First Universalist Church
October 30, 2014
Issue No. 5, Volume 1
In This Issue
The Weekly Liberal

The Weekly Liberal is our new publication hybrid, combining the best features of the 'old' Weekly E-News and Liberal monthly newsletter.

The Weekly Liberal is the result of a variety of congregant feedback and staff research, in the hopes of bringing you relevant, informative, and inspiring content in a timely and vibrant format.  By combining these two former publications and creating a new, weekly digital newsletter, we save on paper consumption, staff and volunteer resources, and mailing costs, all while providing a weekly news and worship source that is also synced up with our other church publications.  If you have received this email in error, and do not wish to be on the mailing list for The Weekly Liberal, simply unsubscribe by clicking on the 'SafeUnsubscribe' link near the bottom of this email.

Any questions, comments, or feedback can be directed to Communications Manager Heidi Johnson at:
Sunday Worship for November 2, 2014

Rev. Elaine Aron Tenbrink will be preaching "The Transient and the Permanent" at both services. To view the Order of Service & Bulletin online, click here.

Child Dedication Ceremony will take place at the 11:15 AM service this Sunday.
Service is at 9:30 and 11:15 AM. The church office is open from 8:00 AM--1:00 PM on Sundays.

Parking information, maps, and directions to First Universalist can be found by clicking here.
Did You Miss Last Sunday's Service?

We have podcasts available online of all of our sermons!  Here is a snapshot from Rev. Justin's sermon this past Sunday--

Is Peace Possible?

"What if "original sin" has nothing to do with Adam and Eve and the garden and corrupted humanity, nothing to do with disobedience, nothing to do with the so called "fall"? What if "original sin," instead, is the violence we enact on one another?"

To listen to Rev. Justin's October 26th sermon in its entirety, click here!

To see pictures from the Peace Garden rededication ceremony, click here.
November Worship Theme:

"Fearfully and Wonderfully Made"

In one of the most beautiful biblical passages, the psalmist states: "For it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; that I know very well. (Ps 139: 13-14)" This month we recognize, accept and cherish that we have our being in a body, fearfully and wonderfully made. We age. We have limitations. We have gifts. We experience one another and ourselves in body and spirit. This month we explore our being in a body.

Resources from Rev. Ruth MacKenzie:

by Jon Kabat-Zinn 

Stress. It is everywhere around us. Even worse, it gets inside us: sapping our energy, undermining our health, and making us more vulnerable to anxiety, depression, and disease. Now, based on Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn's renowned mindfulness-based stress reduction program, this groundbreaking book shows you how to use natural, medically proven methods to soothe and heal your body, mind, and spirit. 

by John Phillip Newell

Few issues have caused the church more difficulty through the ages than those surrounding the human body. Throughout much of Christian history, spiritual seekers have considered the body to be, at best, a hindrance to spiritual enlightenment, and, at worst, an enemy to be suppressed. Many of our contemporary negative preoccupations with physical appearance, image, and sexuality derive from this ancient and habitual denial of the notion that we were created in God's image.
In Echo of the Soul bestselling author J. Philip Newell finds that the human body, like creation, is actually the dwelling place of God. Using the Old Testament Wisdom literature, which informed Celtic spirituality's positive understanding of what it means to be human, Newell looks at each part of the body as a sacred text that reveals something of the Divine. Looking back to a time before Christians began to distrust their physicality, Newell shows that our most ancient texts challenge modern assumptions about love, beauty, sexuality, learning, wisdom, power, and responsibility, and bridges the body/spirit divide.

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.

Partnership with Habitat for Humanity 
in 2015
It would be hard to top The House that Love Built. It is inevitable that our relationship with Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity will down-size in 2015. However the history of our partnership is long and First Universalists' commitment to Habitat is strong. Our 2015 partnership will have many opportunities for participation from our congregation.

Day of Service
Saturday, March 14, 2015

First Universalist will provide work crews for three Habitat building sites on this day. This is a commitment of 45 volunteers (15 per site). We will also need volunteers to provide lunch for the workers at each site. Please contact Peter Styx via email at or by phone at 952-210-8049 if you are interested.

August Work Week
(dates TBD)

During August work week First Universalist provides all the volunteers for a Habitat site for one week. This is a commitment of 75 volunteers (15 per day) as well as volunteers to provide lunch for each day. Please contact Geoff Lenox via email at or by phone at 952-210-9869 if you are interested.

