Pilgrim House



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Pilgrim House

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

1212 W. Highway 96, Arden Hills, MN  55112

About Us   ( Mission, History, Directions, Contact info )
Information For Visitors
We ask all alike to think — not all to think alike.

Pilgrim House is open for in-person programs. To participate at Pilgrim House, you must be vaccinated and wear a mask. We are not able to offer in-person programs for children who are not vaccinated.

There will be no food; drinks are permitted only in the fellowship hall; singing is permitted while masked. Facilitators, musicians, and presenters may opt not to wear a mask.

Programs will continue to be offered via Zoom. The Zoom link for these programs will be sent to Pilgrim House members and friends. Everyone is welcome! If you would like to participate via Zoom, please contact pilgrimhouse@pilgrimhouseuua.org.
 

Next Program at 10:15am CDT at Pilgrim House and via Zoom

December 5 – Connecting with Nature - Susan Chaplin

Originally from California, I lived in New York and Missouri for several years before coming to Minnesota in 1985. After finishing graduate school at Cornell in the 1970s, I taught undergraduate and graduate biology in Missouri and Minnesota for 38 years and finally retired from the University of St. Thomas in 2011. Retirement has been a wonderful time to learn photography, travel in the U.S. and abroad, spend time with grandchildren, and connect with others by writing about the wonders of the natural world.

As a teacher I always tried to engage my students (of all ages) with biology by putting the concepts into a context that would grab their attention. How better than to pose a question that would feed their inquisitiveness about how things work in the natural world: how does a cheetah run 60 mph? why are seeds arranged in spirals in a flower head? why do leaves change color in the fall? why are blue eyes and red hair rare? In retirement, I’ve found that questions like these also pique the interests of readers of my web log (i.e., blog) – most often people who were not all that interested in biology when they were students. And these writing exercises have benefitted me as well, prodding me to observe more closely what’s going on in the world around me, from my own backyard to backyards throughout the world. In my talk, I’ll present some background on how I got started blogging and some examples of how the blog helps me connect with people about connecting with nature.



Upcoming Programs

December 12 – Pipestone National Monument – Gabby Drapeau

The Pipestone found at the monument if southwest Minnesota is only found one other place on Earth, in Germany. It was considered sacred to most Indian Tribes and was a major trading item, found from Alaska to Patagonia. Only indigenous Indians can now dig Pipestone.

December 19 – Our Traditional Holiday Program

Participate in our Holiday Program!

Our Pilgrim House Holiday Celebration program will be on Sunday, December 19. Due to COVID re-strictions we will not have our beloved chorale, but we will still have a wonderful program for our members, friends and guests with the songs, poetry, stories and traditions that you and your family treasure. Contact Mel Aanerud or Bill Rohde to contribute your piece. Though we won’t be having our traditional pot luck after the program, there will be coffee and hot cider in the fellowship room – and, a visit from Ms Claus and her elves with an optional drive-by to see Mrs. Claus after the program from 11:30-1:00.

December 26 – No Program

January 2, 2022 – Your Favorite Photo – Awe and Wonder

This is your opportunity to tell us about your experience with feelings of awe and wonder, with the help of photographs. Your experience may have come from something in nature, a man-made object, an experience with art, or a special person to you. The photo may be one you personally took, or one you found to illustrate your awesome experience.

We will show your photos on the screen and you will have several minutes to tell us about the images. Your story is as important as the photograph. Each person can share up to three photos. If you would like to be part of the program, email photos (.jpg file) to Les Rogers no later than December 22nd. Contact Les if you have questions.



Past Program Highlights

November 28 – Best Read

Volunteers will share some of their favorite books.

November 21 – Thanksgiving Celebration

Please join us this Sunday for our Annual Thanksgiving Celebration, concurrently available both live at Pilgrim House and virtually via Zoom. Given our current COVID protocols we won’t be having our traditional Thanksgiving Pot Luck, but we will be having everything else including special music, shared readings and poetry, insights into the season, plus a very special recognition and thanks for those members who passed away this year after giving so much to all of us at Pilgrim House over the years. They are deeply missed.



November 14 – Forest Bathing: the Japanese art of "Shinrin Yoku"

David Motzenbecker introduces Forest Bathing, the Japanese art of "Shinrin Yoku",translated as: 'taking in the forest air with all the senses'. Backed by over 35 years of scientific studies, forest bathing is a gentle, immersive, intentional, and meditative walk through the forest that has been found to reduce stress and boost immune function, as well as increase focus and productivity.



