September 29, 2016  |  Vol. 3 No. 39
Wanted: Your Piece of the Story
Rev. Justin Schroeder
Our October worship theme is, "The Whole Story." This month, we endeavor to tell whole stories, the stories that shape us, the stories that stand in our way, the stories that create openings for something new whether in our racial justice journey, our dreams for our collective future, or in our personal lives!
Beginning on Sunday, Oct. 9, and running through the end of October, we will hold more than a dozen Focus Groups, laying out some of the urgent needs we face as a church, and sharing a vision for how we might address these needs. You may recall that at our Annual Meeting in June, we spoke about a comprehensive stewardship campaign as a way to move forward, address some of these needs, and truly make 3400 Dupont our home. The Board of Trustees and the Senior Ministry Team agree: now is the time to dream about how we can best achieve the future that our Strategic Plan calls us into!
We need you! In these 45 minute long Focus Groups, we hope to hear from every person in the congregation: young and old, new members, friends, long time members, youth, everyone! We want to hear your piece of the story, as you respond to the needs of the church and how we might address those needs, so that together, we can craft a collective story about how best to build our collective future.
Please plan to attend at least one of the 16 Focus Groups that we're offering in October - you can find a list of Focus Group dates and times on our website.
Don't miss out on these exciting conversations!  

I'll see you in church,
Rev. Justin Schroeder
Worship this Sunday
Sunday, Oct. 2, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m.
Sharing Sunday  
"One Bed, Please"
Rev. Ruth MacKenzie
What does a whole story sound like? Is it even possible? Is there a way to claim a more complex and generative narrative about ourselves, about our families, about our community that will foster health? Stories of health are stories of wholeness. How do we tell more? What role can church play in whole story telling?
Music: Chalice Singers, Dr. Jeremy Johnston

Please note: work continues on the parking lot, so plan a few extra minutes to find parking on Sunday.
A Look Ahead
Sunday, Oct. 9, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m. 
"The Story of Place"
Rev. Justin Schroeder

Recent Sermon Podcasts
September 25, 2016
"Invited In"
Rev. Jen Crow
September 18, 2016
"Invited In"
Rev. Justin Schroeder
September 11, 2016
Rev. Justin Schroeder
September 4, 2016
"The Grace Within the Waiting"
Shay MacKay
October Worship Theme: The Whole Story
Our lives are not just made up of stories; they are also made by stories. Indeed, who of us hasn't felt controlled by a story? Stuck in a story? Hopeless about the way our story will end up?  

A friend tells me that her family "clings to the story about how I'm the clumsy one." I've never seen my friend trip, not once. Or drop a thing, ever. And yet, somehow, when she goes home, she spills coffee on at least one outfit, stubs at least one toe and stumbles down at least one step. The power of story! This month, we endeavor to tell whole stories, the stories that shape us, the stories that stand in our way, the stories that create openings for something new whether in our racial justice work or in our personal lives! Whole stories matter.
"A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota" Book Discussion
Thursday, Oct. 13, 7-8:30 p.m.
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 politeness. In preparation, please read pages 3-79. (Opportunities to discuss other portions of the book will be offered on future dates.) RSVPs are appreciated to Sandy at, but drop-ins are welcome! Learn more.
"Mirrors of Privilege" Film Showing & Discussion (part 1)
Thursday, Oct. 13, 7-8:30 p.m.
This groundbreaking film features stories from white men and women on overcoming unconscious racism and entitlement. Join us for a viewing of the film followed by a discussion facilitated by Susan Schultz and Susan Hoffman.  This is a drop-in, two-part showing. Part 1 will be shown on Thursday, Oct. 13 (7-8:30 p.m.) and Part 2 will be shown on Thursday, Oct. 20 ( 7-8:30 p.m.).

Oct. 2 Featured Partner: Project for Pride in Living
This Sunday, Oct. 2, we are looking forward to featuring the work of Project for Pride in Living, one of our seven Faithful Action Partners.
PPL empowers thousands of individuals and families with lower incomes to reach self-reliance through affordable housing, employment readiness and job placement. They work together with participants to create vibrant, equitable, and diverse communities filled with residents who have achieved stability and are contributing to the regional economy. Last year, more than 13,000 people moved into affordable housing, earned higher incomes, improved their academic skills and gained economic independence with the help of PPL.

