Nora Unitarian Universalist Church - Hanska, Mn

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Enjoy the summer!

Newsletter Archives

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

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

August, 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.

August 14 – “Mission, Music & Money”
Reverend Don Rollins

We will join our sister congregations for the annual service at Pioneer Village in Worthington, MN.
Don will lead the service again this year (see the enclosed article for more details).

August 21 – “Theism is Dead: Long Live God!”
Reverend Don Rollins

We begin the new church year with a series of services on religious freedom.
Perhaps no topic is more timely than the belief in a supernatural being who takes sides in everything from abortion to war.

August 28 – “The Bible, Fact or Fiction?”
Reverend Don Rollins

Religious freedom, in North America, requires us to understand how the Hebrew and Christian scriptures came to dominate our culture’s views on everything from morality to mortality.

Musicians, servers, & ushers to be assigned. Listing will be on church entry bulletin board.

View From The Hill

Rev. Don Rollins

Discovery, the space shuttle, is leaving the atmosphere as I write this column of the new church year. The launch was anticlimactic given all the usual talk show controversy that attends nearly everything NASA does these days: is it best to do exploratory space probes versus those that travel to already known parts of the galaxy? Would our money be better spent on robotic projects versus those involving humans? Moreover, given the multitude and scope of problems here on Earth, is it ethical to spend billions of dollars on something as speculative as a space program?

Not twenty-four hours before the launch, I listened as two economists debated the impact on the American economy whenever our nation has gone to war. Citing the huge and harmful cuts in domestic spending under FDR’s final two terms, as well as those of Eisenhower and Johnson, one economist kept hammering at the other: Do you really expect Americans to believe that the war in Iraq, with its ongoing bills in the billions, has nothing to do with cuts in the federal budget for domestic programs? Given the drain of the war, how are we to fund increases in homeland security when we can’t even come up with the money to control illegal immigration? And, is it ethical to send a disproportionately high number of poor men and women into battle, all the while curtailing spending on the very programs – education, social services, vocational training – necessary to their families?

At stake in these two debates is the allocation of resources. Our personal lives are likewise built on a series of decisions – some big, some small – that, over time, indicate what we think is important. Witness our checkbooks, date books and volunteer activities.

Congregations, whatever else they may be, are the sum total of what a people think is important. Those who study congregations tell us that religious communities that are growing share a certain set of characteristics, one of which is that they spend as much time and money on others as they do themselves. In short, they think ministering to others is important.

Who can say what this new church year will bring? If the past is any indication of the future, we will laugh and cry, celebrate and grieve, love and fear. Come what may, let’s covenant, right from the start, to allocate more and more of our time, talent and treasure to ministering to those who need our resources, our ministry.

Love wastefully, is the advice of author and lecturer, John “Jack” Spong. Love wastefully.

In anticipation of another great year with you,

--- Don


Don will be spending a second week of his continuing education time at Saugatuck, a UU camp on the shores of western Michigan, from August 4 – 12. An emergency phone number will be left with Sheldon Rieke. (You’re welcome to use Don’s cell phone to reach him for an emergency (507-276-8464) but please keep in mind that his phone plan does not cover Michigan, thus he will be using “roaming” minutes.)


Our Adult Growth and Education (RG & E) Committee is busy planning several opportunities for personal growth and getting to know others. As part of that program, Don will be leading the 9:00 AM adult education discussion on the first Sunday of each month (except for August), based on the sermon he will be delivering that day. It’s a chance to have a dialogue and share your views in more depth. Don will begin on August 21, with the sermon, “Theism is Dead: Long Live God!” Please come and support our various RG & E programs.


Starting on October 6 and continuing through each Thursday in that month, Don will lead the UU adult education course, “Building Your Own Theology.” Designed several years ago and updated for today, BYOT is for anyone who would like to join a small group to explore his or her basic religious principles. The preparation for each of the four sessions is minimal. We will choose the location in accordance with where the majority of participants live, probably in New Ulm or at Nora Church. We will begin each session at 7:00 PM and finish in no more than 2 hours. Contact Don to indicate your interest, ask questions or arrange for transportation.


Our first covenant group(s) will be organizing soon, so we need a handful of people who will serve as facilitators. (A covenant group is a circle of 8-12 people who meet twice monthly and agree to two basic rules, regular attendance and confidentiality. The group is organized around a theme – spirituality, parenting, women’s group, men’s group, etc. – and can include persons who are not Nora members or friends.)

The training for facilitators is scheduled for after church, on September 18. (It will last no longer than one hour.) If you have a knack for group process and interest in helping the Adult Religious Growth and Education Committee build this program, please contact Kris Bodick or Don Rollins for more details.

************************ UPCOMING MEETINGS/EVENTS ************************

Service at Worthington
(Map to the Pioneer Village)

The annual UU Get-Together will take place in Worthington at the Pioneer Village on August 14 at 10:30 am. A potluck will follow the service. Please bring utensils and a dish to pass. Beverages will be furnished. Anyone that can come 45 minutes early to help set up, your help would be appreciated. Call Jerry Allen at 507-359-2856, if it would work for you to be there early.

