May 14, 2015
Issue No. 19, Volume 2
In This Issue
Sunday Worship for May 17, 2015

Join Rev. Ruth MacKenzie for   "Dear Everything" this Sunday, as we also welcome our new members in our New Member Ceremony.

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


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 Rev. Justin Schroeder preach "Mothering and Messiness" this past Sunday, click here.

On some level, we dream of a sanitized, clean, Fabreeze Fresh, organized life, don't we? But more often than not, life is just plain messy - uncertain, chaotic, unpredictable.

Despite the illusions of control and orderliness, life is most often a beautiful, messy experience.

So how do we learn to live in the mess?

Upcoming Worship


May 24                        

10:000 am

Worship: Rev. Jen Crow

Memorial Day Sunday


Please Note: Sunday Service Time Changes on May 24th

Beginning Sunday, May 24, we will have one Sunday service at 10am for the summer months. During this time, we ask you to bring your own mug to the social hour after the service. This helps save on water, labor, and keeps the kitchen cool during the hot summer months. We look forward to seeing you at church!

May 31                        

10:00 am                

Worship: Rev. Jen Crow

Flower Communion Sunday   Music: Inter-generational Choir

Congregation Annual Meeting


Flower Communion Sunday

Please remember to bring a flower or two on May 31 to commemorate Flower Communion Sunday, an annual ritual that celebrates beauty, human uniqueness, diversity, and community.


Originally created in 1923 by Unitarian minister Norbert Capek of Prague, Flower Communion was created to acknowledge our unique place in creation, and the beauty we create when we come together as a bouquet of faith.

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.


We look with uncertainty
by Anne Hillman

We look with uncertainty
beyond the old choices for
clear-cut answers
to a softer, more permeable aliveness
which is every moment
at the brink of death;
for something new is being born in us
if we but let it.
We stand at a new doorway,
awaiting that which comes...
daring to be human creatures,
vulnerable to the beauty of existence.
Learning to love.


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 ( ) or (612) 825-1701. If you would like support, please contact Rev. Jen Crow ( or 825-1701) or any member of our Pastoral Care Team.

Upcoming Events

Friday, 5/15
AUW Annual Meeting, Social Hall, 5:00 PM

Saturday, 5/16
Racial Justice and Our UU Faith, Cummins Room, 9:00 AM

Saturday, 5/16
Coming of Age Service and Celebration, Social Hall, 3:00 PM

Thursday, 5/21
Board Meeting, Cummins Room, 6:30 PM


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.

News for Families:

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

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:  
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.

What is 'Coming of Age' at First Universalist?
By Rev. Ruth MacKenzie,
Minister of Worship Arts & Coming of Age

When youth enter the Coming of Age program, we ask them to wrestle with the essential questions of religion, and begin to live into their answers, the emerging beliefs to which they will set their heart. 

We ask some big questions: What is the nature of God (the Universe)? What does it mean to be human and alive? How is the divine/sacred present inside of us? What is community? What good is church? How do we cope with death and dying (ending)?

We ask youth to use reason and wonder to frame our religious discussions, and we delve into sacred texts old and new, to identify wisdom teachers to help.

The Coming of Age class is led by Rev. Ruth MacKenzie, Emma Stout (program assistant), and several dedicated advisers:

Charmagne Campbell-Patton
Dick Huebner
Jeremy Korpi
Sara McLoone
Mary Novak
Doug Smalley

Along with classroom explorations, this group experienced a weekend retreat, workshops on spiritual practice, a day of service at the Mississippi River, and did a solo nature vigil. Each youth was paired with a mentor with whom they met inside and outside of class.

Thank you to our advisers and mentors of this this year's Coming of Age class!

Summer Circles: 
Click on the Poster Below for More Info!

News & Announcements
Connect and Reflect in a Circle this Summer

Our Circles are groups of 8-10 committed participants who come together with a trained leader to nurture spiritual growth in community. This summer's six-session circles will focus on our summer worship theme: Sources.  What are sources of strength and renewal for our spirits? These groups are grounded in the spiritual practices of deep listening and open-hearted reflection.  


