News

2019 New Wineskins Grant Recipients Announced

ABC/WI News Release

NO ONE PUTS NEW WINE INTO OLD WINESKINS; OTHERWISE, THE WINE WILL BURST THE SKINS, AND THE WINE IS LOST, AND SO ARE THE SKINS; BUT ONE PUTS NEW WINE INTO FRESH WINESKINS.
MARK 2:22


The New Wineskins Grant Program is up and running!! 

Throughout April and May the New Wineskins administrative team, made up of both regional staff and representatives of the Commission on Finance, reviewed the applications from churches and individuals seeking to build new faith communities. It was difficult to know that we were not able to fund all applications as each had promising elements for Christian mission work; we hope that all will continue to pursue their vision. However, there were three applicants that most clearly exemplified the New Wineskins ideals of: New means new, new relationships, “with and among” not “to and for,” alignment with ABC/WI mission, collaboration with others, and innovative approaches.

We are so excited to announce the three inaugural projects receiving a 2019 New Wineskins Grant:

Miracle, Inc. (birthed by Milwaukee, Progressive Baptist Church): BLESSS–(Building Love Equipping shepherds around shame, stigma, suicide, and self-care). BLESSS aims to meet the challenges of clergy mental health and suicide by dispatching a faith-based, pastor-centric curriculum and developing a community of practice during the process.

Mt. Zion Baptist Church, Madison: Mt. Zion Campus Ministry—Campus Ministry holds a monthly worship service entitled Relevant Worship and events in reflection of the needs of the campus. Our mission is to inspire college students to grow personally and spiritually by inviting them to deepen their values and their relationships with themselves, others, and God. Lastly, our vision is to be an Acts 2 church – expanding our support to college students through obedience to God’s Word with the help of the Holy Spirit through worship, discipleship, evangelism, fellowship, and ministry.

Underwood Memorial Baptist Church, Wauwatosa: Bricks—In response to the absence of safe spaces for liberation/healing for trans people, Bricks has been organized by intersectional trans people for intersectional trans people. The group utilizes liberative pedagogies to view trans history – past, present, and future – through a critical counter-narrative lens to found a group identity built upon the tenets of solidarity, liberation, and the power of trans people. Through learning this identity, we seek to create a space/dialogue where trans people can know God’s love and have space to heal, grow, and thrive in their bodies, families, and communities.

This program is made possible through the partnership of the American Baptist Foundation, where the New Wineskins Endowment is managed.

To read the full news announcement, click HERE.

To learn more about the New Wineskins program, click HERE.

Call for Nominations – the Region is You!

ABC Wisconsin regional office continues to work toward strengthening regional office ministry and synergy among the ABC Wisconsin constituency.

The 2019 Nomination Process is now open to receive nominations!

We are looking for visionary, passionate, and available people interested in growing in Christian discipleship while serving in regional leadership, with varying terms beginning after this year's Annual Gathering.

Please begin to consider who among your congregation can positively contribute to our collective life as a region. Among those we seek are members of the Board of Managers and members of the Nominating Committee.

  1. Prospective Nominee to the Board of Managers Packet: MS Word Format - Board    PDF Format - Board
  2. Prospective Nominee to the Nominating Committee Packet:  MS Word Format - Nominating Committee    PDF Format - Nominating Committee

DEADLINES FOR NOMINEES TO SUBMIT THEIR FORMS:

Early deadline: Thurs, 7/25/19                      Final deadline: Thurs, 9/19/19

The 2019 Nominating Committee Members

  • Archie Ivy, Chair
    • Phone: (414) 871-0350
    • E-Mail: revalivy@sbcglobal.net
  • Marie Onwubuariri, Ex-Officio
    • Phone: (262) 782-3140
    • E-Mail: marie.o@abcofwi.org
  • Jim Carlson
  • Bonnie Sorenson
  • Mark Brandel, Madison Association
  • Betty Hayes, Milwaukee Association
  • Walt Hoshaw, Southeast Association
  • Carol Lewis, MCUM Association
  • Mark Weisser, ACTS Association

 

  • Sean Cornell, Office Contact
    • Phone: (262) 782-3140
    • E-mail: sean.cornell@abcofwi.org

2019 CENTRAL Wisconsin Commissioning Service

 

 

Following Commencement ceremonies at Central Baptist Theological Seminary in Shawnee, Kansas on Saturday, May 18, 2019, 2 local CENTRAL Wisconsin Site graduates were Commissioned by the faculty and alumni of this learning community on Sunday, May 19 at New Covenant Baptist Church in Milwaukee.

 

 

Hattie Mitchell and Darlene Turner-Harper both received their Master of Divinity degrees from the seminary after having fulfilled all of the requirements for the degree.  As members of the graduating class of 2019, they mark the 10th graduating class from the CENTRAL Wisconsin seminary site.

