April 28, 2016  |  Vol. 3 No. 17
Bringing Our Full Selves...
Rev. Justin Schroeder
Our Youth-led service this past Sunday was exquisite: the youth named their truth, shared their vulnerabilities, and talked about how this church and the youth group - this faith community - saved their lives. In one of the homilies, a young woman spoke honestly about her struggle with depression. Her testimony - both to living with depression and to the power of this community - caused head nods and tears all around me.

Our youth brought their full selves to this service; it reminded me that this is the work our church: to bring our full selves into this place, struggling with depression or other mental illness, struggling with addiction or financial hardship, searching for Spirit, and hungry for more meaning in life, exploring our gender, racial, or sexuality identity, curious to live life more deeply aligned with our values, and overflowing with joy and gratitude for the gift of life itself.

Together, joined by the Spirit of Life, we give, receive, and grow in this faith community, striving to bring all of who we are to our interactions with one another.

This journey of a lifetime continues this Sunday, as we welcome guest preachers Kenny Wiley and Lena Gardner to our pulpit. Through story, reflection, and preaching, they will speak about "A Black Lives Matter UU Theology," grounding us in our shared faith, calling each of us to bring our full selves to the work of dismantling racism and all systems of oppression that prevent human beings from truly letting their divine light shine, and being a blessing in this world.

I'll see you in church,
Youth Sunday - April 24, 2016
Worship this Sunday
Sunday, May 1, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m.
Mid-America Sunday
"A Black Lives Matter
UU Theology" 
Kenny Wiley, Lena K. Gardner
Sharing Sunday (children 4 years to 5th grade attend first part of service)
Universalists and Unitarians have a long history of involvement in racial justice and abolition work--and a long history of apathy and even derision to accompany our faith's best moments.  Kenny Wiley believes that nothing is guaranteed, and yet much is possible from Unitarian Universalism in the movement for black lives. Read More  
Music: First Universalist Choir and Children's Choir   View Order of Service

A Congregational Budget Meeting will follow the second service this Sunday, at 12:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary. Learn more.
A Look Ahead
Sunday, May 8, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m.
"Revolutionary Women"
Rev. Justin Schroeder
Child Dedication Ceremony

Miss a Recent Sunday?
April 17, 2016
"Everyday Sacraments"
Rev. Jen Crow
April 3, 2016
Rev. Elaine Aron Tenbrink
March 27, 2016
"The Unbreakable Place"
Rev. Justin Schroeder
May worship theme: Doorways
Photo by Mike Bitzenhofer CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
May worship theme: Doorways
Alexander Graham Bell once said, "When one door closes, another opens." Although it may sound a bit pollyannaish, there is a deep truth in this saying. Things come to an end. Experiments fail. Initiatives run their course. The truth of the matter is that life does not stop its unfolding. A door is always closing. A door is always opening. In this season of new life, graduations, and coming of age, we mark and celebrate doorways.
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-sponsorProject Minnesota/León will ask for donations. More information.
Newcomer Circle
Mondays, May 2, 9, 16, 23, 7-8:30 p.m.
Are you new to First Universalist? We invite you to join a Newcomer Circle! These four-session gatherings offer a chance to explore core Unitarian Universalist values, reflect on our spiritual journeys, and connect with other folks who are new to church. 
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
Film: "Mirrors of Privilege" (Part 2)
Monday, May 9, 7 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 May 9, view the second half of the film followed by a discussion led by Susan Hoffman. No registration necessary; just show up! 

Daytime Connections: Defining Home
Thursday, May 19, 11 a.m., Social Hall
What does home look like for you today? Does home meet your needs? If you could, what changes would you make? In this program, we will explore how to evaluate Twin Cities housing options taking into account your own values, health, family, and financial circumstances, as well as strategies to honor your autonomy and choice. Program includes a small meal ($5 donation requested). RSVP to Sandy DiNanni at sandy@firstuniv.org or 612-825-1701.
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 in the Sanctuary. 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).
Volunteers Still 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.
First U has signed on with Families Moving Forward to host four families for the weeks of May 22 and May 29. We currently have a critical need for Overnight Hosts. Overnight Hosts commit to being at church from 8:30 p.m. until 6:45 a.m. on the night of their shift. Comfortable sleeping arrangements in your own room are provided. We need two hosts per evening, for a total of 28 shifts; currently only 5 people have volunteered. Please consider helping by volunteering as an overnight host!

Duties are simply to be available should any overnight emergencies arise and to set out grab and go breakfasts in the morning for our guests. A complete list of contact numbers will be provided. Last year no emergencies occurred, and our understanding from FMF is that emergencies are extremely rare.

Our hope is to get volunteers to commit to two nights of overnight hosting. If you can make this commitment, first go to Sign-up Genius and register under the the new member registration tab. Then, sign up as an overnight host on the date of your choice here

We also still need about 40 volunteers to prepare dinners, engage with families in evening activities, set up the bedrooms and break them down once the families depart. We welcome individual and family participation!

