April 6, 2017  |  Vol. 4 No. 14
Deepening Our Interfaith Partnerships: What's Next in Our Relationship with Masjid An-Nur?
Rev. Justin Schroeder
This past February, Imam Makram El-Amin, from Masjid An-Nur (Mosque of the Light), was our guest speaker in worship. Makram and I have been in a multi-faith Downtown Minneapolis Clergy Group for over six years. It was a joy to welcome him to First Universalist. Prior to his speaking at First Universalist, we had met a number of times to figure out how we might build a long term relationship between our two faith communities. His guest preaching was the first step, and we're pleased to share what's next.

On Friday, April 21, at 1:30 p.m., we've been invited to attend a service at the Mosque. Following the service, those who are able to are invited to stay for a light meal and conversation with members of the Mosque. We've been invited to bring a group of 25 people from First Universalist. If you're interested, please sign up here  .

The next step during our partnership will happen during Ramadan -- May 25 - June 25. We haven't chosen a day yet, but the intention is to have a group of First Universalist members and friends fast for a day, and then join members of the Mosque in the Iftar Meal, in the breaking of the fast.

Finally, in October, we'll join Masjid An-Nur and many others, in their Annual Day of Dignity Event. More details to come.

In these days of divisive rhetoric, religious intolerance, and fear-mongering, our faith calls us to travel outside of the familiar pathways we know and to build deep and lasting relationships with our neighbors. The world we long to see is born out of such relationships, relationships that honor difference, that strive to learn from one another, and that wish to do a good thing together.

Every blessing,

P.S. I hope you'll join us on Pledge Day, April 26!
Worship this Sunday
Sunday, April 9, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m.
"The Growing Edge"
Rev. Elaine Aron Tenbrink
Rev. Howard Thurman writes: "All around us life is dying and life is being born. The fruit ripens on the tree, the roots are silently at work in the darkness of the earth against a time when there shall be new leaves, fresh blossoms, green fruit. Such is the growing edge!" In this time when so much is transforming in the world around us, what growing edge are we encountering in our own internal landscape? What is it asking us to let go? To embrace? Join us for an inquiry into inner transformation and a (re)discovery of the abundance that surrounds us even in the most barren of times.
A Look Ahead
Sunday, April 16, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m.
Easter Sunday, Multigenerational Worship
Rev. Justin Schroeder

Recent Sermon Podcasts
April 2, 2017
"Seeking Transformation?"
Rev. Justin Schroeder
Listen to the podcast
March 26, 2017
"Risking Hope"
Rev. Jen Crow
March 19, 2017
"The Space Between"
Rev. Margaret Weis
Seeking Transformation?
"Transformation isn't guaranteed... Unless we dare to move deeply in, and through, and beyond the known patterns and pathways of our lives, our culture, our history, our racial identity, our habits... transformation is unlikely."

Both the wisdom story and sermon that Rev. Justin shared this past Sunday introduced our April worship theme of Transformation. If you weren't able to join us for worship, listen to the podcasts and see if you can figure out at which point during the wisdom story this photo was taken!
Pledge Day is Wednesday, April 26!
Join us at church on Wednesday, April 26, 4 to 8 p.m., for a free celebration of our community, including dinner catered by The Sioux Chef, BINGO, a bouncy house, prizes, fellowship, and more! 

All are welcome to join us at this family-friendly event any time between 4 and 8 p.m. Kids can enjoy the bouncy house between 4 and 6:30 p.m., dinner is buffet-style and will be available between 5 and 6:45 p.m., and bingo for all ages begins at 6:30 p.m.

Dinner will be catered by The Sioux Chef, a company dedicated to revitalizing indigenous food systems and knowledge.  The menu includes smoked turkey, wild rice and roasted vegetables, greens & seeds salad, and cornbread. Everything is gluten free, has no refined sugars, and - with the exception of the turkey - is vegan as well.

Please RSVP here  and let us know how many adults and children are in your party.

