January 28, 2016  |  Vol. 3 No. 4
"Seek the Truth in Love..."
Rev. Justin Schroeder
By Rev. Justin Schroeder

Every Sunday when we gather for worship, we say together, "Love is the spirit of this church...." and we remind ourselves that we are here to "Seek the truth in love." This is the sacred promise we make with one another every week.

It's lofty, ideal language, isn't it?

But how does it really play out in our shared lives at First Universalist?

Specifically, how does "seeking the truth in love" play out in our faith community, when some members and friends feel deeply engaged and inspired by our racial justice journey, and others are feeling frustrated by the focus on racial justice? How do we seek the truth in love, when we have such different perspectives and experiences, especially as it relates to race, racism, and whiteness?

How do we listen deeply to others?

How do we keep our hearts open to hard conversation?

How do we move out of our comfort zones - whatever they might be - to experience a truth different than our own?

Living in covenant, in a sacred promise with one another, is not easy. But seeking the truth in love, guided by the Universalist spirit of love and hope, is the work of our church.

May we all embrace and grow from this sacred work!

I'll see you in church,

Worship this Sunday
Sunday, Jan. 31, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m.
"Letting Go"
Rev. Elaine Aron Tenbrink
"When cast into the depths, to survive, we must first let go of things that will not save us. Then we must reach out for the things that can." - Rev. Forrest Church
Each day, we find ourselves on some new cusp of living, our lives always changing shape. We often find ourselves clinging to tools and stories that no longer serve us, yet take up a great deal of space and energy. What might we need to let go of in order to fully live into the life that is calling us?
Read More  

Sunday, Jan. 31, 5:30 p.m.
Stone - A Meditation in Sound and Silence
Rev. Ruth MacKenzie, Dr. Jerrod Wendland
When the temperature falls and the roads ice over, we don't venture out thoughtlessly; we stay put and look inwards. We become stone-like: still, silent, strong. What secrets live in the heart of a stone? What hidden fires burn in our own hearts, warming us through the winter? Join us on Sunday, Jan. 31 at 5:30 p.m. for an evening contemplative service that explores these questions through music, poetry, and silent meditation. Rev. Ruth MacKenzie and Dr. Jerrod Wendland will be assisted by the artistry of percussionist Dr. Jeremy Johnston. The service includes musical selections by John Luther Adams, Evelyn Glennie, Peteris Vasks, and others. 
"Stone: A Meditation in Sound and Silence" is the second in a new series of Evening Contemplative Services we're offering this year. Join us this Sunday, Jan. 31 at 5:30 p.m. 
Winter Worship Schedule

A Look Ahead
Sunday, Feb. 7, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m.
Rev. Jen Crow
Sharing Sunday

Miss a Recent Sunday?
Jan. 24, 2016
"Step by Step"
Rev. Justin Schroeder

Jan. 17, 2016
"The Other America"
Rev. Justin Schroeder

Jan. 3, 2016
Remembrance Sunday,
 Rev. Justin Schroeder
Daytime Connections: Genealogy Workshop
Wednesday, Feb. 3, 1-3 p.m.
Internet search engines, online public records, and low-cost DNA testing have created a golden age for amateur genealogists who want to extend knowledge of their family history for several generations. You may even find cousins who have already done most of the work for you! Presenter Michael Day will share personal family research using ancestry.com to illustrate how to get started with your own genealogy.
Through Daytime Connections, older adults empower each other to live intentional, joyful, purposeful, and spiritually fulfilled lives. Registration: Contact Sandy DiNanni at sandy@firstuniv.org or 612-825-1701.
Mark Your Calendar for the next Daytime Connections Program: "Intentional Aging," Thursday, Feb. 18. Details. 
Bde/Mde Maka Ska Community Conversation: "Giving Form to Expressions of Spirit and Values"
Tuesday, Feb. 9, 6-9 p.m.
Please join us for an exciting conversation about giving form to expressions of spirit and values that emanate from Bde/Mde Maka Ska (currently called Lake Calhoun). Explore ways to bring out the best in people. Come and collectively re-imagine our community beyond its current norm in unique and more desired forms of interaction.
First U has hosted two previous conversations with the themes: "Water Wisdom: Carrying Us Into a Bold Future of Deep Restoration" (Dec. 3, 2015) and "Connecting with the Spirit of the Lake" (Oct. 7, 2015).
March 9 is Pledge Day? Bingo!
By now it should come as no surprise that Pledge Day 2016 is Wednesday, March 9. If you haven't saved the date yet, add it to your calendar now! 

