The March issue of the UU World (official publication of the Unitarian Universalist Association) included an article about the First Unitarian Society and how we are living the legacy of Dr. John Dietrich.
After many years of relying on volunteer guest speakers for Sunday morning Forums, the Society is turning a new page. We’re renaming the hour before assembly “First Hour,” with an expanded range of drop-in programs. The Forum tradition of guest presenters will continue, but we’ve shifted to once-a-month Forums with paid speakers.
On other Sundays, First Hour will include adult learning offerings with Rev. David, the monthly Social Justice Roundtable with Rev. Kelli, and some practice-based workshops. Except on holidays, drop-in childcare will be available for First Hour throughout the program year.
It’s time for the third triennial Service Trip, returning to the Arizona Navajo Reservation, over Spring Break, April 3-7, 2017! This is an all-abilities, intergenerational opportunity to experience a diverse culture while working along side the Navajo to improve their infrastructure and community. High School students are encouraged to participate in this trip, with or without family members.
Former FUS member Pamela Meade, who lives with her family in Pinon, AZ, will be organizing our service projects and at least one “fun” day to see Arizona sights and/or tour the Hopi reservation. We will be staying near Canyon de Chelly, with either hotel or camping options.
You are responsible for transportation and lodging costs, plus a fee (TBD) per person for van rental, group meals and project expenses, based on the total number of participants. For more information, please or call 612-781-0418.
New or additional commitments to our capital campaign made by the end of December will be matched by a group of Members up to a total of $250,000$350,000. If you want to get aboard this train–which is leaving the station shortly–the fastest way is to send an to the fundraising committee.
We are excited to have you as part of our Religious Explorers program. If you are interested in registration, the process includes registering your child/ren and volunteering to teach for a term or to help with two special activities.
Parent Volunteers are needed for the 2016-17 Religious Education school year. Work with one other volunteer for an 8-week block for grades K-7 in Fall, Winter or Spring terms. For further information, contact Director of Religious Education, Charles Krysinski by .
Effective August 15, Charles Krysinski will assume the position of Director of Religious Education.
Charles graduated from Northland College in Wisconsin with a BA in Religious Studies and minors in history and philosophy. His capstone paper compared the ideas of the great Jewish existentialist philosopher Martin Buber and C.L.R. James, the trailblazing Afro-Trinidadian social theorist and pioneer of subaltern studies and postcolonial theory. He coordinated the outdoors orientation programs at Northland College in Wisconsin, and has also taught skiing to children in Colorado.
Charles has experience teaching religious education at the Friends (Quaker) congregation in Ann Arbor, Michigan and at the Chequamegon UU Fellowship in Wisconsin.
Terrie Coats, who served us ably as the Acting DRE from the 2015-2016 year, will supervise the summer Religious Education program through mid-August.
The report for the 2015-2016 year was released at the annual meeting of the Members on Wednesday, May 18. It may be accessed on the download page of this site. Most forms and documents pertaining to the Society are available on that page so it is well worth bookmarking it.
Highlights of the meeting included the election of new Trustees Barb Lutz and Shelley Shreffler; election of new Nominating Committee members Sheila Callander, Anita Martinez and Scott Eller; and approval of the 2016-2017 budget. This year’s Dueltgen award for long-time service to the congregation went to Audrey Kingstrom and Bob Aderhold.
In collaboration with other Unitarian Universalist congregations in the Twin Cities, we are participating in a solar garden project. Individual households (members, friends, and neighbors!) enroll for a specific solar garden and ultimately save on their Xcel energy bills. To learn about our UU Community Solar Garden program and how you can join see this overview PDF (note: 1.5MB). To sign up directly, please go to http://www.mncommunitysolar.com/firstunitarian. You will need to refer to a recent Xcel bill.
One of our First Unitarian Society youth — Southwest high school junior Sophia Morrissette — won a third-place scholarship in an essay contest sponsored by the Minnesota Alliance of Peacemakers, a coalition of over 70 peace and justice organizations throughout the state. She was invited to read her essay at the Alliance annual peace event, held at the Perpich Center for the Performing Arts on November 10.
Morrissette learned about the contest from an FUS member who encouraged her to consider submitting an essay.
The question Morrissette addressed was: Identify one or more root causes of conflict. Describe ways to resolve conflict, locally or internationally.
Shelli Hesselroth will be joining our staff as Finance Director with responsibility for accounts payable, deposits, monthly reconciliation, employee benefits, payroll management, and annual budget preparation.
Shelli is a CPA with more than 25 years of experience, with a background in both public and private accounting. She is an experienced campaign compliance consultant and accountant to both state and Federal political campaigns and organizations.
Allison Stevens, who served us well in this position for several years, is moving to a larger job with a larger organization.