January 22, 2011
In this issue:
The full-featured Prairie Fire
is published on the 22nd of every month.The Prairie Fire
Bulletin is a calendar-only newsletter that
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
January 23, 2011
January 25, 2011
January 27, 2011
January 29, 2011
January 30, 2011
February 1, 2011
February 6, 2011
February 7, 2011
February 13, 2011
February 15, 2011
January 23, 2011, 10:00 am: “Correctional Education"
presented by Margaret Carpenter. Prairie
member and Education Director for the Division of Adult Institutions,
Margaret Carpenter, will give an overall look at correctional education
programs for adults and youth. She will discuss literacy rates,
education focus and challenges with addressing and meeting academic
Sunday, February 6, 2011, 10:00 am: "Hinduism and How it Affirms and Promotes the 7th Principle," presented by Amit Mangar. This is the third installment in the lay series: How the world's religions use their beliefs and practices to care for our environment.
Sunday, February 13, 2011, 10:00 am: ”For the Love of God,” presented by Rev. Jane Esbensen.
Warmest greetings! With each snow fall I reflect on its beauty and then remind myself that in just a few short months my crocuses will start to bloom. Before we know it spring will be here! To tide us over RE has planned some fun family activities to keep us warm.
Our annual Wild Wintering event is being planned. Weather permitting we will go sledding at Elver Park or we'll go bowling at one of the area bowling centers. Either way, it will be a fun time for kids to get together and play and parents to get to know one another. Please stay tuned for further details which will be sent out by email, posted online and the bulletin board upstairs.
Next month we'll start Mystery Friends! This is a month long activity that links the adults upstairs to the children downstairs and is done in many UU congregations throughout the country. For all who are interested in participating please see me or RE Chair, Robin Proud. If you're new to Mystery Friends then here's an introduction:
After signing up, adults and children are secretly matched up. They start by writing letters to each other, which I distribute each Sunday. Through these letters you will ask questions about your mystery friend in hopes you will
guess who they are. During this process you get to know that person, their likes, dislikes, interests and family structure. After the last letter there will be a party where everyone's mystery friend is revealed and you can then have lunch together to further your bond. This is a wonderful way for children to get to know adults who they might not normally have a chance to meet and vice versa.
And for anyone who hasn't registered their child(ren) for RE for the spring semester please get me the forms as soon as possible. This information is necessary not only to me and the RE department but also for our administrator and the UUA.
Thank you and see you on Sunday! Rebecca Malke Director of Religious Education Prairie Unitarian Universalist Society
Book Club Presents New Selections
The Prairie Book Club meets once a month after Sunday service to share a potluck lunch and discuss a book. This is an open book club; and you do not need to have finished the book to attend. Below is a list of upcoming books the group will be reading. For more information, contact Mary Mullen, mmullen (at) chorus.net or 298-0843.
February 13 – The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by
Rebecca Skloot. This is a “Go Big Read” UW common read
Please join us for a two-part parenting group, using the text Tending the Flame by Michelle Richards, which "invites parents not just to do Unitarian Universalist parenting, but to be Unitarian Universalist parents. More than a recipe book of activities, this is an invitation to a style of parenting that is values-based and values-sharing. In exploring ways in which parents can help Unitarian Universalism guide children in their development, we will also find ways in which Unitarian Universalism deepens for parents themselves, as well." We will be meeting two Saturdays in March: March 12th and March 26th, from 10am-noon. This class is being co-facilitated by our DRE Rebecca Malke, and Rev. Jane
Esbensen. Please register no later than February 15th, using the form found on Prairie's website. We look forward to seeing you!
The Adult Education committee is pleased to offer a class around the topic of Immigration. Immigration has been selected as a “Current Study/Action Item” for all UU congregations from 2010-2014 resulting in a Statement of Conscience. This facilitated two-session class will start to look at Immigration using the materials provided by the UUA. The class will be offered Saturday April 30th and Saturday May 14th from 10AM to Noon at the Prairie Meeting House. During the first session, we will discuss the causes of immigration. In the second class, we will continue to discuss the causes of immigration and transition to possible solutions/outcomes we as a caring community may want to embrace. Registration for this class will be due by March 30.
For registration forms, please visit the Prairie website at http://www.uuprairie.org/re/adult_ed_brochure_final2010-11.pdf. Please note that some of the dates for the classes may have changed from what was listed in the brochure – the dates listed here in the Prairie Fire are the most accurate.
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, January 25th. 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: Lessons from the Great Depression, 1929-1941. Come share your knowledge and experiences and ponder what lessons are relevant today, from individual coping mechanisms to successful governmental actions. In 1932 GHP “growth” was minus 13.4. Unemployment maxed at 24.9% in 1933.
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.
