Religious Education

Religious Education Blog

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!
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.

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
January 30, 2019

The Match-1/23/19



    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 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 is 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 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!

The Utah State Board of Education(USBE) is taking public input on new Health Standards for public schools. You can read the proposed standards here: 
Draft Standards 

Interest groups are pressuring USBE to remove the language defining anatomy with anatomical terms. USBE takes public input seriously on these issues. If you feel inclined, please fill out their survey on the proposed standards:
We need you to sign up to volunteer in your child's classrooms! We ask that all families participate throughout the year in their children's classrooms. Signup today!
Kindergarten-2nd grade OWL begins THIS SUNDAY, JANUARY 27th! Have you registered yet? 
 Please register now! K-2nd OWL Registration
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.
UU of The Week
     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 is right around the corner! If you're able, signup to bring something OR take the lunches to the VOA!
We're looking for a few more Chalice Lighting Families to round out the rest of the year! Interested? Go to the signup to find a date that works for your family!
RE Calendar
January 27- 6th/7th Grade Visit Calvary Baptist
                    K-2nd OWL Begins
Feb. 3-  Sanctuary Sunday
              Sandwich Sunday
              Jr Choir Sings
Feb. 4- Family Fun Night
Feb. 17- Lower School- Mindfulness Matters
              Upper School- Join family in worship
May 14, 2018

The Match- 4/9/18

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

April 25, 2018

UU@Home is this Sunday!

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!

April 22, 2018

The Match- 4/20/18

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

April 19, 2018

Art Fair!

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!

April 06, 2018

The Match- 4/8/18

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