September 8, 2016  |  Vol. 3 No. 36
The Life We're Inviting You Into
Rev. Justin Schroeder
What does it mean to be a part of this faith community? It's a commitment to give, receive and grow together. As we begin a new church year together, learning to give, receive, and grow in ever deepening ways, we invite you into a religious life that contains some combination of the following three interconnected components:
  • Engage in a personal spiritual practice: Attending worship every week is a great place to start! Practices such as meditation, prayer, or journaling are also powerful anchors for the spiritual life.
  • Discover your community within the larger community (for example, join a Circle, Daytime Connections, a Religious Education teaching team, the Choir, or another smaller community within the larger church community; this is place where you are known and know others.)  
  • Participate in one of our Faithful Action Partnerships as we support one another and learn to act with humility, bravery, and compassion in service to justice.
We have heard from many of you that you want to be more involved in serving our larger community, and we're pleased to announce that over the next few months in our Sunday worship services, you'll meet our seven Faithful Action Community Partners - EMERGE, Project for Pride in Living, Simpson Housing Services, Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light, Augsburg Fairview Academy, Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative, and Habitat for Humanity - and discover clear avenues for engagement. Faithful Action is how we describe our justice ministry, and the term "Faithful Action" recognizes that there are hundreds of ways to act faithfully as we work for a more just and equitable world - we can advocate, write letters, learn about issues, cook and serve meals, build a home, mentor students, protest, stand in sacred witness, and so much more. In our Faithful Action efforts, we work through partnerships and with a racial justice lens.

This fall, we invite you to chose one or more of these three components, inviting the Spirit of Life to sing in your heart, and to give our collective lives the shape of justice. May it be so.

I'll see you in church,
Worship this Sunday
Sunday, Sept. 11, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m.
Multigenerational Worship 
Water Communion Sunday
"Ollie, Ollie, In Come Free"
Rev. Justin Schroeder
When I was growing up, and we were wrapping up a game of hide and seek or sardines as dusk approached, one of the players would shout, "Ollie, Ollie, In Come Free," which was the signal that everyone still out in the field, or hiding around the neighborhood, could come back to home base, with no penalty or fear of being tagged. It was the call that brought everyone back together. In this Water Communion service, we'll explore the idea of the church being the place that's constantly calling out, "Ollie, Ollie, In Come Free," inviting everyone into community, inviting everyone to grow their souls as we travel a spiritual path together, and inviting everyone to work for justice with humility, courage, and compassion.
A Look Ahead
Sunday, Sept. 18, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m. 
First Day of Religious Education
"Invited In"
Rev. Jen Crow

Recent Sermon Podcasts
September 4, 2016
"The Grace Within the Waiting"
August 28, 2016
"What I'm Learning from Donald Trump"
Rev. Justin Schroeder
August 21, 2016
"Confetti" (Backpack Blessing Sunday)
Lauren Wyeth
August 7, 2016
"What You Can, Where You Are, With What You Have"
Rev. Ashley Horan
Water Communion is this Sunday!
Sunday, Sept. 11, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m.
Water is a gift. It replenishes and sustains our lives. On Water Communion Sunday, we celebrate the many rivers, eddies and waterways of our life experiences, converging in our sanctuary every Sunday forming a river of faith. We embody this truth by bringing water from our homes, our travels, our walks, and our bike paths - and combine them during the service in a ritual called Water Communion.

Please bring a small jar of water to either service (9:30 or 11:15 a.m.) this Sunday, Sept. 11 for the beginning of our church year, in this beautiful multi-generational Sunday service.
Senior Nature Hike
Tuesday, Sept. 13, 10 a.m.
Please note: meet at Lowry Nature Center in Carver Park Reserve, Victoria, MN
Join First U seniors for a hiking outing on Tuesday, Sept. 13! We will enjoy the dedicated hiking trails of Carver Park Reserve, located near Victoria about 45 minutes west of Minneapolis. We will gather outside the Lowry Nature Center at 10 a.m. Directions to the Lowry Nature Center and maps of the hiking trails can be found here.

We will hike through mixed hardwood forests and beside numerous lakes and wetlands. Trails are wide on either grass or wood chip surfaces. The full route will be about 2 hours (6 miles) with numerous options to shorten the length if you should prefer a shorter hike.

