October 26, 2017  |  Vol. 4 No. 43
Resisting White Supremacy Teach-In this Sunday: Creating Brave Space Together
Rev. Ruth MacKenzie
Black, Christian activist, Micky ScottBey Jones, writes,

Together we will create brave space
Because there is no such thing as a "safe space."
We exist in the real world
We all carry scars and we have all caused wounds.
This space will not be perfect.
It will not always be what we wish it to be
It will be our brave space together, and
We will work on it side by side.

This Sunday, we join with other Unitarian Universalist churches to participate in another UU White Supremacy Teach-In. This will be a brave space, not a perfect space, but one in which we go deep, hold one another in compassion, and begin again in love, side by side.

We are living in a time of paradox, and holy tension within the Unitarian Universalist Association. It is a time full of discomfort, creativity, potential, and risk. On the one hand, many folks who are white are finding themselves awakened, and deeply distressed by their unawareness of the life-shaping frameworks of white supremacy and racial injustice. The realities of racism are something white folks can lean into or choose to ignore. This is the privilege of whiteness. For People of Color and Indigenous folk, white supremacy is an embodied knowing, a world in which lived experience informs over and over the injustices of our nation in everyday instances of traffic stops, housing, income, education, work, and so much more.  

In order to address the different realities and relationships with white supremacy, First Universalist is offering several options in which we invite our membership to participate and enter brave space.
IN REV. JUSTIN'S OFFICE: We hold the paradox that while the #UUWhiteSupremacyTeachIn is critical, it is also another form of re-centering whiteness, and therefore POCI may have different spiritual needs during this time and may want to worship with others who have not been socialized as white. People of Color and Indigenous folk are invited to a worship circle led by Rev. Karen Hutt during the second service at 11:15. The POCI worship circle will be held in Rev. Justin's office (go to the church office and someone will direct you). This will be a brave space to speak the truth and hold one another in love and support.

IN THE SANCTUARY: Worship will be  led by Rev. Ashley Horan , youth, members of the congregation, and members of the choir who will continue to break open the framework of white supremacy, the scars we carry, and the wounds we have caused. This service is primarily designed to speak to white people about white supremacy; People of Color and Indigenous Folks are of course welcome to attend both offerings.


After both services, 9:30 and 11:15, we invite everyone to eat together (donuts after the 9:30 service and sandwiches after the 11:15 service), while engaging in questions to deepen the experience of the worship service, and what has risen to the surface.

We hope to create brave space, and to name what is real. This will be a time in which we "turn down the volume of the outside world," as Micky ScottBey Jones writes, and listen to one another with compassion. At the heart of our faithful root system is an other-affirming imperative, to meet and come to know one another as whole and holy, and embrace the other. We often fail. Yet perhaps in this brave space, we can lean in to our other-affirming calling, resist the false, dominant cultural narrative of segmentation and separation, and find a surplus of wisdom and ways forward that are surprising, challenging, and life-giving.

Rev. Ruth MacKenzie

Worship this Sunday
Sunday, Oct. 29, 9:30 & 11:15  a.m.
Resisting White Supremacy Teach-In 2
"10 Commandments of Challenging White Supremacy"
Rev. Ashley Horan
This Sunday, we join with hundreds of other UU congregations for a second UU White Supremacy Teach-in, continuing the work of freeing ourselves and our institutions from the culture of white supremacy. Sunday's service will feature speakers from our congregation and a homily by Rev. Ashley Horan entitled "10 Commandments of Challenging White Supremacy." 
A Look Ahead
Sunday, Nov. 5, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m.
Rev. Justin Schroeder
Sunday, Nov. 12, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m.
Rev. Jen Crow

Recent Sermon Podcasts
October 22, 2017
"Being Hope"
Rev. Jen Crow

October 15, 2017
"Luminous Depths"
Rev. Kate Tucker

October 8, 2017
"I'm That, Too"
Rev. Jen Crow
Listen to the podcast
Treats/Lunch and Further Reflection After Worship
We encourage you to stay after worship this Sunday for further reflection on the service in the social hall over treats!  Following the first service, we'll have donuts for sale ($2 each), and after the second service, there will be bag lunches prepared by our very own Tina and Caitlin Bernett (with vegetarian and vegan sandwich options) available for purchase ($5).

