April 2, 2015
Issue No. 13, Volume 2
In This Issue
Sunday Worship for April 5, 2015

Join Rev. Justin Schroeder and Rev. Ruth MacKenzie for  "Rising Up as a Community", this Easter Sunday.

For additional information, and to access the Sunday Order of Service online, click here .

Worship: Multi-generational service of story and song

Music: First Universalist Choir singing Locus Iste by Bruckner


Service is at 9:30 and 11:15 AM


Did You Miss Last Sunday's Service?
We have podcasts available online of all of our sermons!  

To listen to guest minister Pastor Danny Givens, Jr. preach this past Sunday, click here.

Oftentimes when grace is taught and/or spoke of in faith communities the notion of being your authentic self is seldom discussed. Come and explore ways in which grace grants you permission to be your authentic self.

Upcoming Worship
April 12 
9:30 - 11:15am 
Worship: Rev. Ruth MacKenzie
Music: Kendra Wheeler playing Fuzzy Bird and Spoken Word Artist Frank Sentawali

April 19            

Earth Day Sunday

9:30 - 11:15am   

Worship: Dr. Heather Hackman

Music: Ellis Delaney


April 26

Youth Sunday

9:30 - 11:15am                     Worship:  High School Class

Meditations of Racial Justice

April Worship Theme:

The Big Questions

(photo credit: Peter Tandlund)

Church is one place where we ask the big questions. We venture into the unknowable, the big questions with curiosity, and humility because we know ourselves as marvelous, and a spec of dust, all in the same breath of being. Join us this month when we delve into the big questions: 


What is the nature of being human? 


Why is there so much despair? 


What is holy? 


What is wholeness? 


Is there evil? 


What is this wondrous thing called life?

Worship Resources
Be sure to check out April worship resources in next week's edition of The Weekly Liberal!

Art Exhibit 
in  Social Hall 
Capturing Nature 

Three artists, - Erin Mason, Jo Ann Musumeci, and Jill Ewald - are all interested in capturing nature in their art work. They are displaying their work at First Universalist in the Social Hall April 5 - May 17. 

Each has a very different approach to visualizing their love of nature. The artists will be available to talk with you about their artwork and have additional items for sale including on Sunday, April 19, after both service.

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. If you'd like to be included in our Cycle of Life each Sunday in worship, please contact Sandy DiNanni at ( sandy@firstuniv.org ) or (612) 825-1701. If you would like support, please contact Rev. Jen Crow ( jen@firstuniv.org or 825-1701) or any member of our Pastoral Care Team.

Upcoming Events
Saturday, 4/4
Young Families Easter Party, 
Chalice Room, 9:00 AM

Sunday, 4/12
Racial Justice Book Discussion, Room 203, 1:00 PM

Tuesday, 4/14
Racial Justice Book Discussion, Room 203, 6:30 PM

Friday, 4/17
Universalist Jazz Band 
Concert and Dance, 
7:30 PM, Social Hall

Tuesday, 4/21
Board of Trustees Meeting, 
6:30 PM, Chalice Room


For more information about events at First Universalist, check out our website by clicking here! 


To view the online space-use calendar, click here.

Do you have news, information, an announcement, a photo, or an article that you would like to see published in  The Weekly Liberal ?

Click here to fill out our online submission form!  Please note that edits for length and/or content may occur.

The deadline for submission is always Tuesday at 10:00 AM.  The Weekly Liberal is published Thursday afternoon.

Would you like to join our mailing list?

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If you have limited access to email/internet and would like to be on our hard copy mailing list, contact the church office at 612-825-1701 and ask to speak to Chelsea, our Administrative Assistant.

2014-15 Annual Events

Our 2014-2015 schedule of Annual Events is available online!  

Online SPRING Worship Schedule

The 2014-2015 Spring worship schedule is now included in this document. Click here to view.

Connect With First U


Church Office Hours
8:00 AM-1:00 PM

8:30 AM-8:00 PM

8:30 AM-8:00 PM

8:30 AM-8:00 PM

8:30 AM-8:00 PM

The church office is closed Fridays and Saturdays.  You can reach the office by dialing: 612-825-1701.

Senior Minister
Rev. Justin Schroeder

Minister of Program Life
Rev. Jen Crow

Minister of Worship Arts and Coming of Age
Rev. Ruth MacKenzie

Minister of Membership and Adult Ministries 
Rev. Elaine Aron Tenbrink

Director of Children, Youth, & Family Ministries
Lauren Wyeth

For additional staff contact information, click here.

