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MidAmerica Messenger

Volume 5 Issue 8     |     March 2018

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

All Are Called: GA 2018
Annual Meeting Reminder
Faithify at GA
Camp UniStar
Wilkinson Fund
Buddhist Fellowship Retreat

Brilliant Bits from Boston
Contact Us

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Rev Phil Lund Dec 2016Phil Lund, Congregational Life Consultant

This month's issue of the MidAmerica Messenger has some important information about Regional and General Assembly that you won't want to the fact that there is no Regional Assembly this year because General Assembly is in Kansas City, Missouri! There's also information on how to be compensated for your registration costs by being part of the Faithify Street Team. Other opportunities include RECLAIM: A BLUU Revival, a day-long retreat for UU Buddhists, and Camp UniStar.

In Faith,


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All Are Called: GA 2018

uua ga2018Registration is now open for General Assembly 2018, June 20-24, in Kansas City, Missouri! This year's theme is "All Are Called." Grounded in a deep belief that we are all prophets, Unitarian Universalists ask, "How can we faithfully meet the demands of our time?" The call to witness and act for justice in our society and in the world is clear. So, too, is the call to examine our structures and practices, dismantling and transforming those which fail to recognize the full humanity of all people and to honor the interdependent web of life. Join us in Kansas City as we dive deeply into questions of mission for our Unitarian Universalist Association, for our congregations and communities, and for each of us as individuals.

For complete information on GA 2018, visit 

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MidAmerica Annual Business Meeting Reminder

Please make sure to mark your calendars for MidAmerica's Annual Meeting--it will happen on Wednesday, June 20th, at 4:30 pm Central Time at the Kansas City Convention Center, exact location to be confirmed. You will remember that we decided to move our business meeting until then, rather than ask you to attend both our in-person Regional Assembly and General Assembly within just a few weeks of each other.

We also want to remind you that congregations can put actions on our agenda--the deadline for submissions is April 3rd, and you can find the details about what and how to submit on our website: Process for Business Submitted by Congregational Action

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Faithify at GA

Are you coming to UUAGA? Do you love talking to people about FAITHIFY, the crowdfunding site where passionate people INSPIRE, UNITE, and FUND Unitarian Universalist ministries? Get compensated for General Assembly registration costs while you spread the good news about crowdfunding Unitarian Universalism!

FAITHIFY's purpose is to:

Inspire a culture of innovation that extends the reach of UU valuesLower the walls between existing congregationsIgnite ministries in new venues, formats, and communitiesBridge geographic and generational borders using 21st century technologiesHelp passionate individuals invest directly in ministries that excite themHelp ministry innovators reach a passionate public.

Applications due March 15th. Visit for more information.

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BLUU Revival

Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism will host RECLAIM: A BLUU Revival in Kansas City, Missouri the weekend of April 27 - 29, 2018 at All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church. BLUU seeks to bring a new ministerial presence to the region for Black UU's and UU-adjacent folks, local Black organizers, and the communities they hold dear. Revival is a reenergizing of the body, mind, and community, a much needed respite for Black Folks across faith traditions and spiritual journeys. Gathering in this Explicitly Black Sacred Space, attendees will seek to reclaim our faith, our community, and our bodily autonomy. Highlights of the Revival include a Community Sing by Dr. Ysaye Barnwell, formerly of Sweet Honey in the Rock, and guest preaching from Bishop Yvette A. Flunder, renowned preacher, vocalist, and HIV/AIDS activist who is on the Board of Trustees of the Starr King School for the Ministry, and Rev. Osagyefo Sekou, St. Louis organizer, public theologian, and entertainer. For Black folks wishing to experience this extraordinary moment in Black UU Community registration is free and now open at

BLUU is grateful for the financial support of the MidAmerica Region, without which we wouldn't be able to hold the Revival. This is a moment to center Blackness in the spiritual grounding of our Unitarian Universalism. RECLAIM, as a Black sacred space, invites our White and non-Black siblings in faith to support this effort by center blackness in their spiritual practice by contributing financially to help cover an attendee's travel and housing expenses. This can be done directly by sponsoring a Black UU or organizer in your community to attend or indirectly through the BLUU website:  MidAmerica congregations are encouraged to consider sponsoring an attendee in lieu of the regular expense of Regional Assembly, which will take place at General Assembly this year in Kansas City, Missouri.

This is a harrowing time in the world, for Black UUs and Black people globally and in the United States, particularly under this current federal regime-it's an even more difficult time. As a faith, we can come together by supporting the historically under-resourced groups in our denomination.