Habitat Neighborhood Family Partner Program

Neighborhood Family Partners (NFP) are trained by Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity and matched to a new Habitat homeowner to partner with them during their first year of home-ownership. NFPs meet with the family four times in the first year in their home, once per season, and answer questionnaires prepared by Habitat. NFPs help new Habitat homeowners feel confident in their ability to answer these questions by being a resource and support. Several First Universalist congregants are NFPs. If you're interested in learning more, please contact Joan Naymark at 

Housing Advocacy

First Universalist addresses the critical need for adequate, affordable housing in many ways. One way we help is by working with other organizations to educate and advocate at the State Capitol for funding to construct affordable homes and rental units and provide services for the homeless In 2015, we will join Twin Cities Habitat and the Homes For All Coalition to urge the State Legislature to support affordable housing. Contact Joan Naymark who is coordinating our Housing Advocacy efforts. There are opportunities for families, children, and adults to participate in Housing Justice advocacy.
Upcoming Events

Sunday, 11/2
Blood Drive, 9:00 AM, 34th Street

Sunday, 11/2
Child Dedication, (11:15 AM Service only), Sanctuary

Saturday, 11/8
Racial Justice and Our UU Faith, 9:00 AM, Cummins Room

Saturday, 11/8
Razz Matazz Jazz Concert, 
7:30 PM, Sanctuary

Saturday, 11/15
Great Gathering "An Evening in Venice," 5:30 PM, Social Hall


For more information about events at First Universalist, check out our website by clicking here! 



Join the Conversation: Music at First U

Music at First Universalist Church: Updates and Conversation


Sunday, Nov 16, at 12:30

In room 203


Wondering how our music program is moving forward? Wondering about directions? Want to throw out an idea or two? Join Rev. Ruth MacKenzie in Rm 203, on Sunday, Nov 16 at 12:30 after the second service. All are welcome!



Augsburg Fairview Academy
This year marks the third year of our First Universalist Church support and partnership with Augsburg Fairview Academy (AFA) as part of our racial justice and housing ministry. AFA is a public charter school which provides opportunity for students who have not been successful in the public school system to complete high school and prepare for college or other post-secondary education. The 175+ students are primarily African American, Native American, and Somali. Over 60% are homeless and others are marginally housed.
First Universalist provides staff and supplies for the Hope Food and Clothing Closets as well as academic assistants in the classroom. Our congregants generously donated 48 backpacks for students at the start of this school year.

Donations for the Hope Food Closet can be brought to the Hub on Sundays.  Pick up a "shopping list" at the Hub.  Briefly,  we need snacks like granola bars and easy to prepare foods like single serving microwavable soups, mac and cheese, stews, and other meals. Toiletries needed include toothpaste and toothbrushes, deodorant, and tampons (we have plenty of travel size shampoo, conditioner, lotion and soap).
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.

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2014-15 Annual Events

Our 2014-2015 schedule of Annual Events is available online!  The 2014 Fall worship schedule is also 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.
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 Operations
Diane Gavere

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:  
Next Up For 
The Weekly Liberal
As you might soon notice, 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.

Up on deck, for next week:

~ Communications Update from Heidi Johnson

~Faith Summit at Kaleo Center

~ Advertise Your Business in the GG Fundraising Program

~ Voice of Faith on November 24

~ Connect With UU Wellspring

...and much more!

Is Peace Possible?
By Rev. Justin Schroeder, Senior Minister

On Sunday, through word, music, and a rededication of our Peace Pole and First Universalist as a Peace Site, we began to re-imagine our peace work - and what it means - in light of our racial justice commitment. It was a remarkable Sunday, and I'm grateful to everyone who helped make the day so special. 

As you know, I have been immersing myself in various resources that have helped me deepen my own racial justice lens, and have given me greater clarity about how to truly live my Universalist faith. It's not been an easy journey. I sometimes have defensive reactions when I hear people talk about "white privilege" and "whiteness."  However, this article, "What riding my bike has taught me about white privilege" completely disarmed me, and helped me understand white privilege in a whole new, non-defensive way. Another resource I keep turning to is Bryan Stevenson, who I mentioned on Sunday. Mr. Stevenson is a remarkable human being and speaker. His TED Talk, "We need to talk about an injustice", and book, "Just Mercy", are worth watching and reading. Finaly, Tim Wise, author of White Like Me, is speaking November 3 at North Hennepin Community College.

