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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 Blogs

MidwestMusings2
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Grappling With a Luminous Doom

ian07.jpgLike the title?  I think it might be just about the ideal UU sermon title.  The word “Grapple” is a strong word suggesting something is going to happen here.  It suggests a possible Biblical allusion to Jacob grappling with the angel at the river and receiving a blessing and a name.  The word “Luminous” suggests we are going to get something deeper than an update on the state legislative agenda.  And the nice pardox between the words “Luminious” and “Doom” promises some interesting twists before matters are resolved and the we sing the final hymn. 

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Electioneering, Advocacy and the IRS

voteWe continue to get many questions about what congregations can and can't do regarding electioneering. Can a congregation rent space to a political party? Can a congregation allow its mailing list to be used? Can a candidate be allowed to speak at a congregational event? Can a congregation or minister take a stand on an issue?

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District Directory Going Virtual

2007-8directory.jpgIn another step towards taking our district virtual we are eliminating the paper directory. Those of you who have been following us in our adventure of creating a virtual office know that with each virtual step we take, our goal is to reduce cost, to provide better service, and to provide new kinds of service not possible in a conventional office. We also want to create a community of learning with the many congregations who are working on this also. In the past two years we have been developing an online directory. This is better than the paper directory in that it is more up-to-date and it is available from any computer that has an internet connection.

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Sustainably Green

Ian Evison, Congregational Services DirectorOne of the glories and terrors of our UU congregations are our enthusiasts. Pity the part-time non-UU custodian who is caught in the parking lot using weed-killer. Or enthusiastic new member who volunteers to bring refreshments and shows up at the potluck with Styrofoam cups. We all agree that we should be green, or greener. We agree with this especially in a time of increasing energy costs. But how do we do this in a way that is organizationally smart and where our own best efforts don’t tire us out or alienate newcomers? I have been working with UU colleagues Karen Brammer and Susanna Whitman to refresh the resources in our UU leader’s library on the subject.

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Prospering in a Time of Austerity

Ian Evison, Congregational Service DirectorIn conversations with congregations this Fall one of the key questions seems to be—how to do well, how to prosper, in a time of austerity. Beginning last Fall congregations began to see indications that they were being impacted by a downturn in the economy that is likely to last a while. Not all congregations have felt this. Some finance drive and capital fund drives went very well last year. But other congregations, especially those vulnerable for other reasons, are clearly headed into a period of austerity.

How do we lead well in such a period? Many of our favored images of leadership presume a wider prospering wider environment. Our images of leadership in times of austerity tend to focus on cutting of budgets and staff, and moth-balling of projects and—in general—contenting ourselves with a paler, weaker version of what we had hoped and dreamt. Must being a leader in a time of prosperity mostly mean raining on the parade?

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