Doleta Chapru Prairie Elders Coordinator WOW News
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. Our next meeting is Saturday, February 4th, at 9am at Prairie. This is an open group, all women are welcome – you do not need to be a member of Prairie to attend.
Kathy Converse, Winter WOW coordinator
Prairie Fund Raising 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. **This trip is actively accepting participants – contact Pat right away if you are interested in attending! **18 June 2011: The Rotary Gardens in Janesville and a luncheon boat trip 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. Contact Pat Watkins with any questions about the trips or to get on her mailing list. Pat Watkins pwatkins (at) wisc.edu, 233-5795 Spanish Speaker's Potluck Prairie has a very long-running Spanish Speaker's group that meets once a month to converse in Spanish and have potluck dinner. The group will be meeting next on Monday, February 21st at 6:30pm at the home of Amy Schulz, 2304 S. Syene Rd. Please call Amy at 273-2639 for directions, or Rosemary Dorney at 238-4382 for more information about the group or to coordinate a ride.
Humanist Union to Discuss Hitchens - Blair Debate
The Humanist Union's monthly meeting for February will be on Sunday Feb. 6th. We will discuss the recent Christopher Hitchens v Tony Blair debate in Toronto on the topic "Be it resolved, religion is a force for good in the world". The discussion, from 12:30 to 1:30 pm, will be led by Ken Haydock, Frank Power and Doleta Chapru. A transcript of all but the concluding remarks in the debate is available online at http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/the-staggers/2010/11/christopher-hitchens-tony-blair and videos of the debate can be seen on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PfCbjYsRbT8&feature=related. Everyone interested in the debate topic is encouraged to attend.
As usual we will start with a potluck lunch at 11:45 am.
Ponderings from atop a Prairie...
Winter’s white chill blankets the fields and has caught the river unawares this year, because of its sudden arrival. For this, skaters and skiers are grateful. The ground is flat and hard and the ice, smooth and unruffled. How effortless to push one’s self forward, the shushing of the skis, the hard clean-edged scrape of the skaters blades, the cold wind, the bright blue sky. Freedom. Fresh air. Empty mind except for the distant horizon marking the end of the world, where time doesn’t exist, where we can just be. To that horizon we are focused. To the end of the world and back again.
Here in the midwest, we live in a climate of distinct and ever-changing seasons, and although there are more differences of opinion regarding winter (liking it or disliking it) than with the other three seasons, once here, there is something renewing and refreshing about winter and its bright white and cold blue. It’s a quieter season than the others. It gives us more time to just be, instead of doing. Time to think, to read, to enjoy one another’s company over hot soup and hot bread and hot toddies. Time to experience the great joy of difference between outside and inside, to notice the physical feeling of shedding clothing once inside, or bundling up in order to go outside. It’s a season that in its sparseness makes everything stand out more, makes us notice not only what is there, but what isn’t. And this noticing is the reason so many of us can experience a sort of melancholy this time of year. The January blues, they are called, when the rush of the holidays is over (both a blessing and an emptiness). But it is also a time when we can experience solace. A time of year where we are compelled to ”resolve” to ”begin anew” -- in a new year, a new beginning, a new promise of better things to come.
The sharp, white light of winter, the crisp blue cold of the air, all of this refreshes and cleanses us. Breathe in, breathe out, and be reminded of who you are, what you are capable of, and what the world needs you for.
January is a month of hope and of promise, of preparation for a better life, for ourselves and for others – friends and strangers alike; a month to take a deep look into ourselves, to find the light within that accompanies us wherever we go, and to hold it aloft, for ourselves and for others, as a reminder of what is possible - for everything is possible. We just need to push ourselves toward that horizon…..
Please extend a warm welcome to Penny Eiler and Bill Parmenter, who signed the book earlier this month. Their contact information is already listed in the directory.
Current Study/Action Issues for Social Justice at the UUA
The UUA has two active study/action areas for congregations to consider as a focus for their programming and social justice actions in the community. The “Current Study/Action Issues” are typically abbreviated as “CSAI.” There is a wealth of information at the UUA website for both of these topics. For 2008 – 2012 the topic is Ethical Eating, and for 2010 – 2014 the topic is Immigration.
You may recall several Prairie programs last year around Ethical Eating, including a study of Michael Pollan’s ‘The Omnivore’s Dilemma’. This year, the Adult Education Committee is planning to offer a two-class series on the topic of Immigration. The classes will be in late April/early May and be based on the information the UUA has provided. The information in its entirety can be found at: http://www.uua.org/socialjustice/issuesprocess/currentissues/152647.shtml
The process of CSAI is multi-year. To give you a feel for what will happen on the topic of Immigration, here are the key dates planned for this CSAI. Ethical Eating is following the same process, but is two years more advanced down this timeline.
hope this information helps you understand the CSAI process.