May 28, 2015
Issue No. 21, Volume 2
In This Issue
Sunday Worship for May 31, 2015

Join Rev. Jen Crow for   "United in Love" this Sunday, May 31st.

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


Many years ago, a Unitarian minister created a flower ceremony to unite his community in love, service, and beauty. Today we practice this tradition that is shared across Unitarian Universalism as we unite in love.

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.

A note on Sunday Service time: as of 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. Jen Crow preach "Thank You" this past Sunday, click here.

On this Memorial Day weekend, may we listen deeply to the call to serve, and to grow in love. Let us say thank you to those who take up the responsibility to serve something larger than themselves, and let us live together in the deep complexities of war and peace and love.

Weekly Liberal on Summer Break


This is the last edition of The Weekly Liberal before it goes on its summer break!  For the months of June and July, the Weekly Liberal will be published once a month, on June 15 and July 15.  The regular 'weekly' publication schedule will resume on August 15th.


If you have news, information, pictures, or announcements that you would like to submit for publication in The Weekly Liberal, click HERE for the online submission form.

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
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:  
Sunday is Our Annual Meeting: Be There!


By David Bach,
President, Board of Trustees

Following our annual Flower Communion Service on Sunday, May 31, is the Annual Meeting of the Congregation from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Sanctuary. This truly is a celebration of a very successful year for this church. It is also a time when we conduct the business of this church that only Church Members can do. This year that includes the approval of the budget, the calling of Jen Crow as our Minister, a Racial Justice Resolution, Congregational Covenant, and election of Trustees, Foundation Board Members and Nominating Committee Members.

We need you voice and we need your vote. It is a small amount of your time that will make a big difference to the essential decision-making that only Church Members can do. Thank you in advance for adding this to your calendar.

Please go to for the agenda and other details. To read the Annual Report, click here.

See you Sunday!

News & Announcements
Church This Sunday:
Your Step-By-Step Guide


Step 1: As you prepare to leave home, be sure you have a flower to bring to the annual Flower Communion service, as well as a coffee mug for coffee hour. Over the summer, we're keeping things green with a bring-your-own-mug social hour.

Step 2: Arrive at 10am for the worship service. We're down to one service for the summertime!

Step 3. Come down to the social hall for good company.  Bring some cash to purchase food from our youth and help fund their pilgrimage to Boston in the process.

Step 4: Members, attend our annual meeting at 11:30am.  Your presence is important as we vote to call Rev. Jen Crow, adopt a Racial Justice resolution, and a congregational covenant.

See you Sunday!

Circling Back: Communications at First Universalist Church

By Heidi Johnson,
Communications Manager

In the June 15th edition of The Weekly Liberal, we will be publishing a summary of the results from the February 2015 communications survey, and also provide some answers to frequently asked questions regarding church communications.

Speaking of the June 15th edition, submissions for this summer edition of the newsletter are due Friday, June 12th at 10:00 AM.  You can submit your news, article, or information by filling out this online form here!

On a personal note, today is my last day in the communications position here at First Universalist Church, and I would just like to take a moment to say thank you to the Revs. J-Crow and J-Schro for their leadership over the years, my amazing co-workers for being, well, amazing, and all of the dedicated and passionate congregants and volunteers I have met and worked with over the past two years.  I will miss you all!


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.

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



Wednesday, June 17, 7:00pm, Library

Led by Rev. Justin Schroeder and Colleen McCann


An evening of tea, cake, and honest, open discussion about death and dying.  Our aim is to increase awareness of death to help people make the most of their (finite) lives. Come and share about how death has touched your life. Please drop in; no registration required.


Get Involved!
Tar Sands Resistance March on June 6th

What we're offering:  To promote a First Universalist presence in the Tar Sands Resistance March and minimize the use of cars, the Environmental Justice Team is offering members, families, and friends round-trip bus transportation to St. Paul for the March. 


Why is tar-sands crude being singled out for protest?  Importing tar-sands crude oil violates environmental and racial justice and damages our climate, our water, and our communities. Transportation fuels refined from tar sands emit up to 40% greater carbon emissions than those from conventional crudes. Leaks and spills of tar sands threaten our supplies of drinking water, and benzene and other carcinogenic vapors are released to neighborhoods.


In this March we will be pushing back against Enbridge Energy and TransCanada's proposals to increase tar-sands flows and enlarge the existing network of pipelines -- many already in place and together conveying over a million barrels per day of this dirty oil across Minnesota and into the Great Lakes region.


Schedule :  Depart First Universalist at 10:15 am. Depart St. Paul for the return trip at 4:30 pm; arrive at First Universalist at 5:15 pm.


We will depart First Universalist and be dropped off at St. Paul's Union Station, near the start at Lambert Landing. We will form up and, beginning at 12:00, march as a faith group with our banners and signs to a 2:00-4:00 rally at the State Capital lawn.  Wear your yellow "Standing on the Side of Love" or blue First Universalist tee-shirt. Suggestion: although some food may be available from vendors at the State Capitol site, bringing your own food and water is a good idea. There will be a rest room aboard the bus.


How you can join us:  We plan to fill a 56-passenger bus. Reservations can be made -- first-come, first-served -- by completing a copy of the attached registration form for each person and bringing it, with cash or a check for prepayment in the amount of $12.00 per person, to any one of the following events:

  • "Banners and Bagels," this Saturday, May 30 (see notes below).
  • Environmental Justice tabling in the Hub before or after the worship service on Sunday, May 31.

"Banners and Bagels" event details:  Individuals and families may create banners, placards, and other props this Saturday from 10:00 am to noon in the Chalice Room of First Universalist. Limited amounts of poster board, cardboard, and banner-making materials will be furnished, but please contribute additional materials if you can. Bagels and fixings will be supplied.  Completed props may be stored in the church and will be loaded aboard the bus prior to departure. 


Please direct any questions to Cecelia Newton,, or Kathy Steinhauer, 

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