February 11, 2016  |  Vol. 3 No. 6
Thoughts on Brokenness: Don't Hit the Gas Pedal
Rev. Justin Schroeder
By Rev. Justin Schroeder

If you missed Rev. Jen's sermon from last Sunday, you can catch it on our podcast, here.

I've been carrying her expression, "It's already broken," like a prayer bead. This expression, "It's already broken," lessens the pressure to "be perfect" or to have the right answer, or live such a contained life that there's no room for risk or experimentation. This expression allows us to slow down and recognize the imperfections and crack lines that we - and everyone and everything else - already have. In taking this reality in, perhaps we move toward some kind of wholeness.

"It's already broken" reminds me of these words from Barbara Brown Taylor, as she reflects on slowing down, and even befriending the places of brokenness: 

"Like many ambitious people, I had developed a dependence on adrenaline.

"I could get so much done when my anxiety was in the red zone that I learned to live right on the edge of panic, in that optimum zone between alarm and collapse.

"As long as I kept moving quickly, there was a great deal I did not have to feel. Sadness and loss were slow movers, along with bewilderment and doubt. Every time I heard them moving behind me, I put on a burst of speed."

It's already broken. Brokenness, loss, joy, and deep gratitude are already there.

If we're rushing from a feeling of brokenness, may we slow down, honoring the brokenness in and around us, and in doing so, find an unimaginable richness and fullness in this life we all share.

I'll see you in church,
Justin 
SUNDAY WORSHIP AT FIRST UNIVERSALIST CHURCH
February worship theme: Brokenness
Worship this Sunday
Sunday, Feb. 14, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m.
Youth Friendly Worship
(6th-12th grades attend entire service)
"Conscience, Lead Me to Grace"
Rev. Ruth MacKenzie
There is an old Bible story about a man named Jacob, who wrestles with an angel one night. In the ensuing engagement Jacob is wounded, but he won't release the angel. As the sun rises, the angel asks to be set free. Jacob responds: "Only if you bless me." There is a dual nature to brokenness. It is wounding and it is blessing. This Sunday, we explore wounds and blessings in a youth-friendly service.
 
Read More  
Winter Worship Schedule

A Look Ahead
Sunday, Feb. 21, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m.
"Sacred Promises"
Rev. Justin Schroeder

Miss a Recent Sunday?
Feb. 7, 2016
"It's Already Broken"
Rev. Jen Crow

Jan. 31, 2016
"Letting Go"
Rev. Elaine Aron Tenbrink

Jan. 24, 2016
"Step by Step"
Rev. Justin Schroeder

Jan. 17, 2016
"The Other America"
Rev. Justin Schroeder
UPCOMING EVENTS
Racial Justice and Our UU Faith Workshop
Wednesdays, Feb. 17 & 24, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
As a church community, we are deeply committed to racial justice.  We hope that all First Universalist members and friends will join us for this interactive 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. The February workshop is offered in two parts (both required), on Wednesdays, Feb. 17 and 24 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. each day. Led by Clemma Muller.
To register, contact Sandy DiNanni at  Sandy@firstuniv.org or 612-825-1701.
Daytime Connections: Intentional Aging
Thursday, Feb. 18,  11 a.m.
Too often life changes come without warning, and we have to react quickly. However, we can have more autonomy if we make a plan.  Join us to consider your main challenges about the transitions ahead and talk with experts: Diane Sprague, Director of Lifetime Home Project; Ann Dunagan, New TRUST Parish Nurse; Nate Ahlberg, Financial Planner, Accredited Investors; and Linda Walker, Social Worker, SW Senior Center.  Program includes small meal ($5 donation requested). RSVP to Sandy ( sandy@firstuniv.org612-825-1701).  
Marital First Responders Training
Saturday, Feb. 20, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
If friends confide in you about relationship challenges and you want to feel more confident in how to be supportive, this training is for you! Marital First Responders are people who others open up to about relationship problems. But they are sometimes unsure how to be helpful, how to avoid taking sides, and how to steer friends and family to the right resources.  This training will help you be more intentional, confident, and effective when others come to you for support. Led by Bill Doherty, Ph.D., University of Minnesota Professor, marriage therapist, and co-founder of The Doherty Relationship Institute.  Registration: To sign up, email Rev. Jen Crow at  jen@firstuniv.org .
"Selma" Viewing & Discussion
RESCHEDULED: Feb. 27, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Through our Racial Justice Video and Book Discussion series, we invite you to join us for engaging conversations on race, racism, and whiteness.  "Selma" chronicles Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s 1965 campaign to secure equal voting rights in the face of violent opposition. Join us for a viewing of the movie followed by a discussion  led by Jeff Sylvestre and Channing McKinley. This is a drop-in program. Please bring your own lunch.
NEWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS
The Road We Walk Together: Pledge Drive 2016-17
Our annual pledge campaign, to raise funds for the church operating budget for 2016-2017, begins on Sunday, Feb. 21. It culminates with a Pledge Day celebration on Wednesday, March 9 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the Social Hall. If we have your address, you will have received a postcard in the mail reminding you of this important event.

