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


March 19th @ 10am

First Church - Live Stream Worship via Facebook
Thank you for your donations.

Nursery Help Needed!

Want to spend a morning hanging out with some great little kids? Two of our childcare workers will be going home for Spring Break on March 19th, so we need a caring adult to help in the childcare room that day. Please call the church office at 440-775-1711 and speak to Jen Bertoni if you are willing to volunteer your time that day! Thanks in advance for considering it! 

Announcements and Events For.....

First Church, Its Mission, and Its Ministry

Represent First Church at our Spring Festival & The Big Parade!

 As part of First Church’s evangelism and sharing with the community, we are inviting the public to join us in a Spring Fling Open House & Festival (name TBD) on Saturday, May 6, 10:00 am-3:00 pm. There will be indoor & outdoor games, lots of music, food, activities, church tours, a scavenger hunt, representatives from the agencies we support, and anything else fun we can think of!! We will need plenty of volunteers to help that day, to supervise games, answer questions, perform, and lead tours, as well as clean up afterward. We hope to have First Church t-shirts you can order to wear on May 6 as well as April 29 during The Big Parade! We’re planning a church “float,” riding on a trailer, playing music, waving banners and flags, handing out candy and schedules for our festival, and generally being a living, visible presence in the community.

If you want to join in the fun and participate in either of these events or would like to order a t-shirt, please let Moderator Anne Sprague know ASAP. Coming soon we will have sign up sheets for 2 hour volunteer slots for the festival date, so you can enjoy the experience first-hand. Mark your calendars! 

The Lin Family would like to invite members of the First Church community to commemorate the life and passing of Jiann I. Lin. A memorial service will be held for him on Saturday, March 25, 2023 at 1pm at First Church in Oberlin, with a reception to follow in Fellowship Hall. For details about Jiann and the upcoming service, please go to: https://jiannlin.com/


Thank you for responding so generously to the request to increase your pledges for 2023. At our Congregational Meeting in January, we wrestled with the hard realities of our congregation's current unsustainable financial situation. In addition to amending the budget before it was adopted, the Stewardship Committee was asked to urge everyone to consider increasing their pledge. To date, 29 people have responded to the challenge by raising an additional $19,600. Your very generous response will help the congregation maintain its excellent mission and ministry throughout the year while the Executive Council leads us in a process to reevaluate and redefine our most urgent and critical ministry as we prepare ourselves for our future.

Congratulations to Gene Matthews who will receive Oberlin College's Distinguished Community Service Award at this year's Commencement (May 22). This award is conferred upon “persons from the Lorain County area who have made significant contributions to the welfare of the community and its residents.” Way to go, Gene!

Spiritual Practices Adult Ed series continues this Sunday, March 19th!

Please join us this Sunday, March 19th after worship for the third session in our Lenten series on Spiritual Practices: Labyrinths and Prayer Walks. We will gather outside the Reading Room, and then walk to the church's indoor labyrinth to start our session. No prior experience with spiritual disciplines expected or required; all are welcome.

March 26th Adult Ed. Update

Due to an unanticipated change of plans for our speaker, our March 26th Adult Ed. about controlled burns and reforestation has been canceled. We hope to reschedule at a later date as plans permit.

In place of that event, we will continue our Lenten Series about spiritual practices with a session on prayer beads and their use, led by Jen Bertoni. We will meet after worship in the JFO Room. 

Do you feel passionate about the future of First Church? 

At our recent Congregational Meeting, we agreed to embark on a Visioning and Strategic Planning process to determine where we go from here. Of course, the whole congregation will need to be involved in the final plan, but for now, Executive Council is seeking a small group of members to plan how we will begin the process. If this is your calling, please email moderator Anne Sprague. Together, we can ensure that First Church remains a vital part of our community for the next 100 years. 

Come and be our Coffee Host Buddy! 

