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Because Prairie Star District has become part of MidAmerica Region, this page has been archived as of July 15, 2013, for reference purposes.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

Hang Out in the R & R – “Random Room”

“Where Random Acts are bound to happen . . .”

RAA – Random Acts of Art RAK – Random Acts of Kindness RAT – Random Acts of Thought RAM – Random Acts of Music Bring your favorite music CD’s, Cell Phones, Cameras and Camcorders – All encouraged! Bring scrapbooks, photos and ideas to share about projects or activities you have enjoyed being involved in through your church. Write on the “Random Thoughts” Journal Wall. Bring Artist Trading Cards to trade – or make them while hanging out. Make your own Manga-inspired UU superhero comics (materials and know-how provided). Cover the TEEN Beat and be roving conference REPORTER or PHOTOGRAPHER. Create materials to be used at the conference and later on websites. Document random acts! Lend your voice to the conference choir! If you have any musical background you’ll be a welcome addition. (Register for the choir when you complete your registration. See more information at Conference Choir. Other possibilities abound but aren’t yet finalized (e.g. attend local live youth theater, perform social action to help others, etc.). Watch this space for specifics! Exchange e-mail addresses or . . . Just hang out and get to know other UU Youth from our district.

Please come, bring your spirit and enthusiasm and join with us in celebration.

Random Thoughts

We are deeply grateful to the Riverboat Development Authority of Davenport for a generous grant that allows us to eliminate registration fees entirely for Infants, Toddlers, and Children, and to reduce fees for Youth registrants. (Please note that these fee reductions and eliminations are for this year only.)

Our goal is to attract younger folks to the conference, helping us reinvigorate our congregations and district and engage future leaders. Parents and sponsors: please consider bringing youth of all ages to take part in our multigenerational celebration!

Printable Flier

A printable flier summarizing all activities for children and youth during the conference is available to download.


Youth registration includes a Saturday picnic lunch, Saturday and Sunday breakfasts in the hotel and a Saturday evening buffet dinner before the John McCutcheon concert. Each youth also receives a ticket to this family concert as part of registration.

Youth registration (grades 7–12) requires two forms: a Registration Form and a Permission Form.

Registration Form

The registration form is the same for all individuals regardless of age including adults, youth, children, infants, and toddlers.

If you register online, once you have completed the first adult registration, the online registration system will offer you the option to “Register another person for the Annual Conference.” Click this link and continue on to register other members of your family before you “check out.” If you are printing out the form in hard copy to fill in by hand, you may print it multiple times – one for each individual.

Permission Forms

Permission forms (signed by parents or guardians) are required for all youth attendees. Because the signatures on these forms need to be original signatures, you’ll need to print out the forms, sign them, and then mail them to the registrar by US Mail or other physical mail service.

Youth Permission Form for grades 7–12 (PDF, 19 KB) Please note: the permission form requires emergency health information – be sure to get that information well in advance! Deadlines

April 8, 2010, at noon, is the deadline for the following: Deadline extended.

Conference registration (mailed with check and on-line by credit card) for all ages Permission forms for those in Grade 12 and younger Online Registration will end at noon on April 16. Mail in Registrations and Permission Forms must be received by noon on April 20.[ NOTE: Youth, Child, Toddler, and Infant registrations will NOT be accepted after this deadline.]

April 8, 2010, at noon, is the deadline for the following: (This deadline is NOT extended.)

Cancellations of previously made registrations, if you decide not to come after all

Notifying us of your decisions by April 8, gives the conference hotel and the local committee time to order food and plan for staffing for an accurate number of registrants.

Youth Accommodations

There is no separate housing for youth. Youth must arrange accommodations with their parents or sponsors.

Youth Conference Guidelines Registered youth in Grades 7–12 will be part of the full Annual Conference. This year we have a blend of multigenerational activities and youth-oriented activities to interest all! Each youth attendee must have an adult sponsor from their congregation who is attending the Conference. We encourage all members of our community to voice 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 exception of prescriptions) Engaging in violent, inappropriate, sexual, demeaning, derogatory, or offensive behavior

Each youth attendee must agree to follow the guidelines above.


Youth can apply for Annual Conference Scholarships. See Scholarships.

There are a very limited number of scholarships available. The first round of scholarships will be awarded based on applications received as of noon on February 23, 2010. If funds are still available, additional scholarships will be awarded after that date.

