August 27, 2015  |  Vol. 2 No. 26
Are We Waking Up or Falling Asleep?

Rev. Jen Crow
"Everything in our lives has the potential to wake us up or to put us to sleep," says the Buddhist teacher, Pema Chodron. It's up to us to decide if we are going to wake up or fall asleep. Some days falling asleep sounds awfully nice, but I'm pretty sure that the spiritual life calls us to be awake.

Here at church, so much is moving. The teachers and staff of Temple Israel's Early Childhood Center started training and setting up their classrooms this week, and next week, their students will arrive. There is a buzz in the building and in the parking lot that is usually reserved for Sunday mornings.

This coming Sunday, we'll join together at the Lake Harriet Bandshell for worship and a potluck lunch, and next week, on Sunday, Sept. 6, four families who are experiencing homelessness will move in to our church for a week as part of the Families Moving Forward program. Volunteers are planning their events, supplies are being collected, and many of us are eagerly anticipating the opportunity to welcome in guests to a safe and supportive home. On Sunday, Sept. 13, we'll return to two services, worshipping together at 9:30 and 11:15. We'll welcome Rev. Justin back from his paternity leave and join together with our Ministers Emeritus, the Rev. John Cummins and the Rev. Kate Tucker, as one church community.

Things are complicated, and a little bit messy as we get ready for these big events and new beginnings. Old things are being moved out of the way to make room for all that is coming next. New relationships are forming and we are getting a fresh look at who we are through the eyes of our partners and guests. It's exciting and nerve-wracking and busy. So I've been asking myself, as these new beginnings approach and familiar routines return, "Will we let these changes wake us up, or put us to sleep?"

Whatever familiar routines might be in place, whatever new beginnings might be on the horizon, let us be awake together, keeping our eyes and our hearts open and alert to where love is calling us next.

See you on Sunday,
Sunday Worship at First Universalist
Worship this Sunday
August 30, 10 a.m.
Lake Harriet Bandshell
"Let the Bubble Break"
Rev. Jen Crow
Vacations, retreats, and spiritual practice can be important breaks in our regular routine, bubbles that protect us for a moment from the distractions and the pace and the illusions of everyday life. What would happen if we let the bubbles of our spiritual practice and our time out of time break all over our lives?

Looking Ahead:

Sunday, Sept. 6, 10 a.m.
"'There is Power in a Union:' A Theology of Labor"
Ashley Horan
Sunday, Sept. 13, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m.
Water Communion Sunday
"Climbing Down and
Falling Up" 
Rev. Ruth MacKenzie
Miss a Past Sermon?
August 23, 2015
"We're Gonna Need a Bigger Tree" (wisdom story)
Lauren Wyeth
"Walking Willingly" (homily)
Rev. Ruth MacKenzie

August 16, 2015
"Falling into Questions"
Rev. K.P. Hong

August 9, 2015
"The Sacred and the Mundane"
Rev. Elaine Aron Tenbrink
Join Us at the Lake Harriet Bandshell this Sunday!
Join us for an energizing worship service and potluck picnic at the Lake Harriet Bandshell this Sunday, Aug. 30 at 10 a.m.! We'll enjoy tunes from the Universal Rock Band, an inspiring message from Rev. Jen Crow, and a potluck picnic together afterwards. Please note: this will be our only worship service on Sunday, Aug. 30. The service will be held rain or shine.

Please bring a dish and/or beverage to share, as well as chairs or blankets to sit on. Bring plates, cups and eating utensils for everyone in your party. The picnic will take place on the park hill across the street from the bandshell. If you have a yellow "Standing on the Side of Love" t-shirt, please wear it! Sunglasses and/or hats are recommended for your comfort.

There is limited parking near the bandshell. Parking pay stations and meters are available on a first-come, first-served basis and range in price from 50 cents to $1.25 per hour.
Upcoming Events
Art Exhibit of Hiroshima Children's Drawings
On View Sundays, Sept. 6 - Oct. 25, 9am-1pm
Inspired by the powerful documentary, "Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard," the exhibit includes a selection of drawings made by children from Hiroshima in 1947. Learn about the UU connection to this story of peace and reconciliation.
"Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard" Reception & Film Screening
Sunday, Sept. 20, 12:15pm
Join us for a special reception and screening of the inspiring documentary film "Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard." The director and producer will be present.
"Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard" Screening
Sunday, Sept. 20, 4pm
Find out how UUs were involved in the creation of joyful drawings by Japanese school children amidst the rubble of their destroyed city in 1947. This is the second of two opportunities to see this inspiring documentary at First Universalist.
Next Newcomer Circle Begins Sept. 2 - Sign Up Now!
Community Circles Logo
Are you new to First Universalist? Whether you are a recent visitor or a new member, you're invited to join a Newcomer Circle. These four-session gatherings of 6-10 newcomers offer a chance to explore core Unitarian Universalist values, reflect on our spiritual journeys, and connect with other folks who are new to church. 

