January 14, 2016  |  Vol. 3 No. 2
Save the Date for Pledge Day: March 9, 2016
By the 2016 Pledge Team: Marcia Wattson, Zack Steven, Jeanne Peppel, and Rev. Justin Schroeder
 
The Pledge Team is excited to announce that this year's Pledge Day is happening on Wednesday, March 9. This year's theme is The Road We Walk Together, and will celebrate both the wonderful steps we've taken as a community towards living our values in the world, and the new journeys that are opening before us. Put the date on your calendar now to make sure that you are part of the Pledge Day fun!
 
Last year, Pledge Day was a huge success, and the Pledge Team plans to make this one even better. On March 9, Church will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. with breakfast, lunch, and dinner and a variety of activities provided for all ages throughout the day. We invite congregants to submit their pledge on Pledge Day, either in person at church, online, or by phone. As an expression of gratitude (and an incentive), all those who have made a pledge on or before Pledge Day will be entered into a raffle to win an iPad mini, a FitBit, or other prizes at the end of the Pledge Day celebration!
 
Over the past three months, the members of the First Universalist clergy team and a group of energized volunteers have been calling members of our congregation to express gratitude for their support of the church and talk about the ministry that is unfolding here. Our racial justice ministry solicited the most feedback and comments; there is energy and passion around this ministry, and there are some questions and concerns. All of this feedback is helpful to hear! Overwhelming, these phone conversations have been rich and deep, and there is excitement about the leadership, ministry, and direction of the church as we live into a vision of deep interconnectedness, spiritual growth, and justice making.
 
We have ambitious plans as a congregation for the coming year, including a commitment to set a living wage ($15/hour) as our baseline compensation, to continue to offer fee-free Religious Education for all, and to expand and deepen our environmental and housing ministry efforts, building on the success of our recently launched Solar Garden, our Families Moving Forward partnership, and our various community partnerships, as they call us deeper into the neighborhoods around us.
 
Your pledge, along with the pledges of hundreds of your fellow community members, makes this work possible, so start thinking about how you can help our church community be the change we want to see in the world, and come join us on March 9 for Pledge Day!
 
We'll see you in church!
 
Your Pledge Team,
Marcia Wattson, Zack Steven, Jeanne Peppel, and Rev. Justin Schroeder
SUNDAY WORSHIP AT FIRST UNIVERSALIST
January Worship Theme: Impermanence
Worship this Sunday
Sunday, Jan. 17, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m.
Youth-friendly worship (youth in 6th-12th grades attend entire service)
Guest Spoken Word Artist: Guante

"The Other America"
Rev. Justin Schroeder
On this Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Sunday, we'll explore the fullness of who he was - his views, his faith, his prophetic voice and imagination - and we'll explore the fullness of who we are and who we might be, as we seek to create "One Minneapolis," and "One America." Read More 
 

Winter Worship Schedule

A Look Ahead
Sunday, Jan. 24, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m.
"Step by Step..." 
Rev. Justin Schroeder

Miss a Recent Sunday?
Jan. 10, 2016
"To Live in Hearts that Love..." Rev. Jen Crow

Jan. 3, 2016
Remembrance Sunday, Rev. Justin Schroeder Listen to the podcast

Dec. 20, 2015
"Gifts that Make a Difference," Rev. Justin Schroeder and Rev. Jen Crow
UPCOMING EVENTS
"Waking Up White" Book Discussion
Sunday, Jan. 17 at 1 p.m. 
OR Tuesday, Jan. 19 at 7 p.m.
Through our drop-in Video & Book Discussion series, we invite you to join us for engaging conversations on race, racism, and whiteness. This month, we discuss the book "Waking Up White" by Debby Irving. Through sharing her own struggle to understand racism and racial tensions, Irving offers a fresh perspective on bias, stereotypes, and tolerance.
Jewish Women Artists' Circle Reception: "Creation and The Beginning of Knowing"
Sunday, Jan. 24, 12:15 p.m.
Join us in the Social Hall after the second service for a reception honoring the artists featured in our current 
exhibit. Most artists will be present, and you're encouraged to come meet them!
Daytime Connections: "Creativity: Bringing Joy to the Spiritual Journey of Aging"
Thursday, Jan. 21, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Many older adults have found joy and inspiration in activities they'd never thought to try. Join us for a mid-day adventure of stepping outside your comfort zone through creative activities. Program includes a presentation, small group activity, and small meal ($5 donation requested for the meal). RSVP to Sandy at sandy@firstuniv.org or 612-825-1701. When you RSVP, please indicate your 1st and 2nd choices for which Creativity Small group you'd like to participate in: 1. Movement & Stories to Discover Inner Wisdom;  2. Singing to Discover the Song in Your Heart;  3. Writing to Discover Your Inner Child;  4. Painting to Tap Inner Joy. 
Winter Warm Up Dance Party FUN-raiser
Saturday, Jan. 23, doors at 7:30 p.m.
Join us on January 23 for music, food, and fun at the Winter Warm-up Dance Party. Enjoy live music from the Universal Rock Band and special guest performers, and dance to classic rock and roll. Guest performers include: Averil Bach, David Bach, Erin Thompson, Rick Riddle, Donovan Hart, George Dow, John Jensen, Joey Babay, and Allen Steinhauer. Food by One Dish at A Time is included with the cost of admission. Beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) will be available for purchase. Purchase tickets online via Brown Paper Tickets or in the Social Hall on Sundays between services.
 
NEWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS
First Universalist Featured on Ch. 23's "Our Issues Twin Cities" 
Rev. Justin was interviewed by Our Issues Twin Cities host Rana Kamal.
In December, First Universalist was recognized on a Twin Cities television program for the racial justice work being done by our community. 
 
Rev. Justin Schroeder, Senior Minister at First Universalist, and Ben Miles, member of the Racial Justice Leadership Team, appeared on a segment of "Our Issues Twin Cities" that aired on The CW-23 in December. The segment covers police brutality, the recent emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement - "one of the most powerful civil rights movements since the 1960s" - and highlights First Universalist as one of several predominantly white communities in the Twin Cities that is putting racial justice at the center of its mission and responding to the call from Black Lives Matter to stand in solidarity.
 
The CW-23 program is available to watch online via YouTube. Look for Rev. Justin Schroeder and Ben Miles starting around the 15:30 mark.
Register for Winter/Spring Circles Now!
As a congregation, we are committed to giving, receiving, and growing in the Universalist spirit of love and hope. This is soul work. 

The purpose of a Circle is to provide a sacred space where the soul can show up and find room to grow. In small groups of 8 to 10 participants, Circles invite us into deep listening and deep connection: with ourselves, with others, and with that which is greater than all of us.


Sign up now through Sunday, Jan. 24 online at firstucircles.weebly.com or in the Social Hall on Sundays. Most (but not all) Community & Spiritual Deepening circles begin the week of January 31. 

Community Circles offer an opportunity to reflect on Sunday services, either in a Circle that is open to all or a Circle for those who share a particular identity or life experience - such as young adults, or people living with grief and loss, or parents of young children, or people of color. 

Our current Spiritual Deepening Circle offerings fall under three themes: Racial Justice, Aging & Spirituality, and Spiritual Practice. 

Newcomer Circles offer an opportunity to learn more about our liberal faith tradition and connect with others who are also getting to know First Universalist.

Care Circles are small groups that gather with a trained leader for companionship and comfort during life's more difficult chapters. 

Learn more about Circle offerings and register online at firstucircles.weebly.com
First Universalist Foundation Seeking Nominations
Do you know of an organization in the Twin Cities that is doing social change work? 

The First Universalist Foundation Board, a grant-giving arm of the church focused on nonprofits working to ameliorate the root causes of injustice, has once again opened up nominations from the congregation of nonprofits to whom we might send a Letter of Interest, asking them to apply for a grant during our Spring Round. 
 
In recent rounds, the Foundation has funded congregant-suggested organizations/projects including: Rock-n-Read, courageous heARTS, EMERGE North 4 Program, and Peta Wakan Tipi. We're energized by and eager to fund projects which align with our mission and with whom our congregants are currently engaged.
 
The nomination window will close on January 21, so don't delay! If you are interested in learning more, please email Foundation@FirstUniv.org.

If you know which agency you want to nominate, fill out the Nomination Form. 
UU Community Solar Garden Info Sessions
The First Universalist Community Solar Garden project team held a kickoff meeting Jan. 10, featuring inspirational talks by J. Drake Hamilton of Fresh Energy and Cliff Kaehler of Novel Energy/MN Community Solar.
The First Universalist Community Solar Garden project team held a kickoff meeting at church this past Sunday, Jan. 10, featuring inspirational talks by J. Drake Hamilton of Fresh Energy and Cliff Kaehler of Novel Energy/MN Community Solar. The goal is to sign up 250 households for solar-powered, zero-emissions electricity this year. 

Want to learn more? Information can be found on our website, and we're also offering Info Sessions over the coming weeks. Session I is offered Jan. 18, 24 and 25, and Session II will be offered Feb. 1, 8, and 15. Get complete details here.
Association of Universalist Women (AUW) Winter Tea
The Association of Universalist Women (AUW) hosts a Winter Tea on Saturday, Feb. 6, from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Social Hall. The event is free but contributions to the Kate Tucker Scholarship Fund will be cheerfully accepted. Wear your fancy hat!

