August 11, 2019 - Is Your Breath Happy Here?

August 13, 2019

Our breath is the very essence of our lives and a doorway into presence and connection. This episode, Arif Mamdani preaches his first sermon as First Universalist’s new Director of Membership and Adult Ministries, in an exploration of breath, relationship, and hospitality.

Call to Worship - Rev. Justin Schroeder (:32)

Sermon - Arif Mamdani (1:52)

August 4, 2019 - Yes, And: A Theology of Improv

August 5, 2019

Guest preacher Rev. Ashley Horan asks, what do improvisational comedy and religious community have to do with each other? We’ll explore the lessons improv can teach us about mutual support, shaping reality together, and being open to the possibilities of collaboration that are greater than anything we can do alone.

Call to Worship: Rev. Ruth MacKenzie (:30)

Sermon: Rev. Ashley Horan (1:29)

July 28, 2019 - Where Is the Lost and Found?

July 29, 2019

Using a familiar parable (Luke 15), we dive into what it means to search for something in our lives. What impact does the act of searching have on what is found? What is worth searching for in our lives? Are we searching for the impossible? 

Responsive Reading and Sermon: Rev. Karen Hutt

July 21, 2019 - Squirming with Jesus

July 22, 2019

Unitarian Universalism is rooted in the radical reformation of Christianity. Yet, many of us seem to squirm when we consider the historical constructs and events that undergird our faith. Some of us do so because we do not know— and others would prefer not to know— because they trigger emotions about how we have experienced Christianity. Let’s set the record straight about our history and explore what it means to be a UU in 2019 rooted in the Christianity of 1519.

Call to Worship- Pastor Stephanie Vos (:31)

UU Quotes- Rev. Karen Hutt & Pastor Stephanie Vos (8:55)

Sermon- Rev. Karen Hutt (12:08)

July 14, 2019 - The Congregation is the Curriculum

July 17, 2019

“Faith development is all we do. Unitarian Universalism is the faith we teach. The congregation is the curriculum.” Connie Goodbread is a credentialed religious educator who consults about healthy congregations and transformation for the Unitarian Universalist Association. Her words remind us that faith development is not just for children; in fact, it is a thread woven through all our activities. What are we teaching and what are we learning at church, on purpose and by accident? How might a focus on faith development help us manifest the sweetest, most dangerous promises of our UU faith?

Call to Worship- (:30)

Reading- It's Hard Work, Rev. Rosemary Bray McNatt (3:57)

Reading- Even This Is Enough, Vanessa Southern (5:17)

Sermon- The Congregation is the Curriculum, Lauren Wyeth (7:43)



July 7, 2019 - In the Middle of It

July 9, 2019

A core spiritual practice at First Universalist is to “listen deeply to where love is calling us next.” Since early January, a group of congregants and ministers have been following this call, working toward sponsoring a detained (imprisoned) asylum seeker. Dozens of congregants are part of this effort, and at the end of May, a young, indigenous, Guatemalan woman arrived in Minneapolis, sponsored by congregants. This Sunday, we members of the core Asylum Support Team share reflections on this journey, describe how our faith calls us to this ministry, and invite congregants to support this effort in whatever ways they can. The service is in English and Spanish.

Call to Worship: Laura Schlatter (:31)

Reflection 1: Ron Schlatter (8:13)

Reflection 2: Karen Heegard (14:41)

June 30, 2019 - The Work We Need to Do

July 1, 2019

July is Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. We know that mental health conditions do not discriminate. Anyone can experience mental health challenges. Yet, background and identity often determine access and quality of care to mental health treatments. This week, Isha Caldwell (Navigator at Mental Health Connect), Daryn Woodson (Worship Associate), and Rev. Ruth MacKenzie lean into questions of stigma and access, cultural strengths and wisdom, and the call for transformation, to choose strength over silence, and love over fear.

Call to Worship- Daryn Woodson (:28)

Reflection- Isha Caldwell (4:51)

Reflection- Rev. Ruth MacKenzie (15:21)

June 23, 2019 - Who is Afraid of Power?

June 24, 2019

Executive Director of Black Lives of UU and First Universalist member, Lena K. Gardner, will be exploring the importance of a grounded, principled understanding of “yes, and…” that doesn’t eschew responsible action in the world for tepid inaction or hollow half-steps under the guise of thoughtfulness and embracing “all sides”. We will explore what a principled “yes, and” could mean in the midst of power structures that define all aspects of our lives even how we think about ourselves, our bodies, our children and the circumstances of our lives. If you have heard Lena Gardner preach before, you know she will raise many questions and offer sustenance for spiritual deepening. Lena states: “I do believe that in seeking together — the responsible search for truth and meaning — we find paths that bring us closer to love and justice, rather than comfortably embracing the ways of the world that are marred by injustice, greed, and racialized inequality.”

Call to Worship- Rev. Karen Hutt (:29)

Sermon - Lena K. Gardner (4:31)


June 16, 2019 - Our Second Sound

June 18, 2019

On May 12, in her sermon, “Our First Sound,” Rev. Karen Hutt reflected on the complicated, lovely, weird, fun, scary, and joyous relationships we have with our mothers, and all of the nuance that exists around Mother’s Day. This Sunday, Rev. Hutt and Rev. Schroeder, along with several congregants, reflect on what it means to be a father, what it means to be a father in this #MeToo era, what it means to be a “white father,” or a “father of color,” and more. Finally, they reflect on the spiritual dimension of fathering. 

Call to Worship: Keven Ambrus (:30)

Reflection 1: Drew Rosielle (4:38)

Reflection 2: Andrew Tralle (9:49)

Reflection 3: Rev. Justin Schroeder (14:33)

Reflection 4: Rev. Karen Hutt (17:30)

June 9, 2019 - Healing America: Understanding and Challenging Islamophobia

June 10, 2019

Jaylani Hussein, the Executive Director of the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN), speaks about true American community. How will we live out Dr.King's dream? Mr. Hussein suggests four things we can do. 

Call to Worship: Rev. Justin Schroder (:30)

Sermon: Jaylani Hussein (1:33)