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                 Streaming Video 

Important note: Streaming & Recording of Sunday Services Goes on Hiatus in 2020

Beginning in January 2020, we will no longer record or stream the Sunday service on YouTube. Church members will work with a consultant to upgrade equipment and create a manual for stream volunteers. Updates on this project will be shared on Facebook and in the enews. If you are interested in volunteering with the future Stream Team, please let the church office know. We need volunteers for streaming to continue. Thank you! 

Audio files of the services will be made available when possible. Click here to go to the audio files page

Streaming Video Archives:

December 29, 2019

"What Did You Learn?”

Kabin Thomas

As the year draws to a close, it's a good time to reflect on the past twelve months and look toward what the future year may bring. Kabin will share his greatest lessons learned in 2019 and invite members of the congregation to do the same. They'll also note how these lessons will help them (and all of us) on the journey into the new year.

December 22, 2019

"Retelling of the Holly King and Oak King"

This service will be presented by CUUPS (Covenant of UU Pagans)

This service will have a light reenactment, in the tradition, and in honor of story telling, a crucial and often overlooked component of this year's traditions.

December 08, 2019

"Stranger Share Our Fire Service"

Rev. Michelle LaGrave and Christina Strong, LDRE


Celebrate the warmth of the season in this all-ages service focused on the joy of giving. Bring to this worship service your donations for:1.) YES (Youth Emergency Services): Warm clothing items like gloves, hats, scarves, gifts for teens like ear buds, hair accessories, fast food gift cards. Gifts can be unwrapped. See the angel tree in the Common Room for ideas.2.) First Lutheran Food Pantry: non-perishable food items.3.) First U Neighborhood Care: $10 gift cards to nearby grocery stores like Hyvee, bus passes (such as the 10-rides bus pass with transfer).We encourage you to involve family members of all ages in selecting gifts for these recipients!We'll have a processional of gifts during the service. Bring your unwrapped gifts with you into the service.

December 01, 2019

“That Transcending Mystery & Wonder”

Rev. Cyndi Simpson from Second Unitarian Church

​Mystery and Wonder are the first listed authoritative sources of our living Unitarian Universalist faith. What are they for us? How do they inspire us? And how do they  relate to our monthly worship theme of AWE?

This service is part of a three-way pulpit exchange with First and Second Unitarian Churches of Omaha and the Unitarian Church in Lincoln.

November 24, 2019

​“In the Beginning... There Was Gratitude" 

Rev. Michelle LaGrave

Please join us for a Thanksgiving Service.

November 17, 2019

"Wholehearted Attention: The Way of Zen" 

Guest Speaker: Dosho Port Roshi 

Zen practice is all about cultivating awareness in order to clearly see the deep truth of our ordinary life. Why is attention so important? How can attention be cultivated? What's the secret? 

November 10, 2019

“The Question: A Personal Reflection on Identity and Moving Beyond Categorical Thinking”

Guest Speaker: Gil Guerrero from the UUA Transitions Office

Gil will share some readings and his personal perspective on the experience of identity, and how our limited or shorthand understanding of identities impacts the search for our best minister.

November 03, 2019

"Is Kindness Enough?"

Rev. Michelle LaGrave

What is kindness? What, if anything, distinguishes it from being nice or courteous or polite? Can we change the world with kindness? Can we create justice with kindness? Can we make kindness a spiritual practice?  Is kindness enough?

October 27, 2019

EMR Sunday

Please join the Early Morning Risers for a special concert service featuring EMR's favorite songs from the past and present. You won't want to miss this entertaining morning of music!

October 20, 2019

"UU Theology?!?"  

Rev. Michelle LaGrave

Is there such a thing as a Unitarian Universalist theology?  What about humanists and/or atheists?  How could people who don't believe in a traditional God have a theology?  What kind of framework might hold such a theologically and philosophically diverse community?

October 13, 2019

"Good Stewards of Mother Earth"

Margaret Hines, guest speaker 
Stewardship is a theological belief that humans should take care of their world. Believers represent many religions. The Lakota (Sioux) view is especially strong, very spiritual, and hopefully inspirational for the future.

About the speaker: Margaret Hines is the author of "Who Cries for Mother Earth", a novel about Lakota spirituality, culture and the Lakota view of Mother Earth and Father Sky. Margaret was born and raised in the Black Hills of South Dakota and studied with a Lakota Medicine Man for 15 years.

October 06, 2019

"Yearning to Belong"

Rev. Michelle LaGrave

What is required of me to feel a deep sense of belonging?  Must I share my whole self?  What of the broken parts?  Can I truly belong while also shunning concepts of sin, confession, forgiveness, or reconciliation?