What's Different About Pledge Day This Year?
Because the annual pledge drive is being run alongside the capital campaign, Pledge Day 2017 is more of a day to celebrate, and less of a day to make your pledge. This year, we're inviting everyone to make their annual pledge during their capital campaign visit. A fellow church member will be reaching out to you to schedule a conversation; you may also reach out to our campaign consultant Skip Schlafer at skipschlafer@jdklote.com to request a visit. If you have not had your visit by April 26, you are welcome to make your annual pledge on Pledge Day. Our goal is to have as many annual pledges as possible made by Pledge Day so that the budget for the coming year can be finalized.  Thank you for your generosity and support of this church community!
MN350 Presentation on
Enbridge Line 3 Crude Oil Pipeline: "Minnesota's Next Standing Rock?"
Sunday, April 9, 1-3 p.m., Cummins Room
Enbridge Energy, a Canada-based firm, wants to push through yet another massive crude-oil pipeline that would be a disaster for the climate, cross protected treaty territory, and threaten water supplies across Minnesota.  This project, the Line 3 pipeline, would replace a deteriorating existing pipeline, nearly doubling its capacity. The Environmental Justice Team has invited Kathy Hollander and Justin GreyDay of the activist group  MN350  to clarify the major issues for Line 3. Please join us after worship this Sunday for this informative presentation!
From Heavy-Heartedness to 
Living Our Intentions
Thursday, April 13, 7 p.m., Sanctuary
In February, First Universalist members offered a beautiful service of singing, music, truth telling and reflection, as we named the heavy heartedness we were experiencing. Together, we held space for one another and found ways to move with and in spite of our own heavy heartedness. We set an intention that over the course of 40 days, we would contemplate and discern how we would faithfully move forward.  Please join us next Thursday as we reconvene in song and reflection, naming how we will move forward with resolve, commitment, and love.
Open Labyrinth Walk
Thursday, April 13, 6:30-8 p.m., Social Hall
Join us for an open walk of our Labyrinth, located in the social hall. Arrive any time between 6:30 and 8 p.m., depending on how long you wish to be on the Labyrinth. Walk at your own pace, and stay as long or short as you like. 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. For more information, contact: Ann Hobbs, 763-546-3337 or g.annhobbs@gmail.com.
Young Families Easter Party
Saturday, April 15, 9-11 a.m., Chalice Rm
Come celebrate Easter 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 a light breakfast of bagels and fruit followed by games, crafts, egg dying and egg hunting for all.  Don't forget your Easter basket!  Please RSVP  here .
Daytime Connections: Resilience
Thursday, April 20, 11 a.m., Social Hall
Given the increasing uncertainties, losses, and challenges of aging, how can you be resilient?  Drawing on her research related to family resilience, Joan Patterson  will guide us through an exploration of resilience - what it means, who has it, how they got it and most of all, how YOU can tap you own capacity for resilience.  Program begins at 11 a.m., followed by lunch at 1 p.m. A $5-10 donation is encouraged.  RSVP to Sandy at 612-825-1701 / sandy@firstuniv.org Through  Daytime Connections , older adults empower each other to live intentional, joyful, purposeful, and spiritually fulfilled lives.
Racial Justice and Our UU Faith Workshop
Saturdays, April 22 and 29, 9-11:30 a.m., Cummins Room
Join us for a workshop exploring a framework and tools for understanding race, racism, and whiteness and the spiritual imperative that drives our racial justice work. This is a distilled experience of the 24-hour training offered by Dr. Heather Hackman.
This is a two-part workshop offered on Saturdays, April 22 & 29, from 9-11:30 a.m., and led by Clemma Muller.
To register, contact Sandy DiNanni at  Sandy@firstuniv.org or 612-825-1701.
Impacts of Climate Change in
Central America Forum
Saturday, April 22, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Join us in the social hall on Earth Day for dessert and coffee to discuss climate change impacts in Central America. Three panelists with expertise in agriculture, water policy, and tropical ecosystems, in addition to PML's Director in León, Nicaragua, will talk about a project in rural San Carlos to obtain clean drinking water.  First Universalist's Environmental Justice group is co-hosting this event with the Project Minnesota/León (PML), the non-profit that facilitates our Youth Cultural Exchange program.
Senior Hike with Daytime Connections
Thursday, April 27, 10 a.m.
Join  other First U seniors for an easy hike on the  Lake Minnetonka LRT Regional Trail  near Excelsior.  Meet at 10 a.m. at Maynards  in Excelsior at 685 Excelsior Blvd., 55331.
We'll hike on an old rail bed (really flat!) of packed gravel. The trail offers scenic views of Lake Minnetonka and passes through Excelsior, Greenwood, and Deephaven. We'll hike east on the trail for about one hour, and then turn around and head back to the restaurant. If you prefer a shorter hike, you can simply turn around sooner and meet the others at the restaurant at about noon.  RSVP to Lisa and Eric Berglund at  lakemn@usfamily.net  or 763-559-0330.
Congregational Budget Meetings: April 30 & May 2
The Board of Trustees will share a draft budget with the Congregation at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 30 at a Congregational Budget Meeting, which will be held in the Sanctuary. After a presentation of the budget and its rationale, there will be an opportunity for questions. An additional meeting to share the draft budget will be held on Tuesday, May 2 at 6:30 p.m. in the Cummins Room. The board will prepare a final version of the budget for presentation to the Congregation at our Annual Meeting, which is scheduled for Sunday, June 4 at 11:30 a.m. (following the one 10 a.m. service).
Families Moving Forward: Time for Radical Hospitality
Mark your calendars! First Universalist will be hosting families who are  experiencing homelessness  during the week of  May 28 through June 3 . This is an incredible opportunity to show our hospitality to families  working hard to secure stable housing.  It is also a great opportunity for the involvement of our youth. The children of the families we host love having kids their age during the evening hours.  