RSVP to attend and/or sign up to help by Jan. 31 at the AUW table in the Social Hall after Sunday services. For more info, contact Valerie Garber at valeriejgarber@yahoo.com or 651-224-2334.
Seeking Artists to Exhibit in 2016-2017
Do you know or are you an artist who might be interested in exhibiting in our church gallery space? The Visual Arts Committee is actively looking for talented artists - painters, photographers, textile artists, sculptors - to exhibit artwork next exhibit cycle which starts in September 2016. We are also looking for cross-cultural or social action works. If you're interested or know someone who might be, contact Visual Arts Exhibit Chair Bette DeMars at jbdemars2@gmail.com, 952-929-2536 (H), or 612-991-3657 (C).
Sunday Flower Donations
It's time to look at your 2016 calendar and reserve a date for donating Sunday flowers...an opportunity to honor and celebrate an individual or event. A Visual Arts Committee member will create a unique arrangement for you and others in the congregation to enjoy. Once services are over you can take the flowers home or share them with others from the congregation who are unable to attend the service. If you're interested, contact Visual Arts Flower Chair Marjie Smith at 612-825-1125 or  marjiesmith1@aol.com.
Motion to Approve Congregational Covenant Withdrawn
At the annual meeting in June, the Board presented a congregational covenant for consideration and adoption. By documenting a "code of right relational practices," the covenant was intended to guide how we treat each other within our church community. The Board drafted the covenant after learning of instances of highly disrespectful behavior between congregants, and after staff reported several instances of being treated disrespectfully by congregants. At the annual meeting, the congregation decided not to approve the covenant but instead to table the motion. There was a desire that a more inclusive process be used to draft a covenant during this church year.

This fall, the Board began planning sessions to develop the covenant with wider congregational input. During this process, we kept running into questions about who would determine a "violation," what "enforcement" would look like (and who would conduct it) if the covenant were broken, and why such a document were required, given that it likely would largely restate our Unitarian Universalist principles, as well as common principle of respectful behavior.

In light of these questions, and in recognition of the fact that the Board and staff are rightfully devoting substantial effort on other business, tasks, and issues of significance this year, the Board has decided to not pursue the development of a congregational covenant at this time. At our October meeting, we voted to withdraw the motion to approve a congregational covenant.

We appreciate the interest that has been expressed in such a document and process. We go forward in faith in the commitment of all members of the First Universalist community - congregants, friends, and staff - to act in accordance with our shared principles, which call us to treat all people with respect and dignity. We welcome your feedback at boardchair@firstuniv.org
NEWS IN BRIEF
Cycle of Life and Pastoral Care
Our thoughts are with the family and friends of church member Sheryl Lockwood, who died on Sunday, Jan. 10. Cards can be sent to Sheryl's husband, Gary Ash, at 561 206th Avenue NW, Cedar, MN 55011. 

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.
Office Closed Monday, Jan. 18, 2016
Please note that the church office will be closed all day on Monday, Jan. 18 in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
Donations Needed for Augsburg Fairview Academy
First Universalist is the primary supplier of food and clothing for the Hope Food and Clothing Closets at Augsburg Fairview Academy, a school that serves young adults from diverse communities facing educational barriers to achievement in traditional schools. A list of items needed can be found on our websiteBring items to the Hub on Sundays or leave on the shelves marked AFA at the 34th street entrance. Thank you for your generosity!
Congregational Care:
Chore Team 
Do you need help with household tasks, such as changing furnace filters or lightbulbs; gutter cleaning or window washing? These are chores that most of us do easily until we can't. With a little help from our friends, we can stay in our own home longer. Chore Team helpers are also needed! Be part of this community service team. Contact Bob Friedman at 612-722-4705 or rmarcf@usfamily.net if you need help with a chore, or if you'd like to join the team.
Planned Giving
We're asking congregants to consider putting First Universalist in their wills or estate plans. You may think you don't have enough money to bother. Not so. Every bit helps. We like this story: A retired Minnesota teacher once said she didn't have sufficient money to create a library in her name, but she had enough to donate a book. Please let the church know if you wish to include it in your plans, or if you have already done so.
RESOURCES & CONTACT INFORMATION
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Church Office Hours
Sundays 8 a.m.-1 p.m.
Monday-Thursday 8:30 a.m.-8 p.m.
Closed Fridays and Saturdays
The Office will be closed Monday, Jan. 18.
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The Weekly Liberal is compiled and edited by Communications Manager Jenn Stromberg. Past issues, publication deadlines, and policies can be found on our website
Contact Us
First Universalist Church of Minneapolis
3400 Dupont Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55408
612-825-1701
For staff contact information, please visit our Ministers and Staff page.
First Universalist Church of Minneapolis
3400 Dupont Avenue S.
Minneapolis, MN 55408

612-825-1701

Copyright 2016. All Rights Reserved.