March 31, 2016  |  Vol. 3 No. 13
The Struggle for Justice
Rev. Justin Schroeder
On Easter Sunday, I preached about Easter being a "final word" kind of moment. Is the final word of Easter that Jesus was resurrected? Is the final word that resurrection is irrational, unscientific, and impossible, and thus, we dismiss the whole story? Or, instead, is the final word the reality that death and injustice cannot kill love or the yearning for a world made whole?

On Wednesday, Hennepin County Attorney, Mike Freeman, held a "final word" press conference on the shooting of Jamar Clark, announcing that no charges would be brought against the officers. I appreciated Freeman's transparency and the release of video, audio, and interview transcripts. 

At the same time, this press conference seemed to deepen the narrative that Jamar Clark was a dangerous black man, a drunk, a drug user, violent, and somehow deserved to die. As you might imagine, some members of our own faith community struggle with addiction and wrestle with anger issues; obviously, none of this makes them less worthy of living.

The prevailing narrative was that Clark was combative and aggressive with paramedics and police, but none of the videos showed Clark attacking the paramedics, or the police. In fact, less than a minute after police arrived on the scene, they put Clark in a choke hold and threw him to the ground (at the 20 second mark on this video). A few seconds later he was dead. We will never know all of the details, nor hear Clark's account of what happened. In this particular case, a verdict has been rendered, an announcement made. 

The overarching reality is that another unarmed person of color died in a confrontation with police officers, and it didn't just happen in a vacuum. These officers, Mike Freeman, Hennepin County, Minnesota, and the country, are all embedded in a system built to benefit, protect, and privilege white people, and disadvantage, harm, marginalize, and even destroy people of color. The system looks different than it did 60 years ago, but it's still very much operative, and at play in our own community. 

Our work, as people of faith, as Unitarian Universalists, is to never lose sight of that bigger picture, and to proclaim that Clark's life mattered and that he did not deserve to die. Our work is to keep our eyes and hearts open, to build a community where all might flourish, and to let a justice seeking love be the final word, worthy of our very lives. 

In faith,
April worship theme: Sacrament

Worship this Sunday
Sunday, April 3, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m.
Sharing Sunday (ages 4 through 5th grade attend the first part of the service)
No Religious Education classes this Sunday due to Spring Break. Optional childcare is available for children ages 6 months through 5th grade.

Rev. Elaine Aron Tenbrink
Sacrament: a visible sign of an invisible grace. What might a sacramental experience look like for a Unitarian Universalist? Join us this Sunday as we consider how we might change the world (and be changed ourselves) when the invisible becomes visible.
Read More   View Order of Service
A Look Ahead
Sunday, April 10, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m.
Rev. Justin Schroeder, Rev. Ruth MacKenzie
Choir-led worship featuring Fauré's "Requiem" performed by the First Universalist Choir and Orchestra, with poetry and meditation.  

