Prairie Unitarian Universalist Society of Madison podcasts
Notice: The Archives Committee has discontinued this listing and replaced it with the FeedBurner podcast page here for podcasts through 2020 and the podcast page being generated by WordPress for Prairie's audio files since October 27, 2019 here.
On this page you will find presentations from 2012 to 2019 on a wide range of topics from Prairie UU Society, a freethinking liberal religious community. Selected presentations of particular interest from 2011 and earlier are also included. The recordings are in reverse chronological order, most recent at the top. Click on the mp3 link to listen to the speaker part of the program. The program description is followed in most cases by a link to the order of service provided to those who attended. Audio recordings going back to 1984 are available on our web page at

"Fact or Fake: News in the Digital Era - Part 1" - presented by Renee Deschard     mp3
Prairie member Renee Deschard, a librarian and educator, helped us learn how to tell the difference between "real" and "fake" news. Sun, 15 Sep 2019 10 am CDT

"Labor in the Pulpit" - presented by Alexia Kulweic     mp3
We discussed income inequality, and some of the ways U.S. policy supports exploitation of labor. We also discussed how as a community of faith, we can help support low income workers and work to bring justice to the community. Order of service Sun, 01 Sep 2019 10 am CDT

"Backpacks & Bags: A Back to School Service" - presented by Holly Tellander     mp3
Welcome back to school! We learned from Holly ways of supporting individual learners. Order of service Sun, 25 Aug 2019 10 am CDT

"The History of Pride in Madison" - presented by Dick Wagner     mp3
Dick Wagner talked about the research behind his book "We’ve Been Here All Along: Wisconsin Early Gay History." Order of service Sun, 21 Jul 2019 10 am CDT

"The Mandela Washington Fellowship" - presented by Alfred Akrofi Ocansey and Zaida Ibraham     mp3
We'll hear from two of the Mandela Washington Fellows who are visiting the African Studies Program at UW-Madison. The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders is the flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative that empowers young people through academic coursework, leadership training, and networking. Zaida Ibrahim (South Sudan) has over six years of experience in finance system implementation for development projects in South Sudan. She is the founder of the Okay Africa Foundation project Keep the Girl Child in School and the head of the Nadafa le Beledna (Cleanliness for our Country) project. Alfred Akrofi Ocansey (Ghana) is a journalist and campaigner with over ten years of experience in leading public sector reform. He holds a degree in Business Administration from the University of Professional Studies in Accra, Ghana. Currently, Alfred works at TV3 Network Limited as the lead prime time news anchor and business desk head. He focuses on initiating, planning and executing thought leadership forums, as well as business town hall meetings to discuss policy decisions. Alfred is committed to using the power of the media to contribute to policy formation and to represent the views of society’s most vulnerable. We met in the Annex. (Some brief sections of the recording are hard to hear due to technical problems.) Order of service Sun, 14 Jul 2019 10 am CDT

"The Women's Journey" - presented by Robin Proud     mp3
We're familiar with the classic hero's journey described by Joseph Campbell, still found in literature and pop culture today. But there is another view that the journey of life for women has a different impetus, different stages, and a different end goal. Order of service Sun, 30 Jun 2019 10 am CDT

"Giving First Aid to Migrants at the Border" - presented by Mary Somers     mp3
Last Sunday we addressed how unaccompanied minors seeking asylum in the US are dealt with at the Homestead Florida detention center. This Sunday, continuing with the border issues theme, Mary Somers shared the work she does on the Mexican side of the border providing medical aid. Order of service Sun, 23 Jun 2019 10 am CDT

"Walls Talking" - presented by Penny Eiler, Barb Park, Randy Converse, Kathy Converse, Jessie Garst and Barb Chatterton   mp3
A lot of good times have been had in Prairie's Meeting Hall. We met in the Annex to hear about some of them. Order of service Sun, 26 May 2019 10 am CDT

"QPR? Glad You Asked" - presented by Jean Papalia     mp3
QPR stands for Question, Persuade, and Refer — the 3 simple steps anyone can learn to help save a life from suicide. Just as people trained in CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver help save thousands of lives each year, people trained in QPR learn how to recognize the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to question, persuade, and refer someone to help. Order of service Sun, 19 May 2019 10 am CDT

"Happy Mother's Day for Mother Earth" - presented by Jim Scott     mp3
UU Musician Jim Scott led a musical service celebrating mothers and our ancestor, our Mother Earth, in words and song. Ann Jarvis of Appalachia founded Mother's Day in 1858 in response to high infant mortality. Then came the Civil War. In 1870, Julia Ward Howe made a Mother's Day call to women to protest the carnage of war. Beyond greeting card sentiments, we celebrate mothers, the female deity and model of life. The male model of dominance, challenging Mother Earth and exploiting Mother Nature, has ruled for some time. The dual parent system has served the plant and animal realms pretty well, but are we ready for a transformation? Is it time to see even beyond the binary genders and celebrate the dignity, worth and the potential of every person? Order of service Sun, 12 May 2019 10 am CDT

"Journey from Pastor to Atheist" - presented by Rob Brink     mp3
Rob Brink served as a Christian minister for 15 years. Over time, he moved from the theological far right to the theological far left, until he finally fell off the edge. Today, he is a happy humanist and a regular speaker for the Free Congregation of Sauk County. Rob shared his journey with us. Order of service Sun, 05 May 2019 10 am CDT

"Encountering the Divine: Part 1" - presented by Steve Hingle     mp3
Can we talk about the divine in a Humanist church? Should we help people connect to the divine? What is the divine? Can we talk about the teachings of Jesus despite a long history of violence and suppression by the Christian faith? What is the purpose of a church service? Join Prairie member Steve Hingle as we talk about these fundamental questions of spirituality and religion. Order of service Sun, 14 Apr 2019 10 am CDT

"The Catalyst Project" - presented by Susan and Anna Donahoe     mp3
This quarter we are sharing our Sunday offering with the Catalyst Project. The Catalyst Project is a new nonprofit in Madison that provides space for stability for under-housed single mother-headed families through a nurturing community home. Order of service Sun, 24 Mar 2019 10 am CDT

"Democracy and the Electoral College" - presented by Ken Haydock     mp3
Ken Haydock provided an overview of the undemocratic nature of the Electoral College and a few alternative approaches to electing U.S. Presidents and Vice Presidents, with reference to the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, among other possibilities. Order of service Sun, 10 Mar 2019 10 am CDT

"Inquiring Humanists Want to Know" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
How relevant is the original "Humanist Manifesto" now that humans have made it to the twenty-first century? Do humanists still make up a large percentage of Unitarian Universalist congregations? Are there more secular humanists than religious humanists? Does it matter? Order of service Sun, 24 Feb 2019 10 am CST

"An inclusive perspective on islam" - presented by Katrina Thompson     mp3
Katrina is a Prairie member and a professor at UW-Madison who has been a UU since 2005 and a muslim since 2009. Her talk drew on both her personal experience and her ethnographic research in muslim communities in East Africa, North America, and online. Order of service Sun, 10 Feb 2019 10 am CST

"Structural Justice" - presented by Pageen Small     mp3
One of the biggest challenges in social justice is defining justice. What is justice and how do we know when we have achieved it? This week, we talked about the concept of structural justice, what it means, and how it can be used as a framework for solving societal problems and eliminating oppression. Order of service Sun, 03 Feb 2019 10 am CST

"Wild Women of the West" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
Five years ago, I told you about some of the Unitarian and Universalist women ministers who went west to fill pulpits that most men were not interested in having -- life was too rough on the frontier and the pay was pitiful. It is time to revisit the stories of these women who were active in our faith tradition in the late 1800s and into the beginning of the twentieth century. The "west", the frontier, at that point in time was here, in the Midwest. The women were way ahead of their time. They were gutsy, determined, unbelievably hard-working, largely unknown and unappreciated until, in 1990, a woman named Cynthia Grant Tucker published a book, Prophetic Sisterhood, about them. Here is a chance to hear an entirely different narrative about the wild west from the one you probably were taught in school. Order of service Sun, 27 Jan 2019 10 am CST

"When You Wish Upon a Star" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
This service was originally scheduled for Sunday, December 30, but sometimes Prairie's outstanding Program Committee has to do a bit of shuffling around as schedules change and "life happens". It's never too late to "wish upon a star", though, is it? Or to review our actions during the year that just ended. Before making too many resolutions or good intentions for this brand new year of 2019, Rev. Sandy invited us to take time to consider what we could have done differently in 2018 Order of service Sun, 20 Jan 2019 10 am CST

"The Rich Tapestry of Gender" - presented by Jim Barnard     mp3
Mr. Barnard photographed about 40 individuals across the gender spectrum over a 3 year period, and they shared their stories with him. Order of service Sun, 06 Jan 2019 10 am CST

"UU Paganism" - presented by Rhiannon Rudisill     mp3
Rhiannon Rudisill, a UU Pagan who teaches courses on Paganism, will share her knowledge with Prairie. Order of service Sun, 30 Dec 2018 10 am CST

"Who Cares? The Caring Committee Cares" - presented by Cheryl Robinson     mp3
One of the perks of being a member in Prairie is the work the Caring Committee does on your behalf. The chair of Prairie's Caring Committee is Cheryl Robinson. She will explain their work and how you can take advantage of what they offer. Order of service Sun, 16 Dec 2018 10 am CST

"Their Gift to Us" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
It is 1568, 450 years ago, and people are preparing gifts for us -- for us -- those who will be alive centuries after they are! You are invited to drop everything and join in the debates of the time. You might be surprised by the intensity of the arguments. You might even think that you are listening to an argument in the year 2018 concerning political and policy matters. Our political debates are eerily similar to those sixteenth century heated discussions and emotional conversations which were actually about religion. You might even wonder if humanity has made much progress at all during the past 450 years. To understand what their gifts to us are and what meaning they have in our everyday lives, we will have to be creative and imaginative and curious. -- Rev. Sandy Order of service Sun, 09 Dec 2018 10 am CST

"Thanks and Ever Thanks" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
How do we hold on to an attitude of thanksgiving and gratitude after Thanksgiving Day is over, friends and family have gone home, the leftovers from the feasting are all consumed? The deeper question for those of us who live in northern climates is how do we remain grateful for our lives when the days get shorter, the nights longer, the temperatures lower? Join me on this Thanksgiving weekend as we explore these questions and share what works for us as we move deeper and deeper into the dark, cold days of the winter season. How do you cope? Or are you one of those souls who has no problem with the upcoming days of darkness and chilliness? If so, please come and share your tips for winter survival! Rev. Sandy Order of service Sun, 25 Nov 2018 10 am CST

"The Hero's Journey" - presented by Robin Proud     mp3
What do Harry Potter, Luke Skywalker, and Jesus have in common? They all represent examples of the hero's journey as told around the world through legends, myths, folk tales, and now multimedia. We'll look at what this journey, as described by Joseph Campbell, means for our own lives. Order of service Sun, 11 Nov 2018 10 am CST

"Looking Backward, Looking Forward" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
There is something about All Souls Day that has always intrigued me, always since I became a Unitarian Universalist, that is. Taking the time to honor all those souls who came before us, remembering them as best we can, is powerful and sacred to me. As UUs, we stand on the shoulders of so many women and men who paved the way for us to be liberal, progressive, freethinking people of faith during our time on Planet Earth. These souls risked everything to practice freedom of religious thought -- many of them lost their possessions, their homelands, even their lives in the process. One way that we can pay it forward for those who will come after us is by participating in the Guest at Your Table program. In addition to honoring all souls on this Sunday morning, we will distribute the GAYT boxes and learn how our 2018 donations to this annual Unitarian Universalist Service Committee event will be used. Order of service Sun, 04 Nov 2018 10 am CST

"Mary Shelley, Frankenstein and the Risks of Science" - presented by Robin Proud     mp3
200 years ago, the most famous horror story of the Western world was published. Mary Shelley, only 18 when she wrote it, has messages for us today, as we continue to push the frontiers of science. Order of service Sun, 28 Oct 2018 10 am CDT

"Allied Wellness Center" - presented by Gloria Farr     mp3
This quarter we have been supporting Allied Wellness Center with our offering. Come learn about the work they are doing. Order of service Sun, 14 Oct 2018 10 am CDT

"Restorative Justice Circles in Education" - presented by Layla Coleman     mp3
Since the 1990's practices of restorative justice have been expanding in the world of education. This exploration of restorative justice circles will overview the history of circles, their entrance into education, and how their use supports the creation of just and equitable learning environments. How Restorative Justice circles are showing up in the Madison Metropolitan School district and ways in which they are being used to nurture healthy relationships and restore and repair harm in learning communities will also be discussed. Order of service Sun, 07 Oct 2018 10 am CDT

"Eating to Live...Living to Eat!" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
Into which category would you put yourself? Do you eat to live or live to eat? Is it true that "we are what we eat"? On this morning, with help from Anna Lappe, Bill McKibben and others, we will consider how our food choices affect climate change. We will examine the seven principles, but not the ones that probably come to mind as you read these words! And we will have to examine the concept of mindfulness, too, because it is impossible to consider the subject of food with honesty, integrity and courage without tapping into our inner Buddhist. -- Rev. Sandy Order of service Sun, 23 Sep 2018 10 am CDT

"Usona Institute" - presented by William Linton and Malynn Utzinger     mp3
The Usona Institute, here in Madison, is doing research on psilocybin, the active ingredient in "shroons" or "magic mushrooms" as a treatment for depression. This is a hot topic since the release of Michael Pollan's book, "How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us." Order of service Sun, 16 Sep 2018 10 am CDT

"Why Are We Here?" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
No, I don't mean here in the cosmic sense. I mean why are we here in a Unitarian Universalist setting? What better way to kick off the new Prairie year than by asking why we come here and sharing our answers. At a time when fewer and fewer people attend church, why do we bother? What keeps us coming back? Part of my answer to that question lies in this quote from UU minister Jack Mendelsohn. "The Unitarian Universalist religion's gift to me has been the opportunity to unfold: the special joy of breaking out of the cocoon, of finding a greater freedom in the exercise of my intelligence and in the growth of my experience of love, beauty and justice." Why are you here? -- Rev. Sandy Order of service Sun, 09 Sep 2018 10 am CDT

