Join Us In Worship!

Our upper school youth need to attend service. There, I just said it out loud, plain as day. As a RE team, we've built in several Sundays throughout the year for our upper school youth to attend. You may have noticed on announcements or on the bulletin board the phrase, "Please join your families in service." This isn't an accident. And it's also not because there's nothing planned that day. Setting aside one(ish) service a month for our upper school youth, and saying out loud that upper school youth in service are welcome and valued, is an intentional shift in our thinking at First Church. 

Our goal in RE is not to keep the youth "busy." Our goal is to foster a community that learns, grows, and develops a spiritual life. Attending worship is one way we as a community do this! Our youth should have the opportunity to sit in service to hear the choir. They can take a quiet minute of mediation with Rev. Monica. They should listen to Rev. Tom preach on the idea of a just world. There is space for religious education classes and worship. It's not one or the other. 

We cannot expect our youth to want to continue to be lifelong UU's if they have no connection with the larger community. We cannot expect them to lead worship services such as Coming of Age and High School services if they never get to see a worship service. Bring your youth with you into service. Stand with them as we sing. Go to brunch to discuss the sermon. The youth at First Church are intellectual, curious, and engaging. I cannot wait to ask them what they think.

In Peace,

Amanda Esko

Director of Religious Education 


Family Fun Night

Family Fun Night returns February 4th at 6:15 pm! (Note that we're trying 6:15 pm again!) We'll be joined by Rev. Monica Dobbins.

"So, yeah, we go to church on Sunday. But it's not like regular church, and the people are great, and I love the youth programs. And summers are off, but amazing speakers from the community come in. It's just not CHURCH church." Raise your hand if you have had this conversation! How do we, as UU's, speak about our faith to others in a way that feels authentic? Rev. Monica will help facilitate this conversation so we can all be a little more eloquent in expressing our faith.

While the adults are busy talking, the youth will be working with Lissa Lander on an art project!



UU of The Week

Each week in Children’s Chapel we learn about important UU’s throughout history. 

Meet Francis Ellen Watkins Harper(1825-1911), our UU of the week! Francis Harper was an African American abolitionist, writer, lecturer, and activist who promoted civil rights, women's rights, and temperance. She was a popular speaker and traveled across the United States before the Civil War. Harper's short story, "The Two Offers", was the first short story to be published by an African American author. Most of the earnings from her writing went to help free slaves with her work on the Underground Railroad. 

After the Civil War, Harper focused her efforts on the rights of women, working with Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. In contrast to Anthony and Stanton however, Harper supported the immediate passage of the 14th and 15th amendments to the constitution. The immediate threats of violence to people of color, and the promise of legal protections these amendments offered, swayed her to support the passage of these amendments before voting rights for women.

Harper split her spiritual life between her two faiths, the AME church of her youth, and the Unitarian Church. The AME church provided her community, while her Christology and political leanings lead her to the Unitarian Church. Francis Ellen Watkins Harper died on February 22, 1911. Her funeral was at the Unitarian Church on Chestnut Street in Philadelphia. 

Sandwich Sunday

Sandwich Sunday is right around the corner! If you're able, signup to bring something OR take the lunches to the VOA!


RE Calendar

Feb. 3: Sanctuary Sunday
Sandwich Sunday
Jr Choir Sings
Feb. 4: Family Fun Night

Chalice Lighting Family

Each month we invite a family from our Religious Education community to light our chalice. 

Meet the Fetter-Bond’s!

Who's in your family?
Cassius Fetter-Bond, Jonquille Fetter-Bond and Melissa Bond


How long have you been attending First Church? 
We’ve been attending First Church for about 5 years now. 


Why is First Church and RE important to your family?
First Church and RE are important to us because we believe in the inherent worth of all beings. Additionally, we want a community that has social justice and action as a prevalent force behind the spirituality. Beyond that, we love making friends that share our values and sense of fun!

Chalice Lighting Family

Each month we invite a family from our Religious Education community to light our chalice. 

Meet the Diller’s!

How long have you been attending First Church? 

Almost six years

Why is First Church and RE important to your family?

First Church and RE is important to us as a place of community and shared values with opportunities to participate in activities that help us grow, learn, and help others.

Who’s in your family?

