Archived News & Updates

      

(Scroll down to see the latest update/message)

​3/12/2020:​ 

A Letter from Our Interim Minister

 

Dear Ones,

I am writing to let you know that all in-person church events, meetings, and services are cancelled, for now.  This decision has been made in conjunction with the church staff, the MTC (Ministry Team Council), and the Board Executive Committee.  Though it may feel overly cautious to some, it is the right thing to do.  As a faith community it is our duty and our responsibility to look out for each other as best we can and as best we know how.  And as some have said, later on it will be better to feel silly than to feel sorry.

We are not "closing" the church, but moving it - to a mostly online presence.  Church services and meetings will happen online via Zoom.  Pastoral care will happen by phone, text, messaging, mail, or Zoom - whatever works best for you.  Big events will simply be postponed until we can meet in person again.  All of this will require us to be both flexible and creative.  As we adapt to changes in how we "do" church, we won't be perfect at it but we will, with practice, get better at it.
 
Speaking of practice, one thing you can do right away is check out Zoom if you are not already familiar with it.  (Zoom is similar to Skype or Facetime.)  You can try it out with a friend who knows how to use it or watch one of their tutorials. (go to zoom.us, click on the down arrow next to the "RESOURCES" tab and then click on "Video Tutorials")

We WILL be holding a church service, on Zoom, at 10:30am Sunday morning.  We are also planning on hosting practice Zoom sessions and having coaches available by phone or email to help you get prepared.  So, please keep an eye out for updates from the church.  It will be more important than usual to check your email and/or the church's Facebook page over the coming weeks.  It will be the best way we have of staying connected to each other and staying informed. 

Though we may not see much of each other in person for a little while, we are still a community; a wonderful, loving community that cares for each other deeply.  We will continue to be together and look out for each other.  

With love and deep respect,

Rev. Michelle

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3/23/2020:

Donations to First Unitarian Church of Omaha

You can donate ONLINE by going to this web page on the church site: 

https://www.firstuuomaha.org/donate

OR send your check to the church via regular mail:


First Unitarian Church
3114 Harney St.
Omaha, NE 68131

Staff will be picking up the mail and depositing checks. We appreciate your generosity during this time. Thank you! 

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3/24/2020:

The Church Building is Closed

All events, activities, and meetings are cancelled or moved to online. Our staff members and leadership are visiting the building every day according to a schedule we have in place, but we ask that members and friends please refrain from visiting the church if you are NOT part of the MTC or staff. 

Please read your church emails and watch the church Facebook page for updates. 

Please go here to see a list of upcoming online events: www.firstuuomaha.org/events

If you need assistance with online events or need some other help, please send an email to MTC@firstuuomaha.org.

Please stay healthy! Thank you! 

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3/25/2020:

Online Church Events Are Happening

Be sure to see all the upcoming online church events on our web page here: www.firstuuomaha.org/events

And join us on on Zoom online on Sunday! Go here to see upcoming services: www.firstuuomaha.org/sundayservices

To learn about online religious education for children and youth, please go here: www.firstuuomaha.org/re-news 

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3/26/2020: 

ALERT: EMAIL SCAMS

Dear Church Friends and Members,

It's come to our attention that some members of our congregation have received emails today that appear to come from Rev. Michelle. These emails ask for the person to purchase gift cards online and to send the gift card codes via email. These messages are scams. The email may appear to be from Rev. Michelle, but the email address is NOT the minister's email address. Often the person who is pretending to be the minister will say they are not available by phone and to only email them back. That's a red flag. The first email the scammer sends usually says something like the minister needs your help. If you respond, the scammer will then ask you to do something--usually purchase gift cards or ask you to give them personal information.

The minister and the church office and church staff will NEVER ask you to purchase gift cards or send your credit card information or other private information via an email.

When you doubt, the best thing to do is NOT respond to the email. Contact the person who is supposedly sending the email by PHONE and be sure to look up the company or person's phone number yourself. Don't trust the info in the suspicious email.

You can read more about these email scams here--from a recent UU World article about email scams:

www.uuworld.org/articles/church-gift-card-scam?fbclid=IwAR18ZyRXQO4-hxhoBmTm6r0CtlspW2HpMrwmOrnfjP7eo0_XvzXK1toHjB0

You can notify Gmail of this email scam at https://support.google.com/mail/contact/abuse to file a case.

You can also notify the State of Nebraska at https://protectthegoodlife.nebraska.gov/report-scam

The church office has contacted the authorities when this email scam has happened in the past, but it has started up again. If you did receive a phishing email, please report it.

For examples of these email scans, please see page 16 in the January newsletter.

Thank you,
The Church Office

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3/29/2020: 

Need Help with Online Events? 

All online church events and classes are happening on Zoom, an online video-conferencing service. Do you need help with this? We have a team of church volunteers ready to help you use Zoom. If you need assistance, please email zoomhelp@firstuuomaha.org and one of our church volunteers will get back to you. Please include your first name and your phone number in case we need to call you. If there's a Zoom event you want to attend, we suggest getting into it at least 10-15 minutes before it starts if it's your first time.

