Wednesday Night Forums are now being held virtually and in person. You can join most Wednesday nights at 6:30 pm on Zoom HERE or in the Commons.

2021-2022 Forums
Most Wednesdays from 6:30 – 7:15 pm 

Wednesday Forums: Join us in-person in the Commons or online at 6:30pm
May 11 
Trans Youth and LGBTQ+ Issues in SE MN
Come join Organizers Jack Dudley (Isaiah MN), T.L. Jordan (Planned Parenthood Mankato) and Kylie Pha (Planned Parenthood Rochester) as they identify current policy issues for transgender youth and the broader LGBTQ+ community in our area and across the country. There will be resources shared so we can start to form our own “CALL TO ACTION”. To watch the recording of this forum, please contact the office.
May 4
Dignity and Death: Medical Aid in Dying
A special forum about a movement among religious liberals to support medical aid and end of life options with dignity. Led by UU Minister Rev. Harlan Limpert, who has served as part of Interfaith Clergy for End of Life Options, and Chief Operating Officer of the Unitarian Universalist Association. Watch HERE.

April 27 
Film Forum: Racially Charged
A viewing of this film about practices and impacts of incarceration for misdemeanors, false felonies, and more. A conversation will follow led by church member Gus Braga. Watch HERE.
April 6
Community Food Security with our justice partner Revolutionary Earth. Watch HERE.


March 9, 2022
Pledge Forum
Join us to hear about the pledge campaign and goals for next year. Watch HERE.

March 2, 2022
Justice Forum
March’s justice partner is Hawthorne Helps, a uniquely 1st UU Social Justice Outreach.  Sandy MacLaughlin, Program Coordinator, will share the 7-year journey in photos from 2015 start up through the last 2 years of Covid.  Hundreds of UUs from ages 3 to 80 plus have played an important role. Watch HERE.

February 9, 2022
Justice Forum – Southern Minnesota Interfaith Immigration Legal Defense (SMIILD)
Over the last few years, this local organization has supported many individuals navigate the often inhumane immigration system. Join us to learn updates about their work. Watch HERE.

February 2, 2022
Mid-Year “State of the Church” – Update from your Board
Join the Board of Directors for a mid-year update about church programs and plans, including: Building Our Future, Shared Ministry Governance, and hopes for the coming months. Watch HERE.

January 19, 2022 
Non-Partisan Caucus Presentation

Minnesota has many officials up for re-election this year, Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, and ALL of the House and Senate. Join us for a Non-Partisan Caucus Presentation with Jack Dudley. Whatever option the local party decides, we recommend that everyone plan to participate remotely by filling out and submitting the 
DFL Caucus Non-Attendee Form

Watch HERE.

January 12, 2022
Justice Forum with special guest, Jason Sole

Jason Marque Sole (he, him, his) is a formerly incarcerated abolitionist. He has been a criminal justice educator for over 12 years and is currently an adjunct professor at Hamline University in the Criminal Justice and Forensic Science Department. He has been a national restorative justice trainer since 2008, leading circles in jails, prisons, and community. In 2019, he received the John Legend “Can’t Just Preach” award for his work to abolish prisons. In addition, Jason is the co-founder of the Humanize My Hoodie Movement in which he challenges threat perceptions about Black people through clothing, art exhibitions, documentary screenings, and workshops. Watch HERE.

December 8, 2021
Living Our Values by Sharing Our Space
A presentation about the opportunity to lease our space to RASA (Rochester Arts & Science Academy) for the 2022-2023 school year. Questions? Contact the office or Amy Nelson, Director of Faith Development. 
Watch HERE. View the PowerPoint HERE.

November 10, 2021
Homelessness in Rochester
Join Brie Bednar, Executive Director of Family Promise, for a conversation about homelessness in Rochester and their organization’s work in provided resources and support. Family Promise is our November Justice Partner. Watch HERE.

October 27, 2021
Politics and Religion: A Panel of First UU folks serving in public office
To watch the recording of this forum, please contact the office.

October 13, 2021
Loving Your Neighbor – Refugee Support with Catholic Charities
Join program director Kristina Hammell for information on the program, including the possibility of First UU becoming a sponsor community for a refugee family. With increasing need following the situation in Afghanistan, support will be needed locally in the coming weeks and months. 
Watch HERE.

2020-2021 FORUMS

May 27, 2021
Gathering Guidelines Team
Join the re-gathering guidelines team for an update about our current practices, a new summer phase, and possibilities for later in the summer.
Watch HERE.

May 5, 2021
Maypole Forum
Hosted by Derik Robertson, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story ” The Maypole of Merrymount” is perhaps the most famous story about the Maypole. But, he based this story on actual events. Learn the history behind the real Maypole that in 1628 played a central role behind the fight between two New England colonies, jollity and gloom, who were contending for an empire.
Watch HERE.

