October 29, 2015  |  Vol. 2 No. 35
Living into Our Racial Justice Resolution
By Reverend Justin Schroeder, Senior Minister, and Cindy Marsh, President, Board of Trustees
Rev. Justin Schroeder
Cindy Marsh

As a faith community, we passed a powerful racial justice resolution brought forward by the First Universalist Board of Trustees at our annual meeting in June. The resolution is a strong and clear statement of our commitment to continue to educate ourselves about race, racism and whiteness, to examine our own organization through a racial justice lens and eliminate institutional racism and bias, and to continue the fight for racial justice in our communities and through the public forum. One way the Board has begun to live into this resolution is through our adoption of the Race Forward Choice Points model as our racial justice lens for examining the decisions, policies, and opportunities we encounter. Rev. Justin Schroeder preached about "choice points" on October 18.

Recently some congregants have asked the Board to clarify our position with Black Lives Matter as it applies to our racial justice work. We think it is important to keep the following points in mind:  
  • Black Lives Matter Minneapolis is not a formal partner of the church, nor are we in any kind of "official" relationship with them. They have asked for white faith communities to stand with them and work for racial justice, and many in this faith community, including ministers, are responding to that request. It's not our role to give a thumbs up or thumbs down on their actions, tactics, or messaging. As individuals we may disagree with particular actions, tactics or messaging yet support the overall goals of equity and justice.  
  • When our ministers participate in Black Lives Matter activities it does not mean that they are speaking or acting on behalf of the entire church; they only do so when they have been explicitly empowered to do so. The Racial Justice resolution is a fine example of this; that resolution, passed by the congregation, allows our ministers to speak about racial justice on behalf of the congregation using the language in the resolution.
  • Others have asked why we don't say "All Lives Matter." Of course, "Black Lives Matter" is not all we believe; our UU principles make it clear we believe all lives matter and we are all connected. Yet we currently live in a society and culture where black lives don't matter as much as other lives, as much as we wish that that were otherwise. Saying "Black Lives Matter" doesn't mean white lives, immigrant lives, Native lives, etc., don't matter. In a society where white lives have always mattered, we are saying, black lives matter, too. We are actively working to change systems and structures that deny life, resources, and opportunities to people of color, and especially black people.
As a congregation, we strive to find constructive ways to deal with racial justice issues that can make a difference. In our Faithful Action work we seek a balance of community partners which represent both those focusing on advocacy and systemic change and those focusing on service and meeting immediate needs.  

We look forward to our continued learning and journey together, and would welcome the chance to be in conversation with you.

In faith,
Cindy and Justin 
SUNDAY WORSHIP AT FIRST UNIVERSALIST
Worship this Sunday
Daylight Saving Time ends this Sunday - don't forget to set your clocks back one hour!
Nov. 1, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m.
Sharing Sunday (4 yrs to 5th gr attend first part of service), 
Child Dedication Ritual 

"Living Portraits, Living Profiles"
Rev. Ruth MacKenzie
There are a thousand stories behind what we are, how we say things, how we react to situations. Yet so often, we treat people we meet or situations we encounter at face value, as a one dimensional caricature, disregarding all the stories and experiences that inform and influence. We are natural profilers. As religious people, we are called to encounter the world and one another with curiosity and compassion. We are called to be border crossers. Read more
November Worship Theme:
Border Crossing
"Border crossing - or moving beyond our personal, social, and cultural experience of the world and experiencing life from another vantage point - is spiritual work." 

Looking Ahead

Nov. 8, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m.
People of Color Group with Rev. Justin Schroeder

Nov. 15, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m.
Rev. Elaine Aron Tenbrink
Miss a Recent Sunday?
Oct. 25, 2015
"Nurture Your Spirit, Heal the World"
Rev. Justin Schroeder

Oct. 18, 2015
"Choices, Choices, Choices"
Rev. Justin Schroeder

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
UPCOMING EVENTS
Young Families
Halloween Party 
Saturday, Oct. 31, 
9 - 11 a.m.
Come celebrate Halloween and autumn with the littlest members of our church community! Join us for games, music, autumn crafts, and a Halloween costume parade. Enjoy crispy apples, bagels, buttery popcorn and hot cider. All families with children up through 1st grade are invited to attend. This is a wonderful way to connect with other families with young children, while kids make memories and deepen their ties to their church community.
Artist Reception: Art Quilts by Susan Stein 
Sunday, Nov. 1, 
following both services
Meet the artist at a reception this Sunday, Nov. 1, after both services! The work of quilter Susan Stein reflects a love for saturated color, a warm color palette, and a variety of textures. An exhibition of her art quilts will be on view in the Social Hall Nov. 1 - 29, 2015. 
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. Details here and below.
Join us for a Conversation with
Debby Irving, Author of "Waking Up White"
On Friday, Nov. 6 from 7 to 9 p.m., all are welcome to a discussion with author Debby Irving on racial justice, current events in America, and how we can create a better tomorrow. This event is free and open to the public; no registration required.

"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. In her book, Irving explains why and how she has changed the way she talks about racism, how she works in racially mixed groups, and how she understands the racial justice movement as a whole.

What people are saying about "Waking Up White":

"Debby Irving's powerful Waking Up White opens a rare window on how white Americans are socialized. Irving's focus on the mechanics of racism operating in just one life - her own - may lead white readers to reconsider the roots of their own perspectives - and their role in dismantling old myths. Readers of color will no doubt find the view through Irving's window fascinating, and telling."

"Brave...A jolting and continuing journey from white oblivion to white awareness described in an honest way that may inspire others to do such transformation work on themselves...Empathetic."

First Universalist is offering this event out of its commitment to racial justice through intensive education and training on the historical and current impacts of systemic racism and white privilege. 