September 29, 2019

​"Midwest Leadership School, John Denver, and the Freeing of My Soul"

​Mike McAtee, Church Member

A tale of spiritual birth and the power of community.

September 22, 2019

"From Generation to Generation: A Living Tradition"  

Rev. Michelle LaGrave

What does it mean to be the people of a living tradition, especially now that there are more generations living together than at any other point in history?  Generational cohorts inform our worldview:  how we think about work, play, technology, institutions, community, retirement, even church.  With so many generational expectations in play, expectations which so often seem to be in conflict with each other, how do we form a cohesive and vibrant community?  How do we welcome each and every generation into a dynamic, meaning-filled, purpose-filled living tradition?

September 15, 2019

"Mind the Gap"

Rev. Michelle LaGrave

"Mind the gap" is a British expression used to caution subway riders as they cross over the gap from platform to train.  Where are there gaps to be found in the life of a community?  What are the gaps between expectation and reality? belief and action? pledging and budgeting?  How do we close them? 

September 08, 2019

Water Communion and Ingathering 

Rev. Michelle LaGrave

Come, refresh your spirit, and enter into the new church year with a ritual both unique and traditional to Unitarian Universalism.  Bring a small amount of water which represents the gifts you have received and wish to pass on to your community.  We will gather our waters and our blessings together in this multigenerational service.

September 01, 2019


Presenter: The Rev. Dr. Jean Heriot is a Unitarian Universalist community minister teaching and working for social justice at Hastings College.

We humans love our expectations. They help us predict what will happen next, they help us feel in control. But our expectations can also limit us. What do we expect? Could we expect more or differently? Could we live better if we expected less? We will explore the tension between needing to know (expectations) and living into hope.

August 25, 2019

“The Founding of First Unitarian Church”

This service will be the finale to our "Year of Celebrating our Heritage." It will mark the Sesquicentennial (150th anniversary) of the founding of the First Unitarian Church of Omaha on August 22, 1869. The service will honor the original signers of our Articles of Organization. We will also take a brief look at the critical roles they played not only in the founding of the church, but in the development of Omaha in its early days. One of the features of the service will be a reenactment of the signing of the Articles of Organization by members of the current congregation.

August 18, 2019

The Question Box Sermon 

Rev. Michelle LaGrave

Come one, come all and bring your questions!  What would you like to ask the minister, if you could? This Sunday, if you're lucky, you'll have the chance to find out. Pick up an index card when you get your order of service, fill it out with your question (or questions) and hand it to a greeter. BIG QUESTIONS?  small questions? Fun Questions? Serious Questions? All (within appropriate bounds, of course) are welcome! Once it comes time for the sermon, a worship associate will draw questions out of a hat to ask the minister, impromptu!

August 11, 2019

"The Thing That Knowledge Can’t Eat"

Rev. Sarah Voss, Affiliated Community Minister 

Rev. Sarah Voss brings a little on ancestral healing, a bit of moral math, and some thoughts on immigration problems together in “the thing that knowledge can’t eat.”

August 04, 2019

"Good Without God"

​Atheists, Humanists and Agnostics of First Unitarian share history and perspectives.

July 28, 2019

"The 4th Principle and the 9 Muses: Searching for Truth & Meaning through Storytelling, Poetry, Music and Dance"

Unitarian Universalism makes sacred the right and responsibility to engage in a free and responsible quest for truth and meaning as an act of religious devotion. Join us as we explore through creativity and inspiration.

July 21, 2019

“The Courage to be Kind”

Ben Wallace & Friends

How does our faith call us to be kind in an atmosphere of fear and xenophobia? We will look at how we can move past our fear to create more kindness in our world, especially towards those most vulnerable in our community.

July 14, 2019

"Three Needs, Four Questions"

Brian Carpenter, VNA Hospice Chaplain

The challenges and special moments of hospice work: Chaplain Carpenter will share some of his experiences

July 07, 2019

Focusing on Mental Health

A service focusing on mental health and First Unitarian's support of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness). In addition, two members will share their stories and we'll have a special candle lighting ceremony.  

June 30, 2019

PRIDE "Postlude"

As PRIDE festivities come to a close, some of our members who participated reflect on what PRIDE means to them.

June 23, 2019

Secret Kindness Agents

Ferial Pearson, Ph.D. 