Retrieved from Page last modified on April 07, 2010, at 03:28 PM

Workshops, Session C

Saturday afternoon at 3:30 PM

Workshops C–1 to C–7, and C–9 will be held at the RiverCenter. Workshop C–8 will be held at the Unitarian Church in Davenport. Carpools and/or shuttle service will be organized. Conference Choir Rehearsal will be at the Radisson

C–1:  Truth, Justice, and the Unitarian Way: Comic Book Superheroes and Multigenerational Worship

Principal Presenter:  Steve Klien, Unitarian Church, Davenport (IA)
Co-Presenter:  Allen Bertsche, Unitarian Church, Davenport (IA)

In this workshop, we will share our experience in and resources for preparing a multigenerational worship service that examines myth, heroism and the lessons we learn about ourselves and our values through the concept of heroes. But, rather than discuss the values of Emerson or the virtues of other famous Unitarians, this worship workshop will explore the powerful symbolism found in the adventures of our imagined white and dark knights of justice, those spandex-clad icons of virtue, the superhero. What might we, as Unitarian Universalists, learn from the mythos of these fictional heroes, the community values they exemplify, and the pitfalls we, as a culture, might encounter by relying too much on those to whom we entrust our faith? So, if you are a fan of the Man of Steel, the Caped Crusader, or just a friendly, neighborhood Unitarian, join us as we explore the tri-color mythic world of comic book heroesSuggested Reading:  Oropeza, B.J., Ed. The Gospel According to Superheroes: Religion and Popular Culture.

C–2:  Perspectives on Race from Six Months to 106 Years

Principal Presenter:  Sharon Blevins, All Souls UU Church, Kansas City, MO
Co-Presenter:  Cheryll Wallace, First Unitarian Church, Omaha, NE

In this interactive workshop we will look at research on how very young children perceive skin color, how youth and adults of all ages absorb the cultural messages around us, and how we can be advocates for racial equity in our families, our congregations and our communities. Facilitators: Cheryll Wallace, Chair of the PSD Growing Racial and Cultural Equity (GRACE) Team and Sharon Blevins, member of the UU Allies for Racial Equity (ARE) Executive Team

C–3:  Breaking Through in Des Moines

Principal Presenter:  Ellen Taylor, First Unitarian Church, Des Moines, IACo-Presenter:  Sally Boeckholt, First Unitarian Church, Des Moines, IA

In 2000, First Unitarian Church of Des Moines made an intentional decision to grow out of a 30-year/250-member plateau. Eight years later, membership had grown to over 400, and the congregation was recognized by the UUA as a “Breakthrough Congregation” at General Assembly June 2009. Join representatives of the congregation to learn what happened – and how their story intersects with the story of YOUR congregation.

C–4:  Humanist Camelot in Western Wisconsin

Principal Presenter:  Victor Urbanowicz, White Bear UU Church, Mahtomedi, MN; and the PSD Heritage and Archives Committee
Co-Presenter:  Tim Hirsch, UU Congregation, Eau Claire, WI

The PSD Heritage and Archives Committee will present a dramatized history featuring Unitarians who lived in Menomonie, WI, in the second half of the 19th Century. Playwright Victor Urbanowicz has created scenes featuring Unitarians Bertha and Andrew Tainter, and their Minister, Henry Doty Maxson. The lives and work of these three persons were imbued with the humanistic spirit of the Western Conference and had lasting effects on the economy and culture of the region. Rev Maxson was a leader in the Western Conference of Unitarians. The program will include human voices and other multi-sensory images.Suggested Reading:  Freedom Moves West: A History of the Western Unitarian Conference, 1852–1952 by Charles H. Lyttle, 2006

C–5:  Setting Goals and Priorities for PSD

Principal Presenter:  Kathy Bowman, PSD PresidentCo-Presenter:  Kathy Burek, PSD Vice President

Do you have ideas for how the District can better serve our liberal faith within our congregations and in the communities around us? The Prairie Star District Board invites you to help us set goals and priorities for PSD. The Board will present its ideas, and invite your feedback. We will also talk about the latest in the Board’s governance work and how PSD will be working with other districts and the UUA to advance Unitarian Universalism. The topic and structure are geared to older youth and adults, and the Board would especially welcome input from our youth. Younger children would not likely find the topic of interest.

C–6:  Creating Dynamic Lay Led Worship

Principal Presenter:  Cindy Sadlek, Unitarian Church, Davenport (IA)Co-Presenter:  Ellen Kelley, MBA, Unitarian Church, Davenport (IA)

This workshop is for congregations ready for dynamic worship services led by a truly collaborative team of lay leaders. You will learn the process our congregation used to move from providing informational programs to providing diverse, high quality, complete worship services on the Sundays our minister is not in the pulpit. Learn the key ingredients to the success of our Religious Services Committee (RSC) in providing worship year round and attracting the same number of attendees as the minister’s Sundays in only a few short years.

