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The Central Midwest District UUA merged in 2013 with the Districts of Heartland and Prairie Star to form the MidAmerica Region of the Unitarian Universalist Association.
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CMwD Annual Reports

Dori Thexton & Ian Evison, Directors

dori-ghostranch08ian-ghostranch08Directors' Annual Report 2010

The work of the past year of leadership has been to guide our congregations through the deepest part of an exceptionally deep recession.  This has been very hard.  In some places the stress of this has caused conflict or has brought conflict to the surface.  In some places it has forced tough choices about reducing compensation or giving furloughs.  In some places it has pushed congregations to take what have felt like tough steps backward:  eliminating staff positions, moving from two services to one, or deciding to move from full-time ministry to part-time ministry or to without a minister entirely.  These overall trends were reflected in the drop in our district membership growth to the smallest rate in a long time (from a typical average of 2% to under 1%). 

Yet to say that this has been a tough time or an anxious time, does not mean it has been a bad time.  Indeed, it has been one of the most interesting times for leadership that either of us has seen during our careers.  Congregations are asking tough questions about their spending.  Hard as this may be, this is forcing reinvention.  Congregations are retooling themselves to think of sustainability in growth as in energy use—and this is a good thing.  Some congregations are thriving against all expectation.  Five congregations added more than 20 people in the last year and five grew more than 10%.  Some that did not grow in numbers achieved amazing things. Most probably remember how Obama made Elkhart, Indiana, into the symbol for the recession.  Against all probability the UU congregation in Elkhart has raised money to extend its building and construction began this winter.  We sincerely hope that this will be the one of a number of building projects to commence as reduced construction costs meet the increasing hopefulness as we move out of the recession.  This could include both Mukwonago, WI, and Naperville, IL.

On a regional basis, our partnership with neighboring districts Prairie Star and Heartland continues to flourish and grow. We’ve continued and are expanding our online offerings of webinars on a wide variety of subjects of interests to our congregations. In a number of congregations, a group assembles to participate in the webinars, and we hear from them that much good conversation and planning results from these efforts.  This is very gratifying. 

Our regional also started our first Youth Leadership School this past summer.  We held this in conjunction with the long-running Midwest Leadership School (for adults), held in July at Beloit College. 22 youth from congregations across our three districts participated.  It was a great experience for all of us!  We have been especially pleased to see that many of the youth who attended are now involved in their home congregations, serving on committees, starting new multigenerational activities and inspiring their peers to be more involved. Planning is well underway for the upcoming Leadership Schools, and we expect that the Youth School will be a great new tradition.

As you all know by now, a new president of the UUA was elected last June. Peter Morales was elected as someone to bring change and growth to Unitarian Universalism. What this has meant for us as district staff is examining our role in the growth of UUism, and where we prioritize our resources of time, energy and money. Here in CMwD, we have built a strong partnership with our growing congregations. They are already actively engaged in various helping other congregations with many aspects of congregational life, such as planning, governance, faith development, youth and young adult ministries – to name just a few. 

We feel strongly supported by our new president’s administration in continuing to focus our energy on supporting growing congregations of all sizes. We find a huge generosity of spirit among the leaders of these growing congregations. They are excited to share what they are learning with others to grow and strengthen Unitarian Universalism. 

Another part of this focus on growth includes experimentation. It is good to know that there is support for trying new things – as we all know, trying new things can be risky, but if we never risk, we may lose many opportunities. So, where we can encourage congregations in trying new things, we will offer whatever resources and research to help them have the best chance of success.  An example of this is our winter Chalice Lighter grant, which will be given to Dupage UU Church in Naperville, IL. They are expanding their advertising and outreach in a variety of new media and we will be excited to hear about their experiences.

Lastly, we would like to discuss district finances. Along with our district board, almost 2 years ago, we planned for and announced an increase in our district contribution level per member, which was to have gone into effect on July 1, 2009. We had also planned for another increase for this coming fiscal year beginning July, 2010. This was after at least 5 years of no increases.

