April 13, 2017  |  Vol. 4 No. 15
Capital Campaign Visits and Pledge Day Fun
Campaign Co-Chairs Sofi Ali and Dan Berg
Good news: We're happy to report that we've now raised nearly $4 million in pledges for our capital campaign, "Not for Ourselves Alone: Building an Inclusive Future." Thanks to the many members and friends who have stepped up with early and inspirational generosity!

Our campaign goal is to connect with each member about their annual pledge for the coming church year, and ask their support for the capital campaign to be paid over the next five years.

If you haven't been contacted yet, HAVE FAITH! We are still recruiting volunteers to complete the task by the end of May. When you do receive a call, please respond as quickly as possible and accept this opportunity to meet personally for 30-45 minutes to talk about the church and our exciting plans. These are friendly conversations; we encourage generosity, but with no pressure! We trust that each of us will decide on a gift that reflects our commitment to the church and what we can afford to give.

We hope to receive as many pledges as possible by Pledge Day, which is on Wednesday, April 26. If you aren't contacted or available for a personal visit in the next two weeks, we invite you to schedule a visit with a campaign volunteer at church for April 24th, 25th or while you are at Pledge Day on the 26th. Stop by the campaign table in the social hall to reserve a time. 

On Pledge Day, we will also have everyone's annual campaign pledge cards available so that those still awaiting a capital campaign visit can make their annual pledge. The Board of Trustees will base next year's operating budget on the pledged commitments to 2017-18. This budgeting process needs to be completed by early May, and presented for approval by the congregation at our Annual Meeting on June 4

And yes, on Pledge Day there will be BINGO, as well as a bouncy house, prizes, fabulous food catered by The Sioux Chef, and more. Pledging to the church has never been this much fun!!!

It's a pleasure to work with our outstanding Steering Committee, Annual Pledge Team, and campaign volunteers in this all-in campaign to repair, improve and make more accessible our Dupont Avenue home, and to deepen the church's presence in the city as a place of action as well as worship!

Thank you for your support!

Dan Berg and Sofi Ali
Capital Campaign Co-Chairs
Worship this Sunday
Sunday, April 16, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m.
Multigenerational Worship*
"Resurrection 2.0"
Rev. Justin Schroeder
In our culture, "Version 2.0" is often thought of as the better, greater, much improved version. All of the bugs and defects of version 1.0 have been worked out. So what does "Resurrection 2.0" mean, then? Is it an update on "Resurrection 1.0," with hard facts, scientific data, and historical accuracy? Or does resurrection, no matter the version, point to something timeless, a story and an experience that has to do with suffering, transformation, and possibilities we can scarcely imagine? Join us this Sunday, as we explore the deeper meanings of the Easter season and this timeless story. * Ages 4 & up attend the entire service. Optional childcare is available for ages 6 months to 3 years.
A Look Ahead
Sunday, April 23, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m.
Rev. Karen Hutt

Recent Sermon Podcasts
April 9, 2017
"The Growing Edge"
Rev. Elaine Aron Tenbrink
April 2, 2017
"Seeking Transformation?"
Rev. Justin Schroeder
Listen to the podcast
March 26, 2017
"Risking Hope"
Rev. Jen Crow
March 19, 2017
"The Space Between"
Rev. Margaret Weis
April 30 Worship: #UUWhiteSupremacyTeachIn
On Sunday, April 30, First Universalist will join more than 400 Unitarian Universalist congregations/communities in shifting our regularly scheduled Sunday morning worship to participate in a teach-in on racism and white supremacy, known as #UUWhiteSupremacyTeachIn. This call to action comes from a growing network led by UUs of color and white UUs working together. You won't want to miss participating with thousands of UUs around the country in this large-scale historic action!

