Religious Education

Religious Education Blog

May 24, 2019

Summer Schedule Begins THIS SUNDAY!

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Hi Friends! Welcome to summer!


As a reminder, this Sunday, May 26th, First Church will begin its summer schedule. There will be one worship service only beginning at 10 am. Childcare will be available throughout the summer for those that need it.

This Sunday, Elementary school-aged youth are invited to watch Jim Coombs present a Soo Bahk Do martial arts seminar in Little Chapel. High School youth attending the Alabama trip will be meeting with Rev. Monica at 11 am in the Haven. 

I look forward to seeing everyone as we slog through this rain towards summer!

In Peace,
Amanda Esko
Director of Religious Education
May 06, 2019

The Match- 5/3/19

     RE Funding

One of the most frequent questions I’m asked by new families is, “is there a registration fee for RE?” Usually, this happens at the beginning of the year, but this year, I’ve had this question throughout. My answer is simple and complicated all at the same time.

No, we do not have a registration fee for Religous Education at First Church. Religious Education is paid for through First Church’s General Fund. This fund is funded by the members and friends of the First Church community. During the spring, we have our annual pledge drive, where people pledge an amount, like NPR, to contribute through the year. You can, however, make a pledge at any time! We do not take any money from the larger Unitarian Universalist Association, in fact, we pay thousands of dollars in dues to them yearly. The suggested amount to give is 3% of your income. As an example, for a family making $60,000, that's a pledge of $1,800.  For some, this 3% giving is a goal to reach, and that’s ok! Each family and their circumstance is different, and we as a community understand that. Part of our commitment to economic equity is assuming that families will give as much as they can give when they can give it. While we encourage each family to give as generously as they can to support our community and our goals as a liberal faith community in an illiberal theocracy, we gratefully accept each generous gift with so much love.

As you may have heard on Sunday, our pledge drive for the 2019-2020 fiscal year is not where it should be. We are at about 84% of our goal, or $500,000. This sounds like a crazy amount of money, but it is $89,000 under what we need to maintain our current church budget. With that amount of shortfall, drastic budget cuts will need to be made. Per our bylaws, we are not allowed to vote on an imbalanced budget (we’re not the federal government.) When I say drastic budget cuts, this is what I mean: hourly staff will have hours reduced, program budgets  (music and RE) will be cut no less than 10%, staff salaries will be cut around 10%, committees will lose funding, etc., etc. This is not a pretty budget, and it is a budget that our entire community will feel the effects of.

About 50% of families enrolled in RE pledge. If you are a family that has not pledged yet this church year, I encourage you to do so. If you’re a family that has pledged, but you realize now that you may be able to give more, thank you. There are two ways you can pledge. One is Sunday mornings in Eliot Hall or the main office. The other is by emailing our church administrator, Carol Foster, at . If you have questions about the budget, I encourage you to attend a budget information session on May 12th at 10:15 in the main Sanctuary. Church Board leadership, as well as our Church administrator,  will be there to answer any questions. You can also email Rev. Tom Goldsmith, or our Board President, Peter Esko at . Finally, I encourage everyone to attend our annual congregational meeting on May 19th at 12:30. While only members can vote, all are welcome and encouraged to attend. Childcare is also available during the meeting.

This is not a fun topic. It's not parties or social justice organizing, or youth singing. We need to talk about funding though, in order for all of the good works that First Church does in our community to continue. Continuing this conversation is important, and I encourage everyone to reach out to any of the community leaders mentioned above, attend meetings and become involved in the leadership of this community.  

In Peace,
Amanda Esko
Director of Religious Education

Thank you to everyone who signed up to bring supplies for Sandwich Sunday! Our signup is full! Thank you!
It's Our First Ever Survey!

Want to share your experiences in RE this year? Have really great ideas for the future? Fill out our survey! It's only 10 questions and will take about 3 minutes to complete. I'd love to hear from everyone in RE! 
Super Informative RE Survey
OWL
8th/9th- Schedule updates! Our final regular session is this Sunday, May 5th. Next week, please attend service with your families (if you would like to volunteer in Lower School that day let Amanda know!) May 19th, we will have a party, and will also have a contraception mini-session available to those that missed those class sessions around spring break. Thank you for a wonderful year, we'll see you in the fall in High School!
Come one come all to our Lower School Talent Show! Have you been dying to show off your super cool card trick? Do you have a song you would love to belt out? Baton twirling, instrument playing, or cool yoga move? Join us in Little Chapel on May 19th during the 11 am service
Family Fun Night

Please join us for a very important Family Fun Night this month. While this month's topic, suicide prevention is not easy, it has directly affected our community at First Church. This training is not meant to just address youth suicide prevention, but adult as well. I encourage everyone to consider attending.

