Pilgrim House

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Pilgrim House

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

Our 50th Anniversary

50th Anniversary Celebration, Sunday, November 1

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.

All programs are 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, please contact pilgrimhouse@pilgrimhouseuua.org.

Board and committee meetings are by email or online.

Next Program via Zoom at 10:15

October 25 – Minnesota From the Road Part 4 – Doug Ohman

Doug is a photographer who has done the series of books of Minnesota churches, cabins, librarians, courthouses, schools, etc.

Travel with photographer/storyteller Doug Ohman as he photographs many of Minnesota’s most interesting landmarks and Icons. Doug will share the stories of how this landmarks became so famous. His pictures and stories will be sure to entertain and bring new interest in more road trips around our great state. Part 4 is the Scenic River Bluff Area.

Upcoming Programs via Zoom

November 1 – The 50th Anniversary of Pilgrim House!

It has been 50 years since Pilgrim House was formed, and moved into that one room schoolhouse in Arden Hills. The first service held in the schoolhouse was on Sunday, Nov 1, 1970. Today, Pilgrim House remains a vibrant, active religious community, true to the spirit of its formation. Please join us on-line via ZOOM to celebrate this special milestone, where we will feature highlights of our progress through the decades. Note that daylight saving time ends on November 1, so be sure to fall back, so you’re not an hour early!

November 8 – The Electoral College

Assuming Biden wins Minnesota; Mel will be one of its ten votes. The Electoral College – how it came to be, pros and cons and what are the prospects of change. Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz, the author of the Unitarian Universalists Associations Common Read, “Indigenous History of the United States” is unable to make the November 8th date – she will be rescheduled.

November 15 – Innocence Project of Minnesota

The Innocence Project of Minnesota will make a presentation on its work to free wrongfully convicted people and to improve the justice system to prevent future wrongful convictions. Exploring the causes of and methods to prevent wrongful convictions, the presentation will include discussion of actual cases of innocent people freed from prison. Sara H. Jones, Executive Director.

November 22 – Thanksgiving Celebration

November 29 – Sources

The musical duet of Richard Terrill and Larry McDonough have performed at Pilgrim House before. Much as UUs credit a wide range of sources for their spirituality, creative artists “borrow” from those who have come before. In today’s service, pianist Larry McDonough (composition, arranging) and saxophonist Richard Terrill (poetry) will describe and illustrate their process of borrowing material from other sources for use in their own creative work, and attempt to link that process with spiritual concerns.

Past Program Highlights

October 18 – ACLU – John Gordon

John Gordon, the executive director of the Minnesota ACLU, will talk about how the Religious Right is changing the character of the First Amendment right to "freedom of Religion.” He will also discuss other things the ACLU is doing.

October 11 - Black Lives UU

Black Lives of UU, or BLUU, is an independent organization, fiscally sponsored by the UUA, which provides ministry for, and by, Black Unitarian Universalists, while also working to expand the role and visibility of Black UUs within our faith. In the fall they held a national symposium, in St. Paul, to explore what a Black UU theology could look like; it was the first of their convenings to invite white participation. Ellen Shelton attended and found it very moving and very informative. She will give us a briefing on what she observed and learned and what it could mean for PH.

October 4 - Exploring Interspirituality - Rev. Kari Kopnick

When we move beyond the boundaries of religions, do we find common ground?

Interspirituality embraces an awareness of our interconnectedness which is arising in response to the destructive materialist value system that dominates Western culture. The meaninglessness at the heart of materialism drives us to distraction, consumerism and greed, fueling the fragmentation of society and devastation of the environment. Transformation begins within.

September 27 - A Case Study in the Promise of Digital Health - Erin Carnish

Digital health, where technology connects and empowers people to manage health and wellness, has widely been lauded as the next generation of innovation in healthcare, though it has fallen short of expectations. With widespread consumer adoption of telemedicine during the Covid-19 epidemic, an opportunity exists to go a step further and integrate digital tools, technologies, and services to transform healthcare delivery. Erin will be sharing a case study in the mental healthcare arena around a business she launched called “Sanvello Health” as an example for better clinical outcomes at an affordable price for all.