"Other Than What?" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
A few weeks ago, Rev. Sandy talked about climate change and left you all in suspense! That was just the first of a series of Sundays when I will be talking about this huge problem of what we are doing to planet Earth. This Sunday, I bring you Part Two, borrowing a question -- and title -- asked by another Unitarian Universalist minister, Rev. David Blanchard, on a completely different subject. Not only did I leave you in suspense on that previous Sunday, I fear that I also may have left you deeper in despair than was healthy or helpful. This Sunday, we will begin to look at what systemic change might look like as humans continue to attempt to come to terms with the complexity of this issue. There is an amazing amount of encouraging grassroots work being done "out there"! Using some of Bill McKibben's writings, as well as those of David Biello, plus a brand- new Unitarian Universalist anthology, Justice on Earth, I hope to leave you with more hope than despair this time. Order of service Sun, 26 Aug 2018 10 am CDT

"State Street Through the Camera Lens" - presented by Mark Golbach     mp3
Mark Golbach is a Madison-based photographer who specializes in "street" photography. He has taken many photos of street people, including some homeless people, in and around State Street and has developed personal relationships with many of them. He will tell about his work and about some of the special people he has to come to know.Mark Golbach is a Madison-based photographer who specializes in "street" photography. He has taken many photos of street people, including some homeless people, in and around State Street and has developed personal relationships with many of them. He will tell about his work and about some of the special people he has to come to know. Order of service Sun, 05 Aug 2018 10 am CDT

"A Mathematician's Take on Gerrymandering" - presented by Jordan Ellenberg     mp3
The author of How Not To Be Wrong-The Power of Mathematical Thinking will help us make sense (or not) of the Supreme Court's recent ruling. Order of service Sun, 29 Jul 2018 10 am CDT

"Camino de Santiago de Compostela" - presented by Molly Plunkett     mp3
Molly Plunkett just completed 1/4 of the Camino de Santiago de Compostela - the ancient prilgrim walk through northern Spain that ends at the Cathedral in Santiago where the relics of Saint James the Apostle are supposed to be. She will give a program about it as an adventure that was both a physical and personal quest. Order of service Sun, 08 Jul 2018 10 am CDT

"Flirting With Freedom" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
What exactly do we mean when we use the word freedom? To whose freedom are we referring? What kind of freedom - personal, political, cultural, religious - are we pondering? Where does my freedom end and yours begin? And can we both (or all) experience freedom at those intersections? As we begin this Fourth of July week, these are just some of the questions we will consider in this interactive service. Order of service Sun, 01 Jul 2018 10 am CDT

"Sea Change (See Change?)" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
A combination of record snowfall in Madison in mid-April, ninety degree temperatures in late May, and a "personal best" 70 degree temperature change in one day brought my attention sharply back to Planet Earth. It isn't as if I don't think about climate change and what we humans are doing to Mother Earth -- or worse, that I have turned into a climate-change-denier. No, the problem is that it is such a huge problem, one that most of humanity doesn't seem to want to confront. Time for our little slice of humanity here at Prairie to remedy that and do some catching up on what's happening in the critical fight to save the world from ourselves. This Sunday Rev. Sandy will try to strike a balance between despair and hope as we ponder what is probably the most pressing problem the world faces. Order of service Sun, 10 Jun 2018 10 am CDT

"Memories Are Made of This" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
Memory is a fascinating subject. Memory is subjective, unreliable, open to different interpretations. No matter our age, we all have moments of frustration when we can't remember something. We fear the possibility of increasing memory loss as we age. We are anxious when we see signs of this in those nearest and dearest to us who are getting older. Personal memory and public memory have traits in common. Public memory is cursed with the disease of "presentism". What better time than Memorial Day Weekend to remember those who came before us as we ponder how conceited we, the living, are when it comes to making memories. Order of service Sun, 27 May 2018 10 am CDT

"RE-Visioned: Changing Trends at Prairie and in the Wider UU Community" - presented by Holly Tellander     mp3
In this service we will take a look at how the workshop model has been implemented this year at Prairie Unitarian Universalist Society. We will learn why many Unitarian Universalist congregations are turning to the workshop model and learn more about how this model can serve our congregational goals. There will be time for questions and feedback with the Director of Religious Education and other members of the Religious Education Committee. Order of service Sun, 20 May 2018 10 am CDT

"Founding Mothers" - presented by Robin Proud     mp3
Mother's Day program. Order of service Sun, 13 May 2018 10 am CDT

"Growing Up UU" - presented by Katherine Liu     mp3
Katherine Liu talked about how World Religion shaped her views of Unitarian Universalism and her own beliefs, and about how Prairie impacted those beliefs as well. Order of service Sun, 05 May 2018 10 am CDT

"Alphabet Soup - or - How Do You Spell UUA?" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
Rev. Sandy will attempt to guide you through the thicket of acronyms and seemingly-meaningless-letters-strung-together that describe the work of our Association. Long-time Unitarian Universalists tend to throw out terms and letters as if everyone knew what we were talking about. For example, I subscribe to the CLF newsletter. Do you? Or, at GA this year, I might go to that UUPCC meeting, but I'm afraid that it conflicts with both the APF one and the UUADP one. You're not sure that you care about any of this? I think you will care partly because you help support this alphabet soup mixture, but also because you might be surprised at the breadth and depth and range of what we UUs believe is important and worthy of our attention. It'll make you proud to be a UU! Order of service Sun, 22 Apr 2018 10 am CDT

"Incarceration and Return to the Community" - presented by John Mix and Rudy Bankston     mp3
Artist John Mix, a retired Dane County Jail chaplain and MOSES activist, introduced a program on the critical issues of mass incarceration and our criminal justice system. A previously incarcerated community member participated as well. This forum was in conjunction with the portrait exhibit on display at Prairie during April. Order of service Sun, 08 Apr 2018 10 am CDT

"No Fooling!" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
I am a committed Humanist. I am a committed Humanist with a strong Christian background. Easter often baffles me. I want to celebrate this most important of Christian events, but not totally the way that I celebrated it as a child. I sometimes do this by celebrating the beginning of spring. There is mystery and wonder, awe and sacredness, laughter and tears, sorrow and joy in both events. And, I wonder -- am I leaning towards the religious Humanist end of the spectrum, rather than the secular Humanist end, where I have been hanging out for years? No Fooling! Rev. Sandy Order of service Sun, 01 Apr 2018 10 am CDT

"Tenant Resource Center" - presented by Julio Garcia and Mary Maronek     mp3
We have been sharing our offering with the Tenant Resource Center this fiscal quarter. Hear Aaron Romens, Director of the Center, talk about the work they do in the community. Order of service Sun, 25 Mar 2018 10 am CDT

"The News Is Brought to You By ____ ?" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
One of the principles that Unitarian Universalists affirm and promote and feel strongly about is our 5th one: "The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process...." The democratic process in the United States is under attack. Two essential elements of a democratic society are: (1) a robust public education system and (2) a free, dynamic, independent press. In her reflections this morning, Rev. Sandy will consider these questions. How free is the press, and an era with few surviving newspapers? How do you know the news you consume isn't fake? Has the demise of printed newspapers and the rise of social media undermine the role of journalists in our democracy? Of course, there are many more questions. This topic may be revisited in coming weeks - by any of you who would like to weigh in on this crucial subject. Rev. Sandy Order of service Sun, 18 Mar 2018 10 am CDT

"Current Theories on the Origin and Early Evolution of Life on Earth" - presented by Lena Vincent     mp3
Graduate student Lena Vincent from the UW-Madison Botany Department talked about Current Theories on the Origin of Life on Earth. Order of service Sun, 11 Mar 2018 10 am CDT

"Principles in Practice in Ultimate Frisbee" - presented by Aaron Liu     mp3
Aaron Liu, one of Prairie's youth, is an Ultimate Frisbee player. He shares his view of the connections between the UU principles and the sport of Ultimate. Order of service Sun, 25 Feb 2018 10 am CST

"Conversations with a Chalice" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
What weighs forty pounds, measures 34" x 7" x 26", is spending part of February and March in Madison, and will be at Prairie on February 18th? Why, the famous "Traveling Chalice", of course! You won't want to miss this special event. When a chalice travels, where does it go? Why does it travel? How does it get from place to place? Is it flaming as it travels? Where did this flaming chalice concept come from, anyway? Why do we light it every week? Why do we have the honor of hosting it on this particular Sunday morning? Join me on this Sunday for the answers to these and other flaming questions! Order of service Sun, 18 Feb 2018 10 am CST

"A Look Back at the Sources" - presented by Dawn Hayslett     mp3
Concluding service in the series. Order of service Sun, 11 Feb 2018 10 am CST

"American Composer, John Cage" - presented by Andy Garst     mp3
John Cage's life; Zen, Cage and indeterminacy; criticism of and thoughts about John Cage. Order of service Sun, 28 Jan 2018 10 am CST

"The Measure of Greatness" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
Much has been written over the past five decades about Martin Luther King, Jr. There is no doubt that he was a great man, an amazing human being. What constitutes greatness in a person? King, we now realize, had his share of flaws -- he was, after all, "only human". Is there a checklist that we can consult to help us determine which flaws can be overlooked and which ones might just compromise a person to the extent that she or he really can't lay claim to greatness? How well-rounded does a person have to be in order for history to place that person in the "greatness" category? These are some of the general questions that we might consider on this Sunday morning. You may also learn some particular things about Martin Luther King, Jr. that you did not know. Order of service Sun, 21 Jan 2018 10 am CST

"Maybe I Don't Know but Maybe That's Okay" - presented by Rev. Kali Hayslett     mp3
Order of service Sun, 14 Jan 2018 10 am CST

"New Year's ReVolutions" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
Someone used this phrase -- New Year's Revolutions -- at a recent Dane County UU's for Social Justice meeting. I borrowed it because it is so clever and witty and even charming; in other words, I really liked the change of just that one letter in a word that we use so frequently this time of year. I am surprised that I have never thought to replace the word resolutions with revolutions. It seems so obvious and way more challenging to do so at the beginning of a new year. This morning we will explore what it might mean to focus on revolutions rather than resolutions. Perhaps they could be the same thing? What will you do in this brand-new year of 2018 to resist, to be part of the revolutions that are happening in our country? Order of service Sun, 07 Jan 2018 10 am CST

"Kwanzaa" - presented by Margaret Carpenter     mp3
Order of service Sun, 31 Dec 2017 10 am CST

"Rainbows and Tarantulas" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
What could these possibly have to do with Christmas Eve? Rev. Sandy will weave parts of the Christmas story into her reflections on this day-before-Christmas, as well as rainbows and tarantulas. Open-table fellowship and antiwar sentiment will factor into our Christmas Eve get-together, as well...we will undoubtedly add a dash of humanism, too. And, of course, there will be carols and some traditional Unitarian Universalist holiday stories! Come join me in celebrating this joyous time of the year! Order of service Sun, 24 Dec 2017 10 am CST

"A Fork in the Road" - presented by Phoenix Wardell, Penny Eiler, Gary Gates     mp3
Prairie's Program Committee will invite four or five people to share significant moments in their life journeys, These might have been moments when everything changed, even though the person wasn't necessarily aware of the import of the moment. These could be moments when a decision was made that set the person on an entirely different path than they thought they were on. We hope to have enough time during the service for others to recall such fork-in-the-road moments from their own lives. Order of service Sun, 10 Dec 2017 10 am CST

"What Better Time?" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
What better time to tap into your inner Buddhist than during the not-so-Buddhist holiday season? Join Rev. Sandy on this Sunday morning to consider how practicing loving kindness, being in the moment, letting go of clinging, embracing change, and adopting a "don't worry, be happy" mantra can lead to peace and contentment during the madness of the holiday season. Okay, it is not quite that simple, but it is always useful to remember that we have options in life. Buddhism is one of those options. Order of service Sun, 03 Dec 2017 10 am CST

"A Cold, Hard Look at Reality" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
Rev. Sandy will attempt to "bring you up to speed" on the trials and tribulations that our association has been struggling with and trying to work through since April 1st. What began as a controversy around the hiring process for the Regional Executive of the Southeast Region of the UUA (Unitarian Universalist Association) ultimately resulted in the abrupt resignation of the then-president of the UUA, followed by other resignations and charges of institutional racism. What has happened between April and November? Has our faith tradition been failing to live up to its highest ideals and standards? This is not the first time that we have been confronted with racist realities by our brothers and sisters of color. Where do we go from here? NOTE: This service is the first of a two-part series. Order of service Sun, 12 Nov 2017 10 am CST

"Free Speech vs. Hate Speech: Where Do We Draw the Line?" - presented by Robin Proud     mp3
We all support free speech, but what if the speakers are armed and yelling racial slurs? What about a comedian who jokes about killing a president? How do we balance rights and safety on college campuses? What about art museums who have removed exhibits after protests? Does it matter if someone sits or kneels during the national anthem? These are just a few of the questions in the news recently. We'll look at some examples and open it up for discussion. Order of service Sun, 05 Nov 2017 10 am CST

"The Sanctuary Movement" - presented by Sergio Gonzalez     mp3
Dane Sanctuary Coalition organizes congregations and organizations to provide physical sanctuary to our immigrant friends and neighbors who are at risk for deportation. They do this as part of the national New Sanctuary Movement. Mr. Gonzales will give us an update on the organization's work and how we can assist. Order of service Sun, 22 Oct 2017 10 am CDT

"From Guatemala to Madison and Back: An Adoption Story" - presented by Robin Carre     mp3
The history of Guatemalan adoption and some of the particulars of Robin's daughter's case as well as his experience searching for and finding her birth family. Some adoptees from Guatemala were orphans and some were "orphans". Many kids, like Robin's daughter were "surrendered" children and were in the foster care system that was an adjunct of the private adoption system that operatein Guatemala until international adoptions were shut down in 2007. Order of service Sun, 15 Oct 2017 10 am CDT

"Milestones in LGBTQ History" - presented by Anne Urbanski     mp3
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and other queer people have existed throughout recorded history. Anne Urbanski, Prairie's resident PFLAG mom, will present Milestones in LGBTQ History, or "Everything you never knew you wanted to know about LGBTQ people and/or were afraid to ask." This service is part of Prairie's effort to update our Welcoming Congregation status within the UUA. Order of service Sun, 24 Sep 2017 10 am CDT

