November 23, 2016  |  Vol. 3 No. 47
Gathering Around the Table Over the Holidays
Rev. Justin Schroeder
In the past few weeks, many of you have reached out to me, asking, "How do I talk to my family over the Thanksgiving Holiday? We have different political views. We voted for different people. How do I do this?"

Like so much of life, there are no easy answers to these questions.

If you do engage in the conversation, perhaps curiosity, compassion, and courage are the tools you can best employ. Remember, there are a variety of reasons behind people's vote. Ask questions. Be curious. And be kind, to yourself and your relatives. Remember the ways in which you hope, "To love the hell out of the world." Know what your buttons are and be ready to end the conversation when you feel yourself heating up. Have a backup support system in place, so you can debrief, vent, or process with someone who loves and cares about you. A quick phone call or text might help you regain your balance.

This week, I came across two resources I found helpful. My colleague, Rev. Meg Barnhouse, wrote this piece, Here Come the Awkward Holidays , about how we might respond in those difficult conversations. Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) shared this resource, a Thanksgiving Toolkit , which focuses on deep listening, authentic engagement, and is full of insights into how to navigate these conversations, as you clearly articulate your values, experiences, and concerns.

Remember, as you gather around the table, that your faith community is with you in spirit, surrounding you with love and compassion. You are not alone in these difficult conversations.

With every blessing,

P.S. Keep an eye on your mailbox this week; there's a letter on the way that contains an exciting announcement about the capital campaign and the next steps we'll be taking. 
Worship this Sunday
Sunday, Nov. 27, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m.
Multigenerational Worship
"The Long Haul"  
Rev. Justin Schroeder
What does it mean, as a person of faith, to take a long haul view? What sustains us for the long haul? How do we stay connected to one another, make room for joy, surprise, and discomfort, stay grounded, and do our best to "love the hell out of this world," knowing that nothing will ever be entirely completed within our lifetime?
This Sunday, join us for a multigenerational service at 9:30 or 11:15 a.m. Children ages 4 and up attend the entire service with their families. 
A Look Ahead
Sunday, Dec. 4, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m. 
Rev. Jen Crow
Sharing Sunday

Recent Sermon Podcasts
November 20, 2016
Making Space for Discomfort:
Worship led by People of Color Circle
November 13, 2016
"What Have We Done?"
Rev. Justin Schroeder
November 6, 2016
"The Spiritual Classroom of Discomfort"
Rev. Ruth MacKenzie
November Worship Theme: Making Space for Discomfort
M. Scott Peck writes: "The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers." Most of us want to get to the end of an uncomfortable situation, or an unfulfilled time as soon as humanly possible. We often will choose a questionable equilibrium over a generative imbalance any day. But what if we placed the mantle of discomfort squarely upon our shoulders, and embraced it as our greatest spiritual teacher? This month, we practice making space for discomfort and the truer answers it has to teach. 
Final Day to View Ceramics by Pratibha Gupta & Textiles by Barbara Harman Exhibit
Sunday, Nov. 27, between & after services
This Sunday is the final day to view the two complementary art exhibits that have been on view in the Social Hall since late October. Plan some time this Sunday to have one last look at these beautiful ceramics and textiles! 
Global Gift Fair
Sunday, Nov. 27, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Social Hall
 This year's Global Gift Fair will be held in the Social Hall on Sunday, Nov. 27. Come and purchase handmade items from organizations that help people in need. Gift responsibly! Vendors this year include: Under One Roof (Self-Sufficiency Program of Sub-Saharan African Youth & Family Services Minnesota), Mano a Mano, Native Harvest, Books for Bassodawish, Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, and Frybread Love/Project Offstreets. Read more about this year's vendors on our website.
The Pathway to Membership
Wednesdays, Nov. 30 & Dec. 7,
6:30-8:30 p.m.

