Calendar Archive

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— 2013

    • October 27
    • 10:00 am Adult Discussion: led by Vickie
    • 10:15 am Religious Education for K-12 Ancient Religion
    • 11:00 am Drones - Good or Bad?
      This video, a NOVA PBS special, is part of the Social Justice Series. A shortened service will be followed by the video and discussion.
    • October 20
    • 10:00 am Adult Discussion: not meeting this week
    • 10:15 am Open House and Visual Artists' Show (all youth will participate)
      Richard Handeen, Fred Cogelow, Nancy Carlson, Sue Behrends, Bonnie Kalestad, Jenny Klatt, Malena Handeen, and Kay Slama will display their visual art in the auditorium. A slide show of our construction will be shown downstairs. Of course, we will have potluck for everyone!
    • October 13
    • 10:00 am Adult Discussion: led by Mary Lou
    • 10:15 am Religious Education for K-12 Ancient Religion
    • 11:00 am Special Ed Level 3 - What It Is and How It Works, Mike Lovestrand
    • October 6
    • 10:00 am Adult Discussion: Lonnie Thompson - Tropical Glaciologist, NOVA Science Now 12 minute video
    • 10:15 am Religious Education for K-12 Ancient Religion
    • 11:00 am A Universal Gift From Organized Religion, Rev. Nels Oas
      Our faith echoes from the papal spiritual messages of St Francis of Assisi and Pope Francis: "Deed, not creed." How often have we longed for organized religion to emphasize behaviors, not beliefs. Thank God for virtue in the Vatican!
    • September 29
    • 10:00 am Adult Discussion: How Memory Works, NOVA Science Now 12 minute video
    • 10:00 am Religious Education: Ancient Religions
    • 11:00 am “Singing the Living Tradition” Dorothy Meili, Verna Patrick, and Mary Lou Werner
      The Oakland, California UU choir created recordings of chosen hymns for our enjoyment. We will learn, listen, and sing some of those chosen hymns. Come prepared to sing enthusiastically hymn numbers 36, 202, 163, 207, 352, 336, 128, 18
    • September 22
    • 10:00 am Adult Discussion: Is Our 24/7 Society Robbing Us of Insight? NOVA Science Now 12 minute video
    • 10:15 am Religious Education for K- 12 Ancient Religion
    • 11:00 am “Other Voices” Rev. Nancy Holden
      What is the difference between religion and spirituality? We know what religion is, so the answer starts with defining spirituality, which appears to be different for different people. Everyone has spirit-when it comes to life; we feel energized, inspired, joyful, creative, courageous. The question is how to access that energy. Does nature speak to your spirit, music, art, or some other voices? Within the major faiths of the world is a minority tradition of mysticism, overshadowed by the majority tradition of institutional religion. Is there a connection between mysticism and spirituality?
      Reverend Holden is a retired Methodist Minister who served churches in North Dakota for several years. She has been ordained in Unitarian Universalist and says she thinks she always was a UU. She now lives in River Falls, WI.
    • September 15
    • 10:00 am Adult Discussion Group: Determine book/topics for discussion
    • 11:00 am “The Problem of Good” Robert Bledsoe
      Anglican Bishop NT Wright suggests the problem of humanity is not why is there evil but why is there good? If people's actions default to bad acts why do so many of us act, well, good? Bob Bledsoe will articulate this question using the recent murder of an area woman to suggest one conclusion.
      Bob is a seminary student who lives in Woodville, WI just across the Minnesota border. He is an avid blogger. A quote about him from one of his blog posts says, "He's a good Christian if it weren't for all that divinity stuff."
    • September 8 - Resume Fall Schedule
    • 10:00 am Sue Dyer Annual Pancake Breakfast - bring fruit, syrup or sausages
    • 11:00 am “Everyone Is Welcome!” Dale Handeen
      As Unitarian Universalists, we do affirm the worth and dignity of every person, and we bear this in mind each time we reflect upon our seven principles. Are there legitimate limits to our inclusivity? How can we be truly inclusive? How might we confront—and expand beyond—any present limitations?
      Dale Handeen is a Humanist Minister and child of this church. She will draw from Four Spiritualities; a Psychology of Contemporary Spiritual Choice by Peter Tufts Richardson, Interdependence; Renewing Congregational Polity by The Commission on Appraisal of the Unitarian Universalist Association, and Congregational Polity; a Historical Survey of Unitarian and Universalist Practice in guiding our exploration of this theme. She hopes a good time will be had by all!
    • September 1 - No meeting
    • August 25 - No meeting
    • August 18
    • 10:00 am Board Meeting
    • 12:30 pm Potluck Picnic on Church Grounds
    • August 11
    • 11:00 am Fish Bone Follow Up: Growth Strategies
    • August 4
    • 11:00 am Fish Bone Follow Up: Growth Strategies
    • July 28
    • 11:00 am “What UUs Share in Common” Discussion led by Dale Handeen
      We don’t all believe alike so what ties us together?
    • July 21
    • 11:00 am Fish Bone Follow Up: Growth Strategies
    • July 14
    • 11:00 am Fish Bone Follow Up: Growth Strategies
    • July 7 - Independence Day Weekend - No meeting
    • June 30
    • 11:00 am “UU Approach to Religious Education” Dale Handeen
    • 1:00 pm Discussion and Consensus on Proposed Family Promise Day Center
    • June 23
    • 9:30 am “Bike 'n' Brunch” (auction item)
    • June 16 - Father's Day - No meeting
    • June 9
    • 11:00 am Fish Bone Follow Up: Growth Strategies
    • June 2
    • 11:00 am Fish Bone: Growth Strategies
    • May 26 - Memorial Day Weekend - No meeting
    • May 19
    • 10:00 am Adult discussion, The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
    • 11:00 am “This I Believe - For Now”, Rev Shelley Dugan
      God, Death, the Bible, Mystery, Reason... What do you believe? And what does the preacher believe? This Sunday Rev Shelley Dugan will share her personal theology with the congregation. "After years of theological education and decades of ministerial experience, my belief system is still a work in progress - and, as a good UU, I expect it always will be." Shelley invites us into her theology and trusts that, as we listen, we will also explore our own.
    • 11:15 am Religious Education
    • May 12
    • 10:00 am Adult discussion, The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
    • 11:00 am “Honoring All Mothers”
      The UUCW children will present a program for all mothers, members and friends.
    • 11:15 am No Religious Education
    • May 5
    • 10:00 am Annual Meeting
      All are welcome to review 2012-2013 and prepare for 2013-2014.
    • April 28
    • 10:00 am Adult discussion, The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
    • 11:00 am “A New Book” Rev. Nancy Holden
      Although almost half of all Americans now say they have no religion, the Bible is still the number one selling book, and millions of people claim that they follow it strictly. Does it still have value? What is meant by the term "revealed religion?" What was the original intention of those who wrote the Christian Bible? Could someone create a new book to serve the same purposes for this very different time?
      Rev. Holden is a retired Methodist minister now serving with Menomonie UU church.
    • 11:15 am Religious Education, Mother’s Day program prep
    • April 21
    • 10:00 am Adult discussion, The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
    • 11:00 am “What Have I Learned from My Dog?” Rev. Derek Kiewatt
      Ours is a nation of pet lovers. For many they become like family members. In addition to feeding and caring for them, we train them (or try to), especially dogs. Rev. Derek Kiewatt explores who really trains whom and what we can learn from them.
      A graduate of Harvard Divinity School, where he was a Rockefeller Fellow, Rev. Derek Kiewatt also graduated Magna cum Laude from the University of Minnesota, where he subsequently was a faculty member and administrator. He is an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister. He has served congregations in Massachusetts, Minnesota, and California.
    • 11:15 am Religious Education, Sermon on the mount, the golden rule
    • 1:00 pm Skills Auction for all members and friends
    • April 14
    • 10:00 am Adult discussion, The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
    • 11:00 am “Do We Have a Right to Nature?” Kay Slama
      Our 7th principle clearly indicates that Nature has various rights from us; to protect, conserve, and preserve it as ways to live in harmony with it. But do we have a corresponding right to outdoor and natural experiences? What evidence exists that they are good for our spiritual and emotional well-being? In preparation for Earth Day, Kay will consider the intersection of environmental and social justice issues as she explores these questions with us.
      Kay Slama is a long-time environmentalist, with roots in a North Dakota farm. She was first called a "treehugger" at a hearing nearly 30 years ago. She volunteers with a YES! youth environmental team and is a member of the Sierra Club and its MN Legislative Committee, the Nature Conservancy, MUUSJA's EcoMinds, and UU Ministry for Earth. She serves as the UU Church of Willmar's Social Justice Chair.
    • 11:15 am Religious Education, Bible favorites from National Geographic
    • 1:00 pm UUCW Board Meeting
    • April 7
    • 10:00 am Adult discussion, The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
    • 11:00 am “What about the Nones?” Rev. Nels Oas
      The "Nones" are people who do not identify with a religion. A recent Pew poll found about 20% of the American population identified as "Nones."
      Rev. Oas is a retired Lutheran minister who lives in Minnetonka and speaks to Unitarian Universalist Congregations in Minnesota, Florida and California.
    • 11:15 am No Religious Education
    • March 31 Easter
    • 10:00 am Adult discussion, The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
    • 11:00 am Dale Handeen, a Humanist Minister with the Humanist Society of the American Humanist Association, will speak about Easter history and traditions, highlighting some popular seasonal secular symbols that will always be present in this, the most important Christian holiday of the year. In the interest of fun and Biblical literacy, we'll take an Easter quiz. For pleasure, and in all sincerity, we'll enjoy a casual chocolate communion. We'll reflect on ideas from John Shelby Spong's Jesus for the Non-Religious and also look to Richard Dawkins, who coined the term "meme", to increase our appreciation of what he had in mind there. We will not be putting all of our (Easter) eggs in one basket!
    • 11:15 am Religious Education, What does Jesus mean to us today?
    • March 24 Palm Sunday
    • 10:00 am Adult discussion, The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
    • 11:00 am “We have no choice but justice” Terri Burnor
      UU delegates from across the country chose reproductive justice as the congregational study/action issue for 2012-2016. Join Terri Burnor as she explores the sacredness of our bodies, sexuality and reproduction, and the inequities many face.
      Terri Burnor is almost half-way through the master's of divinity program at United Theological Seminary. She seeks to work both pastorally and prophetically for reproductive justice in her ministry.
    • 11:15 am No Religious Education
    • March 17
    • 10:00 am Adult discussion, The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
    • 11:00 am “Recovery and Spirituality” Gary Green
      Recovery from mental illness and chemical dependency is at its essence a spiritual process. Gary will discuss the principles of recovery and how they mesh with an individual's spirituality.
    • 11:15 am Religious Education, The Prodigal Son
    • March 10
    • 10:00 am Adult discussion, The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
    • 11:00 am “Seeking Satisfaction” Diana Allen
      Are you satisfied with your life? Is there something nagging you that you just haven't done yet? How do you find that something that has so far been left undone in your life and leaves behind it that empty feeling?
      Diana Allen has trained in UU ministry and served Prairie Star District in a number of volunteer positions over the years. She mixes her search for satisfaction with a job as an Analyst for Xcel Energy and caring for her adopted dog, Sophie.
    • 11:15 am Religious Education, The good Samaritan, eye of the needle
    • March 3
    • 10:00 am Adult Discussion Full Planet, Empty Plates by Lester R. Brown
    • 11:00 am “A Community of Poets” Susan Chambers
      This talk will be about Unitarian-connected poets.
      Susan is a Poet, UU, Lawyer and Mediator from Good Thunder, MN
    • 11:15 am Religious Education, Jesus and the "fishermen"
    • February 24
    • 10:00 am Adult Discussion Full Planet, Empty Plates by Lester R. Brown
    • 11:00 am “A Change of Heart” David Kraemer
      James Luther Adams was a 20th Century theologian whose ideas shaped Unitarian Universalism. Some of our most familiar phrases and concepts come straight from Adams. Perhaps best known for his strong emphasis on social justice, Adams laid the groundwork for what Cornell West would later express as "justice is what love looks like in public." In February, as we are just past Valentine's Day, we also will explore what brings us together in community. The title of the message is "A Change of Heart," based on James Luther Adams' conception of metanoia. We also will celebrate a special chocolate communion. Bring your sweet tooth.
      David Kraemar is a Seminary student and a hospital chaplaincy intern.
    • 11:15 am Religious Education: Jesus’ Life
    • February17
    • 10:00 am Adult Discussion Full Planet, Empty Plates by Lester R. Brown
    • 11:00 am Bill Ellwood PSD presentation
    • 11:15 am Religious Education: The Story of Jonah
    • February 10 - postponed to next season
    • 10:00 am Adult Discussion Full Planet, Empty Plates by Lester R. Brown
    • 11:00 am “Our Founding Fathers Reflections on Religion” Mary Lou Werner/Members
      This play is written by Melvin Aanerud, a UU member. In the play, he emphasizes that “The very fact that we have the separation [of church and state] and allow free exchange of religious ideas is the very reason that various religious ideas have been able to be so strong.”
    • 11:15 am Religious Education: Ecclesiastes 3:1-22
    • February 3
    • 10:00 am Adult Discussion Full Planet, Empty Plates by Lester R. Brown
    • 11:00 am “Understanding the Somali Culture” Abdirizack “Zack” Mahboub
      Mr. Mahboub lives in Willmar with his wife and children. He provides interpreter services for the Somali community.
    • 11:15 am Religious Education: Daniel and the Living God
    • January 27
    • 10:00 am Adult Discussion Full Planet, Empty Plates by Lester R. Brown
    • 11:00 am “Remembering Ken Parker, a Willmar Philanthropist”
      Carrie Van Epps and others will remember Ken Parker and his work funding schools in Liberia, Africa.
    • 11:15 am Religious Education: Layettes for Liberia
    • January 20
    • 10:00 am Adult Discussion Full Planet, Empty Plates by Lester R. Brown
    • 11:00 am “Natural Elements as Metaphorical Meditations” Rev. Leslie Ann Johnson
      “Eco-Spirituality; The Common Metaphor of Earthly Direction and Spiritual Journey”, engages an honoring of ancient nature based faith expressions. The presentation includes the calling of the four directions and the correlated elements of each direction. These elements are then metaphorically assigned to the human qualities we possess, in common with Earth & Spirit, on our journey through life.
      Leslie Ann Johnson is a graduate of United Theological Seminary, with a M.A. in Religion and Theology. She received an award in Constructive Theology for her work concerning Eco-Spirituality. Her background is in fine arts and theater and she brings these sensibilities to her comparative and creative play with ritual.
    • 11:15 am Religious Education: The Psalms and prayer
    • January 13
    • 10:00 am Adult Discussion Full Planet, Empty Plates by Lester R. Brown
    • 11:00 am “New Poetry” Nancy and Joe Paddock
      Joe and Nancy Paddock will read from and discuss their new books of poetry recently published by Red Dragonfly Press.
      In addition to poems on the culinary arts, Cooking with Pavarotti, Nancy Paddock's fourth collection of poems, contains a gratifying variety of subjects: gardening, politics, aging, electronic devices, astronomy, family, and the natural world with its “silken strands of silence”. All these poems—from the arias to the elegies—give strong testament to life lived fully.
      Joe Paddock's sixth book of poetry, Circle of Stones: A Place and its Story, is an extensive collection of narrative poems that demonstrate the necessity of storytelling and story-keeping for discovering and developing the self, for appreciating the need for place-based community, and for essential connection with all of creation.
    • 11:15 am Religious Education: House of David
    • January 6
    • 10:00 am Adult Discussion Six Questions of Socrates
    • 11:00 am “Science, Religion, and Dr. Priestley” Rev. Wesley Hromatko
      Joseph Priestley is credited with being a discoverer of oxygen. He was both a Unitarian and a Universalist, a minister and a biblical scholar. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson discussed his Biblical studies in their famous correspondence. Priestley influenced Thomas Jefferson's ideas about Jesus and the Jefferson Bible remains in print. Priestley was prominent in England before his support of the French Revolution made him a refugee in Pennsylvania. We can see the roots of our church today in his story and understand how it has developed from Priestley's time to our own.
    • 11:15 am Religious Education: Old Testament Books and Stories