Together We Support Families & Dreams - Liz's Story
"I have this vision," Liz said, "and in it I'm wearing a microphone."  Recent public speaking opportunities have ignited a new passion for Liz. She's been sharing her story with people in recovery groups, helping others along their paths. It's an indication of how far Liz has come, thanks to PPL.
Long-time struggles with chemical dependency and mental health issues once left Liz unable to provide for her kids. Family support eventually dried up too, leaving her without a place to go.
"My sister said that she was working harder at my life than I was," Liz remembers. "She was right."  Liz entered treatment, motivated to get her life back and give her kids something better. After completing treatment, she came to PPL's New Foundations Program, which provides permanent, supportive housing to families while they address chemical and mental health issues.
"I didn't know how supportive PPL would be," Liz said. "There's no place like this!"
With the stability of housing and services at PPL, Liz has been able to finish a college degree, build stronger bonds with her children, and develop skills she can use when life gets hard.  "I started speaking at treatment centers and found my voice," Liz said. She hopes one day to be a professional public speaker, wearing a microphone headset to inspire large rooms of people. Until then, she knows she's making an impact today.
Learn more about Project for Pride in Living at:
Welcoming Southside Childhood Development Center
This week we are pleased to welcome our new tenants, Southside Child Development Center! They are moving in this Friday, Sept. 30, and will occupy all of our first floor classrooms and the Chalice Room Monday through Friday. Southside offers care for infants, toddlers, preschool and school aged children. They have been operating out of another space for several years, but now need room to expand. We will be sharing our building with them for the next three years. If you'd like to learn more about them, check out their website. 
Sign Up for Fall Circles by this Sunday, Oct. 2
This fall, we invite you to grow your soul and find your community within the larger community here at church by joining a circle. Whether you're ready to engage in a spiritual practice, explore what it means to be resilient, or deepen your racial justice work, there is something for you! 

Circles are groups of 8-10 committed participants who come together with a trained leader to nurture spiritual growth in community. These groups are grounded in the spiritual practices of deep listening and open-hearted reflection.

Don't miss your chance to sign up! Registration is open through this Sunday, Oct. 2 online at
Child Dedication 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, Nov. 6 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 a Child Dedication ceremony, please sign up by filling out and submitting the  Child Dedication Form. Forms are due to the church office no later than one week before the service (Oct. 30). Please complete a separate form for each child being dedicated.
Questions? Contact Lauren Wyeth, Director of Children, Youth & Family Ministries, at 612-825-1701 x111 or
Contemplative Evening Worship Series Begins  
with "Glow" on Sunday, October 16
There are many ways of approaching the spiritual: through words, through music, through silent meditation. First Universalist is pleased to announce a special series of four evening services that combine music, words, and meditation in order to reach a level of spiritual understanding different from what you'll find in a typical worship service. For this year's Contemplative Worship series, Kinds of Light, we are exploring the spirit through a scientific understanding of the universe, specifically through the physical properties of Light.

The first service of this series, on Sunday, Oct. 16 at 5:30 p.m., is called  Glow. Any physical body, given sufficient energy, will radiate light and heat. We feel the sun's warmth and see its light, but what about the light we can't see - rocks glowing deep within the Earth, or the warmth of the human heart? When we close our eyes to the light without, can we feel the glow of an inner light? This inner light is expressed through the bright, ringing tones of the trumpet and the warm harmonies of the piano, played by Dean Heller and worship leader Jerrod Wendland. The Rev. Ruth MacKenzie will deepen our understanding of the world and ourselves through poems and readings, and lead the audience in silent meditation.

Jerrod Wendland, who has been the pianist and a worship leader at First Universalist for two years, is excited to introduce our audience to contemporary music by Jennifer Higdon, Somei Satoh, and Karen Tanaka (among others), music that is warm and radiant but that also invites contemplation of our lives' journey. Dean Heller is a distinguished performer, serving as principal trumpet in the Civic Orchestra of Minneapolis, and has been a faculty member at St. Joseph's School in St. Paul for over twenty years.