 

 

The worship service marking the occasion was a celebration, an affirmation, and a proclamation of God’s complete gifts for ministry.  Key founding partners, faculty and even the visionary whose work helped instigate the creation of the seminary site all participated in the worship service.

 

Rev. Dr. Carmen Porco is CEO of Housing Ministries, key ministry partner of CENTRAL Wisconsin.  Rev. Dr. Arlo Reichter is retired Executive Minister of American Baptist Churches of Wisconsin and founding Site Administrator (retired).  Rev. Dr. Timothy Ashley is recently retired pastor of First Baptist Church of La Crosse, Wisconsin and founding Site Coordinator (retired). Rev. Dr. Roy B. Nabors is currently pastor of New Paradise Missionary Baptist Church in the St. Louis area, and founding pastor of Community Baptist Church of Greater Milwaukee.  As a longtime advocate for accredited theological education in Milwaukee in a Baptist voice, Pastor Nabors was integral in articulating the originating vision for the seminary site, one that has grown and changed – and continues to change to this day.

 

Rev. Dr. Trinette McCray offered a message appropriate to the day, for both the graduates and the wider learning community of the site.  She illustrated the ways in which “God Gives Completely,” drawing on multiple examples throughout the Biblical narrative in which God was at work through “two women” to change the world.

 

The worship service was followed by a reception, hosted by New Covenant Baptist Church, pastor – Rev. Dr. Fred Crouthers.  The congregation of New Covenant served as models of the gift of hospitality.  The entire day was a testament to the faithfulness of God who calls people to participate in God’s creative action in the world.

 

TEACHING PASTORS FORUM of CENTRAL Wisconsin (2)

FORUM #2 – May 9, 2019 @ New Hope Missionary Baptist Church

On Thursday, May 9 at New Hope Missionary Baptist Church in Milwaukee, several Baptist Pastors from around the Milwaukee area gathered to hear Rev. Dr. Demetrius Williams – pastor of Community Baptist Church of Greater Milwaukee and professor at UWM and CENTRAL Wisconsin – share some of his recent work.

The gathering was for the second of four planned “Teaching Pastors Forums” for 2019, hosted by CENTRAL Wisconsin in cooperation with ABC/WI pastors and congregations.

Dr. Williams shared some research and reflection on utilizing a close read of Pauline literature for guidance in pastoral cares and concerns: “Paul, Mission, Ministry and Money.” The focus of this particular offering was to examine carefully Paul’s interaction and relationship with congregations in his ministry, particularly on the issue of finance. Dr. Williams’ presentation helped everyone understand Paul as a living, breathing Christian leader with real challenges and aspirations in the church – rather than some sort of “oracle” or abstract constructor of doctrine, producing scripture and church policy for all eternity. The guidance suggested by this close reading can inspire pastoral leaders to take seriously both their unique understanding of the call to gospel ministry and the profound challenges of human relationships found in all churches. Whereas laws or guidelines written in stone for all times and places may be in short supply, subtle encouragement in the struggle can be found throughout the Pauline corpus.

 

TEACHING PASTORS FORUM of CENTRAL Wisconsin (1)

FORUM #1 – March 9, 2019 at ABC/WI Region Offices

 

On Wednesday, March 9, Ministers and Pastors from across the region gathered in the larger classroom of CENTRAL Wisconsin, located in the lower level of the ABC/Wisconsin region offices.   The gathering was for the first of four planned “Teaching Pastors Forums” for 2019, hosted by CENTRAL Wisconsin in cooperation with pastors and congregations in the area.

The desire for honest, challenging theological reflection in a safe setting drew more than 15 pastors and ministers together for lunch and an introduction to the Teaching Pastors Forum.

The background and motivation of the offerings were presented, along with future plans for forums to be facilitated by CENTRAL Wisconsin faculty and other leaders.

Participants responded to a question about their greatest teacher, prompting stories and memories from Seminary training all the way back to elementary school. All Teaching Pastors are first students, encouraged and challenged by good teachers.

An open discussion of potential future topics provided the opportunity to begin honest conversations about race and racism in the U.S., in Wisconsin, and particularly in Milwaukee. The courage and honesty of these servant-leaders created the possibility of very small steps in a positive direction to face difficult truths and work toward education and conviction in service of repentance and reconciliation.

CENTRAL Wisconsin seeks to cultivate, create, and care for safe spaces for theological reflection in service of equipping the saints. The Teaching Pastors Forum is another element of that mission.

Day of Missional Innovation

SUCCESSFUL LAUNCH EVENT

Keynote speaker: 

We had a great launch event on Saturday, March 23, 2019 at ministry partner, the Milwaukee Christian Center.

