First Church will be screening a gripping documentary "Screenagers" about the dangers and affects of digital screens on our youth. Mark your calendar for May 25, 6 pm in Eliot Hall.

Click here for more information.

First Church will be screening a gripping documentary "Screenagers" about the dangers and affects of digital screens on our youth. Mark your calendar for May 25, 6 pm in Eliot Hall.

Click here for more information.

Here at First Church, we are already looking ahead to a family-friendly theme in which we will integrate our Seven Principles into the six days of the week when you’re typically not in church. It’s actually very simple.

Our theme for next year is called “Faith in Action”. It involves a process that is underway at Unitarian churches nationwide. It revolves around making family, home and community the basis of our year-long teachings.

When you hear the word “silo”, you undoubtedly picture a tall, tubular structure in which farmers store their grain. Well, imagine for a moment that Church-on-Sunday is a silo. You’re in a fairly contained environment in which news, spiritual inspiration, conversation and coffee come together on that day.

So what about Monday through Saturday! Our objective is to move beyond the traditional one-day “silo” of worship, social justice and religious education…and explore new ways to extend Unitarian principles into everyday life.

Another way of looking at this shift is to take Sunday’s inspiration into the rest of the week—faith in action whether you’re at home, at work or in school.

It starts with creating a few home-based traditions. Consider linking the messages and comaraderie you experience on Sunday with conversations and activities at home. On the Church side of the equation, we’ll emphasize several themes in our RE program:

self-awareness (why do I go to church…can I relate to the messages I hear here?)

experiential learning (learning by doing through music, art and teaching)

intersection of spirituality and social justice (can I apply what I hear in church to everyday life?)

The RE program features four “strands” that, woven together, become a “tapestry of faith”. This fabric, so to speak, is the foundation for our overall curricula but takes on special meaning for our third and fourth graders (8- and 9-year-olds). The four strands include the following:

  • ethical development
  • faith development
  • spiritual development
  • Unitarian identity

Consider yourselves ‘moral agents’ … individuals who demonstrate honesty and compassion in everyday life. Extend that sensibility to your family, friends and colleagues. Enable your children to explore, grow and experience joy despite the inherent challenges of growing up.

We will continue to discuss the meaning of “Faith in Action” over the next two months. Please stay tuned!

In Service,

Julie Miller, DRE

OWL (Our Whole Lives)

Our award-winning comprehensive sexual education program will begin for first and second graders this Sunday at the 11am service and continuing through May 28. One parent or guardian will need to attend this class with his/her child. A suggested donation of $25 is requested to cover the basic costs of teaching this class.

Child Dedication Sunday, April 9, 9am & 11am services

On this Sunday, we will gather as a congregation to confirm our dedication to the youngest members of our First Church community. This event is for infants, but if you have other children who have not been dedicated, feel free to request their inclusion in this Service. You’ll need to complete a form, which is available in the Infant/Toddler Room (Room 109) by this Sunday April 2, and return to Lissa Lander or Julie Miller. You may also send an e-mail to with the following information:

  • Full name of child
  • Names of parents or guardians
  • Date & place of birth
  • Names of siblings
  • How long you have been a member or friend of First Church
  • A sentence or two about your child’s personality
  • Please indicate if you would like to attend the 9am or the 11am service.

Collecting for Refugees

We are teaming up with the IRC to collect gently-used games, toys and NEW stuffed animals for the refugee children who have come to Salt Lake City in recent months. These items are being accepted now through Easter Sunday. There is a box outside the Little Chapel for donations. A “mystery” Easter Egg Hunt is also scheduled on this date (April 16) at our 11am Service for the youngest members of our community.

Celebration Sunday - The Big Mix-Up

But not what you think! I’m referring to the remarkable mix of generations that collaborated on one outstanding Sunday celebration—the one conducted on March 5. Not only did we have a full-to-overflowing house, but we had every set from our Religious Education program—the elementary-age kids, the junior high group and the seniors rally ‘round the pulpit, each with his or her individual and group insights in what represents the best, the essence, of what it means to be a devoted Unitarian—kind, concerned, fair and inclusive.

The presentation revealed how even the youngest members of our families are able to contribute to a strong sense of community which, of course, is one of the benefits of membership at First Church. This being Celebration Sunday, however, a key theme was taking responsibility for ensuring the vibrancy of the congregation.

Toward that end, Matthew Cockrum (our Minister of Congretational Life) transitioned to the Offering, in which he announced both good news and bad. The good news, said Matthew, is “we have all the money we need! (Pause….) The bad news is, it’s still in your pockets!” Special thanks to David Owens and David Zabriskie for their masterful musical and organizational skills, which energized the entire congregation.

