High School Parents! We're finalizing details on our High School service trip on April 29th at 12:30 in the Haven, please plan

on attending! Registration and medical release forms will go home this Sunday. 

The Big Give

The Big Give was a smashing success! Our youth raised $211 for BLMUU, IRC, Salt Lake Sanctuary Network, Nuzzles and Co.,

and the VOA Homeless Teen Shelter. Thank you to everyone for encouraging our youth and supporting these fabulous groups!

Coming of Age

Friends! The Coming of Age service is rapidly approaching! All faith statements need to come back to church, typed or

emailed() THIS SUNDAY APRIL 22ND!  Additionally, please remember to join us on April 28th at 5:30

for our rehearsal and dinner with mentors.

Service Sunday

For our Final Service Sunday of the year, Heather Heaton will be joining us from Harvest for Hunger to discuss their group's

mission of providing fresh food to low-income families. Please wear something you don't mind getting dirty in, we'll be

planting our new RE garden plot!


RE Calendar

April 21st and 22nd- Art Fair
April 21st- Jr Singer perform at 6:25 pm
April 27th- 10 am playdate
April 28th- COA Rehearsal at 5:30 pm
April 29th- COA Service
                  High School Service Trip Meeting at 12:30
May 6th- Sandwich Sunday
May 4th- 2 pm playdate
May 7th- Family Fun Night
May 13th- Sanctuary Sunday
                 Service Sunday- Harvest for Hunger

It's Art Fair Weekend!

Please join us this weekend for the annual Art Fair. RE will have a table displaying all of your youth's precious creations

(reasonably priced at $1) that they have lovingly made this year. We will also have the ever popular greeting cards

available.  Jr. Choir performs at 6:25 on Saturday.  This is a fun event full of art, music and dance.

See you this weekend, April 21st and 22nd!

Art Fair

The Art Fair is right around the corner on April 21st and 22nd! RE youth have been diligently creating pieces of art available for purchase. The Jr Choir will also be lending their talents on Saturday night. This community event is always fun for the entire family. Come and see all the talents of our youth!


Thank you all for your support of the Big Give! Our youth raised over $200 through their own hard work and ingenuity. It was a great day to see giving in action!

Family Fun Night on April 2nd was so much fun! Thanks Rev. Monica for leading us in a water wise discussion and art! Stay tuned for more info on May 7th's Family Fun Night, we're going to do a clothing swap and donation.

RE Calendar

April 6- Playdate 2:00 pm

April 8- Sanctuary Sunday
             COA parent meeting 12:45 pm

April 13- Playdate 10:00 am

April 16- New member meet and greet

April 20- No playdate

April 21- Arts Fair

April 27- Playdate 10:00 am

April 29- COA Service
              UU@Home 10:15 am

Service presented by the Religious Education High School Class on March 18, 2018

As an RE team, when we chose the theme Faith In Action for our church year, we had no idea how timely it would be. To further our growth as a faith community, we added two new programs,  Service Sunday and UU@Home. These programs have been designed to compliment our theme, guiding our youth in action and service in our community, as well as the larger community and world.

On our first Service Sunday, on October 22nd,  we participated in a nation-wide UU White Supremacy Teach-In. Through advocacy and research, two essential elements of service learning, our youth grappled with topics such as racial identity and privilege.  Next, we met with members of the Refugee Resettlement Committee(RRC) and learned about their work with the International Rescue Committee.  As a community, we learned what it's like to live in impoverished and war-torn countries, and discussed how it would feel to move to someplace completely different.  The RRC challenged us to find and befriend refugees in our own schools and communities. In January we learned about the Sanctuary Solidarity Network and First Church’s place in Utah’s history of providing sanctuary. We tied quilts and made beautiful collaborative paintings to make the residence in our own church a bit more welcoming.  This month Nuzzles & Co. came (with puppies!) to teach us about their efforts to find homes for animals throughout Utah. The youth also enhanced their knot tying and braiding skills by making dog and cat toys to donate to the shelter.  We hope to continue the year with equally enriching service opportunities.  We are continuing our service project from last year, Sandwich Sunday.  For those of you who are new, the youth prepare 40 sack lunches for homeless teens at the Volunteers of America shelter each month.  In March a speaker from the VOA will be telling us more about where our sandwiches go and the community it’s serving.  

April will be The Big Give! The goal of the Big Give is to encourage our youth to reflect and evaluate the community partners we’ve teamed with, and give big to them!  Step one: Make a box!  In RE, we will be making our own Giving Boxes.  We’ll brainstorm ways they can earn money for their Giving Boxes asking them to bring the boxes back to church a week before Easter Sunday.  Step two: Learn to evaluate a charity.  We will discuss each of the community partners we learned about this year and each child will decide which partner to give their hard-earned dollars to.

