September 22, 2016  |  Vol. 3 No. 38
First Universalist: The Why, What and How of this Church
Rev. Justin Schroeder
As you know, our September worship theme is "Invitation," and our exploration of this theme continues this Sunday, with Rev. Jen Crow preaching and the choir singing.

In essence, we are inviting you - this month, and every month - to align your life with the Mission , Vision , and practices of this faith community.

Our Mission , that enduring sense of why we're here, is to "Give, receive, and grow in the Universalist spirit of love."

Our Vision , the what that we aspire to as a faith community, is to "Welcome, affirm and protect the light in each human heart; to listen deeply to where love is calling us next in our lives; and to act with humility, bravery, and compassion in service to justice." This is what we aspire to be as a faith community grounded in a commitment to racial justice.

Our practices , the how of living into our Vision and Mission, are the three invitations that I preached about last Sunday:
  • We invite you to cultivate a spiritual practice. (Regularly attending worship is a great place to start!)
  • We invite you to find your smaller community with this larger community. Join a Circle, Soul Matters Group, Racial Justice Learning Circle, the Choir, a Sunday Hospitality Team, or a Religious Education Teaching Team.
  • We invite you into our Faithful Action ministry , as we work with community partners to amplify compassion, justice and equity in the community.
We invite you into the life of this church, knowing you will respond as you're able based on the season of life you're in and trusting that you will lean into the areas that will help you grow. Together, we follow this path, as we make our faith come alive in word and deed.

I'll see you in church,
Worship this Sunday
Sunday, Sept. 25, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m.
Sign Up Sunday  
"Invited In"
Rev. Jen Crow
Sometimes invitations are obvious, like the ones that show up in your mail or email box. Other times invitations are more subtle and complex. How might we listen for those invitations, and how might we respond?
Music: First Universalist Choir

A Look Ahead
Sunday, Oct. 2, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m. 
Sharing Sunday
Rev. Ruth MacKenzie

Recent Sermon Podcasts
September 18, 2016
"Invited In"
Rev. Justin Schroeder
September 11, 2016
Rev. Justin Schroeder
September 4, 2016
"The Grace Within the Waiting"
Shay MacKay
September Worship Theme: Invitation
Create a clearing, listen for your song and let it teach you how to give yourself to this world. There is no better description of the religious life than this! And notice that it all begins with invitation, with the deep humility and knowledge that while the song is deeply ours, it also comes from something or somewhere beyond ourselves. It takes time, but eventually we each come to realize that - to be whole and to find home - a space must be made, a clearing must be created, and otherness must be invited in.
Love Rocks: Community Party!
Saturday, Sept. 24, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Please note: this event has been moved indoors and will be held in the Social Hall. 
Due to  the unusual  amount of rain in recent weeks, our new parking lot is not ready to host a party like we'd hoped it would be. Please join us indoors instead! 

First Universalist Church is excited to host a fun community event on Saturday, Sept. 24 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. There will be live music, a bounce house, Habanero Tacos food truck, and general fun times with fellow congregants and our neighboring community.   This family-friendly event is free (food available for purchase), though donations will gladly be accepted to help cover costs. 

Set times:
11:00     Ron Parker
12:00     Alan Ware and David Lauth
1:00       Ellis
2:00       Universal Folk Band members
3:00       A Ghost Revival
Sign Up Sunday is September 25:
Find Your Community within the Community
From the choir, to the labyrinth, to Sunday morning ushering, and more, there are so many great ways to find your "community within the community" at First Universalist Church! Join us this Sunday in the social hall after both services to learn more and sign up. 

If you can't join us this Sunday, but you're interested in learning more about the variety of ways you can get involved, we've created a Google form where you can indicate which groups and activities interest you. Simply check what you'd like to learn more about, and we'll be in touch with you in October with more information. 

Rainbow Research Results!
Last spring, the Board of Trustees hired Rainbow Research, a Minneapolis nonprofit, to conduct focus groups and a survey regarding how our racial justice work is perceived by the congregation and how it intersects with our four visionary goals for church governance. 

Rainbow consultants Beki Saito and Razeena Shrestha will present their findings on  Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016 , from  6:30 to 7:30 p.m.  in the Cummins Room. Please join us! A copy of the report is also available on the Church's website, here
Sunday Flower Arrangements: Reserve a Date to Donate
It's time to look at your 2016-2017 calendars and reserve a date to donate Sunday flowers, an opportunity to honor and celebrate an individual or event. A Visual Arts Committee member will create a unique arrangement for you and others in the congregation to enjoy. Once services are over you can take the flowers home or share them with others from the congregation who are unable to attend the service.  If you're interested, contact Dick Rueter at  or 612-280-4816 to reserve your date. 
Fall CSA Shares Available: Pick Up at First Universalist!
Sogn Valley Farm still has a few shares available for its fall CSA program, which begins the week of October 10. Keep your fridge and pantry stocked with fresh, organic vegetables through Thanksgiving. Shares will include broccoli, spinach, winter squash, sweet potatoes, onions, garlic, carrots, potatoes, and much more. Your CSA box can be picked up each week at First Universalist Church. You can sign up here. For more information, visit Sogn Valley Farm's website or contact Dana Jokela at
A Heartfelt Thank You from Second Stork
First Universalist Church donates more than $50,000 each year from our offering plate to community organizations.  Because the Church's operating budget is primarily supported through annual pledges from members and friends, First Universalist deepens its practice of investing in exceptional community-based work by giving away a significant portion of its Sunday offerings.

