Nora Unitarian Universalist Church - Hanska, Mn

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Fall days are soon here

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Nora Unitarian Universalist Church
12333 155th Avenue
Hanska, Minnesota 56041-4310

Mere Lys in a script font.    Drawing of a chalice.

September, 2004
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Sunday Services
Adult Discussion Group: 9:00 A.M.
Social Hour: 10:00 A.M.     Worship Service: 10:30 A.M.

September 5 – “Labor Day: Love Made Manifest”
Reverend Don Rollins
     • Servers: Ellen Byro, Kristi Paulson
     • Musician: Mimi Kamleiter

September 12 – “Grandparents’ Day: Honoring Our Elders”
Reverend Don Rollins
     • Servers: Julie Grothwohl, Michelle Bethke, John & Julie Schmitt
     • Musician: Joanne Saxton
     • POTLUCK LUNCH – Bring dish to pass. Beverages provided.

September 19 – “Johnny Cash for President: 2004”
Reverend Don Rollins
     • Servers: Al &Dorothy Swanson
     • Musician: Sally Hanson

September 26 – “Politics and The Pulpit”
Reverend Nels Oas
     • Servers: Gene & Georgine Tepley
     • Musician: Joanne Saxton

October 3 - SMORGSBORD

View From The Hill

Rev. Don Rollins

“Don’t get me wrong, I’ll be there most Sundays and I’ll be glad to make a pledge. But I’m just not a joiner,” the fellow told me, “I just don’t trust institutions very much.” And the more I got to know him, the more I understood.

As a newborn, the man had been among the last infants smuggled out of his small Polish town prior to the Nazi invasion of that country. Nearly all of his family perished in the first wave of infantry and tanks. He said that whereas Elie Weisel and other Holocaust survivors gave up on God, he gave up on institutions; while some asked where God had gone in the face of the genocide, this man asked how it was that an organized death machine could be tolerated by the masses. Thus, he just wasn’t a joiner.

If you attended the second of my services since arriving at Nora (the one taken from Michael Durall’s “The Almost Church”) you know that I have my own qualms about institutions. I suppose I’m even among those who carry on a lover’s quarrel with our own movement, so reticent am I to become a joiner. So, I understood why one who had barely survived one of humankind’s most heinous chapters might not have much faith in institutions.

Hardly a proselytizer, I nonetheless spoke when he asked why I cast my lot with UUism. For me, our institution is the best vehicle for the values I prize most: religious freedom, religious community and religious activism. In other words, I’m a UU because the handful of ideals that are most important to me in this world are best served by joining with others whose ideals are likewise. It’s that simple.

Toward the end of our conversation, I added that I have remained open to other options – other “vehicles” that might be a better fit for me – but I’ve yet to find one that feeds my heart and grounds my head like this one. Again, it’s just that simple.

The fellow smiled, then quoted Groucho’s famous line about not wanting to belong to any club that would have him for a member, and we went on to other topics.

Truth be told, that man is exactly the kind of member our “club” would welcome. Someone who does not surrender his own truth. Someone who has first-hand knowledge of the grievous things that can result when a people trust what is untrustworthy. Someone who will remind us that some folks who come to us have become disillusioned with institutions, especially religious ones. For more than a century, now Nora Church has been home to joiners and non-joiners alike. Per the tradition of Nora’s ministers holding membership in the church, I’ll soon be signing the book, but I’m pretty sure I would do so even if it were not a tradition. I know of no better vehicle for my most cherished values than this one.
A born-again joiner,

--- Don


Later this month, Don will announce some topics, dates and times for some adult education offerings. Be sure to listen during announcement time at Sunday Services or call Don to get more details.


Don will be taking Mondays as his day off, and Fridays for sermon writing. (In the event of an emergency, don’t hesitate to call at anytime.) If you’d like to make an appointment with him, feel free to call the parsonage or his cell number.


The Board of Trustees has scheduled an extended meeting with Rev. Rollins for 9:00 AM on Saturday, September 11 at the Fellowship Hall. The meeting will give the board an overview of what Rev. Rollins has done elsewhere, seek feedback and input, and then discuss how we might organize around the mission statement that was
developed last spring.

Rev. Rollins reported on his activities since arriving in Hanska on July 24th. He said he will be offering some adult religious education classes this fall – possibly “Building Your Own Theology” or “Articulating Your UU Faith.”

To keep the congregation better informed about board actions, it was decided to post a copy of the minutes on the bulletin board each month. At the end of each month, the copy will be filed in the notebook on the book cart.

