Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
1212 W. Highway 96, Arden Hills, MN 55112
Programs begin at 10:15 am
February 14 – Four Step Approach to Financial Independence Program Change
To augment the retirement discussion group that has recently started at PH, member Louis Asher will share an approach to personal finance that he has successfully employed for the past 25 years. Louis’ four step approach has been gleaned from his own experiences and professional statistical background, financial discussion groups, and publications by experts in finance.
February 21 – Education in Minnesota
Paul Mueller is the Vice President of Education Minnesota. This is another requested program – Education Minnesota is the leading advocate for public education in Minnesota. Their 70,000 members work in pre-K-12 schools and higher education institutions statewide. They include: Education support professionals, faculty at several university campuses, community and technical colleges, college students preparing for an education career, and retired educators who have devoted their lives to students. Education Minnesota gives “voice” to the issues that affect educators and their students. We make sure our members’ voices are heard anywhere decisions get made that affect public education—whether it’s at the state Capitol, in Washington, D.C., or with local school administrators.
February 28 – An Introduction to Islam, and the Role of Muslim Women
Hanadi Chehabeddine, a speaker from the Islamic Resource Group (IRG), will give us a better understanding of what Islam teaches and what Muslims practice. The presentation will cover Islamic teachings about the different roles of Muslim women in society, including cultural differences. She will talk about common misconceptions regarding Muslim women and explain gender equity in the spiritual, social, and economic aspect of life. Muslim women and culture/diversity will also be discussed.
Hanadi Chehabeddine is a published writer and blogger currently living in Minnesota, with her family of three children. Her work has been published on The American Diversity Report, MinnPost and Engage Minnesota. At the beginning of her career as a copywriter, Hanadi was awarded the Gold award for Cannes Young Lions on behalf of United Arab Emirates.
March 6 -Think South: How We Got Six Men and Forty Dogs Across Antarctica
What does it take to move forty dogs, three sleds, twenty tons of food and gear, and six men from all over the world across nearly four thousand of the coldest miles on earth?
Cathy de Moll, the executive director of the 1990 International Trans-Antarctica Expedition, introduces the wild cast of characters who made it happen, on the ice and off: leaders Will Steger and Jean-Louis Etienne, who first met accidentally, on the way to the North Pole; Valery Skatchkov, the Soviet bureaucrat who supplied a “hot” Russian airplane; Yasue Okimoto, who couldn’t bear to leave headquarters in Minnesota while her boyfriend was on the ice; Qin Dahe, the Chinese member of the team, who didn’t know how to ski; the millions of children who followed the expedition in schools around the world, learning about the fragility and ferocity of the seventh continent; and many others.
These stories of near misses and magical coincidences are as suspenseful and compelling as the expedition’s headlines—and they have never been told. But they also reflect the greatest lesson of the project: the international cooperation that was needed for the expedition’s success is every bit as essential for the preservation of Antarctica today.
Past Program Highlights
February 7 – Self-Healing Body, Mind and Spirit through Reiki with Mary Jo Feely
Reiki is an energy-based therapeutic healing approach that uses gentle touch to assist a person in clearing and balancing the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of their being, thus supporting their natural ability to heal. Reiki works in harmony with standard medical care, and is safe for children and adults of all ages.
Mary Jo Feely is a registered nurse of 38 years and has been working in the Energy Healing field since 2003. She has studied and received extensive training in Healing Touch, Usui Reiki, Back Chakra Activation, Hara and gemstone healing, Essential Oils, Raindrop Technique, and Christian and Buddhist meditation practices.
January 31 – Corporate Personhood or Democracy
Through decisions of the judiciary, the 14th Amendment has been co-opted to give corporations the inalienable rights that the U.S. Constitution meant for human beings; albeit white, male landowners at the time it was adopted. Though more people have been granted these rights through amendments, more recently, the courts have also been finding those rights for corporations.
We will explore this history and discuss the developing movement to reject the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United and other related cases, and amend our Constitution to firmly establish that money is not speech, and that human beings, not corporations, are persons entitled to constitutional rights.
