HEALING THE CORRUPT IMAGINATION:
APPROACHING CULTURAL COMPETENCY
Wed., January 14 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Wed., January 28, 7:30 pm to 9:30 (following the Mix)
Wed., February 11, 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Wed., February 25, 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm (following the Mix)
As Unitarian Universalists, we hope developing antiracist, antioppressive, and multicultural habits and skills will lead us to build the multicultural world of beloved community we dream about. “Healing the Corrupt Imagination,” an adaption of Building the World We Dream About by Marc Hicks and Gail Forsyth-Vail, is a program that seeks to interrupt the workings of racism and transform how people from different racial/ethnic groups understand and relate to one another. These four workshops create opportunities for participants to practice dreaming our world otherwise, and then commit to new, intentional ways of being. Facilitated by: the Rev. Daniel Budd and Ms. Bethany S. Ward.
R.E. YOGA FUNDRAISER
Winter doldrums got you down? Come lift your spirit in community at our first Youth Religious Education Yoga Fundraiser on Saturday, January 31 at 1:00 pm in the Worship Center. Our very own Meghan Breitzmann will teach a one hour yoga class appropriate for all levels. Your donation of $10 will benefit your spirit as well as the spirit of our growing Y.R.E. Program. Bring a mat if you own one, some extras will be available. Class intended for adults and older children. A healthy snack sale will follow. Childcare provided.
Discussions That Matter
All Are Welcome!
Sundays: 9:30 am-10:45 am
in Fellowship Hall
Pre-School Child Care Available
ISIS: International Threat or Mideast Civil War?
The world has rarely seen a well funded, well organized terrorist organization such as ISIS, a fundamentalist Sunni Islamic state. How did they become powerful so quickly? Our military cost: 8 million/day and rising. Is our strategy of drones and bombing legal under international law or US law? Pete Moore, CWRU Associate Professor of Political Science and Avidan Cover, Assistant Professor of Law and Director, CWRU Institute for Global Security, Law and Policy.
Common Core Testing: Myths, Realities, and Consequences
Common Core is a federal program that outlines quantifiable benchmarks in English and math from kindergarten to high school. Over 43 states, including Ohio, have adopted it. Public reaction is mixed on mandatory testing, costs, and impacts on teachers and students. Dale Whittington, Ph.D., Director, Research and Evaluation, Shaker Heights Schools, and former Associate Professor, John Carroll University.
The What, How and Why of the Millennial Generation
There are major differences on values, culture, family life and the use of social media among the generations. How do millennial priorities differ from those of other generations? How will the lifestyle and economic interests of the 85 million millennials, aged 20-35, affect our future? Richey Piiparinen, Director, Center for Population Dynamics, CSU College of Urban Affairs.
Neighborhood Safety: Increasing, Decreasing
Between 50-90% of urban youths deal with violence as a matter of everyday life, with resulting behavioral and psychological impact. Lack of family support, vacant homes, underemployment and racism create challenges for residents and opportunities for crime in urban and suburban areas. Panelists: Michael Walker, Executive Director, Partnership for a Safe Cleveland; Scott Lee, Chief of Police, Shaker Heights, Dawn Arrington, Bridging the Tracks, and Moderator: Jim Chriss, CSU Sociology Professor.
Surveying Local Art: Expectations, Outcomes and Funding
How important is art to you? What is essential to you or our community that only artists can accomplish? The Cuyahoga Arts and Culture funding ($15 million/year) will be up for ballot renewal via a local tax this year. How will we be affected by its loss or renewal? Michael Gill, Editor/Publisher, Collective Arts Network, in conversation with Karen Gahl-Mills, Executive Director, Cuyahoga Arts and Culture.
SAVE THE DATE
Sweet Home First UU
Saturday, February 7th
First Unitarian Church
Please join the Stewardship Committee for the annual
Stewardship Potluck Campaign kickoff
5:30pm – 9:00ish
Main course and beverages provided by Harry’s Kitchen Crew
Your Board of Trustees will provide appetizers
If you can attend,
Please bring a salad for 4-6 people, if your name begins with A-H
Please bring a non meat side dish for 4-6 people, if your name starts with I-P
All those whose names start with Q-Z, should bring a yummy dessert
But wait, this is more than just a dinner!