September 20 - Eight Years to the Moon - Nancy Atkinson

Nancy Atkinson is author of Eight Years to the Moon. Space journalist and insider Nancy Atkinson weaves together the riveting story of NASA’s mission to complete “the greatest adventure on which humankind ever embarked.” This incredible account is a keepsake celebrating some of the most important and dramatic events in modern history. Told through over 60 personal interviews and oral histories, as well as personal photographs, this tribute to the men and women who made the Apollo 11 mission a reality chronicles the highs and lows that accompanied the race to the Moon: the devastating flash fire that killed the crew of Apollo 1; the awe of those who saw their years-in-the-making contributions to space exploration blast off from Cape Canaveral; the knuckle-biting descent of Apollo 11 to the lunar surface; a near-catastrophic event on the crew’s flight home; the infectious excitement and jubilation across the world after the astronauts returned safely to Earth. These little-known stories of the dedicated engineers, mathematicians and scientists in the 1960s reveal the “hows” of the Apollo missions and bring to life the wonder and excitement of humanity’s first steps on the Moon.

September 13 - Water Communion

Water is used to purify and sanctify, to nurture, refresh, and restore. Water flows through us; it circulates in our blood, and exits via perspiration from hard work and through tears of joy or despair. Come join in acknowledging the qualities of water that are essential to our lives, both physically and metaphorically. 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.

The Zoom link for this program will still be sent to Pilgrim House members, but please note that we’re experimenting with approaches that could allow for more public posting of our Zoom meeting information (e.g. URL published on our web site as we’re doing here), which means that for this Sunday’s session we’ll be enabling a Zoom “Waiting Room” where you’ll be placed until one of our co-hosts authorizes and allows you to enter the Zoom meeting room (a practical requirement when we more publicly post our meeting URLs). Click the following link to enter the meeting, and one of our co-hosts will be individually letting members and guests into the meeting from a virtual Zoom “waiting room”. As always, it would be most helpful if the ID associated with your Zoom account is set to your real name, not a computer, phone, or otherwise cryptic name. The Link for our Water Communion program is: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82884078481?pwd=THR5VkFwNDhrdCtSWkZ3UUtVYXBPdz09.

August 9 - Census, Redistricting and Gerrymandering - Paul Huffman (via Zoom)

Paul Huffman is the Census and Redistricting Coordinator at League of Women Voters Minnesota. Paul presents a program on the importance of the Census and redistricting in national, state and local elected offices in Minnesota, the effects of Gerrymandering, and how we might defend ourselves against it. We will also include information on the Vote at Home initiative. This program is part of our efforts toward UUA’s "UU the Vote" and "Defending our Democracy".

July 12 - Bell Museum (via Zoom)

Join us for this family-friendly program about one of our state’s treasures: The Bell Natural History Museum. The museum recently moved to its beautiful new facility at the corner of Cleveland and Larpenteur in St. Paul. For over a century the Bell has preserved and interpreted our state’s rich natural history, serving learners of all ages. Their scientific collections contain over one million specimens, representing every county in Minnesota and various locales around the globe. In addition, the Bell houses one of the most technologically advanced planetariums in the world. Our presenters will be Denise Young, Executive Director of the Bell, and Nicole Lovold-Egar, the Bell’s Membership Director.

June 21 - Mindfulness through Coordinating Mind and Body via Zoom

It is easy to be mindful when we are relaxed and calm. In this state, mind and body work together. But our daily life is filled with ever-changing demands and challenges that cause stress and strain. In the face of this stress, we often separate mind and body (become distracted) and can no longer perform well. In this short hands-on program, Jonathan Poppele will share simple, interactive exercises to coordinate mind and body, to enable us to perform well in the midst of our busy daily lives. Participation in the exercises is optional.

