September 15, 2016  |  Vol. 3 No. 37
Finding Your Community Within the Community: How will you grow your soul at church this fall?
Rev. Elaine Aron Tenbrink
The adult programming catalog is out and registration is open! Whether you're ready to engage in a spiritual practice, explore what it means to be resilient, or deepen your racial justice work, there is something for you.

But what's this business about "Soul Matters"?

Soul Matters is a new way of engaging with our monthly worship themes. A small group of circle facilitators piloted the curriculum last year and they loved it. As a result, we decided to give the whole church community a chance to try it out this year.

How is Soul Matters different from Community Circles? Its focus is on bringing our monthly worship themes into your day-to-day life. At the beginning of each month, each participant receives a packet of materials based upon the month's worship theme (such as "Invitation," for September). From these materials, each participant chooses one spiritual exercise and a deep question to sit with for the course of the month. At the end of the month, participants gather in small groups of 8-10 people to share about their experiences of the spiritual exercise, of contemplating their question, and to reflect on the theme.

In contrast, Community Circles require no particular preparation besides attending worship services. They meet more frequently, but for a briefer duration. In Community Circles, participants listen to excerpts from the most recent Sunday service, and then respond to questions that bring them into deeper engagement with the focus of the service.

This helpful chart breaks down the differences between the two groups:

Why offer both Soul Matters AND Community Circles? We want to give you a chance to experience both formats and let us know what you think. Both offer spiritual grounding within a smaller "community within the community" at church.  

Registration is open online at and in the social hall through October 2. Please reach out to me at or 612-825-1701 x124 with any questions.

Whether it's a Community Circle, a Soul Matters Group, or something else, take a look at the Adult Programming Catalog and find your "community within the community."

I'll see you in church,

Worship this Sunday
Sunday, Sept. 18, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m.
First Day of Religious Education  
"Invited In"
Rev. Justin Schroeder
Sometimes invitations are obvious, like the ones that show up in your mail or email box. Other times invitations are more subtle and complex. How might we listen for those invitations, and how might we respond?

Faithful Action Partner Sunday
Featured Partner: EMERGE
During worship this Sunday, we'll hear from representatives from EMERGE, this week's highlighted Faithful Action Partner. You can also learn more in the social hall after services and/or on our website.

A Look Ahead
Sunday, Sept. 25, 9:30 & 11:15 a.m. 
Sign Up Sunday
Rev. Justin Schroeder

Recent Sermon Podcasts
September 11, 2016
Rev. Justin Schroeder
September 4, 2016
"The Grace Within the Waiting"
Shay MacKay
August 28, 2016
"What I'm Learning from Donald Trump"
Rev. Justin Schroeder
August 21, 2016
"Confetti" (Backpack Blessing Sunday)
Lauren Wyeth
Parking Lot Work Continues
Work continues this week on our parking lot, which means it is currently not available to park in, so please allow extra time to find street parking, especially on Sundays. 

Volunteer valet parking, by pre-arrangement, will be available on Sunday, Sept. 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.
September Worship Theme: Invitation
Create a clearing, listen for your song and let it teach you how to give yourself to this world. There is no better description of the religious life than this! And notice that it all begins with invitation, with the deep humility and knowledge that while the song is deeply ours, it also comes from something or somewhere beyond ourselves. It takes time, but eventually we each come to realize that - to be whole and to find home - a space must be made, a clearing must be created, and otherness must be invited in.
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. This family-friendly event is free (food available for purchase), though donations will gladly be accepted to help cover costs. 

Set times:
11:00     Ron Parker
12:00     Alan Ware and David Lauth
1:00       Ellis
2:00       Universal Folk Band members
3:00       A Ghost Revival
EMERGE is Featured Partner Organization on 9/18
This coming Sunday, Sept. 18, we are looking forward to introducing you to EMERGE, one of our seven Faithful Action partners, during the worship service. You'll also have the opportunity to speak with representatives from EMERGE in the social hall after services.

Unemployment in communities served by EMERGE is 21% in North Minneapolis and 40% in Cedar Riverside, vs. 6.3% overall in Minneapolis.