The speaker will be Barbara Gerten, Co-Chair of the Move To Amend Minnesota State Network.
January 24 – Racial Justice: A Journey Towards Waking Up, Catching Up, and Showing Up
Andrea Johnson who has been at Pilgrim House before will present a program entitled Racial Justice: A journey towards waking up, catching up and showing up. Andrea Johnson is pursuing her Master of Divinity degree at United Theological Seminary in New Brighton, MN. She is a member of First Universalist Church in Minneapolis where she is active on the Pastoral Care Team, facilitating small groups and becoming a Racial Justice trainer.
January 17 – Wildlife Rehab Center
Julia Schmitz, who works at the Wildlife Rehab Center and a member of Pilgrim House, will tell us about the important work of this organization.
January 10 – Her Honor: Rosalie Wahl
Lori Sturdevant the columnist and author bring us the story of the first woman Minnesota Supreme Court Justice and Lori’s new book about her called Her Honor.
January 3 – Cemeteries of Minnesota by Doug Ohman
Doug Ohman, photographer, who has been to Pilgrim House many times with his “Photographs of … in Minnesota” returns with a proposed book of the Cemeteries of Minnesota.
December 27 – Our Annual Day of Remembrance
Mel Aanerud or David Conradi-Jones will take requests to have the bell rung – to rejoice some event or action – to mourn some loss – to pray for a better tomorrow – to invoke a blessing on anyone – to dispel a demon that troubles you – to look ahead at things to be done – to project the best for yourself, this community, the world – to express your joys and concerns – Contact Mel or David to be included.
December 20 – Traditional 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. And don’t forget to bring that favorite holiday food for our traditional potluck finger foods feast after the program. See you there!
December 13 – Harriet Beecher Stowe
Author Dr. Nancy Koester is a Minnesota author and a professor who specializes in the history of religion in America. In Harriet Beecher Stowe: A Spiritual Life, she explores this middle aged mother who wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin. That anti-slavery novel made Stowe famous overnight. She toured Europe as a celebrity and became the best-selling author of the century. But she also suffered personal tragedy and loss: one child died of cholera, one drowning and one at Gettysburg. Through it all, she pursued her spiritual quest from stern New England Calvinism to a broader, more open form of Christianity.
December 6 – Minnesota Innocence Project
The Minnesota Innocence Project works to free people who are in prison for crimes they did not commit, and works towards systemic change to prevent unjust convictions.
The speaker will be Heather Ring, Executive Director.
November 29 – How the "War To End All Wars" Came Out As "The Peace To End All Peace.”
Professor Munholland was here last year to explain how World War I began and how it relates to today. He returns to explain why the peace did not end all wars and how those mistakes shaped the world today.
November 22 – 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, a 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 11/15. 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 15 – The Monarch Butterfly and What Anyone Can Do
Kathy Johnson is a Master Gardener and Monarch Butterfly enthusiast. She hatches them, tags them and urges proper growth in people’s yards and gardens to save them. The Monarch is endangered and we can help.
November 8 – OutFront Minnesota
OutFront Minnesota’s mission is to create a state where lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people are free to be who they are, love who they love, and live without fear of violence, harassment or discrimination. They envision a state where LGBTQ individuals have equal opportunities, protection and rights. They are working toward the day when all Minnesotans have the freedom, power and confidence to make the best choices for their own lives.
The speaker is Ashley Harp.
November 1 – Haints, Saints, and Souls: A Ritual to Mark the Turning of the Year
What wisdom and energy can we take in to the darker months of the year? How can our ancestors show us the way? Join Rev. Kelli Clement in an exploration of how ancient themes illuminate contemporary life.
Rev. Kelli Clement is the Social Justice Minister at First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis and the Training and Curriculum Consultant for the national office of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. She lives in South Minneapolis with her husband, daughter, and poodle Memphis.
October 25 – History of Gay and Lesbian Ministry
Obie Holmen – A civil trial attorney, Holmen has written a new book on the history of Gay and Lesbian ministry in American Protestantism and how various denominations have dealt with the issue of ordaining gay clergy.
