December 15, 2020 Update from the Executive Director
You hear about random acts of kindness, but the Dairy Queen drive-thru that had a chain of 900 cars paying it forward for the car behind them was impressive. As we come to the close of 2020, it is small gestures of this sort that can help the most. found eight out of ten people dealt with major challenges this year and nine out of ten people reached out to support someone experiencing hardship. Their research led to five simple ways to show up for others this season and several are highlighted below.

  • Reframe your greetings and turn them into questions, like How are you feeling about the New Year?

  • Move forward with simple acts of care and support for friends, family and neighbors. You don't need to wait to receive an answer from someone to your question - What can I do for you? - to share an act of kindness.

  • Think about ways you can modify your rituals from this time of year so you still experience a version of them. “Humans are social creatures”, said Tai Mendenhall, a University of MN professor of family social science. “Rituals remind us that we’re not alone in this.”

This year has proved to be challenging but the MCC community has come together in virtual and physically distanced ways to build a collective resilience that will help propel us forward into post-pandemic times.

Keep reading to find more enticing ways to stay connected and engaged.

MILL CITY COMMONS: We learn. We share. We engage. We give.

~ Elise Linehan (612) 455-3329, 125 Main Street SE, #339, Minneapolis, MN 55414
Upcoming Virtual Programs and Events
Virtual via Zoom: Meditation Circle
Thursday, December 17, 9:30 - 10:30 am
Leader: Terry Pearson will provide guided meditation via zoom.

Fee: An additional fee of $10.25 is required for this class to cover instructor costs.

Attendance Policy: A minimum of 3 registrants are required for this program to run. If there are less than 3 registrations 24 hours prior to the start of the program, the following will occur:
  1. the program will be cancelled and the calendar will be updated
  2. registrants will be notified via email that the program is cancelled
  3. registrants will not be charged

Cancellation Policy: If you cancel your registration less than 24 hours before this program is scheduled to take place, you will be charged for attendance. To avoid being charged, please cancel your registration at least 24 hours prior to the program start time.

MCC members sign up here. Registered members will receive the Zoom link in their confirmation email.
Virtual via Zoom: Women Connect
Thursday, December 17, 2:00 - 3:30 pm
It's time to make connections with women members of Mill City Commons during these cold winter months. This meeting will be a virtual, but traditional, end-of-year "tea and coffee party." 2020 has been an eventful, but un-event-filled year that has brought us together as it kept us apart. We hope new members will consider joining us. We'd love to get to know you.

True to the founder of the women's group, the late Arvonne Fraser, this end-of-year gathering will center on a question: What has been the best of a bad year and what are your hopes for 2021? So brew your tea or coffee, or open a bottle of wine as we toast our resilience and our optimism!

MCC members sign up here. The Zoom link can be found in the program description after logging in.
Virtual via Zoom: Healing Minneapolis - What is Possible?
Monday, December 21, 7:00 - 8:30 pm
Across the nation, cities have suffered through the impact of COVID-19 and racial justice unrest. Economic recovery, additional potential shut downs, business relocations, police reform and public safety form an intricate web of issues to navigate. Join us for a discussion with Steve Cramer, CEO of the Minneapolis Downtown Council on what the Council’s role is in guiding and leading the reanimation of Minneapolis to ensure it emerges as vibrant as ever.

MCC members sign up here. The Zoom link can be found in the program description after logging in.
Virtual via Zoom: COVID-19: Updates and Q&A with Michael Brennan
Tuesday, December 22, 9:30 - 10:30 am
As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, MCC Member and retired physician Michael Brennan is keeping a close watch on all medical and health developments put forth by the CDC, NIH and MN Department of Public Health. Join us for this every-other-week meeting where Michael will share the most recent information available, his perspective of how to keep ourselves safe and healthy, and answer questions.

MCC members sign up here. The Zoom link can be found in the program description after logging in.
Virtual via Zoom: Current Events: A Conversation with Bill
Wednesday, December 23, 10:30 - 11:30 am
Current international news and U.S. foreign policy provide an endless trove of topics for learning and discussion. Retired foreign service officer and MCC member Bill Davnie will lead us in a presentation and discussion. This month's topic is "Instead of a Year-end Look Back -- It's the Future Consequences Frightening People."