We won't know the number of people or the ages of the children for several weeks, but we know that we need approximately 120 volunteers to do everything from making dinners and breakfasts, to staying overnight, planning activities, helping plan a Memorial Day picnic, and converting classrooms to bedrooms and back again at week's end.

We are also seeking people who are willing to take on coordinating responsibilities -- including meal planning and activity planning. Whatever your inclination, we welcome your interest by emailing  david.j.caccamo@gmail.com or  pegmitch16@gmail.com. If you have volunteered in the past, look for an invitation from SignUp Genius in the near future. We will also host a table in the Social Hall following services beginning  April 16.  

While you are marking your calendar, know that this opportunity will repeat during the weeks of  August 20 and 27. Pencil in those dates and plan around them if you are able! 
Changing Times: Exhibit by MN Contemporary Quilters
Every spring, Minnesota Contemporary Quilters are challenged to make a small quilt that will travel for a year to venues throughout the Twin Cities, the Minnesota Quilt Show, and other locations around the state. The 2016-2017 inspiration for these quilts was the phrase: "Changing Times." Thirty members took the challenge and were inspired to come up with a quilt that they thought best fit the phrase. Some quilters took a serious approach, while others had a more light-hearted take on it. Enjoy interpretations of "Changing Times" ranging from our planet, to aging bodies, to baby diapers!

The exhibit will be on view in the gallery space in the social hall from April 9 through May 14, and can be viewed on Sunday mornings before and after services.
Call for Worship Associate Applications for 2017-18
Do you love worship? Do you have a flair for writing? Does your heart soar when you're telling a story about your own spiritual journey? Please consider applying to be a Worship Associate this year.

Here's what Worship Associates say about being a part of this group....

I have been speaking in public since I was 12 years old. I do it professionally. But it was always about someone or something else. Being a Worship Associate has given me a chance to speak my truth, to be vulnerable, and to share my heart. (Ginger Murphrey)

The worship associate circle expanded my soul in ways that I could not have imagined. Gathering with such a wonderful group has made me feel more connected to the church. (Benjamin Miles)

Worship Associates speak 2 or 3 times during the church year in our worship services, September through May. Associates and Rev. Justin Schroeder gather during the year to discuss themes for upcoming months, talk about writing for oration, review how to lay out a manuscript, and practice public speaking.

If this interests you:
  • Write a 500 word piece about your experience with forgiveness .
  • Submit your manuscript to Rev. Justin Schroeder at: justin@firstuniv.org
  • Deadline for submissions is May 17, 2017.
The Worship Team will be choosing applicants that represent the multi-generational, multi-cultural, multi-racial congregation we are becoming.

Augsburg Fairview Academy Prom at First U
Augsburg Fairview Academy (AFA) will hold its prom in our Social Hall on  Saturday, April 29 . We are pleased to offer our space to AFA as one of our community partners and as part of our mission to make our building available to the community. Here's how you can help:

Donate teen appropriate prom dresses and men's suits (small, medium, and large). Please bring donations to the Hub on Sunday, April 9 or 16.

Donate home baked goodies (cupcakes requested). Bring items to the social hall on Saturday, April 29 between 10 a.m. and noon when the hall is being decorated or between 5 and 6 p.m. before prom begins. The prom's theme is "Starry Night" with the colors gold, silver and black. Cupcakes with gold and silver sparkles would be a hit, for example!

AFA is a public charter high school for students who have not been successful in the public schools. Many are homeless or marginally housed. The prom is a "very big deal" to the students as they have so few extracurricular activities. First U has supported AFA in various ways for the last five years.  Many thanks for your ongoing generosity and support!  
Tell Us Your Story!
Have you seen the posters up at church in recent weeks, highlighting stories from various members and friends about why they love First Universalist? Would you like to share your story? If so, we'd love to hear it!

