August 10, 2017  |  Vol. 4 No. 32

Summer Worship Theme: Meeting the Moment

Worship this Sunday
Sunday, Aug. 13, 10 a.m.
"Song of My Song"
Rev. Ruth MacKenzie
Inside every song is a long history of songs, a deep river of influences, eddies, and murky tributaries. Every thing comes from other things, from other places, other efforts. How do we hold this central truth of creativity with the undeniable reality of appropriation? This Sunday begins in music but wrestles with questions belonging to us all, because we all create in a myriad of ways, and everything comes from something.
Summer Sundays for Kids 

A Look Ahead
Sunday, Aug. 20, 10 a.m.
Rev. Justin Schroeder
Musical Guest: Carnage The Executioner

Recent Sermon Podcasts
August 6, 2017
"Making Honey from Failure"
Rev. Elaine Aron Tenbrink

July 30, 2017
"Capturing the Moment"
Rev. Karen Gustafson 

July 23, 2017
"Threads of Faith"
Arif Mamdani
Lake Harriet Bandshell Worship Service & Potluck
Join us for our annual outdoor worship service and potluck picnic at the Lake Harriet Bandshell on Sunday, Aug. 20 at 10 a.m.!

We're excited to announce a special musical guest! We'll enjoy music by Minneapolis-based hip hop artist Terrell Woods, a.k.a. Carnage The Executioner, as well as an inspiring message from Rev. Justin and a delicious potluck picnic together after the service.  Please note: this will be our only worship service on Sunday, Aug. 20.

For the potluck, please bring a dish and/or beverage to share, as well as chairs or blankets to sit on. Bring plates, cups and eating utensils for everyone in your party. 

The service will take place rain or shine. Sunglasses and/or hats are recommended for your comfort.  Get complete details, RSVP, and share on Facebook here !

Volunteers Needed!
Volunteers are needed to help with the picnic after the service. If you can help, please email Sandy at Thank you!
Backpack Blessing Sunday
Sunday, Aug. 27, 10 a.m.
As summer comes to an end, don't miss our annual Backpack Blessing and worship service. The multigenerational service will offer children, youth, and adults the opportunity to reflect upon how we might carry the love of our church community and the tools of our faith with us wherever we go. Children and youth are encouraged to wear their school backpacks so that we can include them in the Backpack Blessing ritual.
Water Communion Sunday
Sunday, Sept. 10, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m.
Water is a gift. On Water Communion Sunday, we celebrate the many rivers, eddies and waterways of our life experiences. We embody this truth by bringing water from our homes, our travels, and our walks, and combine them in a ritual called Water Communion during this multigenerational service on the first Sunday of the church year.
First Universalist Stories: Suzy Messerole

"This church went from being a place of worship to a place of belonging."
Each week throughout the summer, we're featuring one or two stories submitted by members about what First Universalist means to them. Suzy Messerole shares:

Suzy Messerole & family
"A year and a half ago, my daughter suffered a bad concussion. My wife and I were trying to act calm around our daughter, but we were, in fact, extremely scared. 

"When I called Lauren at church to tell her that I was not able to teach RE that weekend, and told her what was going on, she asked if she could include our family in the Cycle of Life. I said yes. And I am so glad I did. The support was immediate. A parent from church who had been through the same thing instantly reached out. Here was someone who knew what we were experiencing and was offering unconditional support for whatever we needed. And then the cards started arriving. People from church, some who knew and many who didn't know our daughter, were sending their thoughts of healing and love. For a kid who wasn't allowed any reading or physical activity or screens of any kind-getting cards in the mail was a moment of excitement in an otherwise dull existence. 

"But I think what meant the most to me was having a place every Sunday where people would check in about how we all were doing. Learning to receive and accepting the help and support and love being offered, not only helped me and my family through a difficult time, but it changed my relationship to First Universalist. This church went from being a place of worship to a place of belonging." 
Families Moving Forward: Your Help Is Needed!
We are just a week away from hosting Families Moving ForwardThank you to all who have already signed up to help us welcome families to First Universalist Church.

Through this act of hospitality, we'll open our doors, welcoming families experiencing homelessness into our church, our lives, and our hearts for two weeks from August 20 through September 3.  

This is where your presence matters! We still need about 40 volunteers to serve our families! Each night we ask for 3 volunteers to prepare the dinner meal, 3 volunteers to engage in evening activities with families and children, and 2 volunteers to be overnight hosts (This tends to be an easy job AND comfortable beds and the opportunity to sleep are provided). We need volunteers that are willing to break down the bedrooms and return them to classrooms at the end of the stay.

