First Universalist Church
November 13, 2014
Issue No. 7, Volume 1
In This Issue
Sunday Worship for November 16, 2014

Senior Minister Rev. Justin Schroeder will be preaching "Love and the Body" at both services. To view the Order of Service & Bulletin online, click here.


Service is at 9:30 and 11:15 AM. The church office is open from 8:00 AM--1:00 PM on Sundays.


Please join us in the social hall this Sunday after both services as we celebrate The House That Love Built and look toward our future partnership opportunities with Habitat for Humanity. Join us at this dedication for a powerful reminder of what we can do when we work together in love. 


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!  To listen to Guest Minister Rev. Karen Hutt's sermon this past Sunday, "The Negro Problem: Remix 2.0", click here.

 Rev. Karen Hutt on November 9
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

Saturday, 11/15
House That Love Built Dedication, 10:00 AM, 3026 Morgan Ave. N

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

Sunday, 11/16
Cracking the Codes Part 2 Viewing, 1:00 PM, Cummins Room

Sunday, 11/16
Music at First Universalist: Updates and Conversation, 
12:30 PM, Sanctuary

Tuesday, 11/18
Cracking the Codes Part 2 Viewing, 7:00 PM, Cummins Room

Annual Winter Solstice

Once again, we will honor and celebrate the turning of the year, during the longest nights in December. Our Solstice ritual this year is Friday, Dec 19 (please note the date change). The evening features chants, a story that leads us into darkness, time spent in the dark, and celebrates the return of the light.


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

Augsburg Fairview Academy
A big thank you to the Circle Supper participants who held a food drive for the AFA Hope Food Closet at the Circle Supper kick-off meeting November 8.  We received a bounty of  fruit cups; granola bars and other  snack items; mac and cheese, soups,  and other meals; and toiletries. 

Thanks also to all congregants who have generously donated items each week.  Donations for the Hope Food Closet can be brought to the Hub on Sundays or left in the AFA storage area in the Welcome Center at any time.   If you are interested in volunteering in the Hope Food Closet (giving out snacks and food to students) on week day afternoons,
contact Cindy Marsh at:  
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!

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 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.

Up on deck, for next week:

~ Holiday office hours

~ New racial justice resources launching on website

~ Winter worship schedule

...and much more!

#Pointergate and How We Might Respond as Unitarian Universalists

By Rev. Justin Schroeder, 
Senior Minister

After the past few worship services, many of you have asked, "What's the call to action? We're ready to act for racial justice in our community."

Today, we have an opportunity to take a small step. Several days ago, KSTP ran a story about Mayor Betsy Hodges "flashing a gang sign" with a known felon. Of course, the story behind the story is that Betsy Hodges was out door knocking with residents from the North Side of Minneapolis, in a get out the vote effort. Additionally, the Chief of Police, Janee Harteau, was with Mayor Hodges and other North Side residents during the time this photo was taken.  Chief Harteau expressed no concern about Mayor Hodges' behavior, because it was simply a friendly gesture with a Minneapolis citizen.  (For further information and context about this, check out the article, "Dear White People: Mayor Betsy Hodges is Not in a Gang," by Nekima Levy Pounds.)

 Unfortunately, the story that ran played to some of the worst racial stereotypes out there: the false narrative that young black men are dangerous, are in gangs, and are unsafe. 

As Unitarian Universalists, we believe in the inherent dignity and worth of all people; we believe in welcoming, affirming, and protecting the light in each human heart; we believe that we are called to be Love's people in this world. The kind of "reporting" that KSTP did is irresponsible, unaccountable, and deeply damaging. Spreading lies and misinformation does not help build the beloved community we dream of. We must demand better from KSTP. You can call them 651-642-4421 to leave your feedback or Tweet them @kstp. It's a small step, but our silence does nothing to build the community we dream of. Our next steps are larger ones, and they are holding our city leaders and the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis accountable to a racial justice vision.

I'll see you in church,

P.S. Don't forget to join us at the House that Love Build dedication this Saturday, at 10 AM. We'll gather at the home, at 3026 Morgan Ave. N. See you there!

News & Announcements
House That Love Built: 
Dedication Nov 15; Celebration Nov 16
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.  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.

A Night In Venice

By Pam Vincent

The annual auction is coming up fast--Saturday, Nov 15, 5:30 to 9:30 pm in the Social Hall.  The line up includes a terrific catered Italian feast (gluten free options available), great gatherings to purchase, live auction , and the duckpond- buy a duck for $20- and if you're lucky (getting an odd number!) you win the corresponding prize: wine, a massage, maybe a dedicated parking spot for a month!).  We'll have entertainment from our own Universal Harmony, and our great DJ. Sacha is back for an encore engagement.  Tickets available at the door for $30 for adults.  Child care available for $5. We can take cash, checks or credit cards.

