Nora Unitarian Universalist Church - Hanska, Mn

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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.

January, 2005
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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.

January 9 – “MLK Day 2005: More Than One King”
Reverend Don Rollins

Heroes are almost always more complex than their popular version, and that is most certainly the case with Martin Luther King, Jr. Which “version” do we choose?
     • Servers: Michelle Bethke, Kristi Paulson
     • Musician: Sally Hanson
     • Ushers: Wayne & Janet Johnson
     • Potluck and team meetings following the service

January 16 – “How Religious Freedom Has Played Out for Us” –
Members of the program committee will present the morning topic
     • Servers: Jerry & Susan Allen
     • Musician: Juanita Gilbert
     • Ushers: John & Anne Makepeace
     • 8:30 A.M. Board of Trustees Meeting

January 23 – “Bumper of My SUV”
Reverend Don Rollins

Country music artist, Chely Wright, has recorded a song that challenges both political and religious liberals to look beyond stereotypes. How much credence should we give “bumper sticker theology”?
     • Servers: Dave & Jean Wenk
     • Musician: Mimi Kamleiter
     • Ushers: Warren & Kristine Paulson

January 30 – “Liberal Religion and the Real World”
Matt Harbur and Don Rollins will lead us in a consideration of how our way of religion is applied to our everyday lives.
     • Servers: Noah & Janet Rosenbloom
     • Musician: Juanita Gilbert
     • Ushers: Clayton & Shirley Olson

View From The Hill

Rev. Don Rollins


The English language is full of quips to reinforce the idea that our lives will be pretty much the same as they were in 2004; it’s a kind of cultural Calvinism that chides the honest seeker who would dare take resolutions seriously. Little wonder so many of us scoff at the notion of a semi-public commitment to being different in the new year.

I want to use this first newsletter column of 2005 to make the case that we do – each of us – will be different in the new year. Like it or not, our bodies and minds will be one year older. Like it or not, things will happen that will be entirely outside our control. And like it or not, we will be confronted anew with choices that may affect our lives (and those who love us) in profound, life-altering ways. Such is life.

If I had to summarize our way of religion in one word, I would choose the word hope. I’m not talking about the kind of hope that crosses its fingers and rubs a rabbit’s foot, leaving to fate or bad theology the course of events; I mean the kind of hope that is forged from the pain and fear and disappointment of some long night of the soul, yet refuses to become bitter and withdrawn. Lasting, reality-based resolutions are built on this kind of hope. They take into account difficulties but not excuses, struggle but not surrender. Thus to resolve is to declare that some critical mass of resources – money, energy, time – will be directed toward being different, better. Then comes the follow-through.

If you’re thinking about a resolution or two for this new year, don’t forget to count among your resources a certain little church on a hill. We often say that the “beloved community” has the power to change lives, but that’s usually spoken with newcomers in mind. I’m suggesting that a community of hope has the power for ongoing change, too. Big time1

Blessings on you as you journey through the new year.


--- Don


Our 9:00 AM Sunday discussions continue to address a variety of topics. In addition, Don leads one discussion each month, usually on the second Sunday. For the January 9th discussion, Don will use the UUA pamphlet, “Worship in UU Congregations.” Come join us.


Our monthly potluck will be held January 9th, in combination with an open house at the newly refurbished parsonage. We will eat in the fellowship hall and have dessert in the parsonage. (Vegetarian desserts, only!) All are welcome!


Don will facilitate the UUA curriculum, “Articulating Your UU Faith” in Mankato in January and part of February. Designed to help UUs describe the greater movement –as well as their individual beliefs – the group will meet on four Thursdays; January 13, 20, 27 and February 3. Doug Anderson has volunteered to host the sessions, which will start at 7:00 PM and end no later than 9:00 PM at his home, 211 Sunset Boulevard in Mankato. Please contact Don as soon as possible to register or get more information. (Church: 507-439-6240. Email;


The Finance, Social Justice and Program teams/committees will meet during the potluck following the January 9, 2005 service. Adult RE and Membership teams have not set a meeting date as of yet. A membership packet for newcomers is being considered.


Don Rollins will host the first of a monthly coffeehouse sponsored by the Council on the Arts in New Ulm, on Friday, January 14th, at the Rhein River Arts Center (210 North Minnesota, New Ulm). The open stage format starts at 7:00 PM and is open to all area acoustic musicians, poets, and storytellers. Come support local artists!


The Association of Universalist Women will host a workshop with Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker on Saturday, January 29, from 9:00 AM until 3:00 PM, at First Universalist Church, Minneapolis. Titled, “Retreat Into Luminous Depths” the workshop will address various spiritual practices and justices. A vegetarian lunch is included in the cost of $50. Registration is limited and due by January 23. Copies of the prospectus and registration are available on the table at the church. (Dr. Parker is President of Starr King School for the Ministry, in Berkeley, CA.


