First Things First!
A weekly E-News publication of  The First Church in Oberlin UCC
United Church of Christ  April 1, 2019
An Open and Affirming, Just Peace, Green Justice, Global Mission Congregation

No matter who you are, or where you are on life's journey, you are welcome at The First Church.

Rev. David T. Hill, Pastor
Rev. Dr. Gary L. Olin, Interim Sabbatical Pastor
Brandy Bring, Commissioned Minister of Faith Formation and Youth

  1. First Church Weekly calendar
  2. First Church Announcements & Events (scroll down)
  3. Conversations on Sanctuary - link to website
  4. Birthday List For April
  5. First Church  Meeting House Archives
  6. General Information


Rev. Dr. Gary Olin, preaching, April 1, 2019.
Tina Zwegat, liturgist.
Ralph Thompson, chaplain of the week, April 1-7, 2019.

Contact Information:
Monday - Friday, 9:00am - 4:00pm, Office Manager, 440-775-1711.
Off hours, Rev. Dr. Gary Olin, 419-341-2257.

  The Rev. James and Elizabeth (Lou) Deitz
Send the following note to the congregation of First Church in Oberlin

Heartfelt thanks to all of  you good people and dear friends in and of First Church!  We will never forget your kindness and good wishes as we "push off for another shore".  
In peace and love,
Jim and Lou Deitz



We had a rousing, full house audience on the evening of March 28th to hear Annie Patterson and Charlie King perform two hours of folk songs in the Pete Seeger tradition.  This was a benefit concert to raise money for our "Sanctuary" project.  In fact, we raised $1,627 dollars.  We now have $6,082.25 in the "Sanctuary" fund.  We now only need $2,917.75 to pay for an ADA approved shower in the Church's undercroft along with some needed improvements to the kitchen in the undercroft.  The Ad-Hoc Committee on Sanctuary would like to thank the broader Oberlin Community for their support of the "Sanctuary  Project".

Palm/Passion Sunday, April 14th, 10:00am 
     This service begins Holy Week by celebrating Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem.  It will include a remembrance of Jesus' last days with selected music and readings from the Gospel of Luke.

Holy Thursday, April 18th, 8:00pm
     This service will remember Jesus' last supper with his disciples as we gather around the table for Holy Communion, which is open to everyone.

Easter Sunday, April 21st, 10:00am
     This service will celebrate Easter with music by Brass, Bells and Choir; the story of the first Easter from the Gospel of Luke; and Holy Communion, which is open to everyone.


We will then resume meeting on the first 
Tuesday of the month in Room 4. 
Join us for great conversation about a wide variety of books.  For further information email Marci Peterson at


Help is needed to make these meals a success each week. Please sign up on the sheets located in the hallway, 
or call Diane Kruek at (440) 775-0976. Thank you!

Need Men Volunteers
for Easter Breakfast

We are currently looking for men to volunteer to cook Easter Breakfast  for First Church.
Sign up sheets will be in the Gallery on Sunday or call the Church Office.

 Wednesday Adult Education

Oral Interpretation of the Bible:  How to read the Bible aloud
April 3, 10, 24 and May 1 at 6:45pm

Have you ever practiced reading the Bible out loud?  A great deal of pleasure and understanding is gained when you read scripture aloud.  Learn about the eight types of literary genres found in the Bible and how each genre presents a different challenge for the oral reader.  

Participants will practice reading aloud various passages of the Old and New Testaments and reading these passages for both meaning and expression.  Whether you are an experienced liturgist, thinking of becoming a liturgist or simply to enhance your personal enjoyment of scripture, this class will hopefully enhance your skills and delight your curiosity.  Class led by Ralph Thompson.

Parent  Cafés

Parent, join us on Wednesday evening for Parent  Cafés, co-sponsored by the Child Care Resource Center.  Parent Cafés are opportunities for parents to come together in small groups and explore questions and build parenting skills.  Cafés are open to all.  They will be held on April 3rd, 10th and 17th.  Dinner is free for anyone attending the Café and will begin at 5:45pm.  The Café will begin at 6:30pm and will run somewhere between 60 and 90 minutes.  Childcare is included during this time.  The CE Committee is also looking for parent hosts to help guide the conversation.  You'll be trained and also have a facilitator from the Child Care Resource Center with you.  If you are interested, please talk to Brandy as soon as possible.

(K-5th Grade)
April 5th
Last hangout of the school year!

