September 21, 2017  |  Vol. 4 No. 38
Welcoming Old Friends
Rev. Jen Crow
What a joy it was to pull up to church this morning and see the building bustling, not only with our usual companions from Southside Child Development Center and various church meetings and groups, but with Shir Tikvah, here to celebrate Rosh Hashanah and welcome in the new year. Our relationship with Shir Tikvah goes back more than 20 years, when they bought the building we once occupied on 50th and Girard. I'm told that in the papers documenting that building sale, it was written in there that our new home at 3400 Dupont Ave. S. would be forever open to them as a place to celebrate their High Holy Days. I'm grateful for this connection, not only because of the way it asks us to share space together, but even more because it deepens our relationship.

In the more than 20 years since both of our congregations moved, our faith communities have grown, and we find ourselves beside one another at protest marches, at rallies, on holidays, and in our ongoing commitment to justice in our community. Given our inheritance of intentions in this building at 3400 Dupont (hear more in the sermon from last week), I'm especially grateful to be in relationship with such a vibrant congregation.

Join us this week as we continue to envision the ways that our building can facilitate our mission and make these kinds of relationship possible.

In gratitude,
Rev. Jen
Moving Forward with Our Building Project:
Meet the Architects
With the capital campaign nearing completion, we are now moving forward with plans for our building project and renovations! We're excited to announce that we've selected Miller Dunwiddie Architecture for the project. In Spring 2017, our Architect Selection Committee developed eight criteria for sourcing and evaluating potential firms, including: quality and experience in related projects, alignment with our vendor policy and values, fee and transparency, and plan to complete the project on time and on budget. After interviews, the Committee unanimously chose Miller Dunwiddie Architecture (MDA).  

Why Miller Dunwiddie? Miller Dunwiddie Architecture has extensive experience in churches, education buildings, and restoration work. (In fact, three members of our project team worked on the recent renovations/expansion at Unity Church-Unitarian in St. Paul.) In conversations with MDA, it was clear that the firm highly values teamwork, consensus building, careful listening, proactive communication, transparency, and stewardship of resources. They share our values on equity, community, sustainability, and commitment to employees in the form of fair wages and strong benefits. MDA is a 100% employee-owned company, and has intentionally formed a diverse team of employees that currently includes 45% women and 16% self-identified minorities. The architect selection committee, board and staff are confident that MDA is an excellent fit for our project.

Read more about Miller Dunwiddie Architecture and about our core team (pictured above) on our website.

A summary (2012 to present) of how we arrived at this point in the project is also available on our website, as well as information about next steps. 

We hope you'll join us this coming week for one of two Listening Sessions with the Architects on Sunday, Sept. 24 (12:45-1:45 p.m.) or Wednesday, Sept. 27 (5:30-7:30 p.m.). Mark your calendar for follow-up Congregational Meetings on  Wednesday, Nov. 15 (5:30-7:30 p.m.) and  Sunday, Nov. 19, (12:45-2:45 p.m.). Your participation and input during this process is highly encouraged and greatly valued!

September Worship Theme: Intention (In Tension)
Worship this Sunday
Sunday, Sept. 24, 9:30 & 11:15  a.m.
"Stories of Intention"
Worship Associates
Join us this Sunday as we explore the theme of Intention through the everyday stories of people's lives and experiences. Modeled after the storytelling podcast, The Moth, members of our Worship Associates team will be talking about an intention that had a very different impact than intended, how a childhood experience at the doctor shaped an intention for living, how we might frame our intentions in deep sense of grace for ourselves and others. We will be joined by the choir, and musician Libby Turner, member of Give Get Sistet. 
A Look Ahead
Sunday, Oct. 1, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m.
Mental Health Sunday
Rev. Ruth MacKenzie

Recent Sermon Podcasts
September 17, 2017
"Strategic Intentions"
Rev. Jen Crow
Listen to the podcast

September 10, 2017
"The Way of the River"
Rev. Jen Crow

September 3, 2017
"Sacred Reflections"
Pastor Danny Givens, Jr. and
Rev. Laurie Pound-Feille

