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Pilgrim House

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

Older Programs : 2014

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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. If you or younger members of your family have a musical selection you’d like to share, please contact Bill Rohde by Sunday 11/16. 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 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 and 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 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 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 16, 2013 – "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 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.

The Bushnells will be followed with Soup Sunday Lunch and the Annual Pilgrim House Auction.

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 membe 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.

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 26 – A Pilgrimage to Transylvania

Laura Smidzik is a minister intern who went to Transylvania on a UU pilgrimage the summer of 2013 and will speak about her journey.

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

Our speaker will be 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.

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