First Universalist Church
Weekly E-News: June 5, 2014

An Update From the Annual Meeting From Rev. Justin Schroeder

At every Board meeting, the Trustees begin their time together by sharing these words, written by outgoing Board member, Dan Berg: 


"May this flame that burns before us light our way, informed by the wisdom of leaders gone before, and inspired by the trust that we have been given as stewards of this Church. May we have vision, compassion, and courage as we serve this congregation now and for the generations to come."  


These words were also shared at the Annual Meeting on Sunday, June 1. I love these words because they capture a sense of the bigger arc that we all live in: we are here because of those who came before; we serve on behave of the generations yet to come; together, we are stewarding something of great value. 


In many ways, these words guided our budget process. As you know, we had to make some difficult cuts to our budget, but we worked hard to preserve the core ministries of the church. 


We are hopeful that in the coming months, we will be able to restore some of these cuts, as additional pledge revenue comes in. There are still over a hundred pledge units (who pledged in 2013-2014), who have not yet pledged for 2014-2015.  As some of these pledges come in, we will begin to tackle our "first to restore" list, in the following order:

  • We'll restore child care being offered for all church events ($12,000)
  • We'll restore staffing cuts made to our Religious Education Program ($10,000)
  • We'll restore our Minister of Worship Arts to 12 months, instead of 10 ($5,000)

There are other items on the "first to restore" list, including Administrative Support for Rev. Jen Crow's Faith in Action work, restoring cuts we made to the program budget, and more. We'll keep you informed about this process.


Finally, thank you to the hundreds and hundreds of church members and friends who support this community with your treasure, time, and many gifts. Together, informed by the wisdom of those gone before, we light the path in front of us.


I'll see you in church,


Wellspring Orientation
Sunday, June 8th
Have you heard about Wellspring? 
This year, more than 50 members of our church have participated in this amazing journey. Wellspring offers spiritual deepening within our Unitarian Universalist tradition, an opportunity for learning more about ourselves and our faith through a year-long small group experience. There are five interconnected components: commitment to a daily spiritual practice, monthly spiritual direction (self-reflection with a guide), small group meetings, reading about the theological and historical foundations of our faith, and putting our faith into action. After a day-long opening retreat in September 2014, Wellspring will meet every other week through May 2015.

You are invited to an information session to learn more and to help you decide whether Wellspring is a commitment you want to make. The Wellspring Orientation session will take place on Sunday, June 8th, at 11:30am in the Cummins Room. Attending the orientation is required if you wish to participate in Wellspring next year. Bring your questions and your open hearts. We look forward to seeing you there! If you cannot make it to the orientation, but are interested in learning more, please be in touch with Rev. Elaine at

You can also learn more about Wellspring in the comfort of your own home by checking out this video: click HERE.


June 8 Order of Service and Bulletin
To view the June 8 Order of Service and Bulletin online, click below. 
Summer Worship Schedule, one service at 10:00AM.

New Flat Screen TV in the Atrium

As a part of our plan to visualize the Habitat house build, and publicize the upcoming church meetings and events to congregants and visitors, a 40 inch flat screen television has been installed on the wall next to the coat room located on the Atrium door.
A very special thank you to Bill McTeer, one of our dedicated congregants who found and installed the appropriate TV screen, as well as contributed to its purchase. Visual Arts also contributed $300.00 for the purchase. Thank you!
We hope you enjoy this new feature and addition to the building!

Pastoral Care 

Let us keep you in our thoughts and prayers. If you are experiencing a life transition, loss or grief or if you are celebrating a great joy, this church community wants to be there with you. 

If you would like to be included in our Cycle of Life in worship, please contact Sandy Dinanni at

If you would like ministerial support, please contact Rev. Jen Crow at 

If you would like to give or receive support in the form of meals, rides, or one-on-one support, please be in touch with Rev. Jen ( or Kathy Coskran ( or Kathy Urberg (, co-chairs of our Congregational Care Team.

In faith,

Rev. Jen Crow
Tilling the Soil for Racial Justice: 
Monthly Discussions about Racial Justice

This June, join us for episode three of the film Race: The Power of an Illusion. "The House We Live In" is the first film about race to focus not on individual attitudes and behaviors but on the ways our institutions and policies advantage some groups at the expense of others.

All are welcome! You do not need to have seen previous episodes to attend.

