February 8, 2018  |  Vol. 5 No. 6
Calling All Spiritual Stakeholders...
Rev. Justin Schroeder
... to the "State of the Church" Meeting this Sunday, 12:30 p.m.

Every February, the Board and staff hold a "State of the Church" meeting, highlighting ministry accomplishments, sharing a mid-year budget update, and outlining new initiatives and ministry efforts that are underway. I sometimes think of this meeting as a "shareholders" annual meeting, though the church isn't a Corporation, nor is our bottom line about finances or earnings per share. Instead, and more importantly, our bottom line is about alignment: how well are we living into the faith values we profess?

As spiritual stakeholders of First Universalist, you're all invited to this meeting. On Sunday, we'll share more details about the co-ministry model that Jen Crow and I are living into and moving towards. (Rest assured, the four-person ministry team of Ruth, Elaine, Jen, and I will remain in place, but instead of me serving as Senior Minister and Jen as Executive Minister, Jen and I will be co-ministers, equal in pay and co-leaders of the church; in other words, we're moving toward being Co-Senior Ministers.) We'll share a mid-year update on the budget and an update on plans for renovations and construction following our successful $5.6 million Capital Campaign, "Not for Ourselves Alone: Building an Inclusive Future."

As we move toward construction and renovations, Jen and I want to hear your feedback about your experiences with the Capital Campaign. In many ways, our Capital Campaign was a big "experiment," a time of trying something new; we hired a full time consultant to be onsite with us for the duration of the campaign. In previous church campaigns, we'd either run the campaign ourselves, or worked with a consultant for a weekend or two as we kicked things off. Jen and I want to make sure we capture the learnings from our recent Campaign, staying in relationship with members and friends of the church, and hearing your feedback. Please take five minutes to fill out this Capital Campaign survey!

As we approach the State of the Church meeting, I keep thinking about the "Tortoise and the Hare" story told by Lauren Wyeth and Meera Kannan this past Sunday (listen here). It's a great reminder that moving into deeper alignment with our values is slow and steady work, a marathon, not a sprint, and that month after month, year after year, we are bringing First Universalist into deeper alignment with our values of equity, inclusion, justice, and love. We are embodying these values ever more deeply in our own lives, as well.

I'll see you in church,

February Worship Theme: The Long Haul
Worship this Sunday
Sunday, Feb. 11, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m.
"Daily Renewal"
Rev. Jen Crow
A lifetime is made of moments and choices. As we live in the midst of the long arc of history, doing our best to bend it toward justice, and as we live in the midst of our own lives, how might we renew our hope, our courage, and our joy on this long haul journey?
A Look Ahead
Sunday, Feb. 18, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m.
Rev. Justin Schroeder
"What Gets You Through the Night?"