— 2012

    • December 30
    • No service; time to reflect on the blessings of the season.
    • December 23
    • No service; family celebrations.
    • December 16
    • 10:00 am Adult book discussion, Six Questions of Socrates
    • 11:00 am “Holiday Celebration” Dale Handeen
      Dale will lead us in holiday singing and remembrances. She is a humanist chaplain and a child of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Willmar. UU children and young people will join in this family tradition.
    • December 9 cancelled due to weather - rescheduled to January 27
    • 10:00 am Adult book discussion, Six Questions of Socrates
    • 11:00 am “Remembering Ken Parker, a Willmar Philanthropist”
      Carrie Van Epps and others will remember Ken Parker and his work funding schools in Liberia, Africa.
    • 11:15 am Religious Education Old Testament Stories
    • December 2
    • 10:00 am Adult book discussion, Six Questions of Socrates
    • 11:00 am “When You Wish Upon A Star” David Kraemer
      What does it mean to pray? Can prayer actually change things? Who do we pray for? And for what? Sometimes, Unitarian Universalists are reluctant to use the word “prayer.” Sometimes, we say “thinking of you? Seminary student and avowed humanist David Kraemer will share some of his experience as a hospital chaplaincy intern and explore what it means to pray.
    • 11:15 am Religious Education Old Testament Stories
      David Kraemer is senior student at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, pursuing a Master's of Theology Degree and eventual ordination as a UU minister. He is a former journalist with 24 years working as a reporter and editor at newspapers in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa. He claims a strong humanistic strain to his thinking and has come to reconcile the more religious language of his seminary with his own experience. He sometimes prays for a little peace and quiet, and the Green Bay Packers
    • November 25
    • 10:00 am Adult book discussion, Six Questions of Socrates
    • 11:00 am “Silence, Sound and Thanksgiving” Dale Handeen
      Dale says, "One of my brothers quotes the other as having said, "We should never miss an opportunity to keep our mouths shut.” It is observed, arguably, that we will never cringe over something we did not say. Is this really true for you? Together we will be considering word, sound, silence, noise and silence, and whether there are things we should answer to; things we'd better say.
      Dale is a graduate of the Humanist Institute, Ethical Culture Society, in N.Y. She is a professional religious educator. She is a student at the Takoda Institute of Higher Education, Minneapolis, MN. (Takoda is a Lakotah word meaning, "Everyone is welcome.")
    • 11:15 am Religious Education Old Testament Stories
    • November 18
    • 10:00 am Adult book discussion, Six Questions of Socrates
    • 11:00 am “A Nation With the Soul of a Church?” Wesley Hromatko, D.Min.
      Wes reflects about what UUs think about the separation of church and state. You might suppose from some issues in the recent election that citizens were voting about theology at a church convention instead of deciding political governance. Has the wall of separation Thomas Jefferson proposed between church and state crumbled? How do we deal with religion and politics in a multicultural setting? Is there a way of appropriately bringing your principles with you to the voting booth?
    • 11:15 am Religious Education Old Testament Stories
    • November 11
    • 10:00 am Adult book discussion, Six Questions of Socrates
    • 11:00 am “What Would Buddha Do?” Michael Holt
      Michael will present an interactive program about spiritual teachers as guides to everyday living, and experiencing a commonality with evangelicals.
    • 11:15 am Religious Education Old Testament Stories
    • November 4
    • 10:00 am Adult book discussion, Six Questions of Socrates
    • 11:00 am “Not hell, but hope and courage” Bob Bledsoe.
      Give [people] not hell, but hope and courage” Universalist minister John Murray exhorted his parishioners. His argument, nearly 200 years later, continues to ring as true as when he made it. Join Bob Bledsoe as he examines the often overlooked influence of the people often called the UU’s “poorer cousins”—the Universalists—on our modern faith and our contemporary beliefs.
    • 11:15 am Religious Education Old Testament Stories
    • October 28
    • 10:00 am Adult book discussion, Revolutionary Spirits: The Enlightened Faith of America's Founding Fathers
    • 11:00 am “What Is Life-Affirming Religion?” Rev. Derek Kiewatt
      Rev. Kiewatt explores the values inherent in Unitarian Universalism and the tradition's value in our increasingly sectarian world. He offers an answer to the question, "Is there a religion for tomorrow available to us today?"
      A graduate of Harvard Divinity School, where he was a Rockefeller Fellow, Rev. Derek Kiewatt also graduated Magna cum Laude from the University of Minnesota, where he subsequently was a faculty member and administrator. He is an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister. He has served congregations in Massachusetts, Minnesota, and California.
    • 11:15 am Children’s Religious Education, Crossing the sea
    • October 21
    • 10:00 am Adult book discussion, Revolutionary Spirits: The Enlightened Faith of America's Founding Fathers
    • 11:00 am “Deficits, Safety Nets and Tax Fairness” Alison Killeen
      Alison will discuss the structural budget deficit, the safety net, and tax fairness. Alison is a Statewide Organizer for the Joint Religious Legislative Coalition, an I CAN Organizer, and a member of the Interfaith Children's Advocacy Network
    • 11:15 am Children’s Religious Education, Moses and the plague on Egypt
    • October 14
    • 10:00 am Adult book discussion, Revolutionary Spirits: The Enlightened Faith of America's Founding Fathers
    • 11:00 am “UUism and Mother Nature” Emberly Hermann-Johnson
      Come and learn what the UU principles have in common with ancient paganism practiced by many of our European ancestors, as well as a growing number of people across the world. Emberly will discuss how to incorporate time-honored traditions of celebrating nature and honoring Mother Earth into your spiritual life.
      Emberly Hermann-Johnson, raised a UU, enjoys sharing the message of the UU-Pagan connection with other spiritual seekers. She is a mom to a 1 1/2 year old son, and a 16-year old daughter. She works part-time in marketing/communications for a nonprofit and lives with her husband Paul and kids in St Louis Park.
    • 11:15 am Children’s Religious Education, Noah and the flood
    • October 7
    • 10:00 am Adult book discussion, Revolutionary Spirits: The Enlightened Faith of America's Founding Fathers
    • 11:00 am “Voter ID—A Solution in Search of a Problem” Carol Johnson
      Carol and Kathy Bonnifield are authors of "Facts About Ineligible Voting and Voter Fraud in Minnesota", research on election integrity issues.
    • 11:15 am Children’s Religious Education, Cain and Abel
    • September 30
    • 10:00 am Adult book discussion, Revolutionary Spirits: The Enlightened Faith of America's Founding Fathers
    • 11:00 am “How Many UUs Does It Take to Screw In a Light Bulb?” Rev. Shelley Dugan
      Using some of our wonderful UU jokes, we will explore some of the delightful and quirky ways we come together as a religious community.
    • 11:15 am Children’s Religious Education, The genesis theory
    • September 23
    • 10:00 am Adult book discussion, Revolutionary Spirits: The Enlightened Faith of America's Founding Fathers
    • 11:00 am “The Great Cosmic Story” Rev. Nels Oas
      Rev. Michael Dowd and Connie Barlow travel the country telling the great story of evolution they regard as sacred and meaningful in a way that can draw together people from a variety of backgrounds.
      "People in different cultures use different stories and metaphors to speak about reality. What science offers is a collective intelligence that tries to determine the nature of reality irrespective of our beliefs."
    • 11:15 am Children’s Religious Education, The big bang theory
    • 1:00 pm Social Justice Series, For the Bible Tells Me So
      An award-winning documentary, which brilliantly reconciles homosexuality and Biblical scripture - and reveals that religious anti-gay bias is based almost solely upon a misinterpretation of the Bible.
      Through the experiences of five very normal, Christian, American families - including those of a family from Mankato, former House Majority Leader Richard Gephardt and Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson - we discover how people of faith handle the realization of having a gay child or family member.
    • September 16
    • 10:00 am Adult book discussion, TBA
    • 11:00 am “Lately... Unitarian Universalists and Frontiers of Knowledge” Rev. Wes Hromatko
      Coming of Age Ceremony for Mitchel
      So often the church and religion seems to dwell on the past. You might ask what religion has done for us lately. Postmodernists have claimed that science is merely one more way of looking at the world and can be repressive. They claim that it should not be privileged, Does this point of view make sense? Wes will share some of his thoughts and personal experience. The talk this morning will deal with religion and the scientific method. Unitarian Universalists have been contributors to the science and the technology that has shaped our world for good or ill. From radar and the Manhattan Project to computers and transistors. We have numbered among us rocket scientists, astronomers, creators of the green agricultural revolution and environmentalists.
    • 11:15 am Children’s Religious Education, In the beginning
    • September 9
    • 10:00 am Sue Dyer's annual pancake breakfast – please bring butter, sausages, fruit, syrup, or juice – and a friend!
    • 11:00 am “Chosen Gods” Rev. Nancy Holden
      Rev. Holden weaves together Jezebel, Emerson, and George McGovern with modern politics and provides a perspective on the political campaign of 2012. We pay a high price when our values are eroded by "false gods." She includes historical and philosophical perspective on our values, our society, and our need for a good outcome on November 6th.
    • 11:15 am Children’s Religious Education
    • June 3
    • 10:00 am Summer Sunday programs begin
    • May 27
    • 10:00 am No service - Memorial Day weekend
    • May 20
    • 10:00 am Adult book discussion, A New Universalism for a New Century
    • 11:00 am “What is This Thing Called Love?” Rev. Nancy Holden
      A celebration of all varieties of love, and a search for the commonalities that unify instead of focusing on the differences that divide us, told partly through the story of Cole Porter, composer of the song What is This Thing Called Love?
    • 11:15 am Children’s Religious Education
    • May 13
    • 10:00 am Adult book discussion, A New Universalism for a New Century
    • 11:00 am “Asian Religions”
      The children will present a program based on Islamic, Buddhist and Chinese religions.
    • May 6
    • 10:00 am Annual Meeting
      All members and friends are invited to share in a review of the last fiscal year and help with planning the next.
    • 11:00 am Children’s Religious Education
    • April 29
    • 10:00 am Adult book discussion, Revolutionary Spirits: The Enlightened Faith of America's Founding Fathers
    • 11:00 am “Religion, Spirituality and Politics” Rev. Nels Oas
      Contemporary campaigns are mixing it up with religion.
      Reverend Oas is a retired Lutheran minister who brings a message of inclusion to Unitarian Universalist congregations.
    • 11:15 am Children’s Religious Education, Dress rehearsal of the play
    • April 22
    • 10:00 am Adult book discussion, Revolutionary Spirits: The Enlightened Faith of America's Founding Fathers
    • 11:00 am “Shall We Gather at the River?” Kay Slama
      On this Earth Day, Kay Slama, UUCW Social Justice Chair, will ask us to consider water justice, a set of issues at the intersection of social justice and environmental justice. The service will include a water ceremony, in which we will be invited to bring water from our homes or another source near us, with a sentence about what it means to us.
      Kay Slama is a long-time environmentalist, with roots in her family's North Dakota farm. She was active as a college student in the first Earth Day 31 years ago. She volunteers with the NL/S YES! youth environmental team and is a member of the North Star Sierra Club's outings and legislative committees, the Nature Conservancy, and UU Ministry for Earth. She is active with Minnesota UUs for Social Justice (MUUSJA) and serves as our congregation's Social Justice Chair.
    • 11:15 am Children’s Religious Education, The Frog and the Turtle and practice the play
    • April 15
    • 10:00 am Adult book discussion, Revolutionary Spirits: The Enlightened Faith of America's Founding Fathers
    • 11:00 am “The 1862 Sioux Uprising” John Handeen, Glenn Fritsche. John and Glenn will talk about the 1862 Uprising and their ancestors' experiences. 2012 is the 150th anniversary of the conflict.
    • 11:15 am Children’s Religious Education, Music, scenery, and costumes for the play
    • April 8
    • 10:00 am Adult book discussion, Revolutionary Spirits: The Enlightened Faith of America's Founding Fathers
    • 11:00 am “The Need to Belong: Poetry about our place within the natural world” Florence Dacey
      Ms Dacey will share her own poems and her thoughts about the role of the poet in advocating for environmental awareness and action.
      Florence Chard Dacey is a poet and teaching-artist who has lived in Cottonwood, MN for over forty years. Her latest book of poems is Rock Worn by Water. She is currently working on a manuscript of poems about the Upper Minnesota River Valley. Her website is florencedacey.com.
    • 11:15 am Children’s Religious Education, Easter games
    • April 1
    • 10:00 am Adult book discussion, Revolutionary Spirits: The Enlightened Faith of America's Founding Fathers
    • 11:00 am “A Humanist Looks at Mysticism” Dale Handeen
      John Alexie Crane, in his book, Underlying Unity: A Fresh Look at the Philosophy of Unitarian Universalism states that UUs are, in fact, rational mystics fundamentally and this is a major source of the strength, vitality, and value of our uncommon movement. Dale Handeen, a Humanist celebrant, will recall and confess the rational mystic "other" within and interpret mysticism observed well within community ongoing, well within our culture, and outpouring if not overflowing wildly from deep within the liberal heritage. Dale will enrich her presentation with readings from Emerson, Le Sueur, and Hildegard of Bingen.
    • 11:15 am Children’s Religious Education, Ice skating video
    • March 25
    • 10:00 am Adult book discussion, Revolutionary Spirits: The Enlightened Faith of America's Founding Fathers
    • 11:00 am “Jazz and the Spirit” Richard Terrill & Larry McDonough

