February 1, 2018  |  Vol. 5 No. 5
Deepening Their Ministry
Christa Anders, Board Secretary
A note from the Board of Trustees:

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

February Worship Theme: The Long Haul
Worship this Sunday
Sunday, Feb. 4, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m.
Sharing Sunday*
"Fractal Theology"
Rev. Justin Schroeder
What happens at the smallest level also happens at the largest level. The swirl in the river reflects the swirl of the galaxies. How can this knowledge give us strength and courage as we work for a more just world, taking the long haul view?
*Pre-K to 5th grade attend the first part of the service with their families.
A Look Ahead
Sunday, Feb. 11, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m.
Rev. Jen Crow
"Daily Renewal"

Recent Sermon Podcasts
January 28, 2018
"Loving Resistance"
Rev. Jen Crow

January 21, 2018
"The Limits of Love... or Limitless Love?"
Rev. Justin Schroeder

January 14, 2018
"Fierce Loving" 
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.
Open Labyrinth Walk
Thursday, Feb. 8, 6:30-8 p.m.
First Universalist's labyrinth is located in the social hall. Each month from September through May, we offer an Open Labyrinth Walk on the second Thursday of the month. You are welcome to 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.
Annual State of the Church Meeting
Sunday, Feb. 11, 12:30 p.m.
Please join us for our annual State of the Church meeting after the second service on Sunday, Feb. 11 (12:30 p.m.). At this meeting, the Board of Trustees and Staff of the Church will share updates on where we've been and where we're going! We will share a story about the history of our building that was discovered as the Building Team has been working with our architects on building and renovation plans and lay some groundwork for governance changes. We'll also share a high-level mid-year budget update and a look at upcoming programs and events. We have so much to be proud of as a faith community, and big goals still in front of us. 
Workshop: A Conversation for White People Newly Seeking to be Anti-Racist
Sunday, Feb. 11, 1-2:30 p.m.
In this moment, many white people are answering the call to racial justice action and getting engaged for the first time. 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," or "I'm colorblind"? Does the statement, "If it's not intersectional feminism, it's white supremacy" leave you baffled? This group is for you! Please join us for this conversation on how white people can thoughtfully engage in anti-racism work! Register by emailing sandy@firstuniv.org or calling 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 in our living.  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 the laws still being upheld in the U.S. and Canada. The film begins by examining 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.
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.
Habitat Work Day: Additional Help Needed Feb. 8 
First Universalist has a Habitat for Humanity work day coming up next week on Thursday,  Feb. 8 , and we could use a couple more people on the crew. This work day will be a bit different from our usual work days; instead of constructing a new home or rehabbing an existing one, we'll be working at Habitat's Panel Plant in NE Minneapolis. 

The Panel Plant is where the wall panels used in building Habitat homes are constructed.  Getting walls built during the winter months helps Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity stay on track in terms of their busy summer construction schedule. 

Volunteers must be over sixteen years of age, and 16- and 17-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 building and using tools? Your fellow volunteers and the Habitat site supervisor are there to help! 
Last Chance to View Leslie Barlow Exhibit 
Two of Leslie's large paintings from the Loving series on on view in the sanctuary.
This Sunday is your last chance to view the exhibit of work by Leslie Barlow, which has been on display here at church in the sanctuary and social hall gallery since early January.

Primarily an oil painter, Leslie's work explores complex social issues like race, multiculturalism, "otherness," and identity . She investigates these through the use of the personal, revealing her own experiences as a mixed-race woman living in Minnesota. 

Many of the paintings that are on display at church are from Leslie's  Loving  series, which has gained wide recognition. Leslie has appeared on TPT's Minnesota Original ,  and in 2016 she was commissioned by the Minnesota Vikings to paint six portraits of iconic players.
Donations for Joyce Food Shelf
In 2017, our church donated a total of 801 pounds of food to our local food shelf.  The food shelf provides clients with a three-day supply of nutritionally balanced food once a month. They also make referrals to other agencies for additional services. The total number of individuals served in 2017 was 10,848. The average number of individuals served per month was 904 (337 households). A third of them were under the age of 17.

Here are some facts about hunger in Minnesota:
  • One in eight children in Minnesota is at risk for hunger.
  • 14% of the children served by Minnesota food shelves are forced to skip a meal because there is not enough food at home; 47% of their parents skip meals as well.
  • 56% of food shelf visitors are families with children.
  • 15% of food shelf clients are seniors.
  • More than 50 percent of adult food shelf clients are employed.
Please consider donating nonperishable food to Joyce Food Shelf by placing items on the shelves in the front lobby. Thank you!
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. 4, 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. Support two Faithful Action programs at the same time!
What is YCE? 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 now 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.
Twin Cities UU High School Youth CON/stellation
Registration closes this Sunday!

High school youth are invited to join other UU teens from around the Twin Cities for an overnight event including great food, fellowship, youth-led workshops and meaningful worship! This year's Twin Cities UU High School Youth CON/stellation is being held Saturday, Feb. 17 at 10 a.m. to Sunday, Feb. 18 at 11:30 a.m., and is being hosted by First Unitarian SocietyVisit this website for more information and to register.
First Universalist Foundation Nominations Due Feb. 5
The First Universalist Foundation board is beginning its 2018 granting season and wants to know which organizations you think would be good candidates for a grant. At this time, we are particularly interested in organizations that address human rights at risk and organizations whose leadership includes people of color, women, or other underrepresented groups. This year, the Foundation will be granting up to 10 smaller grants (up to $5,000) and up to 5 larger grants (up to $20,000).

If you would like to nominate an organization, fill out the nomination form:  First Universalist Foundation Nomination Form 2018 The Foundation is accepting nominations until Monday, Feb. 5. Questions? E mail the Foundation board: foundation@firstuniv.org.
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! For those who don't live near the church, 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
Mental Health Connect: Stigma Impact Checklist
First Universalist is part of Bethlehem Lutheran's Mental Health Connect (MHC) program, which assists individuals and families in accessing and navigating mental health services. Each member church has Ambassadors dedicated to spreading awareness of MHC, starting conversations about mental health, bringing resources to the community, and more.
We are happy to continue our "Make It OK" initiative to de-stigmatize mental health conditions and to encourage us all to talk more openly about mental illness. Access this week's short interactive learning experience, Make it OK's "The Stigma Impact Checklist, " here. Together, by learning more, we can increase our understanding of mental health, open our minds and hearts and take steps to Make it OK.
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, FAAP, DFAACAP, 
Chief Executive Officer & Chief Medical Officer of Praestan Health
, at Mt. Olivet Lutheran Church (Minneapolis Campus 5025 Knox Ave., Minneapolis, MN 55419) 
You will come to understand the Fight, Flight and Freeze response and how chronic stress, trauma and anxiety can lead to systemic health, and cognitive, emotional and behavioral problems. Dr. Sulik will teach through stories and examples and help us to understand how individuals with anxiety are so easily misinterpreted, misunderstood and misdiagnosed. He will review approaches to prepare an individual to change the conditioned patterns that often develop as a result of chronic anxiety and will 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 with varying topics/speakers 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. All are welcome to attend! No registration necessary. More info.
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.  Jose Santos, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Metropolitan State University, will begin the conversation by speaking on his research about what it means to be male in today's society. Those ideas will be expanded upon through your choice of four workshops: Courageous Communications, Shame and Blame, Intimacy, and Spiritual Practice.  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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Mondays-Thursdays  8:30 a.m.-8 p.m.
Closed Fridays and Saturdays
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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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