We recently received the following thank you note from Second Stork, a recipient of one of our offering plates:

To the Congregation at First Universalist Church -
Words seem insufficient to express our deepest gratitude for the generous check we received from the donations made by your congregation. The funds were put to immediate use in the purchase of more critical newborn supplies for hospitals in distribute to new parents in need. Because of the support of people like your congregation, we now help nearly 60 Minnesota hospitals to give immediate material help to parents before they leave a hospital with a newborn. When they receive some of our items, many parents are overcome to the point of tears. Thank you for helping us continue in our mission to help new parents in need.
The Board of Second Stork
Join Circle Suppers this Fall!
Looking for a great way to get to know others in the church over great food and conversation? Then join Circle Suppers! Circle Suppers run the first Saturday of every month from November through March. You will meet at a different person's home each month with a group of about 6-8 people. The host typically provides the main course, with others bringing things such as appetizers, salad, dessert, wine, etc., to be determined by the host. You are required to host once during this time frame. For more information contact Marybeth Hoelzer at 612-824-1221 or
Women's Ritual Circle: Open Rituals This Fall
Self-identified women who are interested in earth-based and pagan spirituality are welcome to attend the upcoming open rituals of the Under Northern Skies Women's Ritual Circle. The circle is open to newcomers on Friday, Sept. 30 (Chalice Room); Saturday, Oct. 15 (Cummins Room); and Sunday, Oct. 30 (Cummins Room). For women who choose to join, there will be a commitment ritual on Monday, Nov. 14, after which the circle will close to new members until next fall. Ritual begins promptly at 7:30 p.m. Contact Beth at for more information.
Donations for AFA Hope Food & Clothing Closets
First Universalist is beginning our fifth year of partnership with Augsburg Fairview Academy (AFA). Young adults from diverse communities who face educational barriers to achievement in traditional schools are welcomed into AFA, a charter school that prepares them for college, career and life. The 125+ students come from diverse backgrounds including African American, Somali, and Native American. Many are homeless or marginally housed during the school year.  

The Hope Food and Clothing Closets were developed by AFA students in a class on leadership and organization development; they chose this project to meet their needs and to provide hope. First Universalist is the primary contributor to the Hope Food and Clothing Closets.
Volunteers are needed to distribute snacks in the afternoon and to staff the Food Closet after school. Time commitment is 2:30 - 4 p.m. one day a week, Monday through Thursday (or two times a month). If interested, please contact:  
Additional school supplies are NOT needed at this time. Backpacks are still desired - black or dark colors preferred.

Donations for the Hope Food Closet: Desired items include single serving microwavable soups, mac and cheese, stews, and snacks like fruit cups, granola bars, nuts or cracker and cheese packages. Toiletries needed include toothpaste and toothbrushes, men's and women's deodorant, shampoo and conditioner, lotions, condoms, and tampons (note: we don't need travel size items). 

Donations for Hope Clothing Closet: backpacks (black or dark colors), hoodies; t-shirts;  skinny jeans for men and women; men's and women's underwear and socks; fall jackets.  Clothing should be clean, teen appropriate and in good repair.

Bring items to the Hub on Sundays or drop off during the week at the shelves labeled for AFA by the 34th Street entrance. Thank you for your generosity!
  Cycle of Life and Pastoral Care

Our hearts are with all who loved Adele Hersey. Adele passed away peacefully on Monday, Sept. 19, surrounded by family.  Cards can be sent to Adele's daughter, Edith Hersey Bolin, 1215 Victoria Curve,  Mendota Heights, MN 55118

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. To be included in our Cycle of Life each Sunday in worship, contact Sandy DiNanni at or 612-825-1701. If you would like support, call the office at 612-825-1701 or contact any member of our Pastoral Care Team.
 "Watching Myself Die"  First Universalist Congregant Karen Warren's Blog Article Published on Psychology Today
Submitted by Wendell Vandersluis and Cindy Marsh
After many years of puzzling symptoms, our dear friend and fellow congregant, Karen J. Warren, Ph.D., was diagnosed with Multiple Systems Atrophy (MSA) a degenerative neurological disorder. MSA is a progressive, fatal disease with no cure or treatment. Since receiving her diagnosis, Karen has done as much as possible to preserve her functioning while getting her affairs in order and seizing opportunities to spend joyful and meaningful time with family and friends. 
Karen is also courageously advocating for compassionate legal end of life options. In her blog, Watching Myself Die, Karen openly portrays what will happen to her and conveys how essential compassionate end of life options are to preserve autonomy and dignity.  The blog has been posted on Psychology Today as an "Essential Topic". 

Please read Karen's blog post, with an intro by her daughter, Cortney S. Warren, Ph.D., to learn more about Karen's story and her perspective on end of life issues and options. She shares her perspective as both a philosophy professor with an expertise in ethics and an individual with a fatal, debilitating disease. 

We will let you know of future events which we hope you will support and attend; Karen will likely have an opportunity to speak to the Governor and/or to a state senate committee addressing the End-of-Life Options Act of 2017. And please continue to show your support for Karen through cards and messages sent to her home or to Karen Warren at First Universalist Church, 3400 Dupont Ave. So., Mpls., MN 55408. 
  State of the UUnion: MUUSJA's Annual Celebration
Thursday, Sept. 29, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
First Unitarian Society, Minneapolis 
We're in an unprecedented political moment, in which both powerful movements for justice and reactive, fear-filled responses of resistance are emerging. Council Member Alondra Cano, Dr. Nekima Levy-Pounds, and Rev. Steve Newcom will help us make sense of the immense fear and the deep hope that are springing forth in these times. The event starts at  5:30pm  at First Unitarian Society in Minneapolis on Thursday, Sept. 29. For more information visit:  

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3400 Dupont Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55408
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First Universalist Church of Minneapolis
3400 Dupont Avenue S.
Minneapolis, MN 55408


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