First Unitarian Universalist RVA- Feb. 9, 2019
We GROW in search of wisdom,
we CARE in support of community, we ACT in service of justice.
All are invited to join us for services!
February's Theme-"Love of Learning"
The packet for this month is available on the member portal at
(Ask your group leaders for the member password.)
Make sure to read the ENTIRE First News Weekly!
Many members are missing important information because they don't realize their messages don't show the entire newsletter!

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This week we have information regarding: NEW Social Justice opportunities, Updated events happening in and around First UU, and of course, updated group information. Please be sure to read on!
Sunday Services, Care, & Leadership News
Services at
9:00 am
and 11:00 am
coffee hour
10:00 am-11:00 am

9:00 am & 11:00 am: Services

Sermon by
Kelli McNeal, Ministerial Intern
"Fire of Commitment"
If you wish to have an Order of Service for Sunday morning, please print one and bring it with you. In an effort to save financial and natural resources, First UU is no longer printing paper Orders of Service.
First UU Care Team for
February 2019

Lay Pastoral Care Coordinator
Linda Ericson

Team Kindness
Laura May

Contact First UU Care Team for a little touch of nice. ❤️
Mitten Tree Report:
Over the holidays we collected needed clothing items for Greene School and it was a TERRIFIC success. 
Greene Elementary School now has a supply closet available when kids need something extra. 
Thanks to everyone for: approximately 300 pairs of socks, 300 pairs boys underwear, 300 pairs girls underwear, 50 pairs of jeans in assorted sized, 14 pairs of shoes and $102 in cash.
News for Visitors
Thank you so much for signing up for First News Weekly! We are so glad you're here. If you haven't visited our congregation yet, we hope you will soon. You can find all the information you need at our website here:

New to UU Conversation
10:15 twice per month
Next conversation is February 10th
ask at the front desk for
that Sunday's location!

will be on February 10th, 2019
Want to know more about this community? Is it time to learn more about how to get involved at First UU? Do you want to meet more folks from the church?
We offer a Pathways class to assist you in doing all these. This class is necessary to become a member. 
The next pathway class will be on February 10th, 2019. The session runs 9:00-3:00 and includes attendance of the 11:00 service followed by lunch. 
All are welcome.  
Communications & Bookkeeper News
Please note the following
changes regarding
submitting information for the


Items for the Order of Service Sunday Bulletin
need to be emailed to
Desiree Woodson

Items for First News Weekly, updates to website, Britesign, etc.
need to be emailed to
Megan Nolde
Information on Pledges
With gratitude, we have received pledge contributions of $25,375.76 for the month of February. Year to date we have received $535,463.771 toward our Annual Budget of $801,216 (66.8%).
Share the Plate Collection
Because of your generosity, for the month of January, we collected $2,141.95 for the Share the Plate recipient Minds in Motion.

For the month of February, we have collected $696.50 towards the Share the Plate recipient Garden Schoolhouse.
For February, our Share the Plate recipient is the The Garden Schoolhouse.

We challenge children to discover, learn, communicate, and collaborate.
The Garden Schoolhouse believes in childhood. In our school, children learn and create as leaders, peacemakers, innovators, and builders.
The Garden Schoolhouse is a child development center for children ages three through kindergarten. The school is united, diverse, friendly, and devoted to children becoming independent learners and leaders.
Our approach to learning is inspired by Reggio Emilia philosophy of education, grounded in developmentally appropriate practice, and infused with habits of mind that children and adults need for a lifetime of learning.
  • Children observe and experiment from birth to understand their world.
  • Children are naturally curious, creative, and motivated to discover and learn.
  • The role of educators is to nurture and sustain children’s curiosity.
  • Play is necessary to physical, social, emotional, and intellectual growth.
  • We believe in our connection to all people, all living things, and the earth.
  • Our Mission: The Garden Schoolhouse cultivates a passion for learning, and intellectual curiosity. We celebrate childhood by tending to the unique gifts of each child. We build the foundation for academic success.
  • Our Vision: We will plant a garden schoolhouse in every neighborhood to promote a more compassionate, informed and engaged community.
  • Please reach out for more information or a tour of the school:; 804-774-9414; Audrey Smith, Executive Director:
Do you shop on Amazon? What about Kroger? 

Did you know that you can support First UU by shopping where you already shop?! Here are two easy options to help support the church.
Go to and search for First Unitarian Universalist. Then, when you want to order something from Amazon, make sure to order from and Amazon will send a percentage of your purchase to the church! 
If you shop at Kroger and have a Kroger Plus card, search on your favorite web search site for Kroger Community Rewards. You can enroll by linking your plus card to the church and Kroger will send a percentage of your purchase to the church!
The church does not see your purchases in either place. We simply receive a check once a month from the organization. If you have any questions, please email Kelli McNeal ( and she will be happy to answer any questions.
Email them to!

