March 16, 2017  |  Vol. 4 No. 11
What a Party!
Steering Committee Co-Chairs Sofi Ali and Dan Berg
A note from our Capital Campaign Steering Committee Co-Chairs Sofi Ali and Dan Berg:

The Capital Campaign Kick-off Party on Saturday provided outstanding food, great live entertainment by Ann Reed and the Give Get Sistet, the DJ genius of church member Sacha Muller, engaging games and entertainment for youth and children, campaign insights from Revs. Jen and Justin, masterful hosting by board president Eric Cooperstein, and spirited conversation and conviviality all around. If that wasn't enough, we had a tremendous progress report from the campaign steering committee:

In the "quiet phase" of the campaign, we have already received pledges of (now) more than $3,500,000!!!

Thanks to all who attended the Capital Campaign Kick-off Party on Saturday. In addition to the adults, there were about 150 babies, kids and youth having their own party down the hall with food, a rainbow light up ceiling, games and entertainment.

Event co-chairs Katie Oberle and Lisa Haugen along with a host of event volunteers worked some serious magic to create an event that was a blast for all. Many, many thanks to all who helped make the evening so fabulous.

Over the last three months the campaign steering committee and ministerial leaders have visited with dozens of members who were ready to step up and create momentum as we begin the broader campaign to raise another $3 million. We are deeply grateful for the leadership and generosity of these early donors!

The goal of the campaign is to visit every member and invite their participation. Our theme, " Not for Ourselves Alone: Building an Inclusive Future, " captures the positive vision and energy that we see every Sunday and throughout the week at our Dupont Avenue home.

Volunteers are needed to join the campaign team and make 3-5 visits over the next two months. We will provide complete information about the campaign and its objectives, printed materials to leave behind, and coaching to prepare visitors for these important conversations. Please stop by the campaign table in the social hall or email to learn more.

We can do this --- together!

Dan Berg and Sofi Ali
Capital Campaign Steering Committee Co-Chairs

P.S. ... 
- Share your photos (and see others' pictures) from the party here.
- Watch Revs. Jen and Justin explain the campaign and theme  here.
- See the photo slideshow that was playing during the event here.
Worship this Sunday
Sunday, March 19, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m.
"The Space Between"
Rev. Margaret Weis
At times we find ourselves in liminal spaces - not quite where we were and not quite where we are going. We will reflect together on the power of the space between one another, the power in letting go, and the power in reaching for what is yet to be.

Guest preacher Rev. Margaret L. Weis serves as the developmental minister at Bell Street Chapel in Providence, RI. A lifelong UU, she is passionate about the potential for Unitarian Universalism to transform the world. 
A Look Ahead
Sunday, March 26, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m.
Rev. Jen Crow

