With the capital campaign nearing completion, we are now moving forward with plans for our building project and renovations! We’re excited to announce that we’ve selected Miller Dunwiddie Architecture for the project. In Spring 2017, our Architect Selection Committee developed eight criteria for sourcing and evaluating potential firms, including: quality and experience in related projects, alignment with our vendor policy and values, fee and transparency, and plan to complete the project on time and on budget. After interviews, the Committee unanimously chose Miller Dunwiddie Architecture.
Why Miller Dunwiddie? MDA has extensive experience in churches, education buildings, and restoration work. (In fact, three members of our project team worked on the recent renovations/expansion at Unity-Unitarian in St. Paul.) In conversations with MDA, it was clear that the firm highly values teamwork, consensus building, careful listening, proactive communication, transparency, and stewardship of resources. They share our values on equity, community, sustainability, and commitment to employees in the form of fair wages and strong benefits. MDA is a 100% employee-owned company, and has intentionally formed a diverse team of employees that currently includes 45% women and 16% self-identified minorities. The architect selection committee, board, and staff are confident that MDA is an excellent fit for our project.
How Did We Arrive Here?
- 2012: Our 2012–17 Strategic Plan identified the need for a future capital campaign.
- Spring 2015: Rev. Justin and Rev. Jen presented a broad vision for a campaign to the Board of Trustees.
- Fall 2015–Spring 2016: Rev. Justin, Rev. Jen, and the Board developed initial campaign plans and selected a Campaign Consultant, J.D. Klote, using our vendor policy to ensure alignment with our values. A Pre-Design Team of congregants with expertise in architecture, design, and construction worked with staff and congregant groups to further identify needs, possible solutions, and estimated costs in preparation for the capital campaign.
- Summer/Fall 2016: We formed a Capital Campaign Steering Committee and conducted 25 Focus Groups, open to all members of our community, to gather input on needs, vision, and direction of the campaign.
- Winter 2017: We launched the Capital Campaign, Not for Ourselves Alone: Building an Inclusive Future, with an official launch celebration on March 11. Individual and group visits with congregants throughout 2017 have resulted in nearly $5.4 million in pledges and gifts as of early September 2017.
- Spring 2017: An Architect Selection Committee of congregants, with representatives from the Pre-Design Team, the Board, and Building & Grounds, evaluated potential firms and unanimously selected Miller Dunwiddie Architecture.
- Fall 2017: A Building Project Team, with Rev. Jen Crow as staff lead, was formed to work with the architects throughout the process of design development, project planning, and construction.
What’s Next? Upcoming Opportunities for Your Input!
Listening Sessions with the Architects
Sunday, Sept. 24 between 12:45 and 1:45 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 27 between 5:30 and 7:30 p.m.
Meet the architects and contribute your thoughts at two open-house-format listening sessions. Your feedback will help us refine and prioritize our space needs and how we envision making our building more welcoming and accessible, building upon the direction set using input gathered thus far, from last fall’s focus groups and more.
Congregational Meetings to Review In-Progress Schematic Design
Wednesday, Nov. 15, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 19, 12:45 – 2:45 p.m.
After taking in and incorporating all input that has been gathered thus far—including from Fall 2016 focus groups, the 2015–2016 pre-design team, and Fall 2017 Listening Sessions, this will be a chance for the architects to check in with our congregation after getting started on—but before completing—schematic design.
About Miller Dunwiddie Architecture
Miller Dunwiddie is a full-service architecture firm based in Minneapolis. Founded in 1963, the firm’s architecture philosophy is based on the core concept that “people always come first.” Miller Dunwiddie works with clients on a broad range of project types such as educational, transportation, and commercial facilities, as well as religious and cultural institutions. They offer a range of services, including: architectural design, historic preservation, interior design, building envelope architecture and engineering, and construction services and owner’s representation. To learn more, visit www.millerdunwiddie.com.
Our Core Team from Miller Dunwiddie Architecture
PAUL MAY, AIA, LEED AP
PRINCIPAL, LEAD DESIGNER
Paul is Principal at MDA, and is a registered architect with over 30 years of experience.
Throughout his entire career he has championed the participatory planning process and community involvement in the design of spatial environments. This has been developed into a special expertise in programming, planning, and design of faith-based and educational facilities.
Paul is the contractual contact with First Universalist and is responsible for overall team performance. He will also lead the overall design intent of the project.
JEAN TURCK, AIA, LEED AP
PROJECT MANAGER, ARCHITECT
Jean is a Project Architect with MDA and has over 10 years of experience in architectural design and planning.
With an aesthetic flair, she has a special expertise in translating client and consultant ideas into detailed, complete documents. Jean will follow the project from beginning to end.
Jean is the day-to-day team contact person and responsible for managing the team.
KATHRYN HUNSLEY, ID, IIDA
PRINCIPAL, INTERIOR DESIGNER
Kathryn is a Principal & Director of Interior Design with MDA with over 15 years of experience. She is involved in every facet of a project, from programming and space planning to construction documentation and implementation.
