April 14, 2016  |  Vol. 3 No. 15
A Voice from the Pew:
A Personal Invitation to The Great Gathering
Jane Baudelaire, Chair of The Great Gathering
Note: This week's column is from Jane Baudelaire, the Chair of The Great Gathering. I'm grateful for her service to our church, and I found her words particularly moving. I'll see many of you at The Great Gathering.   - Rev. Justin Schroeder

My name is Jane Baudelaire and I'm a random congregant who happens to do some fundraising for our church. It's one of the ways I give back. And when I say "our church" I don't mean that same old pew I always sit in or the rickety pulpit or the world's slowest elevator. I mean all of you - all of us. The people who stand on the side of love; who house the homeless; who march in the streets; who knit and cook and who show up again and again to give a voice to the hopeless and marginalized.

The people I have come to hold so dear.

Last year, when my life was turned upside down and I was challenged to re-invent myself, I seriously considered walking away from this church. I thought it would be way too awkward to suddenly find myself sitting alone in that same old pew I always sit in. But you never left me alone. You rallied around me; you propped me up, you carried me through and you gave me hope.

So I support this church.

And today I'm asking you for your support. There's a big fundraiser happening here on April 23rd called The Great Gathering. We're raising money to support our church's youth ministries and social justice work as well as the construction of a new pulpit. I would appreciate it - it would mean a lot to me - if you would all be there. And if you can't be there, cash donations in lieu of attendance are greatly appreciated.

You'll find me in the social hall after services on Sunday, April 17. Find event details and ticket info here

Thank you -- and thank you for being here.

Jane Baudelaire
Worship this Sunday
Sunday, April 17, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m.
"Everyday Sacraments" 
Rev. Jen Crow
Sacraments are often seen as something special, something out of the ordinary, set apart for particular moments in time. What if the sacraments - the mystery - the holy - were available everyday? How might we cultivate the ability to feel wonder and to know our deep connection each and every day? Let's explore the possibility of everyday sacraments together. Read More  
Special Music: Universal Rock Band

Sunday, April 17, 5:30 p.m.
Grow: A Meditation in Sound & Silence
Contemplative Evening Worship
"Become the being that you are." Within each of us is a seed, a kernel, a pattern. In the soul's soil, it seethes and churns, waiting for spring to come so that it can slowly reach into the light. What waits within us? And how will it take shape? Join us for a meditation on the spring outside our windows and the spring inside our hearts, and how we grow into experience and maturity. We'll be accompanied by the music of Beethoven, Killmayer, and Arvo Pärt, played by Dr. Jerrod Wendland and cellist Greg Byers, with spoken pieces by Rev. Ruth MacKenzie.
A special Contemplative Evening Worship Service will be offered this Sunday at 5:30 p.m.

A Look Ahead
Sunday, April 24, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m.
Worship led by Senior High Youth
Youth-friendly worship

Miss a Recent Sunday?
April 3, 2016
Rev. Elaine Aron Tenbrink
March 27, 2016
"The Unbreakable Place"
Rev. Justin Schroeder
March 20, 2016
"The Other You" 
Rev. Justin Schroeder
Racial Justice and Our UU Faith Workshop
Saturdays, April 16 & 23, 10 a.m.-noon
Join us for our next 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 April workshop is offered in two parts (both required), on Saturdays, April 16 and 23 from 10 a.m. to noon each day in the Cummins Room. Led by Susan Johnson, Jeff Sylvestre, and Channing McKinley. To register, contact Sandy DiNanni at Sandy@firstuniv.org or 612-825-1701.
Film: "Mirrors of Privilege" (Part 1)
Monday, April 18, 6:30-8 p.m.
Sunday, April 24, 1-2:30 p.m., Cummins Rm.
This groundbreaking film features stories from white men and women on overcoming unconscious racism and entitlement. On April 18 or 24, view the first half of the film followed by a discussion led by Susan Schultz, Jared Cruz, and Pam Berry. No registration necessary; just show up! The second half of this film will be shown on Monday, May 9 at 7 p.m.
Daytime Connections: "Our Journey Into Eldering: Savoring and Serving"
Thursday, April 21, 11 a.m., Social Hall
How do we, as conscious elders, balance care for ourselves and serving others? Hear how church members Mark Bohnhorst, Tom Saterstrom, Joan Naymark, and Clareyse Nelson are using their experience and skills in service of something larger than themselves and discovering purpose and meaning for their lives. This program will: highlight the richness of church seniors' volunteer activities; explore the value of social connections and sense of meaning derived from these efforts; and highlight available volunteer opportunities. Includes a small meal ($5 donation requested). RSVP to Sandy at sandy@firstuniv.org or 612-825-1701.
Young Adult Game Night
Thursday, April 21, 7-9 p.m., Arches Room
First Universalist folks in their 20s and early 30s are invited to the Arches Room to play games and enjoy some good company. Feel free to bring a game or food to share, as well as your friends and/or significant other. This is a great chance to get to know other young adults, relax, and have fun. Contact Renate Fiora at fiorare@gmail.com with questions. See you there!
"Trapped" Documentary Screening
Tuesday, April 26, 7-9 p.m., Cummins Room
The Association of Universalist Women (AUW) is sponsoring a screening of the acclaimed documentary "Trapped," about increasing limitations on women's reproductive health care options.
Learn more about the film. 
Birds & Climate Change in MN & Nicaragua
Saturday, April 30, 6:30-8 p.m., Social Hall
Join us for a dialogue between Francisco Munoz, a Nicaraguan farmer, bird expert and author, and Carrol Henderson, a Minnesota DNR employee and internationally-known bird expert. Dessert and coffee will be served. The event is free, though co-sponsor Project Minnesota/León will ask for donations. More information.
Get Your Tickets for The Great Gathering on April 23
Come experience The Great Gathering, an exciting evening of fellowship and fundraising, on Saturday, April 23! Join us for a catered dinner, live music, drinks, a live auction, door prizes, and a chance to sign up for Great Gathering experiences. All proceeds support our social justice and youth ministry work and the new pulpit. 

