May 26, 2016  |  Vol. 3 No. 21
Our Racial Justice Journey Continues to Unfold
Rev. Justin Schroeder
If you were here last Sunday, you know that the church was abuzz after Rev. Karen Hutt's sermon. As a queer African American, Unitarian Universalist minister, Rev. Hutt affirmed and celebrated the racial justice work that we're doing as a congregation - work grounded in our faith as we seek to more fully understand and dismantle white supremacy as it exists all around us - in policies, institutions, habits and practices. She also invited us to imagine what an ethnic Unitarian Universalist church might look like, a church where one's cultural heritage and identity did not have to be given up in order to feel at home.

It was a provocative sermon, from a beloved Colleague, and it reminded me of why we are on this racial justice journey:
  • We are on this journey because our faith, fully realized, requires it, and because we know that our collective wholeness and salvation is wrapped up in dismantling the systems of racial oppression that this country is founded on, and that white people continue to benefit from. We are not on this racial justice journey in order to bring many more people of color into First Universalist, though this may be a byproduct of our faithful efforts, as our church culture, habits, and practices begin to change to reflect our racial justice learnings.
  • We are on this journey because of the people of color who are already a part of our congregation (on the Board, as Worship Associates, in Religious Education, on the Racial Justice Leadership Team, and worshipping in the sanctuary every Sunday), who are Unitarian Universalists and want to bring their whole, full selves to this faith community.
  • We are on this journey so that as an institution, we know how to be in right relationship with other institutions, including faith communities, that are working for racial justice.   
  • Above all, in listening to Rev. Hutt's sermon, I am reminded that this racial justice journey is messy, complicated, and emotional. Guilt and shame are poor tools for moving this work forward. Only curiosity and compassion, deep relationships, humor, provocative and honest conversations, and safe spaces to listen, learn, and grow, can do that.
This is the journey we're on, and Rev. Hutt's sermon adds another voice and another chapter to our journey. As always, I'd be delighted to meet with you to talk about our racial justice journey, or any other part of your faith journey.  

I'll see you in church,
Worship this Sunday
Sunday, May 29, 10 a.m.
Memorial Day Weekend
No Religious Education; childcare only, for 6 months through 5th grade
"A Veteran's Memory, A Civilian's Forgetfulness" 
Patrick Doherty, Rev. Justin Schroeder
In the American dynamic of ongoing war-making and periods of temporary peace, we are encouraged to forget the trauma, savagery and price of war. In this special Memorial Day weekend service, Vietnam veteran and psychologist Patrick Dougherty - a First Universalist member - will reflect on his experience of remembering and forgetting his own war experience, while leading us in an embodied, community-based response of hope and connectionRead More  

A Look Ahead
Sunday, June 5, 10 a.m. 
Flower Communion*
Multigenerational Worship
(childcare for ages 6 months to 3 years)
Rev. Justin Schroeder
Annual Meeting of the Membership follows the service at 11:30 a.m.
*please remember to bring a flower from your garden for Flower Communion, a ritual reminding us of the connection between beauty and diversity
May worship theme: Doorways
Photo: Mike Bitzenhofer CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Summer Sundays at First Universalist!
Worship at 10 a.m.
Please Bring Your Own Mug to social hour after worship. This helps save on water, labor, and keeps the kitchen cool during the hot summer months. 

Miss a Recent Sunday?
May 22, 2016
"You Can't Be Off the Hook if You Keep it Real"
Rev. Karen Hutt
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., Sanctuary
The Annual Meeting of the Membership will take place on June 5 after Flower Communion, at 11:30 a.m. We will present the Annual Report, elect church leadership and approve the budget for the 2016-17 church year. More details, including the agenda, slate of candidates, and budget information, can be found on our website.
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.
More About the June 5 Annual Meeting
By Cindy Marsh, President, Board of Trustees
In the May 19 Liberal, Rev. Schroeder invited you to our Annual Meeting on Sunday, June 5 and described the assumptions in the 2016-2017 budget and how the budget is a reflection of our values. I want to explain another important element in the 2016-17 budget.
During the next church year, the Senior Minister and Board are preparing to engage the congregation in a comprehensive stewardship campaign to truly come home and make 3400 Dupont work for us. It will allow us to invest in our building, its maintenance, repair (and future repair), improvements, and debt retirement. 

At a very high level, the goal is simple: create a welcoming, functional building that reflects warmth and hospitality, and is easy to navigate, work, and worship in.
The Board of Trustees is recommending that the congregation approve a loan from the Legacy Fund to provide funding for the cost of a comprehensive stewardship campaign. The Legacy Fund will be immediately repaid as campaign contributions are received, and all campaign costs will eventually come out of the campaign funds raised. The Board will provide regular review, approval and monitoring of the loan and campaign costs and the loan will be repaid at a rate of 4% interest.
The process will begin in the fall of 2016 with a Readiness Assessment (feasibility study) which will provide every congregant with an opportunity to respond to a detailed presentation of the vision and to prioritize key funding needs. 