In March, 2015, the UU Living Legacy Project is putting together a remarkable gathering in Selma, Alabama, in recognition of the 50th anniversary of the civil rights march. You can learn more here.  Given that our Minister Emeritus, Rev. John Cummins, marched in Selma, I wonder what it mean for ministers, staff, and members of First Universalist Church to return to Selma--so that we might better understand the past, see more clearly the present, and deepen our commitment to building a racially just future for all. If you're interested in this pilgrimage, please let me know (

I'll see you in church,

P.S. If you're interested in better understanding Unitarian Universalists and their involvement in Selma, check out Rev. Mark Morrison Reed's book, Selma Awakening, or hear him speak on Saturday, Nov. 8 from 9-12 at Unity Church Unitarian in St. Paul. I'll be there. Won't you join me?


Don't Forget to Change Your Clocks This Sunday!

Sunday, November 2nd

"Fall BACK"

This is just a friendly reminder to set your clocks
back one hour this Sunday!


House That Love Built Dedication Ceremony
By Rev. Jen Crow, Minister of Program Life

It's finally here! Join us on Saturday, November 15th at 10am at 3026 Morgan Avenue N. in Minneapolis for the dedication of the House that Love Built. Last year, we came together as a church community to raise $60,000 to become the primary financial sponsor of a home with Habitat for Humanity. We claimed the true meaning of the winter holidays, we got creative, and together we raised well over $100,000 to build this home. So many of us were involved - change collectors, wreath sellers, chutney makers and buyers, wall framers, financial supporters, and lunch makers of all ages helped build this house - and this fall, before we arrive at another winter holiday season, Mai Kee Lee and her 5 children will move in to the House that Love Built. 

Come see the House that Love Built and meet Mai Kee. Come celebrate the power of love to support a family, re-build a neighborhood, stabilize a community, and create a brighter future. Please join us, one and all, on Saturday, November 15th at 10am at 3026 Morgan Avenue N., wearing your yellow First Universalist t-shirts if you have one, to celebrate this day. And please join us the next day, Sunday, November 16 at church after both services as we continue to celebrate and look toward our future partnership opportunities with Habitat for Humanity. There's room for all of us as we bring our faith to life in the world--in our partnership with Habitat for Humanity, in our work at Augsburg Fairview Academy, in our growing relationship with Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative. Join us at this dedication for a powerful reminder of what we can do when we work together in love.

News and Announcements
Little Free Library Dedication
Join us--all are welcome!

The church's Little Free Library will be dedicated between services on Sunday, November 2. Please join us on the north side of the church at 10:45 am.

This beautiful, sturdy little library was built by Nathaniel Larsen as his Eagle Scout project. The bookcase in the social hall outside the church library holds the Little Free Library "reserve" book supply. This bookcase was also built by Nathaniel with the help and supervision of our dear Dan Bishop, to match the beautiful bookcases that Dan built for the church library several years earlier.

The LFL has been well used since it was installed several months ago. Please join us to celebrate Nathaniel's accomplishment and our newest outreach to our neighborhood.

We are always in need of children's books and other interesting novels, biographies, and memoir. No textbooks, please.

Want to help stock the library? See the sign-up sheet and directions on the bookshelf after the dedication.

Blood Drive at First Universalist!

Give the gift of life!

Bloodmobile will be at the church:
November 2, 9:00 to 1:00 PM


Women's Ritual Circle

Self-identified women who are interested in earth-based and pagan spirituality who would like to commit to the circle for the coming year are invited to our commitment ritual on Thursday, November 6 (Full Moon in Taurus), after which the circle will close to new members until next fall. Ritual will begin promptly at 7:30 p.m. 

Contact Beth at for more information.


