April 11–13, 2008 in Omaha, Nebraska

Logo design by Cheryll Wallace


Keynote Speaker - Charlie Clements, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC)

Arthur M. Judy Lecturer - Rev. Meg Riley, Director of Advocacy and Witness, UUA


Look over the descriptions for the 24 Workshops ( A | B | C ) offered on Saturday, April 12, to start thinking about the ones you want to attend!

Also included in registration is the pre-conference Social Justice Workshop on Friday afternoon, April 11.

Business Meeting

The 45th Annual Meeting of the District will be held Saturday afternoon at the conference. Check out the Business Meeting area for information on the proposed budget and proposed slate of candidates — and how to register your congregation’s delegates.


The host congregations, First and Second Unitarian Churches of Omaha, look forward to welcoming you at Embassy Suites Hotel in Downtown/Old Market, Omaha — in the heart of the historic dining and shopping district and downtown’s riverfront development!

Plan now to extend your trip to include visits to the many Omaha Highlights.

Registration and Accommodations

Registration, both online and by mail, is now open. Early registration discounts apply.

Don’t forget to order a conference T-Shirt on the Registration page!

You may reserve a hotel room at our special group rate at the Embassy Suites Omaha - Downtown/Old Market. Home hospitality and roommate-matching are also available; look for those options on your conference registration form.

A list of alternative hotels is available.

Friday Night Keynote Only Option

If you want to attend only the Friday night Keynote Address, email Nancy Amsler with your name and contact information. (You will need to pick up your nametag at the hotel on Friday night.) There is no charge for attending only the Keynote Address, but a freewill donation in advance would be very much appreciated. Freewill donations should be mailed with a note stating that it is a donation for the Friday night program. Make check to Second Unitarian Church, Omaha and mail to

PSD Annual Conference c/o Nancy Amsler

Banner Parade

Everyone loves the banner parade. Be a part of it! Go to http://archive.uua.org/ga/banners.html for easy instructions on creating and displaying your congregation’s banner. Then bring it to Omaha!

Exhibit Space

Space is available at the hotel for exhibitors. The deadline for exhibit applications is March 21, 2008.

Retrieved from http://www.psduua.org/pmwiki/AnnualConference2008/AnnualConference2008 Page last modified on May 19, 2008, at 11:55 AM

Business Meeting

The 45th Annual Meeting of Prairie Star District, UUA, will be held on Saturday, April 12, 2008, from 5:00 to 6:15 p.m., at the Old Market Embassy Suites, 555 South 10th St., Omaha, NE 68102. The agenda for the meeting includes adoption of the 2008–2009 Prairie Star District budget, the election for the positions shown in the report of the Nominating Committee, and such other matters as may properly come before the meeting.

Business Meeting Links

  • Delegate Counts A list by congregation of the number of delegates per congregation for 2008.
  • Proposed Budget (in PDF Format — 23KB) The proposed budgets will be printed in the Annual Report which will be distributed to all delegates at the Annual Conference
    Nominating Committee Report A list of the candidates for officers, directors, and others to lead Prairie Star District, with biographical information.
  • Voting Delegates
  • Congregational Delegates

Every affiliated congregation in good standing is entitled to a specific number of delegates who can vote at the meeting. The number of delegates is determined by number of congregation members.

Procedure for accrediting congregational delegates

The congregation should select its delegates according to its bylaws. The deadline has passed for naming delegates online. Please send your delegates to the Conference with a letter signed by an officer or minister of the congregation stating the name of the congregation and the names of the delegates. This letter can be presented at the delegate sign-in section of the Conference registration desk. People who will be delegates should also register like other conference participants. (The accreditation process above does not do that; it merely identifies who the voting delegates are.) Delegates who have been accredited on the Web site must also sign in at the Registration desk at the Conference (before 3:00 PM on Saturday, April 12) to show that they are in attendance. They will then be given a sticker for their name badge indicating that they are entitled to vote. There will not be paper credentials to carry to the conference.