Following our hike, for those interested, we will gather at the Victoria House Restaurant in Victoria for sustenance, hydration and to chat.

Join us now before you'll need to apply multiple layers for warmth, as we'll continue hiking throughout the winter! See the above photo of intrepid First U hikers near the Bush Lake Ski Jump in Bloomington during our February 2016 outing at Hyland Park Reserve.

Please RSVP to Tom Saterstrom if you plan on participating: or 952-239-3629 (cell).
Love Rocks: Party in the Parking Lot
Saturday, Sept. 24, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
First Universalist Church is excited to host an outdoor community event in our newly-resurfaced, environmentally-friendly parking lot on Saturday, Sept. 24 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.There will be live music, food trucks, a bounce house and general fun times with fellow congregants and our neighboring community. Performers include: Ron Parker, folk band members, Alan Ware and David Lauth, Ellis, and A Ghost Revival. This family-friendly event is free (food available for purchase), though donations will gladly be accepted to help cover costs. Mark your calendar now and don't miss this fun fall event!
Announcing... Faithful Action Partner Sundays!
Over the next few months, you will have the opportunity to learn more about the Faithful Action Council and the 2016-2017 Faithful Action Partners through short testimonials in the worship service and afterwards in the social hall. We work through community partners in order to leverage our energy, commitment and expertise. 

On each Faithful Action Partner Sunday, discover ways you can get involved with a community partner to create positive change through direct service, advocacy, witness, and education. 

September 11: Introduction to Faithful Action Council and Partner Sundays
September 18: EMERGE
October 2: Project for Pride in Living
October 9: Simpson Housing Services
October 23: Minnesota Interfaith Powerful and Light
October 30: Augsburg Fairview Academy
November 6: Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative
December 4: Habitat for Humanity

Learn more about the Faithful Action Council on our website
Grow Your Soul in Community: Circles, Soul Matters & More
One of the core spiritual practices of this community takes place in circles: groups of 8-10 committed participants who gather to reflect on their lives and contemplate our worship themes. You'll find out more about circles -- including a new format called Soul Matters -- as well as many other spiritual deepening opportunities in our Adult Programming Catalog. 

Pick up a catalog in the foyer outside the sanctuary this Sunday! Descriptions, schedules, and registration will also be available online beginning Sept. 11. Registration will be open through Sunday, Oct. 2.
Parking Lot Work Continues
Silva cells in our newly-resurfaced parking lot will help the trees we plant grow strong.
Earlier this year, First Universalist Church was awarded a grant from the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization  to make environmentally sustainable improvements to our parking lot in addition to an already-planned resurfacing project. Plans include trees, rain gardens and other systems for stormwater management. 

You can see the plans and learn more on our website.

As a reminder, the parking lot is not available to park in while this work is taking place, so allow extra time to find street parking, especially on Sundays. 

Volunteer valet parking, by pre-arrangement, will be available on Sundays, Sept. 11 and 18 for those with limited mobility. Contact Sandy at for more information. A drop zone on Dupont Avenue for people with limited mobility is also available.
Sharing Sanctuary Flowers
Our congregation is fortunate to have beautiful flower arrangements to enjoy during each Sunday service. The Congregational Care and Visual Arts Committees hope to share these flowers with those unable to attend services.
Please consider joining or forming a team of 2 - 3 people to distribute flowers on Sunday after second service or on Monday.  This will be just a once a month commitment and a meaningful way to connect with others in our congregation. If this interests you, contact Mary Ellison at or Bette DeMars at for more details.

New Exhibit on View: "Meditative Art: Yantras" 
A new exhibit in the Social Hall opens this Sunday, Sept. 11. "Meditative Art: Yantras" features the work of artist Chanti Tacoronte-Perez.
"Yantras are visual tools that serve either as centering devices or as symbolic compositions of the energy patterns of a deity seen by Tantric seers in their visions." -Harish Johari
The word yantra in Sanskrit means tool, machine or instrument. Yantras are usually geometric diagrams, made of a small dot (bindu) surrounded by circles, triangles, and squares, each having symbolic meaning. These shapes come together to form the pattern of the divine.
Chanti's passion is to inspire students to rediscover their creative self through personal inquiry, ritual, sangha and sadhana. She has been studying and teaching yoga in the Sri Viddya linage since 2005. Last year she completed her Masters degree at Pacifica Graduate Institute in Humanities with an emphasis on Depth Psychology. Chanti believes that creativity is one of the most essential tools in guiding students towards living a joyous and purposeful life. 

