The Summer Forum 2018 Schedule has changed, here is the latest schedule as of July 18, 2017 - please disrergard any previously published schedules:

July 23 - Utah Refugees: Stories of Resilience    A panel of refugees share their experiences of making lives in Utah.

July 30 – Pat Bagley Why are we laughing? Political Cartooning and Current Events    Award winning political cartoonist for The Salt Lake Tribune shares his perceptio

August 6 – Elliot Francis and William McMahon, M.D. -  Adults on the Autism Spectrum: Accepting Neurodiversity    An autist and a UofU psychiatrist discuss self-help and support strategies for adults on the spectrum.

August 13 – Rep. Patrice Arent and Rep. Dan McCay -- Ideology and Lawmaking: How Policymaking Gets Done    A dialogue between elected members of the Utah State Legislature with contrasting views.

August 20 - Pat Shea – Religious Liberty    First Amendment Attorney, past candidate for U.S. Congress and Governor in Utah

Looking Ahead

Summer Forum continues each Sunday at 10 am through August 20, 2017. Meditation group meets 15 minutes after the service in the parlor.

August 27th: Worship services resume with one service only at 10 am. Childcare will be provided.

September 3rd: Worship service; one service only at 10 am.

September 10th: Ingathering Sunday; regular worship service schedule resumes with services at 9:00 and 11:00 am; Religious Education classes for children and youth resume at the 11:00 am service only.

September 17th: Our annual Activities Fair happens after each service - a great way to find out how to be more involved and connected at First Unitarian Church.

-submitted by Harold Straughn

I am pleased to announce the arrival of my new book: ANECDOTES THAT TRANSFORM:...Little Stories That Changed My Life Without My Knowing It.

You will see many familiar names, places, and ideas that you cherish, including a chapter about my life and ministry with you at First Unitarian Church.

For more information about Hardcover, Softcover, and Online editions, click here: http://www.blurb.com/user/HKStraughn

In addition to ordering from my publisher, I plan to be available after Summer Forum services and on into the fall.

If you decide to purchase my book, I would greatly appreciate your writing a brief review and sending it to me so I can encourage others. Feel free to share this invitation with all your friends, both in First Church and beyond!

 The Pedal Project

-submitted by Andrea Globokar

The Pedal Project is a collaboration between First Unitarian Church of Salt Lake City Refugee Resettlement Committee and the International Rescue Committee (IRC).

The purpose of the Pedal Project is to provide free, gently used bicycles, new helmets, lights and bicycle locks to newly arriving refugee families in Salt Lake City. It is estimated that between 50-75 families will be resettled by IRC between July 1, 017-June 30, 2018. Gently used bicycles are tuned up for free by First UU Church volunteers. Each newly arriving family will receive one adult bicycle, a new helmet, lock and light. Children's bicycles will also be provided to families

The program was created because:

  • Bicycles are a familiar and comfortable form of transportation for refugees that is economical, immediately useful and highly appreciated. A bicycle can be shared among many members of a single family.
  • Bicycles provide cost free independence.
  • Previous experience providing bicycles to refugee families has brought resounding joy to all ages.
  • This program is a way to expand our welcome to refugees and integrate them into the community.
  • Bicycles are free transportation to work and school for adults.
  • Current programs offering used bicycles can not meet refugee needs.

Donated bicycles are picked up my members of the Refugee Resettlement Committee who will provide a tax donation receipt.

Contact Andrea Globokar, Project Coordinator at 801-518-7461 or to:

  • Donate a bicycle; and
  • Volunteer to tune up donated bicycles; and
  • Make a donation to be used for the purchase of new tune up materials, helmets, locks and lights.

Dear Rev. Tom Goldsmith and the congregation of the First Unitarian Church of Salt Lake,

Thank you again for the opportunity to facilitate and engage in the workshop "Danger of a Single Story". I enjoyed connecting with each of you and appreciate learning and growing towards furthering social justice and inclusion awareness. Together we can impact the world!

With solidarity,

Dr. Wazir Suni Jefferson

I recently took the plunge and signed The Book after being a peripheral member of the UU community since 2006.  Typically slow to action!

A refugee from the East Coast, Connecticut-born and raised, North Stamford to be precise, graduate of Wellesley College, with a twenty-year career in book, studio and corporate design, I migrated to Salt Lake on a whim, thinking it would be one winter of skiing.  I’m still here, 33 years later.

The First Unitarian Church has become my philosophical and ethical home, bringing new inspiration to my life many times, just as the mountains, deserts and rivers have brought new landscapes and adventures.  Upstairs neighbors in my Cambridge, Massachusetts condo asked for my unit and I have been an East Liberty Park homeowner since then.

While helping my widowed mother back in New Hampshire I traded the design and 60 hours a week on the computer for a Masters of Education and have spent the last 17 years working with children, a wonderful enlightening experience, as I do not have children of my own.

I have helped out with the UU Religious Education program, the Coming of Age group, the Jazz Vespers, and occasionally Laurie Robinson with the 9 o’clock greeting.  June 2018 I promise myself to retire and continue with my fine arts painting and bird volunteering.  An extended museum tour of Spain is on the list, plus a vague search for a country place, LEED certified home/organic community.  Any fellow travelers out there?  Come to dinner to talk.

The camping trip is attended by approximately 80 to 140 people depending on campsite. It is a community building activity were attendees of both services and their families can take time to get to know each other away from the church. For many attendees it is a family church tradition.

The event covers 3 nights and 4 days on average. Family friendly activities take place every day and there is a huge pot luck that is often also attended by people who drive up just for the day (another 10 people or so). This summer we will be camping at Pine Valley North Group Site C located up Mirror Lake Highway. The site holds 140 people (number of vehicles 25).  Cost is $30 per car.