Each congregation may send as many participants to the conference as desired, but only the delegates accredited on the Web site will be able to vote. All conference participants including delegates should complete a Registration to attend the Annual Conference.

Additional Delegates

Fellowshipped, settled and interim ministers and ministers emeritus are entitled to be delegates (in addition to the congregational selected delegates).

Members of the PSD Board of Directors are also entitled to be delegates.

There will not be paper credentials for these delegates. Persons who are delegates by their ministerial or Board member status should sign in at the Conference (before 3:00 PM on Saturday, April 12) to show they are in attendance and will be given a sticker for their name badge indicating they are entitled to vote.All conference participants including delegates should complete a Registration to attend the Annual Conferenc

Conference Highlights

CharlieClements3 sm

Keynote Address

Friday, April 11, 2008, 7:45 p.m.

Who Bears the Burden?

Dr. Charlie Clements
President and Chief Executive Officer
Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC)

In this presentation, Charlie, a Vietnam-veteran, will examine the costs of the war in Iraq on our military, on their families, on Iraqis, and on the unfunded priorities in America such as rebuilding the communities and lives devastated by hurricanes Katrina and Rita. In the last year of his life, Martin Luther King, Jr., was excoriated by people and institutions like the New York Times and Washington Post, which had previously regarded him as a hero, for linking the war in Vietnam with the problems of poverty and race in the U.S. This year UUSC honors with this analysis the 40th anniversary of King’s death — which falls only a few weeks after the PSD conference.

Charlie Clements is a public health physician and human rights activist, who for five years has led UUSC as CEO and President. The moral arc of his life was examined in an Academy Award winning documentary, “Witness to War” (1985), and a book by the same title (Bantam, 1984), which describe his journey of conscience, from a young pilot who refused further duty in Vietnam that he felt was immoral, to a physician working behind the lines in the civil war of El Salvador, taking care of civilians bombed by U.S.-supplied aircraft in which he had once trained. It was there Charlie became acquainted with the horror of landmines. Some years later he would represent Physicians for Human Rights at both the treaty signing and the Nobel-peace prize ceremonies for the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. Charlie spent nearly a decade assisting American communities along the border of Mexico to construct desperately needed infrastructure of running water and sewer, where he developed an passion for the human right to water. He has been widely recognized for his contributions to human rights and humanitarian affairs. Charlie worked at UUSC in the late 1980s as Director of Human Rights Education, during which time he led a number of Congressional fact-finding missions to Central America.


MegRiley smArthur M. Judy Memorial Lecture

Saturday, April 12, 2008, 9:00 a.m.

(topic to be announced)

Rev. Meg Riley
Director of Advocacy and Witness, UUA

Rev. Meg Riley is currently Director of Advocacy and Witness at UUA. For many years she served as the Director of the UU Washington Office for Faith in Action.


Banquet and Entertainment

Saturday, April 12, 2008, 7:15 p.m.

Enjoy dinner with new friends and old. The choir will sing along with a potpourri of talented performers ranging from serious artists to hilarious quipsters. We guarantee there will be something entertaining for everyone! Be sure to join us for a rollicking good time!

Anti-Racist, Anti-Oppressive, Multicultural Unitarian Universalism for All Ages

Saturday, April 12, 2008, Workshop Sessions

Learn how to educate yourself and others about race and racism so that you can better organize for racial justice in our communities and the world. Groundwork trainers will help us create anti-racist transformation personally, institutionally, and culturally.

Groundwork is a UUA sponsored organization of trainers that helps UUs learn how to be more spiritually alive and justice-centered. This workshop is one of three being offered by Groundwork trainers and is sponsored by the PSD Board of Directors. This thematic workshop is planned for multigenerational participants. Youth, young adults, and adults are all welcome. It meets during each workshop session (A8, B8, and C8). This is an opportunity to explore the topic in depth by attending all or any one of the sessions.