John, Jamie, Alex, Max, Lucy (dog), Snowflake (cat), Ben (cat), and Blaze (fish).

Sandwich Sunday

I say Sandwich, you say SignUp! Sandwich! SignUp!

Each month the youth in the Religious Education program make and deliver sandwiches to the VOA Homeless Youth Shelter. We are always looking for donations and helping hands. If you available, please sign up below!




Looking for a way to connect your church life to your family life? Join us on the last Sunday of the month for UU@Home. UU@Home meets at 10:15 in Little Chapel on the last Sunday of the month. This month, on January 27th, we’re looking at how we facilitate conversations about “big questions” and how to help youth ask and process their own “big questions”. See you there!


Solstice Wrap Up

Thank you to everyone who attended and participated in our Solstice worship and dinner. Over 185 people came to celebrate the joyous return of the sun and bask in the warmth of community. A big thank you go out to Kathleen Cahill, Rev. Monica Dobbins, Rev. Harold Straughn, Carole Straughn, Nels Anderson of the Drum Bus, Holly Stuart and the Solstice Singers, David Owens and the Jr Choir, Christina Doak, Kim Grob-Lee, the High School teaching team: Jennica Davis-Hockett, Derek Gersdorf, Cooper, and Kristin Quinn, and the High School youth and parents.

Save the Date

Saturday February 9ththe High School youth will be holding a Coffee House is Elliot Hall. Join them for music, readings and of course coffee! See you then!

Chalice Lighting Family

Each month, we invite a family from our Religious Education community to light our chalice. 

Meet the Pinales-Rynearson Family!

Who's in your family? 

Skip, Briana, Alayna, Teagan, Bridger, Asher, Evaline and our cat Pippin

How long have you been attending First Church? 

Skip started going in 2014 and the rest of us started going with him in February 2015. 

Why is First Church and RE important to your family?

We love the lessons of inclusion, open-mindedness and searching for our individual beliefs!

Find the Light! 
Our annual Solstice celebration will be on December 21st! Services will start at 6 pm, with dinner following service. Dinner tickets are $15 for adults, $5 for youth under 12. Tickets will be on sale after service in Eliot Hall starting December 2nd. Solstice Dinner tickets are limited and ALWAYS sell out, so make sure to get your tickets early! All proceeds go to benefit the Religious Education Trip Funds. 

RE Intergenerational Winter Party
Let is snow! Join us for our annual intergenerational winter party on December 8th at 2:30pm This party will be filled with music, activities, and yummy treats. See you there!

This years pageant will be on December 23rdduring the 11 am service. We will once again be having a pop-up pageant, so be prepared for anything during this interactive service! If you are willing and able to help wrangle some sheep(and sometimes a unicorn!) email Lissa at

Photo thanks to Ryan Kratzer for these 2017 Pageant Pics

K-2nd- Have a child in Kindergarten through 2nd grade that you want to participate in OWL? The last OWL class of the year begins January 27th. Please register now so we can make sure your spot is saved. K-2nd OWL Registration

Class Fees- Class fees can be made online herePayments can also be taken in the main church office on Sundays. First Church is committed to all youth participating, regardless of financial capacity. Scholarships and reductions are available by contacting Amanda Esko at or 801-582-8687 ext 206.

Mindfulness Matters
On November 25th, Kindergarten through 5th grade added another tool to their mindfulness toolbox, daily gratitude practices. We created our own gratitude journals, saluted the sun, and practiced meditation. Thank you to everyone who participated! Our next Mindfulness Matters Sunday will be onJanuary 20th!

Photo thanks to Amanda Esko

Family Fun Night
Join us on November 5th at 6:30 pm for Family Fun Night! As we start the busy holiday season, we're focusing on service and community. For the past month, we have been toiletries for the Salt Lake Housing Authority (SLHA) Housing Project. After dinner on Family Fun Night, we will be assembling our donations into bags for the SLHA to distribute to those in need in our community. Additionally, we'll be having a winter kid gear swap! Have your kids outgrown their winter coats? Bring them to Family Fun Night and we'll swap gear! Any leftover winter gear will be given to the Midvale Family Homeless Shelter. Please let us know about any dietary restrictions! Additionally, please note the later start time of 6:30 pm!
Register Here!