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3/29/2020: 

Caring Note

We are sad to inform you that longtime church member Lana Hammel has passed away. Click here to read the obituary. 
As of right now, there are no plans for a service. Memorials are suggested to First Unitarian Church and the Nebraska Humane Society. 

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3/30/2020:

Religious Ed Classes - Reminder

First Unitarian Religious Education will be continuing online for children and youth who wish to stay connected with our community during this time. To simplify things, all classes will now have the same Zoom link, and the link will be the same each week, accessing different classes at different times.

 

Need the Zoom link? Email dre@firstuuomaha.org

Please include your first and last name with your email request.

 

Need help with Zoom? Email zoomhelp@firstuuomaha.org

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3/31/2020:

Stewardship Campaign 2020

This year's theme for the Stewardship Campaign is Stoking the Flames of Gratitude. The Stewardship Team is looking toward all of you to help us begin to kindle the spiritual practices of gratitude and generosity. There are so many things to be grateful for as we actively participate together in this intentional community, continue our transition, and look forward to a Settled Minister.

All Stewardship events have been postponed. We will notify the congregation when we have new dates! 

Pledge Forms: All church members and friends should have received pledge forms via mail at the beginning of March.  Click here to download a PDF of the pledge form. Print, fill it out, and mail the pledge form to the church office. Thank you! Every pledge is important! ​

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​​4/1/2020:

Upcoming Sunday service online: 

​Sunday, April 5 at 10:30am

​​​​Rev. Oscar Sinclair from the Unitarian Church of Lincoln, guest speaker

​​ONLINE Sunday Service  

​​Join Zoom Meeting
https://uuma.zoom.us/j/124198681

​Please include your first and last name when you log into Zoom, and please try to arrive to the online service 5-10 minutes early. 

​Need help with Zoom? Email zoomhelp@firstuuomaha.org 

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​4/2/2020: 

First UU Easter Scavenger Hunt!

Hello First UU families!
In this time of social distancing we can’t all meet for our annual Easter Egg Hunt, however, we’d love to celebrate this time of rebirth as a community.  Your RE Team has come up with the idea of an Easter Egg Scavenger Hunt across the city. You can hang Easter pictures at your house or drive around to find Easter pictures or do both! Both activities are open to anyone and are completely inter-generational.
 
If you would like to be a STOP on our Easter Scavenger Hunt or participate please go here to learn more: www.firstuuomaha.org/re-news

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4/3/2020:

CommUUNity Night is Still Here and Happening Tonight! 

Obviously, we need to practice good social distancing, but we still want to see all our CommUUnity Night friends. We aren’t sure exactly how this will look, because it’s our first attempt, but we have set up a Zoom Meeting that can be joined anytime between 6pm and 7pm TONIGHT, Friday, April 3rd.
 
Since we can’t share food, we’ll have to share stories! Bring a story of hope or joy or madness in the time of social distancing to share with the group. You can eat your dinner at this time, or not. Obviously, kid and pet noises are absolutely fine during this time and everyone is welcome. Pajamas are great, but make sure you’re wearing pants! (This is a family-friendly event, after all.)

Need the link to the Zoom event? Email admin@firstuuomaha.org.

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​​

​4/4/2020:

Chat with the Minister, Rev. Michelle LaGrave

Looking for some time to connect with your community? Each week we will provide an open time for connecting with the minister and with each other while we are unable to meet in person.

Please join us any Wednesday evening at 7:00 pm via Zoom.

Our next Chat with the Minister happens Wednesday, April 8, 2020 at 7:00 PM central

Need the link? Email admin@firstuuomaha.org -- please use your first and last name with your email request. 

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​​

​4/5/2020

​​

Need Help with Online Events? 

All online church events and classes are happening on Zoom, an online video-conferencing service. Do you need help with this? We have a team of church volunteers ready to help you use Zoom. If you need assistance, please email zoomhelp@firstuuomaha.org and one of our church volunteers will get back to you. Please include your first name and your phone number in case we need to call you. If there's a Zoom event you want to attend, we suggest getting into it at least 10-15 minutes before it starts if it's your first time.

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4/5/2020:

Donations to First Unitarian Church of Omaha

You can donate ONLINE by going to this web page on the church site: 

www.firstuuomaha.org/donate

OR send your check to the church via regular mail:


First Unitarian Church
3114 Harney St.
Omaha, NE 68131

Staff will be picking up the mail and depositing checks. We appreciate your generosity during this time. Thank you! 

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​​

​4/6/2020: 

New Church Publication 

The first issue of Chalice Connection, a quarterly magazine published by First Unitarian Church of Omaha, is now available. This magazine is about connection. Our church members and staff will share stories of gratitude and experience, poems, reflections, and church history in each issue. We hope you enjoy it, and please consider submitting to our next issue which will come out in July.   


