Volume 4 Issue 7 | February 2017
The MidAmerica Region is where UUs visibly live our faith, create connections, grow our membership, and welcome all persons who share our UU values.
In This Issue
Phil Lund, Congregational Life Consultant
This edition of the Messenger includes some terrific opportunities for folks interested in taking a pilgrimage. One comes from Roger Bertschausen, Executive Director of the Unitarian Universalist Partner Church Council and former minister at our congregation in Appleton, Wisconsin. The other, an opportunity specifically for youth, comes from the Living Legacy Project, and features Gordon Gibson, former minister of our congregation in Elkhart, Indiana. Make sure to check them out. Even if you're not interested in a pilgrimage, you may know someone who is.
As always, if you have any questions or comments, or need to contact one of your MidAmerica staff members, please feel free to contact us. Visit https://midamericauua.org/about-us/contact-us for more information.
Registration for the 2017 MidAmerica Regional Assembly is now open! This year's theme is "Finding Our Partners: Faith in Action." In spite of our small numbers in the national religious scene, Unitarian Universalists have been at the forefront of every significant social change in our nation's history. Now, more than ever, we need to work with partners to have an impact in our cities, states and country.
Join us at the Chicago Oak Brook Marriott in Oak Brook, Illinois, April 28-30 for an exciting weekend celebrating Unitarian Universalism in the MidAmerica Region. You can find out more at www.midamericauua.org/ra
Register now for the 2017 MidAmerica Regional Assembly and receive the early bird rate.
Dori Thexton, Congregational Life Consultant
You may recall that our Fall 2016 Call for Chalice Lighter donations was to support the Black Lives of UU movement and related activities. The funds will be disbursed in the coming months. Individual black UUs can now apply for reimbursement for their registration at either the New Orleans Black Lives UU conference www.blacklivesuu.com/convening2017, the MidAmerica Regional Assembly www.midamericauua.org/ra, or the UUA General Assembly www.uua.org/ga. If you or someone in your congregation needs financial assistance to attend one of these events, please see the online application here: www.midamericauua.org/resources/justice. There will be a small amount of money available to help with travel costs. We urge anyone who is interested to also be in touch with the leadership of your congregation, since we hope to support congregational efforts in this area through participation.
We are pleased to be able to support participation by black Unitarian Universalists at these important events.If you have any questions, please contact either Phil Lund, email@example.com or Dori Thexton.
Laura G. McGee, Lay Staff Member
Mark your calendars and spread the word! After many successful summers at its Wisconsin location on the campus of Beloit College, MidWest Leadership School (MWLS) will take place this coming summer on the campus of Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, from July 9-15, 2017. MWLS creates opportunities to learn about Unitarian Universalism, about themselves as individuals and as members of congregations in a larger movement grounded in liberal theology. MWLS attendees come away from the experience with a better understanding of healthy organizational practices. This week-long intensive program is offered separately and yet collaboratively for adults and for youth, and seeks to provide its attendees with an experience of acceptance and love that transforms and inspires.
Is MWLS for you? A 2016 participant said that the program provided extremely helpful insights into the history of Unitarian Universalism, as well as an understanding of the ways current issues move today's congregations. The well-structured program of input, application and reflection provides a varied approach that appeals to diverse learning styles. Another participant was especially pleased to find the creation of intergenerational worship effectively modeled and implemented. MWLS is an experience rich in ideas for participants to take home to their current or future leadership roles.
Rev. Roger Bertschausen, Executive Director of the Unitarian Universalist Partner Church Council
Want to go to Transylvania to see the important Unitarian historic sites such as the place where the Edict of Torda was debated and the cell where the imprisoned Francis David died? Want to know some of our Transylvanian Unitarian kinfolk? The UU Partner Church Council invites you to join in one of its two public pilgrimage offerings in 2017:
Cross Cultural Transylvania Pilgrimage (on a budget) in August 2017: Experience Transylvania alongside Khasi Unitarians from NE India! The Unitarian Union of NE India has asked the UUPCC to organize a pilgrimage for its members, and they want to share their journey with you. Two weeks visiting the historic Unitarian places, medieval cities, castles, and enjoying the pastoral beauty of central Transylvania - all for less than $100/day.
