April 21, 2016  |  Vol. 3 No. 16
Youth Sunday: Knowing One Another
Rev. Justin Schroeder
Nearly 25 years ago, I spoke during the Youth Sunday service at my home congregation of Foothills Unitarian Church, in Fort Collins, CO. I don't remember exactly what I said or how well I said it, but what I do remember is this: after the service, a number of adult members of the church came up to me (and other youth) and thanked us for what we had shared. They asked me questions. They listened intently. They were genuinely interested in what I had to say.

Up until this point, Foothills Unitarian Church hadn't really felt like my church; sure, I was very involved in the youth group, and that felt like home, but as far as the larger church and my place in it, I wasn't so sure. But after Youth Sunday, and feeling seen, heard, and deeply engaged, I knew I belonged. Suddenly, the whole church was my church; I knew other adults and they knew me.

This Sunday is Youth Sunday at First Universalist, when the youth of this church will share their faith and themselves with us - through music, word, and deep creativity. We will also recognize our graduating high school Seniors.

I hope you make every effort to come to this service, to listen to our youth, and connect with them after the service. All of us are changed by this exchange, as we come to know and see one another ever more deeply. Together, we make this our church!

I'll see you on Sunday,
Justin
SUNDAY WORSHIP AT FIRST UNIVERSALIST CHURCH
April worship theme: Sacrament

Worship this Sunday
Sunday, April 24, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m.
Youth Sunday
"The Sacrament of Community" 
Worship led by Senior High Youth
Youth-friendly Worship (youth in 4th - 12th grades attend the entire service)
Youth Sunday is a worship service created and shared by the high school class of First Universalist Church and their advisers.
This year our youth explore the meaning of communion as sacrament and what it might mean for our Unitarian Universalist communities. Every year Youth Sunday proves to be enlivening, provocative, and moving. Please join us!  Read More  
A Look Ahead
Sunday, May 1, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m.
Kenny Wiley
Mid-America Region Sunday
Sharing Sunday

May Worship Theme: Doorways


Miss a Recent Sunday?
April 17, 2016
"Everyday Sacraments"
Rev. Jen Crow
The sermon podcast from April 17 will be posted next week. We apologize for the delay!
April 3, 2016
"Behold"
Rev. Elaine Aron Tenbrink
March 27, 2016
"The Unbreakable Place"
Rev. Justin Schroeder
March 20, 2016
"The Other You" 
Rev. Justin Schroeder
UPCOMING EVENTS & PROGRAMS
The Great Gathering Auction & Fundraiser
Saturday, April 23, 5:30-9:30 p.m.
Don't miss this exciting evening of fellowship, food, and fundraising! Join us for a catered dinner, music, drinks, live auction, door prizes, and a chance to sign up for Great Gathering experiences such as an evening with Kate Tucker and Ann Reed or a Walking Tour of the State Capitol with Mark Ritchie. This is an important annual fundraiser for the church. Proceeds support our social justice and youth ministry work and the new pulpit. 
Tickets are $40 each and include dinner and two drinks. Tickets will be available at the door. Detailed information is available online.
Film: "Mirrors of Privilege" (Part 1)
Sunday, April 24, 1-2:30 p.m., Cummins Rm.
Through our Racial Justice Video and Book Discussion series, we invite you to join us for engaging conversations on race, racism, and whiteness. This groundbreaking film features stories from white men and women on overcoming unconscious racism and entitlement. On April 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.
"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.
NEWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS
First Universalist Church Awarded Grant for
Sustainable Parking Lot Improvements
Anyone who has walked through our parking lot recently has likely noticed that it's in need of some major repair. There are large potholes, crumbling asphalt, and in the worst spot, a sinkhole. These uneven surfaces are unsafe, and the overall aesthetic is uninviting and doesn't reflect well on our congregation.

After the capital improvement budget was approved at our June 2015 annual meeting, church staff and our Building and Grounds Committee started looking into options to not just replace the asphalt, but also to make environmentally sustainable improvements in alignment with our church's values. Adding things like trees and gardens can make a parking lot more inviting and more environmentally friendly - but also more expensive. So, working with a sustainable parking lot designer, we came up with a plan that utilizes rain gardens, silva cells, and bio swales - and then applied for an Action Grant from the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization (MWMO) to help us fund these additions.

We're excited to announce that our parking lot project is one of only four projects selected to receive funding - and we've been awarded the maximum grant of $50,000. Work will be scheduled for the summer months, with exact dates to be announced soon. After it's finished, our new parking lot will not only be safer and more attractive, it will also capture and slow down 85% of our stormwater runoff, protecting the rivers and lakes around us.