To see the magazine online, go to this link:  
https://12b46bfc-2dbb-193a-6f93-c40b0c7091d5.filesusr.com/ugd/6ac81d_2d63aabd41064eea80bdf9e029e7e5d2.pdf

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4/7/2020:

Contribution Statements Have Been Sent

A Message from Our Treasurer

On April 6th, we sent out contribution statements. Some of you elected to receive your contribution statement by email, others by regular mail.  We send statements in April because the church financial year ends on April 30 and we want to provide the latest information on current-year pledges. Note: Pledges or contributions received in the last few days may not appear because they have not yet been recorded in our system.  There will be contributions during the month of April, but if you are more than a month behind and want to make a one-time credit card contribution, you can do that by going here:  www.firstuuomaha.org/donate

Select Annual Operating Fund, enter the amount you wish to contribute, and click on Next.

We realize that in these difficult times, not everyone is in a position to pay their pledge.  If you are among those who are out of work as a result of the pandemic, please do not worry about any amount you have not yet paid. It is important, however, for those of us who have not been financially impacted to pay our pledges because the church is committed to continue paying our staff and meeting our other obligations.  If you have questions or did not receive a statement, please contact treasurer@firstuuomaha.org.

If you have not pledged for the coming year, it is not too late.  Send an email note to treasurer@firstuuomaha.org. 

Thank you for your support of the church and its programs.

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​​4/7/2020:

​An Update from the Ministerial Search Committee of First Unitarian Church of Omaha

The Ministerial Search Committee is delighted to announce that we have matched with a candidate to serve as our settled minister. After several months of rigorous search and discernment we are very proud to make this announcement. 
At this coming Sunday’s Online Service (Sunday, April 12), we will have a "Minister Reveal Event” where we will provide as many details about the identity of our candidate as we can at that point. Preliminary plans for our candidating week will also be addressed on Sunday. If you have questions, you can reach the Search Committee by email: searchcommittee@firstuuomaha.org

​​

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4/8/2020:

Easter Sunday Service Online This Week
Sunday, April 12 at 10:30am
Rev. Michelle LaGrave

At this service, we will have a "Minister Reveal Event” where the Search Committee will provide as many details about the identity of our candidate as we can. Preliminary plans for our candidating week will also be addressed on Sunday.

The Zoom link for Sunday's service: https://uuma.zoom.us/j/124198681
Please arrive to the Zoom event 5-10 minutes early. We will be using the Zoom waiting room feature to screen out any uninvited intruders. Please be sure that you put your first and last name as the Zoom username so the host will know that you are someone who should be allowed in. If you need the dial-in instructions, please email admin@firstuuomaha.org and include your phone number so we can send you the Zoom number and access code, and let the host know your number belongs to an invited guest.

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4/9/2020:

Pathways to Membership Class Reminder

 

This class via Zoom will start TODAY, Thursday 4/9 at 6:30pm  (Zoom event information below) and takes place on consecutive Thursdays: 4/16, 4/23, and 4/30. Each class builds off the next, so please plan to attend all four weeks (where possible, of course, I understand if you have to miss a week). 

This class is designed for newcomers, those wanting to join the church, and members alike. It offers a chance to discuss our journeys together.  I hope you can make it.  RSVP please! Send an email to: coordinator@firstuuomaha.org

The link to the Zoom event: 
https://zoom.us/j/656080878

Meeting ID: 656 080 878

If you need the dial-in instructions, please email coordinator@firstuuomaha.org and include your phone number so Carrie can send you the Zoom number and access code and identify you when you join the event. 

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4/9/2020:

Sharing Your Pronouns & Changing Your Name on Zoom 

During a Zoom call, you have the ability to change your display name and/or share your pronouns with others.

If you are joining a Zoom call from your phone or tablet, first you need to go to the "Participants" icon at the bottom (or top) of your screen. Then, you will click on your name and select "Rename".

If you are joining a Zoom call from your computer, go to your video square and click. From the menu that appears, select "Rename".

Please note: changes made in a Zoom call may reset once you leave the call. To make permanent changes to how your name is displayed, you will need to login to your account at zoom.us and edit your profile settings.

Need help with Zoom? Email our volunteer team: zoomhelp@firstuuomaha.org

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4/10/2020:

The First UU Easter Scavenger Hunt Starts Saturday:

Click here for the Map: https://viewer.mapme.com/firstuuomahaeasteregghunt2020

(A How To Video Tutorial can be found here: https://tinyurl.com/EggHuntTutorial)

You can go hunting anytime between Saturday, April 11th at 9am and Sunday, April 12th at 8pm.

(We want to respect people sleeping in, neighbors, dogs barking, etc.)

During the scavenger hunt hours, travel the city as a family using your map to find all the eggs.

For added fun- take pictures! We’ll cheer you on and try to create a fun collage of all the images.

While participating: PLEASE USE THOUGHTFUL SOCIAL DISTANCING. If two families arrive at the same time please wave like crazy from the car, but don’t get out of the car at the same time. Be careful about not touching things if you haven’t wiped them down yourself, etc.

