December 22, 2010
In this issue:
The full-featured Prairie Fire
is published on the 22nd of every month.The Prairie Fire Bulletin
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 the full Prairie
are due on the 15th of each month. Please send to Kate Liu at
Thursday, December 23, 2010
December 24, 2010
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
January 1, 2011
Sunday, January 2, 2011
Sunday, January 9, 2011
Saturday, January 15, 2011
Sunday, January 16, 2011
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
December 26, 2010, 10:00 am:
No formal service today at Prairie; but come in for an informal potluck
and sharing of holiday stories.
Sunday, January 2, 2011, 10:00 am – "Kwanzaa as an Everyday Occasion," presented by Milele Chikese Anana.
Sunday, January 9, 2011, 10:00 am TBA.
Sunday, January 16, 2011, 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. (This service re-scheduled from December, when we were snowed out.)
Brrrr...it sure is cold outside! But inside we are warmed by the light of many candles and the hustle and bustle of RE. Even though the year is about to come to a close you wouldn't know it downstairs.
On November 21st our RE chair, Robin Proud, and her students in the 4-6th grade class presented Stone Soup for the Sunday service. The play was a retelling of a famous story with a UU twist. Robin made sure everyone who wanted a part had one. She even created new characters, writing the lines herself to insure everyone was involved. Thank you Robin!
Many thanks to all the talented young actors and actresses who worked so hard that whole month: Loren, Katherine and Aaron, Jessie, Rachel and James, and Meghan. I would also like to thank Katie Peterson for her lovely singing at the start of the service. I'd also like to thank those who helped behind the scenes to make the production a success: Rick Ruecking, Anne Urbanski and our newest childcare provider, Ifrah Mohamed.
The following Sunday I took the middle and high school class, along with their teacher Dan Proud and a parent on a field trip to Holy Wisdom Monastery as part of their studies on Christianity. We attended service, had a Q&A session with Sister Lynn and a tour of their green building. We learned a lot about Benedictine values and how they coincide with our own UU values and noticed similarities in their worship service.
Next month students in the middle and high school class will begin Hinduism with a tour at a Hindu temple on Fish Hatchery Road. If you would like to join us please let me know.
Due to the unfortunate weather and cancellation of Sunday service on the 12th we had to cancel Nifty Gifty. Fortunately we were able to reschedule this annual Prairie tradition for the following weekend. I was happy to see such a huge turnout! I saw some faces I hadn't seen in a long time and was just delighted! Many thanks to the Converse family- Kathy, who as usual helped with the planning and creation of many of the crafts, and Randy and Tara for helping out that morning. And many thanks to all of our volunteers: Carl and Toby Wacker, Paula Pachciarz, Patty Stockdale, Robin Proud, Kim Truog and Heidi and James Hughes. I'd also like to thank our childcare providers Xena Anderson and Ifrah for helping our littlest UU's in making crafts for their parents.
Next year's RE calendar will be out this week. January 2nd is the first day of the second semester with our Wild Wintering family event scheduled for Saturday, January 29th. I'm thinking sledding and hot cocoa or if the weather is bad a night of family bowling.
As always, see you on Sunday!
Notes – the end is nigh!
for New Adult Education Offerings!
Aileen Nettleton, Acting Chair of Adult Education
Prairie Elders meeting
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, December 28th. At 1:30 we begin with a “round robin” for all who wish to share personal news. Topic discussion from 2:00 to 3:20. 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: Childhood Memories of Trains and Other Travel Modes. This should generate fascinating tales of locomotives, trolleys, ferries, busses, subways, trucks, cars with no defrosters, perhaps even ship, wagon or dogsled. Share a story of any period from toddlerhood through high school 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.
Prairie Fundraising Trips 2011
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. In December we tried to meet on the 4th , but bad weather caused us to have a very small turnout and the making of gift baskets was postponed to the January meeting. Our January meeting will be on Saturday the 8th, at 9am at Prairie. February we will return to the first Sunday of the month – February 5th.
the making of the baskets in January, WOW folks are asked to bring
small goodies to stock the baskets (lotions, soaps, food, etc) as
well as actual baskets, tissue, and ribbons for decorating.
Kathy Converse, Winter WOW coordinator
The Prairie Book Club meets monthly, usually the 3rd Sunday of the month after the service at Prairie, at about 11:45 a.m. Bring potluck food to share. This is an open book club. You may come whether or not you have read the book. For more information, contact Mary Mullen, 608.298.0843 or mmullen(at) chorus.net.
Sunday, January 16 - Rabbit Redux, by John Updike. 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 in 1971.
Prairie Burglary from October 2009 Resolved
In late October of 2009, someone broke a basement window in what is now the nursery and entered the building, taking a television, a DVD player, and a small amount of petty cash from the building. In the course of the burglary, the responsible party left behind a few drops of blood, having scratched his knuckles while trying to get into the locked cabinet in the admin office. From this tiny amount of blood, the burglar was identified – he was a “repeat offender” who targeted churches. He was ecumenical in his house of worship burglaries, however, having hit a Unitarian Universalist church, a Jewish Synagogue, and a Protestant church, too.
As your administrator (and the one who called in the burglary,) I was subpoenaed to appear at his preliminary trial in late spring 2010. He waived his right to this trial as I was on my way in to the courthouse, so I wasn't needed for the trial, but I chose to stay for a while to talk with the DA and get some additional information to share with you. I also went up to the courtroom to see him appear to waive his rights. He is not a small man, and I am a little surprised that he was able to get into Prairie by the window he chose.
was an offer on the table from the state at that time to cap his
prison time at 7 years - rolling all of his current offenses into one
package. The final disposition of the case on June 16th,
2010, was for him to serve 2 years in prison and 3 years on extended
If you have any questions about the burglary, please feel free to ask me.
