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: 10:00 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



  • Bismarck UU Congregation Seeks Part Time Music Director

    As our congregation grows, we need more musical direction. We are looking for a creative, committed team-player to direct our weekly music – and develop musical programs with children, youth, and adults.

    The music director will:

    • Select music
    • Direct up to two musical groups, including a new group for children and/or youth
    • Provide musical accompaniment/direction each week at two Sunday services
    • Support UU values in inter-cultural contexts (though UU affiliation is not required)
    • Report to and collaborate with the minister

    Song-writing ability and experience working with youth and children are a plus!

    This is a quarter-time (10 hours/week) contract with a yearly stipend of $12,000 (more possible for exceptional experience). There are opportunities for professional advancement and education, as the congregation continues to grow.

    Application deadline is February 15, 2019.

    Apply by sending a resume (or other list of relevant experience), two references, and a cover letter describing your interest to:

    Rev. Karen Van Fossan at minister@bismanuu.org, 701.223.6788


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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!


  • The Unitarians of Plymouth Rock

    Sunday, Feb. 17 @ 10:30 AM & 12:30 PM
    Speaker: Joyce Conrad

    “To know where you’re going, look at where you’ve been,” as the famous saying goes. Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock in 1620, bringing dreams of democracy and liberal religion. In a number of historical ways, Unitarian Universalism has descended from this dream – and the Pilgrims who held it. A founding member of our Bismarck-Mandan congregation, Joyce Conrad will outline the history of the religious movement that culminated in the founding of the American Unitarian Association in 1825. What might this history mean for us today? How might we go forward from here, with clarity about the past and vision for the future?

  • Reflections on ‘Stories & Songs of the People’

    Sunday, Feb. 24 @ 10:30 AM & 12:30 PM 
    Speaker: Johnnie A

    For many decades, Johnnie has organized and participated in inter-cultural, inter-faith events called “Stories and Songs of the People,” as part of a vision of living and cooperating in community. Join us for this reflection on a lifetime of work. Johnnie is a storyteller, composer, fine artist, and writer who has performed and lectured at events around the world. His background is Haudenosenee and Lakota Hunka, and he resides in the Black Hills. 

    **All are invited to join Pat Conrad and the UU Caring Team at 9 AM this morning (February 24) for the second of four monthly sessions in the Aging Comfortably series. This morning’s topic: Documents to have in place as we age. We’ll consider wills, powers of attorney, and advance directives. Please contact Pat Conrad at 701.425.6281 for details. People of all ages are welcome.

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    Local UU Related Events

  • Strategic Planning & Visioning

    Your board of trustees and minister announced at the annual meeting that we have begun conversations with Dr. Ellen Chaffee, in order to engage a full strategic planning and visioning process. We had hoped to start the process in January, but scheduling has been a challenge. This 3-4 month process is now set to begin in March—with opportunities for congregants to be involved in May or June. Please stay tuned, and we will do our best to keep you in the loop!


  • Heartbeats (Teen/Tween Program)

    The Heartbeats 2019 program schedule for February and March includes five Wednesday programs and two Friday programs.

    All Wednesday programs are from 6:30 to 8 PM.

    • Wed, Feb 20  Intertribal Hand Games with UTTC Thunder Society
    • Wed, Feb 27  Latin Dancing with Angela Harmon 
    • Friday, Mar 1, 7-10 PM  Live Show, co-sponsored by Project Noise   
    • Wed, Mar 6  Hobbies & Interests 
    • Fri-Sat, Mar 8-9, 6:30 PM-8 AM  Lock-In Celebration 
    • Wed, Mar 13  Open Mic Night with Matt Lone Bear & Project Noise 

    Teens and tweens are welcome to join us for cool games. Snacks provided! All programs held at Unitarian Universalist Congregation ~ 818 E. Divide ~ Bismarck, ND.

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


  • Social Action Working Group
    Wednesday, Feb. 20 (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 Mary Wilson, Social Action Working Group chair, at 701.425.5352 if you'd like more info. All are welcome.
  • UU Men's Meet-Up

    Thursday, Feb. 21, at 5:30 PM
    Lucky's 13 Pub,
    915 South 3rd St. in Bismarck.

    All men are welcome for interesting conversation and good times! Contact Don Morrison if you have questions or ideas 701-527-0060.

  • Bridging Cultures & Cultivating Healing: 525 Years after the Doctrine of Discovery

    Friday-Saturday, February 22-23, 2019
    Trinity Lutheran Church
    502 N. 4th St Bismarck, ND 58501

    The Faith Alliance for Racial Justice, an interfaith and intercultural collective in Bismarck-Mandan, invites you to gather for music and storytelling, presentations and hands-on experiential learning as we engage our hearts and minds in the following questions:

    What is the Doctrine of Discovery, and what are its effects in our local context?
    What does it mean to repudiate the Doctrine of Discovery?
    What kind of behaviors and relationships are we required to re- examine or change in our lives and in our institutions?
    What is historical trauma, and how does it impact the people of this region?
    How can we bring about inter-cultural changes to foster healing and wholeness for all people?

    For more information and to register, visit: tinyurl.com/CultivatingHealing


  • Aging Comfortably Workshops: Next Workshop, Feb 24

    Though there are still aches and pains associated with growing old, this series can help us think through issues we will face, so we can deal with them more successfully and with less stress. People of all ages -- senior citizens, as well as those caring for aging loved ones -- are invited to join us for this important, four-part series, offered by our own Pat Conrad.

    January 27: Resources to help us remain in our homes as long as possible.

    February 24: Important documents (wills, powers of attorney, advanced directives) to have in place as we age.

    March 24: Assisted living and nursing home care, how they are paid for, and who pays the bill.

