ANNOUNCEMENTS AND EVENTS


UPDATES COVID GUIDELINES FROM THE FIRST CHURCH RE-OPENING TASK GROUP

 

We have relaxed and significantly simplified our COVID guidelines. Please take a moment to carefully review this document.

 

Should you experience COVID symptoms please visit the website for Lorain County Public Health for information on testing and guidance regarding isolation here.

A note re: singing

 

The Oberlin Conservatory of Music continues to have masking requirements in place for group singing. While these requirements remain in place we asking congregants to continue to mask whenever they sing. An exception has been granted to the Finney Choir given the physical distance between the choir and the congregation. Masking for the choir is at the discretion of the Director of Music. We anticipate that the Conservatory will review its singing protocols in the near future. When that happens we will revisit congregational masking requirements re: singing. We appreciate your patience and cooperation.


Wednesday Night Adult Education continues!

 

We have two more sessions for our book study of  Do I Stay Christian? A Guide for the Doubters, the Disappointed, and the Disillusioned, by Brian McLaren. Please join us October 5 & 12th at 6:30 pm in the JFO Room for coffee & dessert, conversation, and a chance to hear the author’s thoughts about his book! 

If you can't join us in person, or if you want to do further study, we invite you to join with a virtual community that is discussing the book on video and Facebook. (We are watching some of the same videos in our in-person sessions.) This online "pop-up reading group" is sponsored by the podcast Homebrewed Christianity, and you can find a link to sign up here.

 

To read more about the book, click the link here


Sunday Adult Ed. starts Oct 2nd!

 

Please join us after church on Sunday, October 2nd for our first Adult Ed. Sunday session! Margie Flood will be joining us to talk about Oberlin Community Services and their exciting plans for a new building!  

 

Our session will start in the JFO Room at 11:30 - so grab your coffee and join us! 

 

And Coming Soon...

On October 9th and 16th, join William Vanderbilt for the first of several Bible Studies on shorter books of the Bible. These studies are built for those of us who don't want to do a multipart study - all of the books can be easily read in one sitting. (If you can't spare a moment to read before the session, though, please join us anyway!)

 

  • On October 9th, William will be leading us in a discussion of Philemon;
  • On October 16th, the topic will be Obadiah.

 

We hope to see you in the JFO Room after church on Sundays! 


Do you want to learn more about First Church?

 

Come join us for dessert and tea or coffee at an Inquirer’s Event on October 2nd from 7 to 8 PM in the JFO Room. You will meet others interested in learning about First Church as well as members of the Witness and Membership committee who are hosting the event. We hope to see you there!


Friday Night Hangout is back October 7th!

 

Our first Friday Night Hangout is happening Friday, October 7th, from 6-7:30 pm in Room 3. All kids grades K-5 are welcome! We'll be playing games, hanging out in the childcare rooms, and talking about what we want to do now that we're back in person! Looking forward to seeing you there! 


Neighbors in Need Offering on October 2nd!

 

The Neighbors in Need offering, which we will receive on October 2, supports the UCC’s ministries of justice and compassion throughout the United States. Two-thirds of the offering is used by the UCC’s Justice and Witness Ministries to fund a wide array of local and national justice initiatives, advocacy efforts, and direct service projects. One-third of the offering supports the UCC’s Council for American Indian Ministries (CAIM). CAIM is an invaluable resource for more than 1,000 individuals from dozens of other tribes and nations who are members of other UCC congregations in the U.S.

 

In 2022, the Neighbors in Need “BEHOLD!” offering focuses on economic justice. With inflation impacting all of our households, we wanted to provide a way to discuss this through a faith lens. Please see the bulletin insert below for more information on economic justice. 

 

Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honour… Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers… Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. 

- a portion of Romans 12, we encourage reading the entirety of the chapter

 

Listen! The wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts.

- James 5:4

 

It is possible to contribute in one of three ways: 

 

  1. By mailing a check made out to The First Church in Oberlin with “NIN” in the memo line to the church office, 
  2. By using the offering envelopes on the Welcome Table and depositing your donation in the wooden donation box in the Narthex at the top of the steps leading to the Gallery, 
  3. Or, by going to our First Church website, scrolling down and clicking on "Donate Online" and then going to the “Neighbors in Need” section. Alternatively, click here and it’ll bring you to the page.

 

See the attachment below for more information on how you can help. More information can also be found on the UCC website. Let your gift help to put prayer into action.

Links and Scripture from This Week's Bulletin


Registration Open!

2022 Living Water Association Annual Meeting: What's Next?

Saturday, November 12, 9am-12pm (12-1pm optional lunch)

In-Person at First Congregational Church of Hudson

*Online option available*

 

Registration is FREE! Lunch is optional and costs only $15!

