March 2, 2017  |  Vol. 4 No. 9
Forward in Faith: Becoming a Sanctuary Church and Deepening our Relationship with Masjid An-Nur 
Rev. Justin Schroeder
On February 19, at a congregational meeting, we voted 221-0 to reaffirm our status as a Sanctuary Church, willing to house members of our larger community at risk of deportation. This vote reflects our public commitment to take a moral and religious stand, as we declare that no human being is illegal, and that as people of faith and moral conscience, we will not stay silent as families and communities are torn apart. This vote is but one part of our larger journey of education and action. 

This Sunday, March 5, at 1 p.m., our Sanctuary and Resistance Team is holding another panel discussion about Immigration and Refugee issues. I would encourage you to attend, and also to sign up for the Church's racial justice workshop, next offered April 22 and 29 from 9-11:30 a.m. Understanding race, racism, and whiteness is a critical component of being a Sanctuary Church and doing immigration justice work. If you're interested in supporting our Sanctuary and Resistance Team, please email:

It was a joy to welcome Imam Makram El-Amin as our guest speaker last Sunday (Makram is the Imam at Masjid An-Nur - Mosque of Light - at 1729 North Lyndale Ave.) He and I have been building our relationship over the past year, and we were overwhelmed and overjoyed by the response that our two communities find a way to "do a good work" together. We'll be meeting soon to figure out next steps and we'll keep you informed. Please be patient with us, as we're excited to build a long term, sustainable relationship between our two faith communities. We want to be thoughtful and intentional as we move forward.
I'll see you in church!
Rev. Justin Schroeder
P.S. - I hope you are among the 600+ people who have registered for our Capital Campaign Kickoff Party on March 11!      
Worship this Sunday
Sunday, March 5, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m.
"Risking a New Story"
Sharing Sunday*
Rev. Ruth MacKenzie 
In her book,  Braiding Sweetgrass, Potawatomi writer and scientist, Robin Wall Kimmerer tells the story of Sky Woman, the creation story told by many of the original peoples of the Great Lakes. It is a story of risk, commitment, collaboration and promise. In this service of song and story, we will explore the relationship between risk and beloved community, vulnerability and a chance for collective flourishing. Whether we enter risk of our own accord or are pushed into risk-taking by life circumstance, risk is the nature of authentic living, and we are called as people of faith to develop the spiritual musculature to meet it.
*Children ages 4 years to 4th grade attend the first part of the service.
A Look Ahead
Sunday, March 12, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m.
"Not for Ourselves Alone"
Rev. Justin Schroeder
Rev. Jen Crow

Recent Sermon Podcasts
February 26, 2017
"The Day of Religion"
Imam Makram El-Amin
February 19, 2017
"The Way It Is"
Rev. Jen Crow
February 12, 2017
"Poets, Prophets, and the Apocalypse (Or: Using Your Moral Power)"
Rev. Justin Schroeder
February 5, 2017
"Meeting this Moment"
Rev. Jen Crow
March Worship Theme: Risk
Risk is a dance with danger. It is stepping into a moment, unsure of what lies ahead. We may enter risk of our own accord or be pushed into risk-taking by life circumstances. Risk stands on the precipice of a failed attempt, a generative opening, or maybe a little of both. Whether we are comfortable with risk-taking or not, it is central to a whole and thriving life. There is no way to avoid it.  In this month, we explore the nature of risk, and the spiritual muscles we need to develop in order to meet it.
Film Screening: "13th"
Friday, March 3, 6-9:30 p.m.
What does the passage of the 13th Amendment in 1865 have anything to do with today? Everything.  The powerful and thought-provoking documentary "13th" analyzes the criminalization of African Americans, the US prison boom, and their relationship to the abolishment of slavery via the 13th Amendment. Co-sponsored by First U's Racial Justice Leadership Team and We The People MN. Learn more. RSVP and share on Facebook. 
Immigration & Refugee Panel
Sunday, March 5, 1-2:30 p.m.
As part of our Sanctuary and Resistance movement, we invite you to listen and learn from some of our immigrant and refugee neighbors as they discuss their lived realities in our community and in our country. 
Presented by members of Inquilinxs Unidxs Por Justicia and Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee (MIRAC). 
A Good Time for the Truth Book Discussions
Thursday, March 9, 7-8:30 p.m.
Thursday, March 16, 7-8:30 p.m.
In this provocative book, sixteen writers provide a range of perspectives on what it is like to live as a person of color in Minnesota. They bring us generously into experiences that we must understand if we are to come together in real relationships. The discussion will cover all essays in " A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota."  These are drop-in events, and discussion will be led by Suzanne Hay and Margaret Manderfield.
Open Labyrinth Walk
Thursday, March 9, 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 walk from 6:30 to 8 p.m. 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
Marital First Responders Training
Saturday, March 11, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Do people confide in you?  Marital First Responders is a training program for natural confidants who want to get better at helping friends and family members who confide in them about relationship problems. The training will help you be more intentional, confident, and effective when others come to you for support and perspective on relationship struggles. Trainer Bill Doherty, Ph.D., is a University of Minnesota Professor, marriage therapist, long-term Unitarian-Universalist, and co-founder of The Doherty Relationship Institute. A light lunch will be offered with a suggested $5 donation. To sign up, email Rev. Jen Crow at jen@firstuniv.orgMore information.
Capital Campaign Kickoff Party
Saturday, March 11, 5-11 p.m.
Thank you to the more than 600 members and friends who have signed up to attend our Capital Campaign Kickoff Party on March 11! We are looking forward to celebrating the launch of our capital campaign - all we've accomplished in the past and all that we envision for the future - with you. We'll enjoy dinner and entertainment at Minneapolis Event Centers at this party for all ages. Watch for an email with more information about the event next week.
March 16 Daytime Connections: Music and the Spirit
Join us for an exploration of the deep relationship between music and spirituality at our next Daytime Connections program on Thursday, March 16 at 11 a.m.

