October 15, 2015  |  Vol. 2 No. 33
A Deepening Web of Understanding
Last Wednesday, Oct. 7, forty-five people gathered in the 
Rev. Justin Schroeder
Social Hall for a "Community Conversation" about Bde/Mde Maka Ska, currently named Lake Calhoun. (The Dakota name means "White Earth Lake" and is pronounced "b-DAY mah-KAH-skah.) Over the course of the evening, small groups reflected on a series of questions designed to help us connect to the "Spirit of the Lake" and to one another.

As church member Marjorie Herdes said, "The beautifully facilitated process reflected important values. We were invited to listen to each other for understanding about matters of the heart and spirit. We discovered common ground and stood on that ground, participating in true, community building dialogue. In addition, half of the group was Native American, and our facilitators were Native; we all accepted their invitation to come together with an open heart and mind."

Another church member, Brian Hughes, remarked, "The conversation was meaningful to me because in each story shared, there was a new connection to the spirit of the lake. Other folks' connections became my connections, and my connections became someone else's connection. A fabric of connections was woven together.

"Most meaningful to me were the stories shared by the many Native attendees. Previously, my understanding of the Native connections to the lake were really only in my imagination. On this night, our Native friends were able to add texture to my spiritual understanding of the lake by reaching back years, even generations to share visions and stories of their ancestors. Each story bonded with the other stories to form a deepening web of understanding."

Together, in sharing these stories, we created sacred ground, and began to imagine new possibilities for how our larger community might live together. This is the work of our church and I'm honored that First Universalist helped to convene this gathering.

The conversation is just beginning. We'll be meeting again on Thursday, Dec. 3, from 6-9 p.m. in the Social Hall. I hope you'll join us.

In faith, 
P.S. For a deeper understanding of First Universalist's connection to Lake Calhoun, I invite you to listen to my sermon from September 27.
45 people gathered in the Social Hall on Oct. 7 for a community conversation about Mde/Bde Maka Ska. Photos by Wakinyan LaPointe.
Worship this Sunday
Oct. 18, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m.
Youth-friendly Worship 
(6th-12th grade youth attend entire service)

"Choices, Choices, Choices"
Rev. Justin Schroeder
Over the course of our lifetime, we make thousands of choices - choices based on convenience, choices based on finances, choices based on our values. How might a practice of humility help us better understand the full impact of the choices we are making? Read more

October theme: Humility

Looking Ahead

Oct. 25, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m.
"Nurture Your Spirit, 
Heal the World"
Rev. Justin Schroeder
NEW! Oct. 25, 5:30 p.m.
Contemplative Evening Service: Turn - A Meditation in Sound and Silence

Nov. 1, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m.
Sharing Sunday
Miss a Recent Sunday?
Oct. 11, 2015
"Story of the River"
Rev. Elaine Aron Tenbrink
"Taxi Driver Wisdom" 
Rev. Ruth MacKenzie

Oct. 4, 2015
"Our Shared Roots"
Rev. Elaine Aron Tenbrink

Sept. 27, 2015
"Restore, Reclaim, Remember"
Rev. Justin Schroeder
Oct. 25 Contemplative Evening Worship:
Turn - A Meditation in Sound and Silence
We're trying something new at First Universalist! 
At the changing of the seasons and the light, our paths through life also change. We reach a crossroads: The leaves turn, and we must also turn. We often don't know what form this turn will take; the future is, as always, uncertain. What will change? What will remain? Where are we going? 

Join us for a special worship service that focuses on personal reflection accompanied by poetry, music, and silence at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 25. 

