This Week at First Universalist
August 29, 2016
This Week's Service
Sunday, September 4
10:00 a.m. Service: Tier One Thinking. On this Labor Day weekend, we will explore the downside of always looking out for “number one”. — Summer Minister, Peter House

11:15 a.m. Drop-in Discussion:  Open Forum DiscussionWe’ll meet and talk without a topic set in advance.  
Upcoming Events
Social Justice Task Force

A Social Justice Task Force, appointed by the Board and approved by the congregation, has been created to help discern our role in helping transform the Rochester community into a more just, equitable and peaceful place. Members of the Task Force, Chair Eric Van Dusen, Connie Valk and Dick Gilbert, have met several times and have interviewed community leaders who have distinctive knowledge of the Rochester community. The Board and Social Responsibility Committee have also been interviewed. Results are being compiled and will be reported to the Board.

The Task Force now turns its attention to gathering input from members and friends of the congregation through a series of focus groups. Members of the Task Force will lead these discussions which will be collected and reported to the Board. We ask that you attend just one of these conversations:

  • September 11th at 9:15 a.m. Discussion Group in the Chalice Room
  • September 11th after Coffee, 12:00 noon in the Chalice Room
  • September 18th after Coffee, 12:00 noon in the Chalice Room

Want to see what questions we will explore at each Focus Group? Click on this link: 

Adult Faith Development Workshop

As requested, Adult Faith Development is offering a program on "the aging experience" in September.  From Age-ing to Sage-ing is a 3-session workshop that will be offered twice at two different libraries and is open to the public. Invite your friends, but please rsvp to Rev. Michelle Yates, Director of Life Span Faith Development, at with which library program you will attend, OR call the library directly.

  • Arnett Branch Library- 310 Arnett Blvd., (585) 428-8214.  Mondays, September 12, 19, & 26 from 1:30- 3:30pm

  • Irondequoit Public Library- 1290 Titus Ave., (585) 336-6060. Thursdays, September 15, 22, & 29 from 1:30-3:30pm

While not required, participants may be interested in reading From Age-ing to Sage-ing : A Profound New Vision of Growing Older, by Schachter-Shalomi & Miller, which can be found in Monroe County Public Library system.

Shoppers Needed!

We have $154 in a backpack fund which can be spent on backpacks for children in the Willow Domestic Violence Center, formerly known as Alternatives for Battered Women. Please coordinate with Sarah Singal ( if you can pick up some. At present they have 21 kids and no backpacks. A unisex look is preferred. Thank you!

Please Join Us for RAIHN* Week

October 9-16 will be our last RAIHN* Week for 2016. During that week we will provide temporarily homeless families with good food to eat and a safe place to stay at First Universalist Church. If you'd like to help, sign up in the lounge after church on Sunday, or contact Chris DeGolyer,, Marti Eggers,, or Sarah Singal, If you would like to learn more before volunteering, ask us about "shadowing" experienced volunteers.

The last two formal training sessions for RAIHN Volunteers in 2016 are:

  • Monday, September 19th at 6:30 pm - Temple B'rith Kodesh, 2131 Elmwood Ave., Rochester 
  • Tuesday, October 25th at 6:30 pm - Aldersgate United Methodist Church, 4115 Dewey Ave., Rochester.

*Rochester Area Interfaith Hospitality Network: helping homeless families achieve sustainable independence

Additional Announcements

BLESSING WITH INGATHERING WATERS AFTER CHURCH - SEPT. 11:  We will have a short blessing of the Chalice Room (formerly the Adult Lounge) to celebrate its new name, immediately following the service on September 11th. Please plan to join us! We will also extend this ritual for anyone wishing to inaugurate a new year with a blessing from our church community. Whether starting a new chapter in school, at work, or personally, all are welcome to bring an object to be blessed that symbolizes that new beginning. Backpacks, tool-belts, laptop cases, and beyond -- all welcome!

LIBRARY NEWS:  The First Universalist Church library and bookstore will be open again during coffee hour, starting September 11, for browsing, borrowing and buying.  Check out September's Our Outlook for the newest additions.

  • We have an extensive collection of books of liberal religious interest, which can be borrowed by any member or any friend who has attended long enough to get a permanent name tag.  
  • We sell donated used books for 25 cents and 50 cents, and operate a free magazine exchange.  We invite you to donate any book or magazine in good condition that you think others would like to read.
  • We sell new books.  Most of them are ordered from the UUA Bookstore.  The UUA Bookstore books are sold at our cost, including any discounts we may get.  We are conducting a special clearance sale of some of these books.

