May 19, 2016  |  Vol. 3 No. 20
The Budget Is a Reflection of our Values
Rev. Justin Schroeder
Dear Church,

You're all invited to the annual meeting on Sunday, June 5, immediately following the 10 a.m. church service (from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, we worship at 10 a.m. only).

At the annual meeting, we'll elect new officers to the Board of Trustees, the Foundation Board, and the Nominating Committee. We'll also approve the budget for 2016-2017.

The budget we're presenting includes paying all of our adult staff members a living wage of $15/hr, as well as fully eliminating all "suggested donations" and fees for Religious Education programming. Paying a living wage is in line with our values, as is making our Religious Education programming accessible to every family, child, and youth. It feels good to have our institutional practices align with our faith values, doesn't it?

This alignment is possible because of your generosity. In the 2016-2017 proposed budget, we are projecting $1,174,500 in financial pledges, and we have currently received $1,127,290, from 581 pledge units. Thank you to everyone who has pledged so far! We are ahead of where we've been in past years at this point in time.

Based on last year's numbers, we anticipate 60 additional pledge units pledging a total of $47,000 for the 2016-2017 fiscal year to help us reach our goal of $1,174,500. We know some pledges will come in next year as new members join, but we'd love to close this $47,000 gap by June 5.    

If you consider First Universalist your faith community and spiritual home, please make your financial pledge today! Whether it's $50 a month, or $150 a month, or something else, this community is supported by all of us, bringing our gifts together. Every pledge - and every person - matters. You can call the office at 612-825-1701 and pledge over the phone (ask to speak to staff member Andrea Love), or you can email Andrea directly at with questions, or you can pledge online. Thank you! Together, we make our values come alive in this place!

I'll see you in church,
Worship this Sunday
Sunday, May 22, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m.
New Member Sunday
"You Can't Be Off the Hook
if You Keep it Real" 
Rev. Karen Hutt
What will UUs say about our efforts to challenge white supremacy 100 years from now? What legacy will you leave? What steps did you take? What box did you break out of? What collaborations were impossible but impactful? Let's look at some new paradigms for ministry while remembering we still have so much to do with our existing models. Read More  
Music: tenor Dom Wooten and the First Universalist Choir

Rev. Karen Hutt has been a UU minister for 23 years. She has served as a DRE and church pastor in Chicago. Currently she is a Clinical Pastoral Educator at the University of Minnesota Medical Center. She lives in South Minneapolis with her partner Rev. Ashley Horan and their two children Zi and Aspen.

Dom Wooten
Tenor Dominique Wooten studied vocal performance at University of Northern Iowa. Originally from New Jersey, Dom has been in the Twin Cities for just over 4 years and has been seen on stage at Theater Latté Da, Artistry Theater, Minnesota Opera, and Mill City Summer Opera.
May worship theme: Doorways
Photo: Mike Bitzenhofer CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

A Look Ahead
Sunday, May 29, 10 a.m.
Memorial Day Weekend
On Sunday, May 29, we switch to a single worship service at 10 a.m. for the summer.
Rev. Justin Schroeder, Rev. Ruth MacKenzie, Patrick Doherty

Miss a Recent Sunday?
May 15, 2016
"When Life Chooses You"
Rev. Ruth MacKenzie
May 8, 2016
"Revolutionary Women"
Rev. Justin Schroeder
May 1, 2016
"A Black Lives Matter UU Theology"
Kenny Wiley, Lena K. Gardner
Flower Communion
Sunday, June 5, 10 a.m.
Flower Communion is an annual ritual that celebrates beauty, human uniqueness, diversity, and community. Please bring a flower from your garden or from a bouquet to this multigenerational worship service on Sunday, June 5. Please note: on summer Sundays, we worship at a single 10 a.m. service.
Annual Meeting of the Membership
Sunday, June 5, 11:30 a.m.
The Annual Meeting of the Membership will take place on June 5 after our Flower Communion worship service - at 11:30 a.m. in the Sanctuary. We will present the Annual Report, elect church leadership and approve the budget for the 2016-17 church year. More details, including the agenda and slate of candidates, will be announced next week.
Save the Date: Lake Harriet Bandshell Worship Service & Potluck
Mark your calendar for Sunday, Aug. 14 at 10 a.m. and join us for our annual outdoor worship service and potluck picnic at the Lake Harriet Bandshell! This will be our only service on this Sunday.
Bdote Field Trip: Visit Sites of Cultural & Historical Significance to the Dakota People 
Bdote is a Dakota word meaning "where two waters come together." It can also be used to describe the larger area of land surrounding a Bdote. The Bdote of the Haha Tanka or Wakpa Tanka (Mississippi River) and the Mnisota Wakpa (Minnesota River) is central to Dakota culture and history.

On Saturday, June 11 (9 a.m.-4 p.m.) visit five Bdote sites in the Metro area that are culturally and historically significant for Dakota people, based on the Bdote Memory MapLearn from two Dakota educators, Ramona Kitto-Stately and Ethan Neerdaels.

Sites include Mounds Park, Wakan Tipi (located in Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary), Fort Snelling State Park, Coldwater Spring, and Pilot Knob.

As part of our racial justice work, this trip is offered to members of our congregation and interested friends.

Cost: sliding scale, $20-50. Advance registration is required. To sign up, please fill out this form. For more information, contact Sherry Kempf at
Summer Circle Registration Ends Sunday
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. 

