February 25, 2016  |  Vol. 3 No. 8
Presenting Our Holiday Gift to
Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative
Rev. Justin Schroeder and Rev. Jen Crow presented our congregation's generous holiday gift to Lee Blons (Executive Director of Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative) and Michael Dahl (Advocacy Coordinator, Beacon Citizens) during services on Sunday, Feb. 21.
This past Sunday, Feb. 21, the same day we launched our 2016-2017 Pledge Drive, we also celebrated the success of our recent Holiday Giving project! We were proud to present a check for $64,884.38 to this year's recipient, Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative, during services

Redefining our relationship with the holidays allowed us to make the spiritual choice to redirect half of our holiday spending to values-based giving as part of our Holiday Giving project. Together, our gifts will have a life-changing impact on the people Beacon serves. 

It is through the generosity of members and congregants that the ministry of this church is sustained - ministry that includes supporting organizations like Beacon. In the coming year, with the support of your pledges, we will deepen our work with Beacon and our other community partners, make sure we pay all of our adult staff members a living wage of at least $15 an hour, and continue our racial justice journey as we work to create the Beloved Community inside and outside of our walls. Don't forget to make your pledge on or before Pledge Day, March 9. Thank you so much for your generosity and support!
SUNDAY WORSHIP AT FIRST UNIVERSALIST CHURCH
February worship theme: Brokenness
Worship this Sunday
Sunday, Feb. 28, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m.
"We All Come From Broken Homes"
Rev. Meg Riley
Each tiny baby comes into the world and the baby's family thinks, look at you, you are perfect! And then, with the best of intentions, we start wrecking that perfection. We interact with our children in ways we wish we would not. We meet them with anger instead of compassion, distraction instead of attention, exhaustion instead of energy. An exploration of how family life shapes our worldview, for better and for worse. Guest preacher Rev. Meg Riley serves as Senior Minister for the Church of the Larger Fellowship, a UU congregation without walls with 3,500 members. Rev. Riley is also a member of First Universalist Church.
 
Read More    View Order of Service
A Look Ahead
Sunday, March 6, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m.
"Whole Life Living"
Rev. Justin Schroeder

Miss a Recent Sunday?
Feb. 21, 2016
"Sacred Promises"
Rev. Justin Schroeder

Feb. 14, 2016
"Conscience, Lead Me to Grace"
Rev. Ruth MacKenzie

Feb. 7, 2016
"It's Already Broken"
Rev. Jen Crow

Jan. 31, 2016
"Letting Go"
Rev. Elaine Aron Tenbrink


Please Pick Up Your Pledge Packet this Sunday
This Sunday is the last day to pick up your Pledge Packet in person! Please make sure to stop by the tables when you leave the sanctuary after services. Any Pledge Packets not picked up this Sunday will be mailed on Monday, Feb. 29. If you haven't pledged before (or recently) and are interested in pledging this year, there are extra packets available - just ask at the table!