Carlos Santana once said, "Music rearranges your molecular structure." When we sing, we literally tug at our own hearts, moving energy and breath in our bodies. When we sing together, we rearrange the molecular structure of the community. It doesn't matter if you can carry a tune or not, if you are young or old; singing counts. 

Please join Rev. Ruth MacKenzie in this exploration of singing, theology, and the role singing plays in spirituality and justice making. We will sing, tell stories, delve into songs of spiritual awakening and resistance, and create our own song to buoy and enliven our hearts.

Program begins at 11 a.m., followed by lunch at 1 p.m. A $5-10 donation for lunch is encouraged.  Registration is requested for lunch planning: contact Sandy DiNanni at or 612-825-1701.

Through  Daytime Connections, older adults empower each other to live intentional, joyful, purposeful, and spiritually fulfilled lives.
Habitat Housing Heroes in the Social Hall this Sunday
Calling all Housing Heroes! Join us in the Social Hall after services on  March 5  to learn more about Twin Cities Habitat's public policy work and opportunities to get involved. Twin Cities Habitat public policy priorities include:
  • increasing affordable ownership opportunities,
  • promoting access to safe, stable, affordable housing across the entire continuum of housing,
  • promoting financial stability for individuals and families, and
  • cultivating and preserving healthy and vibrant communities. 
Advocacy staff from Twin Cities Habitat will be present with action opportunities to engage with lawmakers at the State Legislature and Minneapolis City Council. Beyond quick actions that day, you can sign up to visit with your legislators at the Capitol during Habitat on the Hill (Tuesday, April 18, 2017), and strike a pose in the Housing Hero photo booth!
The House that Love Built: An Update on Maikee Lee
In November 2014, Maikee Lee and her five children moved into the House That Love Built. Maikee, born in Laos, came to the U.S. from a refugee camp in Thailand  at age 5 with her parents. She learned English, attended school, and acquired a trade in medical tech. She was delighted to be approved for a Habitat Home in north Minneapolis.  

First Universalist Church raised over $100,000 in our 2013 Holiday Giving program with the goal of sponsoring a Habitat house. Our volunteers worked alongside Maikee to build the home, provided and set up household furnishings on the day of her move-in, planted landscaping provided Twin Cities Habitat, and supported her through her first year of homeownership.   

Today, Maikee and her family are thriving in their new home. They built a patio and fence to provide a safe place for the children to play year-round, host family gatherings, and maintain a well-organized, loving home where the kids study, play, and grow. She extends her gratitude to our church for the blessing of a home for her family. Here is a picture of the family at a recent birthday party --- such a normal, loving event with family.   

Thanks to everyone who helped make the House that Love Built possible through Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity. Your home-building, home-repair, financial contributions, and calls/advocacy with state elected officials are ways that we can make a stable home a possibility for many families in the future.
Sign Up for Habitat Build Dates in March and April
First Universalist has two remaining Habitat for Humanity work days this spring, and we'd love to have you on the crew! The dates are Thursday, March 9 and Thursday, April 13. Our March work site is in the Phillips neighborhood of Minneapolis and in April we'll be in North Minneapolis.  Sign-up for one or both days 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 you.
Nominating Committee Recruiting Applicants for Church Leadership Positions
The Nominating Committee is actively recruiting candidates for leadership positions on the Board of Trustees, the Foundation Board, and the Nominating Committee itself for the next church year. We believe the congregation is full of untapped talent and we encourage people to step forward and share their skills!

