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Because Prairie Star District has become part of MidAmerica Region, this page has been archived as of July 15, 2013, for reference purposes.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!

Prairie Star District UUA | AnnualConference2006 / Youth Con

Prairie Star District UUA | AnnualConference2006 / Youth Con From Prairie Star District UUA AnnualConference2006: Youth Con

A note from Sarah Carlson, Communications Co-chair of PSD YAC

Note: PSD YAC stands for Prairie Star District Youth Adult Committee.

You’ve probably received your brochure for the PSD Annual Conference taking place in Iowa City, Iowa, on April 28-30. The brochure and registration forms are also available online; see the Annual Conference home page.

We would like you to notice three items of particular importance to the youth and those involved in youth ministry in the district.

1. There will be a workshop about youth CONS and the new YAC Seal of Approval on Saturday afternoon. The YAC has been working for 2 years to roll out an effective process for youth conferences to obtain a YAC Seal of Approval, as a way to assure that youth conferences are safe and provide a quality experience for youth and adults. We have a new seal design, and specific policies and procedures for you to learn about.

Two members of the PSD YAC will present information during this workshop about how the process works and what it means. As a YAC, we are asking DREs and those involved with youth ministry to please attend this important session.

2. Please note that the PSD YAC has planned a social justice CON for youth during the Annual District Conference, and let your youth know they are welcome. This is a great activity for those youth interested in social justice work to network with other youth! Some highlights of planned youth activities:

Youth activities will take place at the Iowa City church building (4 blocks from the hotel), as well as at the hotel with other PSD conference attendees. Attendees of the youth conference are invited to hang out and sleep at the church both Friday and Saturday. Workshops at the church will focus on multicultural oppression and militarism in education (racism in recruiting, exploitation of poverty, governmental rights to personal information), as they relate to youth. There will be speakers, discussions, activism and films. Youth will plan a youth-led worship for Saturday evening at the Annual Conference. In addition, youth will select a few workshops to attend at the hotel from the Annual Conference schedule. There will be a hospitality room for youth off the pool at the hotel. YAC adults and youth will be present during the entire conference

3. PSD-YAC will also be hosting a display booth at the hotel during the conference.

Note that the youth registration form must be mailed as a parental permission is required. Youth registration forms are to be mailed to the same address as adult attendees:

UUSIC 10 S. Gilbert Iowa City, IA 52240

Please contact me with any questions you have.

Sarah J. Carlson College of Human Sciences E 262 Lagomarcino Iowa State University Ames, IA 50011-3191 515 / 294-0211 scarlson@iastate.edu

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Prairie Star District UUA | AnnualConference2006 / Workshop Session A

Prairie Star District UUA | AnnualConference2006 / Workshop Session A From Prairie Star District UUA AnnualConference2006: Workshop Session A

PSD Annual Conference 2006: Saturday Workshops (A) 10:30-11:45

A1: A Field of Dreamers and Doers: UUs and Social Justice in Iowa

Tom Lo Guidice, PSD Social Justice Coordinator and member UU Fellowship of Dubuque, IA Service. Education. Witness. Advocacy. Community Organizing. Knowing where to start to work for change in our society can seem like an overwhelming task. It’s important to choose the best type of action according to congregational interests, skills, and talents. In this session, we will explore types of social action and hear from three Iowa congregations (small, mid-size, and large) and the work they are doing. All of the represented congregations are members of the Iowa Cluster of the Prairie Star Social Justice Network.

A2: Singing in the Oral Tradition

Paul Soderdahl, UU Society of Iowa City, IA Songs handed down in the oral tradition are tools for engaging in daily activities and coping with life events. These songs of protest, of freedom, and of peace give power to those who fight for justice. Our singing will draw from calls and chants, spirituals, gospels, hymns, African music, and contemporary songs. You don’t need any musical training to participate. You just need to bring your voice and a willingness to join in the vocal community. Youth, young adults, and families with children are also encouraged to participate in this workshop.

A3: The Revolution Starts Now, Part 2

Rev. Valerie Mapstone Ackerman, MSW, MDiv; Red Dog Farm and Retreat Center, Haskell, OK Though many UU congregations have thriving social service programs, few enjoy effective social justice programs. What’s the difference? Can we find ways to save the “babies in the river” AND stop them from becoming endangered in the first place? Share your stories of frustration and success, and learn some techniques for assessing and strengthening your congregation’s social justice programs.

A4: Mission, Music, and Money

Rev. Don Rollins, Nora UU Church, Hanska, MN We UUs swim in a sea of ever-increasing and often complicated advice on church governance and growth. This workshop asks and answers the question, “What is essential for a people to become the 'beloved community'?”

