Prairie Fire Bulletin
December 6, 2010
In this issue:
The Prairie Fire Bulletin is a calendar- only
Director of Religious Education
Editor/ Congregational Administrator
December 12, 2010
December 15, 2010
December 19, 2010
Monday, December 20, 2010
Thursday, December 23, 2010
December 24, 2010
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
January 1, 2011
New Calendar / Tax year begins
Sunday, January 2, 2011
Sunday, December 12, 2010, 10:00 am: “In the Midst of Darkness,” presented by Rev. Jane Esbensen. These are the contemplative days of winter, where the outside world often more poignantly reflects our inner world. Come and join us for a service of poetry and of peacefulness, of music and song and silence, as we attend to the darkness and find beauty and hope.
Sunday, December 19, 2010, 10:00 am: "A Very Prairie Holiday," presented by Karen Deaton. Come enjoy Prairie's winter holiday traditions. We will celebrate the light of hope in the dark of winter with our children's candlelight Santa Lucia procession. We will also decorate our Symbol Tree. Bring a trinket, picture, or note that commemorates something significant in your life this year. Tell the congregation a little about it, and hang it on the tree. As the tree is covered in sad, funny, troublesome, joyous, and thought-provoking momentos, it becomes a symbol of the richness of our lives. Plan to stay after the service to enjoy Soup Sunday.
Friday, December 24, 2010, 4:30 pm: "Candlelight Carol Sing," coordinated by Doleta Chapru and Kate Liu. Join in singing familiar carols or come discover this lovely music from our UU roots. Sixteenth century Unitarian minister Francis David of Transylvania said, “We need not think alike to love alike.” We also need not think alike to find beauty in traditional carols and their message of joy and peace. If you plan to attend, you are welcome to email the title of your favorite carol to firstname.lastname@example.org.
News and Announcements
Prairie Fundraising Trips 2011 Schedule We will be scheduling the following trips in the coming year. You will receive an individual notice of each trip, but mark your calendars now! **26 February 2011: Frank Lloyd Wright: Organic Architecture for the 21st Century at the Milwaukee Art Museum. **18 June 2011: The Rotary Gardens in Janesville and a Sail on Lake Geneva. **13 August 2011: The Emperors’ Private Paradise: Treasures From the Forbidden City at the Milwaukee Art Museum. **8 October 2011: A scenic overnight trip to Decorah, Iowa. Possible side trips to Grant Woods art collection at the Cedar Rapids Art Museum, the Laura Ingalls Wilder home and museum in Burr Oak, or the Villa Louis in Prairie du Chien. **3 December 2011: Impressionism on Paper: Drawings from Manet to Van Gogh at the Milwaukee Art Museum. Page 2
JOURNEYING – One Minister’s Reflections by Rev. Jane Esbensen
This column feels bittersweet today as I sit here and write, for by the time you read these words, some of you will have already heard my news: I will have gotten married to a wonderful man – Mats Karlsson – who lives in Sweden, and this means that I will be moving to Sweden next summer.
news, while certainly wonderful for me, also carries with it a great
deal of sadness.
But life is an endless journey of unexpected twists and turns, and this year is one like no other. Not in a bad way, but only in good ways, and what I mean by that is that not only was my falling in love with Mats an unexpected and truly amazing thing, but at the same time as that was happening, there were several ministry opportunities coming my way. When it rains it pours. Having gone from last year with three different jobs in order to make ends meet, to this year when doors have just kept opening, it has been both wonderful and stressful, because I wanted to make the right decision for the right reasons. And since my heart was with both you and Lake Country UU, and with Mats and Sweden, it has been a long, hard, sleepless road that I’ve trod upon these past several months before I finally came to a resting place that felt right, and that continues to feel right. Thus the bittersweet feeling. It feels right to move toward the rest of my life in Sweden, and yet it also feels so very right being your minister. But oh, how lucky is that?
So now, despite my leaving next summer, my thoughts naturally turn toward how to ensure that we proceed with continued energy and great health for the remainder of the church year. My goal and my promise is to continue to be the best minister I can be for you and to continue to help you become the best congregation you can be. I believe in you and I believe in Unitarian Universalism, and I certainly believe in the future and in all things good.
THE CHALLENGE AHEAD: A message from Prairie President, Barbara Park
I got the news of Rev. Jane's marriage with such mixed feelings. I am so happy for her. Clearly her heart is in Sweden. But, as a congregation, we have a challenge facing us. So.........what to do now.
It seems to me that we have two tasks ahead of us. The first is consolidate the gains that we have made as a congregation since Rev. Jane arrived a mere three months ago, and the second is to launch another ministerial search.
walk in and feel welcomed. Whatever drew them to us, they will stay only if we can offer them a caring community, an extended family in a world where all of us can feel very disconnected, a place to grow and stretch their intellectual legs and spiritual wings. A congregation can be aided by a good minister, but it never is the minister. It is the members, the people who form the body and heart of the group. The members are the continuity.
Rev. Jane and I have already been talking about ways to help newcomers get to know us better. We will be arranging some type of get-together and personally invite new members and attendees to it. Of course, everyone is welcome, so keep your eyes out for news in this area.
We will have Rev. Jane with us until the end of June. Let us enjoy that time with her and make the best use of her varied skills while she is with us. In addition to being the terrific speaker that was promised by the search committee, she has already learned most of our names, proved to be a great organizer, and demonstrated her love and skill at pastoral care. Most of all, she has very quickly wormed her way into our hearts. We wish her the best in her new marriage. Best of all, we will now have someone to visit in Sweden!
Newsletter Input Deadlines:
Calendar items and program descriptions are due on the 1st and 15th of each month. Feature articles for the full Prairie Fire are due on the 15th of each month. Please send to Kate Liu at email@example.com or call 271-8218.