Did You Know? 
By Bree Mattson

Did you know that volunteers staff the front desk in the church office? If you call or stop by during the day, it's one of our dedicated volunteers who will help you out. They are a team of knowledgeable and friendly folks who help us keep First Universalist going every day. If you'd like to learn more about volunteering, contact our Administrative Assistant, Chelsea Bertsch at

Racial Justice and Our UU Faith 
By Rev Elaine Aron Tenbrink, 
Minister of Membership & Adult Ministries

Saturday, November 8, 9am-1pm, 
Cummins Room

Led by Susan Hoffman, Clemma Muller, and Richards Spratt

Have you heard about our racial justice commitment? Want to learn more about where we're headed and how we're getting there? This interactive workshop provides a framework and tools for understanding race, racism, and whiteness and the spiritual imperative that drives our racial justice work. We will learn about the construct of race, the history of racism, and the experience of whiteness. Join us for this morning of learning, connection, and reflection. Registration is requested. Please contact Rev. Elaine Aron Tenbrink at or 612-825-1701 x124. Childcare is available from 9-12 with 7 days advance notice by submitting this form:


Barb Sindelar Joins Staff at First U


We are fortunate to welcome a new person onto our staff team: Barb Sindelar, who will be working on Sunday mornings as our Sunday Kitchen Manager.  Barb is a member of the congregation and has a heart for hospitality and welcoming.  Her first day with us will be on Sunday, November 2.  She will be working with us during the church year (Labor Day to Memorial Day).  


Join us in welcoming Barb to the staff!


An Evening in Venice
Saturday, November 15, 5:30-9:30 pm

By Pam Vincent


We are getting excited about the great gathering offers that are coming in, and looking for lots more! Put your creative thinking caps on; some examples of things to offer: dinners, wine tastings, writing retreats, art making classes, a class for women on how to use power tools (looking at you, Chuck Coskran or Tom Satterstrom!), a pub crawl, pizza party, a game or movie night--the possibilities are endless! We are also seeking donations for the 'duck pond' prizes--items similar to what was previously offered at silent auction.


Volunteers are also needed. Please email or jane.baudelaire@gmail with questions or donations! The link to the great gathering form can be found by clicking here

Tickets are onsale each Sunday in the social hall: 

$25.00 for adults, $5.00 for childcare.




Get To Know Your First U Staff!  
 Five Questions with Paula Goldade

Every few weeks, we will be featuring a staff member in this section answering a few questions about their job (and a few fun questions, too!)

Tell us a about your job.  What do you do here at First Universalist Church?

I am the program assistant for the Families of Young Children in RE.  I help get things set up for the birth through 1st grade classrooms each Sunday: curriculum, coordinate volunteers, work with high school youth childcare providers, problem solve kinks, make coffee :)

What are some things that you enjoy about working at First U?

I really enjoy the people!  This community continues to amaze me daily with it's depth, caring and passion for spreading love.

Where is your favorite place to be in the world?

Walking on a sunny beach by the ocean

What are your top three favorite movies?

When Harry Met Sally, E.T. and Frances Ha

And lastly, If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

To fly!

How Do We Ask For Support?


By Rich Jaegar, Pledge Team Chair


Our church's mission and vision is powerful and our impact in the community outside our walls is growing. Consider that we played a significant role in the passing of gay marriage laws of today, we housed a family that needed a home, we are helping homeless youth get an education, we are taking on the issues of racial injustice with so much more being planned. Thank you for supporting this important work in the world. You are making this happen because of your financial support. It is important to finance this work, but how do we ask you to support this?

Sometimes it is hard to find the right balance, when we know that oftentimes people don't contribute to charitable causes without being asked, and that asking too frequently can be frustrating. Please talk to or email myself, Marcia or Zack with your thoughts on where that balance is.

Richard Jaegar, Pledge Team Chair


Daytime Connections
Exploring the Differences in our Values and Priorities at Mid-life vs Later-life

Thursday, November 20, 
11:00am-12:30pm, Chalice Room

This interactive session will engage us in an individual reflection and a group discussion about where our values have changed as we move from mid-life to later life. It is based on the research of local psychologist and author Trish Herbert in her workbook titled "Journeywell" - A Guide to Quality Aging". This session will focus mostly on change, not loss.

After the presentation, join us for lunch at 12:30pm. A $5 donation for lunch is appreciated. For more information, contact Hal Schroer at or 763-595-9515.

To RSVP, contact Rev. Elaine Aron Tenbrink at 
or 612-825-1701 x124.

Holiday Wreaths For Sale

 By Kris Hoffwomyn

Believe it or not, the winter holidays are right around the corner behind all these beautiful leaves. If part of your winter rituals is to hang a garland of greens on your home, we hope you will consider purchasing one at church.



Last year, my daughters and I sold forty beautiful wreaths to raise money for the House that Love Built. Thanks to your purchases we raised almost $500 last year. We hope to do the same this year but the proceeds will go directly back to the church into the operating fund.