Lower School Art Block is Around the Corner
Are you an artist(or crafter!) Can you follow basic directions? Then we have a project for you! Starting from November 4th and going through December 16th we need a few extra hands each Sunday to create art experiences for our youth. Check out the signup to see how you can help!
Art Block Signup

Holiday Party Help Wanted!

Our annual Holiday Party is right around the corner on December 8th! We’re looking for more people to help plan and set-up. If this something you’d like to do, please email Amanda Esko at  

Halloween Party Thank You

Thank you to everyone who attended our Halloween party, it was a huge success! We had over 30 families, witches, ninjas, and a 7-foot dinosaur attend. A big thank you goes out to the people who help this event happen including David Owens, the Smith Family, Finlayson Family, Taylor-Jones Family, Pulsipher Family, and the Lander Family.

Chalice Lighting Family

Each month, we invite a family from our Religious Education community to light our chalice. Meet the Anderson-Daybell Family

Who is in your family?  Megan Daybell, Jaxon Anderson & Asher Anderson

How long have you been attending First Church?  We have been attending for about 4 years!

Why is First Church and Religious Education important to your family?  We attend because of the feeling of community we feel at First Church. Additionally, I love the beautiful lessons and values taught in the RE classes, and the opportunity for my boys to apply those values at home and at church.

Beyond Inquirers 

an Adult Religious Education opportunity for those considering membership at First Unitarian Church

Are you thinking about joining First Unitarian Church? Have you attended a UU Orientation, but want to learn more? You are invited to our new Beyond Inquirers series, a monthly class designed to help you discern whether membership is right for you. These classes will be held after the 11am worship, and there's no need to register - just drop in! Class dates and topics:

  • November 4:  What do UUs believe?
  • December 2:  Is this a new religion? 
  • January 6:  How do we "do church"?
  • February 3:  How do we live our values?
  • February 24:  Does it matter if I join?

If you have questions about this series, please email Rev. Monica at .

So much is happening in Religious Education this month! Family Fun Night, New Family Dinner, the MDD High School Con, and Halloween, just to name a few. Also, let's not to forget to mention everything that happens on Sundays! Take a look at our offerings and join in on the fun!

Family Fun Night
Mark your calendars for October's Family Fun Night! On October 1st at 6 pm, we will be joined by Rev. Tom Goldsmith, talking about the hot-button issue, Mom Shaming. Plan on joining us? Register Here!
As our new teachers get settled, we could especially use your help on Sundays. Please sign up to volunteer in one of our RE classrooms! Signup today!
Infant-36 months

8/9 and K-2 OWL Class Fees- Class fees can be made online here.  Payments can also be taken in the main church office on Sundays. First Church is committed to all youth participating, regardless of financial capacity. Scholarships and reductions are available by contacting Amanda Esko at  or 801-582-8687 ext 206.

High School
Fall Con registration is live! We're lucky enough to be hosting Fall Con this year. This is a great opportunity for our youth to meet over 70 other UU youth from around the mountain west. Would your youth like to help plan the con? Email Amanda Esko at 

UU at Home
Do you want to learn more about Unitarian Universalists? Have you ever wondered what it means to be a Unitarian on the other six days of the week? Well, you're in luck! On the last Sunday of each month, Amanda and Lissa will be teaching UU@Home, for both parents and children, in Little Chapel between services. We will look for opportunities to live our principals out in the wild. We will check in with each other on steps we've taken as a whole family to honor the inherent worth and dignity of all people, or to celebrate the web of interconnected life! We will ask questions and learn about our history. We'll play with sequins and glue, and sing songs. Join the last Sunday of every month at 10:15 am!

Sanctuary Sundays
Want to light the chalice as a family on Sanctuary Sundays? Signup here

New Family Dinner
Are you a new family to our congregation? Welcome! We are having a new family dinner on October 9th at 6 pm. Come, have dinner and meet other new families, and hear more about our Religious Education Program. Questions or want to RSVP? Please email Amanda Esko at .

Save the Date!
Our annual Halloween Party will be on October 29th at 6 pm. Plan on dinner, games, dance party, and a sing-along at Friendship Manor. As the date gets closer, look for more information in the Order of Service and the Religious Education Newsletter, The Match.