November 7 – Place Matters Now More Than Ever

According to the latest research, a child’s life trajectory is often determined by the neighborhood where they are raised. The Northside Achievement Zone (NAZ) is a comprehensive community strategy to ensure that a child’s zip code is not their destiny. While NAZ has seen demonstrable success over the years, the triple threat of the pandemic, killing of George Floyd and historic levels of violence threaten to set us back in incalculable ways. Come learn about what NAZ is doing to address the issues and why they won’t give up! In fact they have said, ‘we are just getting started!!’

Sondra Samuels is President and CEO of the Northside Achievement Zone (NAZ) in North Minneapolis.



October 31 – Minnesota from the Road Session 5 – Doug Ohman

Famed photographer and story teller Doug Ohman returns to Pilgrim House with session 5 of his from the road series. Enjoy this old fashioned road trip tour as Doug takes us along on a visit to various historic sites in Minneapolis while sharing stories that are sure to enlighten us on Minneapolis history and heritage.



October 24 - A Special All-Music Program

After months of virtual-only programming with COVID-19 restrictions, we’ve decided to celebrate our re-gathering and the start of our multi-platform programming with a special all-music program by Twin Cities Actress and Vocalist Kate Beahen, accompanied by Lyric Arts music director Louis Berg-Arnold. Kate will be performing a mix of Jazz, Broadway and familiar tunes that promises to satisfy everyone’s musical tastes. Performing on local stages such as the Guthrie, the Ordway, the Children’s Theater Company, the Lyric Theater, Theater Latte Da, the Prairie Home Companion, Crooner’s Jazz Club and other venues, she has also performed on stages around the country. We’re pleased to have her join us at Pilgrim House to help celebrate our transition back to live programming with internet simulcasting.



October 17 – Alexandra House

Heidi Kopischke Shelter and Supportive Services Coordinator Alexandra House, Inc. The mission of Alexandra House is to empower victims of domestic and sexual violence, and inspire social change, through education, support, and advocacy. Alexandra House is one of the community groups that Pilgrim House supports through it’s Social Action programs



October 10 – State Auditor Julie Blaha

Julie Blaha is an American teacher and politician who is serving as the 19th State Auditor of Minnesota. Blaha earned her Bachelor of Science from St. Cloud State University and her Master of Arts in education from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. She worked as a middle school math teacher and secretary-treasurer of the Minnesota AFL-CIO. She was elected State Auditor in the 2018 elections. Blaha and her husband, Roger, live in Ramsey, Minnesota. When she talks about being State Auditor, she is interesting and funny.



October 3 – Bees

Rebekah Golden is the granddaughter of Bill and Carolyn Easter. She grew up coming to Sunday gatherings. Rebekah discovered herself as an unexpected bee-lover working as an undergraduate research assistant in a bumblebee pollination behavior lab at the University of Arizona. She found that through bees, she was more in touch with the environment and world around her, and it wasn’t long before she became completely mesmerized by the simplicity of the individual and how that translated into the complexity of the honeybee superorganism. Using charismatic honeybees as a gateway to the ecosystem concept, Rebekah and 2 friends started Bee & Bloom LLC in Portland, OR. Together they run an educational apiary with 16 hives & an online resource shining a light on pollinators, sustainability, and natural wellness.



September 26 – Minnesota Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Alliance

Karen Wills, the State Director, will be the speaker. MUUSJA equips you to be skilled, accountable, faithful partners with broad movements working for justice and collective liberation. MUUSJA currently works on opposing Line 3 and climate justice, voting rights, racial justice, immigrant rights, the Pride Festival and LGBTQA+ rights, and supporting social justice activities in UU congregations. See https://www.muusja.org/.



September 19 – Braver Angels

We will talk about the history and depolarization mission of Braver Angels; why this mission is so critical; how Barbara and I got involved; how Braver Angels carries out its mission; what Braver Angels offers; why our country needs people to come together and get involved; and how they can.

Barbara Thomas and Rick Hotchner are a married couple with different political perspectives. Barbara is a retired diplomat and liberal who hails from Minneapolis, MN. She serves as a Braver Angels ambassador in Minnesota and is also engaged in the organization’s work at the national level. Rick is a retired CIA officer and conservative who grew up in Virginia just outside Washington, DC. In addition to his service as a Braver Angels ambassador in Minnesota, he serves on the advisory boards of two companies and does pro bono work for a variety of causes about which he cares.



