Blogging was a little light last week because I spent most of my time preparing for and attending the Prairie Star District Annual Conference in Des Moines, Iowa. All in all, I’d have to say the event was a wonderful success. Close to 300 children, youth, and adults attended three days of events, including presentations by two Prairie Star ministers (Brian Eslinger and Kendyl Gibbons), lots of informative workshops, some good multigenerational fun, and a fantastic worship service on Sunday morning, led by First Unitarian Church of Des Moines’ minister Mark Stringer.
For my part, I attended the PSD Board of Directors’ meeting on Thursday evening and all day Friday, took part of a round table discussion on adult religious education, gave a brief report at the district’s annual business meeting (the real reason we actually do these conferences), and made myself available for the fine folks from Prairie Star to let me know how they thought things were going. I was happy to hear from several people that they appreciated this blog and my other social media efforts like Facebook and Twitter.
I had more that a few conversations about the implications of “regionalization” on the services offered to congregations by the Prairie Star staff, too. I found it encouraging that most folks I talked with seemed to understand that moving forward with a plan to share administrative costs and structures among the three districts that make up the MidAmerica region of our Unitarian Universalist Assocation (Prairie Star, Central Midwest, and Heartland) is a wise and timely move. Personally, I find the prospect of working more closely with the field staff in our sibling districts exciting. Even more exhilarating is the thought of being in relationship with more congregations across the region. You’ll be hearing more about how this process is going in the coming months and years.
Finally, from time to time I like to provide photographic evidence that: 1.) I actually do exist beyond the virtual world of the interwebs; and 2.) that I actually do meaningful work in the real world. So here’s a snapshot of me attending the opening night festivities at the PSD Annual Conference.