September 7, 2017  |  Vol. 4 No. 36
Come, Remember Who You Are and Who We Can Be
Rev. Jen Crow
One of my favorite theologians, James Cone, says that we come to church each week to "find out where we are in relation to the actualization of our dream." In short, we come to church to measure the distance between the world that we long for and the world that is. We come to find the connection and hope and sustenance we need to survive and to do our part to build that world we dream about.

We know that the distance between the world that we long for and the world that is is great these days. It can feel overwhelming at times. So what can we do? We can ground our hearts and our lives in a love that leaves no one outside the circle. We can lean in to this community when times are good and when times are hard. We can center ourselves in the knowledge that love is the work of a lifetime, not just a moment. We can keep coming to church to find out where we are in relation to the actualization of our dream, and together we can find the hope we need to keep on loving with hearts wide open.

When newcomers join our church, we tell them that the spiritual life is an active life and we make three suggestions about how they might cultivate a deep and transformative experience in this faith community. We suggest that they:
  • find and nurture a personal spiritual practice,
  • find a community within this community,
  • and act for justice in the world.
The truth is that these suggestions can work for all of us, each in our own way. They can help us to find the love and hope and sustenance we need. I hope you'll join us in church this Sunday as we remember our connections and set our intentions. Come bring a bit of water from somewhere sacred to you. Come and remember who you are and who we can be.

See you in church,

Worship this Sunday
Sunday, Sept. 10, 9:30 & 11:15  a.m.
Water Communion Sunday
Multigenerational Worship
"The Way of the River"
Rev. Jen Crow
This Sunday, we return to two services and begin the new church year with our annual multigenerational Water Communion service. Water is a gift. It replenishes and sustains our lives. Water Communion Sunday is a day on which we celebrate the many rivers, eddies and waterways of our life experiences, converging in our sanctuary every Sunday forming a river of faith. We embody this truth by bringing water from our homes, our travels, our walks, our bike paths - any place that is sacred to us - and combining them during the service. Please bring a small jar of water for the ritual.
A Look Ahead
Sunday, Sept. 17, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m.
Rev. Jen Crow
First Day of Religious Education

Recent Sermon Podcasts
September 3, 2017
"Sacred Reflections"
Pastor Danny Givens, Jr. and
Rev. Laurie Pound-Feille

August 27, 2017
"Stronger Together" 
Rev. Jen Crow

August 13, 2017
"Song of My Song"
Rev. Ruth MacKenzie

August 6, 2017
"Making Honey from Failure"
Rev. Elaine Aron Tenbrink
Young People's (20s & 30s) Brunch 
Sunday, Sept. 10, 12:30 p.m. (offsite)
Meet and connect with other folks in their 20s and 30s at our Young People's Brunch.  This Sunday, the group will gather at Abbie Finger's home for brunch and conversation. Please bring something to share if you're able. To RSVP and get the address, email  or talk to Sandy at the Info Table in the social hall. 
Drop-In Capital Campaign Info Sessions
Sundays, Sept. 10, 17, 24, Oct. 1 & 8
Learn about our vision for the future - deepening our presence in the city as a place of action as well as worship - and our ideas for renovations and construction to repair, improve, and make more accessible our Dupont Avenue home.  Drop-in Capital Campaign Info Sessions are being held after services each Sunday through Sunday, Oct. 8. If you haven't yet had a chance to sit down with a campaign volunteer to learn about the campaign, please plan to attend one of these sessions!
Open Labyrinth Walk 
Thursday, Sept. 14, 6:30-8 p.m., Social Hall
Each month, September through May, we offer an Open Labyrinth Walk from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on the second Thursday of the month. Arrive any time between 6:30 and 8 p.m., and walk at your own pace. Allow at least 15 minutes minimum for a full fast walk. A member of the Labyrinth Circle will be available to answer questions and offer guidance. More info is available on our website.
"25 by 25" Workshop
Sunday, Sept. 17, 12:45 p.m., Cummins Rm
The Environmental Justice team is hosting a " 25 by 25" workshop on Sunday, Sept. 17 at  12:45 p.m. in the Cummins Room. Refreshments will be provided.  What is 25 by 25?  Governor Dayton is asking Minnesotans to set a goal of 25% water quality improvement by 2025. His office has supplied packets and discussion guides so that communities can meet and set goals to accept the challenge.  The Governor wants citizens to discuss and agree upon tasks that make sense for their region. 
Our Annual Events Calendar 2017-2018 is now available!
Capital Campaign Reaches $5.3 Million
Rev. Justin and campaign co-chairs Sofi Ali and Dan Berg added another square to our progress chart last week when we surpassed $5.3 million raised!
From the beginning, the goal of our capital campaign, "Not for Ourselves Alone: Building an Inclusive Future," has been to meet with all members and friends so that we can share 
in person the vision for the campaign and what our needs and opportunities are as a church.

