Because Prairie Star District has become part of MidAmerica Region, this page has been archived as of July 15, 2013, for reference purposes. It will not be updated in the future, and some links may no longer work properly.  For more up-to-date information, please visit the Mid America UUA site.  Thank you!

AnnualConference2010 / Creativity Experiences

"You must not for one instant give up the effort to build new lives for yourselves. Creativity means to push open the heavy, groaning doorway to life. This is not an easy struggle. Indeed, it may be the most difficult task in the world, for opening the door to your own life is, in the end, more difficult than opening the door to the mysteries of the universe."

— Daisaku Ikeda, Buddhist Philosopher, Teacher, Author

“I’m not an Artist” – “I don’t have an artistic bone in my body” – “I can’t draw” . . . Sound familiar? For many of us, the idea of being creative is limited to those we perceive as having a talent: drawing, painting, singing, dancing and the like. We recall, though, that as children we reveled in imagination, story–telling, impromptu songs and performances in the backyard, finger painting and making gifts for others for every occasion. Evan Picasso said, “All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”

We invite you to spend some time at the conference and join us in a variety of Creativity Experiences that offer an opportunity to engage in creative play: Artist Trading Cards, Making a Journal, the Journal Wall, Origami Art, and more. Come out and PLAY! All materials, tools and individual instruction is provided and included with your conference registration. No need to sign up and no limit on participants.

The Creativity Experience takes place in the RiverCenter Lower Concourse. More details will be in the packet you will receive at conference check-in.

Artist Trading Cards (ATCs)

Artist Trading Cards are miniature works of art created on 2 × 3 ½ inch card stock. They are originals, small editions and, most importantly, self-produced. Anybody can create an Artist Trading card, and they are great for all ages.

We encourage you to made Artist Trading Card before the PSD meeting and bring your creations to trade. We will also have an ATC “make-and-take” table set up complete with art supplies and a “how-to” handout so people can make and trade cards at the event.

Trading cards can be whatever you want them to be, poems, music, mixed media collages, drawings, photo collages, etc. We are encouraging participants to work with our theme, “Roots and Wings,” but they should feel free to create a card that is meaningful to them or represents their own creativity. See our Artist Trading Card page for specific information about how to make them.

Make a Journal

Learn how to make your own journal. Create your own storybook. Document your conference experience. Record your ideas. Imagine possibilities.

Journal-keeping is a time honored tradition throughout the generations and a creative tool that offers a private place to try out ideas, solve problems, collaborate with others or simply give your Left Brain a necessary break from the everyday stresses of life.

We’ll show you basic binding skills as well as ways to get started on your journal-keeping journey. All materials and tools will be provided as well as individual instruction. We’ll have warm-up exercises to get you started and demonstrate techniques you may want to use in your new journal. Suitable for all ages.

The Journal Wall

It’s a well-known fact that Unitarian Universalists usually have something to say. Check out the Journal Wall in the RiverCenter Lower Atrium. (More details and a map will be in the packet you will receive at conference check-in.) Add your two cents – make your mark – doodle, draw, tell everyone that You are Here!

Retrieved from Page last modified on March 08, 2010, at 09:51 AM

AnnualConference2010 / Conference Highlights

  • Friday Night Multigenerational Opening Worship - Members of Prairie Star District Chapter of LREDA (Liberal Religious Educators Association).
  • Saturday Morning Arthur M. Judy Lecture - Dr. Mark Hicks, Meadville–Lombard Theological School
  • Creativity Experiences For both before and during the conference
  • Saturday Night Concert for All Ages: “An Evening with John McCutcheon” - John McCutcheon, Singer and Songwriter
  • Sunday Morning Service at the Figge Art Museum - Rev. Kent Saleska, UU Church of Minnetonka
  • And come early for these pre-conference options on Friday
    Two Workshops: “Roots and Wings for Anti-Racism” and “Politics of Marriage Equality”
    Mexican Dinner and Open Mic Entertainment

Multigenerational Opening Worship: Worship Across the Ages Friday, April 23, 2010

A Liberal Religious Educators Association (LREDA) team from Prairie Star District will present a worship service that models how worship can be enjoyed and shared when all ages are present. We can spread our wings to try new and innovative ideas that further our need to include children, youth and adults in worship together in order to create a shared spiritual depth in our beloved communities.

