July 15, 2015
Issue No. 23, Volume 2
In This Issue
Worship this Sunday

Sunday, July 19, 10:00 AM with Rev. Mary Bohman

"Cultivating a Heart of Compassion"  


As Unitarian Universalists, we can agree that love is the key to a better world. Yet, how do we transform our hearts and minds and grow in loving kindness? UU Community Minister and Hospice Chaplain Mary Bohman will explore some of the sources and practices for mindfully cultivating a heart of compassion.   


The Sunday Order of Service can be downloaded from our website the Wednesday before the service.  

A note about summer Sundays: During the summer, we have one Sunday service at 10:00 AM. We ask you to bring your own mug to the social hour after the service. This helps save on water andlabor, and keeps the kitchen cool during the hot summer months. We look forward to seeing you at church!


Upcoming Worship
Living as We're Meant to Live
July 26, 10:00 AM
Rev. Elaine Aron Tenbrink

Sources of Transformation
August 2, 10:00 AM
Arif Mamdani

Beyond Listening
August 9, 10:00 AM
Rev. Elaine Aron Tenbrink

Falling into Questions
August 16, 10:00 AM
Rev. KP Hong

Save the Date!
August 23 is our Blessing of the Backpacks Sunday. Children and youth are encouraged to wear their school backpacks to church so that we may include them in the Backpack Blessing ritual.

August 30 is our Lake Harriet Bandshell Outdoor Worship & Picnic. This will be our only worship service that Sunday.
Did You Miss a Sunday Sermon?
We have podcasts available online of all of our sermons!  
Summer Worship Theme:


Within the pores and cracks of the earth, fresh water gathers. Sometimes source water rises to the surface on its own accord. Sometimes you have to dig to find it. In either case, water feeds the body and sustains the soul. So too, sources for our spiritual life act in much the same way, gathering in the pores and cracks of our lives. Sometimes, a source of strength is easy to access. Sometimes, you have to dig to find the well of faith that will sustain. This summer, we explore sources: sources of faith, love, and hope. 
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 (sandy@firstuniv.org) or (612) 825-1701. If you would like support, please contact Rev. Elaine Aron Tenbrink (elaine@firstuniv.org or 612-825-1701) or any member of our Pastoral Care Team.

Write a Card!
Caring Corner now located in the Library
One of the ways that we care for one another in this congregation has a new home: Our Caring Corner is now located in the Library, right off the social hall.

The Caring Corner is an opportunity to personally reach out to the people whose joys or sorrows we honor during the Cycle of Life, or anyone else in this community who might benefit from a heartfelt note. Simply choose a card, write a caring note, and leave it in the box provided. The names and addresses of those mentioned in Sunday's Cycle of Life will be right there. This a simple, meaningful way to brighten someone's day!

Sunday Pizza Lunch
Stop by the social hall after worship any Sunday this summer for a quick, easy, affordable lunch! Just $5 suggested donation for pizza, fresh fruit salad and cake, or $2 per item. Your donation will help send our Coming of Age graduates on their Boston pilgrimage in the fall.
Upcoming Events
Lake Harriet Service & Picnic

Join us for an energizing worship service and potluck picnic at the Lake Harriet Bandshell on  
Sunday, August 30 at 10AM!

We'll enjoy tunes from the Universal Rock Band (they just might rock the top off the bandshell!), an inspiring message from Rev. Jen Crow, and a delicious potluck picnic together afterwards. This will be our only worship service that Sunday.

This is an opportunity for the greater community to get to know us. We are looking for volunteers to offer a warm welcome and fun picnic. Please contact Sandy DiNanni at
sandy@firstuniv.org if you're able to lend a hand.


"Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard" Film Screening 

Join us on Sunday, Sept. 20 for a screening of the documentary film "Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard" and a reception with the filmmakers in the Social Hall following the second service.

Find out how UUs were involved in the creation of these joyous drawings by Japanese school children amidst the rubble of their destroyed city. 2015 is the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombings and the ending of WWII. First Universalist will celebrate the opening of the art exhibit and the story tied to our UU tradition of peace and reconciliation with a special service. 


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


To view the online space-use calendar, click here.

Habitat for Humanity Sign Up for August


Our Habitat for Humanity Work Week is coming up August 3-7. The work site is at 2719 Irving Avenue N., Minneapolis. We can use 15 volunteers per day, and the work day is from 8:15 AM to 4 PM daily. No experience needed; tools and direction provided! Sign up for one or more days at:  http://firstuniv.weebly.com/habitat-for-humanity-sign-up.html

Weekly Liberal on Summer Break


This is the second of two special SUMMER EDITIONS of The Weekly Liberal. Regular weekly publication will resume August 13.


