May 21, 2015
Issue No. 20, Volume 2
In This Issue
Sunday Worship for May 24, 2015

Join Rev. Jen Crow for   "Thank You" this Sunday, May 24th.

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


Please note change in Sunday Service Time:


Beginning Sunday, May 24, we will have one Sunday service at 10:00 AM 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!


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

To listen to Rev. Ruth MacKenzie preach "Dear Everything" this past Sunday, click here.

We celebrate wondering and asking about the big things. We celebrate the wonderings of our Coming of Age youth and our New Members. We celebrate those threshold moments for us all, when you fall more deeply in love with the world, with yourself, and with the unnameable mystery.

Upcoming Worship


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.

Fill Out the Congregational Survey:
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 .
Upcoming Events

Wednesday, 5/27
Climate Conversations, Cummins Room, 6:30 PM

Thursday, 5/28
Wellspring Information Session, Cummins Room, 7:00 PM

Sunday, 5/30
Flower Communion, 
Sanctuary, 10:00 AM

Sunday, 5/31
Annual Meeting
Sanctuary, 11:30 AM

Sunday, 6/7
Wellspring Information Session, Cummins Room, 11:30 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!

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

The Weekly Liberal will go on summer vacation on May 29th. The May 28th edition will be the last weekly edition for the summer: monthly editions will be published for the months of June and July.

Annual Meeting May 31st


By David Bach,
President, Board of Trustees

Dear Church Members and Friends,


Included here is the notice of our congregation's annual meeting, including the agenda for the meeting, the proposed Congregational Covenant, the proposed Racial Justice Resolution, and some information about Rev. Jen Crow and her ministry with us. In order to call a minister, a quarter of the congregation must be present. Your presence is especially important at this Congregational Meeting where we will affirm how we are together, publicly name our commitment to racial justice, and call a minister. Please make every effort to be there.


Thank you,


David Bach

President of the Board of Trustees


156th Annual Meeting of the Members

First Universalist Church of Minneapolis

Sunday, May 31, 2015

11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.


To read the agenda, click here.


To read about calling the Rev. Jen Crow, click here.

To read the Racial Justice Resolution, click here.

To read the Covenant of Right Relations, click here.

News & Announcements
The Dynamics of Prostitution & Sex Trafficking in Minnesota

All are welcome to a presentation on:

The Dynamics of Prostitution & Sex Trafficking in Minnesota
Sponsored by Association of Universalist Women (AUW)

TONIGHT! Thursday, May 21, 7 pm, Chalice Room

Join us as we look in-depth at the system of sex trafficking in Minnesota:

- Why do girls turn toward prostitution/sex trafficking?
- How society promotes and supports sexual exploitation
- How demand is driving the market
- Methods of recruitment
- Barriers to escape
- Consequences for offenders
- What can we do?
- Breaking Free is a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating and   providing services to victims of sexual exploitation who need
- assistance escaping violence. Sexual exploitation distorts the lives of women and girls, destroys families, and undermines the fabric of communities.

Our speaker is Joy Friedman, Training and Outreach Director.

Joy became involved in sex trafficking as a teen, completed the Breaking Free program, and has worked on the staff for 17 years. She also serves as liaison to the St Paul Police Human Trafficking Task Force and the FBI.

AUW is offering to match donations up to $1000 made to Breaking Free.  Bring your checkbook!


Habitat for Humanity Work Week in August

By Geoffrey Lenox

This year our Habitat Work Week is August 3-7. The work site is at 2719 Irving Ave North, Minneapolis and we will be working in the 4th week of a 10 week build schedule. We could use 15 volunteers per day for a 5 day work week. The workday is fro 8:15 am to 4:00 pm daily.

Old hands at Habitat work sites are very welcome, but we would especially like to get newcomers as well. You do not need to be skilled at the building trades to work at a Habitat site. All tools will be provided and any direction you need will be provided as well. Ask anyone who has volunteered for Habitat and they will tell you what a positive and satisfying experience it is.

So go to the following link and sign up for a day or several days and enjoy the camaraderie of new made friends, working on a worthwhile project for deserving recipients. That is the Habitat experience.


