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MidAmerica Messenger

Volume 4 Issue 11     |     June 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

MidAmerica Youth Ministry Revival
From One Admin to Another...
Breakthrough Congregations
Nominations for Camp UniStar
Courage for Collective Liberation
Brilliant Bits: Love Resists
Contact Us

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Sharon Dittmar, Congregational Life Consultant

rev sharon dittmar 2016 Welcome to the summer of 2017! This issue is a special June/July issue. Our next issue will appear August 2017.

On June 2, the recent Moderator of the UUA Jim Key died. He had resigned his post in May due to an aggressive recurrence of cancer. He served well and will be missed. Like you, we wait to hear from the UUA Board as to how they will move forward with the sudden loss of a beloved Moderator.

Several of us will meet up at General Assembly in New Orleans, LA (June 21-25) Delegates from our Region are invited to the MidAmerica Regional meeting on Wednesday, June 21 from 5:30PM - 6:15PM. Also, stop by the Congregational Life booth and say "hello!" Several of us will be at GA (Ian, Lisa, Nancy, and Sharon) and we hope to see you there.

As always, be in touch. We know congregational life continues during all seasons and we are here for you. Visit for more information.

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MidAmerica Youth Ministry Revival


September 29 - October 1, 2017, Countryside Church UU, Palatine, IL

matt meyer The MidAmerica Region is sponsoring CommUUnity@Heart as a shared national UU Youth Ministry Roundtable initiative, with talented leaders from the UUA's Youth and YA Office, Congregational Life, and the UU College of Social Justice.

We are thrilled to have Matt Meyer, from the Lucy Stone Cooperative and Boston Sanctuaries movement to help us go deeper in our spirit with music and message, and we have invited leaders from the InterFaith Youth Corps to bring their unique vision on building communities of partnership and pluralism.

CommUUnity@Heart: Youth Revival 2 will provide nurture through music, movement and message for youth and adults to become "mystical warriors" focused on beloved community building. Participant will find ways to go deeper into their own resolve to nurture the spirit within themselves, and their communities, to help create a world where all are treated fairly. It is a wonderful opportunity for teams of youth, youth advisors, DRE's, ministers, and social justice leaders to take part in an experience which will deepen faith, nourish spirit, and lift hearts!

You can register now! We invite youth and at least one of the adults from their team to stay on site, and we have a block of rooms at a reduced rate at a local Holiday Inn Express in Arlington/Palatine. The fee for participants is $60. Per youth and adult, and for teams of 4, the rate is $200.

Hoping to see you there! -- Nancy Combs-Morgan

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From One Admin to Another...   

Dear UU Church Administrators,

Katie Phillips photo by Chuck Bennorth 300wI know your to-do list is 13 pages long, the phone is ringing off the hook, and the financial report is due - I have been in your shoes! I was the Congregational Administrator at the UU Society of Geneva (IL) for 10 years and am now an Administrative Assistant at the MidAmerica Region.

One of my jobs is to update our records of congregational leadership. I know from being in your seat for years that this task is likely at the bottom of your to-do list, but we're going to make this very easy for you this year.


To make sure your leadership receives information about webinars and other ongoing instruction to help them be the best leaders they can be. We do not share a database with the UUA, so the only way for us to get the information is from you.


Anytime your leadership (Board members) or staffing (Minister, DRE, Administrator) changes.

And the biggie - How?

Let's K.I.S.S. on this one - send the information to me (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) however it is easiest for you. Your latest directory lists the new Board? Send it to me! Just updated your website? Shoot me a link.

Katie Phillips, UUA MidAmerica Region Administrative Assistant

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MidAmerica Region, Breakthrough Congregations Returns and They are Looking for You!

breakthrough congregations horizontal 300dpi rgbBreakthrough Congregations returns with a focus that celebrates and shares innovative ways congregations are adapting to the challenges faced in an evolving religious landscape. We are looking for bold one time initiatives as well as on-going sustainable efforts. This is not based on numerical growth or whole congregation health, though we will consider other benchmarks of health in your congregation.

Are you a congregation in the MidAmerica Region doing adaptive, innovative ministry in a way that could be replicated elsewhere? Maybe you've found a new revenue stream, or have done something different in worship? Or maybe you have a ministry in your community that has become the hallmark of your congregation. Whatever it is, we want to hear about it! For more information and application materials, go to the UUA website. Congregations and covenanting communities can apply - the application deadline is September 1, 2017.

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Call For Camp Unistar Foundation Nomination

Camp Unistar logo The Nominating Committee for the Mid-America Region of the UUA is charged with identifying potential candidates and presenting nominations for consideration to the Regional Board of Trustees for a Position on the Camp Unistar Foundation Board (CUF). For more information, please see CUF's website: The Nominating Committee seeks to identify the most diverse pool of candidates possible. In identifying candidates, we are seeking candidates who have attended or work at Camp Unistar and have a working knowledge of the camp and its operations.

Please feel free to contact the Nominating Committee via e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Thank you for your participation and support for leadership development across the Region.

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Courage for Racial Justice, Courage for Collective Liberation

chris crassWILL BE RESCHEDULED in 2018

Courage for Racial Justice, Courage for Collective Liberation workshop with Chris Crass
co-hosted by MidAmerica and Southern Regions of the UUA
When:  Saturday, February 17, 2018, 9am-5pm
Where:  Thomas Jefferson Unitarian Church, Louisville, KY

More information on Chris Crass:

Bring a team if possible. Childcare available. Registration opens September 2017.

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Brilliant Bits from Boston: Love Resists

Sharon Dittmar, Congregational Life Consultant

love resists

LOVE RESISTS is a UUA/UUSC collaboration that provides resources for congregations to stand with undocumented residents and learn more about theologies of resistance, community partnerships, and sanctuary movements Interested congregations and individuals can sign the Declaration of Conscience, pledging to stand on the side of love to protect the most vulnerable, and commit themselves to speak out and to act in support of basic human rights. Check out more resources at You can also share your stories of justice and solidarity - Tweet using #LoveResists and follow the hashtag to get inspiration from others. Follow the UUA and UUSC on Facebook for updates on the campaign.

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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.