Our next Newcomer Circle runs on Wednesdays, Sept. 2, 9, 16, and 23 from 7-8:30 p.m. Registration is required; you can sign up at the Information table in the social hall or by emailing
Fall Circle Registration Opens Sept. 6
Information about Fall 2015 Circles, including descriptions and schedules, is now available online! Registration begins Sunday, Sept. 6 and will be open through Sunday, Sept. 20. 

Circles are groups of 8-10 committed participants who come together with a trained leader to nurture spiritual growth in community. These groups are grounded in the spiritual practices of deep listening and open-hearted reflection. Each gathering offers an opportunity for deeper connection: connecting with our own inner truth, connecting with other people, and connecting with something greater than ourselves.
Knitting Our Lives Together: Crocheting & Knitting in Community - First Session is Sept. 1
"In the rhythm of the needles, there is music for the soul."
Join members and friends of First Universalist for knitting and crocheting on the first and third Tuesdays of the month in room 208 from 7 to 8:45 p.m. This is a drop-in group and our first session will be on Tuesday, Sept. 1.
Knitters often feel a special bond with each other. We hope that doing our craft in a group setting will give us an opportunity to share from our lives and learn from each other. Novice knitters are welcome. The group should be able to answer any questions.
Some of us will be doing knitting for charities, including the Mother Bear Project, the Hats for the Homeless Project, and the church's comfort shawl knitting. We will have patterns, and will sometimes have yarn and needles available to share. Contact Valerie Garber at with any questions.
Bring a Gift of Produce for Joyce Foodshelf
We have come to the culmination of the summer! If you are a gardener, you are probably drowning in produce. Your friends have started avoiding you because they just can't accept any more cucumbers, tomatoes or zucchini. This is a great time to gather up some of nature's bounty and share it with others who are less fortunate. 

This year, First Universalist is sponsoring two Sunday collections of produce to benefit Joyce Food Shelf. Bring fresh produce before either service on Sundays, Sept. 13 and 20. We will have a table set up on the front steps of the church (weather permitting, otherwise in the social hall) to receive your contributions. Produce does not need to be home grown. Feel free to shop at a farmer's market, grocery store or co-op or to accept some vegetables from one of your desperate gardener friends. Volunteers will weigh our combined donations and deliver them to the Joyce Food Shelf and possibly others if we get a bumper crop of donations.
News in Brief
Download the First Universalist App!
Have you signed up to use our online database and membership directory? If so, you can also download and use the app, which gives you access to our membership directory from your smart phone. It's free and easy to use. Instructions for downloading and using the app are available on our website.
Shifts in Staff Responsibilities
Many of our church staff have taken on new responsibilities this summer, and we have had the joy of welcoming several new members to our team. Please take a moment to view our minister & staff bios and organizational chart, and be sure to welcome our new staff members to this wonderful community. 
Amazon Smile
Do you ever shop on Amazon? Did you know you can support First Universalist when you do? 
Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases to First Universalist when you shop on AmazonSmile. It's the same Amazon - products and prices - except that First Universalist benefits when you shop!
Learn more
Community Bulletin Board
Laura Smidzik Ordination
Saturday, Sept. 19, 2 p.m.
Laura served as our ministerial intern during the 2012-13 church year, and Rev. Jen Crow will be delivering the Charge to the Minister at Laura's ordination. For childcare, contact by Sept. 12.
Ashley Horan Ordination
Saturday, Oct. 3, 2 p.m.
Ashley Horan is the Executive Director of MUUSJA, the Minnesota Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Alliance. 
Pastoral Care
Let Us Keep You In Our Thoughts & 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, contact Rev. Jen Crow at or 612-825-1701 or any member of our Pastoral Care Team.
Contact Us
First Universalist Church of Minneapolis
3400 Dupont Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55408
For staff contact information, please visit our Ministers and Staff page.
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8:30 a.m.-8 p.m.
Closed Fridays and Saturdays
Closed Monday, Sept. 6 (Labor Day)

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


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