This summer's Community Circles will reflect on our summer worship theme, Telling A New Story. Each session is an opportunity to dig into the stories that we have been given and to consider the ways that life has transformed our perspective and continues to shape the stories we tell and believe.

View descriptions and schedules here. Registration for summer circles is open through Sunday, May 22 at For more information, contact Rev. Elaine Aron Tenbrink at or 612-825-1701 x124.
Religious Education (RE) Registration Now Open
Children, youth and families are at the heart of the ministry of First Universalist, and our Religious Education program for children and youth is one of the largest among bricks and mortar UU churches worldwide. We continue to align Religious Education with the values and mission of the larger church so that children and youth are actively engaged in a spiritual journey with the whole congregation. Each class offers a variety of activities on Sunday mornings, including stories, singing, sharing joys and concerns, spiritual practices such as prayer and meditation, games, crafts and hands-on projects.

Enrollment is now open for Religious Education for the 2016-2017 church year, which begins in September. Read through the class descriptions for each age/grade level and find the registration form on our Religious Education website
Your Input Requested: Racial Justice & Our Visionary Goals
The Board of Trustees has decided that before the church year ends we would like to receive feedback from the congregation on how our racial justice work has impacted our four visionary goals. We have contracted with Rainbow Research, a local research and evaluation firm, to assist us in this process. 

Listening Session
Please join us for a Listening Session on Saturday, May 21 at 8:30 a.m. The Listening Session will be conducted "world cafe" style and take approximately an hour and a half, and we'll provide bagels. 

Online Questionnaire
If you cannot participate in person, Rainbow Research has created an online questionnaire, to capture the reflections of any church members who want to participate (the questionnaire can be found here). 

Your input will be valuable to the Board as it assesses how we allocate Church resources and initiatives over the next several years. Thank you for all you do for our church!
-Eric Cooperstein, on behalf of the Board of Trustees
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

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!
Support EMERGE's "Get to Work"
Crowdfunding Campaign 
First Universalist is building a partnership with EMERGE to act on our values for Racial Justice. For the past six months, several of our congregants have been volunteering at EMERGE on a variety of initiatives to help Northside and Cedar Riverside residents find and sustain livable wage employment. 
Too often, people struggle just as much with keeping a job as they do with getting a job in the first place. Lack of reliable transportation is a primary reason for job loss. EMERGE's van transportation program helps North Minneapolis residents get to work in the suburbs, where more and more entry-level jobs are located. Last year, EMERGE provided more than 9,000 rides to work.
Funding for EMERGE's van transportation initiative has changed at the federal level, and EMERGE is hoping for your support to fill this gap. For example, the following contribution level of:
  • $12.14 could pay for a roundtrip to Mahtomedi
  • $21.42 could get three people to work in Bloomington and back
  • $250 could pay for a week of roundtrips for up to 12 people
Please consider supporting EMERGE's Get to Work campaign with a financial gift.
EMERGE is an official Faithful Action Partner of First Universalist Church for the 2016-2017 church year. We do our faithful action work through partnerships and with a racial justice lens.
New Volunteer Opportunity: Lend-A-Hand
Lend-A-Hand is an opportunity to help care for our building and grounds as part of a volunteer team. In coordination with our facilities staff, this team undertakes various projects to keep our church clean, orderly and attractive. It's a chance to help our church, complete satisfying projects, and get to know others in our community.

Beginning on Thursday, July 21, Lend-A-Hand will meet on Third Thursdays of the month. Volunteers will gather at 8:30 a.m. for bagels, juice and coffee and will end their activities by noon.  

Each Lend-A-Hand activity has slots for 12 volunteers. Check out The Weekly Liberal later this summer for more specific information. Sign-ups will begin in June.
Cycle of Life and Pastoral Care

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.
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, 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
New Baby Welcome
Having a baby? Want to help welcome a new baby? Contact Ann Terlizzi (612-728-7232 or Jody Beresford (952-828-9977, co-chairs of our new baby welcome team.
Planned Giving
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
Exposed Brick Theatre Presents "Venus Nefanda" and "In Between"
May 20-22, Dreamland Arts (677 Hamline Ave. N., St. Paul)
Submitted by Suzy Messerole: 
"As a member of this church, I know first hand the explorations we are doing as a congregation about the inheritance of privilege. These two plays, which perform on the same night, are an amazing opportunity to engage with the legacies of colonization. I am truly excited to share these amazing stories." 

"Venus Nefanda"
Performed by Suzy Messerole & Aamera Siddiqui; Directed by Anton Jones
In Edinburgh in 1810, two governesses are accused of committing the crime of "venus nefanda" (sex with another woman). Their accuser is a half-Indian, half-Scottish girl with a powerful grandmother. When scientists try to find proof in court records, the intersections of racism, colonialism and homophobia complicate the search for guilty or not guilty.

"In Between"
Written & performed by Eliza Rasheed; Directed by Leah Nelson
What does it mean to be a multiracial/multicultural/multilingual global nomad in the 21st century? Eliza searches through her memories from growing up in a working class neighborhood in Taipei to moving to the Maldives. Surrounded by a new language and new objects, she re-defines borders that allow her to live "in-between."

Details: get more information here. Performances: Friday, May 20 & Saturday, May 21 at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, May 22 at 2 p.m. 
Tickets ($18 adults; $16 students, seniors & groups of 10 or more): or 651-645-5506.
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Monday-Thursday 8:30 a.m.-8 p.m.
Closed Fridays and Saturdays
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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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