Due to the economy, we did not institute last year’s increase and we are not going to increase the contribution level for this coming year, either. What this means is that your district staff is providing more services for less money than we had 7 years ago (given the decrease in contributions we have experienced this past year). We feel good that we have been able to continue a strong level of service, largely because of increased use of technology.  We have achieved huge efficiencies by creating a virtual work environment and letting go our lease on our physical office space.  We have achieved even more efficiencies by eliminating the paper-focus to our work.  However, this work of reinvention itself needs support and asks more of our paid staff and volunteers.  We have reached the point where staff furloughs of one week each next year will be necessary.

In lieu of asking for an increase, we are hoping that ALL of our congregations can get closer to their fare share contribution level to both the UUA and our Central Midwest District.  We are truly appreciative of those congregations that already are fair share.  If we can get a greater percentage of fair share contributions to our district and also to the UUA’s Annual Program Fund – for which we receive a bonus based on the percentage rate – we feel that we can continue to offer a high level of service and continue our reinvention work without raising the fair share level.  So, anything you can do to help your congregation achieve fair share status will make a big difference for the district.

In closing, we want to offer our thanks to all of you who make our work deeply rewarding.

Ian Evison & Dori Davenport Thexton

Budget 2010-11

APPROVED BY BOARD 02-06-2010

Central Midwest District,UUA

DRAFT Budget 2010-11

July 2010 - June 2011 with FY 2012 and FY 2013 Projections

           
 

2009-10 Budget

2009-10 Projected Final

Projected 2010-2011 Budget

Income
   4000 District Contributions

197,594

200,101

202,102

   4010 UUA APF Share

42,622

33,580

33,916

   4020 MUUC/MUUF District Share

37,000

35,582

35,938

Total Income

277,216

269,263

271,956

Expenses
   5000 Staff Compensation & Benefits
      Total 5010 Congregational Services Director

42,792

42,792

41,901

           5040 Cong Services Dir Professional Expenses

12,000

12,000

12,000

      Total 5020 Faith Dev & Growth Director

58,796

58,796

57,571

           5050 Faith Dev & Growth Dir Professional Expenses

16,000

16,000

12,000

      Total 5030 District Office Manager

44,520

44,978

53,467

           5060 Dist Off Mgr Professional Expenses

2,200

2,200

2,000

      Total 5070 Writer & Event Planner

6,222

6,222

7,091

          5075 Writer & Event Planner Professional Expenses

1,600

1,600

1,600

      Total 5070 Youth/YA Coordinator

16,815

16,815

19,276

         5085 Youth/Young Adult Professional

4,000

4,000

4,000

     Total 5090 Communications Coordinator

9,282

11,894

15,930

          5095 Communications Coordinator Exp.

900

900

900

      5099 Organization-Paid Payroll Taxes

28,336

24,190

11,166

   Total 5000 Staff Compensation & Benefits

243,463

242,387

235,092

   5100 District Office
      5105 Supplies/Office Expense

750

750

750

      Total 5110 Office/Storage Space

1,000

1,269

1,300

      5115 Telephone

4,000

5,000

4,500

      5120 Office Postage / Mailing Services

900

900

900

      5125 Office Printing

90

90

0

      5140 Accounting Services

3,200

3,200

3,296

      Total 5150 Temporary Help / Office Assistant    

4,500

4,500

4,837

      5160 District Liability Insurance

1,625

1,625

1,674

      5180 Business License/Annual Report to State

150

150

150

      5165 Other Expense

500

500

250

   Total 5100 District Office

17,215

17,984

17,320

   5200 Programs & Services
      5220 Website

2,746

1,200

1,200

      5225 Telecommunications

500

500

500

      5240 Midwest Leadership School

1,200

1,200

1,200

   Total 5200 Programs & Services

4,646

2,900

2,900

   5300 Board & Committees
      Total 5301 District President

1,500

1,000

1,000

      Total 5305 District Board

2,800

2,000

2,000

      5325 Board Discretionary Fund

250

250

250

      5335 District UUA Trustee

500

500

500

      5340 Nominating

275

275

275

      5350 Annual Program Fund Chair

150

150

150

      5355 Dist. Compensation Consultant

200

200

200

      5358 Ministerial Settlement Rep (PT)

1,000

1,000

700

      Total 5365 Congregational Resources

1,050

50

2,550

      5380 Religious Education Support & Resources

2,200

2,200

2,200

      5385 Women & Religion Committee

10

0

10

      5390 District Youth Steering Committee - DYSC

3,000

3,000

3,000

      5395 Young Adult Steering Committee - YASC

3,000

3,000

3,000

      5405 New Initiatives

100

0

100

   Total 5300 Board & Committees

16,035

13,625

15,935

Total Expenses

281,359

276,896

271,247

Net Income

(4,143)

(7,632)

709

Our Congregations...