Miss a Recent Sunday?
March 27, 2016
"The Unbreakable Place" 
Rev. Justin Schroeder
March 20, 2016
"The Other You" Rev. Justin Schroeder
March 13, 2016
"The Shape of Things" Rev. Jen Crow
Bde/Mde Maka Ska:
Inspired Action and Innovation 
Saturday, April 9, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Join our next exciting community conversation regarding personal and collective commitments and paths forward. Celebrate with us what we have learned and transformed in our conversation process so far, as well as our initiation of cross-level projects and innovation teams. RSVP here
The Pathway to Membership
Saturdays, April 9 & 16, 9 a.m.-noon
Feeling like First Universalist could be your spiritual home? Join us for The Pathway to Membership, an exploration of Unitarian Universalism, the history and mission of this congregation, and the experience of membership. Participants meet with ministers and lay leaders, and are invited to share and reflect on their own spiritual journeys and values. To register, contact Sandy at or 612-825-1701. 
Choir-led Worship: First Universalist Choir & Orchestra Perform Fauré's "Requiem" 
Sunday, April 10, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m.
The First Universalist Choir and Orchestra will perform Gabriel Fauré's "Requiem" in two special choir-led worship services on Sunday, April 10, at 9:30 and 11:15 a.m. Come experience why this work has become among the most beloved in the Choral repertoire! Fauré's "Requiem" is structured in seven movements and scored for soprano and baritone soloists, choir, and full orchestra. Between movements, there will be hymns, readings and meditations.
Sulfide Mining Presentation by Paula Maccabee from WaterLegacy
Sunday, April 10, 1 p.m.
Paula Maccabee, WaterLegacy's Advocacy Director and Counsel, will speak about Minnesota's first proposed copper-nickel mine, the PolyMet sulfide mine project, and its threats to environmental justice, human health, and our climate. WaterLegacy is an award-winning Minnesota non-profit organization formed to protect Minnesota's fresh water resources and the communities that rely on them. Paula will describe WaterLegacy's work to prevent sulfide mining pollution in the Lake Superior Basin and to protect natural stands of wild rice from sulfate pollution. 
Daytime Connections: April Programs & Activities Especially for Older Adults 
Through Daytime Connections, older adults at First Universalist empower each other to live intentional, joyful, purposeful, and spiritually fulfilled lives. 
Daytime Knitting Group
Wednesday, April 6, 10 a.m.-noon Details
Spring Hiking Group
Tuesday, April 12, 10 a.m. (offsite) Details
Genealogy Workshop
Wednesday, April 13, 1 p.m. Details
Program: "Our Journey Into Eldering: Savoring and Serving"
Thursday, April 21, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Details
Save the Date: Budget Meetings and Annual Meeting 
Congregational Budget Meetings will be held on Sunday, May 1 at 12:30 p.m. and on Monday, May 9 at 7 p.m. At these meetings, the Board of Trustees will share a draft budget with the Congregation. After a presentation of the budget and its rationale, there will be an opportunity for questions. The board will prepare a final version of the budget for presentation to the Congregation at our Annual Meeting, which is scheduled for Sunday, June 5 at 11:30 a.m. (following the one 10 a.m. service).
Guest at Your Table: Pick Up Your Box This Sunday!
Each year, we celebrate Guest At Your Table, a nationwide UU fundraiser for the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee. UUSC focuses on grassroots-driven initiatives to advance the cause of human rights, in the U.S. and around the world. Whether helping refugees from the Middle East, supporting the human right to water in Flint, or advocating for the rights of workers in the informal economy in Africa, UUSC is grounded in our UU values. 

Starting this Sunday, Guest At Your Table boxes will be available for you to take home. Add your donations and good wishes, and bring them back to church by May 1. Thank you!
5th Grade OWL Unit Comes to a Close
In 5th grade Religious Education, nine weeks are devoted to a special unit as we explore lessons from the age-appropriate Our Whole Lives (OWL) sexuality curriculum, taught by trained volunteer facilitators. Before each Sunday morning session, children have homework to read with caring adults at home. Parents and guardians learn about lesson content and enroll their 5th graders in OWL at a mandatory orientation to the program in January.
"Owliver" the class mascot (the stuffed owl) and the Gratitude Chain made by the 5th graders.
At the closing session and celebration recently, kids were invited to share something they learned or appreciated about 5th grade OWL that they want next year's class to know. Here's a sampling of what they wrote on the links of their gratitude chain: 

"I am [grateful] for OWL because I can ask questions through the question box and it will be confidential." 
"I learned about different kinds of communication."
"Hearing other kids' ideas about respect."
"I am [grateful] for knowing these things so that I won't be [afraid] or not ready for them."
Beyond Banners: Engaging Political Space for Justice
On Wednesday, April 6 from 6:30 to 8 p.m., join Lena K. Gardner and Caitlin Breedlove from the Standing on the Side of Love campaign in a real world discussion about the new political spaces opened up by the movement for Black lives. 

We'll talk about how we as people of faith can take risks to birth more justice into the world in political spaces that make sense for our various social and political identities, and how to stay accountable.

This meeting will be held in the Chalice Room at First Universalist Church. This event is open to people from other faiths, and you are welcome to share the invitation.
Catholic Workers & Black Lives Matter Mpls Faithful Action
We are a church committed to the spiritual imperative of working for racial justice. The Racial Justice Resolution that we passed last June at our Annual Meeting reflects this commitment. Direct action, policy change, relationship building, and learning about race, racism and whiteness are just some of the ways we live out our faith.

On Monday, April 11, members of our community will be participating in a Faithful Action with Catholic Workers and Black Lives Matter Mpls, along with people from a variety of religious communities including Mennonite, Jewish, Quaker, Unitarian Universalist, Buddhist, Lutheran, and Catholic. The action proposes to bring forward the vision of Black Lives Matter Minneapolis. 

