"As the prairie stretches out until it becomes one with the sky, let us reach out to touch and be one with the natural world and with one another."  (Bond of Union)

October  7, 2005

Prairie Fire is the semi-monthly newsletter of Prairie Unitarian Universalist Society. The two most recent issues may be seen at

President:  Mike Briggs (608)  835–0914 					 Editor:  Dan Proud,;  (608) 661–0776


Sunday, October 9
9:00 a.m. Choir rehearsal.
*10:00 a.m. “Gaylord Nelson, Not a Unitarian, But..." presented by Mary Mullen.
*11:30 a.m. RE Parent-Teacher Coffee, pre-school 
Noon. Humanist Union lunch and meeting, at Prairie

Wednesday, October 12
No Midweek Meal @ Prairie this week!

Sunday, October 16
9:00 a.m. Choir rehearsal
*10:00 a.m. “The Language and Practice of Reverence,” presented by the Rev. Jody Whelden
*11:30 a.m. RE Parent-Teacher Coffee for middle school 
4:00 p.m. Installation of the Rev. D. Richey at James Reeb UU Congregation

Wednesday, October 19
6:30 p.m. Midweek Meal@ Prairie resumes.

Thursday, October 20
6:30 p.m. Spanish Speakers potluck and conversation at the home of Kate Tucker, 4504 Camden Rd.  Info:  Rosemary Dorney, 238-4382.

Saturday-Sunday, October 22-23
*5:00 p.m. Fall Frolic for kids at Prairie

(* = Details follow in this issue.)


Sunday, October 23
9:00 a.m. Choir rehearsal
*10:00 a.m. “United Nations Sunday: The Millenium Development Project and the Cradle Club,” presented by Pat Watkins
*11:30 a.m. RE Parent-Teacher Coffee, grades 3-5 

Tuesday, October 25
2:00 p.m. Prairie Elders meeting, 2nd Floor Exercise Room, Oaks Building, Oakwood Village West.  Info:  Rosemary Dorney, 238-4382, or Doleta Chapru 238-4970

Wednesday, October 26
6:30 p.m. Midweek Meal@ Prairie 

Thursday, October 27
6:00 p.m. WOW potluck and meeting at Prairie

Saturday, October 29
*7:30 p.m. Playreaders night out at Vilas Hall theater production

Sunday, October 30
9:00 a.m. Choir rehearsal
10:00 a.m. All Souls' Day Celebration led by Ruth Calden.
*10:00 a.m. RE Service Sunday 

Sunday, October 9
Mary Mullen presents “Gaylord Nelson: Not a Unitarian, But...” Gaylord Nelson was not a Unitarian Universalist, but he was the embodiment of many of our UU principles. Although we all know him as the founder of Earth Day, which demonstrated his "respect for the interdependence of all existence of which we are a part"--our 7th principle-- it is less commonly known how he also stood up for the inherent worth and dignity of every person; justice, equity, and compassion in human relations; the right of conscience and the use of the democratic process; and the goal of world peace, liberty, and justice for all. 

How did he get to be such a person? How did he demonstrate and uphold each of the principles? How has his life inspired others? What are the lessons for us? These are some of the topics that will be explored. There may be a surprise speaker or two as well. 

Sunday, October 16
The past few years have seen an increasing dialogue among UU's about how we might regain the language and practice of reverence in the spirit of our principles and source statements. Faith, spirituality, compassion, and humility are only a sampling of such ideas. This morning's reflections will invite us to explore practices of reverence that reach across religious borders, and which might add to our appreciation and responsibility for living a good and just life. 

Sunday, October 23
In the September 9th issue of Prairie Fire, we printed an article about the U.N.'s Millenium Development Goals (usually referred to as the MDG's).  Our service on UN Sunday will consist of acquainting ourselves with the goals and an open discussion of them: Are they achievable? Can they be achieved in the given time frame?  What means can be taken to achieve them?  Is there a part we can play? 

The answer to the latter question is a resounding "YES!" and this Sunday will be the kickoff for Prairie's participation in the UU-UNO "Cradle Club," a six-week project (to end on November 27th), during which period members of the congregation will collect, purchase, or make and donate new supplies for the use of newborn babies (cash is also acceptable).  