Do, however, wave eagerly, blow kisses, make the “I love you” sign in sign language, or do fun dances for any congregants (or, heck, anybody) you see along the way.

Have fun! If you have questions, contact Kate Wiig at bkatewiig@gmail.com with the subject line "First UU Easter Scavenger Hunt".

Happy Hunting!
Your First UU RE Team

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4/11/2020:

New CUUPS Online Event Planned:  CUUPS Celebration of New Moon

Sunday, April 19 at 6:30pm. This ritual is going to be a bit different. While everyone loves a good full moon ritual, we decided to lead a new moon ritual. This is the time when the mood is dark. But while we can’t see her, she is still there. This is the time to set new intentions and start new plans for the month ahead, so that we can watch those intentions grow with the moon. Join us for a unique New Moon Ritual over Zoom.

If you are interested in attending this Zoom event, please email cuups@firstuuomaha.org with your first and last name and we will respond with the zoom link.

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4/12/2020:

Announcement from the Ministerial Search Committee 

After a year of work, your Search Committee is very pleased to present Reverend Shari Woodbury as our Ministerial Candidate.

What this means: We have winnowed down from written ministerial records, primary video interviews, and three pre-candidating weekends, a candidate for our church.

Rev. Shari is our choice--and we are delighted she felt the same! A "candidate" is a minister that has been chosen by the Search Committee, but who has not yet been called by congregational vote. (This is like the President-Elect at the annual meeting.)

See her introductory video here:

https://www.shariwoodbury.com/omaha.html

What's next?
Candidating Week, April 26- May 3. This is the time that the congregation gets to experience Rev. Shari's ministry--open Zoom socials, meetings with the board and various groups, staff discussions, etc. For this week, she is our minister. There is a Sunday service at the start of the week, and one at the end. After that, Rev. Woodbury will sign off and the congregation will vote (more details on that later).

You may be concerned that you will not have as much opportunity to meet Shari because of our current social distancing. During a normal candidating week, there are typically just one or two opportunities for the general congregation to chat with a candidate. That is usually a coffee hour and a social, where a room full of others are eager to say hello. We are working on designing a week where there are smaller groups and will share the schedule when it is finalized.

Questions? Email the Search Committee at searchcommittee@firstuuomaha.org

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4/13/2020:

A Message from the Sister Church Team about the Upcoming Food Pantry

Anxiety grows in Omaha as the novel coronavirus spreads. The natural responses occur in us: fight, flight, freeze. Freezing is the most logical response for most of us (hunker down at home). Flight can only help spread the virus. Fight, that’s what the medical workers, the first responders, the food service workers, the grocery store workers and others do for us. We know that the virus is most dangerous for the most vulnerable among us.

Next Saturday, April 18, our Sister Church will hold its monthly food pantry. Attendance is expected to be higher than usual, because many low-wage workers have lost their jobs. Clair needs our help to serve the vulnerable members of our community.

Before coronavirus came to Omaha, people who needed food would come into the Clair Church building, sign-in, and wait their turn to “shop” for the food items they wanted. Now, no more than ten people can be in the building at one time. All of the shoppers will stay outside. Volunteers will place pre-filled boxes of food in people’s cars. The shoppers will line-up in cars outside the building to wait their turn. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that everyone in this situation wear a cloth facemask. This is a new recommendation, so most people will not have facemasks to wear.

Those of you who have fabric, a sewing machine, and time, please make facemasks to donate to the shoppers at the food pantry. And keep a couple for yourselves. Go to the CDC website for simple instructions:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html

As always, donations of food are also needed. Pastor Portia is hoping for 200 cans of fruit and/or fruit packs. Donations of personal bottles of hand sanitizer and cloth face masks are also welcome.

Drop them off between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Friday, April 17 at: Clair Memorial United Methodist Church (5544 Ames Ave., Omaha)
 
At the drive-up door on the east side, under the canopy.

Those of you with a heroic streak, consider volunteering at the pantry. Six volunteers are needed. It is no more risky than working at Hy-Vee. You must be young-ish, healthy, not pregnant, and not living with or caring for a medically vulnerable person. You should also be conscientious and assertive with the best COVID19 hygiene practices. You should bring your own cloth facemask, latex or vinyl gloves, and hand sanitizer.

  • Two volunteers from First U are needed to box donations at Clair Church on April 17 between 1 and 4 p.m.

  • Two volunteers from First U are needed on Saturday, April 18, starting at 9 a.m., to hand out face masks to the people waiting in cars outside the church.

  • Two more volunteers from First U are needed to help place boxes of food in people’s cars on April 18, starting at 10 a.m.

If you are interested in this volunteer opportunity, please contact Mark Loscutoff at mark.loscutoff@gmail.com or 402-250-2791.

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4/13/2020:

NEW PARENT CHAT EVENT ONLINE

All parents of children in our RE programs (nursery through 12th grade) are invited to join Machaela for Parents Chat on

Monday, April 13th at 9:30 PM. The Zoom meeting can be accessed at this link: https://zoom.us/j/7873284055. Please include your first and last name in your Zoom username so we can identify you and permit you to join the meeting. 

