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Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

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There was no program December 25.

December 18 – 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 Chamber Singers, a special guest (possibly from the far north), and more. And don’t forget to bring that favorite holiday food for our traditional potluck finger foods feast after the program. See you there!

December 11 – Dr. Mark Seeley U of M Meteorologist Professor Emeritus – Climate Change in our own Backyard

Dr. Seeley will link climate trends, climate change, and impacts that are already consequential in Minnesota.

December 4 – AARP Minnesota – Protect Yourself from Fraud and Identity Theft

Financial crimes, including scams, identity theft, and consumer fraud, are the most frequently attempted crimes every day in the United States. In this session, we share an inside look at how scammers think, how to safeguard against identity theft and fraud, first-hand accounts from victims, and what to do if you or someone you know has been a victim.

Presented by Marty Fleischhacker · Senior Financial Fraud Ombudsman at Minnesota Department of Commerce.

Soup Sunday follows the program.

November 27 – Neither Wolf nor Dog

Kent Nerburn is the author of Neither Wolf nor Dog which was made into a movie. One white man and one Dakota locked in their own understanding, yet struggling to find a common voice. It was the winner of the 1996 Minnesota Book Award. He is also author of our common read The Wolf at Twilight. He rescheduled and specifically wanted this date - close to Thanksgiving, to talk about Indigenous people in our (their) country.

November 20 – Our Traditional Thanksgiving Program with a bit of a Twist

We want to know what you are thankful for. 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, a performance by the Pilgrim House Chamber Singers, 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 November 13. Similarly, if you have a reading or just your tale you’d like to share, please contact Mel Aanerud. After the program, we will serve ham, scalloped potatoes and pecan pie; please bring a side dish or dessert to round out the meal.

November 13 - What are we?

Rev. Leslie Mills returns - Technically Unitarian Universalism is not a "denomination", but rather an association of congregations. Since the merger of the American Unitarian Association and Universalist Church of America in 1961, we have been trying to answer this question. What are we? Together we’ll explore questions of belief, values and covenant.

November 6 - Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative Housing Issues

Justin Lewandowski, congregational and community organizer with Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative, will join us in a conversation on housing insecurity in the greater metro area, Beacon’s approach, and specific campaigns Beacon is leading that address aspects of the housing crisis. He will also be discussing Beacon’s newest development, Gladstone Crossing, that would be located Maplewood & provide about 40 supportive homes to young families experiencing homelessness in Ramsey County. For more information on Gladstone Crossing, https://www.beaconinterfaith.org/blog/housing/create-homes/overview-gladstone-crossing/.

Justin Lewandowski is currently the congregational and community organizer with Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative. Justin started organizing in Saint Cloud, Minnesota, during the “Minnesotans United for All Families” campaign in 2012. After successfully defeating the constitutional ban on same sex marriage, Justin went on to organize on LGBTQ+ advocacy campaigns across the country. Before coming to Beacon in 2020, Justin worked with OutFront, Minnesota, and helped pass Minnesota’s first municipal ban the hurtful, harmful practice of conversion “therapy” in Minneapolis.

Soup Sunday follows the program.

October 30 - Doug Ohman - Minnesota From The Road - Urban Gems (St. Paul)

Join with Minnesota historian Doug Ohman as he takes us on a road trip through St. Paul and surrounding suburbs exploring historic sites. Doug will entertain with stories and images that can be found within an easy drive. He will share the interesting back stories of of some our states most treasured landmarks.

October 23 – Post Capitalism

Anthony Signorelli has been to Pilgrim House before with his book “Call to Liberty” and is back with “Post Capitalism” - What will the world be like when everything is digital, robotic, or automatic? He talks on the digital disruption of capitalism, what it means for the economy and technology, and the implications for society as a whole.

October 16 - ***Postponed*** Reckoning with Opioids in the Land of 10,000 Rehabs

Amy Sullivan, author of Opioid Reckoning, will share insights not only about the history of the opioid epidemic, but also how it collided with Minnesota’s pioneering history in drug and alcohol treatment. She will share stories about the intimate lives of families, medical and social work professionals, grassroots activists, and others who contributed their experiences, insights, and potential solutions to ending the epidemic.

October 9 - Gun Control in Minnesota

Senator John Marty will present. In Minnesota, a person may not carry a pistol in a public place unless they are in possession of a "permit to carry". Exceptions to the permit requirement include law enforcement officers and other defined instances (Minnesota Statutes, section 624.714). What ought to be and what can a UUA congregation do.