There are two trainings to develop skills and strategies for participating in this action that will be offered on Sunday, April 10. The action and trainings are open to friends of faith, meaning people in local Twin Cities faith communities that receive an invitation. D
etails about the action will be provided at the trainings. The first is a Direct Action Training from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The second is a Non-Violent Civil Disobedience Direct Action Training from 3-5 p.m. Everyone who wishes to participate on Monday, April 11 must attend one or both trainings and register at the link below.

Here is the link to register and to make a suggested donation to cover the cost of the training and so we know what to expect for space and food planning purposes.  

Members and friends of First Universalist are welcome and invited to participate!
Help Make the April 23 Great Gathering a Success!
You're invited to The Great Gathering Auction & Fundraiser on Saturday, April 23! Join us for dinner, drinks and a chance to sign up for Great Gathering experiences and bid on live auction items. 

This event is a fundraiser! All proceeds from ticket sales, the live auction, and purchase of Great Gathering spots will support youth and family ministries and social justice work at First Universalist Church, as well as raise money towards the new pulpit.

Tickets ($40 each) are available in the Social Hall between services and can be purchased online at
Other Ways to Support The Great Gathering

Interested in hosting a Great Gathering? You choose the kind of party or gathering it will be - from a formal dinner to a game night - and we'll sell spots on April 23. Please submit your Great Gathering no later than Tuesday, April 12. Complete the form (available here) and email it to or drop it off in the church office.

Donate cash or an item for the live auction  We are still looking for a few fabulous items for the live auction. Do you have a cabin or timeshare? Do you have celebrity connections we can leverage to create an intimate, one of a kind experience? We always welcome cash donations. If you can't attend but would love to support our fundraising efforts, please let us know by emailing us at

If you're planning to place an ad in the event program, ads are due tomorrow - Friday, April 1. You might also consider volunteering at the event. Learn more about all of the ways you can help support The Great Gathering on our website
First U Could Be Your CSA Pick-Up Site this Summer! 
Sogn Valley Farm offers weekly deliveries of fresh, organic vegetables through its CSA (community supported agriculture) program. Starting this year, CSA shares can be picked up at First Universalist Church of Minneapolis on Wednesdays from 4-8 p.m.! And for those who don't live near the church, there are other Twin Cities drop sites in Richfield, South Minneapolis (52nd & Nokomis), Minnetonka, and Plymouth.  

The Summer Share begins in early June and runs through early October (typically 18 weeks), and costs $525 for a full share or $300 for a half share. The Fall Share begins in early October and continues through the week of Thanksgiving (typically 7 weeks), and is priced at $225. Along with each box, you'll receive a newsletter with updates from the farm, descriptions of box contents, and a recipe that uses some of the items in the box. You'll also be invited down to the farm for a gathering or two during the season. 

Visit Sogn Valley's website at to learn more and feel free to contact Dana with any questions: Register online or by picking up a sign up form in the church office. 
Twin Cities Habitat Housing Heroes in Social Hall 4/10
On Sunday, April 10, join Twin Cities Habitat after both services to learn about safe, stable, and affordable housing, sign postcards to your legislators, and (if you want) take a fun Housing Hero picture! This year we again ask you to join us in support of $130 million to ensure that there are safe, stable, and affordable Homes for All Minnesotans! You are making a difference - the data shows a decrease in the rates of homelessness overall. However, we still have a lot of work to do and need your help! Housing shortages and rising rent costs continue to impact communities across the state - about 1 in 8 Minnesotan households pays half or more of their income towards housing. Older Minnesotans are especially burdened by the cost of housing. Visit with us to have a quick and powerful impact. Twin Cities Habitat will also host a family-friendly Habitat OFF the Hill event the evening of April 27 - register now at Join us as we work to ensure housing is a priority at the Capitol this legislative session!
New Exhibit of Work by Robin Colerin in Social Hall
A new exhibit of work by artist Robin Colerin will be on view in the social hall April 3 through May 22. An artist's reception will be held after services on Sunday, April 10.

Artist Robin Colerin has been creating art since she could hold a pencil and "make stuff" with her artist-mother. Growing up in Minnesota provided many opportunities to appreciate the natural world. Her current work has kept her close to home, focusing on the flora and fauna of her local environment, particularly the creatures that organic home gardening invites. 

It is in printmaking that Robin finds her primary calling - a discipline that requires a way of thinking different from that of drawing and painting. It is a very technical, layered approach to creating a piece of art. Robin carries a screen printer's signature into her paintings, with flattened space and blocks of color.

