Pilgrim House

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Pilgrim House

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

1212 W. Highway 96, Arden Hills, MN  55112

About Us   ( Mission, History, Directions, Contact info )
Information For Visitors
We ask all alike to think — not all to think alike.

Next Program

Programs begin at 10:15 am

Pilgrim House has one program a month in the summer. Weekly programs begin in September.

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.

Upcoming Programs

To be announced

Past Program Highlights

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.

July 20 – Mooncoin Ceili Dancers

The Mooncoin Ceili Dancers have been performing traditional and choreographed Irish ceili and set dances (social dances of Ireland) since forming in 1976. The group will be sharing some of these dances through performance and teaching. Bring your dancing shoes and learn some jigs and reels, or just come to watch. More information about the Mooncoin Ceili Dancers can be found on their website at http://www.mooncoinceili.com.

June 29 – Introduction to Bird Watching, a talk given by Clay Christensen

Do I have to wear tweed and a hat to go bird watching? How about gummy tennis shoes? In this talk, we’ll dispel the myths and uncover some of the joys of birdwatching. We’ll cover bird identification tips, binocular choices, field guide selection, tips for conduct in the field and ways to keep track of what you find. Author and columnist Clay Christensen has been leading bird watching field trips for St. Paul Audubon and other organizations for over 20 years. He’s often requested to speak to bird clubs, corporate groups, conferences and other audiences. His new book is entitled The Birdman of Lauderdale, which one reviewer calls “A wise and witty ramble through the world of birding.”

June 1 – Flower Communion, Lunch, and Annual Membership Meeting.

Bring flowers to add to the bouquet and attend the lunch and annual meeting after the program. Elect the chair elect and other officers, approve the 2014-15 budget, and select delegates to the General Assembly in Providence, Rhode Island. All are encouraged to attend.

May 25 – Memorial Day Weekend – no program

May 18 – Doug Wood and the Wild Spirit Band

Doug Wood, author of children and adult books, musician and northwood’s guide, and The Wild Spirit Band will be back in concert at Pilgrim House. The Pilgrim House portion of the program will be very short and the Wild Spirit Band will provide us with a longer concert which might include a north woods story or two from Doug. A light lunch will follow the program.

May 11 – Love: What is Love?

Are there different kinds of love? When is it permissible to love unconditionally? Can you love someone too much? Dr. Charles Taliaferro, Professor of Philosophy, spoke at PH last year. He is the author or co-author, editor or co-editor of twenty books, most recently The Image in Mind; Theism, Naturalism and the Imagination (Continuum), co-authored with Jil Evans. With Stewart Goetz he is the co-author of A Brief History of the Soul (Blackwell) He has given lectures at Oxford, Cambridge, University of St. Andrews (Scotland), Yale, NYU, University of Chicago, the Gregorian (Rome), University of Beijing (China), and elsewhere.

May 4 - Green Play Yard Program, MN Landscape Arboretum

Presented by Sandy Tanck, Manager of Interpretation & Public Programs at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. Sandy joined the Arboretum in 1979. She has a B.S. in Horticulture from the University of Wisconsin, and an M.S. in Horticultural Science, minor in Science Education from the University of Minnesota. She has 30 years experience creating educational programs and activities that engage people with plants and nature. She has spent a number of years working with schools, including writing curriculum, fieldtrips, delivering teacher courses and workshops and leading grant-funded partnerships between the Arboretum and suburban, urban and out-state schools in northern Minnesota reservation communities. She also led the design of the children’s education facility and its surrounding landscape features at the Arboretum, and developed the Sunshine for Dinner interactive exhibits and Under the Oak nature play area housed there. Currently she oversees the Arboretum’s interpretation including family and early childhood programs, guided tours, signage and special exhibitions.

April 27 - Our UU Covenant: Its Gifts and Challenges

Socrates advised, "The unexamined life is not worth living." And what could be more central to our community life as Unitarian Universalists than the concept of “covenant”? "Covenant" is a verb, as well as a noun; "covenant" is more than a singular concept, it is plural. We are a people of covenants, of promises and commitments.

In this program, we will explore some of the fundamentals of the idea of “covenant,” taking a close look at who we are as UUers, and how we want to grow. What are the challenges and gifts that our covenants hold for us? In what ways do our covenants call us to expand ourselves? Part lecture, part interactive discussion, this program raises questions that encourage reflection and dialogue.

PH member Lisa Wersal, a musician and writer, formerly taught in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Her presentation draws from her Religious Studies background, as well as her engaged participation with three different UU congregations over the past ten years.

Also, enjoy the silky sounds of special musical guests Men in Black, an a cappella men’s quintet, who will provide music during the program!

April 20 - A Program by Reverend Kelli Clement -- and Our Spring Celebration

There will be springtime music and readings for all to enjoy. Reverend Clement will speak on "The Ill-Fitting Grief of Ambiguous Loss". We know that loss is a consequence of love, and we may even imagine what grief may come in our lives. But what of grief & loss that lie beyond our imagining? On this Easter Sunday, what meaning can we find in and through experiences of ambiguous loss? During the speaker’s part of the program, there will be special activities for children.

