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MidAmerica Region: MidAmerica News

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MidAmerica Messenger

Volume 5 Issue 3     |     October 2017

The MidAmerica Region is where UUs visibly live our faith, create connections, grow our membership, and welcome all persons who share our UU values.

In This Issue

Chalice Lighters
White Supremacy Teach In
Search for Regional Administrator
Courage for Racial Justice, Collective Liberation
Fall Courses at UU Leadership Institute
outh Events
LGBT Ally Training
Brilliant Bits from Boston
Contact Us

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Sharon Dittmar, Congregational Life Consultant

Rev Sharon Dittmar Dec 2016Hello! Welcome to the October issue of the MidAmerica Region of the UUA Newsletter!

Fall is a busy time in our congregations with many activities. We at the Region are hosting a series of webinars this fall, including "Coffee Hour Conversations" hosted by our very own Lisa Presley, a chance for anyone to virtually drop by and talk with others in the MidAmerica Region about how it is going in your congregation. These are monthly conversations and the first one is Wednesday, October 11 at 6:45PM Eastern Time. Hope to see you there!This newsletter also contains important information on UUA White Supremacy Teach-In 2 suggested for October 15 and 22, as well as registration for fall courses at the UU Leadership Institute, and a winter Racial Justice training for UU congregations. For those of you wondering how to help in the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the UUA has set up a site to give to either Harvey or Irma.  As always, be in touch. We know congregational life continues during all seasons and we are here for you. Visit our MidAmerica Region website for more information.

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Chalice Lighters Fall Call

ChaliceLighters color logoAs you know, Chalice Lighter grants are funded by small donations from individuals like you-donations that are pooled together to help congregations from across our large MidAmerica Region of the UUA with specific growth projects. For the 2017 Fall Call, the MidAmerica Regional Chalice Lighter Committee received three applications. We are pleased to announce that all three have been chosen for this Chalice Lighter call:

  • UUS Iowa CityUnitarian Universalist Society of Iowa City, Iowa
    Raise awareness of their new growth-oriented home through an integrated media campaign that will allow them to reach many different audiences over an extended time.
  • FirstUU Terre HauteFirst Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Terre Haute, Indiana
    Increase visibility in the community by updating the sign in front of their church and incorporating a Roadside Pulpit into its base.
  • Minnesota Valley UUFMinnesota Valley UU Fellowship, Bloomington, Minnesota
    Better serve their congregation and community by creating an Office & Communications Manager position to help fully capitalize on their potential for growth.

Visit the Chalice Lighter webpage and click on the Donate option of your choice. For this year's Fall Call, please donate by December 31, 2017

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White Supremacy Teach-In 2


During the months of April, May, and June of this year, 682 of the 1,038 UU congregations-and 32 other UU communities-held UU White Supremacy Teach-ins. That round of teach-ins brought moments of triumph, awkwardness, fierce debate, powerful revelations, joy and pain for Unitarian Universalists of color...and much more. The Teach-In team once again is calling our siblings in faith to action by continuing the work of growth and learning. On Sunday, October 15 or Sunday, October 22, join together with UU communities nationwide in Part Two of the UU White Supremacy Teach-in.MidAmerica Region is offering a webinar to help congregational leaders prepare for White Supremacy Teach-In 2 on Tuesday, October 10, 2017, from 7:45 to 9:00 pm Eastern Time. Register Now.

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Search for Regional Administrator

MidAmericaRegion fieldstaff Aug2017 300wThe MidAmerica Region has reopened the search for our new Regional Administrator. This person is integral to our operations as a Region, and we encourage interested people to apply for the position. We are committed to developing a diverse and talented staff team. If you are excited about this role, but are unsure whether you meet 100% of the requirements, we encourage you to inquire and/or apply. Download the job description and process.

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Courage for Racial Justice, Courage for Collective Liberation


Chris Crass at Kellogg Community College

Workshop with Chris Crass, co-hosted by MidAmerica and Southern Regions of the UUA, ... 2018, Louisville, KY.

Unitarian Universalist and Social Justice Facilitator, Chris Crass will offer a one day workshop entitled "Courage for Racial Justice, Courage for Collective Liberation." Workshop will begin with brief worship and include small and large group discussions, storytelling from preselected congregations, theological reflection, and participatory exercise. Concluding segment will focus on "What are you bringing back to your congregation?" and "How will you be accountable for your plan?" Workshop will close with "Revival for Racial Justice" testimonials.

The purpose of this workshop is to help build social justice communities and cultures rooted in UU values with the courage to do racial justice work. Focus will be on encouraging activism and leaders, building capacity, and putting UU congregations in touch with one another.


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Fall Courses at the UU Leadership Institute

UU Leadership InstituteCore Leadership Courses are an online version of Leadership School and are designed to integrate newer leaders with current leaders by learning together! We provide materials so that you can self-organize your congregation or cluster for an in-person workshop where you can learn from one another, no matter which level course you are taking!

Faithful Membership: Covers covenant, healthy communication and boundaries, shared ministry, and stewardship. Also provides an introduction to congregational polity, UU theologies, and the wider UU movement.Healthy Leadership: Includes family and other systems thinking applied to congregations. (Similar to Healthy Congregations®) Learn healthy leadership practices, communication and conflict skills, the importance of being mission-focused and how to communicate across differences.Strategic Leadership: Develop a deeper understanding of how to focus your congregation on mission, build trust and develop a cohesive leadership team. Learn about stewardship, strategic planning, annual goal setting and ministry assessment and the basics of congregational governance.Adaptive Leadership: Develop advanced leadership skills that will help identify challenges. Learn how to help others see challenges in new ways, empower others and find creative solutions together. This course includes working on a case study with other participants.

We offer many additional courses on UU History, UU Identity, Stewardship, Membership, Intercultural Skills, Transgender Awareness and more! Visit for a full list!

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MidAmerica Region Youth Events

For more information or registration links go to: 


Mystic Lake, Michigan Middle School Youth Retreat
Friday-Sunday, October 13-15

YES We CON Southern Area Youth CON in Columbia, MO
Friday-Sunday, November 3-5

High School Youth CON in Des Moines, IA
Friday-Sunday, November 3-5

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New, Free LGBT Ally Training Curriculum

How can a person be a better ally to people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or who otherwise belong to similar, marginalized groups? Some Heritage Universalist Unitarian Church members in Cincinnati, Ohio, have developed training to address this topic, consisting of a one-day, interactive workshop with optional, follow-on discussion sessions. The training focuses on what individuals can do to be better allies. Topics include:LGBTAlly

  • terminology and language
  • what LGBT+ folks experience
  • avoiding unintended hurt
  • changing minds and hearts
  • becoming an upstander (as opposed to a bystander), and
  • making a Personal Action Plan.

The curriculum is available to download and use for free at Questions can be directed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

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Brilliant Bits from Boston

from our Friends at UUA Compensation and Staffing News

You've recruited and hired a new professional staff member who is not a UU. How can you easily explain our culture and polity?

coffeedeskThe PLUS Program (Professional Learning Units for Staff) is designed to nurture new staff into well-equipped, spirit-filled professionals who serve and lead in right relationship with their colleagues and congregation. PLUS Program units are a simple and effective way for staff to get in the habit of regular learning. Each unit can be completed in an hour or less. Most units include some reading (generally online), a connection with a person (within or beyond the congregation), and some questions to answer. There are currently 8 units, including Unitarian Universalism, Differentiated Leadership, and Self-Care.

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We are seeking to covenant with each other to find new ways of partnering and standing together on the side of love for the flourishing of our world, our communities, our congregations and our members.