We invite you to have a seat at a table and engage in conversation while enjoying treats/lunch. Some questions for you to consider will include:

As you were listening, which ideas prompted the most curiosity in you? Why?

Which ideas prompted the most discomfort/resistance within you? Why? 

Which ideas prompted you to say "Yes!" Why?

What do these ideas call you to do, change, shift, or commit to in your life?
Young Families Halloween Party
Saturday, Oct. 28, 9-11 a.m.
Celebrate Halloween and autumn with the littlest members of our church community. All families with children up through 1st grade are invited to attend. Older siblings are welcome, too. Join us for games, music, autumn crafts, and a Halloween costume parade. Enjoy crispy apples, bagels, buttery popcorn and hot cider.  This is a wonderful way to connect with other families with young children, while kids make memories and deepen their ties to their church community. RSVP here.
13th: A Documentary Screening in Two Parts
Sundays, Oct. 29 & Nov. 5, 1-3 p.m.
What does the passage of the 13th Amendment in 1865 have to do with today? Everything. The powerful documentary "13th" analyzes the criminalization of African Americans, the U.S. prison boom, and their relationship to the abolishment of slavery via the 13th Amendment. Join us for a two-part screening and conversation in community.
Sundays, Oct. 29 & Nov. 5, 1-3 p.m. in the Cummins Room:  Led by Jeff Sylvestre and Margaret Manderfeld.
Let's Talk About White Fragility
Wednesday, Nov. 1, 7-8:30 p.m.
When white people experience racial stress, we often withdraw, defend, cry, argue, minimize, ignore, and in other ways push back: a response known as white fragility. This limits our capacity to bridge cross-racial divides and harms people of color. Join us for a conversation about "White Fragility," an essay by Dr. Robin DiAngelo. Please read the essay in advance; it is available online here.

First Universalist is co-sponsoring a workshop with Dr. Robin DiAngelo that will take place at Unity Church-Unitarian in St. Paul on Saturday, Nov. 18, 1-4 p.m. Learn more.

We're also offering a debrief on Sunday, Nov. 19, the day after Dr. DiAngelo's workshop. Those who attend the workshop are encouraged to join us! Learn more. 
Racial Justice and Our UU Faith Workshop
Sundays, Nov. 5 & 12, 12:30-3 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.  These workshops are one way we put our commitment to anti-racism work into action, inviting participants to create a learning space together - with curiosity, compassion for ourselves and each other, and humility. Recognizing we have all been miseducated about race, we discuss the history and social creation of race in the USA, the power dynamics behind racism and privilege, and explore whiteness - all grounded in the fact that our Unitarian Universalist principles call on us to confront and redirect the trajectory of these histories directly.  This two-part workshop will be led by Susan Schultz and Pam Berry.  To register, contact Sandy at  Sandy@firstuniv.org  or 612-825-1701.
Schematic Design Idea Review Meetings with the Architects
Wednesday, Nov. 15, 5:30-7:30 p.m. and  Sunday, Nov. 19, 12:45-2 p.m.
In November, we're offering two opportunities for you to meet with our architects from Miller Dunwiddie and review  the process of the schematic design  ideas for our renovations and construction. Please put these dates in your calendar and plan to attend one: Wednesday, Nov. 15 between 5:30 and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 19 between 12:45 and 2 p.m. Arrive at any point within those time frames: the meetings will be conducted open-house style and the architects will offer several short, informal presentations on the initial plans.  Preliminary  drawings of  concept  plan options will be mounted and available for your perusal and input.
Join the Lend-A-Hand Group on Thursday, Nov. 2
Could you join the  Lend -A- Hand  group  on Thursday Nov. 2 , from  9:30 to noon , to work on fix-up projects at church?  