October 2 - Where do we come from?

This overview of Unitarian and Universalist history will cover the evolution of ideologies in these two denominations. Rev. Leslie Mills is a third generation Unitarian Universalist. She was dedicated as a child at First Unitarian Society in Milwaukee, and went through Coming of Age at Unitarian Church North in Mequon, Wisconsin. After college, she joined the Unitarian Universalist Church of Rockford, Illinois, where she felt called to ministry. After exploring the 12 UU churches in the Twin Cities during seminary, she was called to serve the Unitarian Universalist Church of Elgin, Illinois, where she was ordained in 2016.

September 25 – The Change We Hope to Bring

While our fellowship remains strong with a committed membership, every religious institution in today’s changing environment must also look to the future. How do we envision the missions of churches, and our fellowship in particular, over the next 5, 10 or 15 years? What directions need to be explored to remain vital and relevant not only to today’s members but also to tomorrow’s members and the larger community?

UUA Congregational Life Consultant, Phil Lund, will be presenting some of his recent thinking along these lines. After Phil’s presentation we’ll discuss changes we might consider to realize our future visions for religious community. Please join us to contribute YOUR thoughts on the changes YOU hope to see and bring!

The scheduled speaker, Ken Nerburn, was unable to present "Neither Wolf nor Dog" and has been rescheduled for November 27.

September 18 - Amaryllis

Ken Steffenson and Anne Benson as Amaryllis have played at Pilgrim House many times in the past. Ken is a long time member. They will include some sing-along opportunities in their program, and will lead or help lead the congregational singing. They will lead one presentation of "All God’s Critters" in honor of Bill Staines who died last year.

September 11 - Water Communion

Water Communion Sunday with a Bonus! This year we will begin our water communion by learning from Paul Gardner about the status of our state’s ground water. Paul is a Master Water Steward, is Administrator at the Clean Water Council and Board Chair at Recycling Association of Minnesota, and served this area as a State Representative. Paul’s presentation will be followed by our traditional sharing of water and our water stories.

August 21 - Sacred Sites Tour - Jim Bear Jacobs

The program will be in the afternoon and not at Pilgrim House or via Zoom. You must register for this event. See details in the newsletter (https://www.pilgrimhouseuua.org/pmwiki/uploads/PH/pp2205.pdf).

July 17 - Swedish Institute - Andrea Justus at 10:15am in person at Pilgrim House and via Zoom

"The American Swedish Institute is a gathering place for all people to explore diverse experiences of migration, identity, belonging and the environment through arts and culture, informed by enduring links to Sweden."

Sunday, June 26, 11:30am CDT - Livestream the Sunday Morning Program from General Assembly

All are invited to attend this nationwide annual gathering of UUs for an abundance of music and inspirational messages. This Sunday morning program is a highlight of the annual gathering of UUs at General Assembly -- this year being presented in hybrid format from Portland, OR. Many of us have enjoyed attending this Sunday morning tradition via livestream in past years -- and we hope you’ll be able to join us this year. See https://www.uua.org/ga/off-site/2022/sunday-worship.

There will be a viewing at Pilgrim House (in person only). The building will open at 11:00am with the livestream beginning at 11:30.

Sunday, June 5 - Flower Communion, New Member Welcome, and Annual Meeting

There will be a short Flower Communion program and a welcome to our new members, followed by the Annual Meeting. Members are urged to attend the annual meeting to meet our quorum for business and to share in the highlights of the past year. All are welcome. Then everyone is invited to join us for a provided lunch in the Fellowship Room.

May 29 - Memorial Day weekend – no program

May 22 - Political Scandals - Professor Robert Watson

Professor Robert Watson from Lynn University is back by popular demand. Watson is the author and editor of over 40 books on topics in history and politics, and has published hundreds of scholarly articles, book chapters, and essays. Several of his books have won awards and been featured on C-SPAN’s Book TV and at major literary festivals.

May 15 – Guitarist Pat Donohue

Pat Donohue is Minnesota’s famous fingerstyle guitarist http://www.patdonohue.com/. He is a Grammy nominated, National Fingerpicking Guitar Champion songwriter. Donohue has several albums to his credit and his songs have been recorded by Chet Atkins, Suzy Bogguss, and Kenny Rogers. He has performed on A Prairie Home Companion for many years and became a member of the house band on the radio program. He and his colleagues in the Guy’s All-Star Shoe Band are on-screen throughout much of the film A Prairie Home Companion based on the radio show. Donohue wrote or co-wrote several of the songs on the soundtrack.

