News & Updates

  

8/11/2020: This Sunday service information

Sunday, August 16 at 10:30am online 

"Animal Celebration"

In this time of pandemic as we all spend more time at home, the presence of our furry, feathered, or scaly family members brings us joy, comfort, laughter, and tears. Join us as we celebrate the love that animal family members bring into our lives.

The Zoom event link is the same one we use every Sunday: 

https://zoom.us/j/99486929188
Meeting ID: 994 8692 9188

8/6/2020:  UUtheVote Continues to Pump Up the Volume
If you are looking for a way to make a difference in this crucial election year, join us in our effort to promote participation in the democratic process. We're working as a local affiliate of the UUA-sponsored UUtheVote project. Our group has met twice now. Our numbers are increasing and our activities are ramping up. Several members of Second Unitarian have also joined us. On July 28, we participated in a great training session with Brad Christian-Sallis from Civic Nebraska. This group works to make elections fair, modern and accessible. The session focused on how we can encourage voting by mail, and getting out the vote in general. If you are interested in contacting them, go to civicnebraska.org.
 
Our next Zoom meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, August 25 at 6pm. Further information including the Zoom link is forthcoming. Please consider joining us. The UUA is also sponsoring a series of webinars on how to participate in “get out the vote” activities. They are held on alternate Wednesday evenings. Information is available at uua.org. Our local group will be conducting the Sunday Service on Zoom on August 30th. The theme will be how our faith and our values can be put into practice in a democratic society. Questions? Email Dave at drichardson821@gmail.com.

 

 

8/5/2020: This Sunday service information

Sunday, August 9 at 10:30am online 

"Rooted, Inspired, & Ready!"

Our congregational attendees to the annual General Assembly meeting will share insights and highlights from the sessions held last month. Terri Lynn Brewer will share thoughts on gratitude and spirituality, Sharon Conlon will give an update on The UUCEF and how our finances can, and should, promote our principles as well as an update on the Palestinian situation with learning from the UUJME workshop. Sharon Piehler will review the two Actions of Immediate Witness that were voted on by the entire delegation. 

The Zoom event link is the same one we use every Sunday: 

https://zoom.us/j/99486929188
Meeting ID: 994 8692 9188

8/4/2020: Sister Church Pantry in August

The next Clair Cares Food Pantry will be Saturday, August 15.
Pastor Portia is requesting: ​

  • Tuna and chicken

  • Spaghettios or ravioli

  • Cereal 

Please deliver donations on Friday, August 14 between 10am and 1pm to Clair Memorial United Methodist Church (5544 Ames Ave.)
At the drive-up door on the east side, under the canopy.
*Please introduce yourself and say you're from First Unitarian Church when donating to Clair. Thank you!

 

​Want to volunteer at the food pantry? 

​Up to 2 volunteers are needed on Friday and 2 on Saturday, same hours as last time. Healthy adults under age 60, not pregnant or living with a medically vulnerable person, please contact Mark Loscutoff by email: mark.loscutoff@gmail.com  or call 402-250-2791.

Besides the monthly drive-thru pantry, Clair is providing boxes of food weekly to elderly residents of public housing.

If you wish to contribute to this effort, please mail a check to Clair, or donate online at:

clairumc.churchcenter.com/giving  

8/3/2020: Rescheduled CUUPS Meeting

CUUPS will hold its event on Zoom on Sunday, August 16th at 6:30pm. Rescheduled from 8/2. Come help and celebrate Lammas with us. This is known as the first harvest and the bread festival. This time of year marks the waning of summertime and beginning of the harvests. Contact CUUPS@firstuuomaha.org for the Zoom link and with any questions. 

7/28/2020: This Sunday service information

Sunday, August 2 at 10:30am online 

"Fight, Flight, Freeze, Fawn or Fix?"

with church member Kate Godfrey, D.C.

Making peace with the stress response.

 

The Zoom event link is the same one we use every Sunday: 

https://zoom.us/j/99486929188

Meeting ID: 994 8692 9188

7/27/2020: CUUPS will hold its event on Zoom on Sunday, August 2nd at 630pm.-- Update: rescheduled to 8/16
Come help and celebrate Lammas with us. This is known as the first harvest and the bread festival. This time of year marks the waning of summertime and beginning of the harvests.
Contact CUUPS@firstuuomaha.org for the Zoom link and with any questions.

