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Eric Huffer, MidAmerica Region Board President

eric huffer 2013Another General Assembly has come and gone, and like those before it, we were able to experience the joy of gathering with thousands of our fellow Unitarian Universalists, catch up with old friends, and get energized for the work ahead of us. Much of that work was laid out for us by our interim Co-Presidents, who shared with us their thoughts on their short terms, their hopes of where we might go, and the work we must engage in to address a culture of white supremacy.

For the first time in the history of our denomination, we elected a female president of the UUA, Rev. Susan Frederick Gray. I look forward to seeing where her leadership and vision will help us go.As always at General Assembly, we held a MidAmerica Region Ingathering the first day, before the opening session. GA attendees from MidAmerica heard reports from members of the board, including information about the board’s new mission statement, “Creating synergy across the MidAmerica Region through stewardship, storytelling, and social justice engagement.” We then broke into small groups to talk about the board’s mission, and how the attendees think the board might best fulfill this mission. The groups then regathered and shared their thoughts with the board members present. Here are some of the highlights of what we heard:

  • We in the Region don’t know our own stories. Congregations are looking for suggestions of what can be done to share stories more broadly.
  • There needs to be more clarity regarding the roles of the board and Regional staff.
  • Could there be more opportunities provided for congregations to check in across our geographically large Region? Perhaps through technology such as Zoom?
  • Congregations would like assistance from the Region in how to engage in interfaith work.
  • A request for more webinars on topics that congregations can plug in to.
  • A call for continued support for leadership development, social justice networks, and state advocacy groups.

I would like to thank those of you that participated in this year’s ingathering, and shared your thoughts with us. The board is always looking for opportunities to make connections across our Region, and to learn how we might help you connect with the rest of the Region. One of the ways that we do this, is by calling a number of congregations in the Fall to have conversations and gather information. If someone from the board reaches out to your congregation this Fall, I urge you to have a conversation with them. I believe that both the MidAmerica Region, and your congregation will be the richer for it.