      In a "mostly music" service, saxophonist/writer Richard Terrill and pianist/composer Larry McDonough will talk about the spiritual dimension of music and improvisation and perform a selection of familiar tunes and original compositions. The duo will complete their visit to Willmar with a free concert at Lula Beans coffee shop from 3-5 pm.

      Richard Terrill is the author of four books, including Coming Late to Rachmaninoff, winner of the 2004 Minnesota Book Award for poetry, and Fakebook: Improvisations on a Journey Back to Jazz, a memoir of his experiences in music. He has taught as a Fulbright Professor at universities in China, Korea, and Poland, and another of his books, Saturday Night in Baoding: A China Memoir, chronicles his experiences teaching in that country in the mid-80s. Terrill now teaches creative writing at Minnesota State University, Mankato, and performs as a saxophonist with the Larry McDonough Quartet. His website is mavweb.mnsu.edu/terrill.

      Larry McDonough is a St Paul jazz pianist, singer and composer. His solo piano and voice CD, Tuscarora: Short Stories for Jazz Piano, is dedicated to the memory of friends Paul and Sheila Wellstone and benefits Wellstone Action. Simple Gifts features his quartet on jazz, popular, historical, and religious pieces in new arrangements, as well as original compositions. McDonough also is an attorney, representing low-income tenants at the Legal Aid Society of Minneapolis, and teaches at the University of Minnesota and University of St Thomas Schools of Law. His website is larrymcdonoughjazz.homestead.com.