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

Families arrive in less than one month! If you can help, please contact Peg at pegmitch16@gmail.com or David at david.j.caccamo@gmail.com or sign up through Sign Up Genius. You can also learn more and sign up in the Social Hall following both services this Sunday.
Earth Day Celebration
This past Sunday, we celebrated Earth Day at church after both services. Thank you to our Environmental Justice Team for hosting the celebration! Take a look at some photos from the event here.

In conjunction with our April 24 Earth Day event, the Environmental Justice Team hosted a celebration of a grant from the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization to add storm water management components like rain gardens and tree plantings to our soon-to-be-rebuilt parking lot.

Rev. Jen Crow and her daughter are pictured here with a cake for the occasion that says: "Protect Our Sacred Waters - Earth Day 2016." 
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. Learn more about the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization, its other projects, and about stormwater management on their website.
Sign Up by May 1 for Child Dedication Ceremony
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.
Sign Up for Remaining Great Gatherings May 1 & 8
Were you unable to join us on April 23 at The Great Gathering Auction and Fundraiser  - but interested in a spot at one (or more) of the great gathering experiences that are still available? You're in luck! 

Members of the Great Gathering planning team will be in the Social Hall between services on Sundays, May 1 and 8 selling the great gathering spots that remain! Find complete details in the catalog, available here (please note: many of the gatherings in the catalog have filled; please join us in the social hall to learn which ones are still open).
Summer Circle Registration is Coming!
Set some time aside to engage with life's deeper themes: Join a circle this summer! These gatherings of 8-10 people are a great way to get connected at First Universalist and to stay spiritually grounded throughout the summer. Registration for summer circles opens on Sunday, May 8 at http://firstucircles.weebly.com. For more information, contact Rev. Elaine Aron Tenbrink at elaine@firstuniv.org or 612-825-1701 x124.
Volunteers from First U Needed on Five 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 five Thursdays: 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.
Participate in the Annual Congregational Survey 
Can spiritual growth be quantified? Can you put a number on love? Of course not, and yet the Board of Trustees is called upon to measure how well our church is living up to its mission. And so every year we ask you to fill out a survey describing how First Universalist touches your life. This is your chance to let the church leadership know how well - or poorly - the church is serving your needs. But even if you don't have anything to say, we still need your opinion so we have accurate statistics about how the church is changing.

This year we've streamlined the survey slightly, and we will have computers in the social hall during coffee hour. Or you can fill it out online at FirstUniversalistChurch.org/survey

The survey usually takes less than 10 minutes to complete. But if you have a lot to say, you can take as long as you want. You have until the end of May. Thank you!
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.
Return Guest at Your Table Boxes This Sunday, May 1
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. 

If you've brought home a Guest At Your Table box and added your donations and good wishes, please return it to church by this Sunday, May 1. Thank you!
Cycle of Life and Pastoral Care
A memorial service for Lynn Elling will be held at church on Sunday, May 1 at 3 p.m.

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.
Donations Needed for
Augsburg Fairview Academy
First Universalist is the primary supplier of food and clothing for the Hope Food and Clothing Closets at Augsburg Fairview Academy, a school that serves young adults from diverse communities facing educational barriers to achievement in traditional schools. A list of items needed can be found on our websiteBring items to the Hub on Sundays or leave on the shelves marked AFA at the 34th street entrance. Thank you for your generosity!
Seeking Tenant for Classroom Space
In September, we'll have 4,000 square feet of classroom space available for lease in a wing approved for education, childcare, and adult daycare. There are six classrooms plus an office, a community room for indoor activities, and a playground, plus access to a commercial kitchen. The space is available for lease Monday through Friday. If you know 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
Congregational Care: Caring Corner 
Write a note to a congregant who could use support! There are cards available in the library, which is located off of the Social Hall. You are welcome to stop by and write a card at any time. Just leave it in the basket and the church will mail it for you.
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
Affordable Housing Advocacy - Time-Sensitive Opportunity
The Faithful Action Council is asking for your quick action to support affordable housing across Minnesota. There have been $5 million in cuts proposed for the Challenge Fund. 

Last year, there were many unfunded proposals to the Challenge Fund across Minnesota. 
The Challenge Fund is the only way many First Universalist Faithful Action partners receive budgetary support from the state for their work in affordable housing, including Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity, Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative, Simpson Housing Services, and Project for Pride in Living. It is critical to the work done by these organizations working across the state to ensure all communities have safe, stable, and affordable housing.

Your representative will likely be taking up this issue this week! Please act now and let your representative know that you support the Challenge Fund and urge them prevent these proposed cuts! Follow this link, add your name and address, and your note of support will be sent immediately to your state representative. This is the work of our church. For additional information, please contact Joan Naymark at jnaymark@gmail.com.
15 Now MN event at First Unitarian Society in Minneapolis
Sunday, May 15, 12:45 p.m. 
Want to do something specific to help further racial and economic justice? It's time for Minneapolis to pass a $15/hr minimum wage! Join other progressive people of faith at First Unitarian Society, Sunday, May 15, at 12:45 p.m. for lunch and training. We will learn from 15 Now MN about the campaign and how to gather signatures to get this on the November ballot. First Unitarian Society is located at 900 Mt. Curve Ave. in Minneapolis. Contact kelli@firstunitarian.org for more information.  www.firstunitarian.org
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.
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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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