Rev. Ruth MacKenzie and Dr. Jerrod Wendland will be assisted by the artistry of Dr. James DeVoll, a flutist who has taught and performed across two continents. The music will include selections by Michio Miyagi, Howard Hanson and Don Pullen.
If you are looking for a moment of tranquility, or just an opportunity to commemorate the changing seasons, then please join us!
The Pathway to Membership
Oct. 18 & 25, 1-4 p.m.
Have you found your spiritual home at First Universalist?Join us for The Pathway to Membership class, which explores the history of this faith tradition and this congregation, our racial justice commitment, and the experience of membership. The Pathway to Membership is required for joining the church. Our next class is a two-session experience on Sundays, Oct. 18 and 25. To sign up, contact Sandy at Sandy@firstuniv.org or 612-825-1701. Childcare is available with at least 7 days advance notice.
Racial Justice and Our UU Faith Workshop 
Saturday, Oct. 24, 
9 a.m.-1 p.m.
We hope all members and friends will join us for an interactive workshop exploring a framework and tools for understanding race, racism, and whiteness and the spiritual imperative that drives our racial justice work. This is a distilled experience of the 24-hour training offered by Dr. Heather Hackman. To register, contact Sandy DiNanni at 612-825-1701 or Sandy@firstuniv.org. 
Conversations with the Author: Debby Irving, "Waking Up White" 
"Waking Up White" is Debby Irving's powerful memoir about her journey in understanding what it means to be "White" and her struggle to understand racism and racial tensions.

Tuesday, Nov. 3, 7-9 p.m.
For those who have already read the book, this is an opportunity for deeper conversation. Details
Friday, Nov. 6, 7-9 p.m.
ALL are welcome to this conversation! Details
October 25 Faithful Action Fair:
Get to Know the Participating Organizations (Part 2)
Learn how you can get involved!
On Sunday, Oct. 25, you're invited to our first Faithful Action Fair to celebrate the new Faithful Action Leadership Council, meet with community social justice organizations, and learn about justice initiatives at First Universalist. Representatives from participating groups will be on hand after both services (10 a.m.-1 p.m.) to share information and invite you to sign up for a variety of volunteer opportunities.
Who will be there?
Last week, we highlighted several of the organizations that will be represented at the Faithful Action Fair: Augsburg Fairview AcademyBeacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative (Families Moving Forward and Beacon Citizens)EMERGE, and Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light

Minnesota Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Alliance (MUUSJA) is a coalition of Unitarian Universalists from across Minnesota working to develop the capacity of individuals and congregations to work effectively for systemic change and social justice. 
Simpson Housing Services works to house, support and advocate for people experiencing homelessness, and provides shelter services.
Twin Cities Habitat For Humanity is an ecumenical ministry whose mission is to eliminate poverty housing from the Twin Cities and to make decent, affordable shelter for all people a matter of conscience.
Youth Cultural Exchange program at First Universalist partners with Project Minnesota-Ln (PML), to give our youth an immersion experience living with a Nicaraguan teenager for two weeks and then hosting that teenager in Minnesota the following year.  
First Universalist Foundation acts as a catalyst for social change by promoting and supporting the development of emerging leaders among youth, young adults, and disenfranchised communities through monetary grants to and partnerships with nonprofits working in those communities.

Watch for information about the Community Investment Team, Racial Justice Leadership TeamHoliday Giving Team, Environmental Justice Team in next week's newsletter. 
Opportunities with Augsburg Fairview Academy
First Universalist is beginning our fourth 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. AFA provides an intense program of rigorous study in a teen- and family-friendly atmosphere. Dedicated, talented staff use positive, strength-based approaches to help them succeed. The 140+ students come from diverse backgrounds including African American, Somali, and Native American. Many are homeless or marginally housed during the school year. Here's how you can help:
Volunteers are needed in the Food Closet on weekday afternoons, Monday - Thursday, 2:30-3:45 p.m. If interested, please contact Barb Sindelar at 612-824-3677 or barb.sindelar@gmail.com or Sandy DiNanni at Sandy@firstuniv.org.
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, 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, and fall jackets. Clothing should be clean and in good repair.
Bring items to the Hub on Sundays. Thank you for your generosity!
High School Youth Are Invited to Participate in MUUSJA's "YoUUth Soals" Program
How do you engage with the world around you as a "practicing" Unitarian Universalist? How does our faith call us to work for justice within and beyond our congregations? What does it mean to be a UU activist? 

If these questions interest you, join MUUSJA for YoUUth Soals: The Spiritual Organizer/Activist Leadership Seminar for UU Youth, a 6-month leadership program for 9th-12th graders that meets once monthly around issues of activism, community and grassroots organizing, and congregational social justice engagement.