NEEDED - BRAND NEW WASHCLOTHS AND SOCKS: UURoc's Homelessness Task Force (HTF) is collecting washcloths and socks (NEW only) to donate to House of Mercy. There, Sister Rita and local nursing students wash the feet of homeless persons for the comfort and health of those who walk the streets. A soothing, healthy foot wash, with nice new washcloths, and then a brand new pair of socks, can make all the difference. Let's help out!  Please donate as you are able:
* Washcloths and/or Socks (NEW ONLY) ~ any size, any color
* Clara Barton Lounge: place in box labeled for this drive
* No later than Sunday, September 18th, 2016.  On 9/18, HTF members will then deliver your donated items directly to the House of Mercy on Hudson Avenue.
Your compassion is greatly appreciated!  ~Lois Baum, Chair HTF

SOCIAL JUSTICE PLATE OFFERING: Our Committee has selected RAIHN as our September 18th Social Justice Plate collection recipient. The Rochester Area Interfaith Hospitality Network is a group of interfaith communities that provides support for families who are in need of shelter. This help includes a paid staff and a ton of volunteers. The important aspect of this organization is that IT WORKS, and First Universalist is proud to have been involved in RAIHN for many years. Please consider giving as the plate sails by you.  

DOCUMENTARY SCREENING: Watch Party for Defying the Nazis: The Sharps’ War. The latest documentary from renowned filmmaker Ken Burns is a portrayal of Martha and Waitstill Sharp, whose work with the Unitarian Service Committee helped save the lives of many during World War II. This is a great chance to learn about two modern-day heroes of our faith. The film premiers on PBS Tuesday, September 20th, at 9 PM. Bring your favorite late-night snack and come watch with us in the Clara Barton Lounge! 

BOOK GROUP: Just a reminder that the Book Group will resume on September 25thThe Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery is a surprising exploration into the wonder of consciousness. Ruth Fitzgerald suggested this book, and how lucky we are that she did!  October's book selection is called All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doeer.  The library has many copies, but it is a very popular book so request your copy soon! The Book Group meets at noon on the last Sunday of the month in the Chalice Room on the second floor.  All are welcome!  It is not necessary to have read the book.  Any questions happily answered by Sarah Singal at or Shirl Bond at

CHURCH OFFICE HOURS:  Summer hours are Monday-Thursday, 9 AM - 3:15 PM.  The office is closed on Fridays.  Beginning September 5, office hours will be Tuesday-Friday, 9 AM - 3:15 PM.  The office will be closed on Mondays.

To submit an item for "This Week at First Universalist", e-mail no later than Wednesday at noon throughout the summer.  Thank you!

This Week's Calendar of Events

Monday, August 29

  • Social Justice Committee, Volunteer Office, 6 pm
  • Rochester Model RR Club (rental), Clara Barton Lounge, 6:30 pm
  • Sanctuary Reserved for Music Committee, 7 pm

Tuesday, August 30

  • Paper Our Outlook production, Volunteer Office, 2 pm

Wednesday, August 31

  • Announcements Deadline for "This Week at First Universalist", noon
  • Communications Committee, Volunteer Office, 1 pm
  • Sanctuary Reserved for Music Committee, 7 pm

Friday, September 2

  • Private Event (rental), Sanctuary, 5 pm

Saturday, September 3

  • Private Event (rental), Sanctuary, 1-4 pm
  • SNYP AA, Clara Barton Lounge and 2nd Floor Lounge (rental), 8 pm 

Sunday, September 4

  • Summer Service, Sanctuary, 10 am
  • Refreshments, Clara Barton Lounge, 11 am
  • Drop-In Discussion, Second Floor Lounge, 11:15 am
Thank you for keeping us updated, both when you schedule events and when you need to cancel one!  Please continue to do so.  Send news of your events to; or call 546-2826.
Minister:   Rev. Celie Katovitch 

Director of Life Span Faith Development:   Michelle Yates 
Office Administrator:  Melissa Davies
Contact Us
150 S. Clinton Avenue
Rochester, NY 14604
(585) 546-2826

Office Hours:   Monday-Friday,  9:30-2:30