7/25/2020: Card Shower for Our New Minister, Rev. Shari 

Rev. Shari will officially start at First Unitarian Church on August 1st. We would like to welcome Rev. Shari to Omaha with a Card Shower! This is a chance for you to share a little bit about yourself and to make her feel welcomed. Just mail your cards and notes to the church:Rev. Shari WoodburyFirst Unitarian Church of Omaha 3114 Harney St. Omaha, NE 68131Here are some suggested prompts of things to include in your note (just ideas--not necessary to answer all of these):- Give your name, family member names, ages of kids, and how long you've attended First U(A photo directory was given to Rev. Shari by the way, so she can put names with faces)- How are you involved at First U? Groups, activities, past roles- Why are you a UU? - What do like about our church/congregation/city?- What your favorite things to do in Omaha? What are your favorite restaurants? - What are your likes and interests?The MTC, board, and church staff are thrilled that Rev. Shari has arrived and we know you all will want to welcome her with open arms, but because of the pandemic, we need to think of new ways to do this. We're discussing some Zoom events and other ideas and more information will be shared soon.  Get your cards in the mail! Let's make our new minister feel welcomed! Thank you.

 

7/23/2020: Scammers continue to target churches even now during the pandemic.

Scammers will email or text pretending to be the minister of your church or a family member or customer service of a business you know or a bank. Please educate yourself about these online and telephone scams. Click here.
If you receive a suspicious message that you think is from the minister or church staff, please contact the church office by emailing admin@firstuuomaha.org

7/20/2020: This Sunday service Information 

Sunday, July 26 at 10:30am online 

​"Making 'Right Relations' More than a Catchy Phrase"

with Affiliated Community Minister, Rev. Dr. Sarah Voss​

The Zoom event link is the same one we use every Sunday: 


https://zoom.us/j/99486929188

Meeting ID: 994 8692 9188

7/16/2020: UU the Vote: Next  Meeting! 
Are you looking for specific strategies to impact the upcoming election. Join us! At our next virtual meeting, on Tuesday, July 28th at 6:00 p.m, Brad Christian-Sallis, Voting Rights Field Director for Civic Nebraska, will train us on supporting Civic Nebraska’s voter registration and Get Out The Vote efforts. And, learn about how you can support the group, “Diverse Women Lifting our Voices”, (“DWLOV”) to increase voter participation among African American women in the Seco
nd Congressional District, 55 and older, who voted in 2008 and/ or 2012 but not in 2016. The importance of the work we put in for the upcoming November election cannot be overestimated. It has been said many times that this election will be the most important one of our lives. Let’s make it one that increases citizen participation and enriches our democracy. Contact Cat in the office admin@firstuuomaha.org, Catherine Plumlee catplumtree@gmail.com or Dave Richardson drichardson821@gmail.com for the Zoom meeting link.

7/15/2020: This Sunday service Information 

Sunday, July 19 at 10:30am online

Denise Allain, church member
Home – it means so many different things to so many people. We often hear ‘There’s no place like home’ or ‘You can’t go home again’. But is there? Can you? What does home really mean? I decided it was time to figure out what did this little four letter word means to me.

Topic: Sunday Service
Time: July 19, 2020 10:30 AM Central Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting: 
https://zoom.us/j/99486929188

Meeting ID: 994 8692 9188

7/13/2020: CALL FOR PET PHOTOS

In this time of Pandemic as we all spend more time at home, the presence of our furry, feathered or scaly family members brings us joy, comfort, laughter and tears.  We would like to celebrate the love that animals family members bring into our lives.  So in the vein of the flower communion - we are asking everyone to send in photos and/or stories of pets and we will show them off in a slide show on August 16th.  Please email photos to Catherine Plumlee at catplumtree@gmail.com by August 12th. 

7/7: General Assembly 2020 Recap
Sharon and Pete Piehler and Terri Lynn Brewer attended the UUA's General Assembly virtually last month as delegates. They wanted to share their reflections and notes. Click here to read their GA notes.