The exhibit can be viewed on Sundays before and after worship services. Contact Bette DeMars at with any questions.
Donations for AFA Hope Food & Clothing Closets
First Universalist is beginning our fifth year of partnership with Augsburg Fairview Academy (AFA). Young adults from diverse communities who face educational barriers to achievement in traditional schools are welcomed into AFA, a charter school that prepares them for college, career and life. AFA provides an intense program of rigorous study in a teen- and family-friendly atmosphere. Dedicated, talented staff use positive, strength-based approaches to help them succeed. The 140+ students come from diverse backgrounds including African American, Somali, and Native American. Many are homeless or marginally housed during the school year.  

Donations for the Hope Food Closet: Desired items include single serving microwavable soups, mac and cheese, stews, and snacks like fruit cups, granola bars, nuts or cracker and cheese packages. Toiletries needed include toothpaste and toothbrushes, men's and women's deodorant, shampoo and conditioner, lotions, and tampons (note: we don't need travel size items). 

Donations for Hope Clothing Closet: backpacks (black or dark colors), hoodies; t-shirts;  skinny jeans for men and women; men's and women's underwear and socks; fall jackets.  Clothing should be clean, teen appropriate and in good repair.

Bring items to the Hub on Sundays or drop off during the week at the shelves labeled for AFA by the 34th Street entrance. Thank you for your generosity!
Women's Ritual Circle: Upcoming Open Rituals
Self-identified women who are interested in earth-based and pagan spirituality are welcome to attend the upcoming open rituals of the Under Northern Skies Women's Ritual Circle. Our circle is open to newcomers on Friday, Sept. 16 (Cummins Room); Friday, Sept. 30 (Chalice Room); Saturday, Oct. 15 (Cummins Room); and Sunday, Oct. 30 (Cummins Room). For women who choose to join, there will be a commitment ritual on Monday, Nov. 14 in the Cummins Room, after which the circle will close to new members until next fall. Ritual begins promptly at 7:30 p.m. Contact Beth at for more information.
 Cycle of Life and Pastoral Care

Our thoughts are with Rev. Jen Crow, her partner Loretta, and children, Henry and Kate, for a speedy recovery from a house fire caused by lightning in late August. Notes and cards of support would offer great comfort, as would gift cards for the family to use at Wild Rumpus Book Store, Punch Pizza (the kids' favorite) or Target.
Jen Crow and family, c/o First Universalist Church, 3400 Dupont Ave. S., Mpls. 55408
 If you missed our email with this news from last week, you can read it here.

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, call the office at 612-825-1701 or contact any member of our Pastoral Care Team.
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. Learn more about Congregational Care.
Planned Giving
Please let us know when you designate First Universalist Church as a beneficiary in your will or estate plan so we can thank you for your generous commitment and welcome you to the Heritage Circle. The church office and the Planned Giving Committee can help you. Learn more.
 Support First Universalist When You Shop on Amazon Smile
Did you know that you can support First Universalist Church when you shop on Amazon? Just make sure to sign in through AmazonSmileAmazonSmile is the same Amazon you know - same products, same prices, same service - except that it donates 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to First Universalist Church of Minneapolis!
2016 Convocation of Unitarian Universalist Studies: "Beyond Boundaries: Controversies, Frontiers, and Growth in Unitarian Universalism"
October 27-30, 2016 in Minneapolis/St. Paul
"Beyond Boundaries: Controversies, Frontiers, and Growth in Unitarian Universalism" will be a rich gathering of ministers, scholars, students, and all others who cherish the history, heritage, and future of Unitarian Universalism. During the 2016 Convocation of Unitarian Universalist Studies, participants will present papers, panels/workshops, performances, exhibits/posters, as well as an award-winning sermon and hymn. Details and registration information can be found online at:
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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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