    • 11:15 am Children’s Religious Education, Marking the Boat and practice the play
    • March 18
    • 10:00 am Adult book discussion, Revolutionary Spirits: The Enlightened Faith of America's Founding Fathers
    • 11:00 am “Holy, Holy, Holy: Why Don't We Pray?” Robert Bledsoe
      UUs don't pray corporally as a general rule and a lot of us aren't very comfortable with it. This is a look at some of the reasons for that and a potential way that we do in fact pray.
      Robert Bledsoe has been, since 2000, professor of English at MN State Colleges & Universities, since 2004, a commissioned Lay Leader and, since 2007, a United Seminary student.
    • 11:15 am Children’s Religious Education, Creating Our Own Home
    • March 11
    • 10:00 am Adult book discussion, Revolutionary Spirits: The Enlightened Faith of America's Founding Fathers
    • 11:00 am “Reproductive Health Care” Kelli Clement
      Rev. Kelli Clement is the Board Co-Chair for the Minnesota Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. Her sermon will explore some of the reasons she is pro-choice because of her faith and not in spite of it.
    • 11:15 am Children’s Religious Education, Practice the play.
    • March 4
    • 10:00 am Adult book discussion, Revolutionary Spirits: The Enlightened Faith of America's Founding Fathers
    • 11:00 am “Our Haiti Experience” Connie Spartz & Becky Armstrong
      Connie and Becky will talk about places they visited in Haiti while traveling and volunteering with a group from the Hennepin Avenue Methodist Church.
      Connie is retired Curriculum Director of the Willmar Schools K-12. Becky is retired from the Willmar Regional Treatment Center. Since retirement, they have enjoyed mission work both far and near. At home they have been involved with the Community Meal Program and Food for Kidz. Away from home, they have helped with disaster assistance from Southern Minnesota to Louisiana and Texas. Haiti has been their farthest trip.
    • 11:15 am Children’s Religious Education, The children will select the book that they wish to receive at the end of the year; they also select a favorite story.
    • February 26
    • 10:00 am Adult book discussion, Revolutionary Spirits: The Enlightened Faith of America's Founding Fathers
    • 11:00 am “Willmar Area Food Shelf Happenings” Christie Kurth
      Christie is the director of the food shelf and will speak to modifications in the food shelf to accommodate changing ethnicities.
    • 11:15 am Children’s Religious Education, The Mustard Seed and practicing the R E play
    • February 19
    • 10:00 am Adult book discussion, Revolutionary Spirits: The Enlightened Faith of America's Founding Fathers
    • 11:00 am “Standing on the Side of Love” David Moody
      Standing on the Side of Love is a public advocacy campaign of the Unitarian Universalist Association that seeks to harness love's power to stop oppression. No one should be dehumanized through acts of exclusion, oppression, or violence because of their identities. In public debates over immigration, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights, and more, religious people stand on the side of love and call for respect, inclusion, and compassion.
    • 11:15 am Children’s Religious Education, Old Man Sai Lost His Horse and music, scenery, and costumes for the R E play
    • February 12
    • 10:00 am Adult book discussion, Revolutionary Spirits: The Enlightened Faith of America's Founding Fathers
    • 11:00 am “A New Definition of Self-Reliance” David Kraemer
      David is a former newspaper editor enjoying a career change into UU ministry. His previous work gave him a great opportunity to write, to talk with people and find meaning. With this new direction, he hopes to do something completely different -- like write, talk with people and, he hopes, find some meaning. He is approximately half-way through with a Masters of Divinity degree, currently serving an internship at First Unitarian Universalist of Rochester.
    • 11:15 am Children’s Religious Education, The Wise Sailimai: a Tale from China, part 2 and preparing Valentines for our shut-ins
    • 1:30 pm The February interdenominational documentary and discussion group, Changing Times: Water Quality will occur two times, Sunday Feb 12 at 1:30pm and Thur Feb 16 in the upper level of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Willmar, 500 5th St SW. We will see the film Troubled Waters: A Mississippi River Story, which traces the development of America’s bountiful heartland and its effect on the legendary river. Through beautiful photography and inspiring narrative, the film offers solutions to the river’s troubles through fresh ideas and concrete solutions. Troubled Waters won three Emmy Awards! The film was the subject of controversy when a University of Minnesota Vice President pulled the film from its scheduled release.
    • February 5
    • 10:00 am Adult book discussion, Revolutionary Spirits: The Enlightened Faith of America's Founding Fathers
    • 11:00 am “The Journey of Life in the Face of Death” Laura Smidzik
      Many faiths have prescribed doctrine-based funeral and burial rituals. Clear theological issues are addressed throughout the process of dying and death ranging from last rites and sacraments though the burial. What do Unitarian Universalists believe about death and what are the rituals for death and mourning that are most common within the faith? A visit to the Unitarian Universalist Association’s web site shows that there are no defined or prescribed rituals, rites, or sacraments. How does our liberal faith help guide us in our daily lives and help us cope with the reality of death?
      Laura Smidzik is a second year student at United Theological Seminary. Previously, she served as the Executive Director of Rainbow Families and Project 515 which are two state-wide organizations working for LGBT equality. She is an active member of Unity Church Unitarian in St Paul and has served on the Board of Trustees, as a Worship Associate, and on the Anti-Racism Leadership Team.
    • 11:15 am Children’s Religious Education, The Wise Sailimai: a Tale from China, part 1 and preparing Valentines for our shut-ins
    • January 29
    • 10:00 am Adult book discussion, Revolutionary Spirits: The Enlightened Faith of America's Founding Fathers
    • 11:00 am “What does a school mean to a 'bush village' in Africa?” Carrie Van Epps
      Carrie has again traveled to Liberia with a focus on education. Hear stories and share ideas on what this kind of service can mean and how it can hopefully be sustainable for many years into the future. Get inside the lives of those that have so little and still are so grateful. Carrie Van Epps lives in Willmar, is a nurse, and helps build schools in Liberia, West Africa.
    • 11:15 am Children’s Religious Education, Plugging One’s Ears While Stealing a Bell and timing the R E play and storyboarding it
    • January 22
    • 10:00 am Adult book discussion, Revolutionary Spirits: The Enlightened Faith of America's Founding Fathers
    • 11:00 am “What's a nice physicist like you doing in a job like this? Following instructions from the Folks Upstairs” Dr. Charles Reinert
      As a second grader, I wanted to be a western Sheriff, catching "bad guys". This morphed into a passion for music, followed by electronics and then physics. Now I lead a group practice clinic in natural therapies on the main street of Tracy, MN. Some reflections on what happens when one is willing to be "guided"...
      Dr. Reinert was born in Tracy, received his PhD in astrophysics and mathematics from the University of Minnesota. He spent 29 years as a professor at SMSU in Marshall, where he taught physics, learning strategies, and mind development classes, and was engaged in a variety of modest research projects (bee diseases, solar heating, general intelligence). He took early retirement in 1998 and retrained in natural therapies methodology. He founded a clinic in Tracy and now leads that group in working with patients whose problems seem more amenable to treatment via natural therapies than by western medical methods.
    • 11:15 am Children’s Religious Education, Birdsnest and ice skating video
    • January 15
    • 10:00 am Adult book discussion, Revolutionary Spirits: The Enlightened Faith of America's Founding Fathers
    • 11:00 am “The Times They are a Changing Again” Rev. Wes Hromatko
      Our speaker Wesley Hromatko lived through the sixties and now has been thinking about those times and comparing them with the present. The sixties were the era of the Free Speech Movement, Haight Ashbury, Civil Rights and the Vietnam controversy. He entered Meadville/Lombard School for the ministry when the UUA had been expanding and was a fast growing presence on the religious horizon. Today we are involved in conflict abroad and hard economic times. The Occupy Wall Street camps remind us of the Hoovervilles of the 1930's. Wes will bring his experience and our religious perspective to bear on our times.
    • 11:15 am Children’s Religious Education, Honorable Joha, Mulla Nasuddin Hodja and the Tricky Case and assemble a walnut cranberry cake for the congregation
    • January 8
    • 10:00 am Adult book discussion, Revolutionary Spirits: The Enlightened Faith of America's Founding Fathers
    • 11:00 am “Global Warming and Energy Futures for Human Civilization” Michael Andregg
      Michael will discuss the disinformation campaign about climate change and science generally. He will discuss peak oil, fossil fuels vs options, Wall Street’s short time horizon and worldwide environmental disasters.
    • 11:15 am Children’s Religious Education, Blind Men Touch an Elephant and cooking orzo, pea, and pepper salad
    • January 1
    • Winter Holiday