Collaboration with her clients, which involves guiding a client through the entire design process, from materials and finish selections to furniture specifications and installation, is at the core of her passion for interior design.
Lucie is a Graphic Designer and part of MDA’s Communications and Marketing team. Her communications and graphic design expertise will assist our team and First Universalist in congregational information distribution materials, fundraising graphics, and presentation development. Lucie is passionate and actively involved in her community, working on projects such as the Mni Ki Wakan: Indigenous Peoples’ Decade of Water Summit recently organized in partnership with First Universalist Church.
KERMIT DUNCAN, AIA
Kermit is a senior architect with over 35 years’ experience. He has broad-based experience in Project and Construction Management with extensive experience from conceptual through construction phases of both new and existing commercial, institutional, and military housing projects, and a comprehensive background in the technical aspects of architectural design and construction providing the background to perform in-depth analysis from project reviews to on-site inspections.
WING KONG, PE
BUILDING ENVELOPE EVALUATION & DESIGN
Wing is a senior staff engineer. He is a waterproofing specialist and provides our projects with expertise in evaluation of existing building systems, including windows, wall systems, foundations and roofs. Wing is a Minnesota Licensed Professional Engineer and a Certified Level 1 Thermographer with 27 years of experience. He has experience in evaluation and forensic investigation of moisture distress in building envelopes, masonry preservation and restoration, and plaza and underground building waterproofing systems.
Circles are groups of 8-10 committed participants who come together with a trained leader to nurture spiritual growth in community. These groups are grounded in the spiritual practices of deep listening and open-hearted reflection. Each gathering offers an opportunity for connection: connecting with ourselves, connecting with others, and connecting with something greater than ourselves.
This fall, registration is open Sept. 10–Oct. 1 online at firstucircles.weebly.com and in the Social Hall on Sundays.
Soul Matters Circles
Over the past two years, we have been getting to know Soul Matters, a small group curriculum that encourages participants to reflect more deeply on our monthly worship theme. Last spring, our community of facilitators decided to adopt Soul Matters as the core circle format at First Universalist. We hope that you will dive in and discover all that this soulful curriculum has to offer.
How do Soul Matters Circles work?
At the start of each month, you will receive a packet of resources to help you go deeper with the worship theme. It includes poems, articles, YouTube videos, and more. This packet is your go-to text as you meet with your group and attend services throughout the month. The packet also includes questions for contemplation and spiritual exercises that invite you into deeper relationship with our worship theme.
Which Soul Matters Circle is for Me?
We are offering two types of Soul Matters Circles this year. One meets for a shorter duration, with greater frequency, and asks no preparation. The other meets for a longer duration, with less frequency, and has simple preparation exercises. Which one is for you?
First Universalist is beginning our sixth year of partnership with Augsburg Fairview Academy(AFA), one of our six faithful action Community Partners. Young adults from diverse communities who face educational barriers to achievement in traditional schools are welcomed into AFA, a charter high school that prepares them for college, career and life. The 125+ students come from diverse backgrounds including African American, Somali, and Native American. Many are homeless or marginally housed during the school year.
The Hope Food and Clothing Closets were developed by AFA students in a class on leadership and organization development; they chose this project to meet their needs and to provide hope. First Universalist is the primary contributor to the Hope Food and Clothing Closets.
Donations needed include:
- School Supplies: Backpacks (in dark colors), spiral notebooks, pens and pencils, pocket folders.
- Clothing: hoodies; t-shirts; skinny jeans for men and women; men’s and women’s underwear and socks; fall jackets. Clothing should be clean, teen appropriate and in good repair.
- Food and Toiletries: Single serving microwavable meals; fruit cups; granola bars; toothpaste and toothbrushes, men’s and women’s deodorant, lotions, condoms, and tampons and sanitary products.
Bring items to the Hub on Sundays or drop off during the week at the shelves labeled for AFA by the 34th Street entrance. Thank you for your generosity!
Read the full issue of this week’s newsletter, The Weekly Liberal, here.
In this week’s Liberal, Rev. Justin Schroeder writes:
As many of you know, I will be on sabbatical during the months of September and October. I am using this time to deepen my study of race, racism, and whiteness, as it relates to the history of our country, our faith, and our ministry at First Universalist, as we seek to become a multi-cultural, multi-racial faith community.
Martha Bird’s first love is basket weaving. In 1994, she enrolled in a basket class and fell in love with the materials and wove her way into activity and health, after a back injury. Her art-making has expanded over the years into a personal exploration that utilizes a variety of mediums. Her basket weaving, though, has brought her many new opportunities, including traveling to Ireland and exhibiting across the United States. “Finding Focus” is an exhibit that features her work with willow from her travels and will be on display in the Social Hall at church from Aug. 15–Oct. 1, 2017. Attend an artist’s reception on Sunday, Oct.1, after both services for an opportunity to meet the artist and see more of her history in basketry. Martha is a long-time member of First Universalist Church.
1 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
9 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
6:30 p.m. - 8 p.m.