What is Light? Light is Seeing, Light is Feeling, Light is Knowing, Light is Being. A constant in the universe and in our daily lives, this year's series of four contemplative services will guide us through a meditation on these four aspects of light. Join us at dusk for a combination of music, poetry, and silent meditation that feeds the mind, the ear, and the heart. Contemplative Evening Services will be held on Sundays, Oct. 16, Nov. 20, Jan. 29, and Feb. 19 at 5:30 p.m.
Get Involved, Get Connected
There are so many meaningful ways to get involved and find your "community within the community" at church. Check out to learn about all the opportunities available and indicate your interest.
Learn About Rainbow Research's Findings Oct. 4
Last spring, the Board of Trustees hired Rainbow Research, a Minneapolis nonprofit, to conduct focus groups and a survey regarding how our racial justice work is perceived by the congregation and how it intersects with our four visionary goals for church governance. 
Rainbow consultants Beki Saito and Razeena Shrestha will present their findings on  Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016 , from  6:30 to 7:30 p.m.  in the Cummins Room. Please join us! A copy of the report is also available on our website, here
Sunday Flower Arrangements: Reserve a Date to Donate
It's time to look at your 2016-2017 calendars and reserve a date to donate Sunday flowers, an opportunity to honor and celebrate an individual or event. A Visual Arts Committee member will create a unique arrangement for you and others in the congregation to enjoy. Once services are over you can take the flowers home or share them with others from the congregation who are unable to attend the service.  If you're interested, contact Dick Rueter at  or 612-280-4816 to reserve your date. 
Join Circle Suppers this Fall!
Looking for a great way to get to know others in the church over great food and conversation? Then join Circle Suppers! Circle Suppers run the first Saturday of every month from November through March. You will meet at a different person's home each month with a group of about 6-8 people. The host typically provides the main course, with others bringing things such as appetizers, salad, dessert, wine, etc., to be determined by the host. You are required to host once during this time frame. For more information contact Marybeth Hoelzer at 612-824-1221 or
Fall CSA Shares Available: Pick Up at First Universalist!
Sogn Valley Farm still has a few shares available for its fall CSA program, which begins the week of October 10. Keep your fridge and pantry stocked with fresh, organic vegetables through Thanksgiving. Shares will include broccoli, spinach, winter squash, sweet potatoes, onions, garlic, carrots, potatoes, and much more. Your CSA box can be picked up each week at First Universalist Church. You can sign up here. For more information, visit Sogn Valley Farm's website or contact Dana Jokela at
Women's Ritual Circle: Open Rituals This Fall
Self-identified women who are interested in earth-based and pagan spirituality are welcome to attend the upcoming open rituals of the Under Northern Skies Women's Ritual Circle. The circle is open to newcomers on Friday, Sept. 30 (Chalice Room); Saturday, Oct. 15 (Cummins Room); and Sunday, Oct. 30 (Cummins Room). For women who choose to join, there will be a commitment ritual on Monday, Nov. 14, after which the circle will close to new members until next fall. Ritual begins promptly at 7:30 p.m. Contact Beth at for more information.
Donations for AFA Hope Food & Clothing Closets
First Universalist is beginning our fifth year of partnership with Augsburg Fairview Academy (AFA). Young adults from diverse communities who face educational barriers to achievement in traditional schools are welcomed into AFA, a charter school that prepares them for college, career and life. The 125+ students come from diverse backgrounds including African American, Somali, and Native American. Many are homeless or marginally housed during the school year.  

The Hope Food and Clothing Closets were developed by AFA students in a class on leadership and organization development; they chose this project to meet their needs and to provide hope. First Universalist is the primary contributor to the Hope Food and Clothing Closets.
Volunteers are needed to distribute snacks in the afternoon and to staff the Food Closet after school. Time commitment is 2:30 - 4 p.m. one day a week, Monday through Thursday (or two times a month). If interested, please contact:  

Donations for the Hope Food Closet: Desired items include single serving microwavable soups, mac and cheese, stews, and snacks like fruit cups, granola bars, nuts or cracker and cheese packages. Toiletries needed include toothpaste and toothbrushes, men's and women's deodorant, shampoo and conditioner, lotions, condoms, and tampons (note: we don't need travel size items). 

Donations for Hope Clothing Closet: backpacks (black or dark colors), hoodies; t-shirts;  skinny jeans for men and women; men's and women's underwear and socks; fall jackets.  Clothing should be clean, teen appropriate and in good repair.

Bring items to the Hub on Sundays or drop off during the week at the shelves labeled for AFA by the 34th Street entrance. Thank you for your generosity!
  Cycle of Life and Pastoral Care

We mourn the death and celebrate the life of long time church member, Mary Djerf, who died peacefully on Friday, Sept. 23. Mary deeply loved this church and the people here. We hold Carol and Liz, and their children, Tim and Hannah, in our prayers. We also hold Mary's son, Craig, his wife, Chris, and their son, Max, in our prayers. A memorial service is set for  Saturday, Oct. 22 at 2 p.m. , followed by a reception here at church.
Carol Gilbert and Liz Permar and family, 7340 Fremont Ave. S., Richfield  55423

Our hearts are with all who loved Adele Hersey. Adele passed away peacefully on Monday, Sept. 19, surrounded by family. 
Cards can be sent to Adele's daughter, Edith Hersey Bolin, 1215 Victoria Curve,  Mendota Heights, MN 55118

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 Care Team.
Michael Servetus Unitarian Society of Fridley, Minn., invites you to:
Honoring the Past, Creating the Future
The Installation of Rev. Laura Smidzik
Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016 at 2:00 p.m.
The service will be held at: 
First Unitarian Society, 900 Mt. Curve, Minneapolis, MN 55403
Please leave time for potential construction and parking.  Childcare available if RSVP to no later than Friday, Sept. 30.  A reception will follow the service.  Clergy and seminarians are welcome to process (gather at 1:30 p.m.).
The Revival: Time for a Moral Revolution of Values
Monday, Oct. 10 at 7 p.m. at Plymouth Congregational Church, Minneapolis
Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II,  Architect of the Forward Together Moral Movement
Rev. Dr. James A. Forbes, Jr.,  Senior Minister Emeritus, The Riverside Church

The Revival is a national multi-state tour to redefine morality in American politics. With word and song, The Revival will focus on inspiring advocacy on five issues: economic justice for all, access to quality education for every child, healthcare access for all, criminal justice reform, and ensuring equal protection under the law for historically marginalized communities. Everyone is welcome to the family-friendly event. Details are online at
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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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