We're excited about the chance to celebrate our vibrant community and our commitments to each other and to First Universalist. We'll be sharing meals and fellowship throughout the day from 8 a.m to 8 p.m. Pledge Day 2016 will include perennial favorites such as breakfast, lunch, dinner, coffee, a bouncy house, a creative activity for all ages, and a prize drawing for all who have pledged by 8 p.m

New for Pledge Day this year: 
  • Some group songs with the choir
  • A Spiritual Centering session with Rev. Justin Schroeder over the lunch hour
  • All ages BINGO for prizes. Come play Texas T, B.O., Blackout and more! 
Did you know that Pledge Day 2015 drew interest from other UU congregations across the country? With your help, Pledge Day 2016 will be even more fun and successful! If you are able to volunteer or have ideas about how to make it a great day, please reply to this email. 

In gratitude,

Your 2016 Pledge Team
Marcia Wattson, Zack Steven, Jeanne Peppel, and Rev. Justin Schroeder
Annual State of the Church Meeting Feb. 7
Please join us for our annual State of the Church meeting after the second service on Sunday, Feb. 7 (12:30 p.m.). At this meeting, the Board of Trustees and Staff of the Church will share updates on their respective goals for the year. This meeting will be a time to celebrate shared accomplishments, and to outline emerging opportunities and next steps in various ministry areas. We'll include a high level mid-year budget update, outline programming for the rest of the church year, and provide a preview of things to come.
We have so much to be proud of as a faith community, and big goals still in front of us. Mark your calendar and plan to join us on February 7!
Community Solar Garden Campaign Update: Rescheduling Info Session 2 Dates
Thanks to the many people who have attended our Community Solar Garden Info Session 1 meetings. We know that schedules are busy and not everyone is able to make it to our meeting times, so we are working to create an online version of our presentation. That way people can get all the information they need at a time and location that is most convenient for them.  

For those who are planning to attend one of the published dates for Info Session 2, we are rescheduling the Info Session 2 dates (previously planned for Feb. 1, 8, and 15), because of delays in distributing the subscription agreement. We have the final content for the subscription agreement, but the formatting is being modified and we don't want to distribute a version that will look different than the final document. For those who are waiting to receive a copy of the subscription agreement, we appreciate your patience and will send it to you as soon as the final formatting is complete. 

New dates for Info Session 2 will be posted in The Liberal and on our website as soon as they are scheduled. For those who attended an Info Session 1 meeting and provided your email address, we will also email you with the new dates.  

In the mean time, your First U Solar Team will be hard at work creating an online presentation so that more church members and friends can learn about this important program.  

For those who haven't yet begun the subscription process, there's still time to sign up. We'd also like to encourage those of you who are already in-process to urge your friends, neighbors, and family members who are currently Xcel customers to apply. We will be tabling in the Social Hall for the next several Sundays, and a subscriber interest form can also be completed online. 

If you have any questions, please contact a member of the solar team at FirstUnivCSG@gmail.com.
YCE Valentines Day Truffle Sale Fundraiser
The Youth Cultural Exchange (YCE) is holding its annual truffle sale this February in time for Valentine's Day. Our youth make the truffles by hand and package them in decorative boxes that make them perfect to give as gifts! Following our UU values, we will make the truffles with fair trade chocolate.

Twelve youth from our church are participating in a cultural exchange with twelve teenagers from Nicaragua. Parents of our youth are paying for their children to participate in the program. All proceeds from the truffle sale (and our weekly egg roll sales) will be used to pay for the Nicaraguan youth to fly to Minnesota in 2016 -- this is an opportunity of a lifetime for these teenagers as their families do not have the resources to pay for them to come to Minnesota. 

