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

  • 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 online by clicking here or with Rev. Matthew Cockrum via e-mail () or phone (801.582.8687 ext. 205) or at the Congregational Life table.
  • Seeking the Sources - Mondays, February 27, 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.

 

Youth Program Assistant

First Unitarian Church of Salt Lake City is seeking a creative, enthusiastic and dedicated individual to serve as a Youth Program Assistant. We are an urban, liberal church located near the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, and are committed to social justice and spiritual growth.

Our Religious Education programs are designed to provide children and youth with a safe and supportive environment in which they can learn and grow, connect with other children and explore their own latent creativity and developing spirituality.

We believe this is accomplished through hands-on learning, exploration of age-appropriate materials and engagement with various forms of the fine- and performing arts. Our classroom encounters are built around compassion, inclusion, respect for life and community engagement.

This position will be advertised within the Church and to the community at large. The application period for this position closes Monday February 27, 2017.

 

Job Description

• Ten-month position, mid-August through mid-June

• Reports to Director of Religious Education and Senior Minister

• Supervises volunteer youth mentors and volunteer teachers

• Education: College degree

• Experience: 2 or more years of professional and/or volunteer experience working with youth in an educational or religious environment

• Background check is mandatory

 

Compensation

• Commensurate with knowledge, skills and abilities

• Range: $15-$17/hr for 20 hours/week; no benefits provided

• Position starts August 10, 2017 (start date may be flexible)

 

Position Responsibilities

• Collaborate with the Director of Religious Education (DRE) and current RE Assistant to ensure an engaging Sunday curriculum focusing on religious exploration, social justice, UU Principles, leadership development and adult partnerships

• Supervise teen activities with some weeknight and/or weekend hours required

• Assist in recruitment, training and supervision of volunteer teachers and mentors

• Attend weekly staff meetings and RE committee meetings as applicable

• Recruit youth for program expansion

• Foster connections among youth participants of all ages

• Interface with congregation at appropriate times regarding the RE program

• Maintain program supplies for youth programs within budget constraints

 

Communication/Skills

• Utilize electronic and printed communication channels to advise the UU community regarding events and programs

• Facilitate and encourage frequent communication among volunteer teachers, parents and youth regarding our RE program

• Maintain close contact with the DRE and RE Assistant

 

Desired Talents

• Being a good listener and maintaining a positive attitude

• Experience with special needs children and youth

• Familiarity with social media and appropriate use of these tools

• Comfortable in a collaborative team dynamic

• Knowledge of Unitarian Universalist principles and values

• Sensitivity to the unique needs youth and adults from divergent backgrounds

 

Working Environment/Physical Activities

• Participation in camping, outdoor sports and service trips

• Willingness to sleep on floors or couches at youth conferences

• Willingness to participate on youth overnights with consecutive hours of lost sleep

• Able to coach, mentor and connect with youth and their families

• Sensitive to, and respectful of, confidential and personal information

 

Contacts

Julie Miller, Director of Religious Education, First Unitarian Church of Salt Lake City

or

801-582-8687

It’s hard to believe that Spring is close at hand and we are approaching the final quarter of our Religious Education program for 2016-2017.

Our theme for RE in 2017-2018 will be “Faith in Action” with an emphasis on the Golden Rule as it is reflected in religions worldwide. We plan to examine diverse cultures and find ways to embrace diverse peoples and backgrounds.

Perhaps one of the best ways to help our students navigate through these goals is through Social Justice projects, meaning activities and curricula that will help students develop a mindset of concern for inequities in wealth, education and privilege.

We’ll be working on projects that empower our children through awareness, advocacy and activism. Ultimately, we should be able to help our youth make connections between Unitarian history, culture, science and economics. Our upper-grade students, of course, will continue on their journey of self-reflection and openness.

Travel plans for our upper-level RE program is expected to shift to an every-other-year basis, with out-of-state travel one year followed by a year of social justice outreach in our own backyard.

Just around the Corner in RE…

2/19/17 - Sandwich Sunday for younger RE children
2/26/17 - Pancake Fundraiser event for YRUU after each service
2/28/17 - Applications for RE Youth Advisor closes
3/19/17 - RE Council meets, location TBA
4/2/17 - Return to traditional curriculum for lower grades (PreK-5) through May 28

In Service,
Julie Miller
Director, Religious Education

Well, it looks like we’ve reached mid-year-point in our Religious Education program. We’ve just concluded an 8-week cycle featuring guest speakers representing seven world religions and the critical issue of social justice:

Tibetan Buddhism
Judaism
Hinduism
Unitarian Universalism, with Barbara Creek from our own congregation
Christianity
Baha’i
Islam
Reverend Harold Straughn, speaking in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King

Beginning in February and running through the end of March, we’ll embark on an 8-week cycle of arts-infused curricula for our RE children, ages 5-11. Please note that Arts classes will be suspended on Sunday February 19 (President’s Day Weekend), but we will continue with our Sandwich Sunday Project, and will provide alternative activities for children attending service on that Sunday.

And speaking of Sandwich Sunday, food donations are always appreciated for this project. Specifically, that means sliced cheese, loaves of bread, chips or pretzels, cookies, fruit snacks, small carrots and pre-packaged drinks. Donations may be dropped off Sunday 2/19 in the little RE Kitchen on the main floor near the Little Chapel. If you can donate, please advice Lissa or Julie prior to 2/19: or .

Our religious/academic year concludes with an 8-to-9 week cycle of traditional UU curricula, along with a session of Our Whole Lives (OWL) classes for first and second graders. OWL registration for this group begins on Sunday February 12 and closes on Sunday March 5. Classes start April 2 and end May 28. Registration will be available online or in person starting February 12 at the RE Table in Eliot Hall. A donation of $25.00 per student is suggested to cover curriculum costs; a parent or guardian is required to attend these classes with their child/children.

Junior Choir sings this Sunday at the 11am service only. Rehearsal for Junior Choir members will be in the Choir Room prior to the performance, from 10:15 to 10:45am.

Family Fun Night resumes Monday February 6, with dinner from 6-6:30 followed by a presentation with our own Reverend Tom Goldsmith, from 6:30-7:30. Reverend Tom reveals “The Inside Scoop on Our Church’s History.” Childcare will be offered 6:30-7:30 for infants and toddlers through age 4. An activity will be planned for 5-12 year olds.

The Religious Education Council meets Sunday March 12 from 12:30-2. This meeting is open to staff and members of the congregation who are interested in programs and services for our youth. We’ll cover topics including a budget update, curricula review for next year and organization and structure of the Council for 2017-1018.

We welcome new members to our congregation and look forward to getting to know you and your family.

In service,
Julie Miller

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