Pilgrim House




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Pilgrim House

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

Older Programs : 2012

Older Programs : 20112012201320142015201620172018

December 30 – Tolling of the Bells

Our Tolling of the Bells program on Sunday will reflect on people and events of the year that’s drawing to a close. Our facilitators will recall and honor persons who have passed in 2012. There will be names and profiles of newsmakers, as well as time for attendees to share personal losses held dear. Music and singing will round out this program, which has proven to be a meaningful event for participants over the years.

You can share remembrances spontaneously at the program, or if you’d like to let the facilitators know ahead of time, contact: --Mel Aanerud --David Conradi-Jones

Children will enjoy a game day during the program, or are always welcome to stay with adults.

December 23 – Pilgrim House Holiday Celebration!

Please join us for our always-special intergenerational PH holiday program, complete with group caroling, favorite holiday readings, seasonal music, a performance by the PH Chorale, a special guest (possibly from the far north), favorite foods, and more. Contact Bill Rohde or Mel Aanerud by December 12th if you or the youth in your household have special music or a reading to share. And don’t forget to bring that favorite holiday food for our traditional potluck finger foods feast after the program. See you there!

December 16 – Authentic Hope with Jack Nelson Pallmeyer

Jack Nelson Pallmeyer, professor of Peace and Justice at the Saint Thomas University, is back at Pilgrim House to talk with us about his new book. In authentic hope is optimism disconnected from reality. The opposite of authentic hope is not despair. The world is at an end as we know it, but a soft landing is possible. We just have to recognize the world as it has changed and understand how to live in the new reality.

December 9 – Propaganda in Our Information Environment

There are five factors in the current information environment that together constitute a sort of perfect storm for the promotion of certain ideas that serve the interests of powerful people and institutions. That is, they make for a perfect storm for the rise of propaganda.

This program is presented by Jeff Nygard who publishes the independent newsletter Nygard Notes.

December 2 – Political Analysis Update with Professor David Schultz

With the election over, Professor Schultz (professor of political science from Hamline University) will try to explain to us what happened, why, and what short term and long term affects it will have on our lives.

November 25 – Mindfulness for Stress Reduction and Engaged Living

The speaker on November 25 will be Michael O’Neal of the Compassionate Ocean Dharma Center. He will be speaking on the practice of mindfulness and its integration into our everyday lives. Michael studied with the late Dainin Katagiri Roshi of the Minnesota Zen Center as well as Thich Nhat Hanh in France. He also completed a training for professionals in Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction with Jon Kabat-Zinn. He and his wife, Joen Snyder O’Neal, have offered courses in mindfulness and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) for the past twenty years. See http://www.oceandharma.org/ for more information.

November 18 – Our Traditional Pilgrim House Thanksgiving Celebration

Our PH Thanksgiving program is a time of celebration and community, bringing together Pilgrim House members and friends with special music, a performance by the Pilgrim House Chorale, seasonal readings, poetry ... and more. If you or younger members of your family have a musical selection you’d like to share, please contact Bill Rohde by Sunday 11/11. Similarly, if you have a reading you’d like to share, please contact Mel Aanerud. And don’t forget to bring a dish to pass for our traditional pot luck feast immediately after the program.

November 11 – The Songs of War

On Veterans Day we will investigate the changes in music inspired by the wars we have fought, with stories from the veteran’s point of view.

November 4 – A Stream of Light with Rev. John Cummins

John Cummins is minister emeritus of the First Universalist Church of Minneapolis, MN, where he served with distinction as minister from 1963 until his retirement in 1986. The son of the late Dr. Robert Cummins, a former General Superintendent of the Universalist Church of America, John made his own mark on our movement as an outstanding leader, preacher, and pastor. No one knows more about the history of Unitarian Universalism in the Twin Cities then John does. And he will share that knowledge with us.

October 28 – Interfaith Children’s Advocacy Network (iCAN)

Alison Killeen of the Interfaith Children’s Advocacy Network (iCAN) will present on the issues facing children in Minnesota: from childcare to health care, child sex trafficking to the state budget deficit, iCAN advocates on behalf of children’s needs at the state legislature. Join us for an invigorating discussion on how our personal values compel our actions in the public realm, and how you can get involved advocating for children with iCAN.

