Committee Areas
Past Events
Nov. 14, 2009, 2nd performance of "Seven Jewish Children: a play for Gaza".
The play by Caryl Churchill was performed again by Prairie's Social Action Committee at the Wil-Mar Neighborhood Center at 6:30 pm following the Socialist Potluck. The performance was followed by open discussion. Photographs from the discussion period are available here. Donations were accepted for Medical Aid for Palestinians.
July 26, 2009, performance of "Seven Jewish Children: a play for Gaza".
"Seven Jewish Children: A Play for Gaza", by Caryl Churchill, was presented by Prairie's Social Action Committee at the Meeting House at 7 pm. Performance of the short play was followed by open discussion. Donations were accepted for Medical Aid for Palestinians. Audio recordings are available here of the introduction (5 MB 5 min. mp3) and performance (17 MB 18½ min. mp3). [flyer]
July 19, 2009, Sunday service, "When Breathing is Defiance: Stories from Occupied Palestine"
A program by Sol Thea Kelley-Jones and Nathan Beck. An audio recording of their presentation is available here (41 MB mp3).
April 22, 2009, talk by Fr. Thomas Pallithanam.
Father Thomas Pallithanam is a lawyer and Salesian priest who is director of the People’s Action for Rural Awakening (PARA), an NGO in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, India that works for the rights of the Dalits (untouchables).
Nov. 9, 2008 parish meeting "Green Sanctuary" resolution.
The parish meeting resolved that Prairie UU Society will work work toward "Green Sanctuary" accreditation.
July 28, 2008, "Witness Against War" walkers.
Breakfast at the Meeting House for the "Witness Against War" walkers, who spent the night in Madison on their way to the Republican National Convention in St. Paul.
Dec. 3, 2006 parish meeting decision on membership in WNPJ.
The Social Action Committee proposed that Prairie Society, as a congregation, join the Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice. A one year membership was approved, with a report to the congregation from the committee called for at the end of the year.
Oct. 22, 2006 parish meeting resolution on death penalty.
After a discussion in which viewpoints on both sides of the issue were shared, the congregation passed (on a vote of 42 to 3) the following resolution proposed by the Social Action Committee:
Resolved: That Prairie Unitarian Universalist Society of Madison is opposed to returning the death penalty to Wisconsin. The willful taking of a human life by the state violates our belief in the intrinsic worth of every human being. We believe the state should continue to impose nonviolent penalties for violent crimes to set a positive example aimed at reducing the violence in our society. We believe capital punishment degrades and brutalizes any society which practices it. We find the death penalty particularly abhorrent because it is based on an unjustified assumption of infallibility in the process of determining guilt, with the greatest risk of error being borne by those who are economically disadvantaged. We find the death penalty wholly unacceptable, whether imposed to prevent repetition of a crime by an individual, as a deterrent to others, or as social retribution.
Aug. 22, 2004, Social Action Forum.
Johnny Wolf, Quaker Peace Activist from Dallas and founder of the Crawford Peace House, located 8 miles from George W. Bush's "Western White House" in Texas, spoke for more than an hour about the work of the Peace House. [photo poster] The 4 pm presentation and discussion were preceded by a half-hour peace song sing-along and followed by a potluck supper with the speaker. The program was video taped.
Aug. 8, 2004, Sunday service, "The Universe Bending Toward Justice".
Available here are Sarah Lord's presentation and Social Witness Process handout. The 5 Actions of Immediate Witness passed at the 2004 GA, copies a which were provided on the back table, are available online.
April 25, 2004, civil marriage equality resolution passed.
The following resolution was proposed by the Social Action Committee at the spring parish meeting and passed unanimously:
Resolved: That Prairie Unitarian Universalist Society of Madison opposes constitutional or legislative limits on the definition of civil marriage, or other civil matters, that endanger the full civil rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender persons.
April 17, 2004, civil marriage equality demonstration.
We participated in a march to the Capitol and rally, organized by the Civil Marriage Equality Coalition, in support of state recognition of same-sex marriage as a civil right.
Dec 7, 2003, luncheon panel on School of the Americas Vigil.
Luncheon panel of MUUYACM students shared their experiences at November's School of the Americas Vigil at Fort Benning Georgia. The lunch, featuring soups and breads, was a fund raiser for local projects of the Social Action Committee. The students donated their honorarium to the Committee for its work. [photos of panel]
June 1, 2003, Sunday service, "The UUSC Promotes Human Rights in Latin America".
Visiting Unitarian Universalist Service Committee staff member Allison Kent presented the program.
March 23, 2003, "The Other Iraq - Stories of Iraqi Civilians Facing War".
After the regular Sunday morning program, Madison native Ben Granby shared photographs he took in Iraq during January and February and described his experience.
Feb 2, 2003, Sunday service, "Christian Peacemaker Teams in Colombia: A Personal Journey".
A program by Bruce Miller of Madison at Prairie.
Jan 12, 2003 collection for Ben Granby.
Collection by Committee for Ben Granby, Iraq Peace Team participant. A Committee bake sale was also be held, with part of the proceeds going to Ben.
Dec 15, 2002 Sunday service, "Conscientious Objection".
Jackson Tiffany of the Madison Friends Meeting led our Sunday program, discussing the topic of conscientious objection to war. His presentation is available here. More than 20 yard signs for peace produced by the Madison Mennonite Church were picked up by Prairie members.
November 2, 2002, Interfaith Peace Conference.
"Building a Peaceful Tomorrow, An Interfaith Conference" was initiated when the Prairie Social Action Committee asked the congregation to vote to sponsor the conference at our April 2002 parish meeting. The motion was approved, making Prairie the first sponsor. We were subsequently joined by 11 other faith-based groups in the Madison area as cosponsors. The peace conference was held on Saturday, November 2, 2002, from 8:30 am to 8:30 pm, at Blessed Sacrament Church, 2116 Hollister Ave. in Madison.

