February 2, 2017  |  Vol. 4 No. 5
Tending to What Matters
Rev. Justin Schroeder
Dear Ones,

These are turbulent, unsettled times, and they are calling us to be more mindful than ever before. They are calling us to deep spiritual work.

The truth is, if we're not careful, we can be swept away in the swirling currents of Social Media. Unplugging for a period of hours, or even a day or two, can help calm our nervous system, and hear the "still, small voice" of the Spirit of Life, or the whispers of love, calling us in a particular direction. One of our spiritual practices can be to unplug, and to connect with ourselves, our neighbors, and those in our immediate community. In a time when everything is going fast, we can intentionally carve our space to "go slow."

Another spiritual practice can be to act with intention and purpose. We can march, rally, protest, plan, and organize, as we act on our religious values. Pick an event or action that speaks to you, invite a friend, or join people from church, and act. There are a number of events coming up: on Saturday, Feb. 11, from noon to 3 p.m., there's the MN Caravan of Love: A Walk of Love for Refugees and Immigrants ; then at church on Sunday, Feb. 12, at 1 p.m., we're offering a workshop called "Using Your Moral Power." This hands-on, non-partisan workshop is designed to help people understand exactly how to best make their voices heard politically.

Another spiritual practice we can employ is one of discovering joy in the midst of it all. This practice is about noticing the bright spots amidst the gloom. It's anchoring in gratitude for blessings large and small. Joy isn't about ignoring the difficulties of life; instead, it's the practice of opening one's heart to the abundant gifts that surround us.

In the coming days, may we tend to what matters: our own spirits, the health of our communities, and the ways that joy - as an unexpected guest - enters into our lives.

I'll see you in church,
Worship this Sunday
Sunday, Feb. 5, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m.
Sharing Sunday
"Meeting this Moment"
Rev. Jen Crow
Prophets see and speak the truth about the moment they live within. Often, they also see far out into the future of hope and imagination. How might we spark our prophetic imagination to meet and see beyond this moment?
This Sunday is Sharing Sunday - ages 4 years to 5th grade attend the first part of the service with their families before being excused to Religious Education classes. 
Musical Guests: A Ghost Revival
A Look Ahead
Sunday, Feb. 12, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m.
Sharing Sunday
Rev. Justin Schroeder

Recent Sermon Podcasts
January 29, 2017
"Prophetic Resistance"
Rev. Justin Schroeder
January 22, 2017
"Finding Our Way"
Rev. Elaine Aron Tenbrink
January 15, 2017
"A Living Sanctuary"
Rev. Justin Schroeder
February Worship Theme: Prophetic Imagination