October 18 – Excerpts and Essays from Local Writer John Landretti
John will do a reading of his own work. He is a published writer; most of his work has appeared in a magazine called Orion. Genre is the literary essay, though he do writes poetry as well. His writing explores our relationship with "place" and what we mean by "spirituality."
October 11 – Iraqi Voices
Iraqi Voices is an ongoing collaborative mentorship program that gives Iraqis in Minnesota support and training to transform their stories into high-quality documentary video shorts. The films are written and directed by Iraqi-American participants and are photographed and edited by Nathan Fisher. Produced by the Iraqi and American Reconciliation Project and Northern Monday Films, this activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.
We will show 2 or 3 short films from the Iraqi Voices project. Nathan Fisher and one of the Iraqi-American participants will be present to answer questions.
October 4 – Harold Stassen
Steve Werle has written a new book "Stassen Again" the life of Minnesota boy governor, war hero, one of the writers of the U.N. charter and a person who ran for president a number of times published by the Minnesota Historical Society Press.
September 27 – Alzheimer’s Poetry Project
Zoë Bird, poet and director of the Alzheimer’s Poetry Project Minnesota, works with communities of all ages and cognitive stripes to create collaborative poetry. She will facilitate an exploration of today’s topic through joyful, high-energy group discussion and poem creation and performance.
September 20 – Our Movement and The Movement: Unitarian Universalism’s Relationship with Movements for Social Justice
Reverend Ashley Horan, M.Div., UU minister, Executive Director of MUUSJA (Minnesota Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Alliance), Many Unitarian Universalists say they come to our congregations because of our progressive stance and participation in social justice causes. Where does that impulse come from in our tradition? What have we done well, and where have we fallen short of our ideals? And, with such small numbers, can Unitarian Universalists ever hope to have an impact on "bending the moral arc of the universe toward justice?"
September 13 - Water Communion
Our annual "welcome back" celebration: connection and community, revitalized through song, readings, and sharing. For the Water Communion, please bring a small amount of water from a favorite source. What meaning does this water hold for you?
August 9 – Twin City Chinese Dance Company
The TCCDC was established in 2002, as a non-profit performing arts and educational organization founded with the goal of promoting the understanding and appreciation of Chinese culture. They will provide a dance program for us followed by a brief workshop.
July 19 – Helping Paws – The Dogs in the Blue Coat
A representative from Helping Paws, a service dog provider, will come to explain their program for furthering the independence of individuals with physical disabilities. She will have a service dog with her to demonstrate the amazing things that trained dogs can do.
June 21 – Science in our Daily Lives – A Fun Interactive Presentation by Louis Asher
One can find the effects of science in every aspect of our lives. This fun interactive presentation will show how science influences us by viewing common items in new and creative ways. This will include a soda bottle, postage stamps, reflective traffic signage material and a number of handy household products (including Post-It Brand Notes, sponges, and adhesive tapes). Louis Asher, the speaker, will share info from his 39 years as a 3M Researcher and Statistician in a humorous and educational approach well suited for all ages.
Louis Asher was a Researcher and Statistician during his 39 year 3M Co. career. He created and presented countless classes on statistical, mathematical and procedural subjects that focused on the scientific approach. He was known as a very practical, motivating and extremely entertaining/fun instructor. After retiring Louis has volunteered in organizations that deal with habitat conservation, climate change and renewable energy.
May 31 – Flower Communion, Lunch, and Annual Meeting
Bring a flower from your garden to be joined with flowers from others showing the beauty of our diversity. Hear the origins of this service from 1923 Czechoslovakia that is held annually just before the summer recess of the church. The Religious Education students will have a presentation. Stay for a taco bar lunch and the Pilgrim House annual meeting. Please come and hear what is planned for next year, celebrate this year’s volunteers and approve the new budget. This is a lay led congregation and this is the time to become informed and participate in decisions. See the May newsletter for the meeting agenda. Members may bring a dessert or side dish for the lunch.
