Stewardship of Public Life Commission
The Wisconsin Council of Churches engages in conversation with policy makers and governmental agencies with the purpose of furthering the Common Good of the human community. Most of these conversations are on the state level, but from time to time the Council works in partnership with local, national or international groups to address issues on these levels. Inspired by the message of the biblical prophets and by Jesus, the Council’s special concern in its public policy work is the well being of the least powerful and most vulnerable members of society, whose interests are often overlooked by leaders in government, business and even the church. The Council cooperates with other faith-based public policy organizations in this work, including the Wisconsin Catholic Conference, the Lutheran Office for Public Policy in Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Jewish Conference and WISDOM.
For more information on these ministries, contact Peter Bakken or telephone (608) 837-3108.
Peace and Justice Commission
The Peace and Justice Commission consists of ten representatives of member judicatories who work with WCC staff to promote peace and justice initiatives in Wisconsin, including an annual Non-Violence Conference, production and distribution of resource materials, building a network of Peace and Justice advocates throughout the state, engaging in dialogue with ecumenical partners on topics like racism, militarism, etc. The mission of the Peace and Justice Commission is to help churches in Wisconsin to learn more about the power of non-violent love as taught and lived by Jesus, to employ this power more consistently in their communal life, and to work for the utilization of this power to the fullest extent possible in politics and movements for social change.
The Commission seeks to challenge and empower churches in Wisconsin to present Jesus’ vision of nonviolence as a viable option for resolving conflict; to offer opportunities for youth to explore the vision and experience the power of nonviolent love; and to communicate the vision and power of nonviolent love through the arts and music.
Scott Anderson, WCC Executive Director, is liaison to the Commission. Contact Scott Anderson or call (608) 837-3108.
Unity and Relationships Commission
The Unity and Relationships Commission (formerly Faith & Order) is made up of representatives from WCC member judicatories. The many New Testament texts that speak about the importance of the Church’s unity for its mission of reconciliation in the world provide the inspiration for the work of the Commission. One of the most important of these is Jesus’ prayer on the night of his arrest, found in John 17. On that night in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prayed that all who would ever believe in him would be perfectly one as he and the Father are one, so that the world would believe his message of God’s love.
The Commission keeps abreast of the most important national and international dialogues leading to greater unity within the Church. These include the Roman Catholic/Lutheran Joint Declaration on Justification, the Call to Common Mission of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and the Episcopal Church, the Formula of Agreement between the ELCA and the three Reformed Churches and several others. Working with the judicatories, the Commission encourages discussion and implementation of these agreements on the state and local levels.
Believing that prayer is the soul of the ecumenical movement, the Commission also encourages ecumenical worship and prayer. Each year it promotes observances of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (January 18-25) in the churches of Wisconsin and distributes resources for use in these observances.
In addition to its work promoting unity and renewal in the Church, the Commission participates in and encourages dialogue with other religions. For more information contact Scott Anderson.