September 17, 2015  |  Vol. 2 No. 29
A New Covenant

Rev. Justin Schroeder
In the six years I've served at First Universalist, I've had many moments that have touched me deeply: child dedications, memorial services, music from the choir, Sunday worship, and so much more. Last Sunday, I experienced a moment unlike any other.

I loved the moment when we re-covenanted with Rev. Kate Tucker, when we welcomed her back to First Universalist, after three years of retirement, and we exchanged sacred words and promises with one another. In this ritual, Rev. Kate beautifully reminded the congregation that she "no longer serves in the role of associate minister, or pastor, or counselor, or any of that. I no longer serve you, the congregation, in these ways," she said. "Now, when I serve here, I serve your fine ministers, the ones you've called and chosen. This is my privilege, and this is the essence of our new covenant together." She concluded by saying, "Now, I gladly stand with the Rev. John Cummins and share his role - a role that is rooted in our dedication to the life and health of this great congregation."

But it was the moment after this one that continues to resonate within me - it was the moment when Rev. Kate, John, Ruth, Jen, Elaine, and I stood together on the chancel. I felt the strength and power of the ministry of First Universalist, how this ministry, embodied in ministers and congregants alike, moves through buildings and history, and the challenges and opportunities of the times, but remains ever faithful to the Universalist spirit of love and hope.

It was a remarkable day and I felt blessed to serve this faith community.

I'll see you in church,
Photo by Janet Mills
Worship this Sunday
Sept. 20, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m.
"Seeds of Hope"
Rev. Jen Crow
What is there to do in the face of unimaginable loss and despair? Where can we look for strength and guidance, and how do we begin? This Sunday, let us look to the redwoods of our faith community - the leaders and the quiet workers - who plant seeds of hope that blossom beyond our knowing into peace and possibility. Read more
September theme: Roots

Looking Ahead

Sept. 27, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m.
"Restore, Reclaim, Remember"
Rev. Justin Schroeder

Oct. 4, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m.
Rev. Elaine Aron Tenbrink
Miss a Past Sermon?
Sept. 13, 2015
"Climbing Down, Falling Up"
Rev. Ruth MacKenzie

Sept. 6, 2015
"There is Power in a Union: A Theology of Labor"
Ashley Horan

Aug. 30, 2015
"Let the Bubble Break"
Rev. Jen Crow
This Sunday: "Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard"
Join us after the second service this Sunday, Sept. 20 for a special screening of "Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard" and reception with the film's producer and director present. The reception begins at 12:15 p.m. and the documentary will be shown at 12:45 p.m. A second screening will be offered at 4 p.m. (no reception).
On this 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing that ended World War II, we ask ourselves, "How could the children of Honkawa School create such joyful, colorful drawings while living among the ruins of Hiroshima? "Pictures of a Hiroshima Schoolyard" is an inspiring story of how one Unitarian Universalist minister's critique of the atomic bomb led to post-war gifts to Hiroshima school children and the cycle of peace and reconciliation that followed. 

The film introduces the children artists, now in their late 70s, who reflect on their early lives amidst the atomic rubble of their destroyed city and the hope they shared through their art. In a postwar response for help in 1946, All Souls Church Unitarian in Washington D.C. collected and sent a half ton of school materials to Hiroshima schools. Pictures by the schoolchildren, drawn with these gifts of paints, crayons, pencils and paper, were sent back to All Souls as a thank you. The children's pictures were received gratefully and then placed in a drawer. In 1995, the drawings were re-discovered and professionally restored. In 2010, as a message of peace and reconciliation, members of All Souls Church took the pictures back to Hiroshima where they were reunited with the artists in an exhibit in the very building where they were created.

Drawings in the accompanying exhibition, on view at First Universalist in the Social Hall, are from All Souls Church Unitarian in Washington D.C. Sponsored by the U.S.-Japan Foundation. Support comes from the Saint Paul-Nagasaki Sister City Committee and First Universalist member Lynn Elling.
"A Pete Seeger Songfest" with Jim Scott
Saturday, Sept. 19, 7 p.m.
Jim Scott was a good friend - and at times a concert co-performer - with American folk singer, political activist and author Pete Seeger. Join us for an evening concert in memory of Pete this Saturday - Jim will perform a number of Pete's songs, as well as his own. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and music begins at 7 p.m. Admission is $12 in advance (available online), $15 at the door.  
Racial Justice Video and Discussion: "Cracking the Codes"
Tuesday, Sept. 22, 7 p.m.
"Cracking the Codes: The System of Racial Inequity" uses personal stories to examine the causes and consequences of systemic inequity. Join us for a viewing, followed by discussion facilitated by Brian Eshult, Margaret Manderfeld, and Lark Weller, on Tuesday, Sept. 22 from 7-8:30pm in the Cummins Room. (The viewing originally scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 20 has been cancelled.) This is a drop-in group; no registration is required.
Daytime Connections: Lessons from Internment of Japanese Americans
Thursday, Oct. 1, 11 a.m.
Was U.S. internment of 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II justified to protect Americans? How did this forced way of living affect Japanese-American children and families? Panel members will tell their own stories about modern-day "internment" to help us reflect on the way we treat marginalized peoples living among us today.
Families Moving Forward Thanks You!
A team of 16 volunteers converted 5 classrooms into bedrooms before the families arrived, under the direction of logistics coordinators Tom Satterstrom and Chuck Coskran. Photo: Tracy Jones
By Rev. Jen Crow

Flexibility, hospitality, generosity, and letting go of expectations were the spiritual practices at work last week as we had the joy of welcoming five families experiencing homelessness into a safe place to stay at our church. Hundreds of you sprang into action to turn classrooms into bedrooms, to prepare and host meals, provide evening activities, fund our supplies, and spend the night with our guests. Infants, children, and teenagers - along with their parents - made our social hall and classrooms their home. We hosted a birthday party, made arts and crafts, and had a Labor Day picnic and barbecue. After our guests left on Sunday, we found this note:

"Our family just wanted to say thank you so much for hosting us. We appreciate it and loved being here. We didn't want to leave. May God bless you."

