Advent Workshop is coming! 


Mark your calendars! The Advent Workshop will be held Sunday, December 3rd, after worship. Please join us for soup, bread, and an opportunity to create some eco-friendly Christmas decorations!


Please sign up on the bulletin board outside Fellowship Hall if you can bring soup or bread, and let Jen know if you're willing to help with the crafts. Hope you can make it to this fun event!

Upcoming Events:


12/3           Advent Workshop + Lunch, following worship.

Fellowship Hall

12/3           Light of Hope (Blue Christmas) service, 3:30 pm.

Meeting House

12/9           Empty Mugs concert + pottery sale, 4:30 pm.

Meeting House/Fellowship Hall

12/10         Advent music service, 10am.

Meeting House

12/16         Posada pilgrimage + meal. 5:30 pm.

Fellowship Hall

12/24         Christmas pageant during worship, 10 am.

Meeting House

12/24         Christmas Eve, family-friendly, candlelight service, 7pm.

Meeting House

12/31         Lay-led service (David Hill and Jen Bertoni on vacation), 10 am.

Meeting House

Please Join us Dec 10th for Adult Ed after church! 


On Sunday, December 10th, our Adult Ed. presentation will be from Lisa Vehey, the Co-Founder of Honesty for Ohio Education. Ms. Vehey's work and volunteering focuses on improving instruction, leadership and collaboration, always with an equity lens. In 2021, she co-founded Honesty for Ohio Education, along with other advocates who believe in being upstanders when faced with injustices in our world. The coalition is now over 50 partners strong, ensuring Ohio students receive an honest high-quality education grounded in truth, facts, and diverse perspectives, regardless of race, identity, background, or zip code.  Certain Ohio legislators, education leaders, and organizations are importing harmful legislation and extremist political agendas that censor honest education about history, race, sexuality, and gender identity; disempower families, educators, and school boards; and deprioritize student safety, mental health, and well-being. We invite you to hear this important presentation about the state of education in Ohio! 

Family Camp 2024 - 

A Farewell to Templed Hills


We are sad to announce that the Heartland Conference of the UCC has made the difficult decision to sell Templed Hills, our UCC church camp, at the end of 2024.  (Note: Summer Camp will still be held at Templed Hills in 2024.) A letter about the decision can be found at the following link: 


Before the camp is sold, we have an opportunity to say goodbye to this beautiful setting that has nurtured so many people's faith over the years. Our annual church Winter Retreat (Family Camp) is coming up January 12-14.  Family Camp is a weekend of Fun, fellowship, and relaxation - an opportunity to catch your breath in a beautiful setting and catch up with your family and friends from church. 


Housing will be in either Memorial Lodge or Heritage House. Memorial has 8 dorm style rooms with bunk beds and their own bathroom and shower. Heritage has rooms that sleep up to 4 people, with bathrooms and showers off the common areas. 


Cost is $50 for anyone 12 and over, $25 for children 6-11, and free for ages 5 and younger. The deadline for registration and payment is Monday, December 18th. It is important to sign up by the deadline - otherwise, we may not have space for you! 


You can sign up on the bulletin board across the hall from the church office or use the link below. Please use one line/entry per person and fill out all the information.  Checks can be dropped off at the church, or you can pay online by going to our website and scrolling down to "Donate Online." On the next page, scroll down to "Family Camp Registration." 


If you've never experienced Family Camp, we invite you to consider coming with us to experience Templed Hills this final year! 

2023 Advent-Christmastide Devotional: Glow and the "O!" of Wonder


The glow of Advent is a watchfire's embers as a new day begins to dawn.


The glow of Advent is the flush of a pregnant body coursing with 50% more blood than usual.


The glow of Advent is the beauty of dusty shepherd faces reflecting the splendor of a swaddled child.


The glow of Advent is the peace of candlelit faces singing, "O Come, All Ye Faithful."


The glow of Advent is spelled with the "O!" of yearning and, then, with the "O!" of realization as we grasp the season's meaning: everything has changed.

Once again for 2023, the Stillspeaking Writers Group and contributors offer a daily devotional to guide us through the days of Advent and Christmastide, to the celebration of Epiphany. Glow includes:


  • candle-lighting liturgies for home use,
  • daily readings with scripture and prayer.


We have several FREE copies of this book on the Welcome Table. Donations are welcomed, but not required.


For those that don't get a hard copy of the book, you are also able to purchase a PDF for $3.00 and/or hardcopy version of the book for $5.00 here. If purchasing the PDF version, please purchase one PDF per reader. Upon purchase, a link will be emailed to you for downloading the PDF.