August 27, 2017
"Stronger Together" 
Rev. Jen Crow
This Sunday is Sign Up Sunday!
From Circles, to the choir, to the labyrinth, to Sunday morning ushering, there are so many great ways to find your "community within the community" at First Universalist! Join us in the social hall after both services this Sunday, Sept. 24, to learn more and sign up. 
Drop-In Capital Campaign Info Sessions 
Sundays, Sept. 24, Oct. 1 & Oct. 8
Learn about our vision for the future - deepening our presence in the city as a place of action as well as worship - and our ideas for renovations and construction to repair, improve, and make more accessible our Dupont Avenue home. Drop-in Capital Campaign Info Sessions are being held after services each Sunday through Sunday, Oct. 8. If you haven't yet had a chance to sit down with a campaign volunteer to learn about the campaign, please plan to attend one of these sessions!
Listening Sessions with the Architects
Sunday, Sept. 24, 12:45-1:45 p.m. & Wednesday, Sept. 27, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
M eet our architects from Miller Dunwiddie Architecture and share input at two open-house-format listening sessions this coming Sunday and Wednesday.  You are invited to come and provide input and information to the architects that will build upon the direction set using previous input. Feedback gathered in these Listening Sessions will help us refine and prioritize our space needs and how we envision making our Dupont Avenue home more welcoming and accessible. 
"Home on the Streets"
Minneapolis Mayoral Forum
Tuesday, Sept. 26, 7-8:30 p.m.
First Universalist Church, with assistance from the League of Women Voters, will be hosting a forum for Minneapolis mayoral candidates focusing on issues of homelessness, moderated by local advocate for the homeless, Monica Nilsson.  Minneapolis mayoral candidates planning to be present include: Jacob Frey, Betsy Hodges, Raymond Dehn, Nekima Levy-Pounds, Tom Hoch, Al Flowers, Captain Jack Sparrow, and Aswar Rahman.  Candidates will be encouraged to demonstrate a depth of knowledge that shows their ability to be a leader in multi-agency efforts to address homelessness. Learn more.
Senior Hike with Daytime Connections
Thursday, Sept. 28, 10 a.m.
Meet at Maynards in Excelsior, MN (map)
Join other First U seniors for an easy hike on the Lake Minnetonka LRT Regional TrailMeet at Maynards, a lakeside restaurant in Excelsior (685 Excelsior Blvd., Excelsior, MN 55331) at 10 a.m. Park in the lot across the street from Maynard's main parking lot. We'll hike on an old rail bed of packed gravel (it's really flat!). The trail offers scenic views of Lake Minnetonka and passes through Excelsior, Greenwood, and Deephaven. We'll hike east on the Trail for about one hour, and then turn around and head back to the restaurant. If you prefer a shorter hike, you can turn around sooner and meet the others at the restaurant at about noon. RSVP to Lisa and Eric Berglund at or 763-559-0330.
1st Annual Lynn & Donna Elling Peace, Justice & Climate Change Forums
Forum I: "Implications of Climate Change for War and Peace"
Sunday, Oct. 1, 12:45 p.m. 
Climate change is not just a threat - it is also an opportunity for peace. In this panel discussion, three experts will discuss threats posed by climate change, including weather-related disasters, international conflicts due to water shortages, and population displacement. Panelists will also address how climate change problems offer opportunities for international collaboration and peaceful resolution of conflict. Having a common goal is widely understood to be a prime path for conflict resolution. Climate change is perhaps the superordinate problem facing the world and finding solutions will require a coordinated effort. Learn more.  A second forum on a related topic will be held on Oct. 22. Find more information here .
Artist's Reception with Martha Bird
Sunday, Oct. 1 after both services 
Martha Bird's first love is basket weaving. "Finding Focus: Returning to a First Love" is an exhibit that features her work with willow from her travels and is on display in the Social Hall through Oct. 1. Martha is a long-time member of First Universalist.  You're invited to an artist's reception on Sunday, Oct. 1, after both services for an opportunity to meet the artist and see more of her history in basketry. Stop by to see a one-day-only visiting art basket about the medication taking experience (pictured above). Learn how the artist uses art to express complex ideas of neuroplasticity, healing within community, and the importance of pursuing one's passions.
Thank You to Volunteers: Improvements to North Garden
On Tuesday morning, a small group of very hard working volunteers met to tackle the garden on the north side of the building. Working with a small mountain of cedar mulch that had been delivered on Monday night, the group dug trenches and mulched the entire area. Now it looks great! 