Drop-in Capital Campaign Info Sessions are being held after services each Sunday now through Sunday, Oct. 8. If you haven't yet had a chance to sit down with a campaign volunteer - either individually or in a group - to learn about the campaign, please plan to attend one of these sessions.

Now is a great time to give to the campaign! T hanks to the generosity of several congregants, we are delighted to have nearly $100,000 in matching funds available to us. N ew pledges will now be matched dollar for dollar up to this amount.

Help us wrap up the capital campaign on  Sunday, Oct. 15 by making a pledge before this date, and plan to join us after worship for festivities as we celebrate the campaign's successful completion.  Thank you to all who have helped us raise  $5.3 million thus far!
Building Project Moves Forward: Listening Sessions with the Architect (Mark Your Calendar!)
With the capital campaign nearing completion, we are now moving forward with plans for our building project! We're excited to announce that we've selected Miller Dunwiddie Architecture, and that the congregation will have the opportunity to meet the architects and share input at two upcoming listening sessions: Wednesday, Sept. 27 between 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 1 between 12:45 and 2:30 p.m. These sessions will be conducted in open house format. 

You are invited to come and provide input and information to the architects that will build upon the direction set using input from last fall's focus groups (attended by close to 300 members), as well as ideas that were shared with us in capital campaign visits over the past eight months. Feedback gathered in these Listening Sessions will help us refine and prioritize our space needs and how we envision making our Dupont Avenue home more welcoming and accessible.

Please watch for more detailed information in future issues of The Weekly Liberal!
Grow Your Soul in a Circle: Soul Matters, Spiritual Deepening, and More - Sign Up Begins this Sunday!
One of the core spiritual practices of this community takes place in circles: groups of 8-10 committed participants who gather to reflect on their lives and contemplate our worship themes. Pick up a catalog in the foyer outside the sanctuary this Sunday and learn about all our offerings! Descriptions, schedules, and registration will also be available online beginning this  Sunday, Sept. 10 . Registration will be open through  Sunday, Oct. 1 .
An Exciting New Partnership:
Mental Health Connect Collaborative
First Universalist is now part of a brand new Mental Health Connect Collaborative. With grassroots efforts by long time church member, Martha Bird, an application was submitted to Bethlehem Lutheran's Mental Health Connect (MHC) program - in existence since 2015 to assist individuals and families in accessing and navigating mental health services. Each of the 10 member churches has members of its own congregation as Ambassadors dedicated to spreading awareness of the MHC program, helping start conversations about mental health, bringing events and resources to the community, and more.
First U's Mental Health Ambassadors, Michelle Tierney and Janet Houck, are happy to announce the launch of the "Make It OK" initiative to de-stigmatize mental health conditions and encourage us all to talk more openly about mental illness ( In conjunction with Pastoral Care, headed by Rev. Ruth MacKenzie, you will begin to see posters around the church, informational articles, event announcements, workshops and a special church service on October 1.  We invite you all to join us as we begin this journey: "If we know more, we can do more. If we understand more, we'll Make it OK."  
First Universalist Stories: Jerry & Stan Sattinger
Each week we've been featuring a story submitted by members about what First Universalist means to them. Jerry and Stan Sattinger share :

Jerry & Stan Sattinger
"Stan and I came to First Universalist from my hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania six years ago. I had scoped out First Universalist on my own on one of the visits to our daughter's home here in Minneapolis. I heard Reverend Ruth MacKenzie and the Jazz Band. I liked the feel of the service and the musical sounds floating through the sanctuary. I knew we would all be a good fit. We have never been anything but sure that the initial assessment was correct.

