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


September 11th @ 10am

Protocols and Guidelines for In-Person Attendance
First Church - Live Stream Worship via Facebook
Thank you for your donations.

Children's Church starts September 11th!

The UCC has named September 11th as Faith Formation Sunday, and so we will be kicking off the new year in Children's Church that day! Children and youth ages 5+ who are not part of the Confirmation program are invited to participate. We will be singing, sharing a faith story, and responding with prayer, wondering questions, and activities related to the story of the day. Children's Church takes place during Sunday worship in Room 3. Children will leave for room 3 after the Moment for Our Youth, and rejoin their parents for Communion and the end of the service. Our nursery will be available for children ages 4 and younger. 

We look forward to seeing you as we kick off our year in Faith Formation! 

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.

Protocols and Guidelines

Announcements and Events For.....

First Church, Its Mission, and Its Ministry

Special Meeting of the Congregation

September 18th After the Service

Meeting House

A special meeting of the congregation has been called for Sunday, September 18th immediately following the worship service in order to discuss and vote on the anticipated need for a supplemental draw from the endowment.

This will be an in-person meeting in the Meeting House.

Attendance is crucial to ensure a quorum.

Come volunteer with our youth!

We're looking for a few folks who want to spend some time getting to know our younger members as they join together for fun and fellowship. Jen is looking for adults to help on two upcoming nights:

  • Sunday Night Youth Group (Grades 6-12): September 25th from 6-8 pm; and
  • Friday Night Hangout (Grades K-5): October 7th from 6-7:30 pm

If you're interested, please contact the office by emailing office@firstchurchoberlin.org or calling (440)775-1711

Thanks in advance for the time you invest in our youth!

Free Books! Grow your library!

We are in the process of "curating" First Church's book collection, and have found a number of our books are duplicate copies, or have gone unused for many years. For the next few weeks, those books will be on mobile shelves in the Gallery, and are free to a good home! We are also offering you the chance to take home any of our unused hymnals - so if those are sentimental or useful to you, we encourage you to take one before they are offered to groups beyond our church.

The current books in the carrels will be there through September 11th.

Thanks, and happy browsing!  

Wednesday Night Adult Education

This fall, First Church in Oberlin is sponsoring a discussion of the book Do I Stay Christian? A Guide for the Doubters, the Disappointed, and the Disillusioned, by Brian McLaren. We are inviting all members of the greater Oberlin community to join us for this discussion, whether your answer to the question above is “Heck, yes!” “Hell, No!” or “I dunno...Maybe?” Join us September 14 & 28th, and October 5 & 12th at 6:30 pm in the JFO Room for coffee & dessert, conversation, and a chance to hear the author’s thoughts about his book! 

We will be ordering multiple copies of the book, which will be available in First Church’s reading room. We encourage you to buy your own copy if that’s more convenient for you! We’re also encouraging you to ask a friend or relative to read the book and join this discussion - particularly one whose answer to the question “Do I Stay Christian?” is different from your own. We look forward to seeing you in September! 

To read more about the book, click the link here


Neighbors in Need Offering on October 2nd!

The Neighbors in Need offering, which we will receive on October 2, 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 2022, the Neighbors in Need “BEHOLD!” offering focuses on economic justice. With inflation impacting all of our households, we wanted to provide a way to discuss this through a faith lens. Please see the bulletin insert below for more information on economic justice. 

[Jesus asked,] “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” - Luke 10: 35-37

Listen! The wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. - James 5:4

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, scan the QR code and it’ll bring you to the page.

See the attachment below for more information on how you can help. More information can also be found on the UCC website. Let your gift help to put prayer into action.

