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In This Issue
Annual Conference
PSD Sermon Contest Winner
Chalice Lighters Make A Difference
Wider UU World

I'm looking forward to seeing many of you in Cedar Rapids, Iowa for the celebration of Fifty Years of PSD.

 We always appreciate your comments and suggestions for the newsletter. Click on the "email the editor" link in the menu on the left to send us a message.

Nancy Heege, District Executive

Annual Conference 2013

ac2013logoCedar Rapids, Iowa

April 5-7, 2013

Unitarian Universalism is a dynamic and evolving faith, with the capacity to blend what is best from both the new and the traditional ways of being religious. Now more than ever, new people are joining our congregations who have different visions for the future of our faith. And many of our congregations are reaching out to people who may never step inside the walls of one of our church buildings through live-streaming, podcasts, YouTube, blogs, Facebook, Second Life, and Twitter. Unitarian Universalists are called to bring our faith to people hungry for a safe, accepting place, a respite or a home, to explore truth and meaning.

We cannot do church as we have been doing it for hundreds of years. We need a new collective vision for the future of Unitarian Universalism. And we need to begin taking steps to actualize that vision. Open yourself to a new vision, to looking at new ways to do worship, to reach people, to work for justice, equity, and peace. Come to the 2013 Prairie Star Conference in Cedar Rapids, and we will inspire each other to work toward a new vision for the future of our faith.

PSD Sermon Contest Winner

Karen Van FossanCongratulations to Karen Van Fossan, the winner of the 2013 Prairie Star District Sermon contest! Her sermon is titled "Bumper Sticker Theology and the Loving Future of Our Faith."

The winning sermon will be presented in a workshop at the Annual Conference and is available to be downloaded and read in congregations across the District to bring the Conference theme to life for those who cannot make it to Cedar Rapids.

PSD invited both clergy and lay people to enter our sermon contest along the theme of our 2013 Annual Conference "Inspire the Future We Envision." The contest judges were the Rev. Meg Barnhouse, the Rev. Brian Eslinger, and John Blevins, former UUA Trustee from PSD.

A creative arts therapist and peace activist from the Bismarck-Mandan (North Dakota) UU Fellowship, Karen is pursuing a Master of Divinity degree through United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities and intends to serve as a UU minister in North Dakota. She is communications director at Prevent Child Abuse North Dakota and editor of Authentic Voices, a powerful compilation of writings by survivors of child abuse and assault. Karen's collaborative work with marginalized teens is featured in Kyja Kristjansson-Nelson's compelling documentary Teen Writes: The Group That Opened the Box. Karen's proudest accomplishment is being foster mom to a compassionate and wonderful teenage daughter.

Chalice Lighters Make A DifferenceChalice Lighters check Lawrence

The Chalice Lighters program has been assisting PSD congregations to grow for almost thirty years. Congregations from Wichita (Kansas) to Duluth (Minnesota) have received funds for purposes such as getting their first minister or paid religious educator, acquiring or adding onto a building, or starting a new congregation, as well as other growth-related projects. There's also a fund for congregations who want to do outreach ministry to college-aged and young adults and a Social Justice Fund that makes grants to congregations.

Chalice Lighters are individuals who agree to give money three times a year, in response to letters they receive in the mail. The call letters explain the purpose of that particular call. Individuals can give $15 per call, or $30, or more, depending on their resources. Most money goes directly to the congregation; a small amount covers administrative costs.

Wider UU World

Humanist Archive at Meadville Lombard

Meadville Lombard Theological School is calling on Unitarian Universalists and Humanists to donate sermons, monographs, essays, photographs, correspondence, pamphlets, audio, video, and books to the collection of a new dedicated Humanist Archive. The new materials will build on the current Humanist collection and make them accessible to students, scholars, and the greater Unitarian Universalist community. To learn more see

UU-UNO Annual Intergenerational Spring Seminar

April 4th-6th, New York CityEvery April, youth and adults from around the United States and Canada gather in New York City for a three-day seminar on a topic of global concern. This year you are invited to join 175 youth, young adults, and adults to learn about and dialogue around crucial lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) issues. Sex, Love and Violence: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in a Globalized World