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Prairie Fire

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The Prairie Fire is published by Prairie Unitarian Universalist Society on the 6th and 21st of every month. View past issues at www.uuprairie.org/ newsletter/

Input Deadlines:
Calendar items, announcements, and program descriptions are due on the 1st and 15th of each month. Please send to Dan Klock at admin@uuprairie.org or call 271-8218.

January 3, 2012

Tuesday, January 3, 2012
1:30 Prairie Elders meets. Topic: Wisconsin water access, quality and ownership.

Saturday, January 7, 2012
5:00 Volunteer opportunity at the men's shelter breakfast
9:00 Prairie WOW brunch at the Meeting House

Sunday, January 8, 2012
8:45 Choir rehearsal
10:00 Service – “12 Steps to a Compassionate Life,” presented by Phyllis Long.
11:30 Congregational By-laws meeting

Monday, January 9, 2012
7:00 Prairie Board meets

Sunday, January 15, 2012
8:45 Choir rehearsal
10:00 Service
11:45 11:45 Humanist Union meets. Potluck at 11:45, presentation at 12:30. Topic: "James Dobson: why his group Focus on the Family endangers America," by Susan Hagstrom.
Sunday, January 22, 2012
8:45 Choir rehearsal
10:00 Service
11:15 Soup Sunday
11:45 Congregational By-laws meeting

Monday, January 23, 2012
6:30 Spanish Speakers Potluck at the home of Ray Nashold.

Sunday, January 29, 2012
8:45 Choir rehearsal
10:00 Service

Monday, January 30, 2012
7:00 Program Committee meets

Sunday, February 5, 2012
8:45 Choir rehearsal
10:00 Service
11:45 Humanist Union meets

Sunday, February 12, 2012
8:45 Choir rehearsal
10:00 Service

Sunday, February 19, 2012
8:45  Choir rehearsal
10:00  Service
11:15  Soup Sunday
11:45  Special Parish Meeting

Upcoming Programs

Sunday, January 8, 2012, 10:00 a.m.
“Karen Armstrong's 12 Steps to a Compassionate Life,” presented by Phyllis Long.

Sunday, January 15, 2011  "Childhood and Adolescent Bullying and the Players -- Bullies, Victims and Bystanders"

Sunday, January 22, 2011, 10:00 a.m. Time to Share: A Fourth Part in Death and Dying Presentations.

Contact Us:
Barbara Park

Director of Religious Education
Rebecca Malke-Eliganti

Editor/Administrative Assistant
Dan Klock
Office hours: M – F
10:00 to 1:00

Prairie Websites:
Home Page

News Group http://groups.yahoo. com/group/prairie news/

http://groups.yahoo. com/group/prairie views/

Social Action http://socialaction. madisonwi.us

Humanist Union http://humanist. madisonwi.us

News & Announcements
Prairie WOW (Women of Wonder) will get together for our monthly brunch on Saturday, January 6, from 9 to 11 a.m. (or noon if we're very chatty). Come to the meeting house and bring breakfast/brunch food, juice etc. to pass. This month's theme is "hopes for the new year". All women affiliated with Prairie UU Society (members, friends, occasional guests) are welcome to attend and get to know each other better.

January 7 is the first Saturday of the new year for the men's shelter breakfast. If you are interested in volunteering at that time or on any of the upcoming dates let Paula Pachciarz know. All of the breakfasts are on the Saturday after the first Friday of the month. You would arrive at the men's shelter at 5:00 and leave around 7:00.

Please contact Paula if you would like to volunteer or if you have questions.
Here are the upcoming dates.

Sat., Jan. 7
Sat., Feb. 4
Sat., Mar. 3
Sat., Apr. 7

When Midvale Lutheran hosts homeless families in the Interfaith Hospitality Network, Prairie's task as a "buddy" church is to provide some volunteers. The next time Midvale Lutheran is hosting is the week beginning January 15. Please consider helping Madison area homeless families in this way. You can call Erin Bosch for more information about IHN (238-6285), or... you can go to this link for an explanation of the volunteer jobs: http://midvalelutheran.org/ihnjobs.htm... and you can sign up to help at this link: http://nordengs.com/ihn/group.asp?eg=20&u=true.

