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.

April, 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.

April 3 – “Top Ten Reasons to Raise Your Pledge” – Nora Church is a bargain!
Reverend Don Rollins

We’ll preview our annual pledge drive and enjoy the sounds of Karen Solgard, a Hardanger fiddler who is touring the region in celebration of Norway’s centennial year.
     • Servers: Wally & Beverly Jean Wellmann, Clayton & Shirley Olson
     • Musician: Juanita Gilbert
     • Ushers: Elroy & Ardis Wellmann
     • Potluck following the service

April 10 – “My Portrait of Jesus” -
Reverend Fred Doty

     • Servers: Ellen Byro and Katie Monnens
     • Musician: Mimi Kamleiter
     • Ushers: Wally & Beverly Jean Wellmann

April 17 – “Gay in America: Second Class Citizenship?”
Reverend Don Rollins

My father’s generation had to answer the question, “What did you do during the war?” My slightly older cousin’s crowd had to answer the question, “What did you do during the civil rights marches?” For those of us alive today, is there a more critical question than what we’re doing at a time when people are being withheld protections and rights on the basis of their sexuality?
     • Servers: Edith Beckius, Kristi Bodick
     • Musician: Juanita Gilbert
     • Ushers: Mark & Brenda Wiger
     • 8:30 A.M. Board of Trustees Meeting

April 24 – “Humanism and Liberal Religion”
Reverend Don Rollins

This service was scheduled for March, then rescheduled due to some minor surgery.
Let’s take a look at the influences of humanism on our tradition.
     • Servers: Lynn Schmitt, Julie Sellner
     • Musician: Sally Hanson
     • Ushers: Christine Schmitt, Kristy Paulson

View From The Hill

Rev. Don Rollins

Money. Old adages tell us it’s the root of all evil, it can’t buy us love and we can’t take it with us. But for all our disparagement of money, few of us in North America can live without some minimal amount of the stuff.

Perhaps money is morally neutral – something that says more about who has it and what is done with it than the money itself. If that’s the case, then surely money is a means of grace and greed, help and harm; it all depends on what we do with what we’re given.

I’ll be talking about money in the April 3 service. We’re beginning our annual pledge drive later this month, so I’ll be making the case that a certain little church in southern Brown County is a good investment of one’s treasure. I’ll spare you the pitch for now, but suffice it to say that we all stepped out on faith when we covenanted for a return to full-time ministry at Nora. It was a bold move – one that only further endeared me to such a warm congregation. (And, to be sure, we’re financially holding our own!) But you and I have higher goals than simply holding our own; we actually believe that Nora’s best days are yet to come.

I won’t ask you to do something I won’t, so I’ll be making a substantial increase over my 2004 – 2005 pledge. I don’t pretend that everyone can do the same, nor do I discount the many hours of volunteer time that some give in lieu of money. But I hope to stir you to do what you can to fund the dream of an even better Nora Church – one that will endure and grow long after it’s served our needs.

So, be forewarned that I’m absolutely shameless about asking for money to support a UU congregation, especially this one. And thanks in advance for helping to fund Nora’s present and future.

--- Peace, Don



We will install Don Rollins as our new parish minister on Sunday, April 24. The service time will be at 4:00 PM. Supper will follow in the Fellowship Hall. See invitation on page 3 of newsletter.


On Saturday, May 14, from 9:30 to 11:30 A.M., there will be a Leadership Meeting at the church. This is an opportunity for anyone who is involved on a committee or plans to be in the future to learn some skills that can help them. As we build the future here at Nora it is important that we learn how to make the most of that time, get everyone’s input, and then get starting to build. There are other chances to be involved too. The Prairie Star Meeting is April 8, 9, and 10th in St. Paul and the General Assembly is June 23 – 27th. There is also leadership training in Beloit, Wisconsin. If you are interested in information on any of these events, please contact Sheldon by phone or email.


The committee on Ministry will meet on April 14 at 7:00 PM at the church and the social justice committee will meet on Sunday, April 17 after services.


The Nora Women’s Society will meet on Tuesday, April 26, for a noon potluck. On the agenda will be planning for the Syttende Mai dinners. We will be serving on Friday, May 20 at 4:00 and 6:30 PM. Meatballs will be made on Thursday unless more reservations are received. Volunteers for serving and clean-up will be needed. Contact Carol Chambard if you are able to help.


