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Northwoods Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

A Beacon of Light in the Northwoods

Volume 14, Number 4 – October 2012

We Are a Welcoming Congregation

Upcoming Services

October 7 - 10 am Rev. Dr. Bobbie Groth

October 21 - 10 am Joanne Boyer “The Importance of Telling Stories”

November 4 - 10 am Diane and Ron Reupert

November 18 - 10 am Rev. Dr. Bobby Groth


October 20 - 8 amto noon Food for Kidz. Two two-hour bagging shifts.

Adult R.E.

October 14 - 10 am The Second Great Awakening--Enduring Impacts; Did Slavery Really Cause the Civil War?

October 28 - 10 am The Civil War’s Actual Turning Points; The Myth of Laissez-Faire

November 11 - 10 am Misconcep-tions about the Original Populists; Labor in America--A Strange History

November 25 - 10 am Myths about American Isolation and Empire; Early Progressives Were Not Liberals


Food for Kidz October 20

Just a reminder that the Food for Kidz packing event will take place Saturday morning, Oct. 20. If you signed up for a shift, we look forward to seeing you there. And of course, contributions are always welcome.


Now Taking Applications for Organizers

We need someone to plan and head up the Thanksgiving Dinner and the New Year’s Eve Party. Please talk to Laurie Figueroa if you want to be involved.


Committee Update

Spirituality (Program) Committee arranges and facilitates Sunday program-ming. Elaine Strite (Chair), Terry Hoyt, Paul Braunstein, Alan VanRaalte, Sharon VanRaalte, John Viste, Tom Sommerfeld, and Pat Bickner.


Fall Highway Cleaning Accomplished

Thanks to Kay Hoff, Connie Lefebvre, and Dave Deinard our highway section got its fall cleaning.


Thank-you to everybody who helped with the Community Table dinner at St. Matthias in September. It went very smoothly, and the amount of food was just right!


Please Help with a Meal at NATH

We need volunteers to serve the months ahead.

September’s meal was “do it yourself” since Laurie was the only person who agreed to provide it and she had a flooded basement the morning of the meal. Nonetheless, she delivered food to Frederick Place that the staff and residents could easily reheat for themselves.

We need more volunteers to serve a meal. It’s like preparing a meal for a big family, not that challenging. Please contact Jana Mirs or Laurie Figueroa if you would be able to help out. They also need laundry baskets and stamps. 

NUUF Book Club 

A book group is forming to read Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow:  Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. The purpose of the book group is to help participants reflect on the book and to consider together what actions they may be individually or jointly called to take, as a people of faith, in response to Alexander’s call for awareness and action.

 Eight people have signed up so far and more are welcome. Rich Uspel will have a sign-up sheet at the sideboard after Sunday services. He plans to hold the first discussion in February 2013. Those interested may order copies of the book through Rich to take advantage of the UUA bookstore discount. 


CMwD Merger to MidAmerica Region

From Amy Taylor, Heartland District President, for the MidAmerica Steering Committee

First, a brief recap of the last year:

• In 2011 our three UU district boards: Prairie Star, Central Midwest, and Heartland, voted to work together to create a regional governance in lieu of our three district governance model. We accepted the UUA ENDS as the ENDS of our districts as policy governance style boards which are to inspire people to lead lives of humility and purpose, connection and service, thereby transforming themselves and the world.

• We also recognized the UUA as the sole employer of co-funded staff. The co-funded staff of the three districts is transitioning to a regional service structure to be in place July 2013. The Central Midwest, Prairie Star and Heartland District boards are working to transition on the same date.

• At our 2012 Annual District Meetings, the delegates accepted a transition budget as well as our usual district working budgets and we shared this vision with our members:

The MidAmerica Region: Building a New Era in Unitarian Universalism

Where UUs:

Visibly live our faith

Create connections

Grow our membership

Welcome all persons who share our UU values

• Many groups are working on the move to the MidAmerica Region: steering, transition, treasurers, nominating, bylaws & legal, communication (linchpin). Within Prairie Star, a group is also working to define the best relationship between the Region and Camp UniStar. Our UUA Trustees are working to facilitate our transition within the UUA Bylaws and Rules.