May 17 – Sex Trafficking in Minnesota – Teresa Forliti, of Breaking Free
Terry Forliti will do a Power Point presentation and a Short Video titled "Sarah’s Story." She will cover how women/girls get into prostitution and what prostitution looks like in Minnesota. She will also cover what Breaking Free does to combat sex trafficking and how they work on ending the “demand”. The entire world is looking at a model called “The Nordic Model”. For all intents and purposes, what that does is to make the selling of sex legal and the purchasing of sex illegal. It puts the onus on the “tricks/johns” and “pimps”. The Nordic countries in Europe have adapted these laws and principles for many years and they are now realizing that a second generation is being raised that already has the mindset that buying women/girls is not OK. It has been very effective. Both Canada and Ireland are in the process of implementing these laws. We would love to see it happen in America.
Terry Forliti, Systems Analyst & Volunteer Manager. In addition to being a survivor of many forms of sexual, physical and emotional abuse, Terry focused on empowerment of the marginalized while obtaining her degree in Organizational Leadership from Bethel University in 2006. Terry served on the Board of Directors of Breaking Free, which assists women in leaving the sex trade, and was eventually hired as staff.
May 10 – Parenting and Grace (Mothers Day)
The great theologian Paul Tillich once described grace as that thing which breaks into our lives and surprises us into wholeness. We are struck alive like a bell awakened with sound and purpose, and we ring with a new pattern. Today we explore the intersection of Parenting and Grace. What might it mean to parent and nurture our relationships with our children and parents with grace? How might we welcome grace into these joyful, challenging and sometimes difficult relationships. Could grace also make space for us to investigate stories that might otherwise get lost in the Hallmark holiday of Mother’s Day?
Andrea Johnson is pursuing her Master of Divinity degree at United Theological Seminary in New Brighton, MN. She is a member of First Universalist Church in Minneapolis where she is active on the Pastoral Care Team, facilitating small groups and becoming a Racial Justice trainer. She lives in Minneapolis.
May 3 – Last Year’s Elections – How are they going for us?
David Schultz teaches election law at Hamline University. He is an author, a Fulbright Scholar, who has taught extensively in Europe and is a national award winner for public affairs teaching. Many of us know him from Public Television’s Almanac program. He returns to Pilgrim House to discuss the election in 2014 and a new configuration of government both at the state and national level. David will use his experience and insight to let us know what it all means for each of us individually and as a group.
April 26 – Music of the Civil War and Mid 19th Century
Both Bill Rohde and Mel Aanerud saw a performance of the New Pearl Buttons Band at the Minnesota Historical Society. Individually, they concluded that we should get this group to perform at Pilgrim House. New Pearl Buttons Band is a three piece group that plays Civil War and mid-19th Century American music and are the house band at the LeDuc Historic Estate in Hastings.
April 19 – Exploding the Myths Around Gun Violence
Protect Minnesota has worked to End Gun Violence and has been the organization at the forefront of legislative efforts against gun violence, such as the defeat of the Stand Your Ground/Shoot First bill in Minnesota and the passage of a bill in 2014 to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers. Since 2010, Protect Minnesota has organized youth violence prevention programs and worked to change the narrative around gun violence.
Presented by Mary Lewis Grow.
April 12 – Immigration
Immigration is a topic that the Unitarian Universalist Association has asked us to explore. We began discussion of immigration policy with Alberto Monserrate who is Co-Founder and President of the Minnesota Latino Communications Network in January. On April 12th we will have another perspective from Bill Blazar of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, who contends that immigration is a positive when we look at the financial and business considerations.
April 5 – Spring Celebration with guest minister Laura Thompson
Spring Cleaning, Bunnies and Resurrection: An exploration of the themes of spring rituals and holy days. What meaning do they bring to our lives?
Laura Thompson is a UU candidate for ministry. She is currently a chaplain resident at United Hospital and recently completed her M.Div at United Theological Seminary. Laura has previously spoken at First Unitarian Society, Unitarian Church of Underwood, Dakota UU Church, UU Church of Fargo Moorhead and UU Church of Minnetonka. She makes her home in St. Paul with her wife, Emily.
Following the program will be Soup Sunday with a potluck brunch of finger foods.