Transylvania Thanksgiving Pilgrimage in September 2017: Two life-changing weeks in Transylvania for under $1,150! This is the same quality Unitarian pilgrimage that the UUPCC has been facilitating for two decades - but at 60% of the price. Beginning and ending in Kolozsvar/Cluj, this tour will visit the most significant of the Unitarian holy sites. You will spend the special Transylvanian Thanksgiving weekend with your partner congregation, making new friends and revitalizing your partnership. If you do not have a partner in Transylvania, the UUPCC will arrange for you to stay in one of the many beautiful Unitarian villages with other pilgrims. In addition to the Transylvania Pilgrimage, there is also an optional 4 day/3 night pre-trip Budapest extension, and a 6 day/5 night post trip extension to Maramures & the Painted Monasteries of Bucovia.For information on these pilgrimages, visit http://www.uupcc.org/pilgrimages/pilgrimage-opportunities or call (314) 918-2618.
Nancy Combs-Morgan, Congregational Life Consultant
We have our hybrid Adult Faith Development Renaissance Module registration up on our MidAmerica website. The times have been confirmed, with the virtual sessions on Thursdays, March 2, March 16, March 30, and April 13, from 2:00-3:30 pm ET, 1:00-2:30 pm CT/12:00-1:30 pm MT.
We are also offering a virtual option for the final face to face session on Thursday, April 27th at the DuPage UU Church in Naperville, IL. You can register for all of the sessions here: https://www.midamericauua.org/events/eventdetail/689/-/adult-faith-development-renaissance-module. As we continue to fulfill our regional pledge to offer at least 2 Renaissance Modules per year, Rev. Phil Lund and I will be co-leading a national beta test of the new UU Theology Renaissance Module.
After this Winter/Spring's beta test, we will be sure to offer this new module by late Summer or early fall.
Announcing the Living Legacy Project All Youth Civil Rights Pilgrimage, June 5th-9th, 2017! This 5-day pilgrimage will be led by LLP board members Reverend Gordon Gibson and Reggie Harris, beginning in Birmingham and continuing to Marion, Selma and Montgomery, Alabama. Jules Jaramillo, Director of Lifespan Religious Education at Countryside Church Unitarian Universalist (CCUU) in Palatine, IL has been on the planning team to help make this experience a reality, and she hopes that other MidAmerica congregations will take part.
Participants will visit historic landmarks including the16th Street Baptist Church, the Civil Rights Institute, Bethel Baptist Church, the Pettus Bridge, the Viola Liuzzo Memorial, Dexter Baptist Church Parsonage, the Rosa Parks Museum, and Unitarian Universalist congregations in the area. They will meet and give witness to the firsthand stories of men and women who participated in the Civil Rights Movement, individuals who were the exact same ages as our youth when fully engaged in the Civil Rights Movement. It is the vision of the LLP Youth Civil Rights Pilgrimage to create a connection with youth to the history of racial justice in the United States -- so that they too, can become actively engaged in the Unitarian Universalist racial justice movement of today. If you have youth that are interested in participating, please contact Jules Jaramillo at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MidAmerica Region Staff
We'd like everyone to be aware that Nancy Harden no longer works for the MidAmerica Region. If you've emailed Nancy since mid-December and not gotten a reply or if you have any administrative questions, please send them to Lisa Presley at email@example.com until further notice. We will forward them on to the appropriate staff member for response. We would appreciate your assistance in disseminating this information to anyone who might need to know.
UUA Outreach Team
The month's Brilliant Bit comes from the UUA Outreach Team, which is teaming up with you to develop the tools, graphics, and skills we need to take outreach to a new level. This is for anyone involved with communication, promotion, and planning in a congregation, as well as anyone interested in reaching wider audiences about Unitarian Universalism. Join the revolution by signing up for monthly emails with free customizable and branded graphics you can share on social media. You will also be the first to get the tips we offer through the Growing UU blog and our roundup of the best outreach tips for the month.Sign up today! https://uua874.activehosted.com/f/1317
For more Brilliant Bits from Boston, check out the latest edition of the UUA Bulletin at http://www.uua.org/communications/bulletin
See our full calendar at www.midamericauua.org/events