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The Prairie Star, Issue 69: September 2012
The Prairie Star
As summer comes to a close and we prepare for autumn and the new church year, we bring news of workshops and resources for your congregation.
Best wishes for an excellent year!
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.
PSD President's Column
by Kathy Burek
Annual Conference 2013Save the Date
Annual Conference 2013
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
April 5-7, 2013
What do we actually hope for in the future? Can we envision it? And once we are clear about our vision, how do we go about inspiring it into reality? We begin this conference on Friday night with a long look backwards at the history of Unitarian Universalism and all we have accomplished as a movement and a district. The Rev. Stefan Jonasson, UUA Director of Growth Strategies and Large Congregation Development will be our keynote speaker. Saturday, our Judy Lecturer, the Rev. Christine Robinson from Albuquerque, New Mexico, will challenge us to think about the future of our denomination, and how to feed our hunger for love, hope, faith, and spirit. Also on Saturday, delegates will vote on whether PSD should merge with two other districts to become a region.
Call for WorkshopsPresenters are sought for Annual Conference workshops. Deadline to apply is September 24, 2012.
Those of you who were at the District Annual Conference in April heard that our Prairie Star District Web Coordinator Ben Stallings had announced to us earlier in the year that he'd be leaving his position with us over the summer. Ben's work for us for the past six years helped us to move forward technologically by leaps and bounds, and we very much appreciate all that he did for us.
Given his decision, we decided to hire a regional Tech Coordinator to serve all three districts - Central Midwest, Heartland, and Prairie Star. We are delighted to announce that we have appointed Gretchen Ohmann as the Technology Coordinator for the MidAmerica Region!
Gretchen has worked as the webweaver and communications person for the Central Midwest District for seven years, but as of July 1st, that position was expanded to cover web and other technology solutions for the entire MidAmerica Region. Her initial work will be with us as we design and create a new MidAmerica website, and she will also be responsible for keeping the current web sites of the three districts running. Her web work both for Unitarian Universalist sites and in other venues provides her with the skills to work on the three differing platforms we now have, and help move us to a unified site.
Gretchen will also help us learn about new technology, and we expect that she will also be able to work with congregations in MidAmerica to help them answer questions about their technological future. Stay tuned for more details on that aspect of her work to be revealed sometime later this fall.
Registration is open for fall online workshops:
These workshops are conference phone calls with a visual component on a web site. Participants will need a computer with high speed Internet access and a separate phone line. Registration is required but free.
For more information see http://www.psduua.org/content/online-workshops.
The Renaissance program offers intensive trainings for religious education leaders and is a major component of the Religious Education Credentialing Program of the Unitarian Universalist Association. Each module includes 15 hours of training.
News of People and Congregations
A PSD Congregation is celebrating an anniversary, and there is news of ministerial changes.
UUA News Shorts
CATALYST is a publication of the Multicultural Ministries Team of the UUA. Inside, you'll find information on the UUA's Common Read for 2012-2013, resources around the Doctrine of Discovery, and more. Read and download the September issue of CATALYST http://www.uua.org/documents/idbm/rec/120821_catalyst.pdf .
Congregations and Beyond
A discussion guide has just been published at http://www.uua.org/documents/congservices/beyond/discussion_guide.pdf . It gives a framework for congregations to discuss the UUA's set of initiatives, new technologies and congregational stories of new methods of reaching out to spiritual seekers.
UU World for Persons with Visual and Learning Impairments
Starting with the Fall 2012 UU World issue there will be recordings available for online listening or downloading. For a selection of articles see
Welcoming Congregation Bulletin
This brand new publication is produced by LGBTQ Ministries, part of the UUA's Multicultural Ministries office. This new monthly e-newsletter will keep readers connected to the work of building a Beloved Community where all people can bring their full authentic selves. Subscription to The Welcoming Congregation Bulletin is open to all. http://www.uua.org/lgbtq/welcoming/230747.shtml
There are a variety of resources available on accessibility including a proposed accessibility policy addressing the inclusion of all people (whatever their ability may be) in activities and physical accessibility to facilities of the UUA and its member congregations. You can access all on the UUA website at http://www.uua.org/accessibility/.
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.