A5: The Engaged Citizen and the Common Good -- Getting Started

Elaine Rockwell, First Unitarian Church, Des Moines, IA As UUs committed to changing the world for the better, where do we start? How can you start an informed conversation about “everyday social justice” within your congregation? Based on Turning to One Another, by Margaret J. Wheatley, the conversation begins with two questions: “What is my faith in the future?” and “When have I experienced working for the common good?” To close, we will brainstorm actions for practicing the common good, as individuals and as a church community.

A6: Think Globally, Act Locally: Global Outreach from Local Fellowship

Bob Anderson, Unitarian Fellowship, Ames, IA Learn about opportunities to promote international education, development, and peace through local initiatives.

A7: Civil Marriage for Everyone Now

Rev. Virginia Wolf, UU Congregation of Eau Claire, WI Seventeen states have passed constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage or similar legal protections; other states are in the process of trying to pass such amendments. Is yours one of these? What are you doing about it? What might you do about it? What is at stake here? Why should you get involved, no matter what your state might or might not be doing? Come share your ideas and carry home ideas from others.

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Prairie Star District UUA | AnnualConference2006 / Workshop Session B

Prairie Star District UUA | AnnualConference2006 / Workshop Session B From Prairie Star District UUA AnnualConference2006: Workshop Session B

PSD Annual Conference 2006: Saturday Workshops (B) 1:30-2:45

B1: What Can You Do to Help Reduce Poverty in the World?

Charles Fantz and Genia Peterson Kornhaber, UU Fellowship of Topeka, KS The UU United Nations Office has developed a new program, “Every Child Is Our Child.” It is a way for UUs to connect with the UN’s Millennium Development Goals in Ghana. Come find out how you can help educate children who have been orphaned by AIDS, reduce poverty, and promote gender equality.

B2: Gilead and a Vision of Life

Marilynne Robinson, Congregational United Church of Christ of Iowa City, IA Winner of the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for fiction, Marilynne Robinson is a faculty member in the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop. Her novel Gilead recounts the experiences and thoughts of a small-town Iowa minister, writing to his young son as he feels the approach of death. Meet with the author to discuss this novel, described as a “hymn of praise and lamentation” that reflects on themes of “faith, courage, forgiveness, solitude, friendship, grace, as well as human weaknesses ...”

B3: Faith Activism and the Living Wage Movement

Johanna Chao Rittenburg, UUSC Economic Justice Program Manager How are faith activists playing a powerful role in generating positive social and economic change? How do we move from the “Word” to the “world”? View a new documentary on the Santa Fe Living Wage campaign and engage in a discussion about faith-labor-community coalitions that are having a profound impact for economic justice.

B4: Making Your Congregation Young Adult Friendly

Andrea Anderson, Dakota UU Fellowship, and David Leppik, member of PSD Board and First Universalist Church, Minneapolis, MN All Unitarians Universalists share in the challenge and responsibility of making our congregations places where people are encouraged and enabled to become increasingly mature, responsible adults. A primary aspect of this challenge is to engage young adults in the life of each of our congregations. If we are to do that, we each need to contribute to making our congregations more young adult friendly.

B5: Board Basics 101

Nancy Heege, PSD Executive, and Prairie Star District Board Members What’s the proper role for board members in a UU congregation? Should board members be concerned with day-to-day operations, or should they keep their focus on the long-term vision? How should our time be spent at board meetings? What orientation does a board member need? Join us for a conversation about “Board Basics.”

B6: How the Intelligent Design Movement Impacts Our Congregations, Communities, and World

Fritz Franzen and Sam Wormley, UU Fellowship of Ames, IA Join us as we explore these questions:

What is science? What is evolution? What is Intelligent Design? Should it be taught as science? Why should we care? B7: AMOS Changed our Church: One Church’s Experience with a Community Organizing Strategy

Sally Boeckholt and Rev. Mark Stringer, First Unitarian Church, Des Moines, IA In a workshop sponsored by the Prairie Star District board, representatives from First Unitarian Church, Des Moines, discuss how their church became involved with the Industrial Areas Foundation, the challenges they faced, and what they gained. Then you can share your successes and challenges with community organizing. Learn more about the invigorating role that community organizing can play in the life of our UU congregations.

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Prairie Star District UUA | AnnualConference2006 / Workshop Session C

Prairie Star District UUA | AnnualConference2006 / Workshop Session C From Prairie Star District UUA AnnualConference2006: Workshop Session C

PSD Annual Conference 2006: Saturday Workshops (C) 3:00-4:15

C1: Let Justice Roll Down Like Waters: A Report from Prairie Star Social Justice Network Working Group

Tom Lo Guidice (UUF, Dubuque), Betsy Allis (First Universalist, Minneapolis), Bob Cernia (UUF, Northfield), Vicki Pratt (Second Unitarian, Omaha), Jo Haberman (First Unitarian, Minneapolis), Mary Westfall (UUF, Manhattan) Learn about the work of southern Iowa, southern Minnesota, eastern Wisconsin social justice clusters and the Metro Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Alliance (MUUSJA). Speakers explain how religious principles motivate their work, and provide a one-page summary of cluster work and contacts.

