February 16, 2017  |  Vol. 4 No. 7
State of the Church Meeting & Sanctuary Church Vote
Eric Cooperstein
Dear Church,

Our annual State of the Church meeting this 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. The meeting agenda includes a m id-year programming and financial status update, updates on the c apital campaign and  Board of Trustees racial justice work, and a vote on the  Sanctuary Church Resolution.
The text of the proposed resolution is below. Please note that we must have a quorum of 10% of our membership (about 95 people) to adopt the resolution. Your attendance is critical!
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. Please join us this Sunday.
With peace and love,
Eric Cooperstein,
President, 2016-17, First Universalist Church Board of Trustees
Proposed Resolution regarding Sanctuary Church
(to be considered at a Special Meeting of the Congregation on Feb. 19, 2017, 12:30 p.m.)
Whereas, the principles of Unitarian Universalism call us to affirm the inherent worth and dignity of every person and to seek a world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all; and
Whereas, in June 2015 the congregation of First Universalist Church approved by resolution and publicly declared its commitment to continue the fight for Racial Justice through education, advocacy, self-reflection, and relationship-building; and
Whereas, in 1984, in response to actions of the United States government in Central America, First Universalist declared itself to be a Sanctuary Church and provided temporary housing and refuge to several Central Americans fleeing terrorism in their home countries; and
Whereas, President Donald Trump's issuance of an Executive Order on "Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements" on January 25, 2017, attempting to ban immigration from seven predominately Muslim countries, demonstrates that the President intends to carry out a campaign to discriminate against Muslims, immigrants, and refugees;
Therefore, be it resolved that we, the members of First Universalist Church, publicly declare our intent to be a Sanctuary Church, to provide such support and refuge to immigrants, regardless of their legal status, as the Senior Minister deems appropriate, with periodic reports by the Senior Minister to the Board of Trustees regarding actions taken pursuant to this resolution. And further, that we dedicate ourselves to educate and activate our congregation, to amplify and respond to the voices of immigrant leaders, and to speak out against discrimination toward any and all marginalized people.
February Worship Theme: Prophetic Imagination

Worship this Sunday
Sunday, Feb. 19, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m.
Youth-friendly worship
"The Way It Is"
Rev. Jen Crow, Rev. Justin Schroeder
Beneath the sometimes swirling changes of life, there is a deeper truth that can guide us. Join us for an exploration of the core truths that guide us as individuals and as a church community.  Youth in grades 6 through 12 attend the entire service with their families.
A Look Ahead
Sunday, Feb. 26, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m.
Rev. Justin Schroeder

Recent Sermon Podcasts
February 12, 2017
"Poets, Prophets, and the Apocalypse (Or: Using Your Moral Power)"
Rev. Justin Schroeder
February 5, 2017
"Meeting this Moment"
Rev. Jen Crow
January 29, 2017
"Prophetic Resistance"
Rev. Justin Schroeder
Immigration & Refugee Panels: 2/17 & 3/5
TOMORROW! Friday, Feb. 17: 7-8:30 p.m.; S econd panel
 Sunday, March 5: 1-2:30 p.m.

"Build a wall." "Register Muslims." " Deport criminals." "Refuse more refugees ."

These are the headlines that have dominated recent public discourse. But for immigrants and refugees residing in the U.S., these issues are just the most recent developments in a long struggle to live freely in a nation that has yet to provide liberty and justice for all.
As part of First Universalist's Sanctuary and Resistance movement, we invite you to listen and learn from some of our immigrant and refugee neighbors as they discuss their lived realities in our community and in our country. 

Presented by members of Inquilinxs Unidxs Por Justicia and Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee (MIRAC).

These events are free and childcare is provided with a minimum of seven days' notice. To request childcare for the March 5 event, fill out the online form.