"First Universalist has been a place to meet people, be involved in social and environmental justice, and to grow spirituality. We have gained friends and new insights into who we are and what is important to us. First Universalist has been an integral part of this time of discovery. It remains a good place to have landed."
Habitat for Humanity Fall/Winter Work Days
First Universalist has four Habitat for Humanity work days this fall/winter, and we'd love to have you on the crew! The dates are Thursdays, Sept. 14Oct. 19Nov. 9 and Dec. 14Our September work site is in St. Paul; we will be working in Minneapolis on the other three days.

More volunteers are needed for our September build day just one week from today. If you can join us that day, please register (below) as soon as possible!

Sign up online here!

Volunteers must be over sixteen years of age, and sixteen- and seventeen-year-olds must be accompanied by an adult. The work day is from 8:15 a.m. until 4 p.m., and lunch will be provided.  Worried that you don't know much about how to use tools? No worries! Your fellow volunteers and the Habitat site supervisor are there to help. 
Share the Bounty this Sunday!
Every year we ask gardeners to share some of the fresh vegetables from their garden.
These donations will be dropped off at Joyce Foodshelf and if we have an overflow of donations, some will go to Sabathani Foodshelf.  If you're not a gardener...that's ok - pick up some fresh veggies from one of the many small neighborhood farmers markets.
Bring your donation to church on  Sunday, Sept. 10. A donation table will be outside on the front steps of the church.  Thank you for your generosity!
Seeking Volunteers and Donations for
AFA Hope Food and Clothing Closets
First Universalist is beginning our sixth 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 high school that prepares them for college, career and life. 

As we move into the new church (and school) year, we are looking for donations for the Hope Food and Clothing Closets, as well as some additional volunteer help! If you're interested in helping, either on a regular basis or just once or twice, please contact Cathy Manning at 952-649-8537 or

Donations needed include: 
  • School Supplies: Backpacks (in dark colors), spiral notebooks, pens and pencils, pocket folders.
  • Clothing: hoodies; t-shirts; skinny jeans for men and women; underwear and socks; fall jackets. Clothing should be clean, teen appropriate and in good repair.
  • Food and Toiletries: Single serving microwavable meals; fruit cups; granola bars; toothpaste and toothbrushes, men's and women's deodorant, lotions, condoms, and tampons and sanitary products.   
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!
First U to Host Mayoral Forum on Homelessness
On Tuesday, Sept. 26 from 7 to 8:30 p.m., First Universalist Church, with assistance from the League of Women Voters, will be hosting a forum for Minneapolis mayoral candidates focusing on issues of homelessness. This forum will be moderated by Monica Nilsson, a local advocate for the homeless, and is being organized by members Barb and Gary Melom.

Minneapolis mayoral candidates planning to be present include: Jacob Frey, Betsy Hodges, Raymond Dehn, Nekima Levy-Pounds, Tom Hoch, Al Flowers, Captain Jack Sparrow, and Aswar Rahman.  Candidates will be encouraged to demonstrate a depth of knowledge that shows their ability to be a leader in multi-agency efforts to address homelessness.
Co-Sponsors:  Street Voices of Change in collaboration with the Downtown Congregations to End Homelessness, Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative, Simpson Housing Services, The SAFE Group, Peace House Community, Our Saviour's Housing, St. Stephen's Human Services, St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church, and Hats for the Homeless.
On View in the Social Hall Gallery Space

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.
Inclusivi-Tee Fundraiser for Ubuntu Village in New Orleans
Sunday, Sept. 17, 1-6 p.m., Costa Rica Ballroom in Hopkins, MN
A fundraiser event benefiting Ubuntu Village in New Orleans will have music, children's activities, food, an artist-inspired raffle, and a chance to spend time with some amazing people. They will be collecting black socks, toothpaste, books and journals. Ubuntu Village works with incarcerated youth ages 14-21 and their communities. Learn more.
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Church Office Hours
Sundays  8 a.m.-1 p.m.
Monday-Thursday  8:30 a.m.-8 p.m.
Closed Fridays and Saturdays
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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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