We Are MidAmerica Together!
Love is the spirit of this church, and service is its law; this is our great covenant: to dwell together in peace, to seek the truth in love, and to help one another. (James Vila Blake, 1894)
In forming the MidAmerica Region, we seek to create something more than a new corporate institution. We want to create and nurture a new matrix of active congregational relationships. We envision MidAmerica as a dynamic and growing network of thriving congregations within the larger network of the UUA. The strands of these networks are relationships and collaborations among the congregations and organizations within MidAmerica. Many of these relationships will embody the commitments spoken in our covenants.
In August, 2012, the members of our three District Boards met and adopted the following "covenant to covenant" as a way to take our region-building work to a new level of commitment and meaning:
We, the members of Central Midwest, Heartland, and Prairie Star District Boards, hereby envision for our region a new era of Unitarian Universalism based in a relational model among our congregations and other UU institutions, and to engage Unitarian Universalists throughout this region - as individuals, congregations, and organizations - in an active covenantal process, as the formational shared experience of the MidAmerica Region.
With your active collaboration, we have developed and elaborated both a vision and a concrete proposal to form the MidAmerica Region. With your authorization, we have incorporated MidAmerica as a nonprofit corporation based in Iowa, effective May 16, 2013. Our next "institutional steps" include the recognition of MidAmerica by this year's UUA General Assembly and the combination of the three districts into MidAmerica, which is currently in process.
As we move forward, we invite you and your congregation to continue to work with us in this covenantal work and in creating a new era in Unitarian Universalism! How can you help? There will be many ways, but here are some "next steps" that will help us move the vision of MidAmerica forward.
- Does your congregation have a covenant or bond of union? If so, talk to your congregation's leaders about convening a discussion about it, and specifically about how it connects your congregation to others within our movement. If not, talk with them about convening a conversation about the congregation's sense of aspiration and commitment.
- Share that covenant! Send a copy of your congregation's covenant to me at email@example.com so we can begin to learn about each other's covenants! I'd like to create a presentation of the covenants present within the Region, perhaps as a feature on our MidAmerica website.
- Learn more about MidAmerica! Check out the MidAmerica Region website at http://www.midamericauua.org/ !
- MidAmerica already includes many wonderful congregations, but - as former UUA President the Reverend Bill Sinkford so often reminded us - "We are better together!"
We are MidAmerica together - let's see how much we can accomplish together!
Prairie Star District, Central Midwest District, and Heartland District have joined together to create MidAmerica Region.
What Is Next
A big thanks to all of you who participated in the recent historic votes for regionalization in Heartland, Prairie Star, and Central MidWest Districts. I thank all of you who participated in these meetings, all who thoughtfully considered the issues, those of you who expressed a resounding "yes", and also those who expressed doubts and concerns. These were historic decisions. They prepare us to support your ministry in the next generation by creating structures to support you in achieving your missions in ways that are forward-looking, sustainable and technologically smart. We plan this summer to continue the amazing communication effort of the boards that led up to the vote with a series of emails to you like the ones you have been receiving. In the late summer or fall this effort will conclude and we will begin publishing a new, regional newsletter.
Some of you have been asking what is next.
The votes set in motion a sequencing of steps that needs to synthesize—somehow—legal care and deliberateness with the frenetic activity necessary to operate within the new structure July 1. For those of you going to the UUA General Assembly in Louisville, we look forward to celebrating with you at our regional in-gathering (Wednesday, June 19th, 5:45-6:45 PM, Convention Center Cascade B Room). We also encourage you to attend the plenary session on Saturday morning, June 22nd, when a motion will be considered to approve making regions an official part of the structure of our association—this is the final step needed to allow us to create a legal entity and have that entity recognized in the proper tax category.
Congregational Life Consultant and Lead Staff Person for the MidAmerica Region of the UUA