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MidAmericaUUA-Logo 2012-13

The proposal to merge three districts in the geographic center of the U.S. (Central Midwest, Heartland, and Prairie Star) into one MidAmerica Region has raised one central concern – how do we stay connected to other UU congregations, to other UUs, and to UU staff?

As the regionalization conversation has unfolded, the intention to stay connected has been the North Star in developing governance and staffing models. We have sought ways to ensure that congregations will continue to have opportunities to make their voices heard. As an example, 26 different gatherings to discuss regionalization, either in person or via Skype (an online visual/audio tool) have taken place in Central Midwest, Heartland, and Prairie Star congregations. All congregations have received print materials to provide information early enough to prompt conversations. Early on, the UU Ministers’ Association chapters in each district voted in support of regionalization. The support of ministers has been a step toward interactions with congregational boards, small gatherings of congregants interested in understanding the efficiencies of regionalization, and pulpit presentations to congregations where invited.

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MidAmericaUUA-Logo 2012-13

Each congregation has a vital role in a proposal for a New Era of Unitarian Universalism. The proposal is to merge three districts in the geographic center of the U.S. (Central Midwest, Heartland, and Prairie Star) into one MidAmerica Region.

Districts Background

In the mid 1960s the U.S. was divided into UUA administrative districts. The district boundaries were created for ease of travel at that time. Central Midwest and Heartland Districts include Wisconsin, Illinois, most of Missouri, Michigan, Indiana, part of Ohio, and Kentucky. Prairie Star District covers Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, and parts of Wisconsin and Missouri.

Each of the current 19 districts has paid staff who provide services to congregations in their district. Services include assistance with growing membership, training local leaders, finding ministers, and religious education programs. Funding for each district comes from the UUA (Unitarian Universalist Association) and local congregations. Each district is governed by an elected Board of Trustees. The current UUA Board includes a trustee elected from each district.

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