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4/14/2020:

RE Classes Continue Online

First Unitarian Religious Education will be continuing online for children and youth who wish to stay connected with our community during this time. To simplify things, all classes will now have the same Zoom link. Classes: 

Sunday 11:30am Elementary RE Class 
This week's class will be taught & hosted by Donna Neff. Kindergarten and preschool children are also invited to join with their parents for a chalice lighting (and however much of the class fits into their attention span).

Sunday 1:30pm Middle & High School RE Chat
This will be an informal chat time. Check in with each other, talk about the past week, and discuss creative ways to stay connected and utilize your time during social distancing. All middle and high school students are welcome to join us, even if you have not been regularly attending on Sunday mornings.

Special parent chats online will take place Monday evenings. 

YRUU will meet online at the usual time, Wednesday nights at 7:00pm.

Questions?  Need the Zoom link? Email Christina at DRE@firstuuomaha.org.

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4/15/2020:

This letter about our candidate will be sent out today to church members who receive mailed newsletters instead of emails. Please share this with your church friends you know who do not check their email:

Dear Member of First Unitarian Church of Omaha,

If you have not heard, your Ministerial Search Committee is very pleased to present Rev. Shari Woodbury as our ministerial candidate!

What this means: We have winnowed down from written ministerial records, primary video-interviews, and three pre-candidating weekends, our candidate. Rev. Shari is our choice—and we are delighted she felt the same! A “candidate” is a minister that has been chosen by the Search Committee, but who has not yet been called by congregational vote. (This is like the President-Elect at the annual meeting.)

If you’d like to learn more about Rev. Shari Woodbury, she has created a website. Here is the web address: www.shariwoodbury.com/omaha.html


Candidating Week is the traditional way we introduce the minister to the congregation. This is the time that the congregation gets to experience Rev. Shari's ministry, with a few changes from the norm. We would all prefer to have our candidate here in person, but in this time of pandemic and isolation, that is not an option. Instead, the Search Committee is working on several online events—open Zoom socials, meetings with the board and various groups, staff discussions, etc.

For this week Candidating Week, Rev. Shari is our minister. She will preach, lead meetings, and be spending her time doing the work of our church. There is a Sunday service at the start of the week, and one at the end. After the service on Sunday, May 3, Rev. Woodbury will leave the Zoom meeting and the congregation will vote on whether to call her as our minister.

Go here for more information about the annual meeting: www.firstuuomaha.org/annualmeeting.

A letter regarding the annual meeting was sent out on 4/14 to every church member.


You may be concerned that you will not have as much opportunity to meet Shari because of our current social distancing. During a normal candidating week, there are typically just one or two opportunities for the general congregation to chat with a candidate. That is usually a coffee hour and a social, where a room full of others are eager to say hello. We are working on designing a week where there are smaller groups and will share the schedule when it is finalized.

Candidating Week begins on April 24th and ends on May 3rd. If you do not have access to internet service, or a device, the MTC is helping match people with services. They can be reached at mtc@firstuuomaha.org or by calling the church office 402-345-3039 ext 101 by April 20th. (Note: this is earlier than the request for help for the annual meeting.)

If you’d like to ask some of the Ministerial Search Committee questions, please feel free to call Kate Godfrey (402-880-1327), or Dave Richardson (402-212-5054).

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4/15/2020:

Online Sunday Service--Please join us on Zoom! 


Sunday, April 19 at 10:30am
Rev. Michelle LaGrave
This Sunday the Nominating Committee will share the award winners for this year, including the UU of the Year. Also, this Sunday we will have a practice poll on Zoom following the service. We will use a Zoom poll to conduct the voting during our Annual Meeting (happening online on Sunday, May 3). Be sure to join us this Sunday, stay for the poll following the service, and hang out for coffee hour breakout rooms.   The Zoom link for Sunday's service: https://uuma.zoom.us/j/124198681

Please arrive to the Zoom event 5-10 minutes early. We will be using the Zoom waiting room feature to screen out any uninvited intruders. Please be sure that you put your first and last name as the Zoom username so the host will know that you are someone who should be allowed in. If you need the dial-in instructions, please email admin@firstuuomaha.org and include your phone number so we can send you the Zoom number and access code, and let the host know your number belongs to an invited guest.

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4/17/2020:

Annual Meeting Letter Sent to Church Members

A Congregational Annual Meeting Notice Letter was sent to all church members on 4/14.  This letter explains how we will handle our online Annual Meeting via Zoom on Sunday, May 3rd. Leading up to this important meeting we will practice using the Zoom poll features to vote after the Sunday service. To learn more about the Annual Meeting on May 3rd, go here:  www.firstuuomaha.org/annualmeeting. A second letter from the Search Committee was sent on 4/15. This second letter gives information about our candidate. You can read that information here: www.firstuuomaha.org/candidate

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4/19/2020:

Candidating Week begins on April 24th and ends on May 3rd. The Candidating Week schedule is below. 

