March 3, 2016  |  Vol. 3 No. 9
Join Us for a Fun and Celebratory Pledge Day this Wednesday, March 9 - You Won't Want to Miss It!
Watch our Pledge Day video!
Come join us this Wednesday, March 9, for our second annual Pledge Day, as we reimagine pledging as a celebration of our amazing community - not only through financial contributions, but also through our commitment and connection to each other. You're not going to want to miss this day of fun, food, and festivities! (Not convinced? Watch our Pledge Day 2016 video!) 
Church will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on March 9, and we encourage you to come on by, drop off your pledge, and join us for whichever portion of the day you'd like.

Enjoy breakfast or a morning coffee break between 8 and 11 a.m. while socializing, knitting, or playing board games with friends. Come for spiritual centering with Rev. Justin at 11 a.m. or 12:15 p.m. and have crock pot soups for lunch. Bring the kids to play in the bouncy house beginning at 4 p.m. A delicious BBQ Picnic Dinner from Breaking Bread Café and Catering in north Minneapolis will be served from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. followed by BINGO and a rousing song with the choir. Last but not least, all who have made a pledge on or before Pledge Day will be entered into a drawing to win an iPad mini or other prizes at the end of the day!

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 for adult staff, to continue to offer fee-free Religious Education for all, and to expand and deepen our racial justice, environmental justice, and housing ministry efforts, as well as our community partnerships.

Your pledge, along with the pledges of fellow community members, makes this work possible. 
Our goal is to increase our pledge base by $80,000 this year - from $1,155,000 to $1,235,000. The average annual pledge last year was $1,785, or about $150 a month. If every person considers an increase of $10 to $100 a month, we'll hit our goal. Every pledge matters!

We truly hope you'll be able to join us on Pledge Day, but if not, we invite you to submit your pledge by phone (612-825-1701 - we'll be taking calls all day) or online (instructions here). You can follow along with the fun and track our progress toward our goal on Facebook and Twitter (we'll use the hashtag #PledgeDay2016) - and we'll be sending email updates as well.

Thank you - we are so grateful for your generosity and support of this church community!
March worship theme: Wholeness
Worship this Sunday
Sunday, March 6, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m.
Sharing Sunday

"Whole Life Living"
Rev. Justin Schroeder
Brokenness and wholeness are intimately and dynamically related. When we pick up the pieces of our lives - when we integrate the various voices and perspectives around us - when we bring together all that feels separate, disconnected, and distant in our lives - then we begin to move toward "Whole Life Living." Come explore this with us on Sunday!
Sunday, March 6 is Sharing Sunday (ages 4 years to 5th grade attend first part of service).
Guest Musicians this Sunday
Ernest Bisong is a violinist, teacher, composer and arranger who has been called "arguably Africa's foremost contemporary violinist." 
Javier Santiago is a powerful young artist with a strong vision. Born and raised in Minneapolis, he plays regularly in NYC and was a finalist in the 2015 American Jazz Pianist Competition.

A Look Ahead
Sunday, March 13, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m.
"The Shape of Things"  Rev. Jen Crow

Miss a Recent Sunday?
Feb. 28, 2016
"Sacred Reality"  Rev. Justin Schroeder
Feb. 21, 2016
"Sacred Promises"  Rev. Justin Schroeder
Feb. 14, 2016
"Conscience, Lead Me to Grace"
Rev. Ruth MacKenzie
Racial Justice and Our UU Faith Workshop
Saturdays, March 5 & 12, 10 a.m.-noon
We hope all First U 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 workshop is offered in two parts, on Saturdays, March 5 & 12 from 10 a.m. to noon. Led by Emma Paskewitz, Polly Talen, Sacha Muller, and Marjorie Herdes. To register, contact Sandy DiNanni at 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 U's Faithful Action Advocacy this Sunday to hear testimonials from fellow congregants and learn about opportunities to get involved.
Winter Hiking with First U Seniors
Tuesday, March 8, 10 a.m.
Meet at Lebanon Hills Regional Park
Join other First U seniors for a 2.5 hour hike in one of Minnesota's beautiful parks! Meet at Lebanon Hills Visitor Center, located just west of the intersection of Cliff and Dodd Roads in Eagan. Spring conditions could make the trail slippery. Bring hiking poles and wear sturdy footwear. RSVP to Tom at 952-239-3629 or
Pledge Day
Wednesday, March 9, 8 a.m.-8 p.m.
Join us for our second annual Pledge Day! Enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner, and a variety of activities for all ages, including spiritual centering with Rev. Justin, BINGO, and a bouncy house (starting at 4 p.m.)! Submit your pledge on Pledge Day, in person at church, online or by phone. All those who have made a pledge on or before Pledge Day will be entered into a drawing to win prizes!
"American Promise" Part I
Sunday, March 13, 1 p.m.
Join us on Sunday, March 13 for a viewing and discussion of the first half of the documentary "American Promise," a rare look into the lives of two middle class black families as they navigate the ups and downs of parenting and educating their sons.
The discussion will be led by Brian Eshult, Lark Weller, and Margaret Manderfield. A viewing and discussion of the second half will be offered Sunday, March 20 at 1 p.m. These are drop-in conversations (no registration required) that last 90 minutes.
Daytime Connections:
"Exploring Life Completion"
Thursday, March 17, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Join other members of our spiritual community to explore your beliefs and feelings about the act of dying. Rev. Harlan Limpert, Chief Operating Officer of UUA, will guide us in examining UU values and principles around end of life care. Dr. Rebecca Thoman, a Compassion & Choices educator, will review end of life documents and strategies. Program includes a small meal (a $5 donation is requested). RSVP to Sandy at or 612-825-1701.
Major Boost to Faithful Action Work: 
Partnerships with 7 Community Organizations Announced
First U's Faithful Action Leadership Council was formed in summer 2015.
In late February, our Faithful Action Leadership Council (FALC) identified seven community organizations as official Partners for the 2016-17 church year. Congregants will have opportunities to work with these organizations on direct service and advocacy throughout the year. In fact, the next two articles in this week's newsletter have information about upcoming volunteer opportunities with partner organizations!
The seven organizations selected 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.
Read more about the new selection process we used, what these partnerships mean for First Universalist and partner organizations, and how you can get involved on our website.
First Universalist Volunteers Needed for
Twin Cities Habitat Build Sites on Saturday, March 12
First Universalist is sponsoring three Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity build sites on Saturday, March 12. Currently we only have enough volunteers for two sites. We need 10-13 more volunteers to meet our commitment to Habitat - one of our seven official community partner organizations. Please consider volunteering! To volunteer, please fill out the Habitat Volunteer Signup Form available on our website or see Sandy DiNanni at the information kiosk in the social hall on Sunday. Help a deserving family attain the stability a home provides!
Simpson Housing Services Seeks Tutors and Mentors
Simpson Housing Services, one of our community partners, is a local nonprofit which provides housing and support to people experiencing homelessness. Simpson is looking for caring adults committed to making a difference in the lives of children and youth. Simpson seeks to build on the inherent potential of our youth through caring relationships as well as academic support. There are volunteer opportunities available for those interested in being a tutor or mentor. There will be an informational session on Saturday, March 19 about all three youth programs. To register, visit Simpson's Volunteer Calendar and see the calendar link for the event on the 19th. You may also contact Christina Giese at: or 612-455-0859.
Come to Regional Assembly 2016: April 29 - May 1
By David Lauth, Board Member, UUA MidAmerica Region