Your Pledge Packet contains materials related to this year's Pledge Drive, including a Pledge Card that we hope you'll fill out and bring with you on Pledge Day - Wednesday, March 9!
UPCOMING EVENTS
"Selma" Viewing & Discussion
Saturday, Feb. 27, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Through our Racial Justice Video and Book Discussion series, we invite you to join us for engaging conversations on race, racism, and whiteness. "Selma" chronicles Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s 1965 campaign to secure equal voting rights in the face of violent opposition. Join us for a viewing of the movie followed by a discussion led by Jeff Sylvestre and Channing McKinley. This is a drop-in program. Please bring your own lunch.
15 NOW MN Advocacy Opportunity
Sunday, Feb. 28, 1-2 p.m.
Join us this Sunday after the second service to learn about the $15 minimum wage campaign in Minneapolis! The movement for a $15 minimum wage is sweeping cities across the country, and 15Now is leading a ballot campaign this spring to win a $15 wage this November. Join First Universalist Faithful Action Advocacy and 15Now Minnesota on Sunday, Feb. 28 for empowering conversation and action planning around improving livable wages for Minneapolis workers. The event will be held in the Chalice Room. Learn more.
Climate Endangered Birds of MN
Sunday, Feb. 28, 1-3 p.m., Cummins Room
In Minnesota we have 166 climate threatened or climate endangered bird species. St. Paul Audubon member Monica Bryand is working on a special project of Minnesota Audubon to photograph these 166 at-risk species and currently has over 100 images. On Sunday, Feb. 28, she will share her photos and stories of her travels and why she is so passionate about working to protect the environment for people and the birds.
Racial Justice and Our UU Faith Workshop
Saturdays, March 5 & 12, 10 a.m.-noon
We hope that all First Universalist members and friends will join us for this 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. The March workshop is offered in two parts (both required), on Saturdays, March 5 and 12 from 10 a.m. to noon each day. Led by Emma Paskewitz, Polly Talen, Sacha Muller, and Marjorie Herdes.
To register, contact Sandy DiNanni at Sandy@firstuniv.org or 612-825-1701.
Faithful Action Advocacy Info Meeting
Sunday, March 6, Social Hall after services
Pursuing justice through advocacy work helps us respect the interconnected web of existence of which we all are a part. Hear more about how social justice and advocacy are linked to our Unitarian Universalist faith as well as the importance of doing justice work within a faith community. Join First Universalist Faithful Action Advocacy on Sunday, March 6 to hear testimonials from fellow congregants and learn about upcoming opportunities to get involved.
Pledge Day
Wednesday, March 9, 8 a.m.-8 p.m.
We hope you'll be able to join us on Wednesday, March 9 for our second annual Pledge Day! Church will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. with breakfast, lunch and dinner and a variety of activities for all ages - including spiritual centering with Rev. Justin, BINGO, and a bouncy house (4-8 p.m.)! We invite you to submit your 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 prizes!
NEWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS
Music for Children at First U:
Moving from a Children's Choir Model to a Worship Model 
There are some changes afoot with children and music at First Universalist Church. After careful consideration, ministers and Religious Education staff have decided to shift our musical efforts with children from a children's choir model to a worship model. This means that music will be deeply woven into Children's Chapel, Sharing Sundays and multigenerational worship, instead of being offered as an extracurricular activity. The worship model will be supported by the development of a new worship team for children comprised of parents and musicians along with Lauren Wyeth (Director of Children, Youth & Family Ministries) and Rev. Ruth MacKenzie (Minister of Worship and Coming of Age). While Children's Choir will not be offered next year as an extracurricular activity, we will be offering music deeply embedded in all our children's church experience.

Several factors led us to reassess:
  • Families are balancing very busy schedules on Sunday mornings
  • Very limited space and rehearsal time on Sunday mornings
  • Participation has declined
So we asked ourselves, "What would happen if we were to shift from offering music as a separate activity to integrating it as a core part of every child's experience of church, every Sunday morning?" Rev. Ruth held a meeting with many parents of children involved in Children's Choir and talked about this paradigm shift. The meeting was very positive, and all kinds of ideas began to surface.

Colleen Cook, our current Children's Choir director, is vibrant and dedicated. She has worked with diligence and skill to educate and enliven children's lives with music. We are so grateful for her efforts and her deep love of music and children. Children's Choir will continue under Colleen's guidance for the remainder of this church year.

Starting in Sept. 2016, the Children's Worship Team will live into a new paradigm: "Religious Education is children's church," as Lauren states, "and music is a central part of church."

Thank You from Beacon Citizens
Thanks to nearly 100 congregants for becoming Beacon Citizens at church on Sunday by completing a card outlining how they support ending homelessness in Minnesota. These cards will be delivered to MN state legislators along with 700 from other congregations across Minnesota. The faith community has a large voice when working together to make sure every family and individual has a place to sleep at night. You can leave your completed postcard in the church office. Copies will be at the Hub on Sunday for those who want to join this advocacy effort. We will be collecting Beacon Citizen postcards through March in the office or at the Hub. For more information, contact jnaymark@gmail.com.   

