards and sometimes be uprooted?
* What does this mean in our current ministry or faith context?

You are also invited to participate in tending the physical space of Camp during “Spring in to Camp” or tend to your own physical needs by being a part of creation: hiking, canoeing, “being”, before or
after the structured time.

Sabbath and Sabbaticals

→ Tuesday, May 29, 2018     →12 – 1:30 PM      ⌂Location: Underwood Memorial Baptist Church (Stable House) = 1916 N Wauwatosa Ave, Milwaukee

→ Facilitated by John Jones, Associate Regional Minister – Education, with contributions from Rev. Karen Gygax-Rodriguez of Federated Church, Green Lake and Rev. Jason Mack, Minister of Community at First Baptist, Madison, and guest Rabbi Michal Woll of Congregation Shir Hadash

What is a “Sabbatical”? Join us for a practical discussion of the meaning and value of ‘Sabbatical,” grounded in a textual study of “Sabbath” facilitated by Rabbi Michal Woll of Congregation Shir Hadash.

Why does God command something as basic as rest?  How might we understand both Sabbath and Sabbatical as forms of faithfulness?  Is a Sabbatical just a vacation?  How can a specific and structured time away in the form of Sabbatical be something that enlivens and sustains ministry?  On a practical level, how does one go about requesting, organizing, financing, planning, and executing a Sabbatical?

We may not answer all of these questions, but we will do our best to ask them and many more in a wide ranging discussion of Sabbath and Sabbatical.  Bring your concerns theological and practical.

A light lunch will be served.  Please RSVP to dawn.armstrong@abcofwi.orgat least five days prior with any food restrictions.

Pastor, Minister, Shepherd: What does authority look like in the church?

→ Monday, July 23, 2018     →12 – 1:30 PM     ⌂ Pilgrim Rest Missionary Baptist Church, 3456 N. 38th St, Milwaukee, WI

→ Roundtable discussion facilitated by John Jones, Associate Regional Minister – Education

What’s in a title? Come together to examine your own and other different notions of what Pastoral Authority means in the church. 

We’ll be using a reflection tool to think through our notions of what a “Pastor” is, has been, and should be.  We’ll also be looking at different models of pastoral leadership based in different cultural and cross-cultural perspectives.  Bring your reflections and contributions as well as an openness to those of others.

Diversity in ABC life is a gift – a challenging gift, but a gift nonetheless.  Let’s learn together how God accomplishes ministry in our different ABC congregations.

Brave Conversations About Race

→ Sunday, July 29, 2018     →5-6:30 PM    ⌂Location: 3117 Lathrop Ave, Racine, WI 53405

→ Facilitated by Marie Onwubuariri, Regional Executive Minister and guest, Rev. Dr. Zina Jacque

At the direct request from the participants of this table topic at the 2017 Annual Gathering, we will continue to explore obstacles to, helpful approaches for, and hopeful impact of brave conversations about race and its effects upon humanity and the church.

In this session, we will explore ways to incorporate deeper discussions about race in the context of our church ministry and personal relationships, particularly as it pertains to identity, meaning-making, and faith, and the impact upon fostering beloved community within and beyond the local church. Guest Pastor, Rev. Dr. Zina Jacque, will share from her cross-cultural experiences, especially as a Pastor who has been a “minority in her own ministry context,” and will highlight the role of modeling brave conversations in our congregations through sermons and Christian Education. Read more about our guest pastor here.