April 28, 2021
Climate Justice & the Line 3 Pipeline
Join us for a presentation that will go over the history and present status of Line 3 pipeline construction, as well as how you contribute your energy towards the movement to resist Line 3. Presenter: Alison (Doe) Hoyer (they/them) is a climate justice organizer intern with MN350 and a member of the Line 3 Interfaith Response team at Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light. They are also a first-year student in Social Transformation at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities.
Watch HERE.

April 7, 2021
Ranked Choice Voting
Join leaders from Ranked Choice Voting of Rochester for a conversation about how to improve political campaigns, participation, and representation through voting practices.
Watch HERE.

March 24, 2021
Justice Re-Read: “Just Mercy” by Bryan Stevenson
Watch HERE.

March 17, 2021
Pandemic Church: Measuring a Year
“Join Rev. Luke for a time of reflection and sharing, along with some music and poetry, to mark a year of “churching online.” We’ll have time to share together what we’ve lost, how we’ve grown, and what comes next.
Watch HERE.

March 10, 2021
Join Executive Director Karen Wills and Racial Justice Director Nico VanOstrand of the MN UU Social Justice Alliance, sharing about their recent racial justice summit across our state and upcoming opportunities for collective justice work.
Watch HERE.

March 3, 2021
Revolutionary Earth
Join Executive Director of Revolutionary Earth, Chris Brenna, along with members Gus Braga and Ani Bulbulian, to learn more about their work in environmental justice in Rochester.
Watch HERE.

February 24, 2021
Nurturing Spirituality
Join leaders of small groups here at First UU to learn about how they nurture spiritual growth, and how you can join them! Groups include Creative Spirits, Zen Buddhism, Principle 4, and Chalice Circles.
Watch HERE.

February 17, 2021
Building Our Future Update
Join us for updates about new information and our process for imagining the future of our building and grounds.
Watch HERE.

February 10, 2021
Justice Re-Read: A Good Time for the Truth
Miss the conversation about this book earlier? Join us for a shortened session reflection on this book about racial justice in Minnesota.
Watch HERE.

February 3, 2021
They/Them/Us/We: Trans-Inclusion ~ Course Introduction
Join members of our Welcoming Congregation Team as they preview the upcoming trans-inclusion class. This 6-session class will help congregants fully include transgender people into the life of our church.
Watch HERE.

January 27, 2021
Practicing Justice: What are we doing?
Join members of our church doing justice work of many kinds, within and beyond our congregation. Come for a conversation about what’s going on now, and to imagine possibilities for our justice work in the future.
Watch HERE.

January 20, 2021
Practicing Justice: Why, How?
Join Molly Dingel and Rev. Luke for a conversation exploring the spiritual beliefs in UUism that lead to justice work, and some of the challenges as we try to create a more just world. Watch HERE.

December 16, 2020
Carol Request Live!

Join us for a festive forum to end this calendar year with staff musicians Austin Ferguson and Joe Mish. Come with titles of your favorite carols and songs to “shout out” as Austin and Joe play, impromptu, songs of the season. Grab some cocoa, some treats, and cozy up as we begin a week of Home for the Holidays. Watch HERE.

December 9, 2020
Building Our Future: Updates From Our Team

Join the Building Our Future team as we hear updates about their work over the last several months (from full steam ahead to pandemic dormancy to we’re back at it!). Watch HERE.

December 2, 2020
Mid-Year Update from Your Board
Watch HERE

November 18, 2020
UU Pilgrimage 4: Remembrances

This session of our pilgrimage will focus on some of the lesser remembered Transcendentalists as well as the legacy of the Transcendentalists. Among those we will see are Lydia Maria Child, Moncure Conway, James Freeman Clarke, and Caroline Sturgis Tappan. Watch HERE.

November 11, 2020
UU Pilgrimage 3: Retreat

In this session we will look at the places the Transcendentalists went to get away from the world and why they went there. Among our stops will be Fruitlands, Walden pond, and back into the woods. Watch HERE.

November 4, 2020
Healing the Heart of Democracy

Join Rev. Luke as we reflect upon Parker Palmer’s book Healing the Heart of Democracy. Excerpts and questions for discussion will be shared as we imagine what our democracy asks of us in a post-election world. Watch HERE.

October 28, 2020
Election Vigil

Join Rev. Luke Stevens-Royer for a soul-centering time heading into election week. We will share some time to breathe and to honor the work of justice – past, present, and future. Watch HERE.

October 21, 2020
Climate Justice

Join guests Anna Richey of Conservation Minnesota and Rick Morris of the Sierra Club for this forum on climate justice. This forum will be hosted by Rev. Luke Stevens-Royer. Watch HERE.

October 7, 2020
UU Pilgrimage 1: Revolution

We’ll follow in the footsteps of Ralph Waldo Emerson as he, with a small cadre of Unitarian preachers, declared a revolution against the religions of the day and started the Transcendentalist movement. Watch HERE.

September 30, 2020
UU the Vote: Local Action with MUUSJA

Join Karen Wills from MUUSJA and Rev. Luke as they speak about this year’s election and how you can get involved. Watch HERE.