First United Church and its offices are closed for worship and all non-essential events except the Beyond Hunger food pantry. Church staff are working remotely as much as possible, but they are still there for you.
Send prayer requests via email: Anyone wishing to send a prayer request to staff, to be included in the weekly time of Joys and Concerns, can send in a prayer request in advance of Sunday's live-streamed worship service to email@example.com.
Need assistance or a mask? Church members are available to run errands for those unable to leave their homes and to sew and deliver masks for those who need one. Contact Alicia Reese if you need help or are willing to volunteer.
July 26 — Fourth Sunday Offering: First United Nursery School scholarships
Through Aug. 1 — Housing Forward Hotel to Home project
In baptism, we promise, or others make promises for us, to resist the devil and stand against evil. Words like "devil" and "evil" seem to be shied away from in modern or progressive church vernacular. ... However, I see these baptismal promises as making a commitment to resist and stand against racism and therefore believe it is every Christian’s divine calling to fight for racial justice, work to dismantle systemic racism, and create anti-racist institutions. ...
Call it guilt, shame, whatever, but get over it and seek out ways to engage about what you have learned, the questions you have, the processing and reflection you have done. Practice vulnerability and have a conversation with someone, be open to learning from your mistakes — it will not be easy. But then again, our calling, our vocation, our divine calling isn’t usually easy, but it is inescapable.
During this time of social distancing, First United is offering online fellowship and events through YouTube, Facebook, and Zoom. Here's how to join in the life of the church:
Mondays — Prayer Shawl Ministry via Zoom, 10 a.m. Join the group at this link.
Mondays — Sing along with Bill Chin via Zoom, 12:30 p.m. Join the hymn sing at this link.
Mondays and Wednesdays — Sacred Story Time for children on the First United YouTube channel.
Tuesdays — Weekly Evotional
Thursdays — Virtual "coffice" hour (coffee + office) with one of the pastors, 2-3 p.m. Join the group for conversation at this link a few minutes before it starts, and bring your own coffee.
Thursdays — Justice and Faith Circle via Zoom, 7 p.m. Contact Walter Miller if interested.
July 14 — Prime Time Zoom get-together, 1 p.m.
July 28 — Prime Time picnics, at a distance, noon
An Apple, Sin, and the Fall?
I do not find in Genesis 3 the basis for the doctrine of original sin and the fact of the matter is, we do a disservice and serious damage when we interpret this story to say “Humans are evil, fallen creatures.” ... But if we believe that at the heart of our nature is blessing, that we were created good and that sometimes we make bad choices, then we have the ability to change, to grow, and to respond to and reciprocate God’s love.
— Alicia Reese
About Us & Registration Forms
Housing Forward is moving 110 men, women, and children from hotels to apartments. First United is committed to furnish all supplies for five households: linens, appliances, kitchenware, and more. You can shop in person or online and have items shipped directly to Housing Forward, or drop them off at the homes of two church members. All items should be purchased and delivered by Aug. 1. You can sign up to purchase items at the SignUp Genius link below.
See full details on the Mission Calendar.
Black Lives Matter to First United
George Floyd. Breonna Taylor. Ahmaud Arbery. Twenty-month-old Sincere Gaston. Three-year-old Mekhi James. Thirteen-year-old Amaria Jones. This list of Black brothers and sisters who died at the hands of police or from deadly gun violence goes on too long. The names become too numerous to mention, even as we must never forget them. We all feel the injustice of those losses.
First United Church stands in solidarity with those working to achieve social justice in today's broken world. Thanks to Emory Mead and John Zaruba for their efforts in designing and erecting the banner on the church's front lawn that tells the world what we stand for.
The link below gives some suggestions from the church's weekly Justice and Faith Circle on how to gain a deeper understanding of the issue and how to get involved to make a difference.