September 14, 2017  |  Vol. 4 No. 37
Dreaming Big
Rev. Jen Crow
This week has been full of meetings, but not the kind of meetings that leave you longing to escape. Energizing, hopeful, satisfying, and creative - these have been the hallmark feelings of the many meetings I've participated in this week as small groups of congregants and staff have gathered with our architects to further inform our vision of how our building can better support our mission. Welcoming Hospitality, Education, Social Justice & Racial Justice, Worship Experience, Building & Grounds, and Administration have been the topics of these meetings as we have listened deeply to the hopes and dreams we share.

With the successful completion of our capital campaign coming into view, we are hard at work gathering information that will allow us to make the best possible decisions about how to spend that money. Voices from all areas of congregational life are being heard by both our architects and our Building Team. The Building Team will ensure that a Racial Justice lens is being applied to all decisions, and will ultimately make recommendations to the Board of Trustees regarding the Capital Budget and the scope of our project. The Building Team is made up of church members and staff with experience in finance, construction, architecture, interior design, project management, and sustainability. Building Team members include: Keven Ambrus, Eric Cooperstein, myself, Christine Devens, Shawn Gaither, Paul Kloth, Kristen Mengelkoch, Christina Nicholson, Rev. Justin Schroeder, Jenn Stromberg, and Peter Styx.

In addition to the focus groups held last fall, attended by over 150 congregants, and the pre-design process led by our own in-house volunteers (who just happen to be architects and interior designers and leaders of our past capital campaign), we are listening again this fall to your hopes and dreams. You'll have a chance to meet our architectural team for open-house style listening sessions on both Sunday, Sept. 24 from 12:45-1:45 p.m. and again on Wednesday, Sept. 27 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Come dream big with us, and imagine how we might live even more fully into our mission of giving, receiving and growing.

In gratitude,
Rev. Jen

September Worship Theme: Intention (In Tension)
Worship this Sunday
Sunday, Sept. 17, 9:30 & 11:15  a.m.
First Day of Religious Education Classes
"Strategic Intentions"
Rev. Jen Crow
There are so many things to do and so many ways to be in the world. Where will we put our energy, and what will we choose? And then once we've made our choices, how will we keep up our focus and energy and hope when we continually fall short? The spiritual life calls us to live in that place of tension, striving ever more to align our actions with our values, living into our intentions. What strategic intentions might you set for yourself this fall? 
A Look Ahead
Sunday, Sept. 24, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m.
Moth Sunday: a service of storytelling

Recent Sermon Podcasts
September 10, 2017
"The Way of the River"
Rev. Jen Crow

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
Drop-In Capital Campaign Info Sessions 
Sundays, Sept. 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!
"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.  No expertise needed - all are welcome! 
Listening Sessions with the Architects
Sunday, Sept. 24, 12:45-1:45 p.m. & Wednesday, Sept. 27, 5:30-7:30 p.m. 
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 open-house format 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.  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, as well as ideas that were shared with us in capital campaign visits. 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. 
"Home on the Streets"
Minneapolis Mayoral Forum
Tuesday, Sept. 26, 7-8:30 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, moderated by local advocate for the homeless, Monica Nilsson.  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. Learn more.
1st Annual Lynn & Donna Elling Peace, Justice & Climate Change Forums
Forum I: "Implications of Climate Change for War and Peace"
Sunday, Oct. 1, 12:45 p.m. 
Climate change is not just a threat - it is also an opportunity for peace. In this panel discussion, three experts will discuss the threats posed by climate change, including weather-related disasters such as floods and drought, international conflicts due to water shortages, and population displacement. Panelists will also address how climate change problems offer opportunities for international collaboration and peaceful resolution of conflict. Having a common goal is widely understood to be a prime path for conflict resolution. Climate change is perhaps the superordinate problem facing the world and finding solutions will require a coordinated effort by all nations. Learn more.
Artist's Reception with Martha Bird
Sunday, Oct. 1 after both services 
Martha Bird's first love is basket weaving. In 1994, she enrolled in a basket class and fell in love with the materials. Her art-making has expanded over the years into a personal exploration that utilizes a variety of mediums. Her basket weaving, though, has brought her many new opportunities, including traveling to Ireland and exhibiting across the U.S. "Finding Focus: Returning to a First Love" is an exhibit that features her work with willow from her travels and is on display in the Social Hall through Oct. 1. Martha is a long-time member of First Universalist.  You're invited to an artist's reception on Sunday, Oct. 1, after both services (10:30 a.m. & 12:15 p.m.) for an opportunity to meet the artist and see more of her history in basketry.
Our Annual Events Calendar 2017-2018 is now available!
Grow Your Soul in a Circle: Soul Matters, Spiritual Deepening & More - Sign Up Open Through Oct. 1
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 are now available online and r egistration will be open through  Sunday, Oct. 1 .