Bring finger food for a Spring Brunch after the program (appetizers, veggies, fruit, breads and desserts).

April 13 - Songs and Dances of the Civil War Era

Join us for a lively tour of songs, memories, and dances commemorating the 150th anniversary of our deadly civil war and the death of our first major musical composer, Stephen Foster.

April 6 - The Story of Pilgrim House Continued

In November of 2010, on the 40th anniversary of Pilgrim House, we presented a program which explained the early years up to 1984 when the congregation affiliated with the UUA. This time we will take you from there through the construction of the addition (see Addition Photos) and the strengthening of our fellowship to where it is today.

March 30 - Folktales: Who Lived Happily Ever After?

Nothing seems to be more familiar than the plot of the traditional fairy tale. But at closer inspection we find strange contradictions. Why is the hero so feckless that he can do nothing without the assistance of a magic helper? Why does the heroine so often try to get rid of her prospective husband? Once they marry, will they live happily ever after? These are the questions Professor Liberman will explore in his talk. Anatoly Liberman, a professor in the Department of German, Scandinavian and Dutch at the University of Minnesota, was born and educated in Russia (St. Petersburg) and received all his academic degrees there. His forthcoming book has the title In Prayer and Laughter: Essays on Scandinavian Mythology and Medieval Culture.

March 23 - Recycling and Composting - Kira Berglund and Paul Gardner

Recycling and composting have been in the news lately. Hennepin County has directed Minneapolis to start up a curbside food waste collection program. Legislators have been discussing ways to increase collection of recyclables, which are in high demand. PH members Paul Gardner, Executive Director of Recycling Reinvented, and Kira Berglund, Anoka County Recycling Program Assistant and Community POWER Grant Program Manager, will share where there are great opportunities to keep waste out of landfills and incinerators, support green jobs, reduce carbon emissions, and turn organic waste into valuable soil resources.

March 16 - “The Peculiar Power of Silence” -- Rev. Kristin Maier

Silence has the power to allow a person to regain their center and cultivate peace within. Silence, used as a weapon, can shut down or isolate another person. How can we tap into silence as a power for good and leave aside its power to oppress? Rev. Kristin Maier serves as minister of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Northfield. She is an accomplished storyteller and the author of A Good Telling: Bringing Worship to Life with Story.

March 9 – PFLAG - Coming Out

Tom and Gretchen Murr will share their family story that started with their son coming out as gay when he was 15. Beth Johnson will share her story of her daughter coming out to her as lesbian. In both cases the families found their way to PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) . The monthly PFLAG meetings provide education and support to families, friends and LGBT persons. It provides a safe environment for people to share their struggles and their experiences while learning from each other.

March 2 - Music by the Bushnells and the Annual PH Auction

Ann and Bill Bushnell return by popular demand to entertain us with their homespun bluegrass music. They have made music together to the delight of others for over 60 years.

February 23 - Mississippi Trip Continued

Award winning photographer, author and story teller Doug Ohman paddled his kayak with camera in hand down the mighty Mississippi from its start at Lake Itasca to the Iowa border. He returns to PH to continue his trip with stories and pictures.

February 16 - My Journey Connecting with Guardian Angels and Spiritual Guides

The ways we UUers find inspiration and wisdom are many and varied. Come hear member Louis Asher tell of his unfolding personal journey of acknowledgment and connection with his guardian angels and spiritual guides. When he listens intently, they are his still, small voice within.

February 9 - New Spring Books

Our speaker will be David Enyeart, Event Coordinator for Common Good Books. A good book is a surefire cure for the winter blahs. The folks at Common Good Books have plenty of suggestions to add to your reading list. Whether you are looking for a new cookbook, a fresh novel, or some great history, you’ll find out about all kinds of great books to help you curl up and enjoy yourself.

Common Good Books is the largest independent bookstore in St Paul. Since we first opened in 2006, the store has expanded to hold more than 30,000 books on topics ranging from fiction to philosophy and poetry to photography. Common Good Books plays host to authors for great readings almost every week. There’s even a book club full of lively discussion and fantastic conversation. And if you’re very very lucky, you might catch a glimpse of the store’s proprietor, Garrison Keillor. We hope you’ll visit us soon at the corner of Grand and Snelling in St Paul, or check us out online at http://www.commongoodbooks.com.

January 26 - A Pilgrimage to Transylvania

Laura Smidzik is a minister intern who went to Transylvania on a Unitarian Universalist pilgrimage the summer of 2013 and will speak about her journey. The Unitarian Church became the state religion in Transylvania under the Edict of Torda, issued by Prince John II Sigismund Zápolya in January 1568. Early on, the Unitarian Church had notable successes in Transylvania and included 425 parishes. Following the union of Transylvania with Romania at the end of World War I, Unitarian congregations spread to the Romanian portion and the first Unitarian church in Bucharest was founded in 1933. According to the results of the 2002 census, there are 66,846 Romanian citizens of the Unitarian faith, but the church puts it at over 100,000.