Any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to the office at or (440)775-1711.

Do You Enjoy Singing?


We are looking for people who enjoy singing to join the Finney Choir. We meet Thursdays 6:45-8PM, and at 9AM on Sundays before the service. You don’t need to have a lot of experience or read music - there are many friendly people in the choir to help you out! If you just want to come for part of the year, like preparing for Advent or Easter, you’re very welcome to. You can write Tom at if you have any questions.

OCSI Posada! Sat Dec 16, 5:30pm - bring friends!


Hello OCSI friends! It's our pleasure to announce that Oberlin Community Supporting Immigrants will be sponsoring a traditional Latin American Posada on Saturday, December 16, at 5:30pm at First Church in Oberlin. We really hope you can come!


RSVPs are appreciated (so that we can get a headcount for the food) but not required. If you can, please fill out this form with an approximate number of guests in your party. If you are not able to RSVP but want to join us, please come anyway!


The event will take place at First Church - convening at 5:30pm in the Meeting Hall. We will practice the music as a group, carol throughout different locations in the church and conclude the evening with a shared meal.


All are invited. Please feel free to invite friends! A free will offering will be taken, but mostly we are looking forward to spending time together in community.


We hope to see you there!

Thank you for participating in “Promises Made – Promises Kept”, our 2023 Annual Stewardship Campaign


Whether by making a pledge or planning to pledge, by writing favorite love words for the white board, by reading and reflecting on the articles in “First Things First”, or by prayerfully considering to pay forward the gifts of grace we regularly receive from God through Christ, we rejoice and give thanks for all we have!! 


A special, “Thank You”, for the lovely coffee hour arranged and presented by the Fellowship Committee!! Complete with delicious and colorfully iced heart shaped cookies from Campus Custom Cookies of Oberlin.

Koinonia Farm


Many of us in the First Church community have a holiday tradition of supporting Koinonia Farm in Americus, Georgia. GIving Koinonia products provides a gift to both the producer and the receiver. Here' a short introduction from their website- 


"Since our founding in 1942, we have welcomed and shared with anyone and everyone regardless of race, religion, no religion, background or anything else that divides people. We are an Intentional Christian community with a rich history — from the Jordans and the Englands founding the farm, to the bullets, bombs, and boycotts of the mid century, to launching the Partnership Housing Movement that became Habitat for Humanity, and the birthing of many, many other projects. Explore our site and plan a visit — we are a house of hospitality with plenty of guest rooms. We would love to welcome you to the farm!"


You can go to their store website at: to see their products and order from among their choices. Their pecans are absolutely the best!

Christmas Fund Offering Collected on Christmas Eve!


The Christmas Fund has been caring for active and retired clergy and lay employees of the United Church of Christ for over 100 years, providing emergency grants, supplementation of small annuities and health premiums, and Christmas “Thank You” gift checks each December to our lower-income retirees.


United Church of Christ congregations and members have blessed the Christmas Fund with their generosity for many years. This year, your care and compassion will be especially appreciated by those servants of the church who are facing a time of need, as reflected in the theme of this year: Overwhelmed with Joy! This year’s offering will be collected on December 24th, but donations may be given at any point before Christmas Eve.


From his fullness we have all received grace upon grace

- John 1:16


It is possible to contribute in one of three ways: 


  1. By mailing a check made out to The First Church in Oberlin with “Christmas Fund” 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 “Christmas Fund” section. Alternatively, click here and it’ll bring you to the page.


See the bulletin insert below for more information on this special offering. More information can also be found on the Pension Board website. Let your gift help those who have given so much for our communities.

First Church building rental opportunities


The First Church buildings offer numerous opportunities for meetings, rehearsals, concerts, weddings, and family events. After long study, a reasonable rental fee schedule has been worked out to offer fair use of the facility to our members and our neighbors. Large rooms (the Meeting House, Fellowship Hall, or JFO Room) and small rooms (upstairs classrooms, Room 4, Reading Room) can be reserved by the hour or by the half day. Discounted rates for church members and community partners may be available. The city of Oberlin has limited spaces available for events, and we are happy to offer our facility to help fill that need for our neighbors.

Lorain County Residents (including Nancy MacRae!) Remember March on Washington 60 Years Later


Click the link below to read a story from the Chronicle featuring Nancy MacRae!

There Are 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
  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!


  • 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 resuming in the Fall
  • Sunday Night Youth Group: Last Sunday at 6:00 PM resuming in the Fall


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