Thank you, First Unitarian Church for stepping up to the plate! On Sunday, Richard Anderton delivered 13 large trash bags of men’s, women’s and children’s coats, jackets, hats, gloves, scarves, boots and socks to Uptown Unit 563. Thank you also to the volunteers who helped out, especially to  Nancy Rasmuson for sorting and bagging donations,  to Richard Anderton for lifting, carrying and delivering to storage, to the RE Team for getting the word out to RE families, and of course to all of the donors.  It takes a village.

Monday, October 16, 7:00 - 9:00 in Eliot Hall.  This is a great opportunity for people relatively new to the church to learn about Unitarian Universalist history, theology, and about how our church works.  Facilitators: Reverends Tom Goldsmith and Monica Dobbins, along with our Director of Religious Education, Julie Miller. Child care is available

For those who pre-registered, Reverend Tom Goldsmith  will facilitate our Aging and Spirituality program on Monday October 30.  It will  run three consecutive Mondays,  October 30, November 6, and November 13 at 1:00 - 2:30 in Room 201.   The afternoon time is designed for people who prefer not to drive at night: 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. in Room 201.  Please purchase "Landscapes of Aging and Spirituality," edited by Kathleen Montgomery available from our Congregational Life table.  This program will be repeated in Spring 2018.

Building Your Own Theology with Reverend Monica Dobbins begins this Wednesday, October 11 and runs every Wednesday evening  through November 15th at 6:30 - 8:30 in the Haven.  Childcare will be provided

REflections

Welcome!

Religious Education (RE) holds a central place in the life of our congregation. Our programs are based, in part, on the belief that the search for truth and meaning is a life-long pursuit. One of the roles of our faith community is to provide opportunities to embrace our heritage as Unitarian Universalists (UU) and to engage in experiences throughout life that help us stretch spiritually and personally.

We offer programs for children, youth and adults to help guide you on your spiritual paths. RE programs are age-appropriate and provide a safe and engaging place to explore growing personal beliefs. Religious Education for children includes infant and toddler supervision with highly-qualified staff at both the 9:00 and 11:00 am services. We offer a Pre-K and Kindergarten program for four and five year-olds as well as Sunday classes for children in grades 1-6. Sunday classes/religious education programs are offered only at the 11:00 am service.

This fall we are piloting a new program called Awake Camp for 5/6th grade children. The focus of this program is building awareness and skills in mindfulness, body-mind connection and being awake in—and responsive to—the natural world. The objective here is multifaceted: provide children with personal tools to help them focus, relieve stress, grow in individual control and be present without anxiety. These practices, we believe, enable pre-teens to develop a sense of spiritual life. Awake Camp curriculum incorporates UU Principles, the Golden Rule Project and service projects.

Middle schoolers and high schoolers continue to deepen their spirituality and beliefs as they develop their identities as Unitarian Universalists. Youth continue to learn about effective leadership skills.

We are hard at work living up to our theme this year—Faith in Action.

In Service,

Julie Miller, Amanda Esko and Lissa Lander, your dedicated RE Team

Like the Marines, Religious Education is Looking for a Few Good Men and Women.

Here’s the deal: the position we’re about to offer features very little travel and few career benefits! It also includes no health insurance but it does offer huge thanks for your time & energy!

Oh, and we’re saving best for last: no pay!

Julie Miller here, Director of Religious Education, and oh yes, this is truly a call for volunteers.

As you dedicated regulars know, being a teacher in our RE program means volunteering. Which means you might miss out on the 11 am Sunday morning service. It might mean a couple more hours on duty. And like any teaching position, it will inevitably mean devoting time to planning next week’s lesson.

Remember Yogi Berra, the legendary NY Yankees catcher who invented many of America’s most memorable “catch” phrases?

Well, Yogi, our ever-prescient road trip guide, said “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”

So we’re at a crossroads. The proverbial fork. Consider this note your invitation to apply for fabulous volunteer opportunities: we need two 1st/2nd grade teachers; we need a Christmas Pageant “Director”; and we need parents willing to co-op in the Infant and Toddler Room (109) during the year.

What at first blush might seem like a daunting and unrewarding task actually delivers immeasurable satisfaction. How? By igniting young minds. By watching children dig into lessons and projects they’ll want to talk about at Sunday night dinner or get back to the following Sunday. And, did I mention it deepens your faith development in our church and helps to connect you to our families and other members.