Artwork by Cheryll Wallace

This year’s conference logo is an original pen & ink drawing by Cheryll Wallace. This beautiful chalice is one of many that she creates while she listens carefully at meetings. This design is also featured on the conference T-Shirt.

Cheryll is the DRE at First Unitarian Church of Omaha and leads the joint YRUU group for both First and Second Unitarian. She is serving her second term on the Prairie Star District Board and was honored with the 2007 PSD Ellie Morton Award for outstanding work in religious education.

The following table gives the number of delegates each PSD congregation is entitled to send to the PSD Annual Business Meeting in 2008. The number of delegates depends on the number of members certified with UUA for 2007-2008. The two numerical columns in the table give:

Members: The number of members certified by the congregation with UUA.
Delegates: The number of delegates from the congregation who may vote at the PSD Annual Business Meeting in 2008

Note: Congregations not affiliated with the UUA are not listed in the table, as they are not entitled to voting delegates.

City Congregation Members Delegates
Ames Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Ames 304 6
Burlington The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship at Burlington, Iowa 84 3
Cedar Falls Unitarian Universalist Society of Black Hawk County 131 4
Cedar Rapids The Peoples Church Unitarian Universalist 220 5
Clinton Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Clinton 14 2
Davenport Unitarian Church 213 5
Decorah NE Iowa Unitarian Universalist Fellowship 52 3
Des Moines First Unitarian Church of Des Moines, Iowa 389 7
Dubuque Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Dubuque, 46 3
Iowa City Unitarian Universalist Society of Iowa City 278 6
Mason city Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of N Central Iowa 10 2
Sioux City First Unitarian Church 65 3
Lawrence Unitarian Fellowship of Lawrence 157 4
Manhattan Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Manhattan 105 3
Overland Park Shawnee Mission Unitarian Universalist Church 335 6
Salina The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Salina 36 2
Topeka Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Topeka 152 4
Wichita First Unitarian Universalist Church of Wichita, Kansas 130 4
Arden Hills Pilgrim House Unitarian UniversalistFellowship 87 3
Bemidji Headwaters Unitarian Universalist Fellowship 65 3
Bloomington Minnesota Valley Unitarian UniversalistFellowship 157 4
Brainerd Northwoods Unitarian Universalist Fellowship 11 2
Burnsville Dakota Unitarian Universalist Church 34 2
Duluth Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Duluth 217 5
Excelsior Lake Fellowship 34 2
Fridley Michael Servetus Unitarian Society 84 3
Grand Rapids Unitarian Fellowship of Grand Rapids 25 2
Hanska Nora Church Unitarian Universalist 72 3
Mahtomedi White Bear Unitarian Universalist Church 611 10
Mankato Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Mankato 100 3
Minneapolis First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis 476 8
Minneapolis First Universalist Church 829 13
Northfield Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Northfield 39 3
Rochester First Unitarian Universalist Church 410 7
St. Cloud St. Cloud Unitarian Universalist Fellowship 75 3
St. Paul Unity Church - Unitarian 832 13
Underwood Unitarian Church of Underwood 46 3
Virginia Mesabi Unitarian Universalist Church 34 2
Wayzata Unitarian UniversalistChurch of Minnetonka 189 5
Willmar Unitarian Universalist Church of Willmar 46 3
Winona Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Winona 45 3
Kansas City All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church 568 10
Kansas City Gaia Community 45 3
Kearney Kearney Unitarian Universalist Fellowship 10 2
Lincoln Unitarian Church 283 6
Omaha First Unitarian Church 244 5
Omaha Second Unitarian Church 131 4
North Dakota
Bismarck Bismarck-Mandan Unitarian Universalist Fellowshp 82 3
Fargo Unitarian Universalist Church 69 3
Grand Forks Grand Forks Unitarian Universalist Fellowship 26 2
South Dakota
Rapid City Black Hills Unitarian Universalist Fellowship 39 3
Sioux Falls All Souls Church - Unitarian Universalist 72 3
Vermillion Unitarian Fellowship of Vermillion, 6 2
Ashland Chequamegon Unitarian Universalist Fellowship 39 3
Eau Claire Unitarian Universalist Congregation 168 4
La Crosse Unitarian Universalist Fellowshp of La Crosse 93 3
Menomonie Unitarian Society of Menomonie 34 2
Rice Lake Blue Hills Unitarian Universalist Fellowship 51 3
River Falls Unitarian Universalist Society of River Falls 80 3
Totals   9279 241


What does my registration include?

