December 1, 2016  |  Vol. 3 No. 48
Capital Campaign, Witnessing at Standing Rock, and "You Are Needed!"
Rev. Justin Schroeder
Dear First Universalist members and friends,

It is an unsettling and unnerving time, given all that is going on in our country and the world. It is a time to stay awake, to renew commitments, to be with those feeling marginalized and afraid, and to honestly name our own vulnerability and fears. This is not a drill. We need to show up in the world, spiritually grounded, and fiercely committed to living out loud our progressive religious values. I have never needed, nor been more in love with this faith community than I am right now! Together, we can, and will, do the next right thing. 

Capital Campaign . Speaking of the next right thing, I'm delighted that the Board of Trustees, after doing additional due diligence, and taking in the feedback from the Capital Campaign Focus Groups we held in October, has decided to move forward with this bold undertaking! (Information about the campaign can be found online .) This Sunday, during both services, we'll be introducing the Capital Campaign Steering Committee to the congregation, and then moving into the quiet phase of the campaign.  

Standing Rock. This Sunday, Rev. Ruth MacKenzie and I will be in Standing Rock, North Dakota, responding to the call of Chief Arvol Looking Horse, Keeper of the White Buffalo Calf Pipe Bundle, who has asked people of faith to join him at Standing Rock on Sunday, for an Interfaith Day of Prayer, to support the camp and the Water Protectors.  (To understand some of the history behind this moment, please see this piece by Winona LaDuke.)

You Are Needed! So many of you have asked, "I want to be of service. What can I do to help?" We've got an answer for you! 
  • Greeters: Since the election, we have been receiving record amounts of visitors on Sunday mornings. Our Welcome Teams need more people to offer a warm welcome to all those who are coming through our doors.
  • Office Volunteers: Our front office volunteers are the face of the church on weekdays, answering phones and lending a helping hand. Could you take on a 3-hour shift at a time that works for you?
We need you and we need one another! Will you help us build and strengthen this community, as we respond to the hundreds of new visitors that are coming to the church? You can sign up at the "Information Center" on Sunday, or contact Sandy DiNanni at sandy@firstuniv.org . Thank you!

I'll see you in church,
Justin
SUNDAY WORSHIP AT FIRST UNIVERSALIST CHURCH
Worship this Sunday
Sunday, Dec. 4, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m.
Sharing Sunday
"Everything We Need is Here"  
 
Rev. Jen Crow
Being present to this unique moment is one of the great spiritual challenges of all times. Together, we'll explore how we might stay present in these turbulent times, and how our presence might change us and the world.
This Sunday, join us for a Sharing Sunday service at 9:30 or 11:15 a.m. Children age 4 to 5th grade attend the first part of worship.
A Look Ahead
Sunday, Dec. 11, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m. 
Choir-led Worship