Besides the environmentally friendly design, the MWMO selected us because of our congregation's commitment to sustainable practices and our ability to communicate rain water retention methods to the public. This will include interpretive signage around the parking lot promoting the attributes of the design.

Keep an eye out for more information about the project and details about each of the new stormwater management features in upcoming editions of the Weekly Liberal. Stop by the Earth Day celebration in the Social Hall this Sunday, April 24 after both services to see plans for the project.

Learn more about the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization, its other projects, and about stormwater management on their website.
Volunteers Needed: Help Us Host
Families Moving Forward May 22 - June 5
Volunteers were instrumental when we hosted five families in September 2015 through Beacon's Families Moving Forward program. A team of volunteers converted classrooms into bedrooms before the families arrived - others acted as hosts, prepared dinner, and more.
May 22 through June 5, First Universalist Church will be hosting up to four families through Beacon's Families Moving Forward program, which offers families experiencing homelessness hospitality, emergency shelter and a path to home with support for stability

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!

Families arrive in just one month, and we still need more volunteers! If you can help, please 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 selecting your choices.) Questions or comments? Join us in the Social Hall following both services this Sunday to sign up and/or learn more.
Visit the Environmental Justice Team's
Earth Day Displays on Sunday, April 24 
Join Environmental Justice team members at five display tables in the Social Hall after services this Sunday, April 24:
  • First Universalist Solar Garden: get updated on the status of our community solar project, or initiate your subscription process -- it's not too late!
  • Carbon Draw-Down and Sequestration: learn how plants sequester carbon within the soil, and/or purchase a copy of "The Soil Will Save Us" at a discounted price
  • Household Energy Use Reduction: get free replacements for light bulbs and shower heads;  schedule home-performance audits and learn how to implement the findings
  • Honoring and Protecting Our Waters: learn about our collaboration with the Native American community on Bde/Mde Maka Ska and planned bold actions to protect Minnesota's water resources
  • Organics Recycling: learn how you can recycle more of your waste by participating in municipal composting, which can make carbon draw-down more effective
Stop by our tables on Sunday to view displays, chat with knowledgeable volunteers, and find out how you can be involved!
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.
Volunteers from First U Needed on Six Thursdays with Project for Pride in Living 
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, please contact Mary Novak at 612-290-6340 or manovak@rocketmail.com.
Seeking Applicants for Positions on the
Foundation Board and Nominating Committee
The Nominating Committee is still recruiting candidates for leadership positions on the First Universalist Foundation Board and the Nominating Committee for the next church year. We believe the congregation is full of untapped talent and we encourage people to step forward and share their skills. The deadline to apply for these two positions has been extended to Wednesday, April 27. 
 
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 these positions, you must be a member in good standing of the church. Elections occur at the Annual Meeting on June 5. View detailed position descriptions and download the 2016 Leadership Application on our website.
 
Email nomination@firstuniv.org with any questions.
Next Newcomer Circle Begins May 2
Are you new to First Universalist? Whether you are a recent visitor or a new member, you're invited to join a Newcomer Circle. These four-session gatherings of 6 to 10 newcomers offer a chance to explore core Unitarian Universalist values, reflect on our spiritual journeys, and connect with other folks who are new to church. As with all of our Circles, this group is grounded in attentive listening and open-hearted reflection. 

The next Newcomer Circle will be held on Mondays, May 2, 9, 16 and 23 from 7-8:30 p.mRegistration is required; you can sign up at the Information table in the social hall or by emailing sandy@firstuniv.org. We look forward to meeting you!
Congregational Budget Meetings Set for May 1 & 9
The Board of Trustees will share a draft budget with the Congregation at two upcoming meetings: 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 1 and 7 p.m. on Monday, May 9. 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).
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.
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
NEWS IN BRIEF
Cycle of Life and Pastoral Care
Our thoughts are with Kristen Mengelkoch on the death of her mother, Arlene Voigt, earlier this week. 

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 up a box this Sunday, April 24, add your donations and good wishes, and return them 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 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: Ride Assistance 
Need transportation to church or to a doctor's appointment? We can help with at least two weeks' notice. Contact Anne McBean at 952-938-2897 or mcbea001@yahoo.com if you need help with a ride or would like to offer a ride to a congregant. 
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
FROM OUR FAITHFUL ACTION PARTNERS
Habitat Off the Hill is Wednesday, April 27
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
COMMUNITY BULLETIN BOARD
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.
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

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