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.

Happy Valentines' Day

Februray, 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.

February 6 – “All You Need is Love”
Reverend Don Rollins

–This is a musically-guided look at love, its power and its limitations.
     • Servers: Wayne & Janet Johnson, Algot & Bonita Blomquist, Doug Anderson
     • Musician: Mimi Kamleiter
     • Ushers: Ron & Julie Peck
     • 11:30 Potluck

February 13 – “Stories to Remember”
Reverend Fred Doty

     • Servers: Laurie Kunerth, Julie Grathwohl
     • Musician: Juanita Gilbert
     • Ushers: Joy Rathman & Julie Sellner
     • 8:30 A.M. Board of Trustees Meeting

February 20 – “Catching a Breath”
Reverend Don Rollins

– Even the best of hikers need to pause to catch their breath. Let’s take a Sunday to talk about the state of our shared ministry here at Nora.
     • Servers: John & Julie Schmitt
     • Musician: Mimi Kamleiter
     • Ushers: Sheldon & Anne Rieke

February 27 – “A Liberal Theology of Evil”
Reverend Don Rollins

–Do religious liberals have an obligation to deal with evil? If so, how does it differ from other traditions?
     • Servers: Matt Harbur & Kathleen Baril
     • Musician: Juanita Gilbert
     • Ushers: Noah & Janet Rosenbloom

View From The Hill

Rev. Don Rollins

Are you mystic enough to believe the world grows a tad colder when a truly good person dies? I am.

Since I have arrived at Nora last August, we’ve bid farewell to two longtime members, Joyce Hetle and Alvin Grothem, and one lifelong UU who grew up at Nora, Denny Brudelie. And while I had just gotten to know Joyce and Alvin – and I knew Denny only through his family and friends – I miss them nonetheless. To be sure, each left behind a wake of strength, integrity and passion for life that continues well beyond death; we can trace it in the lives of their family members and friends. But I’m just enough of a materialist to wish that they were still this side of the great mystery, living, laughing and loving. To put is in Transcendentalist terms, I guess I want permanence even though I know all things must pass.

There are those who believe in the theory of critical mass, the notion that the state of the world depends on the amount of good will present at any one time. Call it karma, if you prefer, the idea is that positive energy can have a positive effect far beyond oneself. Sound a little too cosmic? To “woo-woo” for a rationally-inclined tradition like ours? You may be right, as Billy Joel wrote, I may be crazy.

What I know for sure is that life is for living out loud. It’s for pulling our share of the load of human kindness, daring to be ourselves and loving the best we can. I know all this because of people like Joyce and Alvin and Denny – people so full of goodness that even those who didn’t know them well can feel a chill in the world when they pass.

Live large, folks. Somebody has to make up that goodness deficit, eh?

--- Don


Don will facilitate a four-part series to help UU’s identify and articulate their beliefs, as well as describe our religion. We will meet at Anne and John Makepeace’s Rhein River Arts Center, in downtown New Um, 201 North Minnesota, from 7:00 – 9:00 PM on consecutive Thursdays: February 10, 17, 24 and March 3. Contact Don to indicate your interest or get more information.


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 9:00 AM Sunday discussions continue to address a variety of topics. Each first Sunday of the month, Don leads the group as we explore a topic from the UUA pamphlet series. The February 6 pamphlet is “The Faith of a Religious Atheist.” Join us.


The New Ulm Ministerial will sponsor a series of services during Lent. Each service will be preceded by a meal at the host church. The meals begin at 5:0 PM and the services at 6:15 PM. The schedule is as follows: Feb. 16 at United Methodist Church; Feb. 23 at Christ the King Church; March 2 at Oakwood United Methodist and March 16 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church.


Financial support is vital to the survival of any congregation and Nora Church members and friends have been generous in their giving. The main source of funding is our pledge drive which will be ramping up soon. The Finance Team is considering area meetings where members can be informed about budget needs and express their opinions about them and other church-related issues. Pledge letters will be sent in early spring after the board prepares a proposed budget. Team leaders are asked to have their budget requests to the Finance Team by February 8th. The team will assemble the requests and present them to the Board of Trustees for action.

While the main source of funding is the pledge drive, the Finance Team is looking for ways to bring in more income to forward the goals of the church. One additional area of fundraising under consideration is renting church facilities to non-members for weddings and other appropriate functions. There will be ads in area newspapers for their wedding editions. In conjunction with this initiative, the position of a rental coordinator is being created. See the article outlining the duties of a rental coordinator. If you are interested in applying, contact a Finance Team member.

Also, Joy Rathman and Julie Sellner agreed to help develop other fundraising ideas.

Finance team members are Sally Hanson, Jim Harbur, Shannon Weiss, and Janet Rosenbloom. If you are interested in this area, let us know. The next team meeting is March 6 during potluck.


