January 25, 2018  |  Vol. 5 No. 4
Getting Connected: How the Church Directory Has Helped Connect Our Youth with Mentors
Rev. Ruth MacKenzie
"Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive."   - Rev. Howard Thurman

Do you ever wonder how to get more connected at church? Do you ever wonder why you should be a part of our Online Directory and Database (ACS) or update your information?

Whether you've been a member for years or you're just joining our church, the online directory and database is important. It helps us connect your gifts with the needs of the church, our larger community and neighborhood, and helps make our work easier.

Let me tell a little story about how updated information and interests served the Coming of Age class this year. Coming of Age is our 9th grade curriculum that asks each youth to explore their faith, their values, and devise a faith statement or credo by the end of the church year to be presented to our congregation at the Coming of Age Ceremony. Part of this curriculum is pairing youth with adult mentors to help guide and accompany their explorations. As Unitarian Universalists, the role of mentor is extremely important. We don't have a specific creed that we ask youth to memorize or buy into. Instead, we hold that we value the free and responsible search for truth that undergirds an authentic faith. Mentors are vital to this work.

This year, several members updated their ACS profile and information online and indicated their interest in being mentors to our COA youth. Instead of devoting hours and hours of time, calling and emailing adults, asking if they were willing to engage in this work, Lindsay Walz (our COA Coordinator) and I looked at the list given to us by our ACS coordinators and knew that our requests would be answered with a YES. The process of connecting youth with adults was simple, and rewarding. We had a wealth of engaged and gifted mentors ready to serve a beautiful class of youth.

Please take the time to update your profile information on ACS and fill out the questionnaire as to your gifts and interest for serving our community. It's a blessing all the way around. Our community needs people who have come alive.

In faith,
Rev. Ruth MacKenzie

Accessing Our Online Directory and Database (ACS) & Filling Out Your Volunteer Profile
  1. If you have used ACS previously and have a User ID and password, go to "MyFirstU/Profile/Serving" and fill out the volunteer profile online.
  2. If you need some help either logging into the "MyFirstU" website or completing the online profile, contact Larry at larry.gottschalk@yahoo.com.
  3. If you don't have an account and would like to create one so you can fill out the volunteer profile online, learn how to set one up here.
  4. If you want to fill out a hard copy of the volunteer profile instead, send an email request to Hal at halschroer@gmail.com.

Detail:  Anahita, Danami, and Roya , 2017, by Leslie Barlow

Worship this Sunday
Sunday, Jan. 28, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m.
"Loving Resistance"
Rev. Jen Crow
When we love that which has been declared unworthy, we are living lives of resistance. How might we love ourselves, our very bodies, this earth, and all of its people as an act of holy resistance?
Music: First Universalist Choir
A Look Ahead
Sunday, Feb. 4, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m.
Rev. Jen Crow
"Daily Renewal"

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

January 14, 2018
"Fierce Loving" 
Rev. Justin Schroeder

January 7, 2018
"Why Is Grief Important Now?"
Rev. Ruth MacKenzie
January Worship Theme: Loving
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.
Pathway to Membership Class
Tuesdays, Jan. 30 & Feb. 13, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
If First Universalist is feeling like your spiritual home, then we hope you'll take part in the next Pathway to Membership class! Joining First Universalist is a symbolic, spiritual act of saying "yes" to growing your soul in this place, with these people, within our free faith tradition. This new member class is a great chance to build community, explore Unitarian Universalism, and learn how to get involved. In the final session, participants are invited to sign the membership book and officially join the congregation. This class is offered as a two-part series on Tuesdays, Jan. 30 and Feb. 13, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Sign up by calling Sandy at 612-825-1701 or emailing her at sandy@firstuniv.org.
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 the congregation will be asked to approve at our annual meeting in June. And, of course, 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: Revolution is Not a One-Time Event: 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.
Twin Cities UU High School Youth CON/stellation
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 over President's Day weekend, from 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 Seeking Nominations
The First Universalist Foundation board is beginning its 2018 granting season and wants to hear from congregants about which organizations would be good candidates for a grant. At this time, we are particularly interested in organizations that address human rights at risk. We are also interested in 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 know of an organization that you would like to nominate, please fill out the nomination form:  First Universalist Foundation Nomination Form 2018

The Foundation is accepting nominations until Monday, Feb. 5, so please nominate away!  If you have questions, please email the First Universalist Foundation board at foundation@firstuniv.org.
Leslie Barlow Awarded MN State Arts Board Grant 
"Nigel's Wedding"
Artist Leslie Barlow, whose work is currently on display here at church in the sanctuary and social hall gallery, has been awarded a 2018 Minnesota State Arts Board grant

The grant will support Leslie in creating a new body of work combining oil painting and textiles to explore race, family, history, and storytelling through the relationship of her grandmothers. This work will culminate in an exhibition in early 2019. The first painting in the series, "Nigel's Wedding," depicts her two grandmothers.

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 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.
Beacon: Our Featured Faithful Action Partner
Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative was in the "Spotlight" this past Sunday as the Faithful Action Council continues its monthly feature of one of our six Faithful Action Partners. 

The Collaborative, consisting of nearly 90 congregations throughout the Twin Cities, has one primary goal: To End Homelessness. The organization works to achieve that goal through:
  • Affordable Housing. Beacon has developed 19 apartment buildings throughout the Twin Cities. Three of those are dedicated to affordable housing for homeless youth.
  • Advocacy. Members of the Collaborative, with support and direction from Beacon staff, engage with legislators and county commissioners to forward funding bills and to educate community leaders on the depth of the problem.
  • Shelter. Through Beacon's Families Moving Forward program, churches within the collaborative provide meals and shelter to families struggling to find permanent housing. First Universalist extends its hospitality for two back-to-back weeks each year, recruiting about 140 volunteers who plan, convert classrooms to bedrooms, cook meals, plan activities for the families, and serve as overnight hosts. Our next hosting dates are August 26 - September 9.
Beacon is asking congregations to provide input that will assist in designing the next building projects and increase the effectiveness of our advocacy work. Faithful Action team members, along with members of the Racial Justice Education Team, will be hosting in-depth conversations on Sunday, March 4 from 1-3 p.m., and Tuesday, March 6, from 7-9 p.m. Be on the lookout for invitations! Beacon also welcomes congregants to the Beacon All-Congregation Convening on Thursday, Feb. 8, 7-8:30 p.m. at Colonial Church, Edina. Online registration is available at the above site.

Homelessness is a complex issue, steeped in racial inequity and mired in low wages and limited availability of affordable units. To further explore the complexity,  Beacon is sponsoring an "Academy" for anyone interested in further education on the many issues related to homelessness. 

There is no easy fix. But there are opportunities to join in the solution. Learn more.
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.
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 at this day-long men's retreat by speaking on his research and exploration of 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.  The retreat will wrap up with an intergenerational panel of men providing their perspectives on what it means to be male in today's world. 

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/Wednesdays/Thursdays  10 a.m.-8 p.m.
Tuesdays 8:30 a.m.-8 p.m.
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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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