CMWDColorLogoRGB

First Unitarian Church of Alton, IL CMWD Federated Church of Avon of Avon, IL CMWD Unitarian Universalist Church of Bloomington-Normal of Bloomington, IL CMWD Carbondale Unitarian Fellowship of Carbondale, IL CMWD All Souls Free Religious Fellowship of Chicago, IL CMWD First Unitarian Society of Chicago of Chicago, IL CMWD Peoples Church of Chicago of Chicago, IL CMWD Beverly Unitarian Church of Chicago, IL CMWD Micah’s Porch, Chicago, IL CMWD New Garden Community Church, Chicago, IL CMWD Third Unitarian Church of Chicago, IL CMWD Second Unitarian Church of Chicago, IL CMWD Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Decatur of Decatur, IL CMWD North Shore Unitarian Church of Deerfield, IL CMWD Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of DeKalb of DeKalb, IL CMWD Unitarian Universalist Church of Elgin of Elgin, IL CMWD Unitarian Church of Evanston of Evanston, IL CMWD Unitarian Universalist Society of Geneva of Geneva, IL CMWD Prairie Circle Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Grayslake, IL CMWD Unitarian Church of Hinsdale of Hinsdale, IL CMWD Prairyerth Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Hinsdale, IL CMWD Universalist Unitarian Church of Joliet of Joliet, IL CMWD Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Macomb of Macomb, IL CMWD Mt. Vernon Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Mt. Vernon, IL CMWD DuPage Unitarian Universalist Church of Naperville, IL CMWD Unity Temple Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Oak Park, IL CMWD Countryside Church Unitarian Universalist of Palatine, IL CMWD Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Park Forest, IL CMWD Universalist Unitarian Church of Peoria of Peoria, IL CMWD Unitarian Church of Quincy of Quincy, IL CMWD The Unitarian Universalist Church of Rockford, IL CMWD Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Rock Valley of Rockton, IL CMWD Abraham Lincoln Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Springfield, IL CMWD Unitarian Universalist Church of Stockton, IL CMWD The Federated Church of Sycamore, IL CMWD Unitarian Universalist Church of Urbana-Champaign of Urbana, IL CMWD Lake Shore Unitarian Society of Winnetka, IL CMWD Congregational Unitarian Church of Woodstock, IL CMWD Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Elkhart of Elkhart, IN CMWD First Unitarian Church of Hobart of Hobart, IN CMWD First Unitarian Church of South Bend of South Bend, IN CMWD Bay de Noc Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Escanaba, MI CMWD Keweenaw Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Houghton, MI CMWD Marquette Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Marquette, MI CMWD Berrien Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Saint Joseph, MI CMWD Cape Girardeau Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Cape Girardeau, MO CMWD Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbia of Columbia, MO CMWD Emerson Unitarian Universalist Chapel of Ellisville, MO CMWD Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Jefferson City of Jefferson City, MO CMWD Kirksville Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Kirksville, MO CMWD Eliot Unitarian Chapel of Kirkwood, MO CMWD Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Rolla of Rolla, MO CMWD First Unitarian Church of St. Louis of St. Louis, MO CMWD West Plains Unitarian Universalist, West Plains, MO CMWD Fox Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Appleton, WI CMWD Unitarian Universalist Church West of Brookfield, WI CMWD Unitarian Universalist Church of the Lakes of Elkhorn, WI CMWD Open Circle Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Fond du Lac, WI CMWD Green Bay Area UU Fellowship of Green Bay, WI CMWD Lake Country Unitarian Universalist Church of Hartland, WI CMWD Unitarian Congregation of Rock County, Janesville, WI CMWD Bradford Community Church Unitarian Universalist of Kenosha, WI CMWD James Reeb Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Madison, WI CMWD First Unitarian Society of Madison of Madison, WI CMWD Prairie Unitarian Universalist Society of Madison, WI CMWD Lakeshore Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Manitowoc, WI CMWD Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Marshfield of Marshfield, WI CMWD Unitarian Church North of Mequon, WI CMWD First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee of Milwaukee, WI CMWD Unitarian Fellowship of Milwaukee of Milwaukee, WI CMWD United Unitarian & Universalist Society of Mukwonago of Mukwonago, WI CMWD Olympia Brown Unitarian Universalist Church of Racine, WI CMWD Prairie Lakes Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Ripon, WI CMWD Free Congregation of Sauk County of Sauk City, WI CMWD Sheboygan Area Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Sheboygan, WI CMWD Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Door County of Sister Bay, WI CMWD Stevens Point Unitarian Universalist Association Fellowship of Stevens Point, WI CMWD First Universalist Unitarian Church of Wausau, WI CMWD Northwoods Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Woodruff, WI CMWD


