Minister’s Report to PrairieUU – December 9, 2019

AJ Blackwood, M.Div.

Prairie UU Church

“A Liberal Religious Light on the Prairie”

Mission: “We gather as a welcoming, caring community to nurture mind and spirit, celebrate diversity, and work for justice.”


Where we are…

Happy Holidays! I am so very excited to serve this community during this holiday season. Beginning with the Fall Festival, I have felt an incredible sense of excitement. It seems there is no end in sight. We had a wonderful turnout of over 20 volunteers for the Thanksgiving celebration at Bridge House. A grand celebration of our UU Principles during out Chalica Sunday service where we welcomed 4 new members, Margaret D, John D, Michael M, and Beth C. I have hosted two learning hours one prioritizing visitors and new(er) members and another this past weekend with a healthy and vibrant discussion about identity with brainstorming or new and reflections on past programs that could be possible to support identity-based groups over the 2020 year. We are looking forward to closing out the 2019 year with our annual Christmas Pageant and Caroling, Meditation service and Polar Express Sunday, Christmas Eve Celebration, and Celebration of Kwanzaa.

Human Resources: We are happy to have brought on board, Rhonda Williamson to our staff and community as our Congregational Office Administrator. Rhonda is a UU and comes to us with years of experience in church administration and children’s ministry. She will be working on average 18 hours per week. She will be reporting to me and also be scheduling and handling the administrative needs of the LifeSpan team with regards to the Childcare providers.

We are also happy that we have hired Katie Maldonado, as our second Child care provider. Katie is a senior in high school and will be with us on average 2-3 Sundays per month.

Where we are going…

Over the next month, I will be working with the staff on the following:

1. Establishing new administrative and financial process flows with Rhonda and Renee
2. Developing a new Sunday base multimedia format
3. Developing a new format for our Announcement sheets
4. Purchasing and rollout of the Congregational software
5. Finalizing 2020 scheduling
6. Developing small group identity groups


I continue to invite you all to give me your input, feedback, candor, and generosity of spirit, and I will return with the same. I am truly enjoying our shared ministry and life here at PrairieUU. I feel truly blessed to have this opportunity to spend this time with you.

If anyone would like to meet and chat, I am here to serve and I look forward to our shared time together. Thank you for inviting me in to both your community and lives.

AJ Blackwood, MinisterIn Service,

Pastor AJ