"Fifty Years at Prairie - A Celebration of Every Decade" - presented by Marty Drapkin, Rachel Long, Robin Proud, Johanna Hatch     mp3
This is a service for everyone! Those who joined Prairie in each of our five decades will be honored, and speakers for each decade will highlight Prairie's history and note happenings in U.S. history too. A number of past Prairie members from far and wide will be in attendance. Order of service Sun, 17 Sep 2017 10 am CDT

"When Lizards Do Push-Ups" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
The lizards are responding to fear when they do pushups - or so I've been told. It is quite fascinating - and amusing - to watch them until you finally realize that you are the cause of their being afraid and quickly move away to relieve their anxiety. What does it mean when Unitarian Universalists do pushups? Come on this Sunday and find out! We progressives, we freethinkers, have been under siege for months. We need a break. We need some party time! Today we continue celebrating the beginning of the church year, part of our month of celebrations. We will delight in who we are and revel in our Unitarian Universalism. Order of service Sun, 10 Sep 2017 10 am CDT

"The Hidden Life of Trees" - presented by Kathy Converse     mp3
Peter Wohlleben in his international bestseller, "The Hidden Life of Trees," makes the case that the forest is a social network and draws on groundbreaking scientific discoveries to describe how trees are like human families: tree parents live together with their children, communicate with them, support them as they grow, share nutrients with those who are sick or struggling, and even warn each other of impending dangers. Kathy Converse will share her take on Wohlleben's research. Order of service Sun, 20 Aug 2017 10 am CDT

"How Many UUs Does It Take to Change the World?" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
That probably depends on whether or not enough of us can agree on the necessity of saving the world, let alone how we might go about accomplishing such a gigantic task. Daily acts of resistance are important. To spark our imagination on what forms daily resistance might take, we will take a brief look at the lives of Jefferson, Emerson, Phineas Quimby, Andrew Jackson Davis and Helen Blavatsky and consider the radical religious ideas of Paul Tillich, Alan Watts and Mary Daly, among others. Religious restlessness motivated the lives of these people, often resulting in their successfully making a connection between being creatively religious and committing random acts of resistance. Order of service Sun, 13 Aug 2017 10 am CDT

"My Source, Kurt Vonnegut" - presented by Johanna Hatch     mp3
As a part of our series on the 6 UU Sources, Johanna give a presentation on the words and deeds of Kurt Vonnegut which challenge us to confront powers and structure of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love. Order of service Sun, 16 Jul 2017 10 am CDT

"It Can't Happen Here - Or Can It?" - presented by Robin Proud     mp3
In 1935, Sinclair Lewis, alarmed by the rise of fascism in Europe, wrote a novel about a showman who becomes US president. Two of the characters reacting to his rise are a Unitarian activist and a Universalist newspaperman. We'll look at which characteristics of American society encourage authoritarian leaders, and how UU's can be both the easiest targets of, and the best defense against totalitarianism. Order of service Sun, 09 Jul 2017 10 am CDT

"Open Doors for Refugees" - presented by Layla Kaiksow     mp3
With the recent Supreme Court ruling, this is a very timely topic. Our speaker, Layla Kaiksow, has been central in the development of Open Doors for Refugees. As an Arabic speaker, Layla has been one of the organization's most active volunteers helping recently-arrived refugee families. Some background information on Layla can be seen in a recent article in Brava Magazine, at: Order of service Sun, 02 Jul 2017 10 am CDT

"The Power of a Flower" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
Yes, there is such a thing, though you may scoff at the notion or dismiss it as some hippy-dippy idea from the 60s. The Flower Ceremony that many of our Unitarian Universalist congregations commemorate today was first celebrated 95 years ago in June of 1922, in the largest Unitarian church in the world at that time: the Unitarian Church in Prague, Czechoslovakia. The minister of that church at that time was Norbert Capek whose life we will review on this Sunday. Hard to believe, but Prairie has not had a Flower Ceremony since June of 2014, three years ago! What better time to revisit the ceremony than at the same time when many UU congregations around the world will be noting this remarkable anniversary? Flowers can be: a symbol of defiance; a celebration of differences; a "shout out" for hope in an increasingly dark world; a reminder that there is much beauty in our world. Please remember to bring a flower (or flowers) today!! Order of service Sun, 11 Jun 2017 10 am CDT

"Sidney and God" - presented by Anne Urbanski     mp3
In honor of Prairie's 50th anniversary, the Prairie Players will be staging a revival of the play "Sidney and God." Order of service Sun, 04 Jun 2017 10 am CDT

"Corruption of Our Democracy" - presented by Rep. Chris Taylor     mp3
The Congregational Study Action Issue (CSAI) for 2016-2020 on "The Corruption of Our Democracy" challenges us to reconsider how we understand, participate, and engage in democratic living. It is a call to envision our role as a faith community to promote a societal ethos that affirms dignity for all, that takes responsibility for the human role in ecological disaster, and an openness to rethink our use of political power and production of wealth. Order of service Sun, 21 May 2017 10 am CDT

"I've Got Those Backlash Blues" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
Last month, in honor of Women's History Month, I talked about how far women have come and the gains they have made since the 1960s - but, at what cost? This morning, we will look at the ripple effects, the unexpected consequences, the continuing harassment and belittling of women. We can sum up all of this with one word: backlash. What does it mean to be on the receiving end of backlash? What does backlash look like? Is it always obvious or apparent when it happens? Is it possible to move beyond it? How can we push back at backlash? Order of service Sun, 30 Apr 2017 10 am CDT

"Human Being: VERB" - presented by Abigail Swetz     mp3
What does it mean to be a HUMANIST in our world? What does it mean to be a HUMAN BEING? What does it mean to be HUMAN? Or to just BE? Come join Abigail Swetz, a local English teacher, as she dissects the meaning of the term "human being" and what it means to teach grammar with a social justice lens. Order of service Sun, 23 Apr 2017 10 am CDT

"Exuberance Unbounded" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
On a typical cold and windy March day, I was astonished to see robins, snowdrops and the tiniest beginnings of crocuses... YIPPEE!! SOS!! (Signs of Spring). For just a few brief moments, I experienced unbounded exuberance. Do you remember the last time that you felt exuberant -- as an adult, that is? Very young children have exuberant moments all the time. Unfortunately, our inner exuberance gets buried the older we get. It is still there; we just usually are not very good at accessing it. Public displays of exuberance may even embarrass us. What better time to be exuberant than at Easter, in the springtime of the year? Order of service Sun, 16 Apr 2017 10 am CDT

"Friends of State Street Family" - presented by Tammy Fleming     mp3
Friends of State Street Families is an organization that feeds and helps clothe homeless people in Madison. They are working on a program to have churches and other community groups house lockers for homeless folks to give them a base to keep possessions and possibly receive mail. Order of service Sun, 09 Apr 2017 10 am CDT

"Pop-Up Theology" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
From time to time, Prairie's remarkable Program Committee may bring you a pop-up theology program. What does that mean? It means that the service will be a sort of mystery event because the subject of the day's reflections may not be revealed until the last minute. There will always be a theological dimension because your minister believes that everything boils down to theology, aka that which ultimately concerns us. Most likely the mysterious service presented to you this morning will feature one of our six sources -- or not! Come and find out! Order of service Sun, 02 Apr 2017 10 am CDT

"You've Come a Long Way, Baby!?" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
Oh, really?! How much progress have women made since that 1920 amendment to the constitution of the United States, allowing them to vote? We honor Women's History Month this morning by considering that question, along with feminism and misogyny. I maintain that misogyny runs rampant in this country, every bit as much as racism while usually better hidden than racism and too often unchallenged. Misogyny is an accepted part of the culture in the United States and it is getting worse. New York Times editor Susan Chira says, "A man whose behavior toward women is a throwback to pre-feminist days is now setting the tone for the country." What is a feminist UU to do? Come and find out! Order of service Sun, 26 Mar 2017 10 am CDT

"As the Pendulum Swings" - presented by Helen Avakian, Dave Irwin     mp3
Musicians Helen Avakian and Dave Irwin will present a service with a musical focus. They will explore what defines "normal," how it can change over time, and where we are today, with much musical illustration along the way. Order of service Sun, 19 Mar 2017 10 am CDT

"Louisa Adams" - presented by Robin Proud     mp3
The little-known wife of John Quincy Adams is suddenly in the news as "the other foreign-born first lady". And that's not the only parallel to today. She supported her husband's work in Berlin, St. Petersburg, and most challenging of all, Washington D.C. while dealing with multiple personal and political dramas. Order of service Sun, 12 Mar 2017 10 am CDT

"The International Forgiveness Institute" - presented by Dr. Gayle Reed     mp3
Dr. Reed will give us insight on the work of the International Forgiveness Institute and her work and research on forgiveness therapy. Order of service Sun, 26 Feb 2017 10 am CST

"The Abuse of Revocation in Wisconsin" - presented by Lisa Munro, Frank Davis, James Morgan     mp3
Crimeless prision revocation is another example of the "New Jim Crow". Come learn what MOSES is doing to change this unfair system. Order of service Sun, 19 Feb 2017 10 am CST

"If Only..." - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
This morning we will consider a different way of looking at Valentine's Day beyond the usual one driven by the makers of greeting cards, jewelry and chocolate. What if we took a communal view of this "holiday" and moved beyond the individual aspect of "Will you be my Valentine?" to a wider concept of who we want to receive our Valentine's Day greetings? What would "Standing on the Side of Love" cards look like? What other definitions of love might be better suited to the world in which we live? What alternative pithy sayings could we put on those little candy hearts? Order of service Sun, 12 Feb 2017 10 am CST

"Mentor to the Stars" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
In commemoration of Black History Month, we will continue reflecting upon the life of Howard Thurman -- friend to Martin Luther King, Sr.; counselor to MLK, Jr.; mentor to many leaders of the civil rights movement, including Marian Wright Edelman, Jesse Jackson and Vernon Jordan; founder of the first interracial, interfaith church in the United States, Fellowship Church for All Peoples in San Francisco. Rev. Thurman left us with many rules to live by. I will share three of those with you along with some personal experiences that have helped me better understand what he was trying to tell us before inviting you to do so. Order of service Sun, 05 Feb 2017 10 am CST

"The Ethics of Power" - presented by Rob Brink     mp3
Mr. Brink talked about how becoming aware of power imbalances helps clarify ethical quandaries. Order of service Sun, 29 Jan 2017 10 am CST

"Do You Know the Sources?" - presented by Dawn Hayslett     mp3
Few questions can cause us as much discomfort as what to say when asked what do Unitarian Universalists believe. After all, we don't all believe the same thing. We do affirm and promote our seven Principles. But did you know that in companionship with the Principles, we as Unitarian Universalists also affirm and promote six Sources? This Sunday will be the first in a series of reflections on our Sources. Order of service Sun, 22 Jan 2017 10 am CST

"Martin Luther King, Jr." - presented by Tosumba Welch     mp3
Some of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s memorable words, and more. Order of service Sun, 15 Jan 2017 10 am CST

"Loose Connections" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
To what or to whom are you most connected? Can true connection only happen slowly over a period of time? If I connect with you for twenty seconds, how strong is that connection? For ten hours on an airplane? For decades as a member of your family? Do I have to know the ending of your story in order for a real connection to occur? When connections are severed by death, distance, disagreement, what fills the vacuum? And, the most difficult question of all in the twenty-first century, how do we connect with those with whom we disagree or do not like? We will consider these questions and many more as we ponder what might lie ahead in the year 2017. Order of service Sun, 08 Jan 2017 10 am CST

"Sages, Seers, and Superheroes" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
Part I - In the midst of despair and despondency, it is often helpful to look to the past for stories of people who also lived in troubled times and think about how they responded. A universal theme in such stories is the search for common ground. On the first and last Sundays of December, I will reflect upon that - the search for common ground, bracketing the month with stories about two people who were sages, seers and superheroes, at least to me. On this first Sunday, I will introduce you to Howard Thurman. I first met Thurman twenty years ago, though not in person. He died in 1981. A most remarkable human being. Sun, 04 Dec 2016 10 am CST

"Legitimizing Hate: A Story of Betrayal" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
"Untitled" was the initial title for this presentation because I find that I am unable to decide what I want or need to say on this Sunday morning until November 9th, when we will know what happened on November 8th. Whatever the outcome of this strangest-ever election, we need to figure out how to go forward in a positive, united way. How do we begin on November 9th to heal this nation? Is that even remotely possible? Order of service Sun, 13 Nov 2016 10 am CST

"What Ails Our Democracy" - presented by Mike McCabe     mp3
With the election looming, Mike McCabe of the Blue Jean Nation, will give us his prescription for curing our ailing democracy. Blue Jean Nation is commoners working to house the politically homeless and transform parties that are failing the United States. Order of service Sun, 06 Nov 2016 10 am CST

"I'm Sorry. I'm Sorry? I'm Sorry!" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
The Jewish High Holy Days are upon us again! For reasons that I do not fully understand, I am drawn to these days of introspection, contemplation and meditation. It is not that I think some kind of God-like entity is keeping track of what I'm doing in some Big Book of Life. But the ten-day period of reflection appeals to something in me, perhaps my "inner introvert" that seldom gets the spotlight. Part of reflecting on how one has lived one's life during the past twelve months involves the phrase "I'm sorry." What exactly does that mean? To whom do we say this? Order of service Sun, 02 Oct 2016 10 am CST

"Respect" - presented by Jan Miyasaki     mp3
Project RESPECT is a women's center that provides advocacy, case management, counseling, crisis intervention, transitional housing and peer support group services for women with prostitution histories that have changed or want to change their lives. We provide a safe and non-judgmental place to meet and talk with other women with similar histories. We assist women to have increased options available to them and reach their goals. Women served include: survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, childhood sexual abuse, women with chemical dependency and vocational issues. Order of service Sun, 25 Sep 2016 10 am CDT

"In the Beginning" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
The seeds of Unitarian thought sprouted in many places, including Poland, Italy, England, Lithuania, Holland, Hungary, Romania. In Romania, King John Sigismund of Transylvania issued the first-ever proclamation of religious tolerance (in 1568), known as the Edict of Torda. I will give you some reasons why we should care about this here in the year 2016 and share a little about my recent journey to Transylvania. I am hoping that you will catch some of my enthusiasm for our roots, for the Unitarians in this area of the world and for our partner churches. Order of service Sun, 18 Sep 2016 10 am CDT