Schedule for the Evening
5:30 p.m. Doors Open & Registration
6:15 p.m. Great Gathering Sign-up Begins
6:45 p.m. Dinner catered by Darbar India Grill
7:45 p.m. Live Auction
8:30 p.m. Door Prizes

Great Gatherings
How would you like to be one of 12 people to take part in Under the August Moon: An Evening with Kate Tucker and Ann Reed? Or attend a Women's Literary Retreat at a cabin up north, a Private Concert with Jim Scott, or a Walking Tour of the Newly Restored State Capitol

Live Auction
A professional auctioneer will add an extra element of excitement to this year's live auction. Auction items include a beautiful bench crafted by Richard Helgeson (the designer we're working with on the new pulpit) and upholstered by Kelly Marshall, your very own reserved parking space at church for one year, and more!
Tickets and Childcare
This Sunday, April 17, is your last chance to purchase advance tickets in person, and also to sign up for childcare. Stop by the table in the Social Hall after morning worship services. Tickets are $40 each and include dinner and two drinks. You may also purchase tickets online at http://greatgathering2016.bpt.me. Ticket scholarships are available (email 3400events@gmail.com for info). Childcare is available free of charge between 6 and 9 p.m. The deadline to submit your request (use this online form) is April 17.
Chancel Group to Share Pulpit Design April 17
Builder Richard Helgeson with the Chancel Group: Fawzia Khan, Kristen Mengelkoch, Meredith Sims, Steve Oakley and Rev. Ruth MacKenzie. 
Three weeks ago, we shared the exciting news that the design for the new pulpit has been approved. If you missed it, you can read the announcement here

Members of the Chancel Group, who have been meeting with builder Richard Helgeson over the past few months, will be in the Social Hall after both services on Sunday, April 17. You'll be able to ask questions, see small replicas of the pieces, and learn more. Please join us! 
Volunteers Needed for Families Moving Forward Hosting Weeks May 22 Through June 5
First Universalist Church will be hosting up to four families through Beacon's Families Moving Forward program May 22 through June 5. Volunteers are needed to prepare dinners, engage with families in evening activities, stay overnight, set up the bedrooms and break them down once the families depart. We welcome individual and family participation!

Here's a recent story about a family that Families Moving Forward has served: 

Kanesha and her daughters, ages 9 and 1,
came to Families Moving Forward in February. She has some barriers in her background that make it difficult to get a job, she explained, but with the help of Families Moving Forward staff, she's not giving up hope. She's had several interviews and recently got a call back about a telemarketing job that would pay $12.50/hour.
"The Families Moving Forward staff has been a huge support along the way," Kanesha said. "Any problems, they're there. They help me get through the process."

Beacon's Families Moving Forward program offers families experiencing homelessness hospitality, emergency shelter and a path to home with support for stability.

If you can volunteer when we host in May, contact Peg at pegmitch16@gmail.com or David at david.j.caccamo@gmail.com. You can also sign up for volunteer shifts online through Sign Up Genius. If you are new to Sign Up Genius, you will need to create an ID and password before electing your choices. Questions or comments? Join us in the Social Hall following all services during April and early May to sign up and/or learn more.
Sign Up Open for May 8 Child Dedication 
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 be 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, please fill out the online formForms are due May 1.
Calling All 12th Graders: Youth Sunday is April 24
The time has come to recognize our graduating seniors at First Universalist Church! The Senior High class will be leading worship on Sunday, April 24, and it is tradition to honor our 12th graders and to bless them as they take their next step into the world. 

