This Week at First Universalist
December 28, 2015
Holiday Office Hours:  The church office will be closed on Thursday, December 31 (New Year's Eve), and Friday, January 1 (New Year's Day).  

Java's Office Hours on Holiday Hiatus:  Due to New Year's Eve Day, Rev. Celie's Java's office hours will not be held on December 31st. They will resume on January 7th. Happy holidays!
This Week's Service
Fire Communion:  Join us for this annual New Year's tradition, led by Tom Williams and Kitty Forbush.  

Drop-in Discussion:   Escalating Inequality. The Unitarian Universalist Association has chosen Escalating Inequality as a Congregational Study-Action Issue for 2014-2018. Phil Ebersole will present some facts about this issue and lead a discussion.
Upcoming Events
Membership Committee will host the New Year’s Eve family-friendly event in the Clara Barton Lounge. The evening begins with appetizers and socializing at 7:00 PM, followed by a potluck dinner at 7:20 PM.  John “The Amazing” Adams will astonish us with a magic show.  Music will follow before we head out to the fire works. We hope to see you there!
Small Group Ministry
Small groups are a way to help us think about our spiritual lives through the process of sharing thoughts and experiences with others.  Those new to First Universalist as well as seasoned members are welcome to participate.  Two groups are starting soon (more will be added, as needed):

Group A:
Facilitator – Katherine Flynn
Dates and time – Fridays from 1:30-3:30 PM on January 22, February 5, February 19, March 4, March 25.

Group B:

Facilitator – Janet Clarke-Hazlett
Dates and time – Thursdays from 1:00-3:00 PM on February 18, March 10, March 31, April 14, May 5.

Those who sign up commit themselves to attendance at all sessions.  Location of the sessions is in the facilitators’ homes.  After you sign-up on the Religious Education Faith Development bulletin board or by emailing Connie Valk at, more details will be shared.  If you have questions, ask one of the facilitators or Connie Valk.
Additional Announcements

RAIHN* NEEDS YOU!  We still need a few good volunteers to provide meals, to stay overnight, or to act as evening hosts for our next RAIHN Week, January 3-10th, when temporarily homeless families will stay in our church. During the darkest, coldest days of the year it is especially important to give our RAIHN guests a warm welcome. To volunteer or ask questions, contact Chris DeGolyer ( or 461-3616), Marti Eggers, or Sarah Singal.   *Rochester Interfaith Hospitality Network: Keeping Families Together, Bringing Families Home

COZY NIGHT SUPPER:  “Words and Deeds of Prophetic Women and Men” will be the focus at our Friday, January 15th Cozy Night Supper.  This program from 5:30 to 7:30 is part of our exploration of the Unitarian Universalist sources.   Consider brightening up those dark days of winter with a little UU companionship and wise words!  Let us know of your ability to attend by signing up at the Membership Table today so we can prepare appropriately.  Child-friendly activities exploring this source will be arranged if requested one week in advance.  And for those who like to plan ahead… Future Cozy Friday Night Supper Dates exploring other sources are February 26th and March 18th.

THE BOOK CLUB has chosen the book "Being Mortal" by Atui Gawande for the January 31st, 2016 discussion.  Any questions feel free to contact Shirley Bond or Sarah Singal. 

2016 AUCTION  will be held on February 7th.  It’s our biggest fundraiser of the year, and arguably the most fun!  Donation forms are available at church or via e-mail ( ) OR  donate online at  Donations must be received by Wednesday, January 27 in order to be in the auction booklet.  AND be sure to plan to attend the auction on February 7.  Don’t miss out on the fun!

THANK YOU for your generous contributions for staff bonuses!  The Board was able to distribute a meaningful bonus to our employees, who were greatly appreciative.  Also, thank you for your support of our fall Change Drive and Holiday Shoppe, both of which raised funds that will help our church's mission!

PARKING FOR SUNDAY SERVICES:   The number of Sunday service attendees has increased and we now ask that the small parking lot behind our church be used primarily for those with mobility issues.  As a reminder, free parking is available on Sundays on the north side of Court Street, on both sides of Clinton Avenue, any metered spots and in the Court Street and Washington Square parking garages.

NEW BOOKS IN OUR CHURCH LIBRARY:  The First Universalist church lending library has acquired three new books:
  • For Faith and Freedom: a Short History of Unitarianism in Europe, by Charles Howe (288)
  • Wrestling With God: a Unitarian Universalist Guide for Skeptics and Believers, by Tom Owen-Towle (288)
  • Rescue Flight: American Relief Workers Who Defied the Nazis (about the origins of the Unitarian Service Committee), by Susan Subak.

Books in our lending library are shelved along the walls in order of their Dewey decimal numbers.  They may be checked out for four weeks by members and by friends who have attended long enough to have name tags.  The library is open during coffee hour during the regular church year.

WEATHER-RELATED CLOSINGS:  During this winter season, please note that cancellations of church activities can be viewed at  
This Week's Calendar of Events
Wednesday, December 30
  • Announcement Deadline, noon
  • Membership Committee, Volunteer Office, 6:30 pm
Thursday,  December 31
  • Office Closed
  • Pre-Fireworks Potluck and Magic Show, Clara Barton Lounge, 7 pm
Friday, January 1
  • Office Closed
Saturday,  January 2
  • SNYP AA, Clara Barton Lounge and Adult Lounge (rental), 8 pm 
Sunday,  January 3
  • Choir Rehearsal, Choir Room, 9 am
  • Drop-In Discussion, Adult Lounge, 9:15 am
  • Sunday Service, Sanctuary, 10:30 am
  • Coffee Hour, Clara Barton Lounge, 11:45 am
  • RAIHN Host Week Begins
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 Music:   Carol Xiong 

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