Our youth-friendly worship services will take place as scheduled - on Sunday, April 30 at 9:30 and 11:15 a.m. - and will take the form of a worshipful teach-in with special guest performers and speakers. Watch for more information about how First Universalist is participating in the coming weeks, and read more about the national movement here.
April Worship Theme: Transformation
Karen Armstrong writes: "Religion is not about accepting twenty impossible propositions before breakfast, but about doing things that change you. It is a moral aesthetic, an ethical alchemy. If you behave in a certain way, you will be transformed." When we dare to move beyond the known patterns and perceptions of our lives, letting the alchemy of love, listening and justice do its work, then we will be more than changed. The base metals of our lives will be transformed into something precious and flourishing. This is the purpose of religion, and the meaning of a religious life: to be transformed.
RSVP Now: Pledge Day is Wednesday, April 26!
Join us at church on Wednesday, April 26, 4 to 8 p.m., for a free celebration of our community, including dinner catered by The Sioux Chef, BINGO, a bouncy house, prizes, fellowship, and more! 

All are welcome to join us at this family-friendly event any time between 4 and 8 p.m. Kids can enjoy the bouncy house between 4 and 6:30 p.m., dinner is buffet-style and will be available between 5 and 6:45 p.m., and bingo for all ages begins at 6:30 p.m.

Dinner will be catered by The Sioux Chef, a company dedicated to revitalizing indigenous food systems and knowledge.  The menu includes smoked turkey, wild rice and roasted vegetables, greens & seeds salad, and cornbread. Everything is gluten free, has no refined sugars, and - with the exception of the turkey - is vegan as well.

Please RSVP here by April 18 if you haven't already and let us know how many adults and children are in your party.

What's Different About Pledge Day This Year?
Because the annual pledge drive is being run alongside the capital campaign, Pledge Day 2017 is more of a day to celebrate, and less of a day to make your pledge. Please refer to the letter from campaign co-chairs Dan and Sofi at the beginning of The Weekly Liberal for more information about how the annual pledge drive and capital campaign are being conducted in tandem this year.  Thank you for your generosity and support of this church community!
Daytime Connections: Resilience
Thursday, April 20, 11 a.m., Social Hall
Given the increasing uncertainties, losses, and challenges of aging, how can you be resilient?  Drawing on her research related to family resilience, Joan Patterson  will guide us through an exploration of resilience - what it means, who has it, how they got it and most of all, how YOU can tap your own capacity for resilience.  Program begins at 11 a.m., followed by lunch at 1 p.m. A $5-10 donation is encouraged.  RSVP to Sandy at 612-825-1701 or sandy@firstuniv.org
Racial Justice and Our UU Faith Workshop
Saturdays, April 22 and 29, 9-11:30 a.m., Cummins Room
Join us for a workshop exploring a framework and tools for understanding race, racism, and whiteness and the spiritual imperative that drives our racial justice work. This is a distilled experience of the 24-hour training offered by Dr. Heather Hackman.
This is a two-part workshop offered on Saturdays, April 22 & 29, from 9-11:30 a.m., and led by Clemma Muller.
To register, contact Sandy DiNanni at  Sandy@firstuniv.org or 612-825-1701.
Impacts of Climate Change in
Central America Forum
Saturday, April 22, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Join us in the social hall on Earth Day for dessert and coffee to discuss climate change impacts in Central America. Did you know that Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala are among the countries most affected by climate change? Three panelists with expertise in agriculture, water policy, and tropical ecosystems, in addition to Project Minnesota León's (PML) Director in León, Nicaragua, will talk about a project in rural San Carlos to obtain clean drinking water.  First U's Environmental Justice group is co-hosting this event with PML, the non-profit that facilitates our Youth Cultural Exchange program. This event is free, but donations for PML's water project will be accepted. More information.
Senior Hike with Daytime Connections
Thursday, April 27, 10 a.m.
Join  other First U seniors for an easy hike on the  Lake Minnetonka LRT Regional Trail  near Excelsior.  Meet at 10 a.m. at Maynards  in Excelsior at 685 Excelsior Blvd., 55331.
We'll hike on an old rail bed (really flat!) of packed gravel. The trail offers scenic views of Lake Minnetonka and passes through Excelsior, Greenwood, and Deephaven. We'll hike east on the trail for about one hour, and then turn around and head back to the restaurant. If you prefer a shorter hike, you can simply turn around sooner and meet the others at the restaurant at about noon.  RSVP to Lisa and Eric Berglund at  lakemn@usfamily.net  or 763-559-0330.
Congregational Budget Meetings: April 30 & May 2
The Board of Trustees will share a draft budget at Congregational Budget Meetings on Sunday, April 30 at 12:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary and Tuesday, May 2 at 6:30 p.m. in the Cummins Room. After a presentation of the budget and its rationale, there will be an opportunity for questions. The board will prepare a final version of the budget for presentation to the Congregation at our Annual Meeting on Sunday, June 4 at 11:30 a.m.
Thanks to Volunteers for a Successful Clear-Out Day!
Submitted by Bob Friedman