Jonathan Poppele is the founder of The Center for Mind-Body Oneness in St. Paul, and has over three decades of experience in movement arts, meditation, and mind-body practices. See the TEDx talk https://youtu.be/yyVKot3PQj0.

The Zoom link for this program will be sent to Pilgrim House members. If you do not receive a link, but would like to participate, please contact pilgrimhouse@pilgrimhouseuua.org.

May 31 - Annual Meeting via Zoom

May 24 - no program - Memorial Day Weekend

May 17 - Climate Change: Causes, Impacts, and Solutions via Zoom

Lindsey Kirkland, Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy
Climate Generation has been working with educators, youth, and the public on climate change education and action since 2006. This presentation explores root causes, impacts, and solutions to climate change as well as our personal stake in the issue. We seek to equip audiences with the understanding to effectively communicate climate change and the resources to take meaningful collective action.
The Zoom link for this program will be sent to Pilgrim House members. If you do not receive a link, but would like to participate, please contact pilgrimhouse@pilgrimhouseuua.org.

May 10: Necessity is the Mother of Invention via Zoom

This talk uses the development of the airplane as an example of how various factors provided the impetus which led to the development of air, and eventually, space travel. Within a time span of 66 years we went from the Wright Brothers first flight of 1903 to the moon landing of 1969.
Though air flight is the focus, Pilgrim House member Louis Asher also ties this to how the necessity of moving away from fossil fuels leads to development of renewable fuels. Likewise, the current argument for sulfide mining includes a view that we “must” have copper and nickel for various technologies. Louis argues that to prevent environmental destruction, our focus should once again be on the necessity of developing different technologies that do not require copper/nickel. Necessity is the mother of invention.

May 3: Best Reads via Zoom

Our periodic review of the best books enjoyed by Pilgrim House readers.

April 26: Developing Our Future: Housing and Suburban Development via Zoom

Ramsey County Commissioner Nicole Frethem will talk about the evolving plans for the TCAAP property near Pilgrim House, but also delve into larger planning issues relative to housing and suburban development in the County. Nicole is a mother, a wife, an early childhood educator, an advocate and policy expert and a part-time law student. For more than a decade, she has worked to ensure children in Ramsey County and Minnesota have access to high-quality child care arrangements and parents are able to find healthy and safe child care so they can work.

April 19: To Recycle or Not Recycle...That is the question via Zoom

Have you ever had something in your hand poised over the recycle bin and were not sure if it should go there or the trash? If so, you are not alone. The rules of recycling can be confusing but there are some basic guidelines that can make understanding what goes in your recycling bin easier.
Jenny Potter is a recycling educator who has presented to thousands of students and adults about the do’s and don’ts of recycling. Join us for an educational talk about what to put in your recycling bin and what to leave out. We will try to answer all your recycling questions.

April 12: Spring Celebration: "Observations on Spring" via Zoom.

April 5: What UUs Believe online

March 8 - Norwegian Folk Dance

The Norwegian Folk Dance Group of the Twin Cities is the primary dance group in Minnesota teaching and exhibiting Norwegian Dance heritage. Come enjoy their performance of traditional Norwegian dances, and then stay for lunch and our lively annual Fun(d)-Raising Auction!

The program will be followed by lunch and the Pilgrim House Auction.

March 1 - A Forecast of Minnesota’s Political Year

Political commentator and former Star Tribune columnist Lori Sturdevant is scheduled to speak giving us a forecast of Minnesota’s political year.

The program will be followed by a Pilgrim House group picture and Soup Sunday.

February 23 - Compassion and Choices: Expanding End-of-Life Options in Minnesota

As public support grows for expanding end-of-life options, communities of faith have the opportunity to engage in this important conversation. Dr Rebecca Thoman, Campaign Manager for Doctors for Dignity, will discuss legislation that has been introduced in the Minnesota legislature. Medical aid in dying (sometimes called death with dignity) allows a terminally ill, mentally capable adult who has a prognosis of six months or less to request and obtain from their doctor a prescription medication they may self-ingest for a peaceful death if their suffering becomes unbearable. Medical aid in dying includes strict eligibility criteria and effective safeguards. Dr. Thoman has worked in health and public health policy for more than 20 years advocating for such issues as gun violence prevention, tobacco control and health care access.