— 2011

    • December 25
    • Winter Holiday
    • December 18
    • 10:00 am Adult book discussion, Heart to Heart: Fourteen Gatherings for Reflection and Sharing
    • 11:00 am “Holiday Celebration” Dale Handeen
      Come and celebrate with us the light that is just beginning to brighten and warm our days! Dale Handeen, humanist celebrant, returns to lead the annual winter holidays observation at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Willmar. The program will include a children's segment with musical performances and a visit from Santa. The address will focus on gifts of the season, invite input from participants on memorable gifts, and suggest that diverse understandings and traditions can be great gifts among us in community.
      Children will remain with the adults for this program.
    • December 11
    • 10:00 am Adult book discussion, Heart to Heart: Fourteen Gatherings for Reflection and Sharing
    • 11:00 am “Healthy Buildings, Healthy Bodies, Healthy Savings” Daniel Handeen
      This presentation will cover basic concepts in energy efficiency and environmental considerations as related to residential construction, and discuss the most common methods to ensure comfort and health. It will also share some of the latest concepts in energy-efficient design such as the Passive House energy standard.
      Daniel Handeen is a Research Fellow at the Center for Sustainable Building Research at the University of Minnesota. His work has included developing tools to perform environmental life cycle assessment, assisting rural communities in the design process, co-managing the U of M's Solar Decathlon entry project, developing a museum exhibit to describe sustainable building methods, and research of Passive House projects in Minnesota.
    • 11:15 am Children’s Religious Education, True Inheritance: A Tale from Iraq and preparing Orange Julius for the congregation.
    • 1:30 pm Changing Times: Adapting to Resource Constraints
      Many futurists predict that, after centuries of ever-increasing annual consumption of resources, the human race will have to learn to live with less and less. Very likely, petroleum supplies will be the first to contract. We will view and discuss excerpts from two documentary films, End of Suburbia and Escape from Suburbia, that explore our dependence on petroleum and how life will be affected by diminishing supplies.
      Venue: First Presbyterian Church (Willmar) Auditorium. Shown again on Thursday, December 15 at 6:00 pm.
    • December 4
    • 10:00 am Adult book discussion, Heart to Heart: Fourteen Gatherings for Reflection and Sharing
    • 11:00 am “Why Marriage Matters” Ralph Wyman
      The long national battle over marriage came to Minnesota this year, and next November state voters will decide if marriage matters for all, or only for some. Ralph Wyman, Director and Organizer for MUUSJA, the Minnesota UU Social Justice Alliance, will discuss how we each have stories to tell about marriage and how sharing our stories can create open-hearted communication that allow our UU values to be expressed.
      A UU since elementary school, Ralph has worked for LGBT rights, as well as the environment and other issues, for twenty-plus years. MUUSJA (www.muusja.org) has been organizing UUs for marriage equality since 2005.
    • 11:15 am Children’s Religious Education, Monkeys Dragging Up the Moon and Social Justice: send Heifer International check.
    • 1:00 pm Appreciative Inquiry into UU social justice in Minnesota MUUSJA
    • November 27
    • 10:00 am Adult book discussion, The Varieties of Scientific Experience by Carl Sagan
    • 11:00 am "What's a Nice Lawyer Like You Doing Writing Poetry?" Susan Chambers
    • 11:15 am Children’s Religious Education, The Parrot and the Grocer: A tale from Iran and Magic in the Air, Hummingbird video, part 1
    • November 20
    • 10:00 am Adult book discussion, The Varieties of Scientific Experience by Carl Sagan
    • 11:00 am “Caring for Family with Memory Loss” Nancy Paddock
      Nancy lives in Litchfield and is a poet and writer of memoir. She is one of eleven artists to receive monetary awards from the Southwest Minnesota Arts and Humanities Council under the SMAHC/McKnight Individual Artist Development and Career programs.
    • 11:15 am Children’s Religious Education, Mend the Sheepfold and count UNICEF money.
    • November 13
    • 10:00 am Adult book discussion, The Varieties of Scientific Experience by Carl Sagan
    • 11:00 am "Global Warming and Energy Futures for Human Civilization" Michael Andregg — cancelled, hope to reschedule this winter
      Michael will speak about the disinformation campaign about climate change. He says this decade will be the most consequential ever for environmental issues.
      Michael has a Ph.D. in behavior genetics and is a specialist in the causes of war. He teaches at the University of Minnesota and St. Thomas. He’s sponsored community ed programs in Minnesota, most recently on intelligence community reform.
    • 11:15 am Children’s Religious Education, Honorable Joha, Mulla Nasuddin Hodja and the Pumpkin Tree and making pumpkin pie.
    • November 6
    • 10:00 am Adult book discussion, The Varieties of Scientific Experience by Carl Sagan
    • 11:00 am “UU Can’t Go It Alone” Reverend Shelley Dugan
      Reverend Dugan has a M.Div., M.A., trained at Hazelden Chemical Dependency Facility & as a Hospice Chaplain. She has been a Parish minister for three congregations and is presently a chaplain in a St. Paul hospital.
    • 11:15 am Children’s Religious Education, Marking the Boat and Magic in the Air, Hummingbird video, part 1.
    • October 30
    • 10:00 am Adult Book Discussion, Carl Sagan's Varieties of Scientific Experience: A Personal View of the Search for God
    • 11:00 am “What UUs Should take seriously from the Bible” Rev. William Holden
      Rev. Holden is a UU Minister from Minnetonka and is a frequent speaker at our group.
    • 11:15 am Children’s Religious Education, Practice Makes Perfect
    • October 23
    • 10:00 am Adult Book Discussion, Carl Sagan's Varieties of Scientific Experience: A Personal View of the Search for God
    • 11:00 am “Engaging With the Somali Population” Les Heitke, former mayor of Willmar
      Weekly meetings with local Somali elders has given Les close-up knowledge of their questions and cultural heritage.
    • 11:15 am Children’s Religious Education, Heaven and Hell
      Whatever harm an enemy may do to you
      Your own thoughts,
      Stormy and uncontrolled,
      Will harm you more
    • October 16
    • 10:00 am Adult Book Discussion, Carl Sagan's Varieties of Scientific Experience: A Personal View of the Search for God
    • 11:00 am “Visions and Divisions” Rev. Nancy Holden
      Rev. Holden will discuss the polarization of opinion in the U.S., including the war being waged against women, gays, and immigrants.
    • 11:15 am Children’s Religious Education, Teaching a Thief
      When there is anger, offer loving kindness
      When there is selfishness, offer generosity
      When there is deceit, offer the truth
    • October 9
    • 10:00 am Adult Book Discussion, Carl Sagan's Varieties of Scientific Experience: A Personal View of the Search for God
    • 11:00 am “Lila and the Metaphysics of Quality” Luke Markve
      Robert Pirsig’s quest began when one of his students asked: “What is Quality?” He puts the answer in a story in which he picks up Lila (a “common bar whore”) and travels with her to New York City. Lila can not see that Pirsig has quality. Only after great effort can Pirsig see that Lila has quality. Come and find out how he concludes that everything has quality and moves toward betterment in one way or another.
      The philosophy of Robert Pirsig is set forth in two books: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and Lila: An Inquiry Into Morals. The philosophy is about the universality of quality. It is meant to be a help in answering the questions: What is life all about? and How shall I live? You are welcome to bring challenging ethical questions.
      Luke Markve was a Presbyterian pastor from 1960 to 1977. He has been a follower of Robert Pirsig’s philosophy, called “The Metaphysics of Quality”, since 1994 and a member of UUCM in Wayzata since 1995.
    • 11:15 am Children’s Religious Education, The Teeth are Gone but the Tongue Remains plus water sculpture or dance
    • 1:30 pm abUSed: The Postville Raid "Understanding Immigration" will be the theme of the first documentary and discussion of this year's "Changing Times" series, a collaboration between five Willmar churches. Shown again on Thursday, October 13 at 6:00 pm.
    • October 2
    • 10:00 am Adult Book Discussion, Carl Sagan's Varieties of Scientific Experience: A Personal View of the Search for God
    • 11:00 am “We Don’t Want to Think About It” Marilee Dorn discusses disaster preparedness.
    • 11:15 am Children’s Religious Education, A Man in Qi Worries that the Sky Will Fall with discussion on what UU children do during catastrophes
    • September 25
    • 10:00 am Adult Book Discussion, Carl Sagan's Varieties of Scientific Experience: A Personal View of the Search for God
    • 11:00 am Blessing of Children and “Prophets, Power and Perversions” Rev. Nels Oas
      Reverend Oas’ message is based on three books that depict religious distortion. He will discuss the magnetic power of messages that often are not in the follower’s best interest.
    • 11:15 am Children’s Religious Education, All in the Family: A Tale from Pakistan and Cooking: Fancy Fruit Parfaits
    • September 18
    • 10:00 am Adult Book Discussion
    • 11:00 am “Answering Evil” Rev. Wes Hromatko
      The shootings and bombing in peaceful Norway over the summer were shocking. Ordinary civilians are caught up in war. Unarmed protesters in the Middle East are fired upon by their governments. Pirates operate off the Somalian coast. Here at home, people are beset by economic worries and personal problems. This sermon will deal with defining evil and answering evil from personal experience, science, and our religious perspective.
    • 11:15 am Children’s Religious Education, Welcome to Stories of China
    • September 11
    • 10:00 am Sue Dyer’s Annual Pancake Breakfast
      Please bring butter, sausages, fruit, syrup, or juice – and a friend!
    • 11:00 am “A House For Hope” Dale Handeen and Mary Lou Werner
      We celebrate our newly refurbished century-old House for Hope. This sacred house provides a base for us to grow, to learn, and to become transformed into compassionate humans who care about the quality of all life on earth.
    • 11:15 am Children’s Religious Education, Honorable Joha, Mulla Nasuddin Hodja and the Famous Donkey Story
    • August 28
    • 3:00 pm Ice cream social
    • Summer meditation
    • My heart is cooled
      By drops of emptiness.
      Suddenly I see
      My boat has crossed the river
      And reached the shore of non-yearning.
      Soft sand, empty beach,
      Old promises…
      —Thich Nhat Hanh
    • Summer Sundays
    • 10:00 am Book Discussion
      Beginning Sunday, June 5, we will be discussing the book Underlying Unity: A Fresh Look at the Philosophy of UU Religion by John Alexie Crane.
      Meetings will be at the church unless construction prevents doing so. For weekly location or other information, call Mary Lou at 235-1585.
    • May 22
    • 10:00 am Adult Discussion "The Age of American Unreason" by Susan Jacoby
    • 11:00 am "No Empty Promise: the possibilities of an open day" Rev. Karen Hering
      Summer often brings the gift of an open day, whether spent at home or at a cabin or on the road. Anticipating the long, more leisurely days of summer, we'll explore the possibilities and promise of emptiness. We'll ask why we often fill our lives to the brim and how, with lives so full, do we welcome anything new - whether it's new ideas or new habits, new friends or new possibilities? "To be empty," says Thich Nhat Hanh, "is to be alive."
    • 11:15 am Children’s Religious Ed. "We Believe: Living and Learning Our UU Principles"
    • 1-3 pm The Yin/Yang of Writing: When Self and Other Meet led by Rev. Karen Hering
      The old teachings of Taoism remind us that fertile terrain is often found on the borders – the line between this and that, or Yin and Yang, where differences meet and where word touches silence. This guided writing session explores the meeting place between self and other. Using Taoist readings and other stories and poetry, visual images and writing prompts, the session invites participants to reflect on the dynamics of "self" and "other." No writing experience needed. Open Page sessions are not writing workshops; rather they engage writing as a spiritual practice – a tool for both reflection and for social action.
    • About Reverend Karen Hering:
      The Rev. Karen Hering serves as consulting literary minister at Unity Church-Unitarian, in St. Paul, Minnesota, offering guided writing sessions and other opportunities for engaging the written word as a spiritual practice and a tool for social action. Her writing has been published in numerous journals and three Skinner House Press meditation anthologies. Contact her at karen@unityunitarian.org.
    • May 15
    • 10:00 am UUCW Annual Meeting
      We’ll review 2010-11, make plans for 2011-12, elect officers, and select committees.
      After potluck, we’ll work outside on the yard, cleaning and raking, so wear work clothes, bring gloves, rakes, and old shoes!
    • May 8
    • 10:00 am Adult Discussion "The Age of American Unreason" by Susan Jacoby
    • 11:00 am "The Honey of Islam" Karima Bushnell
      A look from inside at the beauties of this world religion and some of the ways distortions can occur.
