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Pilgrim House

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

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December 18 – The Annual Holiday Program

Group Caroling, Favorite Holiday readings, seasonal music, performance by the PH Chorale, a special guest (possibly from the far north), favorite foods, and more. Contact Bill Rohde or Mel Aanerud if you or the youth in your household have special music, poetry, prose to read, or dance to perform. A potluck feast of finger foods will follow the program. Bring a favorite holiday food to share.

December 11 – The War on Science

Shawn Otto was the screenwriter and co-producer of the film "House of Sand and Fog" which garnered three Academy Award Nominations. He is author of "Sins of Our Fathers", "Fool Me Twice: Fighting The Assault On Science In America" and "The War on Science: Who’s Waging It, Why It Matters and What We Can Do about It" (Milkweed Editions, 2016). He gives an astonishingly broad range of facts, trends and history to make the case that scientific advances in public health, biology and the environment are being resisted or rolled back. He is also husband to Rebecca Otto, Minnesota’s State Auditor.

December 4 – Income Inequality with Mel Aanerud

November 27 – My Jesus In Pieces: Believing Again After Things Fall Apart

Sometimes we expect that things will work out for us. We expect our partnership or marriage will last, we expect our health to be good (after all, we eat well and try to exercise, don’t we?) and to do work that we love. Then at some point, for many of us, our primary relationship suffers or ends, or our health fails and/or work that offers meaning for our souls is hard or impossible to find. To add to our struggle, the religion we were given—or at least some of the beliefs we held—gradually or maybe suddenly falls apart. Things just do not make sense to us now the way they used to. As Yeats said, "Things fall apart; the center cannot hold." We are left with the pieces. How do we find gratitude, how do we express thanksgiving amongst the broken pieces of our lives? What do we do with the pieces? How can we believe again after things fall apart? Come and explore the answers with us.

Our speaker, Tom Esch, is a member of Unity Church Unitarian in St. Paul.

November 20 – 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 11/13. 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 13 – The Election – Lori Sturdevant

Lori Sturdevant writes editorials and a weekly column about topics she has covered for more than 35 years: state government and politics. When she was invited back to talk with us, she specifically wanted to talk about the election which will just be over when she comes to talk. What happened, why and what are the ramifications to the county and our state. She has been the editor or co-author of eight books, including A Man’s Reach: The Autobiography of Elmer L. Andersen. Her Honor: Rosalie Wahl and the Minnesota Women’s Movement. She is also the author of The Pillsburys of Minnesota.

November 6 – The Jewish faith: its History, its Positions of Faith, and How it Still Relates to Today’s Society

This program will be presented by Rabbi Shosh Susan Dworsky. This program is as part of our shared program with the youth group’s religious education series on neighboring faiths.

October 30 – Where are They Now

This program will be presented by Emma Stout, who was an active member of the Pilgrim House youth group during her high school years and is a graduate of Macalester College. She will share her employment experiences at First Universalist Church in Minneapolis as a Youth Program Assistant and Coming of Age Program Assistant. Emma will also share her experiences as one of our delegates to the General Assembly in Columbus Ohio this summer and experiences growing up Unitarian Universalist.

October 23 – United Nations Day

A representative of the Minnesota Chapter of the United Nations Association will provide a brief history of the United Nations and discuss its relevance today. This program affirms the Unitarian Universalist’s commitment to our sixth principle, we covenant to affirm and promote the goal of world community with peace, liberty and justice for all.

October 16 – A Brief Historical Introduction to the Catholic Church with an Eye to the Contemporary Scene with Professor Billy Junker of the University of Saint Thomas

This program is as part of our shared program with the youth group’s religious education series on neighboring faiths.

October 9 – Common Cents: A Retiring Six Term Congressman Reveals How Congress Really Works and What We Need to do to Fix It with author and Former Congressman Tim Penny

Drawing on twelve years of experience in Congress, Former Congressman Penny tries to explain what is wrong and how to fix it. This former congressman from Minnesota reveals, "the hypocrisy, double-dealing, and power plays that have rendered Congress impotent".

