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



  • ***Help Get Out the Native Vote***

    Our UU congregation is in collaboration with Sacred Pipe Resource Center to address the state's new voter ID law, which sets up barriers to voting, especially for Native voters.

    Can you help get out the vote? Right now, the greatest need is for non-Native people, who will be paired with Native people, going door to door. The work can be volunteer or paid. Weeknights are preferred. Gas cards are available to cover travel expenses.
    Please contact Don Morrison, Social Action Working Group chair, at 701.527.0060 or donrm2010@gmail.com.
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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!


  • Random Acts of Kindness

    The Mindfulness Series

    Sunday, October 21 at 10:30 AM & 12:30 PM
    Speaker: Rev. Karen Van Fossan


    Anne Herbert coined the phrase, “Practice random acts of kindness and senseless beauty” in response to global violence and domestic racism. Like many of us, she believed that our ordinary lives have extraordinary impact on our world – and that beauty can be an antidote to cruelty. Today, we’ll celebrate the milk of human kindness and gather sustenance for a world that deeply needs it.

  • Honoring Our Ancestors – Multi-Generational Service

    Sunday, October 28 at 10:30 AM & 12:30 PM
    Speakers: Dee Hendriks, Mary Wilson, Ronya Galligo-Hoblit, Rev. Karen Van Fossan, & Friends

    We all have ancestors. We come from the countless generations that have given us life. Some of us have grown up with cultural practices of honoring these ancestors; some come from backgrounds that have all but lost these practices. In this multi-generational service, we will draw on cultural traditions that are alive within this UU community, in order to honor our ancestors and lost loved ones. The spirit will be one of reverence and connection across the generations. You are invited to bring pictures or other memorabilia to represent your ancestors or other lost loved ones. 


    People of all ages are also welcome to wear Halloween costumes. We respectfully request that you consider the impact of your costume choices on people of different cultures. In particular, please refrain from wearing Native-themed items if you are not a Native person. Thank you for your understanding!


    *Be sure to attend the UU community conversation (What’s in a name?) at 11:45 AM on October 28, as we consider a new name for our congregation.*

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    Stew-ardship Drive 2019

    The “Stew”-ardship, Food for the Soul 2019 Drive, is underway. If you have not received a packet at the UU or in the mail, copies are available in the entryway. We ask you to reflect on your hopes and dreams for this congregation before making a studied, thoughtful, heartfelt contribution of time, talent, and treasure. Our current blessings are the culmination of those who have come before us to bring us to this moment.

    Now, we ask you to carry the vision forward, allowing an even fuller, richer experience for all who attend. Once you have decided on your pledge, place your card in the slot in the stew pot poster in the entryway. The stewardship cards need to be returned by Nov. 1 to allow the Board to make a budget recommendation for the Dec. 9 annual meeting. If you have questions, please contact Colleen Reinke at 701-400-4748 or cjreinke@gmail.com.

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    Local UU Events

  • Help Us Welcome Refugee Family

    Dear UU Congregation,

    We are fortunate to respond to a request by Turdukan Tostokova of our UU congregation & Lutheran Social Services to help in welcoming a refugee family. Beatrice and her four children will be arriving in Bismarck on November 8. They are from Congo and are currently at a refugee camp in Uganda. Beatrice is in her 50's. She has four children (boys ages 24, 18, 14 and daughter age 12). The refugee families are given a small one time stipend once they enter the US. LSS would like to use the stipend primarily for housing costs and has asked the UU to assist with gathering these other items. The less they have to purchase, the more their stipends can pay for the first months of housing costs.

    There is a sign up list of needs at the following link: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/60B0F48AFA62FA4FA7-beatrice

    The list includes household goods, toiletries, winter coats, shelf stable food items, and school supplies.

    This is a great time to do some fall cleaning. Used items that are clean and in good working condition are welcome! Please wash any fabric items if they have been stored in a closet, garage, basement, or attic for some time (towels, coats, etc.) so they are fresh and ready for use.

    Please drop off any items to the UU between now and November 4, 2018. Or contact me directly, Angela Pittman - akpittman@hotmail.com or 701-516-4708. (Items can also be stored in our garage.) Monetary donations are also appreciated and will be used to supplement the items donated for the family.

    There will be opportunities to assist setting up the apartment (possibly on November 4) and the family will have various needs once they arrive, such as rides to buy groceries, apply for jobs, etc. Turdukan will communicate those needs as they arise. The major need will be for a hospitable community, and we hope to welcome the family to our congregation soon after they arrive (possibly on November 11).

    On behalf of your UU Caring Team, thank you for your generosity as we welcome this family to our congregation and community.

    Angela Pittman

  • Water Protector Solidarity Supper & Potluck

    Monday, Oct. 22 at 6 PM 
    Bismarck-Mandan Unitarian Universalist Congregation

    818 East Divide Ave. Bismarck, ND

    Join us for a time of sharing, healing, and connecting. Dion's sentencing hearing is scheduled for this day. Many hearings and trials are scheduled this fall.

    Bring a dish to share if you can. If you can't, come anyway. Children are welcome! 

    This event is co-sponsored by the Water Protector Legal Collective and Bismarck-Mandan Unitarian Universalist Congregation.


  • Children's Religious Education Gets a Home-Grown Upgrade!
    This year, we have put together a creative, new approach that supports not only quality education for our young ones -- but also the enjoyment and support of our teachers and mentors.
    This year, we intend to craft 30-minute lessons based on topics the rest of the congregation will be considering during the Sunday services. For instance, on Sunday, October 7, the service topic is Random Acts of Kindness. In children's Religious Education (RE), the young ones will consider what kindness means and will practice their own random acts of kindness during and immediately following RE.
    We believe this approach will draw on the strengths and gifts of a wide range of current and potential teachers.
    The next Parents/Teachers/Mentors meeting:
    Wednesday, October 24 @ 5:30 PM
    2000 E. Capitol Ave. in Bismarck
    Many thanks to Susan Lyon for hosting!
    Light refreshments will be served.
  • UU Youth & Heartbeats Welcome Jeffon Seely

    Wednesday, October 24 @ 7 PM 

    Please join us in welcoming Jeffon Seely as our new Youth Mentor! Jeffon will collaborate with youth, families, and our minister Karen Van Fossan in putting together great programming for youth this fall. We will meet @ 7 PM on Wednesday, October 24 to plan our fall kick off. We look forward to another year of community and fun!
    Info: text or call Karen VF @ 701.202.2421 or email minister@bismanuu.org.

  • 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, October 28
    Sunday, November 18
    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.
  • 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

  • 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

  • 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.

   October 2018   

Upcoming Events



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


Honoring Our Ancestors
10:30 AM to 11:30 AM
Honoring Our Ancestors
12:30 PM to 1:30 PM


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