PSD Annual Conference 2006: Saturday Workshops (A) 10:30-11:45

A1: A Field of Dreamers and Doers: UUs and Social Justice in Iowa

Tom Lo Guidice, PSD Social Justice Coordinator and member UU Fellowship of Dubuque, IA Service. Education. Witness. Advocacy. Community Organizing. Knowing where to start to work for change in our society can seem like an overwhelming task. It’s important to choose the best type of action according to congregational interests, skills, and talents. In this session, we will explore types of social action and hear from three Iowa congregations (small, mid-size, and large) and the work they are doing. All of the represented congregations are members of the Iowa Cluster of the Prairie Star Social Justice Network.

A2: Singing in the Oral Tradition

Paul Soderdahl, UU Society of Iowa City, IA Songs handed down in the oral tradition are tools for engaging in daily activities and coping with life events. These songs of protest, of freedom, and of peace give power to those who fight for justice. Our singing will draw from calls and chants, spirituals, gospels, hymns, African music, and contemporary songs. You don’t need any musical training to participate. You just need to bring your voice and a willingness to join in the vocal community. Youth, young adults, and families with children are also encouraged to participate in this workshop.

A3: The Revolution Starts Now, Part 2

Rev. Valerie Mapstone Ackerman, MSW, MDiv; Red Dog Farm and Retreat Center, Haskell, OK Though many UU congregations have thriving social service programs, few enjoy effective social justice programs. What’s the difference? Can we find ways to save the “babies in the river” AND stop them from becoming endangered in the first place? Share your stories of frustration and success, and learn some techniques for assessing and strengthening your congregation’s social justice programs.

A4: Mission, Music, and Money

Rev. Don Rollins, Nora UU Church, Hanska, MN We UUs swim in a sea of ever-increasing and often complicated advice on church governance and growth. This workshop asks and answers the question, “What is essential for a people to become the 'beloved community'?”

A5: The Engaged Citizen and the Common Good -- Getting Started

Elaine Rockwell, First Unitarian Church, Des Moines, IA As UUs committed to changing the world for the better, where do we start? How can you start an informed conversation about “everyday social justice” within your congregation? Based on Turning to One Another, by Margaret J. Wheatley, the conversation begins with two questions: “What is my faith in the future?” and “When have I experienced working for the common good?” To close, we will brainstorm actions for practicing the common good, as individuals and as a church community.

A6: Think Globally, Act Locally: Global Outreach from Local Fellowship

Bob Anderson, Unitarian Fellowship, Ames, IA Learn about opportunities to promote international education, development, and peace through local initiatives.

A7: Civil Marriage for Everyone Now

Rev. Virginia Wolf, UU Congregation of Eau Claire, WI Seventeen states have passed constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage or similar legal protections; other states are in the process of trying to pass such amendments. Is yours one of these? What are you doing about it? What might you do about it? What is at stake here? Why should you get involved, no matter what your state might or might not be doing? Come share your ideas and carry home ideas from others.

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