What is a prophet? A prophet is not a clairvoyant, or a psychic. A prophet is more akin to a namer; someone who is called to look and discern the what of "what is," and name it. The prophet is one who sees the patterns hidden in plain sight. Her measuring stick is not the GDP, but the health and well being of the whole. The prophet is in love with his people, all his people, the oppressed and the privileged. Still, a prophet's questions may feel pointed and abrupt. The prophet asks: Is your God big enough? Is your world picture big enough? A prophet calls forth imagination. This month we explore the imperative of imagination, name the prophets in our midst, and ask where we stand in prophetic imagination.
Women's March Debrief Meeting
Monday, Feb. 6, 7-9 p.m.
We strongly encourage UU marchers to attend the Post-March De-brief and Mobilization Meeting at First Universalist on Monday, Feb. 6 from 7 to 9 p.m. This meeting will help us extend our efforts beyond the march and challenge us to continue to lean into our racial justice work. The debrief will be hosted by Lena K. Gardner and Ashley Horan (Executive Director of MUUSJA).
Open Labyrinth Walk
Thursday, Feb. 9, 6:30-8 p.m.
Each month September through May, we offer an open 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. Learn more.
Pancakes & Cartoons
Saturday, Feb. 11, 8-10 a.m., Social Hall
Drop in for a pancake breakfast (gluten free option, too) and stay to hang out and watch classic cartoons! Connect with ministers and other First U members and friends. Members who are new in the past two years are especially encouraged to join us. This event is FREE and all ages are welcome!  Hosted by the First Universalist Pledge Team: Zack Steven, Jane Baudelaire & Jeanne Guignon Peppel.  NO Presentations or "Asks" - just pure fun on a mid-winter Saturday morning!  RSVP requested to Sandy at   sandy@firstuniv.org  or 612-825-1701.  Questions? Text/call Jeanne: 952-270-1931.
Informational Event:
Saving Energy and Money at Home
Saturday, Feb. 11, 9:30-10:30 a.m.,
Cummins Room
Learn how to save energy and money from an expert from the Center for Energy and Environment (CEE)! If your home hasn't been evaluated or it's been 3-5 years since the last audit, we encourage you to sign up. An audit includes a visit by energy consultants who evaluate your home's energy use and recommend ways to save energy. They also install energy efficient products.  This event is sponsored by First U's Environmental Justice Committee. Bring a warm sweater to donate or swap! Cool prizes for pledgers. Sign up by February 7 with an email to Betsy Allis at  erallis@aol.com . Or call Betsy with questions at 612-871-6946.
Using Your Moral Power
Sunday, Feb. 12, 1-2 p.m., Cummins Room
Feeling fired up and ready to act? If our current political climate is inspiring you to do something more, but you're unsure exactly how to act or where to put your energy, this hands-on introduction to citizen advocacy will leave you with actionable steps to make your voice heard.  Phone calls, personal letters and in-person visits can be a powerful influence on elected officials. This workshop will take the fear out of connecting with your representatives and embolden you with knowledge about when and how to reach out when it matters most.  This session will be led by Jeff Freeland Nelson, the former federal lobbyist for American Public Media / Minnesota Public Radio and a graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
Book Discussion: The Underground Railroad
Monday, Feb. 13, 7-8:30 p.m., Cummins Rm
Colson Whitehead's "The Underground Railroad," one of the most acclaimed books of 2016, reimagines the Railroad as an actual labyrinth of tracks and tunnels running underground throughout the South, transporting escaped slaves North. The book has been described by readers as "brilliant," "chilling," "a great adventure story," and a "reanimation of American slave narratives." Join a guided discussion that explores the art and impact of this powerful book.  Listen to an MPR "Talking Volumes" interview with Colson Whitehead here . Please commit to reading the book if you plan to participate.
Daytime Connections: "The Conscious Aging Movement: Sage-ing"
Thursday, Feb. 16, 11 a.m.
One of the founders of the Conscious Aging movement proposed "a new model of late-life development called sage-ing, a process that enables older people to become spiritually radiant, physically vital, and socially responsible 'elders of the tribe.'" Join us to explore what sage-ing is all about.  Program begins at 11 a.m.; lunch at 1 p.m. A $5-10 donation is encouraged.  Registration is requested: contact Sandy DiNanni at sandy@firstuniv.org or 612-825-1701.  Through  Daytime Connections , older adults empower each other to live intentional, joyful, purposeful, and spiritually fulfilled lives.
Workshop: Planning Your Own
Memorial Service
Sundays, Feb. 19 & 26, 1-2:30 p.m.
Give your loved ones a thoughtful gift: your wishes for your memorial service. In this two-session workshop, we will get acquainted with the theology and fundamental elements of a memorial service. After these two sessions (and a significant homework assignment in between), participants will have a plan for their memorial service that will bring peace of mind and open important dialogue with loved ones.  Register here.
Facilitator: Rev. Jen Crow is Executive Minister at First Universalist, where pastoral care is one of her primary responsibilities. Planning and leading memorial services is a great blessing and honor in her ministry.
Save the Date: Capital Campaign Kick Off Party!
You're invited to celebrate the launch of First Universalist Church's capital campaign with a party for all ages! Please save the date - Saturday, March 11 from 5 to 11 p.m. - and plan to join us at Minneapolis Event Centers (212 2nd St. SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414) as we gather to celebrate all we've accomplished in the past and all that we envision for the future. This event is FREE and for everyone in our community. We want you with us! Watch for an invitation in the mail next week.
Reflections on the Women's March on Washington
By Jenn Stromberg, Communications Manager

Muriel, Meg and Jenn on the bus to D.C.
Intense. That's the word that I keep using when asked about my experience at the Women's March on Washington. From getting very little sleep on the overnight bus to D.C., to bonding through conversation and song with fellow passengers, to being in the middle of crowds denser than any I'd been part of before, to the heightened emotions and feelings of solidarity and shared purpose, to the sensory overload of the whole experience - intense is an understatement.
They told us to be prepared for the unexpected. I suppose I was as prepared as I could be, going into the experience with a mindset of patience and willingness to adapt. I had only a vague picture in mind of what the Women's March might be like, but I did hope for a positive, peaceful, educational, and inspiring experience.
Just before sunrise somewhere in Pennsylvania, the bus pulled in to our final rest stop before D.C., and the scale of the march we were about to participate in began to sink it. Still several hours outside of D.C., at the exact same rest stop at the very same time there were 20 or more other buses filled with upwards of 1,000 women and men en route to the march, many sporting telltale pink hats. There was an air of excitement and anticipation despite the early hour.
After dodging the three-hour line to board the metro by instead managing to get an Uber, we arrived. Marchers were positively pouring into the area around the mall. The sea of pink hats I'd hoped to see materialized before my eyes, blended with colorful signs bearing creative and powerful slogans representing the reasons that had brought so many people from across the country to D.C. for this moment.
My marching buddy and I made our way through the crowds, trying to find the best spot to watch the speakers and performers. As it turned out, the spot chose us. We ended up in a knot of people so tight that nobody was able to go anywhere. It took a while, but eventually the people around us settled in and accepted that none of us was going anywhere - and we stood there, stuck in place... for two hours.
Being stuck was not how I'd expected to spend my time at the march. I struggled with some amount of disappointment that I wasn't able to hear the program better, than I couldn't walk around and take in the sights, that my physical discomfort was impacting my mood. The thought I kept coming back to was: "I'm not doing this for me, or so that I can have a "good" march experience. I'm doing this for the greater good, for all those in marginalized communities whose rights are now at risk." Just like every vote counts, so does every body that shows up to be part of the crowd. And that's why I'm doing this.