September 12 – Water Communion

Water is used to purify and sanctify, to nurture, refresh, and restore. How would you bless our world? What would you wash away? What needs to be revitalized? Likewise, where do you go to seek rejuvenation for yourself? Is there a body of water that is special to you? Bring your memories of a favorite body of water: a lake, river or ocean, perhaps somewhere you have recently visited. What makes this body of water special to you? We will invite our youth and their families to be the first to share, and then we will cycle through the rest of the participants.



August 1 – Once the Twin Cities had a Great Trolley System

Author Aaron Isaacs of Twin Cities by Trolley and member of the Minnesota Street Car Museum in Minneapolis tells us about the age of the Twin Cities Trolleys. Join us via Zoom (see above) for this piece of Minnesota history and learn about ways to experience it



July 18 – The Landmark Center

The former Federal Courts Building in Saint Paul continues to operate as a dynamic cultural center. A beautiful building to see and where you can experience many varied programs. Join us via Zoom (see above) to learn about this historic landmark built in 1902; its architecture, past uses, and the arts organizations, galleries and performance spaces that are available to all.



June 27, 11:00am - UUA General Assembly Sunday Morning Program

Make plans to live stream the Sunday Morning Program from General Assembly at this link: http://www.uua.org/ga/off-site/2021/sunday-worship. All are invited to attend this nationwide annual gathering of Unitarian Universalists for an abundance of music and inspirational messages. The First Universalist Church of Minneapolis was chosen to serve as worship leaders for this year’s service. Music will be offered through a collaboration of musicians from First Universalist and the General Assembly virtual choir and their director. Many of us enjoyed this event last year; and we’re looking forward to the local connection this year.



June 20 – Minneapolis Institute of Arts Virtual Tour

There will be two virtual one-hour tours One at 10:15 and one at 11:45. You will need to register for the tour of your choice. Registration information is being sent to members and visitors. Registration is open. If you do not receive registration information by Sunday May 23 contact Mel Aanerud at membership@pilgrimhouseuua.org.



May 30 – Memorial Day weekend – no program

June 6 – Annual Meeting via Zoom

Everyone is welcome, but Pilgrim House members are especially encouraged to attend since a quorum in needed for business. More information is in the May newsletter.



May 23 – Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Business

Presented by Professor Bobby Donaldson University of South Carolina – After the Civil War blacks actually ran for and won seats in both the federal house and senate and in local state elections. But with the 1876 election, federal troops were withdrawn from the south and Jim Crow came in and reconstruction was halted.



May 16 – Bill and Kate Isles

Bill and Kate Isles – are an acoustic singer/songwriter duo based in Duluth, Minnesota. Using a wide variety of musical styles, their performances carry audiences through a broad landscape of experiences from metaphorical worlds to small town family stories and to zany comedy.



May 9 – This is Mother’s Day – Extraordinary Women

Presented by Kate Roberts, Senior Exhibit Developer, Minnesota Historical Society. This is the newest exhibit at the Minnesota History Center. Walk among extraordinary Minnesota women who changed their communities..



May 2 – How the Presidents are Rated

How the presidents are rated; who is the on the top; who at the bottom – presented by Professor Robert Watson of Lynn University of Boca Raton, FL. He presented a program earlier this year on Truman. He is one of those Political Science Professors who rank the presidents.



April 25 – Climate Reality Project

Sherryl Livingston, Retired from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and Climate Reality Project Activist. The Climate Reality Project is a non-profit organization involved in education and advocacy related to climate change.



April 18 – How To Talk With Those With Whom We Disagree

The One American Staff will conduct a workshop with us dealing with “how to talk with those with whom we disagree.” They train and empower religious leaders to resist a culture of division and hate.



April 11 – One America Movement – We are not as divided as we might think

Chandra Whetstine is the Vice President, Programs and Operations for the One America Movement. The One America Movement works with faith communities across our nation to fight toxic polarization their communities, and across the country. They bring people together across political, racial and religious divides to work together to address issues in communities across the country. Their vision is a resilient, strong, and united country working together to solve our common challenges.



April 4 – Spring Celebration

Pilgrim House will conduct its traditional Spring Celebration with music, reading, and joy. To be part of this celebration contact Bill Rohde or Mel Aanerud. It takes a community to put on a program like this.