Adult Education Series 
March 10, 17, 24, April 7
"Writing Your Soul Story" 
A Lenten Series led by Ralph Thompson

Each one of us has a story to tell. It is a story of the events and people that have impacted and shaped our life experience. In a Soul Story we look beneath the surface of our experience to reflect on how God speaks to us. Writing your Soul Story is an invitation. No attending the series has to write a story to participate in the class.

Each week, class time will be spent examining scripture for its relevance in understanding the spiritual meanings our life experiences. Those who wish to write their Soul Story will be given instruction on how to begin during the first week. Your story will be written at home during the four week period.

Registration is now open for Ohio Conference summer camp at Templed Hills.  There are camping options for adults, youth, children and families.  Last year, we sent seven kids to summer camp and the CE committee is prepared to help send more.  

If you haven't already registered for Ohio Conference Summer Camp, please do so by Monday, April 15th. Check out  the schedule and a more detailed description of camp at

Be sure to let Brandy know once you are registered!

SCT Needs Your Comments

Now that we're nearing the end of our congregation's sabbatical,  the Sabbatical Coordination Team is eager to receive your comments, insights, questions, and suggestions. What have you learned about First Church through this sabbatical experience? How do you think this sabbatical experience has affected the congregation? How has it affected you? What feelings or creative insights have you gained about our life together as a congregation? As David Hill returns and we begin to move together into the future, how do you imagine First Church might need to change so that we can be more faithful and effective in responding to God's call? What about First Church do you feel needs to remain the same?

You can pick up a comment form from the name tag table in the Gallery, put your name on it, and tell us what you're thinking. We'd like to have everyone's comments by April 10th. You can give them to a member of the SCT, or leave them in the Church Office.

You can also go  here and print off the comment form.


The Christian Education Committee will be holding a fundraiser on Easter Sunday to benefit this summer's mission trip.  We will be selling plastic Easter eggs with prizes inside.  Every egg is a winner!  Eggs will be sold at $3 or 2 for $5.  Prizes have been donated by our generous sponsors:  Aladdin's, Altitude Trampoline Park, Bead Paradise, Ben Franklin's, Blue Rooster, Cleveland Cinemas, Dave's Cosmic Subs, Green Circle Growers, Oberlin Business Partnership, Oberlin Kitchen, Oberlin UPS Store, Slow Train, and hopefully, a few more to come!

JULY 21-27

 This summer's mission trip is to Rockford, IL.  The trip is open to anyone 13 and older.  All youth, parents, and other adults interested in attending should talk to Brandy.  The deadline to sign up for the trip is Sunday, May 5th.



Did you hear about someone during church who would appreciate being thought of?  

Worship & Membership Committee has cards available at the Welcome Table for you to write a note to let a person know you are thinking about them.  

If you put the whole name on the envelope, the church will address, stamp and mail the note for you.  
Let's reach out to our church and community friends!!


Stand With Us! Interfaith Prayer Vigil, Thursdays at 4 p.m.
We invite people of faith and conscience to take part in a weekly interfaith prayer vigil to be held outside of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement field office located at  925 Keynote Circle, Brooklyn Heights. Our goal is to unite and amplify many faith voices calling for compassion and justice to guide the actions of ICE and to bear  witness to ICE-imposed injustices and human rights violations taking place in our communities.  We welcome non-partisan signage that lifts up values of justice, peace, compassion and hospitality to the immigrant.   You can help us to stand up with and for our immigrant neighbors with your "ministry of presence."  If you are able, please come to this prayer vigil which will be lead by rotating faith leadership every Thursday from 4:00pm to 4:45 p.m.

Oberlin Rotary Club
All-You-Can-Eat Pancake Breakfast

CLICK HERE for the website and weekly announcements!

OCS welcomes your donations. 
Please take them directly to their building  at 285  S. Professor St. 
from 9am until noon and 1pm until 5pm, M-F. Thank you! 
Communion - When Coming To Church Is Not Possible

The Witness and Membership Committee has members who have recently been trained by Pastor David to serve Communion to anyone in our church who is confined to home, ill or otherwise unable to come to church. One of the members of the Communion team will come to your home and share a brief service with you. If interested, please call Debbie in the church office at (440) 775-1711.

Drawing on our heritage, we will grow by being an intentionally inclusive, multicultural, just and loving community that practices relevant and inspiring worship, mobilized to collaborate with our wider community by opening our doors to be a central gathering place that is dedicated to healing brokenness in our relationship with God, each other and the Earth. 
The First Church in Oberlin
106 N. Main Street
Oberlin OH 44074
(440) 775-1711

If you are searching for ways to become more fully 
engaged in the life of the church, 
contact Rev. David T. Hill or call the church office.

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