Recycle with Environmental Ministry

Environmental Ministry is still participating in four Terracycle recycling brigades. We collect a number of things, most of which are not recyclable through the city or county recycling programs. Then we send them to Terracycle, and the church receives a check paying us 2¢ for each item. Here are lists for those of you unsure just what things we collect:

Oral care products packaging: Any brand of toothpaste tubes and caps, toothbrushes, toothpaste cartons, toothbrush outer packaging, and floss containers. Sorry, no electric toothbrush parts are accepted.

Energy bar package recycling: Any brand of foil-lined energy bar wrappers; foil-lined granola bar wrappers; foil-lined meal replacement bar wrappers; foil-lined protein bar wrappers; foil-lined diet bar wrappers.

Cereal bags: Plastic cereal bags and box liners.

Personal care and beauty product packaging: Hair care packaging such as shampoo caps, conditioner caps, hair gel tubes and caps, hair spray triggers, and hair paste caps. Skin care packaging such as lip balm tubes and caps, soap dispensers and tubes, body wash caps, lotion dispensers and caps. Cosmetics packaging such as plastic lipstick cases, lip gloss tubes, mascara tubes, eye shadow cases, bronzer cases, foundation packaging, powder cases, eyeliner cases, eyeliner pencils, eye shadow tubes, concealer tubes, concealer sticks, and lip liner pencils.

We also collect electronic waste for the YRUU’s partnership with Planet Green at our table. This project is to earn money for their service trip next summer. Items collected are: Inkjet cartridges, laser/toner cartridges, cell phones and accessories, GPS and radar detectors, e-book readers, calculators, iPods/MP3 players, video/digital cameras, PDA’s, iPads/tablets, Video games and consoles.

Now that you know what to bring in, find a corner or doorknob where you can place a bag for collecting these items. Then take them to the bins next to the Environmental Ministry table. We plan to be there every Sunday except the weekend of the Art Fair, Celebration Sunday, and picnic Sunday, and we’ll be expecting you.

 Volunteers Wanted

If you’ve ever considered volunteering with the Environmental Ministry, here’s your chance! We desperately need people to take the coffee grounds to the compost bins or to sort and take out the recycling. Both happen on Sundays after second service, the composting after 12:30. It only takes a few minutes to do either of these things, and each person does only one of the two, once a month. If you’re willing to help with either of them, please call Judy Lord at 801-513-9796

August 15, 2017

Dear Friends: Please convey my thanks to the members of your congregation for supporting the work of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee with the special congregational collection give of $324.00 which we received on August 8, 2017.

Together, with more than 50 grassroots partners in 20 countries and in the United States, you and UUSC are building a world free from oppression. From our work with women and children held in U.S. detention centers, to providing Syrian refugees humanitarian aid and legal assistance, to mobilizing against climate change, we are working to ensure that human rights are a reality for everyone. Our distinct approach sets us apart and makes us a forceful catalyst for transformation, creating real and lasting change for vulnerable populations across the globe. Your generosity and support are critical to our success.

UUSC is uniquely positioned to make a difference in these times of challenge and opportunity and I am thrilled to have the privilege to lead this extraordinary organization at this moment in history. Through our work in the months ahead, we will prove that love, community and empathy are powerful motivators and that the values that unite us are strong enough to confront the challenges we face.

Thank you for your contribution and for standing with UUSX. Your faith and commitment are an inspiration to us all.

With much appreciation, Hon. Thomas H. Andrews President and CEO

I will attempt to keep this from being too boring and may even get a bit personal, but, oh well, that's who I am - pretty much an open book!

My family, consisting of me, my parents, one older half brother, two younger sisters and a younger brother called the Sugarhouse area home. Since my adopted older brother (eight years my senior) joined the Air Force at 18, moved away and never came back, I then became “the big sister” or alternate mom or whatever the oldest child in a family sometimes becomes.

I read stories to my siblings, kept them entertained in the back of our station wagon on trips, babysat them often as well as many in the neighborhood; and, therefore, took on the role of caretaker attempting to “keep things together” in a fairly chaotic home with a chain-smoking, alcoholic father and deeply religious LDS mom. I became a deeply committed Mormon since that was the organization that gave me hope, consistency, structure and grounded me with a moral compass and a social life. I also loved school and reading from the very beginning, possibly because I seemed to have somewhat of an aptitude for language; and maybe, in retrospect, reading was a form of adventure and an escape from my reality.

