Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
1212 W. Highway 96, Arden Hills, MN 55112
Programs begin at 10:15 am
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.
May 3 – What the Election Means
David Schultz, the political guru from Hamline University, has been at Pilgrim House before, but since he was here, there has been an 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.
Past Program Highlights
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.
January 25 – Joint Religious Legislative Coalition and their legislative agenda for 2015 - Interfaith Advocacy for Social Justice
Presented by Brian A. Rusche – executive director, Joint Religious Legislative Coalition (JRLC) speaking on JRLC and their 2015 Legislative Agenda. This program is designed to provide an understanding of what current legislative issues affect the well-being of Minnesotans and our communities. The JRLC is the largest interfaith interest group in Minnesota bringing together people of diverse faiths applying their individual wisdom and vision to the public realm to influence public policy and legislation.
January 18 – Immigration Policy and how it is viewed and affects people in Minnesota
Presented by Alberto Monserrate, who is Co-Founder and President of the Minnesota Latino Communications Network. Following the General Assembly in Phoenix, the Unitarian Universalist Association has been urging local congregation to become better informed and take action on compassionate immigration reform. (see UUA website http://standingonthesideoflove.org/cir) This is the first of two programs this year on how Immigration policy affects us in Minnesota
January 11 – Creation Care is About the Seventh Generation
John Muir said, “Everybody needs beauty as well as bread…where nature may heal and give strength… What does that mean in a time where the earth itself is stressed and under siege? Dr. Luther Dale will talk about how his journey of love for the beauty of creation has lead to work on behalf of the earth. He will speak of the need for a radical sense of urgency on behalf of those yet unborn.
January 4 – The City in Flames: A Child’s Recollection of World War II in Wurzburg, Germany
From the moment Germany ignites World War II, life changes radically for young Elisabeth, her family and other residents of Würzburg. When a fire-bombing near the war’s end destroys most of the city, earlier hardships turn into a desperate struggle for survival as the family takes shelter in a cabin outside of town. Through it all, Elisabeth finds moments of humor and compassion. From a bugled midnight attempt to milk a neighbor’s goat, a Russian POW risking his life to save her family to communion dresses sewn from the only material on hand—a dead soldier’s parachute—to the baker who rewards Elisabeth’s mother’s confession about stealing a loaf of his bread by giving her another. Together, the stories captured in this memoir provide a gripping picture of everyday life in a world gone up in flames.
The presenter, Elisabeth von Berrinberg, was born in Wurzburg, Germany, and migrated to the United States in 1955 after marrying an American soldier. In addition to raising her daughter, Lorraine, she had a long career as a darkroom technician both in Germany and the United States. She is also the author of The Cozy Connection, a cozy mystery series featuring The Adventures of Countess von Schleppmeister, The Jewel Heist, The Cruise, The Missing Madonna, A Culinary Experience, Mystery at the Pearly Gates, and The Doppelgänger. She is presently working on a series of children’s books.
December 28 – Our Annual Day Of Remembrance
Mel Aanerud and David Conradi-Jones will begin the program, but We want a major portion of the program to be an opportunity for everyone who would like 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 - to agree or disagree with any of our choices for recognition or our choices for stories of importance
December 21 – Our Annual 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 for participation in the chorale and for any music selections that will be presented by you or your children and contact Mel Aanerud for readings that might be included. And don’t forget to bring that favorite holiday food for our traditional potluck finger foods feast after the program. Remember that parking becomes crowded for this program and we can park across the street at either the Armory or the Arden Hills City Hall lot. See you there!
December 14 – Minnesota SAFE Elders
A once-small group that Anoka County Attorney Tony Palumbo started to confront elder abuse has unleashed an arsenal of resources to help educate Minnesotans about the problem. Minnesota SAFE Elders has created a tool kit that includes video and training materials that it will provide free to interested groups. The group also developed an app for first responders to guide them through such cases and a community resource list they can immediately offer to victims. The SAFE stands for Stop Abuse and Financial Exploitation.
December 7 – Making Water Clean, Keeping Water Available
Minnesota is one of a handful of states that does a pretty good job of looking out for its water resources. The system allows for significant local control and funding levels are relatively high. Successes abound in some sectors and regions, while progress in others seems unable to keep pace with land alterations that degrade water. Steve has worked water issues from the private, public, and non-profit sectors and will explain why decades of data have turned into knowledge that is spurring on-the-ground actions to make things better.
The speaker is Steve Woods, Executive Director of Fresh Water Society.
November 30 – Mark Twain
Today marks the 180th birthday of Samuel Clemens otherwise known as Mark Twain. We will hear his history in his own words from his writings especially his autobiography which was published 100 years after his death. There will also be words put into the mouth of his character Huckleberry Finn and some recollections from his daughter Suzy.
November 23 – 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. And don’t forget to bring a dish to pass for our traditional pot luck feast immediately after the program. See you there!
November 16 – Reproductive Health in Minnesota and across the Country
Speaker Linnea House, outgoing Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota.
Description: Linnea will address the current state of affairs on the reproductive health landscape, especially following the recent election, and what we can expect in the coming years as we continue to fight for reproductive rights in Minnesota and across the country.