Nominations for District Elections on May 1, 2010

Brian_CovellBrian Covell, Third Church Chicago for President

Third Unitarian Church
work 773-626-9385; office fax is 773-626-9304.  Email:  minister@thirdunitarianchurch.org.

Served as the CMwD Board's Recording Secretary since Fall 2006, when I completed the remaining year of Chip Roush's term in this position.  During that time, I've taken a lead role in reviewing and compiling the Board's policies, and assisting with the crafting of new statements.  This is a high priority, since the Board operates under "policy and mission" principles.  In doing so, I've worked closely on policy implementation with all members of the Board, and particularly with members of the Executive Committee, including our Congregational Service Directors Ian Evison and Dori Davenport-Thexton and Office Administrator Peggy Boccard.  Lastly, I've served as President of the Chicago Area UU Council since April, 2007, and have helped implement our region's successful "Chicagoland Marketing Initiative" through various media.

Sandra CampbellSandra Campbell, Rockford, IL for Secretary

815-997-6891 (cell), 815-484-1020 (home);  Email:  butterflies1943@yahoo.com

Sandra Campbell, retired Air Force veteran, retired schoolteacher and full time UU volunteer.  I joined the San Antonio Fellowship in 1986 with my family.  We all enjoyed church school, services and numerous social events.  Our attendance and participation varied throughout the years but I became totally committed to the UU community when I came to Rockford, IL in 1999.  I joined the Rockford church in 2001 and served on the membership and activities committees.  Subsequently, I was asked to be a board member.  I attended CMW leadership school in 2003, became a member of the staff in 2004 thru 2007.  I have served my congregation as a member and chair of numerous committees, board president and search committee member.  I have the highest regard for those who serve the larger UU community at district and association levels.  There is always work to be done and we need everyone involved.  So when I was asked, I humbly offer my time and energy to advance our movement and support our district. 

Nancy_Armstrong_06-2009Nancy Armstrong for Trustee (incumbent)

309-452-8320; Email narmstr908@aol.com

I have been on the CMwD board just one year and am still getting my feet wet!  My husband Joe and I joined the UU Church of Bloomington-Normal in 1983 after years of searching for the right fit for both of us.  Over the years I have been actively involved in Religious Education, Caring, Finance, Fund Raising, Fellowship and Board Leadership.  I am currently serving my ninth year as congregation treasurer (and still like it!) and (most fun of all) I sing in the choir.  I am employed full-time as a financial planner and have no plans to retire any time soon. In our spare time, my husband and I garden, cook and travel.  We have one daughter, Larissa, who is a dedicated UU as well.

Suzi DeBeersSuzi DeBeers, Appleton, WI for Trustee at large, two-year term to replace Garret Cohn

715-258-7375; Email adebeers@charter.net

My social service has evolved through the years from visiting children at Cook County Hospital and delivering meals from Hull House to the elderly in Chicago to being involved in Study Circles on Race and the Madison Institute for the Healing of Racism. For the past five years I have planned a Human Rights Film Series for my Unitarian Universalist congregation and others in my community.  I serve as treasurer of the Madison Area Family Advisory/Advocacy Coalition, a group that is addressing the achievement gap between minority and majority students.  (She lists many other social service activities.)

I have served as Regional Coordinator for the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee National Volunteer Network in the Central Midwest District for the last six years.  In May of 2004, I was honored to join UUSC staff, Board members, Ambassadors and Network Volunteers on a trip to Guatemala.  This trip was an opportunity to meet UUSC partners and learn of the importance and impact of our human rights work.

