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Building community, sharing hope, and standing for justice since 2004

Upcoming Events

Please join us for any of these upcoming ESTHER events!

  • To learn more about a particular event, click on its title
  • To see the complete ESTHER calendar, click on 'more' at the bottom right of the listing
Monday, August 29, 2016 - 11:00am ESTHER Banquet Committee First Congregational UCC, Appleton Upper Lounge
Thursday, September 1, 2016 - 6:30pm TRANSIT and FOCUS on RIDERS' Stories Appleton Public Library
Tuesday, September 6, 2016 - 4:00pm ESTHER Oshkosh Workgroup Congregation B'nai Israel, Oshkosh
Thursday, September 8, 2016 - 4:30pm ESTHER Leadership Board First Congregational UCC, Appleton Downstairs
Saturday, September 10, 2016 - 11:30am Latino Fest Pierce Park, Appleton

Lead Organizer Application Deadline Extended

Position Announcement

ESTHER Lead Organizer

Description of the Position:

ESTHER is a network of faith communities and people of faith in Wisconsin’s Fox Valley with a mission to identify and impact issues of injustice and to transform the community by bridging boundaries of race, creed, and status. We are grassroots, interfaith, and progressive. We are seeking a full-time lead organizer for our organization. This individual is responsible for organizing, recruiting, training, and supporting leaders within ESTHER to advance our mission. The organizer is expected to lead in building strong relationships with people within our partner faith communities, with persons impacted by the issues we address, and with participants in strategic alliances within the wider community. The organizer works closely with ESTHER’s finance committee to plan fundraising for the organization, including applying for grants. The position requires flexible hours, including evenings and weekends, and frequent travel.

To Apply:

Submit résumé, a cover letter, writing sample, and contact information for three pertinent references. Send these materials electronically, addressed to Lead Organizer Hiring Committee at, by August 12, 2016 September 1, 2016 [deadline extended].

Download the full announcement and position description below.

When Religions do Harm; How Religions Build Peace -- A Workshop

When Religions Do Harm; How Religions Build Peace—and How You Can Be a Peacebuilder

Dr. Jon PahlWorkshop featuring Dr. Jon Pahl, professor of history, Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia

Saturday, August 13, 9 am - 3 pm (lunch included)
First Presbyterian Church
200 Church St., Neenah, WI (920/725-4391)

All are welcome! Childcare available upon request.

This practical workshop focuses on identifying the characteristics of violent extremism across religious traditions, including especially in one’s own, and on recognizing opportunities to promote peace.  It can help pastors, congregational leaders, and all people to strengthen their families and faith, and to promote the freedom to be peacebuilders.

Fox Valley Islamic Society 2016 Interfaith Event

tree with arms for branches and hands for leaves“Building Cultural Diversity within Faith Communities”

Hosted by Fox Valley Islamic Society

Keynote speaker: Jon Pahl, Professor of History, Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia

Panelists: representing Christian, Jewish, Unitarian-Universalist, and Muslim perspectives.

Dinner: follows the program

Sunday, August 14, 3:00-5:30 pm
Fox Valley Islamic Society
103 Kappell Dr, Neenah

An interfaith gathering where all are welcome.

RSVPs appreciated:

Click “Read more" to learn about two other events during 2016 Interfaith Weekend in the Fox Valley and download flyers.

Conversaciones Comunitarias y Convivio


“Construyendo una Comunidad Mejor: Igualdad, Equidad y Justicia”

Serie: Fe, Valores y Comunidad. Parte 2

Únase a ESTHER en un convivio seguido de una conversación con la comunidad para hablar sobre igualdad, equidad y justicia. Discutiremos preguntas como:

  • ¿Qué significa tratar a la gente de una manera justa?
  • ¿Cómo es una comunidad justa? ¿Quienes se benefician?

El evento es gratuito y abierto al público. Invitamos a cada hogar a llevar un platillo para compartir en el convivio.

Descargar folleto aquí y compartir con sus amigos y familiares.

Community Conversation and Potluck


“Building a Better Community: Fairness, Equity & Justice”

Part 2 of our faith, values, and community series

Join ESTHER on July 19 (Appleton) or July 21 (Oshkosh) for a potluck supper followed by a community conversation discussing fairness, justice and equity. We’ll be exploring questions like these:

  • What does it mean to treat people fairly?
  • How does lack of fairness arise in a community?
  • What does a fair community look like? Who benefits from it?

These events are free and open to the public. We invite each household to bring a dish to share for the potluck.

Download flyer here and share with your friends and family.

Thank You and Farewell to Stephanie Gyldenvand

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glass of lemonade
bunch of lemons

Join ESTHER as we turn

Lemons (sadness) into Lemonade (thankfulness)!

Farewell Send-off for Stephanie Gyldenvand

Tuesday, June 14
4:30-9:00 pm
Bad Badger Sports Bar
215 W. College Ave, Appleton
No charge; proceeds benefit ESTHER

Stephanie Gyldenvand in actionHelp us thank our amazing organizer, Stephanie Gyldenvand, for her leadership over the last eight years, and wish her all the best in her new position with Winnebago County.

No charge, but if you have a beverage, or snack on some pizza, ESTHER gets 60% of the proceeds!

So, come on down to say “Farewell,” but not goodbye, to Stephanie, and help us raise some money to build community, share hope, and stand for justice!

(In case you missed the letter about Stephanie's big change, you can read it here.)

Announcement: Resignation of Organizer, Stephanie Gyldenvand

ESTHER Main Logo

Phone:  (920) 843-8083  Email:
Address: PO Box 784 Neenah, WI 54957  Website:

May 31, 2016

Dear ESTHER members and friends:

On behalf of the ESTHER executive committee and Leadership Board, I write with mixed emotions to inform you of the resignation of Stephanie Gyldenvand, ESTHER’s Organizer, who has served with the highest level of dedication and professionalism during nearly eight years. She is leaving ESTHER to accept a position with the Public Health Department of Winnebago County. Her last day with ESTHER will be June 17.

We are excited for Stephanie as she anticipates a new position with fresh challenges and important opportunities to make a difference, as she certainly has done in her work with ESTHER. There is some consolation in that her commitment to doing justice will be ongoing within the wider Fox Valley area. At the same time, we will dearly miss her, for both the person she is and what she has brought to her work — energy, can-do spirit, strength in the face of challenge, and unwavering commitment in seeking greater justice and building stronger community throughout the greater Fox Valley…. (To read the full letter [Click here].)

P.S. Please save Wednesday Tuesday, June 14, for a drop-in farewell for Stephanie from 4:30-9:00 pm. More info here.

Juneteenth Festival 2016

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Juneteenth Festival 2016 PosterNoon-6PM
City Park
500 E. Franklin St
Downtown Appleton

Juneteenth is the oldest national program commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. African Heritage, Inc. (AHI), in collaboration with the City of Appleton, is hosting its seventh annual Juneteenth Celebration on June 19, 2016 in downtown Appleton. The family-friendly program will feature musical, dance and poetry performances as well as a Children‘s Village and community resource fair with food sales. Stop by and see us at the ESTHER booth! More info at African Heritage Inc.

Team ESTHER: Support us in the 2016 Human Race

Join Us - Human Race, April 30ESTHER will again have a team in the Volunteer Center of East Central Wisconsin's annual Human Race event. The walk itself will be on Saturday, April 30.  Our fundraising goal is $4,000— used to support leadership training and community-building that we will do this year.

There are two ways that you can help us meet our goal! First, you can join the team! And second you can help support us financially by visiting our team page and making your pledge:

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