We hope you will support our fundraiser! There is no need to pre-order this year. We will be selling in the social hall after both services on Jan. 31Feb. 7 and Feb. 14. We will be able to accept credit card payments as well as cash or check. 

The truffles will be available in boxes of 4 for $8 (one of each) and 8 for $16 (two of each) as well as individually for $2 each. Flavors include: Sea Salt, Toffee, Mint, and Cappuccino. 

These make great gifts for your family, friends, teachers and coaches! 

Daytime Connections Special Interest Groups
Join friends from Daytime Connections for one or more of our new special interest groups!

Daytime Knitting: Wednesdays, Feb. 3, 10 a.m.-noon, Room 202
Come have fun with others who like to knit together. Bring your own projects or knit Hats 4 the Homeless (patterns available). More info: Gail Price resortmom@earthlink.net.

Winter Hiking: Tuesday, Feb. 9,  10 a.m.,
Richardson Nature Center, Hyland Lake Park Reserve

Join other First Universalist seniors for a 1 to 2-hour outdoor hike in another of Minnesota's beautiful parks! IMPORTANT: Meet at Richardson Nature Center, which is mile north of Hyland Lake Park Reserve Visitor's Center. Get directions here. The full hike is 3.5 miles (about 1 hours) with several options to loop back for a shorter hike. It is not essential, but it would be good to bring hiking poles and wear Yak-tracs or ice-spike attachments if you have them. You can rent hiking poles and snow shoes at the Nature Center. After the hike, we will go to Brueggers Bagels/Caribou Coffee on France and Old Shakopee Road for hot beverages and conviviality. RSVP would be appreciated to Tom Saterstrom at 952-239-3629 or saterstromtom@yahoo.com.

Armchair Travel: Wednesday, Feb. 10, 10 a.m. in the Church Library
Join us for an opportunity to share with other First U seniors some of the places you have traveled, things you learned along the way, resources others might find helpful - and maybe even start planning a trip together. Coordinated by Peg Feil. For more information, contact Peg at 651-777-9239 or pegfeil@hotmail.com.
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.
Cycle of Life and Pastoral Care
Our thoughts are with Lynn Elling, who recently moved for rehabilitation. Cards can be sent to Lynn at Walker Methodist, 3737 Bryant Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55409

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.
Congregational Care: Comfort Shawls
Do you like to knit? Contact Pat Foulkes, pfoulkes@hotmail.com, for directions for the comfort shawls that we distribute to congregants in times of need. Know somebody in need of a Comfort Shawl?Contact Congregational Care co-chairs Kathy Urberg, kathyurberg@gmail.com or Kathy Coskran, 612 202-9322, kac1122@aol.com.
Planned Giving
A development officer for a major Minnesota non-profit organization recently told me the Number One reason why members hadn't put the organization in their wills: "Nobody ever asked me." We're asking you!
- Peg Meier of the Planned Giving Committee
Sunday Flower Donations
Donating Sunday flowers is 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.
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!
Westminster Town Hall Forum with Jim Wallis:
"America's Original Sin: Racism and White Privilege"
Thursday, Feb. 4 at noon
Westminster Presbyterian Church, Nicollet Mall & 12th St. in Downtown Minneapolis
Jim Wallis is a public theologian, political activist, author and international commentator on ethics and public life. He is president and CEO of Sojourners, a network of people committed to spiritual renewal and social justice, and editor-in-chief of Sojourners magazine. He is the bestselling author of twelve books, including The (Un)Common Good and Rediscovering Values: A Guide for Economic and Moral Recovery. His latest book, America's Original Sin, is a personal and prophetic challenge to overcome the racism that pervades American society. Free and open to all. Each forum is preceded by a half-hour concert and followed by a public reception. 
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First Universalist Church of Minneapolis
3400 Dupont Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55408
For staff contact information, please visit our Ministers and Staff page.
First Universalist Church of Minneapolis
3400 Dupont Avenue S.
Minneapolis, MN 55408


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