Joining us in worship this Sunday, Nov. 19, is Give Get Sistet, our Artists in Residence for 2017-2018. They are collaborating with our worship team to create and curate several services throughout the year, as well as developing a community building project for the spring. The Give Get Sistet is an improvisational chorus of women based in the Twin Cities with ties around the world. These women listen deeply and sing with great generosity and daring. First Universalist is honored to have these fine artists/community builders/activists in our midst.
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.
You’re invited to help shape the future of First Universalist Church!
Beginning on Sunday, October 9, and running through the end of October, we will hold more than a dozen Focus Groups, laying out some of the urgent needs we face as a church, and sharing a vision for how we might address those needs. You may recall that at our Annual Meeting in June, we spoke about a comprehensive stewardship campaign as a way to move forward, address some of these needs, and truly make 3400 Dupont our home. The Board of Trustees and the Senior Ministry Team agree: now is the time to dream about how we can best achieve the future that our Strategic Plan calls us into!
Last spring, the Board of Trustees hired Rainbow Research, a Minneapolis nonprofit, to conduct focus groups and a survey regarding how our racial justice work is perceived by the congregation and intersects with our four visionary goals for church governance. Rainbow consultants Beki Saito and Razeena Shrestha will present their findings on Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Cummins Room. Please join us! A copy of the report is available here.
Anyone who has walked through our parking lot recently has likely noticed that it’s in need of some major repair. There are large potholes, crumbling asphalt, and in the worst spot, a sinkhole. These uneven surfaces are unsafe, and the overall aesthetic is uninviting and doesn’t reflect well on our congregation.
Over the past few months, the Chancel Group has been meeting with builder Richard Helgeson to create and craft a new pulpit for our chancel. You may be asking, why a new pulpit? Or, why now?
When the Chancel Group convened two years ago, in collaboration with the ministry team, we decided that two goals would make a dramatic difference to the beauty and power of our service. The first was to paint the chancel. This was completed in 2014. The second was to replace the pulpit.
Our current pulpit has served this congregation well. It was built for the chancel at our church on 50th & Girard, and traveled with us to 3400 Dupont in 1993. Although it is graceful and open, it is showing signs of wear and tear. Also, with an expanding vision of shared ministry, the worship team has longed for a pulpit from which two people could comfortably speak, as well as a pulpit that resonates more strongly with the scale and architectural gestures of our chancel.
Richard has done some beautiful work creating a trio of pieces (pulpit, bell stand, and chalice stand) that reflect our dreams. He built a cardboard replica of the pulpit and is honing his design under the direction of the Chancel Group and ministers. At this date, the design is approved, the majority of the building materials have been chosen, and the build should start in a couple of months.
Members of the Chancel Group will be in the social hall on Sunday, April 17 so that you can ask questions, see small replicas of the pieces, and learn more.
See more of Richard’s work on his website.
Great Gatherings are parties, events, or activities that are hosted by a member of our community – someone like you! They’re a fun way to support our church community.
You choose the kind of party or gathering it will be – from a formal dinner to a game night, educational event to a romp in the woods – and we’ll sell spots on the night of The Great Gathering Auction & Fundraiser, which takes place on Saturday, April 23.
All proceeds from the event and sale of Great Gathering spots support youth and social justice ministries of First Universalist Church and will help raise funds for the new pulpit.
Interested in hosting a Great Gathering? The host (you!) will choose what kind of event to host, how many people can attend, determine target audience (e.g. adults, women only, children, etc.), and decide where and when it will take place. Be creative!
Questions? Email email@example.com.
Gatherings raise money for our church, and they help us get to know each other in new, fun ways. Thank you for your consideration!
The Nominating Committee is actively recruiting candidates for leadership positions on the Board of Trustees, the Foundation Board, and the Nominating Committee itself for the next church year. We believe the congregation is full of untapped talent and we encourage people to step forward and share their skills.
First Universalist works through external organizations like Habitat for Humanity to act on our racial justice and faithful action values in the community. The newly formed Faithful Action Leadership Council (FALC) is excited to announce the new partnership application process for First Universalist members wanting to lead a partnership with a community organization.
6:30 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Services at 9:30 & 11:15 a.m.
11 a.m. - 2 p.m.
7 p.m. doors, 7:30 p.m. service - 8:30 p.m.