From the Board: November 2022

Each month, a member of the board will share a reflection on the Soul Matters monthly theme. The theme for November is Change. This month’s post is offered by Janna Sundby. 


Building a trusting relationship with our developmental minister was just one of the goals that we set out to achieve when we signed our agreement in April 2020. I believe we’ve achieved that important goal despite there being a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic that’s still circulating. Change remains our constant companion. The Minnesota seasons are our colorful annual roadmap for growth, change, death and it starts again. Moving, altering, familiar yet somewhat different with each evolution.

We thoughtfully chose a “Developmental Minister” hire back in 2018, following input from the Ministerial Troika, that never included an option for that person to be our settled minister due to the UUA’s guidelines. We agreed to choose between a contract, vs. a  settled, vs. a  developmental minister and selected the developmental as the best option for us. 

Hiring our Developmental Minister, Rev. Lisa Friedman, has been a wonderful successful change.  Yet this was not luck; we did the hard work of researching, refining, defining and recording our collective goals for developing ourselves, and seeking spiritual guidance from a new unknown ministerial leader. Continue reading →

From the Board: October 2022

Each month, a member of the board will share a reflection on the Soul Matters monthly theme. The theme for October is Courage. This month’s post is offered by Betty Hartnett. 


Courage (Oxford Dictionary):
1. The ability to do something that frightens one.
2. Strength in the face of pain or grief.

I have never thought of myself as courageous. I always thought of having courage as being bold. And I’m not bold! But as I look at the definitions from Oxford, I see that I have done things that have frightened me, such as being the only child in a family of seven to go off to college at eighteen, basically cut off from family. I had no money or transportation, only a scholarship that covered tuition and books. I am a mother of two and all mothers know that giving birth and raising children involves pain and lots of frightening moments (but always worth it). I learned to ski in my late thirties and for a while I could say, “Black Diamonds beware!” (That thought no longer surfaces, but I still ski.) Continue reading →

From the Board: September 2022

Each month, a member of the board will share a reflection on the Soul Matters monthly theme. The theme for September is Belonging. This month’s post is offered by Board President, Becky Halat. 


As the summer wraps up and a new church year starts, we’ll see more friends and members back at the church or on Zoom services. And even though I write that phrase “as the summer wraps up” with an intense feeling of longing to extend these longer days and the warmth of the sun that turn my tomatoes from a dull green to a bright and delicious red, I also relish the renewed sense of belonging that comes from meeting together as our UUCM community. Continue reading →

UUCM Welcomes a Ministerial Intern for the 2022-23 Church Year

FD997D1D-6EC7-4F5D-8C6C-83E10DB3C121_1_201_aWe are very pleased to share that Jill Braithwaite has accepted our offer to serve UUCM as a full-time Ministerial Intern next year.  She will join us on August 19, 2022.  Jill will be an active member of our excellent staff team, participating regularly in worship and collaborating with the Ministry teams to further our mission.

Rev. Lisa and the Board recently decided to pursue a full-time Ministerial Intern for the next church year following our successful Interim Ministry and a great start to our Developmental Ministry.  We believe that UUCM can offer a quality intern experience to help develop future ministers and leaders in the UUA.

Jill is working towards her Master of Divinity in Unitarian Universalist Studies at the United Theological Seminary in St. Paul, MN.  Prior to this she has had a career in editing and publishing children’s books.  She is a member at First Universalist Church in Minneapolis, where she has broad volunteer experience, including leadership in worship, adult religious education, strategic visioning, and serving on the Board of Trustees. We were impressed by her depth of experience and passion for ministry and congregational life.

From the Board: June 2022

Board messages will return in September, 2022. 

Each month, a member of the board will share a reflection on the Soul Matters monthly theme. The theme for June is Celebrating Blessings This month’s post is offered by Shelley Buss. 

“We can’t sit in numbness alone, thinking we don’t have power. We all have power.”


jess-zoerb-05Z8MzcpnOc-unsplashThe theme for this month is Celebrating Blessings, which I thought would be a happy, joyful kind of article when I committed to it long ago, but I’ve rewritten this at least 4 times since we find ourselves reeling from more gun violence. The media bombards us with timelines, opinions and accusations, as if more and more data and story angles can somehow help us make sense of something we can’t possibly make sense of. Continue reading →