Weekly Connections
Newsletter
HAPPENING THIS SUNDAY, JANUARY 31, 2021

Children's Worship at 9:30 AM
Sheila Schuh, Director of Religious Education, co-leads

Worship Service at 10:00 AM
Please join us for our ceremony and in celebration of
Rev. Shari’s Installation as lead minister at First Unitarian! This special ceremony is an important spiritual acknowledgement and demonstration of commitment for both the called minister, staff, board of trustees, and their congregation. Let’s all be there!

A special welcome to our sibling church this Sunday - congregants from Pullman Memorial Universalist Church in Albion, NY will join our service this Sunday. We are enriched by your presence!

Join us for a virtual conversation & connection following the worship service as well!
Here is our church's main Zoom link, for all Worship Services, Wednesday night programs, and Elder Tree on Saturdays. No internet? Call 646-876-9923 and enter meeting ID #5852719070.
EVENTS THROUGH FEBRUARY 6, 2021
Our Hospitality Team is looking for Zoom volunteers! Our online services are made possible by a group of volunteers who keep us safe from Zoom bombers and let folks into services. We are currently recruiting folks to join our Online Hospitality Team. If you want to learn more about how to help or are proficient at Zoom, we'd love to have you! Contact Shannan Foos if interested.
Elder Tree - Saturday, January 30 at 12:00 PM
Elder Tree is pleased to welcome Paul Law as our guest speaker. All are invited to hear his life story. It is by opening to one another’s stories that we deepen our sense of community. Join us in our main Zoom room. If interested in being a future guest, please contact Libby Moore.

Rochester Area Interfaith Hospitality Network (RAIHN) is in the process of transitioning its name to Family Promise of Greater Rochester and they are holding two "State of the Organization" events on Tuesday, February 2 at 12:00 PM or Wednesday, February 3 at 7:00 PM. For details and registration please visit here.

Grief group to cope with death of a spouse or partner: For anyone who needs support following the death of a spouse or partner. Led by Rev. Lynn Acquafondata, affiliated community minister, this group meets online the first Wednesday of each month from 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM. The next meeting is Wednesday, February 3. Contact Rev. Lynn at 585-330-1340 to register or for more information.

Touchstone Vespers Service - Wednesday, February 3 at 7:00 PM
Each Wednesday evening we offer midweek programming. All are welcome to join us next Wednesday for a Vespers Service, where we join together in solidarity and candlelight, to lay down the burdens of the day and ground ourselves in beloved community. Please join us here.

Online Free Guided Meditation Series: Looking to cultivate calm and centeredness in a group? Online (via Zoom) meditation classes Thursdays February 4, 11, 18 and 2 at 3:00 PM and at 5:30 PM. Beginning meditators welcome. Being gently guided to fully embody yourself is such a gift of self-care! Best if you can attend all four. There is no cost; space is limited. Questions or to sign up, email Rev Joy Collins or call/text 585-749-0695. It is wonderful to center your heart in a small community!

First Unitarian Buddhist Fellowship offers several online gatherings weekly. Monday evenings at 7:30 PM is a time for shared readings and unguided meditation. Wednesday mornings at 8:00 AM there is a Rise & Shine meditation for parents & caregivers, led by Sheila Schuh. Wednesday afternoons at noon there is drop-in, peer led silent meditation. Lastly, a new Book Study group will begin Thursday, February 4 at 6:30 PM and will be discussing Awaking through Love Unveiling your Deepest Goodness by John Makransky. Contact Carolyn via email or call 585-613-5590 for the Zoom link or to answer any questions.
PASTORAL CARE, JOYS AND SORROWS
May we join together in sending our warm thoughts and prayers in memory of member
Carol Schlank who passed away last week. Carol’s daughter Meg asks for notes of condolences to be sent to Carol’s home address which may be found through our SimpleChurch member directory.
 