An adult registration includes the conference and its activities, breakfast Saturday, April 12, and Sunday, April 13, lunch on Saturday and the banquet Saturday night. A youth registration includes the conference, breakfast at the church on Saturday and Sunday, lunch with the larger group on Saturday and a youth dinner party on Saturday night.

How do I get a hotel reservation?

This is separate from your conference registration and you will need to make it yourself. For more information see the PSD conference General Info page. It contains information about the conference hotel and alternate hotels in the area.

What is the phone number of the Embassy Suites Hotel?

Phone: (402) 346-9000

What are the hours for breakfast?

Breakfast on Saturday and Sunday, 7:30 – 8:45 is included with your conference registration. It will feature breakfast foods and you have your choice of sitting at a table with a selected table topic or not.

Breakfast for youth, grade 7 – 12 will be provided at First Unitarian Church of Omaha.

If you are staying in the hotel, breakfast is included with your hotel fee – the hours are 7 – 10:30 each morning. It is not a part of the conference but comes with an Embassy Suites hotel registration, and will be held in a location separate from the conference breakfasts.

What hours and payments are available for the bookstore?

The book store will be open Friday, 6 – 7 pm and Saturday, 8am – 7 pm. Payment can be cash or check. An ATM machine is located in the hotel lobby.

Where can I pick up my conference t-shirt? When is the latest date to order one?

T-shirts which were ordered in advance can be picked up at the registration desk. A limited amount will be available at the conference for $15. Advance orders must be placed by April 7.

How can I get to the conference site from the airport or train station?

Hotel shuttles go to and from the airport every half hour or call (402) 346-9000, or cabs are available.

If you are arriving by Amtrak, cabs are available.

How can I order cab service?

Safeway Cab (402) 342-7474 Yellow Cab - www.happycab.com - (402) 292-2222 Yellow Cab - www.yellowcab.com - (402) 477-4111 Happy Cab - www.happycab.com - (402) 339-8294 Checker Cab - www.happycab.com - (402) 339-0110

If I get stuck, who can I call?

Jaime Alexander, (C) 402-657-9386, or
Cheri Cody, (C) 402-210-9029

Where will I get my choir music?

Copies of the choir music for the Saturday afternoon workshop and Sunday service will be provided to those taking part in the choir.

How do youth get back and forth between the church and the hotel?

Youth information will be sent to them by Sherry Warren and Phil Lund.

If I have questions about something during the conference, who do I ask?

Our hospitality volunteers will be wearing green badges, The registration desk will be staffed during break time and designated registration hours.

I’m a delegate. What do I need to do?

Your congregation president or minister must put your name on the delegates list on the PSD web site before 11:30 AM on Wednesday, April 9. When you arrive at the conference you need to sign in as a delegate at the conference registration table. When you sign in you will be given a copy of the PSD Annual Report and a sticker for your name badge indicating you are a delegate. Then you attend the annual business meeting at 5:00 PM on Saturday and vote on any motions presented.

Where are the Unitarian Universalist churches in Omaha and what time are their services?

First Unitarian Church of Omaha
3114 Harney Street; Phone: 402-345-3039; Service time 11 am

Second Unitarian Church
3012 South 119th Street, Omaha, Nebraska 68144 (402) 334-0537; Service time 10:30 am

PSD Annual Conference Service at the hotel, Friday service, 9:30 – 10:15 pm Saturday youth led service, 9:30 – 10:15 pm Sunday service, 9:30 – 10:30 am

Where is a good place to eat Friday night?