February 16 - Women’s suffrage and the 19th Amendment

Rachel Busse of St Thomas University will give a history of women’s suffrage in the U.S. Rachel is an expert on the topic and following up on our dramatization. She will be able to give a professional dissertation on the events and personalities that led the adoption of the 19th amendment one hundred years ago.

February 9 - Climate Based Immigration – Professor Joe Underhill

Unitarian Universalist general Assembly passed a resolution that congregations should inform themselves on how climate change has effected and will continue to affect world immigration patterns Professor Joe Underhill of Augsburg College teaches courses in Environmental Politics, International Relations, and Political Methodology and regularly takes students off campus for experiential and interdisciplinary learning on the theme of “seeking justice where we live”

February 2 - Science and Politics of Stem Cells and Cloning

All humans start life with only one cell, the zygote, from which arises our brain, heart, liver and every other organ in our body. This one cell contains all the information necessary for making some incredibly complex structures. Stem cells are akin to that original zygote in that they have the ability to divide and generate an array of different tissues and structures. This presentation will focus on the past, present, and future of stem cells and the hope that they can possibly provide treatments for heart disease, specific types of cancer, and other common diseases. We will examine where stem cells exist in adults, and also dive into some of the politics surrounding stem cell research.

Murray Jensen an associate professor, College of Biological Sciences at the University of Minnesota.

January 26 - Predatory Criminal Justice System - Joe Soss

The national UUA is suggesting that we have some programming on the predatory criminal justice system, especially they are concerned about the use of inmates in medical trials. Joe Soss is a professor at the University of Minnesota. "I should say that I won’t be able to say too much about medical trials, specifically. My framing of the discussion would focus more on the big picture of how and why predatory criminal justice practices have expanded so much over the past few decades, how they matter for targeted communities, why we should care, and how we should think about efforts to take action in response."

January 19 - The Lynching in Duluth - Michael Fedo

Michael Fedo is a Duluth native and correspondent for The New York Times, Professor at North Hennepin Community College, and author of the book "The Lynching in Duluth.” On the evening of June 15, 1920 in Duluth, Minnesota, three young black men, accused of the rape of a white woman, were pulled from their jail cells and lynched by a mob numbering in the thousands. Yet, today, the incident is nearly forgotten…

January 12 - Elections in Minnesota - Secretary of State Steve Simon

The Unitarian Universalists at their General Assembly adopted "Our Democracy Uncorrupted" as our issue of action. Who better to tell us how the elections systems in Minnesota are working than the Secretory of State who is in charge of them.

January 5 - Belonging: How My Disability Identity Fits within Unitarian Universalism

Peighton Carter is the intern minister at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Eau Claire, WI. She is also a third year seminary student at Iliff School of Theology in Denver, CO. Peighton has been speaking out about Post-Traumatic Stress, Military Sexual Trauma, and Disabilities for about 7 years. She is a mother of 3, artist, veteran, and person with multiple disabilities.

December 29 - Your Favorite Photograph

This is your opportunity to tell us about your favorite photograph(s). We will project your photo on the screen and you will have several minutes to tell about the image(s). Your photo maybe an artistic shot, or it may reflect your passion or hobby, be a highlight of a trip, or be an old family picture. 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 by December 23. Contact Les if you have questions or need technical help.

December 22 - No Pilgrim House Program

December 20, 7:00pm - Solstice Celebration at Pilgrim House

December 15 - 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 8th 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 8 - Reconstructionist Judaism and Hanukkah

This movement, founded in the United States and based on the writings of Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan, grew as a response to the challenge of modern life in America; that is, how to effectively live in two civilizations, Jewish and secular democratic. Come learn more about this innovative branch of Judaism. How is the upcoming holiday of Hanukkah viewed in Reconstructionist thought?