    April 28: Burial and cremation options and deeding our bodies to UND. 

    Each session will be held on Sunday morning from 9 to 10 AM in the UU library. We will bring in professionals from the legal, social services, and funeral professions to help us with the last three sessions. Questions? Contact Pat Conrad at 701.425.6281. Thank you, Pat, for bringing this popular 2015 series back again!


  • Native Youth Prayer Walk Solidarity Supper & Potluck

    Monday, Feb. 25 at 6 PM
    Bismarck-Mandan Unitarian Universalist Congregation
    818 East Divide Ave. Bismarck, ND

    Please join Nathan Phillips and the Native Youth Alliance, at the completion of a four-day Prayer Walk from Standing Rock to Bismarck –  to commemorate the closing of the Water Protector Camps in 2017. 

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


    Co-sponsored by Bismarck-Mandan UU & Native Youth Alliance Info: bismanuu.org, 701.223.6788



  • UU Parents/Mentors/Teachers Meeting

    Wednesday, Feb. 27 2019 at 5:15 PM
    BMUU Church
    818 E. Divide Ave.

    Join us at the UU where we'll discuss childcare, upcoming teaching opportunities, as well as anything else the group would like to discuss.

    All parents, guardians, teachers, and mentors are welcome!


  • Board of Trustees Meeting

    There is a Board of Trustees (BOT) meeting scheduled for Thursday, February 28, 2019 at 5 PM. Thank you!

  • Solidarity Saturdays

    Solidarity Saturdays are open to the public and occur at several locations across the state. As you can see, the Bismarck event takes place at our very own UU. 

    About: Solidarity Saturdays are informal gatherings of multiple organizations and people to talk about our shared concerns and celebrations in North Dakota. 

    Event Description: It's time to start Solidarity Saturdays again! The North Dakota legislative session has begun. With the current political situation in our state, it is more important than ever that the grassroots and non-profit organizations, as well as individual people of North Dakota, meet together and understand our mutual interests.  

    Solidarity Saturdays create a space for folks to gather in support of one another. It also gives us a chance to collaborate, learn, and discuss hot issues in North Dakota.  

    Unitarian Universalist Church
    818 E Divide Ave 

    Red Raven E.P.
    916 Main Ave 

    Grand Forks:
    Archives Coffee House
    3012 University Ave 

    Upcoming Solidarity Saturdays will be March 2, April 6, and May 4.

  • En Masse North Dakota | Call for 50+ Participants

    Presented in partnership with the State Historical Society of North Dakota

    June 8 and 9, 2019 | 2:00 pm
    North Dakota Heritage Center & State Museum
    612 E Boulevard Ave.
    Bismarck, ND 58505 

    En masse North Dakota is a movement meditation and community art performance piece that will premiere June 8 and 9, 2019 at the North Dakota Heritage Center & State Museum in Bismarck, ND. Directed by choreographer Vanessa Voskuil, born and raised in Bismarck, this piece brings together 50+ performers in a work that celebrates the sharing of our stories and the love of North Dakota community. 

    The veteran and first-time performer are welcome. Participants are age 15+ and do not need to have any formal arts background to participate. 

    For more information or to sign up, contact Vanessa at: vanessa@vanessavoskuil.com Or visit vanessavoskuil.com/upcoming

  • 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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    Name Change Conversation

  • Name Change, Your Input Needed

    Bismarck-Mandan Unitarian Universalist Fellowship and Church. Our current name reflects a long history, but it’s quite a mouthful!  Over the past few years, the Board and Minister have been talking about whether it is time to consider a name change to something that better reflects who we are and who we strive to be, and perhaps rolls off the tongue a bit better!  

    To get input from the congregation, four meetings were held in between services starting in September 2018. Those attending brainstormed new names for our beloved community and discussions were lively. However, not everyone was able to attend, and we promised at the annual meeting that the congregation would be able to have input on this issue. The Board will take that input and determine what name to put forth to the congregation at the quarterly meeting in March, and we will vote on the change then. If we vote to change the name, the Board has budgeted the funds necessary to make the change and rebrand our congregation in the community.  

    So here it is – your opportunity to put in your two cents worth!  

    Please review the names and ideas that have already been put forth. Think about our congregation and what it represents to you. Are there any additional names or ideas you think should be added to this list? Email your ideas to cjreinke@gmail.com OR fill out the form on the entry counter and place the form in the suggestion box by February 22.   

    General Discussion to Date:

    • Unitarian Universalist must either be in the name or the tag line
      • Ex: Prairie Sky Unitarian Universalists OR
      • Prairie Sky
        A Unitarian Universalist Congregation
    • An option is to NOT refer to us as a congregation, church, fellowship or the like
                Ex: Blue Sky Unitarian Universalists
    • Fellowship was a specific reference to the program that helped establish our church – the program no longer exists in the Unitarian Universalist Association 

    Colleen Reinke,
    Board Vice President

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    Special Announcements

  • Water Protector Legal Collective Concludes NoDAPL Criminal Defense Program in ND

    Mandan, ND: Nearly two and a half years after the first arrests at Standing Rock — Water Protector Legal Collective’s mission to provide legal support for Water Protectors with criminal charges in North Dakota has been completed. 

    WPLC was born in a tent at Oceti Sakowin Camp. WPLC came at the request of Standing Rock tribal leadership when arrests began in August 2016. As the last scheduled trial concluded on Tuesday, WPLC is still here. 

    Read more.

   February 2019   

Upcoming Events



The Unitarians of Plymouth Rock
10:30 AM to 11:30 AM
The Unitarians of Plymouth Rock
12:30 PM to 1:30 PM






UU Folk Choir Practice
5:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Heartbeats (Teen/Tween Program)
7:00 PM to 10:00 PM
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