Online registration begins this Sunday, May 17 and runs through Sunday, May 31. Learn more and sign up at  For more information, contact Rev. Elaine Aron Tenbrink at or 612-825-1701 x124

Wellspring Orientation

Have you heard about Wellspring? This year, more than 50 members of our church participated in this amazing journey. Wellspring offers spiritual deepening within our Unitarian Universalist tradition, an opportunity for learning more about ourselves and our faith through a year-long small group experience. 

There are five interconnected components: commitment to a daily spiritual practice, monthly spiritual direction (self-reflection with a guide), small group meetings, reading about the theological and historical foundations of our faith, and putting our faith into action. After a day-long opening retreat in September 2015, Wellspring will meet every other week through May 2016.

You are invited to an information session to learn more and to help you decide whether Wellspring is a commitment you want to make. Attending the orientation is required if you wish to participate in Wellspring next year. 

Please join us on Thursday, May 28 from 7-8:30pm or on Sunday, June 7 at 11:30am. Bring your questions and your open hearts. We look forward to seeing you there!

'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.


Young Adults Spring Barbecue 

All young adults are invited to join in for a good food and great company as we celebrate spring with a barbecue!  

Where: Sunny & Brian's Place ( 4540 Portland Ave., Mpls, MN 55407)
WhenTuesday, May 19 around 7pm
Food details: Hosts will provide burgers, brats, veggie burgers and beer. Feel free to bring a side dish, beverage, or dessert to share. 
RSVP's are helpful but not required. 


The Weekly Liberal to Take Summer Vacation

The Weekly Liberal will be taking a summer break starting May 29th, lasting until August 15th.  

The May 28th edition of the Weekly Liberal will be the last edition before the break.  For the months of June and July, a monthly version of the Weekly Liberal will be published on June 15th and July 15th.

The  News and Updates  section of the First Universalist website will continue to be updated on a daily and weekly basis throughout the summer.  If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact Communications Manager Heidi Johnson at

SUMMER CAMPS at First Universalist Church 
Register Today!

By Lauren Wyeth,
Director of Children, Youth, & Family Ministries

Summer camp registration is open now, with options for kids entering 1st grade through high school. 

CHALICE CAMP for kids entering 1st-6th grade, June 22-26
This year's Chalice Camp features all-new activities, so it's a good choice for both new and returning campers. On the agenda: making story stones, building a water obstacle course, painting wish sticks, giant-ball games, knot bracelets, swimming at Bryant Park, knuckle prayers, running a car wash, learning new songs, and singing onstage at a Thursday evening family potluck. There is a place for every kid at Chalice Camp - we'll feel like cousins by the week's end.

CREATIVITY JAM CAMP for kids entering 1st-6th grade, July 13-17
Creativity Jam Camp is the place to be if you like building, performing or creating! Every day brings new options, and the creative process is where we explore, express, and interact with new ideas. Kids use all kinds of materials and are inspired by energetic camp counselors and daily time in nature. Every voice matters as we play and learn in our community of friendship and fun. Parents will get to tour our art gallery at the week's end. 

RACIAL JUSTICE JAM CAMPS for youth entering 9th-12th grade, July 20-23; and 3rd-8th grade, July 27-30. New this year, Racial Justice Jam Camp will get us talking about stuff that really matters, like race, culture, prejudice and put-downs, and standing on the side of love and justice. Racial Justice Jam Campers of different ages will have different groups, but everyone will be focused on the same four ideas: my own identity has many beautiful layers; others' identities are also complex and beautiful; now and in the past, people have had different opportunities and privileges based on their skin color and race; together, we can interrupt injustice and build a fair and compassionate world. 

Racial Justice Jam Camp will help us become people who notice what's happening around us, feel comfortable talking about it, and know how to stand up for ourselves and others. 

Please spread the word and invite your friends! To learn more, see camp dates, fees, and registration forms, visit

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.

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