Who gets to choose how we should live & die?

Monday, May 24, 6:30 PM Central: 
Join UU Rev. Harlan Limpert & Dr. Rebecca Thoman of Compassion & Choices, for a conversation on End of Life Options from a UU perspective. If you're curious about ethical, practical, religious, or legislative aspects, this small group conversation is for you.  

On May 10th, we hosted Stanford virologist Maria Filsinger Interrante for a brilliant conversation about how the COVID vaccines work, what's happening with variants and newer vaccines, and how to talk with vaccine-hesitant friends. Check our YouTube channel if you missed it but want to catch the video. 


City, county, and state employees don't get to kill people without accountability.

The Minnesota state legislature is still meeting through May 28th, and policy decisions are part of that. Contact your Senator using these sample scripts from the Council for Minnesotans of African Heritage or this from ISAIAH:

"I am outraged by the death of Daunte Wright and so many others at the hands of police. It is long past time we need change to state laws governing our police. We need to limit unnecessary traffic stops, ban white supremacists from serving as police officers, allow for local civilian oversight, restrict no-knock warrants and require sign and release warrants.  There can be no justice without accountability. We urge you to act on these bills immediately, this session."

The omnibus bill aims to make our communities safer through police accountability and community resources.
Read the full bill here: SF 970This bill includes several provisions already passed by the House, including:

  • Limit Traffic Stops - to prevent a driver from being stopped for expired tabs, an air freshener hanging in the window, and other low level offenses.  This is a direct response to the reasons given for the traffic stop that led to the death of Daunte Wright. (HF 2529)
  • Establish Civilian Police Oversight Councils - allowing local units of government to establish citizen oversight councils for law enforcement, ensuring that community members can both hold law enforcement accountable and have their voices heard in discussions of public safety. (HF 640)
  • Improve Officer Accountability - building a more effective early warning intervention system to keep officers with a history of misconduct off the streets. (HF 1374)
  • White Supremacy Ban - prohibiting  law enforcement from affiliating with white supremacist groups.  (HF 593)
  • Mental health response - Directing 911 operators to refer calls to mental health crisis teams instead of armed officers, where appropriate and available. (HF 1686)
  • Restrict No-Knock Warrants - Requiring a higher standard before no-knock warrants can be used (HF 1762)
  • Body-Camera Video - prohibit the altering, erasing, or destroying recordings and withholding of footage involving the use of deadly force from the victim’s family. (HF 1103)



May 25 Commemorations in Minneapolis

On Tuesday, May 25th, the community gathers in person at George Floyd Square in Minneapolis (38th and Chicago) to commemorate the first anniversary of his death and all lives taken by police violence. The event centers the family and friends of George Perry Floyd Jr., families impacted by injustice or loss, and the people who've preserved the memorial for 12 months. Beginning at 1 pm there will be art, community, food, open mic, and a children's area. At 6 pm a concert honoring the families. At 8 pm a candlelight vigil. Updates are on Facebook 

Also on Tuesday evening, May 25th, 5-9:30pm at the Gandhi Mahal site on Lake Street, Native artists Oyate Hotanin are holding a circle of arts and healing. 

Poster saying Tell President Biden to Stop Line 3

Treaty People Gathering: June 4-8, 2021

MUUSJA is co-sponsoring (with MNIPL and others) the Multifaith Delegation to the "Treaty People Gathering" to stop Line 3, on June 5-8, and we're inviting you to come share this experience, including cabin-camping or tent-camping with us if you wish. 

Please sign up here so we know you're coming, even if you've already responded to the main Treaty People page.

WHO IS INVITED & WHO IS HOSTING THIS? Please share this on PRIVATE channels but not on your public-facing Facebook or web pages, thanks!  This event is hosted by a strong coalition of Indigenous leaders (including Honor the Earth, R.I.S.E., GINIW Collective and Camp Migizi) and allies (including MNIPL and MUUSJA, among others). TO UU CLERGY: there is a special outreach to all of you who can assist with your presence & prophetic witness.

WHEN: June 5-8 with a welcome and shabbat service Saturday evening, an interfaith worship Sunday morning, workshops Sunday afternoon, and opportunities for direct action at Line 3 on Monday. Sunday-Monday will be the most important days to be there, if you can. There will be a UU gathering but time/place are to be determined. (BTW, sorry, we did not pick this date -- I know this is the annual meeting date for First Universalist in Minneapolis, and perhaps some others -- if that's you, we hope you can come after church, stay Sunday night & join us on Monday!) Staying longer is an option, but may require finding your own lodging or campsite.

WHERE: We have reserved the Northern Pines Camphttps://www.northernpinescamp.org/ with bunkbed, dorm-style cabins in Park Rapids, MN for the multifaith delegation, which includes folks from the MARCH Table and MNIPL. Most daytime events will be at a large hall on the White Earth Reservation or at the Welcome Water Protectors camp in Palisade. 

