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)

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