October 2 – Touchstones of Unitarian Universalism – Andrea Johnson

Buddhism has its three Gems: The Buddha, the Dharma (teaching) and the Sangha (the community). Islam has its five pillars (Shahada – profession of faith), Salat (daily prayers), Zakat (charity), Sawm (fasting) and Hajj – pilgrimage). But what is the essence of Unitarian Universalism? What lies at the heart of our faith – a tradition that so often focuses on individualism and diversity. This sermon will explore the touchstones of Unitarian Universalism a covenantal faith based more on how we promise to be together rather than assent to doctrines and creeds.

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 with her husband and three children.

September 25 – An overview of world religions – Professor Jeanne Kilde

This will begin a year long exploration of faiths of the world. Our day to day lives increasingly bring people of diverse religious traditions in close contact with one another. Jeanne H. Kilde, Ph.D., Director, Religious Studies Program, University of Minnesota will talk about religious diversity in the U.S. "an overview of world religions" in relation to the contemporary American religious landscape, the many religions practiced in the Twin Cities region. These programs will be interspersed with other Sunday programs topics and will coordinate with Youth’s Religious Education program on "Neighboring Faiths".

September 18 – Water Communion

This annual welcome back celebration is held near the beginning of our new program year. Join us in song, readings and sharing to revitalize our connections and community. Bring a small amount of water from a place that is special to you. One by one we will pour our water together into a large bowl and tell why this water is special to you. The combined water is symbolic of our shared faith coming from many different sources.

September 11 – Anniversary of 9/11 – Professor David A. Schultz

On this the fifteenth anniversary of this attack on the United States, we pause for remembrance and understanding with Professor David Schultz, professor at Hamline and University of Minnesota Schools of Law. He is the author of 30 books and 100+ articles on various aspects of American politics, election law, and the media and politics, and is regularly interviewed and quoted in the local, national, and international media on these subjects. He is a recurring speaker at Pilgrim House and will speak about where we are politically, what does the presidential race mean, and how it all relates to that critical event in American history. The youth will serve root beer floats following the program.

August 7 – Holiday Lights in August!

Meet University of Minnesota engineering students who develop the mega holiday light and music show on the Civil Engineering plaza every winter. Learn about the programming, design, soldering, electrical engineering, lighting, and metal/wood working that go into this display of over 100,000 LED lights synchronized to music. The Light Show Manager for the 2016 season, Ian Smith, will lead the presentation with pictures and demos. The Light Show is a part of Tesla Works a project-based community of makers that brings together passionate and goal-oriented students to turn ideas into reality: www.teslaworks.net

July 17 – Tiyumba Drum and Dance Company

Tiyumba (tee-yoom-bah) means "let’s love them", and is at the heart of the mission of Tiyumba Drum and Dance. With the spirit of traditional African culture, Tiyumba reaches out and includes all in a joyful expression of life and community.

The program will be led by Fatawu Sayibu who is from the Northern Region of Ghana. His traditional dances and use of the talking drum tell the stories of his culture, country, and people. http://www.tiyumba.com

Potluck picnic at 11:30 follows the program.

June 19 -- Animal Ambassador from Como Park Zoo

The zoo ambassador will bring a collection of small reptiles for viewing, and maybe touching. Not a formal program, rather your unlimited questions at the tables will give insight to the special features of each of the critters. There will also be some interesting information on the history and features of the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory.

There will be ice cream treats and watermelon following the program.

June 5 – 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. Stay for 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. There’s been a sign-up sheet at Pilgrim House for a few desserts and side-dishes to accompany the taco bar lunch that’s being provided by our board members.

May 29 – Memorial Day Weekend – no program at Pilgrim House.

May 22 – Suffering: Lessons from Chaplaincy and the Book of Job. Andrea Johnson

The story of Job in the Hebrew Bible is one of the most powerful stories in the Bible, told and re-told throughout the ages, because it wrestles with life’s toughest conundrum: The problem of human suffering and God’s involvement in the pain of the world. Efforts to find the cause of suffering often lead one to put the blame somewhere – on self, others, God, or Satan. The book of Job asks us to look beyond blame, accept ambiguity and uncertainty, and to surrender to the fact that we are not in control of everything in our life. What can we as Unitarian Universalists learn from this ancient wisdom story if are willing to open our hearts to it.

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 with her husband and three children.

May 15 – Minnesota Women in the Civil War with Rebecca Ebnet-Mavencamp, historian

This program highlights the incredible stories of Minnesota Women who protected their homes, supported their soldiers, served the army in many different ways and kept the home fires burning throughout the four years of the Civil; War. Some were dedicated enough to continue working for veterans even after the war. Their stories, long overlooked and forgotten, bring a new perspective to the history of America’s most bloody war.