In summary, at the June 5 meeting the congregation will be asked to approve the loan as part of the 2016-2017 budget. You will have a chance to weigh in on the campaign vision during the Readiness Assessment next fall. 
It's exciting to think about making 3400 Dupont truly our home!
Exhibit of Oil Paintings by Dakota Hoska Opens 5/29
"Capturing Moments - My family or friends and their families" is an exhibit of oil paintings by First Universalist member Dakota Hoska that will be on view at church in the Social Hall May 29 - July 3, 2016. There will be an artist's reception after worship on Sunday, June 12 (11 a.m.-noon) in the Social Hall. 

The work for this show is based upon familiar interactions - Dakota's own and those of her friends and family. She focuses on recognizing beauty in the mundane and reveling in the accidental. She loves chance meetings with beauty and enjoys capturing singular moments that would otherwise go unobserved. Working to evoke a sense of recognition in her viewer, she paints accessible moments of intimacy and familiarity.

Born and raised in South Dakota, the wide-open prairie had a profound effect on how Dakota views the world. As an infant, she had been adopted out to a Norwegian family. In 2013, she reconnected with her biological family and learned that she is Oglala Lakota, from the Pine Ridge Reservation (Wounded Knee). Her Lakota heritage, family, and community now play an ever-increasing role in her life and artistic practice.

Dakota will soon begin a Master's program in Art History with an emphasis on Native American Art History at the University of St. Thomas. She currently works as a Native American Curatorial Fellow at the Minneapolis Institute of Art and has a studio practice in St. Paul. She lives in South Minneapolis with her two sons, husband, and two mischievous huskies.

Learn more about Dakota Hoska and view examples of her work on her website.
Last Chance to Take 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. We need your opinion so we have accurate statistics about how the church is changing.

Please fill out the survey by May 31, 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!
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 Sundays for Kids Beginning June 12
On Summer Sundays, we have a single worship service at 10 a.m., and childcare and Religious Education classes are offered from 10-11 a.m. for children ages 6 months up through those entering 6th grade in the Fall, beginning June 12. Adult staff and trained youth from the congregation provide care and guidance as we enjoy a more relaxed pace and focus on building community with one another. Kids close in age are grouped together as follows: Nursery (6-17 months); Preschool (18 months to 3 years); Young Children (4 years through entering 1st grade); and Elementary-Age Kids (entering 2nd-6th grade).

Our youngest congregants spend the morning in bright, happy spaces with plenty to explore, in the care of paid adult and youth staff, playing and making friends of all ages. Preschoolers begin their morning with a circle, songs, and picture books, then have plenty of time to play.

Each Sunday morning, preK and older kids explore this summer's theme: Telling a New Story. We come together for a brief time of worship, welcoming one another into the circle and learning about someone who is writing a new story by "doing good" in the world. Then we dive into hands-on projects and crafts inspired by their example. If weather permits, you'll definitely find many of us out on the playground for part of the hour.

No need to register in advance; please join us as often as you're able! If you will be visiting for the first time, please find helpful tips for visitors here.

Summer Sundays Religious Education kicks off June 12 and runs through the end of August. We look forward to seeing you at church!
2016-2017 Religious Education Registration 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 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
Augsburg Fairview Academy: 
School is Out! Donations Suspended for Summer 
The last day of school at Augsburg Fairview Academy is June 3 and we have enough food and supplies to stock the Food and Clothing Closets through the end of the school year. We will not collect food and clothing during the summer months, and will start up again in early September. Thank you for your amazing generosity throughout the school year!
Church Office Closed Monday, May 30
The church office will be closed on Monday, May 30 in observance of Memorial Day. The building will be accessible only to Families Moving Forward volunteers and families.
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.
Transportation 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 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
First Universalist's Rev. Ruth MacKenzie Performs in Musical Concert 
"Nature Creature" June 10 - 19 at Open Eye Theatre
"Nature Creature" is a song cycle that is the perfect marriage of pop, jazz, and art song. Composer Elizabeth Alexander has set to music the writings of Louise Erdrich, A. R. Ammons and other fabulous poets with passion and skill. 

The vocalist in the trio of performers, Ruth MacKenzie sings songs about the necessity of play, the worth of a meadow, the solace of an apple tree when life comes crashing down.

The beauty and complexity of being alive are woven into the sensuous fabric of Nature Creature. This compelling new vocal work embraces our brief, glorious time on earth, with all its discovery, contradiction, heartbreak and joy.

"Nature Creature" will be performed by pianist (and composer) Elizabeth Alexander, vocalist Ruth MacKenzie, and cellist Jacqueline Ultan at Open Eye Theatre in Minneapolis in June. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. on June 10, 11, 12, 16, 17, 18 and 19. Details and ticket information can be found here.
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Church Office Hours
Sundays 8 a.m.-1 p.m.
Monday-Thursday 8:30 a.m.-8 p.m.
Closed Fridays and Saturdays
Closed Monday, May 30 (Memorial Day)
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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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