At the end of that period, we will box up our donations and send them to The Southwest Indian Relief Council, which will deliver baskets of the baby supplies to Native American mothers who have attended a required number of prenatal appointments and at least two parenting classes.  This project directly helps to reduce child mortality and to improve maternal health (Goals 4 and 5).  

Please bring a donation on UN Sunday, and any time after that for the next six weeks.  Suggested items include (but not limited to): pacifiers, bottles, wash cloths, baby towels, bibs, ointment, caps, brushes, combs, baby clothes, crib sheets, pads, etc.

OUR SOCIETY HUMANIST UNION REVIEW FIRST YEAR The Humanist Union will meet at Prairie from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, October 9. The group, which first met at Prairie in October 2004, will review the topics we have discussed over our first year. You can see what those topics were by looking at the Past Events table on the Events Page of our Web site, Those who participated in the past discussions will probe their memories for the ideas that meant the most to them to share with those who missed the discussions. Then the group will talk about which topics we would like to explore further in the coming year, and what new areas of discussion we might like to get into. As in the past, we will start with a light lunch at noon. Participants are asked to bring platters of sandwiches or other finger food that we can pass around our grouping of tables. Once we are all seated we can start the discussion while we eat. Those who can't come for lunch are invited join us for the discussion any time between about 12:20 and 1:30 p.m. Bob Park sends out e-mail announcements of the Humanist Union's monthly discussions. If you would like to be added to the email list for those announcements, send your request to THE VIEW FROM MY BRANCH In November, on Wednesday evenings, 7:15-9:00, I will be teaching an adult education class, MINDING YOUR MIND, about how the mind processes information. I have studied and taught this material for over 20 years. It is a model called PTP?-- Personal Thinking Patterns. It is one of the most valuable tools in my tool kit. It helps me understand others and myself. And, I love to share it with people. Basically, this PTP? teaches you how you learn. One of my favorite stories about it is about Jerome. It was the late 1970's. Jerome was a migrant worker, age 13, in Florida. He could not read and didn't like school. The discoverer of the PTP? principles, Dawna Markova, was a teacher in his school. Jerome stopped coming to school. Dawna went to find him. He was playing chess in his camp. It turned out he was the top chess player there. She bet him a chess game to get him to come back to school. If she won, he had to come and she would teach him to read. If he won, he never had to come to school again. Dawna won. Jerome came to school the next day and Dawna began interviewing him about how he knew how to play chess. He told her he walked around and then he could see pictures in his head that told him how to do it. She pulled out a history of African Americans--a hard book to come by in the 1970's. She began to teach Jerome by letting him walk around, see pictures and then talk. At the end of the year, he was reading. If we know how to use our minds, like Jerome learned how to do, we have many more choices. And, we learn how to understand those who are different from us. The theory is simple, we will do practical applications and have fun exploring how to mind our minds. It is great for couples to do together! Sign up with me at my home office phone, 231-9707, or by email at To read more pick up The Open Mind by Dawna Markova or go to her Web site, The Rev. Jody Whelden
Consulting Minister DONATIONS FOR PRAIRIE'S KATRINA EVACUEES Donations are still being accepted for Prairie-connected people affected by Hurricane Katrina. Some of these people lost homes and employment and are in very serious circumstances. The New Orleans Musicale raised around $550 and more badly needed contributions are still coming in. To donate, write checks to "Prairie Unitarian Universalist Society." In the memo line write "Prairie Musicale Benefit Checks.” Checks may be mailed to the Prairie Treasurer, Dirk Herr-Hoyman, 503 S. Prospect Ave, Madison WI 53711. And a huge thanks to all who made our New Orleans Musicale a rousing success. Warren Hagstrom and Doleta Chapru PLAYREADERS' THEATER PARTY
On Saturday, October 29 at 7:30 p.m., we will be attending the U.W.'s Mitchell Theater for the performance of Lynn Nottage's "Crumbs from the
