12-Day Holiday Countdown:
Sharing facts about First Unitarian Church--past and present!
Did you know that First Unitarian posts all its events and programming on an online calendar? Fellowship opportunities, music rehearsals, volunteer opportunities, and more are all right here: www.firstuuomaha.org/calendar-month
[Image: "On the 12th Day before Christmas, First Unitarian Gave to Me ... A Huge Online Calendar!" Festive winter background with orbs of light and snowflakes and a transparent screenshot of the church calendar.]
Did you know that First Unitarian's organ was purchased in 1937, a gift from Sarah Joslyn? (Yes, that Joslyn family whose name you see all over Omaha.) Our antique pipe organ boasts 2,221 pipes and has survived damage from both fire and weather. Our organist, Pat Will, has been at the pipes since 1975.
[Image: "On the 11th Day before Christmas, First Unitarian Gave to Me ... An Antique Piping Organ." Background features the console of an organ and snowflakes.]
First Unitarian is proud to support Clair Memorial Methodist as its Sister Church partner. Next year, Clair celebrates 110 years in Omaha! Each month, Clair offers a food pantry to its community. Ongoing needs include canned fruit, boxed cereal, spaghetti sauce, canned vegetables, canned soup, Spaghettios, pasta, rice, mac and cheese, peanut butter, and jelly.
Donations can be left in the First Unitarian foyer any Sunday! Volunteers will be sure to get them to Clair. Could you commit to bringing in 10 donations before Christmas?
[Image: "On the 10th Day before Christmas, First Unitarian Gave to Me ... 10 Food Pantry Donations." Background features a pile of canned food goods and snowflakes.]
Welcome to DAY 9 of First Unitarian's 12-Day COUNTDOWN! First Unitarian's Vision Statement is: "An Inclusive Community that Listens, Engages, Inspires, and Acts."
What does this mean? Learn more here: http://firstuuomaha.org/about
Welcome to DAY 8 of First Unitarian's 12-Day COUNTDOWN!
As you may recall, Unitarian Universalism boasts Seven Principles (hint, hint). However, more than 200 congregations have adopted an 8th.
On December 4th, Rev. Shari Woodbury delivered a sermon entitled "The Promise and the Peril of the 8th Principle." You can watch it here: https://youtu.be/ctPTlCCCcik
From BLUU: "The Black Lives of UU Organizing Collective encourages all Unitarian Universalist to advocate for the formal adoption of the 8th Principle, articulating a commitment to the dismantling of white supremacy, within the states principles of our faith." Learn more about BLUU here: https://blacklivesuu.org/
Learn more about the 8th Principle here: https://www.8thprincipleuu.org/background
[Image: "On the 8th Day before Christmas, First Unitarian Gave to Me ... a Journey to the 8th Principle." Background features festive winter lighting and snowflakes.]
Welcome to DAY 7 of First Unitarian's 12-Day COUNTDOWN!
Unitarian Universalism offers Seven Principles. As Rev. Barbara Wells ten Hove explains, “The Principles are not dogma or doctrine, but rather a guide for those of us who choose to join and participate in Unitarian Universalist religious communities.”
1st Principle: The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
2nd Principle: Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
3rd Principle: Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
4th Principle: A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
5th Principle: The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
6th Principle: The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
7th Principle: Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.
Learn the history behind the Principles here: https://tinyurl.com/3tvwsb2f
(Don't worry, there will not be a quiz!)
[Image: "On the 7th Day before Christmas, First Unitarian Gave to Me ... 7 Principles." Background features a large lit chalice and snowflakes.]
Unitarian Universalism is a “living tradition” of wisdom and spirituality, drawn from sources as diverse as science, poetry, scripture, and personal experience. First Unitarian, along with UU churches and fellowships across the world, affirms and promotes:
Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces which create and uphold life;
Words and deeds of prophetic people which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love;
Wisdom from the world's religions which inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life;
Jewish and Christian teachings which call us to respond to God's love by loving our neighbors as ourselves;
Humanist teachings which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science, and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit;
Spiritual teachings of Earth-centered traditions which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature.