The Lunch Bunch will be meeting on Wednesday, February 9 at 11:30 at the Main Ingredient in downtown New Ulm (next to the Christmas Haus).


Nora Choir will have its first rehearsal on Tuesday, Feb. 1 from 7:30 – 9:00 PM. Come and join us, if you love to sing! Contact Juanita Gilbert at 507-439-6624, if you have questions.


The following is a list of duties a rental coordinator would be hired to take care of.

  • Keep in contact with person interested in using facilities for rental.
    These rentals will include weddings, meetings, etc.
  • Provide tours of the facilities to potential renters.
  • Present the price lists to them and all that is included in the rental packages.
  • Maintain a calendar/schedule of events including church events and meetings so as not to double book the church.
  • Write up contracts and maintain files of the contracts/renters past, present and future.
  • Follow up with potential renters who have not responded and ask if we can be of any other assistance to them.
  • Have updated lists of caterers, photographers, florists, musicians and ministers. If price lists are available for services, keep a list on hand. You would not book these for the renters, just have the lists available.
  • Oversee events at the church or schedule another person to do this if you are not available.
  • Be available for parties to decorate or set up meetings, or if musicians need to practice or test the sound system.
  • Report to the board on upcoming events.
  • Prepare deposits for the treasurer with the correct information on the event and renter. Keep daily book of rental fees paid. Prepare quarterly report for board and treasurer.
  • Check the facilities after event to ensure facilities are in the same condition as prior to the event.


The family of Thelma Asleson will host an open house in honor of her 90th birthday on Saturday, February 5th, from 2:00 – 4:30 PM in the Nora Church Fellowship Hall. The family asks that your presence by your gift.


Our condolences to the family of Alvin Grothem, age 95, who died on Saturday, January 22, 2005, at Luther Memorial Home, Madelia. Services were held on January 26, 2005, at Nora Church. Alvin was born on April 24, 1909, in Linden Township to Alfred and Ragnild Grothem. He was married to Ovedia Kjolstad on July 1, 1942 at the Nora Church parsonage. Alvin loved farming and fishing.

Alvin is survived by his daughters, Marsha Lawrence of Kokomo, IN; Joleen Sletta and husband Grant and Ginger Dougherty and husband Jim of Hanska. There are 11 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren; brother, Juel Grothem of Hanska; and sister-in-law, Clarice Sandmann of Hanska; nieces and nephews.


The Prairie Star District Meeting will be held on April 8 – 10, 2005 at Unity Church in St. Paul. Registration packets are on the information table in the church entryway.


Wednesday, February 16 – We are planning on visiting the Madelia Care Center. Please meet at the Madelia Care Center at 6:30 PM. Don will lead us in a song-a-long with the residents.

Sunday, February 20 – No RE classes. President’s Day weekend. Shannon Weiss will be in the nursery if needed.

Sunday, February 27 – Winter Fun Activity. At the January RE Wednesday, the kids decided to go tubing/sledding at Fort Ridgely State Park for our Winter Fun Activity. After visiting the park and talking with the assistant manager, we may want to consider an alternative activity. The assistant manager said there hasn’t been snow on the hill at the end of February for the past few years. So, please be thinking of something fun we could do together the last Sunday of the month.

We have some plans in the works for the Coming of Age children for next year. We are thinking of having Coming of Age classes two Wednesdays a month at the church starting in September 2005. Jeanie Hinsman has offered to teach one Wednesday a month and Don will teach the other Wednesday. The Coming of Age children would attend church or help in the nursery on Sundays.

Currently, the children participating in the Coming of Age class are Janney Rieke, Jordan Rathman, Tessa Makepeace, Reggie Peck, and Erik Byro. We will continue to use the curriculum, “How Can We Know What to Believe?” the remainder of this year. We will be looking for a different curriculum for next year. (Anne, Jeanie and Don would like to meet with the Coming of Age parents and/or grandparents during the March potluck to get your input on our ideas. If you have a child in sixth grade or older and are interested in having them participate in the Coming of Age class, please plan on joining us during March potluck.)

Looking Ahead – The Easter Breakfast last year was such a success, we would like to make this an annual event. Our menu will be similar to last year. The Riekes will provide the pancake mix. We will need donations of eggs, butter, syrup, juice, milk and possibly sausage. This year we will have a job sign-up sheet so people can choose what they would like to do. It will be posted on the RE bulletin board the first Sunday in March. The money raised from this event will be used for RE service projects.

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 with Anne if you have questions and/or are interested in helping out.


Name tags are available if you don’t have one. Sign up sheet is on the pamphlet table in the entryway. Cost is $6.50/due when you receive the name tag. Deadline is Sunday, Feb. 20th. Contact Algot Blomquist or Gil Hanson, for more information.

Happy Valentine's Day

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