My siblings and I spent many hours in the basement of our home listening to my older brother's records (if any of you still remember what those are) and thus, I began to love music. I took piano lessons for several years, and when I started getting bored with that, I began learning how to chord the songs I wanted to learn. It ruined by ability to read music but kept me interested. Still, I had the great privilege of taking organ lessons at the Salt Lake Tabernacle for a short period of time. My mom took me regularly to hear the Utah Symphony on Saturday mornings, which also helped shape a great love of music in my life. I even became the ward organist when we moved to the Millcreek area at the beginning of 9th grade!

Skipping ahead a bit, I just knew that I had to graduate from college (specifically BYU), see Europe and get married in the temple, which I did. I graduated from BYU in elementary education since I loved children and my mother had been a fourth grade teacher who had graduated from college the same time I graduated from high school. After my first year of teaching and earning money, I went on a six-week European adventure, which was something I had lived for always – such an adventure! Then I taught 5th and 6th grade for two more years.

I met and fell in love with David Thayne shortly after that, and we were married in the Salt Lake Temple, had four beautiful children (two girls and two boys in ten years) and, with the usual ups and downs, had a great life. When our youngest son, Devin, finished elementary school, I recertified to teach school and started the following year as a reading specialist after which I taught 3rd and 4th grades for 17 years at Bountiful Elementary. I really loved teaching children and considered it my avocation as well as my vocation. It thrills me when I now get invitations from students to attend graduations, weddings and missionary events (my most recent invitation was to a law school graduation of a student who moved here from Ukraine two weeks before the beginning of fourth grade), and I retired four years ago in 2013. I also take great comfort in the fact that my four children have graduated from four different universities, and my two sons each have several degrees. I suppose you could say that education and children have been a major theme of my life. I now have 14 grandchildren who are such a great joy to me!! Two of them turn one next month. Did I mention cute??

During our marriage, David and I, together did a lot of research and had frequent discussions about many issues. So, it was not surprising that we both, together decided that the Mormon Church, which had been instrumental in both of our lives, was not necessarily true. (This entire process took me, especially, many years to come to terms with.) However, we reacted quite differently. He loved the people so much that he kept going to Sacrament meeting. I still felt a need for spiritual nourishment on a regular basis but was fast becoming an agnostic or atheist and was feeling very uncomfortable listening to things at church that I absolutely disagreed with. However, I kept attending the LDS church for a while (especially since I was in the Relief Society presidency!) but finally went online to find people who respected questions and thought more as I did. There was a website called “What Church Should I join?” or something like that. I answered 100 questions and it said I was a Unitarian, so I checked out our church, and felt so at home from the very beginning. David would come with me to the UU Church after attending our ward Sacrament meeting, and he loved the sermons, David Owens's music, and the people as well. I felt a need to declare myself a Unitarian and sign the book, but he never did. So, the rest is history.

After 37 years of marriage, David passed away suddenly from a brain hemorrhage on the evening of our annual summer picnic in 2010. Our son, Devin's wedding, was one week to the day after funeral, so that time was a very difficult for all of us. However, time has marched on. I have been an active participant in our church – taking classes, attending book groups, teaching in the RE program, mentoring a wonderful young woman, co-chairing the Pledge Drive with Colleen Bliss, serving on the nominating Committee, helping Sydney Fonnesbeck run Summer Forum, participating in and then hosting a Davis County Small Group Ministry at my home Bountiful for three years, and have helped out with the Dinner and Dialogue groups for a couple of years now. Each of these activities has broadened my grasp of life and the role I play (or can play) in this universe immensely and has deepened my social connections to so many beautiful souls. I have traveled a great deal, made many new friends, and learned much in the last few years. My core values have not changed, but my ideas about how to live them have changed drastically.

I find the Salt Lake Unitarian Church, along with friends and family, is the core of my life. It helps me navigate life as a nonbeliever in a community of very strong LDS people with whom I still have a great deal of contact. Even though I have three active LDS children, because of a personal integrity issue, I resigned my Mormon membership about five years ago but still have two LDS home teachers who come and visit me regularly. I find myself comfortable in one world as an outsider and in the world of Unitarians as a total insider. It's an interesting dichotomy but, frankly, kind of fun and interesting! In short, this church has given me a safe place to land and enriches my life more than I could ever articulate. The knowledge, intelligence, integrity, altruism, music and community that I find here are things I never imagined could exist, and I will ALWAYS be grateful to all of you for that!

The Struggle is Everywhere

As a child of the South, and especially as a native of Birmingham, Alabama, I often ask myself, if I’d been alive in the 1950s and 60s, would I have shown up for racial justice? Would I have skipped school to join the marchers on the steps of the 16th Street Baptist Church? Would I have faced down the tanks and hoses with Fred Shuttlesworth? Would I have sung songs and prayed with Dr. King? Or would I have stayed at home, too afraid for my own safety to do anything but pray?

