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)

June 2, 2019 - Flower Communion

June 3, 2019

Flower Communion is an early-summer tradition of Unitarians and Universalists. The ritual is a metaphor for the diversity, connectedness, and beauty of our community. In this service, the First U congregation honored the participation, learning, and work of the many leaders, teachers, facilitators, planners, and more through this celebration of giving and receiving blessings.

Call to Worship: Rev. Karen Hutt

Wisdom Story: Rev. Justin Schroeder  

May 26, 2019 - Lives Knit Together

May 28, 2019

The poet Wendell Berry writes, “Any man’s [person’s] death could end the story: his [their] mourners having accompanied him to the grave through all he knew, turn back, leaving him complete. But this is not the story of life. It is the story of lives, knit together, overlapping in succession.” This Memorial Sunday, we remember the history of Memorial Day and those who have served in this knitting together of lives.

Call to Worship: Drew Rosielle

Sermon: Rev. Ruth MacKenzie

Updated! May 12, 2019 - Our First Sound

May 20, 2019

On this updated version of our May 12th Mother's Day Service, hear credos from First Universalist's Coming of Age Class of 2019. 

Credo Intro by Rev. Ruth MacKenzie-  :30

Credos- 2:25-14:16

Sermon, "Our First Sound" - 14:20

May 12, 2019 - Our First Sound

May 13, 2019

It starts early and remains complicated, lovely, weird, fun, scary and joyous. Our relationships with our mothers are at the root of our lives and they can not be ignored or celebrated lightly.

Sermon: Rev. Karen Hutt

May 5, 2019 - The Constant, Pt. 2

May 6, 2019

Rev. Justin writes: Nearly 10 years ago, I preached a sermon on an episode of the show “Lost.” The title of the Sermon was “The Constant.” I was reminded of this sermon in a conversation with a congregant two weeks ago. It had stuck with him all these years. I soon as he mentioned it, I also remembered the sermon, and thought, “as we begin our May exploration of ‘Thresholds’, let’s explore what, if anything, remains as we cross the thresholds in our lives — from student to graduate, from single to married, from married to single, from well to ill, whatever it might be. Is there anything that remains constant in those threshold moments — those moments marked by a ‘before’ and an ‘after?'”

Wisdom Story: Rev. Jen Crow (:30)

Sermon: Rev. Justin Schroeder (5:49)

April 28, 2019- Choir-led Service: Requiem, by Mozart

April 29, 2019

First Universalist Choir sings Mozart’s Requiem, a piece shrouded in mystery. Commissioned by a (then unidentified) stranger, possibly written for his own funeral, and eventually completed by Mozart’s student, the work is just as intriguing as its story.

This podcast includes First Universalist Choir & Orchestra performing Mozart’s Requiem and Rev. Jen Crow’s sermon, “Ours to Complete.”

Please see the Order of Service to follow along and to see the list of those performing.

Call to Worship - :32

Intro, Krie, Dies Irae - 4:35

Rex Tremendae - 13:44

"Ours to Complete, pt. 1" - 15:48

Confutatis, Lacrimosa - 20:44

"Ours to Complete, pt. 2" - 25:55

Agnus Dei, Lux aeterna - 31:24


April 21, 2019 - Rise Up

April 24, 2019

So often we are so tied up in knots by our fears, our heartache, and our attachments to certain ways of doing things that we don’t recognize the promise of transformation that is right in front of us. The invitation into new life doesn’t match the story line we are looping over and over again in our head. The religious life asks us to move deeper and wider than the repeated story line of either/or, good or bad, in or out. Buddhist nun Pema Chödrön says: “Feel the feelings, drop the story line.” How might this spiritual practice resurrect our lives? How might we open ourselves to the unexpected bits of grace that intersect with our lives everyday? How are we called to rise up?

Worship Associate: Daryn Woodson

Message for All Ages: Road to Emmaus; Luke 24:13-33, adapted by Ruth MacKenzie

Sermon: Rev. Ruth MacKenzie