Upcoming Worship Services

Sunday, September 24
9:30am and 11:15am
Rev. Joel Miller, preaching 
"Into Our Arms"
Rev. Tina Simson, co-leading 
Plate collection will go to support

Sunday, October 1
9:30am and 11:15am
Rev. Tina Simson, preaching
When Your Hair is Against the Dress Code [or What Are You Willing to Take Down?]
Ahlia Kitwana, co-leading

Minister's Column 

I’m writing this week about our church’s interim work this fall. But I can’t get to that work without thinking about how difficult these times are. Mexico’s severe earthquake. Yet another terrible hurricane that is devastating Puerto Rico as I write. Terrible famine in Yemen. Wars against Muslims in Burma and against democracy in Syria. And the U.S. president is a catastrophe for our country and for the world.

These are difficult times. We come to church to survive difficult times and help others do the same. But we also come to church to keep our attention on a healthy future for all. The world needs First Unitarian’s ministries.

And that’s why you and I are doing this interim work together. Even as First Unitarian continues to do its vital ministries, you and I are also preparing our church for a rapidly changing, difficult world.

Right now your Board and I are working on the interim tasks that prepare our church for its ministries in these times. I am working with our church’s staff to update procedures and practices and welcome new staff members. I am (finally!) bringing together a team of members that will lead our church’s development of effective conflict skills -- a process called “Healthy Congregations.” And I am working with the leadership of First Unitarian’s Social Justice Council as we continue our church’s initial steps toward being a multicultural spiritual community.

First Unitarian’s Board is working on Policy Governance. The goals this year in developing our church’s governance skills are that decisions made on behalf of the congregation be both transparent as well as represent the congregation’s goals and values. The Board is also asking “powerful questions” as it does this work. The overarching question, recommended by consultant Laura Park, is: “How can we govern to liberate the energy and creativity of our church to awaken compassion, transform lives, and bless the world?”

These are big efforts, and accomplishing them will take an endurance past this interim time. But these will empower our church to adapt to the challenges of ministry in a rapidly changing and difficult world.

You are, as individuals and as a spiritual community, much needed for the difference you make.

I am grateful to come to church and be, for this short time, a part of your important ministries.

Rev. Joel
Here are the latest opportunities to stay informed, strengthen
your faith, and connect with the community:
Gratitude, Joys and Sorrows

We are grateful to Bob Taylor who worked hard weed whacking the outdoor Labyrinth (lower lawn, below the lower parking lot) which had become overgrown. It's looking great and is ready to be enjoyed!

Let Us Keep You In Our Thoughts and Prayers
If you have a concern about a member of our congregation, please don't hesitate to contact Rev. Tina at 585-271-9070 x104.
Upcoming Events

View the complete listing in our online events calendar !

Help raise funds to support our BackPack Food Program , brunch will be served after each service this Sunday . Read more here .

Get your copy of Waking Up White ! Our church bookstore will be open this Sunday Click here for more.

Free! Our Church’s Play An Equal Right to Act at Rochester’s Public Market this Friday . Details here .

First Muse Chamber Music this Sunday ! Joys and Litanies: A Local Perspective. Tickets will be on sale at the concert and after both services this Sunday. For details, click here .

Next Monday, Labyrinth Quest Returns! Details here .
Calls to Action

Next Meeting of the Black Lives Matter/Youth Lives Matter Task Force is this Sunday. Details here .

RAIHN Volunteers Needed!
If you can devote two or three hours at some time during the week of October 8-15, please click here . Particular needs are evening and overnight hosts.

Do you sell handmade items or earth friendly green products? Does your group sell a product that promotes social responsibility? The Social Justice Council is looking for new crafters to sell their wares at the Benefits Boutique in November. Click here for more info.

Some people prefer to donate money instead of food to the Brighton Food Cupboard . Al Gundlach, our church's Finance Director, has agreed to forward any checks in a marked envelope collected in the service collection basket or the safe in the Workroom. Thanks, Al, for offering this service! Details here .
You have options in the way your pledge payments are processed. Click here for more info.
Other News and Reminders
Roof construction is underway, so until further notice, the south parking lot is unavailable for church use. Also note that the back door is to be used as an emergency exit only.

First Wednesday Morning Book Discussion Group will discuss the book Waking Up White and Finding Myself in the Story of Race by Debby Irving on Wednesday, October 4, 11:00am-12:30pm. This discussion is the perfect springboard to Ms. Irving's appearance at our church on Sunday, October 8.  For more information, please click here .

UU’s Reading Non-Fiction are discussing an uncommon story of two men raised in the same neighborhood with the same name and similar backgrounds, and what ultimately becomes of them. Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates. For details, click here .

Aging Gratefully and "Ourselves as Parents." Click here for details about this discussion group's next meeting.

Click here for a Green Tip from your Environmental Climate Climate Task Force.
First Unitarian Church
220 Winton Road South
Rochester, NY 14610   

Church Office is open
Monday-Friday, 10:00am-2:00pm

   Newsletter submissions may be sent to announcements@rochesterunitarian.org . Church or church-sponsored events only. Deadline is each Tuesday at 10:00 am.
All entries are subject to editorial approval.