January 4, 2018  |  Vol. 5 No. 1
For a New Beginning
Rev. Justin Schroeder
In his poem, "For a New Beginning," poet John O'Donahue writes, in part:

"This beginning has been quietly forming,
Waiting until you were ready to emerge...

Though your destination is not yet clear
You can trust the promise of this opening...

Awaken your spirit to adventure;
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm,
For your soul senses the world that awaits you."

Whatever we experienced in 2017, we are beginning a New Year, an opportunity to engage our lives in new ways, to re-awaken to the adventure that is our life. This Sunday, we begin the New Year together, with our annual Remembrance Sunday, a time when we reflect on our losses over the past year and honor those we love who have died. This service is also an opportunity to mark other significant losses in the life of your family, such as a separation or divorce, saying goodbye to friends who've moved away, the passing of an animal companion, or the loss of a home, job, or familiar school community. You're invited to bring a photo or memento of a loved one, or something beloved that you are remembering, to the sanctuary for our shared altar that we will build on Sunday morning. Let us hold nothing back during this service, as we feel the grief of our losses, and the strength of our bonds to one another, to those we love, and to our ancestors. Let us feel these losses as we discover the new rhythms of our lives.

And if grief is a companion that is traveling with you right now, you are lovingly invited to join our Grief Group which begins meeting at the end of January (register for that group here ). We have a number of Care Circles (like the Grief Group), Soul Matters Circles, Spiritual Deepening Circles, Young Adult Circles, and Racial Justice Spiritual Deepening Circles that begin at the end of January and early February. Not only are these Circles a place to grow, mend, and deepen your spiritual life, but they are also Circles of accountability and deep friendship. Our hope is that every person in this large church is connected in a smaller Circle of some kind, where you are known and know others. You can sign up for Circles and Adult Programming here.

May 2018 bring unexpected moments of grace, insight, clarity, commitment, and resolve.

I'll see you in church!

In faith,

Worship this Sunday
Sunday, Jan. 7, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m.
Sharing Sunday for all ages
Remembrance Sunday:
"Why is Grief Important Now?"
Rev. Ruth MacKenzie
Author Francis Weller writes that grief is a powerful form of "soul activism." In this time of losses - those that cut close to the bone, the sorrows of the world - grief invites us to remember our bonds - to one another, to ancestors, to place. Where is the grief in your life, and how might it activate your soul and the soul of our communities?  Remembrance Sunday is a time to reflect on our losses over the past year and to honor those we love who have died. It is also an opportunity to mark other significant losses, such as a separation or divorce, or the loss of a home or job.  You're invited to bring a photo or memento of loved ones you are remembering for our shared altar.
A Look Ahead
Sunday, Jan. 14, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m.
Rev. Justin Schroeder
"Fierce Loving"
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Sunday
Youth-Friendly Worship