We need people to sign up to host Coffee Hour (sign-up is across from the office). To encourage you to do this, the Fellowship Committee would like to invite everyone to work with a Committee member to see how this is done -- and how really easy it is. Afraid of the new coffee maker? Fear no more! Sign up with a Buddy and you will learn how easy it is to host coffee hour. Sarah Colson will train the first group on March 26. There will also be opportunities to train on April 2 and April 9. To sign up for any of these dates, please call Sarah and leave a message at: (440)774-2538. Please specify which date you would like to help.

Faith Studies Reading Group

The Faith Studies Reading Group invites you to join them as they dive into their next book! The group is reading The New Being, by Paul Tillich, the German-American philosopher and theologian. The next discussion will be Tuesday, March 21st, from 10-11 am, in First Church's new Reading Room. Please join us for this discussion! 

One Great Hour of Sharing Collected on April 9th!

One Great Hour of Sharing is one of four special mission offerings of the United Church of Christ. This Lenten Offering supports the disaster, refugee, and development ministries of the United Church of Christ within Wider Church Ministries. This year, the special offering's theme is hunger.

In Galatians, the Apostle Paul encourages followers of Jesus to generously help and care for others. Though there is great need in the world and we can grow weary because we do not know how to help, God's Spirit energizes and re-energizes us in every season.

We can make a difference. We do make a difference. Your generosity makes all the difference. Your gifts to One Great Hour of Sharing provide immediate aid and long-term support to people experiencing hunger, thirst, disaster, or crisis around the world.

“So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest-time, if we do not give up…So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all.” - Galatians 6:9-10

The 2023 offering will be collected on Easter, April 9th. It is possible to contribute in one of three ways: 

  1. By mailing a check made out to The First Church in Oberlin with “OGHS” 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" and then going to the “One Great Hour of Sharing” section. Alternatively, click here and it’ll bring you to the page.


Please see below for the Mission Moment for this week, the video for this year's offering, and intergenerational activities meant to help us think about and plan how we can share our gifts with others.

Let your gift help to put prayer into action. The need has never been greater. The opportunity is now. It’s time to share.

Intergenerational Activities
Mission Moment for This Week

Alexander Technique Classes and Lessons

at First Church!

More information about Upcoming Events in Oberlin
More information about Alexander Techniques
Contact for Registration

The Wider Church

The Heartland Conference Disaster Network met last Saturday to continue the work of Disaster Response & Preparedness in the Heartland Conference. We prayed with our Disaster Response trailer, before members journey’d to Home Depot in Boardman, Ohio…where they loaded 116 cases of water and delivered them to Mount Olivet UCC, North Lima, Ohio. Mount Olivet members assisted as we loaded additional cases of water into our Disaster Response trailer, and will deliver the cases to East Palestine, Ohio this week.

Disaster Response members also toured East Palestine, to view the train derailment and the work currently being done in an attempt to remediate the contamination. Our hearts go out the the residents of the East Palestine area, many who are members of our area United Church of Christ churches. We continue to hold them in our prayers, and encourage others to do the same. 

Full Flyer (With More Information)

The Wider Community

Moms Demand Action - Everytown for Gun Safety

Moms Demand Action is dedicated to honoring our Survivors and all who have been impacted by gun violence. Advocacy Day is just one way that we #HonorWithAction. Thoughts and prayers are just not enough.


We hope you'll join us on March 22 in Columbus at the Ohio Statehouse. We will be meeting with legislators and urging them to make common sense gun laws. Amplifying Survivor stories will be a main focus.


First timer? Welcome! We meet with lawmakers in small groups, so no one is alone. We'll have a meeting for all attendees on March 19 to cover tips and tricks that will make your day a success. Each group has plenty of room for introverts and extroverts.

Note: some of the Lorain County Moms Demanding Action are carpooling to Columbus for this event, contact the office for more information and who to contact to secure a ride!

Link to Register
Brittany Lovett Bio
Judi Holler Bio
Tunde Oyeneyin Bio
Amy O'Dell Bio
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: office@firstchurchoberlin.org