December 1 – 19th Amendment (Women’s Suffrage)

Join members of the fellowship as we cover the story of the 19th amendment., granting women the right to vote 100 years ago. Special music will accompany the program.

November 24 – Our Traditional Pilgrim House Thanksgiving Celebration

Our PH Thanksgiving program is a not-to-be-missed time of celebration and community, bringing together Pilgrim House members and friends with special music and an anticipated performance by the Pilgrim House Chorale, seasonal readings and 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 11/17. 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. See you there!

November 17 – Nonviolent Communication

"Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing, and right-doing, there is a field. I will meet you there." -Rumi

Join Kit Shelton (daughter of Dick & Ellen Shelton and PH-homegrown!) for an introduction to Nonviolent Communication (NVC). We’ll discuss its practical form as a concrete set of language skills, its deeper spiritual nature as a way of compassionately re-connecting with our common humanity, and explore how its practice resonates with our seven principles. NVC creates a path for healing and reconciliation in many applications, ranging from intimate relationships, work settings, health care, social services, police, prison staff and inmates, to governments, schools and social change organizations. For more information about NVC, please visit www.cnvc.org or read through a copy of Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life by Marshall Rosenberg.

November 10 – Census in Minnesota

Andrew Virden, Director of the Census in Minnesota will tell us how it works, why it is important (decides how many congressional representatives we will have, what the redistricting will be based upon, and how money will be allocated – it is important) and how each of us might help to ensure that we get all that is coming to us.

November 3 – Minnesota From the Road Part 3 – Doug Ohman

Travel with photographer/storyteller Doug Ohman as he photographs many of Minnesota’s most interesting landmarks and Icons. Doug will share the stories of how this landmarks became so famous. His pictures and stories will be sure to entertain and bring new interest in more road trips around our great state. This is the third in a series – Southern Prairie Tour – Enjoy the history and charm along the Minnesota River as we make our way to Pipestone and other interesting towns and sites.

October 27 – Bluegrass music – Brian Wicklund and Mike Cramer

One immediately notices watching Brian and Mike how darn good they are. Then you see how much fun they have together. These guys really play… Brian is widely regarded as among the top bluegrass fiddle performers and teachers in the country. As bandleader of the Minnesota-based Barley Jacks, he also showcases his formidable talents as mandolinist and songwriter. His song craft has a quality of timelessness that draws from the roots music he has spent his life playing. Mike Cramer started his performing career playing guitar on Mississippi paddle boats as a teenager. With a degree in jazz performance and numerous flatpack guitar championships under his belt, he is among the most versatile guitarists in the midwest. Every show is different. Every song unique. Come and watch them play.

October 20 – Project Art for Nature – Vera Ming Wong and Bonnie Ploger

Project Art for Nature’s artists each choose a natural area which they visit regularly throughout a three-year cycle. Through repeated visits spanning the seasons, the artists become closely acquainted with the native plant and animal communities within their sites, and the changes that ripple through them. While both the beauty and vulnerability of nature are evoked through their art, accompanying texts explain the significance of species, threats, or sites. To contribute tangibly to the protection and maintenance of natural areas, PAN artists also donate at least 20% of the proceeds of artwork sales to preservation and restoration of natural areas.

Vera Ming Wong has spoken before at Pilgrim House and her some of artwork is in the Pilgrim House Library. Bonnie Ploger is a former Pilgrim House member. Both are Project Art for Nature artists.

See http://www.projectartfornature.org/.

October 13 – World Population Balance – Alan Ware

World Population Balance focuses on education of the environmental consequences of United States and world overpopulation, the need to halt exponential population growth, and the need to reduce births in order to achieve a stable, sustainable population.

October 6 – Faith and Equity

Jesus Lucero is the Greater MN and Faith Coordinator of OutFront MN, the largest LGBTQ+ public policy and advocacy group in Minnesota. He will present an overview of current pressing issues including intersectionality and conversion therapy, and also help us work to model inclusive practices, update our sense of how PH members can be allies, and how we can plug into the movement work.