Recent Sermon Podcasts
December 31, 2017
"Hope Sings"
Rev. Justin Schroeder

December 24, 2017
"Wisdom of the Four-Leggeds"
Rev. Ruth MacKenzie

December 17, 2017
"A New Work Is Come"
Rev. Justin Schroeder

December 10, 2017
"Stubborn Hope"
Rev. Justin Schroeder
Listen to the podcast
January Worship Theme: Loving
(detail) Anahita, Danami, and Roya, 72"x 60" oval, Oil, pastel, and acrylic on canvas, 2017, by Leslie Barlow
This month, we are inspired by the work of Leslie Barlow, a young artist who has taken the art scene in the Twin Cities by storm. In her series of paintings called Loving, Ms. Barlow uses the Supreme Court ruling of 1967 against anti-miscegenation (or anti interracial marriage) laws, as the launching pad for her study of family, challenging perceived family normalcy and the lack of representation of diverse family dynamics. Her series invites us into the extraordinary of ordinary love in all different kinds and variety of families. This month we explore Loving. The people we love. The variety of families from which we were born, and the big-hearted call to Love found in the very DNA of our family of faith.
Newcomer Circle
Tuesdays, Jan. 9, 16, 23 & 30, 7-8:30 p.m.
Recent visitors and new members are invited to join a Newcomer Circle! These 4-session gatherings of 6-10 newcomers offer a chance to explore core Unitarian Universalist values, reflect on our spiritual journeys, and connect with other folks who are new to church. Sign up by emailing Sandy@FirstUniv.org. We look forward to meeting you!
Open Labyrinth Walk
Thursday, Jan. 11, 6:30-8 p.m.
First Universalist's Labyrinth is located in the Social Hall. Each month September - May, we offer an open walk on the second Thursday of the month. You are welcome to arrive any time between 6:30 and 8 p.m. Walk at your own pace, and stay as long or short as you like. Allow at least 15 minutes for a full fast walk. A member of the Labyrinth Circle will be available to offer guidance. 
Faith Delegate/Caucus Training
Saturday, Jan. 13, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Join with other Minnesotans of faith to transform our politics and state in 2018.  ISAIAH  leaders and their partner organization, Faith in Minnesota, have come together to develop a 2018 Faith Agenda, which represents shared social justice values and proposed policy priorities.  The first step is faithful participation in our civic life through caucusing on February 6. Join us for a Faith Delegate/Caucus training at church on Jan. 13.  Faith Delegates are leaders who are committed to put racial and economic justice at the heart of our politics by committing to bring our faith agenda into public decisions through caucuses and party conventions in June 2018. Learn more.
Young Adults Group: Service Project
Saturday, Jan. 13, noon-2 p.m.
Join up with other young people in their 20s and 30s to nurture the spirit, enjoy good company, and have fun! Join the group on Facebook for up-to-date information. The Young Adults group meets on Saturday, Jan. 13, noon-2 p.m. at church to work on a service project. Hang out with some great people, help around the facility with deep cleaning or painting, eat treats, and stick around to play some games! Come for a bit or stay the whole time. Contact Richard via email (RichardLopez229@gmail.com) with any questions.
Artist's Reception with Leslie Barlow
Sunday, Jan. 14, 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
Paintings by artist Leslie Barlow are on view in the sanctuary and social hall gallery January 7 through February 4. Leslie will be in the social hall to talk about her work after both services on Sunday, Jan. 14. Join us for an artist's reception to meet the artist and learn more about her and her work!
Using personal experiences as a mixed-race woman living in Minnesota as the foundation for her artwork, her paintings uplift marginalized stories and investigate the politics of representation, race, "otherness," and identity.  Learn more.
Daytime Connections:
Writing an Ethical Will
Thursday, Jan. 18, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Leaving an ethical will is a spiritual gift to others. It's also a gift to the writer who, in the midst of life, gets to clarify life values and lessons, allowing us to be known by others. We invite you to bring a personal notebook or journal for writing and a small keepsake to help spark life memories and insights. Led by First U member and legacy facilitator, Judy Young. Program begins at 11 a.m., followed by lunch at 1 p.m. A $5-10 donation for lunch is encouraged. Register by January 14 with Sandy at  sandy@firstuniv.org  or 612-825-1701.
Registration Now Open for
Winter Circles and Adult Programming
Enrich your spiritual life by joining a Circle and/or taking part in various learning opportunities at church this winter! Circles are groups of 8-10 committed participants who come together with a trained leader to nurture spiritual growth in community. Additionally, a wide variety of racial justice learning opportunities, from Spiritual Deepening Circles to workshops to book discussions and film screenings, are being offered this winter, as well as monthly programming for older adults (Daytime Connections) and young adults. Information about all of these offerings is now available online at firstuniversalistchurch.org and firstucircles.weebly.com and in Adult Programming Catalogs that will be available to pick up at church this Sunday. Registration for Circles is now open online at firstucircles.weebly.com through Sunday, Jan. 21.
New Office Hours in 2018
Beginning this first week of January, the church office will be open slightly different hours than in the past. The new office hours for 2018 are as follows:

10 a.m. - 8 p.m. Mondays
8:30 a.m. - 8 p.m. Tuesdays
10 a.m. - 8 p.m. Wednesdays
10 a.m. - 8 p.m. Thursdays
Closed Fridays and Saturdays
8 a.m. - 1 p.m. Sundays
Leslie Barlow Art on View Jan. 7 - Feb. 4 
Paintings by artist Leslie Barlow will be on display in the sanctuary and social hall gallery  January 7 - February 4 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. Her works often depict family, friends, and people in her community to reflect the subtle and not-so-subtle integrations of these ideas into individual lives and identities. 
Many of the paintings which will be on display at our church are from Leslie's Loving series. These paintings have gained wide recognition. In 2017, Leslie received a Foundation Award in the Minnesota State Fair Juried Exhibition for a large oil painting from this series. She has appeared in TPT's Minnesota Original, on the Minnesota Monthly Magazine's list of "Best New Art 2016," and was selected as "Artist of the Year" for 2016 in City Pages. In 2016 she was commissioned by the Minnesota Vikings to create six portrait paintings of iconic Vikings players. 

Leslie will be available to talk about her work after both services on Sunday, January 14.
Rumi and Islam: Insights for Our Time 
Dr. Alan Godlas
You are invited to a free special presentation by Dr. Alan Godlas, Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Georgia and a lifelong practitioner of Islamic Sufism, on Friday, Jan. 19, from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Cummins Room at First Universalist Church. Dr. Godlas speaks and translates poetry and writings from the original Arabic, Persian, and Turkish. In his teaching, he combines his knowledge of religion and spirituality with humor, compassion, commitment to Unity, and deep gratitude in order to further our understanding of ourselves as humans and as spiritual beings who are beloved by the One who created and sustains us. He is also known by his Sufi name, 'Abd al-Haqq,' meaning Servant of the Truth.  

First Universalist Church is hosting this Friday evening program, which is jointly sponsored by the Minnesota Shadhiliyya Sufi Community and the Jay Phillips Center for Interfaith Learning at the University of St. Thomas. This presentation is the prelude to a weekend-long workshop, January 20-21, at Sufi Center Minnesota in Bloomington, entitled "Rumi and Finding Spiritual Guidance in Dystopian America." All are invited! Full information about the workshop will be made available online at www.suficentermn.org.
The Minnesota Shadhiliyya Sufi Community invites you to join us as we walk the Sufi way of spiritual realization. Our teachings consist of centuries old formulas for helping the wayfarer travel through the stations of the self, the heart, the soul and the secret. All are welcome regardless of race, color or religion. Sufism is a path of attraction, not conversion. Come and find out whether the attraction of your heart is calling you.
Our Connected Church
To highlight our program efforts going forward, this volunteer connection symbol will accompany future updates about church volunteer matching.