7/6: This Sunday service Information 

Sunday Service info

Sunday, July 12 at 10:30am online

"When Justice Cannot Wear a White Hat: My Experience at Gitmo"
Guest Speaker: Nancy Meyer

Nancy Meyer is a 9/11 Victim's Family member who was sent to Guantanamo Bay Naval Base for a week last fall as a member of a non-governmental organization (NGO) called September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows. She lives an hour west of Omaha outside Cedar Bluffs, Nebraska (pop 600). This talk will cover her personal experience in visiting Gitmo to witness pre-trial hearings of the five men accused of planning the 9/11 attacks. She will describe the baffling paradoxical nature of the place.

The Zoom event link is the same one we use every Sunday: 

https://zoom.us/j/99486929188

Meeting ID: 994 8692 9188

7/4: Sister Church: Ways You Can Help

The Clair Cares Food Pantry is scheduled for Saturday, July 18. This month Pastor Portia is requesting: canned fruit, Spaghettios, ravioli, and cereal. They expect to serve 200 families. Please deliver donations on Friday, July 17 between 9am and 1pm to Clair Memorial United Methodist Church (5544 Ames Ave.). Go to the drive-up door on the east side, under the canopy.

Want to volunteer at the food pantry? Up to two volunteers are needed on Friday and two on Saturday, same hours as last time. Healthy adults under age 60, not pregnant or living with a medically vulnerable person, please contact Mark Loscutoff by email: mark.loscutoff@gmail.com.

Besides the monthly drive-thru pantry, Clair is providing boxes of food weekly to elderly residents of public housing. If you wish to contribute to this effort, please mail a check to Clair, or donate online at: clairumc.churchcenter.com/giving

6/30: Sunday Service info

Sunday, July 5 at 10:30am online: "Tending the Flames of Active Hope" Presented by CUUPS 

We will discuss the four points to maintaining active hope: Grounding Yourself in Gratitude, Honoring Our Pain, Seeing in New Ways, and Going Forth. This is a service of spiritual sustenance for collective liberation which builds on concepts from the GA Sunday service. Here is a link to a UU World Magazine article for reference: https://www.uua.org/leadership/library/spiral-practice

Topic: Sunday Service
Time: July 5, 2020 10:30 AM Central Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting: 
https://zoom.us/j/99486929188
 

6/26: A Final Good-bye!
Thank you everyone for your wonderful cards, notes, tokens, gifts, and parade. 

You have given me a wonderful send-off that I will remember for a long, long time!
Some of you have asked about whether we can stay in contact, so I'd like to share a bit about the protocols

here. We can not remain in contact. This is to help you and your new minister establish your new relationships. 

I am required to "unfollow" you on Facebook and so I will not see and can not respond to your posts. 

However, I do not have to "unfriend" you and you will still be able to read my posts and at least know a

little bit about what I am up to, as well as Micah and Bella, of course. If we do bump into each other

in the wider UU universe, whether at a workshop or some big event, like General Assembly or

Regional Assembly, we can stop and talk a bit. No need to pretend we don't see each other or

anything!  ;)  Just know that even though we can't talk, I will miss you and I will think of you, often.

With Love and Gratitude,
Rev. Michelle

 

6/23: Sunday, June 28 at 9:00am online
This Sunday, First Unitarian Church will not hold a Sunday service on Zoom. Instead, we ask that you watch the General Assembly (GA) Sunday morning service which will be available at the link below on Sunday at 9am our time:

https://www.uua.org/ga/off-site/2020/sunday-worship

NOTE: The start time is 9:00AM

Sunday Worship Program Description: Join us for the largest annual gathering of UUs joining in worship. This powerful, communal worship experience is open to the public. Rev. Joan Javier-Duval will deliver the sermon at the 2020 General Assembly Sunday Morning Worship. She serves as Minister of the Unitarian Church of Montpelier, VT. She is the daughter of immigrants from the Philippines, mother of a kindergartner, and spouse of a proud Vermonter. Beauty, gratitude, and love are at the heart of her faithful striving for collective liberation and a thriving planet.

This is a free event--registration to GA is not required to watch this service.

Speakers: Rev. Joan Javier-Duval, Rev. Mykal Slack, and Benjie Messer

Once the GA service is is over (we estimate the service will last an hour), you can are welcome to join us for Coffee Hour with your First U Omaha friends via Zoom. The Zoom event link is the same one we use every Sunday. See below: 

Topic: Sunday Coffee Hour
Time: June 28, 2020 10:00 AM Central Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting: 
https://zoom.us/j/99486929188

Meeting ID: 994 8692 9188
 

6/22: Information about Church Member Jim Van Arsdall Visitation and Service 

The Family will receive friends on Wednesday, June 24th from 6:30pm to 8:30pm at the West Center Chapel.  The funeral will be Thursday, June 25th at 10am at the West Center Chapel (7805 W. Center Road).  

