November 10, 2016  |  Vol. 3 No. 45
Glimmers of Hope
Rev. Justin Schroeder
I've just returned from my Interfaith Partners for Peace trip to Israel and Palestine. During this trip, we met with Israelis, Palestinians, and Arab-Israelis, all of whom shared their stories, and many of whom were deeply committed to a peace process. Many of them have given up hope that their respective governments might reach a peace agreement, and so, in the midst of that reality, grassroots efforts are springing up, as bold Palestinians and Israelis alike seek to connect with each other in a variety of ways in order to build relationships and trust among one another. The ultimate goal is a lasting peace between these two people. Amidst despair, there are glimmers of hope in these grassroots efforts.

This trip reminded me that at the center of every movement for social change and justice there are deep relationships that cut across lines of identity. These relationships, by their very nature, begin to upend all that would divide us, and we start to find our common ground, cause, and humanity, with one another.   

While I suspect many of us feel some real despair, fear, and deep sadness for our country  - I'm writing this the day after the election - I also feel quite clear about the work that we are called to do as citizens and people of faith. First, we must stand with our neighbors who feel targeted, fearful, assaulted, and bullied. Second, across identity, difference, belief, class, and race, we must reach out to more and more of our neighbors, to build relationships, discover our common interests and concerns, and work to build a city, state, and country that truly serves all of us. This is the holy work we are called to.  

In worship on Sunday, we will sit with what is, and with what we have done this election season, and we'll find glimmers of hope in what comes next. The story isn't finished yet.

I'll see you on Sunday.

In faith,

Worship this Sunday
Sunday, Nov. 13, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m.
New Member Sunday
"What Have We Done?"
Rev. Justin Schroeder
When I work with couples who are planning to get married, I often say, "If there are challenges you're facing now in your relationship, don't expect them to go away after your wedding day. That's not some magical point that makes everything better." The same could be said for this election. We're living into the reality of a new president, but what have we done this election season? What has been unleashed from Pandora's Box over these past 18 months - and how might we respond? The election is over, but the work is just beginning.
Music: First Universalist Choir, Anoka Ramsey Community College World Drum Ensemble
A Look Ahead
Sunday, Nov. 20, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m. 
Worship led by the People of Color Group

Recent Sermon Podcasts
November 6, 2016
"The Spiritual Classroom of Discomfort"
Rev. Ruth MacKenzie
October 30, 2016
"Memory, Amnesia, and Hope"
Rev. Elaine Aron Tenbrink
October 23, 2016
"Stories We Don't Want to Tell"
Rev. Justin Schroeder
October 16, 2016
"The Reasonableness of Hope"
Rev. Jen Crow
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. 
Racial Justice and Our UU Faith Workshop
Saturdays, Nov. 12 & 19, 9-11:30 a.m., Cummins Room
  Join us for a workshop exploring a framework and tools for understanding race, racism, and whiteness and the spiritual imperative that drives our racial justice work. This is a distilled experience of the 24-hour training offered by Dr. Heather Hackman.  This workshop will be led by Channing McKinley, Clemma Muller, and Bryana French, and is offered in two parts: Saturdays, Nov. 12 & 19, 9-11:30 a.m. To register, contact Sandy at  or 612-825-1701.
Film & Discussion: "Mirrors of Privilege"
Monday, Nov. 14, 7-8:30 p.m., Room 200
 This groundbreaking film features stories from white men and women on overcoming unconscious racism and entitlement. The discussion will be facilitated by Susan Schultz and Susan Hoffman. This is a drop-in, two-part showing. Part 1 will be shown on Monday, Nov. 14 (7-8:30 p.m.) and Part 2 will be shown on Tuesday, Nov. 22 (7-8:30 p.m.).
Daytime Connections: 
Crossing Our Thresholds 
Thursday, Nov. 17, 11a.m.-1p.m., Social Hall
  How do we cherish, and at the same time let go, when life-changing events turn us in new directions? Rev. Karen Hering, a literary minister at Unity Unitarian, will explore with us how a spiritual practice of writing can help us cross our personal thresholds. Lunch at 1 p.m., following program ($5-$10 donation requested for lunch). RSVP to Sandy DiNanni at or 612-825-1701.
Bde/Mde Maka Ska Community Conversation
Saturday, Nov. 19, 9:30 a.m.
First Universalist is hosting another community conversation on Saturday, Nov. 19 in the Social HallCome join the growing community of people being called by the spirit of the lake to build a community that is good for everyone.
Kinds of Light: STARS, Contemplative Evening Worship 
The stars that dot our sky are almost inconceivably distant, but they mean so much to humanity: As silent guardians, watching through the night; As a celestial map, in which we track our journeys and record our legends; As the catalyst for aspirations, wishes, dreams.