The board approved a sign for Hwy 257 which the Sunday school classes designed. It will be in place before Smorgsbord, Oct. 3rd.


There will be a planning meeting for Smorgsbord on Wednesday, September 15th at 12:00 Noon in the Fellowship Hall. There is much to do. Please be thinking about what you can do to help, and don’t wait to be asked. Let Carol Chambard or Janet Rosenbloom know what you can make and when you can help as soon as possible. The event involves a lot of planning and work, but it is also a lot of fun and brings the congregation together. Another “Labor of Love” on behalf of Nora Congregation!


In response to an inquiry for volunteers to work with BC Faith in Action, there is a need for someone to spend time and run occasional short errands with a Hanska man, whose wife needs someone to sit with her some weekday afternoons. Please see Don for a volunteer form if you are interested in working with folks in Brown County.


The Lunch Bunch will meet on Wednesday, September 8th at 11:30 AM at the Hickory Inn in St. James.


UUA President Rev. Bill Sinkford will be speaking on “The Future of Unitarian Universalism in the Twin Cities” on Wednesday, Sept. 15 at the Sheraton Bloomington. Social hour starts at 6:00 PM, dinner-7:00 PM, and program-8:00 PM. Cost is $34 per person. For more information you may call Matt Stark at 612-377-2211. Reservations are needed by Sept. 8th.

Be sure to check the complete schedule of Rev. Sinkford's visit listed at the bottom of this page.


CONGRATULATIONS! Vicki Chambard and Peter Torkelson were married August 22 in the back yard of their home in St. Paul. Peter is the son of Dr. and Mrs. Leonard Torkelson of Baldwin, WI(Leonard and Elaine grew up in the St. James area). Vicki is the daughter of Carol and Alon Chambard. They will be making their home in Lanesboro, MN where they have purchased a Bed & Breakfast called the Scandinavian Inn.

CONGRATULATIONS! Darrell Hinsman was surprised Friday evening, Aug. 27th, as family and friends gathered to wish him a wonderful retirement. The party at Nora Church featured food, fun, and music. Now that Darrell has more time on his hands, we might find some things for him to do around the church.

THANK YOU. Katy and I want to thank everyone from Nora Church who made it to our shower and/or gave us a gift to commemorate our marriage. Your generosity and support throughout the years has meant so much to me. Nora Church, and each of you, will always be a part of my life no matter where life takes me. Thank you for making Nora what it is(a very warm & welcoming place) and thank you for helping make me who I am. Katy had a great time seeing the church and meeting everyone. She looks forward to seeing more of you and Nora in the future. Thanks again for making our shower an unforgettable experience. Katy Riddle Tepley & Troy O. Tepley


We have met twice now for RE development. Classes and teachers will be finalized for the month of September by our first RE class on September 12th. You will receive an “RE Opportunities for All” in this newsletter. We are asking people to complete this form and turn into Anne by the end of September.

Nora Church is fortunate to have so many talented individuals in our congregation that have much to offer to others. Please consider how you may contribute your time and talents to the Nora youth.

We have tentatively divided the kids into four different age groups:

  • Nursery, infant – PreK;
  • Juniors, K – 2nd grade;
  • Tweeners, 3rd – 6th grade;
  • Coming of Age, 7th grade and older.

These groupings are subject to change depending on the number of children and interest levels. Ideally, we would like to have a section and teacher available for each age group every week.

LOOKING AHEAD: There will be a Prairie Star District Spirituality Development Conference from Sept. 24 to Sept. 26, Friday, 8:00 PM to Sunday, 8:00 AM. This conference will focus on ways to design effective, meaningful worship services and ways to integrate spirituality more deeply into youth programming and the lives of the participants. Each participant is offered a chance to grow in terms of personal spiritual practice, usable skills, self-confidence as a leader, and enthusiasm and commitment to UUism. Congregations have been asked to consider sending two youth and two adults to this training. It is for youth in grades 7-12. Additional participants may be able to attend on a space-available basis. Anne is interested in going and would like to take two youth and another adult. If another adult is not interested in going, then we will take three youth. Information and registration forms have been given to age appropriate youth and their families. Registration deadline is Sept. 14, so please let Anne know if you would like to attend by Sept. 12. The conference is at Unity Unitarian Church in St.Paul. We will stay there.

The Juniors and Tweeners kids will be running games again for Smorg this fall. We are looking for donations for prizes for games, so please set aside any extra small toys or goodies you may have that we can use. Grab bags were requested by several visitors last year and we did not have any. We will be ready this year and have them, therefore we are in need of paper lunch bags for the grab bags. You can start bringing your donations to church in September. Sunday, Sept. 26th will be used to get materials together for Smorg, so please have your donations to the church by then.