      Karima Bushnell, MA, teaches Intercultural Communication at Metropolitan State University and has taught at Antioch University’s Weekend College and the University of St. Thomas, where she received the Student of Color Ally Award. She has created intercultural trainings for business, government and the non-profit sector for over 15 years and is certified as a Content Expert-level trainer for early childhood and school age practitioners through the Minnesota Center for Professional Development.
      Karima and her family live in south Minneapolis.
    • 11:15 am Children’s Religious Ed. "We Believe: Living and Learning Our UU Principles"
    • May 1
    • 10:00 am Adult Discussion "The Age of American Unreason" by Susan Jacoby
    • 11:00 am "Stage Six" Rev. Nancy Holden
      This is a spiritual development message based on the work of James Fowler, which is not new, but keeps playing out in the world around us. This model sees faith as a third developmental scale like physical and mental. Fowler believes that just as some people stop growing mentally long before maturity, the same is true for spirituality. If not, if we stay spiritually open and alive to further development, we may be among the small minority of those who reach "stage six" when there are no more boundaries.
    • 11:15 am Children’s Religious Ed. "We Believe: Living and Learning Our UU Principles"
    • April 24
    • 10:00 am Adult Discussion "The Age of American Unreason" by Susan Jacoby
    • 11:00 am "It Matters What We Believe" Bill Holden
      Rev Holden will trace how the “Free Mind” fits in to our current culture wars and its original source in the Deuteronomic reform movement in the old testament. He will make the argument that religious maturity calls for a religion without certainty. Rev Holden is from the metro area and is a frequent speaker to our group.
    • 11:15 am Children’s Religious Ed. "We Believe: Living and Learning Our UU Principles"
    • April 17
    • 10:00 am Adult Discussion "The Age of American Unreason" by Susan Jacoby
    • 11:00 am "Earth Day Celebration" Kay Slama
      Kay Slama will make the case that environmental justice is an integral part of social justice, rather than needing to be balanced with it. Our 7th principle is wholly consistent with our 2nd principle!
      Kay is a long-time environmentalist, with roots in a North Dakota farm. She was first called a "tree-hugger" at a hearing nearly 30 years ago. She volunteers with the NL/S YES youth environmental team and is a member of the Sierra Club, the Nature Conservancy, and UU Ministry for Earth www.uuministryforearth.org.
    • 11:15 am Children’s Religious Ed. "We Believe: Living and Learning Our UU Principles"
    • April 10
    • 10:00 am Adult Discussion "The Age of American Unreason" by Susan Jacoby
    • 11:00 am Bill Vossler "The Art and Craft of Writing for Money"
      Bill discusses how he became a writer, and the joys as well as struggles and setbacks through 33 years of freelancing.He also talks about the creative process and how that has led to his success. Questions and discussion are welcome. Bill is a full-time creative writer living in Rockville, MN.
    • 11:15 am Children’s Religious Ed. "We Believe: Living and Learning Our UU Principles"
    • 1:00 pm Social Justice Documentary: Robert Kenner's "Food, Inc."
      In Food, Inc., filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the veil on our nation's food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that has been hidden from the American consumer with the consent of our government's regulatory agencies, USDA and FDA. Our nation's food supply is now controlled by a handful of corporations that often put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, the safety of workers and our own environment. We have bigger-breasted chickens, the perfect pork chop, herbicide-resistant soybean seeds, even tomatoes that won't go bad, but we also have new strains of E. coli-the harmful bacteria that causes illness for an estimated 73,000 Americans annually. We are riddled with widespread obesity, particularly among children, and an epidemic level of diabetes among adults.
      Featuring interviews with such experts as Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation), Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma, In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto) along with forward thinking social entrepreneurs like Stonyfield's Gary Hirshberg and Polyface Farms' Joel Salatin, Food, Inc. reveals surprising-and often shocking truths-about what we eat, how it's produced, who we have become as a nation and where we are going from here.
    • April 3
    • 10:00 am Adult Discussion "The Age of American Unreason" by Susan Jacoby
    • 11:00 am "Unitarian Universalism at Fifty" Robert Tapp
      At the half-century birthday approaches -- how have we done? How has our world changed and how aptly have we adapted? Have we expanded that Enlightenment vision -- or blurred it Our population-share is less but what about our influence-share?
    • 11:15 am Children’s Religious Ed. "We Believe: Living and Learning Our UU Principles"
    • March 27
    • 10:00 am Adult Discussion "The Age of American Unreason" by Susan Jacoby
    • 11:00 am "To Every a Season" Rev Wes Hromatko
      Our lives have seasons just as does the rest of Nature. We experience joy and loss. The rebirth of spring inevitably follows winter. Writers, philosophers, and psychologists like Erik Erikson have seen life in terms of process and development. Wes will be reflecting on changes good and bad we face in life. He plans to talk from his own experience as well as about the life of at least one well known person from our heritage and how they faced things we all must. Wes is a Unitarian Minister from Lake Wilson, MN.
    • 11:15 am Children’s Religious Ed. "We Believe: Living and Learning Our UU Principles"
    • March 20
    • 10:00 am Adult Discussion "The Age of American Unreason" by Susan Jacoby
    • 11:00 am "Mulligans" Reverend Shelly Dugan
      Life throws some hard things at us. Often we find that we end up in situations that feel familiar. In this sermon we will look at how grace and second chances happen in the most unlikely of places.
    • 11:15 am Children’s Religious Ed. "We Believe: Living and Learning Our UU Principles"
    • March 13 Daylight Savings—Spring forward!
    • Food Shelf Sunday Bring food and/or monetary donations for Willmar Area Food Shelf.
    • 10:00 am Adult Discussion "The Age of American Unreason" by Susan Jacoby
    • 11:00 am "Just Caring: Who lives? Who Pays? Who Decides?" Rona Lambing
      Health Care Rationing and Democratic Deliberation: A discussion of the book by Leonard M. Fleck. This will be a working program with morning snacks.
    • 11:15 am Children’s Religious Ed. "We Believe: Living and Learning Our UU Principles"
    • 1:00 pm Social Justice Documentary: Annie Leonard's "The Story of Stuff"
      From its extraction through sale, use and disposal, all the stuff in our lives affects communities at home and abroad, yet most of this is hidden from view. The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled DVD that looks at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world. It'll teach you something, it'll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the stuff in your life forever.
    • March 6
    • 10:00 am Adult Discussion "The Age of American Unreason" by Susan Jacoby
    • 11:00 am "Stories Behind the Flaming Chalice" Rev Dale Handeen
      What does the Flaming Chalice have to do with care boxes, cartons, courage, cloak and communion? How long has this symbol been seen in our UU Congregations? Might it have greater capacity to inspire, unite, challenge and motivate us with or without the facts that underlie the origins of this beautiful symbol.
      Dale Handeen grew up in the UU Church of Willmar and is a frequent speaker.
    • 11:15 am Children’s Religious Ed. "We Believe: Living and Learning Our UU Principles"
    • February 27
    • 10:00 am Adult Discussion "The Age of American Unreason" by Susan Jacoby
    • 11:00 am "Mary Magdalene" with Ruth Trageser
      Who was Mary Magdalene? Was she the Apostle to the Apostles, the wife of Jesus, the repentant harlot, the woman with the alabaster jar who anointed Jesus before his death? How does new research answer those questions?
    • 11:15 am Child Care in Lower Level
    • 11:15 am Children’s Religious Education "We Believe: Living and Learning Our UU Principles"
    • 1:00 pm Annual fundraising auction!
    • February 20 Cancelled due to weather.
    • 10:00 am Adult Discussion "The Age of American Unreason" by Susan Jacoby
    • 11:00 am TBA
    • 11:15 am Child Care in Lower Level
    • 11:15 am Children’s Religious Education "We Believe: Living and Learning Our UU Principles"
    • February 13
    • 10:00 am Adult Discussion "The Age of American Unreason" by Susan Jacoby
    • 11:00 am "Dreamers" with Rev. Naomi Mahler
      Many children and young people have been in this country for years, but their parents are undocumented. These young people, many of whom have graduated high school, are now being denied citizenship and sometimes unable to get drivers licenses because they are considered "illegal." We'll hear some of their stories and what we as individuals can do to help these young people realize the American dream. Reverend Mahler is an ordained Lutheran minister.
    • 11:15 am Child Care in Lower Level
    • 11:15 am Children’s Religious Education "We Believe: Living and Learning Our UU Principles"
    • 1:00 pm Social Justice Documentary and Discussion Group "9500 Liberty" tells the story of a Virginia county torn apart by a controversial law requiring police to check the immigration status of people suspected of being undocumented. The film reveals what happens when the democratic process gets hijacked by fear and intimidation and reminds us what everyday people can accomplish when they fight back.
    • February 6
    • 10:00 am Adult Discussion "The Age of American Unreason" by Susan Jacoby
    • 11:00 am "Habitat for Humanity: Building Hope, Building Homes, Changing Lives" with Mallory Vogel
      Poverty housing is a hidden but important issue in West Central Minnesota. Right here in Kandiyohi County, 1,500 households spend more than 30% of their monthly income on rent. We will discuss the consequences that poverty housing holds for individuals and the wider community. I will also share stories of hope that families have created through partnership with Habitat for Humanity.
    • 11:15 am Child Care in Lower Level
    • 11:15 am Children’s Religious Education "We Believe: Living and Learning Our UU Principles"
    • January 30
    • 10:00 am Adult Discussion "The Age of American Unreason" by Susan Jacoby
    • 11:00 am "Hinduism, Harbinger of Hope for a Billion" with Dr. Malcolm Nazareth
      Malcolm & Mariani Nazareth are co-founding directors of the Center for Interfaith Encounter which they established in January 2000 in St. Cloud, MN.
    • 11:15 am Child Care in Lower Level
    • 11:15 am Children’s Religious Education "We Believe: Living and Learning Our UU Principles"
    • January 23
    • 10:00 am Adult Discussion "The Age of American Unreason" by Susan Jacoby
    • 11:00 am "I Call that mind free: The gifts and challenges of theological freedom and diversity" with Luke Stevens-Royer, a ministerial intern from Unity Church, St. Paul
      The original speaker, Rev. Karen Hering, is unable to make it this Sunday. She will likely be rescheduled for this spring.
    • 11:15 am Child Care in Lower Level
    • 11:15 am Children’s Religious Education "We Believe: Living and Learning Our UU Principles"
    • 1-3 pm Open Page Writing Session cancelled
    • January 16
    • 10:00 am Adult Discussion "The Age of American Unreason" by Susan Jacoby
    • 11:00 am "Doing What Comes Naturally" Rev. Wes Hromatko
      Wes will reflect on moral naturalism from his experience and reading. The turn of the century Unitarian historian Henry Adams reflected that the middle ages was driven by religion and the modern world by science represented by the Dynamo. Can science as well as philosophy help us to understand what we should do? How do we understand examples such as Martin Luther King's civil rights movement in the evolution of ethical thought and experience.
    • 11:15 am Child Care in Lower Level
    • 11:15 am Children’s Religious Education "We Believe: Living and Learning Our UU Principles"
    • January 9
    • 10:00 am Adult Discussion "The Age of American Unreason" by Susan Jacoby
    • 11:00 am "Directions for These Times" Diana Allen
      What is happening in the world today calls for responses different from what has been known in the past. We can learn much from ancient native cultures about survival during difficult times. Science has progressed to a point of affirming what these cultures have to teach us through the infinite possibilities in each moment revealed by quantum theory. What do we most need to know for facing the future?
      Diana Allen has trained in UU ministry and served Prairie Star District in a number of volunteer positions over the years. She is also a Council Guide in an ancient earth-based wisdom tradition and a facilitator for non-violent conflict resolution workshops.
    • 11:15 am Child Care in Lower Level
    • 11:15 am Children’s Religious Education "We Believe: Living and Learning Our UU Principles"
    • 1:00 pm (Location TBA) Social Justice Documentary and Discussion Group "Coming Home: Supporting Your Soldier" is an attempt to increase the public's understanding of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), so we can better support our soldiers' re-adjustment to civilian life and, in case of PTSD, their road to recovery. 30 minutes.
    • January 2
    • Winter Holiday