Recent Sermon Podcasts
February 4, 2018
"Fractal Theology"
Rev. Justin Schroeder

January 28, 2018
"Loving Resistance"
Rev. Jen Crow

January 21, 2018
"The Limits of Love... or Limitless Love?"
Rev. Justin Schroeder
February Worship Theme: The Long Haul
The Chinese symbol for perseverance is a knife poised over a heart. There is something about the long haul that requires big heartedness, strength, a willingness to be wounded, and still lean into life. Author and social critic Margaret Wheatley writes, "Human experience is the story of perseverance." Every one of us knows what it is to be in it for the "long haul." At one point or another this life will require us to do something that's hard, that we hate, that hurts, or that we don't believe we can do, but we do it. The question is how to go the distance without the journey eating you alive? This month we explore the nature of perseverance, the long haul, and finding the life-giving qualities entwined in it all.
Annual State of the Church Meeting - This Sunday!
Sunday, Feb. 11, 12:30 p.m.
Please join us for our annual State of the Church meeting after the second service this Sunday, Feb. 11 at 12:30 p.m. At this meeting, the Board of Trustees and Staff will share a high-level mid-year budget update and a look at upcoming programs. We will also share a story about the history of our building that was discovered as the Building Team has worked with our architects, and lay some groundwork for governance changes. 
Workshop - Anti-Racist On-Ramp: A Conversation for White People
Sunday, Feb. 11, 1-2:30 p.m.
Join us for a conversation on how white people can thoughtfully engage in anti-racism work! Well-meaning white people may be confused or not understand anger they may encounter as they enter contemporary anti-racism work. Do you have questions about why people get mad when someone says "All lives matter"? Does the statement, "If it's not intersectional feminism, it's white supremacy" leave you confused? This group is for you! Advance registration is appreciated; email sandy@firstuniv.org or call 612-825-1701.
Daytime Connections: Practicing Balance
Thursday, Feb. 15, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
How can we keep our balance, both physically and spiritually? Can we step sure-footedly through our own stressful lives, while keeping our bearings amidst national and international turmoil? Learn simple practices from a fitness expert and from our own Rev. Justin that can build up daily habits of balance.  Program begins at 11 a.m., followed by lunch at 1 p.m. A $5-10 donation for lunch is encouraged. Register with Sandy at  sandy@firstuniv.org  or 612-825-1701 by Feb. 11.  Through  Daytime Connections , older adults at First Universalist empower each other to live intentional, joyful, purposeful, and spiritually fulfilled lives.
"Doctrine of Discovery" Film Screening
Sunday, Feb. 18, 1 p.m., Cummins Room
The Environmental Justice team invites you to a screening of the film "Doctrine of Discovery: Unmasking the Domination Code."  The film helps unravel the connection between Christendom's principle of discovery and laws still being upheld in the U.S. and Canada and examines a papal document issued in 1452, which sanctioned the conquest, colonization and exploitation of non-Christian peoples and their territories.  We will be joined by Mitch Walking Elk, a survivor of forced Boarding School who now works as a teacher of traditional culture and religious ceremony.
Seniors Hike with Daytime Connections
Thursday, Feb. 22, 10 a.m. 
Join Daytime Connections for a hike around Lake of the Isles or Bde Maka Ska!  Meet at 10 a.m. at the northeast corner of Bde Maka Ska 3000 E. Calhoun Parkway  in Minneapolis, where the Tin Fish outdoor restaurant was located.  The group will hike for up to 2 hours around whichever lake suits the group's desires and prevailing weather conditions dictate. This is very open topography; be prepared with something to cover your face from the wind.  Following the hike, the group will gather at Gigi's Cafe Important: please RSVP to Tom Saterstrom (952-239-3629 or  saterstromtom@yahoo.com ).
Talking About Race & Racism with Kids (for white parents & teachers): 
Saturdays, Feb. 24, March 3, 10, 17 & 24, 1-2:30 p.m.
Come together with other white parents, caregivers, and teachers to build our capacity for talking with children and youth about race, racism, and whiteness in ways that are supportive, grounded in the realities of the world, and hopeful. We will especially focus on what children need to know at each stage of their development and how to prepare ourselves for real life questions.  A handful of spots remain in this Spiritual Deepening Circle, led by Denise Konen. Register here.
Racial Justice & Our UU Faith Workshop
Sundays, Feb. 25 & March 4, 1-3:30 p.m.
Join us for an interactive, reflective workshop exploring a framework and tools for understanding race, racism, and whiteness and the spiritual imperative that drives our racial justice work.  This two-part workshop will next be offered on Sundays, Feb. 25 & March 4, 1-3:30 p.m., and will be led by Jeff Sylvestre, Susan Schultz, and Bianca Zick.  To register, contact Sandy at  Sandy@firstuniv.org  or 612-825-1701.
Project Art for Nature: Land & Rivers Small Group Show
by Robyn Beth Priestley
Project Art for Nature is a group of artists, working in various media, who focus on an area of land needing protection. This upcoming small group show at First Universalist showcases artwork featuring the waters and land along the Mississippi River and its tributaries, by four members of Project Art for Nature. The featured artists are Suzanne Lewis (botanical drawings), Tom McGregor (plein air paintings), Robyn Beth Priestley (mixed media block prints) and Diane Wesman (paintings). The exhibit will be on view in the social hall Feb. 11 through March 18, and an artists' reception will be held on Sunday, Feb. 25. 
Community Partner Application Info Session
Information Session: Community Partner Applications for 2018-2019 Year
Sunday, Feb. 25, 10:30-11 a.m. (between services) in the Cummins Room
The Faithful Action Council at First Universalist Church guides our ministry of Faithful Action. The Council provides opportunities for church members and friends to act with humility, courage, and compassion as we work for justice. We act with a racial justice lens, through community partnerships, as we address systemic inequity and create positive change through education, advocacy, direct service, and generosity.

A Community Partnership is a relationship between First Universalist and an organization that shares our vision of love and justice. We work through Community Partnerships in order to leverage energy, commitment, and expertise. We share our resources in service of the organization's vision. We currently have six Community Partners: Augsburg Fairview Academy, Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative, EMERGE, Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light, Simpson Housing Services, and Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity.   

