This Week at First Universalist
January 4, 2016
This Week's Service
Brushstroke Theology.  A sermon for the New Year. Rev. Celie Katovitch, 10:30 a.m.

Drop-in Discussion:   Just Mercy.  The Unitarian Universalist recommended Common Read for 2015-2016 is Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama, a legal practice dedicated to defending the poor, the unrepresented and the wrongly condemned. Phil Ebersole will review and lead a discussion.
Upcoming Events
Monthly Food Ingathering
This coming Sunday, January 10th, is our monthly food ingathering where we take up a collection of non-perishable food items to be donated to a local food pantry.  Bring that leftover can of cranberries or green beans from the holidays and know that it will be given to someone in need this winter.  Thank you for your generosity month after month!
Cozy Night Supper
Words and Deeds of Prophetic Women and Men” will be the focus at our Friday, January 15th Cozy Night Supper.  This program from 5:30 to 7:30 is part of our exploration of the Unitarian Universalist sources.   Consider brightening up those dark days of winter with a little UU companionship and wise words!  Let us know of your ability to attend by signing up at the Membership Table today so we can prepare appropriately.  Child-friendly activities exploring this source will be arranged if requested one week in advance.  And for those who like to plan ahead… Future Cozy Friday Night Supper Dates exploring other sources are February 26th and March 18th.
Small Group Ministry
Small groups are a way to help us think about our spiritual lives through the process of sharing thoughts and experiences with others.  Those new to First Universalist as well as seasoned members are welcome to participate.  Two groups are starting soon (more will be added, as needed):

Group A:
Facilitator – Katherine Flynn
Dates and time – Fridays from 1:30-3:30 PM on January 22, February 5, February 19, March 4, March 25.

Group B:

Facilitator – Janet Clarke-Hazlett
Dates and time – Thursdays from 1:00-3:00 PM on February 18, March 10, March 31, April 14, May 5.

Those who sign up commit themselves to attendance at all sessions.  Location of the sessions is in the facilitators’ homes.  After you sign-up on the Religious Education Faith Development bulletin board or by emailing Connie Valk at, more details will be shared.  If you have questions, ask one of the facilitators or Connie Valk.
Additional Announcements

LAST CHANCE BOOK SALE:  On January 10th, the church Book Store will be selling a variety of used books at a reduced price before finding another home for them.  The library and bookstore are open every Sunday during coffee hour for browsing, borrowing and buying.

SOCIAL JUSTICE COMMITTEE NEW COMERS  SESSION:  Are you interested in learning more about what the Social Justice Committee does and the issues they are focused on?  Join us on January 17th, 12:00 p.m. in the second floor lounge for a new comers session.  This session is open to visitors, as well as new and long time members.  Members of the Social Justice Committee will be in attendance to discuss the committee's work and to answer questions.   

UU HISTORY SERIES:  Join us on January 21st from 1:30 - 3:30 PM for Part 4 of our UU History Series, Universalism: Murray to Ballou.  (Please note the new date and time.)  Please RSVP so we can plan for enough space and seating to Michelle Yates at or 585-310-2484.  Childcare available if requested a week in advance.

THE BOOK CLUB :  On January 31st, the Book Group will discuss Being Mortal, by Atul Gawande. This book is nonfiction and deals with how we care for the elderly with some cultural comparisons, discusses how medical choices are made at end of life, and covers some specific experiences of the author, a surgeon at Brigham and Women's Hospital, a Harvard Medical School professor, and an accomplished author.  For questions see Shirley Bond or Sarah Singal.

2016 AUCTION  will be held on February 7th.  It’s our biggest fundraiser of the year, and arguably the most fun!  Donation forms are available at church or via e-mail ( ) OR  donate online at  Donations must be received by Wednesday, January 27 in order to be in the auction booklet.  AND be sure to plan to attend the auction on February 7.  Don’t miss out on the fun!

THANK YOU for your generous contributions for staff bonuses!  The Board was able to distribute a meaningful bonus to our employees, who were greatly appreciative.  Also, thank you for your support of our fall Change Drive and Holiday Shoppe, both of which raised funds that will help our church's mission!

WEATHER-RELATED CLOSINGS:  During this winter season, please note that cancellations of church activities can be viewed at  
This Week's Calendar of Events
Monday - Sunday, 1/4-1/10
  • RAIHN Host Week
Wednesday, January 6
  • Meditation Visioning Meeting, Volunteer Office, 3:45 pm
Thursday,  January 7
  • Staff Meeting, Volunteer Office, 8:45 am
  • Announcement Deadline, noo
  • "This Week at First Universalist" e-Newsletter Deadline, noon
  • Eastman Lunchtime Concert Series, Sanctuary, 12:15 pm
Saturday,  January 9
  • SNYP AA, Clara Barton Lounge and Adult Lounge (rental), 8 pm 
Sunday,  January 10
  • Choir Rehearsal, Choir Room, 9 am
  • Drop-In Discussion, Adult Lounge, 9:15 am
  • Sunday Service, Sanctuary, 10:30 am
  • Food Ingathering, Sanctuary, 10:45 am
  • Coffee Hour, Clara Barton Lounge, 11:45 am
  • RAIHN Host Week Ends
Thank you for keeping us updated, both when you schedule events and when you need to cancel one!  Please continue to do so.  Send news of your events to; or call 546-2826.
Minister:   Rev. Celie Katovitch 
Director of Music:   Carol Xiong 

Director of Life Span Faith Development:   Michelle Yates 
Office Administrator:  Melissa Davies
Contact Us
150 S. Clinton Avenue
Rochester, NY 14604
(585) 546-2826

Office Hours:   Monday-Friday,  9:30-2:30