— 2010

    • December 26
    • Winter Holiday
    • December 19
    • 10:00 AM Adult Discussion "A House for Hope"
    • 11:00 AM "Holiday Program" Dale Handeen
    • December 12Cancelled due to weather :( Rescheduled for February 6, 2011!
    • 10:00 AM Adult Discussion "A House for Hope"
    • 11:00 AM "Habitat for Humanity: Building Hope, Building Homes, Changing Lives" Mallory Vogel
      Poverty housing is a hidden but important issue in West Central Minnesota. Right here in Kandiyohi County, 1,500 households spend more than 30% of their monthly income on rent. We will discuss the consequences that poverty housing holds for individuals and the wider community. I will also share stories of hope that families have created through partnership with Habitat for Humanity.
    • 11:15 AM Child Care in Lower Level
    • 11:15 AM Children’s Religious Education "We Believe: Living and Learning Our UU Principles"
    • December 5
    • 10:00 AM Adult Discussion "A House for Hope"
    • 11:00 AM "Be Earth Now, and Evensong" Rev Briana Melom
      When Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Naht Hanh was told about Americans' tendency to "feel bad about themselves," he did not understand; the concept was foreign to him. As our world experiences unprecedented environmental crises, we may be overwhelmed by the enormity of the problems before us - and our inescapable American culture, in which consumption and convenience are nearly essential to our ability to function. Using the poetry of Rilke as our guide, we'll explore how it's not guilt and shame that will likely save our planet, but a deeper sense of groundedness and connection to this magnificent, bountiful earth.
    • 11:15 AM Child Care in Lower Level
    • 11:15 AM Children’s Religious Education "We Believe: Living and Learning Our UU Principles"
    • November 28
    • 10:00 AM Adult Discussion "A House for Hope"
    • 11:00 AM "In Wildness is the Preservation of the World" John and Edie Rylander
      These words from Thoreau have guided both our writings and our life choices, from the houses we have lived in to the way we raised our children." Edie and John are thinkers and writers who live our seventh principle "respecting the web of which we are a part."
    • 11:15 AM Child Care in Lower Level
    • 11:15 AM Children’s Religious Education "We Believe: Living and Learning Our UU Principles"
    • November 21Cancelled due to weather :(
    • 10:00 AM Adult Discussion "A House for Hope"
    • 11:00 AM "Mary Magdalene" Ruth Trageser
      Who was Mary Magdalene? Was she the Apostle to the Apostles, the wife of Jesus, the repentant harlot, the woman with the alabaster jar who anointed Jesus before his death? How does new research answer those questions?
    • 11:15 AM Child Care in Lower Level
    • 11:15 AM Children’s Religious Education "We Believe: Living and Learning Our UU Principles"
    • November 14
    • 10:00 AM Adult Discussion "A House for Hope"
    • 11:00 AM GA GEMS Kay Slama, Dorothy Meili and Mary Lou Werner
      We will celebrate being a Unitarian Universalist by recounting some of the joys of General Assembly held in Minneapolis this past summer.
    • 11:15 AM Child Care in Lower Level
    • 11:15 AM Children’s Religious Education "We Believe: Living and Learning Our UU Principles"
    • November 7
    • 10:00 AM Adult Discussion "A House for Hope"
    • 11:00 AM "Diversity Personified" Rev. Nancy Holden
      They tell us the UUA is 96% white. A tremendous diversity exists within that majority figure. I believe a "culture" develops around any characteristic shared by a group of people that separates them from others, and each one of us belongs to a collection of cultures specific to us. It is misleading to describe us by race, which tells very little about who we are. We also share the UU culture itself, but no two of us are the same when we look at our history, beliefs, and origins. Our goal should be authenticity—accepting our right to be completely and honestly ourselves.
    • 11:15 AM Child Care in Lower Level
    • 11:15 AM Children’s Religious Education "We Believe: Living and Learning Our UU Principles"
    • October 31
    • 10:00 AM Adult Discussion "A House for Hope"
    • 11:00 AM "Standing on the Side of Love" Tory Lowe
      Tory Lowe is a professional public speaker who uses his experiences of racism in Minnesota to teach others how to create healthy cultures and environments that are more safe and secure.
    • 11:15 AM Child Care in Lower Level
    • 11:15 AM Children’s Religious Education "We Believe: Living and Learning Our UU Principles"
    • October 24
    • 10:00 AM Adult Discussion "A House for Hope"
    • 11:00 AM "Climate, Spirituality/Religion and International Treaties: Resist Despair" Reed Aronow
      Climate Change is a critical issue, and the future of this world will be determined by the choices we make now. Reed is a Youth Delegate to the United Nations Framework Conferences on Climate Change representing Minnesota. He participated in the COP15 climate summit in Copenhagen last fall as a member of polar explorer Will Steger's Expedition Copenhagen, and will be a delegate to the upcoming COP16 climate talks in Cancun, Mexico this autumn. Reed will bring your messages directly to negotiators and ambassadors at the United Nations UNFCCC conference this November/December. Will Steger Foundation Expedition Copenhagen Mission Statement: "We are U.S. Midwest youth advocates working to fulfill our global responsibilities by teaching and empowering climate action through local collaboration and international partnership. We seek an equitable global climate treaty that catalyzes clean energy opportunities and reduces climate impacts in the Midwest, promotes just, sustainable development everywhere, and builds bridges of collaboration between our region and the wider world."
    • 11:15 AM Child Care in Lower Level
    • 11:15 AM Children’s Religious Education "We Believe: Living and Learning Our UU Principles"
    • October 17
    • 10:00 AM Adult Discussion "A House for Hope"
    • 11:00 AM "What price do we pay as individuals and as a society when we allow injustice to prevail in the name of security?" Michael W Quinn
      In an unjust society, what can we do as individuals and as a society to promote justice for all? Michael Quinn has 25 years of law enforcement with Minneapolis police and Minnesota Dept of Public Safety.. He is the author of "Walking With The Devil: The Police code of Silence. What bad cops don't want you to know and good cops won't tell you."
    • 11:15 AM Children’s Religious Education "We Believe: Living and Learning Our UU Principles"
    • October 10
    • 10:00 AM Adult Discussion "A House for Hope"
    • 11:00 AM "New Immigrants and Law Enforcement" Marilee Markkannen Dorn
    • 11:15 AM Children’s Religious Education "We Believe: Living and Learning Our UU Principles"
    • 11:15 AM Child Care in Lower Level
    • 1:00 PM Social Justice Documentary
      Bernice Johnson will lead the discussion of Burma VJ, directed by Anders Ostergaard, 85 minutes. In 2007, after decades of self-imposed silence, Burma became headline news across the globe when peaceful Buddhist monks led a massive rebellion. Armed with pocket-sized video cameras and cell phones, a tenacious band of Burmese reporters faced down death to expose the repressive regime controlling their country.
    • October 3
    • 10:00 AM Adult Discussion "A House for Hope"
    • 11:00 AM "This Too Shall Pass" Rev. William Holden
      The sermon was created to celebrate twenty-four years surviving as a heart transplant, It came about after thirty-one days of dying of heart failure and after two false alarms. It came as my kidneys were failing and the heart could no longer sustain my feet. My wife was told everyday it was my last. In these circumstances I underwent some basic changes and learnings that affected my identity, The sermon brings together the survival factors I experienced and the changes it created in my UU identity.
    • 11:15 AM Child Care in Lower Level
    • 11:15 AM Children’s Religious Education "We Believe: Living and Learning Our UU Principles"
    • September 26
    • 10:00 AM Adult Discussion "A House for Hope"
    • 11:00 AM "A Whale of a Problem: Energy, Ecology, and Herman Melville" Rev. Wes Hromatko
      Today we have a second oil problem. Did you know we had an oil problem a hundred and forty years ago? Whale oil was running low in 1859 when the first oil well was drilled. Wes will reflect on our present ecology, energy, and oil problems in the context of Unitarian Herman Melville's "Moby Dick!" Wes promises his sermon will be much shorter than Melville's book. Wes and Marilyn once visited Melville's Massachusetts farm as well as the whaling museum on Nantucket.
    • 11:15 AM Child Care in Lower Level
    • 11:15 AM Children’s Religious Education "We Believe: Living and Learning Our UU Principles"
    • September 19
    • 10:00 AM Adult Discussion "A House for Hope"
    • 11:00 AM "From Service to Social Justice" Argie Manolis, Service Learning Coordinator at UM Morris
      As people committed to the UU principles, we are called to be of service to our communities and the broader world. But, how can we be of service while also recognizing our own privileges and others' oppression? How can we act compassionately " on the ground" while also being attentive to the " bigger picture?" I will share my experiences in coordinating service-learning programs at the University of Minnesota, Morris, to demonstrate how my students and I have grappled with these question.
    • 11:15 AM Child Care in Lower Level
    • 11:15 AM Children’s Religious Education "We Believe: Living and Learning Our UU Principles"
    • September 12
    • 10:00 AM Annual Pancake Breakfast
      Please bring a griddle, butter, sausages, fruit, juice and a friend.
    • 11:00 AM "Why Gods are Made" Rev. Nels Oas
      Scholars and the humanities, as well as natural scientists provide excellent data in recent studies that support our own native intelligence and perceptions as to why gods are made. Nevertheless each of us seeks to establish meaning, purpose and values in our life that need not be reinforced by a deity as we share our conviction with one another about the mysteries of planetary life.
    • 11:15 AM Child Care in Lower Level
    • 11:15 AM Children’s Religious Education "We Believe: Living and Learning Our UU Principles"
    • August 17 (Tuesday)
    • 6PM Board Meeting, at the church
    • August 15
    • Noon Potluck picnic at Sibley Park's Cedar Hill Shelter. Each vehicle needs a $5 day permit or a $25 12-month permit. If someone would like a ride, email info@uuchurchofwillmar.org. Cedar Hill is west of the initial building where you get the park permit; you drive to the swimming beach and take the first right and go up the hill. Please bring chairs, swim suits if you want to swim, and outdoor games.  Sibley offers wonderful hiking trails. In case of inclement weather, we will postpone till August 22.
    • Summer Sundays
    • 10AM Adult Discussion, A Short History of Myth, Karen Armstrong—No discussions on holiday weekends
      Because of our building project and other events during the summer, we may not be meeting at the church. Please contact Mary Lou for specifics.
    • May 23
    • 10AM Adult Discussion, A Short History of Myth, Karen Armstrong
    • 11AM “Age-ing to Sage-ing” Members of UUCW and Friends
      Sages in training read discussed and reflected on the book “From Age-ing to Sage-ing.” In the process, we reflected and wrote about cycles of our lives, journeying to our future self, healing painful memories, giving ourselves the gift of forgiveness etc. We are now ready to share some of our insights gained during this process.
    • 11:15AM Children’s Religious Education, Spring Celebration
    • May 16
    • 10AM Adult Discussion, A Short History of Myth, Karen Armstrong
    • 11AM “Winning Hearts and Minds” Rev. Nels Oas
      Rev. Oas will reflect on Gregg Mortenson’s two books, Three Cups of Tea and Stones Into Schools, in which Mortenson writes of his experiences in building schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He is using UU principles of equality, compassion, and democracy in his work in the Middle East.
    • 11:15AM Children’s Religious Education, Jehovah’s Witnesses in Willmar
    • May 9, Mother's Day
    • 10AM Adult Discussion, A Short History of Myth, Karen Armstrong
    • 11AM “In Mom We Trust” Dale Handeen, Humanist Chaplain
      Dale will overview a variety of ways we may consider and remember Mother's Day, celebrating personal, historical, cultural, and universal perspectives. Please come prepared if you would like to share, in brief, a bit of humor recalled or a piece of wisdom you may have learned “at your mother's knee.”
    • May 2
    • * Note updated time!
    • 10AM Annual Meeting
      We will review major events from the previous year, review our income, expenses and proposed budget, and elect officers and Board Members for 2010-11.
    • April 25
    • 10AM Adult Discussion, A Short History of Myth, Karen Armstrong
    • 11AM “Navigating Our Uncertain Future” Reverend Roy Stiff
      Rev. Roy Stiff, Methodist minister and computer doctor, will discuss the questions, “How do we go about planning our future? What principles do we depend on to get life right?”
    • 11:15AM Children’s Religious Education, Christianity: Churches, Saints etc.
    • April 18
    • 10AM Adult Discussion, A Short History of Myth, Karen Armstrong
    • 11AM “Children Between Worlds” Karima Vargas Bushnell, MA
      Children of immigrant families who are U.S. born or came here at a young age hold a unique position, one that is hard to understand for both their tradition-minded parents and their U.S. peer groups and authority figures. They shuttle back and forth between conflicting cultures, each side with only half the puzzle pieces. “They want her to be a traditional Afghani girl, but she has never seen Afghanistan,” said one community spokesman. And educators may miss the positive aspects of traditional culture or may not understand the strength and subtlety of the pressure to conform to it. In 22 in-depth, qualitative interviews, Minnesota immigrants, refugees and others-people from Somalian, Southeast Asian, Russian Jewish, Bosnian, Dakota, and other cultures-identified “children between worlds” as their most pressing issue. Find out why.
    • 11:15AM Children’s Religious Education, History of Christianity
    • 12:30PM Board meeting re: building plans
    • 1PM Social Justice Documentary Discussion Group: We will view Including Samuel about 5 disabled individuals and their families. We will discuss the cultural and sytemic barriers to including disabled people more fully in our society. The Institute on Disability's 58-minute award-winning documentary includes interviews with teachers, parents, and disability rights experts.
    • April 11
    • 10AM Adult Discussion, Plan B 4.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization, Lester R. Brown
    • 11AM Rev. Wes Hromatko “Whenever the Spring Breaks Through” The sermon will be about spring as a metaphor and will revisit the Nobel prize winning novel Dr. Zhivago by Boris Pasternak. The novel is much deeper than the movie’s story of Dr. Zhivago’s life and loves. It is filled with symbols and metaphors that speak to our lives and the great changes in our times.
    • 11:15AM Children’s Religious Education, The Bible
    • 1PM Annual fund-raising auction!
    • April 4
    • 10AM Adult Discussion, Plan B 4.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization, Lester R. Brown
    • 11AM Rev. Nancy Holden “As We Understand”
      The title comes from step two of the twelve-step program begun by Alcoholics Anonymous, which says: “We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” The message is all about how hard it is to take that step, and how it gets easier when you throw out preconceived ideas about God and come to your own understanding. As you keep seeking, the process of spiritual maturing continues.
    • 11:15AM Children’s Religious Education, The Story of Jesus
    • 1PM Social Justice Documentary Discussion Group: We will view Including Samuel about 5 disabled individuals and their families. We will discuss the cultural and sytemic barriers to including disabled people more fully in our society. The Institute on Disability's 58-minute award-winning documentary includes interviews with teachers, parents, and disability rights experts.
    • March 28
    • 10AM Adult Discussion, Plan B 4.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization, Lester R. Brown
    • 11AM Rev. Briana Melom “The Guest House”
      The poet Rumi said, "This being human is a guest house" and urged us to welcome every emotion and experience as a gift. As winter chill and gray clouds linger, we will contemplate what it means to practice a radical acceptance of life and one another. We'll examine how to live into the fullness of our lives - through our pain- and into a wellspring of gratitude, joy and generosity.
    • 11:15AM Children’s Religious Education, The Story of Jesus
    • March 21
    • 10AM Adult Discussion, Plan B 4.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization, Lester R. Brown
    • 11AM Rev. Shelley Dugan “Abundance”
      Reverend Dugan’s sermon reminds us to look for the good around us. Shelley is the Chaplain Manager at Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids, MN. She's been a professional minister for almost 25 years. During her ministry she has pastored 3 churches and served as a chaplain in hospice, chemical dependency, long term care, veterans' homes, and hospitals. She is grateful to be a UU minister and delighted to be with the Willmar congregation again!
    • 11:15AM Children’s Religious Education, Creating a Passover Meal
    • March 14 - remember to Spring forward for daylight saving time!
    • 10AM Adult Discussion, Plan B 4.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization, Lester R. Brown
    • 11AM Don and Texas Swanjord “Perspectives on the Middle East”
      Don and Texas live near Balaton, but previously lived in Iran, Iraq, Yemen and Kuwait, and just returned from a visit to the Persian Gulf.
    • 11:15AM Children’s Religious Education, Judaism: Synagogues, Festivals
    • March 7
    • 10AM Adult Discussion, Plan B 4.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization, Lester R. Brown
    • 11AM John Handeen “The Abortion Issue – Second Look”
      This talk will look at the history and problems associated with abortion. John Handeen is a long time member of the Willmar UU Church and lives at Milan, MN
    • 11:15AM Children’s Religious Education, History of Jews
    • February 28
    • 10AM Adult Discussion, Plan B 4.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization, Lester R. Brown
    • 11AM “Preparing Your Memorial Service”, Rona Lambing
      Rona will lead us through a form that will help each of us identify people, dates, burial/cremation, place of service, distribution of memorial gifts, materials for our service and refreshments.
    • 11:15AM Children’s Religious Education, Judaism: Sacred Writings
    • February 21
    • 10AM Adult Discussion, Plan B 4.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization, Lester R. Brown
    • 11AM “Art and Healing”, Montevideo artist Don Sherman
    • 11:15AM Children’s Religious Education, Judaism: Promised Land & Prophets
    • February 14
    • 10AM Adult Discussion, Plan B 4.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization, Lester R. Brown
    • 11AM “Afghanistan-Pakistan War 101 and Beyond”, Aziz and Shahnaz Ansari
      With large numbers of American and NATO troops fighting against insurgents comprised of groups with similar names and overlapping interests and loyalties, this eight year struggle in Afghanistan has become increasingly confusing. Mr. Ansari was born in Pakistan, his initial education was at a madrassa in Karachi, he was a student of Islamic teachings and gained extensive knowledge of Sharia under the guidance of a well known Pakistan Islamic Scholar. He earned his Commission from the Pakistan Military Academy at Abbottabad in 1968 and came to the United States in 1974.
    • 11:15AM Children’s Religious Education, Judaism: God and Bible Stories
    • February 7
    • 10AM Adult Discussion, Plan B 4.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization, Lester R. Brown
    • 11AM Ralph Wyman, “Bending Towards Justice”
      Martin Luther King, Jr said “the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.” In noting those words forty years after King's assassination, then-candidate Obama said “here is the thing: it does not bend on its own. It bends because each of us in our own ways put our hand on that arc and we bend it.” MUUSJA - the Minnesota UU Social Justice Alliance - is a collection of many hands working together across Minnesota to bend our culture towards justice.
    • 11:15AM Children’s Religious Education, Make Valentines for members and friends of UUCW we don't often get to see
    • January 31
    • 10AM Adult Discussion, “Our American Roots” UU History
    • 11AM Rev. Karen Hering, “It Starts When You Say ‘We’” What does it mean to say “we” in a community of free thought and free faith? What is it that draws us together and keeps us together, despite and across our differences? Drawing from the example of pilots working with whooping cranes in the natural world, we'll consider the challenges and possibilities of relationship and “living our faith” as Unitarian Universalists.
    • 11:15AM Children's Religious Education, Islam: Mosques, Festivals
    • 1-3PM Karen Hering, consulting literary minister at Unity Church in St Paul, Writing Workshop “Blessing” A blessing, according to John O’Donohue, “is a circle of light drawn around a person to protect, heal, and strengthen... A blessing awakens future wholeness.” Join in a session of writing and reflection exploring the healing and wholeness of blessing. Co-sponsored by the local Pen 'n Ink writing group. Karen says her writing sessions are “not just for those with an interest in writing. They are for anyone who wishes to correspond with the ‘still, small voice within’ and to increase their fluency in the languages of faith. They are for those longing to engage more deeply in conversations where faith speaks to the issues of our time…” Reverend Hering has been immersed in literary and literacy work for over 30 years. There will be a free will offering for those not a member of Pen 'n Ink or the church and we are limited to twenty-five people. For questions call Mary Lou Werner, 320-235-1585.
    • January 24
    • 10AM Adult Discussion, “Our American Roots” UU History
    • 11AM Social Justice Committee, “Is a ‘Just War’ an Oxymoron?” As articulated by Thomas Acquinas, the only justification to wage war is to defend the common good, and the only justifiable intentions in waging war are either to further some good or avoid some evil. Current UUA Study/Action Issue
    • 11:15AM Children's Religious Education, Islam: The Five Pillars
    • January 17
    • 10AM Adult Discussion, “Our American Roots” UU History
    • 11AM Marilyn Myo-O, “Healing Ourselves and the World Together” On Dec. 8 we commemorated the Buddha's Great Awakening. It is reported that at that time he said, “I and the great earth together realize the Way”. What does healing mean for us and, when we heal ourselves, what are the consequences? Perhaps they are more far reaching than we could possible imagine! What does this “together” signify. We will investigate the implications of these questions, and look into the practical means we can use on a daily basis to touch the field of interconnectedness for ourselves.