It's a handy, high spirited group of folks who come together once a month on the first  Thursday to fix up, mail, sort, paint, clean up, or do whatever jobs need doing to keep the church running smoothly, efficiently, and beautifully!

If you're available, please email Sandy at  sandy@firstuniv.org or call 612-825-1701 Monday through  Thursday between 3 and 8 p.m. We hope to see you there!
Holiday Giving Project: Why Marnita's Table?
With a focus on racial justice and community building, we've chosen Marnita's Table as the recipient of the 2017 Holiday Giving project. The biennial Holiday Giving project encourages families and individuals to re-direct half of their holiday spending to a worthy organization selected by the church. The selection committee received 19 applications. The organizations ranged from the very large to the very small, from the deeply funded to the barely hanging on. Some engage in traditional charitable activities, while others take innovative approaches to meeting our community's needs. Every one of them does good, essential work and deserves our support. So how did we reach a decision? It wasn't easy!

We evaluated each organization on several factors, including their demonstrated commitment to racial equity and social justice, opportunities for directly involving church members and youth in their activities, the presence of people of color in leadership roles, and, of course, a strong alignment with Unitarian Universalist values. We also considered the applicants' available resources and what impact a large contribution from our church could make. Marnita's Table, a local nonprofit that is dedicated to bridging gaps across difference, rose to the top of our list.   

Marnita's Table was founded in 2005 by Marnita Schroedl. She developed a framework called "Intentional Social Interaction" (IZI) that is used to shape events that bring people together to feast and talk. These community tables model inclusivity and radical hospitality by welcoming voices that are not traditionally heard.

"A place where strangers can recognize each other."

"...I feel like my heart is open and barriers are down..."

"...Marnita's Table opened my eyes and showed me that you can always talk about these issues differently."

Testimonials abound to the impact that IZI has made on individuals, agencies, and communities, but the organization also points to data that measures its effectiveness at changing people's minds and hearts - changes that have a long-lasting ripple effect. Please visit www.marnitastable.org to learn more about our Holiday Giving recipient's vital work.
Watch for more information about Marnita's Table and the Holiday Giving project on the church website, in future editions of The Weekly Liberal, and at upcoming post-service social hours. If you have questions, contact the Holiday Giving team at holidaygiving@firstuniv.org .
Connected Church Initiative
We are kicking off an initiative on Sunday, Nov. 5 to become more "Connected" as a church. This initiative will bring greater support to our Church's mission, as well as our congregants' desire to invest time on issues that help us Give, Receive, and Grow. We want you to be "Connected," and we also want to know your passions, skills, and availability.
Why be "Connected"?
Increasingly in all parts of our life, we rely on the internet and social media to quickly and easily purchase items, connect with others, schedule events, answer questions, and influence others. In most parts of our life, we are connected!

In our "Connected Church" at My First U, you can now:
  • Access our church member directory (with individual photos included)
  • Check the church calendar for upcoming meetings
  • Request meeting space and see which spaces are available
  • Track your church involvement history (pledges, leadership, and group participation)
  • Indicate where you prefer to invest your volunteer time
  • Complete these transactions via an app on your smartphone
Why share your volunteer preferences?
We often wish to invest our time on issues we feel passionate about; however, we often juggle a variety of challenges, and our available time for volunteering can be limited. Additionally, when time is available, it may only be when we have childcare, it may be at night or on weekends, or it may only be in situations where an entire family can participate.  