 

See the flyers below for more information! There's a button to register under the pictures of the flyer below!


Guest Columnist: Ed Long

Public Authority and Private Behavior: Lessons from Prohibition for the Abortion Controversy

 

From time to time, we would like to feature articles and reflections from members and friends of First Church. If you have a piece you've written that you would like considered for inclusion in First Things First please email it to the Pastor at pastor@firstchurchoberlin.org.


Free Books Part III - the Return of the Books!

 

Our third group of books is out on the carrels to take home. See a title you like? It’s absolutely free! These books will be available through October 9th.

 

Thanks, and happy browsing!  


Please Sign-up to Host Coffee Hour

 

The Fellowship Committee would like to try a new approach to our Coffee Hour after church on Sundays. We invite all of you to sign up to host on a Sunday of your choice. Families or couples can sign up, or sign up with a friend. Now that we are once again able to gather, we know that those in the First Church family are eager to socialize. The recent coffee hours hosted by the Fellowship Committee and the Slocums have been well attended and much appreciated. All that is required is coffee (provided by the church) and a beverage for children (usually lemonade). Anything in addition to that (such as hot tea, iced tea, cookies, coffee cake) is completely up to the host. Remember, the food and drink is just an excuse to see one another! Please call Sarah Colson with any questions at (440) 774-2538. The sign up chart will be in the gallery.


Facilities Committee Update

 

In the month of September some preservation maintenance will occur on our trees.  The deadwood (large limbs) will be removed.  This is a safety issue.  In addition, the 'squirrel highway's' will be trimmed back. Specifically, these are the limbs that overhang the roof and give critters access to the roof where they can do damage or take up residence in the attic. The focus is on ensuring that our trees will continue to be healthy and grow for many years.


The Spire Center Fall 2022 Learning Opportunities

 

Some topics include: "Adaptive Leadership," "God's Abundance and Economy," and "Reproductive Justice in Scripture and Theology," see the flyer below for information on all of the upcoming classes!


Thank You, Donors!

 

The generosity of members in providing extra financial support to the church is a continuing blessing.

 

Jiann Lin and Pearl Lin have established an endowment fund in their name with a gift of $20,000.

Another couple have donated $40,000 to pay for sewer repairs between the Meeting House and James Brand, a generous gift for an unglamorous project.

 

Another member sent a retirement check, more than enough to cover her pledges, and donated the rest. This gift will inaugurate the First Church Enterprise Fund for unanticipated expenses.

 

There are many ways to support the church! We are thankful for donors of all kinds!


Thank you to Norm and Ann Craig!

 

First Church has been honored to receive a substantial bequest from the estate of Norm and Ann Craig. Their generosity will allow us to prepay a large portion of the debt incurred as we renovated and rejuvenated the Meeting House and the rest of the First Church facility. The interest saved will more than double the value of their gift. Through this gift, the Craigs have extended their long commitment to the ministry and mission of First Church well into the future. Thanks Ann and Norm!


We Have New Hours!

 

Due to summer beginning, we are also going into summer hours. The First Church office will only be open from 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM each day, Monday through Friday. However, additional appointments can be made by request.

 

Thank you for your understanding as we make this change and thank you in advance for respecting the staff's time.


LISTENING TO CHALLENGING PEOPLE

 

In recent sermons I've mentioned the need for all of us to practice the art of listening deeply to others, particularly those with whom we disagree. In the following article, Richard Rohr and Valarie Kaur offer some very helpful wisdom for how to engage in such listening. As we look to build bridges in our community and beyond, this spiritual practice is absolutely critical.

 

Grace and Peace,

David Hill, Pastor


There Are NEW Requirements for Making Submissions to our First Things First eNews!

 

In an effort to make our eNews more readable and shorten the length, we have created new guidelines for submitting posts! The guidelines are as follows.

 

  1. As usual, the deadline for submissions for the upcoming First Things First is Wednesday prior to 10 AM.
  2. We will not be putting in any non-First Church job postings.
  3. We will not be putting in any full flyers as the submission (however, we will put in a button that links to a PDF of the flyer).
  4. There is a word limit of 100 words for the text of a submission.
  5. You may insert links into the text post for more information, either by button or hyperlink in the text.
  6. You may insert PDFs (accessible by buttons) for more information, a flyer, or anything else that would be helpful for the post, but the document must be in PDF format. Any other document format will not be included in your submission.
  7. You may send one picture that you have the rights to use (i.e. a picture that is not subject to copyright, we suggest using the site pexels.com).
  8. The submission will run for a maximum of 2 weeks in the eNews. These 2 weeks do not have to be consecutive.