MCC members sign up here. The Zoom link can be found in the program description after logging in.
Virtual via Zoom: Movie Chat
Monday, December 28, 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Prolong the holiday spirit with a festive chat on the movie “It’s A Wonderful Life”—the 1946 Frank Capra movie starring Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reid. We’ll discuss what it is about this movie classic that draws people in to watch it every year. This movie is available to watch for free on Amazon Prime.

MCC members sign up here. The Zoom link can be found in the program description after logging in.
Virtual via Zoom: New Year's Eve Signature Cocktail/Mocktail Hour
Thursday, December 31, 5:00 - 6:00 pm
Jump on zoom with fellow members as we wave good-bye to 2020 and ring in 2021 with a New Years Eve Signature Cocktail! Join us for a quick toast, or stay longer to connect with friends in breakouts and discuss your intentions, hopes and goals for the new year. Drink recipes are on the website--or feel free to get creative and make your own!

MCC members sign up here. The Zoom link can be found in the program description after logging in.
What’s Your Story?
The Tell Me A Story program is coming back in 2021—but we need YOU! Since June, members have been sharing high points, low points, and intriguing and uplifting stories from their lives to enthusiastic response from members. Help us continue this great zoom program that helps us get to know one another a little bit better, especially when we can’t be together in person. There’s no limit to what you might tell – or read. What facet of your life would help us know you better if we heard your story? We need ONE MORE storyteller in order to run a February program and would like to find more storytellers for March.

How it Works
It’s simple! Each monthly program consists of three storytellers who each get 5-15 minutes to tell/read their story, followed by brief Q&A from the audience.

When crafting a story or mining one in your archive you may consider the following:
  • Most rebellious thing I ever did
  • Smartest thing I ever did
  • Stupidest thing I ever did
  • An incident that made a certain travel experience memorable
  • A person you met only once with whom you wish you could connect again
  • An early “dead end” job from which you learned something important
  • An ancestor or young childhood friend who had a huge impact on your life

Email Bethany Boom to sign up for the February story slot, or suggest a month that would work for you.
Ongoing MCC Activities
Dutch Treat Social Hour
4:00-5:00 pm
Drop in for an afternoon coffee or drink and a casual chat.
Click here for the Zoom link.
Rendezvous on 5
9:00-10:00 am
Drop in and join your friends and neighbors for a morning chat over Zoom. Click here for the Zoom link.
Men's Dutch Lunch
Alternating Thursdays,
11:30 am-12:30 pm
This casual, dutch treat lunch alternates weeks with Men's Coffee and Conversation.
Click here for the Zoom link.
River Walkers
Tuesdays and Thursdays,
8:00-9:00 am
Stone Arch Lofts Riverside Parking Lot
All levels of walkers are welcome for this early morning walk -with pandemic protocols-along the banks of the Mississippi River. An MCC volunteer leads each walk.
Strength, Balance & Stretch (SBS)
Mondays and Wednesdays
2:00-2:45 pm
An exclusive opportunity for members, this class focuses on keeping you fit and strong. First time participants, please contact G-Werx at (612) 767-4415. Cost varies depending on commitment.
MCC Community Care Resources
MCC Caregivers' Support Group
2nd and 4th Wednesdays,
September-December, 10:30-12:00 pm
A way to support members and non-members who are in a caregiving role.

Members will be contacted with a Zoom link to join the meeting.
Member-to-Member Volunteering
If you want to support other members, you can sign up to become a volunteer driver or member-to-member volunteer.

If you are in need of volunteer services, let us know. Mary Texidor can help arrange a ride, meals, grocery shopping, visits and more.
Medical Equipment Loan Program
If you have a medical need, we may have the equipment you are looking for. Consider contacting the office before you buy or rent a piece of equipment. We have a shower chair, raised toilet seat, walker, bed assist rail, cane and grabber available.
Go to MCC's COVID-19 Response page to see resources, Zoom tutorials and recommendations from members on things to do while staying at home.
News from and for Members
MCC staff want to take the next few weeks and update the MCC COVID-19 Response page on the website to reflect your needs going into 2021. Please take a minute to answer a three-question survey here to give us your thoughts and feedback. Thank you in advance for your participation.