Please take 5-10 minutes to complete an online volunteer profile that lists your time constraints, the issues you feel passionate about, and the skills you prefer to utilize. This will enable you to more easily connect to opportunities that are personally satisfying, while also expanding the impact First Universalist has in our community. With this profile on file:
  • You can independently search online for church volunteer opportunities that match your availability, passion, and skills.
  • Volunteer leaders can reach out to you if your profile availability, passion, and skills match an upcoming volunteer opportunity.
  • You can edit your own profile any time your circumstances or preferences change.  
Complete your Volunteer Profile either online or in paper form at church on Sunday, Nov. 5 to participate in our raffle. A photographer will also be on hand after services on Nov. 5 to take photos for the directory - make sure you take advantage of this opportunity! 

For questions, contact Larry Gottschalk at larry.gottschalk@yahoo.com, or visit our "Connected Church" table on Sundays in the Social Hall.
Association of Universalist Women Fall Retreat Nov. 4
Saturday, Nov. 4 is the Association of Universalist Women (AUW) Fall Retreat: Wide Open Heart, which will take place at First Universalist Church from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Singer-songwriter Ellis will share her music in a program that will help you find strength and joy in cultivating an open heart (even when the world seems to be going crazy all around you).  In addition, participants will be able to sign up for two workshops and be treated to lunch provided by Food for Equity. Workshops include Belly Dancing, Nia, Beading, Painting, Handwriting Analysis, and much more.
This retreat, open to all women, will be a great way to relax, renew friendships, and share new experiences. Free child care is available with one week notice (fill out the form here). 

The cost for the day long event is $35 for AUW members and $45 for non-members.
Registration is open through October 29 on AUW's website.
Contact Marilyn Lamoreux at 612-388-3796 or Ann Styx at 612-325-6747 with questions.
Why Are Sandy, Karen, and Elaine Crying?
You decide:
The sadness of understaffed usher and greeter teams.
The overwhelming joy of so many Sunday hospitality volunteers!

This fall, we find ourselves without enough ushers and greeters on Sunday mornings. Unfortunately, this means that we aren't consistently able to offer the kind of warm welcome that lives at the heart of our mission. 
Could you volunteer at one Sunday service a month as an usher or a greeter?  To help you in your discernment, we've created this helpful FAQ:
I've heard that these are the most difficult, stressful volunteer jobs at church.
Actually, they're some of the easiest! All you have to do is show up a little early and stay a little late for one service, once a month. Responsibilities include smiling, saying "Hello," and a few simple tasks. If anyone has questions you can't answer, just refer them to Sandy DiNanni.
What's the difference between ushering and greeting?
Ushering = Handing out programs, simple set-up tasks for worship, and taking the collection.
Greeting = Welcoming people at the doors and in social hall, welcoming new families, staffing coffee stations in social hall
Sorry, I only do volunteering that involves a free t-shirt.
Every greeter on our Welcome Teams receives a free First Universalist t-shirt.
I hate it when people choose my schedule for me.
No worries! You get to choose which Sunday of the month and which service will work best for you.
Will I have a chance to meet people and feel more connected?
How do I sign up?
Contact Sandy DiNanni at Sandy@firstuniv.org about greeting, and Karen Larson  at  karentischlerlarson@gmail.com  about ushering.
First U Co-Sponsoring "Seeing the Racial Water" with Dr. Robin DiAngelo, 11/18 at Unity Church-Unitarian
First Universalist is co-sponsoring a workshop with Dr. Robin DiAngelo that will take place at Unity Church-Unitarian in St. Paul on Saturday, Nov. 18, 1-4 p.m. Dr. DiAngelo will describe the way race shapes the lives of white people, explain what makes racism so hard for white people to see, and identify common white racial patterns that prevent us from moving towards greater racial equity. Although the focus is on white racial identity development, people of color may also find the analysis valuable as it is one that is rarely affirmed or provided in mainstream society. Join the Facebook event for this workshop here.

