The people of Bismarck-Mandan Unitarian Universalist Congregation are a diverse group, dedicated to community, love, and purpose, committed to transforming ourselves and changing the world.

Please join us at an upcoming service! You will find:

  • A vibrant and caring community
  • Connection to our accepting congregants
  • Services that are intellectually and spiritually grounded
  • A vital religious education program which helps our children develop their spiritual curiosity, love, and purpose in the wider world.

We look forward to your visit!

Contact Us

Bismarck-Mandan Unitarian Universalist Congregation
818 E. Divide Avenue
Mail: P.O. Box 297
Bismarck, North Dakota 58502
Map  •   Directions
Phone 701-223-6788

Regular Schedule

Office Hours
  • Receptionist Hours: 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM,  Monday - Friday

    Minister hours: Karen Van Fossan is in everyday except Mondays. Stop in or call first, just in case she's in a meeting.

  • 1st Service
    – 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM
  • Treats, Coffee and Conversation
    – 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM
  • 2nd Service
    – 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM
Join Our Mailing List



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    Sunday Services

    We offer two Sunday Services: 10:30 AM and 12:30 PM with time to visit and have snacks in between. See below for details on upcoming service. 

    During our 10:30 AM service, children ages 0-9 to participate in quality Religious Education activities that teach UU values. Youth ages 10+ participate in the entire Sunday service and attend our Heartbeats intercultural youth group on Wednesday nights. All are welcome!


  • What Nourishes Us? UU Cooking Show!

    Sunday, Nov. 25 at 10:30 AM & 12:30 PM
    Speakers: Ronya Galligo-Hoblit, Vanessa Voskuil, Rev. Karen Van Fossan, & Friends
    Potluck at 11:45 AM replaces the 2nd service

    Part cooking show, part performance art, part family meal, today’s service celebrates the nourishment of community, the complexities of family, and the healing power of a really good meal. Come with an open mind – leave with a new recipe.  

    All are welcome to bring recipes of favorite dishes, past and present. 

    Please join us for a potluck at 11:45 AM. Bring your leftovers – and enjoy the leftovers brought by your friends!

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    Stew-ardship Drive 2019 Update

    The “Stew”-ardship, Food for the Soul 2019 Drive, has been extended! Thank you to everyone who has pledged for 2019! Our total is over $83,000 so far – with more to come. Your generosity makes all our dreams possible.

    Questions? Please contact Colleen Reinke @ 701.400.4748 or cjreinke@gmail.com. You can also mail or email your pledge to office@bismanuu.org or Bismarck-Mandan UU, PO Box 297, Bismarck, ND 585902. Thank you!

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    Local UU Events

  • Heartbeats November & December 2018

    Our intercultural teen/tween program, Heartbeats, will meet on Wednesdays this month from 5:30 to 8:00 PM. All teens and tweens are welcome!

    Nov. 21: **No Program This Wednesday**
    Nov. 28: Cheffing It Up - Cooking & Baking
    Dec. 5: Winter Art Creations
    Dec. 12: Poetry, Music & Dance
    *Sunday Dec. 16: UU Variety Show - Showcasing the Youth

    Learn about world traditions. Experience diversity and unity. Connect, build relationships, EAT, and have fun!

    For info, contact our minister, Karen Van Fossan, at minister@bismanuu.org or 701.223.6788.


  • Social Action Working Group
    Wednesday, Nov. 21 (3rd Wed)
    5:15 PM

    Our Social Action Working Group provides leadership for the congregation and larger community on social justice initiatives. For many of us, social justice engagement is crucial to our spiritual lives.
    Contact Don Morrison, Social Action Working Group chair, at 701.527.0060 if you'd like more info. All are welcome.
  • What's in a Name? UU Community Conversations
    The name "Bismarck-Mandan Unitarian Universalist Fellowship & Church" has served us well for many years. There is important history in each of the words in our seven-word name. Even so, as we grow in commitment and membership, it can be challenging to express who we are with such a long name.
    Some UUs have suggested changing "Fellowship & Church" to "Congregation." Some have suggested letting go of "Church" or letting go of "Fellowship." Others have even suggested that "Bismarck-Mandan" could be replaced with words like "Missouri River," "Northern Plains," or "Peace."
    What name, what words, would adequately express who we are for you -- for all of us? Please join us for a series of conversations about what our name could be and the values it could embody. Come to one conversation, or come to all!
    Sunday, December 9
    On September 23, we began the conversation as part of our quarterly meeting. On December 9, we hope to complete the conversation by voting on the name at our annual meeting. Each conversation with be held at 11:45 AM, between the services. For info, contact our minister, Karen Van Fossan, at minister@bismanuu.org or 701.223.6788.
  • 2nd Annual Small Business Saturday - American Indian Art, Craft & Entrepreneur Fair

    Saturday, Nov. 24
    10:00 am – 5:00 pm
    Unitarian Universalist Fellowship & Church
    818 E. Divide

    Come support local Native artisans and shop for unique and beautiful Native art just in time for Christmas!

  • Special Service & Potluck on November 25

    All are invited to bring a family recipe — and a dish to share (leftovers are welcome!) — on Sunday, November 25. We will gather for one service (at 10:30 am) and then enjoy a potluck at 11:45, to replace the 2nd service. Performance artists Ronya Galligo-Hoblit, Vanessa Voskuil, and Rev. Karen Van Fossan are putting together a special service celebrating family and community, in a spirit of joy, reverence, and even a little humor. Your written recipes will be part of the service. We look forward to seeing you!