If you do not have access to internet service, or a device, the MTC is helping match people with services. They can be reached at mtc@firstuuomaha.org or by calling the church office 402-345-3039 ext 101 by April 20th.  Please allow 3 days for a response to phone calls.

Here are the events happening during Candidating Week that are open to anyone from the congregation: 

Friday, April 24 7:30-9:00 pm: Finally Friday Young Adults Game Night with the Minister

Sunday, April 26 10:30 -11:30 am: Sunday Service

Sunday, April 26 11:30 am -12:30 pm: Elementary RE

Sunday, April 26 1:30 -2:30 pm: Middle & High School RE

Monday, April 27 12:00-2:00 pm: Coffee & Tea with the Candidate (This will require advance sign-up for a fifteen-minute one on one slot with the candidate, with 8 total slots available)

Monday, April 27 6:00-7:00 pm: Hopes & Dreams for Social Justice at First UU

Tuesday, April 28 2:00-3:00 pm: Small Group with the Candidate (This will require advance sign-up, with 8 total slots)

Wednesday, April 29 7:00-8:00 pm: Chat with the Candidate

Thursday, April 30 12:00-1:00 pm: Lunch with the Candidate (This will require advance sign-up, with 15 total slots)

Friday, May 1 9:00-9:30 am: Morning Meditation (This will require advance sign-up, with 10 total slots)

Friday, May 1 3:30-4:30 pm: Small Group with the Candidate (This will require advance sign-up, with 8 total slots)

Friday, May 1 5:30-7:30 pm: CommUUnity Night

Saturday, May 2 10:00 am -12:00 pm: Teams Meeting

Sunday, May 3 10:30-11:30 am: Sunday Service

 

  • If you are interested in any of these events, please sign up by sending an email to signup@firstuuomaha.org with your first and last name

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4/20/2020:

A Message from Your Ministerial Search Committee

Want to know more about Reverend Shari?  We have more! Reverend Shari's website now has more background information--questions she answered in her ministerial record--for you to enjoy. Her website gives you access to information about Shari's ministry, sermons, her leadership work, and more. This is more information and background about an incoming candidate than we've ever had available, and we hope it will help members get a better feel for her in this unusual social distancing atmosphere.

Here is the link to her website:  www.shariwoodbury.com/omaha.html

Or you can access it through the church website (there's a blue button labeled Ministerial Candidate on the home page).

Questions can be sent to the Search Committee: searchcommittee@firstuuomaha.org   

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4/21/2020:

Candidating Week Starts THIS Friday, April 24


Candidating Week is the traditional way we introduce the minister to the congregation. This is the time that the congregation gets to experience Rev. Shari Woodbury's ministry, with a few changes from the norm. We would all prefer to have our candidate here in person, but in this time of pandemic and isolation, that is not an option. Instead, the Search Committee is working on several online events—open Zoom socials, meetings with the board and various groups, staff discussions, etc. Candidating Week will run April 24 to May 3.

Here's a Candidating Week event happening THIS FRIDAY and it's open to everyone:

Finally Friday Young Adults Game Night with the Minister:
Friday, April 24 7:30-9:00pm

Zoom event link:  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84884604831?pwd=WVgwVkt6YmpGM1ZTU1kzbHNMNHRKZz09

Meeting ID: 848 8460 4831

Password: 524319

Host: Jessica Eman 

​THE EVENTS BELOW REQUIRE SIGNING UP IN ADVANCE:

Coffee & Tea with the Candidate: 
Monday, April 27 12:00-2:00pm

This meeting requires advance sign-up for a fifteen-minute one-on-one slot with the candidate, with 8 total slots available. Sign up by emailing your name and phone number to: signup@firstuuomaha.org no later than April 24th.


​Small Group with the Candidate: 
Tuesday, April 28 2:00-3:00pm

This meeting requires advance sign-up for a fifteen-minute one-on-one slot with the candidate, with 8 total slots available. Sign up by emailing your name and phone number to:  signup@firstuuomaha.org no later than April 24th.

 

Thursday Lunch with the Candidate: 
Thursday, April 30 12:00-1:00pm

This group meeting with 15 total slots requires advance sign-up. Sign up by emailing your name and phone number to:  signup@firstuuomaha.org no later than April 24th.

 

Friday Morning Meditation: 
Friday, May 1 9:00-9:30am

This group meeting with 10 total slots requires advance sign-up. Sign up by emailing your name and phone number to: signup@firstuuomaha.org no later than April 24th.


​Small Group with the Candidate: 
Friday, May 1 3:30-4:30pm

This group meeting with 8 total slots requires advance sign-up. Sign up by emailing your name and phone number to:  signup@firstuuomaha.org no later than April 24th.


Other Candidating Week Events (not requiring advanced signup)

Rev. Shari will also take part in other all-church events (like Sunday service and CommUUnity Night) and those links will be sent out via email on Friday and shared on the Candidating Week web page on the church website. Read more about Candidating Week by clicking here.​​​

Questions about the candidate can be sent to the Search Committee: searchcommittee@firstuuomaha.org 

Need information about the Annual Meeting which will be held on Zoom on Sunday, May 3? Click here.