Soup Sunday schedule! Stay after the service on the following Sundays to enjoy good food and excellent conversation: Jan.22, Feb. 19, March 25, April 8 (Easter Brunch), May 13, and June 3 (Spring Parish Meeting).

The next Spanish Speakers Potluck will be held on Monday, January 23 at the home of Ray Nashold, 5410 Ester Beach Rd. Bring food if you can, but all are welcome. Please call Ray at 608-222-3021 for directions, or Rosemary Dorney at 608-238-4382 if you need a ride.

President's Corner

Prairie Folks,
As you know, we have been working on ideas for reorganizing the Prairie Board, with the view of improving our governance.  If you need a copy of the draft bylaws, contact Dan Klock. Please read them carefully.  They describe a new way of structuring our governance which, we hope, will be leaner and more efficient.

In summary, the proposed new structure includes a Board made up of President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer plus two at-large members.  All of those positions are elected by the membership for two years, three one year and three the next.  Note that the Committee-on-committees is called a Nominating Committee and is changed to a four person committee, each elected by the membership for 2 year terms, two members elected on alternating years. We found that almost all of the Bylaws are affected, so we will be proposing a complete replacement of the document. The By-laws are written more simply than in the past.  They will need to be fleshed out with detailed Policies and Procedures.

Here is what I am asking of you:
1.  Read the draft carefully.
2.  If you see places where the language could have been clearer and you have an idea how to fix it, come to one or both of the meetings set up for "word smithing". 
These will be held at Prairie after the morning program on January 8th and January 22nd.  (There will also be a Soup Sunday on Jan 22nd to encourage you to stay!)  Our goal is to do all of the fine tuning of language during these two meetings.  If you have ideas but can not attend either of these meetings, give your input to Al Nettleton, me, or anyone on the Board.
Come to the Parish Meeting on February 19th.  The final version of the By-laws will be voted on at that time.
4.  Be prepared to become a member of one of several teams which will be formed to write up the Policies and Procedures for different areas.  We hope to tap people to write these who have the detailed knowledge of how things actually work.  You might also want to be on a team if you want to find out how some aspect of Prairie works.

There is one other critical issue to think about.  A few years ago we changed our fiscal year to coincide with the UUA - that is July 1 to June 30th.  This is proving awkward to say the least as we still need to let everyone know what they have contributed for IRS purposes in January and it means reporting contributions from parts of two of our fiscal years.  (You get the idea. It is a lot more paper work.)  Many members also find this very confusing.  We have written the draft by-laws to accommodate our current system. However, if people feel that we should change back to a Jan 1 to Dec 31st fiscal year, now would be the logical time to do it and we should be changing the by-laws to reflect that. SO........  If you have an opinion on this, one way or the other, let someone on the Board know or bring your opinion to one of the above meetings.  If it feels that there is a ground swell to revert back to the Jan 1 to Dec 31st fiscal year, we will include that as a separate item during the Feb 19th meeting and vote on it before we vote on the by-laws.

I want to thank the many people who have worked hard to get these proposed by-laws to this point.  Thanks to everyone who came to the three meetings to discuss the content.  The drafters leaned heavily on those discussions.  The drafters were mainly Al Nettleton, Nick Abts, Rachel Long and myself.  Then the Prairie Board went over that initial draft with a fine tooth comb and made many changes.  They did a wonderful job of hanging in there way past our usual quitting time in order to modify the proposal. We also asked Ken Haydock to review the language of the draft and he gave us several helpful hints in style. The draft you now have in hand now is the result of all of that hard work.

I hope to see you all at one of the scheduled meetings and especially at the
Parish Meeting on Feb 19th. Please, please, please.....If you have ideas for changes in wording, be sure that they are brought forward during the January discussions.  Our goal is to have all of the fine tuning done prior to the Parish meeting so we can just discuss and vote on the fiscal year issue and the by-laws without any minor changes being needed.

Thank you for your patience and participation.

Barbara Park
President, Prairie UU Society