Table of Joy." This thoughtful, touching and funny play takes place in 1950, when Godfrey Crumb has just lost his wife, and has turned to Father Devine's Peace Mission Movement for solace, and pulled up stakes and moved his teenage daughters to Brooklyn. The action is expressed as seen and experienced by his 17-year-old daughter, Ernestine, and aims straight to the heart in a story that deals with the boundaries of race, gender and society. You may order tickets by calling 262-1500, or mail a check for $16 (UW student is $12) made out to: “Vilas Hall Box Office” with a stamped return address envelope to Pat Watkins before October 1, so I can purchase tickets for you when I am at Vilas Hall on the morning of the 13th. If you decide to order by phone, inquire as to whether the $4 processing fee applies. Pat Watkins MEMBERSHIP Please welcome our new members who have joined the Prairie family in August and September! We regret not listing these wonderful people in the last, recent issues of Prairie Fire! Anne Lundin
4202 Manitou Way, Madison 53711 274-4409 (home); 271-8218 (office) alundin (at) Jerry Simmons 325 Crescent St., Mazomanie, WI 53560 (608) 795-2158 jsimmons (at) Katherine (Kate) and Aaron Liu 5710 Cedar Place, Madison, WI 53705 238-9153 kgliu (at) Savannah Jahrling 21 Red Maple Trail, Madison, WI 53717 833-1079 savan (at) [Ed. Note: @ is replaced by (at) to keep these addresses from being used by creative cyber miscreants.] LETTERS ALLIED FOOD PANTRY THANK YOU Dear Prairie UU, Thank you for your continued support of the Allied Food Pantry. Next spring we hope to move into our new space in the Boys and Girls Club which is under construction now. Until then, we continue to serve more and more clients. There were 58 families last week, a new record! Thanks for your help! Connie Weisse, Co-Manager, Allied Food Pantry FALL FROLIC KIDS AND VOLUNTEERS WANTED! Saturday and Sunday, October 22 & 23
Starts at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, at PRAIRIE We eat supper Saturday & breakfast Sunday.
We go inside & outside -- dress wisely!
We spend the night -- those who want.
We celebrate the season changes.
Ends Sunday 10 a.m. -- then, we go to church. JOIN US AS WE CELEBRATE LIGHT WE DO MANY FUN ACTIVITIES: Flashlight Tag Light Dancing Meditation Crafts with light Games Campfire
STAYING OVERNIGHT IF YOU WISH Things to Bring: FLASHLIGHT CANDLE OVERNIGHT GEAR (SLEEPING BAG, TOOTHBRUSH, SOAP, ETC.) FRUIT TO EAT (2-3 pieces, Some to eat and some to share) COMING IN A COSTUME IS GOOD!! RELIGIOUS EDUCATION IT'S ALL ABOUT LEARNING AND LIVING OUR FAITH Things are happening in the RE Children's program! Kids aged from 18 months to 18 years and teachers from "all over the map" spending quality time seeking the UU truths and principles. Thank you for supporting our efforts. For some, being part of the Story for all Ages as the upstairs service starts and talking with the kids in coffee-hour might be the extent of involvement -- a smile from an adult teaches a kid many lessons. For others, helping with the Fall Frolic or Service Sunday as a driver or camper would be total fun and great. Can you be a substitute teacher, filling in on occasional Sundays? Give a call and we'll talk! Our RE Fall Frolic is coming up. Announcements and permission slips are available. We meet at 5 p.m. on Saturday, October 22 at Prairie for a wonderful youth-oriented overnight. We end with a good breakfast and our regular 10 a.m. service and classes. October 30 morning, we have a Service Sunday. The RE kids and volunteers are ready to SERVE OUR MEMBERS. Do you need leaves raked? Wood stacked? Garden turned? Call or email anyone active in RE -- please advise us where to focus our energy or offer your help. We need drivers, workers, tools, etc. This is the season of parent/family-teachers meeting to talk and visit on a Sunday morning after service, starting at 11:30. We will meet in class groups in the room your children will be using. We look forward to meeting each other and talking about any opportunities or issues that may be relevant. The schedule for parent-teacher meetings is: Sunday, October 9 Pre-School Sunday, October 16 Middle School Sunday, October 23 Grades 3-5 As we plan for the next few weeks, there are a few things we're working on. From our talks with James Reeb and First Unitarian RE youth and advisors, we were invited to join them at their Sunday evening meeting October 9 -- woo hoo! Some of us continue to work with the Katrina Relief Office on Allied Drive and hope we can expand that effort. It