C–7:  Children and Spirituality

Principal Presenter:  Lori Allen, PSD Lifespan Faith Development Program Coordinator

Teaching and growing our children in spiritual ways can seem a daunting task. Lori Allen, long time children’s religious educator, shares insight on the spirituality of children and appropriate and meaningful ways for adults to nurture the spirit of the child they are teaching while growing their own spirituality. Lori draws on the wisdom and teachings of Rabbi Sandy Sasso (SOF – Spirituality and Parenting) and Parker Palmer (A Hidden Wholeness).Suggested Reading:  A Hidden Wholeness by Parker Palmer And God Remembered, In God’s Name, In God’s Hands, Butterflies Under Our Hats, Noah’s Wife, Cain and Abel, God’s Paintbrush, Adam and Eve’s New Day — all by Rabbi Sandy Sasso.

C–8:  Live from the Kitchen: Locavoring by Cooking, Canning, and Eating from Your Neighborhood

Principal Presenter:  Mark Runquist, UU Fellowship, Ames, IA; and Linda Barnes, UU Fellowship, Ames, IA

At home, we all tend to gravitate towards the kitchen for food and fellowship. Why not extend that to the conference? Join us as we take over a kitchen to prepare food for immediate and future consumption. Along the way we’ll share joys and struggles of using local ingredients. Families and children are especially welcome, but certainly not required!Suggested Reading:  Real Food for Healthy Kids: 200+ Easy, Wholesome Recipes (Hardcover) by Tanya Steel

C–9:  The Discipline of Peace: A Seed Planting

Principal Presenter:  Diana Allen, UU Church of Minnetonka, Wayzata, MNCo-Presenter:  Ted Harrison

Peace is more than the absence of war. Living peace in the self is the first step to creating peace as a reality in our world. This workshop will present a universal approach to the discipline of peace, including an overview of the 8 sequential steps of peace grown from ancient earth wisdom (North American native perspective). These teachings were developed by RainbowHawk and WindEagle, Keepers of the Teachings of the Delicate Lodge and founders of The World Foundation for a Discipline of Peace. These teachings were launched in New Mexico in August 2009 to a gathering of all ages from nine different countries. As Oglala Elder Black Elk tells us, the most important peace is the first peace, which is in the soul of the human.

Choir Rehearsal

The conference choir will rehearse during Workshop C and after breakfast on Sunday morning, then perform during the Sunday morning service. See Conference Choir.

Retrieved from Page last modified on February 08, 2010, at 05:47 PM

Workshops, Session B

Saturday afternoon at 2:00 PM

Note: Workshop A at 11:00 AM is an all-conference workshop with Judy Lecturer Dr. Mark A. Hicks, held at the RiverCenter.

All workshops in Session B will be held at the RiverCenter.

B–1:  Web Fest

Principal Presenter:  Ben Stallings, PSD Web Coordinator

This will be an informal opportunity for the maintainers of UU Web sites to learn from each other, ask questions, show off successes, and fix problems.

B–2:  Transforming UUA Governance. Regions? Fewer Districts? Fewer GA’s?

Principal Presenter:  John Blevins, UUA Trustee from PSD

In Feb, 2010, the UUA Board committed itself to reducing its size by at least half, to find ways to adapt our district organizational structure to this change, and to find new, constructive ways to support our youth, young adults and historically marginalized communities. In addition, we will be looking hard at moving to biennial GA’s. Come hear the latest news on these fronts, and share your dreams, ideas, and concerns.Suggested Reading:  Getting Started with Policy Governance by Caroline Oliver; Governance and Ministry: Rethinking Board Leadership by Dan Hotchkiss

B–3:  The Healing Power of “YES”:Communicating Effectively with Persons with Alzheimer’s

Principal Presenter:  Rev. Jade C. Angelica, member UU Fellowship Dubuque, IACo-Presenter:  Amy Ressler, UU Fellowship Dubuque, IA

This workshop weaves together information about Alzheimer’s disease, quality of life for persons with Alzheimer’s and their care partners, and spiritual practices as a way of finding healing and meaning in the presence of an incurable illness. Through the use of creative drama and improvisational theatre exercises, participants will learn to observe, listen and respond to persons with Alzheimer’s in life-affirming ways, and to ease some of the difficulties that can arise in interactions with this population of patients. This program will be informative, inspirational and fun!Suggested Reading:  Learning to Speak Alzheimer’s by Joanne Koenig Coste