We've invited trainers from the Utah Suicide Prevention Coalition to join us and lead us in their QPR training. From their website, "QPR stands for Question, Persuade, and Refer -- 3 simple steps that anyone can learn to help save a life from suicide. Just as people trained in CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver help save thousands of lives each year, people trained in QPR learn how to recognize the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to question, persuade, and refer someone to help."

As always, we will start with dinner. This month, however, we are going to start dinner early at 6:00 pm. Unlike most months where we can be a little more flexible with dinner, dinner is going to be cleaned up and put away by 6:40, so the training can begin at 6:45. Thank you all for respecting our trainers time by arriving on time and eating promptly! Older, mature youth attending with a parent(7th grade and above) are welcome and encouraged to join.

Please reach out with any dietary restrictions or concerns, this will hopefully be an important learning opportunity for our community.

Register
We're still looking for supplies for the Congregational Meeting Sandwich Fundraiser. If you're able to contribute, sign up below!
Congregational Meeting Fundraiser Signup
RE Calendar
May 5- Sandwich Sunday
May 6- Family Fun Night- 6 pm
May 12- Sanctuary Sunday
              Jr Choir Sings
              6-9th Grade in Worship
              High School End of Year Party
              Congregational Budget Info Session- 10:15 am Sanctuary
May 19- High School Bridging- 11 am
              RE Talent Show- 11 am
              Congregational Meeting- 12:30 pm Sanctuary
              Children's Congregational Meeting- 12:30 Little Chapel
May 26- One Service- 10 am, Childcare only
April 18, 2019

The Match- 4/17/19

End of Year Update!

We're about a month out from the end of the church year, which is BANANAS. The next few weeks are busy, and I wanted to take a minute to highlight a few things.

Everyone
- You'll see the invite below, but I'm encouraging all of our families to try and attend Family Fun Night this month. We've invited speakers from the Utah Suicide Coalition to present their suicide prevention training, "Q, P, R: Question, Persuade, Refer." Utah's youth suicide rate is at a crisis level, and as a community of faith it is our responsibility to be informed of best practices to help where we can. Register with the link below. 

Lower School
-Our Easter Egg Drop is this weekend! Have you ever wanted to throw something off the RE balcony into Little Chapel? Well, you get the chance this weekend!
-The last day of RE will be on May 19th. We will be having a RE talent show! This is not something, big, or stressful, but simply an opportunity to share our gifts with one another.  Does your youth have a magic trick, song or dance they want to share? Be sure to come that day! 
-We resume 1 service at 10 am on May 26th. Childcare will be available until RE begins again September! 
-June 9th will be Intergenerational Flower Communion. Please plan on joining us, then going to the Church Picnic in Sugar House Park!

Upper School
-High School Worship service is on April 28th. Please check in with your youth on their part of the worship service!
-High School- Final payments for the Alabama Trip are due May 26th. Please reach out with any questions or concerns.
- If you have a senior, Bridging will be on May 19th during the worship service. Please email Amanda at dre@slcuu.org and let me know if your youth is participating. Thank you to everyone who already has emailed me!
- 6th/7th grade-Please start thinking about someone to be a mentor for your youth next year in Coming of Age. See my email sent this week for more information. 
-We're looking for help selling pre-paid tickets and supplies for the Congregational Meeting Sandwich Fundraiser on May 19th. See the signup genius links below for more information!

I love how busy these last few weeks are! Please reach out with any questions, concerns, or great ideas!

In Peace,
Amanda Esko 
Director of Religious Education
Congregational Meeting Sandwich Fundraiser
Signup below to help. With everyone pitching in we will meet our fundraising goals for the High School Trip and start the Coming of Age fundraising off to a great start!

Ticket Selling Signup

Sandwich Lunch Supply Signup
 
Art Fair
Youth art will featured at the Art Fair! Art will be available for purchase Saturday and Sunday. All proceeds from the youth art will go to fund our arts program at First Church. Join us!
RE Teacher Party!
Our RE teacher celebration will be on June 8th. RE teachers, look for an invite this week for dinner and an outdooor movie. Want an invite to the super cool party? We're recruiting teachers for NEXT year right now. Email Amanda at  for more information! 
Family Fun Night

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please join us for a very important Family Fun Night this month. We've invited trainers from the Utah Suicide Prevention Coalition to join us and lead us in their QPR training. From their website, "QPR stands for Question, Persuade, and Refer -- 3 simple steps that anyone can learn to help save a life from suicide. Just as people trained in CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver help save thousands of lives each year, people trained in QPR learn how to recognize the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to question, persuade, and refer someone to help."

