November 17, 2016  |  Vol. 3 No. 46
Now, More Than Ever
Rev. Justin Schroeder
This past week, we've had nearly 2,000 people in the building, between our worship service on Wednesday night, and our two services and religious education programming on Sunday. Our ministry, grounded in the Universalist Spirit of Love and Hope, is clearly a source of strength and solace to those seeking us out in these challenging times. Now, more than ever, a progressive, liberal religious voice and presence is critical!

As a staff, we believe we should anticipate dozens and dozens of guests in the coming weeks and months. In recognition of those coming to our faith community, we are redoubling our efforts on hospitality and welcoming. To that end, we invite you to join us in these two welcoming practices:
  1. If you are a member of the church, able bodied, and without young children, please do not park in the church's parking lot. Beginning this Sunday, as an act of hospitality and accessibility, we're reserving the parking lot for guest visitors, for those with limited mobility, and for those with very small children.
  2. During your time here on Sunday, please pay particular attention to our visitors and guests. While the temptation might be to connect with your friends, and people you already know, please make an extra effort to reach out to those you don't know. We need one another. Your warm welcome can make all the difference to someone new to our community.
In these challenging times, I know that much of my hope comes from being with you, and being in this community. This is not a time to be alone. We need one another as we begin this next chapter together.

I'll see you in church,
A Reading from Last Sunday's Service
"Gird Thyself" by Jessica York, UUA Faith Development Director

This is not a prayer that you may find hope
For hope is a luxury that some cannot find and others cannot afford
This is not a prayer that you find more love in the world
Though I hope you continue to feel love and send love to those near and far
I pray instead that you may find tools
A hammer lying half-hidden in the grass
A roll of duct tape, curled up and forgotten on a high shelf in the back of the closet
A wrench poking out of the back pocket of a stranger
Take these tools and gird thyself
A hammer for justice
Duct tape to hold together your broken heart
A wrench to "grip and provide advantage in applying torque to turn objects" - or turn the world
Take these tools and others you may find in places expected and unexpected
Take these tools and gird thyself
For weeping may last through the night
But the work begins in the morning.
Worship this Sunday
Sunday, Nov. 20, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m.
Making Space for Discomfort: 
Worship led by People of Color Circle
Members of the People Of Color (POC) Circle  and Community at First Universalist have planned and will be presenting the Sunday service on Nov. 20. We are a radically inclusive group of Unitarian Universalists who identify as People of Color. We understand People of Color to include many racial identities. We welcome people of all sexual orientations and genders. We understand the important role of white allies in our lives and also hold dearly the safe community spaces where our POC communities can be in UU fellowship together. 

Sunday, Nov. 20, 5:30 p.m.
Contemplative Evening Worship
"Kinds of Light: STARS" 
Read more below or on our website.
A Look Ahead
Sunday, Nov. 27, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m. 
"The Long Haul"
Rev. Justin Schroeder
Multigenerational Worship
Thanksgiving Weekend