B–4:  Introduction to Stonetree Congregational Resources, version 3

Principal Presenter:  Diana Allen, PSD Stonetree Congregational Resources CoordinatorCo-Presenter:  TBA

Good things are always learning and growing, and so it is with Stonetree Congregational Resources. We have learned much as we’ve served all those congregations needing Sunday morning speakers, musicians and presenters. This year we are launching a new version of Stonetree built in an open source content management software called Drupal. This version will have an enhanced, streamlined recommendation process, allowing recommenders and their comments to be published for each presenter. Version 3 will also include a more powerful editor to make your resource description stand out. Behind the scenes, it will allow tracking connections that are made among users of Stonetree. Come and experience the wings that have sprouted from this deeply rooted resource for Prairie Star District.

B–5:  Worship Matters

Principal Presenter:  Reverend Tom Capo, Peoples Church UU, Cedar Rapids, IA

This presentation will include putting together a worship team (including a youth and a religious educator) and looking at the flow of the worship service to create new styles of worship. This workshop will also look at ways of bringing new media that add to the overall worship experience. We will also look what multigenerational worship really means.

B–6:  Small Essentials, Essentially Small

Principal Presenter:  Rev. Dr. Lisa Presley, District Executive, Heartland District of the UUA

This workshop will explore issues and ideas that are germane to small congregations – how to organize the work, stewardship, volunteerism, and other benefits and challenges that face small congregations. Feel free to email your questions and/or areas of concern to Lisa Presley prior to the conference, and she’ll try to incorporate them in the workshop!Suggested Reading:  Lisa will bring a bibliography as part of the workshop materials.

B–7:  Spreading Your Wings: Youth Involvement in Congregational Life

This workshop has been canceled.

B–8:  Singing For Our Lives

Principal Presenter:  John McCutcheon, singer and songwriter

Led by internationally acclaimed songwriter, activist, and folk music Renaissance man, John McCutcheon, this multigenerational workshop will explore the traditions and truths of storytelling & song. Employing humor and history, participants will examine the way Singing for Our Lives ensures that the stories of right and wrong, the concepts of moral activism, and the power of intergenerational learning strengthen the principle that every person has inherent worth and dignity.

Retrieved from Page last modified on April 29, 2010, at 10:40 AM

From The Unitarian Church, Davenport, Iowa

Dear UUs of All Ages,

Welcome to the Prairie Star District 2010 Annual Conference in Davenport, Iowa! We invite you to join us for Roots and Wings : Weaving Multigenerational Dreams!

NEWS:  Embracing the PSD Board’s goals for engaging our young people, we’ve put together a 2010 conference program with appeal for all ages. By attracting people of every generation, we hope to enrich the conference experience for everyone.

We have invited tremendous speakers – including Dr. Mark A. Hicks, PSD religious educators and other experts on multigenerational worship. John McCutcheon, nationally known singer and hammered dulcimer player will give a concert for all ages on Saturday night, “An Evening with John McCutcheon”, and will also lead a workshop for all ages (B-8: “Singing for Our Lives”). We have other great multigenerational workshops! We have the Mississippi River, the Figge Art Gallery, and many other local opportunities to enjoy!

We invite you and your family and friends, your grandchildren, the youth from your congregation – in short, everyone – to join us.

QUESTION:  Why are we taking this multigenerational approach?

ANSWER:  For fun. For learning. For camaraderie. To re-invigorate our congregations and district, and to grow future leaders.

We are deeply grateful to the Riverboat Development Authority of Davenport for a generous grant that allows us to reduce registration fees for all those 35 and under, making it easier for younger folks (who are perhaps still getting established) to take part in the conference experience.

Of course, we hope record numbers of those over 35 will come too!

Retrieved from Page last modified on January 14, 2010, at 05:31 PM

PSD Annual Conference 2010 Add this button to your Web site!

We encourage Prairie Star District congregations to display this button image on their websites and link it to our 2010 Annual Conference page.

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Size: 5143 bytes
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If you wish to host the image on your own site, please feel free to copy it. You can download the image by right-clicking on it and selecting “Save Image As” or “Save Picture As” (the mechanism varies slightly from browser to browser).

If you copy the image to your own site, you will need to change the “src=” attribute for the <img> tag to reflect the location of the file on your site.

Retrieved from Page last modified on December 16, 2009, at 05:07 PM