November 9 – Minnesota Clean Energy Solutions
Speaker: J. Drake Hamilton is the Science Policy Director at the nonprofit organization Fresh Energy
Minnesota is on a clean energy path that is creating thousands of jobs and protecting human health and natural resources while cutting carbon pollution that causes global warming. But our work is not done. Join J. Drake Hamilton, science policy director at Fresh Energy, to learn more about historic opportunities Minnesota has to make big strides in clean energy in 2015.
November 2 – The Legacy of 1914 and the Crises of Today
Tom Hanson has been at Pilgrim House, both for Sunday programs and for the Great Decisions programs. Since it is the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I, he is back to tell us about The Legacy of 1914 and the Crises of Today. Using 1914 as a framework, he will comment on all of those issues as well as on the lessons to be drawn from the way countries went "sleepwalking" into the slaughterhouse that was World War I.
October 26 - Doug Ohman: Photo Tour of the Mississippi, Part III
Doug Ohman Photographer extraordinaire did a photo tour of the Mississippi and he returns to Pilgrim House for the third time to complete his photographic trip down the Mississippi. This time the tour is from Saint Paul to the Minnesota Iowa border.
After the program, you may want to visit the annual Pilgrim House Halloween Haunted Basement created by the Pilgrim House youth.
October 19 - Sand, Cattle & Land Stewardship: How Can we Keep the Land and People Together?
George Boody, Executive Director, Land Stewardship Project.
George will talk about work of Land Stewardship Project (LSP) and discuss how frac sand mining threatens farmland, trout streams and rural communities in southeastern MN and western Wisconsin. LSP successfully organizes members and citizens to address this locally and through the Minnesota state government, while also advancing pasture-based cattle as an effective approach to stewardship that provides long-term economic activity and healthful food for people to eat. He will discuss options to take action.
October 12 - The Top Conservation Threats We Face, and What One Can Do to Make a Difference
The Sierra Club’s members and supporters are 2.1 million of your friends and neighbors. Inspired by nature, we work together to protect our communities and the planet. The Club is America’s oldest, largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization. Minnesota’s North Star Chapter is the leading grassroots voice to preserve our state’s air, lands, water and climate. State Director Margaret Levin will discuss the top conservation threats we face, and what one can do to make a difference.
October 5 – Music from Transylvania – Colleen Bertsch
Not all Transylvanian string band music is the same! By sharing video examples from their fieldwork collection and demonstrating musical techniques, the American band Szászka offers a glimpse at the world of Transylvanian string band music through a multi-media informational performance.
Szászka was formed in 1996 to perform traditional Hungarian village dance music for events and workshops in the United States. Szászka performs regularly at táncház events in Minneapolis and Chicago, and at festivals and concerts in the Midwest. The group has studied with Hungarian and Transylvanian musicians in Hungary, Romania and the United States. Szászka is Colleen Bertsch (violin), Sara Bruins (bass) and Doug Code (kontra).
September 28 – Last Keeper at the Split Rock Light House
Mike Roberts was the Last Keeper at the Split Rock Light House. He was stationed there with his family for 27 months on active duty in the US Coast Guard. He lived in Ely prior to going into the Service and joined the USCG in April of 1966. He was stationed at Split Rock Light House for 27 months, and it was his family’s home until it was decommissioned and permanently closed on January 1, 1969. It was closed because it was obsolete due to the use of radio beacons and other electronic devices. It was costly to have the station manned by two men with their families. In 2007, He retired from Minnesota State College and University System after 26 years of teaching. In his retirement, he wrote the book, "The Last Keeper at Split Rock" for his grandchildren so they might know some of the things that happened in his and his wife Mary lives before they were born. The Split Rock lighthouse is one of the most photographed and visited aid to navigation sites in the USA.
September 21 – Vestments
Author John Reimringer Minnesota Author Winner of the 2011 Minnesota Book Award
John was born in Fargo, North Dakota, and raised in Topeka, Kansas, has his BS in journalism from the University of Kansas and an MFA in creative writing from the University of Arkansas. Was a newspaper editor in Kansas at the Parsons Sun and Hutchinson News; He teaches English at Normandale Community College and lives in Saint Paul’s Hamline-Midway neighborhood with his wife, the poet Katrina Vandenberg.
When he moved to Saint Paul in 2001, Reimringer became the fifth generation of his father’s family to live here: his great-great grandfather became a U.S. citizen in Saint Paul in 1856, two years after the city was founded, and ran a saloon and grocery store downtown; his great-grandfather was married in Assumption Church in 1880 and died in a tumble from a sleigh at the second-ever Saint Paul Winter Carnival in 1887.
September 14 – How Do Photographs Form Us
Our presenter, Wing Young Huie, fosters dialogue by showing culturally complex photographs from his many projects that are open to interpretation, inviting contrasting points of view from audience participants by asking, “What do you see?” He then facilitates a dialogue before revealing stories behind the photographs, which complicates perceptions further. This presentation explores how our deeply embedded perceptions are often driven by the countless pop culture images we’ve consumed, rather than by direct experience.
September 7 - 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 10 – University of Minnesota Raptor Center
A raptor education specials will bring a special one-hour program to Pilgrim House. Along with a variety of hands-on props and activities there will be four live raptors, including an Eagle.