Nora Unitarian Universalist Church - Hanska, Mn

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Happy Easter

Newsletter Archives

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

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

March, 2005
Return to the Newsletter Archives

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

March 6 – “Pain, Peace, and Poetry”
Reverend Don Rollins

– Many a religious seeker has turned to poetry in times of trouble.
Don will borrow from several poets as we consider poetry as a spiritual discipline.
     • Servers: Alon & Carol Chambard, Warren & Kristine Paulson
     • Musician: Juanita Gilbert
     • Ushers: Jane Thompson & Dan Svoboda
     • 11:30 Potluck

March 13 – “The Just and the Unjust: Justice and the UU Community”
Reverend Wesley Hromatko

     • Servers: John & Anne Makepeace
     • Musician: Mimi Kamleiter
     •Ushers: Sandi Benge, Mimi Kamleiter

March 20 – “Humanism and Liberal Religion”
Reverend Don Rollins

– Just as with any body of thought, humanism has several strains.
What insight has humanism to offer in our day?
     • Servers: Joy Rathman, Susan Evers, Kay Steffl
     • Musician: Juanita Gilbert
     • Ushers: Gene & Georgine Tepley
     • 8:30 A.M. – Board of Trustees

March 27 – “Jesus . . .Again”
Reverend Don Rollins

– One need not buy an immaculate birth, sacrificial death or bodily resurrection to follow Jesus.
As we mark Easter and anticipate Passover, let’s revisit the historical Jesus and his relevance to us.
     • Servers: Matt Harbur & Kathleen Baril
     • Musician: Sally Hanson
     • Ushers: Shannon & Kevin Weiss

View From The Hill

Rev. Don Rollins

I’ve mentioned my longtime friend, Elba, to you before; he’s my evangelical sounding board and former partner in various musical crimes. With his permission, I’ve recounted some of our conversations in sermons and anecdotes since coming to Nora. I do so for two reasons. First, because Elba puts a face on the religious right, causing me to temper my attitudes and remarks in light of his intelligence, authenticity, and compassion for others. Second, I mention my friend now and then because our friendship has served as a whetstone for my own theology; our honest give-and-take has caused me to revisit assumptions that have might stood untested were it not for his challenges.

Over the years Elba and I have developed three categories for our many debates about religion. On some issues, one of us has capitulated (changed sides), finding more truth in the other’s argument than in our own. Sometimes we’ve compromised, learning that there exists some truth in both positions, thereby creating a third option. And we’ve also chosen to coexist on some topics; some convictions run so deep as to evoke Luther’s famous quip about standing one’s ground because none other is possible.

Capitulate. Compromise. Coexist.

The two issues that have consistently made up the bulk of the capitulation category are abortion and homosexuality. Elba is convinced that life begins at conception, I’m equally adamant that a woman’s body is not the domain of government. He’s certain that anything other than sex between a man and woman flies in the face of Christian teaching, I’m equally certain that sexual affinity can be expressed in any way that is consensual, respectful and safe.

Because of my friend’s willingness to remain in dialogue with me on these two issues, I’ve at least been able to see abortion and homosexuality through the eyes of a real person, not bumper sticker slogans and mean-spirited evangelists. I still believe in abortions that are legal, safe and rare; I still believe that, one day, America will look back at its treatment of people who are gay, bisexual, lesbian and transgender as heinous and inexcusable. But Elba’s prods have caused me to root those beliefs in simple human dignity, not the relatively shallow soil of party lines or knee-jerk theology.

Blessed are those of us who have a friend with whom we can adamantly disagree, for they call us to account for our beliefs.

Oh, and one more thing. Elba and his family have recently become a bit disaffected with their large fundamentalist church; it now has a bookstore, fitness gym and food court. They’ve been church-shopping and have come to like a certain United Methodist church – one that isn’t evangelical, let alone fundamentalist! My concern? Who’ll keep me grounded if Elba defects?

--- Peace, Don




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.


We will install Don Rollins as our new parish minister, on Sunday, April 24. The service time will be confirmed in next month’s newsletter – probably 4:00 P.M. Be sure to save the date as we celebrate the beginning of a new ministry!


At its February 20, 2005 meeting, the Nora Church Board of Trustees discussed team development as part of the board’s goals. The Religious Education, Program, Finance, Social Justice, and Committee on Ministry teams have held meetings. Some teams, e.g. Membership and Adult Religious Education need to be organized.

The board wants to encourage congregational participation in the Prairie Star District annual meeting to be held April 8-10 in St. Paul, and the Leadership School later this summer. Rev. Rollins proposed an in-house mini-leadership workshop for church members who want to hone their skills in conducting meetings to keep them shorter and more focused.

The board voted to send congratulations and a gift to the UU Fellowship of Mankato on the occasion of their moving into their new building on February 13th.