The service will be live-streamed by the funeral home and the link can be found on this site:  www.heafeyheafey.com. Go to that website Thursday morning and hit the live cast button at the top right-hand corner of the web page.  It will be updated to the live stream for Jim's service Thursday morning. 

We're told that those attending the service or visitation will need to wear masks and practice social distancing. The funeral home will have limited capacity. 
 

6/13: The Final Chat with the Minister Zoom Event
Looking for some time to connect with your community? Please join us Wednesday, June 17 at 7pm via Zoom for the last chat with the minister. Rev. Michelle is moving at the end of this month and her last service is June 21st. This will be the final minister chat scheduled.  Join the Zoom event by clicking on this link: 
https://uuma.zoom.us/j/211256378

6/12: Sunday Service Online - Sunday, June 14 at 10:30am

Flower Communion
The traditional flower communion service celebrated in a new way online. Also, this Sunday is our new member recognition. Join us on Zoom!

 

Topic: Sunday Service 
Time: June 14, 2020 10:30 AM Central Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting: 
https://zoom.us/j/99486929188

Meeting ID: 994 8692 9188

6/10: An Update on Heart & Hand Auction Events

Auction events affected by the pandemic are being rescheduled or creatively reimagined, but there are a few cancellations. Donors and buyers are being contacted directly, but for a calendar with the latest status of auction events, go here:

https://app.auctria.com/Az/5e092c2a-8131-4347-b95c-d0a878446c28/Event/Index?page=92ae8cd7-dda6-46e7-8756-48a3247c2aa7&initial_state=~()

6/9: The Celebration of Life Service for Church Member Lana Hammel

 

This service will happen via Zoom on Thursday, June 11th at 7pm with Rev. Michelle. 
We invite you to come prepared to share stories and memories of Lana. 

Topic: Celebration of Life for Lana Hammel
Time: Jun 11, 2020 07:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
https://uuma.zoom.us/j/94054482965

5/29: Sister Church Events in June

Clair will host a Giveaway of Clothing and Household Items on Friday, June 12 from 8am - 2pm and 3pm - 7pm,

and Saturday, June 13 from 8am - 2pm. 

 

Clair will accept donations of items between 10am and 5pm every day, starting Monday, June 8 at Clair. The address is 5544 Ames Ave., Omaha, NE 68104. 

 

The next Clair Cares Food Pantry will be Saturday, June 20. Up to 2 volunteers are needed on Friday and 2 on Saturday, same hours as last time. Up to 2 volunteers are needed on Friday and 2 on Saturday, same hours as last time.


Pastor Portia is requesting: 

  • Canned fruit or Jello with fruit

  • Canned beans

  • Spaghettios or ravioli

  • Canned soups

 

Please deliver donations on Friday, June 19 between 9am and 1pm to Clair Memorial United Methodist Church (5544 Ames Ave.)
At the drive-up door on the east side, under the canopy.

 

5/29: Caring Note
We are very sad to inform you that long-time church member Ron Withem passed away yesterday. Our thoughts are with the family.

We will share more information when it’s available.

5/28: This Week Online: Sunday, May 31 at 10:30am

Poetry Potluck

Poetry can make us think, connect, and express what is in our hearts. Yet a poem can resonate with each of us differently. Please join us for a potluck of poetry. Instead of a sermon, the Worship Arts Team invites you to listen to some favorite poems and reflections on why they are so special. We hope you'll be enlightened, moved, and/or amused. 

The link to the Zoom church service event: 

https://zoom.us/j/99486929188

​Meeting ID: 994 8692 9188

5/27: *CommUUNity Night is Still Here & Happening on Friday, June 5th on Zoom*

Obviously, we need to practice good social distancing so we have set up a Zoom Meeting that can be joined anytime between 6pm and 7pm on Friday, June 5th. 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.) We’ll see you online!

If you need the link to the zoom event, please email Kate at Bkatewiig@gmail.com

5/26: First Steps: Get to Know Unitarian Universalism & Church Online

You are invited to join us as we gather together on Zoom to get acquainted with the basics of Unitarian Universalism and our vibrant community. The next class will be Sunday, May 31st at noon.