It is a miracle that we can see stars at all, that the fragile photons bearing their message has reached us, here, after so many centuries. The stars are now quite different from what they were when the message was sent. What does it say?

This month's Contemplative Evening Service, "Kinds of Light: Stars," on Sunday, Nov. 20 at 5:30 p.m., brings us music by the Estonian composer Urmas Sisask. Inspired equally by astronomy and by the folk legends and idioms of the Estonian people, Sisask has written volumes of music decorated by his own drawings of the constellations, nebulae, and galaxies that span the heavens. The vast empty spaces and intense celestial flames are evoked by the mysterious resonances of the piano, played by Dr. Jerrod Wendland.

Interspersed with silent meditation and poetry read by Rev. Ruth MacKenzie, this service asks us to re-imagine our place in the universe, and to contemplate the tiny, constant beams of light that suffuse our world.
Standing Rock Reflections: This Sunday at 1 p.m.
In late August, a call came out from the Standing Rock Reservation for volunteers to participate in a canoe pull (what we Minnesotans would call a canoe paddle) on the Missouri River from Bismarck, North Dakota, to the Camp of Sacred Stones on the Cannon Ball River. The journey would take place on Sept. 7 and 8. It would be completed prior to the September 9 federal court ruling on the injunction requested by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to stop the four-state Dakota Access Oil Pipeline currently under construction.

On that day, all tribes and protectors would gather at Standing Rock in unified prayer. The call was for traditional dugout canoes, sturgeon noses, kayaks and traditional vessels of the Pacific Northwest to join in an historic pull on the Missouri River. The route would pass over the water path of the proposed oil pipeline at "ground zero."
A group coming out of the Mde Maka Ska Community Conversations held at First Universalist came together in support of this canoe action. On Tuesday, Sept. 6, the group departed for Standing Rock. Over the next five days, the Mde Maka Ska Canoe Family -- composed of the Lapointe family (Lemoine, Nancy, Thorne, Wakinyan), friends Jose (Joe), Scott, Teni lle, and congregation member John Saxhaug, joined canoe families from Oregon, British Columbia, Washington and Alaska in paddling, praying and singing in support of the Standing Rock Tribe.           
Please join members of the Mde Maka Ska Canoe family this Sunday, Nov. 13 in the Cummins Room from 1 to 3 p.m. as we share with you our reflections on this powerful experience. We hope other members of the congregation who have traveled to Standing Rock will also join us in sharing thoughts on what is a momentous time in history for indigenous peoples and the environment. 
A Journey to Standing Rock Reservation
One sector of the view from atop Oceti Sakowin Camp.
Excerpts from an article written by Stan Sattinger
Along with 50 other Minnesotans, I traveled to the Oceti Sakowin encampment of the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota on a MN350-organized trip, Nov. 2- 6. We went to offer support to the Water Protectors  who are resisting the continued brutal invasion of treaty lands by the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). Native peoples fear the destruction of their water supplies by spills of crude oil at the Missouri River crossing of the "Black Snake."
Led by leaders of a dozen major religious denominations and about 500 other attending members of the clergy, we took part in a prayer circle that repudiated the Doctrine of Discovery -  a legal relic from the 16th century that gave European discoverers dominion over native people and lands. Riders on horseback graced another prayer circle that included a surprise visit by the group of several dozen Native American runners who had made the trip on foot from Flagstaff, AZ, to Washington earlier in the year to protest the realignment of the pipeline route from Bismarck to Standing Rock.
We volunteered for camp tasks ranging from cutting up buffalo meat for stew to transferring medical supplies from tents to Mongolian yurts for the winter. The onset of winter poses many special challenges to the Water Protectors; here is a link to a place to donate and a list of camp needs .
The people at Oceti Sakowin Camp live simply, sharing and opening their hearts to visitors who wish to help. I felt respect and admiration for all whom I met and worked with. Taking part in handshakes with all of the runners and their families was for me a very emotional experience. I embrace the rallying cry, " Mni Wiconi!  Water is Life!"
Southside Childhood Development Center
Last month, we welcomed our new tenants, Southside Child Development Center! They have moved in and are now using all of our first floor classrooms and the Chalice Room Monday through Friday

