NEWS AND UPDATES

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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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First Unitarian Church of Omaha | 3114 Harney Street | Omaha, Nebraska 68131 | 402-345-3039 | Email |Privacy Policies