Moved by the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy, Ferial Pearson wondered if a simple act of kindness could change a life. She thought of the school where she taught and the students she guided every day and wondered, what would happen if we started secretly carrying out small acts of kindness in school? Could a modest act of compassion really change the course of a life? She posed the question to her students. They didn’t have the answers but they were willing to find out. So they became the Secret Kindness Agents. They not only changed the lives of those they met, they changed their own. Their hope, their hearts, and their hunger for happiness will inspire you to change your small corner of the world, in your own way, for the better.

June 16, 2019

Playing the Grateful Game

Kabin Thomas

Recognizing those miracles that surround us every second of every hour of every day.

June 09, 2019

Flower Communion

Please join us for this multi-generational celebration of a traditional Unitarian ritual.  And remember to bring a flower or two to share!

June 02, 2019

Annual Choir Concert

The Sanctuary Singers, under the direction of William Miller, invite you to attend our 2019 annual concert as we celebrate another successful choral year. The program will showcase a variety of choral works. The prelude and postlude will be offered by organist, Pat Will and the choir is accompanied by J Gawf.  We are excited to share our gifts with you and look forward to seeing you at the concert.

May 26, 2019

“Cherish the Memories, Welcome the New”

Rev. Sarah Voss

In this morning’s service we will lift up the importance of things, people, and ideas that have been important in our lives. In this morning’s sermon,  Rev. Sarah Voss will offer a cis-centric, age-enhanced reflection on intersectionality, a new idea for some of us which challenges us all.

May 19, 2019

Annual Meeting

The Annual Meeting will be held in place of the service. 

Go here for more info:

May 12, 2019

Youth Service

The youth in YRUU will present the worship service on Mother’s Day, May 12 at First Unitarian Church. We are very proud to recognize the seniors who are graduating from high school as well as the Coming of Age students who have successfully completed their Coming of Age programs. The mentors and advisors of YRUU have been instrumental in leading these fine young people.  

May 05, 2019

“Mothering God”

Rev. Michelle La Grave

Traditional religion teaches about God as the Creator of humans. This morning we'll reverse this teaching and examine some ideas about humans as the creators of God. We'll also welcome a new little one with the first child dedication of the year and begin to say goodbye to Jan Wilson, our Director of Religious Education, whose last day will be May 12th.

April 28, 2019

White Supremacy Culture Teach In 2

"White supremacy" is a provocative phrase as it conjures up images of hoods and mobs. Yet in 2019, actual "white supremacists" are not required in order to uphold white supremacist culture. Building a faith full of people who understand that key distinction is essential as we work toward a more just society in difficult political times.

April 21, 2019

“Stories of Transformation: Ostara, Passover, Easter”

Rev. Michelle La Grave

Spring has arrived. The earth has been, once again, transformed.  Passover is upon us.  Easter morning is here. Let us gather together to celebrate the power of transformation.

April 14, 2019

Henry Lemon Sermon: “What I Learned from  Anna (and Other Fictional Characters)”

Sarah Copeland

How are fictional characters different from characters in scripture – and can we learn from both? Does it matter what kind of writing accompanies you on your way through life and just what have I learned from my friends on paper?  “Letting your soul, or whatever  fancy name you like to give it, out of its cage and into the daylight is perhaps the hardest thing anyone can do.“ —Fynn, from the book, Mister God, This is Anna (written by Sydney Hopkins).

April 07, 2019

“To Boldly Go Where No UU Has Gone Before”

Rev. Michelle La Grave

Did you ever notice there's no church on Star Trek? Does the Church have a future?  If so, what might it look like? What might be its role in society? This year's auction sermon, purchased by Dave and Evy Rosser, will explore the near future of UU congregations, particularly in relation to societal mental health issues.

March 31, 2019

“Right Relations and You”

The Right Relations Committee

What are the responsibilities of members at First Unitarian Church in helping establish a Right Relations Committee? How should individual members take part in creating a climate of right relationship in this congregation?

March 24, 2019

“Oneness: Thoughts on a Humanistic Theology of Everything”

Rev. Ron Knapp, Minister Emeritus

Some of you may know that I have been trying to write a book on a theology of everything. I see oneness in life, human being, and universe and earth. This service—with thoughts, readings and music—will be present an overview of that theology.

March 17, 2019

“Hearts Broken Open”

Rev. Michelle La Grave

What happens when we are able to be vulnerable and allow another person to see the essence of who we are? These are moments in which we can choose to extend grace to one another; a human grace which is just as sacred and as holy as any form of divine grace.

March 10, 2019

“A UU Haggadah”

Rev. Michelle LaGrave

Religious freedom is always a struggle, even for Unitarians and Universalists. What does it mean, exactly, to be religiously free? Does religious freedom have limits? If so, what are they? Join Rev. Michelle and the Coming of Age class as together they tell some of the stories about how our own faith has

struggled to be religiously free.