Film showings and conversation will take place in room 203 at these times:
* Sunday, June 8 at 11:30am
* Tuesday, June 10 at 6:30pm

For more information, contact Clemma Muller ( or Kayci Rush (
Annual Meeting Update
Wellspring Orientation
June 8 OOS & Bulletin
New Flat Screen TV in the Atrium
Pastoral Care
Tilling the Soil for Racial Justice
Investing in our Community
Leaving Faith Behind?
Planning The Great Gathering
Summer Choir
Sign Up for Habitat Build

Investing in our Community

Last summer the "Community Investment Team" was formed and charged with the following:

  • To develop strategies for and carry out the church's community investment/give away the offering plate efforts
  • To engage the congregation in submitting Sunday offering recipient nominations

The team received 24 recipient nominations from the congregation.  Throughout the year, the Community Investment Team led the congregation in giving money to WaterLegacy, Augsburg Fairview Academy, Women's Environmental Institute, Reclaim, MN Indian Women's Resource Center, Simpson Shelter and Breaking Free.  Thank you for your generosity.  The offering plate donations support the work of organizations that put our faith in action. 


This summer we will continue to give to organizations nominated by the congregation, including MN Neighborhoods Organizing for Change and Minnesota Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Alliance. 


Would you like to participate in the planning and organization of offering plate donation?  The Community Investment Team is looking for several new members.  Please contact Reverend Justin Schroeder ( if you would like to apply to become a member of the team.  This is a meaningful and rewarding way to participate in the church community.


Thank You,

Bryan Noice, Umesh Berry 

and Molly Darsow


Community Investment Team 


Pledge Statistics


For the 2014-2015 Pledge Drive:
Total pledges: 575 pledge units, totaling $1,093,525.93 Percentage of people who've submitted their pledge is 64%. Number of congregants who aspire to give at the sustainer level is 59. (As of May 29, 2014)

To read Rev. Justin's letter to the congregation about the 2014-2015 Pledge Drive and budget, click here.
"Why are Millions of Americans Leaving their Faith Behind?" 

Leaders from a spectrum of downtown Minneapolis faith communities will discuss this very important topic (Rev. Justin Schroeder will be one of the voices on this panel.) As people are saying "Religion: why bother?" this "Voices of Faith" presentation will feature honest dialogue about the ways America's religious traditions interpret this decline and how they are or are not interacting with the questions of the average 21st Century person.  


Bring your questions because the second half of the event will be devoted to an audience driven Q&A. Monday, June 9, 7pm at Breck School Cargill Theater in Golden Valley. For more information, please visit: 


Dancing, Great Gatherings, and Fun-Raising, Oh My!
 (It's time to plan another fun party)

Were you a part of the Great Gathering party at church last February? Did you dance your heart out to the Jazz Band or the DJ that played that night? Did you sign up for a mini-Great Gathering event, and connect with other members of the church? It was a wonderful party and the take away was clear: let's do more fun events that build and strengthen our community.


Although summer has just rolled in, it's time to start planning for the next Great Gathering party. Will you be a part of the planning team? We know there will be food, dancing, and music. But what else might we do with this fun-raising (and fund-raising) party? That's where you come in! Are you interested in joining the planning team, meeting new friends, and putting together the party of the year? If so, please contact Kim Lund, at She's helping with the initial coordination and organizing of the Party Planning Team. 


Thank you!

Save the Date 


August 3 Save the date!
* Lake Harriet service at the Bandshell at 10am  
* Annual Church Picnic at 11am. 
Your invitation to sing in Summer Choir 
Do you like to sing? Have you thought about being in a choir, but you can't make an extended commitment? 

Summer Choir may be just right for you.
The Summer Choir is scheduled to sing on June 15, July 27 and August 24.

Rehearsals are at 9:00 a.m. on the day of the service. Yes, only one rehearsal on the day of the service. Music is easy enough to learn in the 45 minute rehearsal. All are welcome! If you have any questions, please contact


Sign Up for Habitat Build Days
It's time to BUILD 'The House That Love Built'...and we need volunteers!  Build days started in May and extend throughout the summer. We are also looking for volunteers to help with lunches.

Installed Windows and Shingled Roof 
House that Love Built


First Universalist Church
3400 Dupont Ave South
Minneapolis, Minnesota, 55408

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  • Sunday, June 8, Tilling the Soil: The House We Live In, 11:30 AM, Room 203
  • Sunday, June 8, Wellspring Orientation, 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM, Cummins Room
  • Tuesday, June 10, Tilling the Soil: The House We Live In, 6:00 PM, Room 203
  • Sunday, June 15, Summer Choir Rehearsal, 9:00 AM, Sanctuary



In the Universalist spirit of love and hope, we give, receive, and grow