Alison Killeen is a St. Paul, Minnesota native and received her B.A. from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, where she studied abroad in South America and developed an interest in theology, ethics, and human rights. Alison also holds a Master in Divinity from Union Theological Seminary in New York City. She has worked for Ecumenical Women at the United Nations, the US Conference for the World Council of Churches, Lutheran Office for World Community, and Idealist.org. Alison is a Member in Discernment pursuing ordination in the Minnesota Conference of the United Church of Christ.

October 21 – The Yes that Comes from No

The Reverend Kelli Clement has spoken at Pilgrim House a number of times. She comes today to speak about both the Marriage Amendment and the Voter ID Amendment that will be on the ballot this November. Pilgrim House has taken a stand against these amendments. Kelli will explore these ballot initiatives in the context of our UU Principles.

October 14 – Equity and Social Justice

Dr. Heather Hackman has been teaching and training on social justice issues since 1992 and is currently a tenured professor in the Department of Human Relations and Multicultural Education at St. Cloud State University in St Cloud, Minnesota. She has taught courses in social justice and multicultural education, race and racism, heterosexism and homophobia, social justice education, oppression and social change, sexism and gender oppression, class oppression, and Jewish oppression. She consults nationally on issues of deep diversity, equity and social justice and has focused most of her recent training work on issues of racism and white privilege, gender oppression, heterosexism and homophobia, and classism.

October 7 – Ranked Choice Voting in Minnesota – Its Progress and Prospects

Ranked Choice Voting (also known as Instant Runoff Voting), a system of voting that allows voters to rank candidates on the ballot and ensure candidates with a majority of votes, has been used in countries around the world for decades, and more recently for municipal elections in several U.S. cities – including Minneapolis and St. Paul. Other cities in Minnesota are interested in adopting this system as well. On the cusp of a vitally important presidential election, join us for presentation and discussion about this initiative for future city and state elections.

Cheryl Mayberry from FairVote Minnesota will present the pros and cons to this method of electing our officials.

September 30 – Voter ID Amendment

Jana Kooren from the Minnesota ACLU will discuss the "Changes to In-Person & Absentee Voting & Voter Registration; Provisional Ballots Amendment" (sometimes called the Voter ID amendment) – What it Will Mean to Our Election System.

September 23 – Sukkot Feast of Tabernacles

Sukkot Feast of Tabernacles is a Biblical holiday celebrated on the 15th day of the month of Tishrei (late September to late October). It is one of the three biblically mandated festivals on which Hebrews were commanded to make a pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem.

September 16 – Love-letters to the World: Writing Effective Letters-to-the-Editor

Mother Teresa once described her work this way: "I’m a little pencil in the hand of a writing God, who is sending a love letter to the world." We UUers are likewise committed and impassioned to harness love’s power to challenge exclusion and oppression, to elevate public conversations and be a force for good. One way to help shape public discourse around key issues of our time is to contribute letters-to-the-editor. Come get useful tips to guide your writing process. Got an opinion? Get it published!

Lisa Wersal taught academic writing to university students, and has been a writer of academic articles, essays, opinion pieces, poetry, and many letters-to-the-editor. She is a regular letter writer to the Pioneer Press and StarTribune, where her letters are published monthly.

September 9 – Water Communion

Our traditional first program of a new year is Water Communion where people bring water that is important to them – Tell us about your summer or some other reason that water is important to you and mix it with the important water of others. Root beer floats will be served after the program.

August 12 – Gibbs Farm Museum with Terry Swanson

This is a program for both adults and children – learning about Gibbs Farm Museum in Ramsey County that tells the story of early settlement in our area. Ice cream cones will be served after the program.

July 15 – Ragamala Dance Troup – Bharatanatyam Historical Dances of India

The Indian dance system is the oldest and most comprehensive in the world, and Bharatanatyam is amongst the oldest of its classical forms. With a history that goes back more than 2,000 years, Bharatanatyam has come down through the centuries, originating in the ancient temples of South India. Integrating elements of music, theater, poetry, sculpture, and literature, this multi-dimensional art is part of a dynamic living tradition that offers an infinite scope for understanding and exploring the body, mind, and spirit.

