April 30, 2015
Issue No. 17, Volume 2
In This Issue
Sunday Worship for May 3, 2015

Join Rev. Justin Schroeder for   "Holding Lightly" on May 3rd.

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


Service is at 9:30 and 11:15 AM. 

"Schicksalslied"  This Sunday 

For the past four months, the First Universalist Choir has been working on Johannes Brahms' masterwork Schicksalslied. (translated as Song of Destiny). The text, a poem by Friedrich Hölderlin contrasts the lives of those who live a blissful existence with those who are caught in perpetual suffering. Brahms struggled for three years before finishing this original and profound composition. Conductor Randal Buikema along with our 70 member choir and 25 member orchestra will take you on an intense musical journey not to be missed!


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

To listen to Rev. Ruth Mackenzie and high school youth preach at Youth Sunday on April 26, click here.

Upcoming Worship


May 10

9:30 - 11:15am

Worship: Rev. Justin Schroeder

Music: First Universalist Folk Band

May Worship Theme:


(photo credit: Ruth MacKenzie)


The nature of thresholds is that there is one foot in what was, and one foot in what is to become. The present of thresholds is a lesson in pausing, noticing, remembering, and dreaming. This month we practice suspending our wish to know, and our penchant for planning, and surrender ourselves to the spiritual journey of not knowing, and living comfortably between worlds.

Fill Out the Congregational Survey!
By David Leppik

Sometimes the most important things we do go unnoticed and unrecognized. Sometimes the little things, like showing up year after year, are what make a difference.

First Universalist has made several commitments: to grow in our UU faith; to provide a home for ageless wisdom; to be an intergenerational community of mutual caring and support; and to build a just, loving and sustainable world.

To ensure that we are living up to these commitments, the Board of Trustees does a survey every year. It's survey time again, and whether you've been here 6 months or 60 years, we need to hear your voice. Please take 10 minutes to tell us how the church is doing.

Take the survey by clicking HERE.

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
Friday, 5/1
Black Lives Matter Student Walk Out and Rally, MLK Park, 
12:00 PM

Sunday, 5/3
ACS Basics Training Session, Chalice Room, 1:00 PM

Sunday, 5/3
Budget Hearing Meeting, Sanctuary, 12:45 PM

Tuesday, 5/5
Direct Action Reflection and 
De-brief, Chalice Room, 7:00 PM

Sunday, 5/10
Child Dedication Ritual, 
Sanctuary, 9:30 and 11:15 AM


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?

Click here to receive
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.

News for Families:

Would you like to sign up for the Children, Youth, & Family Ministries Weekly E-News? 
Click here to sign up online!

2014-15 Annual Events

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

Change of Date for Lake Harriet Bandshell Service:

Due to an error with Lake Harriet planners, our date at Lake Harriet Bandshell has been changed to Sunday, Aug 30. The Rock Band will be performing at this service. Mark your calendars-we hope to see you there!

Online SPRING Worship Schedule

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

Are You a Professional Fundraiser?  A Development Director?

If so, we want your input! The Program Team of First Universalist is in the early stages of creating a development and fundraising plan for 2015-2016 and beyond. Interested? Please connect with Rev. Justin Schroeder at 612-825-1701 x 102, or  justin@firstuniv.org

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.

Playing to our Strengths to Best Serve the Church
By Rev. Justin Schroeder, 
Senior Minister

Over the past three years, Rev. Jen Crow and I have come to know one another and each other's strengths quite well. Two months ago, when Diane Gavere, our Director of Operations, left her position, we spent time accessing the needs of the church, as well as our gifts and passions, noting where we felt most engaged and alive in our ministry. As a result of these conversations, and conversations with the Board of Trustees, the staff, and an outside consultant, Jen and I are rearranging our job descriptions and portfolios, allowing us to focus on our areas of strengths.  


Beginning July 1st, 2015, my primary focus will be preaching, teaching, stewardship and fundraising, working with our Faithful Action Leadership Council and Justice Teams, working with our Racial Justice Leadership Team, and engaging in public witness in the broader community. I will continue to supervise Jen, Rev. Ruth MacKenzie, and our Communication Manager, Heidi Johnson, and to work closely with the Board of Trustees.


In addition to her ministry with our Program Team, Jen will oversee the Operations Team, creating and monitoring the budget, and ensuring that the day to day ministry and operations of the church run smoothly. Jen will continue to preach on a monthly basis and be the point person for our Congregational Care Team.


