This Week at
First Universalist
September 19, 2016
This Week's Service
10:30 a.m. Service: Bending the Arc: Building the Beloved Community in Rochester. The 19th century preacher Theodore Parker coined the phrase often used by Martin Luther King: “The moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” But does it? Who does the bending? In the context of the 2016 political campaign and rethinking this congregation’s justice-making role, Dick Gilbert will explore the social role of the UU congregation – this one. How do we live out our 5th principle here and now? - Richard S. Gilbert, guest speaker

9:15 a.m. Drop-in Discussion:  Cakes for the Queen of Heaven.  Kate Fleury will give an introduction and preview of “Cakes for the Queen of Heaven,” a six-week course on pre-Christian women-honoring goddess religions, to be presented next year at both Rochester UU churches by Kate Fleury and Carolyn Lobkowicz.
Upcoming Events
Watch Party for Defying the Nazis: The Sharps' War - This Tuesday at 9 PM

The latest documentary from renowned filmmaker Ken Burns is a portrayal of Martha and Waitstill Sharp, whose work with the Unitarian Service Committee helped save the lives of many during World War II. This is a great chance to learn about two modern-day heroes of our faith. The film premiers on PBS Tuesday, September 20th, at 9 PM. Bring your favorite late-night snack and come watch with us in the Clara Barton Lounge! 

Beginning Meditation Practice

The fall session of Beginning Meditation will begin next Wednesday, September 21st and continue through November 16th from 5:30-6:30pm in the rear of the sanctuary.  No experience is necessary and you need not be a member to attend. For more information contact Kathy Russell, or Moritz Wagner or join us on September 21st.  Doors will be open and waiting for you from 5:15 to 5:30.

RAIHN Week & Training Dates

October 9-16 will be our last RAIHN Week for 2016. During that week we will provide temporarily homeless families with good food to eat and a safe place to stay at First Universalist Church. If you'd like to help, contact Chris DeGolyer,, Marti Eggers,, or Sarah Singal,  If you would like to learn more before volunteering, ask us about "shadowing" experienced volunteers. 

The last two training sessions for RAIHN Volunteers in 2016 are:

  • Monday, September 19th, 6:30 pm - Temple B'rith Kodesh, 2131 Elmwood Ave., Rochester 
  • Tuesday, October 25th, 6:30 pm - Aldersgate United Methodist Church, 4115 Dewey Ave., Rochester.
Additional Announcements

ADULT FAITH DEVELOPMENT WORKSHOP CONTINUES:  From Age-ing to Sage-ing is a 3-session workshop that will be offered twice at two different libraries and is open to the public. Invite your friends, but please rsvp to Rev. Michelle Yates, Director of Life Span Faith Development, at with which library program you will attend, OR call the library directly.

  • Arnett Branch Library- 310 Arnett Blvd., (585) 428-8214.  Mondays, September 12, 19, & 26 from 1:30- 3:30pm
  • Irondequoit Public Library- 1290 Titus Ave., (585) 336-6060. Thursdays, September 15, 22, & 29 from 1:30-3:30pm

SOCIAL JUSTICE TASK FORCE:  If you were unable to attend a focus group, the online questionnaire will be available for one more week.  Visit   This allows you to be a part of the conversation of how we can help transform the Rochester community into a more just, equitable and peaceful place.

BOOK GROUP:  The Book Group will meet on September 25th at noon in the Chalice Room to discuss The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery. All are welcome - it is not necessary to have read the book. A look ahead to October's book selection is All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doeer. The library has many copies, but it is a very popular book so request your copy!  Any questions happily answered by Sarah Singal ( or Shirl Bond (

LITTLE FREE LIBRARY & PANTRY:  Join us on Thursday, September 29th at 12 noon in the front flower garden for a grand opening celebration and ribbon cutting ceremony for our Little Free Library & Pantry.  We are excited to share this new resource with our downtown neighborhood.  If you have books or items to share, you can place them in the little library & pantry or bring them to the office. Thank you!

LEADERSHIP ASSEMBLY:  The First Universalist Fall Leadership Assembly will be held on Saturday, October 1st, from 9:00-12:00.  We will gather in the Clara Barton Lounge for coffee and goodies at 8:45.  The program will begin at 9:00.  If you plan to attend, please RSVP to Nancy Gaede (

RACE TO JUSTICE:  Are you compelled by the racial justice conversation? Not sure where to start? We've heard you! Which is why our year long Faith Development program, "Race to Justice," is focused on these issues.  To enhance this initiative, we have the opportunity to participate in "Sacred Conversations" with several area churches.  Check out our bulletin board, website, or contact Rev. Michelle at to learn more. 

WITNESS PALESTINE FILM FESTIVAL:  Screening documentary and narrative films about the decades-old Palestine-Israel conflict that illustrate the realities on the ground in both Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories.  3000 Nights, Sunday, September 18, 2pm, The Little Theater – a docudrama reflecting eight years in an Israeli prison that houses both Israeli and Palestinian women.  The Idol, Monday, September 19th, 6:45pm, The Little Theater – based on the true story of Mohammed Assaf's childhood with a ragtag group of children who spend their time roaming Gaza, playing and trying to start their own band.  Nominated for Audience Choice Award (Best Feature Narrative) at Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival (2016).  Admission for each film $10; students $5.  

To submit an item for "This Week at First Universalist", e-mail no later than Thursday at noon.  

This Week's Calendar of Events

Tuesday, September 20

  • Defying the Nazis: The Sharps' War screening, Clara Barton Lounge, 9 PM

Wednesday, September 21

  • Paper Our Outlook Submission Deadline, noon
  • Beginning Meditation Practice, Sanctuary, 5:30

Thursday, September 22

  • Announcements Deadline for "This Week at First Universalist", noon
  • No Minister Office Hours This Week
  • Private Event (rental), Clara Barton Lounge, 4:30-9:30 PM

Friday, September 23

  • Office Closed

Saturday, September 24

  • SNYP AA, Clara Barton Lounge and 2nd Floor Lounge (rental), 8 pm 

    Sunday, September 25

    • Drop-In Discussion, Chalice Room, 9:15 am
    • Sunday Service, Sanctuary, 10:30 am
    • Refreshments, Clara Barton Lounge, 11:45
    • Book Group, Chalice Room, 12 noon
    • Private Event (Moosewood Dinner), Clara Barton Lounge, 3-8 PM
    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 Life Span Faith Development:   Michelle Yates 
    Director of Music: Stacey Yang

    Office Administrator:  Melissa Davies
    Contact Us
    150 S. Clinton Avenue
    Rochester, NY 14604
    (585) 546-2826

    Office Hours:  Tuesday-Friday, 9 - 3:15