Kate Liu, Prairie Administrator
Rev. Jane Esbensen marries in Sweden, December 6th!
“Since I was stranded in Sweden, unexpectedly, I had no special clothes for the occasion, but that didn't matter either! Mats was there. Two of Mats' (and now my!) good friends (Sig-Britt and Kurt) were there as witnesses. And the officiant was there. What more could a person ask for?
“An official wedding party will be held on Dec. 27th for our friends in Sweden who couldn't make this unplanned wedding. And then a very lovely wedding party will be held in the summer for Mats' and my children, and our friends, from both the States and Sweden ----- so if you're free in August, and want to make the trip to Sweden, you are very welcome to be there, too!”
Search Committee forming
Prairie Board Meeting Summaries
Highlights from October 7, 2010--The Board agreed that the Humanist Union is a Prairie organization. This has been debated in the past and is now clarified. --Work continues on the new Prairie sign, including discussions with the city on placement. --Our first Soup Sunday was a success and we will continue to offer these once a month, sponsorship to rotate amongst Prairie committees. --The board discussed having representation via a liaison for committees not on the Board (such as the Caring Committee). Decisions on this will expected to be informed by the work on Governance. --The board agreed that the new announcement procedure may need a few tweaks but is working well to keep the focus on the program, so will be continued. --Parish meeting will be on Nov 14th. --Due to some generous increases from pledgers, we are now meeting our budget
from November 4, 2010
--Update on sign proposal. The board approved making an appeal to the city in support of a double-sided sign for the corner of our property.
--Update on By-laws change. An open meeting for all interested Prairie folks to discuss by-law changes will be scheduled soon - targeting the first week of Dec.
--Review new announcement procedure. Is this working? The board generally agreed that the new announcement procedure is working well. The board agreed that any fundraiser sales items should not be in the announcements, but can be posted on the bulletin board in the back of the meeting room.
--Publicity. Jane was interviewed today by the Isthmus (Bill Leuders) who will also plan to attend the November 14th service. Barb will ask Rebecca to be the lead on publicity for Prairie since Rebecca has done excellent work to gain Prairie more publicity and has a gift for good ideas and follow up.
--Consultant's Report. Deferred until a later time. The board did request that the consultant ball-park a general figure for an addition. This will be good information to have as Prairie contemplates future plans.
– Update about the Thanksgiving Service. Jane has been excluded from the ministerial planning for the Madison joint Unitarian Thanksgiving service to be held at FUS. This is very disappointing and the board was unanimous in support for Jane. We feel we should be a role model and turn out in force in support of ALL members of the Unitarian community. Barb is planning to call Mr. Morales regarding the disappointing lack of inclusion. This is stemming from the fact that Jane Esbensen is not Fellowshipped.
from December 6, 2010
--We continue to have problems with the sound system at Prairie and are actively working to resolve the issues.
--For the current budget year, payment to outside speakers can be determined by the Program Committee as long as they stay within their budget. The Program Committee may consider adjusting payments as part of the 2011/2012 budget.
--Options for the Retreat continue with Kate Liu at the helm. Pine Lake said that a one night stay would be no problem as long as we schedule in a timely fashion; Bethel Horizons will be setting their spring schedule for 2012 soon, so that may be an option. Stay tuned.
--Prairie will continue to be listed in the Yellow Pages and with a few changes, there is no charge for this listing.
--Dorothy Krause will be convening a meeting after the holidays to talk about updates/improvement ideas for Prairie’s website. All are welcome.
--Rebecca will look into advertising the Sunday program in the Isthmus.
--The Board highlights will be published on Prairie’s website.
--The Committee on Committees is actively working on matching Prairie’s talent to open opportunities.
--RE is looking for a responsible child care provider on Sunday mornings. This is a paid position. Please see Robin Proud or Rebecca for more information.
UUSC has a 2-star rating on Charity Navigator. Christina will be
looking into what the UUSC has to say on this matter and report back
to the board.
We have had several updates and additions to our directory since the new one came out in October. Our Admin has prepared a supplement for you which went out on Prairie News a few days ago. If you didn't get one and need it, please call Kate (271-8218) or email her (firstname.lastname@example.org) and ask. Also, if you get a paper copy of the directory and need a paper copy of the update, please call her and she'll send you one.
Did you know that you can bury wood under ground to improve the water holding capacity and fertility of the soil? It's called hugelkultur. Here is one link of many I found: www.richsoil.com/hugelkultur/. You can put the wood on top of the soil, or dig a trench to bury it. If you want to grow plants on it the same year, add compost because the decomposing wood will suck nitrogen out of the soil. Instead, the compost will feed it and your plants should do fine. Imagine doing this with all the sticks that fall on your yard over the course of a year. That's a lot of carbon sequestration! I'm saving all our sticks for next spring. Not quite sure where I will bury them yet...
And for the winter... You can get good traction when your car is stuck in the snow by putting a piece of carpet under each wheel. Carpet about the size of the samples you find in carpet stores works well, and it's easy to store in the trunk – and it sure beats having the bucket of sand tip over in your trunk. Coyle Carpet has a semi parked at the side of the building to hold the carpet that they take from people's homes. They send it out to be recycled. You can get a strip from the semi for free (bring your own sharp knife).