Social Justice Family Events: January/February


Family focus – Youth day at the capital – February 25, 2020. Youth (middle school or older) may be interested in attending Youth Day at the Capital. The event includes  advocacy training, meetings with legislators, and the opportunity to check out exhibits Minnesota History Center. Learn more and register on  EventBrite.

Family focus – Mom’s Rising.  A useful social justice resource to check out is Mom’s Rising. Mom’s Rising is a national network of citizens taking on critical issues facing women, mothers, and families by educating the public and mobilizing massive grassroots actions to: (a) Bring the voices and real world experiences of women and mothers straight to our local, state, and nation’s leaders; (b) Amplify women’s voices and policy issues in the national dialogue & in the media across all platforms (from print, to radio, to blogs, social media, and more); (c) Accelerate grassroots impact on Capitol Hill and at state capitols across the country; and (d) Hold corporations accountable for fair treatment of women and mothers & for ensuring the safety of their products. Their website provides recommended action items and opportunities to stay informed via email or text regarding issues such as workplace justice, maternal justice gun safety, health care, immigration, and others.

Family focus – Valentine’s Day ideas. According to at least some stories, Valentine’s Day has a history rooted in overcoming injustice. Learn more at Teaching Tolerance, along with discussion questions and activities geared to helping elementary and middle school youth ensure that Valentine’s day is celebrated in ways that are inclusive and welcoming. Families can also take the Doing Good Together Valentine’s-themed 28 days of kindness challenge. Continue reading →

Help Build a Sunday Service – The Music of Resilience

For our service on February 23, we are asking the congregation to help build our service. Our theme is “The Music of Resilience”. And, on that note (pun intended), we are asking for the following:

  • Tell us about a time when music (a song, piece, musical event or activity) helped you during a difficult time or experience.
  • Sing or perform a piece or song that is your go-to when times get tough.

Please contact Kelly Bertenshaw at with your testimonials (under 5 minutes, please) and Paul Winchester at with any pieces you would like to perform. Paul will not be at the service that Sunday.

Submissions are due by end of the day Sunday, February 9. We will make our selections based on time constraints and availability of musicians. Testimonials not selected will be posted on the UUCM website. Thank you for contributing!

Path to Membership Class: Exploring UU History & Beliefs

Sunday, February 9 from 11:15 AM to 12:15 PM in the Oak Room
Childcare will be available at this event!
This class is one of two classes offered on the path to membership at UUCM, allowing participants to share their own spiritual journeys and to interactively explore a broad overview of Unitarian and Universalist history and what it means to be a UU. Visitors and friends who have attended both of these “Exploring UUism” classes are eligible to become members of UUCM. Current members and friends are very welcome to join in the class also. Facilitated by Janna Sundby, Membership Ministry.

Advocacy Training

Sunday, February 2 at 11:45 am (preceded by lunch)
Do you know who your local, state and national representatives are and how to encourage them to support legislation on important issues that align with UU values? Part of affecting social change is advocacy — working together through the legislative process to impact public policy. Following worship on Feb. 2, Rev. Meg Riley, from UUCM, and Jean Hammink, from Unity Church-Unitarian in St Paul, will offer advocacy training. This is particularly timely as precinct caucases are on Feb. 25, where resolutions will be discussed, delegates elected to congressional districts and state conventions, and party platforms set. Before the training begins at 11:45 AM, we’ll serve a lunch of soup and sandwiches right after the service. Feel free to invite friends and neighbors to join us!

In the Interim: 1/24/20

meg-rileyI was at a dinner last week with a woman who works at 3M. She told me that they had now been requested, in their email signatures, to include their pronouns.

What that means, if it’s not a familiar concept to you, is that people who identify as female write she/her/hers under their names. People who identify as male write he/him/his. People who use other pronouns might write they/theirs if they use singular they pronouns, or any number of pronouns which have been invented to convey that neither he nor she is a good fit: zi/ si/ ey/ ve/tey / xi and so many others. This tells the rest of the 3M community how each person would like to be addressed.

If this is a new concept to you, here is a webpage that begins to explain gender pronouns:


There is most definitely a gender revolution going on. It’s even hit 3M! Those of us who are older may have trouble feeling that we can keep up with it all. This Sunday, we’ll be exploring what that means for all of us, and featuring the voices (in music and word) of people who have lived outside of the “cisgender” identity. (Cisgender refers to those of us who identify with the gender we were assigned at birth. For us, especially, this may mean that we have never given much thought to expanding concepts of gender.) This is part of our theme of integrity, as we explore what it means to have integrity in our genders. Continue reading →

In the Interim: 1/17/20

terri-burnor“May your life preach more loudly than your lips.” — William Ellery Channing, theological founder of American Unitarianism

Integrity and values cannot be separated from one another. How we live a life of integrity is reflected in the values we hold at the heart of things. For if our values are indeed our values, they cannot just be said, but must be expressed. They must go somewhere, be alive somewhere, create movement somewhere, affect change somewhere.

Oh but values are a tricky business. They can be super inconvenient! And so we sometimes wrestle with, swear at, bargain with, forget, deny, ignore our values. We may struggle with perfectionism and feel embarrassment, guilt and even shame when there’s a gap between what we truly believe and how we show up in life.

All of these things are true for me, and I’m guessing that they are for you as well.

We are human. Hear us fail (and roar). See us rise! Let us remember that we can keep keep coming back to love, that we are held by love, that we are loved. We fail, we rise, again and again. We do this because it’s what our values, our faith, our interdependence call us toward. Continue reading →