First Universalist Church will vote on a resolution to become a full sanctuary church on Sunday, Feb. 19 at the mid-year State of the Church meeting. Please consider attending one of these presentations to understand the full impact of sanctuary for those who may be directly affected by the current administration's immigration and refugee policies.
Workshop: Planning Your Own 
Memorial Service
Sundays, Feb. 19 (1:30-3 p.m.) 
& Feb. 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 by emailing jen@firstuniv.org.
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.
Kinds of Light: COLOR
Contemplative Evening Worship Service
Sunday, Feb. 19, 5:30 p.m.
Join us for a meditative hour of music and poetry for opening the heart and deepening the spirit. In this contemplative evening worship service, we'll enjoy musical selections performed by Dr. Jerrod Wendland and poetry read by Rev. Ruth MacKenzie. Jerrod writes: "A ray of light hits an object; it absorbs some frequencies, and reflects back those it cannot take in. Somehow, we've decided that the object "is" the frequencies it cannot absorb. Color is information, but often only about our own way of perceiving things. What does the color of an object really tell us? And what do we absorb from the world, and what do we reflect back at it - and which are we really?"
Senior Hike with Daytime Connections
Thursday, Feb. 23, 10 a.m.
Meet in the parking lot at Boom Island
Join us for our next seniors hike!  Meet at 10 a.m. at the Boom Island Parking Lot - on the east side of the Plymouth Ave Bridge turn south into the entrance to Boom Island Park.
This will be a level, 4-mile hike, about 1 1/2 - 2 hours, from Boom Island, around Nicollet Island to Main Street, to the Stone Arch Bridge for views of St Anthony Falls, the Mill Ruins and the closed Upper St Anthony Falls Locks, and back.  RSVP to Pete May, 952-200-4939 or  petemay09@gmail.com .
Racial Justice & Our UU Faith Workshop
Saturdays, Feb. 25 & March 4, 9-11:30 a.m.
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 two-part workshop offered on Saturdays, Feb. 25 & March 4, from 9-11:30 a.m., and led by Channing McKinley and Emma Paskewitz. The next workshop will be offered on Saturdays, April 22 & 29, 9-11:30 a.m. To register, contact Sandy at Sandy@firstuniv.org or 612-825-1701. 
Just Announced: Moving Through Heavy-Heartedness: a Ritual to Name, Transform, and Hope
Although each of us comes with different understandings and experiences of this new administration, and what it means in our lives, for many of us, this is a time of heavy-heartedness. Some of us are hanging onto hope by a thread; some live in real fear. Some wonder how the oppressive frameworks lived day in, and day out, are only now being recognized. Some of us are sensing this as a time of possibility.

We know as human beings that our nervous systems respond to tumult, trauma, and heavy-heartedness in a couple of ways: we shut down, or perhaps we respond with anxiety and/or lashing out. As people of faith, we know there is a third way: one in which we feel what we feel but remain conscious and connected. This is the heart/mind space available to each of us, a place we are most grounded, alive, effective, and hopeful.

Join us Tuesday, Feb. 28, at 7 p.m., in a ritual of naming, getting connected, finding empathy, and awakening hope. In this ritual we will set an intention for spiritual practice over the next 40 days. We will reconvene on April 13 to reconnect and continue to access our heart/mind center, making promises for our faithful action moving forward. We gather in loving, faithful community because we know it is through connection that trauma can be transformed into purpose, and heavy-heartedness can be retooled into compassion, hope and resolve.

Our ritual will be led by Patrick Doherty, Bobby Gillespie, Richard Spratt, Patsy Egan, Revs. Justin Schroeder and Ruth MacKenzie, Jerrod Wendland, Franco Holder, and members of the First Universalist Choir.
RSVP Now to our Capital Campaign Kickoff Party!

You're invited to celebrate the launch of First Universalist Church's capital campaign with a party for all ages on Saturday, March 11!

It's FREE, family-friendly, and for everyone in our community. We want you with us!

Please join us on Saturday, March 11, 5-11 p.m., for dinner & entertainment 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.  Special guests include the Revs. John Cummins & Kate Tucker; and we'll enjoy live music by Ann Reed and GiveGetSistet.
  • Dinner will be provided (including gluten-free and vegetarian options); cash bar.
  • Free ride sign up will be available to make this event as accessible and easy to attend as possible for all.
  • Adults gather in the 1858 Grand Room for fellowship, dinner, music, and dancing.
  • There will be a separate, adjacent space for children and youth, with a kid-friendly buffet, free childcare for children up to age 5 until 9 p.m., and fun, supervised activities and games for school-aged children and youth until 10 p.m.
  • There will be no pledges solicited at this event; it'll be a time of celebration!
RSVP is requested by March 1. Register now!
Ingrid Young Now Coordinating Our Work with Habitat for Humanity
Ingrid Young
The leadership for First Universalist's work with Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity has recently shifted from Geoff Lenox to Ingrid Young. Our church's most recent participation with Habitat started in 2010 under the leadership of Tom Saterstrom and Chuck Coskran. In 2014, Geoff Lenox took over the leadership and now in 2017, Ingrid Young will coordinate our work with Habitat for Humanity to make decent and affordable housing available for all.

This summer we will again have a Work Week with Habitat,  Monday thru Friday , with 12 to 15 volunteers needed for each of the five days. Sign-up sheets will soon be available on the church website and in the social hall.

In the last seven years, approximately 100 church members have volunteered to help build affordable housing. Under Ingrid's leadership our work with Habitat continues, becoming again an example of who we are, what we do. 
An Opportunity to Exert Our Moral Power:
Beacon's Day on the Hill is Feb. 27
More than 120 congregants packed the Cummins Room following last Sunday's service for a workshop with Jeff Freeland Nelson on how to exert our moral power. We learned several critical messages. Among them:
  • Elected officials want to get re-elected. So, much of our power lies in our position as constituents. Regular communication with our representatives -- everyone from our City Council member up through our U.S. Senators -- makes a difference. 
  • Phone calls to our legislators are often the most expedient means of expressing our view and getting the representative to "tally" our vote.
  • Advocacy ranges from phone calls, emails, letters, postcards, and participation with issue specific organizations, to meeting directly with representatives.  
  • We need to advocate to support and advocate to oppose. If we believe our representatives already agree with us, a call to let them know we appreciate their position is invaluable. We know they will hear from the opposition!
The Faithful Action Council has identified seven partners with whom we have committed relationships. Of those seven, four are working to break down the systemic issues causing homelessness - Habitat for Humanity, Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative, Simpson Housing Services, and Project for Pride in Living. Each of those organizations is a member of "Homes for All," a coalition of organizations committed to ending homelessness and providing shelter for those in need of shelter.

