This Week at First Universalist
April 18, 2016
Please see below for a corrected version of the calendar of events.
This Week's Service
Sunday, April 24:
10:30 a.m. Service - Facing Privilege.  Gandhi believed that our skills, abilities and attributes do not belong to us alone.  He believed that they were given to us by God and were to be used in the service of love and life.  How does that belief relate to forms of privilege that we are born with, or inherit, that may even be wrongfully acquired through various forms of social injustice?”  Kit Miller, Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence.

9:15 a.m. Drop-in Discussion - Christian SocialismWith all the talk of the U.S. being a “Christian nation” and with Bernie Sanders running for president under the banner of “Democratic Socialist,” it’s time to discuss what this means. David Damico will lead a discussion on the late 19th century progressive movement known as Christian Socialism based on the book, What is Christian Socialism, written by Rev. W.D.P. Bliss, Congregationalist minister, 1886, which, incidentally, aligns nicely with modern tenets of Universalism.  Francis Bellamy of Mt. Morris, who wrote the Pledge of Allegiance in 1892, is a notable figure in the movement.
Upcoming Events
"Bidder 70"  Film Event

Tuesday, April 19 at 7 pm in the Sanctuary.  You are invited to a free screening of this documentary film that follows an act of civil disobedience in the name of climate justice. (73 min.) Discussion after the movie with Dr. Susan Spencer, President and Founder at ROCSPOT, promoting solar energy use in Rochester.  

Agriculture and Climate Change Forum

Thursday, April 21st at 6 PM in the Sanctuary.  Presented by the Sierra Club of Rochester Region, hosted at First Universalist. Keegan Kuhn, who filmed "Cowspiracy," will speak about the role of animal agriculture in climate change. A panel will also include individuals operating a successful local organic farm and representatives addressing related workers' rights issues.  

Watch the film, "Cowspiracy," beforehand on Wednesday, April 20th at 7 PM at the Cinema Theater. Admission is free.

Service in the Park

Join us for an outdoor service in Washington Square Park on Saturday at noon!  All are welcome, with creaturely friends of all shapes and sizes (as well as stuffed animals or photos of pets of blessed memory) in tow!  

Some things to keep in mind:
  • We’ll gather near the platform area in the park (directly across the street from church). 
  • Use your best judgment of your pet’s comfort level around other beings in determining whether to bring them to this gathering “in person.” (Pictures may also be blessed.) 
  • Remember leashes for dogs, carriers for cats, snakes, turtles, etc. 
  • Bring lots of water for your pet, in addition to any supplies needed to clean up after them. We will have plastic bags on hand. 

Hope to see you at this fun and festive service!  Rain location: Sanctuary 

Additional Announcements

GROWING TOGETHER:  Stewardship 2016.  Thank you, thank you!  Most of our members and friends have returned pledge cards for the 2016-17 fiscal year.  If we have missed you, it’s not too late!  Please return your pledge card today, or pledge online

A BOUQUET OF SONG:  Thursday, April 21st at 12:15 PM.  Enjoy a free concert featuring Cecile Saine, soprano, with our own Howard Spindler, piano, who will deliver a colorful and sweetly scented array of melodies for your listening pleasure.  Songs of Handel, Bellini, Schubert, and more.    

THE BOOK GROUP will meet at noon on April 24th to discuss "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness." For questions contact either  Shirley Bond at or,  Sarah Singal at

RAIHN CAR CITY 2016: Help Put the Brakes on Family Homelessness.  Car City is a fundraiser as well as a way to shed light on homelessness in Rochester. Families, youth groups and other teams are invited sleep in their cars at Asbury Methodist Church on Saturday night, April 30th. Click here to register.  If you don’t want to sleep in your car but want to support RAIHN Car City, join Team VirtUUal by clicking here The rest is up to you. Your donation in any amount will be gratefully received and will directly help families get home for good.

CLEAN SWEEP:  Join First Universalist as we take part in the city's annual clean-up day on Saturday, April 30th.  This is a fun day that includes free food, t-shirt, and ticket to a Red Wings game for all volunteers.  To sign-up with the church, contact Richard Reed (467-3739).    .   

BECAUSE BLACK LIVES MATTER:   Teen Empowerment (TE) is a non-profit youth organization working in Rochester’s southwest neighborhood. This amazing and highly effective organization is having its Annual Community Luncheon on Thursday, May 5th from 11:30AM to 1:30PM at the Riverside Convention Center. Tickets are $40.  If you are interested in attending and learning more about how TE is making a difference to the youth in Rochester, contact Eric Van Dusen at

CHURCH CLEAN-UP DAY : The 2016 Spring Clean-up Day has been scheduled for Saturday May 7th, starting around 9:00 AM.  If you have ever wanted to volunteer for the church or to just get to know the building as well as other members a little better, this is a perfect opportunity! There will be all kinds of cleaning, fixing, painting, etc. jobs to be completed – something for all skill levels.  Bring along your favorite tools or cleaning products.  Breakfast snacks and a light lunch will be provided.  Socializing and fun will also be part of the agenda.  For more information, please contact Tom Ruganis at 746-7796 (cell) or 442-2968 (home) or email to  
JUDICIAL PROCESS COMMISSION LUNCHEON May 11th. This is another opportunity to explore issues and organizations tied to BLACK LIVES MATTER.  The Judicial Process Commission Annual Fundraising Luncheon is on May 11 at Temple B’rith Kodesh. UUs will have a table, with representative from all the UU churches.The cost per person is $45. Checks should be made out to First Unitarian Church, with a memo line 2016 Judicial Process Commission Luncheon. Mail a check to the First Unitarian representative Ron Johnson at 21 Sutherland Street, Pittsford, NY 14534.  The deadline is April 22 for checks/reservations.

BEGINNING  MEDITATION PRACTICE  will take place in the rear of the Sanctuary each Wednesday from 5:15 - 6:30pm through May 25th.  All are welcome - no experience necessary.   Please contact Kathy Russell at  for more information.
Remembering Judith G. Hunter

Longtime member at First Unitarian, Judith Gordon Hunter, passed away on April 5, 2016. She had been an active congregant of the First Unitarian Church serving as a church school teacher and later attended the First Universalist Church.  You can read her obituary and share memories or express condolences here.  
This Week's Calendar of Events
Tuesday, April 19
  • Bidder 70 Environmental Film Screening, Sanctuary, 7 pm
Wednesday, April 20
  • Paper Our Outlook Deadline, noon
  • Beginning Meditation Practice, Sanctuary, 5:15 pm
  • Membership Committee, Second Floor Lounge, 6:30 pm
  • Committee on Ministry (Rev. Celie), Volunteer Office, 7 pm

Thursday, April 21

  • Deadline for Weekly Announcements, noon 
  • Eastman Lunchtime Concert Series, Sanctuary, 12:15 pm
  • Sierra Club Forum on Agriculture & Climate, Sanctuary, 6 pm

Friday, April 22

  • Passover Seder, Clara Barton Lounge, 6 pm (Seating is currently filled to capacity and reservations are now closed)

Saturday, April 23

  • SNYP AA, Clara Barton Lounge and Adult Lounge (rental), 8 pm 

Sunday, April 24

  • 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
  • Book Group, Second Floor Lounge, noon
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