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!
Worship Resources
June 12th @ 10am
Thank you for your donations.
First Church is taking steps to maintain our worship life and programming while keeping all of us safe.

Click here to hear David talk about some of the Protocols and Guidelines and how they affect some of the events at First Church.
Strengthen the Church Collected in June!

The Strengthen the Church (STC) Offering is one of four special mission offerings of the United Church of Christ. This offering reflects the shared commitment of people across the United Church of Christ to cooperatively build up the UCC. Conferences and the national setting equally share the gifts given by members and friends through their local congregations. The funds raised support leadership development, new churches, youth ministry, and innovation in existing congregations. By your generosity to this offering, you build up the Body of Christ.

The offering will be collected over the Sundays in the month of June. It is possible to contribute in one of three ways:
1. By mailing a check made out to The First Church in Oberlin with “STC” in the memo line to the church office,
2. By using the offering envelopes on the Welcome Table and depositing your donation in the wooden donation box in the Narthex at the top of the steps leading to the Gallery,
3. Or, by going to our First Church website, scrolling down and clicking on "Donate Online" (or clicking here) and then going to the “Strengthen the Church” section.
More information about Strengthen the Church can be found in the flyer inside your bulletins each week, below, on the church website, or on the UCC website.
As God calls our congregation to be the church in new ways, your generosity will plant new churches, awaken new ideas in existing churches and develop the spiritual life of our youth and young adults. Thank you for your consideration.
Announcements and Events For.....
First Church, Its Mission, and Its Ministry
Our Deepest Sympathy: Jim O'Brien

Jim O'Brien died on April 12. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, June 18, at 11:00 a.m. at New Russian Township Cemetery. All are welcome. Please remember Jim's family and friends during this time of grief and loss.
God of all, we pray to you for those we love, but see no longer:
Grant them your peace; let light perpetual shine upon them; and, in your loving wisdom and almighty power, work in them the good purpose of your perfect will; through Jesus Christ our Lord. 
AV Support Needed

We are in desperate need of expanding our AV team to ensure the continued live-streaming of Sunday worship services, as well as other church related and community events.

This is an urgent matter as we currently have only two trained AV technicians and if they are not available we risk not being able to reach church and community members who connect with us remotely. 

No prior AV experience necessary. 
If you know your way around a smartphone or tablet you can learn how to set up and run our AV system.

Please contact the church office to arrange for training. Thank you.
Obituary and Memorial Service for Rev. Jim Deitz

A memorial service will be held in Rev. Deitz’s honor at Beaver UCC on June 19th, 2022, at 3 pm. Faure’s Requiem, which Jim requested, will be played at 2:30 pm. Those attending in-person must wear a mask, and social distancing is encouraged. The service will also be accessible via Facebook Live (see below) and will remain on the site for those who wish to access it later (go to the above link and click on “More,” and then “Videos” from the drop-down menu, making sure the volume is turned up on the video itself).

Please leave a comment for the family if you are able.

Memorial contributions may be made to the UCC Global Ministries (see below), or to the charity of the donor’s choice. Those who wish to send a note to Jim’s family may do so at P.O. Box 213, Dayton, OH 45409.
Happy Summer!

The Friday Night Hangout and Sunday Night Youth Group are going on vacation this June, July and August. Meetings will resume in September. Watch this space for announcements about whole-family gatherings during the summer! 
Our Deepest Sympathy: Aymeric Dupre la Tour

Former First Church organist (August 1999 - June 2002), Aymeric Dupre la Tour, was killed Sunday morning, May 29 as the result of an automobile accident in Madison, CT. Please remember Aymeric's family, friends, and colleagues in your prayers.
O God, whose days are without end and whose mercies cannot be counted, awaken us to the shortness and uncertainty of human life. By your Holy Spirit, lead us in faithfulness all our days. When we have served you in our generation, may we be gathered with those who have gone before, having the testimony of a good conscience, in the communion of your holy church, in the confidence of a certain faith, in the comfort of a saving hope, in favor with you, our God, and at perfect peace with the world; through Jesus Christ our Redeemer.
Silent lawn displays are one way churches cry out about gun violence

"I'm hearing more people sick and tired of living in a state ‘where my voice doesn't count.’ And understandably so. But part of my answer is, ‘Isn’t it all of our responsibility to hang in in this fight?'” - Rev. David T. Hill on contacting our legislators about gun violence.

Click below to read the full article on multiple UCC churches' responses to the Uvalde school shooting, featuring First Church.

