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The Prairie Star, Issue 68: May 2012
The Prairie Star
It was great to see nearly 400 PSD people at the District Annual Conference last month. The very dedicated work of the host congregation, White Bear Unitarian Universalist Church, and of our district conference planning committees was the foundation for a very successful conference!
We always appreciate your comments and suggestions for the newsletter. Click on the "email the editor" link in the menu on the left to send us a message.
Nancy Heege, District Executive
This issue of the PSD Newsletter, and previous issues, can be read at http://www.psduua.org/Newsletter .
At the PSD Annual Conference seven individuals were honored.
Christopher Greene, Michael Servetus Unitarian Society, Fridley, Minnesota, received the President's Award for Outstanding Service to the District.
Katy McCluskey,Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Quad Cities, Davenport, Iowa, was named the PSD Unsung UU.
Emily Rose Sylvestre, First Universalist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota, received the Social Justice Youth Award.
Shawna Foster, First Unitarian Church, Omaha, Nebraska, received the Social Justice Adult Award.
Vicki Chronister George, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Topeka, Kansas, received the Keeping the Faith Award.
Carol Eades Delnevo, Unitarian Fellowship of Lawrence, Kansas, received the Ellie Morton Religious Education award.
Darlene Cruikshank Joyce, Pilgrim House UU Fellowship, Arden Hills, Minnesota, received theBetty Gorshe Heritage Award.
More information about each of them and why they deserved the award is at http://www.psduua.org/Awards/2012Awards .
Questions about the New Region
by Nancy Heege
The major topic of conversation during the Annual Conference was regionalization - the proposed merger of three districts to a regional structure. PSD President Kathy Burek and I both wrote about this in our printed reports in the 2012 Annual Report, available here: http://www.psduua.org/Documents/AnnualReport
Some interesting questions were raised.
"Will we still have District Annual Conferences?"
"Will you have to move the office to Chicago?"
"What will happen to Nancy and Phil and Sarah?"
This is a very exciting time, as we reflect on how we can help our congregations advance our UU faith in this region. If you are interested in more information about regionalization, our new MidAmericaUUA blog is a good resource. Here you will find new ideas for and about congregations, as well as our current thinking about regionalization and what that will mean for the congregations of our three districts. See http://www.midamericauua.org/blog My most recent contribution to the blog is a post on a new staff position we're seeing in some midsize and larger UU congregations here in Prairie Star.
If you have questions that aren't answered in what you can read online, please shoot me an email, and I'll do my best to get you an answer. Of course, because this is still in progress, there are some things still in development. With good will, and hope and confidence for the future, we are moving forward.
Recordings of Annual Conference Events Available
Last month's District Annual Conference was really great! Three events were live-streamed so people could watch from home. The Friday night keynote address, the Judy Lecture, and the Sunday morning service are now archived on our web site, available for your viewing pleasure. Go to http://www.psduua.org/AnnualConference2012 for links to access the recordings.
PSD President's Column
by Kathy Burek
Thank you for re-electing me to the PSD Presidency. It means a great deal to me to have your trust and support. Whatever I do in my role as PSD President, I am mindful of all of you, your congregations, and our larger faith movement.
Most of my columns contain updates about the doings of the PSD Board, or information I think you will find of interest, or that I think you need to know in order to make decisions you will be facing. This time, I'd like to go beyond the activities that comprise district work, and write about why I accepted nomination to the PSD Board in the first place.
I love our UU faith. I can't imagine being at home spiritually any other place. Here, I have the freedom to deeply explore my beliefs, strengthen my ethics, and to keep learning and adjusting those as I mature. ...
Meet the Newest PSD Board MembersAt the annual PSD business meeting in April, Kathy Burek (left) was elected to a second term as PSD President, Vicki Pratt (middle) was elected Secretary, and Rev. Bruce Johnson (right) was elected a Director. Information about all three is available at http://www.psduua.org/AnnualConference2012/BusinessMeeting/NominatingCom...
PSD Board Supports Action on Doctrine of Discovery
The UUA Board of Trustees voted to place a Responsive Resolution on the General Assembly 2012 Agenda that would put the UUA on record as repudiating the Doctrine of Discovery. (See http://www.uua.org/documents/boardtrustees/rrmc/120109_motion.pdf for the text of the motion).
This Doctrine held that European Christians were free to take the lands and possessions, and even enslave, any non-Christian indigenous peoples in the Americas and Africa. The Doctrine became part of US law, and as recently as 2007, was cited in a US Supreme Court decision.
Recently, the Prairie Star District Board voted unanimously to support the UUA Trustees' action. We strongly encourage each of our member congregations to study this issue, and give instructions to their delegates as part of their preparation for Justice GA. The UUA has prepared a study guide and there are videos available. See http://www.psduua.org/SocialJustice/Immigration for more information.
News of People and Congregations
PSD Congregations are celebrating anniversaries and won an Energy Star competition. Several individuals are receiving honors, and we send condolences to the friends and family of two who have died.Read the details at http://www.psduua.org/Newsletter/68May2012/PeopleAndCongregations
Candidates Sought for UUA Positions
The UUA Nominating Committee seeks candidates and suggestions for volunteer positions elected by the General Assembly (except Moderator and President). The brochure describing all of these opportunities is at http://www.uua.org/documents/nc/nomination_brochure.pdf . The application form is at http://www.uua.org/documents/nc/nomination_application.pdf . The deadline to apply is August 15, 2012.
Prairie Star District is a growing community of healthy, vital congregations in covenantal relationship with one another, transforming ourselves and our world by living our Unitarian Universalist principles. One of nineteen districts of the Unitarian Universalist Association, we serve almost 70 congregations in the Upper Midwest. We have three full time staff people and three part time program and support staff members who work with many volunteers to assist congregations. To learn more about us, see our Web site http://www.psduua.org .