This is a question that white Southerners ask themselves often. For we are well acquainted with racism, and aware of what can happen when it is ignored. Case in point: Charlottesville, Virginia.

We watched with horror as people descended upon this college town with Nazi flags and torches to defend whiteness, a malignant and destructive illusion of cultural uniformity based on skin color, that excludes any diversity or difference. We cringed to see the hate unmasked, open and even proud, marching defiantly on streets we thought belonged to all people. Yet, even as we condemn such displays of hate, we who are socialized to be white are sometimes reluctant to admit the advantages that the illusion of whiteness confers upon us, nor how much we will be called upon to sacrifice to rid ourselves of this evil.

A few days after the Charlottesville protest, Salt Lake had its own chance to show that white supremacy is unwelcome and intolerable. I joined the crowd at a rally at the City & County building, organized by the Utah League of Native American voters, where speakers of many identities invited us to grieve, pray, and fight together as one community.

It warmed my heart to see Utahns denounce white supremacy and recommit to building a society of justice and diversity. Racism is not just a Southern thing – it is everywhere. And yet, everywhere I go, there are people of principle who are determined to root it out. It is so encouraging.

But if I can pass along just one message from the struggle in the South, it would be this: an anti-racist society begins at home. We must commit to living anti-racist lives, to rooting out white supremacy in our own hearts, first. I invite you to join me in a mindful search for ways in which each of us who are white benefits from the economic and relational structures of white supremacy, and look for ways to disrupt those systems. As my friend Rev. Theresa Soto says, “It takes all of us for all of us to make it.”

Activities Fair September 17th

Our annual Activities Fair will be held on Sunday, September 17th after both services. The Activities Fair is a great opportunity to learn about the various groups, programs, and committees of the church. Attention church groups: tables will be set up outside and will be available on a first come, first served basis.

Hospitality Help Needed

Hospitality Ministry needs volunteers for Greeters, Welcome Table and Congregational Life Table. Please contact Laurie Robinson at for more info or to volunteer.

Social Justice Film Screening Sept. 29th

Save September 29, 7 pm, Eliot Hall, for a free film and discussion. "The Wanted 18" will be presented and there will be snacks. This film is based on a true Palestinian story. The Israeli Defense Force is searching for 18 violators. Who are these 18? Are they terrorists? Maybe not. The villagers hide the 18. Who are they? This film has some animation and is appropriate for anyone over ten years old. There will be a discussion afterwards led by Just Peace in the Holy Land and J Street.

Auction - Save the Date!

Annual First Church Auction will be held Saturday, November 4, 2017 at The Falls at Trolley Square. More into to come. If you are interested in helping, please email Michele Page .

Seeking hikers and walkers

 A First Church hiking group is starting up.  Potluck Fall/Winter organizing meeting 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. Tuesday 9/26 Elliot Hall.  Bring your day planner and a dish to share! Come meet other hikers and sign-up to lead a hike or walk. Contact Catherine at for more information.

Artists Discussing Art

On the last Monday of every month Artists gather in the Haven at 7 pm to discuss each others art in progress or recently completed. This discussion is open to all visual artist, watercolor, acrylic, oil, mixed media, fused glass, and clay. Bring work to discuss or just come to listen. Bring a light refreshment to share. Please contact Bill Reed at with questions

Mindfulness Group

Mindfulness Group Meditation is held Sundays, after the first service ends, around 10:00 am. (11:15 on Sept. 3rd) We gather in the Parlor, up the stairs at the south side of Eliot Hall. Mindfulness practice is shared, then followed by 20 minutes of guided meditation, and closing with loving kindness. All are welcome for the first time, to investigate or to maintain mindfulness practice


-submitted by John Rasmuson

The Refugee Resettlement Committee (RRC) seeks your help in making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.   

With the Trump Administration limiting the number of refugees admitted into the U.S. now and in the future, the RRC is expanding its services to those who the International Rescue Committee manage to bring to Salt Lake City.  Two initiatives—the Basket Project and the Pedal Project—have been launched.  Both are intended to provide the means by which First Church congregants may respond to a global humanitarian crisis by acting locally. 

Helmed by Johanna Whiteman, the Basket Project provides refugee families with such needed household items as tea kettles, sheets, towels—dictionaries and soccer balls for the kids.  A list is available on the RRC bulletin board and at the Congregational Life Table.  Your options for joining the project are also explained there.  Questions?  E-mail Johanna Whiteman at .