The Board of Trustees spent much of its March 20 meeting discussing the budget for Fiscal Year 2005 – 2006 and will finalize the budget at its April 17 meeting. The Finance Team is gearing up for the Pledge Drive and will hold area meetings again to present the church’s financial needs and to receive feedback from members. Letters with times and locations will be mailed soon to members and friends in the area. The date for the congregational meeting on the proposed budget will be announced later.


Our Sunday discussions continue each week before the service at 9:00 AM. We meet in the Iverson Room (downstairs) to consider a wide variety of topics. Don Rollins leads the first session of each month. The April 3 discussion will be based on the UUA pamphlet, “Unitarian Universalist Views on Death and Immortality.”


Good news! Lee Schmitt is home from a tour of duty in Iraq. We are grateful for his safe return and appreciate his presenting the service and sharing his experiences and observations on Sunday, March 20, when Rev. Rollins was recuperating from surgery. The potluck lunch following the service on April 3 will be another time to welcome Lee home.

Carol and Alon Chambard and Bonita and Algot Blomquist celebrated their 54th anniversaries in March. Algot also celebrated his 75th birthday. Congratulations all around.


“Never on Sunday,” a musical, comedy and food extravaganza will be held on April 10th at the Holiday Inn. Proceeds will be used for Putting Green’s solar club house and a sound system for the Rhein Rivers Arts Center. Pre-comedy music will be provided by Juanita Gilbert, Don Rollins, and James Zents. There will be food from area restaurants and four comedians. Music and food are from 5:00 – 6:00 PM. Comedy is from 6:00 – 7:30 PM and post-comedy music will be provided by “Who’s Your Daddy” from 7:30 – 8:30 PM. Tickets are $18 at the Chamber, Cash-Wise and HyVee.


The gourmet group will meet at LeMays in Lake Crystal on Wednesday, April 6 at 11:30 A.M. This is a social occasion for everyone, and turnout has been growing. It would be a good idea to carpool for the trip to Lake Crystal.


Thank you all very much for your contributions of your time and energy, and supplies for our Easter Breakfast. We earned $140. The children will use these funds for service projects for the coming year. The funds from last year’s Easter Breakfast and Smorg were used to purchase materials to fill bags to send to the children in Iraq. Our focus will continue to be child-centered.

Meet your RE committee. Julie Sellner and Jeanie Hinsman have graciously volunteered to be on the RE committee. The purpose of the RE committee is toe help with the planning of RE, including curriculum selection, groupings of children, and assisting with the operation of the RE program. The RE committee will meet in April and begin planning for next year. Please feel free to talk with any one of us about ideas you may have for RE. Remember we still need you to help us out with RE by teaching the weekly RE class.

COA News: We are underway with beginning the COA program. Look for more news in future newsletters.

April dates: RE Wednesday, April 13th. We will be making our version of Nora UU Church t-shirts. Please bring a colored t-shirt with you to RE Wed. We will have fabric paints available for you to use to design your own t-shirt. We will also practice songs to sing the next time we visit the Madelia Care Center.

HELP WANTED: The Juniors class will be making birds’ nests baskets. We are looking for plastic berry baskets or mesh vegetable bags, pieces of yarn and string and fabric that can be cut for the birds to use for their nests. Please place on the back counter of the Kaffe Stuva. We have some fabric paints/markers for our RE Wed. t-shirt project. If you have any fabric paint/markers around your home, we’d be happy to use them. Thank you.

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, so please talk with Anne if you have questions and/or are interested in helping out.

By Lansing Christman

I am ready for spring, ready to be free of ice and snow and cold, biting winds, the short days and long nights. I am ready to see the hills and valleys green again, the streams free of ice and singing on their way to the sea.

I saw the winter birds at the feeders. I heard their chirps and trills. I am ready now for the spring birdsongs of the bluebird and robin, and the gabble of the geese flying in V formation high overhead.

Buds on trees and bushes are feeling the warmth of spring, feeling the urge to burst into bloom. I see spring in the early blooms on crocus and daffodil, the red spires of alders in the marsh, the blooms of the pussy willows in the swamp.

I am waiting for the peepers to tune the swamps and bogs into a symphony of ringing bells, music for the early evening hours, reaching far into the nights.

Spring is yielding its longer hours of sun, bringing a warmth that is so much like an arm of friendship around my shoulders, like a face of affection pressed to mine, the warmth of a hand clasping mine.

I am ready for the renewal of life that comes each year with the vernal season, bringing a whole new world to my countryside.


The name tags that were ordered in February are here. Please see Sally Hanson after church. The cost is $6.50 per tag and should be paid when you pick up the name tag.

Happy Spring Planting

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