Omaha is noted for its fine restaurants, and many of them are located in the Old Market area near the conference site. Of course you can eat in the Embassy Suites hotel, or try one of our local working group suggestions below or go to the website http://www.oldmarket.com/dining.asp. All Omaha restaurants are non-smoking and the ones listed below are within easy walking distance of the conference hotel. Bon appetit!

Spaghetti Works
Hours: 11A – 10P, Phone: 402-422-0770
Directions from hotel: One block west, SW corner of Howard and 11th
$5 - $14, Family friendly

M’s Pub
Hours: 11A – Midn. Phone: 402-342-2550
Recommended Directions from hotel: One block west to 11th, turn right, 2nd business on left
$10-$18 L, $10 – $35 D, Lunch menu available all times, Try Lovosh appetizer

Hours: 11A – Midn. Phone: 402-342-2050
Directions from hotel: West on Howard, 2nd business on right after crossing 11th
$10-$20 L, $15-$35 D, Reservation recommended, Contemporary Italian

Upstream Brewing Company
Hours: 11A –Midn. Phone: 402-344-0200
Directions from hotel: West on Howard to 11th, turn left, 2nd business on right
$8-$14 L, $10-$38 D, Call and if there is a wait, ask to be put on the list.

What about the manager’s reception?

If you are staying in the Embassy Suites a manager’s reception is included with your hotel fee, and the hours are 5:30 – 7:30 pm – you will need your hotel key for this. It is not a part of the conference.
If you are not registered in the hotel you can also participate in the reception for a fee of $10. Tickets will be available at the conference registration desk in the lobby. It is not a part of the conference.

What about wireless connections for the internet?

There are 4 connection booths in the hotel lobby coffee shop where first 10 minutes are free, then there is an hourly charge. In the guest rooms the charge is $10.95 for each 24 hour connection.

What are the hours and location of the public library?

W. Dale Clark Location (within walking distance) - 215 South 15th St. 68102-1629;444-4800; Fri, Sat 10 am – 6 pm; Sunday 1 – 6 pm

Where can I find public radio stations?

90.7 for classical, 91.5 for news, jazz and NPR

Where can I park?

See map below for lot parking, which runs about $6 per day. The map area marked “Embassy Suites Overnight Guest Park” is for hotel guests only. Parking is also available on the street, where meters are active until 5 pm on Friday. AC2008map


To register online, see the Registration page.

To register by mail, please complete a copy of the registration form (also on the Registration page) for each attendee grade 7 and over. In addition, complete the forms for youth or childcare if applicable.

Mail paper registration forms and checks to:

PSD Annual Conference c/o Nancy Amsler

Adult Registration includes the Friday Social Justice workshop, the banner parade, keynote speakers, Saturday workshops, worship services, meals, and Saturday entertainment. The advance registration fee is

$135 through March 21st and then $150 thereafter.

Youth Registration is $60 and attendees in grades 7–12 are eligible. Youth registration requires both parental permission and the presence of an adult sponsor who will be attending the conference.

A youth registration provides all of the events described above for adults. Youth participants will also create the worship service on Saturday evening. Youth may make hotel reservations or stay at the First Unitarian Church in Omaha.

For more information, youth, parents, and adult sponsors should all review and complete both the regular Conference Registration and the Youth Supplement that is included in this packet. Both forms must be returned to complete a Youth Registration.


Childcare will be available at the conference hotel

Friday evening 6:00 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. and Saturday 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Care for infants through kindergarten will also be provided Sunday 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Saturday lunch and snacks are provided for all ages. On Saturday, kids from grade 1 through 6 will be touring the Henry Doorly Zoo and the Children’s Museum.

The fee for infant through kindergarten is $50 and the fee for grades 1 though 6 is $40. Childcare registration forms must be submitted along with the adult registration and must be received by April 1st.