Southside offers care for infants, toddlers, preschool and school aged children. They had been operating out of another space for several years, but needed room to expand. We will be sharing our building with them for the next three years. If you'd like to learn more about them, check out their website. 
Donations for AFA Hope Food & Clothing Closets
Thank you for your generous donations for Augsburg Fairview Academy (AFA) on Sunday, October 30 when AFA was featured as one of our Faithful Action Community Partners. The offering will go far in helping us stock the Food and Clothing Closets. Thanks also for your warm reception of our speaker, Keisha Jackson, an AFA student.
Your food and clothing donations are also valuable in helping us help supply the Hope Food and Clothing Closets. Here is what is most needed right now:
  • Donations for Hope Clothing Closet: Men's underwear (t-shirts and briefs) - size medium and large, men's socks, and warm weather clothing including scarves, hats, and gloves. Always desired: hoodies; jeans for men and women (all sizes). Clothing should be clean, teen appropriate and in good repair. Dark colors preferred by students.
  • Donations for the Hope Food Closet: Desired items include single serving microwavable soups, mac and cheese, stews, and snacks like fruit cups, granola bars, nuts or cracker and cheese packages. Ethnic hair products are particularly desired (go to the ethnic products aisles at Target, Wal-mart, CVS, etc. 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). 
Additional school supplies are NOT needed at this time.
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!
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Organic Compost
First Universalist does organic composting. Look for organics and recycling containers throughout the church! 

Certified compostable products and plastic-lined paper can cause the most confusion in organics recycling programs.

All unlined paper products are compostable. Examples include some paper plates, napkins and paper towels. Items that have a shiny or smooth surface likely have a plastic lining and are not accepted in organics recycling programs unless they are identified as a certified compostable plastic item.

Certified compostable products must have the BPI or Cedar Grove logo on them to be accepted. Examples of items that must be labeled BPI or Cedar Grove certified compostable include coffee cups, silverware, to-go containers, plastic cups, and more.
Global Gift Fair is on Sunday, Nov. 27
This year's Global Gift Fair will be held in the Social Hall on Sunday, Nov. 27 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Come and purchase handmade items from organizations that help people in need. Gift responsibly! Read about this year's vendors on our website.
Save the Date: 36th Annual Winter Solstice 
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:
Save the Date: 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, and of course fun and good company!
  Cycle of Life and Pastoral Care

Our hearts are with Lauren Wyeth, her spouse, Allison, and their children, Cole and Ames, as they mourn the loss of Lauren's mother, Linda Wyeth. Linda passed away on Thursday, Nov. 3, leaving behind many friends and family who will miss her deeply. In Lauren's words, "May we all be worthy of the deep love she had for us, and may we pass it on with the optimism and generosity of spirit she brought to each day." Lauren serves as Director of Children, Youth, and Family Ministries at First Universalist.   

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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Monday-Thursday  8:30 a.m.-8 p.m.
Closed Fridays and Saturdays
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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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