May 8 – The Good Acre – Rhys Williams and Sarah Libertus

The Good Acre is a nonprofit food hub designed to support several needs in the food community and to advance education and access for all consumers to locally-grown produce in the Twin Cities. The mission of The Good Acre is to enhance how food is grown and shared in the Twin Cities region, to improve marketplace opportunities for diverse independent farmers, and to increase access for all consumers to healthy, locally-grown fresh produce.

Rhys Williams, Executive Director of The Good Acre, has an extensive background in all areas of food production. Sarah Libertus wants to be a matchmaker as she believes that there is a perfect CSA fit for everyone you just have to dig deep enough into your own psyche to find out what matters for you.

May 1 – Community Support Center (CSC)

Every year, Pilgrim House participates in the Walk a Mile for Our Neighbors fundraiser for the CSC. What is the organization and what does it do for the community? Iris McGinnis and Karen Meyer discuss the CSC.

April 24 – Oil and Natural Gas Extraction Methods [With Emphasis on Fracking]

In Honor of Earth Day, this program will have an environmental focus. The objective is to alleviate the confusion surrounding oil and natural gas exploration methods. This confusion is often a result of the fact that there are three types of extraction: conventional oil and gas, tar sands oil, and fracking oil and gas. We will start by discussing all three types of extraction methods and then proceed to focus on fracking. Over the last 30 years Louis Asher has had a very strong interest in the areas of conventional and renewable energy and has greatly researched those areas. Louis is a retired Researcher, Statistician and instructor. He worked at 3M Co. for 39 years and was known as a very practical, motivating and extremely entertaining/fun instructor. He created and presented countless of classes on statistical, mathematical and procedural subjects.

He now volunteers in organizations that deal with habitat conservation, climate change and renewable energy.

April 17 – Roseville Alzheimer’s and Dementia Community Action

Sara Barsel of the Roseville Alzheimer and Dementia Community Action Team presents this program. The Roseville Alzheimer and Dementia Community Action Team is designed to increase services for people with dementia and their caregivers, and build greater community awareness of dementia issues.

April 10 – Returning to the Source with Rev. Kristin Maier

In our often fragmented world, are there places that help you feel connected and grounded? To what source do you find yourself longing to return to again and again? What can such longing tell us about our connection to this beautiful, fragile planet? Rev. Kristin Maier will explore these questions through story and sermon. Rev. Kristin Maier is the minister at Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Northfield.

April 3 – The First Volunteer for the Union Army

Did you know that Minnesota had the first volunteer in the Union Army for the Civil War? As a matter of fact we had two. How can that be you ask? Come and listen to a troop of Pilgrim House members tell the tale of this unusual designation.

March 27 – Spring Celebration

The Delphi group from Michael Servetus Unitarian Universalist Society in Fridley is back to perform their brand of music for our enjoyment. Join us for a pot luck brunch following the program. This is the last Sunday for contributions to the March Food Share Campaign. Your donations to the Ralph Reeder Food Shelf will be matched by Minnesota Food Share. Bring food or a check payable to Ralph Reeder Food Shelf on Sunday

March 20 – WIN-WIN COMMUNICATION with Marshall Bolin

When two parties are in conflict, the possibility of finding a solution that meets everyone’s needs can seem hopeless. Despite good intentions on both sides, attempts to address the problem sometimes lead to both parties becoming more defensive, more staunch in their positions, less able to hear the needs of the other.

The reason for this is the communication style most of us have been educated in from childhood. Tragically, when we are most in need of being heard, we communicate in a way that almost guarantees the other party will not be able to hear our needs. Both parties try to win in a contest of rightness over the other. There is an alternative style of communication used in conflict resolution which focuses on addressing the universal needs of both parties and can be summed up in four basic steps.

Marshall Bolin gives monthly presentations on nonviolent communication to software developers at Prime Digital Academy in Bloomington. He is a trained facilitative mediator and does restorative justice work through the Center for Conflict Resolution in Uptown.

March 13 – 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.

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.

This is PH Auction Sunday. Soup Sunday and the Auction follow the program.

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.

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 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 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.

Older Programs : 201120122013201420152016201720182019202020212022

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