"Free and Responsible Search for Truth and Meaning" - presented by Matt Tedesco     mp3
This is another in our series on the 7 UU principles. Matt agreed to tackle this one for us. It promises to be another thought provoking presentation by Matt. Order of service Sun, 11 Sep 2016 10 am CDT

"Out of this World: UUs and Science Fiction" - presented by Robin Proud     mp3
Science fiction is often dismissed as a lightweight or juvenile genre. But as speculative fiction, it asks some of the most important questions there are - "Where have we come from and where are we going?" "What does it mean to be human?" and "What is the best way to live?" We'll look at how this genre reflects our UU principles. Order of service Sun, 28 Aug 2016 10 am CDT

"A Space to Heal" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
Now what can we do after all the shootings and killings of the past weeks and months? So many needless deaths, so much senseless violence, so much mind-numbing sadness. Joanna Macy, one of my "honeys" (because she has so much wisdom to share), stresses the importance of not just naming our grief and pain, but also talking about the hurts and the tragedies. Today's service could be a place and a space to do that. But, it will also be a quiet, calm place where, hopefully, we won't use very many words. This morning, we want to draw more on the Quaker-style of being together than on our usual talk-and-response-style. Order of service Sun, 14 Aug 2016 10 am CDT

"In Three-Part Harmony" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
Rev. Sandy will continue her reflections on ethics. Is it possible for reason, rationalism and reverence to all be used to form a theology that everyone in a Unitarian Universalist congregation is comfortable with? (Though I never want you to get too comfortable in your beliefs!) Reasonability and rationality are usually our preferred ways of being. There is nothing wrong with those attributes. Where might reverence enter in here, though? Reason and rational are sometimes too calm and quiet for me. One thing that I brought back from this year's General Assembly is that it is important to remember passion and its role in our faith tradition. Order of service Sun, 07 Aug 2016 10 am CDT

"Let's Blow Our Horns" - presented by Prairie composers and Paula Pachciarz     mp3
Prairie has a wealth of talented musicians who have used their talents to enrich our services. Paula Pachciarz has put together a program of pieces created by these Prairie musicians. Order of service Sun, 31 Jul 2016 10 am CDT

"Good for Nothing" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
This title is borrowed from a quote Universalist Unitarian minister Richard Gilbert uses in his workbook, "Building Your Own Theology -- Ethics". Gilbert, in turn, borrowed it from the cartoon character Ziggy. Gilbert uses the phrase to refer to whether or not people can be good persons if they don't believe in a higher power. This is a question frequently asked of atheists, agnostics, humanists and UU ministers. If we believe that we aren't accountable to a higher authority, then why bother to be good? This inquiry never fails to astound me. Today, we'll consider --- through our UU lenses -- ethics, morals, the importance of being good for nothing. Order of service Sun, 17 Jul 2016 10 am CDT

"The Right of Conscience and the Democratic Process" - presented by Ken Haydock     mp3
The program committee chose the 4th of July weekend to do the 5th principle in our series on the seven principles. Ken Heydock was asked to do the presentation. His response says it all. "If, as may well be the case, folks are looking for something along the lines of a Fourth of July oration on how great the Fifth Principle is, I'm not your guy....If, however, a short, subjective examination of 'What is conscience?' coupled with a critical look at 'How democratic really are the U.S. and U-U'ism?' is acceptable, I have some thoughts along those lines I'd be happy to share." Order of service Sun, 03 jul 2016 10 am CDT

"Fear is the path to the Dark Side: The inherent worth and dignity of every person versus fear of The Other" - presented by Anne Urbanski     mp3
Anne Urbanski continued our series on the seven principles by doing a presentation on the first principle. Pride Sunday is an auspicious day to delve into the inherent worth and dignity of every person. Order of service Sun, 26 Jun 2016 10 am CDT

"Civil Society" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
Memorial Day Weekend seems like an appropriate time to contemplate what a civil society looks like. I don't think that we have one here in the United States of America. I don't know if we have ever had one in this country, not that the rest of the world can lay claims to one either. What does a civil society have to do with Memorial Day? Stephen Hawking recently asked the question, "What makes humans unique?" He then answered it with, "transcending limits". We humans limit ourselves with hate, war, jealousy, fear -- any number of things, all of which lead to uncivil societies. This morning's reflections and discussion might even bring us back around to Karen Armstrong's book, "Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life," which gets to the heart of how to build and maintain a truly civil society. Order of service Sun, 29 May 2016 10 am CDT

"Acceptance of One Another and Encouragement to Spiritual Growth" - presented by Ron Frye     mp3
We continue our series on the seven principles with a presentation by one of our newest members. Order of service Sun, 15 May 2016 10 am CDT

"Rendezvous With Destiny" - presented by Peter Anderson     mp3
We continued our series on the Seven Principles. Peter shared his take on affirming and promoting respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part. Order of service Sun, 24 Apr 2016 10 am CDT

"Universalist Design" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
At the "Who Are Our Neighbors?" workshop in March, we talked about "universal design", a phrase that I had heard before, but did not know what it meant. As many of you may know, the phrase refers to "design responses that fit for all, not for most." The example used to illustrate this concept was curb cutouts, designed initially for people using wheelchairs, walkers, canes, or people who have difficulty stepping up on to a curb. Though designed with a specific set of people in mind, we all use curb cutouts. So it might be with the "Second U" in our faith tradition: Universalism. You could say that it was initially designed (or conceived of) with a specific set of people in mind. Now, however, well into the 21st century, Universalism could be a good fit for all people. Join me in this celebration of the too-often neglected "Other U" in our name. Order of service Sun, 17 April 2016 10 am CDT

"Embracing Chaos: What is Going on in the World and How We Can Welcome It" - presented by Rev. Jody Wheldon     mp3
The world conditions appear chaotic and we are upset by events. However, this morning Rev. Wheldon will suggest that humanity is exactly where it must be to evolve to its next stage, in accord with the entire earth community. She has studied this material for decades and is convinced this its one of the most exciting times to be alive in human history - we can make a true difference. Order of service Sun, 10 Apr 2016 10 am CDT

"Screen Test" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
On the last Sunday in January, I began a conversation with you about what the long-term effects of staring at screens might be. On this first Sunday in April, we will continue that discussion, possibly ranging from apps to robots to search engines to Facebook to who knows what? I fear where humanity might be going by spending so much time looking at screens... but that could just be my "inner Luddite" acting out. Will we forget how to interact with each other? Will we cease to be interested in face-to-face interactions? What will happen to art? To physical activity? To being outside, immersed in nature? Will society become even more uncivil? Is it fair to blame modern technology for our increasingly uncivilized society? Come to Prairie this Sunday and see if we pass the screen test. Order of service Sun, 03 April 2016 10 am CDT

"Revisiting Easter" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
Easter is a Christian holy day that Unitarian Universalists often don't know how to respond to. Some choose to ignore the day and its significance. I strongly suspect that many UU's can't get past the idea of resurrection, even if we mean it metaphorically, not literally. And then there is all that language that makes some of us squirm and even scoff. Words like sin, forgiveness, redemption, atonement don't seem to have relevance to many Unitarian Universalists, no matter where they are on the theological spectrum. I think that we make a mistake by ignoring Easter or by celebrating it only as the beginning of spring. There is much in this holy day that can be of use to us in our daily lives. Join me on this Easter Sunday as I attempt to "unpack" Easter in some different ways. Order of service Sun, 27 March 2016 10 am CDT

"Charles Dickens" - presented by Robin Proud     mp3
Robin will give us insights on the life of Charles Dickens. Stay tuned to find out the fate of little Nell. Order of service Sun, 20 March 2016 10 am CDT

"Gardening: Body, Mind, and Soul" - presented by Kathy Converse and Mary Mullen     mp3
The seed catalogs arriving in the mail stirs the souls of a gardener. How do are gardens feed our spiritual growth as well as our bodies? Order of service Sun, 13 March 2016 10 am CDT

"Yahara House: A Place for Recovery Through Relationships and Work" - presented by Jackie Hunt     mp3
YAHARA HOUSE offers adults with mental illness a path to recovery through relationships and work. It is built on the clubhouse model which guarantees: a place to belong, meaningful relationships, meaningful work and a place to return. Yahara House emphasizes opportunities for members to regain their rightful place in society as family members, friends, neighbors and coworkers. It is dedicated to advancing recovery, cultural competence and community reintegration. Order of service Sun, 28 February 2016 10 am CST

"Our Second Principle and Overcoming Racism" - presented by Faith Cholvin     mp3
Black History Month is an auspicious time to explore the second of our principles. Faith Cholvin will kick off our Seven Principles series with a presentation. Order of service Sun, 21 February 2016 10 am CST

"Preamble to the Seven Principles and Prairie" - presented by Gary Gates     mp3
We often quote the seven principles without the preamble. We will explore how we distort the meaning of the principles by omitting the preamble. We will also explore how this applies to Prairie itself. Order of service Sun, 14 February 2016 10 am CST

"Rozaria Girls Club" - presented by Luci Chikowero     mp3
Lucy Chikowero will be doing a presentation on the Rozaria Girls Club, a special project with 10 schools in Murewa, Zimbabwe and expanding globally. The club is intended to reach the girls as they are the leaders of tomorrow and equal partners on mother earth. It's all about creating safe spaces where girls can learn, share experiences, give each other peer support and help each other grow while realizing their full potential. The main goal is to try and open the girls minds on what is happening globally, the challenges girls are facing, solutions they might have, advocacy ideas and guidance as they are getting into adolescence. Order of service Sun, 07 February 2016 10 am CST

"Screen Saver" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
We seem to be spending more and more time looking at screens. Maybe we need to be saved from our screens... or at the very least, think carefully about what the trade-offs are when we give so much of our time to peering at screens. Who would be saving what from whom if we did this? What does all this screen time mean for humanity in the long run? For example, if there is an app for everything, are we depriving our brains of the exercise those brains need to stay sharp and focused? Or this... if children don't play outside any more because they are too occupied with screens, will these children care about the natural environment? As adults, will they be able to make long-range, informed decisions about how to take care of Mother Earth? We won't have time to do much more than begin the conversation on just one Sunday morning, but that's a start. Order of service Sun, 31 January 2016 10 am CST

"A Tribute to Fred Rogers" - presented by Randy Converse and Al Nettleton     mp3
Fred Rogers was without question a well known TV personality who received numerous awards for his dedication to children via television. Probably most people do not know his extensive personal history. He was a political and civil rights activist, puppeteer, educator, author, composer, songwriter, and Presbyterian minister. The Rev. Gary Kowalski described Fred Rogers as chaplain not only to a generation of pre-schoolers but to many of their parents as well. Randy Converse presented a history of Fred Rogers's accomplishments, important words, and some of his delightful humor, music and TV friends. Order of service Sun, 24 January 2016 10 am CST

"Cloud Cover" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
In November, I talked about that great "cloud of witnesses" that is always with us. I am referring to all those souls who came before us and have shaped who we are. On that November Sunday, I told you a few stories about some of our lesser-known Unitarian ancestors who are in that cloud. We are, however, Unitarian UNIVERSALISTS, and should always strive to give equal time to both sides of our heritage. So, on this Sunday, I will tell you some stories about Universalists you might not know... Universalists who helped bend the arc of the universe a little more towards peace and justice, to paraphrase Martin Luther King, Jr., at this time of the year when we honor him. Order of service Sun, 17 January 2016 10 am CST

"The Seven Unitarian Universalist Principles: How They Define Our Community" - presented by Kathy Converse     mp3
Unitarian Universalism began in 1961 with the merger of two older religious denominations that shared a philosophy of religious tolerance and questioning. If we define Religion as a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith, then Unitarian Universalism is a religion based on an open minded quest for meaning in life and efforts to practice shared values. A comprehensive statement of our common beliefs is contained in the Principles and Purposes of the UU Association. We are embarking on a set of Sunday services to study these seven principles. Each Sunday a group of us assemble here at Prairie UU. As religious liberals, we strive to be open minded, free from dogma and authority but strong in our belief in the basic goodness of humanity. As a liberal religious community, what are we seeking and what are we finding? What is the belief or glue that holds our community together? Order of service Sun, 10 January 2016 10 am CST

"Never Forget - Newtown" - presented by Kelly Herda and Khary Penebacker     mp3
This service occurred the day before the 3rd anniversary of the tragic Sandy Hook shooting. While it may seem that nothing ever changes concerning gun violence, Moms are a force yet to be reckoned with. Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America are gaining ground in the struggle to stop the senseless carnage. This is our opportunity to learn how we can be a part of the solution. We can start by wearing orange the Sunday of this service in solidarity with the cause. The friends of Hadiya Pendleton, the girl who was shot after appearing in the parade for Obama's inaugural, came up with idea of wearing hunter orange to indicate that we are people, don't shoot. Order of service Sun, 13 December 2015 10 am CST

"The Ethics of Assistance" - presented by Matt Tedesco     mp3
The Prairie community is committed to assisting those in need, and as we enter yet another holiday season, we sometimes see this season as a time to do more for others. This assistance takes many forms: sometimes it is through financial aid, and sometimes it is through giving our time, energy, and efforts. But how should we understand the moral status of assistance? When we give of ourselves, are we going beyond the call of duty, or merely doing what morality requires of us? How demanding is morality's call to assistance? In this talk, Matt will present a particularly famous argument offered by Peter Singer on the ethics of assistance, as a springboard into a conversation about how to think about morality and giving. Order of service Sun, 06 December 2015 10 am CST

"All I Want for Christmas...Is to be More Buddhist" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
Order of service Sun, 29 November 2015 10 am CST

"Head in the Clouds" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
No not that cloud -- the internet-related one... nor do I mean anything weather-related. On this Sunday, I will consider that great cloud of witnesses. Don't know what I mean? Here is a clue. On November 1, the Sunday service was about All Souls Day. Reflecting on the cloud of witnesses is, in a way, another version of that. There is a cloud of witnesses behind each and every one of us. This cloud is the vast numbers of people who have made us the people we are today -- ALL of those folks who influenced us and created the world in which we find ourselves. Most are no longer living, but some could be. I hope you will join me for what I hope will be some great stories and fascinating exploration! Order of service Sun, 22 November 2015 10 am CST