 The Pedal Project is led by Andrea Globokar.  It collects gently used bicycles and gives them to refugees.  Volunteers tune up the bikes beforehand, and donations pay for new helmets, locks, and lights.  To donate or volunteer, please e-mail Andrea at .

The RRC, with 20 years’ experience settling refugees, believes the two projects will also afford welcoming, face-to-face connections with refugees as they adjust to their new life in Salt Lake City.

Both projects offer donation receipts for income tax returns.

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

Reverendly Yours - Rev. Tom Goldsmith

The anticipation before the start of a new church year is consistently the same. Hundreds of religious progressives return with hugs for church friends they’ve missed, endless chatter about their respective summer ventures, and a display of eagerness to get back to the rigors of church life. At least that has always been the case before this year. Now the landscape of our lives has been gravely altered by a series of irrational tweets that have unraveled the tenuous threads of democracy. Momentum towards respecting the value and worth and dignity of ALL people has moved in reverse. Plundering the earth with fossil fuel greed has emerged as top priority. We have withdrawn from all aspects of global cooperation, and stand alone as singularly white, self-absorbed, and culturally impoverished. So yes - - I earnestly wonder how beginning this church year may be different from any other we’ve experienced. I believe we will take ourselves more seriously, because the freedoms we’ve taken for granted now hang in the balance. 
As I was so fortunate to take a few weeks visiting my beloved Bolinas in West Marin, right by the ocean, I became fascinated by the myriad approaches to how people enter the cool waters of the Pacific. Of course there are those who have a sudden impulse to reconsider the whole thing, finding the challenge a bit too daunting. They return to their blankets as though they had no other plans than merely checking out shoreline. 
But then there are those who do proceed into the water. They navigate the situation in their own idiosyncratic manner. I sometimes wonder about the difference in character between those who first dip their toe in the water as though it were a reliable thermostat, and those who heedlessly run full-throttle into the ocean - -the cold be damned, yelling all the way until the head is completely submerged by a wave running into their path. Eventually the exercise of caution is irrelevant because regardless of method, they all end up in the ocean inventing their own games of joy and delight. It’s all in the approach.
Typically we enter the church year as toe-dippers. Each Sunday we move in a little further until we’re swimming by mid-October. This year, however, I sense a restlessness that invites a full-on run into the chilly and turbulent waters of progressive religion. No time to get used to the temperature; there’s no time to waste at all. We must meet the needs of these precarious days with urgency. 
Our church is in the initial stages of forming a new partnership. We have been successful in working with the International Rescue Committee (IRC), settling refugees from all over the world. (About a 20-year partnership). We had a solid year working with Volunteers of America (VOA), cooking and providing meals for homeless teens in their new shelter. And now we are preparing to collaborate with Planned Parenthood in many of their volunteer opportunities. It’s really quite exciting to contemplate. 
So we will be running straight into social justice work as soon as the new church year begins. No hesitation, no dallying, no toe-dipping. We will have our first Social Justice Council meeting on September 10th from 12:30-1:30. All are invited. Room to be announced. We will share details on the Planned Parenthood partnership, receive a report on Sanctuary status, and begin the crucial process of organizing our social justice work to meet the huge challenges ahead. 
Welcome back! TRG

UU Lunch Bunch (through August 27th)

UU Lunch Bunch is a family-friendly group for anyone and everyone who would like to get together for lunch and chat with like-minded people. Meet at the Restaurant on Sundays following coffee hour. For more information contact Sonia Carnell at (801) 262-1151 or

  • August 6: No Lunch Bunch 
  • August 13: The Dodo Restaurant (1355 East 2100 South)
  • August 20: Hog Wallow Pub (3200 East Big Cottonwood Canyon Dr.)
  • August 27: Indochine (230 South 1300 East)


Mindfulness Group

Meets Sundays following Summer Forum in the Parlor.

Refugee Resettlement Committee: The Pedal Project 

The Pedal Project is a collaboration between First Unitarian Church of Salt Lake City Refugee Resettlement Committee and the International Rescue Committee (IRC). The purpose of the Pedal Project is to provide free, gently used bicycles, new helmets, lights and bicycle locks to newly arriving refugee families in Salt Lake City. Donated bicycles are picked up my members of the Refugee Resettlement Committee who will provide a tax donation receipt. Contact Andrea Globokar, Project Coordinator at 801-518-7461 or to donate or for more information.


Looking Ahead

Summer Forum continues each Sunday at 10 am through August 20, 2017. Meditation group meets 15 minutes after the service in the parlor.