MCC member Peter Hutchinson wants you to know that MinnPost is hosting their MinnPost Social tonight (December 15) from 5-6 pm. It is a free event where MinnPost editors will review the last year. All are welcome. You can register yet today for the event here.

As a follow up to a recent Women Who Make a Difference program with Melanie Ebertz, Melanie shared that they have added new textiles on their website at You can also view a youtube tour of the pieces here.

The Vitality Society is offering complimentary programming in December. Every Saturday in December at 3:30 pm you can experience an artist gallery tour and lesson. For details of the art programs, click here. At 6 pm on Sundays in December, you can enjoy international travel and dance. The details of these programs won't be known until you meet the "local guides" on Zoom. To attend, simply register here. The Vitality Society is an online platform designed to tap into the vitality, curiosity and creativity of members 60 and better to keep them at their best.

Join AARP for an ugly sweater + pants dance party on December 19 from 10 am-12 pm. The party will start with yoga, followed by a guided dance experience and will culminate with a performance by Dionne Warwick. For more details and to register for this free event, click here.
MCC member John Crosby shared this article from the Star Tribune which includes advice for protecting yourself against crimes like carjackings. Remember to be vigilant about your surroundings, have an alarm button and other noise maker on your keychain or in your pocket, and have a plan. Reports indicate that victims are often older women preoccupied with carrying something to their car.

As a follow up to Doug Baker, Jr.'s recent program with MCC ("Leading through COVID-19" on November 19), MCC member Sonia Cairns shares this article about Doug's plans for the future as he retires from Ecolab.

MCC member Joan Wright recommends that you consider watching a recording of "Impact Leaders," a candid conversation with University of Minnesota's President Joan Gabel and Dr. Michael Osterholm about life amid COVID-19. During this illuminating conversation, guests were able to hear about the U’s challenges, triumphs, and critical ongoing work related to the pandemic. The recording is available here.
MCC Climate Change Work Group: Recycling Tip
Our tip for December is recycled from December ‘19, and bears repeating:
As we enter the holiday season, it is worth remembering that holiday wrapping paper can be recycled provided it does not have glitter, flocking, embossing or reflective areas (foil) on it. Gift bows, too, can be recycled but have the same restrictions as paper. Ribbon and bows are not recyclable. Enjoy the season!
Around Town
Is Edward Snowden Single?
Now through December 20, virtual
Hot mess of a millennial, Mimi becomes taken with the idea that Edward Snowden is madly in love with her. Join her and her best friend April in this wild, party-fueled romp that confronts us with the question of when someone we love betrays us, can we forgive them or do we have to let them go? In the Jungle’s first-ever virtual performance, two incredible performers (plus some whimsical animation) play twenty-plus roles in this volcanic comedy about pretty lies and ugly truths. Tickets can be purchased here.

A Christmas Celebration with the Steeles
December 18-20, virtual
The Twin Cities’ holiday tradition continues with The Steeles family and their Christmas celebration. A cornerstone of Minnesota music with world-renowned talent, The Steeles concert echoes the sacred and secular sounds of the season, with the songs you know and love. Tickets can be purchased here.

Guthrie’s Dickens’ Holiday Classic
December 19–31, virtual
One of Charles Dickens’ favorite ways to spread holiday cheer was to perform dramatic readings of his beloved ghost story for audiences near and far. With a trusty, self-edited copy of his novella in hand, Dickens took Scrooge’s tale of transformation on the road for years, standing at podiums and entertaining large crowds of devoted fans from London to Boston and beyond. Drawing inspiration from this centuries-old tradition, the Guthrie will present a special virtual event featuring a cast of four beloved A Christmas Carol veterans who will reimagine Dickens’ hand-curated chapters for a global audience to enjoy. This is a newly conceived offering that will be filmed and available to stream in December. For information and tickets, click here.

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Contact Us
Elise Linehan, Executive Director,
Mary Texidor, Business and Member Services Admin,
Bethany Boom, Program and Events Manager,
(612) 455-3329