"Humanism, Hubris OR Humility" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
Part Two... Rev. Sandy will continue her reflections on humanism -- her personal beliefs on the subject as well as the historical perspective. We will attempt to delve more deeply into the question of how or whether humanism breeds hubris or humility or both or neither. And, we will try to at least begin a conversation about two concerns for Unitarian Universalist humanists: (1) Is humanism still the predominant belief in our congregations? and (2) Has humanism outlived its usefulness, especially for young people? Order of service Sun, 04 October 2015 10 am CDT

"Humanism: Hubris and Humility" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
A long-time humanist -- your minister -- decides that it is time to review her long-held humanist beliefs. Are these beliefs still valid, after all these years? Are they adequate for life in the twenty-first century? (More than adequate would be better.) What are the weaknesses of humanism? Do humanists tend to err on the side of hubris or humility? Or both, at various times? Rev. Sandy believes that these questions cannot be considered properly without first understanding the history of humanism within Unitarian Universalism -- could be the first of at least a two-part series on the subject. Order of service Sun, 27 September 2015 10 am CDT

"Overcoming Confirmation Bias: Advice from an Ex-Pastor" - presented by Rob Brink     mp3
Each of us has a natural bias built into our brain. We are naturally drawn to whatever confirms our beliefs, and we just as naturally reject whatever doesn't. Which means we're consistently, predictably, far more certain than we should be. Rob Brink will offer practical advice on facing this universal problem. Order of service Sun, 6 September 2015 10 am CDT

"Justified Anger" - presented by Kaleem Caire     mp3
Last year we had a presentation on the Dane County "Race to Equality" report. Following that report's release - Justified Anger : Rev. Alex Gee says Madison is Failing its African-American community - appeared in The Capital Times. Read more here. If you haven't already read this piece, it is your homework for attending this presentation. Mr. Caire will present an update on the organization, Justified Anger, that was formed as a result of the article. Order of service Sun, 30 August 2015 10 am CDT

"Coming Out" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
Coming out of despair, that is. In mid-July, I talked about sitting with our despair over the state of the world and the necessity of experiencing positive disintegration. What happens after that? Going through a period of positive disintegration will not destroy us. Instead, it can challenge us with new possibilities, releasing a kind of collective energy that might give us creative space in which to come to terms with our despair. Perhaps there will be a breeze on this Sunday that will help us...say what?? See the Musings from the Minister Column for more information and clarification. Order of service Sun, 23 August 2015 10 am CDT

"Ever-Changing Answers to Ever-Changing Questions" - presented by Rev. Scott Prinster     mp3
Why has the idea of evolution been such a controversal topic in American religion? Despite its being such a disputed idea, we'll explore how fundamental it is to the world around us, and how vital it is to a healthy search for meaning and purpose. Join us as we explore how our commitment to intellectual integrity can bring together this most dangerous idea with the values and traditions of liberal religion!
The Rev. Scott Prinster is currently finishing his dissertation at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on the historical relationship between religion and science in the United States. He has served congregations in Michigan and Wisconsin as well as teaching English for two years at the Unitarian seminary in Transylvania. Before attending seminary, his background was in physics, and he worked as a NASA contractor for the space program. Order of service
Sun, 16 August 2015 10 am CDT

"Women and Personhood" - presented by Johanna Hatch     mp3
Debates on reproductive rights often center on questions of fetal personhood. Beliefs and laws that privilege fetal personhood reduce women to a status of conditional personhood, always at risk of losing their legal status if they become pregnant. Using Unitarian Universalism's first principle (the inherent worth and dignity of every person) as a starting point, we will examine cases such as Las 17 of El Salvador, Savita Halppanavar of Ireland, and Wisconsin's recent law restricting abortion at twenty weeks to recenter the conversation about personhood on women. Order of service Sun, 09 August 2015 10 am CDT

"Choices" - presented by Dean Hinmon     mp3
Sometime in life we all make a choice, either consciously or unconsciously, between two opposites. We decide if we are living in a world of love where all of us on the planet are one big support system, or if we are living in a dog-eat-dog world of fear and hate. Put simply, we choose to live in either a world of love or a world of fear - a world that's all about WE or all about ME. Order of service Sun, 02 August 2015 10 am CDT

"Tick...Tock" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
This could refer to time, as in tick, tock, the time for us to avoid an environmental disaster because of the way we live is rapidly running out, or so many scientists and climatologists tell us. "Tick, tock" could also refer to a pendulum or a metronome. TICK... look backwards to when humans understood that we are part of the Earth and partners with not only the Earth, but also with all of life on this planet. TOCK... look forward... Will enough of us truly grasp this before it is too late? Bill McKibben, Wendell Berry, Sister Miriam MacGillis, David Korten, among others, will help provide an answer to the question -- possibly the most important question facing humanity today. Order of service Sun, April 19, 2015 10 am CDT

"Betrayal" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
Someone once said that there are only two human stories: love and betrayal. We have looked at love and compassion a lot during the past few months. Today we will consider betrayal and where it fits into the broader topic of evil. For Christians, this Sunday is known as Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week and the events leading up to the betrayal of Jesus. What meaning might these events have for those of us who are not Christian? Order of service Sun, 29 March 2015 10 am CDT

"Take Two" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
This is the second installment of a series about Transcendentalism. On this Sunday, I will try to leave behind the abstract, obtuse consideration of this important part of our history and bring you some "action figures". I will explore the lives of a few Transcendentalists who put their beliefs into practice. Some of these folks you may have heard of; others will be unknown to you. I promise that they will all be interesting characters, as well as relevant to life in the twenty-first century. Order of service Sun, 15 March 2015 10 am CDT

"Equal in Faith: Why Religious Discrimination Against Women Affects Us All" - presented by Johanna Hatch     mp3
In honor of International Women's Day, Johanna Hatch speaks about the interfaith Equal in Faith campaign against religious discrimination against women. Led by Catholic, LDS, Muslim, and Jewish women, this global campaign brings to light how discrimination and inequality in religious communities impacts women's equality in society at large. Johanna also discusses the necessity of progressive religious communities as allies and advocates for gender justice. Order of service Sun, 08 March 2015 10 am CDT

"Those Troubling Transcendentalists" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
In addition to being a very long, difficult-to-spell word, what exactly does transcendentalism mean? And why should you care about this once-revolutionary idea? Or is it possible that it is still a revolutionary idea? And why were the Transcendentalists of the mid-1800's in this country troubling? Are they still causing trouble? Join me this Sunday for a look back at one of the most important and controversial parts of our Unitarian and Universalist history. Order of service Sun, 22 February 2015 10 am CST

"Our Place in the Cosmos" - presented by John Wunderlin     mp3
We were first introduced to one of the new faces at Prairie many talents when he played his French horn back in October. It is fitting that on Feb 15th, Galileo's birthday, John Wunderlin will lead us on an exploration of the vastness of space with illustrations, astrophotography and news of the latest in space exploration. John is a founding member of the Iowa County Astronomers and a member of both the Wyalusing Starsplitters and Madison Astronomical Society. He's been active in the astronomy clubs with talks and sharing many of his telescopes during public outreach events. Order of service Sun, 15 February 2015 10 am CST

"What's Love Got To Do With It?" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
Besides being the title of a song with a tune that can cause an "ear-worm", what does that word love have to do with our everyday lives? Even though we use the word frequently and loosely, love has much to do with daily life because love is an entry-level concept that can only lead to bigger and better concepts such as empathy and compassion. I have touched on this in some of my most recent reflections, but I would like to attempt to go deeper into the subject of love on this Sunday before Valentine's Day. I plan to do so "with a little help from my friends", including the Dalai Lama, Martin Luther King, Jr., David Sheff and even Robert Fulghum. Order of service Sun, 08 February 2015 10 am CST

"The Road Home" - presented by Kristin Rucinski     mp3
Prairie is a "buddy church" in the Interfaith Hospitality Network Shelter and members have volunteered in this program that houses homeless families. Since this program began in 1999 it has expanded to include services that not only relieve the immediate crisis of homelessness, but also build skills, resources and relationships that set the stage for long-term success. Order of service Sun, 25 January 2015 10 am CST

"A Dose of Empathy" - presented by Robin Proud     mp3
Those of us who read a lot are often dismissed as antisocial loners, unable to cope with the real world. But recent research shows that readers score higher on tests of empathy than nonreaders. Learn about this research and why it matters. Order of service Sun, 11 January 2015 10 am CST

"In the Beginning" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
In the beginning, no one sets out to be addicted to drugs or alcohol or anything else. For an organization that prides itself on being open-minded and "ahead of the curve", we rarely talk about addictions. A few years ago, there was a cover story in our "UU World" magazine about alcoholism, written by a Unitarian Universalist minister, addressing this strange reticence of ours. There was very little follow up to this article. Since my seminary days when I took a semester-long course about "Spirituality and Alcoholism", I have been intrigued by this subject. I suspect there are very few people among us who have not been affected by addiction, either their own or a loved one's. What better time than the beginning of a new year for us to begin a conversation about addictions? Order of service Sun, 04 January 2015 10 am CST

"Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
I am often surprised at the reactions many Unitarian Universalists have to Jesus. They range from anger, dismissal, scorn and, most surprisingly to me, fear. Who is this person that we are so afraid of and definitely don't want shoved down our throats by the dominant culture? Why are we so willing to give him up to the Fundamentalists or even to more moderate Christians? Aren't we in danger of throwing out the baby with the bathwater? I don't think that we should give up on Jesus. Find out why on this last Sunday of the month in which his birthday is celebrated. Order of service Sun, 28 December 2014 10 am CST

"Quakers" - presented by Ken Haydock     mp3
Ken was one of the team teachers of the high school RE class last year on world religions. He did a bit of research on the Quakers and shared with us some of the highlights of his findings. Order of service Sun, 07 December 2014 10 am CST

"The Gift of Nothing" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
"The Gift of Nothing" is the title of my reflections, as well as the title of a book by Patrick McDonnell. Tis that season again -- you know, the one when we are expected to -- some would say pressured to -- spend lots of money on gifts. What if we all decided to give the gift of nothing instead of gifts that cost money? Would the economy come to a screeching halt? Is there a happy medium here? After all, there are things that I would like to buy for others and even for myself. And what about all the people who depend on our spending money on gifts at the holiday season? Shouldn't we remember them when we talk about the consumer culture and holiday spending expectations? We will tackle some of these questions and possibly others on this Sunday, two days after "Black Friday", one of the biggest shopping days of the year. Order of service Sun, 30 November 2014 10 am CST

"The First Principle Project" - presented by Christina Klock     mp3
"We, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, covenant to affirm and promote: The inherent worth and dignity of every person..." Christina Klock posited that the UUA should change "person" to "being" in our first principle. This proposed paradigm shift provoked a lively discussion. Order of service Sun, 16 November 2014 10 am CST

"Veterans Court" - presented by Edward Zapala     mp3
Edward Zapala, Justice Outreach Social Worker for the Rock County Veterans Court, told us how Veterans Court gives veterans who faithfully served their country a second chance by offering them treatment for their substance abuse and/or mental health issues rather than incarceration. This is part of the TAD program (treatment alternatives and diversion program) promoted by MOSES. Order of service Sun, 09 November 2014 10 am CST

"Middle Class Philanthropist: How Anyone Can Leave a Legacy" - presented by Melinda Gustafson Gervasi     mp3
On Sunday, October 26th, Melinda Gustafson Gervasi, a Prairie member as well as author and attorney will share with us information about the grassroots movement known as National Philanthropy Day (celebrated November 15th). The word Philanthropy means "the love of humankind," and National Philanthropy Day is the day that thousands of people around the world come together to both (1) put that word into action and (2) recognize the change that word has brought to our communities. NPD is a celebration of philanthropy - giving, volunteering and charitable engagement - that highlights the accomplishments, large and small, that philanthropy - and all those involved in the philanthropic process - makes to our society and our world. Melinda will share insights and stories from her book "Middle Class Philanthropist: How anyone can leave a legacy." There will be time for others to share inspiring stories of Middle Class Philanthropy. Order of service Sun, 26 October 2014 10 am CDT

"Why Mentor? Ancient Wisdom on Teaching and Learning" - presented by Juliana Paradise Hunt     mp3
Juliana applies ancient wisdom to modern problems - especially those involved in how we educate our young. Order of service Sun, 19 October 2014 10 am CDT

"Improving Lives Through Literacy" - presented by Jeff Burkhart     mp3
Established in 1974, Literacy Network is a not-for-profit organization committed to providing basic literacy services to adults and families in Dane County, so they can succeed in the workplace, better understand health issues, and provide supportive environments for the education of children. Jeff Burkhart is the executive director of the Literacy Network and will speak to us at Prairie's October 5 service about the Literacy Network's wonderful services to the community. Order of service Sun, 05 October 2014 10 am CDT

"Worthy of Worship" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
"Worthy of Worship." What does that phrase even mean, you could legitimately ask? We might do an occasional "falling on our knees" when "O Holy Night" is played in December -- just to be silly. (Yes, I have done this, many times.) But, never would a good Unitarian Universalist seriously kneel down in front of anything or anyone. What if that isn't what worship is about? Can UU's ever say, "Let us worship."? Order of service Sun, 21 September 2014 10 am CDT

"Come, Let Us Gather to...??" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
To do what? To worship in a church? What? At Prairie? WHOA! Possibly not! On this Sunday, I will continue my exploration of language as it relates to our Unitarian Universalist heritage. Do we actually engage in worship on Sunday mornings? This could lead to some lively discussion! See you in church! Order of service Sun, 24 August 2014 10 am CDT

"What CAN I Say" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
I have always been fascinated by language and the meaning of words. Recent conversations and events at General Assembly and at Prairie, as well as various things that I have been reading have left me puzzled and curious about what words are acceptable when talking about whatever it is we do at Prairie... See! I can't be more exact than that without possibly using a word or two that might offend someone or "put them off" or cause them to dismiss the content of what I am trying to say! Help! I need input from all of you in this area. Order of service Sun, 17 August 2014 10 am CDT

"Gary's UUA General Assembly Education: The Challenges of the Future" - presented by Gary Gates     mp3
Prairie's new president, Gary Gates, returned from the Unitarian Universalist Association General Assembly exhilarated by the experience. He has so much to share and so little time in a Sunday morning service, but Gary promised he is up to the challenge. Order of service Sun, 10 August 2014 10 am CDT