EMERGE clients are 91% people of color, 64% live in poverty, 33% have a criminal background, 15% have no High School credentials, and 12% are immigrants or refugees.

Stay after the Sunday, Sept. 18 services to learn how EMERGE is "making a difference in these lives and communities," and partnering with First Universalist volunteers.
Over the next few months, you will have the opportunity to learn more about our 2016-2017 Faithful Action Partners through short testimonials in the worship service and afterwards in the social hall. 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 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
Religious Education Begins This Sunday, Sept. 18
First Universalist Church is a vibrant religious community offering innovative Sunday morning Religious Education classes and special programs for children, youth and families. During the church year, we offer Sunday morning childcare for children ages 6 months to 2 years and Religious Education classes for preschool through high school during worship services. 

This Sunday, Sept. 18 is the first day of Religious Education classes for the 2016-2017 church year! If you are returning, please make sure that your child(ren) is/are registered before this Sunday. Online Registration is available here. You can read class descriptions and curricula for each age/grade level here. There is no fee for registration.

We welcome visiting families! If you are planning to join us for the first time this Sunday or on a future Sunday, please arrive 15-20 minutes before the service starts and check in at the Visiting Families Welcome Station in the Atrium (the glass door entrance off of Dupont Avenue) so that we can get you signed in and settled. Please feel free to attend a class with your child, bring them to the worship service with you, or drop them off in their classroom while you attend service. 
Join Circle Suppers this Fall!
Looking for a great way to get to know others in the church over great food and conversation? Then join Circle Suppers! Circle Suppers run the first Saturday of every month from November through March. You will meet at a different person's home each month with a group of about 6-8 people. The host typically provides the main course, with others bringing things such as appetizers, salad, dessert, wine, etc., to be determined by the host. You are required to host once during this time frame. For more information contact Marybeth Hoelzer at 612-824-1221 or
Women's Ritual Circle: Open Rituals This Fall
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. The 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, 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.
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!
 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. 
 If you missed our initial email with this news, you can read it here. We also sent an update last Friday, which you can read 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.
 Lost & Found
Our Lost and Found from last church year has recently been cleared out, and we are holding onto items until October 15. If you are looking for something that you might have lost at church, please contact Sandy DiNanni at or 612-825-1701.
Faithify Campaign Seeks Donations for Revive Love Tour 

Our movements need communities fed and vital to struggle another day. So many of us feel we are helplessly watching attacks on social justice movements, and are unsure how to show our support to organizers on the ground. At the same time, true community leaders are often the most taken for granted. We want to see Black, LGBTQ and immigrant organizers stay in the game. There is an urgent need for Unitarian Universalists to play a role in nourishing movement. Join us today and support the Revive Love tour.

The Revive Love Tour offers a space to recharge, replenish, and build. Over a span of five cities the tour intends to foster social engagement and support the movement for Black, LGBTQ, and immigrant lives in a way that recognizes the need for healing space and spiritual accompaniment. Given the national acrimony and social discourse, it is an opportunity to create spaces for artists and activists to sustain and be sustained by the movement. This will be accomplished in four core ways:
  1. 'Fortify the Movement' workshop/discussion with Standing on the Side of Love
  2. An explicitly Pro-Black and Pro-Trans/GNC show by Rev. Sekou and the Holy Ghost in every site in relationship with local and national artists.
  3. Training and 1:1 support 'clinics' for lead organizers in local communities
  4. Strong local partnering in every site to build networked relationships
The current itinerary includes stops in: Atlanta, GA, New Market, TN, New Orleans, LA, Oakland, CA and St. Louis, MO. We want to offer Unitarian Universalist communities training on how to 'offer spiritual sanctuary for movement' in their local communities.

Support the Revive Love Tour here!
"Defying the Nazis: The Sharps' War" Airs Sept. 20 

"Defying the Nazis: The Sharps' War" airs on PBS this Tuesday, Sept. 20, at 9/8c. This courageous story of two Unitarians who helped hundreds escape Nazi Europe is being broadcast across the country. Get inspired to defy hate and fear today. We can carry on the Sharps' legacy by taking action with the refugee crises and religious discrimination in our time. A Ken Burns documentary, directed by Artemis Joukowsky.
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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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