To get to Pioneer Village, take Highway 60 into Worthington. Highway 60 turns into Oxford Street. At the 3rd stop light, turn right and there will be signs to Pioneer Village

UU’s from South Dakota, Iowa, and Minnesota are welcome to attend. Call Al Swanson at 507-376-4011 (Worthington) for further information.

Picture Directory

All members and friends of Nora Church are asked to have their picture taken to update our directory. On August 21st and 28th, there will be a sign up sheet at church so you may choose your date and time, or you may call Juanita at 507-439-6624 for an appointment time. We will be taking the pictures every Sunday in September from 9:00 – 10:10 AM and from 11:50 – 12:30 PM. The pictures will be in color – dress as you wish.

Luncheon at Zion Lutheran

The Nora ladies are cordially invited to Zion Lutheran W.E.L.C.A. guest day on Wednesday, August 10th, beginning with a noon luncheon. The guest speaker will be Jan Turner of Willmar. Jan is a quadruple amputee who speaks on faith issues. She is a teacher and author of an article for Guideposts, “Don’t Let Them Hate Me.” It tells of her family’s struggle during the illness that caused her to lose her limbs. Please RSVP to Gudrun Kjelshus at 507-439-6837 before August 5th.

Upcoming Meetings

Adult Education – Thursday, August 18, 2005 at 6:00 P.M. at the church
Nora Board - Sunday, August 21, 2005 at 9:00 A.M. at the church
Committee on Ministry – Thursday, August 25, 2005 at 2:30 P.M. at the church
Board Planning Retreat – Saturday, August 27, 2005 at 9:00 A.M. at the church
Coming of Age Potluck/Meeting – Saturday, August 27, 2005 at 5:00 P.M. at Rieke’s

Rummage Sale & Bake Sale

A rummage and bake sale was held on Saturday, June 25th at Nora Church. Many items gathered from the church and church members filled the hall and lawn outside. A total of $578.45 was collected that day. Thanks so much for the many donations.

Relay for Life

Brown County Relay for Life is Friday, August 19th at the Brown County Fairgrounds. If you are interested in purchasing a luminary in honor of a cancer survivor or in memory of a loved one, please contact Julie Sellner at 375-8737. The suggested donation is $10 per luminary.


Carol Chambard is recuperating at home after cancer surgery and is currently receiving chemotherapy treatments. She appreciates all the well wishes and cards.

Congratulations to parents Matt Harbur and Kathleen Baril and grandpa Jim Harbur on the birth of James Donald Harbur on July 10, 2005. What a handsome baby he is!


Warm Summer Greetings!

Hope your summer is going well and not too quickly. RE plans are underway for this coming year. September through November, our topic will be Famous People from the Bible. We hope to familiarize the children with Bible stories and people so they can discuss them with their peers. The UU perspective of the stories and people will be an integral part of this topic. This is a first step in exposing the children to other religions. In Fall 2006, we will branch out from a Judeo Christian perspective and examine more world religions. This topic was chosen because of requests from the surveys. January through March, we will take a closer look at our UU heritage. We will learn more about the history of our religion. Our UU principles and ways to practice them in our daily lives will also be discussed. This topic was another request from the surveys. April through May, is a potpourri. We will learn more about the history of Nora Church. Subjects that have come up during the year will also be covered more thoroughly at this time.

COA: Jeanie is sending COA youth and their families a letter. You may have already received it. In the letter, you will find out who your mentor is and learn more about COA plans for the year. There will be a COA get together for COA youth, their parents and mentors on Saturday, August 27th, at the Riekes, beginning at 5:30 P.M. More information will be coming.

RE teachers: Anne will be contacting people who expressed an interest in teaching Sunday school. There will be an orientation meeting for teachers on Sunday, August 28th, from 9:00 – 9:45 A.M. at the church. We will go through class and teacher groupings, weekly topics for the fall, respectful behavior procedures and anything else that people want to discuss. Please plan on attending if you will be teaching Sunday school.

RE parents: There will be a meeting for parents who have children who will be in the Nursery or Juniors or Tweeners classes. The parent meeting will be on Sunday, August 28th from 9:45 – 10:15 A.M. at the church. Please plan on attending so you can register your child(ren) for Sunday school or nursery. We will discuss the plans for the year in more detail at that time.

Summer Fun Activity: Our summer fun activity will be on Tuesday, August 25th. We are hoping to go to a water park. More information will be sent to families as plans are finalized.

Sunday school starts: Our first day of Sunday school will be September 11th. Please remember Sunday school is from 9:30 – 10:15 A.M. this year.

Please feel free to talk with Anne Rieke if you have questions about RE, or if you are interested in helping teach Sunday school. Looking forward to seeing everyone soon.

To top of pageBack to the Top