"University of Wisconsin Odyssey Project" - presented by Emily Auerbach     mp3
The UW-Odyssey Project offers a University of Wisconsin-Madison humanities class for adult students facing economic barriers to college. Odyssey provides 30 students each year with a challenging college humanities class with award-winning faculty. Students receive free tuition, textbooks, childcare, and a weekly dinner through support from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, grants, and private donations. Order of service Sun, 03 August 2014 10 am CDT

"Sustainability" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
What came to your mind when you read that word? Did it have something to do with the environment or climate change? That is not what this Sunday primarily will be about though it could be a piece of the puzzle. The puzzle is this: What sustains you? When life gets difficult; when things go wrong; when grief overwhelms you; when you are in pain; when there is seemingly nothing but darkness; what keeps you going? The answers to these questions have everything to do with telling our stories. There will be time in this service to do some sharing of stories. Order of service Sun, 20 July 2014 10 am CDT

"Julia Ward Howe" - presented by Robin Proud     mp3
Robin Proud shared with us the life and times of Julia Ward Howe, best known to us as the author of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic." Order of service Sun, 18 May 2014 10 am CDT

"I Forgive You. Please Forgive Me" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
We are all in need of both receiving and giving forgiveness, whether we are talking about relatively mundane matters or murky situations or even miraculous moments of true forgiveness. So, I ask you to consider the following question which Simon Wiesenthal posed several years ago: "You are a prisoner in a concentration camp. A dying Nazi soldier asks for your forgiveness. What would you do?" And this one, "What role does forgetting play in the act of forgiveness?" Order of service Sun, 04 May 2014 10 am CDT

"Environmental Ethics and the Interdependent Web" - presented by Matt Tedesco     mp3
Matt Tedesco used our seventh principle as a jumping-off point for the discussion about Earth Day and environmental ethics. Order of service Sun, 27 Apr 2014 10 am CDT

"Vulnerable Change" - presented by Rev. Sara Goodman     mp3
Power is such a controversial topic, often the focus of discussion is on taking too much power or the abuse of power. What's interesting about power is that sometimes the most powerful moments in our lives are times when we feel the least powerful. The times we make the most significant changes in our lives are often the times we are the most vulnerable. Order of service Sun, 13 Apr 2014 10 am CDT

"Wild Women vs. Manly Men" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
Part II of Rev. Sandy's miniseries on "Wild Women of the West", continuing the stories about the Unitarian and Universalist, what was then considered the West. The women ministers were a force of nature, brightly shining for awhile, but, unfortunately, only for about 50 years. What happened to the Sisterhood? Why did it fall apart? There were several intertwined reasons for the demise of this group, one of the strangest being the backlash of a cultural movement to stop the spread of the emasculation of American males at the end of the 1800s. Order of service Sun, 6 Apr 2014 10 am CDT

"Madison Urban Ministries on the Move" - presented by Linda Ketchum     mp3
Linda Ketchum described the variety of programs that MUM is spearheading to help the homeless, people without health care, and returning prisoners in Madison. Order of service Sun, 30 Mar 2014 10 am CDT

"Pope Francis After One Year in Office" - presented by Johanna Hatch     mp3
March marks the first anniversary of the election of Francis as Pope. Johanna Hatch, a new Prairie member, shared her feelings about how he is doing. Order of service Sun, 23 Mar 2014 10 am CDT

"Wild Women of the West" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
This service was a celebration of women's history month, in general, and of a little-known part of our Unitarian Universalist heritage, in particular. Hear some fascinating stories about these women who played an important part in shaping who we are. You may want to find out more about them. One of the best sources for doing so is the book, "Prophetic Sisterhood: Liberal Women Ministers of the Frontier, 1880-1930", by Cynthia Grant Tucker, a book that was Rev. Sandy's "other voice" on this Sunday. Listen to find out: just how wild they really were; what Transcendentalists have to do with these women; and why we are so very fortunate to have them as role models, even more than a hundred years later! Order of service Sun, 16 Mar 2014 10 am CDT

"Summer in Antarctica" - presented by John Richards     mp3
John's idea of escaping a frigid Wisconsin in January is to go to Antarctica. He shared his experience with the IceCube project, looking for the elusive neutrino. Order of service Sun, 09 Mar 2014 10 am CDT

"Race To Equity-A Baseline Report on the State of Racial Disparities in Dane County" - presented by Erica Nelson and Torry Winn     mp3
Erica Nelson, Project Director, and Torry Winn, Consultant for Strategic Partnerships and Engagement, of the Race to Equity Project, shared with us the findings of their comprehensive report. Sun, 02 Mar 2014 10 am CST

"When UUs Have Reunions: General Assembly at a Glance" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham, Phyllis Long, Barb Park, Mary Mullen, Cheryl Robinson & Kate Liu     mp3
As part of our celebration of DENOMINATIONAL AFFAIRS MONTH here at Prairie, Kate Liu, Rev. Sandy & friends (others who have been to a General Assembly) regaled us with their experiences attending this annual Unitarian Universalist gathering. They also passed along a few helpful hints and interesting tidbits that might entice you to attend this year's event. Why might you want to do this? Listen to this 51 min. podcast to hear why! Order of service Sun, 23 Feb 2014 10 am CST

"What the Bad River Watershed Means to Me" - presented by Tracy Hames     mp3
Tracy Hames, executive Director of the Wisconsin Wetland Association, updated us on the Bad River and how he became a champion of our water resources. Order of service Sun, 09 Feb 2014 10 am CST

"Grappling with Grace" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
A humanist, with Buddhist leanings, takes a look at grace. What does that word really mean? We throw it around all the time as if we understand what it truly asks of us... "amazing grace"; "grace happens", "there but for the grace of god go I", "her saving grace"... and so on. Is grace a useful concept in the 21st century or is it hopelessly outdated? Does it have any relevance to my life? If so, should I welcome it into my life or keep it at a distance? Listeners are invited to ponder all of this and more! Order of service Sun, 26 Jan 2014 10 am CST

"Our First Principle -- Some Philisophical Thoughts on Personhood" - presented by Matt Tedesco     mp3
Matt Tedesco, professor of Philosophy at Beloit College says about his presentation, "My goal is not to defend any particular position on the moral status of abortion generally, or 20-week bans specifically, but rather to engage some philosophical literature on personhood. But it might be a little bit provocative, because some views of personhood entail that newborn children are not persons. My hope is really just to present some interesting questions, in order to spark some thought and discussion." Order of service Sun, 12 Jan 2014 10 am CST

"Alzheimer's Disease and dementia in Wisconsin: Learn about the warning signs as well as brain health tips" - presented by Paul Rusk     mp3
Paul Rusk is Director of the Alzheimer's and Dementia Alliance of Wisconsin. Learn what is happening here locally and find out ways to get involved. Order of service Sun, Dec 08 2013 10 am CST

"Mentoring Positives" - presented by Will Green     mp3
One approach to meeting the MOSES 11 by 15 goal is to keep our children from interacting with our criminal justice system. Will Green from "Mentoring Positives" will tell us about his work. "Mentoring Positives" is committed to providing positive mentoring relationships to help youth and young adults discover their gifts and talents, learn new skills and experience successes through social, psychological and emotional development that will prepare them for adulthood. Order of service Sun, Dec 01 2013 10 am CST

"Treatment Alternatives to Incarceration" - presented by Rev. John Mix     mp3
To follow up on the Social Action Committee's presentation on the MOSES 11 by 15 project (, this was the first in a series on the state of our prison population and how to reduce it. Our kick off speaker was the Rev. John Mix, chaplain of the Dane County Jail. The Rev. Mix is an outspoken advocate for treatment alternatives to incarceration. He also blends art therapy with prison chaplaincy. Order of service Sun, 17 Nov 2013 10 am CST

"Too Much Money in Politics, and How We Can Get Our Democracy Back" - presented by George Penn     mp3
George Penn is Outreach Coordinator for South Central Wisconsin Move to Amend. Move to Amend locally formed in response to the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Citizens United, which ruled that there can be no limit on political donations of corporations. The group initiated petition drives to get resolutions on the ballot in Madison and Dane County to abolish corporate personhood. The resolutions were passed in the spring 2011. The group has continued to expand this effort to communities through the southern part of the state to pass similar resolutions. Order of service Sun, 10 Nov 2013 10 am CST

"All Souls Day" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
A celebration of all souls day. We will honor the dead in general and our UU spiritual ancestors in particular; as well as those from our own lives who have made our being together at Prairie possible. All these people make up that great "cloud of witnesses" without whom we would not be who we are today. Order of service Sun, 03 Nov 2013 10 am CST

"Sex, Love, and Violence: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in a Globalized World" - presented by Patrick Farabaugh     mp3
The Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office 2013 topic for UN Sunday is: "Sex, Love, and Violence: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in a Globalized World." Our speaker will be Patrick Farabaugh, publisher of Our Lives. Patrick is a strong advocate for LGBT equality. Since arriving in Wisconsin in 2005 he's founded the Madison Gay Hockey Association, Our Lives Magazine and co-founded the Out Professional and Executive Network (OPEN). In 2010 Governor Doyle named him an LGBTQ Living Hero to our state. Order of service Sun, 27 Oct 2013 10 am CDT

"Lydia Maria Child" - presented by Robin Proud     mp3
Lydia Maria Child (February 11, 1802 - Oct. 20, 1880) was a novelist, editor, journalist and scholar who produced a body of work remarkable for its brilliance, originality and variety, much of it inspired by a strong sense of justice and love of freedom. Little known today, in her own time she was a famously radical abolitionist. She was a student of world religions with a breadth of vision and understanding extraordinary for her time. She was lonely religiously, dissatisfied with the institutional church and hungry for spiritual nourishment. Child is now remembered primarily, if at all, as author of the Thanksgiving poem, "Over the river and through the wood...." She deserves an honored place in American and in Unitarian history, though she was critical of the Unitarianism of her day. Order of service Sun, 20 Oct 2013 10 am CDT

"UN, UUA, PVF, YOU" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
What do these initials mean? Why are they important? What do they have to do with these words: mystery, joy, quirky, zany? Join Rev. Sandy tol find out the answers to these and other intriguing questions and puzzles. Order of service Sun, 13 Oct 2013 10 am CDT

"MOSES and the Incarceration Nation" - presented by the Social Action Committee     mp3
Prairie's Social Action Committee gives a progress report on the 11 by 15 program to reduce Wisconsin's 22,000 prison population to 1/2 by 2015. Prairie joined forces with many Madison congregation to form MOSES (Madison Organizing in Strength, Equality and Solidarity) to campaign to bring real justice to Wisconsin's system of justice. Order of service Sun, 06 Oct 2013 10 am CDT

"Cultivating Wonder in the Age of Science" - presented by Steve Paulson     mp3
Steve Paulson, the executive producer of "To the Best of Our Knowledge" on WPR, dips into his long experiences with To the Best of Our Knowledge to share the sense of wonder in a time of science. Order of service Sun, 29 Sep 2013 10 am CDT

"Dances with Taconite: the Mine Threat to Bad River's Wild Rice Beds" - presented by Patty Lowe     mp3
Patty Lowe speaks about the Ojibwe spirituality that comes from their interconnectedness with the land that is threatened by the Gogebic iron ore mine. Order of service Sun, 22 Sep 2013 10 am CDT

"SERRV In Bangladesh" - presented by Megan Arzbaecher     mp3
Megan Arzbaecher, SERRV Resource Development and Outreach Coordinator, shares examples of SERRV's global development work and its impact. She discusses some of the projects SERRV is currently working on to empower artisans, including a design and marketing training program in Bangladesh. Order of service Sun, 25 Aug 2013 10 am CDT

"It's Easier Than You Think" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
Rev. Sandy takes a playful look at the "Buddhist Path to Happiness", with help from some Buddhist friends, Sylvia Boorstein and Joanna Macy, among others. We consider the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path or the Eightfold Dot, as Boorstein calls it, and, we contemplate these Buddhist teachings in plain language with brief periods of meditation. Order of service Sun, 18 Aug 2013 10 am CDT

"Foreign Aid Best Practices" - presented by Gary Peterson     mp3
Through his extensive experiences with Rotary International, our own Gary Peterson shares his conclusions on the most effective ways to help developing nations. Order of service Sun, 11 Aug 2013 10 am CDT

"How Clean Energy Can Create a Brighter Future for Wisconsin" - presented by Shahla Werner     mp3
Sierra Club Director Shahla Werner discusses how individuals can reduce the threat of climate change to current and future generations, foster job creation, improve public health, AND save money on energy bills by pushing decision-makers to support better energy policies in Wisconsin and by taking charge of their own energy use with Sierra Club's new solar homes partnership and Focus On Energy homeowner incentives designed to reduce the amount of energy we waste. Shahla Werner has been the Director of the Sierra Club - John Muir Chapter in Wisconsin since 2008. She earned her MS and PhD in entomology at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. Order of service Sun, 04 Aug 2013 10 am CDT

"Laughter Yoga" - presented by the Madison Laughter Club     mp3
The Madison Laughter Club led us in laughter yoga exercises. The practice of "laughter therapy" is growing in popularity. Devotees say the simple act of laughing helps relieve stress and improves things like blood flow and digestion. Unlike some yoga practices, everyone can do laughter yoga no matter your age, abilities or inabilities. Order of service Sun, 28 Jul 2013 10 am CDT

"Revolutionary Conversations" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
Our country's founding fathers were Deists, liberals and progressives who believed in science and critical thinking. How can we keep their spirit alive as we celebrate the 4th of July? Order of service Sun, 21 Jul 2013 10 am CDT

Father's Day Remembrances - presented by Dan Proud     mp3
Remembrances from a panel of Prairie members. Sun, 16 Jun 2013 10 am CDT

"A Time to Heal - A Time to Plant" - presented by Ryan Erisman     mp3
A program on the Farmer Veteran Coalition. The mission of this coalition is to mobilize veterans to feed America through the collaboration of the farming and military communities. Order of service Sun, 26 May 2013 10 am CDT

"Why We Do What We Do" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
"Why We Do What We Do" is the title of my reflections for this Sunday, May 19, the "we" in this case, being we Unitarian Universalists. From time to time, people will ask me questions about why we do what we do on Sunday mornings. Why do we light the chalice every week? Why don't we say a prayer during our services? Is what we do "worship" and, if not, why not? What part, if any, do our governing bodies (the Board, the District, the UUA) play in what happens on Sunday mornings? What makes us different from other people gathering in other places on Sundays? In other words, why do we do what we do -- and not just on Sunday mornings? To answer that question we need to have an understanding of who we are and how we got this way. Join me this Sunday as I take you on a blitz through UU history! Order of service Sun, 19 May 2013 10 am CDT

