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.
drawing of a mailbox

June, 2006
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- Sunday Schedule -
Adult Discussion Group: 9:00 A.M.

Social Hour: 10:00 A.M.     Worship Service: 10:30 A.M.

- Sunday Services -


Nora Church in the spring

June 4: “Religious Education Sunday”
Anne Rieke, members of the Religious Education Committee and our children and youth will lead us in this annual celebration of our RE program.
• Musician: Jordan Rathman
• Greeters: Algot & Bonita Blomquist
• Servers: Elroy & Ardith Wellmann,
  Ellen Byro, Kate Monnens, Edith Beckius

June 11: “Faith at Fifty”
In our tradition, beliefs are elastic bands, not iron chains, around truth. As a too-young-to be-a-hippie, too-old-to-be-a-yuppie turns fifty, these are the latest theological meanderings from our minister.
• Musician: Sally Hanson
• Greeters: Shirley & Clayton Olson
• Servers: Ron & Julie Peck

June 18: “Flower Communion”
Bring a flower or two to be exchanged as we observe the ritual known as the Flower Communion.
• Musician: Mimi Kamleiter
• Greeters: Chris & Kristi Bodick
• Servers: Kevin & Shannon Weiss

(Greeters & Servers - If you are not able to serve on the date assigned, please switch with someone or find your own replacement. Thank You!)

Have a great summer! Until August!

View From The Hill

Rev. Don Rollins

I’m sitting at a gathering of New Ulm area civic leaders. We’ve been convened by our own Anne Makepeace, Director of United Way of New Ulm, for the purpose of addressing alcohol and other drug abuse. After a breakout session and discussion, the prearranged small groups are asked for a summary of their answers to a list of questions. No big deal so far.

Drafted after no one else would accept the job as our reporter back to the large group, Susan Ward, Interim Director of Healthy Communities/Healthy Youth, begins to summarize our group’s responses. Susan does a great job, even reminding us all that organizations grow the same way that individuals grow: by taking risks. She tells us that both organizations and individuals move through healthy development one estimated risk at a time. And that’s a big deal.

What we know about risk-taking is that guarantees and refunds are not part of the equation. Write that letter of reconciliation to a onetime friend, and he may respond with grace or curse you for reaching out. Elect to have that medical procedure, and it may save your life or it may make things worse. Apply for that job of your dreams, and the supervisor may turn out to be excellent or she may turn out to be a disgruntled (is there any other kind) Enron employee. Dare to love and be loved, and, well…

We’re about to wrap-up the 2005-06 church year here at Nora. We’ve gathered in that little sanctuary for several reasons, perhaps none more important than to support one another in taking risks, some which will determine the very state of our spirit. We’ve looked each other in the eye. We’ve rooted each other on. We’ve celebrated each other’s successes and we haven’t turned away just because somebody screwed up now and then. In short, we haven’t settled for “playing church” in a broken world at a perilous time.

There are lots of ways to measure success in a religious community, from pledge dollars to membership numbers. I would add to those indicators our success at helping one another to take healthy risks, and I would say that we have done well. Very well.

Thank you for the privilege of spending another year of my life and ministry with you. Thank you for being a launch pad for dreamers, seekers and risk-takers.


Spirit Lake Ministry

Just a reminder that Don will be spending the month of July as summer minister to an emerging UU congregation in Spirit Lake, IA. Use his cell phone (507-276-8464) in the event of an emergency.

Minister’s Discretionary Fund

The Minister’s Discretionary Fund is designed to offer one-time assistance in legitimate need situations: utility bills, emergency travel, motel room or food. Your contributions are welcome and tax deductible. Just write “Minister’s Discretionary Fund” in the memo line. Thank you!

You are invited to…

A Rollin’s Roast
(View a slide show from the party.)

Help Celebrate Don’s 50th Birthday !

Friday, June 2
6:30 p.m.

Nora Church Fellowship Hall

Hamburgers, brats, hot dogs & buns
Lemonade and coffee (or BYOB)
Birthday cake and ice cream will be provided.

Bring a snack or salad to pass, or bring nothing!
Just come and have fun.

Bring a joke, a song, a story to share.

In lieu of gifts, donations to the Minister’s
Discretionary Fund are suggested.

Call Jeanie Hinsman 359-7494

Nora Annual Meeting

Just a reminder that the Annual Meeting for Nora is the second Sunday in June this year. Along with the usual committee reports, vote for new board members, and vote on the 2006-2007 budget, we will have two more items on the agenda. There will be votes concerning by-law changes that simply reflect changes in technology and inflation. These changes will be posted on the bulletin board in the foyer for you to review before the vote. There will also be a vote on what is to be done concerning the steps and sidewalk on the north side of the parsonage. If you have any questions before the meeting please contact Sheldon and he will be glad to help you.

Social Justice Committee

Nora Social Justice committee is wrapping up events for this year. We plan to honor the Coming of Age participants for their helpful involvement on social justice issues this past year. Specifically their presence at the Food for All dinners in St. James as well as their work on the Children of Iraq spaghetti dinner saved the day with enough willing and eager hands.