June 24 – Real Pirates – from the Science Museum of Minnesota – Jim Holte

The untold story of the Whydah from Slave Ship to Pirate Ship is the program at the Science Museum of Minnesota. This program for adults and children provides a journey into the exciting world of real pirates and experience their fascinating, true adventures. A treasure trove of genuine artifacts, including authentic pirate treasure last touched by real pirates, will transport you back to an era that lives in legend.

June 3 – Flower Communion Followed by the Annual Meeting

Bring a flower from your garden for our traditional Flower Communion program. To keep that day moving we will move acknowledgments and thanks you’s over lunch (Taco bar and beverages provided by the board; pot luck items provided by everyone else) followed by the Annual Meeting.

May 27 – no program (Memorial Day weekend)

May 20 – Songs and Stories of the North Wood with Doug Wood

Doug Wood, the author of "old Turtle" and other children and adult books is an annual favorite at Pilgrim House and he returns with the Wild Spirit band to entertain and enlighten us.

May 13 – History of the Christian Church since 1500 with B. J. Shank

Professor Shank was at Pilgrim House in October and gave us the early history of the Christian Church. There was a desire to have him back to tell us the continuing history of the Christian Church – he is professor of Religion at the University of Minnesota.

May 6 – The Decline of Science, with Shawn Otto

Shawn Lawrence Otto is a science advocate and humanitarian who works for smarter politics on a global scale. He is an author and film maker; he co-produced of the Oscar-nominated film House of Sand and Fog. He is the husband of State Auditor Rebecca Otto. We have had him at Pilgrim House before, talking about the decline of Science – he has now written a new book on the topic.

April 29 – Personalities of the Presidential Candidates, with Aubrey Immelman

Can we test the personality of the candidates for president and have an insight into what kind of a chief executive they will be? This is the interesting research that Professor Immelmann is involved in, and he will share his findings with us.

Aubrey Immelmann is a Professor of Personality at St. John’s University, Dept. of Psychology.

April 22 – Did our Founding Fathers create a Christian Nation?

Conservatives claim that our founding fathers created a Christian nation. We will hear from George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin, whom we can all respect as founding fathers. They will discuss this topic, in their own words.

April 15 – Urban Turkeys, with Karl Tinsley

Karl’s research examines the behavioral response and possible adaptation strategies of wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo) to urban landscape features. What has allowed turkeys to successfully colonize and expand their range? We have seen them in our Pilgrim House yard. They have successfully established themselves on the urban landscape. Do we need controls and what would those be? Karl is a PhD at the University of Minnesota and has directed the study of the Urban Turkey.

April 8 – Spring Celebration – From the Equinox to the Easter Bonnet

Time honored to current traditions – From the Equinox and the Resurrection to the Easter egg, the Easter bunny and the Easter bonnet – How did we come to celebrate this time of the year as we do? We are looking for members to present prepared material – Contact Mel Aanerud or Lollie Jensen.

April 1 – Introduction to Ethiopia: The Nation and Church, with Dawit Getachew

Dawit was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and came to the U.S. in 1990. He is a naturalized citizen, and earned his B.A. degree from Metro State University. He is now an independent computer programmer. He is a member of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church.

March 25 – Addressing Child Malnutrition

Larry Carpenter is the executive director of Toddler Food Partners. They provide knowledge, equipment and hands-on training to make a Ready to Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) that has helped thousands of toddlers become healthy and go on to live a normal productive life.

March 18 – For Love of Lakes

Darby Nelson is Professor Emeritus at Anoka-Ramsey Community College, an aquatic Biologist, a former state legislator and former board president of Conservation Minnesota. He has written the book For the Love of Lakes. It weaves history, science and poetry for all who love lakes and enjoy nature writing. He is being touted as the Henry Thoreau of Lakes

March 11 – Do People Really Understand What the Bible Says?

People interpret the Bible through their own biases and personal motives. In order to truly understand the Bible one needs to be an expert on the lives and times of the people who wrote it. This includes understanding the colloquial phrases, politics, family life, humor, the architecture, etc, etc. Very few people have such expertise.

Louis Asher is a retired Researcher/Statistician and instructor. He worked at 3M Co. for 39 years and was known as a very practical, motivating and extremely entertaining/fun instructor. He now volunteers in organizations that deal with habitat conservation, climate change and renewable energy. In the 1970's Louis had taught Sunday School at Mount Zion Temple in St. Paul with an emphasis on two subjects: the Old Testament and Comparative Religions.