We are so grateful for their dedication and hard work. A big thank you to the following volunteers: Eric Berglund, Ben Cooper, Bob Friedman, Ray Goebel, Bill McTeer and Karen Parson.
Call to Action: Stand for Treaty Rights and Unistar; Stand Against Climate Change; Fight the Line 3 Pipeline
By Sophia Manolis

Among the many pipelines that have been in the news lately, one pipeline that has been gaining more and more press is a proposed tar sands oil pipeline called Line 3 that would be built through Northern and Central Minnesota.

Why should we care about this pipeline in particular? First of all, it's similar to the Dakota Access pipeline in that it would go through treaty lands; and through some of the most abundant and sacred wild rice habitat left in the U.S. It would also go through many other sources of clean water, including Cass Lake (where Camp Unistar is located!). Secondly, our state doesn't need this pipeline. We already have excess pipeline capacity: six pipelines already run through Minnesota giving us the oil we need. The oil that runs through Line 3 would not even be used here; it would be shipped out of Superior, Wisc., to be used elsewhere. Enbridge Oil Company has stated that the project would not create any permanent jobs in Minnesota either. Finally, we need to fight this pipeline because of the implications it would have for climate change and for the future. We are in a time where the effects of climate change are becoming real and visible, and it is more dire than ever that we focus on transitioning to renewable energy sources. Yet this pipeline would lock us into another 60 years (at least) of oil dependency.

The resistance against Line 3 is growing. Many environmental groups, social justice groups, and tribal groups are currently organizing and preparing to be involved in the legal process. Already there are camps set up in sites along the pipeline route near White Earth, Fond du Lac, and Duluth, and people are gathering there to protest if construction on the pipeline starts. If the permit to build the pipeline doesn't get denied, word is that Minnesota will become the next Standing Rock. The movement is gaining momentum, and it's all culminating this fall when the big decision to build the pipeline will be made.

If you're not already involved, what is the best thing to do? On Thursday, Sept. 28, there will be a rally and march to protest Line 3, March to Hold the Line for Our Communities. It will start at the Capitol in St. Paul at 4 p.m. and end at the Intercontinental Hotel 1.3 miles away. Following the march, a public hearing will be held from 6-9 p.m. in which everyone will have the chance to testify against the pipeline and submit public comment. There is also a public hearing session that will be held before the march from 1-4 p.m. The march and rally will be big; with buses coming from Wisconsin, keynote speakers, protest art, and an overflowing amount of energy. This is our biggest chance to stop the pipeline, but we can only do so if we all make it clear that we, as citizens of Minnesota, are opposed to it! It's time to show up for issues that matter. It's time to stand for frontline communities, for the Unitarian Universalists, for the environment, and for our futures.
Circle Suppers: A Great Way to Meet People!
"Sharing a meal in someone's home on a Saturday evening . . . I can't think of a better way to get to know people in our Church. We've been doing this for 20 years!" 

Circle Suppers are a decades-long tradition at First Universalist Church, and they are open to everyone in our beloved community. 
Meet at a different person's home for dinner on the first Saturday of each month from December through March. These intimate gatherings are a recipe for good conversation and good food while enjoying the camaraderie of other First U members. These are welcoming, adults only get-togethers for couples and singles. Everyone is responsible to host one time during the four months. Hosts determine the number of guests they can accommodate, usually 6-8 people. If you are unable to host and want to participate, you can be placed on the "alternate" list. Hosts will call you if they have a cancellation or need more guests. 