We are pleased to be joined by sponsors Edina Community Lutheran Church, First Unitarian Society, the Minnesota Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Alliance (MUUSJA), and Unity Church-Unitarian in making this special evening possible.

NEWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS
Art Quilt Exhibit On View in Social Hall Nov. 1 - 29
The work of quilter Susan Stein reflects a love for saturated color, a warm color palette, a variety of textures, a connection to traditional patterns, and an interest in all kinds of mixed media. An exhibition of her art quilts will be on view in the Social Hall at First Universalist Church from Nov. 1 through 29, 2015.

Susan is always careful to maintain the qualities of a quilt - softness, meticulous workmanship, layers, and stitching - but adds embellishment, surface design, three-dimensional elements, and transparent layering to create complexity. Even though the quilts vary a lot, the overall themes of nature, implemented with rich color and texture, make her work recognizable.

Susan started quilting in 1977. She has been president and show chairman for Minnesota Quilters and was Minnesota Quilter of the Year in 2003. She has written seven books, taught classes locally and nationally, and has made hundreds of quilts, wall hangings, and garments for publication, personal use, and public buildings. She co-owned a quilt shop from 1980-1985 and owned Colorful Quilts and Textiles from 1995-2009. Currently her interests are mixed media art quilts and all kinds of surface design.

Learn more about Susan Stein on her website.
Pastoral Care Team Now Accepting Applications
Do you have an open heart, a compassionate presence, a listening ear and a few hours each month to offer? If so, we invite you to consider joining our Pastoral Care Team.
 
Members of the Pastoral Care Team provide confidential pastoral care to friends and members of our congregation in need of support. They visit at homes, hospitals, and hospice or at the corner coffeeshop. 

Prospective team members will receive a full-day of training in January of 2016, ongoing monthly support with Rev. Jen Crow, and will be commissioned by the congregation in a ceremony that endorses their role in serving our church community. While our ministers will continue to be with members of the congregation in crisis situations, this team is able to provide continuing care to our growing community and enhance the practical support offered by our Congregational Care team. 

This program was launched at First Universalist last year and emphasizes compassionate presence with each other as a spiritual practice. Team members agree to serve for a two-year term, attend the January training session and monthly meetings. 

For more information, please visit the Pastoral Care page on our website where you can find the application and job description, or contact Andrea Johnson, Pastoral Care Team coordinator, at ajohnsonfry@gmail.com. Applications are due by November 30, 2015.
Celebrating Strong Women: AUW Fall Retreat
The Association of Universalist Women (AUW) Fall Retreat will be held on Nov. 7, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at First Universalist.

Lori Sturdevant, Star Tribune columnist and award-winning author, will speak on "The Minnesota Women's Movement: Time for a Third Wave?" Breakout sessions include: Making Paper Beads, Personal Safety: Proactive vs Reactive, Emotional Wellness, The Sisterhood of Bellydance, Easy, Healthy Make-ahead Family Meals, and Exploring Intersectionality.

Breakfast and lunch will be served. Cost: AUW members $30, non-members $45. Register at the AUW Desk in the Social Hall on Sundays or contact Ann Styx at 612-325-6747 or styxfamily@msn.com.
NEWS IN BRIEF
Cycle of Life and Pastoral Care
Our thoughts are with Mary Djerf, who has entered hospice care. Mary welcomes short visits.
She is at Mt. Olivet Careview, 5517 Lyndale Avenue S.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Caroline Mills, who died earlier this week. A memorial service will be held at church on Sunday, Dec. 13 (time TBD).
A memorial service to celebrate the life of Colleen McCann will be held at church on Saturday, Nov. 21 at 1 p.m. If you are available to help with the reception, please contact Janet Merrill at janetmerrill@comcast.net.

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.
Minneapolis Faith Leaders at City Hall Thursday Oct. 22
First Universalist's Rev. Justin Schroeder was among about 40 leaders of Minneapolis churches and synagogues who gathered on the steps of City Hall last Thursday to call on council members to pass a law that would give all workers the right to earn paid sick leave.
Pastoral Care Team
The Pastoral Care Team is a group of congregants, led by the Rev. Jen Crow, who provide confidential pastoral care to friends and members of our congregation in need of support. They visit people at homes, hospitals, and hospice or at the corner coffee shop. Their goal is to offer a compassionate presence to fellow congregants in the knowledge that this too is a spiritual practice. If you are in need of a Pastoral Care team visit, please contact Rev. Jen Crow at jen@firstuniv.org.

First Universalist's Planned Giving Program One of Six Most Successful in U.S.
First Universalist Church is one of six UU congregations in the nation to run successful planned giving programs. Many of our members and friends include the church in wills and estate plans. The other congregations are: the UU Church in Eugene, OR; First UU Church of San Diego, CA; UU Fellowship of Easton, MD; UU Congregation of Asheville, NC, and Mount Vernon Unitarian Church, VA. Thanks for your support!
The Planned Giving Committee
COMMUNITY BULLETIN BOARD
Armistice Bells: A Prayer Service for Peace on Veteran's Day
Wednesday, Nov. 11 at 11 a.m.
St. Joan of Arc Catholic Community
Come hear the SJA church bells ring for peace! With prayer, readings, music by Dan Chouinard and Maria Jette and reflections by veterans, we will recommit ourselves to being a people of peace. St. Joan of Arc Catholic Community in South Minneapolis welcomes all for this memorable morning! Read more on their website.
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First Universalist Church of Minneapolis
3400 Dupont Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55408
612-825-1701
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Sundays
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Monday-Thursday
8:30 a.m.-8 p.m.
Closed Fridays and Saturdays
First Universalist Church of Minneapolis
3400 Dupont Avenue S.
Minneapolis, MN 55408

612-825-1701

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