If you have news, photos, or announcements that you would like to submit for publication, click HERE for the online submission form.


Please note that the deadline for the August 13 edition will be Tuesday, August 11, at 10:00 AM.

Do you have an announcement, information, or photo that you would like to see published in The Weekly Liberal?

Click here to fill out our online submission form. Edits for length and/or content may occur.

Click here to receive
The Weekly Liberal in your inbox.

If you have limited access to email/internet and would like to be on our hard copy mailing list, call the church office at 612-825-1701 and ask to speak to Chelsea.

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 calling: 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 First Universalist's Communications Manager Jenn Stromberg. To submit an article for publication, 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: communications@firstuniv.org.  
What's in a Name? 


By Rev. Justin Schroeder,
Senior Minister

Names matter, don't they? We're Unitarian Universalists, and most of us do not want to be called "Lutheran," "Catholic," "Methodist," or "Episcopalian." Though our faith tradition has Christian and Jewish roots, we do not call ourselves Christian or Jewish. We are Unitarian Universalist. Names matter, don't they?


On the other hand, as Juliet says to Romeo, "What's in a name? That which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet." For these two star-crossed lovers, their very names prevent their love from being realized. They'd prefer to discard the names of Capulet and Montague, and just be the "lovers" that they are.


We've been hearing a lot about names recently. In the wake of the horrific Charleston church massacre, citizens and elected officials alike are calling for the removal of Confederate flags from state grounds and buildings. Here in our own backyard, we have been gathering signatures to request a special hearing from the Hennepin County Board to change the name of Lake Calhoun. This hearing will probably happen later this fall, and I'm expecting that dozens of us will attend.


The lake is named after John C. Calhoun, and though John C. Calhoun was not born supporting slavery and white supremacy, he became a fierce defender of slavery, arguing that blacks were inferior in all ways to white people, and that slavery was a positive good. Relevant to us, as Unitarian Universalists, is the fact that John C. Calhoun was a charter member of All Souls Unitarian Church in Washington, D.C., and remained a member his entire life. He is one of our own, a ghost from our past. Working to rename the lake gives us, as people of faith, a chance to wrestle with our own religious history, and to broaden our understanding of the ways that race, racism, and whiteness live and move all around us, shaping the landscape, as well as policies, practices, and institutions.


The original Dakota name of the lake was Mde Make Ska ("White Earth Lake"), and while a name change is symbolic, it is also significant because it honors and recognizes that the lake had a name given by the original inhabitants of the land, those who first settled and lived near its shores.


A beautiful lake is still a beautiful lake, regardless of its name, but names matter. Names have power. They tell a story and shape an identity. The largest lake in Minneapolis should not honor a pro-slavery, white supremacist.


In faith,




News & Announcements
Apply to Serve on the Faithful Action Leadership Council 

Over this past year, Rev. Jen Crow has worked with a dedicated group of lay leaders and our Social Work Intern to restructure and formalize the processes of our Faithful Action Ministry.

Going forward, a newly-created Faithful Action Leadership Council will help set the direction of the faithful action ministries of our church, balancing our efforts for systemic change and serving immediate needs. The Faithful Action Leadership Council will ensure that our guiding principles of racial justice and faithful action inform all that we do.

We are currently seeking applicants to join the Fatihful Action Leadership Council, and any members interested are encouraged to apply. The application deadline has been extended to July 31, 2015. Click here to learn more and to apply! 
Families Moving Forward  

By Peg Mitchell

Beacon's Families Moving Forward program offers families experiencing homelessness hospitality, emergency shelter and a path to home with support for stability.  


We're excited by the strong response from our faith community as we prepare to welcome four families to First Universalist the week of September 6-13. We are working to ready each room to be inviting and welcome your support.


We are working to reduce our carbon footprint while providing a comfortable environment for our guests. We welcome contributions of new and gently used matching twin sheet sets, twin air beds, comforters and blankets. We also welcome cash donations to support equipment and food purchases. Finally, we welcome your time to serve as evening hosts, dinner preparers and servers, and activity participants. This is a great chance to involve children!  


Interested in learning how you can help?

  • Stop by the Families Moving Forward (FMF) table in the Social Hall any Sunday now through August 16.
  • Email Peg Mitchell at pegmitch16@gmail.com
  • Join us at the training orientation on Wednesday, July 22, 6-8 PM in the Cummins Room. Jacqueline Scott-Hopkins, the FMF coordinator at Beacon, will get us up to speed on Beacon and the secrets to a successful hosting experience.

The initial outlay for this venture approximates $8,000. Your in-kind contributions and cash donations are greatly appreciated. 