Daytime Connections
By Rev Elaine Aron Tenbrink, 
Minister of Membership & Adult Ministries

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

Thursday, November 20, 
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 or 763-595-9515.

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

Open Labyrinth Walk

TONIGHT, November 13th 6:30-8:00pm

What a beautiful autumn we've had!  As the days get darker earlier, come walk the beautiful labyrinth and prepare for the upcoming hectic time of year with some time of quiet reflection.  All are welcome!!

Racial Justice Movie Discussion:
Cracking the Codes, Part II 

Created by Shakti Butler, this film examines the causes and consequences of systemic inequity. Cracking the Codes: The System of Racial Inequity features moving stories from racial justice leaders including Amer Ahmed, Joy DeGruy, and Tim Wise. All are welcome, even if you have not seen part I. 

Discussion facilitated by Emma Paskewitz, Sacha Muller, and Polly Talen in the Cummins Room.

Sunday, November 16 
from 1:00-2:30pm
Tuesday, November 18 
from 7:00-8:30pm

This is a drop-in group; no registration is required. 

Will 'Rise Up Singing' Rise Up Again?


Dear Friends,

Rise Up Singing has had a long and fruitful history at First Universalist Church. It was started in 1997 by Mark Seaburg as host, and lasted nine years, until Mark moved away to California. 

After a two year hiatus, I restarted the group in 2009. During these times many wonderful musical moments happened, friendships were forged and a good time was had by all. It is with a bit of sadness that I must now bid farewell to Rise Up Singing at First Universalist, as I have other needs to serve. I do hold hope that it will Rise Again in another good souls hands. Thank you to all the singers and musicians for giving your hearts in song for all these years. Thank you to the church for being generous hosts and for giving us a space to make beautiful music.

Allan Steinhauer


Did You Know? 

By Bradley Schmidt, Assistant Finance Administrator 

Did you know that the church office recently switched merchant service vendors? As part of the switch, we have changed the process of making adjustments to current pledges and payment plans in order to comply with their requirements. Going forward, if you wish to make any changes towards your pledge, payment method, or payment schedule, please fill out and submit this form to the church office.  This form can also be found on the 'Generosity' section of our website.

Get To Know Your First U Staff!  
 Five Questions with Rev. Elaine Aron Tenbrink

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?

As Minister of Adult Ministries, my job is to create opportunities for deeper spiritual engagement and to support our lay leaders in making these ministries happen.   I coordinate our Circles, which are small groups of 8-10 people who gather to reflect on a topic of spiritual import, whether it's the Sunday worship service (Community Circles), a spiritual practice or a topic (Spiritual Deepening Circles) or support through a hard time (Caring Circles).  I also work with our Senior Advisory Team, young adults,  Welcome Teams, and Wellspring groups.  As Minister of Membership, I'm honored to welcome newcomers, help them to get connected, and support them in discerning whether First Universalist could be their church home.  

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

I get to work with the most open-hearted and committed lay leaders.   I love the opportunity to hear people's stories and wisdom through our circles.  I'm inspired by the question "Where is Love calling you next?" and by the honesty and depth that I encounter in our leadership, our worship services, and all facets of church.  I love the strong culture of collaboration, commitment, and humor among the staff. 

What are your top five favorite foods?  

Spicy pickles, cream cheese frosting, the chocolate frosting from Wuollet,  a "christmas" (red and green chile) breakfast burrito, hash browns with onions that are almost burned. 

Tell us a little unknown fact about yourself that people might be surprised to learn

I have two passports: One from the U.S. and one from Israel.

And lastly, where is your favorite place to be in the world?

Walking on a warm, starry night with someone I love.

The Minneapolis
Multi-Faith Network Presents--
Grill the Presenters: The Burden of Truth 

Our previous Voices of Faith events have concluded with a popular, lively, and engaging audience-driven Q&A. For this final 2014 event, we will allot even more time to the audience's questions. Feature presenters will give short presentations on the pressure in their religious affiliation to have all the answers. Then, the discussion will be driven by the audience's submissions for the remainder of the event. 


November 24 at 7:00 PM

Breck School, 123 Ottawa Avenue, Golden Valley

The Minneapolis Multi-Faith Network (MMN) is committed to promoting all religious communities and affiliations in the downtown senior clergy network equally, within and outside of the existing network. While MMN and the Voices of Faith events are new, the Senior Clergy representing Downtown Minneapolis congregations have been meeting for several years. They are a multi-faith network of friends who experience one another's faith while growing deeper in their own as they pursue the common good together. This network of relationships has created an internal community of confidentiality, an external model of service and justice programming (e.g. Downtown Congregations to End Homelessness), and a catalyst for multi-faith witness to the community.     
Operations at First 
Universalist Church: 

Get To Know Front Desk Volunteer Earl Stanhope

By Bree Mattson, 
Office & Events Manager

More often than not, when you come into the church office, you'll find Earl Stanhope. Earl came to First Universalist looking for change in his life and a home, and he found both those things. 