Recent Sermon Podcasts
November 27, 2016
"The Long Haul"
Rev. Justin Schroeder
Listen to the podcast
November 20, 2016
Making Space for Discomfort:
Worship led by People of Color Circle
November 13, 2016
"What Have We Done?"
Rev. Justin Schroeder
December Worship Theme: Presence
Sufi teacher and scholar, Kabir Helminski, writes "Presence signifies the quality of consciously being here. It is the activation of a higher level of awareness that allows all our other human functions - such as thought, feeling, and action - to be known, developed and harmonized." Presence is named as awakeningmindfulnessdhyana, or remembrance in other religious traditions. Some might be surprised to discover that repentance, derived from the Greek, metanoia, means to enter the big mind/presence. Common to all the great spiritual traditions is a spiritual philosophy of presence. In this season of advent, of waiting and listening, we will explore and experience Presence, the intersecting places of sense and spirit.
CALENDAR HIGHLIGHTS
"A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota" Book Discussion
Thursday, Dec. 1, 7-8:30 p.m., Room 202
In this provocative book, sixteen of Minnesota's best writers provide a range of perspectives on what it is like to live as a person of color in Minnesota. They give readers the gift of touching another human being's inner reality, behind masks and veils and politeness.  For this discussion, participants are asked to prepare by reading the last five essays of " A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota ." 
"The Spirit of Mde Maka Ska: A Voice Like a Gentle Ripple" Community Conversation
Saturday, Dec. 3, 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
  Like a stone tossed into water, the water's spirit sends energy out to its shores and beyond. What are we inspired to do for the lake and for life giving water the world over?
Join us for the fourth community conversation inspired by the spirit of Mde Maka Ska. Report on your ongoing projects. Create or join new ones. There is no need to have attended the other conversations.
Choir-Led Worship
Sunday, Dec. 11, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m.
Don't miss next Sunday's special music-filled worship service! The First Universalist Choir and Orchestra will be leading worship, performing "A Symphony of Carols" by Randol Alan Bass. Arranged to resemble a four-movement choral symphony, this 1997 work is an arrangement of six holiday carols.
"Doctrine of Discovery" Film Screening
Sunday, Dec. 11, 1 p.m.
  The Environmental Justice and Racial Justice teams at First Universalist are co-sponsoring a screening of the film, "The Doctrine of Discovery: Unmasking the Domination Code" with film director Sheldon Wolfchild of 38 Plus 2 Productions present on Sunday, Dec. 11 at 1 p.m. in the Cummins Room. The film tells the story of how little-known Vatican documents of the fifteenth century resulted in a tragic global momentum of domination and dehumanization.
Senior Hike with Daytime Connections
Tuesday, Dec. 13, 10 a.m. 
The next Senior Nature Hike offers an opportunity to check out the newly refurbished Old Cedar Avenue Bridge in Bloomington. It is on the National Register of Historic Places and provides a spectacular view of wetlands off the Minnesota River.  Meet at the Old Cedar Bridge Unit Parking Lot of the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge ( 9500 Old Cedar Ave. S, Bloomington, MN 55425) at  10 a.m.
The group will hike for about 2 hours along the Minnesota River. As this is an out-and-back route, hikers are able to turn around and head back whenever their spirits and bodies move them to do so.  RSVP to Tom Saterstrom:  saterstromtom@yahoo.com  or
 952-239-3629. Learn more.
Daytime Connections: 
Somali Wisdom Keepers
Thursday, Dec. 15, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
  The Somali community in Minnesota is widely admired for its enterprise and resilience while facing significant and unique challenges. Join us in learning how Somali elders help younger generations navigate American culture while sustaining long-held cultural/religious values and traditions. The program begins at 11 a.m., followed by lunch at 1 p.m. A $5 donation for lunch is encouraged. Registration is requested for lunch planning: contact Sandy DiNanni at sandy@firstuniv.org or 612-825-1701.  Through  Daytime Connections , older adults empower each other to live intentional, joyful, purposeful, and spiritually fulfilled lives.
Holiday Service Schedule
Our Christmas Pageants, Solstice Service, and Christmas Eve Candlelight Service are cherished traditions at First Universalist. Please note that Sunday services on Dec. 25 and Jan. 1 will be offered at 10 a.m. only. Mark your calendar and join us!

Christmas Pageants: Sunday, Dec. 18 and Saturday, Dec. 24 at 4 p.m. each day
Winter Solstice Service: Wednesday, Dec. 21 at 7:30 p.m. (doors open at 7 p.m.)
Christmas Eve Candlelight Service : Saturday, Dec. 24 at 9:30 p.m.
Contemplative Christmas with Music and Poetry : Sunday, Dec. 25 at 10 a.m. only
Singing Sunday: Sunday, Jan. 1 at 10 a.m. only
NEWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS
Faithful Action Partner Spotlight this Sunday:
Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity
This Sunday, Dec. 4, we are looking forward to featuring the work of Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity, one of our seven Faithful Action Partners, during and after worship services. 

A crew from First Universalist on a Habitat build day, summer 2016. 
Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity (TCHFH) is an ecumenical ministry whose mission is to eliminate poverty housing from the Twin Cities and to make decent, affordable shelter for all people a matter of conscience. 

