November 22, 2009
is published on the 22nd
Prairie Web Sites:
items and program descriptions
November 22, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009 - 2:00 pm – Prairie Elders meet.
November 25, 2009
November 29, 2009
Monday, November 30, 2009 - 7:00 pm - Caring Committee meets.
December 2, 2009
December 5, 2009
December 6, 2009 - 8:45 am - Choir
Thursday, December 10, 2009 - 7:00 pm - Movie group meets to view "Ugetsu."
December 13, 2009
Upcoming Sunday Programs
Sunday, November 22, 2009, "A Prairie Family Thanksgiving," presented by Rebecca Malke, Youth Religious Education Coordinator. Thanksgiving is a day to spend time with your friends and family. Here at Prairie we are family, and will celebrate by making a Thanksgiving lunch. Children will gather at the "kiddie table" to make craft centerpieces while Prairie folk come together to make pumpkin pie and casseroles. While we prepare our food we'll share stories and songs of how we celebrate Thanksgiving at home and share favorite childhood memories. At the end we'll celebrate by coming together for a potluck lunch.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009 6:30 pm - “Radical Gratitude,” featuring the Reverends Kelly Crocker, Ralph Tyksinski and Darrel Richey. We’ll explore how claiming the gift of gratitude in times of challenge can lead to transformation. This year, the multi-congregational service on Thanksgiving Eve will be hosted by James Reeb UU Congregation. Please come to their newly-remodeled building and bring the whole family! Directors of Religious Education have planned children’s activities during the service. Children will attend the beginning part until after the Message for All Ages and a song from the three-congregation Choir before heading off for stories, crafts, and games. A pot luck reception for all will follow the service. JRUUC is located at 2146 E. Johnson Street with plenty of free street parking. The joint choir will gather at 5:45 to rehearse.
Sunday, November 29, 2009, "Generosity: Living Out Our Unitarian Universalist Tradition," presented by Rev. Christopher Long. As we enter, full throttle, this season of giving, how do our Principles and Sources as Unitarian Universalists, or Friends of this Living Faith Tradition, inform the forms of giving your? Who is our neighbor in such times? Come! Let’s explore what grounds our giving in this season of plenty during such times as these! Rev. Chris Long is currently working out of the James Reeb UU Congregation launching a pilot Outreach Ministry to minority populations in the Madison area. Rev. Long recently completed the Master of Divinity (M.Div.) program at the Starr King School for the Ministry (Berkeley, CA). Over the past five years he has spoken at more than 30 different UU congregations across the country on topics that explore our Living UU Faith Tradition and how congregations may more effectively bring this message to under served and minority communities.
Sunday, December 6, 2009, 10:00 am - "Our Lady of Hope Clinic," presented by Dr. Michael Kloess. Our Lady of Hope Clinic is the area's only full-time free clinic for the uninsured. Funded primarily by benefactors—whose support qualifies them to receive their own primary care at the clinic—Our Lady of Hope Clinic aims to provide more than 3,000 free visits for those in need annually. Dr. Michael Kloess will discuss the clinic's unique and timely mission.
Religious Education News
Religious education is about having fun and learning and that goes for your youth RE coordinator. I had the privilege of going to James Reeb to meet with their new Director of Religious Education, Virginia Harrison. Virginia and I met to discuss plans for the Joint Thanksgiving service being held at Reeb this year. This will be a family friendly event. We will have a story for all ages and then crafts and dancing provided by our very own Doleta Chapru. Doleta will be playing her accordion while teaching us some fun folk dances.
November 8th Virginia came to Prairie to observe our RE program. Next month I’ll be at Reeb to see their RE program in action. I hope to get over to First Unitarian Society sometime next year to see how they run their RE morning. I hope this experience will Page 2 bring the three RE programs closer and get some useful tips on how to better run our own RE program. I’m already getting some great ideas from both Virginia and Leslie Ross from FUS. I’ve also been busy in hiring a new childcare provider. Rev. Ralph and I have been interviewing several candidates and hope to have someone in place by next week. Having more children in the nursery is a wonderful “problem” to have! I’ve really enjoyed seeing all the new beautiful faces this year and hope to see more. Earlier this month students completed work in the butterfly garden for the rest of the year. They cleaned the yard and placed all leaves in a compost pile for next spring. RE is working closely with the Green Sanctuary Committee who has been a big help in teaching our students our 7th principle: We believe in caring for our planet earth, the home we share with all living things. This weekend is our intergenerational Thanksgiving service and December 6th will be our annual Nifty Gifty event. I can’t believe it’s almost December! Nifty Gifty is always such a fun time. There are great craft projects, food, hot cocoa and lively holiday music playing throughout the morning. We already have some volunteers signed up. Being a volunteer is easy; you show our children how to make the craft, help them if needed and you get to sneak in some cookies for yourself! If you would like to help kids wrap gifts or make a craft or two please let me know. Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving! Rebecca Malke (YREC) email@example.com
Highlights of Fall Parish Meeting
Our meeting 11/15 (following a terrific pot luck) had 44 members in attendance. We discussed a number of the major issues facing Prairie this year and beyond. Written reports were emailed ahead for most of the issues discussed, though some were distributed there. Written materials from the meeting will be available on the greeting table for the next couple of weeks.