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4/23/2020:

Sunday, April 26 at 10:30am--online

Ministerial Candidate, Rev. Shari Woodbury

“Pillars of Ministry”

Get to know our Ministerial Candidate as she shares pillars of ministry in story, song, and image. The service will include a Time for All Ages, as well as an opportunity to draw together in caring community.​

The link to the Zoom church service event: 

https://zoom.us/j/99486929188?pwd=L1NrbGI1U3A3U1l1RFVYZkR0Y1cwdz09

Please arrive to the Zoom event 5-10 minutes early. We will use the Zoom waiting room feature to screen out any uninvited intruders. Please be sure that you put your first and last name as the Zoom username so the host will know that you are someone who should be allowed in. If you need the dial-in instructions, please email admin@firstuuomaha.org and include your phone number so we can send you the Zoom number and access code, and let the host know your number belongs to an invited guest.

Need help with Zoom? Email zoomhelp@firstuuomaha.org ​

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4/24/2020:

Last chance to sign up!

The Ministerial Search Committee has a few openings remaining in the following "space is limited" online events during Candidating Week.  Here is the list of events you can still sign up for and note the deadline has been extended to 4/28: 

Thursday Lunch with the Candidate: 
Thursday, April 30 at 12:00-1:00pm

This group meeting with a few slots remaining requires advance sign-up. Sign up by emailing your name and phone number to:  signup@firstuuomaha.org no later than April 28th.


​Small Group with the Candidate: 
Friday, May 1 at 3:30-4:30pm

This group meeting with 6 slots available requires advance sign-up. Sign up by emailing your name and phone number to:  signup@firstuuomaha.org no later than April 28th.

 

To see all the week's events, go here: www.firstuuomaha.org/week

Please arrive to Zoom events on time. We will use the Zoom waiting room feature to screen out any uninvited intruders. Please be sure that you put your first and last name as the Zoom username so the host will know that you are someone who should be allowed in. If you need the dial-in instructions, please email admin@firstuuomaha.org. 

If you need help with Zoom, please email zoomhelp@firstuuomaha.org

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4/27/2020:

Sunday, May 3 at 10:30am

“Dreaming Together”

Rev. Shari Woodbury

As the conclusion of Candidating Week with our prospective new settled minister, Rev. Woodbury will share dreams for the ministry we may undertake together.

The link to the Zoom church service event: 

https://zoom.us/j/99486929188

Meeting ID: 994 8692 9188

After the service, we will hold our Annual Meeting. Click here for more information about that meeting.

Please arrive to the Zoom event 5-10 minutes early. We will be using the Zoom waiting room feature to screen out any uninvited intruders. Please be sure that you put your first and last name as the Zoom username so the host will know that you are someone who should be allowed in. If you need the dial-in instructions, please email admin@firstuuomaha.org and include your phone number so we can send you the Zoom number and access code, and let the host know your number belongs to an invited guest.

Need help with Zoom? Email zoomhelp@firstuuomaha.org 

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4/29/2020:

Youth Group Fundraiser

Come one, come all, to entertain or be entertained at the YRUU 2020 Talent Show Fundraiser!

YRUU, our church youth group, is fundraising for Immigrant Legal Center, and you can help by sharing a talent or by buying a virtual "ticket" to the show. All members and friends of First U are invited to submit a 2-3 minute video of themselves performing any variety of family-friendly talent, or a photograph of visual art they have recently created (paintings, photography, sculpture, fabric arts, culinary arts, etc). Please include at title for your act or creation, and email your videos or photos to Christina (dre@firstuuomaha.org) by May 10th.

If you are unable to email your video as an attachment, let Christina know by May 8th and we will figure out how to get it from you. If you have a Gmail account, a good option is to upload to Google Drive and share to dre@firstuuomaha.org from there.

**The Talent Show will premiere on YouTube at 7pm on May 16th for everyone who has purchased a "ticket".**

We will be able to watch the Talent Show video together and cheer our favorite acts from a chat box. You can purchase a ticket by sending a freewill donation (any amount is ok!) via online giving at www.firstuuomaha.org/donations (select YRUU Fundraiser as the fund code) or by mailing a check made out to First Unitarian (with "YRUU Fundraiser" in the memo line). Donations must be received by May 13th to receive a link to the premier showing.

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4/29/2020:

Remaining Candidating Week Zoom Events Open to Anyone in the Church:

Chat with the Candidate--TONIGHT!
Wednesday, April 29,  7pm-8pm: 

Zoom link:  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86731124715?pwd=dWVHNnBaM05KQTlNdS9odFZyUnhNQT09

Meeting ID: 867 3112 4715

Password: 595484

Host: Rev. Shari Woodbury

 

​CommUUnity Night: 
Friday, May 1,  5:30-7:30pm

Zoom link: https://zoom.us/j/7873284055

Meeting ID: 787 328 4055

Host: Kate Wiig

​​

Teams Meeting:
Saturday, May 2,  10am -12pm

Zoom link:  https://zoom.us/j/99486929188?pwd=L1NrbGI1U3A3U1l1RFVYZkR0Y1cwdz09

Meeting ID: 994 8692 9188

Password: 285721  

Host: Cat Dixon

Sunday Service May 3 at 10:30am

“Dreaming Together”

Rev. Shari Woodbury

As the conclusion of Candidating Week with our prospective new settled minister, Rev. Woodbury will share dreams for the ministry we may undertake together.