We are always looking for new images for the website, social media, or FNW!

While we can't guarantee we'll use every image, we would appreciate the help in gathering more of them!
Please contact Rhonda Wingfield

The Nursery
The Nursery is open during worship services to serve those 3 and a half years old and under. Children are welcomed by experienced staff and engaged in gentle play. Please label your child's belongings, and bring your own snack if desired. Cheerios will be offered. If you have allergy concerns, please provide your child's snack.

The children's activity box for those attending worship will now be located outside the Great Hall on the right side of the lobby.

Religious Education News:

Special Reminder : Parents , though we like to encourage our children to practice independence, please do not allow them to sign themselves into their religious ed. classes. We are experiencing children being signed into the wrong classes. In addition, there are legibility issues. Being responsible for your students while they are in class, we need an accurate representation of who is present. Thank you for your assistance!

RE Classes Meeting at 11:00 are :
PreK-K : Creating Home: Students begin exploring the idea of Unitarian Universalism as a spiritual home, while comparing it as metaphor, to the homes they live in. This week, they discover the word "threshold" as understanding a point of entering or leaving.
Gr. 1-2 : Children are learning about the interconnected web of existence through a lesson about nature's partnerships.A story about partnership between sea anemones and clown fish demonstrates that helping one another is an aspect of interdependence and a cherished UU value. 
Gr. 3-4 : The Value of Questioning. Unitarian Universalism is a faith that considers each person's path of questioning and search for truth a key, ongoing part of growing in faith and deepening in religious understanding.
Gr. 5-6 : What are the qualities of a justice maker? Students will discuss the quality of awareness as it relates to their ideas of justice. They will be challenged to consider how people create justice by working together.
Gr. 7-8: In grappling with UU theology, students evaluate the Ten Commandments, compose their own set of rules for ethical behavior, and discuss how cliques and groups influence the behavior of individuals.
Grade 9-12 meets 10:45-12:15.
Please sign-in by 10:45 and plan to attend the full class. 
Topic: Fairness. What does it mean to you? Is fairness really possible? How is it achieved? Why is it a Unitarian Universalist value? Through accessing games, class will explore these questions and more.
For questions, contact Rev. Sue Sinnamon

A REMINDER: Unless otherwise noted in the information, these groups are open to newcomers and would be happy to welcome you! We encourage everyone to participate in these many wonderful opportunities to
learn and grow together.
First UU Leadership/
Small Group Facilitators

Feb. 16 from 9:00-11:00 am. 

Come learn about the March packet!

We would LOVE to have a representative from EVERY group attend if possible.
People can email Dianna MacPherson to get on the group list for reminders and notes - 
Additional Opportunities
July 2019 Cross-Cultural Pilgrimage to Transylvania
July 31, 2019 to August 13, 2019

Learn more on the First UU website:

$1,195 (double occupancy) + $150 non-refundable registration fee

CONTACT Rev Sue Sinnamon for more details.

Small & Practice Group News
More information on these areas of interest can be found at the website:
The DayTimes will gather for their monthly meeting; Wednesday, February 13th from 11:00 to 1:00 p.m. in President's Hall. Visitors are welcome to join us for a presentation by Jim Armstrong and Anita Lee, a "New Day Rising, " followed by our regular pot-luck luncheon.
The Dogwood Spirit Circle Is Having a Meet and Greet On March 3, 2019 from 12:30 to 2:00 pm.
It will take place after the second service on Sunday, March 3. A goal for this Small Group is to incorporate a CUUPS (Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans) Chapter at First UU of Richmond. 
To help explain about CUUPS and Earth Centered Spirituality, we have invited a special speaker Eric Eldritch, a Program Specialist at the Library of Congress, who  draws on years of experience in ceremonial and ecstatic forms of worship for ritual construction, interfaith worship and spiritual retreat planning; among many other things on his resume . Please join us for light refreshments, music and the chance to make new friends.
Ewe Ewe Knitters!
Ewe Ewe Knitters is a multi-generational conversation group for knitters, crocheters and those who are learning. We meet on the First Thursday and the Third Tuesday of each month, 6:30 - 8:00 PM. Join us! Questions? Darlene 804-562-2175 voice/text
The First UU Jewish Spirituality and Practice Group is forming! If you would like to be involved or would like more information, contact Elisa O'Brien at .
Parent’s Circle – Second Thursdays at 7pm
Contact: Kristen Saybe 
Sign up for the Facebook UU Family Group to receive notices
Parents' Circle will be a time we can come together, share experiences and ask for advice as we travel this crazy road raising amazing people. This will be for parents only and babes in arms so we can candidly discuss whatever we want to discuss!
6:00 pm-6:30 pm
A quiet center to our week!
Vespers continues year-round
Vespers is an intimate, contemplative, and conversational half-hour service provided by our ministerial interns. We welcome you and appreciate you just as you are and whenever you can join us. MEETS IN THE GREAT HALL

Simple Supper
6:30 pm
Come enjoy good food and fellowship. Soup salad and bread are typical fare. Volunteers prepare the supper. Consider signing up with your group or team! See the volunteer section below.