Rachel Long reviewed the progress we have made on our Strategic Plan. Many of the action items are already complete or nearly completed. We should give ourselves a giant pat on our collective back! A written handout is was distributed describing the great things we have accomplished since the Plan was written, and who is responsible for making sure we keep moving ahead.
Robyn Perrin (Chair of Long Range Planning) summarized the plans for workshops and discussions exploring the topic of ministry and ministerial arrangements, which will help us to decide whether to begin taking steps to call a settled minister. We hope to make that decision at the Spring Parish meeting, if readiness polls and an initial vote indicate we are prepared to make such a decision.
Barb Park presented recommendations from our building consultant, which we will be considering. We will look first at the "low hanging fruit" - that is, things that will improve our building aesthetics and function, and are easy and inexpensive. No big decisions will get made without involvement of the whole congregation.
Rachel Long did a presentation on governance, and the need for a small group of folks to consider what the best structure would be for Prairie right now, given our changes in staff and size. Let us know if you want to help with that vision.
Many reports were shared from committees, Board officers, and the Minister. It was announced that we are seeking a new Program Chair; we are grateful to Lynn for her service
and tremendously hard work in this capacity this fall. We are significantly increasing the Minister's role on that committee so that he can be responsible for planning and coordinating the logistical details of pulling off our Sunday programs, rather than leaving such details to the committee chair. As a result, the Program Committee will be freer to work on vision and content of our programs. Additionally, members who want to help logistical tasks involved can approach our Minister with their interest, rather than working through the Committee. The end result is less burden on the Program Committee Chair.
“Thinking About Immigration”
Elders Meet November 24th
This month, our topic will be "Stories from Our Lives." This open-ended title is sure to elicit fascinating personal tales. Expect to hear revelations ranging from high drama to hilarious comedy to stories that warm your heart. Share your own brief vignette or just come and listen.
We meet in the Nakoma Room in the Heritage Oaks building, Oakwood Village West. Parking is available in front or underneath the building. You can bring your own beverage cup and snacks to share. Call contacts
Bob Park, Humanist Union
Sunday, November 29 – Here If You Need Me – A True Story by Kate Braestrup. This is the memoir of a middle aged woman who becomes a UU minister after being widowed and serves as a chaplain in Maine’s Forest Service. (full review in October 22nd Prairie Fire.)
Sunday, December 20 – The Yiddish Policeman’s Union by Michael Chabon. is a “detective story set in an alternate history version of the present day, in Sitka, Alaska, which it depicts as a large, Yiddish-speaking metropolis.” (from Wikipedia) (full review in October 22nd Prairie Fire.)
Sunday, January 24, 2010 - The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shafer and her niece Annie Barrows. The book is written as a series of letters that tells the history of a small group of Channel Islanders during five years of Nazi occupation. The reviews point out that book lovers will love it because it is a novel in letters about books, bibliophiles, publishers, authors and readers. 243 pages. Recommended by Rose Smith.
Sunday, February 21, 2010 - Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese, a story involving a complex Indian family, takes place in Ethiopia and America. The author is a renowned physician, and a number of the characters are physicians. 541 pages, recommended by Mary Frantz.
Sunday, March 21, 2010 - Remarkable Creatures: Epic Adventures in the Search for the Origins of Species by Sean Carroll. “Tells the stories of the most dramatic expeditions and important discoveries in two centuries of natural history — from the epic journeys of pioneering naturalists to the breakthroughs making headlines today — and how they inspired and have expanded one of the greatest ideas of modern science: evolution.” 352 pages, recommended by Galen Smith.
