All of you are the children of God, through faith, in Christ Jesus, since every one of you that has been baptized has been clothed in Christ. There can be neither Jew nor Greek, there can be neither slave nor free, there can be neither male nor female -- for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 3:26-28 

News

Dear Community,
I am posting the excellent homily on the Transfiguration that I used as a resource today on our website because I believe that it is worth your time to either read or listen to it, or both!
Pastor Alice

Read/Watch "TRANSFIGURING RESPECTABLE WHITE MALE JESUS"

Check out current social justice activities

Our Social Justice Organisations can use your help.

Take a look at what's coming up under "Other Organizations.

A Lenten Call to Action on Gun Violence

Click here for the message from the WI Council of Churches regarding actions a congregation can pursue to address gun violence.

Don Timmerman's book, "Midwife of Grace"

"I served God as best I could, starting as a farmer from Dickeyville, Wisconsin, and then evolving through many roles."

Book
The book is available at Amazon, but Don is working at getting copies that could be sold directly so that Casa Maria would benefit more directly ..... Jim
"Building Bridges with LGBT Catholics."

A talk given by Rev. James Martin, SJ, Editor at Large, America Media, entitled, "Building Bridges with LGBT Catholics."(Video)
Reflections of Wellness for Women

For more information, Go to the calendar page

Saturday, January 20, 2018
Parish priest breaks the silence, shares that he is gay
'I am weary with holding it in'

From the National Catholic Reporter
In view of giving visibility and voice to the laity in the Catholic Church, CCRI has declared today as the beginning of a worldwide celebration of the Year of the Laity. This will go from the Feast of Christ the King, November 26, 2017, to this same feast, November 25, 2018. During this year, we envision the People of God taking on a decisive and influential voice in the governance of their Church. This will never come by a decree of the hierarchy but only by the People assuming this responsibility. Once accustomed to this new role, it is our hope that lay people, by virtue of their baptism, will recognize their responsibility to heed the signs of the times and continue to lead the Church in the direction intended by Jesus Christ.

For more information please click here to read the complete declaration.

Meditation on 9 phases of progressive enlightenment. Reflections on a Thangka painting portraying stages according to Mahamudra Practice
Hello everyone, In our gathering yesterday at MoM's Centering Prayer group, we spent some time gazing upon, meditating and praying with icons. I sensed a deepening and connection in this practice with most members there. One new member who hadn't centered before (we did have a centering prayer sit) discussed some difficulty in centering as one works with formlessness, esp. how to handled busy mind and thoughts/questions arising during prayer. We discussed the Buddhist notion of the 'monkey mind.' A part of that "monkey mind" teaching comes from a Buddhist Mahamudra Thangka (like an icon) from the East. Catherine, who was in attendance yesterday, requested the link the youtube video which describes successive paths to enlightens and inner unity..... Ronald Mendyke

Here is the link.

 

Church Activities

 

1

A Lenten Call to Action on Gun Violence
March 1, 2018

Beloveds, I have written more sermons about gun violence than I ever imagined I would have to preach.   

We could recite a litany of places around this nation which have been made known to us because a human being chose to commit gun-assisted murder there. And from those places, too many sacrificed to our obsession with guns: schoolchildren, worshipers, revelers celebrating life and relationship, people simply trying to shop, get to work, get home.  

It is past time for us to move beyond prayers of lament, and ask the Spirit to equip us to act.

The Ash Wednesday shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School
must be the end of privileging gun rights over gospel values.
We can no longer remain silent.

In some churches, gun violence has already been a topic of much discussion. In other places, it has been a challenge to address gun violence, with division among the body about how to proceed. We have been asked for resources, and are gathering materials  to help churches have faithful conversations which prepare people for action rooted in Gospel values.  

We believe it is possible to address the scourge of gun violence 
as a people of faith, not fear.

We believe our faith compels us to act in this moment, standing with the traumatized,
aligning ourselves with the hope of transformation and new life.

On behalf of the Wisconsin Council of Churches, I urge you and your faith community to take concrete action to change the status quo on gun violence. There are two paths forward which we strongly recommend to our members:

1) Support youth in your community.  Let their voices be central. Offer them a platform in church to speak their truth about gun violence. Provide visible, vocal support. Attend student-led events as an ally, and consider if you have logistical or financial support that would be helpful. 

We draw to your particular attention to three upcoming grassroots, student-organized events:
    • March 14 National School Walkout, 10 am. Teachers, students, administrators, parents, and allies are encouraged to walk out for 17 minutes, one for every person killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Ash Wednesday.
Let your students know you support their participation, encourage school administrations to support this event, and show up to support students with your presence.  
These actions are in alignment with Christian traditions of nonviolent civil disobedience, a creative public witness on behalf of social change. 

2) Ask Governor Walker to call a special session of the Wisconsin State Legislature to pass common sense gun reforms.  

Without a special session, the opportunity to act will be delayed until the legislature comes back into session in 2019. Tell the Governor that the moral obligation to end the cycle of violence supersedes the normal legislative cycle.   

There are items on which there is substantial public agreement, supported by solid research, that will make our communities safer. Should a special session be called, we will mobilize our grassroots network to advocate for these. 

Addressing gun violence has been one of the Council's public policy priorities, with deep connections to community health and racial equity. We are heeding the call of the youth in our midst to make confronting gun violence a more urgent matter in this extraordinary moment - and invite you to do the same.

In the Acts of the Apostles, we hear Peter preaching from Joel:  "God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters shall prophesy. Your young will see visions. Your elders will dream dreams."  (Acts 2:17 CEB)  

Our youth have seized the moment, speaking and acting as prophetic leaders. They are speaking without fear, naming difficult truths, and advocating for change, believing that transformation is possible. They are confronting the powers of death with holy imagination. May we sense the Spirit's movement, and have the courage to join them.

7
3

Rev. Kerri Parker
Executive Director
Wisconsin Council of Churches


You received this message because of your participation in the Wisconsin Council of Churches or your affiliation with one of our member denominations. In order to ensure that you will continue to receive our e-mail alerts, make sure to add wcoc@wichurches.org to the list of allowed e-mail addresses in your spam blocker. To unsubscribe or change your e-mail address, please send first name, last name, city and state and the email address that you would like to change or unsubscribe to: wcoc@wichurches.org

This newsletter is made possible by contributions from our members