September 22, 2010
In this issue:
Director of Religious Education
Editor/ Congregational Administrator
Prairie Web Sites:
Society Home Page
items and program descriptions are due on the 1st and 15th of each
month. Feature articles for
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Friday, September 24, 2010
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Friday, October 1, 2010
Monday, October 4, 2010
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Friday, October 15, 2010 -
Prairie Fire article deadline.
Sunday, September 26, 2010, 10:00 am: “Immigration: A Broken System,” presented by Rebecca and John Eliganti . While our national focus centers on illegal immigration, John and Rebecca Eliganti share the experience of John's legal fight to become a naturalized citizen of the United States. Prairie will learn about the grueling immigration process from an inside perspective and gain an appreciation for the difficulty that would-be citizens with pure intentions must endure. John (VeeraRaju) Eliganti was born in Andhra Pradesh, India and worked as a teacher and human resource coordinator for a nonprofit organization before marrying Rebecca in 2004 and immigrating to the U.S. in 2005. He became a naturalized citizen in July of this year and works as a nurse assistant in the UW Hospital Transplant Unit. Rebecca spent time volunteering at the nonprofit center in India and after their marriage spent nearly a year working on getting him a visa to come to the U.S.. After John's arrival she spent the next 5 years working with lawyers and the immigration center in Milwaukee to get him citizenship status. She is currently the Director of Religious Education for Prairie UU Society. They have two sons, Indiana and Kiran Eliganti.
Sunday, October 3, 2010, 10:00 am: "Association Sunday,” presented by Rachel Long. Fifty years ago the Universalists and the Unitarians merged to form the Unitarian Universalist Association. Association Sunday, celebrated in our congregation as well as many other UU congregations this October 3, honors those 50 years, renews our knowledge of our history and the UUA mission, and gives people who attend the service an easy opportunity to contribute to the future growth of Unitarian Universalism. Rachel Long is the immediate past president of Prairie and an enthusiastic supporter of the UU mission.
Sunday, October 10, 2010, 10:00am: "Not Everything Under the Sun: What Does It Mean To Be UU?” presented by Rev. Jane Esbensen. Are you searching for a liberal religious home to call your own? Do you want to attend a church where asking questions is central to the search for truth and meaning in life? Are you interested in a religion that draws from the world’s religions as well as from philosophy and literature, one that is inspired by prophetic calls to justice? Ours is a religion where we want to reach out to the world and let it know of our existence, but do not proselytize. Ours is a religion where we go to a place called ”church” but where atheists, agnostics, humanists and theists sit side by side in a common goal toward world peace. We are a denomination that is old and yet we are everchanging as is the world in which we live. We are many things and yet we are one thing. So what does it mean to be UU? Come and find out. Maybe this church will become your church.
October 17, 2010, 10:00 am – "Gay-Affirming Religious Groups:
Good News for Human Rights,"
presented by Doleta Chapru. At
one time Unitarian Universalists were among the very few religious
denominations to support gay rights. No longer. Significant
improvements in the area of gay rights have taken place even since
presenter Doleta Chapru gave a similar talk to the Humanist Society
this past March. In this presentation, she will give an overview of her
original talk to the Humanist Union, discuss subsequent advancements,
and provide information about religious groups detrimental to the
cause. Doleta Chapru is a long time Prairie member. She has gay family
members and has been following religious responses to gay rights for
many years. Page
Welcome back! Although I'm still holding on to the last threads of summer we have begun our 2010 Fall children's religious education year here at Prairie UU Society. It's going to be a fantastic year studying world religions.
Classes began Sunday, August 29th and it was a lovely, hot
summer day. We all gathered upstairs for our annual Ingathering
ceremony and then went downstairs, students and teachers, for our own
water ceremony. Then it was off to the classrooms for games and an
introduction to the school year.
WOW – Prairie's wild, outstanding women, meet once a month for breakfast potluck and conversation. Our usual meeting time is 9am on the first Saturday of the month, sometimes at Prairie and sometimes at a member's home. The October meeting is October 2nd, at Prairie, at 9 am.
Any questions or emails to add to the email group call 276 8397 or email marysomers44 (at) charter.net
Somers, WOW coordinator
Book Club Update
Sunday, October 17 – Now and at the Hour, a novel by our own former Prairie member Marty Drapkin. (Contact Erin Bosch to get a $6 copy from the author: 238-6285 or firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sunday, November 21 - River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey by Candice Millard. This one is about Roosevelt’s journey to the Amazon after his defeat for a third term. He nearly lost his life on this adventure. Said to be a “gripping account,” it also gives “marvelous amount of detail ... on the wildlife that Roosevelt and his fellow explorers encountered on their journey, as well as the cannibalistic indigenous tribe that stalked them much of the way.” The author was a writer for National Geographic. 432 pages. Published in 2006.
Sunday, December 19 – White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son is a non-fiction book by the anti-racist writer and educator Tim Wise. From Wikipedia: It is a personal account of how he became aware of white privilege and racism in American society through his experiences with his family and in his community, and how this led him to become an activist and writer against discrimination and racism The title is based on the book Black Like Me written by John Howard Griffin. 176 pages.