Adult and youth registrations include Saturday breakfast, lunch, and dinner, refreshments during breaks, and Sunday breakfast. Childcare includes Saturday lunch and snacks. Extra Saturday lunches ($15) and/or dinners ($20) are available for family members or other non-participants. They can be purchased on the registration form. Vegetarian meals are available and other dietary needs should be noted on the registration form.

Special Needs

The registration form contains space to indicate your interest in car pooling, home hospitality, or room sharing. You may also indicate special dietary needs or other assistance that you might need to attend the conference.


Cancellations that are received by April 1st will be charged a processing fee of $10. Cancellations after April 1st will not receive a refund.


The conference hotel is:

Old Market Embassy Suites 555 South 10th St. Omaha, NE 68102

The hotel is conveniently located in Omaha’s Old Market entertainment area and provides a great site for our meeting. Rooms are large and provide the space for an active family weekend. The two-room suites make it easy for attendees to share the space and the cost. Parking, breakfast, and the daily manager’s reception are all included in the hotel’s special $139 conference rate ($149 for 3 or 4 adults). The deadline for reservations at this rate is March 21, 2008. Use Group Code PSD.


A list of alternative hotels is available.


The Annual Conference Mixed Choir is back! Join with your fellow singers by attending either or both rehearsals at 5:00 p.m. Saturday and 8:15 a.m. Sunday.

The Choir will perform twice. They will sing a number at the Saturday night banquet as well as participating in the Sunday morning worship service.

Scholarship Fund

The Prairie Star District Board has authorized the creation of a scholarship fund to subsidize attendance at future Annual Conferences for those who could not otherwise attend. When you register for this year’s conference, you will have the opportunity to make a voluntary contribution to this fund. The criteria for awarding of scholarships will be published when funds are available.


The conference will include a UU Bookstore and space for other exhibitors. Exhibit space is available for $30 per 6-foot by 30-inch table. See the Registration page for an application form.


For more information, email the registrar or contact: Nancy Amsler or Cheri Cody

Banner Parade

The Banner Parade will be Friday evening, and banners will be exhibited throughout the conference. You are invited and encouraged to bring your congregation’s banner (and pole) for the parade.

To learn more about creating a banner, visit http://www.uua.org/ga/bannerspecs.pdf

Nominating Committee ReportSlate of Nominees 2008

President For the two year term ending June 30, 2010
Kathryn Bowman, Unitarian Church, Davenport, Iowa

Secretary For the two year term ending June 30, 2010
David Martin, Unitarian Universalist Society, Iowa City, Iowa

Directors For the three year term ending June 30, 2011 (two to be elected)
Libby Starling, First Unitarian Society, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Fred Hulting, Unitarian Universalist Church of Minnetonka, Wayzata, Minnesota

Other Offices

Nominating Committee For the two year term ending June 30, 2010 (two to be elected)
Dawn Cooley, UU Fellowship, Northfield, Minnesota
Mark Sanderson, All Souls UU Church, Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Midwest Unitarian Universalist Conference For the three year term ending June 30, 2011
Mike Smith, First Unitarian Church, Des Moines, Iowa

Submitted by the 2007-08 Nominating Committee:
Andrea Purdy Heier, Chair
Dawn Cooley
Barbara Kellett
Graham Kreiker
Mark Sanderson


