Thank you for visiting the Bismarck-Mandan Unitarian Universalist Congregation website! We are a fellowship of free minds, welcoming all--a beacon of enlightenment and sanctuary. We come from a variety of religious and secular backgrounds, hold a wide range of evolving beliefs, and come together seeking to build a better self, community, and world.
If you are seeking an inspirational religious home, please consider joining us as a guest at an upcoming service. When you visit, you will find:
We look forward to your visit!
More than 120 arrested during weekend actions
Standing Rock Tribal Chairman's statement on weekend arrests
Citing 1851 Treaty, Water Protectors Expand Frontline on treaty land
The secret strength of Standing Rock
Below is a link to a petition on Change.org from our UU Social Action Working Group to request President Barack Obama instruct the Army Corps of Engineers to conduct a full Environmental Impact Statement to better evaulate the effects of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Please sign and share widely if you feel so moved to do so!
Dear UUs Who Stand on the Side of Love with Standing Rock,
Thank you so much for your dedication to justice for Native people and sacred water. Please forgive this standardized reply to your request for information about supporting Standing Rock and the water protectors. We're receiving lots of requests from dedicated UUs, and we're having a tough time keeping up.
Right now, I would say we're in the 3rd phase of UU involvement:
1. Raise awareness among UUs.
2. Encourage UUs to witness what's unfolding here and tell the story back home.
3. Build solidarity at home -- right now -- wherever home is for each of us.
If you choose to come to Sacred Stone Spirit or Red Warrior Camp, you will be welcomed, whether you are Native or otherwise. If you're like any of the other UUs who've visited, this journey would support your spiritual development and sense of hope for humanity. It would be something like a spiritual pilgrimage.
That said, if your primary intention is to stop construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, which is the original purpose of the camp at Standing Rock, the biggest need I can see at this time is one which UUs across the country know how to do: organize actions -- right where you are -- to stop the pipeline, which is what the water protectors here are all about.
I can't tell you how encouraging it is to local people when we hear about solidarity actions and nonviolent resistance in other parts of the country. "Stand with Standing Rock" demonstrations, concerts, fundraisers, Sunday services, letters to the editor, congregational pictures with supportive banners, etc., are crucial to create a nationwide movement like the one that stopped Keystone XL.
Of course you are welcome to visit our uniquely beautiful state whenever you choose. We'd love to see you at 10:30 on Sunday mornings in our sanctuary at 818 East Divide Avenue in Bismarck -- or bump into you at the camp.
Please understand, though, that we are very involved in bringing supplies to the camp and doing our best to build solidarity in our area. This needs to be our priority, and right now we just don't have the capacity to provide the number of rides, home stays, directions, and updates by phone that we would like. We may be slow in getting back to you, but we are working to build our capacity and are hopeful we can be more supportive before long.
If you would like to stay current on the supply needs at the camp, please visit sacredstonecamp.org. If you would like to be connected with UUs who are organizing local solidarity actions, you can visit a new Facebook page: UU Presence at Sacred Stone Camp. To stay relatively current with on-the-ground news, you can check our website again soon, as we will begin sharing brief updates here.
Again, thank you for all the ways you Stand on the Side of Love!
With gratitude and spirit,
Karen Van Fossan, M.Div.
Bismarck-Mandan Unitarian Universalist Fellowship and Church
Regular Hours: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 7:00 am to 11:00 am
Welcome to the Bismarck Mandan Unitarian Universalist Fellowship & Church!
A Welcoming Congregation
Church is a place where you get to practice
what it means to be human. ~James Luther Adams
First-ever second service to be offered started Sunday, October 2!
Sunday, October 2
STANDING UP FOR PEACE IN DIFFICULT TIMES
MAY PEACE PREVAIL ON EARTH
Aruna and Vinod Seth
Twenty-two days after 9/11 this beautiful peace pole with " May Peace Prevail on Earth" in multiple languages in the front lawn of our Fellowship was dedicated jointly with the Gandhi Peace network in a celebration that brought together our whole community for peace at a difficult time.
We will together rededicate ourselves to peace in a simple ceremony.
Aruna and Vinod Seth will share the story of the ND Peace Garden visit where their family saw a Japanese delegation from Hiroshima dedicating a Peace Pole there. The ever curious Aruna followed up on that and voila we now have 8 other Peace Poles dedicated in Bismarck since that first one in 2001. They will share as well the story of the October Peace month activities including the Gandhi Peace dinner, A Pack the Pantry for Peace and the two-weeks of Peace Activities at each of the schools where the peace poles have been dedicated over these years. At its peak in 2004 Peace activities were held during October in Fargo, Minot and Dickinson.
Both have been active with Aruna serving on the Board and in social justice actions over the last 23 years. They moved to Bismarck from St. Louis and after three years to the desert of Bismarck found a joyous liberal home at our fellowship and have felt very welcome since.
They founded the Gandhi Peace Network in 2001 after many years of Gandhi Peace Dinners at the Green Earth Café which many of you have enjoyed over the years.
Sunday, October 9
IS PC PC ANYMORE?
Joseph and John DeMasi
With the recent attacks on political correctness by many on the right, Joseph and John DeMasi will examine the rise of the PC movement, what it has accomplished and why it is even more relevant than ever today.
Twin brothers Joseph and John DeMasi, are award winning UU singer/songwriters who began their singing career in the folk clubs of New York City where they were born and raised. Their music is embedded with their UU values and principles that they have shared with over 150 UU churches throughout the country.
Sunday October 16
EMPOWERING THE NO. HOW TO HEAR IT. HOW TO SAY IT.
Karen Van Fossan, Minister
Often a child’s first word is NO. But it’s not often encouraged. How we understand, say, and respond to “No” can shape who we are at all levels. What’s the connection between saying “No” and the capacity for “Yes”? What’s the role of the community in making space for “No”?
Karen Van Fossan graduated from United Theological Seminar of the Twin Cities in 2015, and has been serving as minister for the Bismarck Mandan UU congregation for over a year. She is a foster mom, pastoral counselor, and advocate for children and their families.
Sunday, October 23
WATER IS LIFE: YOUTH RUNNER SHARES HER STORY
My name is Alice Brownotter my Lakota name is Winyan Luta “Red Woman.” I am a 12 year-old enrolled member of the Standing Rock Sioux Nation; I currently attend Horizon Middle School in Bismarck, North Dakota and am a current member of the National Jr. Honor Society. I ran with other Standing Rock youth, from Cannonball, North Dakota to Washington, D.C. to hand deliver a petition to the Army Corp of Engineers to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline. My people believe that water is life, mni’ wic’oni. I will be sharing my experience in my fight for clean water and to protect our future.
Sunday, October 30
CULTIVATING COMMUNITY THROUGH PUBLIC ART: ADVENTURES IN THE BISMARCK ART ALLEY
Molly McLain and Paul Noot
Two local artists discuss their involvement in the Bismarck Alley project. Molly McLain is an advocate, artist, and educator raised in Valley City, ND. She lives in Bismarck and works for Farmers Union where she advocates for family farms. She is active in the arts world and frequently teaches classes and creates art projects and murals across the state with organizations, individuals, and schools.
A founding member of the Bismarck Downtown Artist Cooperative, Paul Noot received his BFA from the University of North Dakota and his MFA from Brooklyn College in New York. Paul has worked with the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC, North Dakota Museum of Art in Grand Forks, and is currently the head of the Visual Arts department at Bismarck High School.He also teaches classes for Sleepy Hollow Summer Arts, International Music Camp, BDAC and Continuing Education courses for the University of North Dakota.