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Greetings All!

Every year at Family Camp … typically towards the end of the week … a cicada buzzed. The sound was a bittersweet reminder of the end of vacation and signal to summer’s end. Our family even started calling cicada the “end of the summer bug!” A quick google search finds —

“Cicadas, for many, represent personal change, renewal, rebirth, and transformation. Unlike a butterfly, moth or other insect that undergo complete metamorphosis, cicadas have no pupal state. They transform from one fully-functioning state (instar) to another — one viable form, in a small amount of time, changing to another. The cicada’s transformation is like that of human beings. If a person wants or needs to make a change in their life, they don’t enclose themselves in a pod and emerge the next spring, more likely they remain in their human form as they change.

A lot of people use cicadas to symbolize their own personal transformation, in art, song, poetry or even a tattoo. The cicada inherently symbolizes what they were (nymph) and all the glory of what they have become (adult form).”

I’m writing this article during what should have been my 52nd week of family camp … instead I’m missing the place, the people, and the bugs tremendously! My heart is also full of pride for the ways the UCCI program and marketing teams are creating and sharing ways to keep the larger UCCI Family together. Be it the “United in Spirit” t-shirts, the weekly vespers, recipes, Instagram polls, or Facebook communications, we are aiming to keep connected until we meet again!

We have FULL faith that these “families” will be together again … once it’s safe! Everyone associated with UCCI … our Board, the leadership team, every employee, including me, is working hard and visioning the future! How can UCCI be a sanctuary for all for the next 7 generations? How can we enhance our sites and evolve our hospitality? How can our programs reimagine and expand our life-changing experiences? What new ministries can we offer?

Like the cicada, we are taking this time to transform from one fully-functioning state to another — one viable form to another. We are being intentional with this transformation. Intentionally vulnerable … listening and learning to our First Nations friends as we explore renaming Daycholah Center … researching what it was before it was taken from the Ho-Chunk people. We are standing in solidarity with our Black and Persons of Color Communities as they protest and cry out for Sanctuary, Hospitality, and Ministry after years of oppression, exclusion, and rejection. Reimagining our facilities to include the neuro-diverse, the mobility challenged, the fragile, the hungry … ALL!

Folks this summer has come and will be gone before we know it, and we are not sure when we reemerge. What is certain is that we will reemerge transformed into a viable ministry ready to serve. Are you ready to buzz with us? 😊



Glenn Svetnicka – Executive Director UCCI