May 8 - Cookie Cart - director Heather Lockett

Cookie Cart gives Twin Cities teens the opportunity to develop foundational skills and tools to be successful in education and career by combining hands-on work experience, classroom work readiness curriculum, customer service education, leadership training, and financial literacy classes. It is one of Program supported though our Social Action Committee.

May 1 – Regenerative Farming – Sharing our Roots – Sarah Hunt – Climate Land Leaders

Moving from an industrial agriculture system that relies heavily on fossil fuel and nitrogen fertilizers to regenerative agriculture practices dramatically reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Regenerative agriculture practices also improve soil health, thereby increasing the soil’s potential to be the carbon sink we so need. Regenerative agriculture provides a variety of other ecosystem services as well, such as improvements in biodiversity, water quality, reduced flooding and more.

Sarah Hunt is a member of Climate Land Leaders, a network of farmland owners who are making changes in land stewardship to mitigate and adapt to climate change and contribute to more equitable land access for the next generation of farmers. Sarah has a background in music, organizational development, and new business development, and spent the first two years of the pandemic learning to farm on a small-scale organic vegetable farm. Sarah is passionate about growing participation and community ownership within our food systems; the role of food in community and planetary health; and cooperative models that create more just economies.

April 24 – A River Through Time: Dynamics of Change on the Mississippi River

Making the Mississippi River better suited to our needs and purposes has profoundly altered the great river’s natural systems. Professor John Shepard of Hamline University’s Center for Global Environmental Education draws on an archive of interpretive visualizations and media resources to chronicle human impacts on the upper river’s floodplain ecosystems and the delta’s coastal wetlands as well as pathways to a more sustainable future for America’s most iconic river.

April 17 – Our Annual Spring Celebration

Our annual Spring Celebration with music and readings, shared by our members. If you have poetry, prose, a song that you would like to contribute to the celebration let Mel Aanerud know. If you want a speaking part in a prepared program, we have that too. We are looking for three people who want to participate from our script. Please let Mel Aanerud know. It should be entertaining and maybe even memorable.

April 10 – Music and Talk with Doug and Steve

Doug Wood, author, illustrator, musician, naturalist, wilderness guide, “Minnesota’s renaissance man”… This is Douglas Wood. Doug is the creator of classic children’s books like Old Turtle and A Quiet Place. He publishes critically acclaimed adult titles like Deep Woods, Wild Waters and Paddle Whispers. He visits countless schools, motivating students and teachers alike with his story of going from the “worst reader in the class” who struggled with ADHD and dyslexia, to becoming an international best-selling author. Doug communicates through words and music the inspiration to be found in nature. And his old friend Steve Borgstrom, a music teacher for 37 years adds amazing hot licks and gorgeous supporting parts on the acoustic 6-string.

April 3 - Professor Harold Holzer – The President and the Press

The Endless Battle between the White House and the Media–from the Founding Fathers to Fake News. Harold Holzer is the Jonathan F. Fanton Director of The Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College in New York City, a post he assumed in 2015 after 23 years as senior vice president of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. He also served for six years as chairman of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation, and the previous 10 years as co-chair of the U. S. Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, appointed by President Bill Clinton. In 2008, Holzer was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President George W. Bush.

March 27 - Richard Terrill and Larry McDonough – Sources 2

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 draw parallels to spiritual pursuits.

March 20 - What the pandemic has wrought in Minnesota - Lori Sturdevant

Lori Sturdevant, columnist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, makes an almost yearly track to Pilgrim House to talk with us about the issues of the day in Minnesota.

March 13 - Realistic Hope and Hopeful Realism

According to recent surveys of religion in America, a continued decline of church membership in future decades seems inevitable. What does that mean for those of us who enjoy the important social benefits that belonging to a religious community provides? How do we manage the tension between hope and realism when it comes to the future of our faith? Let us explore what we, as Unitarian Universalists, can do for religion today...and tomorrow.

The speaker is the Rev. Phillip Lund: Phillip Lund has over twenty-five years of experience serving congregations in the areas of faith formation and spiritual growth, first as a religious educator in Bloomington, Indiana, New York City, and Chicago, Illinois, and most recently as a congregational life consultant working for the MidAmerica Region of the Unitarian Universalist Association. He holds a Master of Divinity degree from Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago and a certificate in InterSpiritual Counseling from One Spirit Learning Alliance in New York. He lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota, with his wife, Julia, and their son, Henry David.