All sales must be pre-paid and pre-ordered, so that we are not left with unsold products. The wreath prices are the same as last year $25 or $30. We began taking orders Sunday October 26 and will continue for three weeks until the cutoff date of November 9th. We will be in the social hall between services and after the late service to answer questions and take your orders. 

We will bring your wreath to church and have it available for you to pick up at the same times on November 30 and December 6th. This year we are also offering wreaths or centerpieces to be shipped if you would like to send something to a loved one. If you are experiencing financial hardship, we can offer the wreaths at cost; let me know either via email or in person and we will make those arrangements.

Kris Hoffwomyn and daughters Lilly and Kate Pfandler

Guatemalan Rainbows: 
Photography and Textiles By Richard Nelson

Art Exhibit in Social Hall October 19 - November 23

This vibrant and informative exhibit provides a window into the world of the indigenous Maya of highland Guatemala and their weaving traditions. The photography is an 

ethnographic and aesthetic documentation of 40 years of travel, research and collecting of textiles and traditional clothing in the highlands of Guatemala. Like so much else in the Maya world, back-strap weaving is not simply a relic from the past but a living skill, responding to new ideas and recreated with each generation.

Richard is an artist, photographer, collector of Maya textiles and graduate of graphic design. His passion for back-strap woven textiles began in 1973 while studying photography in Tlaxiaco, Mexico through the University of Minnesota studio arts program. At a Saturday market in a small village he saw Mixtec women dressed in the same brightly brocaded clothing they had worn for centuries. He was amazed at the comparatively simple technology of the back-strap loom that produced the remarkably complex fabrics. During the following winters, Richard traveled to Guatemala where the indigenous culture and weaving traditions are even more prevalent. He collected textiles and took photos of the people producing the fabrics.



Richard spent 23 years as a designer and photo stylist for Macy's Marshall Field's, and Dayton's and is now a free-lance photo-stylist for Target and other companies. He consults, teaches and exhibits at local colleges and libraries and leads Maya weaving and textile tours to Guatemala through locally-based Art Workshops in Guatemala.


Visit Richard's website here:


Ending Homelessness Together:
Luncheon on Wednesday, November 12th

By Tammy Thaler

First Universalist is exploring a relationship with Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative. Please join us for the Beacon Ending Homelessness Together luncheon on Wednesday November 12th at noon at the Minneapolis Convention Center. There is no cost to attend the luncheon. However, it is Beacon's hope that guests will be inspired to make a donation. 

Beacon is committed to ending homelessness. Through their partnership with 50 different congregations, they currently house nearly 800 people in nearly 500 homes, about half of which offer supportive services. There are currently four housing developments in the planning phase for youth, families, and individuals whose backgrounds present challenges to housing stability. Let's help Beacon reach their goal of 1,000 homes by 2020! 

Reserve your place at the First Universalist table by November 3rd by emailing Tammy Thaler at or by phone at 612-353-7533. Additionally, let us know if you would like to take part in a tour of Nicollet Square, Beacon's housing complex for formerly homeless youth and those exiting the foster care system. Let's end homelessness together!


Exciting, New Volunteer Opportunity for 2015

By Heidi Johnson, Communications Manager

Do you have experience with graphic design, and the Adobe Creative Suite (In Design, Photoshop, etc.?)  Do you have a creative, collaborative spirit, and are able to volunteer a set amount of time on a weekly basis?

If so, this might be the volunteer opportunity for YOU!  We are looking for a very special volunteer to share their talents on a very special task: designing and editing the weekly Sunday Order of Service.

Right now, we are merely exploring the potentials and possibilities of such a position, and are just putting feelers out there to see if anybody would be here are the details:

* Experience with graphic design, in particular the Adobe Creative Suite, would be a must (we design and produce the OOS via InDesign software)

* An approximately 4 hour weekly commitment, on Wednesdays from 11:00 AM--3:00 PM, would be required.  You would work closely alongside Rev. Ruth MacKenzie, Minister of Worship Arts, and Heidi Johnson, Communications Manager, to design and produce the Order of Service every Wednesday for the following Sunday service

* We would love for this person to be actually IN the office during this time, working alongside both Rev. Ruth and Heidi, as much collaboration and idea-sharing takes place during the process

If you think you might be interested in this position, please email Communications Manager Heidi Johnson at with your questions, comments, or indication of interest.  Thank you!

First Universalist Church
3400 Dupont Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN, 55408