Thanks also to the people who stopped by the table to express their willingness to host our guest families from Beacon's Families Moving Forward program during the weeks of May 22 and May 29. We are using SignUp Genius to coordinate volunteers this spring, so please send an email to Peg at  pegmitch16@gmail.com if you want to receive ongoing notification on volunteer opportunities and training. 
Major Boost to Faithful Action Work: Leadership Council Announces Partnerships with 7 Community Organizations
At its February meeting, the Faithful Action Leadership Council (FALC) identified seven community organizations - each of which shares First Universalist's mission and values - as official Faithful Action Partners for the 2016-17 church year. First Universalist and congregants will have opportunities to work with the organizations on direct service and advocacy throughout the year.
 
The seven organizations selected as Partners for 2016-2017 are: Augsburg Fairview Academy, Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative, EMERGE, Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light, Project for Pride in Living, Simpson Housing Services, and Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity.
 
This is the first time that a formal process was developed and used to select partnerships. The process began in November, and FALC reviewed applications in February using a racial justice lens. Each applicant was evaluated for stability, results, and leadership; the kinds of opportunities available for volunteers in direct service and advocacy; and for the experiences and level of engagement by our church members.    
 
Community partner organizations will receive training, evaluation, and spiritual reflection tools from FALC. Additionally, the church will support the partnership through volunteers, publicity, and use of the building for events and meetings.
 
The decision to focus our faithful action work on official partnerships grew out of a desire for greater effectiveness and impact through alignment with successful organizations. If you are interested in learning more about an organization or opportunities to volunteer, please read more on our website or contact the First Universalist team leaders listed by each organization (contact info available on our website).   
 
Organizations and team leads:
Augsburg Fairview Academy: Joan Patterson and Cindy Marsh
Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative: Peg Mitchell and Dave Caccamo
Emerge: Hal Schroer and Marjorie Herdes
Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light: Mark Bohnhorst and Stan Sattinger
Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity: Geoff Lenox and Joan Naymark
Plan Ahead to Pledge Online:
Help Available in the Social Hall Feb. 28
Our annual pledge campaign to raise funds for the church operating budget for 2016-2017 began this past Sunday and culminates with Pledge Day on Wednesday, March 9.

This year for the first time, you'll be able to submit your pledge and set up payments using the same online system - MyFirstU - if you choose the online method. (Of course, you can still fill out a paper pledge card or call as well.) 

If you plan to pledge online this year, we highly recommend that you make sure you have your account set up, remember your password, and are familiar with MyFirstU before Pledge Day.  

This Sunday Feb. 28, Ron Parker and Larry Gottschalk will be in the Social Hall after both services to help you set up your account and get familiar with how MyFirstU works. We encourage you to stop by their table to learn about MyFirstU and online pledging!
Coffee & Chocolate Fundraiser for Youth Boston Pilgrimage
Do you crave something sweet after the worship service? Are you looking for a place to buy fairly traded coffee? Do you want to support First Universalist youth trips? 

Look no further!

Youth from the 9th Grade Coming of Age class are selling fair-trade coffee and chocolate, Black Lives Matter Standing on the Side of Love T-Shirts, and other goods in the Social Hall after each worship service. All proceeds will fund youth scholarships for the Coming of Age Boston Pilgrimage in October. 

Stop by the Social Hall after either service to get your fair-trade coffee and chocolate! Credit cards, cash, checks, and Square Cash are all accepted. The sale will continue every week until the end of the church year.
2016 Summer Camps Announced
This summer, we will offer Racial Justice Jam Camp for youth entering 3rd - 8th grades, and Racial Justice Leadership Training Camp for youth entering 6th - 12th grades. Registration will open in mid-March, and there will be plenty of space for all interested families. Due to sharing space with a renter, we aren't able to offer Chalice Camp or Arts & Nature Camp this year, but we hope to offer them again in 2017. Thank you for your patience as we've worked to figure out Summer 2016 camps!
 
