First Things First

A weekly eNewsletter from

The First Church in Oberlin, United Church of Christ

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 here!

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Worship Resources

Sunday, February 11th, @ 10am

First Church - Live Stream Worship via Facebook

Thank you for your donations.

Sunday's Hymns

NCH 182: We Have Come at Christ's Own Bidding

NCH 181: O Wonderous Sight, O Vision Fair (verses 1, 2, and 5 only)

Sunday's Hymns

Sunday's Lessons:

Mark 9:1-13

Sunday's Order of Worship

Click the button below to follow along with the plan of Sunday's service.

Order of Worship

Announcements and Events For.....

First Church, Its Mission, and Its Ministry

Dear First Church family and friends,

Megan Schief died this past Monday, January 29. Memorial arrangements are not known at this time. We will keep you posted as more information is available. Please remember Megan's family and friends in your prayers.

O God of sunrise and sunset, we give you thanks for all those near to us and dear, who have walked in your light; in whose lives we have seen the light, and at whose hands we have received the mysteries of your goodness and your grace.  Make us glad in all those whom you have given us out of the world, who have faithfully lived and at the last have quietly died, who are now gone before us in the heavenly places.

Congregational Meeting, THIS SUNDAY!

The First Church annual budget approval meeting will be held THIS Sunday, February 11, immediately following worship. It is crucial that we have a quorum in attendance, so we can thoughtfully discuss and then approve a budget for 2024.

Your attendance and participation is enthusiastically encouraged!

Congregational Report

Join us for the Souper Bowl! 

We are continuing our tradition of partnering with other local congregations to observe football’s Super Bowl Sunday by taking up a "Souper Bowl" collection for local food aid and daily feeding programs in our community. There will be soup pots in the hallway after church on February 11th for your donations. Money collected will be divided among the active feeding programs in our community. Thanks for your continued support for this 30-year mission helping the hungry! 

Another Day Older

Today is the youngest you will ever be. And on this day, you are older than you were yesterday. 

Regardless of chronological age, we are all aging. This idea of counting the number of days, months or years we have lived is a human construct. So are the attitudes we hold about the number of candles that sit on our birthday cake. 

So, why is it that so many of us tend to want to change that number when someone asks how old we are? And why are there so many products available to help us reduce the evidence of our age? 

These are some of the questions we will consider through Another Day Older conversations. We will consider our own aging process and the messages that influence our attitudes about aging. And we will look at ageism, the prejudice or discrimination on the grounds of how old someone is or is perceived to be by another. Ageism has negative consequences on individuals and society in general. Through these conversations, we will examine why recognizing ageism is important and discuss what to do to disrupt it. We internalize these views of aging from a young age and hold on to them far too long, so it is never too early or too late to join the conversation. 

Participate in the four conversations with Another Day Older on Wednesdays during Lent - and be prepared to celebrate the fact that, today, we are all another day older!  

We will meet from 5:45-7:00 pm on Wednesday, February 21 and 28, and March 6 & 13. We ask that you sign up by emailing Jen Bertoni at [email protected], so that we can make sure we have enough materials available for everyone. 

Happy Birthday, Everybody!

Everybody’s Birthday Lunch is on Feb 25th after worship. Join us that Sunday for a potluck and birthday celebration. If your last name begins with A-M please bring a salad or side dish. If your last name begins with N-Z, please bring a main dish. Won’t be able to bring a dish? DO come anyway!

We also need people to “adopt a month” for this birthday celebration. Sign up to make a cake or other dessert and decorate for one of the months. Look for the colorful sheet provided on the big bulletin board on the way to the Fellowship Hall to sign up!

If you have questions, please direct them to Miranda in the office or to Alana Kelley (440) 935-2394.

Join us for Mid-day Meditation!

Need a little peace in the middle of your day? Join us for a mid-day meditation break, from 12:30-1:00 pm Mondays-Thursdays in Room 3 in the James Brand House. We invite you to join Jen for this ancient spiritual practice, and offer yourself some calm and compassion in the midst of your daily stresses! 