March 28 – More Than Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the Accordion

Dan “Daddy Squeeze” Newton has been dazzling audiences with his creative accordion style for over 40 years. His fresh approach to the much-maligned squeezebox and his mind-boggling repertoire of both original and traditional material will change the mind of the most hardened accordion skeptic. Daddy Squeeze entertains and also enlightens his audiences with stories and colorful anecdotes about the accordion and his experiences making a living playing the instrument he loves. Dan has produced more than 25 albums for himself and has appeared on recordings by other artists such as Garrison Keillor, Son Volt, The Proclaimers, Peter Ostroushko, Prudence Johnson and Pat Donohue. See http://www.daddysqueeze.com/pdf/Solo_Concert_Description.pdf



March 21 – Turnout - Making Minnesota the State That Votes

StarTribune columnist and author Lori Sturdevant will talk about her new book Turnout with Joan Growe. The book is the story of Joan’s time as Secretary of State and why Minnesota has such a good voting record.



March 14 - What Happened to the News?

Daniel Hallin is a Professor at the University of California San Diego/La Jolla. Hallin’s research concerns journalism, political communication, and the comparative analysis of media systems.



March 7 - What Happened in the Election and its Aftermath?

Professor David Schultz of Hamline and Saint Thomas Universities in Saint Paul is a regular national commentator and a presenter at Pilgrim House.

The presenter actually discussed the trial of Derrick Chauvin.



February 28 – The Decline of American Democracy and the Rule of Law

Professor Austin Sarat is Associate Provost and Associate Dean of the Faculty, William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Jurisprudence & Political Science at Amherst College, Amherst Massachusetts. As part of UUA series on "Our Democracy Uncorrupted" Professor Sarat is a national expert.



February 21 – Creating a future for an Inclusive Democracy

Doctor Sylvester Johnson is the founding Director of the Center for Humanities and professor of religion and culture at Virginia Tech. This is the program that most of us at UUA General Assembly attended. We then unanimously decided that we wanted him to speak at Pilgrim House. This presentation examines structural disparities caused by race, wealth and technology. What do we need to do to transform ourselves to chart a bold future in an inclusive democracy?



February 14 – Freedom for Mother’s Day – Reverend Kayla Parker

This program is inspired by a project called Mama’s Day Bail out, that helps to bail black mothers and caregivers out of prison for Mother’s Day. In the sermon, Kayla will talk about the theological grounding for this work as Unitarian Universalists, and discuss an event that was organized by BLUU (Black Lives of Unitarian Universalists



February 7 – Can Truth Save Democracy – Use of Science Courts

Professor Ellad (Brad) Tadmor of the University of Minnesota has developed Science Courts as a way to save Democracy – a thing only truth can do. He is a speaker of national fame.



January 31 – Doctrine of Discovery

Presented by Professor Velda Love, United Church of Christ and Ph.D. Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA. The Doctrine of Discovery goes back to Alexander VI on May 4, 1493 who gave European powers the right to take land discovered and reduced non-Christian people to slavery. It still is being applied today. Professor Love will be joined by Andrea Burse, JLCM Program Assistant - They will explain the doctrine and how it is still effecting us.



January 24 – The Proposed 8th Principle of Unitarian Universalism

Journeying toward spiritual wholeness by working to build a diverse multicultural Beloved Community by our actions that accountably dismantle racism and other oppressions in ourselves and our institutions.

We will have a discussion of UUA’s proposed 8th principle with Mya Wade-Harper, a Black Biracial young adult woman. She is a member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Lexington KY.



January 17 – Faith and Science are not Exclusive of One Another

Professor Kenneth Miller of Brown University, Providence, RI Author of “Finding Darwin’s God”, “Only a Theory and The Human Instinct, How We Evolved To Have Reason”, and “Consciousness, and Free Will” will tell why Religion and Science are not mutually exclusive. He is another speaker of national fame.



January 10 – Truman

Professor Robert Watson of Lynn University in Boca Raton, FL. tells us that President Truman was a far greater president than he has been given credit for and why. Professor Watson is a speaker of national fame. He is one of those Political Science Professors who rank the presidents every year.



January 3 - Considering the Gettysburg Address

Beginning a new year, we decided we could use a history lesson on the Gettysburg Address, considered by a panel of United States political scientists as the 4th most important speech in our history. There are a lot of myths grown up around it and it was not considered as positively by everyone in its own day. It gives a definition of who we are as a nation and the retelling of it may be inspirational as we end 2020 and enter into a new year.



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