Two years ago, he became a member just a few months after visiting for the first time. He began volunteering at the front desk around the same time. Earl likes being the first person visitors see and loves working with all the people here--members, staff and visitors. Earl spends a lot of time at church: he also volunteers to teach a kindergarten RE class on Sundays, is currently going through the Racial Justice training program, and is in a Community Circle. He is also involved in a variety of activities and organizations in the community, including most recently serving as an election judge. 


In the little free time he has, Earl is a self described "movie junkie" and prefers historically based stories. His three favorite movies are The Shawshank Redemption, Malcolm X, and Tombstone, which he loves to talk to anyone about. We are grateful for Earl and the energy, humor and friendly spirit he brings to the office!


Connect with UU Wellspring


By Kristi Fuller


UU Wellspring™ is a 10-month program of Unitarian Universalist spiritual development developed in 2005 by Rev. Jen Crow in her prior position at First Unitarian Church of Rochester (NY). The nationwide program, now administered out of First Universalist, has grown to include four separate years of curriculum. To date, Wellspring groups have been offered in 26 UU churches from coast to coast. This year, 14 different UU churches are running Wellspring groups, including First Universalist. 

Are you thinking about signing up for UU Wellspring next fall, when registration opens again? Are you a current or past Wellspring participant who is looking for a continued source of inspiration, Wellspring-style? Check out the UU Wellspring website,, which features a frequently updated blog. Also, like Wellspring on Facebook. Look for UU Wellspring: Spiritual Deepening for Unitarian Universalists-- you might just see a few familiar faces!

Streamlining Church Communications:
Clarifying the Order of Service
By Heidi Johnson, 
Communications Manager

As I mentioned in last week's
Weekly Liberal, recently we have taken the time to assess the way that we communicate--and the channels that we use TO communicate--here at the church. In addition to talking about the
Weekly Liberal implementation, I also touched base on the Order of Service/Bulletin.  To recap from last week:

"The Order of Service/Bulletin is next on deck to be clarified and streamlined, and I will be collaborating with Rev. Justin and Rev. Jen on this project over the next 2-3 weeks. "The Bulletin"--as we know it right now--is changing. We are moving towards "The Bulletin" to be a worship and welcoming resource for congregants and visitors alike. This publication will consist of the worship service, additional worship materials (such as song lyrics), a welcome section for visitors, information about ongoing programs and pastoral care, and our commitment to racial justice. Both the Order of Service and Weekly Liberal will be available every Sunday, side-by-side, at both services. But both publications will have a distinct purpose, which we are now in the process of defining and creating."

I am excited to share with you all that after meeting with the Programs Team and Rev. Justin this week, we have come up with a plan.  Effective this Sunday, the Order of Service will no longer have a 'Bulletin' section; it will be one cohesive document, referred to as the Order of Service.  As I mentioned last week, the back two pages of this document will indeed act as a welcoming resource and companion piece to the worship service. Occasionally, relevant information about programs or events may be included; this content will be determined by Rev. Jen.  Please note: the intention here is for The Weekly Liberal to act as the primary news source for our congregation, and we would like to encourage folks to submit their news or announcements TO The Weekly Liberal by using the online form found here.  In addition to acting as a stand-alone publication, The Weekly Liberal will also act as a primary source for staff to pull news and announcements from to highlight in the Order of Service and Electronic Bulletin Board (the TV in the atrium) as well.  The major takeaway here is this: if you have news or information that you would like to share with the congregation, please use the online form to submit it!

As always, I will be sure to keep you posted on any changes as we move forward.  In the meantime, should you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to email me at or call the office at 612-825-1701. 

Do You Feel Happy When You Pledge?


By Zack Steven, Pledge Team Member


Last month I used this space to ask for feedback about the "Perfect Pledge Drive". I was delighted to hear from a number of members, and was particularly struck by some Buddhist teachings about generosity that were shared with me.

Buddha emphasized that one should feel happy before the act of giving, during the act of giving, and after the act of giving. I hadn't heard it put quite that way before, but it really resonated with me as something to aspire to personally and as a congregation.

What inspires you? Please continue to share your thoughts and ideas with members of the Pledge Team. Thanks!

Zack Steven, Pledge Team member


Last Chance to See "Guatemalan Rainbows" by Richard Nelson

Art Exhibit in Social Hall October 19 - November 23
(note: this is our last exhibit in the social hall until the new year!)

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. 


Visit Richard's website here:

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