The conference goals were to learn about building peace through practical alternatives to military action and other forms of violence, and to nourish the growth of a strong interfaith voice that can provide a moral compass for our country in times of international tension and war.

Workshops were held on the following 13 topics:
  • Islam is a Way of Peaceful Life with All God's Creatures (Salwa Rashad/Mrs. Najat Fraigoon)
  • Peace and Justice from the Pulpit (Rev. David Couper/Rev. Cecil Findley)
  • Forgiveness as Peacemaking: the role of forgiveness in healing and preventing conflict (Amy Owen)
  • Nonviolence Workshop: an introduction to the reconciliation process (Jack Tiffany)
  • The Place of Music in Peace-building and Activism (Roz Woodward/Mary Mullen/Dan Proud)
  • Wellstone, Kucinich, and the Politics of Peace and Justice (Midge Miller)
  • Every Church a Peace Church (Lois Swenson)
  • Nonviolent Intervention in Violent Conflict (Tom Benevento/Kathryn Kingsbury)
  • Peace and Resolution in Palestine-Israel (Nasser Abufarha)
  • Impunity and it's Impact on Justice (Angie Hougas, Amnesty International)
  • Ending War with International Law (Bob Reuschlein, World Federalists)
  • Behind the Scenes in Mediating International Conflicts (Prof. Joe Elder)
  • Stories from Ainaro: sistering with a war-torn community in East Timor (Tom Foley/Diane Farsetta)

    Lunch featured an "Interfaith Panel: Joining Our Voices for Peace".

    The concluding dinner included keynote addresses by Rep. Tammy Baldwin and Ken Hannaford-Ricardi of Voices in the Wilderness on the theme "Iraq: Alternatives to War".

    More details are available in the conference archives at
  • September 2002 Iraq ad.
    The Prairie Social Action Committee and a number of individual members of Prairie joined other groups and individuals to help sponsor a full page ad opposing war with Iraq in the Sunday Sept. 15, 2002 Wis. State Journal. The effort was initiated and led by the Madison Mennonite Church. (See their Web site for the project at
    August 17-19, 2002 "Roots" DVD showing.
    The entire television series Roots was shown on 3 successive nights at Taku Ronsman's house.
    March 3, 2002 Sunday service, "Iraq: Campaign of Conscience".
    Frank Paynter of the Madison Friends Meeting and a member of the Coordinating Committee of the Madison Area Peace Coalition shared information from a national workshop he attended in Philadelphia in January titled "Is Iraq Next? Presentations Against Expanding the US 'War on Terrorism'". He described the effects of sanctions on the people of Iraq.
    Feb. 24, 2002 video showing, "Greetings from Missile Street".
    The Committee showed this American Friends Service Committee video documenting the effect of U.S. policies on Iraq. The video follows several Americans as they visit families in Iraq that are suffering from sanctions which prevent the import of medical and water sanitation equipment, etc.
    Jan. 20, 2002 Sunday service, "Martin Luther King - Nonviolent Peace Activist".
    Several members took turns reading excerpts from Dr. King's speeches against the war in Vietnam and some words about the speeches by The Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and George McGovern. Interspersed with the readings were taped excerpts of actual speeches by Dr. King from 1967. A transcript of the program is available.
    Jan. 13, 2002 video showing, "Eyes on the Prize II - The Promised Land".
    The Committee showed this PBS video dealing with Martin Luther King's poor people's campaign and his increasingly vocal opposition to the war in Vietnam.
    Dec. 9, 2001 video showing, "Jung (War) In the Land of the Mujahedin".
    The Committee held a bake sale and sold soup and sandwiches to raise funds, and then presented a community showing of this Italian documentary from the Human Rights Watch Film Festival. Filmed in northern Afghanistan in 1999 and 2000, "Jung" documents in "harsh and graphic scenes" the brutality of war as encountered by an Italian surgeon who establishes an NGO sponsored hospital there.
    Dec. 1, 2001 refugee kit project and art sale.
    Paula Pachciarz and Carl Wacker, with Judy and Toby, and Stephanie and Megan Adams pitched in to help with the project held Saturday Dec. 1 at the Orchard Ridge United Church of Christ to aid refugees in Afghanistan. Ian Park contributed pottery to the art sale held as part of the project. He and Bob Park, Bob Lawrence and Cindy Haq were among the Prairie folk who stopped by. (See the project report from the organizer.)
    Nov. 18, 2001 Sunday service, "Understanding Conflict in Afghanistan and Pakistan".
    Our program on Afghanistan featured Joe Elder and Cindy Haq as speakers. Cindy has known Professor Elder for a number of years. A capacity crowd attended. The program ended with a lively discussion which could have gone on much longer than the time available for it. (See photos and poster with biographical sketches of the speakers.)
    January 27, 2001 special collection.
    A special collection was taken for the relief of volcano victims in Africa in response to an appeal from UUSC.
    January 23, 1983 Nuclear-Free Zone resolution
    As detailed here, the congregation voted to declare Prairie a nuclear-free zone at a special parish meeting.
    November to January - Guest at Your Table.
    Each year we promote participation by members of the congregation in the Guest at Your Table fund raising campaign for the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee.
    Also In Previous Years
    A sampling of activities of the committee in years past is also available.
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