The annual Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association's MidAmerica Region will be held April 29 - May 1 at the InterContinental Riverfront Hotel in downtown Saint Paul. The theme of this year's Regional Assembly is "The WHO in the New Era of Unitarian Universalism." Who do we want to be as faith communities in the coming years? Who will we need to be, to be relevant? How will we get there? Who will be joining us on this journey?

We will meet in Saint Paul for a weekend of inspiring keynote speeches (from Kenny Wiley, Rev. Elizabeth Nguyen, and Rev. Jeremy Nickel), soul-stirring worship, and a variety of terrific workshops (including workshops led by Rev. Jen Crow and by Lena K. Gardner).  This will be a rare opportunity to meet, close to home, with UUs from nearly 200 congregations in 13 midwestern states. 

You can learn more about Regional Assembly and register (with an "early bird" discount available through March 31) online. If you are a First Universalist member and would like to be a delegate so that you can vote at the annual business meeting, please contact Rev. Justin Schroeder.

Join your fellow UUs for a powerful and memorable weekend! Additional information is available on the UUA MidAmerica Region's website.
Bdote Field Trip to be Offered in Late Spring
Bdote is a Dakota word that generally means "where two waters come together." A deep and abiding relationship to place is one of the defining characteristics of Dakota experience. Engagement with Dakota culture requires reflection on our own connection to place, in a growing awareness of what these places mean to Dakota people.

To deepen our understanding of the native community, we will be offering a field trip on a Saturday in late spring or early summer. On this trip we will learn from indigenous people about their relationship to the area surrounding the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers. Keep an eye on the Liberal for an announcement of the date!
E-mail the Racial Justice Leadership Team
Do you have a question, concern or comment about our racial justice work? Now you can email us at You can also find information on our website.
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.
Cycle of Life and Pastoral Care

Our thoughts and prayers are with long time church member, Nancy Atchison, as she recovers from a recent stroke. She is recovering at Walker Center Care Unit at Walker Place.
Our thoughts are with Robyn Evans as she recovers from breast cancer surgery. We are sending love to Robyn, her husband Erik, and their daughters Avery (4th grade) and Rosalie (1st grade). If you'd like to help by providing a meal, you can view the Meal Train for Robyn and family here.
Our thoughts are with Karen Warren, who was recently diagnosed with Multiple System Atrophy (MSA), a terminal, degenerative neurological disorder. 

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 or 612-825-1701. If you would like support, contact Rev. Jen Crow at or 612-825-1701 or any member of our Pastoral Care Team.
Pastoral Care Team 
The Pastoral Care Team is a group of congregants, led by Rev. Jen Crow, who provide confidential pastoral care to friends and members of our congregation. We visit people at homes, hospitals, and hospice or at the corner coffee shop. Our goal is to offer compassionate presence to our 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
Why Do Some Have Silver Name Tags?
Have you ever wondered why some church members have silver name tags? Silver indicates that the wearers are members of the Heritage Circle, meaning they have included First Universalist in their wills or estate plans. If you have already done so or wish to do so, please ask the office for a Letter of Intent. It's very helpful for the church to know your intention. And we'd love to give you a lovely silver name tag!
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 (Minnesota Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Alliance) 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
"Prophetic Partners: A Capacity-Building Workshop for UU Justice Leaders"
Friday, April 29, noon-4 p.m., Unity Church-Unitarian in St. Paul
Join MUUSJA (Minnesota Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Alliance) and the MidAmerica Region of the UUA for this co-sponsored workshop, open to youth and adults from anywhere in the MidAmerica Region. How do the history, values, and theology of our Unitarian Universalist tradition compel us to work for justice? How can we show up as powerful, accountable partners in wider movements for justice? 

Hear from Unitarian Universalist voices experienced in social justice ministry across generations and in multiple contexts; spend time in breakout sessions for youth, religious educators, and congregational social justice leaders; and reflect together on how we can build the skills and the spiritual grounding required to show up as effective, faithful, accountable partners with broader movements for justice. Details, schedule and registration available on MUUSJA's website
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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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