We were truly blessed by this experience, and we can't wait to do it again. Keep an eye out for information on our next Families Moving Forward hosting week and how you and your family can get involved.
New Offering Option: Square Cash
Don't carry cash or checks? You can now easily donate right from the pew using your phone!
First, download the Square Cash app (iPhone or Android) for free. Then, set up your account - you'll need your debit card, on some phones you'll need to make up a $cashtag (your user name), and you'll choose to create either a personal or business account.

Once your account is set up, simply: 
1)   Enter the amount you want to donate
2)   Click "pay"
3)   In the $cashtag space, enter $FirstUniv
4)   In the For space, enter "offering plate"
5)   Click "pay"
Money from your bank account is deposited directly into First Universalist's account. 

You may also donate online at$FirstUniv. Thank you for your generosity!
Sign Up Today! Circle Registration Open Through Sunday
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.

Registration is open through Sept. 20 at Questions? Contact Rev. Elaine Aron Tenbrink at  
This Sunday: Bring a Gift of Produce
Thank you to all who brought donations of produce this past Sunday! 

We are sponsoring a second collection of produce to benefit Joyce Food Shelf this Sunday, Sept. 20. Bring fresh produce before either service; we'll 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 vegetables from one of your 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.
First Universalist Children's Choir Parent Meeting Sept. 27
By Colleen Cook,
Children's Choir Director 

On Sunday, Sept. 27, there will be a Children's Choir parent meeting in the Cummins Room from 10:45-11:10 a.m. We'll also jump right in to making some music, so make sure your singer comes with you! 

Children's Choir rehearses weekly on Sundays from 10:45-11:10 a.m. in the Cummins Room. We perform during both services on selected Sundays throughout the school year, and have occasional opportunities to collaborate with the First Universalist Adult Choir. All children in grades 1 through 5 are welcome to join us! Children's Choir is a wonderful opportunity to learn musicianship, cooperation, leadership, and about classical choral music as well as music of other cultures. I will have the schedule for the year, information about parent/guardian volunteer opportunities, and a covenant outlining expectations for the year at the meeting. Here's looking forward to an even stronger year with Children's Choir!
First Universalist Choir to Perform at the Guthrie
The First Universalist Choir has been chosen to perform at the Guthrie Theater in a main-stage play called "The Events." This production, which received wide acclaim in the UK, tells the story of a choir director who survived a mass shooting incident. The choir plays an integral role as she processes her feelings.  

While the production staff and actors are imported from the UK, a different local choir has been selected for each performance. Because the on-stage set can only accommodate 40 singers, the First Universalist Choir will be divided, with one half performing on October 30 and the other half performing on November 1. Needless to say, choir director Randy and the choir are very excited for this opportunity.  Plan now to see this groundbreaking piece of theatre. Find complete details on the Guthrie's website.
Rev. Justin Schroeder Interviewed on WCCO Radio
On Sunday, Sept. 13, Rev. Justin Schroeder, along with Pastor Stephen Cornils from Mount Olivet, chatted with WCCO radio host Jearlyn Steele about what churches are doing to stay relevant and how they're welcoming more people into their communities. 
Women's Ritual Circle
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 Sunday, Sept. 27; Monday, Oct. 12; and Tuesday, Oct. 27. There will be a commitment ritual on Wednesday, Nov. 11, after which the circle will close to new members until next fall. Ritual begins promptly at 7:30 p.m. More details can be found on our website.
Sign Up Sunday
 Join us on Sept. 27 for Sign Up Sunday, an opportunity to learn more about the groups and committees at First Universalist. Information, friendly conversation, and sign up sheets will be available in the social hall after both services. With a variety of opportunities ranging from knitting, to delivering meals, to circle suppers, you will find great ways to get connected socially and contribute to the life of this vibrant community. 

Laura Smidzik Ordination
Saturday, Sept. 19, 2 p.m.
Laura served as our ministerial intern during the 2012-13 church year, and several of our ministers will be participating in the service.
Ashley Horan Ordination
Saturday, Oct. 3, 2 p.m.
Ashley Horan is the Executive Director of MUUSJA, the Minnesota Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Alliance. 
"Freedom Daze"
Oct. 1-3 at 7:30 p.m. at Intermedia Arts 
Written by Aamera Siddiqui, Directed by Suzy Messerole

"Freedom Daze," a new theatre production about Islamophobia, has been rehearsing at First Universalist Church since August and the production is funded in part by a grant from the First Universalist Foundation. Come see this powerful play that merges art and social justice at Intermedia Arts in early October! Additional information is available on the Intermedia Arts website.

Thursday, Oct. 1: Opening Night Reception, sliding scale ticket price*
Friday & Saturday, Oct. 2 - 3: Post Show Discussions following the performance

$15 advance, student, senior | $18 at the door | $10/ticket for groups of 8+
*Sliding scale Thursday, Oct. 1, $10 - 25
612-871-4444 or
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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First Universalist Church of Minneapolis
3400 Dupont Avenue S.
Minneapolis, MN 55408


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