06.24.2022
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
Sunday
June 26th @ 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.
This is the LAST WEEK to Donate to the Strengthen the Church Offering!

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
We Have New Hours!

Due to summer beginning, we are also going into summer hours. The First Church office will only be open from 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM each day, Monday through Friday. However, additional appointments can be made by request.

Thank you for your understanding as we make this change and thank you in advance for respecting the staff's time.
There Are NEW Requirements for Making Submissions to our First Things First eNews!

In an effort to make our eNews more readable and shorten the length, we have created new guidelines for submitting posts! The guidelines are as follows.

  1. As usual, the deadline for submissions for the upcoming First Things First is Wednesday prior to 10 AM.
  2. We will not be putting in any non-First Church job postings.
  3. We will not be putting in any full flyers as the submission (however, we will put in a button that links to a PDF of the flyer).
  4. There is a word limit of 100 words for the text of a submission.
  5. You may insert links into the text post for more information, either by button or hyperlink in the text.
  6. You may insert PDFs (accessible by buttons) for more information, a flyer, or anything else that would be helpful for the post, but the document must be in PDF format. Any other document format will not be included in your submission.
  7. You may send one picture that you have the rights to use (i.e. a picture that is not subject to copyright, we suggest using the site pexels.com).
  8. The submission will run for a maximum of 2 weeks in the eNews. These 2 weeks do not have to be consecutive.

When sending in your submission, you must have
  • The title of the post
  • The text of the post (maximum of 100 words)
  • Which 2 weeks you'd like for your submission to run

When sending in your submission, you could have
  • If you'd like, one picture
  • If you'd like, PDFs (and what you'd want the title of the button that links to it to be)
  • If you'd like, the links for spots in the text post (and which word(s) you'd like to be the hyperlink or what you'd want the title of the button to be)

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we try to make our eNews experience more manageable for our readers!
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.
A Progress Pride Flag now flies over the east entrance of The First Church in Oberlin. 

The Progress Pride flag was developed in 2018 by non-binary American artist and designer Daniel Quasar (who uses xe/xyr pronouns). Based on the iconic rainbow flag from 1978, the redesign celebrates the diversity of the LGBTQ community and calls for a more inclusive society.
“The arrow points to the right to show forward movement […] and illustrates that progress [towards inclusivity] still needs to be made". 
Daniel Quasar, the flag’s designer.

Click the button below to see what a progress pride flag looks like and what each color of the flag represents.
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 Church
Trans-Nonbinary Pastoral Letter

Dear Family of the United Church of Christ,

The Council of Conference Ministers, the Officers of the United Church of Christ, and the UCC Open and Affirming Coalition join together in this pastoral letter addressing the attacks on people of transgender or nonbinary experience across the United States.
We greet you in the name of the God of compassion and justice.

As leaders in the United Church of Christ, we want every person of transgender or nonbinary binary experience to know this: you are beloved by God. No earthly power can separate you from God’s love. God created you perfectly: your gender identity or expression is God’s gift to you and the world.

Yet, across America, laws and executive orders are criminalizing the lifesaving treatment that transgender youth need to complete their journey to wholeness and, at the same time, are depriving parents of the right to make medical decisions for their children. These laws, enacted or proposed in states across the country, are part of a broader campaign to reverse basic rights for LGBTQ+ Americans. Alabama, Arkansas, and Arizona already ban medical care for trans youth. In Texas, the state government has defined gender-affirming care as “child abuse.” Fifteen states have banned participation by transgender youth in school sports. Six states have adopted “don’t say gay or trans” laws that have erased any mention of LGBTQ+ people from school life.

The harm done when governments seize control from parents of their freedom to provide care for their own children is obvious. Even more dangerous is the message states are sending to transgender and nonbinary youth: “Your lives don’t matter.” Suicide is an epidemic among LGBTQ+ youth* and has been for years. When politicians stigmatize children and teenagers who simply wish to live their lives with integrity, the cost of mental suffering is egregious. The ripple effect of this stigma and discrimination reverberates throughout the whole community.

Jesus said: “I came that you may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10) The lives of trans and nonbinary people are precious. They are God’s beloved children, our siblings, created like all of us for a life free from hatred and recrimination. The church cannot be silent while our trans and nonbinary youth and their parents are subjected to abuse and exposed to public defamation.

And so we are not silent. To our transgender and nonbinary siblings: we offer you our encouragement, support, and love. We will remain at your side as long as others threaten your dignity and worth. We honor your courage and your faith. The world needs you not as others want you to be, but as you truly are.

To the congregations and ministry settings of the United Church of Christ: We ask you to surround persons of transgender or nonbinary experience and their families and loved ones with compassion and care. Do not be silent when this wave of persecution threatens human life. This is a time to love – not behind closed doors but out in the open, with word and action. Your visible witness demonstrates that all who struggle against defamation and hatred have a home in the United Church of Christ.

As Pride month begins in many states, we are reminded that “coming out” is a powerful moral force that transforms lives. This is true not only for LGBTQ+ people but also for churches. This is a time when congregations are called to come out to show the world that love is stronger than hate.

With every blessing,

The Council of Conference Ministers of the United Church of Christ
Officers of the United Church of Christ
Rev. Dr. John C. Dorhauer, General Minister and President
Rev. Dr. Traci D. Blackmon, Associate General Minister, Justice and Local Church Ministries
Rev. Dr. Karen Georgia Thompson, Associate General Minister, Wider Church Ministries and Operations, Co-Executive for Global Ministries
Open and Affirming Coalition of the United Church of Christ
Rev. Andrew Lang, Executive Director
* If you or someone you know needs help, please reach out.
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
Free!
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.
Family Fun Nights

Join us each month during the summer for a fun, family-friendly evening in the City’s parks. The events will offer different activities to participate in each month, and are all FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

This month's event is Family Game Night on Friday, June 24th, at 6:00 PM at 225 W Hamilton St. Click the button below for the flyer with more information.
Additional Links & Information
COVID VACCINES NOW AVAILABLE TO EVERYONE 5 YEARS OF AGE AND OLDER


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