FAQs

Where did you come from?

The First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis was founded in 1881 as a liberal religious community. Under the ministry of Rev. John Dietrich (served 1916-1938), First Unitarian became a leading light for religious humanism (today, we feel that “congregational humanism” is a more apt term). Dietrich was a signer of the first Humanist Manifesto in 1933. Subsequent ministries have continued this tradition. The Society maintains close ties to other humanist bodies such as the American Humanist Association,  Ethical Culture Society, the Society for Humanistic Judaism as well as the Unitarian Universalist Association. You may read more about our history at this Wikipedia page.

What does a Humanist Assembly look like?

Our Assemblies (typically called “services” in other congregations) meet for an hour or less with a featured talk by one of our ministers, music ranging from contemporary folk to a full orchestra, and readings from a broad range of cultures from ancient to contemporary.

The minister’s talk explores personal or social issues from a humanist perspective and is welcoming to people from any background. Most Assemblies include sign language interpreters and large-print programs.

What should I wear?

Our members and friends dress in a manner that is casual and comfortable for them. Business casual is the most common, but feel free to wear anything from blue jeans to ball gowns.

What about children?

We have childcare for babies through preschoolers, and religious education classes for kindergarten through senior high school youth that are held during the Assembly. You are also welcome to bring your infant to Assembly.

Who could I talk to?

We’ll do our best to identify you as a visitor. Some visitors are hungry to talk while others want to be left alone (this is Minnesota).

  • Greeters are on duty before the Assembly both at the Mt. Curve and the Groveland Terrace entrances.
  • Afterwards you are welcome to join us downstairs for coffee, cookies and a mini-meal.
  • Stop by the Welcome Table in the social hall to inquire about the Society and upcoming events and programs.
  • Members of the program staff are available until noon most Sundays and would be glad to visit with you.

What about parking?

Ours is an urban neighborhood but we have convenient arrangements with the Walker Art Center parking garage across Groveland Avenue. On-street parking is most available to the south and west of the Society.