Monthly Archives: June 2011


Laughing

“Sheep Suit” by Sylvia Taylor, from the “Laughing Bear” portfolio

This Spring, we exhibited the “Laughing Bear” Portfolio  in Pilgrim Hall.  Artist Diana Eicher put this beautiful show together.  She sent the “Laughing Bear” poem, by Katherine Tilton, to twenty some printmaker colleagues and asked them to make a print.  You can read the poem here:  http://www.katherinetilton.com/index.php?cid=391.

We held a  reception for this exhibit on Friday May 13, which included a reading of the poem, beautifully rendered by Sally Wingert.  Since the poem addresses the subject of domestic violence, we invited representatives from area organizations to join us.  Carol Arthur, Executive Director of the Minneapolis Domestic Abuse Project, and Rebecca McLane, Operations Manager from the St. Paul Domestic Abuse Intervention Project both talked about their programs and gave a bit about the history of domestic abuse intervention in The Twin Cities and in Minnesota. The Twin Cities have been in a leadership role in this area since the beginning.  We were thrilled that purchases of prints donations raised over $700 for the St. Paul Domestic Abuse Intervention Project.

The “Laughing Bear” event inspired First Church member, Carol Cochran, to write this reflection:  

“Laughing”

I wrote a God, hear our prayer article for Chimes [First Church newsletter] in 2005. My brother, a psychiatrist, was locked in an Arizona jail with a $1,450,000 bail. His crime—domestic violence. I was shocked, confused, angry, sad, and grateful. Our parents deceased, I, his big sister and only sibling, went to his trial in January 2006 to testify and find out more. The trauma of seeing him shackled and fallen from his throne where I, our family, and his community had placed him, was like a horror movie, not real life. He was a forensic psychiatrist with the Arizona Department of Corrections (DOC) and formerly for the Utah DOC, where he gained fame as the psychiatrist for Gary Gilmore, Utah’s first death row inmate, after many decades, to die by firing squad. Now, my brother was on the other side, without the keys.

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First Church’s architecture: pictures and video

Last week, our own Rev. Dr. Clyde Steckel gave a second-hour presentation on the architecture of First Church.  By popular demand, here are the slides he showed.  Click on each picture to enlarge.  Unfortunately at this time I don’t have the captions, but they are forthcoming!

At Brad Schumann’s suggestion, we also showed an incredible 8mm silent film of the steeple being taken down in 1967 and replaced in 1971 (video courtesy of Pete Norum).  Watch below, and be warned, it takes a little while for the action to start:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sKnDAtzuAs0]