2024 Lent Devotional: Bend

We Are Bent, Not Destroyed

Jesus modeled flexibility: hardship and persecution bent but didn't break him. Change and challenge strengthened his ministry. Impossible situations yielded to healing and release.

How many of us could benefit – not from a hard yank but from a stretchy bend, not from stiffness but from resilience?

Bending can be scary, of course. Responding to pressure with flexibility can be counterintuitive. Who knows what our limits are? Who knows if we might crack and break?

But bending can be a source of strength: Trees bend in the wind. Bows bend in order to release their arrows. The river bends around the mountain.

We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed;

we are perplexed, but not despairing;

we are bent, but not destroyed.

(2 Corinthians 4:8-10, adapted)

Take time in the Lent 2024 season to bend low and be renewed. From the Stillspeaking Writers' Group, the devotional Bend provides daily readings, reflections, and prayers for the Lenten season: Ash Wednesday (Feb 14) to Easter Sunday (March 31).

We have several FREE copies of this book on the Welcome Table. Donations are welcomed, but not required. For those that don't get a hard copy of the book, you are also able to purchase a PDF for $3.00 and/or hardcopy version of the book for $5.00 using the link here. If purchasing the PDF version, please purchase one PDF per reader. Upon purchase, a link will be emailed to you for downloading the PDF.

Any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to the office at [email protected] or (440)775-1711.

Do You Enjoy Singing?

We are looking for people who enjoy singing to join the Finney Choir. We meet Thursdays 6:45-8PM, and at 9AM on Sundays before the service. You don’t need to have a lot of experience or read music - there are many friendly people in the choir to help you out! If you just want to come for part of the year, like preparing for Advent or Easter, you’re very welcome to. You can write Tom at [email protected] if you have any questions.

The Wider Church


Information About Summer Camp 2024!

The Wider Community

Can you help?

We'd really love to offer more starches in the pantry this week. If you have the ability to donate, please consider dropping off items such as (shelf-stable) mac and cheese, rice, pasta, oats, mashed potato mix, stuffing, etc. at 500 E. Lorain St., Oberlin. Thank you!

Trey McLaughlin & The Sounds of Zamar 

and Community Gospel Singing Workshop

Greetings from Oberlin Conservatory! 

We’re pleased to extend an invitation to your faith communities to participate in a free community gospel singing workshop on Saturday, February 10 at 4:00 p.m. with the viral sensation Trey McLaughlin & The Sounds of Zamar. 

The gospel choir will be performing on Oberlin’s Artist Recital Series in Finney Chapel on Saturday, February 10 at 7:30 p.m. Their unique and joyful workshop will be held in Finney Chapel that afternoon from 4:00-5:30 p.m. This workshop will be open to participants of all ages and no singing experience or musical background is necessary. All participants of the workshop will receive one free ticket to the concert, and will be invited onstage to sing with the group and help close the performance! 

Advance registration is strongly encouraged. Please complete this registration form by February 7th.

Check out this video to see and hear what the Community Gospel Singing Workshop is like.

Trey McLaughlin & The Sounds of Zamar have transcended cultural boundaries with their fresh adaptations of contemporary gospel, pop and musical theatre hits—the group’s music is sung all over the world. Thanks to their videos and millions of loyal YouTube followers, Trey McLaughlin & The Sounds of Zamar have toured extensively—in the U.S. and abroad—and they are one of the brightest new groups on the gospel scene. 

Please contact me at [email protected] if you have any questions about the workshop. We’d love to see you all there!

Zoom Link
Registration Link
Additional Links & Information
City of Oberlin
Oberlin Bus. Partner.
ORSL Newsletter
Oberlin Community Services
Oberlin Heritage Center
Environ. Dashboard
United Church of Christ
Heartland Conference
Streams of Connection Newsletter: stay connected with the Living Water Association!
Living Water Association

If you are searching for ways to become more fully engaged in the life of the church, please contact Rev. David T. Hill by calling the church office at (440) 775-1711 or by sending an email to the church office.
First Church Anti-Racism Resources
Anti-Racism Statement
Submission information:
Deadline for articles and information is Wednesday at 10 AM.
For entire list of submission requirements, click here. Thank you.
Email information to: [email protected]

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