is wonderful as our RE resumes. We are making our UU experience meaningful, fun and bright. Thank you. See you in church. Bob Radford, Director of Religious Education UNITARIAN-UNIVERSALIST NEWS DRUMMING AT FIRST UNITARIAN Prairie members are invited to join a drumming event on Saturday, October 15 at First Unitarian Society Meeting House, 900 University Bay Drive, Madison. Drumming for beginners starts at 7 p.m.; advanced drumming starts at 8 p.m. This is a family-friendly event, with free admission. Bring your hand-held drum or use one at the Meeting House. Dan Broner, First Unitarian Society Music Director AN EVENING WITH ROBERT BLY As a poet, critic, translator, and publisher, Mr. Bly has been a leading force in the world of poetry for more than 50 years. He is well known for his 1990 book Iron John, which explored myth and folklore in relation to the men's movement. He was an outspoken opponent of the Vietnam war and he opposes the current war in Iraq as his new book, The Insanity of Empire: A Book of Poems Against the Iraq War eloquently attests. Join us Saturday, October 22 at 8 p.m. at Unity Temple, 875 Lake Street, Oak Park, Illinois, for this extraordinary event. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. with general seating. Ticket donation is $12. Tickets are available by mail. Checks should be made out to Charlie Rossiter; please write "Bly tickets" on the subject line. Mail to: Charlie Rossiter, 705 S. Gunderson, Oak Park, IL 60304. All requests must be postmarked by October 10; tickets will be mailed back. We are sorry, but we cannot accommodate credit cards, phone reservations or holding tickets at the door. Tickets are non-refundable. We expect that seating will be limited, so get your tickets early! For more information, contact Charlie Rossiter at Directions to Unity Temple: From Chicago, take the I-290 exit at Austin, go north to Lake Street and west to Kenilworth (a few blocks west of Oak Park Avenue but east of  Harlem). From the West, take the I-290 exit at Harlem Ave, go north to Lake and east to Kenilworth. With the el, exit the Green Line at Oak Park Ave., go north to Lake Street; west to Kenilworth. Parking: You may find street parking. Otherwise there is parking at: -- Meters on North Boulevard (adjacent to train tracks) between Kenilworth and Oak Park --Village Parking Garage at North Boulevard just east of Oak Park --Village Parking Garage at Lake Street and Forest (the next light west of Unity Temple on Lake) Please do not park in areas reserved for permit parking: you may get a ticket. SOCIAL ACTION DOCUMENTARY SHOWING AT JAMES REEB UUC The James Reeb Social Justice Council will present “The Power of Nightmares,” a three-hour BBC documentary directed by Adam Curtis at James Reeb Unitarian Universalist Congregation at 2146 E. Johnson St. from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. (with time for discussion afterwards) on October 23, October 30, and November 6. Curtis presents the thesis that Western politicians claim, "The greatest danger of all is international terrorism, a powerful and sinister network, with sleeper cells in countries across the world, a threat that needs to be fought by a war on terror."
According to Curtis "...much of this threat is a fantasy, which has been exaggerated and distorted by politicians. It's a dark illusion that has spread unquestioned through governments around the world, the security services and the international media." This is a powerful and thought-provoking examination of the parallel rise of neoconservatism and Islamic fundamentalism. (One reviewer called it something like "a Noam Chomsky lecture channeled through Monty Python.") We think it provides a springboard for discussion of important issues. Ellie Rogers, James Reeb UU Congregation OTHER NEWS NO ON THE AMENDMENT—STOP THE BAN The public is invited on October 10 at 7:00 p.m. to a panel presentation on the proposed state consitutional amendment that would ban civil unions, impact domestic partnerships, and define marriage. Speakers will include state Rep. Terese Berceau and representatives from Action Wisconsin and Christians for Equality in Wisconsin. Hear how this mean-spirited proposal will affect all Wisconsin families. Learn what you can do to help defeat it. The forum is open to the public and you are encouraged to invite as many people as possible to attend. It will be held at First Congregational UCC, 1609 University Ave. This forum is sponsored by Frontiers-Madison, the LGBT Campus Center and Action Wisconsin.
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