C2: Was George Washington a Closet Unitarian?

Clair W. Keller and Fritz Franzen, UU Fellowship, Ames, IA At a rural tavern, an itinerate minister (Fritz Franzen, in costume) interviews George Washington (Clair Keller, in costume) in an effort determine his religious views. After the interview, the audience will discuss whether Washington’s responses reflect the Unitarian values of his time.

C3: The Growing Branches of Stonetree

Dawn Cooley, PSD Stonetree Coordinator and First Unitarian Society, Minneapolis, MN Come see the exciting capabilities that have been added to Stonetree Version 2 (www.stonetreeuu. org), a great web resource. We would love feedback from people listed on Stonetree, as well as from those who use it to find resources for their PSD congregations, exchange ideas, and locate speakers and arts resources via this unique “Unitarian Universalist Recommended” resource!

C4: Youth Conferences: The YAC and the Seal

Lucky Dehn and Kira Pontiff, both members of PSD Youth Adult Committee and UU Church of Minnetonka, Wayzata, MN From enthusiastic support to boycotts, youth “cons” evoke strong reactions from parents, church staff, advisors, and the youth who attend them. What happens there? Are they safe? Find out what cons provide our youth, and at what risk. Learn about important changes to the “Seal of Approval” for youth cons in our district.

C5: Engaging Our Theological Diversity

Nancy Heege, PSD District Executive, and Kathy Bowman, PSD Vice President and Unitarian Church, Davenport, IA In our congregations, people hold a variety of beliefs. What, then, holds us together? What features, if they were taken away, would leave something that is no longer recognizably Unitarian Universalism? A discussion about the 2005 Commission on Appraisal report, Engaging Our Theological Diversity. Participants will take home an adult education curriculum outline.

C6: Making Justice Possible for the Indigenous Peoples of the Prairies: Going Beyond Indian Gaming

Thomas M. Disselhorst, Bismarck (ND)-Mandan Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Join us to examine justice issues facing the indigenous peoples of the prairies. What are our prejudices, and the prejudices of our communities? What perceptions among both indigenous and nonindigenous peoples, and what institutions and policies, prevent justice from becoming a reality? Finally, what can we as UUs do to make our principles come alive on this issue, and to make a difference? Our voices have always been most powerful when we are seeking justice. Come prepared to be honest in expressing your views -- and expect to be challenged!

C7: What is “Social Justice” Anyway, and How Can We End Homelessness?

Rahima Wade and Gay Mikelson, UU Society of Iowa City, IA Explore, question, and challenge your ideas about “social justice” through an interactive exercise to examine our views, appreciate multiple perspectives, and further our understanding about how to work for social justice. Using homelessness as the focus, we will share project ideas, explore barriersand generate new possibilities for working on the causes of homelessness in our communities and our world.

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Prairie Star District UUA | AnnualConference2006 / Youth

Prairie Star District UUA | AnnualConference2006 / Youth From Prairie Star District UUA AnnualConference2006: Youth

Prairie Star District Annual Conference Youth Social Action Conference April 28-30, 2006 Downtown Sheraton HotelIowa City, IA 55101 Design by Anders Haig

Hosted by the Unitarian Universalist Societyof Iowa City

If you are a young person age 12-18 (7th to 12th grade), we extend a special invitation to you to attend the Social Action Conference held in conjunction with the PSD Annual Conference. The primary focus of the SAC will be the impact of oppression on our modern educational and social settings. Be ready for interesting speakers, movies, and discussions.

SAC activities will overlap those of the adult meeting. Youth will attend the Saturday evening banquet and entertainment, and will lead the Saturday night worship service. Youth registration includes breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner on Saturday, and breakfast on Sunday.

Housing and SAC activities will be at the historic UUSIC building, a four-block walk from the Sheraton Hotel, the site of the PSD conference.

The youth registration fee is $50. Each youth attendee must agree to follow the conference guidelines (below), and must have a sponsor from their congregation who is also attending the PSD conference. Sponsor responsibilities include attending the Friday night orientation session, maintaining contact with youth, and supporting youth during the weekend.

Youth Conference Guidelines All members of our community are empowered and encouraged to voice their opinions, objections, or concerns at any time. People and property are to be respected. The activities below are NOT permitted under any circumstances: Smoking Using alcohol or drugs (with the exception of prescriptions) Carrying weapons of any kind Engaging in violent, inappropriate, sexual, demeaning, derogatory, or offensive behavior Registration

You must print and complete both the following forms (which are provided in PDF format). The youth registration form must have a parent’s signature.

Conference Registration Form (76 KB) Youth Registration Form (109 KB)

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