Represent First Church at our Spring Festival & The Big Parade!


 As part of First Church’s evangelism and sharing with the community, we are inviting the public to join us in a Spring Fling Open House & Festival (name TBD) on Saturday, May 6, 10:00 am-3:00 pm. There will be indoor & outdoor games, lots of music, food, activities, church tours, a scavenger hunt, representatives from the agencies we support, and anything else fun we can think of!! We will need plenty of volunteers to help that day, to supervise games, answer questions, perform, and lead tours, as well as clean up afterward. We hope to have First Church t-shirts you can order to wear on May 6 as well as April 29 during The Big Parade! We’re planning a church “float,” riding on a trailer, playing music, waving banners and flags, handing out candy and schedules for our festival, and generally being a living, visible presence in the community.


If you want to join in the fun and participate in either of these events or would like to order a t-shirt, please let Moderator Anne Sprague know ASAP. Coming soon we will have sign up sheets for 2 hour volunteer slots for the festival date, so you can enjoy the experience first-hand. Mark your calendars! 

Spring Work Day with the Facilities Committee!


There will be a Spring Work Day on Saturday, April 1st, from 10 AM - 12:00 PM. There are 2 main projects; replace storm windows with screens in the Meeting House and removing old furniture from the Rocket Room. We really need 15 people who can lift and carry. 

- Facilities Committee

March 26th Adult Ed.


Please join us this Sunday, March 26th after worship for the fourth session in our Lenten series on Spiritual Practices: Prayer Beads and their use, led by Jen Bertoni. We will meet in the JFO Room. No prior experience with spiritual disciplines expected or required; all are welcome.

Do you feel passionate about the future of First Church? 


At our recent Congregational Meeting, we agreed to embark on a Visioning and Strategic Planning process to determine where we go from here. Of course, the whole congregation will need to be involved in the final plan, but for now, Executive Council is seeking a small group of members to plan how we will begin the process. If this is your calling, please email moderator Anne Sprague. Together, we can ensure that First Church remains a vital part of our community for the next 100 years. 

We invite you to join us for Holy Week and Easter!


Wave palm leaves and engage in a dramatic reading of the Passion in worship on Palm/Passion Sunday, April 2nd at 10:00 AM in the Meeting House, gather for an intimate service of communion on the evening of Maundy Thursday, April 6th at 7:30 PM in Fellowship Hall, and raise the roof with brass and organ on Easter, April 9th at 10:00 AM in the Meeting House.


To all of our young friends, we will be having our Easter Egg Hunt after our Easter Sunday service on April 9th on the front lawn.


Additionally, you're cordially invited to join Christ Episcopal Church for their Annual Easter Vigil Service on Saturday, April 8th, at 7:30 PM where Reverend David Hill is preaching. All are welcome. We look forward to worshiping with you!

Good Friday Services at Christ Church


Christ Episcopal Church in Oberlin (162 S. Main Street) will offer two unique observances of Good Friday (April 7).


At noon, all are welcome to participate in the symbolic pilgrimage of Stations of the Cross, held in the church. During the procession around the nave, we pause fourteen times to contemplate scenes from Christ’s passion (some with a biblical basis, others from later tradition) with scripture and prayer. This service lasts roughly 30-40 minutes.


At 7:30 p.m., we gather for the Solemn Liturgy of Good Friday from The Book of Common Prayer, which includes the singing of the Passion Gospel according to John using the traditional plainsong melody, a sermon, prayers, favorite hymns, and the veneration of the cross. (Communion is not celebrated this day.)


Everyone is warmly invited to attend either or both services.

Souper Bowl Sunday - Thank You So Much!


In conjunction with several churches in Oberlin, we were able to raise $1,875.80! Half of this went to Oberlin Weekday Community Meals and half of this went to Oberlin Community Services. Thank you for all of your support!

Prayer Walk on the Internet with First Church! 


Part of the resources available at Adult Ed this Sunday was a virtual prayer walk, where Google Earth is used to travel to various ministries where our Outreach and Service committee donated in the past year. We invite you to join us on the walk and pray for these important causes! 


To explore the Prayer walk, click the link below, and then click the "present" button.

Camp Registration is open!


It is time to think about church camp! This year, the UCC camp at Templed Hills is partnering with Camp Christian (run by the Disciples of Christ) to bring you twice the opportunities to take a break and have some fun! Camp scholarships are available from First Church - please contact Jen by April 15th if you're interested. We hope you take the opportunity to explore the camps and what they have to offer this summer!