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UU Church of Tippecanoe County Responds to Racist and Homophobic Vandalism

On January 21 members, visitors, clergy, and staff of the UU Church of Tippecanoe County (West Lafayette, IN) arrived to find a fence outside their building papered by racist and homophobic banners with hallmarks of white supremacists. The next Wednesday a vigil was hosted at the congregation with 600 members of the community in attendance including the Mayor, city council members, and other clergy, as well as the community choir. Reverend Charlie Davis notes, "The town showed up in force and the media was very positive. It couldn't have gone better." On January 28 the congregation reclaimed their fence in a special service including adults and children. Within the Region, we wish you all the best UU Tippecanoe and side with you in love.

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Camp UniStar is a camp for Unitarian Universalist individuals and families and other like-minded people, nestled in the Chippewa National Forest on Star Island in northern Minnesota. The lake encourages water activities; the forest trails attract hikers; sunrises and sunsets invite meditation.

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Each year we welcome campers of all ages for a week-long stay, with activities for children and youth, and a daily program for adults on topics such as spirituality, science, sailing, social justice, self-reflection, yoga, dance, music or crafts.  

The rustic facilities include a Lodge, five cabins, and a tenting area with five platforms. Each cabin is equipped with a simple kitchen, family sleeping rooms, common areas, and a shared bathroom with a tub. Shower houses are also available. There is capacity for 70 campers per week. Wholesome, delicious meals are provided three times a day in the Dining Hall, which is also used for other gatherings such as a weekly dance and talent show.

The vision for Camp UniStar is as clear as the water of beautiful Cass Lake; fresh as the air you breath boating to this remote island; bright as the stars you see at night; and heartfelt as the memories you will, or already have, of this magical place.

For more information and registration instructions, please visit:

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Wilkinson Fund Awarded to the UU Fellowship of La Crosse, WI


Congratulations to the UU Fellowship of La Crosse, Wisconsin! They received the Wilkinson Fund Grant, which includes $12,000 over the next three years. The grant, established by Jean R. and Robert E. Wilkinson, is given to a UU congregation experimenting with professional UU ministry and working towards full time ministry. Reverend Taves (recently hired for part time ministry) and the La Crosse, WI congregation were recognized for their intentional collaboration, communication, and innovation. Board President Ingrid Iverson explains, "Moving toward professional ministry for a congregation that has been a lay led Fellowship for over 50 years is a major step. Having the UUA show support for us, by granting us the Wilkinson fund, made us proud. We feel honored to be chosen. This support provided impetus to the congregation to increase our pledges in the coming year to support ministry." Congratulations to the UU Fellowship of La Crosse and Reverend Taves!

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MidAmerica Unitarian Universalist Buddhist Fellowship (UUBF) Daylong Retreat, May 2018

By Rev. Rudra Dundzila

Mark your calendars so you can attend the first ever one-day MidAmerica Unitarian Universalist Buddhist Fellowship retreat, May 5, 2018, 9-5, at Lake County Unitarian Universalist Church in Heartland, Wisconsin (half hour west of Milwaukee).

Rev. Zenshin Florence Caplow will be the keynote speaker. Florence is the minister at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Urbana Champaign, Illinois and a Soto Zen priest and teacher in the Shunryu Suzuki Roshi lineage. She has been practicing vipassana and Zen for thirty years, is on the Board of the UU Buddhist Fellowship, and is the co-author of The Hidden Lamp: Stories from Twenty-Five Centuries of Awakened Women.

Join us for a day of camaraderie, meditation, dharma talks and discussion with other Unitarian Universalists interested in meditation, mindfulness and/or Buddhism. Home stays will be available. For further information and to be added to the email list contact Terry Kinsey at

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Brilliant Bits from Boston - The Legacy Challenge

Would your congregation like FREE money? The UUA has begun the Wake Now our Vision Collaborative Campaign to raise money for the UUA, the UU Service Committee (UUSC), two UU seminaries (Meadville Lombard and Starr King), the UU Ministers Association (UUMA), and the Church of the Larger Fellowship (CLF). All monies donated will receive a 10% match by the UU Congregation at Shelter Rock. But wait, there's more!!

In order to encourage new legacy gifts, the same 10% match will be given when members offer legacy gifts through a will, trust, retirement account, or life insurance policy to their own congregation! Yes, if you include your congregation in your estate planning from January 1, 2017-June 30, 2020, there will be a 10% matching gift to your congregation (up to $10,000 per donor). This is free money.

For FAQ, pledge forms, a brochure, or specific questions, go to the website or contact Laura Randall, Legacy Campaign Director, at (617) 948-6511 or  And keep an eye on the MidAmerica newsletter and website for upcoming webinars on the topic.

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We are seeking to covenant with each other to find new ways of partnering and standing together on the side of love for the flourishing of our world, our communities, our congregations and our members.