Guest speaker, Rebecca Anderson,  pastor of Gilead Church and Bethany United Church of Christ, both in Chicago, opened our morning, in proper story-teller style, about her experiences as a pastor of an established church and a church planter — at the same time! She spoke about “translations” of the Gospel of Jesus Christ — not different Bible translations, but rather different understandings and expression of the gospel in the context of different communities.

Also Featured:

Morning Panelists & Small Group Discussion Facilitators:

Local Visionary Pastors Sharing  on their Experiences from Visioning to Implementing to Assessing…
Walter Lanier, Pastor of Progressive Baptist Church, Milwaukee and founder of MIRACLE Network
Max Ramsey, Pastor of Immanuel Church, Brookfield and catalyst/networker for various ministry starts locally and across the nation
Johnny White, Jr., Pastor of Greater Galilee Missionary Baptist Church, Milwaukee and visionary of the Greater Galilee Community Development Corporation

Afternoon Workshop Leaders:

Rebecca Anderson, Storyteller and Church Planter  – Getting to the Heart of Your Missional Story…and Telling About It!
Angie Mason, Resource Development Director of the Milwaukee Christian Center – Relational Resourcing
Lauren Ng, Director of Leadership Empowerment for the American Baptist Home Mission Societies – “21st Century Church – trends and opportunities”

Scholarship Forms Due by March 31!

If you are a woman who is active in an American Baptist church and are attending, or plan to attend, a college, university or seminary, we encourage you to apply for one of the three annual scholarships sponsored by the American Baptist Women’s Ministries of WI!

Our recently-revised forms have been streamlined to make the application process simpler and faster. For more information on what is available, check out the links on bottom of the ABWM page at https://www.abcofwi.org/partners/abwm/

Introducing: New Wineskins -Grant Program

“NO ONE PUTS NEW WINE INTO OLD WINESKINS; OTHERWISE, THE WINE WILL BURST THE SKINS, AND THE WINE IS LOST, AND SO ARE THE SKINS; BUT ONE PUTS NEW WINE INTO FRESH WINESKINS.” MARK 2:22

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.

Description: 

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.

Guidelines:

    • 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.

SAVE THE DATE: March 23rd, 2019  at Milwaukee Christian Center

Keynote speaker: Rebecca Anderson 

Stay tuned for more information and registration links.

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, Marie.o@abcofwi.org

Rev. Jason Mack, Jason@firstbaptistmadison.org

Rev. Carolyn Dugan, Carolyn.Dugan@abcofwi.org

Tamarack Tales: The Water Tells A Story

Camp Tamarack hosted its first-ever Tamarack Tales nature camp in July of 2018. With three lakes and a little over 180 acres, there is a lot of nature to be had at Camp Tamarack.

With our mission of providing a safe environment for all individuals to experience Christ; to test and strengthen their faith commitment; and to sharing in community this was a great opportunity to be a part of the natural environment in the larger community.

Most campers know about Orlando Lake, which is where our swimming beach is. Some know that Orlando is connected to Knight Lake, which is what the Vespers area overlooks. A few know about Youngs Lake, which has its own Tamarack water access and a dock just down the trail across from the Basile Retreat Center.

During Tamarack Tales, campers had the opportunity to do citizen science by examining the water quality of Orlando and Youngs lakes using Digital Observation Technology Skills kits borrowed from the UW-Extension at Upham Woods. Campers used the eight instruments in the kits to record salinity, dissolved solids, conductivity, dissolved oxygen, phosphate, turbidity, take pictures and other readings to get a baseline picture of Camp Tamarack’s lake water quality. All of the data was shared with the Environmental Protection Agency and the WI Department of Natural Resources. We were doing real science!

Among the more interesting discoveries of the camp was the realization that the lake is teeming with macro-invertebrates – bugs of all shapes and sizes that actually are among the indicators of lake water quality. Some bugs simply will not tolerate pollution, so the fact that we found some of those picky buggers tells us that our lakes are not suffering from pollution. We have algae, so we have more phosphorus than we should have, but overall our lake water quality is very good.

We saw things under the microscope that blew us away. The shell that is pictured on this page was so small, we almost didn’t even notice it was a shell – we thought it was a speck of sand! The little dot in the upper left is what we saw with just our phone camera. But when we put it under the microscope, we saw it was a really pretty shell with stuff growing on it! Who knew?!

                                  

In addition to water quality, we were led on a nature walk by Dr. Shannon Davis-Foust of UW-Oshkosh, who told us about prairie pollinators (bees) and plants. WI Master Naturalists Bob and Christine Faulks led us on a tour of the restored prairie next door to Camp and of Tails & Trails, a nearby leash-free dog park in which they have restored a wetland and prairie. Jeff Huelsbeck, another WI Master Naturalist, helped with the DOTS surveys and talked to the campers about what you should bring with you to be safe in the woods.

If you have questions about what was shared or want to attend next year please contact Carolyn at carolyn.dugan@abcofwi.org or Kim and kim.drost@abcofwi.org.