Did you know two UU ministers created a cantata celebrating the Six Sources? Check it out here: https://youtu.be/9uPf_uT17l0
Learn about how and why the ministers created the cantata here: https://www.uuworld.org/articles/story-sources-cantata
Welcome to DAY 5 of First Unitarian's 12-Day COUNTDOWN!
First Unitarian's congregation goes back more than 150 years!
For its sesquicentennial (150-year anniversary), church member Dave Richardson put together a book documenting the church's long legacy. "Pillars & Dreams: A History of the First Unitarian Church of Omaha" was published in 2018 and is packed with photographs, stories, and documentation. Some might say it's worth its weight in gold(en rings)!
Copies are available through First Unitarian for $25. Please contact the church office to secure a copy.
[Image: "On the 5th Day before Christmas, First Unitarian Gave to Me ... a 150-year history." Background features the front of the church and snowflakes.]
Welcome to DAY 4 of First Unitarian's 12-Day COUNTDOWN!
Last Sunday, First Unitarian welcomed four new members! We are overjoyed to see our membership growing!
Interested in membership? Feel free to contact Membership Coordinator Melissa Gibson at firstname.lastname@example.org. First will also host a visitor information session, called First Steps, on January 15 after our regular Sunday service. All are welcome!
[Image: "On the 4th Day before Christmas, First Unitarian Gave to Me ... 4 new members." Background features a lit chalice and snowflakes.]
Welcome to DAY 3 of First Unitarian's 12-Day COUNTDOWN!
First Unitarian hosts two music groups of its own, The Sanctuary Singers and The Offbeats. Learn more about them here: https://www.firstuuomaha.org/music
On January 28 at 7pm, Kyle Knapp performs at First Unitarian. An intimate acoustic concert, held in our beautiful sanctuary. Admission is $10. Like and follow our Facebook Page for more information as the date gets closer.
[Image: "On the 3rd Day before Christmas, First Unitarian Gave to Me ... 3 Music Opportunities." Background features sheet music, a red Christmas bulb, sprigs of pine, and snowflakes.]
Welcome to DAY 2 of First Unitarian's 12-Day COUNTDOWN!
First Unitarian members Kim Dunovan and Sharon Conlon offer a time of reflection and silent meditation/prayer on Zoom two mornings a week. Whether you’re seeking a regular spiritual practice, or just wake-up some mornings needing a little extra support and connection to our church community. This is an informal drop-in and all are welcome! Each gathering will open with a short reading, followed by shared reflections and time for silent meditation/prayer.
Please see the church calendar for details: https://www.firstuuomaha.org/calendar-month
[Image: "On the 2nd Day before Christmas, First Unitarian Gave to Me ... 2 Morning Reflections." Background features a sunrise over water and small mountain and snowflakes.]
Welcome to DAY 1 of First Unitarian's 12-Day COUNTDOWN!
First Unitarian is proud to offer a church home to people of a variety of religious backgrounds. We promote rationality, spirituality, and the search for justice in our approach to the fundamental questions of human existence.
All are welcome to join us for tonight's Christmas Eve service at 7 p.m. We will celebrate Christmas Eve with holiday music from the Sanctuary Singers and The Offbeats, caroling for all, and a lifting up of the Unitarian roots of a number of Christmas traditions. All ages are welcome to take part in the merry-making at the church or online.
YouTube page for live stream: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCg3uthKVVYfWS55zpRTv8LA
(then click on the livestream for that day's date)
Everyone is also invited to join us each Sunday for our 10:30 a.m. service.
[Image: "On the 1st Day before Christmas, First Unitarian Gave to Me ...1 Church, Many Paths" Background features iced over pine needles and snowflakes.]