February 2 - Sulfide Mining in MN: What’s at Stake

Presented by Aaron Klemz, Communications Director of Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness

What is our collective vision for northern Minnesota? What do we know about sulfide mining, and how would it impact precious regions of our state? Come hear from Aaron Klemz, Communications Director of Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness, an organization instrumental in the establishment of the Boundary Waters Wilderness Area. Their mission: to protect, preserve and restore the wilderness character of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and the Quetico-Superior Ecosystem.

January 19 - Seasons of Desire

Evelyn Klein, author, educator, and artist, holds a B.S. in Secondary Education from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and an M.S. from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. She taught in the public schools, at Century College and the Loft. A prize-winning poet, her work has been variously published, including with the Family Housing Fund "Home Sweet Home Again" exhibit of poetry and art and the Minnesota Jung Association website journal, Elements. Her three books include a poetry memoir, From Here Across the Bridge, illustrated by her father, Wolfgang Klein, winning a cover award, and her next two books of prose, poetry and her own art, Once upon a Neighborhood and Seasons of Desire, both placed in the Minnesota Historical Society permanent library collection. Evelyn Klein will talk about her book Seasons of Desire, where she reveals how every season can be a new beginning as we move through stages of living, bringing us change, hope, renewal, and ongoing growth. It sheds light on both the outer and inner meanings of life.

January 12 - Unspeakable Loss: The Heartache of Loving Someone Who Is Incapable of Loving You

Speaker John Driggs: Either by fate or by choice, many of us have loved ones who simply don’t "get it." About one in six people lack the ability to empathize with others and truly love others in a mature way. When a beloved family member has this problem we ourselves may experience unspeakable loss. Our loved one is with us, but not really with us in an emotional sense. Most of us cannot describe this loss in words, much less know how to handle it. We may be unlikely to speak about it with friends, who with good motives, may blame us or minimize our losses. We may be so ashamed of how our loved one acts that we blame ourselves or get caught up in rescuing our clueless relative from himself or herself. Extended family members may also get caught up in this loss and strain their relationships with us over how to handle a wayward relative, causing further loss. Our efforts to corral a family member into "getting it" may cause us incredible shame, so much so that we may never share our personal angst with others who appear to have escaped our dilemma. This presentation suggests ways to positively cope with these powerful losses whether or not our beloved ever does "get it'.

January 5 - Lessons Learned

Former Rep. Mindy Greiling served 20 years in the Minnesota House of Representatives, focusing on education and mental illness. She retired one year ago this month. Now that she has had a year to reflect, we invited her to share with us some of the lessons she learned during that time, based on what she describes as a school-of-hard-knocks education.

December 29 - The Annual Tolling of the Bells Program

Please let Mel Aanerud or David Conradi Jones know of anyone or anything that you would like to have remembered in this annual program of remembrance.

December 22 - 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 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 (please let them know by December 15). 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 15 - Blessings of the Dark

It’s a spiritual test for some of us to embrace the dark of winter; for others this time is precious & potent. All are welcome to this service that will explore the power & blessing of the dark through story & song.

Rev. Kelli Clement is a UU Community Minister in affiliation with First Universalist Church, and serves as the Executive Director of the MN Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice.

December 8 - A Feng Shui Journey

Among our six Unitarian Universalist Sources are the teachings of Earth-centered traditions, which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature. Feng Shui has developed out of the Earth-centered traditions of Asia.

International Feng Shui expert Carole J. Hyder will walk us you through the evolution of Feng Shui from China to its present form today. Carole will explain how it began and how it has become a sought-after approach to creating balance, harmony, and purpose in life, especially in the past 10 years. Carole has facilitated hundreds of private residential and commercial consultations, and she is the founder of Wind and Water School of Feng Shui, a nine-month certification program licensed by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education. Her program at PH will highlight her experiences with students and clients, and describe how Feng Shui has been powerfully implemented in a local hospital.

December 1 - Being Politically Active within a Faith Community

Mark Ritchie is not only the Secretary of State for the State of Minnesota but also a Unitarian Universalist.

November 24 - 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.

Join us after the program for a Thanksgiving meal. As in past years, we will supply the ham and set up the social room for the event. Members/friends are asked to contribute other food items for the event.

November 17 – Girls inc.

Girls Inc. inspires all girls to be strong, smart, and bold through life-changing programs and experiences that help girls navigate gender, economic, and social barriers. Research-based curricula, delivered by trained, mentoring professionals in a positive all-girl environment equip girls to achieve academically; lead healthy and physically active lives; manage money; navigate media messages; and discover an interest in science, technology, engineering, and math. The network of local Girls Inc. nonprofit organizations serves 136,000 girls ages 6 - 18 annually across the United States and Canada.


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