We are also heavy hearted to learn of longtime member Suzanne McLaughlin’s death on January 10. Suzanne has been a member of First Unitarian Church since the early 1960’s. We will miss the community and connection of Suzanne and join in our sadness and condolences to her husband David and their family.
 
We are also saddened to learn of the loss of Irene Burnet’s beloved mother, Anna Buttaro, who was 92 years old. Anna passed away on January 20 after a difficult battle with COVID pneumonia. Irene would like to share that her mother was a kind and loving person who was well-loved. 
 
“To live in hearts that love is not to die.”
We’re here if you need us! Pastoral Care is available through our Pastoral Care phone line 585-270-0851 or reach out via email. Everything you share will be held in confidence.   
CALLS TO ACTION & OTHER REMINDERS
UU/Schools Partnership volunteer tutors wanted! Do you wish you could help out the kids in the city? We've finally found a way! School 22 is starting up an after school tutoring program. Students are Kindergarten through 6th grade. Volunteers will work 1:1 with a student from 3:30 - 4:30 PM on Wednesdays and Thursdays in a zoom breakout room. Volunteers will be connected with their student's teacher in advance to know what to work on. There are also some limited opportunities to work with students during class time. Please contact Vicki Robertson if you are interested in participating.

Saturday Silent Vigils sponsored by Free the People Roc & BLM Elders and Allies will be held every Saturday from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM through the month of February and the first Saturday of March rain, shine or snow. (Note: the Honeoye Falls location has changed to a new location on Main Street) Please join us:

  • February 6 
  • 16 W. Main Street, Honeoye Falls 
  • 31 F & 250 Fairport, NY

  • February 13
  • 16 W. Main Street, Honeoye Falls
  • Route 441 & Route 250, Penfield

  • February 20
  • 16 W. Main Street, Honeoye Falls

  • February 27
  • 16 W. Main Street, Honeoye Falls
  • Hard Road & Route 404, Webster, NY

  • March 6
  • 16 W. Main Street, Honeoye Falls
  • Hudson Avenue & Titus Avenue, West Irondequoit

The Gilbert Spirit Fund seeks qualified applicants to apply to receive funds to continue their social justice work or projects promoting art and music or building partnerships to support the goal of world peace. Organizations with a connection to members of First Unitarian will be given preference. If you belong to or know of such an organization, please let them know of this opportunity. The deadline for applying is March 1, 2021. All applications this year are on-line and can be found on our website along with guidelines for applying. Questions? Please email Christine Gordon or call 585-377-9002. 

Environmental Justice Ministry - Reduce Food Waste (Week 1)
Did you know that the amount of food waste produced globally each year is more than enough to feed the nearly 1 billion hungry people in the world? Further, according to Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reduce Global Warming, the food we waste contributes 4.4 gigatons (that’s 8,800,000,000,000 pounds!) of carbon dioxide equivalent into the atmosphere each year. And there’s more: “Producing uneaten food squanders a whole host of resources – seeds, water, energy, land, fertilizer, hours of labor, financial capital – and generates greenhouse gases at every stage – including methane when organic matter lands in the global rubbish bin.” So what can be done to reduce food waste? Check out the following websites to see recommendations from the Environmental Protection Agency. For a more extensive list of steps to reduce food waste please visit Greatist. REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE, REPURPOSE!

Save the Date - Police Accountability Board Presentation on February 19 
The new Police Accountability Board (PAB) is making history helping our community reimagine public safety. Board Chair Shani Wilson and Executive Director Conor Dwyer Reynolds will lead this presentation, hosted by First Unitarian Church of Rochester, First Universalist Church of Rochester, and The Unitarian Universalist Church of Canandaigua. Registration & more information coming soon! 

Connect with us on Social media!
On the church's YouTube channel you can view past services, Elder Tree stories, and more. Our Facebook community is a place to build community, to ask for and offer help, and to share resources. If Instagram is your scene, we post there weekly as well.