Dr. Robin DiAngelo is a two-time winner of the Student's Choice Award for Educator of the Year from the University of Washington. Her scholarship is in White Racial Identity and Race Relations. In addition to her academic work, Dr. DiAngelo was appointed to co-design the City of Seattle's Race and Social Justice Initiative Training. She has numerous publications and books, including, "What Does it Mean to be White?: Developing White Racial Literacy." Her work on White Fragility has influenced the national dialogue on race and been featured in Alternet, Salon, NPR, PBS, The New York Times, The Atlantic, Slate, and Colorlines.

Thanks to sponsors, THIS EVENT IS FREE! Sponsors include Unity Church-Unitarian, First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis, First Universalist Church of Minneapolis, White Bear UU Church, United Theological Seminary, Kaleo Center, and MUUSJA.

Child Dedication: Sign Up Forms Due this Sunday!
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. During the 2017-2018 church year, Child Dedication Rituals will be held on Sundays, November 5 and May 13 at both services. Infants and children of members and those on the path to membership at First Universalist may be dedicated. Learn more and sign up online here  . The sign up deadline for the Nov. 5 child dedication is this Sunday, Oct. 29!
Environmental Justice Team Gathering to Honor Joy Throm
Saturday, Oct. 29, 2-5 p.m. in the Social Hall at church 
The Environmental Justice Team is hosting a celebration for First U member Joy Throm on Sunday, Oct. 29 from 2 to 5 p.m. in the social hall. After decades of service to the church, the environment, and the arts, congregants and friends of  Joy will gather to w ish her the best on her upcoming travel adventures! The hosts ask that you b ring a light appetizer (finger foods) and/or beverage to share and c onsider staying after the gathering to help with clean-up.
Global Gift Fair to Be Held on Sunday, Nov. 26
This year's Global Gift Fair will be held on Sunday, Nov. 26 (the Sunday after Thanksgiving) from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Social Hall. As in the past, we have invited the participation of those organizations/vendors with which we have deep connections. This is your chance to one-stop shop for gifts that are reasonably priced and whose profits benefit our larger community. Read about this year's vendors here. Join us in this annual favorite!
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.
In This Place: What Makes a Place Holy?
Oct. 27 - Dec. 3, 2017, The Phipps Center for the Arts, Hudson, Wisc. 

In This Place is a multi-faceted exhibition exploring the question "What makes a place holy?" Its focus is on the lands of the Qur'an, the Torah, and the Bible, from ancient times to the present, and on the multiplicity of ways people experience these places as holy. The artists come from three religious traditions: Hend Al-Mansour is Muslim, Susan Armington is Christian, and Sylvia Horwitz is Jewish. An opening celebration will take place on Sunday, Oct. 29 from noon to 2 p.m. Learn more about the exhibit and related programming here.
Community Discussion of Police Violence
Following Justine Damond's Killing
Monday, Oct. 30, 7-8:30 p.m. at Lake Harriet United Methodist Church

You are invited to a community discussion organized by Justice for Justine Damond Ruszczyk. A panel moderated by Rev. Dr. Rebecca Voelkel and Rev. Ashley Harness will share experiences and discuss the effects of police violence in our neighborhoods. Panelists include Dr. Jason Sole, President of the Minneapolis NAACP, Jaylani Hussein, Executive Director of Minneapolis CAIR, and neighbors of Justine Damond. 
Quaker Songwriter/Activist Carrie Newcomer to Perform Concert
Saturday, Nov. 11 at Hamline Church United Methodist in St. Paul
Carrie Newcomer will be performing a very special concert at Hamline Church United Methodist in St. Paul, MN on Saturday, Nov. 11 at 7 p.m.  Carrie is a singer-songwriter and social justice advocate who weaves her progressive spirituality into her lyrics and music. Barbara Kingsolver wrote, "Carrie Newcomer is much more than a musician. She's a poet, storyteller, snake-charmer, good neighbor, friend and lover, minister of the wide-eyed gospel of hope and grace."  For more information about Carrie Newcomer, visit:  www.carrienewcomer.com . Get info about the concert and purchase tickets 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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