For me, perhaps the strongest and most inspiring memory of the morning was the warm and cohesive sentiment that permeated the congregation—we are here, together, to support what is good and right for our entire community—the Church, our city and our country. My thanks to all who provide the “seeds”—the funds, the time and the talent that support our RE Program.


Just Around the RE Corner

Sunday March 19
RE Council Meeting Room 201, 12:30-2pm

Saturday March 25
Interested in launching a Family Fun Night for our older youth? Meet in the Haven for our first “Movie Night.” Thirteen and up are welcome—adults, you too! Check our community calendar for more information.

Sunday April 2
Our Arts Program ends for children 4 through 11 years of age and we return to traditional curricula/class programming EXCEPT for grades 1 & 2 for whom we will offer Our Whole Lives “OWL” program from 11:00 to noon. For this group, OWL (Our Whole Lives) supports parents in educating children about birth, babies, bodies and families. Parents are required to attend this program offering with their child. If you do not want your child to attend this award-winning program, your child will be able to join another class during this time.

Monday April 3
Family Fun Night. All families, interested members or friends of our congregation are welcome to join us at 6pm for dinner. Adult time and activities for the children to follow until 7:30pm. We strongly encourgage you to pre-register for this event.

Sunday April 9
Child Dedication Sunday, during both 9am and 11am services. If you have an infant or young child whom you want welcomed into our Church community, please let Lissa Lander or Julie Miller know as soon as possible.

Sunday April 16
Easter Sunday. Easter Egg Hunt for the youngest members of our RE community, weather permitting. On this Sunday, The RE program will support our Refugee Committee by collecting gently-used toys or games and NEW (Health Dept. requirement) stuffed toys. Your generous donation will be greatly appreciated by children who arrive in our State with very few, if any, personal items. Your donation can be dropped off in box which will be placed in the Little Chapel marked “Refugee Toy Donation”.

In Service,
Julie Miller, Director of Religious Education

OYRP: Owning Your Religious Past - Tuesdays, March 14, 21, 28 and April 4. 6:45-8:45 p.m. - Join Revs. Matthew Cockrum & Tom Goldsmith in this powerful 4-session series designed to assist participants in examining and exploring their religious past while also articulating their present and future. These sessions are open to all and will contain elements specifically geared towards those with LDS background. Register on-line here, with Rev. Matthew Cockrum via e-mail () or phone (801.582.8687 ext. 205) or at the Congregational Life table.

Seeking the Sources - Mondays, March 27, April 24 & May 22, 6:45-8:45 p.m. Room 201 - Join Rev. Matthew Cockrum in movement, meditation and inquiry of how we might benefit from accessing the six sources of our living tradition. No registration required, drop-ins encouraged. Come as you are. Bring your favorite yoga and meditation gear if you have any.

Stay in touch with the other youth and families involved in religious education at First Church! Be “in the know” about upcoming events and reports on progress of programs.
World Religions - grades 6 & 7 - Facebook Group
Our Whole Lives - grades 8 & 9 - Facebook Group
High School - grades 10-12 - Facebook Group

A huge thank you for all of the support for the 10th-12th grade in recent months in their upcoming service trip to the Center for Ethical Living & Social Justice Renewal in New Orleans (http://celsjr.org/) and also by parents, teachers and other congregants who helped out with the recent high school Our Whole Lives weekends.

Special thanks to the teaching team: Annette Ephroni, James Griner, Mary Elizabeth Mitchell and Randon Beckstead.
Sleepless thanks to the chaperones: Bryan VandenBirge, Cooper, Elaine Stehel, Jenica Davis-Hockett, Kaden Colton and Nick Shifrar
Additional thanks to panelists: Beth Jennings and Marlin Taylor.

You are all part of maintaining this flourishing and critical ministry at First Church!

Interested in helping out with future youth ministry projects? We’ll begin selecting teachers, facilitators and mentors for the 2017-2018 church year in the coming months. To apply or ask questions please contact Rev. Matthew Cockrum at or 801.582.8687 ext. 205.

Tuesdays, March 14, 21, 28 and April 4. 6:45-8:45 p.m. - Join Revs. Matthew Cockrum & Tom Goldsmith in this powerful 4-session series designed to assist participants in examining and exploring their religious past while also articulating their present and future. These sessions are open to all and will contain elements specifically geared towards those with LDS background. Register online below or with Rev. Matthew Cockrum via e-mail () or phone (801.582.8687 ext. 205) or at the Congregational Life table.

 

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Sunday, February 26 after each service. Have a tasty breakfast at church and support our high school youth in their June service trip to New Orleans. Want details or to help? Contact Nancy Moos at or Lori Shields at