July 19: Wellspring Info Session

We've added an opportunity for you to attend a Wellspring information session this Sunday, July 19. The Wellspring program offers spiritual deepening within our Unitarian Universalist tradition and an opportunity for learning more about ourselves and our faith through a year-long small group experience. There are five interconnected components: commitment to a daily spiritual practice, monthly spiritual direction (self-reflection with a guide), small group meetings, reading about the theological and historical foundations of our faith, and putting our faith into action. After a day-long opening retreat in September, Wellspring will meet every other week through May 2016.


Join us after the service this Sunday, July 19 at 11:30 a.m. in room 203 to learn more. Attending the orientation is required if you wish to participate in Wellspring. Bring your questions and an open heart. We look forward to seeing you there!


August 9: Preparing Your Healthcare Directive

By Kathy Coskran
Join us after the service on Sunday, August 9 at 11:15 am in the Chalice Room for a presentation by Janet Conn, Minnesota president of Compassion & Choices, on "Preparing for the End of Your Life." This introduction will cover what to expect at the end of life and how best to prepare through conversations with family and by the completion of healthcare directives. Hard copies of healthcare directive forms will be available for $3.00 or you can download your own copy at http://www.metrodoctors.com/dev/index.php/healthcare-directives. The presentation is sponsored by the Congregational Care committee.
Welcome New Staff 

Emma Stout joined the First Universalist staff in January 2015 as the Coming of Age Program Assistant. In June, her role expanded and she now works as the Youth Programs Assistant. Emma graduated Macalester College in May, where she studied History and American Studies. She is passionate about working with youth; previously she has worked as a summer teacher intern at Breakthrough Collaborative, which is an academic enrichment program for students from under-resourced communities, and as a volunteer middle school classroom assistant. Outside of work, she enjoys cooking elaborate vegetarian meals, hunting for hidden treasures at garage sales, and spending lots of time outside. She is thrilled to be working at First Universalist, and she welcomes any and all inquiries about youth programming.


Andrea Love joined the staff of First Universalist this summer in the newly-created position of Membership Specialist, supporting the financial side of the membership area. Andrea recently moved to Minneapolis from her hometown of Fayetteville, Arkansas. She received her B.A. in Communication and her B.S. in Environmental, Soil, and Water Science from the University of Arkansas in 2014 and plans to pursue a graduate degree in public health. When she is not working, Andrea enjoys hanging out with her cats, advocating for social justice, and eating guacamole. She is still unsure about how she will survive Minnesota winters. Andrea is tremendously excited to join the First Universalist staff and welcomes congregants to contact her with questions about their pledges.


Jenn Stromberg joined the staff in June as First Universalist's Communications Manager. She has worked in nonprofit communications and marketing for the past nine years - seven of which were at the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis. She grew up in the Twin Cities and attended Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota, graduating with a B.A. in Scandinavian Studies & Swedish (and a minor in Peace Studies). In her free time, she enjoys live music, biking around the lakes, and attending arts and cultural events in the Twin Cities. Jenn is excited to help share the great stories, news, and happenings at First Universalist via the website, Weekly Liberal, social media, and various other channels. 

Welcoming Temple Israel  

We are excited to welcome Temple Israel's Early Childhood Center to First Universalist for a one-year lease beginning on August 1, 2015. They'll be using all of our downstairs classrooms and the Chalice Room mornings and afternoons during the week (Monday through Friday) while their spaces, located at 2324 Emerson Ave. S. in Minneapolis, are being renovated. Their program offers a vibrant approach to social, emotional, cognitive and physical development for children ages 16 months through pre-K.


Diane von Arx Calligraphy
Exhibit in the Social Hall
Diane von Arx
Meet artist Diane von Arx, whose work is on view in the Social Hall through August 23, at a reception on Sunday, July 26.

By Bette DeMars

First Universalist is fortunate to have an impressive calligraphy exhibit by Diane von Arx on display in the Social Hall this summer. Making letters, in expressive and informative ways, is Diane von Arx's passion. She takes great pleasure in collaborating with, and expanding upon, the words of others by offering visual enhancement to echo the author's message. She sees the process of calligraphic mark-making as a performance art and believes the power of 'the written words as art' crosses all disciplines. It's a fantastic journey that she is happy to share with our congregation.


Diane has exhibited her work in many locations, including the Unitarian Universalist General Assembly several years ago. In 2004-05 she was part of an artistic team creating "Special Treatment" Illuminations for the Saint John's Bible project. She designs and produces many original recognition documents and gift pieces including names and wedding testaments and has recently begun a business lettering on walls and furniture.  


Diane's work is on display in the Social Hall July 19 - August 23. She will be available to talk about her work at a reception Sunday, July 26 after the service and continuing until 1:30 that day.