"Just because we can't do everything, forever, doesn't mean we shouldn't do something now." - Rev. John McIver Gage
First Church Weeding

First Church in Oberlin is a Place to Grow - weeds, that is. The Facilities Committee is looking for volunteers to adopt a mulched bed on the church property and keep them weeded. Please contact Marty Buck @ mbuck@oberlin.net or 440-225-7160 about your desire to subdue and have dominion over the growing weeds while keeping the church's expenses down.

"Many hands make light work" attributed to John Heyood, 14th century
Open and Affirming Committee Openings

June is Pride Month and a perfect opportunity for growth. (https://openandaffirming.org/ona/why/grow/). The Open and Affirming Committee (ONA) has openings. What is the ONA Committee you ask? It is a committee without meetings. It is a team of committed people supporting the ONA Statement of The First Church in Oberlin adopted in 1995 and amended in 2013. If you want to help make sure our congregation is living up to the welcoming and affirming spirit of the following statement, please contact Marty Buck @mbuck@oberlin.net or 440-225-7160 or a member of the Outreach and Service Committee @ outreach@firstchurchoberlin.org. Let us make the ONA Committee an ONA Team!

We know that as the Church we are many members but are one body in Christ. Each bringing individual pieces and gifts, only together do we find completion. With Christ we affirm that we are called to love our neighbors as ourselves, and that we are called to act as agents of reconciliation and wholeness within the world and within the church itself. Recognizing the presence of ignorance, fear, and hatred in the wider church and in our culture toward specific members of Christ’s body:
We pledge to welcome people of all races, ages, genders, gender identities, gender expressions, abilities, socioeconomic levels, and sexual orientations into the full life and ministry of the church.
We seek actively to include and support those who because of fear and prejudice find themselves in exile from a spiritual community.
We commit ourselves to caring and concern for all.
Facilities Committee Update

Have you looked at the courtyard lately? Yep, it is still a mess. We have been waiting for the disturbed dirt to settle, and for the end of the college session. The college was very patient with us when we tore up the driveway during classes.

In the next three weeks the courtyard will be graded to smooth the dirt, remove excess, and get us one step closer to completion.  After it has been graded, sidewalks will be replaced. Once that has occurred, good topsoil will be brought in and grass seed will be planted.  By late fall we should have a very pretty courtyard back.
Help Wanted!

First Church is seeking a childcare worker for the nursery this summer! Job hours are 9:30 am-11:30 am on Sunday mornings. Applicants must be 18 or over. For a full job description and application, click the links below! 
Did you know that we are a City Fresh pickup location? City Fresh volunteers distribute pre-ordered farm shares at The First Church in Oberlin every Wednesday starting June 15th and ending after October 15th. City Fresh shares are packed with fresh fruits and veggies from local farms, and they’re affordable! Pricing is tiered based on income and they accept SNAP/EBT. You can join City Fresh any time at cityfresh.org, and choose Oberlin to pick up your share at The First Church in Oberlin!
The Wider Community
LGBTQ+ Lorain County hosts Pride 2022! 

LGBTQ+ Lorain County is excited to host Pride 2022 which will include two days of events spanning Friday, June 24 - Saturday, June 25. Check out the schedule of events below, and plan to join us to celebrate our Lorain County Pride!
Public SafeZone Training 
Friday, June 24 - 8:30 - 11:30am
Virtual event via Zoom
Donate what you can!
Pride Night with the Lake Erie Crushers
Friday, June 24 - Gates open: 6:05pm I First pitch: 7:05pm
Tickets: $9 each
**Make sure to select 'Buy from Sections' gray button at bottom of screen if not already selected.
Pride Picnic
Saturday, June 25 - 12:00 - 3:00pm
Oberlin Rec Complex - 225 W. Hamilton Rd. Oberlin, OH 44074
Tickets are not required for the Pride Picnic but will be very helpful for planning purposes. Please sign up in advance if you can!
Pride Night Drag Show
Saturday, June 25 - Doors: 7:30pm I Show: 8:30pm
Oberlin 'Sco - 135 West Lorain Street Oberlin, OH, 44074
Free but tickets are REQUIRED!
For the entire email about all of the events and their call for volunteers, trade partners, and sponsors, click the button below.
2nd Saturdays in Oberlin
Saturday, June 11th, 11 AM - 3 PM

There will be nonprofits and vendors as well as activities all over downtown Oberlin!
This event is FREE and no registration required! See the flyer for more information.
Oberlin College
Sustainable Infrastructure Program

Oberlin College is beginning year two of its four-year Sustainable Infrastructure Program that will help obtain the goal of reaching carbon neutrality by 2025. This project will upgrade the campus energy infrastructure to allow for a major shift from using fossil fuels to renewable geothermal energy as the primary source for heating and cooling campus buildings.