Questions? Want to RSVP? Need the Zoom link? Email Carrie at coordinator@firstuuomaha.org.

5/22: Sunday Service Online - Sunday, May 24 at 10:30am

"That's trash!  What we're throwing away."

With Church Member Jody Petrow 

Topic: Sunday Service 
Time: May 24, 2020 10:30 AM Central Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting: 
https://zoom.us/j/99486929188

Meeting ID: 994 8692 9188

5/22: YRUU Talent Show Fundraiser

The YRUU Talent Show Fundraiser is now on YouTube and viewable at any time at this link: 

https://youtu.be/NV5z3pz-X38 

Thank you to everyone who contributed talents and donations for the event. The youth are excited to be sending over $700 to Immigrant Legal Center in Omaha!

5/20: Omaha Gives 2020

This year First Unitarian Church will raise funds for the Neighborhood Care Team
Our Neighborhood Care Team is evolving to meet the needs of an ever-changing neighborhood and community. Every year, many volunteers have come together to build over 100 neighborhood care packages with personal hygiene items and winter accessories to be given out to those in need.  

YOUR donation will help us help others!
Your gift of $10 lets us hand out a gift card to a nearby restaurant so a hungry person can eat. 
Your gift of $15 is a gift card to a gas station for someone who is running out of gas. 
Your gift of $20 allows us to help a person in need with a medical prescription at nearby Walgreen's.  
Your gift of $50 allows us to give a book of bus tickets to a neighbor who needs transportation to work. 
Your gift of $100 allows us to create dozens of care packages that are filled with socks, gloves, blankets, water bottles, breakfast bars and hygiene items.

The assistance we share provides immediate tangible assistance. We also give our visitors a list of community resources for them to get connected to other relief agencies. Thank you!

Click here to donate.

 

5/19: Technical Difficulties Last Sunday

For most participants, the Zoom service on Sunday had sound issues. We apologize and we're working to make sure things work better this week. We've heard that other churches using Zoom also had challenges last week. Rev. Michelle posted her May 17th sermon along with the order of service and readings so you can read it. Click here

If you would like a paper copy mailed to you, please email the church office: admin@firstuuomaha.org.

5/15: Sunday Service Online 

Sunday, May 17 at 10:30am
Thresholds with Rev. Michelle LaGrave
Topic: Sunday Service 
Time: May 17, 2020 10:30 AM Central Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting: 
https://zoom.us/j/99486929188

Meeting ID: 994 8692 9188

Please arrive to Zoom events 5-10 minutes early. *Be sure to update Zoom if the app prompts you to update!*  

 

 

5/13: 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 TONIGHT Wednesday, May 13, 2020 at 7:00 PM central

Join the Zoom event by clicking on this link: 
https://uuma.zoom.us/j/211256378

Those unable to use the internet to access Zoom, please email admin@firstuuomaha.org and include your phone number and first and last name.

5/10: A Message about our Sister Church Food Pantry


A big thank you to everyone who donated food, money and masks to last month's Clair Cares drive-thru food pantry! A special shout-out to Katie Zimmer for volunteering to load boxes of food.

 

More volunteers and donations are needed this month.
Pastor Portia is requesting: 

  • Canned soups

  • Canned fruit

  • Spaghetti-Os

  • Jello cups

 

Please deliver donations on Friday, May 15 between 9am and 1pm to

Clair Memorial United Methodist Church (5544 Ames Ave.)
At the drive-up door on the east side, under the canopy.

 

Want to volunteer at the food pantry? Healthy adults under age 60, not pregnant or living with a medically vulnerable person, please contact Mark Loscutoff by Tuesday, May 12, email: mark.loscutoff@gmail.com  or call 402-250-2791.
 

If you’re unable to deliver your donations, Carol Ramsey with the Sister Church Team is willing to pick them up. Please email her with your request carolramsey@cox.net or call 402-720-3074. Please contact Carol by May 13th with your request. 
 

Besides the monthly drive-thru pantry, Clair is providing boxes of food weekly to elderly residents of public housing. If you wish to contribute to this effort, please mail a check to Clair, or donate online at:

clairumc.churchcenter.com/giving  

 

 

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 the MTC by May 18 at  MTC@firstuuomaha.org

Click here to read archived news

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