If you know a 12th grader who would like to participate in the service, please pass along this information to them. Anyone who will be attending Youth Sunday and would like to be recognized in the Order of Service should email Emma Paskewitz (emma@firstuniv.org) with their name and whether they'll be attending the 9:30 a.m. service, 11:15 a.m. service, or both. The deadline to be included in the Order of Service is Monday, April 18
Environmental Justice Team to Showcase Recent Projects at April 24 Earth Day Celebration
Join members of the Environmental Justice Team in the Social Hall on Sunday, April 24 to learn about what we're doing to (1) Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions and (2) Protect Our Water. Our climate mitigation plan involves action in four areas - community solar, carbon sequestration, organics recycling, and energy audits in partnership with various community organizations, such as the Lake Street Energy Challenge and MN Interfaith Power & Light. Our efforts to return our once pristine waterways back to health are emerging out of a powerful and inspiring collaboration with Native American leaders, including those involved with Bde/Mde Maka Ska. Interested in learning more? Stop by our EJ Tables on Sunday to view displays and chat with knowledgeable volunteers. Find out how you can be involved! Contact Stan Sattinger at sattinss@aol.com for more information.
First Universalist Congregants Are Housing Heroes! 
First U 4th graders learned about advocating for affordable housing this past Sunday.
On Sunday April 10, congregants signed nearly 300 postcards that Twin Cities Habitat shared with 20 state legislators in St. Paul this week! The postcards urged legislative support for the Homes For All $130 million bonding bill in support of housing.  

Why is this necessary?
  • 1 in 8 MN households pays more than half of their income for housing.
  • About 1 in 3 households in MN age 65+ pays more than they can afford for housing.
  • Stable housing spurs economic development. Every dollar invested in supportive housing returns $1.44 to public funding.
  • The lack of affordable housing and homelessness disproportionately impact communities of color.
Some of the comments written by our congregants tell the story well: 
"Families can't thrive without stable housing. Minnesota's other disparities will all be more effectively addressed if adults and children have stability."
"Housing needs to be a foundational right to all - from this, we can become an amazing, creative people!"
"I work in special education, and I see firsthand how insecure housing affects students' performance in school."
Even the 4th Grade RE class got in on the action - learning about homelessness and affordable housing, how to advocate, and becoming housing heroes. This is the work of our church - balancing direct service with systemic change for a better, more equitable world.
Learn About Wellspring at Upcoming Info Sessions
Have you heard about Wellspring? This year, more than 50 members of our church are participating in this amazing journey. Wellspring offers spiritual deepening within our Unitarian Universalist tradition, an opportunity for learning more about ourselves and our faith through a year-long small group experience.

There are five interconnected components: commitment to a daily spiritual practice, monthly spiritual direction (self-reflection with a guide), small group meetings, reading about the theological and historical foundations of our faith, and putting our faith into action. After a day-long opening retreat in September 2016, Wellspring will meet every other week through May 2017.

You are invited to an info session to learn more and to help you decide whether Wellspring is a commitment you want to make. Attendance is required if you wish to participate in Wellspring next year. Mark your calendar to join us in the Cummins Room on Tuesday, May 3 from 7-8:30 p.m. or Sunday, May 15 from 1-2 p.m. to learn more.
Apply to Be a Worship Associate
Do you love worship? Do you have a flair for writing stories or prose? Please consider applying to be a Worship Associate this year. 

"More than anything else I've done at First Universalist, being part of the Worship Associates team made me feel a part of this church." - Marion Dane Bauer
Worship Associates speak two or three times during the church year in worship services, September through May. Associates and Rev. Ruth MacKenzie gather for two half-day retreats to discuss themes, talk about writing for oration, review how to lay out a manuscript and practice public speaking.

If this interests you, please write a 500 word piece about forgiveness and submit your manuscript to Rev. Ruth MacKenzie at: ruth@firstuniv.org. The deadline for submissions is May 15, 2016. The Worship Team will be choosing applicants representative of the multi-generational, multi-cultural congregation we are becoming.
Seeking Tenant for Lower Level Classroom Space
The search for a new tenant has begun! Temple Israel's Early Childhood Center has been renting classroom space from us since September. When their lease expires at the end of August, they'll be moving back into their own newly-renovated spaces.
Starting in September, we'll have 4,000 square feet of classroom space available for lease in a wing that is approved for education, childcare, and adult daycare. There are six classrooms plus an administrative office, a community room available for indoor activities and a playground, plus access to a commercial kitchen. The space is available for lease Monday through Friday. We are working with a realtor to find potential tenants, but if you know of any organizations looking for space that would be a good fit, we encourage you to share this information. A pdf with details is available here
Cycle of Life and Pastoral Care
We are delighted to join in celebrating the marriage of church members Melody Werner and Charlie Luepke on Saturday, May 7 at 2 p.m. in the sanctuary. Our choir, as well as the Calliope Women's Chorus, will be participating. Everyone is invited to join the couple for their wedding ceremony.