Because of Jen's new responsibilities, and the deepening of her covenantal relationship with the church, the Board of Trustees is recommending that we call Jen as a Minister of First Universalist. I wholeheartedly support this recommendation!


We are both excited about the passion and energy that this restructuring will unleash in us and the church, and believe it will strengthen our shared ministry.


In gratitude to be part of such a dynamic place,

Rev. Justin Schroeder


A Message From the Board of Trustees

By David Bach, Board President

The Board of Trustees of First Universalist Church is excited to bring forward to the congregation, for its approval, at our May 31 Annual Meeting, the following motion:


That the Reverend Jen Crow be "called" as a Minister of First Universalist Church.


But, I thought Jen was already one of our ministers!  Yes, she is. However, Jen was hired by our Senior Minister, Rev. Justin Schroeder, to serve this church. A "called" Minister is called by the Congregation.


What difference does that make?  A called Minister is called by the Congregation to serve the Church and reports to the Board of Trustees. Because of this, a "called" Minister is bonded to the Congregation in a deeper way than a minister appointed by the Senior Minister. As is often the practice, the Board of Trustees will delegate its oversight responsibility for Jen to Justin to reflect the relationship we feel is required for the best management of the church.


Why is the Board recommending this?  Justin and Jen presented to the Board a dynamic plan to restructure the administration of First Universalist Church to allow staff to work in areas of their greatest strengths, strongest interests and where they are most inspired. The most important part of this plan involves shifting Rev. Jen Crow into a senior leadership role in overseeing the operations of the church, what we could call a chief operating officer.  Justin will be freed up to give his full attention to the visioning, preaching, Faithful Action, fundraising and community involvement components of our work. To reflect the significance of this change and the important role Jen will be playing in the work of the church, we, the Board of Trustees, serving as a Review Committee, per our bylaws, decided it was it was in the best interest of the church to support moving Jen's position to a "called" Minister.  Also, by this act, we as a Congregation will express our support for the work Jen will do as an equally important part of a successful ministry as well our support and gratitude for the important contribution Jen's ministry has already made to First Universalist.


Please feel free to contact me with any questions at boardchair@firstuniv.org. We will see you at the Annual Meeting, May 31, 2015 and also at one of our budget meetings on Wednesday, April 29, 6-7 p.m. or Sunday, May 3, 12:45 - 1:45.  And every Sunday at church, of course!!!


David Bach


Board of Trustees

News & Announcements
General Assembly 2015: 

The American philosopher, academic, activist, author, and public intellectual Dr. Cornel West will speak to thousands of Unitarian Universalists this summer at our annual meeting and convention, the UUA General Assembly.

Go to UUA.org for more information! Let us know if you want to be a delegate. Refer to previous posts for more information.

Questions?  Contact Ginny at Ginny.mc1947@gmail.com

'Being Mortal' Book Discussion

Led by Karen West
Sunday, May 17 at 1pm in Room 203

For all but our most recent history, death was a common, ever-present possibility, but advances in modern medicine have changed that. As we live longer and longer, many of us choose not to think about death, but in the best seller "Being Mortal," Atul Gawande argues that facing and accepting the fact that we are mortal is crucial if we want to continue being the authors of our own lives. Join us for a discussion of this empowering, life-changing book.


Discussion About Sex-Trafficking
Sponsored by Association of Universalist Women

AUW is sponsoring a talk about sex trafficking in MN on Thursday, May 21 from 7-8:30 p.m. by Breaking Free. Breaking Free is a Minnesota-based non-profit and social justice/social change organization founded in 1996. Every year, it helps an average of 400-500 women and girls escape systems of prostitution and sexual exploitation through advocacy, direct services, housing, and education.

Black Lives Matter:
Preparation, Action, Reflection

Join us in a three-part journey of preparation, action, and reflection as we stand with Black Lives Matter Minneapolis for justice and equity in our schools and in our country. 

Youth  welcome!

Direct Action Training was held on Sunday, April 26.