If you're willing to write a testimonial, we would love to hear from you and share it with our entire congregation. When paired with a picture, we can meet each other through our words and images, strengthening our community one story at a time.  We want everyone to be represented in these stories: children, youth, families, singles, new members and long-term ones - everyone has stories to tell, and we hope to capture many of them.

The more stories and photographs we collect, the more we get to meet each other and deepen our relationships. 

Please join in! Submit your story here. Thank you!
Scholarships to the People's Climate March in Washington D.C. on April 29
On April 29 - the 100th day of the Trump Administration - the People's Climate March will take to the streets of Washington, D.C., to show the world and our leaders that we will resist attacks on our communities, our climate, and our planet. People will come together from across the United States to build our movement. We will demonstrate our power and resistance at the gates of the White House.

Our community partner MNIPL, along with MN350, TakeAction MN, Sierra Club, and other local partners, are coordinating buses for members of Minnesota communities to head out together to Washington for the march.  You can obtain information on the bus trip, including three different overnight options, here. Trip details can be found here.
The Faithful Action Council has matched an earlier contribution to the church's Environmental Justice Team , establishing a $500 fund to subsidize bus transportation for congregants who want to participate in the March.   The amount of the First Universalist "scholarships" to individual travelers will depend on the number of responses.
You don't want to miss this moment!  There are three options for overnights, but roughly speaking, we will be away from Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday, April 26, 27, or 28 through Sunday, April 30.  If you are interested but have concerns about the expense involved, you are invited to ask the Environmental Justice Team to help defray that expense. Email Stan Sattinger at sattin501@gmail.com with your contact info; first come, first served.
Calling Housing Heroes and Advocates: Support Affordable Housing, End Homelessness
First Universalist is going to St. Paul on Tuesday, April 18 to advocate for affordable housing and to end homelessness as part of Habitat's "Habitat on the Hill" annual event. We will learn about housing need and proposed legislation investing in housing, and then meet with legislators in small groups led by a Habitat expert. It will be easy, and you will be in community doing important work that only we can do. People of color are disproportionately shut out of affordable housing and are most likely to experience homelessness. Public investment in affordable housing, shelter, and services provides a strong financial - and moral - return, providing better outcomes in education, income, job stability, health, and safe neighborhoods, and reducing racial disparities in housing and income.   

Please join Rev. Justin and First Universalist's Habitat leaders in St. Paul on  April 18. Register here and send a note to Joan Naymark at  jnaymark@gmail.com so we can coordinate a meeting place and possible car-pools. Thanks for all you've done, and all you will do, to make this world more equitable place. Endorsed by the Faithful Action Council.
The Environmental Justice Committee Invites You:
First Universalist's Environmental Justice Committee invites you to two upcoming events:

Minnesota Water Action Day at the Minnesota State Capitol with MN People of Faith
Wednesday, April 19, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. (come for all or part of the day!)
Access to clean, healthy water is under threat, making it an environmental justice issue of concern for Minnesota! Join us for a day of action to meet with lawmakers and rally to protect our water. Starts with morning trainings at nearby Christ Lutheran Church about the issues and helpful tips for talking with legislators. 
After you register, email Stan Sattinger at satinss@aol.com to help us facilitate carpooling and meetups. This event is sponsored by more than 20 organizations, including First U's Community Partner, MN Interfaith Power & Light. 

Public Hearing on Lake Calhoun/Bde Maka Ska Master Plan
Wednesday, April 19, 6:30 p.m.
Mpls Park & Recreation Board headquarters, 2117 West River Road
Interested community members are invited to attend the hearing and comment on MPRB's Master Plan creating a 25-year vision for Lake Calhoun/Bde Maka Ska, Lake Harriet, and surrounding parkland within Minneapolis Chain of Lakes Regional Park. Learn more. 
  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 Care 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.
Donations Wanted for Book/CD/DVD/Video Game Sale
Please consider supporting the Youth Cultural Exchange program by donating your used media items. Drop off your gently-used Books, CDs, DVDs and Video Games in the social hall this Sunday, April 9. The sale will take place on Sundays, April 23 and 30.  This summer, twelve First Universalist 8th and 9th grade youth will travel to Nicaragua where they will live with local families to gain cultural understanding and forge lasting cross-cultural friendships. Your donations and purchases will help us bring the twelve Nicaraguan host siblings to Minnesota for two weeks in 2018.  Questions?  Contact Eric Schaefer at 612-414-7515 or eschaefer1@yahoo.com.   Thank you for your support!
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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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