March 29 – Meditation and Mindfulness
Meditation and Mindfulness: These terms and these practices are showing up all around us today. What are they really about and what is their relevance for the spiritual life of a modern Unitarian Universalist?
We’ll consider the roots of these practices in the Zen Buddhist tradition. We’ll take a careful look at that phenomenon so elusive in our culture: silence. What of the deeper silence beyond the absence of noise, the silence of a still mind? We’ll consider meditation practice in the context of the Three Trainings common to many schools of Buddhism: meditation, insight into the deeply interdependent nature of reality, and morality, our responsibility for ethical behavior. And we’ll turn to outer and inner silence in some meditation practice.
Kenneth Ford is a lay teacher at Clouds in Water Zen Center in St. Paul who has recently received transmission in the lineage of his original teacher, Dainin Katagiri, the founding abbot of Soto Zen practice in Minnesota. In addition to his teaching roles, Ken currently leads a meditation group at Unity Church-Unitarian in St. Paul.
March 22 – Jazz and the Spirit
In a “mostly music” service, saxophonist/writer Richard Terrill and pianist Larry McDonough will talk about the spiritual dimension of music and of jazz improvisation. They will perform a selection of familiar tunes and original compositions, including some not usually heard in the jazz idiom, such as “Simple Gifts,” “God Bless America,” and “We Shall Overcome.”
March 15 – Advocating for Minnesota’s Housing Continuum
Some 14,000 Minnesotans are homeless on any given night and 13,000 school children lack stable housing. The expansion of housing options and economic opportunity is the most humane and cost-effective approach to addressing homelessness. This will promote better health, education, and economic outcomes. This presentation will focus on what makes a housing continuum and why it’s important to invest in it.
The speaker, Dan Kitzberger, Policy Director, of Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless, has experience as a researcher, organizer, and advocate in a variety of nonprofit organizations including the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, Association for Nonsmokers, and Neighborhood Housing Services.
March 8 - World War I, 100th Anniversary
Kim Munholland, Professor Emeritus University of Minnesota. The 100th anniversary of the war leads us to ask what led to the war and if we have any parallels today.
March 1 – Invisible Children
Presented by Mike Tikkanen and Tiffini Flynn Forslund. Mike has been a volunteer county guardian ad-Litem since 1996. He is also a CASAMN board member & founder of KARA, Kids At Risk Action with a mission to speak for the rights and awareness of abused and neglected children. KARA’s current project is a television documentary/expose with TPT. By generating conversation and exposing facts that many are afraid or unable to speak about, Mike brings attention to the critical issues facing abused & neglected children. Mike identifies the problems children, schools, and neighborhoods face daily because of poor public policy and the dysfunction created by lack of awareness within our community. The KARA website is http://www.invisiblechildren.org.
Following the program is Soup Sunday and the Annual PH Auction.
February 22 - Teddy Roosevelt
Adam Lindquist is Teddy Roosevelt and presents a program in Roosevelt’s own words. Teddy Roosevelt was the nation’s youngest president and one of the faces on Mount Rushmore. Environmentalist, but also an advocate for empire.
February 15 - Inner Technology
Presented by Cindi Claypatch.
Understanding the inside out nature of experience via the gifts of Divine Mind, Consciousness and Thought helps us to connect to and identify with our spiritual essence. When connected to our formless essence, our core health takes shape as wisdom, intuition, good judgement, love, common sense resilience..... we live life with less effort and become more grounded. From this place we can radiate our energy, feel inspired and be grounded change agents in our worlds.
February 8 - Transportation in the Twin Cities
Forecast of what is planned, what is hoped for and how individuals can help to make it happen. Presented by Mark Filipi, Manager of Technical Support for the Metropolitan Council.
February 1 – Minnesota and the War of 1812
This program is presented by Pilgrim House member Paul Gardner who is the local president of the Society of the War of 1812. Although no battles were fought in Minnesota, the treaties that ended the war finalized and demilitarized the border with Canada, resulting in two centuries of peace and prosperity with our neighbor. It is the 200th anniversary of the war. For more information go to http://www.minnesota1812.org.