​​The link to the Zoom church service event: 

​https://zoom.us/j/99486929188

​Meeting ID: 994 8692 9188

Following the May 3rd Sunday service, we will hold our Annual Meeting on zoom. Please click here for more info about that meeting.

Please arrive to Zoom events on time.
We will use the Zoom waiting room feature to screen out any uninvited intruders. Please be sure that you put your first and last name as the Zoom username so the host will know that you are someone who should be allowed in.  Please do UPDATE your Zoom app if it prompts you to do so. The prompt will usually show up as soon as you start the program. If you need help with Zoom, please email zoomhelp@firstuuomaha.org.


What is Candidating Week?
Candidating Week is the traditional way we introduce the minister to the congregation. This is the time that the congregation gets to experience Rev. Shari's ministry, with a few changes from the norm. We would all prefer to have our candidate here in person, but in this time of pandemic and isolation, that is not an option. Instead, the Search Committee has set up several online events—open Zoom socials, meetings with the board and various groups, staff discussions, etc. 

Want to know more about Rev. Shari Woodbury? 
We have more! Rev. Shari's website now has more background information--questions she answered in her ministerial record--for you to enjoy. Her website gives you access to information about Shari's ministry, sermons, her leadership work, and more. This is more information and background about an incoming candidate than we've ever had available, and we hope it will help members get a better feel for her in this unusual social distancing atmosphere.
Go here to see her website: www.shariwoodbury.com/omaha.html

Questions about the candidate or this candidating week can be sent to the Search Committee: searchcommittee@firstuuomaha.org 

--

5/8: When will the church building reopen?

A few people have begun asking this question; an understandable one since the Governor recently announced that churches can reopen this week.  The answer is simple: we don't know exactly and not yet.  The guidelines churches are being asked to follow are complicated, logistically speaking, for a church to implement.  And, we believe it is too soon and not yet safe enough for us to feel comfortable taking a risk.  Nor is there a compelling enough reason to consider taking on this risk when we have been so successful in moving the church online.  Please rest assured, the staff and MTC are in continual discernment about the process and timeline and we will let you know as soon as we have any new information to share.  You can always reach out to either the staff or the MTC if you have additional questions.  In the meantime, let's keep on Zoom-ing!

5/6: Online Sunday Service

 

Sunday Service May 10 at 10:30am Online

This annual church service is presented by the YRUU, our church youth group. 
 

​​The link to the Zoom church service online event: 

​https://zoom.us/j/99486929188

​Meeting ID: 994 8692 9188

5/5: YRUU 2020 Talent Show Fundraiser!

YRUU, our church youth group, is fundraising for Immigrant Legal Center, and you can help by sharing a talent or by buying a virtual "ticket" to the show. All members and friends of First U are invited to submit a 2-3 minute video of themselves performing any variety of family-friendly talent, or a photograph of visual art they have recently created (paintings, photography, sculpture, fabric arts, culinary arts, etc). Please include at title for your act or creation, and email your videos or photos to Christina (dre@firstuuomaha.org) by May 10th.

If you are unable to email your video as an attachment, let Christina know by May 8th and we will figure out how to get it from you. If you have a Gmail account, a good option is to upload to Google Drive and share to dre@firstuuomaha.org from there.  

The Talent Show will premiere on YouTube at 7:00pm on May 16th for everyone who has purchased a "ticket".
We will be able to watch the Talent Show video together and cheer our favorite acts from a chat box. You can purchase a ticket by sending a freewill donation (any amount is ok!) via online giving at www.firstuuomaha.org/donations (select YRUU Fundraiser as the fund code) or by mailing a check made out to First Unitarian (with "YRUU Fundraiser" in the memo line). Donations must be received by May 13th to receive a link to the premier showing.    

5/4: General Assembly Online 

General Assembly dates: June 24-28, 2020. Go here for info: www.uua.org/ga/off-site/registrants
Didn’t think you’d go to General Assembly in June because it was scheduled in Rhode Island? Well, think again, it’s virtual this year and you can go! Let's all go together and worship, witness, learn, connect, and make policy for the Association through the democratic process.Maybe be a delegate? www.uua.org/ga/off-site/registrants/delegates.
Some sessions do not require registration and are free of charge: General Sessions, 3 workshop services, etc. A programming schedule is in development, check back for finalized information. The Ware Lecturer is Naomi Klein. www.uua.org/ga/program/highlights/ware-lecture.

If you would like to be a delegate for our church, please email MTC@firstuuomaha.org

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