Board of Trustees: Trustees partner with the congregation and professional staff in shaping the vision and long-term goals of the church. They articulate these aspirations through policy and collaborate with the Senior Minister to see they are fulfilled.

Foundation Board: Board members serve as the stewards of our Foundation endowment. Members screen and select grant requests to non-profit organizations.

Nominating Committee: Committee members screen and recommend candidates to the congregation for vacant positions on the Board of Trustees, Foundation Board, and Nominating Committee.

Requirements: To qualify for any of these positions, you must be a member in good standing of the church. Elections occur at the Annual Meeting on June 4.  The application deadline is April 2, 2017. Applications should be submitted to For position descriptions and to download the application form, visit our website .
Hosting Families Moving Forward in 2017
Members and friends of First Universalist will once again host homeless families in our building through Beacon's Families Moving Forward program. The need for congregations willing and able to host is even greater this year, so we have committed to host for three weeks. We made that commitment, confident of the incredible generosity and heart of our congregation. 
Our hosting dates for 2017 are: May 28 - June 3, Aug. 20 - 26, and
Aug. 27 - Sept. 2 (we will hope to house the same families for this two week period).
Please mark your calendars and look for opportunities to sign up starting in April. We need approximately 100 volunteers per week to coordinate, cook, play with children, sleep over, set up and break down the rooms. This is a fantastic opportunity for families with kids K-12. To borrow a phrase from Geoff Lenox -- "This is what we do!"
- Your current coordinators, David Caccamo and Peg Mitchell
First Universalist to be CSA Pickup Site Again in 2017
Sogn Valley Farm offers weekly deliveries of fresh, organic vegetables through its CSA (community supported agriculture) program. For a second year, CSA shares can be picked up at First Universalist Church on Wednesdays from  3-8 p.m. ! And 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 5 and runs through early October (18 weeks), and costs $550 for a full share or $325 for a half share. Fall Share begins in early October and continues through the week of Thanksgiving (7 weeks), and is priced at $225. 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 to learn more about the farm and its CSA program and feel free to contact Dana with any questions:
Donations for Augsburg Fairview Academy
Your continued food and clothing donations are essential to help supply the Hope Food & Clothing Closets at Augsburg Fairview Academy. Here is what is most needed right now:

Donations for Hope Clothing Closet: Men's socks and underwear (t-shirts and briefs) - size M and L, men's jeans (size 30, 31 and 32), and women's underwear (size M and L). Wish list: basketball shorts. Always desired: hoodies; jeans for men and women (all sizes). Clothing should be clean, teen appropriate and in good repair. Dark colors preferred.

Donations for the Hope Food Closet: single serving microwavable soups, mac and cheese, stews, and dinners; snacks like fruit cups, granola bars, or nuts. Ethnic hair products are particularly desired (go to the ethnic products aisles at stores; brands include Jam and Edge Control). Other needed toiletries include lotions, chapstick, men's and women's deodorant, and condoms (note: we don't need travel size items).
Bring items to the Hub on Sundays or drop off during the week at the shelves labeled for AFA by the 34th Street entrance. Thank you for your generosity!
  Cycle of Life and Pastoral Care

We hold in our thoughts and prayers:
Kay Johnson as she continues to gain strength and recover. Kay is currently at Redeemer Health at 631 W. 31st St., Minneapolis 55408, and welcomes your cards and good thoughts.

Our thoughts are with Caitlin Rogers and her husband Conrad, and Laura Johansson and her husband Dan Prince and Grace and Theo Prince as they mourn the death of Caitlin and Laura's brother, Don Rogers. 

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 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.
"WHAT'S LEFT: LIVES TOUCHED BY SUICIDE"  a traveling exhibit now at: Bethlehem Lutheran Church Twin Cities 4100 Lyndale Ave. S. Minneapolis
Bethlehem Lutheran Church Twin Cities and St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church are presenting the exhibition "What's Left: Lives Touched by Suicide" for the month of March and April.  This multimedia exhibit intends to create a proactive community dialogue about suicide and mental illness with a goal of reducing the stigma surrounding them. The exhibit will be open at Bethlehem's Minneapolis Campus March 1-30 and the Minnetonka Campus April 2-28. There will be an opening reception on Friday, March 105-8 p.m.  More than 40 of Minnesota's finest artists working in painting, poetry, sculpture, graffiti, glass, fiber, photography, and more have contributed artwork to the project. Viewers of What's Left will also have the chance to listen to an interactive audio installation of stories from survivors.
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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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