When you volunteer to teach in our RE Program, we provide curriculum materials, supplementary resources, supplies, equipment and, not least, support from a very dedicated staff. Our initial teacher training is set for Sunday, August 27th at 11:30 am in room 208. For those already “signed up”, we look forward to seeing you there. Not quite ready to volunteer? Come by and see what we are about!

RE classes for all grade levels begin Sunday, September 10 at 11am. As always, childcare is provided at 9 and 11am.

If you’ve never taught before but feel you might be ready to handle the job, the RE staff would be delighted to meet you and help you get over the I’ve-never-done-this-before willies.

Hope you’ve all had a great summer, and we’re looking forward to seeing you in September.

In Service, Your RE staff,

Julie Miller

Lissa Lander

Amanda Esko

The Religious Education staff can be reached at 801-582-867 ext. 206

First Church will be screening a gripping documentary "Screenagers" about the dangers and affects of digital screens on our youth. Mark your calendar for May 25, 6 pm in Eliot Hall.

Click here for more information.

First Church will be screening a gripping documentary "Screenagers" about the dangers and affects of digital screens on our youth. Mark your calendar for May 25, 6 pm in Eliot Hall.

Click here for more information.

Here at First Church, we are already looking ahead to a family-friendly theme in which we will integrate our Seven Principles into the six days of the week when you’re typically not in church. It’s actually very simple.

Our theme for next year is called “Faith in Action”. It involves a process that is underway at Unitarian churches nationwide. It revolves around making family, home and community the basis of our year-long teachings.

When you hear the word “silo”, you undoubtedly picture a tall, tubular structure in which farmers store their grain. Well, imagine for a moment that Church-on-Sunday is a silo. You’re in a fairly contained environment in which news, spiritual inspiration, conversation and coffee come together on that day.

So what about Monday through Saturday! Our objective is to move beyond the traditional one-day “silo” of worship, social justice and religious education…and explore new ways to extend Unitarian principles into everyday life.

Another way of looking at this shift is to take Sunday’s inspiration into the rest of the week—faith in action whether you’re at home, at work or in school.

It starts with creating a few home-based traditions. Consider linking the messages and comaraderie you experience on Sunday with conversations and activities at home. On the Church side of the equation, we’ll emphasize several themes in our RE program:

self-awareness (why do I go to church…can I relate to the messages I hear here?)

experiential learning (learning by doing through music, art and teaching)

intersection of spirituality and social justice (can I apply what I hear in church to everyday life?)

The RE program features four “strands” that, woven together, become a “tapestry of faith”. This fabric, so to speak, is the foundation for our overall curricula but takes on special meaning for our third and fourth graders (8- and 9-year-olds). The four strands include the following:

  • ethical development
  • faith development
  • spiritual development
  • Unitarian identity

Consider yourselves ‘moral agents’ … individuals who demonstrate honesty and compassion in everyday life. Extend that sensibility to your family, friends and colleagues. Enable your children to explore, grow and experience joy despite the inherent challenges of growing up.

We will continue to discuss the meaning of “Faith in Action” over the next two months. Please stay tuned!

In Service,

Julie Miller, DRE

OWL (Our Whole Lives)

Our award-winning comprehensive sexual education program will begin for first and second graders this Sunday at the 11am service and continuing through May 28. One parent or guardian will need to attend this class with his/her child. A suggested donation of $25 is requested to cover the basic costs of teaching this class.

Child Dedication Sunday, April 9, 9am & 11am services

On this Sunday, we will gather as a congregation to confirm our dedication to the youngest members of our First Church community. This event is for infants, but if you have other children who have not been dedicated, feel free to request their inclusion in this Service. You’ll need to complete a form, which is available in the Infant/Toddler Room (Room 109) by this Sunday April 2, and return to Lissa Lander or Julie Miller. You may also send an e-mail to with the following information:

  • Full name of child
  • Names of parents or guardians
  • Date & place of birth
  • Names of siblings
  • How long you have been a member or friend of First Church
  • A sentence or two about your child’s personality
  • Please indicate if you would like to attend the 9am or the 11am service.

Collecting for Refugees

We are teaming up with the IRC to collect gently-used games, toys and NEW stuffed animals for the refugee children who have come to Salt Lake City in recent months. These items are being accepted now through Easter Sunday. There is a box outside the Little Chapel for donations. A “mystery” Easter Egg Hunt is also scheduled on this date (April 16) at our 11am Service for the youngest members of our community.