As always, we will start with dinner. This month, however, we are going to start dinner early at 6:00 pm. Unlike most months where we can be a little more flexible with dinner, dinner is going to be cleaned up and put away by 6:40, so the training can begin at 6:45. Thank you all for respecting our trainers time by arriving on time and eating promptly! Older, mature youth attending with a parent(7th grade and above) are welcome and encouraged to join.

 

Please reach out with any dietary restrictions or concerns, this will hopefully be an important learning opportunity for our community.
 

Register
Sandwich Sunday
This should not be shocking, but sandwich Sunday is right around the corner. These lunches will go to the VOA Homeless Youth Shelter. Sign up below to contribute supplies!

Sandwich Sunday Sign Up
First Church's annual campout is scheduled for July 25th-28th. This weekend is always a highlight of the summer for our community. Families are enthusiastically encouraged to attend, even if it's not for the full weekend. Look for more details and a signup in the next few weeks!
RE Calendar
April 21- Easter Egg Drop
April 28- High School Worship Service
May 5-Sandwich Sunday
May 6- Family Fun Night
May 12- Sanctuary Sunday
              Jr Choir Sings
May 19- Last Day of RE

             Congregational Meeting
             High School Bridging Service
             Congregational Meeting Sandwich Fundraiser
May 26- 1 service, 10 am          
April 10, 2019

The Match- 4/5/19

    Help!

RE is buying a new shed for the playground, but we need a truck to pick it up! If you have a truck and an hour to spare, email Amanda at !   
 
High School
  • Our annual High School service is on April 28th! In the weeks leading up to this service, we need ALL OUR HIGH SCHOOL YOUTH TO ATTEND CLASS. Please help your youth set this as a priority. We will have a worship service practice on April 27 in the evening. 
  • Families of Seniors! Bridging is scheduled for May 19th during the 11 am service. Thank you to everyone who has already emailed Amanda about your participating!
 
Child Dedication is just around the corner, on April 14th. If you have a youth would like to be dedicated, please fill out the following form. Questions about child dedication? Please email Amanda Esko!
 
Save the Date!- May Family Fun Night

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please join us for a very important Family Fun Night on May 6th. We're encouraging families of all ages of youth to attend. We've invited trainers from the Utah Suicide Prevention Coalition to join us and lead us in their QPR training. From their website, "QPR stands for Question, Persuade, and Refer -- 3 simple steps that anyone can learn to help save a life from suicide. Just as people trained in CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver help save thousands of lives each year, people trained in QPR learn how to recognize the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to question, persuade, and refer someone to help."

As always, we will start with dinner. This month, however, we are going to start dinner early at 6:00 pm. Unlike most months where we can be a little more flexible with dinner, dinner is going to be cleaned up and put away by 6:40, so the training can begin at 6:45. Thank you all for respecting our trainers time by arriving on time and eating promptly! Older youth are encouraged to attend with their adults. 

Look for an email invitation to go out in the next few weeks. Please feel free to email Amanda Esko with any questions!

 
The Art Fair is right around the corner! Junior Choir is singing at 6:30 pm AND we'll have youth art available for purchase. Join us!
 

Our Easter Egg Drop is planned for April 21st! This should be a fun day for our lower school youth! If you have any old packaging you'd like to donate(think bubble wrap or packing peanuts!) please leave the supplies in Little Chapel under the donation sign. 
 
Love our youth community? Want to contribute to the lives of the youth of First Church, or know of someone who would be an amazing teacher? Send them our way! Yep, RE is already looking for teachers for the coming church year, 2019-2020!

No prior teaching experience is necessary(but is always appreciated), we have all the curriculum and supplies needed, we just need adults to volunteer as teachers! Interested or have questions? Email Amanda Esko for more information.
RE Calendar
April 7- Sanctuary Sunday
             Jr Choir Performs
             Sandwich Sunday
            6th/7th Grade Field Trip- Salt Lake Buddhist Temple
April 14- Child Dedication
April 21- Easter Egg Drop
April 27- High School Worship Practice
April 28- High School Worship Service
May 6- Family Fun Night
March 10, 2019

The Match- 3/6/19

What A Weekend!


We had quite the weekend at First Church! On Friday night, the High School youth put together an amazing coffeehouse fundraiser. Thank you to everyone who organized, brought food, and donated items to the silent auction! Additionally, thank you First Church for attending and supporting our youth!

On Celebration Sunday, Lower School celebrated our community by exploring the magic in the universe with a magician! Thank you to all the youth(and adults) who attended!
 
Child Dedication will be held on April 14, 2019. This is a wonderful opportunity to welcome new children into our community. If your family would like to participate, please fill out this form. Questions? Please email Amanda Esko at .
 