Thank you for responding so generously to the request to increase your pledges for 2023. At our Congregational Meeting in January, we wrestled with the hard realities of our congregation's current unsustainable financial situation. In addition to amending the budget before it was adopted, the Stewardship Committee was asked to urge everyone to consider increasing their pledge. To date, 29 people have responded to the challenge by raising an additional $19,600. Your very generous response will help the congregation maintain its excellent mission and ministry throughout the year while the Executive Council leads us in a process to reevaluate and redefine our most urgent and critical ministry as we prepare ourselves for our future.

Come and be our Coffee Host Buddy! 


We need people to sign up to host Coffee Hour (sign-up is across from the office). To encourage you to do this, the Fellowship Committee would like to invite everyone to work with a Committee member to see how this is done -- and how really easy it is. Afraid of the new coffee maker? Fear no more! Sign up with a Buddy and you will learn how easy it is to host coffee hour. Sarah Colson will train the first group on March 26. There will also be opportunities to train on April 2 and April 9. To sign up for any of these dates, please call Sarah and leave a message at: (440)774-2538. Please specify which date you would like to help.

Faith Studies Reading Group


The Faith Studies Reading Group invites you to join them as they dive into their next book! The group is reading The New Being, by Paul Tillich, the German-American philosopher and theologian. The next discussion will be Tuesday, March 14th, from 10-11 am, in First Church's new Reading Room. Please join us for this discussion! 

Congratulations to Gene Matthews who will receive Oberlin College's Distinguished Community Service Award at this year's Commencement (May 22). This award is conferred upon “persons from the Lorain County area who have made significant contributions to the welfare of the community and its residents.” Way to go, Gene!

One Great Hour of Sharing Collected on April 9th!


One Great Hour of Sharing is one of four special mission offerings of the United Church of Christ. This Lenten Offering supports the disaster, refugee, and development ministries of the United Church of Christ within Wider Church Ministries. This year, the special offering's theme is hunger.


In Galatians, the Apostle Paul encourages followers of Jesus to generously help and care for others. Though there is great need in the world and we can grow weary because we do not know how to help, God's Spirit energizes and re-energizes us in every season.


We can make a difference. We do make a difference. Your generosity makes all the difference. Your gifts to One Great Hour of Sharing provide immediate aid and long-term support to people experiencing hunger, thirst, disaster, or crisis around the world.


“So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest-time, if we do not give up…So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all.” 

- Galatians 6:9-10


The 2023 offering will be collected on Easter, April 9th. It is possible to contribute in one of three ways: 

  1. By mailing a check made out to The First Church in Oberlin with “OGHS” 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 “One Great Hour of Sharing” section. Alternatively, click here and it’ll bring you to the page.


Please see below for the Mission Moment for this week, the video for this year's offering, and intergenerational activities meant to help us think about and plan how we can share our gifts with others.


Let your gift help to put prayer into action. The need has never been greater.

The opportunity is now. It’s time to share.

The Heartland Conference Disaster Network met last Saturday to continue the work of Disaster Response & Preparedness in the Heartland Conference. We prayed with our Disaster Response trailer, before members journey’d to Home Depot in Boardman, Ohio…where they loaded 116 cases of water and delivered them to Mount Olivet UCC, North Lima, Ohio. Mount Olivet members assisted as we loaded additional cases of water into our Disaster Response trailer, and will deliver the cases to East Palestine, Ohio this week.


Disaster Response members also toured East Palestine, to view the train derailment and the work currently being done in an attempt to remediate the contamination. Our hearts go out the the residents of the East Palestine area, many who are members of our area United Church of Christ churches. We continue to hold them in our prayers, and encourage others to do the same. 

Did You Know? 

We have hearing loops that are compatible with t-coils in hearing aids in the Meeting House, JFO room, and Fellowship Hall that can be accessed to help with hearing!

Book Group


The First Church Book group meets via Zoom every Tuesday at 4 pm and ends at around 5:30 pm. To join, you just need to let the First Church Office know that you’d like to be on the list and you’ll receive an email invitation to the Zoom meeting every week. 


Have questions? Contact anyone in the Book Group Task Force which (roughly) organizes the meetings: Laurel Price Jones, Anne Elder, Heather Laughman, Lindsay Graves, or Linda Gates. 


Look ahead to see what books are being discussed. One book mentioned by Jeanne McKibben in her reflection on Sunday, October 30 - Saving Us: A Climate Scientist’s Case for Hope and Healing - will be read and discussed in January. See the attached schedule.

Everyone Is Worthy

Issue #1120 | October 6, 2022

Edith Rasell


Click the button below to read this issue of the Witness For Justice newsletter involving economic justice.

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

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
  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. ( 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 or 440-225-7160 or a member of the Outreach and Service Committee @ 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.


  • 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!