TRANSPORTATION: Carpooling is encouraged. MUUSJA's RIDE BOARD (linked here) is a self-serve board where you can post if you need a ride or can offer to drive others.  Carpooling to/from the camp to local events will be arranged ad hoc on site. If you can offer rides to/from MSP airport, please let Karen know ASAP. 

COST: The financial link is not live as of tonight but will be within the next 48 hours. Scholarships are readily available. The cost for a bed in a cabin and a hot breakfast in the camp dining room is $60/day; if you are tenting or car-camping, breakfast only is $10/day. If you're able to contribute towards the costs of other campers, please feel free to do that! 

COVID: Please make sure to bring and use good quality masks, and practice distancing when possible, even if you are fully immunized, to keep the community physically and emotionally as safe as possible. Do not come if you are feeling ill.

ACCESSIBILITY:  At this time, I don't have a lot of information about accessibility of this event, but please use the sign up form to indicate need for accessibility accommodations. We're collaborating with organizers from the reservations and campground to make this weekend as accessible for everyone as is possible at these locations. 

HERE is the sign up link, please be sure to indicate if you are responding to a UU congregational or MUUSJA invitation. MUUSJA will be notified of all self-identified UU's who are attending as part of the multifaith delegation, but won't pester anyone who prefers to go solo!  https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSd89rFcmtHLzW6J6Y4vBq-mcOVGMBPVApdscilC5zSDxl84FQ/viewform

How to Prepare, Before You Go

Join MNIPL with MUUSJA and others on Tuesday, June 1st, at 7pm Central for an online introduction to the Treaty People Gathering. 

Check out the virtual tours of the Water Protector camps in MUUSJA's video archive. 

How to Help from Home, if You Can't Be On the Front Lines

ASK JOE: Please remember to ask President Biden to Stop Line 3 We urge you to customize the sample letter—personal stories about why this fight is important to you are invaluable. Send an email using the form: https://www.stopline3.org/biden

THANK YOU, WATER PROTECTORS:  Please consider a direct donation, in any amount, and send a note with it, to thank two water protectors imprisoned for nonviolent direct action at Standing Rock to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline. One has been recently released, the other has a few more months to go. We know they still need and deserve our thanks and our help. Let them know their service is appreciated and they are not forgotten.

Dion Ortiz

Put his body on the line to protect the water. Still paying $1.25 a minute to call his family from federal prison.

Thank you, Dion!

Michael Markus

Put his body on the line to protect the water. Trying to build a new life in the Moorhead community. Needs a van.

Thank you, Rattler!


THANKS AND FAREWELLS: We hear often in this season that "commencement" refers to a stage of ending as well as a new beginning. Many UU congregations are ending the year with Coming of Age ceremonies launching youth into young adulthood. This year, we also acknowledge the pangs of loss, and gifts of memories and gratitude, as several beloved ministers step down from their congregational roles. MUUSJA's Board and staff are deeply thankful for the leadership, wisdom, courage, and kindness of clergy who have strengthened social justice and shaped the story of Unitarian Universalists in Minnesota: Revs. Rob and Janne Eller-Isaacs of Unity Church Unitarian in Saint Paul; Rev. Victoria Safford of White Bear UU Church in Mahtomedi, MN; and Rev. Justin Schroeder of First Universalist Church in Minneapolis. Well wishes also to Rev. Karen Van Fossan as she moves from the UU Fellowship of Fargo-Moorhead to a new endeavor, and Rev. Andrea Johnson as she moves from Minnesota Valley UU Fellowship in Bloomington, to dive deeper into seminary studies. 

MUUSJA is grateful to be part of this amazing UU community. The planned collaborations among many congregations for online summer services this year will be wonderful! 

Springing forward -- Towards justice, with joy!

Karen Wills, Executive Director

P.S. Deep thanks, once again, to all who contributed financially and/or by volunteering to help, or sharing on social media, for our Spring Forward fundraising campaign. We raised over one thousand dollars with thanks to 20 new donors in addition to our beloved longer-term sustainers. Your contributions keep Nico and me hosting racial justice trainings for police/ICE accountability, Katie organizing folks to Stop Line 3, and Allison leading the fight against voter suppression and getting us ready to celebrate Pride at Twin Cities, Fargo, Duluth, and Rochester. Thank you, social justice leaders and volunteers, for sustaining the MUUSJA community, of which we all are part.

MUUSJA - Minnesota Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Alliance
900 Mount Curve Ave. c/o First Unitarian Society | Minneapolis, Minnesota 55403
(612) 927-2072 | director@muusja.org

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