Recent Sermon Podcasts
November 13, 2016
"What Have We Done?"
Rev. Justin Schroeder
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
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. 
"Kinds of Light: STARS"
Contemplative Evening Worship Service
Sunday, Nov. 20, 5:30 p.m.
This Sunday's Contemplative Service asks us to re-imagine our place in the universe and contemplate the stars - the tiny, constant beams of light that suffuse our world. Vast empty spaces and intense celestial flames will be evoked by the mysterious resonances of the piano, played by Dr. Jerrod Wendland. Rev. Ruth MacKenzie will lead us in silent meditation and read poetry. This service brings us music by the Estonian composer Urmas Sisask. Inspired equally by astronomy and by folk legends, Sisask has written volumes of music decorated by his own drawings of the constellations, nebulae, and galaxies that span the heavens. 
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. They bring us generously into experiences that we must understand if we are to come together in real relationships.
For the discussion on Dec. 1, participants are asked to prepare by reading the last five essays (pages 157-223) of " A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota." 
DATE CHANGE: We regret the short notice, but this event has been moved from Saturday, Nov. 19 to Saturday, Dec. 3.
"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 any of the other conversations. Teens are especially welcome!
Visionary Goals Refresh
In 2012, as part of the development of the Church's governance documents, the Board adopted four Visionary Goals as the focal points for the execution of our mission and vision. From these Visionary Goals, the Board also adopted a strategic plan. This fall the Board reviewed the Visionary Goals based on the results of the annual congregational survey and the Rainbow Research report on racial justice work at First Universalist. At its October meeting, the Board approved draft revisions to the Visionary Goals, to be made available to the congregation for consideration and comment. The Board will consider all comments and approval of the revised goals at its first meeting after the State of the Church meeting (likely in February). The draft revised Visionary Goals may be found on our website. Comments may be sent to
Sharing Our Kitchen with The Sioux Chef
We are happy to announce that we are sharing our kitchen with The Sioux Chef. They are renting our space to prepare food for their food truck and catering events as they move toward opening a restaurant. Owner Sean Sherman and his team specialize in preparing indigenous food in a modern context and work with the mission to "help educate and make indigenous foods more accessible to as many communities as possible." You can learn more at 

Additionally, Brian Yazzie, the Chef de Cuisine for the Sioux Chef, is making a trip to Standing Rock next week to cook for protesters over the Thanksgiving holiday. On Monday, Nov. 21, he will be collecting donations here at First Universalist in the Social Hall from noon - 6 p.m. If you'd like to donate, he is asking for  dry goods, canned goods, and fresh produce to bring along. The most helpful items to donate include dried corn, dried beans, cornmeal, amaranth flour, quinoa flour, hominy, wild rice and snacks for kids. Read more about this effort in a City Pages article from earlier this week, as well as in this New York Times article
Senior High Pie Fundraiser is this Sunday
It's th e week before  Thanksgiving which means it's time to eat yummy pies baked with love by the First Universalist Church Senior High youth group. Please come to the social hall after both services this Sunday, Nov. 20  to buy whole pies or pie slices. All of the money raised will go towards our social justice trip to New Orleans in June 2017.
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.
Help the UUA Reimagine Our UU Covenant
The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Board has convened a Task Force charged with reimagining our UU covenant - imagining a future for our UUA in which congregations are not merely members of an organization, but related to the whole dynamically and organically, through covenants that could be renewed periodically. The Task Force is further charged with imagining a parallel process at the congregation/covenanted community level, where our individual members go beyond "signing the book" to relating to the congregation in a living, covenanted process. 
The Task Force will be providing opportunities for UUs to help shape the conversation, testing out its approach by convening pilot focus groups. There will be two focus groups of 10-12 people each on Saturday, Dec. 3, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Unity Unitarian Church, St. Paul. A light lunch will be provided. 
Participants will ideally be thoughtful UUs who can contribute both content, and speak to whether the process meets our UUA objectives of being anti-racist, anti-oppressive, multi-cultural, and multi-generational. The Task Force would like these groups to be broadly inclusive of UU adults of varying ages, gender identity, sexual orientation, racial identity, abilities, and cultural identity.
To participate, RSVP to Kathy Burek at by Wednesday, Nov. 30. 
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
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.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Compost: Fix-It-Clinic
Sunday, Dec. 11, noon-4 p.m.
Grace Center for Community Life in Northeast Minneapolis

Hennepin County and a group of dedicated volunteers have been working for four years to prevent waste by helping residents learn how to fix household items at monthly Fix-It Clinics. Get free, guided assistance from handy volunteers on disassembling, troubleshooting and repairing small household appliances, clothing, electronics, mobile devices and more. 

An upcoming Fix-It Clinic is scheduled for the following date and location:
Sunday, Dec. 11 from noon to 4 p.m. at the Grace Center for Community Life in northeast Minneapolis

Other dates and locations can be found here: Hennepin County, Ramsey County, or by googling "fix it clinic." 
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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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