Back by popular demand……we have square dancing!
Strap on your boots and mosey on over to First UU!
There will be activities for children over 5.
Childcare, upon request, for those under 5.
Let us know if you would like a ride.
LEARN TO LEAD WORSHIP
Many small group gatherings in our church begin with some kind of worship or readings. This type of worship is very different than the worship we experience on Sunday mornings. Some group’s members, e.g. Lay Pastoral Care Team members, have been taught the how’s, why’s and what of small group worship to create a thorough experience for all attending. This training is now available to all members of the congregation who would like to know the secrets and charms of planning and leading small group worship. Rev. Patricia Shelden will teach a three week class on Planning and Leading Small Group Worship
Thursdays, March 5, 12 & 19, 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm.
Questions? Email Patricia at: firstname.lastname@example.org. In order to ensure that there are enough materials please contact Patricia to save your space by Monday, February 23.
First Unitarian Receives Interfaith Power and Light Award
The Next Mix...
Heard about the Dept. of Justice report for the Cleveland Police Dept.? Want to learn more, and how we can create a caring and effective response? Greater Cleveland Congregations is sponsoring a Teach-in on January 13 at 7:00 pm at Antioch Baptist Church, 8869 Cedar Ave, for all GCC congregation and organization members to understand what is in, and what is missing, from the DOJ Investigation Report. The teach-in will offer executive summaries of the recommendations that focus on a use of excessive force by Cleveland Police that is “neither isolated nor sporadic”. You will also hear about why the report does not address a significant issue that GCC must address: the racial disparities that are evident in Cleveland Police stops, arrests, and use of force. To be able to make a powerful statement on these issues, we need everyone to be well informed about the DOJ report, and to come prepared to work towards a major turnout for an Assembly when we expect all of GCC to meet with the State’s Attorney. At Antioch on January 13 we will ask the team from each congregation or organization to make a turnout commitment for a GCC General Assembly on February 3.
January 29, at West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church in Rocky River we will hold an open delegate assembly of GCC, at which recommendations from research teams will be presented and a GCC platform approved. While this meeting is for the GCC voting delegate and our core team leaders in particular, you are most welcome to attend. It will still be an opportunity for anyone wishing to learn about the DOJ report, but those presentations will be brief so that we can focus on the demands we are making for what needs to be in the Consent Decree between the DOJ and the City.
February 3 at 7:00pm at Olivet Institutional Baptist Church, 8712 Quincy Ave.
GCC PUBLIC ACTION - Transforming the Criminal justice System
GCC will publicly state our recommendations for the Consent Decree to US Attorney Dettelbach. Two carpool locations are set up. Meet at the church at 6:00 pm or at Dave's parking lot in Cleveland Hts. at 6:15 pm. See Laurie Albright or the GCC table during coffee hour TODAY. Please lend your voice to GCC's well researched request for priorities in the upcoming consent decree. At least 30 people from First U will be attending. You can help us achieve and exceed our goal. Ljalbright@hotmail.com or 216 371-8163.
Contact Pam Gibbon or Laurie Albright for more information and to coordinate attendance and rides to these events. We look forward to hearing from you!
BE A PART OF THE HOMELESS STAND DOWN - JANUARY 24: This important event provides homeless individuals, families, and veterans a day of respite from the elements, renewal of the human spirit, and reconnection to needed services that assist in the totality of human wellness and sustainability. There are ways for everyone to contribute. Which one will you choose?
Volunteer on January 24. Volunteer training is provided in advance and we will coordinate transportation for those interested.
Cleaning Kits - Goal of 10. Donate supplies to make these kits: cleaning bucket, sponges, paper towels, all purpose cleaning solution, dish soap, laundry detergent, dryer sheets.
Waterproof winter gloves/hats (new or like new)- Goal: 100 of each.
Donate cash. Funds raised from collection offerings and other donations will be used to support a First Unitarian sponsorship with the HSD event (Goal of $1000).
Bring your donations to Service on Sunday, January 11 and 18. Items will be collected in the Sanctuary. All donations must be received no later than January 18. Questions? Contact Edie Phillips (email@example.com or 216-235-8855).
Getting to Know Us at First Unitarian...
For information about our Solar Panel Array and our Permaculture Garden, navigate to the To Search and To Serve tab and click on Environmental.