Arrival Date: Fri Jul 21 2017 Check-in Time: 2:00 PM  Departure Date: Mon Jul 24 2017 Check-out Time: 1:00 PM

Overview: Pine Valley North Wasatch Cache Group Campground is located on the beautiful Mirror Lake Scenic Byway in the Uinta Mountains of northeastern Utah. The Uintas are known for their abundant recreational opportunities and scenic beauty.

Natural Features: The campground is situated among shady pines and aspens at an elevation of 7,400 feet. The dense stands of trees provide nice shade.

Recreation: The Lower Provo River is nearby, offering good trout fishing. Numerous hiking, biking and horseback riding trails crisscross this beautiful mountain area, including North Fork and Shingle Creek Trails. Off-road vehicle trails are in the vicinity.

Facilities: The campground contains three group sites with picnic and serving tables, grills, campfire circles and large paved parking areas. Vault toilets, and trash collection are provided. We are in Site C. Nearby Attractions: Mirror Lake Scenic Byway parallels the Lower Provo River as it snakes across a portion of the Uinta Mountains, leading to numerous high alpine lakes and streams, countless trails, breathtaking scenic viewpoints. Fishing, canoeing, hiking, backpacking, horseback riding and biking are popular activities. The High Uintas Wilderness can be accessed from several trails along the byway.

There is limited parking, so please sign up  early by filling out the form and pay fee at by clicking here.  

We've become aware of a communication gap for many congregants, so beginning with the August 7, 2017 issue, we will be going back to producing a mailed paper version of The Torch as well as continuing the online/email version. This version of The Torch will be published once per month - usually on the first Monday of the month, with a submission deadline a minimum of one week prior to publication. This full issue of the Torch will publish the usual columns, upcoming services, church-related articles, and all the usual announcements and photos as has been done in the past.

In addition to the monthly Torch, there will be a "Torch Supplemental" published via email/online only. This nearly weekly supplemental will include updated announcements, upcoming services and shorter, more time-sensitive pieces.

Production deadlines for these publications can be found by clicking here or a paper version of this document can be picked up in the office.

To be added to the mailed paper version list for The Torch, please email Jenni at with your name and mailing address including zip code or call her with the same info at 801-582-8687 ext. 202.

On Being White ...

-Submitted by Joan M. Gregory, Member, Anti-Racism Committee (ARC)

So many of us in our congregation are white.  We’ve been white for our entire lives.  Obvious?  Maybe ... maybe not.  Being white is something we cannot escape, being white is something we cannot change.  In America, being white comes with privilege.   Privilege that we take for granted, privilege we take advantage of every living moment of our lives.  Privilege we are taught NEVER to see.  But privilege is something we can and must change, privilege is something we can learn to see, and then learn how to speak up and show up and stand up when white privilege and white supremacy take action to trample and endanger people of color.

Some of us have dark skin and we’ve had dark skin for our entire lives.  Being dark skinned, being black, being people of color, is something we cannot escape, something we cannot change.   In America, being dark skinned, being black, being people of color, is dangerous every living moment of our lives.   From the day we are born our community teaches us that we must be vigilant every second.  We must practice this vigilance daily, we must teach it to our children.  It is the air we breathe.

And when we speak up for our rights or the rights of our children or friends or colleagues, we, people of color, are taking huge risks.  We are not bringing race into unrelated contexts or playing the race card.  We are living and breathing the impacts of racial injustice ... all ... the ... time.  There isn’t a moment of rest.  It is the context we live in.

What does racial injustice look like in SLC?   Rebecca Hall, JD, PhD, an African American woman, was fired on April 6, 2017 via a text message from her position as Center Coordinator of South Salt Lake’s Promise after school program located at Cottonwood High School.  Read - http://tinyurl.com/FiringOfRebeccaHall  - about the impact of her firing not only on her, but on the immigrant families whom she was serving.  How would you respond?  Would you ask: What may I do to help?

What does white privilege look like?   How will we respond?   Want to understand more?  Want to get involved?  Join the Anti-Racism Committee of First Unitarian Church at our June meeting on Monday, June 19th, 6:30-8:30PM, in Room 207, RE Building.   To be added to our email list, send an email to: .  We are considering doing another round of reading Debby Irving’s Waking Up White and Finding Myself in the Story of Race.   Would you like to participate in the reading and discussion?  Send an email to: to let us know.

We are also working with others in the Salt Lake community, in particular, SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice).   SURJ meets on the first Tuesday of each month at 7PM at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 261 S 900 E.  Check out their Facebook page closer to the meeting date to verify date and time: https://www.facebook.com/surjslc/

Learn more at the SURJ meeting, the ARC meeting, or stop by the Environmental Ministry table on Sunday.  Why the Environmental Ministry table – because all things are connected - Dr. Hall is also an active member of the environmental and climate justice community.

FILM SCREENING & DISCUSSION:

FROM THE ASHES

Friday, June 23rd, 7-9PM in Eliot Hall

From the Ashes captures Americans in communities across the country as they wrestle with the legacy of the coal industry and what its future should be under the Trump Administration.  From Appalachia to the West’s Powder River Basin, the film goes beyond the rhetoric of the “war on coal” to present compelling and often heartbreaking stories about what’s at stake for our economy, health, and climate. From the Ashes invites audiences to learn more about an industry on the edge and what it means for their lives. Learn more: https://www.fromtheashesfilm.com/

From the Ashes was produced by RadicalMedia in partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies.   This screening has been made possible by the Interfaith Power & Light network of which Utah Interfaith Power & Light is a part.  This is a great opportunity see this film in advance of the National Geographic global broadcast premiere on June 25th.

Co-Sponsors: Association for the Tree of Life, Climate Emergency Coalition, and Environmental Ministry – First Unitarian Church of SLC.