Staffing Transition

Communications Manager Heidi Johnson has resigned from her position at First Universalist Church, and has accepted a position with the Rainbow Health Initiative, an LGBTQ health equity & advocacy nonprofit based in Minneapolis.  

During her two years as a staff member at First Universalist, Heidi has acted as both the Office & Events Manger and Communications Manager, and has led a number of initiatives, including implementing the room reservations system, building the new website, redesigning the Sunday order of service, and launching the Weekly Liberal.  

We are grateful to Heidi for the gifts and talents that she has brought to First Universalist over the past two years, and wish her the best in her future!

Thank You From AFA



First Universalist volunteers receiving thanks from Augsburg Fairview Academy (AFA). We got a big card signed by students and staff and a little plaque.  Back row:  Brandon Baity, AFA, Geoff Lenox, Joan Patterson, Mary Kelley, Rita Franchett.  Front row:  Cindy Marsh, Joyce Case, Birch Cappetta

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




Knitting Our Lives Together


Join us for the final Knitting Our Lives Together sessions before we break for the summer. We will meet on Tuesdays, June 2 and June 16, from 7 to 8:45 p.m., in Room 201 for friendly conversation and crafting in community. Novice knitters are welcome. We hope to see you there! For more information, contact Valerie Garber at

New Art Exhibit in 
Social Hall

By Bette DeMars

Cynthia Starkweather-Nelson recently expanded the focus of her paintings. Along with paintings from her "waterscape" series years there will be two recently initiated series exhibited at First Unitarian. She is excited to have these new ideas exhibited together for the first time here.

Following a storm at their lake home in 2011 they lost nearly 70 large trees and their "forest' became their "prairie". The series "Aftermath" is the beginning of her facing the loss and the beauty that resulted from that natural event. Hiking the Cascade Trail on the Oregon Coast last fall Cynthia was struck by the beauty of decay and renewal. This has become the beginnings of an Oregon Coast series. 

Finding new visual possibilities for her creative voice has been extremely exciting! Cynthia will be at a reception in the social hall after the Sunday service on Sunday, June 7 to meet and discuss her work.

Front Desk Volunteer Opportunity!

By Chelsea Bertsch,
Administrative Assistant

The first impression many visitors get of our church is from the smiling faces they see when they walk into our office. We're looking for a friendly and reliable volunteer to join our reception team on Wednesdays from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM.

Represent First Universalist by greeting visitors, answering phones, monitoring doors and helping out with projects, all while spending time in a vibrant and welcoming office environment.

If you are interested in volunteering or learning more, please contact Chelsea Bertsch, Administrative Assistant, at 612-825-1701 or at

Tar Sands Resistance March on June 6th
First Universalist's Environmental Justice Team is supporting a broad coalition of environmental organizations in a call for climate action, and we urge you to take part. The afternoon of June 6th will mark the largest regional climate protection march yet to be held in Minnesota. We ask that you save the date to join us as we participate in the Tar Sands Resistance March described below.

This will be a peaceful, family-friendly event with speakers, music, and activities for children and youth. So put on your "Standing on the Side of Love" or your First Universalist T- shirts as we join together with other UU's and people of all faiths from Minnesota and surrounding states to demonstrate for climate action. Identified below are just a few of the organizations who are helping organize the March. Included as speakers will be Bill McKibben, founder of the activist organization, and Michael Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club.

On Saturday morning, May 30th, a Hands-On Preparation Day is being planned for First Universalists of all ages to join together to create banners, placards and signs proclaiming our belief in "the interconnected web of all existence" and our moral responsibility to resist the extreme extraction of Tar Sands and other fossil fuels.  For more information, contact Stan Sattinger at

WHAT: The Tar Sands Resistance March

WHEN: Saturday, June 6, noon - 4 p.m.

WHERE: Starting at Lambert Landing, Corner of Shepard Road and N. Sibley Street, St. Paul, MN 55102, Ending at the State Capitol Lawn, 75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, St. Paul, MN 55155.

For more information, visit

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