April 9, 2015
Issue No. 14, Volume 2
In This Issue
Sunday Worship for April 12, 2015

Join Rev. Ruth MacKenzie for her sermon,  "Warriors of Compassion", this Sunday.

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

How did we end up in a world that nobody wants-overrun by greed, self-interest, and oppressive power-the very opposite of what we work for, what we pray for? What can we do? How can we be? Join us this Sunday to explore how we might harness a bodhisattva spirit, our compassionate warrior to realign our lives and attend to deep, transformative relationship.

Music: Frank Sentwali and Kendra Wheeler.

Frank Sentwali is a Twin cities spoken word artist. He is the creator of Edu-Poetic Enterbrainment, a spoken word and music ensemble. Frank has spent years in the education system as a tutor, teacher and mentor. He currently co-facilitates S.E.E.D. (Sentwali Entertainment Education Division), presenting programs in schools and community centers.

Saxophonist extraordinaire, Kendra Wheeler will performing Fuzzy Bird (Takashi Yoshimatsu) with Jerrod Wendland. Kendra has performed throughout the Midwest. She has performed at the Chicago Symphony Center as a soloist, and placed first in the Schubert Club Competition. She is also a member of ZA Saxaphone Quartet, a new chamber group comprised of students of the University of Minnesota that won the Midwest Young Artist Competition and has performed on the radio.


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 senior minister Rev. Justin Schroeder preach this past Sunday, click here.

According to our consumer culture, bunnies, eggs, and chocolate candies are the essence of Easter, right!? But as people of faith, as Unitarian Universalists, what does the Easter story mean to us today? What does it mean to be an 'Easter Community,' seeking to create 'heaven on earth?' Join us this Sunday, for an all ages service, as we explore these questions.

Upcoming Worship

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

May 3

Sharing Sunday 
9:30 - 11:15am

Worship: Rev. Justin Schroeder
Music: First Universalist Choir singing Schicksalslied by Brahms

May 10

9:30 - 11:15am

Worship: Rev. Justin Schroeder
Music: First Universalist Folk Band

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
Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End

by Atul Gawande

How do we live well even in our dying? How can modern  medicine aid the body and the human spirit? What is a good death?

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

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

Thursday, 4/16
Daytime Connections, 
Chalice Room, 11:00 AM

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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The Weekly Liberal from First Universalist Church in your inbox every Thursday!

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.

Join us on our Racial Justice Journey!
By the Racial Justice Leadership Team

You're invited to apply to participate in the next 24 hour racial justice training led by Dr. Heather Hackman this fall! 
Dr. Hackman's approach is multi-faceted, and provides a foundation for shifting our entire "lens" toward racial justice, as we understand the ways that race, racism, and whiteness work in the world around us. 

We'll be partnering with members from Judson Memorial Baptist Church in this training, as they deepen their commitment to becoming a faith community committed to racial justice. There is room for 30 First Universalist participants in this training, and we expect these spots to fill up fast. 

Here are the Details: 

* The trainings are scheduled for Saturdays, Oct 3rd, November 7th, and November 21rd from 8:00 to 4:00 p.m. 

* Participants are expected to attend all three trainings and to stay for the entire length of the session. Meals will be provided. 

* In an effort to build our internal capacity to deepen this work, we'll be offering a "Train the Trainers" racial justice workshop for those who wish to become trainers of this content, leading workshop and classes in the church. We will be offering this training on Saturday, February 6th, February 27th, and April 9th, 2016, from 8 to 4pm. 

* To apply for this training, please answer the following questions, and send your response to the church's Administrative Assistant, Chelsea Bertsch, at  Chelsea@firstuniv.org:

o Your name
o Your contact Info (address, phone, email)
o Your racial identity
o Why do you want to do this training?
o How does your faith inform your desire to do this work?
o Why is racial justice training important to First Universalist?

We hope you will consider joining us on this journey!

The Racial Justice Leadership Team

P.S. Come hear Dr. Hackman preach with Rev. Schroeder on Earth Day Sunday, April 19th. She'll be leading a workshop after the 2nd service, on doing climate justice work with a racial justice lens.

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/


News & Announcements
FREE Jazz Band Concert


April 17th, 7:30 PM, Social Hall

Something to look forward to after taxes!

Come join us at a FREE jazz band gig in the Social Hall on Friday, April 17th from 7:30 to 9:30 pm. John Jensen and the Jazz Band will be playing 30s and 40s ballads and swing music perfect for dancing and/or listening.

Several years ago a few First U members jointly scored an auction win for a performance by John Jensen and the Jazz Band and we've decided to share it with fellow First U folks.

Bring a finger food snack to share if you wish. We'll provide paper plates and napkins and will be taking up a collection to cover custodial charges. We will NOT have utensils, bar service or child care available that night. BYOB is also NOT an option but we WILL have terrific music in abundance!

No RSVP needed to come enjoy fabulous music! Dance or just enjoy the jazz! Have a blast with your community! Please join us!

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


Open Labyrinth Walk 

TONIGHT! 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!!

Child Dedication

Sunday, May 10

During the Child Dedication ritual, the congregation pledges itself to partner with and support parents and families in the religious upbringing of the child. Child Dedications take place during Sunday worship services twice a year, in May and November.

Babies and children of members and those on the path to membership at First Universalist Church may be dedicated. If your family would like to participate in the upcoming Child Dedication ceremony on May 10, please sign up online before May 1.

Be a Housing Advocate

By Joan Naymark,
Housing Advocacy Coordinator for First U

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 deciRoughly 14,000 people are homeless on any given night in Minnesota. First Universalist is partnering with Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative to improve Minnesota's affordable housing stock and supportive services. Beacon Citizens are in the midst of their 2015 "Believe in Home" Legislative Campaign. The Homes for All legislative agenda asks the State of Minnesota to commit $39 million more than it does now to support affordable housing financing and operations, as well as the services that help people escape homelessness.

Beacon Citizens are connecting with the importance of home as a foundation of stable lives and stable communities. Let's be part of achieving their goal - to engage 3,000 Beacon Citizens and 30 congregations. First Universalist is a Beacon congregation and a "Families Moving Forward" host site this fall.

Here is a starting point: Using this simple online form, you can endorse this year's effort by providing your name, address, email address and a statement that begins with "Home is ..." and ends with "I believe in home." It is very easy, very fast, and very meaningful.

Beacon staff will connect names and addresses to state legislators, and will use the "Home is..." statements to create stunning visuals for use in our advocacy and within our congregations. They will deliver the statements to elected officials, so your individual statement takes on even more power when collected with those of others in our congregation and House or Senate district.

It's simple and powerful. Let's add our voice to this important effort.

Volunteer Opportunity

Are you interested in volunteering for First Universalist Church? The office staff is in need of a volunteer who is available to come in Monday mornings at 8:30 a.m to help our long time volunteer Riley Owens count our weekly cash offering. No accounting experience needed. If you can count to 20 this opportunity is perfect for you!

Email Brad Schmidt at brad@firstuniv.org if you are interested in this volunteer position.

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?