First Things First!
A weekly E-newsletter 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!
Worship Resources
February 28th @ 10am
Thank you for your donations.
Announcements and Events
LENT 2021

In Lent, we reflect on Christ’s ministry, death, and resurrection. We slow down, and examine our internal spiritual lives as well as the way we live out our Christian faith in the world. Our faith
teaches us that humans were put on this earth with the responsibility to be stewards.

We also know our individual as well as collective U.S. lifestyles have led to serious harm to God’s good creation. This Lenten reflection and action guide will help individuals take time to learn, reflect, repent, ask God for forgiveness, and take concrete steps to change course.
Getting Better Acquainted

Have you become a part of the First Church extended family since the onset of the pandemic? Are you looking to enrich your relationship with the Pastor and members of the congregation? Do you have questions about the mission and ministry of First Church – or just what in the world we’re all about as a people of faith? Would you welcome some interaction beyond the limits of the Sunday worship livestream? If you’re not already a member of First Church we invite you to join Pastor David Hill, a few members of the congregation, and fellow “newbies” for some information conversation via Zoom on Sunday, March 7 from 4:00 – 5:00 p.m.  Pre-register for this event by clicking on the link below.
Whether you've become connected to us via our remote worship and faith formation opportunities or were relatively new to First Church pre-COVID you are welcome to participate. We look forward to getting better acquainted.
Ash Wednesday intergenerational activity "burying the Alleluia!"  

The word "Alleluia" is traditionally given a rest during the time of Lent. It is not sung or said until Easter arrives, so that we can hear the word again with fresh ears. Some churches create a ceremony out of this practice, in which a brightly colored "Alleluia" is put into a box and hidden in the church until Easter.

Since we are worshipping at home this Lent, we invite you to join in this tradition at home! Click on the link below for a printable "alleluia" to color. Once it's ready, find a good place to hide - "bury" - the paper until Easter. One caveat: try to remember where you put it - unless you want to play "find the Alleluia" on Easter Sunday!
  • K-5 Sunday School: 9-9:30 am Sunday mornings

  • 5-12 Sunday School: 11:30-noon Sunday mornings (Hot Topic on the 4th Sunday)

  • Storytime: 2nd and 4th Thursdays at 4pm

  • Friday Night Hangouts: First Friday at 7 pm

  • Adult Education: Thursdays @7pm February 25th - March 25th
K-5th Grade PASSCODE: 988153
5th-12th Grade PASSCODE: 7751711
Our next Story Time is Thursday, February 25th at 4:00 pm. Join us for a few books about the color purple!
First Church Book Group

The Book Group is reading and discussing The History of Love, by Nicole Krauss.
Book Group meets each Tuesday at 4pm via Zoom. Please call Marci Peterson at (440) 774-3118 to receive the Zoom invitation or if you have questions. All are welcome.
Summer Camp is coming! Save the date! 

Heartland Conference UCC is planning for summer camp 2021 and hopes you are looking forward to participating! They are planning both in person opportunities and virtual/remote opportunities, including a camp-in-a-box through the mail, zoom type camp sessions, and the camp website.

Registration will begin in early March, but if you would like to see the dates for the various camps, read about their safety protocols, and explore their no-contact/lowest risk opportunities, click the link below! 
Join us in Lent for "Wilderness Wanderings"

Our next Adult Ed. program will be a journey through the desert! Join us on Thursday evenings during Lent for a discussion of Israel's time of wandering and separation from the Promised Land, and how it can teach us about coping with the waiting and separation in our own lives. Each session will feature Scripture readings, discussion, and a guest speaker on the topic at hand.

Our first session will be about transitional times and in-between spaces. The people of Israel went into the desert as runaway slaves, but emerged from it as a nation. How can we emerge from times of crisis in our lives with renewed strength?

The second session will be about adolescence. (Please see note below.) Israel tested God's limits in the desert, learned discipline, and established its own identity. How do we support the adolescents in our lives as they go through similar challenges?

Our third session is about Idolatry. Israel turned away from God in the wilderness, and worshipped the Golden Calf. Where is our focus during this wilderness time? Who or what do we turn to in our fear? How do we cling to our privilege?

Our fourth session focuses on food and drink in the wilderness. Israel had to rely on God to provide. How are we providing for others in this time of crisis?

Our last session will be about desert spirituality. Who were the desert fathers? What do they have to teach us about how to find blessings in the wilderness?

The sessions will be on Thursday evenings at 7 pm, starting February 25th. 
We're Looking for Your Questions

Our March 4th Adult Ed. session is about adolescence. We'll be looking at the challenges of this transitional period of life and talking about how we can help the adolescents around us navigate its challenges - particularly during this uniquely stressful time. Our speaker, David Snyder, has asked that we solicit questions from people in our congregation who are dealing with adolescents in their own lives. What are you struggling with? What are the answers you need? 

If you have a question for Mr. Snyder, please submit it to the office by Wednesday, Feb. 24th. Your questions will be forwarded anonymously to our speaker.
Additional Links and Information

Join us July 11 – 18, 2021

Registration is now open. Read a welcome message and download the General Synod 33 Agenda at a Glance! This virtual event is open to anyone who would like to attend!
Check out this week's ORSL for events happening this week!

For everyone's safety and well-being:
  • Worship, meetings and events are being held virtually.
  • The church building is currently closed to the general public.
  • Face masks are required in the building.
  • Office hours are Monday - Friday, 9am - noon, and 1pm - 4pm.
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 sending an email the church office.
Submission information:
Deadline for articles and information is Thursday at 10am. Thank you.