Torch Article: In the Life

06 September 2016

Welcome Back to First Unitarian Church! It is good to be back with you for another year in the life of this congregation and its mission and ministries. I look forward to seeing what we can do together in the second half of my time with you.

Now...What are you here for?

I don’t mean that existentially...that’s another column.

What are you here for? Why do you come to First Church? Why do you keep coming to First Church?

I first came into Unitarian Universalism because I was looking for an inclusive religious community. As a gay man in Kentucky in the 1990’s my options seemed limited. In Unitarian Universalism I found an inclusive religious community...and so much more. I found a place where I was not only welcomed to engage in worship, to share my gifts of music and speech, but where I was also challenged to bring more religion into my daily life. To bare witness to injustice in the world. To sit in on school board meetings as a community observer. I was challenged to invest financially in a religious community in a way I had never done before. I was challenged to invite others to do the same.

What brought me into Unitarian Universalism, and ultimately into ministry, is something different than what keeps me coming. This tradition and our congregations invite us to deepen, grow, stretch and mature. The more and the longer you stay connected to this faith, the less you will find yourself focusing on what you want and need. The more you will find yourself asking what this faith needs of you. What is it calling you to do and be in the your daily life?

Perhaps the question shifts from “What are you here for?” to “Who are you here for?”

And the answer involves a circle ever-growing in its circumference.

Welcome Back to First Unitarian Church!

Here’s to The Work...of Building Beloved Community.

Peace, Faith & Passion,


More from Matthew:

First Church Info Session - Thursday, September 22 - 6:30-8:30 in Eliot Hall

Are you new to Unitarian Universalism or just to First Church? Join other newcomers in a conversation with staff and lay leaders of First Unitarian Salt Lake City. Share your hopes and dreams for a faith community and hear those of others. Learn more about the mission and ministries of First Church, the Unitarian Universalist tradition of which we are a part and where you can connect and deepen in this Beloved Community.

Light snacks will be provided and childcare is available upon request. Please RSVP to Consulting Minister for Congregational Life, the Rev. Matthew Cockrum, at or 801.582.8687 ext. 205. Please include number and ages of children attending in your RSVP.

Hospitality Help Needed! - You know you’re coming to church anyway...why not be friendly about it? :) Sign up now to help with Ushering or the Welcome Table! It’s an extra 30-45 minutes added to your Sunday and you can sign up for one shift a month or more! Be a part of the warm, welcoming face of First Unitarian Church. For more information and to volunteer contact Consulting Minister for Congregational Life, the Rev. Matthew Cockrum at or 801.582.8687 ext. 205.

Youth Ministry 2016-2017

Welcome Back to Youth Ministry 2016-2017! Youth in 6th-12th grades (or of equivalent ages) and their families have an exciting year in store! Check out the bulletin boards in Eliot Hall or the updated church website for more info, but here’s the basics:

● 6th & 7th graders - 11:00 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Sundays - meet in the Parlor (Room 225), on the second floor above Eliot Hall. You’ll be studying World Religions this year including field trips to religious communities in the Salt Lake City area as well as guest speakers. Families, we’ll need your help for driving with field trips. Please make sure we have your best contact info to communicate weekly about plans and times.

● 8th & 9th graders - 10:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Sundays - meet in the Junior High Room (Room 218) where Coming of Age met last year. You’ll be following the Our Whole Lives (OWL) lifespan sexuality education curriculum this year. These sessions are packed with useful, factual and life-giving information on healthy relationships. Parents must participate in Orientation on 9/11, 6-8 p.m. and sign permission slip. $100 fee requested. Registration deadline is September 25th.

● 10th-12th graders - 10:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m. Sundays - meet in the Haven (Room 214). You’ll be reflecting on current issues, engaging in social justice projects and developing life skills as young religious Unitarian Universalists (YRUU) while also preparing for a hoped-for service trip to New Orleans in June 2017. You’ll also have an Our Whole Lives (OWL) intensive for two weekends in February (3-4 and 17-18). Monthly evening sessions are in the works as well.

Please register all children and youth at the following link:

An Evening with Soul - Save the Date! Friday, September 30, 7-9 p.m. in Eliot Hall. Ticket price TBA. Join Rev. Robert Fulghum and musical guests for dinner and tales in support of the high school youth group and their 2017 service trip. A tasty meal will be served. Tickets will go on sale mid-September. Want to help? Contact Kim Grob Lee at or Rev. Matthew Cockrum at or 801.582.8687 ext. 205.

Also, please note that we’re planning for youth to help out with the church’s new social justice project, assembling and delivering meals for the Homeless Youth Resource Center on the third Sunday of each month.

As always feel free to contact Rev. Matthew Cockrum with questions at 801.582.8687 ext. 205 or .

Seeking the Sources Adult RE Class - Join Rev. Matthew Cockrum in an exploration of the Sources and Principles of Unitarian Universalism. This is a monthly drop-in class. Come to one, a few or all! Each session will include movement, meditation and conversation. If you’ve got a favorite yoga mat or meditation cushion bring it along…or just come as you are! Sessions will be from 6:45- 8:45 pm on the last Monday of the month unless it’s a holiday, in which case it will be on the prior Monday.