We invite you to explore with us, the Religious Educators of Prairie Star District, how we as adult UUs might find common ground with our youth, our children, and our future through the Friday night worship and then throughout the weekend. It is our goal to ‘stir’ the questions ‘What is our job as parent, mentor, and theologian to our young? How is it we can build community, across the ages, through our worship?’ Join us for worship on Friday night to begin the search."


Members of the PSD Chapter of LREDA (Liberal Religious Educators Association)

The PSD Chapter of LREDA is an anti-racist, welcoming professional organization of liberal religious educators and those supportive of religious education. PSD LREDA promotes the religious growth and learning of people of all ages and advocates for the support of religious educators and the field of liberal religious education.

Jan FitzgeraldJan Fitzgerald

Judy SasserJudy Sasser

Lori AllenLori Allen

Sherry WarrenSherry Warren


Jan Fitzgerald

Jan is the current Director of Religious Education at Minnesota Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Bloomington, Minnesota. She has been the director for 5 years and has enjoyed building a strong Religious Education program within her Fellowship. Before coming to Minnesota Valley she was a music teacher for 20 years at St. Paul Academy and the Edina Public Schools. She has taught a variety of school ages with an emphasis in middle school strings. She is serving her first year as the President of the Minnesota Chapter of LREDA.

Dr. Judith Sasser

Judy is beginning her fifth year as Director of Lifespan Religious Education at the UU Fellowship in Topeka, Kansas. Her background is education, where she worked for 40 years as a teacher of children and youth with special needs, and later as a school counselor. She finished her educator’s career at Emporia State University sharing her knowledge and experience in counseling to those entering the field. She remarks, “How refreshing it is to begin a new career after one retires. My work as a UU is filled with the passion of knowing that the future generations must be prepared to make decisions toward peace, love, and justice and that I can help this happen.” Judy’s specialties are in the area of promoting peaceful parenting; facilitating group process; and leadership development. Sophia Fahs is her hero.

Lori Allen

Director of Youth and Children’s Ministries at the UU Fellowship of Ames, Iowa, and PSD Lifespan Program Area Coordinator

Sherry Warren

Sherry has served the Unitarian Fellowship of Lawrence as their half-time Director of Religious Education since 2002, and serves as the PSD Youth and Young Adult Specialist. She has created and organized dozens of multigenerational worship services for her congregation in Lawrence and has a special place in her heart for the child in all of us. She lives outside of Lawrence with her family and scads of pets where she gardens when she can and tries to make pickles every Summer.

Judy Lecture and All-Conference Workshop

Saturday, April 24, 2010 Mark Hicks

Photo: Joyce Rollins

Dr. Mark A. Hicks

Watch the video of this lecture and workshop!

Dr. Mark A. Hicks will present the Rev. Arthur Judy Memorial Lecture on Saturday morning. Following the lecture, the Saturday morning workshop time slot (“Workshop A”) will be devoted to an All-Conference Multigenerational Workshop presented by Dr. Hicks. Dr. Hicks will also present one of the Pre-Conference Workshops Friday morning.

2010 Judy Lecture: “Experience the Vision!”


HOW DO YOU LEARN? Are you a reader? A writer? Musician? Athlete? Do you need to 'see' something in order to learn how it works?

Dr. Mark A. Hicks will lead us through an experiential examination of how people learn - and how we can learn to successfully interact with others. Dr. Hicks' lecture won’t be a 'sit in your seat' exercise. Dr. Hicks will present some very brief opening remarks before challenging us to discover the multiple ways the human mind manifests intelligence. Using a small group format, Dr. Hicks' interactive presentation will offer each workshop participant a virtual toolkit for understanding and harnessing the power of learning. No matter your chronological age, this workshop promises to be a unique experience.

Describing himself as a philosopher, educator, artist and activist, Dr. Hicks sees himself as part of a contingent of well-meaning people who are committed to improving our social world. Guided by the concept of transformation, Dr. Hicks' workshop will be life changing for you and for your congregation.