Ministers Present
7:15 pm -8:30 pm

Building a New Life through Love of Learning 
Wednesdays, 7:15 - 8:30
Feb 6 - Immunity to Change - experience a process that helps us identity major goals and the challenges we face in implementing them.
Feb 13- Lateral Thinking , A way of Thinking Creatively that expands the Possibilities we see for change.
Feb 20 - Discernment - A process of group listening and seeing.
Feb 27 - Empathic Listening - the backbone of justice work.
You will experience each of these processes and take away handouts to practice these in your work/life/groups.
Life Stage Groups News
Want to know when the following groups meet? Visit our Growth Groups page on the website for contact information for each convener!
Young Adults
Young Couples
Parent Group
Upcoming Practice Group Meetings
Looking for a contact person?
Want to know the overall schedule of when a group meets?
Check out our website page on Practice Groups !
Antiracism Group
next meeting
February 10th at 12:15 pm
[must take Living the Pledge
before joining]
Contact: Jim Armstrong,

Tai Chi
Every Monday from 6:30-7:30 pm
President's Hall

UU Christian Fellowship
next meeting
February 19th from 5:30-7:00pm
Contact: Harvey Joyner,


Humanism in Practice
3rd Wednesdays at 2:00 pm
for location and date in December.

next meeting
February 17th from 10-10:45

Second Wednesday, Feb. 13th
11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
President's Hall
Vespers Contemplative Service
Every Wednesday 6:00-6:30 pm
in the Great Hall

UU Zen Group 
Sitting and Walking Meditation
Every Thursday at 7pm

Yoga with Jodi
Contact: Jodi Bock for schedule

Dances of Universal Peace
next meeting
February 9th at 7:30 pm
President's Hall
Contact Hayat Bain for more information.

RVA Western Mystery 
School Study Group
3rd Tuesday of each month 6:30 pm
 for December date and location.

Greater Richmond Humanist Group
next meeting
February 26th from 6:30-8:00 pm
Great Hall/President's Hall

Parent’s Circle –
Second Thursdays at 7pm
Contact: Kristen Saybe 
Sign up for the Facebook UU Family Group to receive notices
"Books for Greene ES" is running out of books!
We currently have over 100 Fifth Graders who are receiving books from us on a monthly basis. They are given these books to take home and keep, and we need all reading levels: picture books, easy readers and chapter books, fiction and non-fiction. THE BOOK CLOSET IS BARE.
RISC Update – 2018 Year in Review; 2019 Next Steps
2018 saw justice because of RISC’s efforts. A few data points about the root level changes:
·       Reading Mastery is being piloted in 8 Richmond Public Schools - the proven curriculum to get students reading to grade level.
·       A Health Care Pipeline was launched by VCU Health – a proven pathway to in-demand healthcare employment for low income job seekers.
·       Childhood Trauma Response Training was introduced into Chesterfield County Schools.
How did this happen? Who made it happen?
·       Our 22 member congregations held 41 regional house meeting hearing 520 personal stories
·       318 Network members (leaders) committed to justice.
·       Over 200 researchers, spokespersons, corporate visitors, carpool coordinators, floor team members, event speakers ……
·       Putting in 6,414 volunteer hours speaking in a SINGLE voice seeking justice!
·       And investing over $42,000.
But enough about last year. What is RISC working on now (and maybe something for you to get involved in):
·       The new issue is Housing. We are meeting with local experts and non-profits that work the housing arena in Richmond to determine the best practices solution that we want to pursue. Come join in. The meetings are interesting – and even exciting!
·       We are continuing to research the most effective way to support RPS in their implementation of the Reading Mastery curriculum, continuing to develop ways to re-engage Henrico Schools, and make sure that Chesterfield School follow up on their commitment to train their entire staff and faculty on Trauma Informed Care best practices.
·       Pursuing new congregations to join RISC (we have new ideas on this – do you have thoughts?).
·       We will be doing LOCAL training on the Research to Action effort, the investment drive, corporate drive and other elements of how RISC works. Consider joining us.
For more information contact either Steve Saltzberg ( ; 804-306-5184) or Dorothy Hollahan ( ; 804-744-9412.
Greene Team Liaison Needed
We are looking for a volunteer to join the Greene Team! We need a liaison to help with marketing VOCCA (Volunteers Organized for Cross-cultural Communication Assistance). Time requirement: 0-2 hrs/wk (depending on need)
This volunteer would advertise and promote the translation service to Greene School teachers and other staff.
VOCCA is a free translation service, to the teachers and other staff members at Greene Elementary. This is a low-demand opportunity to get involved at Greene, as this position is flexible and will require only 0-2hrs/wk (fluctuates according to need and the volunteer's availability). 
Most of the duties associated with this position can be carried out remotely, with only 10% of the work estimated to require visits to First UU or to Greene. Spanish familiarity or fluency is not required for this position!