Monday-Thursday, July 18-21
Racial Justice Leadership Training Camp is for youth entering 6th-12th grades. There will be separate tracks for middle schoolers and high school youth. Trained youth leaders are then invited to return the following week to be part of a racial justice project (6th-8th gr.) or to serve as Racial Justice Camp Counselors (9th-12th gr.).
 
Monday-Thursday, July 25-28
Racial Justice Jam Camp is for youth entering 3rd-8th grades. There will be separate activities for kids entering 3rd-5th grades and those entering 6th-8th grades. Lauren Wyeth and Tami Eshult return as camp directors, with trained high school youth serving as Camp Counselors.
RE Teachers' Cafe at Unity Church
Speaker Dr. Mark Hicks
On Saturday, March 19, Unity Church-Unitarian is hosting a Twin Cities area gathering of religious education volunteer teachers, parents, and Unitarian Universalist friends drawn to ministry with children and youth, for dialog on "Teaching as Spiritual Practice." 

Anyone who has risked courageous teaching knows that it tugs at the heart and breaks it wide open into astonishment and love. "The courage to teach is the courage to keep one's heart open in those very moments when the heart is asked to hold more than it seems able," writes Parker Palmer. 

Yet we seldom talk together about teaching as spiritual practice that sifts and shapes our being. If teaching flames to life in our willingness to make available who we are in service to learning, then gathering to share and explore our spiritual lives becomes an indispensable practice. Please come share in conversation and friendship over coffee, tea, and lunch with fellow RE teachers about teaching as spiritual practice.
  • Date:  Saturday, March 19, 2016       
  • Time:  9:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. (childcare and lunch provided)
  • Place:  Unity Church-Unitarian, Parish Hall
  • Please register using this online form by March 10.
  • Questions? Contact Rev. KP Hong at kp@unityunitarian.org
Speaker: Dr. Mark Hicks is the Angus MacLean Professor of Religious Education at Meadville Lombard Theological School and Director of the Fahs Collaborative. He is a nationally-recognized leader in helping transform the teaching-learning lives of public school teachers and children. He is familiar among Twin Cities UU congregations for leading Beloved Conversations that help communities risk intimate conversations about race and culture.
Heart to Heart: Please Register by March 5
There are a few spaces left in the upcoming Heart to Heart Couples Enrichment Weekend March 19 and 20. The weekend provides an opportunity for couples to connect, explore and re-energize their relationship through deep listening, writing, and personal reflection. 

The weekend is led by a trained leadership team of two couples. Leaders share their own stories on topics including couples communications, perpetual issues, spiritual divorce, sexuality, forgiveness, the gifts of partnership, and creating sustaining community support. Participants share their own thoughts and feelings on these topics through writing and personal conversation. Except for introductions and optional participation in a closing ceremony, participants are not asked to share with the group. All sharing is done privately between each couple. ALL committed couples are welcomed and valued. 

Cost for the weekend is $30, which will cover the cost of a simple catered lunch on Saturday and snacks on Sunday. For couples with childcare needs, Heart to Heart can offer a small stipend to help defray childcare costs. For questions about the childcare stipend, or any other questions you may have, contact Susan Hoffman at susanjean57@gmail.com.

Registration will close Saturday, March 5. Current registrants will be contacted this Saturday, Feb. 27 with more information about the weekend.
Mosaic Exhibit on View in Social Hall through 3/27
The work of three talented mosaic artists - all of whom have distinctively different styles - is on display in the social hall through March 27. 

The exhibit is open for viewing on Sunday mornings before and after services. Some of the pieces in the exhibit are for sale, and artists Debbie Cash and Cheryl Anderson would consider discussing commissions of their work.

