First Universalist Church
Weekly E-News: May 15, 2014
A Message from Rev. Justin Schroeder
A View from the Pew

During the week, when the sanctuary is empty, I sometimes sit in the pews. This week, as I sat in the pews, I felt deep gratitude for everyone who supports our mission of "giving, receiving, and growing in the Universalist spirit of love and hope."

At the center of our faith community is the vision that we welcome, affirm, and protect the light in each human heart, that we act outside our walls, and that we listen deeply to where love is calling us next. These are the central practices and the promises we live into.

This isn't just empty talk; we really do put our hands and hearts to work in the wider world, as we pound nails to construct the House that Love Built, as we mentor and partner with teachers and students at Augsberg Fairview Academy, as we celebrate Marriage Equality, as we deepen our understanding of what it means to be a church committed to racial justice, and as we give away the majority of our offering plate to community partners.

Last Sunday, we dedicated 15 babies and children, welcoming, affirming and protecting the light of these young ones and their families. Through our Circles, we practice listening deeply to where love is moving in our lives. Together, we create an ocean of care and support.

This is what we're here to do, and your financial support helps the flame of this community burn brightly.

If you haven't made your financial pledge for 2014-2015 yet, please do so by clicking below.

If you're inspired by this vision and are able to increase your annual giving, please do so by clicking below. Or, if you have questions about the church or our budget, please email me at
I am grateful to those of you who have reached out to me!


May 18 Order of Service and Bulletin
To view the May 18 Order of Service and Bulletin online, click below. 
A Message From Rev. Ruth MacKenzie 


I have had the great privilege of working with our Coming of Age class over the past few months, as these beloved youth grappled with the big questions of life and religion: What is the nature of being human? What is the nature of community? What is this world about? What is the nature of God, or is there a god? From these questions, the youth wrote their credo, a statement in which they place their heart, their trust.

It's been a big ride. The Coming of Age group volunteered at Ascension House, and asked questions of justice. We wrote a rap and talked about our connections. We stayed up till 3:00 AM (Well I have to be honest, I dozed off), stared at the stars, and giggled about this big beautiful life. 

If you've never been to a Coming of Age service, you should come. It's a great day, and these are great people with important things to say. The Coming of Age service is Saturday, May 17 at 3PM.


We hope to see you there. 






Wellspring Orientation

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.

Attending the orientation is required if you wish to participate in Wellspring next year. Please join us on Monday, May 19 7-8:30pm or on Sunday, June 8 at 11:30am. Bring your questions and your open hearts. We look forward to seeing you there!

In faith,

Rev. Jen Crow, Rev. Elaine Aron Tenbrink, and Sara Smalley 
RE Registration
Religious education registration for Summer 2014 and the 2014-2015 church year is now OPEN online. Click below to learn more and to register babies through high school youth for Sunday morning care and classes 


Summer Circle Registration:
Only a Few More Days Left!
Looking for spiritual nourishment this summer? Hoping to connect with some of the fascinating, thoughtful people of First Universalist? Joining a summer circle may be just the thing for you! 
Our circles are groups of 8-10 committed participants who come together with a trained leader to nurture spiritual growth in community. These groups are grounded in the spiritual practices of deep listening and open-hearted reflection.  
We are offering circles that are open to everyone, as well as circles especially for newcomers, parents of school-age children, people of color, and queer young adults. We're also offering a four-session chi-gung circle series. 
How Do I Get Involved? 
Online registration at is open through Monday, May 19. Group sizes are limited and registration is first-come, first-served. You may also register downstairs in the Social Hall on Sunday. 
For more information, please contact Rev. Elaine Aron Tenbrink at or 612-825-1701 x124.
A Message From Rev. Justin
May 18 OOS & Bulletin
A Message From Rev. Ruth
Wellspring Orientation
RE Registration
Summer Circle Registration
Pledge Statistics
Upcoming Sundays
Sign Up for Habitat Build
May 'Liberal' Now Online
Congregational Survey
Intergenerational Choir Rehearsal

Pledge Statistics


For the 2014-2015 Pledge Drive:
Total pledges: 535 pledge units, totaling $1,049,069.03 Percentage of people who've submitted their pledge is 59.6%. Number of congregants who aspire to give at the sustainer level is 55. (as of May 15, 2014) 

To read Rev. Justin's letter to the congregation about the 2014-2015 Pledge Drive and budget, click here.
Upcoming Sundays 


May 18
* Last Sunday with two services
* Final RE classes for 2013-2014
* Special recognition of John Jensen with Coffee and cake after both services at 9:30am and 11:15am

May 25
* Summer Worship schedule begins, one service at 10am
* Childcare for ages 6 months to 5th grade

Jun 1
* Flower Communion service at 10am
* Annual Meeting at 11:30am 
* Childcare for ages 6 months to 3 years; older kids attend the service with their families 
* RE Teacher Appreciation Breakfast at 9am
Jun 8
Summer Religious Education starts! Childcare and classes for ages 6 months through entering 6th grade
Aug 3 Save the date!
* Lake Harriet service at the Bandshell at 10am  
* Annual Church Picnic at 11am. 


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

2nd Floor Walls and Roof Peak
House that Love Built


May Edition of 'The Liberal' is Now Online! 
Don't forget to check out The Liberal online!  Please note that the May edition will be the last published edition for the next few months, while The Liberal goes on summer vacation.  To read the May 'Liberal', click here.


Fill out the Congregational Survey 
The Board of Trustees needs to know if the church is living up to its values, and your help is needed!  Whether you have been here 6 months or 60 years, whether you are 16 years old or 106, please take 10 minutes to tell us how the church is helping you (or not helping you) give, receive, and grow. 
Please take the survey at 


Intergenerational Choir Rehearsal This Week
New singers may still join!

Are you and/or members of your family interested in singing? 
Have you considered singing in the choir, but you couldn't make the long-term commitment? 
With four rehearsals and worship services on one Sunday, the Intergenerational Choir may be perfect for you. 
All ages are welcome. Here are the particulars:
Hope For Resolution by Paul Caldwell 
* Sunday, May 18 at 10:35-11:10 AM (between services, in the Cummins room)
Wednesday, May 21 at 7:00-8:00 PM (in the Sanctuary)
* Wednesday, May 28 at 7:00-8:00 PM (in the Sanctuary)
* Sunday, June 1 at 10:00 AM (Flower Communion)

Randy Buikema, Director of Choral Arts, will serve as the choir's conductor. The anthem, Hope For Resolution, is based on a Gregorian chant and accompanied by piano, soprano saxophone, drums and a South African tune (to be sung by the First Universalist Choir). 
If you have any questions, please contact



First Universalist Church
3400 Dupont Ave South
Minneapolis, Minnesota, 55408
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Upcoming Events
  • Sunday, May 18, Open Budget Conversation with Rev. Justin Schroeder, 12:15 PM, Sanctuary 
  • Sunday, May 18, Tilling the Soil for Racial Justice: The Story We Tell, 1:00 PM, Cummins Room 
  • Tuesday, May 20, Tilling the Soil for Racial Justice: The Story We Tell, 6:00 PM, Cummins Room
  • Thursday, May 22, Racial Justice "Mapping" Gathering, 6:00 PM, Chalice Room

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