Each partnership is led by a congregant Team Lead at First Universalist and supported by a group of dedicated volunteers. If you are interested in submitting an application for a new Community Partner for which you will be the Team Lead, please attend the informational session on February 25 at 10:30 a.m. If you are interested but unable to join us for the info session, please contact Joan Naymark ( jnaymark@gmail.com) to learn about expectations, timeline, and how the process works.

New and renewing partnership applications for the 2018-2019 year are due April 1 to the church office, FaithfulAction@firstuniv.org.
Conversations on Affordable Housing, Homelessness, and Racial Justice
Join us on either Sunday, March 4 or Tuesday, March 6 for a round table discussion to explore our individual and collective perspectives and hopes around the issues of racial justice, affordable housing, and homelessness.   
Our congregation is holding two conversations to explore the intersection between systemic racism and housing inequity. As congregational members of Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative, our collective ideas will help form future decisions on the next steps in eliminating homelessness and creating affordable housing in the Twin Cities.
We Want You To Join Us If:
  • You have a desire to share thoughts on these issues
  • You have a deeper understanding of the relationship of systemic racism to housing inequity in the Twin Cities
  • You want to learn what we can do to create the world as we want to see it.
  • If you've: 
    • Built a house through Habitat
    • Advocated on behalf of Homes for All, Habitat, Beacon
    • Volunteered with Families Moving Forward
    • Donated to racial/housing justice
    • Wished you knew what you could do to eliminate homelessness and create more affordable housing
The conversations will be a mixture of:
  • Input on critical information on racism and housing inequity in the Twin Cities
  • Opportunities to identify our own experiences
  • Ideas for furthering affordability of housing and eliminating homelessness
Register here for either session. Both sessions will be preceded by a simple complimentary soup and bread lunch or supper 30 minutes before the session starts.
  • Sunday, March 4, from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Chalice Room
  • Tuesday, March 6, from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Chalice Room
"Greening" Our Church Parking Lot on St. Patrick's Day: Electronics Collection Event
No green beer or silly leprechauns, but we are excited to invite you to join the parade of cars through our parking lot on  Saturday, March 17 from 9 a.m.-noon. to drop off your unneeded electronics.  Mark your calendars now, and plan your Spring cleaning! 

For this electronics collection event, we are partnering with Tech Dump, a local nonprofit which provides job training and practical experience for adults facing barriers to employment. They never export unprocessed materials, reuse where possible and then recycle, and guarantee that all data is destroyed at their facility. Items accepted include notebooks/laptops/desktops/ser vers, unbroken flat panel TVs and monitors, hard drives/motherboards/switches/r outers/ firewalls, cell phones/iPads-Pods/tablets/MP3 players, stereos/speakers/audio receivers, printers, scanners, VCRs, DVD players, misc. household electronics, and cables/cords/chargers. 

We ask for and need a donation of between 50 cents and $1 per pound of donated items. There is a larger charge for CRT TVs and monitors, depending on the size. 
Deepening Their Ministry: A Note from the Board
First Universalist is blessed with dynamic ministers. Over the past five years our "called" ministers, Justin Schroeder and Jen Crow, have developed a close partnership that has helped them lead our church with vision and courage. So close, in fact, that Justin and Jen have come to the realization over the past year that the current structure, in which Justin serves as the Senior Minister, reporting to the Board of Trustees, and Jen serves as Executive Minister, reporting to Justin, is no longer an accurate reflection of their partnership. Last March, Justin and Jen asked the Board to consider changing their responsibilities and relationship with our Church to a co-ministry. 
A move to co-ministry means that Justin and Jen would be true peers, sharing the work of the church, receiving equal pay, and both reporting to the Board of Trustees. As you might expect, they had put careful thought and consideration into this request, talking with many of their colleagues, working with a coach, consulting with the other ministers at First Universalist, and leaning into our Unitarian Universalist values. Their goal is to model teamwork and partnership, ratify the working relationship they have developed, and help ensure a long, healthy, and stable ministry at First Universalist. 
The Board has carefully considered this request and spent the past several months reaching out to other UU churches with co-ministry models, consulting with experts at the UUA, revisiting our church's history with co-ministry, and reviewing best practices of other co-ministry models. The Board believes that moving to a co-ministry model is an exciting development that will better serve our congregation. 
More work remains to be done before bringing this before the congregation at the annual meeting. At the State of the Church meeting on February 11, 2018, there will be an opportunity for questions, and there will be listening sessions later this year for those who want to provide input.    