This Week's Bulletin Insert

Links and Scripture from This Week's Bulletin

Scripture for Bulletin Insert
Know Your Rights in the Workplace: Wage Theft
Further Reading for Discussion Article 1
Further Reading for Discussion Article 2
Neighbors in Need 2022 Video

Please Sign-up to Host Coffee Hour

The Fellowship Committee would like to try a new approach to our Coffee Hour after church on Sundays. We invite all of you to sign up to host on a Sunday of your choice. Families or couples can sign up, or sign up with a friend. Now that we are once again able to gather, we know that those in the First Church family are eager to socialize. The recent coffee hours hosted by the Fellowship Committee and the Slocums have been well attended and much appreciated. All that is required is coffee (provided by the church) and a beverage for children (usually lemonade). Anything in addition to that (such as hot tea, iced tea, cookies, coffee cake) is completely up to the host. Remember, the food and drink is just an excuse to see one another! Please call Sarah Colson with any questions at (440) 774-2538. The sign up chart will be in the gallery.

Handbells at First Church

Interested in playing handbells? Can you read music and have a good sense of rhythm? Are you fully vaccinated? Join Bel Canto, the Kendal handbell choir! – Fridays at 10:30 at First Church, Room 10, starting on September 16th. Contact Betsy Allen, director – betsyallen2345@gmail.com

The Wider Church

The Spire Center Fall 2022 Learning Opportunities

Some topics include: "Adaptive Leadership," "God's Abundance and Economy," and "Reproductive Justice in Scripture and Theology," see the flyer below for information on all of the upcoming classes!
Information and Registration for All Upcoming Classes

The Wider Community

Radicals & Reformers Westwood Cemetery History Walk

September 10, 11:00 am to 12:30 pm | Westwood Cemetery

Later repetitions: 

  • September 17, 11:00 am to 12:30 pm

This 90-minute guided tour promises a pleasing balance of Westwood's scenic landmarks and stories of some of the many spirited men and women of Oberlin who simply refused the status quo. Find out which resident was remembered as "gentle, soft-spoken, tolerant and yet nobody's fool." Visit the headstone of the man who escaped from slavery (twice!) and later served on the Oberlin village council. Note: this tour begins at the front of Westwood Cemetery (Morgan St.). Advance registration is required and there is limited capacity for each tour. Participants can register online or by calling 440-774-1700. Adults: $6; children/students/members: Free. For more information and to register, visit here!

Swingin' Back to School Dance

September 10, 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm | Wilder Hall

Enjoy swing dancing? Never heard of it but want to learn? Join OSwing for their first dance of the semester. No experience required; lessons taught throughout the event.

No cost to attend. All ages and experience welcome. All attendees are expected to follow our anti-harassment policy. Depending on the college's COVID policy, masks may be required.

A Space for Intersectional Feminist Curating at Oberlin

September 13, 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm |

87 N Main St

Meet our newest curator, Sam Adams, the Ellen Johnson ’33 Assistant Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, who will preview the upcoming exhibition series Femme 'n isms and frame a conversation about working with the friction between personal politics, student values, and institutional mandates. Diane Arbus (American, 1923–1971), "A Young Man in Curlers Dressing for an Annual Drag Ball NYC", 1966. Gelatin silver print. Friends of Art Endowment Fund, 1974.23H.

Warehouse Sales

Saturday, September 17 and Sunday, September 18

Saturday: 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. and

Sunday: Noon -4 p.m.

17876 St Clair Ave, Cleveland

Hospice of the Western Reserve’s Warehouse Sales feature gently used furniture, antiques, decorations, jewelry and more. Whether it's sprucing up a home, staging a property, locating a "like new" desk for a student, or finding a dining room table large enough for holiday gatherings, our sales are the place to be. In addition to furniture and decor, the selection often includes matching sets of fine china, glassware, jewelry, antiques, collectibles and one-of-a-kind treasures.

More Information


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.


Hospice of the Western Reserve holds Warehouse Sales throughout the year. We are looking for additional items to be donated for our next sale. Items needed include furniture, housewares, domestics, collectables, framed artwork, seasonal items, and fine & costume jewelry. Items are accepted up until two weeks before a sale. The sales are held at Hospice of the Western Reserve Headquarters, 17876 St. Clair Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44110. Proceeds support patients and families of Hospice of the Western Reserve. For more information on making a donation, please contact us at 216-255-9090. And mark September 17-18, 2022 on your calendars if you would like to attend the next sale.

Additional Links & Information
Lorain Co. Health Department - COVID web page
NAMI Covid-19 Resource Guide and Information
Oberlin - Covid 19
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