Tom Miller is a late bloomer as an active artist. He likes using beautiful materials to create beautiful art. He also enjoys the freedom as an artist to actualize his own vision.

In her mosaic work, church member Cheryl Anderson starts with a painting and then covers it with glass, stone, and other objects to create a second layer. The piece is grouted and the grout is often painted as well. Cheryl feels the finished piece has an organic feeling and depth.

Church member Debbie Cash has always loved creative activities that involve putting things together to make something new. She especially enjoys using broken dishes and other ceramic pieces to give her work lots of texture.
COMMUNITY BULLETIN BOARD
$15 Minimum Wage Campaign Launch
Saturday, Feb. 27, 2:30-4:30 p.m., Brian Coyle Community Center in Minneapolis
Low-wage workers in the Twin Cities are launching a grassroots campaign to put a $15 minimum wage on the ballot in Minneapolis in 2016. The initiative is backed by 15 Now Minnesota, Neighborhoods Organizing for Change (NOC), Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en Lucha (CTUL), the Minneapolis NAACP, Socialist Alternative, the Minnesota Public Interest Research Group (MPIRG), the Minneapolis chapter of Black Lives Matter and more. 

Where: Brian Coyle Community Center (Gym) 420 15th Ave. S. Minneapolis, MN 55454
When: Saturday Feb. 27, 2:30 - 4:30 p.m.
2:30 p.m.: Rally and Speakers, including Nekima Levy-Pounds, and low-wage workers leading the fight for $15/hour from 15 Now MN, MN NOC, CTUL, and others
3:15 p.m.: Community Action Group Break-outs: caucus training, answering common questions, prepare for collecting thousands of signatures to get $15 on the ballot!
Resolution to Prevent and End Homelessness
Tuesday, March 1, caucus locations throughout Minnesota
Are you going to precinct caucuses next Tuesday? If you'll be there, the Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless encourages you to bring a Resolution to Prevent and End Homelessness. Precinct caucuses are a great way to connect with your neighbors and shape your party's political platform. You can look up where your caucus will be held here
MUUSJA Monthly Convening Call: Black Lives Matter Minneapolis
Tuesday, March 15, 7-8:30 p.m., online video conference
Unitarian Universalists in Minnesota have been deeply involved in racial justice work for years, and have shown up in body and spirit as the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement in the Twin Cities has emerged. When have we been successful companions in solidarity? When have we fallen short? What is the role of UUs in the metro area, and how can congregations in Greater Minnesota show up for racial justice where they are? What can we learn from this growing movement about our faith, identity, and our role in the struggle for racial justice? 

Join MUUSJA in an online video conference for this conversation between MUUSJA Executive Director Rev. Ashley Horan and special guest Lena K. Gardner about the history of BLM nationally and locally, as well as the ways in which Unitarian Universalists have played a role here in Minnesota, within our congregations and beyond. Lena K. Gardner is Cofounding Organizer and Leader with Black Lives Matter Minneapolis & Director of Membership and Fundraising at the Church of the Larger Fellowship.  Register for the call here
NEWS IN BRIEF
Cycle of Life and Pastoral Care

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:
Sunday Flower Distribution

Would you like to help distribute flowers after the Sunday service to a congregant who could use support? Or suggest somebody to receive flowers? Contact Pamela Vincent at 612-615-6085 or pbvincent1@comcast.net. (If you want to donate flowers for a Sunday service, you can pick up a form in the church office that explains the procedure.)
Planned Giving
You're putting your values and resources into action while living. But where do you want your funds to go when you're gone? If you want to consider including First Universalist Church in your will or estate plan, please talk to a minister or the church's financial administrator for guidance. If you've already made the church a beneficiary, please let the office know!
RESOURCES & CONTACT INFORMATION
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Closed Fridays and Saturdays
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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.