PRAIRIE STAR DISTRICT ARCHIVES
Because Prairie Star District has become part of MidAmerica Region, this page has been archived as of July 15, 2013, for reference purposes. It will not be updated in the future, and some links may no longer work properly. For more up-to-date information, please visit the Mid America UUA site. Thank you!
Unsung Unitarian Universalist Award
to honor those Unitarian Universalists whose actions inspire, support and express Unitarian Universalism
A founder of the Chequamegon Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Ashland, Wisconsin, Megan has worked tirelessly to help the group develop into the thriving Fellowship they are today. As their group was taking shape, she attended PSD workshops and conferences to learn about organizing a Unitarian Universalist congregation. Megan has served as a member of the Board of Directors as well as Director of Religious Education. Every year Megan creates and directs a holiday children’s play that is the highlight of the Fellowship’s December service. Megan has extended her Unitarian Universalist faith into the Ashland community by founding Faith in Action, a nonprofit organization that provides household services to seniors in the region. We congratulate the Chequamegon Unitarian Universalist Fellowship on their growth, and we commend Megan on the important role she played through her enthusiasm, organization, and hard work.
Keeping the Faith Award
to honor those who have worked to keep Unitarian Universalism alive in their community and who touch the lives of congregation and community members in a positive way
When members of Bob’s congregation talked about who was deserving of this award, the first person they thought of was Bob Feragen. Not afraid to take on duties, at age 81, Bob accepted the job of church newsletter editor, a task he conducts with skill and enthusiasm. He also created a book of selected sermons delivered at All Souls. Money raised from selling this book, Speaking of a Chosen Faith, will support All Souls' member-attendance at General Assembly. Bob is an inspiration in his Unitarian Universalist congregation, one who continues to live in service to his principles. We thank you for your work, Bob, and commend you for keeping the faith.
Carolyn has given extraordinary service to the Unitarian Universalist Society in Cedar Falls through the development of a music ministry program. A professor of Psychology of Music, Carolyn helped the congregation integrate music into Sunday services, brought in professional guest musicians, and planned ways for children to contribute musically. Additionally, Carolyn initiated Wednesday night programming, at which people share a meal, and then disburse for family choir or string band practice, and attendance at other meetings. Because of Carolyn’s contributions, the church now has a rich musical tradition that the group appreciates. Through her initiatives and love of our faith, Carolyn has opened the congregation to new and well-loved ideas. We applaud her work in keeping the Unitarian Universalist faith.
A member of First Unitarian Church for over 44 years, Dorothy has served in a variety of leadership positions. One of her major contributions was the creation of the Sarah Joslyn Society in 2003. This effort encourages church members to leave bequests to the church in their wills. As a result of Dorothy’s work, 25% of the congregation has done this. In the larger community, Dorothy has volunteered for over thirty years at a surgery waiting room, assisting family members and friends of those undergoing surgery. She has served on the Planned Parenthood board, the Tuesday Musical board, the League of Women Voters board, and as a docent at UNMC. With the Keeping the Faith Award, we honor Dorothy for her excellent organization, her gracious spirit, and her inspiration to others in all she does.
Social Justice Award
to pay tribute to those individuals who witness to the ideals of social justice and responsibility so important to our Unitarian Universalist heritage
Kris and Lynn have dedicated their lives to social justice work, serving as models in their church and in the broader community. Guided by their strong passion in working for peace, they were founding members of PeaceWorks Kansas City. They have participated in hundreds of peace and social justice demonstrations, have attended peace conferences, and have been active organizers in city-wide events geared at civil rights and peace-making efforts. By providing information, organizing conferences, and encouraging attendance, the Cheatums have encouraged their fellow Unitarian-Universalists to become involved in peace and social justice activities. Kris and Lynn are exemplary role models of people who live out the Unitarian Universalist principles, and we recognize their work with words they wrote in a hymnbook dedication: “We cherish diversity in a steady quest toward truth and justice for humankind.” Thank you, Kris and Lynn Cheatum.
O. Eugene Pickett Award
to honor congregations which have made an outstanding contribution to the growth of Unitarian Universalism
Not awarded in 2009
for Service and Leadership on behalf of Prairie Star District
This award is given in grateful appreciation for your years of service to Prairie Star District on the PSD Board, on the Midwest Leadership School Staff, and on the Committee on Religious Education, and for your willingness to share your time and talents as the Resource Library Librarian, Congregational Consultant, and Commissioned Lay Leadership Committee, plus many other contributions too numerous to mention. Thank you for your dedication and immeasurable contribution at the district level to our liberal faith.
Ellie Morton Award
for outstanding work in religious education
The Religious Education program and the congregation have benefited from Lisa Randolph’s efforts to make Peoples Church a fully multigenerational church. Lisa established an RE Council and set goals that include worship, social justice, teacher training, curriculum development, child safety and youth programs. She created a Workshop Rotation Program encompassing modules on World Religions, Unitarian Universalism, Jewish and Christian Literacy. Lisa also launched a revitalized Coming of Age program and a High School Youth Program and established a Youth Adult Council. The YAC led to successful shared youth and adult leadership, a spirituality development conference and leadership retreat. Programs now include a Hunger Banquet, a Parents of Teens Gathering, and Evensong for Families. RE enrollment has increased by nearly 50%. With Lisa’s professional direction, RE has been a source of growth and stability through turbulent years. It’s with much gratitude that we recognize this deserving professional.
Betty Gorshe Heritage Award
for significant contribution to celebrating our Unitarian Universalist history
Unitarian Universalist Society, Iowa City, Iowa
During its 170-year history, the Unitarian Universalist Society of Iowa City has been blessed by members who have gathered and preserved its history. For 14 years Marilyn Jennewein has sustained this heritage. In 2007, the Unitarian Universalist Society celebrated the centennial of the building of its house of worship. Ms. Jennewein led the committee to create exhibits, produce publications, and to organize a series of events to illuminate the history of this landmark structure. The centennial celebration, “From Within These Walls,” provided educational and inspirational materials for the members of the congregation, both children and adults, but it also informed the general public about the historical significance of the Unitarian Universalist Society and its church home. Working with the staff of the State Historical Society of Iowa, Ms Jennewein was able to enlighten them about the historical role of the Unitarian Universalist Society of Iowa City in Iowa.
Carol Jackson has consistently taken on large responsibilities for Unitarian Universalist history work. Along with Betty Gorshe, she gave shape to the PSD Heritage and Archives Committee, making the PSD one of the UUA districts often praised for Unitarian Universalist history initiatives. Always a sustaining force, Ms. Jackson has now generously accepted the leadership role. She is a tireless, always willing worker for the preservation and communication of the Unitarian Universalist history on a local, regional, and national level. Ms. Jackson understands the importance of historical understanding to both present and future. This year, Carol Jackson’s congregation, First Universalist Church of Minneapolis, is celebrating its Sesquicentennial. Ms. Jackson is one of the key members of the committee planning the celebration. First Universalist has a rich history, and Carol Jackson is very instrumental in helping to sustain, organize, and communicate that history to others.