Please note the following road closures to allow for construction of the project:
(Map Below)

  • June 7 – June 16, 2022, Woodland Street directly west of the Science Center
  • June 17 – 19, 2022, Union Street to the west of Professor, between Langston Hall and Union Street Housing

If you would like to receive regular SIP project updates from the college (via email), follow this link then scroll down to SIP Construction Updates and sign up for the email updates.
2022 Juneteenth

Oberlin, OH—The Juneteenth Oberlin Executive Board is ​proud to present this year’s annual Juneteenth Celebration Festival, “Dancing and Celebrating through the Second Line: Releasing Enslaved Spirits to Freedom” on Saturday, June 18th, 2022, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. This year our focus is on the Second Line and releasing enslaved spirts to freedom. The celebration will be located at the Underground Railroad Center–Station Square–behind the McDonalds on S. Main St. The festival will include a parade with the African pride dancers, drumline, praise dancers and other local performers marching from Spring St. Park down Groveland St. to Pleasant St. and ending at the Underground Railroad Center. There will be games, face painting, raffles, various vendors and food trucks. 
This Juneteenth Celebration will feature a New Orleans Second Line parade. The Second Line will be led by Oberlin College graduate Kevin Lewis from New Orleans that specializes in Second Line music using the traditional Dirge. We will honor the spirits of Black People, when death was one of the ways our ancestors were free from slavery; Jim Crow laws; lynching; the Reconstruction Era; Black Codes; and segregation. The Second Line parade will be going down Morgan Street to the Westwood Cemetery–singing and dancing-celebrating our ancestors' release to freedom.
Juneteenth—originally June 19th, 1865—is considered the date when the last enslaved people in America were freed. Although the rumors of freedom were widespread prior to this, actual emancipation did not come in Texas until June 19th, two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1st, 1863. Juneteenth symbolizes the end of slavery and the beginning of freedom. While its roots are in Texas, Juneteenth has become a day to celebrate freedom all over the United States. Oberlin’s history of commitment to abolition and the cause of freedom makes the community uniquely qualified to celebrate Juneteenth.

This year the Maafa prayers will go up for all the souls of the slaves from Louisiana and around Oberlin, Louisiana. Maafa, also known as the Holocaust of Enslavement, is a national celebration commemorating the pain, suffering, and loss of life of Africans in the Diaspora. 
Immediately following the Maafa there will be the Potter's Field Celebration. The Potter’s Field Celebration will pay tribute to "Oberlin's Glory", the African American soldiers of the 54th and 55th Massachusetts Regiment. The known graves of these soldiers at Potter’s Field will be cleaned and will receive a floral wreath. This is a unique event created by local published historian Margaret Christian dating back over 10 years. The Maafa and the Potter's Field Celebration will be held at Westwood Cemetery in Oberlin at 6:30 pm - 7:30pm Saturday June 18th, 2022.

We are a community festival and would like to acknowledge the following organizations for their support; City of Oberlin, local churches, Oberlin Public Library, the Oberlin Business Partnership, and Oberlin College Alumni. We are currently looking for volunteers and booth vendors to make this a successful community festival. Booth applications will be available online at www.juneteenthoberlin.org and at the Oberlin Library and must be turned in by May 31, 2022, if additional time is needed, please reach out to Chairperson of Oberlin Juneteenth, Valerie Lawson or Adenike Sharpley, Board Member, at 440-774-4327 or asharple@oberlin.edu. Booth applications can be sent to P.O. 604 Oberlin, OH 44074. 
Come join the fun, learning, good food, and Second Line on Saturday June 18, 2022 from 9am – 6pm located at the Underground Railroad Center. 

Are you looking for a way to help individuals in your community? Consider becoming a Hospice of the Western Reserve Volunteer. Volunteers are needed to serve patients at the Hospice Houses, in their own homes, and area nursing homes/assisted living facilities. There are also many virtual and face-to-face opportunities at the newly reopened Medina Inpatient Unit and at Life’s Treasures Thrift Shop. Other opportunities include Veterans Serving Veterans, Attorney, Notary and Licensed Hairdresser. Virtual training series are held every month for new volunteers. Prospective volunteers may register for training once prerequisites are met. For more information, contact us at 216-255-9090 or fill out an online application at hospicewr.org/volunteer.
Additional Links & Information

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.
Submission information:
Deadline for articles and information is Wednesday at 10 AM. Thank you.
Email information to: office@firstchurchoberlin.org