And finally, UU@Home is a brand new class for families to explore being a Unitarian in fun ways--together!  We hope to seek ways to bring home the things we discuss each week at church.  We’ll learn more about the 7 principles, practice some gratitude, and maybe throw down some family yoga.  Find us in Little Chapel on the last Sunday of each month at 10:15!   Our youth have been eager learners and active helpers! It is a gift and a joy to lead them!

Our teachers are amazing!  As the lower school closes out another curriculum block, the RE team would like to thank our teachers once again!

  • Infant-Three year olds: Erin Cowley, Betsy McHugh
  • Preschool: Beth and Coleen Jennings, Bethany Moos
  • Kindergarten-2nd Grade: Kevin Emmerson, Jennifer Heartel, Kris Lander
  • 3rd-4th Grade: Jojo Lui, Megan Anderson
  • 5th-6th Grade OWL: Britt Rose, Kendra and Raleigh Smith, Matt Wilson
  • COA: Carrie Black, Kaden Colton, Paul Kuttner, Kristin Quinn
  • High School: Derek Gersdorf, Cooper, Rob Richardson, Dot Verbrugge

RE Calendar:

  • March 5: Family Fun Night
  • March 11: Sanctuary Sunday, Service Sunday, Sandwich Sunday, OWL 5th/6th Second Session begins
  • March 18: High School Service
  • March 25: Child Dedication, Jr Choir Singing


As Unitarians, welcoming visitors in an open and inclusive way has always been one our strongest virtues. If we had “commandments” I’m sure one of those would address our hospitality.

As it turns out, I think our welcoming “gene” has multiple levels. First, it connects individuals to families—their own, of course, but to all the others who find First Church to be a welcoming environment.

Beyond that, we know the Church welcomes the community at large. Sort of a “welcome wagon” to all who seek the warmth, comaraderie and benevolence inherent in our guiding principles.

As we approach Celebration Sunday, I wonder if I’ve risen to the challenge of making new families feel welcome here...of making at least one child—perhaps several children—less fearful of being the new kid/s in a religious education classroom.

GIven the recent horrific events in Florida, we should never underestimate the power that one person has among those who are vulnerable. Your very first words and acts of welcome leave an indelible mark.

People remember acts of kindness throughout their entire lives. Every positive encounter, every “welcoming”, has the potential to create a Unitarian sort of future. The old adage “One candle flame can light a million other candles and never be diminished” certainly comes to mind.

Maya Angelou got it right when she wrote, “People will forget what you said...people will forget what you did...but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Today, in the face of corrupt governments, violence and glaring inequality worldwide, freedom seekers still come to the United States for safety, shelter and an improved quality of life. So many arrive as strangers, unable at first to fit in. That is where we come in! At this very moment, I am so proud of our congregation—friends and strangers alike—who have come together to welcome and protect a family in need.

Hospitality starts at home and here at First Church. Like the proverbial pebble dropped in a pond, it can moves outward toward the larger community. By embracing our faith, I have come to learn more about my own theology. In part, it is quite simple. The world should be an extension of what we value in our homes...we should welcome strangers and seek ways to extend our hospitality.

This year, more than ever, it is so difficult not to despair over the repetition of unspeakable terror and tragedy. Not to mention the disturbing discourse from so many of our leaders.

In Jewish folklore, there is a wonderful story about a man who stood before God, heartbroken by the pain and injustice in the world.

“Dear God,” he cried. “Look at all the suffering, the distress, the anguish in your world. Why don’t you do something—send help!” God responded, “I did send help! I sent you.”

We Unitarians are compassionate people. As we celebrate our founding and our unique gifts on March 4, let us always remember to act with love and kindness and welcome the stranger.

Note: In this issue of The Torch, our Religious Education Director Julie Miller introduces new and prospective members of First Church to the essence of our Religious Education (RE) Program.

First Church’s RE curriculum, based on Unitarian Universalists’ values, enables us to embrace an inclusive, multigenerational church community that comes together on Sunday mornings and weekdays to do many things—share ideas, work on social projects (Refugee Resettlement, support for Homeless Teens, for example), enjoy the camaraderie of like-minded people and reflect on uplifting sermons. We embrace liberal religious values and a commitment to social justice and community action.

For infants and toddlers from birth through 3 years old, being a Unitarian means “I know that I am safe and loved.”

For Pre-K and Kindergarten: “I know that I can have fun and that I am a valued participant in our church.”

For 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th graders: “I am learning about the Unitarian Universalist Church.”

For 5th & 6th graders: “I’m learning about other religions and how they may be similar to—or different from—Unitarian Universalists.”

For the middle-school years: “I know what I believe.”

For high school students: “I can connect my Unitarian identity to my life and my chosen faith community.”

For adults: “I can maintain my commitment to service and community involvement and to my chosen faith.”