March 6 – Electoral College

Although we had programs a year ago on the electoral College, we have not had a professional analysis of it. Professor Robert Alexander is a professor of political science and the Founding Director of the Institute for Civics and Public Policy at Ohio Northern University in Ada, Ohio. His pioneering work on presidential electors has positioned him as an expert on the Electoral College. His book, Representation and the Electoral College (Oxford University Press, 2019) received stellar reviews and was chosen as an outstanding title by Choice Magazine for 2019.

February 27 – Social Action Committee

Social Action Committee members will present the history of social action at Pilgrim House, what we’re doing now, and the results of the Social Action Survey sent out last spring. There will be time at the end for discussion. We want to hear what you would like to see in social action. The presenters will be Marcie Jeffries, Ellen Shelton, Fred Green, Judy Bloom-Martinez, and Nancy Olson.

February 20 – Dan Newton "Daddy Squeeze"

We had him last year and is back by popular demand. Dan enjoys mixing up styles and genres that don’t generally seem compatible. "Music out of context" is the result of his genre-bending experiments with Celtic, French, Tex-Mex, Creole, Blues, Jazz, Scandinavian, Polka and pop music.

February 13 – Adventures from Finland: "The Happiest Place on Earth" with John and Shannon Zobitz

The Zobitz family spent part of the last year in Finland.

February 6 – Lincoln’s Second Inaugural

Last year we presented Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. Robert Schmitz requested that we do the Second Inaugural, “Lincoln’s best speech” according to Bob. He is not with us anymore to see our interpretation, but we will do it partly in his memory. Presented by Mel Aanerud and a cast of Pilgrim House members. In what many consider Lincoln’s most powerful speech, his second inaugural address calls us to move forward together ... “With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.” Those words speak to our polarized country today as directly as they spoke to our Civil War differences in 1865.

January 30 - Decarbonizing a Suburban Home - Paul Gardner

Twenty-one percent of Minnesota’s greenhouse gas emissions come from residential housing. Despite being on track to meet 2050 carbon emission reduction goals for electricity generation, Minnesota is not making progress in housing emissions. Most Minnesotans may not even know what can be done. A burgeoning movement to "decarbonize" housing that pushes us to "electrify everything" can get us there. Paul Gardner, PH member, will use his family’s experience to illustrate how homeowners can meet our climate goals.

Paul Gardner has been working on decarbonizing the family home for the last eight years. By day, he is the Administrator for the Clean Water Council as a state employee. Paul spent 20 years in the recycling industry and four years serving in the State Legislature. He and his wife Michelle--a former PH board chair--live in Shoreview and they have two children, Megan and Ben.

January 23 - Islam

Presented by John Emery who is the executive director of the Islamic Resource Group John served 9 years in the US army as a translator for the Arabic Language where he worked in North Africa, the Persian Gulf and other areas. John converted to Islam in 2004. He will speak on the basics of Islam and the difficulties Muslims face here in the US and other areas in the world. He will be open for questions and discussion.

January 16 - Peter Mayer Concert

Minnesota’s Peter Mayer has been singing and songwriting full-time for 25 years, performing in venues across the United States and beyond. He writes songs for a small planet--songs about interconnectedness and the human journey--songs about life on earth and the mysterious and wondrous fact of our existence. He also writes about dress hats, pumpkins and pajamas, and other important stuff. His music has been performed by artists like Kathy Mattea, David Wilcox, Claudia Schmidt, Anne Hills, Priscilla Herdman, Darryl Purpose, Billy Jonas, and Ronny Cox, to name a few. His work has been included in song books, church hymnals, and folk radio playlists across the country. He is the recipient of fellowships from the McKnight and the Bush foundations. Peter has eleven albums to his credit, and has sold over 100,000 of them. He lives in Stillwater, Minnesota with his wife and two daughters. His “Blue Boat Home” has become a part of the Pilgrim House and UUA music itinerary.

January 9 - Jim Bear Jacobs

Jim Bear Jacobs is a member of the Stockbridge-Munsee Mohican Nation, an American Indian tribe located in central Wisconsin. He has degrees in Pastoral Studies and Christian Theology and has served various churches as youth minister, adult Christian educator, and director of Men’s Ministries. Presently, he is Program Director for Racial Justice for the Minnesota Council of Churches.

He is a cultural facilitator in the Twin Cities and works to raise the public’s awareness of American Indian causes and injustices. He is founder of “Healing Minnesota Stories,” an initiative dedicated to creating events of dialogue, education, and healing, particularly within faith communities.

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.

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