"Remembering Our Mothers" - presented by a panel of Prairie members     mp3
A panel of Prairie members shared written memoirs about their mothers. Will you be surprised at what you learn and the feelings it brings up about your own mother? Memoirs honored the mothers of Erin Bosch, Kathy Converse, Mary Mullen, Metje Butler, John Frantz, Mary Frantz, Rick Ruecking, Kathy Converse, Molly Plunket and Peter Anderson. Order of service Sun, 12 May 2013 10 am CDT

"Empathy and Compassion as Pathways to Peace - The Nature and Nurture of Empathy and Compassion, Second in a Two Part Series" - presented by Carolyn Zahn-Waxler     mp3
Order of service Sun, 28 Apr 2013 10 am CDT

"Dancing with the Divine" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
Have you experienced the divine? Does the divine manifest itself in your life? What do I mean when I use that word divine? How does God factor in, if at all? And why are Unitarian Universalists even bothering to discuss what we mean by the word divine, let alone give it much thought? On April 14, Rev. Ingham will share some of her ideas about and encounters with the divine, with a little help from her friends -- her poet friends, that is. See you then! Order of service Sun, 14 Apr 2013 10 am CDT

"Empathy and Compassion as Pathways to Peace: Our Inner Apes - Evolution of Human Empathy, First in a Two Part Series" - presented by Morris Waxler     mp3
Human empathy is based on the evolution of the social brain in monkeys, apes, and prehistoric hominids. Six million years of social behavior provides evidence for this aspect of our moral nature. How does this relate to values and actions in our present day lives? Sun, 7 Apr 2013 10 am CDT

"From the Other Side: Necedah & Champion" - presented by Anne Pryor     mp3
Building on the Christian belief that heavenly beings return to Earth to speak and be seen (the basis of Easter), this presentation will look at two Wisconsin shrines that commemorate visits by Mary, the Blessed Mother. Order of service Sun, 31 Mar 2013 10 am CDT

"Singing, Shouting, Celebrating: The Second Century of Universalism" - presented by Barbara Park     mp3
We will be recounting a brief history of the Universalist denomination from the Civil War until merger with the Unitarians in 1961 in word and song. Order of service Sun, 24 Mar 2013 10 am CDT

"Evil" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
What exactly is evil? Do you personally know anyone who is evil? Evil takes different forms in different generations and in different cultures. Rev. Sandy will reflect on the complex topic of evil on this mid-March Sunday, March being a month she considers to be evil, if months can be good or evil. In his book, "Evil: An Investigation", Lance Morrow says that the real struggle in the world may not be between good and evil but between hope and evil. Perhaps, then, the opposite of evil is not good, but hope. Rev. Sandy believes that good and evil exist within each one of us. Evil is always a possibility, just like good -- and hope. Order of service Sun, 17 Mar 2013 10 am CDT

"Through Bereavement to Redemption: The Story of David's Educational Opportunity Fund" - presented by Maggie Felker     mp3
Maggie and Michael's school in Ecuador. Order of service Sun, 10 Mar 2013 10 am CDT

"The Secular Roots of Taoism" - presented by Ken Haydock     mp3
The earliest Taoist writings emerged in northern China about 2,400 years ago. The philosophy they embody entails no belief in the supernatural and it was only after two or three centuries, scholars tell us, that a Taoist religion arose. This talk provides an overview of the secular philosophy reflected in those ancient works and of the problems modern Western readers face with respect to translations of them. Order of service Sun, 3 Mar 2013 10 am CST

"Harriet Martineau" - presented by Robin Proud     mp3
Harriet Martineau (1802-1876) has been called the founder of sociology. In the Victorian era, she supported herself by her writings on economics, politics, religion, and social issues. She met all the leading figures of her day in both England and the U.S. and wrote over 30 books. This is the latest in an intermittent series by Robin Proud on "Famous Unitarian Women We've Never Heard Of." Order of service Sun, 24 Feb 2013 10 am CST

"The Catonsville Nine" - presented by Shawn Francis Peters     mp3
Shawn Peters grew up in Catonsville Maryland. He will discuss his book "The Catonsville Nine: A Story of Faith and Resistance in the Vietnam Era," published June 2012. It concerns the public burning of Selective Service files by 2 priests, Philip and Daniel Berrigan, and 7 supporters. Order of service Sun, 10 Feb 2013 10 am CST

"What is the Spirit?" - presented by Rev. Eric Banner     mp3
Guest minister Rev. Eric Banner is a recent graduate of Starr King School for the Ministry, Berkeley California. Order of service Sun, 3 Feb 2013 10 am CST

"Still Living in a Culture of Violence" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
America's culture of violence is nothing new. Does that mean that violence is so ingrained in American life that there is no point in trying to change the culture? Rev. Ingham will explore how changing the way we think about violence is a good place to start and how violence is so accepted that we don't often recognize its presence in our everyday lives. You may even be startled or offended at some of her thoughts about violence. Order of service Sun, 27 Jan 2013 10 am CST

"How Media Violence Affects Children" - presented by Karyn Riddle     mp3
Karyn Riddle, a University of Wisconsin assistant professor of journalism and mass communication, is an expert on effects of exposure to media violence, with a focus on children's reactions. Her presentation will be about talking to kids about frightening/disturbing topics in the news. Order of service Sun, 20 Jan 2013 10 am CST

"God Speaks to Me in Bookstores, or How I Learned to Love the Carbon Tax" - presented by Madeline Para     mp3
Madeline Para is from Citizens Climate Lobby. Order of service Sun, 13 Jan 2013 10 am CST

"Chalica" - presented by Robin Proud and Rebecca Malke.     mp3
At this holiday season, religious celebrations abound -- Christmas, Hanukkah, Solstice, Diwali and Kwanzaa. UUs enjoy borrowing the religious traditions of others, but it is time we have a tradition that we can call our own. This is your opportunity to get on the ground floor of a new UU tradition, Chalica. Starting on the first Monday of December through Sunday, families are encouraged to light a chalice and reflect on one of the 7 UU principles. Come learn about Chalica, get ideas for your celebration and take home your own Chalice decorated by our RE students. Order of service Sun, 2 Dec 2012 10 am CST

"Respecting Wisconsin's Environmental Heritage" - presented by Don Ferber     mp3
Don is an active Sierra Club volunteer, serving on the Executive Committee of the Four Lakes Group within the Wisconsin John Muir Chapter. His talk will provide an overarching view of where we are now in the various environmental arenas, and then present options for moving forward at various levels. Order of service Sun, 25 Nov 2012 10 am CST

"Five Days Later..." by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
Five days after the presidential election has finally ended, Rev. Ingham wants to know, "So What?!" Besides relief, is cynicism the only thing that we can feel? Why were the difficult subjects never discussed in depth during this election? Difficult subjects such as how can we end war as a tool for solving problems. Veterans Day might have some answers for us. If nothing else, November 11th provides us with an opportunity to reflect upon why we fight wars and what our veterans, past and current, can teach us. Order of service Sun, 11 Nov 2012 10 am CST

"Living With Mystery" - presented by Maggie Felker and Michael Byrd     mp3
The story of parents who's son disappeared in the cloud forests of the Ecuadorean Amazon. Order of service Sun, 4 Nov 2012 10 am CST

"SERRV and Fair Trade: Providing Opportunity and Support to Artisans and Farmers Worldwide" - presented by Sarah Wilcox     mp3
This UN Sunday presentation will discus SERRV's 64 years of being a leader in the fair trade movement and the stories of artisans around the world whose lives have been affected by fair trade.
Sarah Wilcox has been working with SERRV since 2007, first as a member of the Product Development Team and now as the Store Manager. Sarah has had the privilege of meeting many of our producer partners and finds daily joy in connecting consumers with the message of dignity and compassion. Order of service
Sun, 21 Oct 2012 10 am CDT

"The 11x15 Campaign" - presented by Carin Bringelson of MOSES     mp3
This is a statewide campaign by WISDOM to reduce Wisconsin's prison population to 11,000 by 2015. Order of service Sun, 14 Oct 2012 10 am CDT

"Carolyn McDade -- Trusting Her Truth Through Music" - presented by Paula Pachciarz     mp3
(Read about Carolyn McDade) Order of service Sun, 7 Oct 2012 10 am CDT

"Nothing Lasts Forever" - presented by Rev. Sandy Ingham     mp3
Order of service Sun, 30 Sep 2012 10 am CDT

"Do You Really Need a Chicken?" - presented by Rev. Sandy Ingham     mp3
The Jewish High Holidays began on Sunday, September 16, with Rosh Hashanah, and will end ten days later on Yom Kippur. These ten days are known as the Days of Awe and are a time for reflecting upon the past year and our need for forgiveness for sins committed during that year, as well as a time for seeking repentance, reconciliation and atonement. Rev. Ingham understands that many of us are uncomfortable with some of the words used in the previous sentence! Yet, she believes that if we can come to an understanding of the words and why they are important words, then we might be able to approach life a little differently. We will consider some almost unbelievable examples of forgiveness and reconciliation. Bring open minds! Order of service Sun, 23 Sep 2012 10 am CDT

"Michael Servetus: Unitarian Martyr" - presented by Barbara Park     mp3
Based on the book by Lawrence and Nancy Goldstone, "Out of the Flames," Barbara's talk will recount the life of Michael Servetus and his book asserting that the idea of the trinity was unsupported by the Christian Bible, the heresy which resulted in John Calvin having him burned at the stake. Order of service Sun, 16 Sep 2012 10 am CDT

"Latinos: Many cultures, many experiences" - presented by Gladis Benavidas     mp3
For many years Latinos have made Madison their home. It is easy to assume that because of language use, Spanish in different forms, they all have the same cultural background and experiences. But culture is everything and everything is culture. Gladis Benavides will share her experiences as a Latina from South America and as a member of a community where Latino cultures are diverse and rich in history and tradition. Order of service Sun, 2 Sep 2012 10 am CDT

"Gaviotas" - presented by Claire Norelle     mp3
Clare Norelle reported on her trip to Gaviotas, Colombia, illustrated with slides. She wrote the following about Gaviotas:
Gaviotas is a community of around 220 people, founded in the early 70's by a man named Paolo Lugari in Los Llanos, or the tropical grasslands, of Colombia. Over time Lugari brought together a wide range of Colombian scientists, artists, and campesinos who collaborated in inventing and adapting special kinds of pumps, windmills, solar water heaters and other alternative technologies to help them live in this difficult terrain. In an area of conflict between paramilitaries, government forces, and guerrillas, Gaviotans aimed at simplicity, consensus decision-making, and nonviolence, and banned all weapons from the community. After trying unsuccessfully to grow many things in the humus-poor soil, the people of Gaviotas learned that if they inoculated the roots of young Carribean pines with micorrhyzal fungi, the pines could grow in Los Llanos. Since the mid 1980's they have planted more than 8 million pine trees over 20,000 acres. Although the pines originated in Honduras, once they were established in Los Llanos they sheltered and allowed for the growth of over 250 species of rainforest trees and other plants that once were native to the area. These forests now support the people of Gaviotas, but they may be in some danger; in 2005 the mineral coltan, used in most electronics, was discovered in the region, igniting new conflicts over land and resources. Possibly related to this, the people of Gaviotas now must give a lot of attention to putting out fires intentionally set in their forests. But they also continue to experiment and adapt to changing circumstances, and they provide some beautiful examples for living in balance with the earth. Order of service
Sun, 26 Aug 2012 10 am CDT

"Searching for Alternatives to Homelessness" - presented by Heidi Wegleitner     mp3
Along with other impacts of the recession, we have an urgent need to address increasing homelessness in Dane County. Heidi Wegleitner will share some of the research, and potential solutions, that she and her colleagues have been exploring. Order of service Sun, 29 Jul 2012 10 am CDT

" Home" - presented by Rev. Sandra Ingham     mp3
In a world that often seems unsafe and unstable, is any place safe? I believe that one of the primary reasons to have places where people gather to explore what it means to be human and to contemplate where the mystery and wonder of life might be leading us (aka Unitarian Universalist Societies), places such as Prairie -- one of the primary reasons to have such places is to provide that safe space. Creating a safe place where everyone is truly welcome is the foundation upon which we build community and determine what our identity will be. Once we have claimed our identity, we will be ready and able to enlarge our definition of community and, then, move safely out into the wider world. Order of service Sun, 15 Jul 2012 10 am CDT

"The Dairy Farmer's Guide to the Universe" - presented by Dennis Merritt     mp3
Carl Jung believed there had to be a major paradigm shift in Western culture if we were to avert many of the apocalyptic conditions described in the Book of Revelation. He coined the terms 'New Age' and 'Age of Aquarius' to describe a change in consciousness that would honor the feminine, our bodies, sexuality, the earth, animals, and indigenous cultures. Jung deplored the fast pace of modern life with its empty consumerism and the lack of a spiritual dimension. Volume 1 of The Dairy Farmer's Guide to the Universe develops the framework and principles of Jungian ecopsychology and describes how they can be applied to our educational system and in the practice of psychotherapy. It offers a response to Jung's challenge to unite our cultured side with the 'two million-year-old man within' thereby opening a bridge to the remaining indigenous cultures. Dreamwork, individuation, synchronicity, and the experience of the numinous are important elements in this conceptual system. The Dairy Farmer's Guide provides a Jungian contribution to the developing field of ecopsychology, exploring values, attitudes and perceptions that impact our view of the natural world-nature within, nature without. Order of service Sun, 8 Jul 2012 10 am CDT

"Putting Your Faith in Action" - presented by Bob Park and Dan Proud     mp3
Our presenters will share personal examples of volunteer activities growing out of their values and social justice concerns. Bob will talk about his civil rights, peace, environmental and media reform activities. Dan will talk about his involvement with music, veterans groups, and tutoring. Order of service Sun, 17 Jun 2012 10 am CDT

"Can Bullying be Stopped by Peer Mediation?" - presented by Christine Johnson     mp3
Bullying is a constant problem in schools. Christine Johnson fought this problem in Brooklyn Elementary School (Brooklyn, WI) by introducing Peer Mediation among kids in grade school. She will talk about the tenets of the program and training that was provided to kids who served as peer mediators. Christine will also touch on other methods she used as a school guidance counselor to make Brooklyn School a kinder, gentler place. Order of service Sun, 10 Jun 2012 10 am CDT