March 4 – Standing on the Side of Love – Adam Gerhardstein

Most UU members have encountered the Standing on the Side of Love campaign which champions acceptance and fairness for all. Standing on the Side of Love is a public advocacy campaign that seeks to harness love’s power to stop oppression. The campaign is sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Association.

Soup Sunday and the Annual Pilgrim House Auction follow the program.

February 26 – Dances of George Washington

In celebration of Washington’s 280th birthday, PH members will present a program of 18th-century dances and songs to highlight General Washington’s life and times. They will be led by Charlie Rusnacko who has been studying and teaching dance the last forty years. "We wish all those who have a relish for so agreeable and innocent an amusement all the pleasure the {dancing} season will afford them...I am your most humble servant, Geo. Washington, Mt. Vernon, 12th November, 1799."

February 19 – Birds in Flight

Presented by Carrol Henderson who is DNR Nongame Wildlife program supervisor and author of Birds in Flight, Woodworking for Wildlife: Homes for Birds and Mammals, and several other books. See his website http://www.hendersonbirding.com/index.html.

February 12 – Drumming the Soul Awake

Jaime Meyer is returning to Pilgrim House to lead us in a drumming session. He will provide instruments for those who want one, or you may bring your own.

Jaime Meyer’s eclectic background includes earning a Masters' degree in theology and the arts from United Seminary of the Twin Cities and studies with a variety of shamanic teachers. His book Drumming The Soul Awake is an often funny and touching account of his journey to become what some call an urban shaman. Since 2001 he has led popular group drumming events around the Twin Cities including five years of sold-out Winter Solstice ceremonies. Jaime’s website is http://www.drummingthesoulawake.com/.

February 5 – It Starts When You Say "We"

What does it mean to say "we" in a community of free thought and free faith? What is it that draws us together and keeps us together, despite and across our differences? Drawing from the example of pilots working with whooping cranes in the natural world, we’ll consider the challenges and possibilities of relationship and "living our faith" as Unitarian Universalists.

Presenter: Rev. Karen Hering is consulting literary minister at Unity Church-Unitarian, St. Paul, and currently serves as writer-in-residence at Wisdom Ways Center for Spirituality. She leads programs in congregations and the wider community engaging writing as a spiritual practice and a tool for social action. For more information, visit: http://www.unityunitarian.org/literary-ministry/html.

After the program on Feb. 5, Karen will lead a writing session on community and covenant, see article below.

January 29 – Shunning Emotional Intimacy: The Curse of Living Without a Life

John Driggs is an adjunct instructor at Century College in Adult Education and have been for 20 years. He has written a mental health column for the Phoenix newspaper for 25 years. He has been in private practice in St. Paul for 30 years.

January 22 – Brain Development and Public Policies

Alexandra Fitzsimmons and Marcie Jefferys (both with the Children’s Defense Fund MN) will present on brain development and public policies: What is currently known about the impact of adverse experiences in early childhood on the rest of our lifespan, how Minnesota’s current programs often fail to attend to children and their development--even programs and policies ostensibly aimed at the well-being, and ways to incorporate the latest in brain and other research into our public policies, including suggestions for actions interested PH members can take. The Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) is a non-profit child advocacy organization that has worked relentlessly for over 35 years to ensure a level playing field for all children. CDF champions policies and programs that lift children out of poverty; protect them from abuse and neglect; and ensure their access to health care, quality education and a moral and spiritual foundation.

January 15 – Why is "What do UU’s believe" the Wrong Question?

"What do Unitarian Universalists believe?" Aren’t we asked that question a lot by family, friends, and/or co-workers? The main problem with this question is the one word, believe, because it doesn’t mean today what it did a few centuries ago. Context is everything. Dana Reynolds, minister at Michael Servetus Unitarian Society in Fridley, presents this program.

January 8 – Minority Business and their Economic Impact on the Entire Community

Lennie Chism is the Executive Director of Springboard Economic Development Corporation an organization designed to encourage risk takers in the minority community to create the businesses and community leaders of tomorrow; Focusing on capacity building through educating, developing and empowering the residents to support and grow businesses.

Soup Sunday follows the program.

Older Programs : 20112012201320142015201620172018

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