Recent Sermon Podcasts
March 12, 2017
"Not for Ourselves Alone"
Rev. Justin Schroeder
March 5, 2017
"Risking a New Story"
Rev. Ruth MacKenzie
Listen to the podcast
February 26, 2017
"The Day of Religion"
Imam Makram El-Amin
February 19, 2017
"The Way It Is"
Rev. Jen Crow
March Worship Theme: Risk
Risk is a dance with danger. It is stepping into a moment, unsure of what lies ahead. We may enter risk of our own accord or be pushed into risk-taking by life circumstances. Risk stands on the precipice of a failed attempt, a generative opening, or maybe a little of both. Whether we are comfortable with risk-taking or not, it is central to a whole and thriving life. There is no way to avoid it.  In this month, we explore the nature of risk, and the spiritual muscles we need to develop in order to meet it.
Moving with Heavy-Heartedness Circles
Tuesday, March 21, 7-8:30 p.m.
Tuesday, April 4, 7-8:30 p.m.
In periods when we experience "heavy-heartedness" we risk being overwhelmed and "shutting down," or perhaps responding with anxiety, anger, and/or lashing out.
In February we held a powerful ritual to help us counter these reactions and to ground ourselves in a third way to be: one in which we feel what we feel, but remain conscious and connected. A way we can keep ourselves moving forward in the midst of heavy-heartedness, develop understanding and connection with others in this experience, and take action in collaboration with each other.
Join us for one or both of two upcoming sessions on Tuesday, March 21 and Tuesday April 4, from 7-8:30 p.m. in the Cummins Room, when we will deepen and practice what was begun in the February ritual: being present, conscious, connected and moving forward despite heavy-heartedness. Join us for these sessions even if you didn't attend the original ritual. A recording of that ritual can be accessed here.
The sessions will be led by Patrick Dougherty and Michael Dotson. Other speakers from the service will join on one or both of these meetings.
We will reconvene the larger ritual on April 13 to reconnect and continue to access our heart/mind center, making promises for our faithful action moving forward. We gather together because we know that we need to continue moving and better moving forward in connection with each other.
We hope you can join us. RSVPs appreciated to:
Mde Maka Ska Community Conversation
Wednesday, March 22, 5:30-9 p.m.
Join us as we allow the spirit of water to guide the flow of our dreams towards a more transformative way of life at the next Mde Maka Ska Community Conversation. Come together collectively to follow the flow of life-giving water, to look upstream towards the future in new ways that reflect its endless nourishment of water. We'll enjoy a light dinner at 5:30 p.m. followed by a conversation from 6:30-9 p.m. New this time: If you would like to participate in the meal, please email to inquire if space is still available.
Senior Hike with Daytime Connections 
Thursday, March 23, 10 a.m.
Join us for our next senior hike with  Daytime Connections! We'll gather at 10 a.m. at the Dunn Brothers Coffee located at 4648 E. Lake St., Minneapolis 55406.  This month's route will take us north along West River Parkway through the U of M campus and back south on East River Parkway. It is about a 1.5-hour hike and a fairly flat route that offers stunning views of downtown Minneapolis and the Mississippi River canyon.  Following the hike we will gather at the Longfellow Grill.  RSVP to Tom Saterstrom 952-239-3629; ) if you plan to participate.
Library Open House
Sunday, March 26, 10:30 a.m. & 12:15 p.m.
The Library Committee invites you to join them on Sunday, March 26 after services at 10:30 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. for cake with your coffee. The library is located off the northwest corner off the Social Hall. Check out (pun intended) a book and review it for other readers. Try your hand at stress-reducing coloring (kids and adults alike). Expand your community and service by signing up to volunteer in the library. Recommend a book you would like to see in the library. There will be games, stickers and prizes for the kids.
Kinds of Light: SKY
Contemplative Evening Worship 
Sunday, March 26, 5:30 p.m., Sanctuary
Join Rev. Ruth MacKenzie and Dr. Jerrod Wendland for a meditative hour of music and poetry for opening the heart and deepening the spirit. "Kinds of Light: SKY" is the final service in our 2016-17 Contemplative Worship Series. Light divides our world into two hemispheres: land and sky. The one is where we live and work; the other represents our hopes, our aspirations, our dreams. The second illuminates the first, just as the dreams we have at night illuminate our waking life. What happens when we build a bridge between them? We'll explore these themes through the piano trio Ladders to the Sky, by Gwyneth Walker, and piano music by Gareth Farr and John Psathas, with the help of violinist Ginna Watson and cellist Corey Grossman.  
Spring Clear Out Day: April 6
We often run short on storage space at church. One reason is that some of the spaces we have are filled with stuff that no one is using anymore. In an effort to tidy up some of our storage areas, the April meeting of Lend A Hand will be dedicated to clearing things out.

If you are a group or committee that stores things here, please get in touch with Bree Mattson at . We won't get rid of anything that you're still using and want to keep, but we'll need to know before April 6.

