First Hour and Assembly Sundays

Learn and Grow

First Unitarian Society offers feature provocative and stimulating speakers engaged in important community issues and contemporary ideas. A “First Hour” event is offered first Sundays from September through May at 9:30.

Drop-in programming, Sundays at 9:30am at the Society:

May 7, NOTE 9:15 am TIME: “Journalism: Fact and Fiction Colliding” featuring Kim Ode, Staff Writer at the Star Tribune (aka, “Enemy of the People?”).

These are weird times, when belief in a viewpoint renders it a fact, when facts come under suspicion as biased, when balanced reporting becomes both a tool for “false equivalency” as well as a lightning rod for claims of fake news. It’s hard enough being a reporter; imagine being a news consumer. Let’s talk.

May 14: The Daodajing with Rev. Dr. David Breeden. From The Dao of Management to The Tao of Pooh, there is a “Tao” of just about everything. But what is the Tao really all about? The earliest surviving text of the Daodejing dates from around 400 BCE, but the content is probably much older. Rev. David has published a translation of this work and loves to talk about the ideas of Taoism.

May 21:  Social Justice Roundtable with participants of our Arizona service trip. Members and friends, young and old, had remarkable experiences in Navajo County, did good work, made great connections, and have stories to tell. Please join us!

May 28:  “Understanding the Syrian Crisis” with Dr. Hicham Bou Nassif, a professor at Carleton College and an expert on the Middle East. He has a Facebook page called Eye On The Middle East; click here to read his bio on the Carleton website.

Recent programs have included:

  • “Insist, Resist, Persist.” R.T. Rybak discussed how, when he was mayor, Unitarian Universalists were usually the first group he went to for community engagement. 
  • “Foreign Policy Under the Trump Administration” with Ann Wright, retired diplomat and Colonel in the U.S. Army.
  • “How to Sue the President in 3 Easy Steps.” Hear the story of an Iranian couple who got caught in the chaos of the travel ban and their legal fight to be reunited in Minnesota.
  • “Racial Disparities in the Criminal Justice System in the News” with MPR Reporter Brandt Williams
  • “Together We Can Make it Okay” with Bruce Ario from NAMI Minnesota and the FUS Mental Health Awareness Team

Upper Assembly Talks, Sundays, 10:30am

Theme for May: Change 

  • May 14:  “Ashes to Ashes, Humus to Humus: Humility and Humanism” with Rev. Dr. David Breeden
  • May 21:  “Antidotes, Transmogrifiers, and Change” with Rev. Jim Foti
  • May 28:  “The Humanist Call to Social Justice” with special guest Anthony Pinn
  • Youth-Led Coming of Age Assembly, Sunday June 4, 10:30-11:30 am, Upper Assembly Hall. Be sure to mark your calendars for our upcoming youth-led service! Join us in honoring our youth with a bridging ceremony, and prepare to listen to the musings of our 8th and 9th grade students as they read their credos. Questions? Please .

First Hour programs and Sunday talks also are listed with other activities at the Society at