Through our Sunday worship services, and our educational and cultural activities, our overriding objective is to provide opportunities to reflect, serve and learn in a supportive environment We’re always looking forward to meeting new friends.

As Unitarians, we are:

Learners seeking experiences that instill wisdom and guide us toward an ethical and spiritual life

Explorers from many faith traditions as well as multiple ethnic, racial, sexual and cultural identities

Doers, standing on the side of love, with helping hands and thinking minds who value deeds above creeds

We enthusiastically invite all such seekers to join us here at First Unitarian Church of Salt Lake City.

The Match January 2018


New Family Dinner

Are you a new family to First Church? Would you like to meet other new families? Join us on February 13th at 6 p.m. in Eliot Hall for a fun night getting to know each other, answering questions, and finding out more about First Church. Keep an eye out for the invite? Other questions or want to join us? Email Amanda Esko at !

Volunteer Opportunities

Friends! Take a second and look at your child's class for open volunteer slots. Several families have been simply AMAZING, but we all need to volunteer in our cooperative RE model. Thank you!


K-2nd Grade

3rd/4th Grade

5th/6th Grade

Also, we have some open slots for Sandwich Sunday on February 4th. Take a look and singup if you're able to bring anything!

Sandwich Sunday

You are Welcome

Service Sunday, January 14th

On January 14th, the youth in RE learned about Sanctuary; what it is, how First Church is participating, and how youth can help. We tied blankets for families, and created welcoming all to our community of faith. To find out more about how you and your family can participate, please visit the Sanctuary Table in Eliot Hall every Sunday!

RE Calendar

January 28- UU @ Home, Little Chapel- 10:00 a.m.
January 28- COA Mentor Meeting
February 4- Sanctuary Sunday
                   Sandwich Sunday
                   Jr. Singers Performing 
                   Congregational Meeting
February 5- Family Fun Night
February 11- High School Service Trip Meeting
February 13- New Family Dinner
February 18- Service Sunday- Nuzzles and Co.

Julie Miller, Director of Religious Education

I grew up Columbus, Ohio in an upper-crust neighborhood.

I had little exposure to what we now call “diversity”.

Activism was not a word I knew until college and adulthood.

So today, as we approach one of the most sober of American anniversaries—the life and death of Martin Luther King—I’m trying to come to terms with my reflections on MLK in relation to our everlasting Unitarian principles.

What we have here is an opportunity to embrace, and possibly even promote, the passion of one of the most provocative, impassioned and decent human beings ever to light up the land.

What we have here is a call, figuratively speaking, to stand up for racial justice in a time of backward sliding, a regrettable time, in fact, in which darker sentiments that prevailed fifty and a hundred years ago are percolating again into the highest levels of society.

You might think, oh no, it’s time to don your activist overcoat..get out there, gather forces, take a public stand. Some of us are cut out to do just that. Many are not. So…what to do after an inspiring sermon? What to do after your vote doesn’t seem to matter anymore?

Start slow and easy. Can you write a letter? Good. Can you chat up a friend and write two letters? Better. If you don’t have the words, it’s highly likely they’ve already been written and written well by folks online.

Take a couple of your like-minded friends or colleagues to a City Council meeting. Observe who’s on first, so to speak, with cogent comments—and who is not. There are new members on that Council who just might like to know what you’re thinking.

We’ve seen Council members and City government people respond positively to respectful citizen input. Ask if law enforcement training touches on racial sensitivities.

My earliest teaching job was in Pontiac, Michigan in a mostly-black school. What an eye-opener…the locals likened my upbringing to “marinating in an elitist environment.” Soak in that for a minute!

As I noted several years ago, it’s been proven that Catholic and Protestant kids in Northern Ireland could actually mingle peacefully if they were isolated from the maddening prejudices that disabled their parents.

So. In light of MLK’s incomparable efforts to overcome racial injustice, let us renew our commitment to compassionate Unitarian principles. Let us be just a bit more challenged, a bit more caring and a bit more engaged to make a difference.

Alabama voters did it. So can we.


This year's Pop-Up Pageant was so fun! Thank you everyone who came and participated!


The Kindergarten class is looking for a co-teacher for the winter block! Email Amanda at if you can help out!

Our holiday party on December 9th was a great success! Many thanks go to Brenda Goodwin, David Owens, and the many volunteers who came to help with the activities. Thank you so much!


RE Calendar

December 21st- Solstice! 6pm
December 24th- Intergenerational Christmas Eve Service- 11 a.m.
December 24th- Candlelit Services at 5:30pm and 7:00pm
January 7th- Winter curriculum begins
                      Sanctuary Sunday
                      Sandwich Sunday
January 14th- Service Sunday
February 4th - Sanctuary Sunday
                        Jr. Choir sings
                        Sandwich Sunday
February 5th- Family Fun Night