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Meet the MidAmerica Board of Trustees 2014-15

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Meet the MidAmerica Region UUA Board members for 2014-15

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Meet the MidAmerica Board of Trustees 2014-15

  1. 1. Board of Trustees 2014-15 The MidAmerica Region, UUA, where UUs visibly live our faith, create connections, grow our membership, welcome all persons who share our UU values.
  2. 2. Bill Sasso President Q What have you discovered about the MidAmerica Region in your board service? A It's exciting to realize the added potential that MidAmerica has relative to our predecessor districts. We now have "critical mass" with respect to many aspects of the work of the religious community, and our Board and Staff have an open mind about experimenting with new ways to support our congregations! Q What social justice area, issue, focus, or concern has engaged you over time? A While I have been involved in racial justice as well as environmental work over the long term, perhaps the most significant area of my personal engagement has been with efforts to achieve equality for people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. This has included helping to found Carbondale's Rainbow Café (a safe space for GLBTQ youth and allies) in 2000 as well as demonstrating in support of marriage equality in front of the Illinois Statehouse in October, 2013. Carbondale Unitarian Fellowship, Carbondale, Illinois
  3. 3. Eric Huffer Secretary Q What have you discovered about the MidAmerica Region in your board service? A In my time on the MidAmerica Board, I have seen how much our region shares in common, like the similar struggles of the unemployed factory workers in Detroit and Ohio, and the miners in Kentucky, or how many of our congregations have large geographic distances between them and another UU congregation. I also am a little surprised at how much our region seems to share a unique mid-western mindset, and this helps to affirm my belief that the move to consolidate into a region was the right one for us to make. Q What social justice area, issue, focus, or concern has engaged you over time? A The social justice issue that most moves me currently is the struggle for marriage equality. I am excited that we may be near the day where it is the "law of the land.” I am also deeply concerned by the growing wealth and opportunity gap that is occurring in our country, and I am hopeful that we can find a way forward through that. Unitarian Universalist Church of Lexington Lexington, Kentucky
  4. 4. Tom Sommerfeld Treasurer Q What have you discovered about the MidAmerica Region in your board service? A I hadn't realized that all the state names referred to Native peoples one way or another. Q What social justice area, issue, focus, or concern has engaged you over time? A Civil Rights in its many forms. Northwoods Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Woodruff, Wisconsin
  5. 5. Cynthia Landrum Trustee Q What have you discovered about the MidAmerica Region in your board service? A We are stronger together! With our amazing staff, we really are building the new era of Unitarian Universalism. Our UUA is paying attention and engaged with us on our quest. Q What social justice area, issue, focus, or concern has engaged you over time? A Marriage Equality has been one issue I've been engaged in for about two decades. In the last year, many of the states of our MidAmerica Region saw great leaps forward, which has been so wonderful! This year my state of Michigan had a brief moment of marriage equality where our UU ministers together really made a difference, and I was pleased to be part of that story and telling that story to our larger movement. Universalist Unitarian Church of East Liberty Clarklake, Jackson County, Michigan
  6. 6. Dave Martin Trustee Q What have you discovered about the MidAmerica Region in your board service? A Wonderful committed people Q What social justice area, issue, focus, or concern has engaged you over time? A I am president of Iowa City Foreign Relations Council. We bring speakers to the area to discuss international relations via a series of luncheons throughout the year. Unitarian Universalist Society Iowa City, Iowa
  7. 7. Kyrie Bock Trustee Q What have you discovered about the MidAmerica Region in your board service? A What inspiring people, congregations, and communities are taking major actions and making significant impacts across the Region. Q What social justice area, issue, focus, or concern has engaged you over time? A The focus I see over time that has me engaged is heightened collaboration and communication between congregations across the region for strengthening communities. Unity Temple Unitarian Church Chicago, Illinois
  8. 8. Doug Cauble Vice President Q What have you discovered about the MidAmerica Region in your board service? A The nearly two hundred churches in the MidAmerican Region are variations on a wonderful theme, distinct yet homogenous. The linkage that MidAmerica can help facilitate between each unique group will provide many opportunities.Exciting times… Q What social justice area, issue, focus, or concern has engaged you over time? A I've been involved with a Community Kitchen and Food Pantry in Bean Blossom, Indiana for the past 15 years. Mother's Cupboard serves an average of 175 free hot meals every day, no questions asked. We have no government or specific faith based funding. We exist because of the generosity of our neighbors. No one should ever be hungry… Unitarian Universalist Church of Bloomington Bloomington, Indiana
  9. 9. Janis Cheney Trustee Q What have you discovered about the MidAmerica Region in your board service? A While the MidAmerica region is large and diverse, our shared focus on living our UU principles and working to strengthen and enhance our faith communities is a powerful and unifying force. Through that work, we can be an even stronger force for good in the world. Q What social justice area, issue, focus, or concern has engaged you over time? A Unfortunately, there are far too many issues and injustices to choose from! I find myself primarily drawn to protecting the environment, to addressing issues of poverty / economic inequality, and to protecting women's rights and health care. Bismarck-Mandan Unitarian Universalist Bismarck, ND
  10. 10. Ian Evison Ex Officio Q What have you discovered about the MidAmerica Region in your board service? Board service helped me stretch my understanding of who we are in a MidAmerica that is both more diverse and more unified than I ever imagined. I made trips to Bismarck and Louisville Fall 2014. Very different worlds and yet literally under the surface, deep connections as the boom in fracking in the Bakkan Oils Fields in North Dakota and the decline in coal mining in Eastern Kentucky since 2011 are very much parts of the same story. Q What social justice focus has engaged you over time? I ponder how I as an individual and we as a movement “show up” where it is hard to show up. It was powerful to be part of our UU contingents at the Marriage Equality rallies in Minnesota and Illinois state capitals, part of the mass of those in yellow Standing on the Side of Love shirts. A sermon by Rev. Ashley Horan asked how are we going to follow up on these victories in marriage equality by “showing up” in places that may be even harder for us? How do we “show up” when race and economic injustice are involved? How do we “show up” where we need to think not of what the UU response should be, but rather that we need to follow the lead of others? Beverly Unitarian Church Chicago, IL
  11. 11. https://www.MidAmericaUUA.org

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