We also are looking forward to participating in our last Food for All meal, Saturday, the 10th of June, for this church year. ANYONE ABLE OR WILLING TO HELP us with this commitment please CHECK IN with one of the Social Justice COMMITTEE members. As I'm sure you remember we arrive in St. James in the morning and help serve a meal and are done by late morning. Comments from past Nora volunteers speak to the fulfillment of supporting and lending our hands to such an event.

As we look forward to next year and based on the results from the questions we asked you about congregational interest areas, the Social Justice committee plans it's involvement to continue with Food for All as well as some sort of fundraising event around Martin Luther King Day supporting children's needs.

We also have received recent contact concerning our sister church in Transylvania. They look forward to Nora's relationship continuing and so we'll continue to look at ways we can be of help there. We have an email address if anyone is interested in communicating directly.

We welcome new ideas and members so feel free to give one of us a call.

Mark and Brenda Wiger, Darrell and Jeanie Hinsman, Chris Bodick, Sheldon Rieke, Tarrie Swenstad

Second Sunday Offering

Just a reminder that the loose offering (cash and change) on each second Sunday of each month will be donated to Food for All, St. James.

Thank you for your extra contributions that help feed hungry people!

Religious Education

2005-2006 Sunday School Teachers

Thank you to all of the people who have volunteered to teach Sunday School this past year. Your commitment of time and energy to the children and youth of Nora is remarkable. Your contributions have helped to make our Religious Education (RE) program successful.

Many of the same people that volunteered to teach Sunday School this past year have generously volunteered to teach for the coming year. The majority of these volunteers are women. We strongly encourage men of the congregation to also volunteer to teach Sunday School. It is important that the youth have both male and female role models.
Teaching Sunday School is easy, just ask any of the teachers. Lesson plans with activities are completed by Anne prior to Sunday School, and are mailed or e-mailed to teachers by Tuesday or Wednesday prior to Sunday. Teachers are also encouraged to include their own activities into lessons. So guys, please consider being a Sunday School teacher.

The Sunday School teachers will meet in June to brainstorm and plan for the coming year. Please keep an eye open for an e-mail from Anne for possible meeting dates. We will meet on the date that works the best for most people.

We’d like to welcome Kristi Bodick to the RE Committee. She joins Julie Sellner and Jeanie Hinsman. And here’s a special thank you to Jeanie and Julie for their support, time and work this past year. Your help is and was greatly appreciated.

Have a fun summer. See everyone in August.
– Anne Rieke

To Keep In Touch

Ron Peck and Julie Sellner are in our thoughts as they undergo
therapy treatments.

Congrats to the Grads!
    - Muffy Rathman
    - Alyssa Bethke
    - Liz Reedy
    - Ben Peters

If you know of anyone needing our assistance or attention
please call one of the following Caring Committee members:
    - Georgine Tepley (chair) 359-3060 (weekdays after 5 pm)
    - Shirley Olson 439-6879
    - Carol Chambard 354-2242
THANK YOU! - Caring Committee

Lunch Bunch

Home Café
St. James

Wednesday, June 21
11:30 a.m.

Any questions, call Lorraine 439-6970

Nora’s New
Office Administrator

We welcome Cindy Mosenden of Hanska as Nora’s
new office administrator. Information for bulletins, newsletters and the upcoming Annual Report can be sent to her via email at (Please put “Nora” in the subject line.) or snailmail: 20894 Co. Rd. 6, Hanska, MN 56041. Her phone number is 507-439-6380.

Note from Nita
I will miss you all, but you are in good hands with Cindy! My email address will remain the same, and until further notice, you can send any mail to my Hanska address. Thank you for all I’ve been given at Nora and have been able to give. Nora is my home church, so when I’m down this way, save me a seat!
--- Love, Nita

UUA General Assembly 2006
“Toward Right Relations”

Visit the UUA Web site for more information and to register!


Celebrate Nora's 125th Anniversary with us on Sunday, August 20. Also keep your calendars clear on November 11 for a night of dancing at the Community Center in Hanska. We are currently updating the Centennial book so if any of you have photos or stories to share, please contact Sheldon Rieke, Chris Bodick, or Joy Rathman.

Up-date on Benced, Nora’s Partner Church

As you are probably already aware, Benced, Nora’s partner church, is in the area that was damaged by flash flooding last year in Transylvania. They have been in the process of re-building since. Part of the process, as it turns out, is that
Benced no longer wishes to share a minister with Szentmihaly, so they have organized themselves, found a piece of land for a parsonage, found temporary lodging until they can build a parsonage, and petitioned the Unitarian Church for their own minister. They were told this week that they will get a new minister in the fall.

Meanwhile, the Benced community is also publishing a local newspaper, has applied for a grant to get village access to the internet, has arranged for courses for people in the community and is looking at longer term issues to be addressed. In short, there has been a lot of progress in a very short time in terms of organizing and energizing this community. And all of this has happened with no money so far other than the villagers' own.

Cathy Cordes of the Unitarian Universalist Partner Church Council is asking our congregation to re-connect with our partner church given there is now a new minister coming and 25 energetic and motivated people from Benced who would love to have a partner - a partner they apparently did not even know they had. There has also been a person identified in the village who speaks English - Krisztina Pall – through whom we could communicate more easily. For more information, please talk with Brenda Wiger of the Social Justice Committee or Don.

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