In addition, we are seeking an Evening Activities Coordinator to help set up the Evening Activities station for the two weeks and to help train volunteers during our Orientation evening on Thursday, August 17. If you're interested, we'd love to have you join us! Send Jess Lyons an email,

You can go directly to  SignUp Genius  to register or stop by the Beacon Families Moving Forward table in the social hall after the service this Sunday.  Questions and comments can be directed to your site coordinators,  or
Holiday Giving: Application Deadline Extended
This year marks the return of First Universalist Church's Holiday Giving Program, a bi-annual campaign that  encourages all members to consider cutting their holiday spending in half and to contribute these savings to the chosen recipient of the Holiday Giving Gift. 

The Holiday Giving team is seeking non-profit organizations in the Twin Cities that are committed to advancing racial equity to apply to the Holiday Giving Program. Should you know of any non-profit organizations that are committed to advancing racial equity in the Twin Cities, please send them an invitation to apply to the Holiday Giving Program at the  link below. The deadline for applications has been extended to August 15, 2017.

Volunteers Make Improvements to North Garden 
Ingrid, Ray, and Karen working on the North Garden.
The North Garden at church got a makeover this past weekend! This work was accomplished by seven volunteers: Ben Cooper, Bob Friedman and Duane Peterson tackled the rampant weeds in the alley, and Bill McTeer, Ray Goebel, Ingrid Young and Karen Parson worked in the North Garden. 

We'd like to extend a big thank you to each of these volunteers for their hard work, and encourage you to take a look at the spiffed up North Garden next time you're at church!
"Safety Pin Box LIVE: Minneapolis" 
Event to be Hosted at First Universalist Church
On Thursday, Aug. 24 at 7 p.m.,  Safety Pin Box LIVE: Minneapolis will be hosted at First Universalist Church. 

Event organizers say:

Join us for a fireside-style discussion with Safety Pin Box Co-Founder & activist Leslie Mac and #SPBLive Director Paige Ingram moderated by Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism Executive Director (and First Universalist member) Lena K. Gardner.

These incredible women will discuss what it means to be a Black Woman doing liberation work in 2017 and how white people do or do not fit into the work of fighting oppression.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Program starts at 7 p.m. 

* A limited number of comp seats available for Local Black Womxn organizers - Please fill out this Google Form to be considered. 

Safety Pin Box is THE monthly subscription box for white people striving to be allies in the fight for Black Liberation. Box memberships are a way to not only financially support Black femme freedom fighters, but also complete measurable tasks in the fight against white supremacy. See more at 

Learn more about the event, speakers and organizers and purchase tickets at the EventBrite link
Human Rights Defender Project
People detained by federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) face barriers to basic human rights. While people detained by ICE have the right to legal counsel, they do not have the right to a government-appointed attorney. Many people, regardless of age or capability, have to represent themselves in immigration court.  Detention undermines the ability to seek and enjoy asylum from persecution, to remain with family, and to a fair day in court.

Although immigration court hearings are open to the public, few people witness these proceedings.  The Human Rights Defender Project Court Observers help bring transparency and accountability to this system. Court Observers attend hearings and report on issues of concern including access to counsel, family and community support, and interpretation; the manner of arrest; and the ability of individuals to raise defenses to deportation.

No immigration experience or law license is needed. This community service opportunity is open to all. Court observers must have valid government-issued photo identification to enter the immigration court.

Learn more about this volunteer opportunity here.
  A Celebration of Living: The Rev. Sarah Barber-Braun
Saturday, Aug. 12 at 2:30 p.m. at  Lyngblomsten Care Center
Friends have organized a celebration of life for Sarah while she can still enjoy seeing friends and colleagues. We know she has many friends at First Universalist and in the Association of Universalist Women.
Please come join Sarah and her friends to recognize and celebrate her 90+ years life, still in progress.  RSVP appreciated but not required. Do you have a note for Sarah or thought to share or brief story about Sarah? We will share with Sarah at the party. RSVP and email notes to: Shelley, sjbutler@comcast.netLyngblomsten Care Center (party room, lower level) is located at:  1415 Almond Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55108.
  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 or 612-825-1701. If you would like support, call the office at 612-825-1701 or contact any member of our Pastoral Visitors 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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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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