Volunteers and staff participated in the April Lend-a-Hand project on April 6 by cleaning out storage areas in the church.

Lend-a-Hand began last fall, inviting volunteers to clean, sort, paint, assemble, fix and move things at church. In community, sometimes with bagels and coffee to get us going, we are really making a difference. Our volunteer time is taking some pressure off the staff so they can use their time and expert knowledge to fix roof leaks, address furnace issues, do cleaning and so many things that the congregation can take for granted, knowing our building is in good hands.

Last Thursday about 20 volunteers and 4 staff members spent many hours clearing out storage areas - sorting out the metal for recycling pick up; taking old tires, light bulbs and paint cans to recycling centers; sorting cardboard and paper; putting a few items on the boulevard with a "free" sign; and starting Spring clean up of the church grounds.

Much gratitude is in order for the crew last week. It was a joy to work in community with the following people:  Dick Rueter, Dick Kern, Mike Thompson, Bob Thompson, Bill McTeer, Karen Parsons, Paul Kloth and daughter Janelle, Bette DeMars, Lisa Sinclair, Tom Saterstrom, Monica Tajibnapis, Lynne Stanley, Cecelia Newton, JoAnna Lees, Ron Dauner, Janet Merrill, Kristen Mengelkoch, Theo the Metal Collector, and new member John. Also working with us was staff: Bree, Lauren, Rob and Tracy. As the saying goes: "it takes a village to clean a church."

Please consider joining the next Lend-a-Hand on Thursday,  May 4, 9:30 a.m. to noon. A variety of tasks will be available to keep everyone busy. Nothing will be too strenuous.  
New Photo Display: Board Members, Ministers & Staff
Kristen Mengelkoch was part of the installation team.
Have you seen the welcoming faces adorning the hallway wall outside of the church offices? 

SPIFF members recently installed photos of First Universalist's board members, ministers, and staff members on the wall across from the elevator doors in the second floor hallway of the education wing.
Please take a few minutes to visit the display. Note the many roles essential to the daily operation of the church. Take in the faces and names of the people serving in those roles. Their warm smiles will provide a lift for your day!
May 14 Child Dedication Ritual Sign-Up Now Open
Unitarian Universalists believe that every child brings new life and hope into the world.
The next Child Dedication will take place on  Sunday, May 14 at both services. During the Child Dedication ritual, the congregation pledges itself to partner with and support parents and families in the religious upbringing of the child. Child Dedications take place during Sunday worship services twice a year, in May and November.
Infants and children of members and those on the path to membership at First Universalist Church may be dedicated. If your family would like to participate in the upcoming Child Dedication ritual, please sign up by filling out the  Child Dedication form online here by Friday, May 5.
Questions? Contact Lauren Wyeth, Director of Children, Youth & Family Ministries, at  612-825-1701 x111 or  lauren@firstuniv.org.
AUW 2017 Women's Speaker Series: Final Event 
The Association of Universalist Women (AUW) invites you to join them for the final event in their speaker series on  Saturday, April 29,   8:30 a.m.-noon  in the Social Hall. The speakers will share personal stories of domestic abuse and what they are doing to stop the violence. 