August 27th & Sept. 3rd: Worship services resume with one service only at 10 am. Childcare will be provided.

September 10th: Ingathering Sunday; regular worship service schedule resumes with services at 9:00 and 11:00 am; Religious Education classes for children and youth resume at the 11:00 am service only. Childcare for little ones offered during both services.

September 17th: Our annual Activities Fair happens after each service - a great way to find out how to be more involved and connected at First Unitarian Church.

Environmental Ministry thought you would want to know about the following recent publications and upcoming events/hearings/actions: 

The Uninhabitable Earth - Annotated Edition. [David Wallace-Wells]  July 14, 2017 NY Magazine  []   

This is one of the most widely read articles ever written on the climate crisis, and one that has stirred conversation and debate across the US.   There have been dozens of responses to the article, many from leading climate scientists and bloggers.  One from Dave Roberts (Vox) is: click here .  Check out the Wikipedia page that is tracking the discussion .   Plan to take part in an Environmental Ministry/Association for the Tree of Life series of discussions focused on this and related material this fall.

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power [Al Gore, 2017] 

 Century 16 Cinema, 125 E 3300 S, Salt Lake City (August 3rd, 7:00pm and 9:40pm; August 4th, 7:20pm; August 5th, 7:20pm; August 6th, 7:20pm)

According to the Internet Movie Database“A decade after An Inconvenient Truth brought climate change into the heart of popular culture comes the follow-up that shows just how close we are to a real energy revolution.”     Some reviewers praise  An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power saying “it takes viewers to climate change’s front lines” . Others say “it is a strange artifact of a post-truth year” pointing out that “its first press screening was on was on January 19, the evening before Donald Trump was inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States.” .   Read the New York Magazine  article linked above, check out An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, and then stop by the Environmental Ministry table to share your thoughts!

Rooftop Solar Public Hearing

Weds, Aug 9th, 2:00-6:30 pm Heber M. Wells Building 160 East 300 South Salt Lake City, UT 84111. Fourth Floor Facebook

* Note time change – previous announcements indicated an earlier start time.  Also note that As long as you arrive at the hearing room by 6:30 pm that day, you will be guaranteed a spot to speak. 

The biggest chance yet for the public to participate in the rooftop solar fight is coming up on August 9th.  Rocky Mountain Power is trying to raise rates on new rooftop solar customers. Read more about it in this Salt Lake Tribune article .

Over the last few months you have had a chance to submit written comments through HEAL’s action alert (you still can!) And guess what? Thousands of comments have been submitted!!   However, nothing makes as big of a difference as in-person public testimony. Between the hours of 1:00 pm and 6:30 pm on Wed. August 9, the public will have the opportunity to speak directly to the Public Service Commission (the state body which will make the final decision on the utility’s application).   Face-to-face you can tell the Commission how important rooftop solar is to you.   More information:


Last Chance Tour & Rocking Chair Blockade

10AM Mon, Sept 25 – 1PM Tues, Sept 26, 2017; Salt Lake City to Vernal to PR Springs  Facebook 

 Hosted by Elders Rising for Intergenerational Justice 

Elders Rising invites you to join us for a tour of PR Springs and a Rocking Chair Blockade at the tar sands mine. For the last five years a dedicated set of groups led by Utah Tar Sands Resistance has maintained a vigil at the site of a tar sands mining operation in the Book Cliffs. The mine owner, United States Oil Sands, (USOS), a Canadian company, has destroyed acres of habitat and risked pollution of water and air. The State built a $3M road to facilitate the extraction. Other groups that have supported the vigil include Canyon Country Rising Tide, Seeds of Peace, Wasatch Rising Tide, Environmental Ministry, and Peaceful Uprising. The vigil has included family campouts, action camps, and documentation of the destruction.

We plan to depart SLC around 10AM on Monday, September 25, and arrive in Vernal by around 4PM. Depending on our numbers, we will travel together in a bus, van, or private cars. We will stay in a hotel and in the morning we will proceed to the mine site near PR Spring. We will tour the area and plan to leave for SLC at around 1PM.

Besides our commitment to work for climate justice, Elders Rising is a fun-loving and easy-going group. We welcome all who are interested in seeing the area. The cost could be around $100 per person including room and transportation. We have a few folding rocking chairs and a plan that will keep us safe and comfortable. 

This trip involves LOTS of PLANNING--we need to know as soon as possible if you are planning to join us or have any questions. PUT THIS ON YOUR CALENDAR TODAY AND RSVP to or to Kathy Albury at .