Our goal for this pledge drive is to increase our pledge income by $80,000, from $1,155,000 to $1,235,000. When we reach our goal:
  • We will pay all adult church staff members a living wage of $15 hour or more
  • We will take significant steps towards compensating ministers and staff in line with similar congregations and nonprofits
  • As our Religious Education program continues to flourish and grow, we will make sure that no family is ever turned away from children or youth programming for lack of funds.
  • We will broaden and deepen our work in the areas of racial justice, environmental justice, and ending homelessness.
We have taken important steps as a congregation, including eliminating basic religious education fees, launching a church-wide racial justice program, and deepening our ministry in the community. Now is the time to move beyond steps and continue our journey of commitment, investment of resources, and transformative possibility. 
Celebrating the Success of Our Holiday Giving Project
We are happy to announce that we achieved our goal of raising $70,000 for our Holiday Giving project this year! 

We will be presenting a check of $64,884.38 (accounting for administrative/fundraising costs) to Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative on February 21 , during both services. Additionally, members of First Universalist attended Beacon's Ending Homelessness Together Luncheon this past fall, and made gifts of more than $7,000, though we're not officially counting this as part of our Holiday Giving. Together, our gifts will have a life-changing impact on the people Beacon serves. Thank you for your generosity!
Beacon Citizens in the Social Hall on Feb. 21
Join First Universalist's Faithful Action Leadership Council (FALC) to end homelessness and improve affordable housing and shelter! Next Sunday, Feb. 21, we invite you to m eet with Beacon Citizen leadership  i n the social hall after both services.
 
People fill many roles in the work to end homelessness. Some give to organizations working to end homelessness; others volunteer to provide shelter or do a home build; and still others support affordable housing in their community. Now, we are asking legislators to do their part and support the Homes for All agenda during the 2016 Legislative Session.
 
Each action you take to serve people experiencing homelessness and to build affordable housing shows there is community will to end homelessness.
 
By filling out the Beacon Advocacy card that you'll find in your Order of Service on Feb. 21 and sharing how you fill roles in the work to end homelessness, you are demonstrating to elected officials that you want them to do their part.
 
"We call upon Governor Dayton and the Minnesota Legislature to support the Homes for All 2016 legislative agenda, which includes substantial resources to build affordable housing and provide critical services to assist people experiencing homelessness in our communities."
Community Solar Garden: Space Still Available
Your First Universalist solar team is still hard at work creating an online presentation so that more church members and friends can learn about this important program.  

In the meantime, visit us on Sundays in the Social Hall. We will be tabling for the next several Sundays and are happy to answer all your questions.  

If you are ready to reserve your spot, with no obligation, complete a Subscriber Interest Form online. We'd also like to encourage those of you already in-process to urge your friends, neighbors, and family members to apply.

If you have questions, contact a member of the solar team at  FirstUnivCSG@gmail.com
Youth Cultural Exchange Informational Meeting
Sunday, Feb 21, 1-2 p.m. in the Cummins Room
 
7th and 8th grade families are invited to an informational meeting about First Universalist's Youth Cultural Exchange (YCE) program on Sunday, Feb. 21 from 1-2 p.m. At this time, we will describe the YCE program in greater detail, answer questions, and share the schedule and process for youth to apply.
 
If your 7th or 8th grader is at all interested in being part of YCE, please plan to attend the mandatory informational meeting. All interested youth must attend the informational meeting with a parent/guardian to be eligible to apply. YCE is a unique opportunity for youth to participate in a cultural exchange with youth in Nicaragua. Our UU youth participants gain a deep understanding of how to make a difference in the world by taking the first step of learning to be friends with youth from another culture. This opportunity will not be offered again for First Universalist youth in this age-group cohort.
 
Climate Endangered Birds of Minnesota
Nearly half of all bird species in North America are seriously threatened by climate change, and in Minnesota we have 166 climate threatened or climate endangered species. In Minnesota, climate endangered birds include the Trumpeter Swan as well as American White Pelican, Common Loon, Mallard Duck, Bald Eagle and many others.
 