Sign up in the Social Hall this Sunday, Sept. 24 (Sign-up Sunday!) after either service. You may also call or email coordinator Colleen Cavell by October 8 at 612-323-4486 or to sign up. Colleen is also happy to answer any questions!

Circle Suppers begin with a Kick-Off Potluck in the social hall at church on Saturday, Nov. 11 from 5:30-8 p.m. Please RSVP to Colleen (contact info above). Details will follow. 
Circle Suppers in member homes begin on Saturday, Dec. 2 and continue on Saturdays, Jan. 6, Feb. 3 and March 3. It's a great way to get to know people in our church!
Become an Usher!
Ushers are needed for the 9:30 a.m. service on First and Fourth Sundays and the 11:15 a.m. service on First and Third Sundays. Ushering is a great way to meet others and help provide a welcoming Sunday morning experience once a month. If you're not free to make a monthly commitment, consider joining the team as a substitute usher. We can always use your help. If you'd like to know more or to volunteer, contact Karen Larson at
First Universalist Stories: Grace Zimmer
Each week we've been featuring a story submitted by members about what First Universalist means to them. This past spring, Grace Zimmer shared :

Grace Zimmer
"Hello my name is Grace Zimmer and I am a junior in high school. I am actively involved in teaching religious education to the fourth grade class during the first service and I also actively participate and attend the youth class; which consists of tenth through twelfth graders. I have been attending First Universalist since before I was born and had no idea how much of an impact it would have on my life. Our church and the congregation have been here for me through every aspect of my life, from times when I did not want to get out of bed, to times of great celebration over my friends and my successes. First Universalist has been a place of warm, welcoming arms to me and many others who believe in living a life based on love, peace, and service to our selves, our community, and our world. 

"I have always felt that First Universalist was one of the most welcoming churches I have ever attended. Everyone carries themselves with purpose and a smile. From teaching religious education or participating in the youth class to attending the service, I have always felt at home. My youth group specifically is like a second family to me. Even though we can get a little rowdy, it is all because of our love for our not-so-little family. We crave each others company and insightful conversations so when we are finally reunited after a long week without each other, it is difficult to contain our excitement.  

"Recently I do not think I have ever been so proud to be a Unitarian Universalist and a member of our church. In the past week or so, our church unanimously voted to become/remain a sanctuary church. I had no doubt that our congregation would make the right decision and I wish I could give every member of our church a ginormous hug for doing so. With everything that has happened in the political aspect of our country and everything that continues to happen, it has been more difficult for me and many to focus on positivity or to have pride in our country. Our church has helped to restore my faith in our nation and in humanity.   Even by reciting our chalice lighting words every Sunday, I am reminded of what our faith community stands for and how dedicated we are to social justice, racial justice, and service as our law.  

"When I go off to college in two years, I do not know what I will do without my faith community of First Universalist. Our church has been such a big part of my life and has opened my mind to new ideas and strengthened my values in so many ways I can not begin to name them all. I would like to thank every member of our church for making First Universalist a safe environment for growth, learning, and mindfulness. I do not know what I would be doing right now if it were not for this incredible faith community. Thank you for everything."
Grow Your Soul in a Circle: Soul Matters, Spiritual Deepening & More - Sign Up Open Through Oct. 1
One of the core spiritual practices of this community takes place in circles: groups of 8-10 committed participants who gather to reflect on their lives and contemplate our worship themes. Pick up a catalog in the Social Hall this Sunday and learn about all our offerings! You are welcome to register this Sunday in the social hall, or online any time through October 1. Descriptions, schedules, and registration are all available online.
Association of Universalist Women (AUW) Fall Kickoff Dinner
Join the women of the AUW for a fun, free dinner event at First Universalist Church on Saturday, Sept. 23 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Learn what the Association of Universalist Women (AUW) has in store for this upcoming year and join us as keynote speaker Elizabeth Murry addresses the serious topic of, "How to Be an Ally", in a light-hearted Jeopardy style game. Special Guest, Rev. Elaine Aron Tenbrink will also be joining us. Newcomers welcome! Please register on our new website to reserve your seat!
All marginalized populations need allies - women, people of color, individuals with disabilities and our LGBTQ friends. How to Be an Ally is a fun and interactive session that will challenge your knowledge, expand your awareness, and boost your power to be an ally!