      Marilyn Myo-O has an extensive background in the performing arts. She is the originator of VoiceWork™, a body-based voice training, which she offers in private practice and she has taught at several colleges and universities. She has practiced intensively in the Zen and Vipassana Buddhist traditions for nearly thirty-five years. In 2000 she was ordained in the Soto Zen Buddhist tradition with the name Ryugin Myo-O which means “Dragon Song, Subtle Working”. She is affiliated with Hokyoji Zen Practice Community in southeastern Minnesota under the direction of Rev. Dokai Ron Georgesen. She has taught at Clouds in Water Zen Center in St Paul and at the Minnesota Zen Meditation Center in Minneapolis, and for the past seven years she has lectured in many settings, from Unitarian Societies to maximum security prisons. She has recently completed a year-long chaplain residency at University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview and is currently working as a chaplain at Hennepin County Medical Center and the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview.
    • 11:15AM Children’s Religious Education, Muslim Beliefs
    • January 10
    • 10AM Adult Discussion, “Our American Roots” UU History
    • 11AM Tom Esch, “Personal Pain and Public Power” Have you ever wondered how some people who have suffered a lot move through their pain to became agents of justice in the world? How do we, as Unitarian Universalists, experience and reshape our pain and move it in the direction of justice? How does our pain inform our spirituality. How does our spirituality inform our work for social and economic justice? Have you ever wondered what your contribution will be to those who share the shape of your wound? Come explore the possibilities.

      Tom Esch lives in Minneapolis with his wife Kristen and their son Elijah and are members of Unity Unitarian Church of St Paul. He has degrees in Fine Art and Speech Communication from the University of Wisconsin at River Falls and a Masters in Theology from the University of Notre Dame in S. Bend, IN. He received a master’s in “Conflict Facilitation and Organizational Change” from the Process Work Institute in Portland, Oregon, June 2009. He was a member of a Catholic religious community for 10 years, based at Notre Dame, in South Bend, Indiana and has worked in many churches as a lay person and an ordained person. He has lived in Nairobi, Kenya and spent time in Guatemala studying Spanish. He worked for three years as Coordinator of Social Justice at First Universalist Church in Minneapolis. He also worked at Whittier Community Development Corporation as director of Workforce Development—helping persons coming out of prison find jobs. For over twenty-eight years, he has facilitated a wide range of conversations and workshops on topics from racism.
    • 11:15AM Children's Religious Education, Sacred Writings and Art

— 2009

    • December 27 and January 3
    • Family Time – No formal church activities
    • December 20
    • 10AM Adult Discussion “Our American Roots” UU History
    • 11AM Leader, Dale Handeen
      Holiday Party: Our UU Church Family will celebrate the returning of sunlight at this blessed season of peace and goodwill.
    • December 13
    • 10AM Adult Discussion “Our American Roots” UU History
    • 11AM Mary Lou Werner, “Turkey in Transition” We'll look at changes taking place in the country of Turkey from its earliest history BC through the its present steep climb into the 21st century.
    • 11:15AM Children’s Religious Education: Holiday Party planning
    • 1PM Social Justice Documentary Discussion Group: “For the Bible Tells Me So” This award-winning 2007 documentary film brilliantly reconciles homosexuality and Biblical scripture. It reveals that religious anti-gay bias is based upon a misinterpretation of the Bible.
    • December 6
    • 10AM Adult Discussion “Our American Roots” UU History
    • 11AM “Values Challenging Religious Establishments” Robert Tapp
      The 18th-Century Enlightenment generated democratizing revolutions in the American colonies and France, and stimulated the growth of new values. This revolution continues today. Robert Tapp is professor emeritus of Humanities, Religious Studies, and South Asian Studies at the University of Minnesota and dean & faculty chair emeritus at The Humanist Institute in New York
    • 11:15AM Children’s Religious Education: The Bible's Ten Commandments
    • November 29
    • 10AM Adult Discussion “Our American Roots” UU History
    • 11AM “A Sense of Adventure: Unitarian Universalists in the Holiday Season” Tim Barger
    • 11:15AM Children’s Religious Education: Flood story from the Bible
    • 1PM Social Justice Documentary and Discussion, topic TBA
    • November 22
    • 10AM Adult Discussion “Our American Roots” UU History
    • 11AM “Hide and Seek” Rev. Nancy Holden
      UUs are always seekers. What are we looking for? This message describes the restlessness that keeps us searching, and shares one real-life experience of finding.
    • 11:15AM Children’s Religious Education: Ojibwe stories and gift-making
    • November 15
    • 10AM Adult Discussion “Our American Roots” UU History
    • 11AM “The Mysticism of Sound: Our Connection with Each Other” John Hakim Bushnell
      The practices of many religions involve sound: prayer, song, chanting. These practices can be approached as reflections of, and connections back to, the First Vibration, the Primal Cause, God in his/her many names. Bushnell’s presentation will focus on the Dances of Universal Peace as an approach to the mysticism of sound that is modern, rooted in tradition, and genuinely the width of human religious aspiration. One definition of mysticism is that it is direct, unmediated experience of God. To paraphrase the Sufis: Mysticism is based on experiences, not on premises. This will be strongly experiential. Visit the site: PeaceWorks – Dances of Universal Peace – North America for more background information.
    • 11:15AM Children’s Religious Education, The Good Path: Ojibwe Core Values
    • ~1PM (after potluck) Board/Committee Chairs Meeting
    • November 8
    • 10AM Adult Discussion “Our American Roots” UU History
    • 11AM “How are Christianity and Islam Alike?” Adeel Ahmed
      Adeel Ahmed was born in Pakistan and has spent the majority of his life in the US. He has a Master's in Community Economic Development and works for the U of MN Extension Service. He is involved in the Muslim community in the Twin Cities area and travels the state giving presentations on Islam and Muslims. He is married and has 2 little girls.
    • 11:15AM Children’s Religious Education, The Good Path: Ojibwe Core Values
    • November 1
    • 10AM Adult Discussion “Our American Roots”
    • Using a ten-part video series drawn from programs given at All Souls in Kansas, this discussion series offers an overview of significant issues, people, and moments in Unitarian and Universalist history in the early days of our country.
    • 11AM “Our UU Superheroes” UUCW Children and Youth
      Our children and youth studied UU Superheroes last church year. They have written and will perform their artistic creation.
    • October 25
    • 10AM Adult Discussion “Our American Roots”
    • This is the start of a new discussion using a ten-part video series drawn from programs given at All Souls in Kansas. They offer an overview of significant issues, people, and moments in Unitarian and Universalist history in the early days of our country. A study and discussion guide will be used along with the videos. This should give everyone a good grounding in early UU history.
    • 11AM Dale Handeen, topic to be announced
      Dale Handeen is a life-long member of the Willmar congregation, a graduate of the 13th class of the Humanist Institute of the North American Committee on Humanism, and a Humanist Chaplain with the Humanist Society, an adjunct of the American Humanist Association.
    • 11:15AM Children’s Religious Education, The Good Path: Ojibwe Core Values
    • 1:15PM Social Justice Documentary and Discussion Group on "Renewal: Stories from America's Religious-Environmental Movement." In honor of International Day of Climate Action (Oct. 24), we will view and discuss selected stories from this environmental DVD that UU Ministry for the Earth sent us.
    • October 18
    • 10AM Adult Discussion “Is Religion Killing Us? Violence in the Bible and the Quran” by Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer
    • 11AM "Science and the Human Spirit" Rev. Wes Hromatko
      UU's and Humanists have made many contributions to Psychology and Psychiatry. Find out about Freud at summer camp, William James, founder of experimental psychology and others. How do their learnings apply to 21st century challenges?
    • 11:15AM Children’s Religious Education, The Good Path: Ojibwe Core Values
    • October 11
    • 10AM Adult Discussion “Is Religion Killing Us? Violence in the Bible and the Quran” by Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer
    • 11AM “The Shan: Refugees Without a Camp” Bernice Koller Johnson
      Bernice’s talk will be based around the theme of visualizing an event as an aid to making it reality as it applies to her life and that of Burmese Shan Refugees. She will also read passages from her recently published memoir, The Shan Refugees Without a Camp.
    • 11:15AM Children’s Religious Education, The Good Path: Ojibwe Core Values
    • October 4
    • 10AM Adult Discussion “Is Religion Killing Us? Violence in the Bible and the Quran” by Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer
    • 11AM "What is the Relationship between Ethics, Ritual, and Religion?" Rev William Holden
      Scholars differ on connections between different religions and ethics. Over history we seem to alternate between faith and works and ritual and social justice. How does UU transcendentalism with its emphasis on deed not creed fit in? Rev Holden is from Minnetonka.
    • 11:15AM Children’s Religious Education, The Good Path: Ojibwe Core Values