First Unitarian Church is a proud member of Greater Cleveland Congregations (GCC). See more under "To Search and To Serve/Service & Justice".
Religious Education at the First Unitarian now has a blog! You can follow the entire depth and breadth of our Lifespan RE program at firstuclere.wordpress.com. Consider this new blog to now be your one-stop-shop for all things RE. Find out about events, classes, workshops, worship, volunteering, and more ways to be engaged with the faith tradition of UUism. We want your comments on posts! We’re so excited to have this new way of communicating with you. See you online!
GENERAL ASSEMBLY INFO
Forum Addresses Death
Armond Budish, newly elected Cuyahoga County Executive, spoke at the January 18 forum on county priorities, increased alignment of economic development efforts with social services, and quality of life issues that affect us all. A packed house of 125 listened intently. Audience questions were wide ranging and thoughtful; answers were concrete and straightforward.
“All That Jazz” All That and More!
This year's auction drew a crowd of nearly 60 flappers, gangsters, mols and swells, and the word is a good time was had by all! Kudos to Auction Committee members Ken Kuehm, Greg Nosan, Erin Holmes, Mark Bradbourne and Brian Larson for transforming Fellowship Hall into a 1920's speakeasy, and to “Our Guys in the Kitchen” for once again putting out unique and tasty “heavy” hors d' ouerves. And let’s not forget Jack Ulman, Emcee and Live Auctioneer Extraordinaire, whose commanding presence and corny jokes kept everyone on their toes. The martinis were to die for (bad choice of words in a speakeasy?!), and fellowship and fun ruled the night.
The bidding was brisk, and gross receipts totaled nearly $10,000! The Committee will keep you posted on the final take, and a special Tip of the Fedora to Gordon Maas, who guessed the secret password (“fundraising” . . . go figure!) and won Duncan Tanner's voice on his voicemail message.
Thanks to those who donated, those who bid, and those who brought guests.
Letter to the Editor on the Plain Dealer web site re: racism from NE Ohio UU ministers:
Recent articles on Unitarian Universalist Growth may be found at:
Why I'm Here
Members Share Their First Unitarian Connection
Members and Friends recently began sharing “Why I Am Here” stories during Sunday services. As you read these heartfelt "testimonials," please reflect on what our church means to you and reach out to Daniel or David Kantor if you'd like to share your own story at an upcoming service! As well, we urge you to share these stories with friends, family, neighbors and co-workers. Shouldn't everyone know what this wonderful place could one day mean to them?
Why I’m Here
When my husband,Kevin Ortner and I began coming to First Unitarian, I was Light Auburn #110. Our girls were 6 months and 2 1/2 years old and I was still in my 30’s. The girls are now 15 and almost 13 and I’ve gone from Light Auburn to Golden Blond to Iced Meringue to Toasted Coconut to what I’m now calling “undecided.” I’ll leave my age to your math skills.
We came here as a family looking for a spiritual community. We wanted a place where we could find support to raise our children with the values we held dear - the values we found in the 7 Principles. We had done our research before we walked in the door- but you’d expect that from a lawyer and a project manager.
What we found when we came here was much more than a church community. Over the years, we have found friends who have become family to us and we found a spiritual home.
We were one of the families that started what is now called the We are Families Covenant group, way back when it was still “young families”. Betsy and Anna have grown up alongside the other youth in this congregation, who are like cousins to them. They have gone from being the little ones to being the “big kids”.
Many of you have taught them in Sunday school: you know them as well as their aunts and uncles do, and you certainly see them more often! We are so grateful to have had your caring wisdom guiding them along the way.
I have taught so many of your children - from preschool right on up through Coming of Age. I feel privileged to have been a witness to their blossoming.
We have ingathered, Halloweened, shared bread communion, made gingerbread houses, hung the greens, downed the browns, Christmas tableaued, potlucked, auctioned and flower-communioned with all of you. We have watched more than a decade of youth come of age and graduate and even come back to visit.
But these 12 or so years we have been here have not been all sweetness and light: there have been career changes and losses: Kevin’s father and both of my parents; moves, job changes and other major and minor disasters. But through all of that, this beloved community - this home - has been a constant for us.