Biographical Information

Kathy Bowman President
Kathryn L. Bowman has been a member of the Davenport Unitarian Church since 1976. Prior to assuming a leadership role as board clerk and board president, she served as chair of the social concerns committee and a religious education teacher. She served as interim DRE. She has also served as a trainer for Our Whole Lives (OWL) facilitators in PSD and also an OWL facilitator in her local congregation. She chaired the District Seventh Year Review Task Force. She has served on the PSD Board since 2001 having been Treasurer and Vice-President. Kathy has served one year as PSD President filling an unexpired term.
Dave Martin Secretary
Dave Martin has been a member of the UU Society of Iowa City for over 30 years. During that time he has served in a variety of leadership roles, including Board Trustee, Treasurer, and Board President. He has taught AYS classes and been chair of the Stewardship Campaign. He served on the PSD Program Council and has been on the staff of the Midwest Leadership School. He is head of the Business Library at the University of Iowa.
Fred Hulting Director
Fred Hulting has been a member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Minnetonka for the past 12 years. During that time, Fred has filled a variety of leadership roles, including Board Trustee and Board President. He also enjoys teaching RE classes, and is currently the Finance Chair at UUCM. Fred works for General Mills as a Director in the Research and Development organization. Fred has served one year on the PSD Board filling an unexpired term.
Libby Starling Director
Libby Starling joined the First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis in fall 1992. At FUS, she served on the Search Committee and on the Board of Trustees for five years, including as vice-chair and chair. Libby is currently a member of the UUA’s Midwest Regional Subcommittee on Candidacy. Professionally, Libby is the Research Manager for the Metropolitan Council of the Twin Cities. She is completing one term as PSD Secretary.
Dawn Cooley Nominating Committee
Dawn Cooley has been participating in the PSD, in a variety of capacities, since 2000. Prior to her current positions as director of Stonetree Congregational Resources of PSD and consulting minister to the UU Fellowship of Northfield (MN), she worked with young adults and campus ministry in the district, visited many congregations as guest speaker, and maintained professional leadership roles at the congregational level. Dawn graduated from United Theological Seminary in 2004. She has served one year as an appointed member of the Nominating Committee.
Mark Sanderson Nominating Committee
Mark Sanderson has been an involved member in his local UU congregation, All Souls Church, Sioux Falls, SD, for the past 28 years. With a background in teaching and social work, Mark presently works as a case manager and teacher in a Fatherhood and Family: Inside & Out program whose mission is to help in the transition of an incarcerated person into his family after his release from prison.. Mark has served PSD as a Board member and a Resource Liaison. He is completing his first term on the Nominating Committee.
Michael Smith Midwest Unitarian Universalist Conference
Michael Smith is a member of First Unitarian Church, Des Moines, IA. He has served as a member of its board of trustees, has chaired the finance committee and canvasses, advised the youth group, and participated in many other activities. He served on the Prairie Star District Board including two terms as Treasurer and is completing his first term as Midwest UU Conference Representative.

The Welcome Committee

The weather in Omaha for the 2008 Prairie Star District (April 11–13) will be warmly welcoming. The forecast calls for a weekend blessed with fellowship, spiritual growth, learning opportunities, and sharing. Your host congregations, Omaha’s First and Second Unitarian Churches are looking forward to welcoming you to our city. We have focused on providing an atmosphere that is conducive to being together. Omaha offers plenty of opportunity for entertainment, inspiration, and good food. Come early, stay late, or do both.

Embassy Suites Atrium

The Embassy Suites Hotel in Omaha’s Old Market entertainment area is a great site for our meeting. Rooms are large and provide the space for an active family weekend. The two-room suites make it easy for attendees to share the space and the cost. When you are ready to make your reservation, you can use this Embassy Suites Group Page to be sure you receive the group discount, or you may call 1-800-EMBASSY and request Group Code PSD. Note that reservations must be made by March 21, 2008.

You will be located in Omaha’s http://www.oldmarket.com/Old Market area, one of the city’s prime locations for restaurants and entertainment. Omaha is known for good restaurants, and some of the best are in easy walking distance from the hotel. There are also major attractions located nearby, either within walking distance or just a short drive. Omaha’s top attractions include:

Durham Western Heritage Museum

Durham Western Heritage Museum – Beautiful architecture blends with memories of a time gone by (just a short walk up the hill). Heartland of America Park – Take a walk along the riverfront (right next door). Joslyn Art Museum – Nebraska’s largest and most distinguished art museum. Lauritzen Gardens – Omaha’s Botanical Center. Father Flanagan’s Boys Town – A beacon of hope for 90 years. Omaha Children’s Museum – Established to engage the imagination and create excitement about learning.