“Transformation,” literally, requires individuals and groups to “negotiate and act on our own purposes, values, feelings, and meanings rather than those we have uncritically assimilated from others – to gain greater control over our lives as socially responsible, clear-thinking decision makers” (see Jack Mezirow & Associates’ 2000 text, Learning as Transformation, p. 8).

Beginning in the 1930s, one of the intellectual redwoods of Unitarian Religious Education, Sophia Fahs, withstood public pressure and challenged America to step into the “modern age” by incorporating the wisdom of science into the fabric of religious thinking and action. We responded to the challenge, and led a national movement to transform RE into the reality we know today. Almost 100 years later, we are at a similar crossroads, this time, responding to the call to be ever more inclusive in terms of generational differences, as well as discern how we can live into our dream of being a community that welcomes all souls at our table of inclusion. This year’s Judy Lecture, like other elements of the Conference, will provide an opportunity envision – and experience - alternative ways to honor our commitment to be welcoming of differences that tend to divide the human family.


Dr. Hicks is the Angus MacLean Professor of Religious Education at Meadville Lombard Theological School. As a Unitarian Universalist and former professor of educational transformation at George Mason University, Dr. Hicks’s scholarship, teaching, and curricular innovations have been recognized by peers for excellence, relevance, and importance to religious and secular groups interested in justice, equity and accountability.

He is the curriculum developer for the UUA’s anti-racist/anti-oppression curriculum, Building the World We Dream About, which was launched nationally in over 50 UU congregations, and is currently developing the next generation of educational curriculum that addresses environmental justice. He is also a lay leader at All Souls Church, Unitarian in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Hicks holds a doctorate degree in philosophy and education and a Master’s degree in adult and higher education, both from Teachers College, Columbia University.

Dr. Hicks’s website

Creativity Experiences(Throughout the Conference) Make and trade Artist Trading Cards. Make some before you come, and “Make-it/Take-It” tables will be available at the conference with art supplies. Trade cards with other UUs throughout the Conference. Make a Journal Record your thoughts on the Journal Wall Pre-K creativity tables Make origami peace cranes

See Creativity Experiences for more details.

Saturday Night Concert for All Ages: “An Evening with John McCutcheon”

Saturday, April 24, 2010 John McCutcheon

John McCutcheon

Singer–Songwriter John McCutcheon, six-time Grammy nominee and holder of multiple Parents’ Choice and American Library Association awards, is nationally known for his folk music for adults and children and his wonderful talent on many instruments, particularly the hammered dulcimer. John will offer both a multigenerational workshop, “Singing for Our Lives” (Workshop B-8), and a Saturday evening concert for all ages, “An Evening with John McCutcheon”.

A ticket to this concert is included with your conference registration. Additional tickets for friends and family not attending the conference are available to purchase separately.

Click these links to see and hear a performance of one of John’s most famous songs at Christmas in the Trenches and to see John’s bio.

Multigenerational Worship and Museum Tours

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Multigenerational Worship

Sunday service will take place at the Figge Art Museum, just a block from the conference hotel.

The service will be led by guest minister Rev. Kent Saleska, who now serves the Unitarian Universalist Church of Minnetonka in Wayzata, Minnesota. Kent, the son of two Unitarian Universalist ministers, was a youth, young adult, and leader of youth in the host congregation, the Unitarian Church in Davenport. He has ten years of experience as a youth leader in UU churches.

The service will also feature the Conference Choir – be sure to sign up on the Registration Form if you are interested in singing in the choir.

Museum Tours

Following the Sunday service, we offer private tours of the Figge Art Museum, including works from the University of Iowa’s collection as well as the Figge’s own art collection. If you are interested in participating, please check on your registration form so we can arrange for enough docents to be available.

Retrieved from Page last modified on April 29, 2010, at 10:45 AM

AnnualConference2010 / Children

2010 logo

Why should your children come?

