First Universalist Church
Weekly E-News: May 8, 2014
A Message From Rev. Justin Shroeder


As many of you know, I've been on sabbatical for the past two months. 


I've missed you all! Being with you this past Sunday, singing, being held by the beautiful music of the choir, settling into silence in the cycle of life, and letting Rev. Jen's words wash over me, I noticed how good it felt to be with the community I know and love. I felt a calm sense of joy moving through me and the gathered community.


During my sabbatical, I began a daily meditation practice, I worked intensely with my spiritual director, I read, and most importantly, I let my spirit catch up with my body. The sabbatical became a time of going slow, of looking for and finding grace and gratitude in every day, of paying attention to my body, my thoughts, and even the thoughts I found myself resisting. And as I slowed down, I began to see myself and life more clearly - in all its beauty, messiness, and grace.


As we turn toward spring and summer, my prayer for all of us is that we might slow down. That we might see the flower, human, budding tree, or sunset right in front of us. That in slowing down, we might catch a glimpse of the eternal.


I'll see you in church,



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 

May 11 Order of Service and Bulletin
To view the May 11 Order of Service and Bulletin online, click below.

Honoring John Jensen

Congregants and members of the First Universalist Church Community:

If you would like to honor John Jensen - on the occasion of his retirement - with a financial gift, you may do so by writing a check to First Universalist Church, with "John's gift" on the memo line.  Mail the check to the church (Attention:  Brad) or drop it off at the front desk in the office suite.  We will pool the gifts and present them to John as a single check on June 1.  


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 is now OPEN online. Click below to learn more! 

Reflect and Connect in a Circle This Summer


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 to 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 is open from this Sunday, May 4 through Monday, May 19.  Group sizes are limited and registration is first-come, first-served.  You may also register in the social hall on Sundays, May 4, May 11, and May 18.

For more information, please contact Rev. Elaine Aron Tenbrink at or 612-825-1701 x124.



A Message From Rev. Justin
Congregational Survey
May 11 OOS & Bulletin
Honoring John Jensen
Wellspring Orientation
RE Registration
Summer Circles
Pledge Statistics
Annual Meeting
Sign Up for Habitat Build
May 'Liberal' Now Online
Daytime Connections
Worship Associate Application

Pledge Statistics


For the 2014-2015 Pledge Drive:
Total pledges: 514 pledge units, totaling $1,027,423. Percentage of people who've submitted their pledge is 57%. Number of congregants who aspire to give at the sustainer level is 55. (as of May 8, 2014)

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

Annual Meeting 

The annual meeting of membership will take place on Sunday, June 1, at 11:30 AM.

The meeting will be held in the Sanctuary.

We will present the annual report, elect church leadership, and approve the budget for the 2014-2015 church year.

A limited number of walk-in childcare spaces will be available during the Annual Meeting from 11:15 to 1:00pm in room 104. To reserve a guaranteed space in advance, please fill out the childcare request form on the website by May 25th. Any questions can be directed to



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.

The first floor interior walls 
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.


Daytime Connections

Come celebrate our last Daytime Connections, a gathering for those in the second half of life on Thursday, May 15 from 10:30 - 12:30pm in Cummins room. 


We will have a closing ritual, offer each other blessings, and share fellowship. All are welcome, whether you've come before or not. In addition, Jen and Elaine will join us to discuss ideas and options for next year's programming. 


Instead of having a luncheon afterwards, we will enjoy a potluck during the meeting around 11:30


Please bring a small dish, snack or dessert to share, if you are able. If you have any questions or to RSVP, contact Terri Burnor at or 612-825-1701.


Worship Associate Application

Do you love worship? Do you have a flair for writing stories or prose? Are you comfortable speaking in front of a group? Please consider applying to be a Worship Associates for 2014/2015. The Worship Associates team is a group of 8 - 10 people who are meaningfully involved in the planning, creation and presentation of each Sunday's service.



First Universalist Church
3400 Dupont Ave South
Minneapolis, Minnesota, 55408
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Upcoming Events
  • Saturday, May 10, Path to Membership Class, 9:00 AM, Cummins Room
  • Saturday, May 10, Spring Jazz Band Concert, 7:30 PM, Sanctuary
  • Thursday, May 15, Daytime Connections, 10:30 AM, Social Hall
  • Sunday, May 17, Open Budget Conversation with Rev. Justin Schroeder, 12:15 PM, Sanctuary
  • Sunday, May 17, Tilling the Soil for Racial Justice, 1:00 PM, Cummins Room

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