DianeBrown2009-smDiane Brown, Peoria, IL for Nominating Committee

309-693-0664. Email: namaste29@hotmail.com

I'm a lifelong UU, raised is SW Michigan by parents, Kate and Marv Fuller, who co-founded the Berrien UU Fellowship.  50 years later, BUUF continues with a small but vital congregation.  Many a Meadville/Lombard student as well as other UU ministers came through BUUF during my time there.
 
As a young adult, I joined Second Unitarian Church of Chicago and was a member for 13 years.  In the first year, my husband Michael and I were co-awarded the 'Rookies of the Year' award for our involvement.  I served as DRE for 2 years while attending seminary part time at Chicago Theological Seminary as well as being a Mom of young kids. I have attended several CMwD  Conferences, over 20 Lake Geneva Summer Assemblies, and served on the LGSA planning council for three years.   I have attended over a dozen Central Midwest District WomanSpirit Conferences, serving on the Planning Board for the 2009 WomanSpirit in Peoria, Illinois.
 
I am currently an active member of the Universalist Unitarian Church of Peoria, Illinois.   I have attended several General Assemblies, most recently in Portland and before that in St. Louis and intend to attend the 2010 GA in Minneapolis.  I have also attended the Parliament of the World's Religions in Chicago (1993) Barcelona (2004) and Melbourne (2009).

Nominating2010-11Rod-DePueRod DePue, 1st U Society Milwaukee for Nominating Committee

414-390-0454; Email rdepue@aol.com

UU for 40 years. Past member of Unitarian Universalist Church West in Brookfield, WI, Unitarian Fellowship of Boca Raton and presently member of First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee. Served on Board, as Church President, Ministerial Search, Stewardship, Capital Fund Drive, Endowment, Social Justice, and Sunday Services committees. Taught RE and AYS (now OWL).
 
Community involvement:

  • Board President, Mental Health Association of Milwaukee County
  • Court Appointed Special Advocate for abused and neglected children under the protection of the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare.
  • Southeastern Wisconsin Common Ground (member of the IAF) core team leader.
  • Established the Sharon & Rod DePue Family Foundation at UW Milwaukee to benefit children aging out of foster care.

Schuyler VogelSchuyler Vogel, North Shore UU (Deerfield, IL) for Nominating Committee, 2-year unfilled term

414-238-4728;  Email: m.schuyler.vogel@gmail.com

Schuyler grew up UU at 1st Church Milwaukee, received both a teaching degree and a BA in religious studies from Carlton College.  Served as Director of Faith Development at River of Grass UU Congregation in FL and on the FL District Faith Development Council.  While there, he received the Association Sunday Grant, which focused on developing young adult ministries at three local congregations.  He currently serves as DRE at North Shore Unitarian Church.

Daniel O'Connell, President

Daniel_OConnellAnnual Report 2010

T.S. Eliot said April is the cruelest month, but I don’t think so. Many of us look at the coming end of the program year with a sense of relief and thanksgiving.

I am concluding my 7th year on your district board– a term and a half as ministerial trustee, and one term as your president. I look back at all your district board and leaders have accomplished– from completing implementation of policy governance, to establishment of a sermon contest, to a complete rewrite of the bylaws, to an overhaul of the nominating committee structure and election process, to electing the youngest UUA trustee, to the many hours Ian, Dori, and their staff have put in to make us the showcase district that we are to the rest of the Association.

Your district board has traveled to congregations from the snowy reaches of Wisconsin through the windswept plains of Missouri. We have met with local lay leaders, made plans, laughed, prayed, worked hard, and thoroughly enjoyed each other’s company.

Our purpose has been to “work to support, enrich, and extend Unitarian Universalism in our area.” And our ministers and lay people have started new congregations, made connections with old ones, and sought to spread the good news of our religion.  Some wonder why anyone would serve on a district board– and give up a half dozen Friday nights and Saturday days to mostly sit around talking and listening and dreaming.

George Bernard Shaw says “...the true joy in life, [is] being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; [and] being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown onto the scrap heap.”  Your district board recognizes our purpose as a “mighty one,” and I feel privileged to have served it, and to have been some small part of our common endeavors.

Blessings,

Daniel O'Connell
President, CMwD