March 03, 2019

Breathing World Peace

“Breathing World Peace: Spreading the Seed of Mindfulness to Other People Is a Form of Political Activism”

Forrest Knapp

February 10, 2019

“Right Relationship”

Rev. Michelle LaGrave

Relationships within our congregations must be based in trust in order to sustain strong, vital, healthy, (while still imperfect) churches. What does it mean to be in right relationship with one another? How does it work and what does it look like? Come hear about the work of the newly-formed Right Relations Committee and the proposed Covenant of Right Relations which will come before the congregation for a vote at the next Annual Meeting. 

January 27, 2019

“The Promise and the Practice”

Rev. Michelle LaGrave

What would it be like if our UU worship service centered entirely around the voices and the experiences of black Unitarian Universalists? What truths might we hear, however difficult? What might we learn? How might these black UU leaders teach us to be better allies, better siblings in faith, and even better citizens in our community?  

January 20, 2019

“Many Paths One Journey”

The spiritual journey is one of many different paths and destinations. Although we all travel our own path, we find ourselves stopping together here for awhile to rest, support and encourage each other. Join members of the Worship Arts Team as we tell the stories of our journey to this way station we call First Unitarian.

January 13, 2019

“Are You a Player?”

Rev. Michelle LaGrave

Ring in the New Year with laughter! Readings from Robert Fulghum and a special ritual highlight the importance of play in human evolution and development.​

January 10, 2019

"Exploring Some Historic Imperatives of Liberal Religion”

A talk given at the Atheist, Humanist, Agnostic Meeting held on 1/10/2019 in the Common Room.

Ron Knapp, Minister Emeritus


There are some historical imperatives that run through the history of liberal religion. It seems that they are in decline in contemporary Unitarian Universalism. I have fears that if we continue to neglect these imperatives, Unitarian Universalism may cease to exist in the 21st century.

January 06, 2019

"Resting in Mystery"

Rev. Dr. Jean Heriot

Facebook, Instagram, Podcasts, Twitter, Google Alerts— many of us find these temptations endless and the promises of knowledge and entertainment engulfing. And yet, this lifestyle often doesn’t live up to the hype. Sometimes walking in the woods, playing with children, or singing in a choir brings home to us the knowledge that our lives are deeper and more mysterious than we acknowledge. We will explore together practices and ways of being that encourage us to dwell in this mysterious world of being: a world beyond our electronic selves, a world of mystery, awe, and joy.

December 24, 2018

Christmas Eve Candlelight Service

A traditional Christmas Eve service filled with music, singing, and candlelight.  The Choir and the Early Morning Risers will perform. The nursery will be closed to give our workers time with their families. After the service, please join us in the Common Room for cookies and conversation. 

December 09, 2018

“First UU Communion”

Rev. Royal Carleton

Join us as we take turns feeding each other what we are hungry for. This is not a traditional communion, and honors our UU principles and other world religions.

November 18, 2018

“The Stories We Tell”

Rev. Michelle LaGrave


Holidays are made for storytelling. For this Thanksgiving service, we'll hear stories as they might be told from the perspective of both the Wampanoags and the Pilgrims. What do these stories say about who we are and how we understand ourselves and our history? 

November 11, 2018

“Armistice Day Celebration”


It has been 100 years since the end of World War I, the “war to end all wars.” We will honor those who gave their lives in all wars, celebrate our veterans, and share our hope for peace.

November 04, 2018

"On Memory"

Rev. Michelle LaGrave

What does it mean to remember or to be remembered?  What happens when memories differ? Whose

memories can be relied upon? What might this mean for the way we understand our history and ourselves? Is memory a virtue?

October 28, 2018

"All Hallows"

Rev. Michelle LaGrave

What are souling, guising, and mumming?  And how are Samhain, Job, Vampires, the Christian Church, a group of scientists-turned-ghosts, and a fellow named Jack related to each other?  This morning's service will be a fun exploration of the intersections of folklore and Christianity.

October 21, 2018

"Teach-In One"

Rev. Michelle LaGrave

Over the last year or two, the phrase "a culture of white supremacy" has been discussed frequently within UU circles.  These are hard words to hear.  What exactly is a culture of white supremacy?  How insidious is it?  How do we begin to even think about dismantling it?  How can we ensure this congregation feels like a sanctuary for all?  This morning, First Unitarian will join the ranks of over 600 UU congregations who have dedicated one or more Sunday services to holding a "Teach-In." Simultaneously, the children and youth will be learning about racism in their Religious Education classes.  