Joan Hicks Boone, a member of the Minnesota Valley Chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW), will speak at 9 a.m. She is currently seeking publication of her memoir, The Best Girl - a first person account of growing up in a home dominated by  domestic violence.  Joan's talk will offer a brief overview of  NOW, discuss specific   safety and legislative concerns related to domestic violence, and  conclude   with action items that can be taken on an individual or global basis in  the area of domestic violence.

F arhio Khalif established the Voice of East African Women organization and secured legislative funding for a domestic abuse shelter in St. Paul for East African women.  Beginning at 10:30 a.m., Farhio will share her story of growing up in Somalia and her emigration  journey. She will also provide a window into the challenges faced by  Somali immigrant women  in Minnesota and what she is doing to make a difference.
Families Moving Forward: Time for Radical Hospitality
Mark your calendars! First Universalist will be hosting families who are  experiencing homelessness  during the week of  May 28 . This is an incredible opportunity to show our hospitality to families  working hard to secure stable housing.  It is also a great opportunity for the involvement of our youth. The children of the families we host love having kids their age during the evening hours.  
We will need approximately 120 volunteers to do everything from making dinners and breakfasts, to staying overnight, planning activities, helping plan a Memorial Day picnic, and converting classrooms to bedrooms and back again at week's end.

We are also seeking people who are willing to take on coordinating responsibilities -- including meal planning and activity planning. Whatever your inclination, we welcome your interest by emailing  david.j.caccamo@gmail.com or  pegmitch16@gmail.com. If you have volunteered in the past, look for an invitation from SignUp Genius in the near future. We will also host a table in the Social Hall following services beginning  April 16.  

While you are marking your calendar, know that this opportunity will repeat during the weeks of  August 20 and 27. Pencil in those dates and plan around them if you are able! 
Call for Worship Associate Applications for 2017-18
Do you love worship? Do you have a flair for writing? Does your heart soar when you're telling a story about your spiritual journey? Consider applying to be a Worship Associate!

Here's what Worship Associates say about being a part of this group....

Being a worship associate has given me a chance to connect with this congregation on a new level. The most rewarding part has been seeing that my words can move others, and hearing from members of the congregation about their connection to my message. Through working to shape the services I have also been able to reflect on my own life and share experiences with my fellow worship associates. (Adrian Ali Caccamo)

Being a Worship Associate puts me more in tune with Sunday services. Not only do I want to be there to listen to the stories from my fellow WA, but I also connect more with each month's theme. After I've told my stories, I've been amazed by the stories other church members share with me. (Welcome Jerde)

Through this experience I have become braver and stronger in speaking my truth. It feels so good to know that my words have value to other people and that hearing about my experiences helps others in our congregation to feel less alone. (Denise Konen)

Worship Associates speak 2 or 3 times during the church year in our worship services, September through May. Associates and Rev. Justin Schroeder gather during the year to discuss themes for upcoming months, talk about writing for oration, review how to lay out a manuscript, and practice public speaking.

If this interests you:
  • Write a 500 word piece about your experience with forgiveness .
  • Submit your manuscript to Rev. Justin Schroeder at: justin@firstuniv.org
  • Deadline for submissions is May 17, 2017.
The Worship Team will be choosing applicants that represent the multi-generational, multi-cultural, multi-racial congregation we are becoming.