September 29 - Birds of Minnesota and the Effects of Climate Change - Monica Bryand

Photographer Monica Bryand presents a gorgeous slide show of birds she has photographed within our state for the Audubon Society of Minnesota. This multi-year effort is part of the tracking of the effects of climate change on bird populations in the United States. Monica will discuss where she photographed various species, and talk about the stresses that put them in danger for decline.

Monica currently works with Cycles for Change, and is the founder of the Urban Bird and Outdoor Collective, an organization that encourages outdoor activities for people of color and the GLBTQA community.

September 22 – Mrs. Ambassador

The first Woman Ambassador ever in United States History was Eugenie Anderson of Minnesota. She was also one of the founders of the DFL in Minnesota. Her story is told by her grand daughter, Mary Anderson DuPont, author of the new book on her life.

September 15 – Northern European Immigrants and Unitarian Universalist Humanism

The speaker is Victor Urbanowicz. Victor Urbanowicz has been a member of White Bear UU Church since 1980. Approximately, 1992 he joined a Twin Cities group interested in UU history which became the MidAmerica Region History and Heritage Committee. He is the chair and David Conradi-Jones is a member. The group compiled the histories of local UU congregations and published them in 2013 as a paperback, titled Twin Cities UU Congregations which is available on amazon.com. He occasionally writes vignettes, or historical sketches, on Midwestern Unitarian Universalist history which appear on the MidAmerica Region website. This morning’s talk is one such vignette titled “Northern European Immigrants and Unitarian Humanism” was first presented at the UU Church of Willmar, Minnesota.

September 8 – Water Communion

This annual welcome back program is held each year. Join us in song, readings and sharing revitalized connections and community. Bring a small amount of water from a place that is special to you. One by one we will pour our water together into a large bowl and tell why this water is special. The combined water is symbolic of our shared faith coming from many different sources.

August 11 – Bird Language: Understanding the Language of Nature – Jonathon Poppele

Jonathan Poppele is Director of the Minnesota Wildlife Tracking Project, www.mntracking.org. Birds talk to each other; we can learn to understand it, and it’s fun. Birds are the alarm system of the forest, broadcasting the whereabouts of hawks, owls, foxes and more through their calls and postures. Learning bird language allows us to see more wildlife and feel more connected to the natural world. This presentation will give you the fundamental tools for interpreting bird language to enhance your own birding and nature experiences, plus information about local bird language programs and gatherings.

Join us for a summertime potluck lunch in the fellowship hall following the program. The Hospitality Committee will be arranging for grilled and fried chicken, hot dogs, and beverages. All are welcome! No sign-up needed. You’re invited to bring a vegetarian entree, salad, side dish, fruits, or desserts to round out the meal.

July 14 – Reps and Phibs: Reptiles and Amphibians of Minnesota – Tamarack Nature Center

Turtles, snakes and salamanders…oh my! Enjoy an up-close visit with a few of Tamarack Nature Center’s animal ambassadors. Learn about their lives in the wild, as well as how to protect their species and habitats for future generations.

June 2 – Flower Communion

Bring a flower from your garden to add to the fellowship bouquet, reflecting the beauty of our diversity and what each of us individually brings to it. Take home a flower from the fellowship representing what the fellowship gives back to each of us. This is a program begun in Czechoslovakia that has been held annually before our summer recess for many years. This is will be a short program followed by the Pilgrim House Annual Meeting.

The Annual Meeting will be held in the our meeting room followed by a taco bar lunch in the fellowship room hosted by the Pilgrim House Board of Directors. Hear a review of last year, plans for next year, and volunteer opportunities, approve a budget, and elect a chair for 2020-2021.