Mary Mullen, 608.298.0843 or mmullen(at) chorus.net
We will meet in the upstairs Meeting Room immediately following the service. Pizza will be provided (donations encouraged). Child care will be available. If you can let Aileen know if you need child care, that will help us know how many children to anticipate.
This is one of the opportunities your Long Range Planning Committee is setting up as part of our year of exploring ministerial relationships as Prairie looks to its own future. Please plan to join us! Questions? Contact any committee member: Robyn Perrin, Ken Skog, Christina Klock, Aileen Nettleton, or Mary Mullen.
Aileen Nettleton, Long Range Planning Committee
Al Nettleton, Green Committee
Emergency Disaster Relief Efforts in El Salvador Hurricane Ida caused tremendous damage and flooding in El Salvador. Rosa Centeno, President of CRIPDES (the US-El Salvador sister city organization,) says, "The affected Salvadoran population is in need of food, clothing, bedding, water, hygiene kits, medicine, and shelter. We are calling out to our friends and supporters to assist us in our efforts to help the hurricane victims and work to rebuild their lives." Sister Cities is calling for financial donations to the CRIPDES Disaster Relief effort, which is supporting the affected communities in all parts of the country. Please make a donation today by sending a check to: U.S-El Salvador Sister Cities, P.O. Box 2543 Plattsburgh, NY 12901. Page 6 Email them at Sistercities@gmail.com to tell them amount of the check you are sending, and they will try to advance the money to the aid effort ahead of time. Mary Somers, Social Action Chair
Since Daylight Saving Time has ended and we are back on Central Standard Time, I can’t help but notice how daylight has shortened and how darkness comes just after 4:00 pm in the afternoon. I welcome the change because it ushers in the time of holidays, (Thanksgiving) and the many holidays of December, (Hanukkah, Winter Solstice, Christmas, Kwanzaa, etc.) May I suggest that Prairie UU Society members and friends, across the generations, especially the children, consider giving our own meanings to December nights by lighting candles to illuminate the darkness of the season and our times. So I invite you to light a candle just about any, even every, night in December. Here are some dates that you might consider observing and remembering.
Light a simple candle on World AIDS Day (Dec. 1), acknowledging that the suffering and devastating losses from this disease are borderless and ongoing.
Put on your porch lights for Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day (Dec.7). On this 68th anniversary, we need all the light we can get as we recall the horrible losses of WWII and all wars.
Let the lights glow on Bodhi Day (Dec. 8), the anniversary of the Buddha's enlightenment. May it remind us all to keep our minds open and searching and receptive to life's deepest truths.
Light a candle in honor of the birth (Dec. 10), of John Murray, (b.1741, d. Sept. 3, 1815) founder of Universalism in America. Also, in observance of ,Human Rights Day, the Fifty-First Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Sundown, Dec. 11, light your menorah candles for Hanukkah and let these candles burn bright for eight nights to remind us all of the political and religious freedoms we enjoy and the required sacrifices needed to maintain them.
Let there be lighted candles everywhere on St. Lucia's Day (Dec. 14), a festival of lights reminding us of the importance of our families and the delight of sweet things in our lives.
Carry the lighted candles on the Festival of Posadas (Dec. 16-25), an Hispanic event honoring Mary and Joseph's journey to Bethlehem. Let them remind us of the need to provide safe and secure shelter for the homeless.
Light a candle (Dec. 17) in honor of the birth Thomas Starr King, (b. 1824 d. March 4, 1864) Unitarian minister and the name given to our UU seminary in the California Bay area.
Share the light on the Feast of Tsijola (Dec. 19), a Guatemalan celebration of the messenger of the Great Sun God. Let it remind us of our dependency on the natural rhythms honored in our 7th Principle: Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.
Let Solstice lights glimmer (Dec.21). On the longest night of the year, in the depth of darkness, let the return of the sun’s light be welcomed and celebrated.
String Christmas (Dec.25) lights wherever you can. Let them shine for the beauty of each child that is born and for the peace which the world awaits.
Make sure the Kwanzaa (Dec. 26-31) candles blaze for seven days, reminding us all of the great principles of unity, self-determination, collective responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith.
May Peace and Light be part of your lives during this season of lightings!
Glad to be journeying with you,
UU Community News
Wisconsin to Speak at First Society
Liz Dannenbaum, First Unitarian Society
Unitarian Universalist Family Camp