"Transition Sunday" - presented by Rebecca Malke and Robin Proud.     mp3
Order of service Sun, 3 Jun 2012 10 am CDT

Memorial Day Service - presented by Steve Krallis     mp3
Steve Krallis is Outreach Program Supervisor for the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs. Order of service Sun, 27 May 2012 10 am CDT

"Caroline Norton: Mothers and Women's Rights" - presented by Mary Mullen     mp3
Sometimes we find out by chance about people who have fought for rights we take for granted. That's the way I found out about "The Honorable Caroline Norton." Caroline Norton was an Englishwoman of the 19th Century, a time in England when men had exclusive rights to their children and to the income of their wives. She was also a poet, novelist, and songwriter. Find out how this one woman was the impetus for a change for the better in English laws.
Our Mother's Day presenter, Mary Mullen, is a long-time member of Prairie and is currently a member of the Program Committee. A former high school and elementary teacher, she likes to share her discoveries with anyone who will listen. Order of service
Sun, 13 May 2012 10 am CDT

"Christian-Pagan Dialogue: Collaboration" - presented by George Hinger and Selena Fox     mp3
Selena and George discuss their experiences with local and global interfaith organizations, conferences, and projects and the contributions that the interfaith movement is making toward world peace, social justice, and environmental protection. Wed, 25 Apr 2012 10 am CDT

"Christian-Pagan Dialogue: Convergence" - presented by George Hinger and Selena Fox     mp3
George Hinger and Selena Fox give an overview of Christian and Pagan religions and their common ground. They also share perspectives on American religious pluralism and Christo-Paganism, a path of spirituality that is a hybrid of both traditions. Wed, 18 Apr 2012 10 am CDT

"The Power of Letting Go - Making Life Easy 101" - presented by Dean Hinmon     mp3
Order of service Sun, 15 Apr 2012 10 am CDT

"The Global Politics of Water: Managing Our Most Precious Resource in the 21st Century" - presented by Oriol Mirosa     mp3
In this talk, Oriol Mirosa will provide an overview of the global water challenges that humanity is facing in the 21st century. Oriol will discuss how states and a range of other public and private actors are attempting to meet these challenges at the international level, paying particular attention to the new forms of global water governance that have emerged in the last two decades. The presentation will conclude with a review of the two main approaches to water management currently being debated at the global level - 'water as a commodity' and 'water as a human right' - and their implications for people's access to water. Order of service Sun, 25 Mar 2012 10 am CDT

"Our Oneness in Compassion: A Quantum Physics View" - presented by Dean Hinmon     mp3
Dean began teaching 59 years ago in a small rural town in Minnesota. He went on from there to teach math, physics and electronics in community colleges in California and established the first electronic technician program in at Citrus Community College. He spent the last years of his teaching career at the University of Minnesota and published a novel and a number of non-fiction books. Most recently he has been working in performing arts. Order of service Sun, 11 Mar 2012 10 am CDT

"Rumi's Invitation, 'Come, Come Whoever You Are'" - presented by Saideh Jamshidi     mp3
Saideh Jamshidi, a novice sufi, will discuss Rumi's beautiful poetry. Rumi is a Persian poet who lived in the 13th century. His poems and teaching changed the way people approached Islam and gave a humane perspective to the religion. Rumi is a best selling poet in the United States. In 2006 and 2007, Rumi's books were sold in the United States in a greater volume than Walt Whitman and Edgar Allan Poe combined. Order of service Sun, 4 Mar 2012 10 am CST

"Inside Humanism Today" - presented by Howard Katz     mp3
Howard Katz is the president of the Humanist Society, a member of the Board of Directors of the American Humanist Association, and a Humanist Celebrant. Order of service Sun, 26 Feb 2012 10 am CST

"The Story of A Black Family" - presented by Pat Watkins.     mp3
Pat Watkins will present a story of two branches of a Black family going back to 1837, shown in historical context and told through narrative, photographs, and readings. Order of service Sun, 19 Feb 2012 10 am CST

"Becoming an LGBT Advocate" - presented by Patrick Farabaugh     mp3
Patrick Farabaugh shares his personal coming out story and the path that led him to creating Our Lives magazine, Madison's LGBT magazine. Order of service Sun, 12 Feb 2012 10 am CST

"What the United States Can Learn About Improving the Status of Women from Other Countries" - presented by Dr. Myra Marx Ferree     mp3
Contrary to many Americans' idea of American exceptionalism, we could learn from some more progressive countries when it comes to the status of women. Professor Myra Marx Ferree, joint governance professor in the Department of Gender and Women's Studies, has done comparative studies on gender politics in other countries and will share her research. Order of service Sun, 29 Jan 2012 10 am CST

"Childhood and Adolescent Bullying and the Players -- Bullies, Victims and Bystanders in Schools" - presented by Amy Bellmore     mp3
Parents won't want to miss the Sunday presention January 15th when Amy Bellmore, University of Wisconsin assistant professor of educational psychology, will be speaking on bullying. Her main themes include information about the forms bullying takes and about the various role players in a bullying event--bully, victim, bystanders related to bullying that occurs in childhood and adolescence. Order of service Sun, 15 Jan 2012 10 am CST

"Karen Armstrong's 12 Steps to a Compassionate Life " - presented by Phyllis Long     mp3
(Read transcript) Order of service Sun, 8 Jan 2012 10 am CST

"The Ground of Our Being" - presented by Rev. Jane Esbensen     mp3
Who are we as a UU congregation, why do we exist, what is our vision, and how do we get there? As we look to the future of Prairie, it is with a broad eye cast to the future. But what about now? What about here? What about us? Today's service (Jane's last) will be a reflection piece on identity. Order of service Sun, 17 Apr 2011 10 am CDT

"A Humanist Look at Myth, Symbol, and Art" - presented by Fred Edwords     mp3
Myth, symbol, and art have a tremendous impact on society. Works of symbolic art, narratives both folkloric and literary, are almost always deliberate and even rational products of the mind. Narrative art in particular must stay within certain rational bounds in order to maximize its aesthetic and social appeal. The story narrative is perhaps the most efficient means of communication known to man, one that can affect the mind in a way no didactic lecture or philosophical argument usually can.
Fred Edwords serves as national director of the United Coalition of Reason and also serves on the faculty of the Humanist Institute, is national director of the International Darwin Day Foundation, and acts as a management and public relations consultant to the American Humanist Association. As a continuing voice for humanist ideas, he has, over the past thirty-five years, appeared on national and local television in the United States and Canada, been interviewed on radio and for newspapers around the world, and has lectured in North America, Europe, and India. Order of service
Sun, 3 Apr 2011 10 am CDT

"Whatever Happened to the 60's?" - presented by Rev. Jane Esbensen     mp3
Looking up through the wild days of the 1960s from the vantage point of being just a young child, today's service will be one of remembrance: of hope and of passion and of endless possibilities. Sun, 13 Mar 2011 10 am CDT

"For the Love of God" - presented by Rev. Jane Esbensen     mp3
The first World Interfaith Harmony Week will be taking place in Madison from February 5-10, 2011, as well as in other cities around the world. Prairie is a part of this effort as formulated by a UN Resolution proposed and adopted in the Fall of 2010. In today's service, we will reflect on this resolution and its intentions, and consider what was perhaps achieved, if even in a small way, here in our midst. Order of service Sun, 20 Feb 2011 10 am CST

"Standing on the Side of Love" - presented by Rev. Jane Esbensen     mp3
This year marks the second anniversary of this Service on Love, and at Prairie we will mark the anniversary with a focus on the rights and freedoms which must be granted to those in the LGBT communities. Standing on the Side of Love is deeply committed to achieving full and equal protection under the law for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. We want to be able to say to lawmakers that we know, with certainty, that thousands of Americans share our passion for full equality. So, as a part of our service on love, we will be asking everyone in attendance to sign a petition focusing on those rights. Come and listen, and then raise your pens and write. Order of service Sun, 13 Feb 2011 10 am CST

"In the Midst of Darkness" - presented by Rev. Jane Esbensen     mp3
These are the contemplative days of winter, where the outside world often more poignantly reflects our inner world. Come and join us for a service of poetry and of peacefulness, of music and song and silence, as we attend to the darkness and find beauty and hope. Order of service Sun, 16 Jan 2011 10 am CST

"Words, Words, Words" - presented by Rev. Jane Esbensen     mp3
One of the things that can be said without dispute about UUs is that we talk a lot! One of the other things that can be said about UUs is that we are very particular about the words that we use, especially in our Sunday morning services. This Sunday will be a service about the power of words, and how they can open hearts and minds, or turn us away from the greater causes that lie before us. Sun, 14 Nov 2010 10 am CST

"A Visit from Margaret Fuller" - presented by Robin Proud     mp3
On the occasion of her 200th birthday, Margaret Fuller will introduce you to her life as a scholar, writer, war correspondent, editor of the Transcendentalist magazine The Dial, and America's first feminist. An intimate of Emerson, Thoreau, Alcott, and Hawthorne, Fuller will convince you (with a little help from Robin Proud) that she should be better known and appreciated, especially by Unitarians. Order of service Sun, 23 May 2010 10 am CDT

"Iraq Today: A Peacemaker's Eyewitness Report" - presented by Sami Rasouli     mp3
Mr. Rasouli will speak about the Muslim Peacemaker Teams in Iraq and the building of peaceful relationships between the people of Iraq and the people of the United States through the Iraqi Art Project, the Sister City Project, Water for Peace, and Letters for Peace ( Sami Rasouli, an Iraqi-American, left Iraq in the late 1970s and lived in the Twin Cities area for more than 17 years. In November 2004, nearly 30 years after leaving, Sami returned to Iraq to help rebuild his country. During this time, he founded and supported the development of the Muslim Peacemaker Teams, groups dedicated to principles of nonviolence. He recently brought a delegation of thirteen Iraqis from the city of Najaf to the city of Minneapolis as a part of the Sister City Project. Sun, 13 Dec 2009 10 am CST

"Thinking About Immigration" - presented by Rosalind Woodward, John Powell and Leila Pine     mp3
In these days of hysteria about immigration, three members of First Unitarian Society will present some perspectives that might help us think more clearly about it. John Powell will give an historical perspective, Leila Pine will give one answer to the question "So what is happening on our southern borders?" and Rosalind Woodward, an immigrant herself, will talk about what it is like to be a stranger in a new land. Order of service Sun, 15 Nov 2009 10 am CST

"When Breathing is Defiance: Stories from Occupied Palestine" - presented by Sol Thea Kelley-Jones & Nathan Beck     mp3
In Cairo, Egypt, President Obama stated that "America's strong bonds with Israel are well known. This bond is unbreakable. It is based upon cultural and historical ties, and the recognition that the aspiration for a Jewish homeland is rooted in a tragic history that cannot be denied." Obama further stated "that it is also undeniable that the Palestinian people - Muslims and Christians - have suffered in pursuit of a homeland. For more than sixty years they endured the pain of dislocation. Many wait in refugee camps in the West Bank, Gaza, and neighboring lands for a life of peace and security that they have never been able to lead. So let there be no doubt: the situation for the Palestinian people is intolerable. America will not turn our backs on the legitimate Palestinian aspiration for dignity, opportunity, and a state of their own." He said that "the only resolution is for both sides to be met through two states, where Israelis and Palestinians each live in peace and security." The program's speakers will report on what is going on now in Palestine, followed by a discussion of how a two state solution could be achieved. Sun, 19 Jul 2009 10 am CDT

"One's Heart Is Enough" - presented by Rev. Jane Esbensen     mp3
Although the humanist core of UUism has a long and significant history, in recent years the face of UUism has changed to such a degree that humanism has come to be seen as a purely intellectual exercise, and spirituality and Jesus-talk/God-talk are considered to be where the real heart of humanity lies, where the real heart of UUism lies. Born and raised a UU, Jane Esbensen speaks to us this Sunday about the language of the times and what is really at stake in our congregations and in society at large.
Rev. Jane Esbensen was ordained in 1996 in Menomonie, Wisconsin after spending five years studying at a UCC (United Church of Christ/Congregational) seminary in Minnesota. Jane has served several congregations in both Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Sun, 5 Jul 2009 10 am CDT

"Conversations in Conflict" - presented by Sol Thea Kelley-Jones     mp3
This Sunday, right after the regular Sunday service, everyone is invited to hear a brief talk by Sol Kelley-Jones, creator of the current Broom Street Theater play, "The Birds That Are Your Hands...How to Start a Fire Under Siege." She will be talking about how she came to get involved in Palestinian and Mexican immigrant issues, about her expectations before visiting border areas, the reality she found there and insights she gained, and how she came to create the play. Sun, 12 Apr 2009 10 am CDT

"Behind Every Great Man: The Peabody Sisters" - presented by Robin Proud     mp3
Elizabeth, Mary and Sophia Peabody. Sun, 13 Jan 2008 10 am CST

"The Health of Women and Children in Afghanistan" - presented by Cindy Haq     mp3
Cindy Haq will discuss her recent trip to Afghanistan. Sun, 22 Feb 2004 10 am CST

"Reclaiming Our Civil Liberties" - presented by John Nichols     mp3
This summer's UU General Assembly challenged members across the nation to "Stand up and reclaim the civil liberties guaranteed by the Bill of Rights." The Assembly's concerns included unrestrained executive power, the 2001 Patriot Act and pirvacy violations. Most of these concerns are executive power grabs that should come as no surprise given the rights infringements of the presidential election. Now we have proposed Homeland Security legislation, endorsed by the House and under consideration by the Senate, that gives the executive branch unprecedented power over enormous amounts of tax dollars. Debates rage in Congress over the right of the President to declare war without advice and consent of our elected representatives. John Nichols, Associate Editor of The Capital Times and contributor to The Nation, addresses infringements on our civil liberties and suggests positive action we can take to reclaim them. This is the first service in Doleta Chapru's lay ministry on social justice. Sun, 15 Sep 2002 10 am CDT

"United Nations Sunday: The Honorable Tammy Baldwin, Congressional Rep. for Wis. 2nd District" - presented by Tammy Baldwin     mp3
Part of a lay ministry by Pat Watkins entitled "Going About Denominational Business." Sun, 24 Oct 1999 10 am CDT
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