Party With Us Throughout the Summer!

  • Every Thursday- 6:45 pm
    Join us in the garden for our Garden Parties! We’ll tend our garden plot and play outside for these long summer nights!
  • Every Friday- 10:00 am
    Our weekly playdates will continue throughout the summer. Have a cup of coffee and a doughnut on us all while strengthening community!
  • July 2nd and August 6th- 6:00 pm
    Family Fun Nights continue throughout the summer! All summer long we’ll be outside, eating and playing(usually with water!). Forget cooking and hang out with us!

Coming Up!

Here are some things to put on your calendar for next year!

OWL- Next year we are offering Kindergarten-2nd OWL in the fall and the winter! 8th-9th grade OWL will run during RE(11-12:00) all year. If you have friends who are interested in signing up for these programs, please have them email Amanda at , as soon as possible. We will have a few open spots in each class for visitors!

Back to RE- Our Back to RE night will be September 10th during Family Fun Night. Join us to find out all about next years programming!

MDD Fall Con- For our high school youth, MDD Fall Con is going to be held at First Church for the first time EVER! The Con will be on October 19th-21st. For more information or if you want to help, email Amanda at or Lissa at . Stipends are available for people willing to organize and manage food!

Teachers Needed!

Did you leave our Coming of Age and High School service feeling inspired by our youth? Are you a grandparent missing your grandbabies and want to stay connected with youth? Come and work with Religious Education in the fall! We’re looking for volunteer for several age groups. Have a passion for bible literacy? Join our 2nd and 3rd graders! Want to explore Unitarian Universalist traditions and values? Hang out with our Kindergarten and 1st grade! Think exploring other faith traditions leads to a deeper understanding of your own faith and world, especially in this time of global crisis? Our 6th and 7th graders will be doing just that!We are always able to work around schedules and vacations. Please email Amanda Esko at for more information!

Social Justice Throughout the Summer

Our volunteer commitments do not end simply because it’s summer! In continuation with our work with the VOA Homeless Youth Shelter,  we will continue to make sack lunches, but during Family Fun Night. Not able to make it to Family Fun Night but would like to contribute? We have the answer! If you would like to donate supplies(such as bread, meat, chips, etc.), please visit our signup page: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/5080b4baead28a6fc1-summer . Labeled donations can be left the the RE fridge on the Sunday before Family Fun Night. 

Due to the increased need in the summer, we will also be collecting cases of bottled water for the VOA. Please leave any cases on the stage in Little Chapel. Cases of water can be left throughout the week. 

Questions? Email Amanda Esko at for more information!

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UUA 2018-2019 District High School Youth Event Dates


9th-12th grade youth are invited to Mountain Desert District youth events. Please contact Jessy Hennesy, MDD Youth Conference Coordinator, with questions, at .


  • October 19-21, 2018 - Fall Con, First Unitarian Church, Salt Lake City, Utah (bus will be available from Denver Metro)
  • November 9-11, 2018 - Leadershop Development Con (limited space available), First Universalist Church, Denver Colorado
  • January 19-21, 2019 - MLK Con, First Unitarian Society of Denver, Colorado
  • February 8-10, 2019 - Worship Arts Training (limited space available), Jefferson Unitarian Church, Golden, Colorado
  • April 12-14, 2019 - Spring Con, Foothills Unitarian Church, Fort Collins, Colorado
  • June 30-July 6 - QUUest Camp (and Spirit QUUest Camp for middle school youth), La Foret Conference and Retreat Center, Colorado Springs, Colorado

Congregational Meeting Sandwich Fundraiser

COA and High School Parents! On May 20th, before the congregational meeting, we will be holding our annual sandwich lunch fundraiser. This is our last trip fundraiser for the year! We have several items still needed in order for this annual fundraiser to happen. Additionally, we are looking for adults to help supervise the making of and selling of the sandwiches. Please take a look at the signup sheet to see where your family can help!

 

Summer Garden Parties!

Come to our garden party! This summer, RE is growing a garden for Harvest for Hunger, a local nonprofit, whose mission is to bring fresh foods to at-risk communities. Every Thursday night, starting on May 17th, we’ll be meeting in the garden around 6:45 pm to tend the plot and mingle. Join us!

RE Calendar

May 11- 10 am playdate
May 17- Garden Party 6:45pm
May 18- 2 pm playdate
May 20- Congregational Meeting
              Sandwich Fundraiser
              High School Bridging
May 24- Garden Party 6:45pm
May 25- 10 pm playdate
May 27- 1 service- 10 am RE end of year party
June 1- 2 pm playdate

Teaching Youth How to Dissent is an Essential Part of Democracy 

The past three months have been remarkable with students taking to the streets and to the media, corporations and Town Hall meetings in protest over gun practices and policies. Responses to our youth have been mixed. Some celebrate their actions, their passion, their intelligence and courage and, of course, the capacity to organize and lead! 

Others exclaim that they are immature, manipulated by left-leaning adults, and that they don’t yet grasp critical issues surrounding the Second Amendment, let alone the First. Still others question the “voices” of the teens.... 

Like many in our congregation, I/we believe that an informed and educated response to senseless gun violence is essential. Churches and schools must prepare students to activate their civil rights, especially in the face of tragedy. Our young people have a right to engage in political dissent. But they need education that enlightens their ability to do so in a persuasive way. 

Our laws enable us to disagree peacefully. When our well-being is in jeopardy, however, we have a duty to speak up. Only with this opportunity to dissent can we determine if our laws are working, and whether they are good and just. Our democracy requires consent of the governed. As maturing citizens, our children and youth are entitled to understand how democracy works. I am grateful for our high school youth program (YRUU) and for schools that teach conscious decision-making, coalition building, debate skills, persuasion, and how to track government processes in order to effect change. 

All youth need opportunities to learn about the responsibilities of citizenship. This includes recognizing and supporting just laws, recognizing the difference between rabble-rousing as opposed to peaceful, informed dissent, and how to protest while not infringing on the rights of others, particularly those with opposing views. 

In a flourishing democracy, informed and active citizens speak up and speak out when faced with unjust practices. 

In Service

UU@Home is this Sunday!

Join us this Sunday, April 29th, for UU@Home! As always, we'll begin in Little Chapel at 10:15. This month we're exploring covenants, how they relate to being UU, and then making our own family covenants. This is our last UU@Home for the church year. See you this Sunday!

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.