  Feeling like First Universalist could be your spiritual home? Join us for The Pathway to Membership, a class exploring Unitarian Universalism, the history and mission of this congregation, and the experience of membership. Participants are invited to share and reflect on their own spiritual journeys and values. We'd love to welcome you as a new member! We ask that all who wish to become members take this class, which is offered as a two-part series. To register, contact Sandy DiNanni at or 612-825-1701.
Thursday, Dec. 1, 8:30 a.m.-noon
 Lend-A-Hand is an opportunity to help care for our building and grounds as part of a volunteer team. In coordination with our facilities staff, this team undertakes various projects to keep our church clean, orderly and attractive. Cleaning activities might include dusting or mopping. Volunteers might help tidy the sanctuary, social hall, or other spaces, or help fix things: replace light bulbs, etc. Volunteers gather at 8:30 a.m. for bagels, juice and coffee and end their activities by noon. Each Lend-A-Hand activity has slots for 12 volunteers.  If you would like to participate, email Sandy DiNanni at to sign up . Thank you!
"A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota" Book Discussion
Thursday, Dec. 1, 7-8:30 p.m., Cummins Rm
In this provocative book, sixteen of Minnesota's best writers provide a range of perspectives on what it is like to live as a person of color in Minnesota. They give readers the gift of touching another human being's inner reality, behind masks and veils and politeness.  For this discussion, participants are asked to prepare by reading the last five essays of " A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota ." 
"The Spirit of Mde Maka Ska: A Voice Like a Gentle Ripple" Community Conversation
Saturday, Dec. 3, 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
  Like a stone tossed into water, the water's spirit sends energy out to its shores and beyond. What are we inspired to do for the lake and for life giving water the world over?
Join us for the fourth community conversation inspired by the spirit of Mde Maka Ska. Report on your ongoing projects. Create or join new ones. There is no need to have attended the other conversations.
Senior Hike with Daytime Connections
Tuesday, Dec. 13, 10 a.m. 
The next Senior Nature Hike offers an opportunity to check out the newly refurbished Old Cedar Avenue Bridge in Bloomington. It is on the National Register of Historic Places and provides a spectacular view of wetlands off the Minnesota River.  Meet at the Old Cedar Bridge Unit Parking Lot of the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge ( 9500 Old Cedar Ave. S, Bloomington, MN 55425) at  10 a.m.
The group will hike for about 2 hours along the Minnesota River. As this is an out-and-back route, hikers are able to turn around and head back whenever their spirits and bodies move them to do so.  RSVP to Tom Saterstrom:  or
 952-239-3629. Learn more.
Daytime Connections:  Our Neighbors' Wisdom: Traditions Across Cultures
Thursday, Dec. 15, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
  What special traditions are honored in the varied cultures and immigrant communities that call Minnesota home? Join us for an exploration of the ways that our neighbors derive meaning from their cultural traditions and the role that elders play in their communities. The program begins at 11 a.m., followed by lunch at 1 p.m. A $5 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.
Now Accepting Pastoral Care Team Applications
Do you have an open heart, a compassionate presence, a listening ear and a few hours each month to offer? If so, we invite you to consider joining our Pastoral Care Team.
Members of the Pastoral Care Team will provide confidential pastoral care to friends and members of our congregation in need of support. They will visit at homes, hospitals, and hospice or at the corner coffeeshop. Team members will receive a day of training in February of 2017, ongoing monthly support with Rev. Jen Crow, and will be commissioned by the congregation in a ceremony that endorses their role in serving our church community. While our ministers will continue to be with members of the congregation in crisis situations; this team will be able to provide continuing care to our growing community and enhance the practical support offered by our Congregational Care team. 

This program was launched here at First Universalist in 2013 and emphasizes compassionate presence with each other as a spiritual practice. Team members will agree to serve for a two-year term, attend the February training session and monthly meetings. For more information, please visit the Pastoral Care page on our website where you can obtain an application and job description for the Pastoral Care Team. For more information, contact Andrea Johnson, Pastoral Care Team coordinator, at Applications are due by Dec. 16, 2016.
36th Annual Winter Solstice is Wednesday, Dec. 21
For 36 years, First Universalist has honored the longest night of the year, and joyously celebrated going into the dark and the return of the sun! Join us on Wednesday, Dec. 21, as we observe another turning of the year. We will move through the evening with beautiful music, participation for all ages, and spreading of the light.  Want to get involved? Contact Jean Buckley: .
Tickets Now Available: 3rd Annual Winter Warm Up 
Our third annual Winter Warm Up Dance Party is set for Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017 from 7:30 to 10 p.m. 

Mark your calendar and plan to join us that evening for music and dancing, drinks (available for purchase) and snacks, fun and good company!

Tickets are available at:
  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 Care Team.
Congregational Care: Meal Support
New baby? Illness? Accident? Let us know if you or somebody in our community would like us to create a meal train for you. Meal trains typically run two to six weeks depending on need and give congregants a way to help. Contact Kathy Urberg  at
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.
Interfaith Worship Service
Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 24, 10 a.m.
Plymouth Congregational Church in Minneapolis
Let us join together to celebrate our abundance with gratitude at an interfaith worship service at 10 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 24. The worship service offered by the Minneapolis Downtown Congregations will feature a dialogue sermon shared by Tim Hart-Andersen, Senior Pastor at Westminster Presbyterian Church, and Jim Bear Jacobs, Pastor at Church of All Nations. Music led by the Plymouth Choir and organist/choirmaster Philip Brunelle. Learn more.
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Church Office Hours
Sundays  8 a.m.-1 p.m.
Monday-Thursday  8:30 a.m.-8 p.m.
Closed Fridays and Saturdays
Closed Thursday, Nov. 24 for Thanksgiving
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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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