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, September 17th, @ 10am

First Church - Live Stream Worship via Facebook

Thank you for your donations.

Sunday's Hymns

NCH 252: Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us

NCH 247: My Shepherd Is the Living God

Sunday's Hymns

Sunday's Lessons:

Matthew 18:10-14

Sunday's Order of Worship

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

Order of Worship

Growing Around Grief

In this past Sunday's sermon, I included an illustration about grief. Several folks have asked for copies. I've also included a link to the full article.

Dr. Lois Tonkin, in her 1996 article Growing Around Grief: another way of looking at grief and recovery, tells the story of being in a workshop with a mother whose child died years before. The woman made a sketch to express to the group how she expected her grief to progress contrasted with how it actually unfolded. In the article, Tonkin shows three figures based on the sketch. The first two show how she expected grief to unfold.

Figure 1 represented her life, and she shaded it in because in the beginning her entire life was filled with and by her grief.

Figure 2 illustrated what she imagined would happen as time passed. She believed her life would remain the same size, but with time her grief would become smaller. This is not what happened.

But she created a third figure, one that she felt represented the way that her grief actually unfolded:

In this figure, her grief is exactly the same size as it was to start. But her life around it is larger. The grief and loss never felt smaller, but her life slowly felt bigger. It grew around her loss. Her grief was always there, as large as ever, and she still spent time within it. As her life had slowly expanded around her loss, she was now able to experience life in the larger part of the circle as well.

Link to the Full Article

Announcements and Events For.....

First Church, Its Mission, and Its Ministry

Food for Thought 

Haiku from Jeanne McKibben

Haiku is a Japanese poetic form that consists of three lines, with five syllables in the first line, seven in the second, and five in the third. Jeanne McKibben has been experimenting with this artform and for the next several weeks we will share some of her poems for your personal reflection and enjoyment

Gratitude, forgive

Inspiration, believe, act

Examples to live

Caring, healing, health

Listen, examine, reflect

Love, giving, that’s wealth

Marsha Darcy Memorial Service

After an extended period of illness, Marsha Darcy died on July 26. A memorial service will be held in the Meeting House of First Church on Saturday, September 16 at 1:00 p.m. A reception in the Fellowship Hall will follow the service. All are welcome.

Marsha's Obituary

Please Join Us On the 17th!

At the coffee hour after church on Sunday 17 September we will be saying goodbyes to Jan & Rob Thompson, as they leave Oberlin for Garner, NC. All are welcome to join in the fond farewell.

It's Fall - fill out your child's forms!

Rally Day was last Sunday - which means it's time to update the Medical Release and Permission forms for your child for this church program year. Blank forms are at the link below. Completed forms can be turned in to the church office, or brought to worship on Sunday. Thanks for helping to keep our kids safe! 

Blank Forms

The Visioning Task Group wants YOUR input! 

We’re holding a drop-in discussion session this Sunday, September 17 after church in the JFO Room. No need to register. Sessions are planned to last about an hour, so you’ll still be on time for Sunday Brunch. Please come be a part of the vision.

Potluck and Movie Night

If you're planning to come to our potluck and movie night, please let us know by adding your name to the sign up sheet in the hallway outside Fellowship Hall. You can also email Jen at [email protected], and she'll add you to the list. Thanks!

Lorain County Residents (including Nancy MacRae!) Remember March on Washington 60 Years Later

Click the link below to read a story from the Chronicle featuring Nancy MacRae!

Lorain County Residents Remember March on Washington 60 Years Later

Neighbors in Need Offering on October 1st!

The Neighbors in Need offering, which we will receive on October 1, supports the UCC’s ministries of justice and compassion throughout the United States. Two-thirds of the offering is used by the UCC’s Justice and Witness Ministries to fund a wide array of local and national justice initiatives, advocacy efforts, and direct service projects. One-third of the offering supports the UCC’s Council for American Indian Ministries (CAIM). CAIM is an invaluable resource for more than 1,000 individuals from dozens of other tribes and nations who are members of other UCC congregations in the U.S.

In 2023, the Neighbors in Need “BEHOLD!” offering focuses on environmental justice. With your generous support, the United Church of Christ (through the Neighbors in Need special offering) helps its members live out their beliefs via acts of service. Please see the attachments for more information on this special offering and environmental justice.

"God saw everything God made and behold,

it was very good."

-Genesis 1:31

It is possible to contribute in one of three ways: 

  1. By mailing a check made out to The First Church in Oberlin with “NIN” 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 “Neighbors in Need” section. Alternatively, click here and it’ll bring you to the page.

Please see this week's bulletin insert and Mayflower UCC's video (attached) for more information on this special offering and environmental justice. More information can also be found on the UCC website. Let your gift help to put prayer into action.

This Week's Bulletin Insert
Mayflower UCC's Environmental Justice Journey

Instant Church Directory

We are pleased to introduce an online church directory for First Church. It can be downloaded FOR FREE on your cell phone, tablet, or computer. It is called Instant Church Directory. This online app is secure: the data is protected by your email address and a password that you choose.

There are three PDFs below for specific instructions on how to log in to the directory while on your computer, while on the app on an Apple device, and while on the app on an Android device.

To download the app to your Apple device, follow this link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/instant-church-directory/id589542221?ls=1&mt=8

To download the app to your Android device, follow this link:


To use the app, you will be asked to enter your email address as it's listed in our directory. If your email address isn't listed in the directory or it’s outdated, let the office know so it can be corrected. If you do not remember which email is listed in the directory for you, please let the office know so we can look it up for you.


Once you enter your email address, follow the directions on-screen to create a password (first time only). Once you sign in, the directory will be downloaded to your device; you will see the most up-to-date directory for our church. When updates are made, they will show on the Online Members' Website and on your device after the admins approve it­­­.


For detailed step by step instructions on how to sign in to the app for iOS, Android, and on the computer, please see the PDFs below.


To update your family, including uploading a picture for your family, please see the tutorial video. You can view this if you follow this link: https://help.instantchurchdirectory.com/article/1295-how-members-submit-updates-to-their-information

For more information about the members' website, follow this link: https://help.instantchurchdirectory.com/article/638-navigating-the-online-member-directory

More information about the app can be found at www.InstantChurchDirectory.com/app

Computer Login Instructions
Apple App Login Instructions
Android App Login Instructions

The Wider Community

Oberlin Farmers Market

September 16, 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM |

Oberlin Farmers Market, Parking Lot

Later Repetitions:

Every Saturday from May 20 through October 14, 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM

The Oberlin Farmers Market provides locally grown, seasonal, fresh, high quality produce and farm fresh products. Open rain or shine, featuring a wide variety fruits, vegetables, meats, eggs, cheese, honey, baked goods, and more.

Location: Rain or Shine Find us in downtown Oberlin, Ohio, in the parking lot between the Oberlin Public Library and Police station.

Visit our Website
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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