Each year, in partnership with donors and volunteers, TCHFH builds or repairs approximately 50 homes. Additionally, TCHFH repairs 140 homes each year through the 'A Brush with Kindness' program and has served more than 5,000 local homeowners through the Mortgage Foreclosure Prevention Program. TCHFH vision: a Twin Cities region where hard-working families can own homes in healthy neighborhoods with access to jobs, transportation, and quality schools. Find First Universalist's Volunteer Sign Up Form here.
Celebrate Guest At Your Table & Support the UUSC
This December, First Universalist Church will support UUSC (Unitarian Universalist Service Committee) through the Guest At Your Table campaign. Watch for Guest At Your Table boxes and brochures, and look for the link on our website to make your tax-deductible donation online. You can also donate in the social hall using a credit card after each service on Dec. 4, 11, and 18.

Thanks to the generosity of the UU Congregation at Shelter Rock (New York), your donation of $125 or more will be matched dollar-for-dollar!
 
The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee is OUR human rights organization, reflecting UU values in the world. UUSC advances human rights through grassroots collaboration. In more than a dozen countries throughout the world, UUSC fosters social justice and works toward a world free from oppression. UUSC's innovative approaches and measurable impact - in promoting economic justice, bolstering environmental justice, and protecting rights at risk - are grounded in the belief that all people have inherent power, dignity, and rights.
Remembering Loved Ones
We need your help delivering poinsettias to our members and friends who have lost loved ones in the past year, who are struggling with ongoing, serious illness, or who are living in nursing homes. Caring for each other, offering support and comfort in times of illness and loss, and remembering those times as the year moves on are essential to what we do as a religious community.

On Sunday, Dec. 11, poinsettias ready for delivery will be in the foyer outside the sanctuary doors with the cards and addresses of recipients. Please help us by picking up a poinsettia and card to deliver to a member of our church community.

Some of you will find your name on the list. Please take your poinsettia as a remembrance of your loss and of the love and caring that surround you. This is how we give, receive, and grow together with love and compassion.

- Kathy Coskran and Kathy Urberg for the Congregational Care Committee
EMERGE Seeking Tax Preparation Volunteers
Help provide a life changing tax refund for someone who needs it! EMERGE, on of our seven Faithful Action Partners, is seeking volunteers to provide tax preparation assistance.

Tax season is a time of stress for everyone. But it can be especially hard on low income individuals. While a tax return can account for 40% of the annual income for some families, they may not be able to afford a professional tax preparer. Last year, this volunteer assistance helped 155 clients and returned $190,000 to the North Minneapolis community.
 
Client Story:  Trevon was assisted by the EMERGE Free Tax Clinic, and his refund allowed him to pay off his overdue child support. Once his child support was up to date, his driver's license was reinstated and a world of opportunities opened up for him. Trevon continued, "I am now able to work full time and support my family. Having my license allows me to take better care of my children."

Three First Universalist church members provided tax preparation assistance last season, but six volunteers are needed for this upcoming 2016 tax season.  Once trained, volunteers will provide 4 hours of tax preparation assistance on Saturday mornings for 12 weeks beginning in February, but volunteers may take up to two Saturdays off for other commitments.

If you have questions, c ontact Hal Schroer from First Universalist at theschroers@earthlink.net , or Claudia Holt from EMERGE at HoltC@emerge-mn.org .

To apply for this volunteer opportunity, please fill out an online application.
Tickets Now Available: 3rd Annual Winter Warm Up 
Our third annual Winter Warm Up Dance Party is set for Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017 from 7:30 to 10 p.m. 

Mark your calendar and plan to join us that evening for music and dancing, drinks (available for purchase) and snacks, fun and good company!

Tickets are available at: winterwarmup2017.bpt.me
NEWS IN BRIEF
  Cycle of Life and Pastoral Care
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: Meal Support
New baby? Illness? Accident? Let us know if you or somebody in our community would like us to create a meal train for you. Meal trains typically run two to six weeks depending on need and give congregants a way to help. Contact Kathy Urberg  at kathyurberg@gmail.com.
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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Monday-Thursday  8:30 a.m.-8 p.m.
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Contact Us
First Universalist Church of Minneapolis
3400 Dupont Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55408
612-825-1701
For staff contact information, please visit our Ministers and Staff page.
First Universalist Church of Minneapolis
3400 Dupont Avenue S.
Minneapolis, MN 55408

612-825-1701

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