--- Thank you.


Missing from Sunday Services on August 29th were the Sunday school kids. They took a well-earned trip to Valleyfair for a fun get together. Adult congregation, with Rev. Don’s help, will now be able to help the kids sing the “Nose Hole” song!


This year for the Brown County Fair I did a ceramic rabbit. First I painted it and then antiqued it. The next day I saw I got in the Honor Group but not in the State Fair lineup. Then on Saturday night more names were added to the list and I was third on the list. So now I get to go to the State Fair for the first time. Now I can’t wait for August 30th when I get to go.

-- Janney Rieke


A heartfelt thank you to all who worked, brought cakes or helped in any other capacity at Denny Brudelie’s Remembrance Service. The day was a very nice tribute to Denny and we will never forget everyone’s willingness to help us make it a very special day.

-- Nancy Brudelie and Family

Saturday, Sept. 11 from 3:00 to 8:00 PM.
Food, fun, music & games.
Hog roast serving 5:00 to 6:00 PM.

Shalom Hill Farm is inviting Nora members to their Fall Festival to be held on September 11, 2004 from 3:00 to 8:00 PM. There will be a hog roast from 5:00 until 6:00, farmer’s market, the “Heavenly Harvest Gospel Band” from 6:00 to 8:00, and fun and games for everyone. You may bring your fresh or home canned garden produce, handmade crafts and baked goods to sell with the proceeds funding the ministry of Shalom Hill Farm. For more information, call 507-831-2232. Shalom Hill Farm is 12 miles northwest of Windom, MN and 5 miles south of Jeffers, MN on County Road 3, near the intersection of County Roads 3 and 21.


Letter from Nancy Heege
Prairie Star District Executive

We don't often have the opportunity to “have the President of the Unitarian Universalist Association over for dinner.” We hope, then, that you'll join us for a banquet on September 15, 2004, in honor of Rev. William G. Sinkford's visit to the Twin Cities. This is a unique opportunity to hear Bill speak about the possibilities he sees for the future of our faith in our area, as well as to meet and socialize with committed UUs from around the region. We hope to see you there!

Click here to get details and make your reservation.

UUA President Sinkford to visit Twin Cities
September 12-19, 2004

Rev. Sinkford will speak at all events and UUs are welcome to attend!

Sunday, Sept 12
Adult Forum and Sunday Sermon
9:30 am Adult Forum: “What’s Up in the UUA?”
10:30 am Sunday Service/Sermon
First Unitarian Society
900 Mt. Curve Ave, Minneapolis
FFI: FUS Office at 612-377-6608

“ The Role & Status of Humanism in the UUA”
6:30 pm Social time
7:00 pm Program
First Unitarian Society (The Humanist Center)
900 Mt. Curve Ave, Minneapolis
FFI: Matt Stark at 612 377-2211

Wednesday, Sept 15
“ The Future of Unitarian Universalism in the Twin Cities”
Co-sponsored by the Prairie Star District of the UUA
6:00 pm Social Hour
7:00 pm Banquet (includes music by The Rationally Exuberant String Band!)
8:00 pm Program
The Sheraton Bloomington
7800 Normandale Road, Bloomington
FFI: First Unitarian Society Office at 612-377-6608
Register by September 8! (obtain registration forms by clicking “Special Events” at or

Thursday, Sept 16
Public Dialogue-The Role of Religious Communities in Social Change
Sponsored by the Metro UU Social Justice Alliance
7:00 pm Public Interfaith Forum, featuring Rev. Sinkford and 3 other panelists, moderated Rev. Victoria Safford, minister of White Bear UU Church.
8:30 Reception
First Universalist Church
3400 Dupont Avenue South, Minneapolis
FFI: First Universalist Church Office at 612-825-1701

Saturday, Sept 18
UU Voter Registration Rally and Action!
Sponsored by the Metro UU Social Justice Alliance-Youth & Young Adult Team
1:00-1:45 pm Rally/training
2:00-3:30 pm Action-UUs will register voters in the community
3:30-4:00 pm Reflection
Location TBA
FFI: Betsy Allis at Sign up by September 12!

Sunday, Sept 19
Sunday Service/Sermon
Two services: 9:00 am and 11:00 am
First Universalist Church of Minneapolis
3400 Dupont Ave S, Minneapolis
FFI: First Univeralist Church Office at 612-825-1701

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