October 14, 2018

"Radical Hospitality"

Rev. Michelle LaGrave

Radical Hospitality is a spiritual practice that requires an inward shift of the self to welcome in the other.  How can we engage this practice in our UU congregations?

October 07, 2018

"Whose Values are Guiding Us?”

Ben Wallace, church member

We will examine and question how the values of our Unitarian Universalist faith tradition call us to work as a congregation in serving those inside and outside our walls.

September 30, 2018

"A Celebration of the Centennial of the Dedication of our Building"

This service honors the dedication of the First Unitarian Church of Omaha which took place on September 29, 1918.  We will honor our past and the people who built the fires by which we are warmed, and dug the wells from which we drink.  We will also have an eye to the future and those who will continue the traditions and values we hold dear. Several “visitors” from our past will speak to us on this auspicious occasion.  Speakers include former President William Howard Taft, Board member Sarah Joslyn, stalwart leader of the Women’s Alliance, Grace Holdrege and Alan McDonald, the architect of our beloved building. The service will also feature music and other elements from the original dedication service, in addition to some more contemporary elements. 

September 23, 2018

"The Ties That Bind:  A Former None’s Perspective on Unitarian Universalism”

Mike McAtee, church member

What are the things at the heart of Unitarian Universalism that make us a religion and not just a place for the promotion of social justice and the free expression of the world’s faith traditions?

September 16, 2018

"To Forgive or Not to Forgive"

Rev. Michelle LaGrave

Are we obligated to forgive those who have harmed us?  Why or why not?  What are the potential benefits and drawbacks of choosing to forgive or not to forgive?  Let's explore these questions together as we bear witness to the Jewish celebration of the High Holy Days.

September 09, 2018

"Welcome Home" 

Rev. Michelle LaGrave and Jan Wilson, DRE

New and longtime members, visitors and friends alike, join us as we gather from hither and yon to celebrate an annual UU tradition--water communion.  Please bring a small amount of water symbolizing a gift you received this summer and would like to pass on to others.  (Extra water will be available, just in case.)  This will be a multi-generational service.

September 02, 2018

"Vision 2020"

Rev. Michelle LaGrave, Interim Minister

An interim period can be an exciting and vibrant time in the life of a congregation; a time when a congregation gains clarity about its vision of itself and its future. Our new interim minister, Rev. Michelle, will be preaching for the first time. Come to hear her thoughts on the journey onward - 'till 2020!

August 26, 2018

“What Does Creativity Mean (to me)?”

Dr. Patricia Soto 

What do gene editing, the smoothness of the surface of an aircraft and the delicate sponginess of fresh bread  have in common? I would share my thoughts on how creativity threads human expressions, from the arts to physical sciences.

August 19, 2018

"The Web of Life: Spending Time with Robert Weston”

Rev. Ron Knapp, Minister Emeritus

I have had some illustrious predecessors as minister of First Unitarian Church.  I think of one of them, Robert Weston, as being the “Unitarian Poet Laureate” of the twentieth century.

August 12, 2018

“Fixing Our Relationship with Dying”

Megan Gustafson

Once upon a time, Death used to be accepted as a  normal part of life. Now that we have come to view Death as an enemy, everything is out of balance. How do we get it back?

Video to be shown during the service:

August 05, 2018

“Unitarian Universalist Justice in the Middle East”

Sharon Conlon

Sharon went to East Jerusalem and the West Bank last year—70 years of conflict! Learn how UU congregations all over the US are actively working for justice in Palestine/Israel through Unitarian Universalist Justice in the Middle East (UUJME) chapters. Sharon will discuss working with the UU Church of Lincoln to start a NE state-wide chapter.

July 29, 2018

"My Evolving Prayer Practice”

Ed Kelly Jr.

I will share how my practice of “prayer” has changed from the loud fiery Pentecostal hooping to the quiet relaxing moments of humanistic reflection.  I will also share two poems from my two favorite poets on prayer, Czeslae Milsez and Mary Oliver.

July 22, 2018

“Rumi Today?”

Rev. Sheila Mee

Is there anything that a Sufi mystic who lived and died in the 13th century could possible say to those living in the 21st century? We will explore some options.

July 15, 2018

"Medicine, Then and Now”

John Goldner

Henry Lemon Sermon

I will include some of my memories of Dr. Lemon and give a perspective of how medicine has changed in the last 60 years. There will be some stories.

July 08, 2018

“Supporting the Spiritually Disabled”

Rev. Sarah Voss

Rev. Voss takes a look at those who are disabled and those who are “spiritually” disabled and what kinds of support the church can provide.