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.
Guest At Your Table: Pick Up a Box 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, grounded in our UU values. Guest At Your Table boxes are available for you to take home. Pick one up any Sunday in April, add your donations and good wishes, and bring them back to church by May 1. Thank you!
Book, DVD, CD & Video Game Sale
Youth Cultural Exchange is having a used CD, DVD, Video Game & Book Sale this Sunday, April 17 and next Sunday, April 24 in the Social HallLast 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. Proceeds from the sale will help us bring the Nicaraguan host siblings to Minnesota for 2 weeks in July.
Congregational Care: New Baby Welcome 
Having a baby? Want to help welcome a new baby? Contact Ann Terlizzi (612-728-7232 annterlizzi@visi.com) or Jody Beresford (952-828-9977 spice777@aol.com), co-chairs of our new baby welcome team. 
Planned Giving
If First Universalist means much to you and you want to help the church stay strong, please consider naming it in your will or estate plan. Interested? See a minister or the church's financial administrator. And thanks!
- Peg Meier of the Planned Giving Committee
Project for Pride in Living Volunteer Opportunity
Project for Pride in Living (PPL), one of our community partners, is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to "work with lower-income individuals and families to achieve greater self-sufficiency through housing, employment training, support services, and education." 

PPL recently started a new program for parents on Thursdays from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. in South Minneapolis, working with parents on issues such as racial inequities, parenting struggles, crime/safety, education, relationships, and access to decent paying jobs. 

First Universalist has been asked to provide a group of volunteers to cook and serve lunch for 25-30 people and provide childcare for children under 5 on six Thursdays: 4/28, 5/5, 5/12, 5/19, 5/26 and 6/2. The meal can be simple, as long as it is well balanced, does not include pork, and there are nutritional pieces that would be good for little ones. Each week we need about five volunteers to cook the meal PRIOR to arriving at the volunteer site, greet the families, serve and clean up, and provide childcare. If you are available to volunteer, contact Mary Novak at 612-290-6340 or manovak@rocketmail.com.
EMERGE Seeking Financial Literacy Volunteers
First Universalist is building a partnership with EMERGE Community Development to provide an opportunity for congregants to act on their values and work for racial justice.

EMERGE recognizes that individuals living in poverty are at the mercy of financial systems they might not understand; so it offers Financial Literacy classes to educate participants about the financial system, discuss best practices, and empower participants to take control of their finances. This Four Cornerstones of Financial Literacy curriculum is the statewide industry standard for financial education, and it is provided through four three-hour classes.

EMERGE is looking for volunteers who have strong communication skills, who have the ability to engage with a diverse group of students and staff, and a willingness to learn. Volunteers will be paired with an EMERGE Financial Coach who will host the class. Volunteers can choose to teach a full session or become an expert in one of the four elements for either evening or daytime classes. For more information, contact Gina DeNardo, Financial Wellness Coordinator at 612-787-3773 or DeNardoG@emerge-mn.org.
"Acting on Faith: Investing in Potential" with Beacon
Help the Earth - Compost Your Food Waste
Minneapolis Organics Recycling
Minneapolis organics recycling includes collecting fruits, vegetables, bones, meat, breads, eggshells, non-recyclable and food-soiled paper, and more for composting. The new organics recycling program is an easy way for residents to reduce waste.
To take part, residents must sign up by filling out this online form, or by contacting Solid Waste and Recycling at 612-673-2917 or SWRcustomer@minneapolismn.gov. Residents who sign up will receive a cart by the end of July 2016.
Join Our Mailing List
Subscribe to The Weekly Liberal here
Sign up to receive our weekly Children Youth & Family Ministries news here
Church Office Hours
Sundays 8 a.m.-1 p.m.
Monday-Thursday 8:30 a.m.-8 p.m.
Closed Fridays and Saturdays
Weekly Liberal Submissions
We encourage you to submit news!
Do you have an announcement that you'd like published in The Weekly Liberal? Please fill out our online submission form. Edits for length and/or content may occur.
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
For staff contact information, please visit our Ministers and Staff page.
First Universalist Church of Minneapolis
3400 Dupont Avenue S.
Minneapolis, MN 55408


Copyright © 2016. All Rights Reserved.