If you are interested in joining the Greene Team in this capacity or if you have questions about the position, please contact: Joel Blum, email: or megan Taylor, email: m
What is CARITAS? The letters stand for Congregations Around Richmond Involved To Assure Shelter, and it is the largest emergency shelter program in our community.
We are fortunate to one last time be a host site. From Saturday, February 23 to Saturday, March 2, we will provide shelter for 10 to 15 homeless women in the lower level of our church. This involves the need for over 100 volunteers who provide breakfast, bag lunches, and dinner each day for our guests. In the past, our children have prepared toiletry kits, flowers for the tables, and candy for our guests' pillows. We need volunteers to spend the night along with the CARITAS staff and to provide special services such as financial/tax consultations, doing laundry, dentistry, clothing repair, haircuts, massages, manicures, and just hanging out and talking or playing cards. Entertainment such as music, movies, or magic shows are great additions. CARITAS can also always use towels, washcloths, tooth brushes, toothpaste, and other toiletry items; as well as pillow cases, sheets, blankets for their permanent building. We will be collecting monetary donations for staples and supplies. This service event is a great way to meet other UU members and friends, while providing a meaningful and needed service to our community.
Anyone interested in volunteering or being part of the planning committee can sign up at the CARITAS table after each Sunday service in the lobby. For more information or to sign up, you may also contact Su Böer at 213-3006 or or sign up at
Equality Virginia Volunteer Opportunity!
"We’re working to pass non-discrimination protections for LGBT+ people in housing and public employment through the state legislature. We’d be the first state in the South to do so. We’re hoping to create a Virginia where folks don’t have to fear losing their job or being denied housing for who they are. 
I’m reaching out to you as an affirming faith community in search of support and, ideally, motivated congregants who want to help. I’ll be running weekly Thursday night phone banks at our downtown office. Please sign up below!"
        First UU’s three men’s Small Group Ministries are cosponsoring a linen drive to benefit Caritas in its new permanent shelter for the homeless.
         The drive will run from through February 10.
         We are seeking sheets (primarily twin-extra long, if possible, but all donations will be welcome), pillow cases, towels and face cloths.
         Linens will be collected before and after both services every Sunday through February 10. Tables will be set up outside the Great Hall.
        Donations may also be dropped off at the church during the week. Look for the marked collection bins near the Reception Desk.
         Cash donations will also be welcomed. Checks should be made out to Caritas.
        Tax receipts will be available.
        Thank you for your generosity.
Help Greene School get
much-needed school supplies!

We will be collecting Box Tops for Greene School. Go to the website to learn about the program then bring your boxtops to church each Sunday.

Look for the box and a list of products on the social justice table
or contact Joan Lewis for more information
Remember - our church is a community built around mutual love and giving. We need YOU to complete the circle by giving back to the community through volunteering your time or resources!
Simple Supper needs more coverage!!
We have a new sign-up site--- and it's mobile-friendly!

Pick a date or two during this season (through May), to prepare and donate Simple Supper. Each supper needs six to eight people to prepare, set up, serve and clean up.

Sign up here:

Come and eat supper with us!
Or shadow any group providing supper ahead of your time. 

Please contact Rick Carr to set up a 90-minute class to learn about the machinery in the kitchen.  Rick can be emailed through the link on his name, or call 804-349-5303 (voice/text).

Darlene Dragavon, Simple Supper Coordinator
Sunday Ushers and 
Visitors Table Welcomers are Needed!

Choose a Sunday and a service, (9 am or 11 am) and come receive training with an experienced hospitality person. Plan to arrive 20 mins before service starts. Shadow and assist to learn the ropes and then commit to serve one service on one Sunday per month.
or contact   Ben Wharton
Miss a sermon? Listen now on:
Need to know more about events?
First Unitarian Universalist Church of Richmond | 804-355-0777 |