Learn more about Soul Matters Circles!
Over the past two years, we have been getting to know Soul Matters, a small group curriculum that encourages participants to reflect more deeply on our monthly worship theme. Last spring, our community of facilitators decided to adopt Soul Matters as the core circle format at First Universalist. We hope that you will dive in and discover all that this soulful curriculum has to offer.

How do Soul Matters Circles work?  
At the start of each month, you will receive a packet of resources to help you go deeper with the worship theme. It includes poems, articles, YouTube videos, and more. This packet is your go-to text as you meet with your group and attend services throughout the month. The packet also includes questions for contemplation and spiritual exercises that invite you into deeper relationship with our worship theme.

Which Soul Matters Circle is for Me?  
We are offering two types of Soul Matters Circles this year. One meets for a shorter duration, with greater frequency, and asks no preparation. The other meets for a longer duration, with less frequency, and has simple preparation exercises. Which one is for you?

Association of Universalist Women (AUW) Fall Kickoff Dinner
Join the women of the AUW for a fun, free dinner event at First Universalist Church on Saturday, Sept. 23 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Learn what the Association of Universalist Women (AUW) has in store for this upcoming year and join us as keynote speaker Elizabeth Murry addresses the serious topic of, "How to Be an Ally", in a light-hearted Jeopardy style game. Special Guest, Rev. Elaine Aron Tenbrink will also be joining us. Newcomers welcome! Please register on our new website to reserve your seat!
More about the program with keynote speaker, Elizabeth Murry:  All marginalized populations need allies - women, people of color, individuals with disabilities and our LGBTQ friends. How to Be an Ally is a fun and interactive session that will challenge your knowledge, expand your awareness, and boost your power to be an ally!

Free childcare is available with a minimum of seven days' advance notice when you fill out this form
First Universalist Stories: Nora Sullivan
Each week we've been featuring a story submitted by members about what First Universalist means to them. This past spring, Nora Sulllivan shared :

Nora Sullivan
"Religion has been an important part of my life for the last seven years, but always as an act of observing others. As a Religious Studies major in college, I was fascinated by religion and its power to motivate people, and I saw how important interfaith work could be in uniting diverse communities. It wasn't until attending First Universalist twice, with one year in between the visits, that I finally allowed myself to emotionally connect to my own faith.

"The second time I came to First Universalist, I left feeling that I had found the home I didn't know I was looking for. The first time, I enjoyed the sermon and appreciated what I heard, but it wasn't the right time for me to find it. The year in between those two visits allowed me to transform into the person who was ready to dive fully into my own connection to the Holy. Within a month I decided to become a member of the First Universalist community, and to apply to Harvard Divinity School to become a UU minister.

"Though I am sad to be leaving, I am eager to use the foundation I've created here to build a life embedded in Unitarian Universalist principles of love and compassion. I am so grateful for the energy and guidance that I have gained from First Universalist, and I know it will support me no matter how my ministry develops."
Habitat for Humanity Fall/Winter Work Days
First Universalist has three upcoming Habitat for Humanity work days, and we'd love to have you on the crew! The dates are Thursdays, Oct. 19Nov. 9 and Dec. 14

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. 
Women's Ritual Circle: Open Ritual Dates This Fall
Self-identified women interested in earth-based and pagan spirituality are welcome to attend the upcoming open rituals of the Under Northern Skies Women's Ritual Circle. The circle is open to newcomers on Tuesday, Sept. 19 (Cummins Room); Thursday, Oct. 5 (Room 200); and Thursday, Oct. 19 (Cummins Room). For women who choose to join, there will be a commitment ritual on Friday, Nov. 3 in the Cummins Room, after which the circle will close to new members until next fall. Ritual begins promptly at 7:30 p.m. Contact Beth at for more information.
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.
Songs for Sanctuary Fundraiser 
Saturday, Sept. 16 at Our Saviour's Lutheran Church in Minneapolis
Join Our Saviour's Lutheran Church for "Songs for Sanctuary," a fundraiser to respond with beauty and support to the needs of immigrants in our midst.  The event will be held Saturday, Sept. 16, at 7 p.m. and will feature  Bret Hesla , composer and folk singer,  Kent Goodroad Piano , jazz pianist, and members of  Cienaños , the Honduran jazz band in town for the  Nobel Peace Prize Forum Money raised will provide support to local sanctuary and immigration reform efforts, including the work of  ISAIAH The English Learning Center , and material support to congregations providing sanctuary in Minnesota.  Come enjoy good music and support the work of providing sanctuary to people who are in fear of deportation in  the current political climate. Freewill admission, give what you can, no one is turned away. This is a children friendly event with childcare available.  Learn more.
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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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