It’s where we come to be lifted up, to be encouraged and supported and then to turn right around and do the same for you, for our friends who have become family.
Because, really, the 7 principles might have been the key that unlocked the door to this church for us, but it’s the people: our church family, who are the reason why we are here.
Why I’m STILL Here
As a Peace Corps volunteer in my mid-twenties, I was in Nepal teaching English as a second language for two years. When my Peace Corps term ended, I received a one-way ticket home, and was allowed as much travel time as I wanted . . . I took six months travelling through India on third class trains, the Middle East, and Europe. I encountered other religious and spiritual paths to climb up Life’s mountain, in addition to the one I had climbed in my Lutheran Church:
Hinduism and Buddhism in Nepal and India
Islam in Iran
Judaism in Israel
Eastern Orthodox Catholicism in Greece
Roman Catholicism in Italy and Spain
When I got home, I returned to my family’s Lutheran Church where Gary and I were married 44 years ago. We both had discovered Unitarianism when we were in college. Gary would drive from Bowling Green to the Unitarian Church in Toledo to hear Waldermar Argo, the minister from the late 50’s to early 70’s. I would take the bus up High Street from Ohio State to the Unitarian Church in Worthington. So soon after we were married we decided to visit First Unitarian Church of Cleveland.
Like many new members, we attended service regularly and became very involved in church activities. Susan and Jack were born in 1972 and 1974. They began in the crib room and participated in the RE program. When they were three and five, I returned to my life as a high school counselor and eventually became a school psychologist.
But I still SHOWED UP regularly on Sunday mornings for the INSPIRATION of the Worship Services, attended other church events and our family celebrated holidays with our First Unitarian friends in each other’s homes.
I now want to share with you “Why I’m STILL here?” When I was working in schools, they were my primary communities, but I always knew that when I retired, OUR CHURCH would be MY BELOVED COMMUNITY, which it has been and will continue to be. That is why I am wearing a t-shirt that SAYS SO instead of being dressed in my Sunday best. I got the t-shirt this past July when Gary and I attended the Southeastern Unitarian Universalist Summer Institute (SUUSI) with 1300 other UUs at Radford University in Radford, VA.
BELOVED COMMUNITY was the theme of this year’s SUUSI. BELOVED COMMUNITY makes me think of our church’s “Ingathering” Worship Service this year. Daniel’s and Bethany’s homilies contained precious words:
REASON WITH COMPASSION
LOVE OF TRUTH
TRUTH OF LOVE
FULL WEEK FAITH and POWER RELEASED THROUGH ME.
What I treasure most in our “BELOVED COMMUNITY” are the FRIENDSHIPS I have had, the ones I have now, and the new ones that occur by attending SUNDAY SERVICES, being a member of the Lay Pastoral Care Team, belonging to the “What Next” and “Poetry” Covenant Groups, and participating in our congregation’s projects, events and celebrations.
Since we Unitarian Universalists are free to develop our individual concepts of God in the context of our UU core values, the brick I contributed to the border of the Perma-Culture Garden says “God is Love”. That is why I’m STILL here! I’m free to be who I am and share what I believe.
Why am I here? Good question... the simple answer is "My wife made me" ...but let me explain.
Welcome to the website of the First Unitarian Church of Cleveland! We are glad you stopped by. And we encourage you to explore the pages and information here. Please know that this website is for all of us. So feel free to send a note if you want to add information or make suggestions for content.
The tab labeled Spotlight On currently features upcoming Ohio Meadville District and UU Association events. We will be changing this feature periodically to highlight a program or other aspect of our community. If you are involved with a group, effort or program anchored at First Unitarian that you want others to know more about, suggest that it be explored as a Spotlight On topic. (Just be ready to write the copy to submit!)
The tab labeled Coming Up is updated more frequently, and feature events and other details to inform our members and friends about the next week or two. If a special function or event is happening, this is where you can get the details, plus a link to more information in many cases.
The tab labeled Press features links to articles about the church in the media so our church community can read and share them, if desired. Social media links and references to the church would be here, too. If you spot the church in the news, send it to us! We'll make sure to include it.
And the Video tab features some short films that have been produced to show what it looks and feels like to be a part of the First Unitarian Church of Cleveland. As we get more video, from events or other programs at the church, we will add those, as well.