Doorly Zoo celebrates the Year of the Frog

Henry Doorly Zoo – A World Class Zoo that is a treat for all ages and abilities. Don’t worry about the weather because there are a wide variety of indoor attractions from rainforests to deserts. Live Theatre – At least 30 live theatre companies present over 200 shows each year. Other helpful links: Omaha, Council Bluffs, and Nebraska

Be sure to bring your significant other and your children. There is something for everyone in Omaha and the children’s options are especially attractive this year. First through sixth graders who are participating in our childcare program will be heading off to the Henry Doorly Zoo on Saturday morning and then spending the afternoon at the Children’s Museum.

The PSD 2008 Annual Conference was held April 11–13 in Omaha, Nebraska.

The Banner Parade featured more than 20 banners from congregations all over the District. The Keynote Address, “Who Bears the Burden?” was given by Charlie Clements, President and Chief Executive Officer of UUSC. The Judy Lecture was given by Rev. Meg Riley, Director of Advocacy and Witness, UUA Awards were presented at the Saturday Awards Luncheon, and the President’s Award at the Annual Business Meeting Saturday afternoon. (Howard Guthmann, Unity, St. Paul, MN, the recipient of the President’s Award, was not present.) The 2008 Annual Report, as presented at the meeting, is available online. The Treasurer’s Report presented at the meeting to accompany the Financial Report in the 2008 Annual Report is available online. The slate of nominees was approved. Saturday’s banquet concluded with music from the conference choir, The Barbershop Quartet “Yesterdays Kids,” and Mark Carney, Will Wetzel, Tab Berger and Alex Nekoranec, and comedy by Darrell Draper. Saturday evening finished with a worship service presented by the youth attending the conference. Conference participants worshiped together Sunday morning.

PSD AC2008 Photos

Banner Parade

Banner Parade
Second Omaha
Second Omaha
First Omaha
First Omaha
Storm Lake
Storm Lake


Charlie Clements
Charlie Clements
Meg Riley
Meg Riley


Judith Harrington and Nancy Miller
Judith Harrington, Cedar Falls, IA, accepts the Keeping the Faith award on behalf of Kamyar Enshayan from Nancy Miller.
Carolyn MacDonald and Nancy Miller
Carolyn MacDonald, All Souls, Kansas City, MO, receives the Keeping the Faith award from Nancy Miller.
Helen Deffenbacher and Nancy Miller
Helen Deffenbacher, First Omaha, NE, receives the Adult Social Justice Award from Nancy Miller.
Lori Allen
Lori Allen, Ames, IA, about to receive the Ellie Morton Award.

Kathy Klink-Zeitz, Cedar Falls, IA, accepts the Unsung UU Award on behalf of Mildred Pierce from Nancy Miller.
Dave Nicklin and Walt Wells
Dave Nicklin, First Omaha, NE, accepts the Betty Gorshe Award on behalf of Marie Bradley Helms from Walt Wells
Bob and Sue Hamilton
Bob and Sue Hamilton, receiving the Betty Gorshe Award.

Random shots

Violinist at Youth Worship
Violinist at Youth Worship
John and Dawn Cooley
John and Dawn Cooley, making the computers work
Barbershop Quartet
The barbershop quartet
Darrel Draper
Darrel Draper, Second Omaha, NE
Claryce Evans
Claryce Evans, Sioux City, IA
Mary Kathryn Wallace
Mary Kathryn Wallace, Iowa City, IA
Cheri Cody
Cheri Cody, Second Omaha, NE, talks about the National Religious Campaign Against Torture
Lunch: two viewpoints

Next year in Duluth: April 3-5, 2009!




Photos courtesy of Sam Wormley, Ames, IA