For examples of her work see www.dianevonarx.com.

Your Invitation to Sing in Summer Choir August 23 

Do you like to sing? Have you thought about being in a choir, but you can't make an extended commitment? Summer Choir may be just right for you. The Summer Choir is scheduled to sing August 23.  Rehearsals are at 9:00 a.m. on the day of the service, and music is easy enough to learn in the one 45-minute rehearsal. All are welcome!! If you have any questions, contact: randy@firstuniv.org.

First Universalist at June 6th Tar Sands Resistance March 

By Stan Sattinger

First Universalist's Environmental Justice Team joined a broad coalition of environmental organizations in a rally on Saturday, June 6, that drew 5,000 activists - the largest regional climate protection march yet to be held in Minnesota. We linked with people of all faiths from Minnesota and surrounding states in a 1-mile march to the State Capitol in St. Paul, giving voice to our drive to protect our environment and our futures from harmful fossil fuel emissions. Accompanied by Rev. Jen Crow and her son Henry, we shared a feeling of pride to have flown, and worn, the colors of First Universalist in a truly public way.


This demonstration pushed back against Enbridge Energy and TransCanada's proposals to increase tar-sands flows and enlarge the existing enormous network of pipelines that together convey over one million barrels per day of this dirty crude oil across Minnesota and into the Great Lakes region. We sent a clear message: as people of faith, we bring our moral voice to this movement, and we will fight for clean water, clean energy, and a safe climate.


A Clarion Call to Action  

By Joy Throm

Pope Francis' Encyclical on Climate Change has garnered much praise and press since its release in June, nine years after UUs affirmed a Statement of Conscience on Climate Change. Both documents call for a change in human behavior to combat climate change, both documents ask for a moral and ethical response to change human behaviors and mitigate the effect of climate change. As UUs, we have been asked to respond from a place of 'moral and spiritual wealth;' whereas, the Catholics are called to moral action to protect God's Creation. Both documents state that Climate Change impacts first those most vulnerable, the poor and dispossessed, which makes this a matter of racial justice.

Because of its reach to 1.5 billion Catholics, the call from Pope Francis, who has a strong grasp of the science of climate change and attributes it, in part, to human activity, has joined other faith traditions in calling for collective action to mitigate climate change.

This fall, there will be a drive to enroll members of our congregation in a proposed UU Solar Garden. Several other MUUSJA congregations will also participate. This is one way we can move forward to protect the "interconnected web of all existence."


Youth Volunteers Plant Garden for 'House that Love Built' Family 
By Joan Naymark

House that Love Built Youth Volunteers Garden On a damp day in June, youth from First Universalist and members of the original building crew joined forces with four Master Gardeners provided by Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity to plant a garden at the home of Maikee Lee. The result of everyone's hard work was a beautiful garden that will provide a neighborly face to this Habitat home that was sponsored by First Universalist.  


The family of five young children and their mom moved in last November, just before Thanksgiving. They have made the house their home with many loving touches. The homeowner is so grateful for everything we have done. This is a win for our faithful action work, a win for the family, and a win for the neighborhood.  

Celebrating our Housing Advocacy Accomplishments 
By Joan Naymark

We did it! THANK YOU to everyone who advocated for affordable housing and services during the 2015 legislative session.


Members of First Universalist joined forces with Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity and Beacon, both part of the 170 organizations in the Homes for All alliance. Our elected officials heard from concerned constituents about the importance of affordable housing, and what Home means.


The outcome? A $25.5 million boost for housing and homeless services including $10 million in bonds to build or rehab affordable housing and $9 million more for homeless services. This included a $2 million increase for the Homeless Youth Act and $500,000 more for Emergency Shelter. In total, Homes for All priorities will receive $36.5 million more in 2016-2017 than the last budget cycle. The Beacon-proposed measure allowing youth-serving agencies to help youth through age 24 received bi-partisan support and became law with Governor Dayton's signature.


Housing Heroes and Beacon Citizens stepped up to ensure Minnesota has the funds needed to continue to stabilize families, help kids succeed in schools, and strengthen communities. Thank you!


Faithify Campaign to Support MUUSJA Internship 

The Minnesota Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Alliance (MUUSJA) is working to meet a challenge grant that will help fund a Justice & Religious Leadership internship for the coming year - a unique opportunity for a Unitarian Universalist seminarian to work with one of the oldest and most established UU State Advocacy Networks in the nation for nine months, during the 2015-2016 academic year. MUUSJA will be seeking an intern who is currently enrolled in or recently graduated from seminary, and the internship is open to candidates who are either on the path toward ordained ministry or committed service to Unitarian Universalism through lay ministry. You can help them meet the challenge grant and fund this internship by contributing to their Faithify campaign here