  • Little Free Pantry

    Donations of non-perishable items are needed and greatly appreciated! Please drop off food supplies at Sunday services, by the front door of the UU during the week, or directly in the Pantry anytime. Thank you!

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    Local Community Events

  • Cannonball Fire

    Friends and relatives, there has been a serious house fire in Cannonball, and Sacred Pipe Resource Center has reached out to us.

    Could you share donations of food, home furnishings, furniture, blankets, and clothes? There are seven people who have been displaced. The sizes for clothing include: XL, XL, and 2XL for three adult females, 2XL for two adult males, and 18 month-old or 8-10 girls size for the two children.

    Please drop donations off at the north door of the UU anytime—the sooner, the better. Thank you for your generosity toward our neighbors!


  • Hygiene & Diaper Drive through December 9

    The Minot State Social Work Methods III Class is gathering items for a feminine hygiene & diaper drive for students attending South Central Alternative High School.

    Please donate feminine hygiene products -- which include tampons and pads, wipes, and soaps -- as well as diapers. Thank you for your support of local students!


  • American Indian Free Art Classes 2018

    NATIVE ARTISTS UNITED (NAU) and the Sacred Pipe Resource Center will be providing a series of American Indian Art classes in the fall of 2018 and the spring of 2019. The following classes will be provided FREE of charge, thanks to the generosity of the First Nations Development Institute. (See a complete list of classes by clicking on the picture)

    Classes are open to youth and adults ages 12 and up. You must commit to attending all of the days in the class to finish the project. All classes will be held from 5:30 – 8:00 p.m. at the Will-Moore School, Room 107, 400 E. Avenue E.

    You must be registered to attend. Please register for classes at www.sacredpipe.net. For questions or more information, e-mail Native@sacredpipe.net or call Cheryl at 701.426.1315.

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    Special Announcements

  • Letter to the Editor: Identification law unfair to Native voters

    Written by Rev. Karen Van Fossan and Rev. Gretchen Deeg, Bismarck

    As people of faith and conscience, we are alarmed at attempts to disenfranchise voters. North Dakota’s voter identification law, as recently upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, creates needless barriers to voting for too many of our congregants, neighbors, and friends, especially those who are Native.

    The law requires voters to have an ID with a residential street address, while people living on reservations have generally not been provided with physical, street addresses and commonly use post office boxes instead. Even more, the ID requirements are being rapidly changed just weeks before the general election on Nov. 6.

    In a recent statement to North Dakota tribes, the state claims the process of obtaining a residential street address is “simple,” suggesting that the issue is the capacity of Native people to understand a simple process, rather than the process itself – one which creates additional steps that specifically impact Native voters.

    Because of effective organizing at Standing Rock, Three Affiliated Tribes, Spirit Lake, and Turtle Mountain reservations, as well as in urban areas across the state, many Native voters will certainly overcome these barriers. The capacity of neighbors to work together to overcome injustice is not in question.

    The real questions are these: Why were barriers, which specifically target Native voters, created in the first place? And why the rush – just weeks before the general election?

    In a joint statement, leaders of North Dakota tribes have stated, “We will not be silenced by the blatant attempts to rob our people of our voice.” As allies of Native people and advocates of the right to vote – neither can we be silent.


  • What is Your Prayer for Sacred Waters?

    Take a moment to reflect on how the upwelling of Indigenous-led and community-led movements to protect sacred waters has made an impact on your own perspective and relationship to water. 

    Please write a prayer or meditation, light a candle, and/or perform a ritual prayer for water protectors and the ongoing struggle to protect and restore sacred waters. 

    As you are willing and able given the context and nature of your prayer, please share words, photos, or stories with UU Ministry for Earth.

    Share Your Prayer

  • Our UU Congregation Receives Pickett Award!

    Congratulations, Bismarck-Mandan UU Congregation!

    Our congregation has received a great honor, having been chosen as the 2018 recipient of the O. Eugene Pickett Award from the Unitarian Universalist Association. This award, given annually to a small congregation, recognizes our ongoing solidarity with Indigenous Water Protectors, during the height of the local movement and after the cameras have left. This award came with a gift of $600, which will help cover expenses of the ongoing Water Protector Solidarity Suppers. We do what we do because of our convictions and faith, not with the hope of public recognition. Still, it’s encouraging to know our larger tradition is with us in such a tangibly supportive way.

    If you'd like more information about the Water Protector movement or the Award, please contact our minister, Karen Van Fossan, at 701.223.6788 or minister@bismanuu.org.

  • UU General Assembly Affirms Solidarity with Indigenous Water Protectors

    We are honored to announce that UUs from many nations have affirmed solidarity with Indigenous Water Protectors, through passage of an Action of Immediate Witness (AIW) at this year's General Assembly.

    This AIW honors the Indigenous-led Water Protector movement at Standing Rock & Oceti Sakowin Camp as a prayerful example of resistance to the general crisis of the earth, as well as of the rights of Indigenous peoples to control their own destiny. It calls on UUs to engage in continued education, reflection, and solidarity, especially considering the human rights violations of Indigenous Water Protectors who now face federal imprisonment.

   November 2018   

Upcoming Events





UU Folk Choir Practice
5:00 PM to 6:00 PM




Heartbeats Program
5:30 PM to 7:00 PM




UU Folk Choir Practice
5:00 PM to 6:00 PM




Heartbeats Program
5:30 PM to 7:00 PM
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