Sunday, January 16 - Rabbit Redux, by John Updike. Author John Updike’s papers revealed how fastidious he was about learning the background he used in his novels. This one is the sequel to Rabbit, Run. It follows Harry “Rabbit” Angstrom, working a dead-end job in Brewer, PA. His wife leaves him and his 12-year-old son. During this chaotic time when the nation is also in chaos (1969), Rabbit and his son are joined in their household by an African American Vietnam vet and a wealthy white teenager, Jill. Published 1971. 368 pages.
Prairie Elders meetings
Prairie Elders is a group of over-65 Prairie members who meet once a month (generally on the 4th Tuesday) at Oakwood, in the Nakoma room, Heritage Oaks building, Oakwood Village West, for conversation and mutual support. The next meeting will be Tuesday, September 28. Note change: At 1:30 we will begin with a “round robin” for all who wish to share personal news. Topic discussion begins at 2:00. We must vacate the room by 3:30. Call contacts below for directions, parking or a ride. If convenient, bring your own beverage cup and a few snacks. Newcomers welcome.
This month's topic: Current Immigration Issues. What forces govern immigration decisions? Who is welcome or denied entry into the United States? Who is deported or incarcerated? Who is grilled at the borders or abandoned in the dessert? How do new immigrants fare? Which immigrants or their
descendants wield power? How is immigration affected by trade agreements? How does immigration affect employment? How do employers affect immigration? What or who drives current anti-immigrant furor? What forces govern immigration decisions in the U.S. or worldwide? Bring personal stories if you wish.
Sixteen of us shared witticisms at our August discussion on humor and aging. Typically we average about a dozen of our twenty-plus participants. We have lost some dear, long-time Prairie members since we organized in 2004 but have gained at least nine people who “came of age” or joined Prairie in more recent years.
Prairie Elders aims to provide good times and mutual support for Prairie UU Members and Friends over 65 and UUs living at the facility where we meet. Our “round robin” format makes it easier to hear and gives all the option of speaking. Topics alternate between general issues and personal interests. Contacts: Donna Murdoch 238-3802, Gordon Cunningham 230-3367, Rosemary Dorney 238-4382 or Rose Smith 233-3363. Call Donna to add your name to the mailing list.
Focus for the Committee on Committees
Now for Fall Adult Education Offerings
We hope that everyone will find a choice among the full year’s programs. You can register for the second semester classes, “UU Parenting” and “UU Perspectives on Immigration” later when specific dates are set. The newly-formed Adult Education Committee developed this year’s programs based on the survey of interests conducted last spring. One surprising response was an overwhelming request for 2-session series, so we have designed classes based on your responses, plus a year-long covenant group.
We wish to especially thank Ingrid West, committee chair last year, for her leadership and resources. If you are interested in being part of the committee this year to evaluate these offerings and plan for the following year’s program, contact Barbara Park. Thanks, also, to our instructors and leaders, for committing to our adult education program: Linda Sheehy, Paula Pachciarz, Judy Skog, Rev. Jane Esbensen, Rebecca Malke-Eligenti, and the Denominational Affairs Committee.
Mail in your registration and fee for fall classes to Kate Liu, Prairie Administrator for classes or contact Linda or Paula directly if you are interested in being part of the year-long covenant group “Year to Live.” Please visit the adult ed website at http://www.uuprairie.org/re/adult_ed_brochure_final2010-11.pdf
Ponderings From Atop a Prairie…..
Here I sit in the merry month of September in my downstairs office at Prairie UU. As I look upward through my windows I see the light tan stuccoed walls, the rust colored trim, a brown roof overhang and the soft blue, white cloud sky above. The day is perfect, as these early September days often prove to be, and it’s hard to remember either the sweltering days of summer or the bitterly cold days of winter. Here we are in the midst of perfection and for a moment we can breathe easily, walk temperately, find tranquility and with that the resolve to do our best, to be our best in this world, in this neighborhood, to one another.
One thing about being new is that I come with an outsider’s perspective on things, and while these ”new eyes” that I bring are still new, I have been granted kind permission to speak my thoughts and my ideas outloud, to talk openly about my perceptions and my hopes and my dreams for how Prairie UU might become a more recognized place in the greater Madison area, and how it might even become more welcoming than it already is! And welcoming you are, to be sure – but there are even more things we can do to make this place welcoming, not only on the inside, but on the outside, too.
I do understand, of course, that change is not always easy and that a new perspective is not always welcome, so what I am hoping for are open conversations, thoughtful disagreements laced with respect, and ongoing brainstorming of other ways to do things here. And in the midst of all of that creative exchange, I want for us to remember that we all have the same end goal in mind: maintaining this wonderful place of meaning for whomsoever seeks a liberal religion to call their own.
I love being here and I am so looking forward to getting to know each and every one of you as this church year continues on. Thank you for trusting me to forward your mission and your vision in small ways and in large, for that is the true nature of ministry. And please know that although I am only here part-time in hours, I am here full-time in my heart.
UU & Wider Community News
a Guest at Your Table
Job descriptions are here: http://midvalelutheran.org/ihnjobs.htm
Contact Erin Bosch with questions.
Road Construction Update