Alongside her art career, Robin spent seventeen years in the graphics industry, eleven as the owner of a screen-printing company. Robin earned a B.A. in Studio Arts, with an emphasis in printmaking and drawing, from the University of Minnesota.

The exhibit can be viewed on Sundays between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. To view the exhibit at other times, contact Bette DeMars at
Looking for Volunteers to Join Our Office Reception Team
The first impression many visitors get of our church is from the smiling faces they see when they walk into our office. We're currently looking for two friendly and reliable volunteers to join our reception team - one volunteer is needed on Mondays from 9 a.m. to noon, and one on Wednesdays from noon to 4 p.m.

Represent First Universalist by greeting visitors, answering phones, monitoring doors and helping out with projects, all while spending time in a vibrant and welcoming office environment. If you are interested in volunteering or learning more, please contact Chelsea Bertsch, Administrative Assistant, at 612-825-1701 or
Step Forward and Share Your Skills!
Leadership Position Applications Due April 1
The Nominating Committee is recruiting candidates for leadership positions on the Board of Trustees, the Foundation Board, and the Nominating Committee itself for the next church year. Now is an exciting and important time to serve as we continue to build on the positive energy and growth of our congregation. Serving on one of these bodies provides unique opportunities to deepen and enrich your personal connection to the church while broadening your circle of relationships within our spiritual community. People in church leadership positions have unique opportunities to collaborate with our passionate ministers and lay leaders to advance the mission of the church.
To qualify for any of these positions, you must be a member in good standing of the church. Elections occur at the Annual Meeting in June. Go to our website to view more detailed position descriptions and apply.
Cycle of Life and Pastoral Care

Volunteers Needed for Upcoming Memorial Services
Volunteers are needed to greet, usher, help with the reception, and provide baked goods for two upcoming memorial services:
 The memorial service for Ruth Weaver on Wednesday, April 6 at 2 p.m. Contact Joyce Case, 612-824-7396 or if you can help.
The memorial service for Arlene Jacobson on Friday, April 8, at 3 p.m. Contact Margit Berg if you can help: 612-377-4776 or

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.
Child Dedication Ceremony May 8
Unitarian Universalists believe that every child brings new life and hope into the world. During the Child Dedication ritual, the congregation pledges itself to partner with and support parents and families in the religious upbringing of the child. Child Dedications take place during Sunday services twice a year - the next one will take place on Sunday, May 8. Infants and children of members and those on the path to membership at First Universalist may be dedicated. If your family would like to participate in a Child Dedication ceremony, please fill out the online formForms are due May 1.
Book, DVD, CD & Video Game Donations for Youth Cultural Exchange (YCE) Sale
Donations are needed for YCE's CD, DVD, Video Game & Book Sale on April 17 and 24. Drop off your gently-used CDs, DVDs, Video Games and Books on the stage in the social hall on April 3 or 10. Last summer 12 First U 8th and 9th graders traveled to León, Nicaragua, where they lived with 12 local families, gaining cultural understanding and forging cross-cultural friendships. Your donations will help us bring the Nicaraguan host siblings to Minnesota for 2 weeks in July.
Congregational Care: Comfort Shawls 
Do you like to knit? Contact Pat Foulkes,, for directions for the comfort shawls that we distribute to congregants in times of need. Or perhaps you know somebody who is in need of a Comfort Shawl; contact Congregational Care co-chairs Kathy Urberg, or Kathy Coskran, 612 202-9322,

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 office know if you wish to honor the church by including it in your plans, or if you have already done so.
Twin Cities House Concerts with Dick Hensold and Dean Magraw
Saturday, April 23, 7:30 p.m. in Shoreview
Saturday, May 7, 7:30 p.m. in Southwest Minneapois
First U Folk Band director Dick Hensold (Northumbrian smallpipes, Scottish Highland reel pipes and whistles) and Dean Magraw (guitar) will be doing a program of mostly Cape Breton (Scottish) music at two house concerts in the Twin Cities on April 23 in Shoreview and on May 7 in Minneapolis. The Minneapolis concert is being hosted by First U member Joanna Lees. Reservations are required, and we recommend that you get your spot ahead of time since both concerts may fill up. Suggested donation: $20. Contact information to make reservations and for addresses can be found on Dick Hensold's website
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Monday-Thursday 8:30 a.m.-8 p.m.
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Contact Us
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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