Two paid youth internships are also being offered for this program. Get details and apply soon - the deadline is right around the corner!

Get registration information and details about participating in YoUUth Soals.

Program dates: Saturday afternoons, 1-4 p.m., Nov. 7, Dec. 12, Jan. 9, Feb. 13, March 12, and April 16. Sessions will be held at rotating Twin Cities area UU congregations.
Next Child Dedication is Nov. 1 - Sign Up Now
Unitarian Universalists believe that every child brings new life and hope into the world.
The next Child Dedication will take place on Sunday, Nov. 1 at both services. During the Child Dedication ritual, the congregation pledges itself to partner with and support parents and families in the religious upbringing of the child. Child Dedications take place during Sunday worship services twice a year, in May and November.
Infants and children of members and those on the path to membership at First Universalist Church may be dedicated. If your family would like to participate in a Child Dedication ceremony, please sign up by filling out and submitting the Child Dedication Form. Forms are due to the church office no later than one week before the service. Please complete a separate form for each child being dedicated.
Questions? Contact Lauren Wyeth, Director of Children, Youth & Family Ministries, at 612-825-1701 x111 or lauren@firstuniv.org.
First Universalist Choir in Rehearsal for Upcoming Performances at the Guthrie Theater
The First Universalist Choir, conducted by Dr. Randal Buikema, has been hard at work during Wednesday evening rehearsals preparing for its part in two performances of "The Events" at the Guthrie Theater on Friday, Oct. 30 and Sunday, Nov. 1. Tickets for the Nov. 1 performance are very close to selling out. See below for information about how you can purchase tickets at a 50% discount!
Special Offer: First Universalist Choir in Guthrie's "The Events"
The First Universalist Choir has been selected to perform on October 30 and November 1 in the Guthrie Theater's production of "The Events," which tells the story of a choir director who survived a mass shooting incident.
While the production staff and actors are imported from the UK, a different local choir has been chosen for each performance. Half of the First Universalist Choir will perform on Oct. 30 (7:30 p.m.) and the other half on Nov. 1 (7 p.m.).
Discounted tickets (50% off) for these two performances are available to our members and friends by calling the Guthrie box office (612-377-2224) and mentioning "choirs."
Cycle of Life and Pastoral Care
Our thoughts and prayers are with:
Karin Wille, as she recovers from a recent surgery.
Mary Djerf, who is in the hospital with pneumonia.
Joy Throm, who is in the hospital with cellulitis.

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 sandy@firstuniv.org or 612-825-1701. If you would like support, contact Rev. Jen Crow at jen@firstuniv.org or 612-825-1701 or any member of our Pastoral Care Team.
Get the Church Directory on Your Phone - Help Available Sunday in the Social Hall!
 With a few simple taps on your smartphone, you could:

*Call, text, or email your friends from church
*Check the church calendar *Make a financial gift

This is now available for members and friends of First Universalist through the Church Life app. Help setting up the app will be available in the Social Hall after the service on Sunday, Oct. 18!
Congregational Care:
Transportation Assistance
Need transportation to church or to a doctor's appointment? We can help with at least two weeks' notice. Contact Anne McBean at 952 938-2897
 or mcbea001@yahoo.com if you need help with a ride or would like to offer a ride to a congregant.
Planned Giving at First Universalist
You put your values and resources into action while living. But where do you want your funds to go when you're gone? If you're considering including First Universalist in your will or estate plan, please talk to a minister or the church's financial administrator. If you've already made the church a beneficiary, please let the office know. When you fill out an easy planned-giving form, it will ensure your wishes are honored.
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The Weekly Liberal is compiled and edited by Communications Manager Jenn Stromberg. Past issues, information about publication deadlines, submission requirements, and policies can be found on our website
Contact Us
First Universalist Church of Minneapolis
3400 Dupont Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55408
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Church Office Hours
8 a.m.-1 p.m.
8:30 a.m.-8 p.m.
Closed Fridays and Saturdays
First Universalist Church of Minneapolis
3400 Dupont Avenue S.
Minneapolis, MN 55408


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