Everyone is welcome to join Lend A Hand and SPIFF on Thursday, April 6 at 9 a.m. to help with the clear out. The morning will start with bagels and coffee and then we'll get to work. Come help us keep our church clean, orderly and looking good! If you would like to participate, please email Sandy at to sign up. 
Association of Universalist Women 18th Annual Retreat
All women in the church are invited to attend the 18th annual retreat of the Association of Universalist Women (AUW) from  Friday April 21 at 4 p.m.  to  Sunday, April 23 at   noon  at the Koinonia Retreat Center in South Haven, MN, approximately 80 minutes northwest of Minneapolis. Carpools can be arranged.
The theme is "We Rise" with Rev. Ashley Horan as the keynote speaker  on Saturday morning. Rev. Horan is the Executive Director of MUUSJA - The Minnesota Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Alliance. A variety of workshops and activities are available, or you can retreat and enjoy free time in the lovely surroundings.
Basic registration is $180 for AUW members and $225 for non-members. You can get more information and a registration form at the AUW table in the Social Hall  on Sunday or register through Brown Paper Tickets Registration must be received by  April 9. For further information you may e-mail Phyllis Stenerson of the planning team at
Playground Mulch Concerns
Recently, you may have seen articles in a couple of local newspapers exploring concerns over the use of recycled rubber playground mulch, which we have on our playground at church. The ground up tire rubber is commonly found in playgrounds across the country. Although studies into the health effects of recycled tires have not yet been conclusive, there are worries that the mulch contains toxic chemicals. We plan to remove the rubber mulch and replace it with wood as part of upcoming capital campaign projects. In the meantime, we recommend that parents make sure to brush any of the rubber pieces off of their children as they leave the playground and then thoroughly wash hands and exposed skin. 
Donations Wanted for Book/CD/DVD/Video Game Sale
Please consider supporting the Youth Cultural Exchange program by donating your used media items. Drop off your gently-used Books, CDs, DVDs and Video Games in the social hall March 26, April 2 or April 9. The sale will take place on Sundays, April 23 and 30.
This summer, twelve First Universalist 8th and 9th grade youth will travel to Nicaragua where they will live with local families to gain cultural understanding and forge lasting cross-cultural friendships. Your donations and purchases will help us bring the twelve Nicaraguan host siblings to Minnesota for two weeks in 2018.
Have a large number of items to donate and would like to arrange a time for pick-up?  Questions?  Contact Eric Schaefer at 612-414-7515 or

UUA MidAmerica Regional Assembly is April 28-30
Come to Regional Assembly! The annual meeting of the Unitarian Universalist Association's MidAmerica Region will be held April 28-30 in Oak Brook, IL, near Chicago.  Join UUs from our congregations throughout 13 midwestern states for:
  • A keynote speech from Rev. Dr. Lee Barker, President of Meadville-Lombard Theological School (and a former First Universalist member!)
  • A forum featuring all three candidates for the Presidency of the UUA
  • Fabulous workshops on our Anti-Racist/Anti-Oppression work, UUs at Standing Rock, Refugee Sponsorship, and much more
  • Inspiring worship
For more information, plus an "early bird" discounted registration and hotel reservation (through  April 5), go to  Hope to see you there!

- David Lauth
Member, MidAmerica Region Board of Trustees
Church Leadership Position Applications Due April 2
The Nominating Committee is actively recruiting candidates for leadership positions on the Board of Trustees, the Foundation Board, and the Nominating Committee itself for the next church year. We believe the congregation is full of untapped talent and we encourage people to step forward and share their skills!

Board of Trustees: Trustees partner with the congregation and professional staff in shaping the vision and long-term goals of the church. They articulate these aspirations through policy and collaborate with the Senior Minister to see they are fulfilled.

Foundation Board: Board members serve as the stewards of our Foundation endowment. Members screen and select grant requests to non-profit organizations.

Nominating Committee: Committee members screen and recommend candidates to the congregation for vacant positions on the Board of Trustees, Foundation Board, and Nominating Committee.

Requirements: To qualify for any of these positions, you must be a member in good standing of the church. Elections occur at the Annual Meeting on June 4.  The application deadline is April 2, 2017. Applications should be submitted to For position descriptions and to download the application form, visit our website .
  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 Care 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.
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Contact Us
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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