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BillSasso-DA2012Dear Congregational Representatives,

Please know that we, who serve on the Board of Trustees of the Central Midwest District, appreciate your congregation’s support of the District and our larger Unitarian Universalist movement. The resources that our congregations share with each other make it possible for the District to serve as an institutional bridge connecting congregations and their members to each other and to the other elements of our larger movement. We are grateful for your continued and generous support in these financially challenging times, and we are pleased to have this opportunity to share what we have accomplished since April, 2012.

Here I will share the broad themes that we have engaged this year. For more detail, I invite you to consult the Board meeting minutes.

If I were to try to capture the work of the year in a single word, it would be “transition.” Our largest transition has been an active and extensive process of collaboration to develop the proposal to form the MidAmerica Region. This has been an intense and occasionally challenging process, but we have found fulfillment and sometimes even joy as we have collaborated with our UUA congregational life staff, the Reverend Ian Evison and Dori Davenport Thexton, and the Boards of our partner districts, Prairie Star (to our west) and Heartland (to our east). Over the course of the year, we have worked diligently to develop the proposal to form MidAmerica, with the hope and intention that we will carry forward what is best in CMwD while making new opportunities possible. We have worked hard to be in dialogue and relationship with you and your congregation as this proposal has been developed. We hope that you are familiar with the MidAmerica proposal, which we will vote upon at District Assembly 2013.

We have also experienced transition in our more typical governance roles, as Ian and Dori have reorganized themselves into a regional staff team, joining Rev. Lisa Presley and Nancy Combs-Morgan of Heartland, and Nancy Heege and the Reverend Phil Lund from Prairie Star. We have worked with the regional staff team and with our partner Boards from the other districts in a shared governance and oversight role, learning as we have moved through the year. Each new insight has helped us envision the opportunities that might be created together in the future.

We have also navigated several transitions within the Board itself. Last summer the Reverend Brian Covell announced his intention to resign as District President in response to the needs of the congregation he serves. When the Board appointed me to complete the year as President, the Ministerial Trustee position opened. I am very pleased that the Reverend Sydney Morris was willing to accept appointment into that position in October.

In closing, again I thank you and your congregation for your generous support! And I thank each of my colleagues on your CMwD Board: Vice-President Jeff Reed (Fond du Lac, WI), Treasurer Nancy Armstrong (Normal, IL), Secretary Tracey Howe Koch (Florissant, MO), Youth Trustee Kenny Pechtl, Ministerial Trustee the Reverend Sydney Morris (Houghton, MI), UUA Trustee the Reverend Erik David Carlson (Stockton, IL), and Trustees at large Suzie DeBeers (Waupaca, WI), Vera Dowell (Oak Park, IL), and Rob Zimmerman (Wauwatosa, WI). These extraordinary folks have all given generously of their time, skills, and energy during this unusual and intense Board year!

Should you meet them during District Assembly, please thank them for their service! I certainly do!

Respectfully submitted, (signed)


Rev. Bill Sasso

(Carbondale, IL)
President, CMwD, UUA