 

When sending in your submission, you must have

 

  • The title of the post
  • The text of the post (maximum of 100 words)
  • Which 2 weeks you'd like for your submission to run

 

 

When sending in your submission, you could have

 

  • If you'd like, one picture
  • If you'd like, PDFs (and what you'd want the title of the button that links to it to be)
  • If you'd like, the links for spots in the text post (and which word(s) you'd like to be the hyperlink or what you'd want the title of the button to be)

 

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we try to make our eNews experience more manageable for our readers!


Open and Affirming Committee Openings

 

June is Pride Month and a perfect opportunity for growth. (https://openandaffirming.org/ona/why/grow/). The Open and Affirming Committee (ONA) has openings. What is the ONA Committee you ask? It is a committee without meetings. It is a team of committed people supporting the ONA Statement of The First Church in Oberlin adopted in 1995 and amended in 2013. If you want to help make sure our congregation is living up to the welcoming and affirming spirit of the following statement, please contact Marty Buck @mbuck@oberlin.net or 440-225-7160 or a member of the Outreach and Service Committee @ outreach@firstchurchoberlin.org. Let us make the ONA Committee an ONA Team!

 

We know that as the Church we are many members but are one body in Christ. Each bringing individual pieces and gifts, only together do we find completion. With Christ we affirm that we are called to love our neighbors as ourselves, and that we are called to act as agents of reconciliation and wholeness within the world and within the church itself. Recognizing the presence of ignorance, fear, and hatred in the wider church and in our culture toward specific members of Christ’s body:

We pledge to welcome people of all races, ages, genders, gender identities, gender expressions, abilities, socioeconomic levels, and sexual orientations into the full life and ministry of the church.

We seek actively to include and support those who because of fear and prejudice find themselves in exile from a spiritual community.

We commit ourselves to caring and concern for all.


A Progress Pride Flag now flies over the east entrance of The First Church in Oberlin. 

 

The Progress Pride flag was developed in 2018 by non-binary American artist and designer Daniel Quasar (who uses xe/xyr pronouns). Based on the iconic rainbow flag from 1978, the redesign celebrates the diversity of the LGBTQ community and calls for a more inclusive society.

 

“The arrow points to the right to show forward movement […] and illustrates that progress [towards inclusivity] still needs to be made". 

- Daniel Quasar, the flag’s designer.


Help Wanted!

 

First Church is seeking a childcare worker for the nursery this summer! Job hours are 9:30 am-11:30 am on Sunday mornings. Applicants must be 18 or over. For a full job description and application, click the links below! 


City Fresh Pickup

 

Did you know that we are a City Fresh pickup location? City Fresh volunteers distribute pre-ordered farm shares at The First Church in Oberlin every Wednesday starting June 15th. City Fresh shares are packed with fresh fruits and veggies from local farms, and they’re affordable! Pricing is tiered based on income and they accept SNAP/EBT. You can join City Fresh any time at cityfresh.org, and choose Oberlin to pick up your share at The First Church in Oberlin!


RECURRING EVENTS:

  • Worship - Live Streamed and in the Meeting House on Sundays @ 10am
  • Children's Church (grades K - 5) 10:15 AM each Sunday. Will resume in the Fall
  • Summer Storytime - 10:15 AM each Sunday.
  • Sunday School (grades 5 - 12) 11:30am each Sunday (Hot Topic discussion on the 4th Sunday each month). Will resume in the Fall.
  • Friday Night Hangout (all grades) - first Friday each month from 7:00 PM - 7:45 PM via Zoom
  • Sunday Night Youth Group (grades 5 - 12) - last Sunday each month from 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
  • Finance Committee - 3rd Monday each month
  • Facility Committee - 1st Tuesday each month
  • Stewardship - 2nd Tuesday each month
  • Office Staff Meetings - Mondays at 10:00 AM
  • Book Group  - Tuesdays at 4pm via Zoom
  • Witness and Membership - 2nd Wednesday each month
  • Christian Education Committee - 1st Thursday each month
  • Outreach and Service Committee - 1st Monday each month
  • Executive Council - 4th Tuesday each month
  • Friday Night Hangout - 1st Friday of each month
  • Green Team - 1st Wednesday of each month

Faith Formation News!

 

  • Children's Church: 10:15 AM on Sundays resuming in the Fall
  • Sunday School: 11:30am-noon on Sundays (Hot Topic on the 4th Sunday) resuming in the Fall
  • Summer Storytime is beginning! Children are invited to join us on Sundays at 10:15 AM for a story
  • Friday Night Hangouts: First Friday at 7 pm
  • Sunday Night Youth Group: Last Sunday at 6:00 PM

 

As always, call Jen or the office to get a link for any and all of these events!

CALENDAR OF EVENTS