- Christa Anders, Board Secretary, on behalf of the First Universalist Board of Trustees
A February Favorite: Truffles for Valentine's Day
Truffles handmade by Youth Cultural Exchange (YCE) will be available for sale in the Social Hall on Sundays, Feb. 11 and 18. These gourmet, Fair Trade, decoratively-boxed truffles come in several flavors: chocolate mint, sea salt, toffee, and cappuccino and may be purchased using card, cash or check: $10 for a Decorative Box of 4, $20 for a Decorative Box of 8, or $2.50 individually.

Buy them for yourself or a Valentine, or send a box of truffles to a student at Augsburg Fairview Academy. Include a personal note and YCE youth will deliver your gift of love and truffles to the students of Augsburg Fairview Academy.
Youth Cultural Exchange is an incredible First Universalist tradition. Twelve youth from our church participate in this cultural exchange with twelve youth from Nicaragua. For two weeks, they stay in one another's homes and learn about one another's world. This past July, our youth traveled to Nicaragua and this July we will host their Nicaraguan siblings.
All the proceeds from the truffle sale (and from weekly egg roll sales) are used to cover scholarships for First U YCE youth and pay for the Nicaraguan youth to fly here this summer. The Nicaraguan youth commit to working 100 hours in their community.
Sign Up for Sogn Valley Farm CSA Now Open
Sogn Valley Farm offers weekly deliveries of fresh, organic vegetables through its CSA (community supported agriculture) program. For a third year, CSA shares can be picked up at First Universalist Church on Wednesdays! There are also Twin Cities drop sites in Richfield, Plymouth, Eagan, and St. Paul. 

Summer Share begins the week of  June 4 and runs through  October 1 (18 weeks). The cost for new members is $575 for a full share or $340 for a half share. Fall Share begins in  October 8 and continues through the week of Thanksgiving (7 weeks), and is priced at $225.  Sign up and pay in full by February 15 for a 5% discount by using the coupon code "payearly".
Along with each box, you'll receive a newsletter with updates from the farm, descriptions of box contents, and a recipe that uses some of the items in the box. You'll also be invited down to the farm for gatherings in the spring and fall.

Visit www.sognvalleyfarm.com to learn more about the farm and CSA program. Feel free to contact Dana with any questions:  dana@sognvalleyfarm.com
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 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.
Moving from Anxiety to Optimal Wellness
Saturday, Feb. 10, 9 a.m.-noon,  presented by 
L. Read Sulik, MD
, at Mt. Olivet Lutheran Church (Minneapolis Campus 5025 Knox Ave., Minneapolis, MN 55419) 
Learn about the Fight, Flight and Freeze response and how chronic stress, trauma and anxiety can lead to systemic health problems. Dr. Sulik will help us understand how individuals with anxiety are so easily misdiagnosed and introduce a framework for a personal health and wellness transformation.  $15/person. Register here.
Mental Health Mondays
Monday, Feb. 12: "Ambiguous Loss" presented by Sara Lassig, LICSW, Ph.D., ACHP-SW, at Bethlehem Lutheran Church. CEUs available. (4100 Lyndale Av S, Minneapolis, MN 55409) 
Bethlehem Lutheran Church Twin Cities and St. Joan of Arc Catholic Community host a monthly mental health presentation on the second Monday of every month. A light supper is served at 5:45 p.m. followed by the presentation at 6:30 p.m. More info.
A Rare and Revealing Look at Mental Illness
Tuesday, Feb. 13 at 6:30 p.m., Minnesota History Theater (30 10th St E, St Paul, 55101)
This free event is the culmination of a year-long collaboration between Vail Place and MN History Theater's Storytelling Project where Minnesotans can share part of their life story.  Keith Washington and Martha Bird will be participating.  You may remember that First Universalist member Martha Bird advocated for our church to have a Mental Health Service which occurred last October. The Collage of Voices that was shared during that service (listen to the podcast here) was similar to what this theater evening will be like. It's a moving, heart-warming and boldly honest look at what it is like to live with a mental illness - both with its beauty and difficulties. Martha, also an artist, will be revealing a new basketry sculpture that evening that relates to the topic.  
Building Heart Connections: Unity Church Men's Retreat
Saturday, Feb. 17, 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.,  Unity Church-Unitarian in St. Paul 
The Unity Men's Retreat, "Building Heart Connections," will explore some of the emotional and spiritual opportunities our lives give us to exercise courage in building and maintaining relationships with ourselves and with others in our lives.  Arif Mamdani, a First U member who is currently doing his ministerial internship at Unity, is one of the organizers.  Get complete details and registration information here
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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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