This year, there is no registration fee for children grade 6 and under, a reduction of $60 from last year. Here’s why they should come:

To get to know other UU kids and form connections that may last a lifetime! To take part in a great mix of multigenerational workshops, conference workshops, concerts and worship, designed to appeal to all ages including kids. Kids will find sessions on everything from comic book heroes to technology including a concert for all ages: “An Evening with John McCutcheon”! To sit in a kid-comfortable area located at the side of each room, where kids of all ages can gather to do quiet activities while the program is in session. (This will be available in all large-group and many small-group conference sessions.) To eat popcorn and watch movies in Rooms 205 and 206 of the conference hotel following end of the formal conference program at 8:30 pm on Friday and Saturday nights. (Parents should drop children off and pick them up at the arranged time. This opportunity is geared toward older elementary children who do not yet need to be in bed.) To search for treasures at the kid-friendly scavenger hunt and picnic on the banks of the Mississippi River while older folks attend the Awards Luncheon. To play and sing! Bring your instruments or your voice, as well as your appetite to the pre-conference Friday evening Mexican Supper and Open Mic Night. Join in the fun. To make Artist Trading Cards to trade with your friends or origami cranes for an all-conference peace sculpture – all available at the conference Make-It/Take-It booths. To have fun!

Please come, bring your spirit and enthusiasm and join with us in celebration.

We are deeply grateful to the Riverboat Development Authority of Davenport for a generous grant that allows us to eliminate registration fees entirely for Infants, Toddlers, and Children accompanying a registered adult and to reduce fees for Youth registrants.

Please note that these fee reductions and eliminations are for this year only.

Our goal is to attract younger folks to the conference, helping us reinvigorate our congregations and district and engage future leaders. Parents and sponsors: please consider bringing youth of all ages to take part in our multigenerational celebration!

Printable Flier

A printable flier summarizing all activities for children and youth during the conference is available to download (in PDF Format — 85KB).


Two forms are required to register children (grade 6 and under, including infants and toddlers): a Registration Form and a Permission Form.

Registration Form

The registration form is the same for all individuals regardless of age including infants and toddlers.

If you register online, once you have completed the first adult registration, the online registration system will offer you the option to “Register another person for the Annual Conference.” Click this link and continue on to register other members of your family before you “check out.” If you are printing out the form in hard copy to fill in by hand, you may print it multiple times – one for each individual.

Permission Forms

Permission forms signed by parents or guardians, are required for all attendees in Grade 12 and below. Because the signatures on these forms need to be original signatures, you’ll need to print out the forms, sign them, and then mail them to the registrar by US Mail or other physical mail service.

Child Permission Form for grade 6 and under including infants and toddlers (PDF, 18 KB)


April 8, 2010, at noon, is the deadline for the following: Deadline extended

Conference registration (mailed with check and on-line by credit card) for all ages Permission forms for those in Grade 12 and younger Online Registration will end at noon on April 16. Mail in Registrations and Permission Forms must be received by noon on April 20.[ NOTE: Youth, Child, Toddler, and Infant registrations will NOT be accepted after this deadline.]

April 8, 2010, at noon, is the deadline for the following: (This deadline is NOT extended.)

Cancellations of previously made registrations, if you decide not to come after all

Notifying us of your decisions by April 8, gives the conference hotel and the local committee time to order food and plan for staffing for an accurate number of registrants.


Parents and sponsors: If you have suggestions regarding other ways to make this conference more youth-friendly, please contact Barb Robinson.

Meals for Children

See meals for information about the meals for children.

Child Care for Infants and Toddlers

Any child not yet ready to participate in organized activities can be enrolled in Child Care. Choose this option on the Child Permission form. There is no fee for registration or Child Care for children accompanying a registered adult (this year only).

Supervised Infant and Toddler Child Care will be available in Rooms 205 and 206 of the Radisson Hotel as follows:

Saturday from 8:00 am through 12:30 pm Saturday from 2:00 through 5:00 pm Sunday from 8:00 through 9:00 am (for parents who are choir members; during rehearsal only).

During other hours, parents may choose to take infants and toddlers to the side of conference venues where older children may do quiet activities and crafts, and parents of infants and toddlers may want to quietly entertain their little ones.

All child care supervisors will be qualified, background-checked, experienced caregivers.

Meals for Infants and Toddlers

See meals for information about the meals for infants and toddlers.

Retrieved from Page last modified on April 07, 2010, at 03:30 PM