May 26 – Memorial Day weekend – no program

May 19 – Data Visualization as an Ethical Act – John Zobitz

Data visualization (the use of bar graphs, pie charts, scatterplots, flowcharts, and the like) is not a new concept, but in today’s data-rich world we rely on visualization to make meaningful connections in the quest for a free and responsible search for truth and meaning. How do we discern the intent and intentionality of a data visualization? During this talk I will showcase ethical visualizations spanning from the 19th century to today and beyond.

John is an Associate Professor of Mathematics at Augsburg University, where he has been for the past 12 years. He has enjoyed being a member of Pilgrim House the past three years and how welcoming everyone is to his family.

May 12 – Vera Ming Wong: Delving into Nature

Vera Ming Wong draws life from nature. Her drawings, watercolors, and cut paper creations, featuring native plants, animals, habitats, and ecosystems, reflect her interests, background and education in biology and art. Vera’s illustrations appear in numerous books and magazines, including Minnesota’s Endangered Flora & Fauna; Northwoods Wildlife: A Watcher’s Guide to Habitats; Native Orchids of Minnesota; North Shore: Minnesota’s Superior Coast; and the Minnesota DNR’s Minnesota Conservation Volunteer Magazine. In this presentation, Vera will share a diverse selection of her visual artwork to demonstrate her process, from study and sketching animals (alive or sometimes dead), plants, fungi, and their habitats, to choices of media and techniques that incorporate practical as well as aesthetic parameters.

May 5 – Flames of Discontent – The Iron Range Strike of 1916 – Gary Kaunonen

Gary Kaunonen, PhD, is an independent historian of labor and immigration and documentary filmmaker living on Minnesota’s Iron Range. He is the author of four books, including his most recent, Flames of Discontent, which won the Hognander Prize of the Minnesota Book Awards, and Community in Conflict and Challenge Accepted, which both won Michigan Historical Society Book Awards. Currently, he works as an Exhibit Designer, Researcher, and Writer at the Minnesota Discovery Center in Chisholm, and as the Government Channel Programmer for Hibbing Public Access Television.

The program will be on his book Flames of Discontent, Iron Range Strike of 1916.

April 28 – Fortress America: How We Embraced Fear and Abandoned Democracy

Elaine Tyler May is Chair, Department of History, Regents Professor, Departments of American Studies and History, University of Minnesota.

April 21 – Our Traditional Spring Celebration

Join us for our traditional celebration of Spring ... a special morning of intergenerational music and sharing. Look for another performance of the Pilgrim House Chorale, and more. If you have special music or a reading you’d like to share, please contact Mel Aanerud or Bill Rohde by April 14th. Join us for a spring brunch following the program. We’ll need a few sign-ups at Pilgrim House for entrees, fruits and breads. All are invited for food, fellowship and celebration. Don’t miss it. See you there!

April 14 – Children’s Defense Fund–Minnesota – Bharti Wahi, Executive Director

The Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) is a non-profit child advocacy organization that has worked relentlessly for more than 40 years to ensure a level playing field for all children. They champion 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. Supported by foundation and corporate grants and individual donations, CDF advocates nationwide on behalf of children to ensure children are always a priority.

Minnesota Executive Director Bharti Wahi will discuss local policy issues that affect children’s well-being that are currently under discussion at the MN Legislature.

April 7 – Speaking Out: Why I Stand

Join Rachel Carter, intern minister at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Eau Claire and U.S. Army veteran, as she talks about her journey and advocacy work with military sexual trauma and Post-Traumatic Stress.

Rachel Carter is the intern minister at the Unitarian Univeralist Congregation in Eau Claire, Wisconsin and a second year seminary student at Iliff School of Theology. She has been an active advocate regarding Post-Traumatic Stress, Military Sexual Trauma and invisible disabilities. She served as a broadcast journalist assigned to Armed Forces Network-Korea as well as the Wisconsin National Guard. Rachel identifies as a person with multiple disabilities, including Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, Dysautonomia, and Fibromyalgia. She will be presenting at this year’s General Assembly in Spokane, WA on Dis-Abilities: A Discussion on Inclusion, Accessibility, and Identity.

For older programs see Older Programs.


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