Perhaps most notably, over the last weekend of August 2012, 29 people - members of our three district boards, lead staff, the UUA Director of Congregational Life, and a facilitator – met in Rock Island, Illinois. It was an amazing experience! A group of people, most of whom had not previously met, came together with trust and goodwill in their hearts, to work hard, make decisions and move forward on a common goal. We communicated, agreed, decided, calendared, coordinated, and kick-started a very aggressive schedule of work in preparation for the April 2013 District business meetings. There we will, as districts, determine whether to establish MidAmerica, effective July 1, 2013. The Board members present committed themselves to “A Call for a MidAmerica Covenant,” acknowledging our shared vision of a new era in Unitarian Universalism based on active covenantal relationship with one another. By the end of September, all three District Boards formally endorsed “A Call for a MidAmerica Covenant” which will be published in a later newsletter. Please plan to read and consider committing to the Call for a MidAmerica Covenant as an active and ongoing process in which you are directly involved.

So what do we know now that we didn’t know before the August meeting?

MidAmerica will serve UUA ENDS and elaborate what those will look like in our region.

We will engage in active covenantal relationships that bring deeper, energizing connections and vitality.

The MidAmerica board will consist of 9 members with the usual executive offices and 3 year terms capped at 2 consecutive terms. These positions will be recruited by the Nominating Committee with the intention that the board reflect the diversity of our region.

The governance model will draw on principles from Carver (oversight-reporting & accountability, but not micromanagement) and principles from Chait (encouraging collaboration among board members and staff on high level strategy and generative thinking). Details of the MidAmerica Board/Staff roles will be worked out when the organization is formed.

The MidAmerica Board will actively engage in building relationships with and among congregations and in partnership with the UUA Board in its linkage work.

The MidAmerica Region will have a relationship with Camp UniStar (in Prairie Star District) that preserves the camp as a UU asset but protects the region from liability.

Nominating Committee of 5 members will self-appoint its Chair.

Regional Fair Share will be set at $23 per member for 2013-14.

A 2014 annual meeting will likely be held concurrently in multiple locations with shared keynote and business sessions.

A budget and slate of candidates for the MidAmerica board will be presented at the 2013 Central Midwest, Heartland and Prairie Star district annual meetings.

District Presidents will lead Q&A session at each UU Ministers Association Chapter’s October meetings and in other groups. Congregational leaders and staff will receive an invitation to participate in a short web-based survey about regionalization in mid-October. Late this year, we plan to post a proposed version of the regional bylaws for your review and comment.

What can you do? In the short term, please stay informed, ask questions, and consider organizing a forum on regionalization in your area. In the longer term, make plans now to attend your District’s April 2013 Annual Meeting as a delegate. At the meeting, be sure to attend the regionalization information session and to vote at the business meeting. The Boards of the Central Midwest, Heartland and Prairie Star Districts urge you to support these changes as we all work together to create the future of Unitarian Universalism in MidAmerica.


The Speech the Industrial Ag Lobby Doesn’t Want You to Hear

Blog on Environmental Working Group website, ewg.org, posted by Don Carr in Conservation, Food, Lobbyists, Subsidies on October 3, 2012:

Consumers are asking important and legitimate questions about what they are eating and feeding to their children. They want to talk about why industrial agriculture is the single largest contributor to water pollution nationwide. In Iowa in particular, the effect is felt in lakes and streams closed to swimming and soil erosion occurring at ten times the sustainable rate.

Consumers also want the truth about the how GMO crops and the chemicals used to produce their food might threaten their health and the health of the environment.

And consumers want to know why the farm bill continues to send billions in subsidies to highly profitable farm businesses while programs to support healthy food, sustainable agriculture and clean water get crumbs. This occurs when the Center for Disease Control reports that 28% of Iowa’s people are obese.

The Environmental Working Group has long advocated for a sane realignment of federal agriculture policy that focuses on health and the environment. On Tuesday, October 9th, EWG president and co-founder Ken Cook [spoke] at the University of Northern Iowa in a talk titled “Hunger Games: What is it about agriculture that’s eating consumers?”

Unfortunately, it comes as no surprise that the industrial agriculture lobby is doing their best to impede the common sense conversation consumers are craving about a healthier path forward for agriculture and the communities it serves. In an email addressed to Iowa Department of Natural Resources Director Chuck Gipp obtained by EWG, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation Environmental Policy Advisor Rick Robinson writes:

Director Gipp:

I hope the Iowa DNR does not use any of its limited resources to publicize the anti-agricultural propaganda of the Oct. 9 UNI event (flier attached). There are some well-intentioned folks in the Cedar River Watershed trying to build new coalitions and continue to make progress on very challenging issues. The approach the UNI event takes, unfortunately, is divisive, and the solutions to the issue of water quality are complex and require true collaboration – something the speaker from the Environmental Working Group is not proposing.