St. Paul Audubon member Monica Bryand worked on a special project of Minnesota Audubon to capture, through photos, these 166 at-risk species. It is a work in progress but she currently has over 100 images. On Sunday, Feb. 28 at 1 p.m. in the Cummins Room, she will share her photos and some stories of her travels along the way and why she is so passionate about working to protect the environment for people and the birds.
 
Monica is a Latina birder/photographer who focuses on mainly urban birds but manages to travel up north and across the state to find special feathered friends. You may have seen her amazing photos of urban birds, many of which make their homes on our city lakes for parts of each year.
Have You Filled Out Our Recent Survey?
This past Sunday, you should have received an email from us with a link to a survey that our Exploring Membership Working Group put together. Many of you have already responded and filled out the survey, and we are so appreciative. If you haven't yet filled it out, there is still time!

Our Exploring Membership Working Group is considering how the church might strengthen our membership process and better invite people into meaningful engagement in this transformative faith community. Our first step in this process is a 10-minute online survey Please visit this page to take the survey.  We want to hear what you have to say!

Anyone who has attended First Universalist somewhat regularly for a time, regardless of membership status or whether you currently attend, can take the survey.  Responses are appreciated by Monday, Feb. 22.

Paper surveys will be available in the social hall on Sundays, Feb. 14 and 21. You can also email Elaine@firstuniv.org or call 612-825-1701 x124 and we will mail one to you.

Thank you for taking the time to fill out this survey and further strengthen our vibrant faith community!
YCE Valentine's Day Truffle Sale Fundraiser
This Sunday is the last day to buy truffles! Youth Cultural Exchange (YCE) is holding its annual truffle sale just in time for Valentine's Day. Our youth make the truffles by hand using fair trade chocolate and package them in decorative boxes.

Twelve youth from our church are participating in a cultural exchange with 12 teenagers from Nicaragua. Parents of our youth pay for their own children to participate. All proceeds from the truffle sale will be used to pay for the Nicaraguan youth to fly to Minnesota in 2016.

Stop by the social hall after either service on Feb. 14. Credit cards, cash, and check accepted. The truffles are available in boxes of 4 for $8 (one of each) and 8 for $16 (two of each) as well as individually for $2 each. Flavors include: Sea Salt, Toffee, Mint, and Cappuccino. These make great gifts for your family, friends, teachers and coaches! 

Office Closed Monday, Feb. 15; Building Open for Circles and Meetings
The church office will be closed on Monday, Feb. 15 in observance of Presidents' Day.

The building will be open in the evening, however, and meetings and Circles that are scheduled will take place as usual.
NEWS IN BRIEF
Cycle of Life and Pastoral Care
Our thoughts continue to be with Lynn Elling, as he receives hospice care at Walker Methodist. Your cards are welcome. Cards can be sent to Lynn at Walker Methodist,  3737 Bryant Avenue South,  Minneapolis, MN 55409.

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, contact Rev. Jen Crow at jen@firstuniv.org or 612-825-1701 or any member of our Pastoral Care Team.
Congregational Care: New Baby Welcome
Having a baby? Want to help welcome a new baby? Contact Ann Terlizzi (612-728-7232 or annterlizzi@visi.com) or Jody Beresford (952-828-9977 or spice777@aol.com), co-chairs of our new baby welcome team.
Planned Giving
If First Universalist means much to you and you want to help the church stay strong, please consider naming it in your will or estate plan. Interested? See a minister or the church's financial administrator.
- Peg Meier of the Planned Giving Committee
Shopping for Valentine's Day Gifts? 
Do you shop on Amazon? Did you know you can support First Universalist when you do? 
Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases to First Universalist when you shop on  AmazonSmile. It' s the same Amazon that you know, except that we benefit when you make purchases!   Shop Amazon Smile
Donations Needed for
Augsburg Fairview Academy

First Universalist is the primary supplier of food and clothing for the Hope Food and Clothing Closets at Augsburg Fairview Academy, a school that serves young adults from diverse communities facing educational barriers to achievement in traditional schools. A list of items needed can be found on our websiteBring items to the Hub on Sundays or leave on the shelves marked AFA at the 34th street entrance. Thank you for your generosity!
RESOURCES & CONTACT INFORMATION
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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. 15
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Contact Us
First Universalist Church of Minneapolis
3400 Dupont Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55408
612-825-1701
For staff contact information, please visit our Ministers and Staff page.
First Universalist Church of Minneapolis
3400 Dupont Avenue S.
Minneapolis, MN 55408

612-825-1701

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