Augsburg Fairview Academy Prom at First U
Augsburg Fairview Academy (AFA) will hold its prom in our Social Hall on  Saturday, April 29 . We are pleased to offer our space to AFA as one of our community partners and as part of our mission to make our building available to the community. Here's how you can help:
  • Donate teen appropriate prom dresses and men's suits (small, medium, and large). Please bring donations to the Hub on Sunday, April 16.
  • Donate baked goods (cupcakes requested). Bring items to the social hall on Saturday, April 29 between 10 a.m. and noon when the hall is being decorated or between 5 and 6 p.m. before prom begins. The prom's theme is "Starry Night" with the colors gold, silver and black. Cupcakes with gold and silver sparkles would be a hit, for example! Please let Cindy Marsh know if you are able to donate so we know if we'll have enough coming: cindy.marsh2588@gmail.com
  • Help decorate the social hall on Saturday, April 29, 10 a.m.-noon. AFA staff will be decorating and can use a little help. This is a good opportunity for a parent and teen or older child. Please let Cindy know if you are able to help: cindy.marsh2588@gmail.com.
AFA is a public charter high school for students who have not been successful in the public schools. Many are homeless or marginally housed. The prom is a "very big deal" to the students as they have so few extracurricular activities. First U has supported AFA in various ways for the last five years.  Many thanks for your ongoing generosity and support!  
"Habitat on the Hill" is April 18
First Universalist is going to St. Paul on Tuesday, April 18 to advocate for affordable housing as part of Habitat's "Habitat on the Hill" annual event. We will learn about housing need and proposed legislation investing in housing, and meet with legislators in small groups led by a Habitat expert. People of color are disproportionately shut out of affordable housing and are most likely to experience homelessness. Public investment in affordable housing, shelter, and services provides a strong financial - and moral - return, providing better outcomes in education, income, job stability, health, and safe neighborhoods, and reducing racial disparities in housing and income.   

Please join Rev. Justin and First Universalist's Habitat leaders in St. Paul on  April 18. Register here and send a note to Joan Naymark at  jnaymark@gmail.com so we can coordinate a meeting place and possible car-pools. Thanks for all you've done, and all you will do, to make this world more equitable place. Endorsed by the Faithful Action Council.
The Environmental Justice Committee Invites You:
Minnesota Water Action Day at the Minnesota State Capitol with MN People of Faith
Wednesday, April 19, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. (come for all or part of the day!)
Join us for a day of action to meet with lawmakers and rally to protect our water. Starts with morning trainings at nearby Christ Lutheran Church about the issues and helpful tips for talking with legislators.    Get details and register here.
After you register, email Stan Sattinger at satinss@aol.com to help us facilitate carpooling and meetups. This event is sponsored by more than 20 organizations, including First U's Community Partner, MN Interfaith Power & Light. 

Public Hearing on Lake Calhoun/Bde Maka Ska Master Plan
Wednesday, April 19, 6:30 p.m.
Mpls Park & Recreation Board headquarters, 2117 West River Road
Interested community members are invited to attend the hearing and comment on MPRB's Master Plan creating a 25-year vision for Lake Calhoun/Bde Maka Ska, Lake Harriet, and surrounding parkland within Minneapolis Chain of Lakes Regional Park. Learn more. 
  Cycle of Life and Pastoral Care

Our thoughts are with Renate Fiora as she prepares for surgery on Friday, April 14 for a broken ankle.

Let Us Keep You in Our Thoughts and Prayers
If you are experiencing a crisis or transition, or celebrating a joy, please let us know. To be included in our Cycle of Life each Sunday in worship, contact Sandy DiNanni at sandy@firstuniv.org or 612-825-1701. If you would like support, call the office at 612-825-1701 or contact any member of our Pastoral Care Team.
Congregational Care: Caring Corner
Write a note to a congregant who could use support! There are cards available in the library, which is located off of the Social Hall. You are welcome to stop by and write a card at any time. Just leave it in the basket and the church will mail it for you. Learn more about congregational care on our website
Planned Giving & the Heritage Circle
Please let us know  when you designate First Universalist Church as a beneficiary in your will or estate plan so we can thank you for your generous commitment and welcome you to the Heritage Circle. The church office and the Planned Giving Committee can help you. Learn more on our website.
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The Weekly Liberal is compiled and edited by Communications Manager Jenn Stromberg. Past issues, publication deadlines, and policies can be found on our  website
Contact Us
First Universalist Church of Minneapolis
3400 Dupont Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55408
For staff contact information, please visit our Ministers and Staff page.
First Universalist Church of Minneapolis
3400 Dupont Avenue S.
Minneapolis, MN 55408


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