Team leaders are reminded to prepare budget requests and present them to Finance Team members Sally Hanson, Shannon Weiss, or Janet Rosenbloom, who will compile them for the board. The board will begin preparing the proposed budget at its March 20 meeting. The Finance team would welcome more members, even those who could give only a limited amount of time for special projects such as helping with the fund drive.


The final two New Ulm sessions of “Articulating Your UU Faith” are scheduled for March 3 and 10 at 7:00 PM. The March 3 meeting will be held at Rhein River Arts Center, but the March 10 session may meet elsewhere. Details will be decided at the March 3 meeting.

The final Mankato session of “Articulating Your UU Faith” will be held on Thursday, March 17 at 7:00 P.M. at Doug Anderson’s home.


The Lunch Bunch Irregulars will meet again on Wednesday, March 9, at 11:30 AM at Goodfellaz Grill & Bar in Comfrey.


Our newly formed choir is in need of additional sopranos. See Juanita Gilbert or Carol Chambord for details.


The Prairie Star District Annual Meeting will be held on April 8 – 10, in St. Paul. Brochures are available on the information table in the church entry.


With the board’s approval, Don will lead a leadership training workshop after church on May 15. Our goal is to better focus our committees in light of our new mission statement. The workshop will last no longer than an hour-and-a-half, and will be designed especially for anyone on, or thinking about joining, our board and committees. But it’s open to everyone! (Please bring a snack or bag lunch for yourself.)


Don will lead the 9:00 A.M. discussion on Sunday, March 6. We will discuss the UUA pamphlet, “The Faith of a Feminist.” (The group meets each Sunday at 9:00.)


Several Nora Members perform at the CANU (Council for the Arts, New Ulm) Coffeehouse each second Friday of the month. Come perform or listen at the next CANU Coffeehouse on March 11, from 8:00 – 11:00, at the Rhein River Arts Center in New Ulm. A $5 donation is requested.


937 Charles Ave.

The UU Fellowship of Mankato has moved into its new building at 937 Charles Ave., the former Victory Life Church in Mankato. Their Pohl Road property has been sold, enabling the Fellowship to purchase this larger space. This is a big commitment, and we wish them well in their new surroundings.


Sunday, March 6th: Parent meeting for Coming of Age children (6th – 12th grades), during potluck. 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 of the month. The Coming of Age children would attend church or help in the Sunday School 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 the March potluck.

Wednesday, March 13th, RE Wednesday: We will meet at 6:30 P.M. at the church. We will be getting ready for Easter, making centerpieces and baskets for our Easter egg hunt. If you are planning on coming on Easter morning, but will not be at RE Wednesday, please let Anne know so we can make a basket for you.

Sunday, March 27, Easter Morning Breakfast: We will start serving at 9:30 A.M. The Riekes will provide the pancake batter. We need donations of eggs (6-8 dozen); juice (2-3 gallons); milk (4-6 gallons); sausage (6-8 dozen); butter (2-4 lbs.); and syrup (4-6 bottles). Please feel free to split the donations with other families. Sign-up sheets will be passed around to families beginning March 6th for jobs for kids and parents and also the food donations. They will then be placed on the main bulletin board in the entryway.

HELP WANTED: Anne is looking for 2-4 people to form a RE committee. The primary responsibilities will be to help decide on classes and curriculum for RE classes next year. The majority of the work for this committee will be done this spring. If you are interested in working on this committee, please talk with Anne ASAP.

HELP WANTED, 2nd EDITION: If your child(ren) are currently in RE, please keep your eyes open for a survey about RE this past year. We appreciate knowing what you thought worked and could have worked better for you and your family this past year. Your suggestions will definitely be considered when planning for next year.

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.


The New Ulm Area S.P.O.T.S. (Students Performing on Tough Situations) is proud to announce that we are hosting our Second Annual S.P.O.T.S. Showcase on Tuesday, March 8 (7:00 – 8:30 PM) at the Community Center (600 North German Street).

The Showcase will include the performance of 10 scenes. Scene topics will include: the consequences of underage drinking, puberty and the changes that occur, dating abuse, reputation, and many others. Please note that some material may not be suitable for young viewers.


If you are interested in becoming a Hospice Volunteer, training classes will be held on March 29 and 31, April 5 and 7, from 12:30 to 4:00 PM at the Madison East Shopping Center Community Room, Mankato. Contact Marilyn Underwood, Hospice Volunteer Coordinator, at 507-385-2618 if you have questions or would like to register.


The Oak Hills Auxiliary is sponsoring a Spring Bake Sale and Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, March 12th from 9:30 to 11:00 A.M. at Oak Hills Living Center in New Ulm. Monetary donations, craft items or baked goods are welcome by 8:30 A.M. on Saturday. Proceeds will be used to purchase over-bed tables for residents.

baby chicks wearing easter hats
To top of pageBack to the Top