Over 150 members of First Universalist have given of their time and talent to host homeless families through Beacon's Families Moving Forward program. It is a way we "show up" to provide support to families in crisis. Now we are seeking congregants willing to add their voices to Beacon's 2017 Legislative Campaign: Home is the Key. 

The agenda for the 2017 campaign is simple and two-fold:
  • Pass the Unlocking Opportunities legislation, creating a statewide $14.1 million grant for supportive housing for individuals with felony convictions. The "Great River Landing" facility for previously incarcerated men is a potential recipient.
  • Support the Homes for All agenda, including $100 million for bonding and $30 million to strengthen Minnesota's Housing Continuum in every corner of the state.
Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative is sponsoring:  A DAY ON THE HILL on  Monday, February 27. The schedule includes:  11 a.m. Lunch and Learn at Christ Lutheran, 
12:30 p.m. Visits to Legislative Offices,  2 p.m. Rally at the Rotunda, and  3 p.m. Legislative hearing on Unlocking Opportunities. Find details here.

Interested in supporting this effort? Stop by the Social Hall following this Sunday's service to discover the many ways you can lend your moral power to this effort. Or contact Peg Mitchell at  pegmitch16@gmail.com or 612-280-6119.
New Art Exhibit in the Social Hall:
Work by Photographer Richard Birger
Activist/comedian Dick Gregory at the Anti-Redskins Rally at the University of Minnesota, November 2014. Photo by Richard Birger.
An new exhibit of work by photographer Richard Birger will be on view in the gallery space in the social hall Feb. 19 through March 26.  An artist's reception will be held in the Social Hall after services on Sunday, Feb. 26. 

Richard is a photographer currently living in Roseville, Minn., where he and his wife Nancy retired after his career with the U.S. Dept. of the Interior's Fish and Wildlife Service. They have moved around the country several times; the last assignment was as Project Leader of the Desert National Wildlife Refuge Complex in southern Nevada.
Richard says: "My interest in photography started many years ago when I needed to complete some required humanities courses at the University of Minnesota. Film was the medium and I spent many hours in the U's darkroom truly fascinated with what could be done with light through a lens, special paper, and chemicals. The advent of digital photography brought me back to the fascination I'd experienced before. I find that using the modern tools of digital sensors, computers, and ever-changing software lets me substantially recreate the same sensations I feel when witnessing a scene in the real world."

The exhibit can be viewed on Sundays between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. To view the exhibit at other times, contact Bette DeMars at  jbdemars2@gmail.com.
2017 AUW Speaker Series with Nancy Donoval
The Association of Universalist Women (AUW) invites you to join them for:

Nancy Donoval presents:  "No Shame, No Silence: Speaking Up to Stop Sexual Violence"
Friday, Feb. 24, 6:30 p.m. in the Cummins Room.
Coffee, tea, and snacks will be provided.
Stories rise from a compelling human need to give voice, to name our experience so that we can understand it.  Witty, fearless and open-hearted, Nancy Donoval invites audiences to  reduce   stigma, inspire hope and motivate   change .   With 25 years experience as a professional storyteller, Nancy's stories have been heard on Chicago and Minnesota Public Radio, and she does training on  sexual assault awareness & prevention on  college campuses nationally.  In  2010 she was a National Story Slam Champion. Bring your daughters, sons, and grandchildren (age appropriate) to hear Nancy's survivor story.
Valentine's Day Truffle Sale
The final day of the First Universalist Youth Cultural Exchange (YCE) annual truffle sale in the Social Hall is this Sunday, Feb. 19! These gourmet truffles are handmade with fair trade chocolate by YCE youth and lovingly packaged in decorative gift boxes. 

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!
  Cycle of Life and Pastoral Care

Long-time member, Salvador Valdovinos, died at home early this week, and a memorial service will be held at church on  Thursday, Feb. 23, at 10 a.m.  Sal's warmth, humor, and care will be dearly missed. 

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.
  Church Office Closed Monday, Feb. 20
Please note that the church office will be closed on Monday, Feb. 20 in observance of President's Day.  When the office is closed, the door buzzer is not monitored . Some groups will be meeting on Monday even though the office is closed - in those cases, group/meeting leaders will be monitoring doors to let participants in.
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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Church Office Hours
Sundays  8 a.m.-1 p.m.
Monday-Thursday  8:30 a.m.-8 p.m.
Closed Fridays and Saturdays
Closed Monday, Feb. 20
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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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