Calling All Mentors!
The RE team is already looking ahead towards next year! If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a mentor for our Coming of Age class please email Rev. Monica or Amanda Esko!
 
 
We're looking for a few more chalice lighting families to round out the year. New and seasoned families are all encouraged to signup! 
Chalice Lighting Signup
RE Calendar
March 10- Sanctuary Sunday
                  Jr Choir Sings
March 21- Spring Equinox Potluck
March 31-Spring Art Block Begins
April 1- Family Fun Night
April 7- Sanctuary Sunday
             Sandwich Sunday
April 14- Child Dedication         
   
February 22, 2019

The Match- 2/22/19

Are you a new family to First Church looking to connect? Please join us for dinner on February 26th, at 6 pm in Eliot Hall for dinner! This is a great opportunity to meet other new families, share a meal, and learn more about the programs here at First Church. Dinner will be provided, please include any dietary restrictions when you RSVP.  Email Amanda Esko at to RSVP. 
 
Sandwich Sunday Needs Your Help!
We're short on supplies for the next Sandwich Sunday, coming up on the week of March 3rd. All supplies donated will be used to make sandwiches for the VOA Homeless Teen Shelter. Anything you can bring helps!
Donate Sandwich Sunday Supplies
 
 


 Family Fun Night
How fast can you get a cookie into your mouth without using your hands? How high can you stack cups? Can you beat the clock or get a face full of pie? It's one of our favorite evenings of the year, Minute to Win It games! Join us on March 4th at 6:15 pm for Family Fun Night! We'll start with dinner, then move into playing Minute to Win It Games!

Dinner will be made by the Goodwin Family(thanks friends!). Please email us with any dietary restrictions! See you on the 4th

Register
 
With classes underway, we need you to sign up to volunteer in your child's classrooms!  Signup today!
Preschool 
K/1st
2nd/3rd
4th/5th
RE Calendar
February 26- New Family Dinner
March 1- High School Coffee House Fundraiser

March 3- Celebration Sunday
               6th/7th Field Trip 
March 4- Family Fun Night
March 10- Sanctuary Sunday
                 Jr Choir sings
March 21- Spring Equinox Potluck
February 08, 2019

The Match- 2/8/19

 
Tickets are on sale in Eliot Hall after each service. Remember, one day, it might be your youth fundraising for a trip! Give generously!
 

UU of the Week

 
This month, in honor of Black History month, we will be highlighting important UU's of color. Meet Joseph H. Jordan, our UU of the Week! 

The first black Universalist minister was from Norfolk, Virginia, where he returned to begin a Universalist mission effort. Jordan was born in West Norfolk, Virginia in 1842, and was converted to Universalism mostly through the writings of important leaders such as Thomas Whittemore. He visited Philadelphia in the late 1880’s and attended the Church of the Messiah, where he was eventually received into fellowship. Edwin S. Sweetser, the minister there, presided over Jordan’s ordination in 1889. Jordan wanted to start a Universalist church in his hometown of West Norfolk. The congregation, which had begun to gather in 1887, was accepted into fellowship by the General Convention at the same time as Jordan. Within two years he had organized a day school and a Sunday School. In 1893 he made an address before the Universalist General Convention where he asked for support for the mission. The support was voted, and a building was erected in Norfolk in 1894, which served as church and school. It was dedicated in November 1894 as the First Universalist Church of Norfolk with Edwin Sweetser preaching on the occasion. Quillen Shinn, who was a missionary in the South, organized a youth group and preached there in September. A second mission was established in Suffolk by Jordan’s assistant Thomas Wise. He had preached and taught school there previously. After raising some funds, a building was erected in Suffolk in 1898. Jordan died on June 3, 1901 in Huntersville, Virginia, but the work was carried on initially by Wise, who was placed in charge of both missions.(Text from Harvard Library Square, Digital Library of Unitarian Universalist Biographies) 

Join us in Little Chapel each week to learn about other important UU's during Children's Chapel!
 
With classes beginning this week, we need you to sign up to volunteer in your child's classrooms! We ask that all families signup throughout the year. Signup today!
Preschool 
K/1st
2nd/3rd
4th/5th
 
Is your family new to First Church? Are you looking to connect with other families and learn more about the program offerings at First Church? Join us for our New Family Dinner on February 26th at 6 pm in Eliot Hall to connect, socialize, and learn more about First Church. Dinner will be provided. Please RSVP to Amanda Esko, Director of Religious Education, at
 

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!

RE Calendar
February 17- Upper School attend service
February 26- New Family Dinner
March 1- High School Coffee House Fundraiser
March 3- Sandwich Sunday
March 4- Family Fun Night
March 10- Sanctuary Sunday