WHAT: Black Lives Matter Direct Action
WHEN: Friday, May 1

8:30 AM: Court Solidarity Rally (7009 York Ave S, Edina)

10:30 AM: Students Across the Twin Cities Walk Out

12:00 PM: Rally & May Day BBQ (King Park: 2055 Nicollet Ave)

2:30 PM: International Worker's Day March (Nicollet Ave & Lake St)


WHAT: Reflection and De-Brief with Liz Loeb, Lena K. Gardner, and Rev. Justin Schroeder
WHEN: Tuesday, May 5 at 7:00pm
WHERE: Chalice Room, First Universalist Church

Intergenerational Choir
By Randy Buikema,
Director of Choral Arts

Are you and/or members of your family interested in singing? Have you considered singing in the choir, but you couldn't make the long-term commitment? With 3 rehearsals and worship services on one Sunday, the Intergenerational Choir may be perfect for you. All ages are welcome. Here are the particulars:

Repertoire Sahayta by Ben Allaway

Sunday, May 17 10:35-11:10 (between services)
Wednesday, May 20 7:00-7:45 PM
Wednesday, May 27 7:00-7:45 PM

Sunday, May 31 10:00 AM (One service, Flower Communion)

Randy Buikema, Director of Choral Arts, will serve as the choir's conductor. The anthem, Sayahta is a unique musical experience for singers of all ages. The text of Sahayta ideals with themes of unity, peace and community, and it draws on words and phrases in Arabic, Hebrew, Hindi, Sanskrit, Spanish, English, Filipino and Swahili. With an infectious world beat, this song will unite the singers and the congregation. Come join the fun!!

If you have any questions, contact randy@firstuniv.org.

Religious Education Registration Now Open


Online registration for the 2015-2016 church year is now open for children and youth ages six months through 12th grade. From September through May, First Universalist Church offers Sunday morning childcare for children ages 6 months to 2 years, and Religious Education classes for preschool through high school. 

We are home to nearly 300 families and close to 500 children and youth!There is no fee for Religious Education or childcare.


Our congregation recognizes that children and youth are a vital and precious part of the whole. Religious Education classes are a cooperative endeavor, with parents and children learning and growing in religious community together. We depend on one another to create a vibrant experience for all ages!

Each family is asked to support the program by serving on a volunteer team approximately one Sunday a month, or ten times during the church year. Training, prepared materials, and staff support are provided.

The Class Descriptions page of our website gives an overview of the curriculum for each age and grade level.

Class assignments will be determined in late May, and families will receive confirmation by email on June 1. All returning children and youth must be registered in order to attend classes or childcare on Sunday mornings during the regular church year.


How Can the Church's New Database Make Life Easier?

Stop by the Table in the Social Hall

On Sundays, April 26 and May 3, church member Ron Parker and membership staff Sandy DiNanni will be in the social hall after each service providing basic information about ACS. However, if you're looking for a more comprehensive overview, join us for the...

ACS Basics Workshop
Sunday, May 3 at 1:00pm in the Chalice Room

Access our member directory on your smartphone.
Update your contact information in a few simple clicks.
Pledge and donate online.

These are some of the features of our great new database, ACS. Learn about the basic features of ACS with our Office and Events Manager, Bree Mattson, and our Assistant Finance Administrator, Brad Schmidt at this beginner's workshop.

Welcome Baby Team
By Ann Terlizzi,
Member of the Welcome Baby Team

If you are looking for an easy & rewarding way to get connected with the First Universalist community, please join the Welcome Baby Team! We work to welcome our newest little members and offer support to their amazing parents in the form of a meal and short respite visit.. If you have a few extra hours a year to share with one or two new families please join us! Email or call for more information or to be added to the list of volunteers. 

Are you are expecting a new baby to join your family and thinking, yes! I would love to be connected to a volunteer!? Please let us know and we would be happy to reach out a few weeks after baby arrives with a friendly visitor and meal. No pressure, no commitments, just love and support! Email or call for more information: 
Contact: Ann Terlizzi 612-616-3932 annterlizzi@visi.com Jody Beresford 612-669-9977 spice777@aol.com

Newcomer Circle
Are you new to First Universalist? Whether you are a recent visitor or a new member, you're invited to join a Newcomer Circle. These four-session gatherings of 6-10 newcomers offer a chance to explore core Unitarian Universalist values, reflect on our spiritual journeys, and connect with other folks who are new to church. 

Our next Newcomer Circle runs on  Wednesdays, May 6, 13, 20, 27 from 7:00-8:30 PM. Registration is required; you can sign up at the Information table in the social hall or by emailing Sandy@firstuniv.org