The Weekly Liberal is compiled and edited by Communications Manager Heidi Johnson. To submit an article or announcement for publication in  The Weekly Liberal , please fill out the online submission form here

Please note that edits for content and/or length may occur. Additional information about publication deadlines, submission requirements, and policies can be found in the communications section of our website.  

Any questions, comments, or concerns about  The Weekly Liberal or church communications in general can be directed to: communications@firstuniv.org.  
A Note About
The Weekly Liberal

As you might have noticed, we rotate news and feature articles in and out of the Weekly Liberal via one week, two week, and one month cycles, depending on the content.  While we always provide new & updated content in every edition, we also cycle in important pieces that run multiple times (usually twice) to ensure that members and friends of First Universalist have the opportunity to view this information.

An "Easter Faith"
By  Rev. Justin Schroeder,
Senior Minister

It's seems as if we're in a season of loss, doesn't it? I know many of you have recently attended memorial services for friends and loved ones here at the church. And there is plenty of other loss that we are walking with - the loss of a dream, a relationship, an imagined future - that is never recognized in a memorial service.

As we move through Holy Week, and Good Friday, on our way to the joy and celebration of Easter, I have been finding comfort in the words that I say at every memorial service: "Even though we sit in the presence of a great loss, and are saddened and confused by what we face, we are nevertheless assured that there is a spirit alive in the world over which death has no dominion, a light which no darkness can extinguish."

Easter celebrates the power of this spirit - this spirit, which calls us back to life after a loss. This spirit, which invites us to live with radical love and forgiveness at the center of lives. This spirit, which insists that the "kingdom of equals," or the "beloved community," is at hand - and it is our flawed and imperfect hands that might bring it fully into being. 

In what ways is the Easter spirit alive in you? What stones might you roll away from your heart, so that your gifts, your light, and your love, might be a blessing to this world?

No matter what you carry, may the Easter spirit be alive in you.

I'll see you in church,

Save the Date!
Budget & Annual Meetings

By David Bach,

President, Board of Trustees

I want to alert you to two budget meetings the board is holding:


Wednesday, April 29 at 6 - 7 PM


Sunday May 3, at 12:45 - 1:45 PM


We are holding two meetings this year to allow more of you to fit this into your schedules. The Annual Meeting will be on May 31 this year. We will have one service that morning at 10 AM, our annual Flower Service. The Annual Meeting of the Membership will follow at 11:30 AM.

We look forward to seeing you at these upcoming meetings. Until then, please feel free to send me an email at boardchair@firstuniv.org if you have any questions about the work of the board or catch one of us in the social hall.

News & Announcements
Solidarity Rally at Planned Parenthood this Friday!

By Valerie Garber

Each year on Good Friday, the Planned Parenthood headquarters & clinic in St Paul is picketed by hundreds of people who do not believe that a woman should be able to make her own personal health care decisions. In response, hundreds attend the Solidarity Rally at Planned Parenthood to stand against the messages of shame and guilt that are heaped upon women for their very sexuality.

Please join these supporters this Friday, April 3, as we lift our voices for reproductive justice because of our faith, not in spite of it!
If you've ever been to the Solidarity Rally, you'll know that the atmosphere is upbeat and non-confrontational. There'll be speakers, musicians and songs, and even a food truck or two. Bring your friends, neighbors and the kids!

The Association of Universalist Women is again sponsoring a FREE bus to the Rally from First Universalist Church. Our group will attend the rally for 2 hours. The Bus will depart the 1st U parking lot at 9.30am and arrive back there at 12.30pm (total time 3 hours). The Rally itself takes place from 9am to 3pm.

Sign up online by clicking on this link and adding your name HERE!

On April 3rd before 9.30am., please sign in with Ellen Hughes in the 1st U parking lot. 

Joyce Uptown Food Shelf

Joyce Uptown Food Shelf is happy to partner with MN Foodshare for the March campaign which brings in money and food and is matched by MN Foodshare!

We will be reporting to MN Foodshare through April 10, 2015  our number of pounds and our dollars donated.

We have some specific needs:
dried fruits
raw nuts

Thank you for your continued support!
Caregivers Support Group

The Caregivers Support Group meets at church on the second Wednesday of every month from 6:45-8:15 p.m. All of us are providing varying degrees of support and care for a parent. Sharing our stories with each other and getting support and feedback from the members and our facilitator has been very helpful to us in our caregiving journey. If you are currently caring for an aging parent, we invite you to join us.