The Nora Women’s Society will not have a meeting during January. In December, the Women’s Society, with the help of other church members, packed and delivered boxes to shut-ins. Thanks to everyone who contributed holiday treats for this annual event. Also, the NWS and others helped serve at Joyce Hetle’s funeral.


Rev. Wesley Hromatko informed us that his father, A. J. Hromatko, had an angioplasty and stent inserted on Nov. 23rd. He is doing well.


Our condolences to the family of Joyce Hetle, age 90, who died on Sunday, December 19, 2004, at Luther Memorial Home, Madelia. Services were held on December 23, 2004, at Nora Church. Joyce was born on April 6, 1914, in Hanska to George and Nora (Moe) Bjorneberg. After graduating from New Ulm Normal School, she taught in a country school. Joyce married Wallace Hetle on September 7, 1944 at Nora Church. She was a member of Nora Church, sang in the choir, taught Sunday school, and was active in the Nora Women’s Society. She was a member of the Hanska American Legion Auxiliary for more than 50 years, having served as chaplain for more than 30 years. She wrote many of her own prayers and readings for the group.

Joyce is survived by her sister, Muriel Thordson; nephews, Marlan Thordson and Wayne (Jean) Brudelie, all of Hanska; niece Edythe Dankert of Minneapolis; great nieces and great nephews; great-great nieces and nephews. Wallace died in October 2001.


The LUNCH BUNCH will meet at 11:30 AM on Wednesday, January 12 at the 20th Street Grill in New Ulm. Come one and all for good food and fellowship. You never know what you might learn!


The Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office’s 2005 Intergenerational Spring Seminar will focus on “AIDS: Defusing A Biological Timebomb,” and is scheduled for April 14-16 in New York City.

HIV/AIDS is a humanitarian crisis of pandemic proportions, an urgent concern to the international community. The seminar will be a three-day exploration of the social, political, economic and spiritual dimensions of the global catastrophe.

Information will be posted on the bulletin board in the Fellowship Hall.


A big thank you to all of the kids for helping with the winter service. They did an excellent job. Thank you to Juanita Gilbert for playing music for the service. Thank you to Shirley Olson for all her work on the banner. It looks wonderful on the stairway hall. Thank you to Ardis Wellman for making the stockings for the Christmas Eve service. They were enjoyed by all! And thanks also to Gil Hanson for taking pictures at the Children’s Service.

Our RE Wednesday for January will be on the 19th. We will have a game night. If you have a game your family likes to play, please bring it to share with the rest of us. We will have three to four games going, and the kids can choose which game they would like to play. The kids will be in church on the 23rd.

The RE classes are asking for your assistance in collecting non-perishable food and items for the food shelf in January. Please bring items and place in the box in the church hallway.

Thank you to those of you who have volunteered to teach an RE class. Your help is greatly appreciated. There is room for a few more volunteers. Please talk to Anne if you have questions and/or are interested in helping out.


Lansing Christman, adapted -----

Tap gently before you enter the door to the new year. I always do. I like to spend that last hour of the old year in the stillness of my house, listening quietly to the contented ticking of the mantel clock. At the midnight hour, I thrill to hear those twelve pealing bells marking an end and a beginning.

I have no need for a Times Square celebration with its clamor and din. Rather, I may play a record of Guy Lombardo and the Royal Canadians or Vivaldi’s Four Seasons with its enchanting music. Or perhaps a book of poems will be my companion. I may choose Robert Frost or Whitman’s Leaves of Grass or even my father’s Wild Pasture Pine, which won the John Burroughs Memorial Association Award for best nature writing in 1934.

In the quiet hour of the evening during that final hour of the old year, I may choose to meditate and dream of a snow-capped hill sparkling in the glow of the winter moon. Or I may look out of the window to capture the glittering stars in the nighttime skies.

A night of wind will surely bring the rattling song of the shutters on my house or the creaking and groaning of trees in the bristling gusts. If the winter cold falls low enough, I am sure to hear the sharp cracking sound of frost tugging at the nails in the siding.

As I sit surrounded by my thoughts of the newborn year, I realize I have not faced a year in my life without some challenge or change. I have always found it best, therefore, to meet each year with optimism and trust, with faith and love in my heart. These four components comprise a deep spiritual part of my being. And with my faith in a higher power, I find the sun shines even in the darkest of hours.

And so I wish you a happy new year full of sunshine!


Reach Out for Warmth program is available to eligible households 12 months of the year providing funding is available. It helps ensure heat during the winter months or necessary electricity in the summer months.

Contact Nancy Braam at the Brown County Family Services Energy Program at 1-800-450-8246.

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