Of the church congregants who have completed a volunteer profile so far, over 25% list both a passion for "Education & Literacy," and an interest in tutoring. 

Church member Joe Sweet says: "I serve as a tutor for residents of Camden Apartments in North Minneapolis through EMERGE's after-school program. The opportunity to help disadvantaged kids with their homework is my way to live-out my UU values. My volunteer energy and talent are best utilized when I can do something very practical, so this program is a perfect match for me.

"Since the beginning of the current school year, I meet up with the Camden kids for a two-hour block after school, 2-3 times per month, and help with homework (usually math). On a typical day, I'm working with 2-4 kids - all residents of Camden Apartments - and we do math worksheets and drills. Also, I am teaching them chess, which is a fun distraction and terrific complement to traditional schoolwork." 

We know that six church members currently tutor on two separate opportunities with EMERGE, one of our Faithful Action partners. If you're also interested, please contact Hal Schroer at halschroer@gmail.com . We'd also like to know how you express your passion for education and literacy.

Does an opportunity like this match your passion and interest? If you haven't done so yet, please pick up a volunteer profile from the kiosk on Sunday, list your passions and skills, and turn it in so we can reach out to you when a volunteer opportunity comes along that matches your profile.
Donations Needed for Augsburg Fairview Academy
Augsburg Fairview Academy (AFA) is a public charter high school offering a welcoming and supportive environment for students who have faced educational, economic, and racial barriers to achieve in the past. AFA is one of our six Faithful Action Community Partners; this is our 6th year for partnership with AFA. First Universalist is the primary support for the Hope and Food Closets; donations are needed throughout the school year. With gratitude, AFA staff and students made the following slideshow which tells about the school, its students and what our contributions mean to them. View the slideshow here.

"I don't have food at home, but I can get some before I leave school from the Hope Closet."
- AFA student
Donations for Hope Clothing Closet: men's and women's winter jackets (black or dark colors preferred, size M, L, X-L); winter hats, scarves, and gloves; hoodies; jeans for men and women; men's and women's underwear and socks. Clothing should be clean, teen appropriate, and in good repair. 
Donations for Hope Food Closet: single serving microwavable soups, mac & cheese, stews; fruit cups (mandarins are favorite); granola bars; trail mix; nuts. Toiletries: toothpaste and toothbrushes; men's and women's deodorant, shampoo, and conditioner; lotions; chapstick; condoms; sanitary products. Ethnic hair products highly desired. 

Bring items to the information desk in the social hall on Sundays or leave them on the shelves labeled AFA by 34th St. entrance.
Join Us for Our Habitat for Humanity Winter Work Days: Jan. 11, Feb. 8 & March 8
First Universalist has three Habitat for Humanity work days coming up in early 2018, and we'd love to have you on the crew! The dates are Thursdays, Jan. 11Feb. 8 and March 8

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 building and using tools? No worries! Your fellow volunteers and the Habitat site supervisor are there to help you. 
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.
Seeing All God's Children: An Interfaith Service Embracing Immigrants and Refugees
Sunday, January 7, 1-2 p.m. at Basilica of St. Mary (88 N 17th St, Minneapolis)
RSVP: http://www.tinyurl.com/seeingall

Please join ISAIAH, Ascension Catholic Church and The Basilica of Saint Mary for an interfaith service embracing immigrants and refugees. Through our testimony, prayer and music we will recognize our common bond and dignity as beloved children of God. We will celebrate a year of sanctuary, repent for the times we've failed to see each other as children of God, and pledge to see and talk about each other as a united community in both our personal conversations and in public discourse.

Special music will be provided by Mundus, the Basilica's resident world music ensemble (guest singers welcome) and community singing will be led by Ahmed Anzaldua from Border CrosSing. 
Mental Health Mondays
Monday, Jan. 8: "Creating Caring Communities" presented by NAMI at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church (4537 3rd Av S, Minneapolis, MN 55419)
Monday, Feb. 1: "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.
Join Our Mailing List
Subscribe to The Weekly Liberal here
Sign up to receive our weekly Children Youth & Family Ministries news here
Church Office Hours
Sundays  8 a.m.-1 p.m.
Mondays/Wednesdays/Thursdays  10 a.m.-8 p.m.
Tuesdays 8:30 a.m.-8 p.m.
Closed Fridays and Saturdays
Weekly Liberal Submissions
We encourage you to submit news!
Do you have an announcement that you'd like published in  The Weekly Liberal? Fill out our  online submission form. Edits for length and/or content may occur.  The Weekly Liberal  is compiled and edited by Communications Manager Jenn Stromberg. Past issues, deadlines, and policies can be found on our  website
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


Copyright © 2018. All Rights Reserved.