For more information, contact Anne Frenchick: tedanne@pro-ns.ne


Reception honoring Pat McLaughlin

TRUST Parish Nurse,  in her retirement:

April 16, 2015

4:00 - 7:00 PM
Program at 5:30 PM

Mayflower UCC
106 E. Diamond Lake Road
Minneapolis 55419

Come reminisce and celebrate Pat's many accomplishments
since she began the TRUST Parish Nurse program in 1996
Questions? Call Nancy at TRUST at 612-827-6159


Young Adult Game Night

Join us on Tuesday, April 7 from 7-9pm up in the Arches Room for games, snacks, and good company.  Feel free to bring a game or food to share, as well as your friends and/or significant other.  This is a great chance to get to know other young adults and enjoy some mid-week relaxation and fun.  Contact Brie Jonna at  Brie.Jonna@gmail.com with questions.


Open Labyrinth Walk 

Thursday, April 9th 6:30-8:00pm

Spring is nature's time to transform the Earth. Take advantage of this seasonal energy to guide the direction of the changes in your life. The labyrinth can be a powerful tool to help you determine what changes to make and how to go about it. All are welcome!!

My Church:
A Religious Education Snapshot
By Emma Stout, 
Coming of Age Program Assistant

While adults worship in the sanctuary each week, children and youth fill our Religious Education wing. Throughout the year, we'll provide periodic snapshots from our classrooms in this ongoing series, titled My Church. In this issue, we look at Sunday morning through the eyes of a 9th grader.

If you walk into the Cummins room on a typical Sunday morning, you will likely find a community of 9th graders actively engaged in exploring their faith. You might see them engaged in deep discussion about the meaning of sin, participating in a mock debate about the nature of good and evil, or following a guided meditation during a youth-led opening worship. Welcome to the Coming of Age classroom. 

In Coming of Age, youth have the opportunity to dive into "big questions" and dig deeper into the UU faith. Students have spent the year exploring themes that have helped them to better understand and articulate what they hold dear. These themes include the web of interdependence, prayer, the relationship between faith and social justice work, and the sources that shape our faith. This spring, the youth are setting out to write their credo statements, which they will present at the Coming of Age ceremony in May. In writing their credo statements, the youth have been asked to reflect on what they belove-that is, what they hold dear to their hearts and commit themselves to. The Coming of Age ceremony will take place on Saturday, May 16th from 3:00 to 4:30pm. 

Additionally, each youth in Coming of Age is paired up with an adult mentor to guide them through the process of exploring their faith. Mentors act as role models, friends, and spiritual sounding boards for students, and youth-mentor pairs meet both in and out of class multiple times throughout the year. We are incredibly grateful to all of the mentors for giving their time and energy and being a part of the Coming of Age program. 

In early May, Coming of Age students will participate in a day-long nature vigil to further reflect on what they belove. We will head down to Nerstrand Big Woods State Park and students will have the opportunity to reflect silently in the woods for two hours without distractions. Past students have expressed that this is one of their favorite aspects of the program. 

It has been an incredible year in Coming of Age so far, and the program would not be possible without the hard work and dedication of everyone involved. A special thanks is necessary for the fearless advisors of the program, whose warm energy and generosity of spirit makes the program what it is.

Upcoming Racial Justice Book Discussions
"What Does Justice Look Like? 
 The Struggle for Liberation in Dakota Homeland" 
 by Waziyatawin

Sunday, April 12 at 1:00pm 
Tuesday, April 14 at 6:30pm

Room 203

Discussion facilitated by Suzanne Hay, Kayci Rush, and Rev. Justin Schroeder 

During the past 150 years, the majority of Minnesotans have not acknowledged the immense and ongoing harms suffered by the Dakota People ever since their homelands were invaded over 200 years ago. How have we been mis-educated about Minnesota history? What can we do to reverse the patterns of oppression in Native and non-Native relations?

The Pathway to Membership

By Elaine Aron Tenbrink,

Minister of Membership & Adult Ministries


Feeling like First Universalist could be your spiritual home? 

Join us for The Pathway to Membership, which invites you into an exploration of Unitarian Universalism, the history of this congregation, our racial justice commitment, and the experience of membership. The Pathway to Membership is required for joining the church. Our next Pathway to Membership class is a two-session experience on Sundays, April 19 and 26 from 1-4pm

To sign up, contact the Rev. Elaine Aron Tenbrink at Elaine@Firstuniv.org or 612-825-1701x124. 


Childcare is available with at least 7 days advance notice at: http://firstuniversalistchurch.org/childcare-request-form/