When the march finally began and people started moving, slowly at first, through the streets of Washington, D.C., the experience came into better alignment with the expectations I'd brought with me. It was exciting, somber, heartwarming, heartbreaking, and energizing all at once.
I came away from the experience exhausted, inspired, and having learned from it. And honestly, the real learning came out of the unexpected. Would I do it again? Absolutely.
State of the Church Meeting & Sanctuary Church Vote
This year our annual State of the Church meeting, on  Sunday, Feb. 19 at 12:30 p.m, will also be conducted as a Special Meeting of the Members to consider a congregational resolution on becoming a Sanctuary Church. Formal notice of the Special Meeting with the text of a proposed resolution will be sent to members by e-mail by  February 9, 2017. In addition, Rev. Schroeder and Board of Trustees President Eric Cooperstein will share updates on the work of our Church, the Church's mid-year budget, the capital campaign, and more! This meeting will be a time to celebrate shared accomplishments and breathe life into our vision of what we can accomplish together in the coming months. Mark your calendars to join us on  February 19, 2017, at  12:30 p.m.
Apply to Join the Nominating Committee
Help select the leaders of our Church! The Nominating Committee is accepting applications to fill a vacancy on the committee. The person selected will serve through June 2017 and may be reappointed at the 2017 Annual Meeting to serve the remainder of term, which ends in June 2018. 

The Nominating Committee recruits and selects individuals to serve on the Board of Trustees, the Board of the First Universalist Foundation, and the Nominating Committee itself. Most of the work of the committee will be conducted between February and May. To apply, complete the application available on the website here and submit it by e-mail to Committee Chair Doug Smalley at douglas.smalley@gmail.com by Feb. 12, 2017.
Valentine's Day Truffle Sale
The First Universalist Youth Cultural Exchange (YCE) is holding its annual truffle sale in the Social Hall on Sundays, Feb. 5, 12, and 19! These gourmet truffles are handmade by YCE youth and lovingly packaged in decorative gift boxes. Following our UU values, the truffles are made with fair trade chocolate.

New this Year: Send a box of truffles to a student at Augsburg Fairview Academy! Include a personal note if you wish, and the YCE youth will deliver your gift of love and truffles to the students. Support two First Universalist Faithful Action programs at the same time!

Flavors: Chocolate with Sea Salt, Mint, Chocolate Toffee and Cappuccino.
Cost: $2.50 each, $10 box of 4, $20 box of 8
Payment: Credit cards, debit cards, cash and check accepted.
Urban Indian Challenges: Issues and Actions
Sunday, Feb. 12: Panel discussion begins at 7:15 p.m., meet urban Indian community leaders at 6:30 p.m., at Plymouth Congregational Church in Minneapolis
Three American Indian leaders offer a valuable opportunity to hear their perspectives on urban Indians' challenges - and learn about steps needed to build a vibrant and sustainable urban Indian community - at a panel discussion on Sunday, Feb. 12 at Plymouth Congregational Church in Minneapolis.  The panelists will be:
Joining them as moderator will be Tom Weber, who  hosts a call-in talk show every weekday on MPR news and brings to the discussion years of reporting on American Indian issues.
The Plymouth American Indian Initiative invites all to this opportunity to listen and identify avenues to support the urban Indian community.  Plymouth Congregational Church in Minneapolis is located at the intersection of Nicollet and Franklin Avenues,  (612) 871-7400 ;   churchinfo@plymouth.org.
  Heart to Heart Couples Enrichment Weekend 
March 24-26, 2017, at Koinonia Retreat Center

It's time for the annual Heart to Heart spring weekend! This year Heart to Heart is convening from March 24-26 at Koinonia Retreat Center in South Haven, MN. 

Heart to Heart couples' enrichment weekends offer a unique approach to strengthening relationships. Three volunteer lead couples share aspects of their own personal journeys with depth, humor, revelation, and heartfelt honesty. Participating couples are offered opportunities for personal reflection and communication with their partners on an array of topics key to long-term committed relationships. All couples are invited to join an ongoing group after the weekend. Participants are not asked to do any personal sharing with the group during the weekend. 

This powerful and enriching experience is open to all committed couples - married or unmarried, straight or queer, regardless of age or number of years together. The only requirement is a desire to deepen and enrich their relationship. 

To learn more about Heart to Heart, visit www.hearttoheartmn.org or contact Jane Rauenhorst at 651-757-0708 or jane.rauenhorst@gmail.com. 
  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 Care Team.
Congregational Care: Pastoral Care Team
The Pastoral Care Team is a group of congregants who provide confidential pastoral care to friends and members in need of support. We visit people at homes, in hospitals, or at the corner coffee shop. Our goal is to offer compassionate presence to our fellow congregants in the knowledge that this too is a spiritual practice. If you are in need of a Pastoral Care team visit, contact Rev. Jen Crow at jen@firstuniv.org. Learn more 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.
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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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