Save the Date - November 4 - for AUW's Fall Retreat: Wide Open Heart at First Universalist Church from  8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.  Sign up for the Fall Retreat begins at the AUW Fall Kickoff dinner and will continue through October 29.   Register here.
September Board of Trustees Meeting
First Universalist's Board of Trustees generally meets the third Thursday of every month, except for July. The September meeting of the Board of Trustees will take place this evening - Thursday, Sept. 21. Board meeting materials are archived on our website here. The September 2017 Board Packet, for this evening's meeting, is available here.
Cycle of Life and Pastoral Care
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 or 612-825-1701. If you would like support, call the office at 612-825-1701 or contact any member of our Pastoral Visitors Team.
Congregational Care: Caring Corner
Write a note to a congregant who could use support! There are cards available in the library, which is located off of the Social Hall. You are welcome to stop by and write a card at any time. Just leave it in the basket and the church will mail it for you. Learn more about congregational care 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.
Immigration 101 - An Evening of Music and History 
Tuesday, Sept. 26, 6:40-8:30 p.m. at Unity Church-Unitarian in St. Paul
Ahmed Anzaldua is a co-editor of Justice Choir and a superb pianist. On Sept. 26 at 6:40 p.m. at Unity Church-Unitarian he will take us with words and music into the heart of Mexico.  Then at 7 p.m., Michelle McKenzie, Deputy Director with Advocates for Human Rights, will offer a deep understanding of how our immigration policies over time have led us to the challenges of today.  Come to be informed and to build community in support of all who are "DACA"mented and their loved ones. More info.
Meet Timothy B. Tyson, Author of The Blood of Emmett Till 
Wednesday, Sept. 27, 7:10 p.m. at Unity Church Unitarian in St. Paul
Fourteen year-old Emmett Till was brutally beaten, mutilated, and shot in August 1955. Wanting the world to know, his mother held an open-casket funeral; even allowing Jet magazine to publish photos of the maimed face of her son. When Rosa Parks described her bus protest, she said, "I thought about Emmett Till, and I could not go back." Emmett became a spark - or maybe a torch - that helped ignite the civil rights movement.
It's no surprise that the all-white, all-male jury in Mississippi found the murderers not guilty, in part due to the sensational testimony of Emmett's "victim," 21 year-old Carolyn Bryant. In the only interview granted to an author, some 50 years later and at age 72, Carolyn confessed to Timothy Tyson that she lied.  Take advantage of a rare opportunity to hear New York Times bestselling author Timothy Tyson tell that story.
Radical Collaboration: MUUSJA's Annual Celebration & Fundraiser
Thursday, Oct. 5, 6 p.m. at First Universalist 
Join MUUSJA - Minnesota Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Alliance - for its Annual Fundraiser and Celebration, Transformative Collaboration: Honoring Partnership & Prophetic Witness for Justice.  This year's keynote will feature Rev. Karen Van Fossan, minister of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Bismarck/Mandan, which has been a close partner with the Water Protectors at Standing Rock and other Native nations for the duration of the ongoing struggle to resist the Dakota Access Pipeline and work for Indigenous sovereignty. Speaking from her own experiences, Rev. Karen will reflect on the relationship between healing work and decolonization as spiritual justice practices, the transformative power of deep partnerships across experiences and identities, and the inevitability of making powerful mistakes in the work for powerful change. At the event, you'll also get to meet and hear from MUUSJA's new statewide organizer, Pastor Danny Givens, and enjoy food and drink from  the Sioux Chef Details & RSVP here.
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Monday-Thursday  8:30 a.m.-8 p.m.
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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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