When three districts voted to become the MidAmerica Region of the UUA, district delegates also voted in our first MidAmerica Board. Our ten member board has four officers, five at-large trustees, and in addition, one ex officio member, meaning that he serves on the board because of his position, Rev. Ian Evison, District Executive of Congregational Life. He does not vote on matters before the board. To see pictures and a short description of the members of the board, go to www.midamericauua.org and click on "ABOUT US > Meet the MidAmerica Board.”
How does the board reflect our new region?
Our region includes all or most of thirteen states. Our ten board members hail from home churches in seven of them: Illinois (Rev. Ian Evison and Rev. Bill Sasso), Indiana (Amy Taylor), Iowa (Dave Martin), Kansas, Kentucky (Eric Huffer), Michigan (Rev. Cindy Landrum), Minnesota (Kathy Burek and Charlotte Preston), Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin (Erin McElroy and Tom Sommerfeld).
Our board does not appear to be as culturally diverse as our UUA members and friends, though we have not asked board members specifically about their cultural or ethnic self-identification. Some of those on the board use accessibility devices, reflecting realities of our congregants. Regarding sexual orientation at least one board member is an out lesbian. As a body, our board is committed to anti-racism, anti-oppression, and multi-cultural work. We will be mindful of that value as we hold MidAmerica in its unfolding. To start, MidAmerica incorporated in Iowa to recognize it as the first of the thirteen states in our region to provide legal recognition for same-sex marriage.
Our board is not as diverse by age as are members and friends of our congregations. The youngest member of the board is approaching her 18th birthday and will therefore soon be in the Young Adult range of 18-35. The others of us are older than 35, with a weighting toward 50+. We intend to be receptive to input, both invited and uninvited, from people across the full age range in our congregations. Two areas are likely to need close attention because of differences in how people at different points on the spectrum of age engage in the world: How do we share and receive information? How do we prefer to gather?
The MidAmerica board understands its responsibilities for providing fiscal and legal governance. In addition we understand our responsibility to help envision and realize a new way of UUs being together as we live out our UU principles and purposes. One way to picture our work as a first-year board in 2013-2014 is that we are throwing and firing a clay pot to hold a rich, hot bottomless soup full of vegetables grown locally. Our UU churches offer nourishment to each person in their midst. We can, thereby, sustain our individual and collective liberal religious presence and help our hurting world.
More about our Board and the workings of the new Region can be found in the GOVERNANCE section of our site.