I wish they would have instead invited Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey, you or the ISU science team to the event to discuss the results of the water quality research and some of the solutions underway, or perhaps including some folks from other watersheds that have made progress to discuss their strategies so that the event is focused on real solutions.

The DNR, other public institutions or the coalition should not be associated with promotion or funding this kind of negative rhetoric.

Rick Robinson, Environmental Policy Advisor,
Iowa Farm Bureau Federation


What could possibly elicit Robinson’s knee jerk reaction to a speech by Ken Cook? Could it be Cook’s vocal advocacy for agriculture policy that focuses on healthy and sustainable food instead of churning out the raw materials for America’s industrial food system?

Could it be the growing awareness that voluntary conservation measures in Iowa have done little to clean up Iowa’s water or shrink the Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone?

Or could it be taxpayers’ frustration with sending 40 highly profitable Iowa farms each a $250,000 crop insurance subsidy in 2011 with no conservation strings attached?

Ed. Note: I included this blog because it outlines major problems associated with our food system, in Iowa and across the country. Please find more information at ewg.org and pledge support to the work they do. EWG has a new report on 2,000 household products which is available on the website as The Guide to Healthy Cleaning at http://www.ewg.org/guides/cleaners.EWG’s 2012 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce is available there as well.


Vegetarian Recipe

Buckwheat Crepes

5 T butter

? C all-purpose flour

? C all-purpose flour

1¾ C whole milk

3 large eggs

½ tsp salt

¼ C fresh parsley (optional)

Melt 5 tablespoons of butter. Beat together the butter, flour, milk, eggs and salt. Let the batter rest 1 hour or overnight. Cook ? cup of batter at a time in a hot, nonstick skillet. Cover the crepes with a moist towel, and when they are all cooked, they can be reheated in a 300° oven. Fillings can be savory or sweet, such as sauteed mushrooms and onions, or spinach or anything you might put in an omelet; or for something sweet, try berries and whipped cream.

Floral Arrangements

If you are willing to contribute floral arrangements for a service, please contact Jana Mirs (at 715-356-4746, or janamirs@frontier.com) to reserve the Sunday of your choice now!

The Care Committee

Joan Hauer 715-356-6540, Paul Braunstein 715-356-2428, Barb Bratcher 715-356-6110, Mary Ann Fields 715-385-2975, Candice Zahn Cain, Jim Williams, Barb and Dwight Logan, Jan Reed, cereed@centurytel.net; Pam Thul-Immler

When You Shop at Trig’s, Drop Your Receipt  

Trig’s Food and Drug helps our Fellowship earn money with its “Trig’s Supports Local Churches and Schools” Program. Three times a year receipt totals are tabulated and 1% of the total for our Fellowship is returned to us by check. You must record our number (27B in Minocqua; 35B in Rhinelander) on your register receipt before depositing it in the “barometer” at the exit door. Check the list on the box for the correct number if you shop at a different store.

Warm for Winter

Warm for Winter has begun distributing warm coats, hats, boots, -mittens and -bedding to families in need at the Friendly Village in Rhinelander. We will take donations all year long to restock the supplies. There is a bin in the entry at the fellowship.



Cheryl Hanson


Eileen & Thomas Schultz


Rick Wambach


Marti & Jim Hall


Jean Polfus


Avery Koblings


Barbara and Dwight Logan


Mel Hoff


Greg Holt


Tim Muench


Tara Reed & Jerry Woolpy


Charmaine Winters


Ethan Sites


Myrle Wasko and Dawn McCusker


Megan Kratz


Faye Calvey


Dan Padberg


Jana Mirs


Jim Williams


Ron and Diane Reupert


Bob Polfus


Dennis Kobes


Zach Boustead


Herb White


Rick Immler


Amy Holt


Celeste Gonder


Perry Junkermann


Patty Buehler



Northwoods Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

P.O. Box 1881
Woodruff, WI 54568-1881



Laurie Figueroa, President

The NUUSLetter is published monthly.

Next Deadline: October 27, 2012 Please send submissions to Pat Bickner. Please put “NUUSletter” in the subject line.

For distribution of announcements between newsletters or email/address corrections, contact Candy Sorensen at sorencan@yahoo.com.