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All Blog Posts (275)

Faith Rocks

“What’s your answer?”

I turn to Ochiai, the priest from the shrine who is my guide on this trip to Kyoto.

“What do you mean?” I ask.

He tells me that the Zen rock garden in front of us at the Ryoan-Ji Temple is famous. There are 15 rocks, he says, but you can only see all of them at the same time from one place. I understand the message on clarity that comes from that design, but something about it still doesn’t feel right for me. Why is there only one right way to look…

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Added by Ranwa Hammamy on September 15, 2014 at 4:27pm — No Comments

Heart to Heart:New Beginnings

As the days of summer begin to wane, and the blossoms that brightened our gardens droop their heads in wilt, we begin to acknowledge the changing season. Autumn ushers in a new slowness of being for most of us, as the tone and tempo of our lives change. Revealing itself slowly, autumn hovers around the edges of our consciousness, and when its crisp breezes are strong enough to pierce our summer clothing, we then take…

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Added by Rev. Addae Ama Kraba on September 1, 2014 at 10:00am — No Comments

Help Deliver Our Donated School Supplies

The Andrew Jackson School Supplies Drive is closing this week. Thank you to all who contributed to this project -- those of you who donated cash or supplies, those who helped publicize it, or who moved supplies to the school, thank you. With the participation of our congregation and Friends in the City, we collected more than $2,000 in cash and several hundred dollars in supplies. We will use all of it for supplies that will directly benefit the school and the children.

 Transfer of…

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Added by Michael McKee on August 28, 2014 at 11:00am — No Comments

People's Climate March: 9/21/14

Times Square is about to get a lot more crowded. I can tell that I have fully adopted my New York resident status because just writing those words made my left eye twitch. Normally, the thought of millions of people walking through Times Square would fill me with anxiety, frustration, and the urge to use a lot of four-letter words. But for one day, September 21, 2014, that thought fills me with hope, exhilaration, and the most powerful of four-letter words:…

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Added by Ranwa Hammamy on August 19, 2014 at 11:30pm — No Comments

Join Our Religious Education Team

JOB POSTING: RELIGIOUS EDUCATORS

The First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia, a Unitarian Universalist Congregation, is seeking one part-time Religious Education Coordinator and two part-time Lead Teachers to work during the fall and spring semesters during the 2014-2015 year.

Duties of the Coordinator: The Religious Education Coordinator will administer a growing Religious Education program designed to inspire the moral, intellectual,…

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Added by Michael McKee on July 16, 2014 at 3:00pm — No Comments

Hello from Your New Communications Director

Roughly four years ago, just before moving to the West Coast, I had the privilege of  helping establish the position of Communications Director at First Unitarian in the hopes of growing the life and profile of the congregation and this historic community center. Since then, under Jeff Frankel, Rachel Karasick and--most recently--Stephanie Cawley, those hopes were realized beyond our initial vision. 

I am honored now to return to First Church as your new Communications Director.…

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Added by Michael McKee on June 18, 2014 at 4:00pm — No Comments

Summer Beacon

The air-conditioning is on, the pool is open, and school's (almost) out! Summer is here and with it comes the last Beacon of the church year. 

Download a copy here or pick one up in the brochure racks at the Church. The Beacon will return in September.

Added by Michael McKee on June 4, 2014 at 5:00pm — No Comments

Heart to Heart: Marriage Equality

I am overjoyed that on May 21, 2014, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania took one more step toward affirming the inherent dignity and worth of everyone when a federal judge struck down the ban on marriage of same sex couples. It has been my privilege to officiate the blessing of many same sex unions for Gay and Lesbian couples in Unitarian Universalist sanctuaries over the past ten years.…

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Added by Rev. Addae Ama Kraba on May 23, 2014 at 11:00am — No Comments

Welcome to Rev. Dr. Susan V. Rak!

Please join the Board of Trustees and the Interim Ministerial Search Working Group in giving a warm welcome to our interim minister, Rev. Dr. Susan V. Rak. Rev. Susan will be joining us on August 1, 2014, to guide us through a two-year interim ministry as we prepare to call a new settled minister.

She writes:



Dear…

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Added by Caroline Winschel on May 17, 2014 at 9:04pm — No Comments

Make a Brave Pledge

I am terrified of heights. I believe that if the universe wanted me to go beyond the 5 feet, 6 inches that it made me, than I would be taller. I cling for dear life when I’m on a ladder, I’ve never climbed a rock wall, and when I “lean over the edge in wonder,” it’s usually for a limited time only.

 

I just signed up to rappel off of a building.

 

Many of us know the old adage, “courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it,” which has been…

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Added by Ranwa Hammamy on May 13, 2014 at 1:24pm — No Comments

Help Change "Columbus Day" To "Indigenous People's Day"

The Minneapolis City Council unanimously voted last week to change "Columbus Day" to Indigenous People's Day." Please join me in asking members of the City Council of Philadelphia to do the same. Thank you, Rev. Nate

Minneapolis Changes "Columbus Day" To "Indigenous People's Day"

Valley…
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Added by Former Settled Minister on April 25, 2014 at 6:30pm — No Comments

New Volunteer Opportunities at the Andrew Jackson School

   The Learning Buddies at Jackson Elementary School (12th and Federal streets) are launching a new reading program called Achieve Now. It is a phonics-based program designed specifically to be used by volunteers. It is a series 0f scripted lessons requiring no advance reading instruction knowledge on the part of the teacher. The training for administration takes only about an hour. So far the students seem engaged and enthusiastic. If you are available from 10:30 through…

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Added by Sharon Tomalin on April 16, 2014 at 9:44am — No Comments

The Pulpit Classroom

I’ll be honest. When I first signed on to be the Lead Teacher for Religious Literacy last summer, I had an agenda. I needed to fulfill a “religious education competency” for my eventual meeting with the Ministerial Formation Committee, and the opportunity was too good to pass up. A familiar congregational environment, children whose brilliance I had already witnessed during intergenerational services, and the chance to build my…

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Added by Ranwa Hammamy on April 16, 2014 at 8:30am — No Comments

April Beacon

Short but sweet, the April Beacon is here! Inside you'll find lots of springtime delights...

  • The stunning auction flyer designed by our own Judy Haraburda.
  • Details about the Art Show, Auction, and other upcoming events.
  • The latest updates from the Property Working Group about the soon-to-bloom memorial garden. 

Download a copy…

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Added by Michael McKee on April 1, 2014 at 11:00am — No Comments

Please complete the Triennial Ministerial Review survey by April 7, 2014



Every three years the church is expected to facilitate a review of the Minister's performance, gathering data from the Congregation and producing a written report. The report, together with a written response from the Minister, will be published to the Congregation.



The purpose of the triennial review…

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Added by Katy on March 17, 2014 at 9:00am — No Comments

March Beacon

Extra! Extra! The March Beacon is here, and it's the best Beacon so far this church year! Inside you'll find...

  • Heartfelt reflections from Ricky Cintron and Ranwa Hammamy, from their visit to the Moral March in February.
  • Beautiful photographs of some secret spaces in the Church by Julia Bernd.
  • Information about upcoming events, classes, and wider UU assembles: welcome in the spring!…

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Added by Michael McKee on February 26, 2014 at 2:30pm — No Comments

My God: The App

Listen to Podcast

Inspired by the movie "Her," about a man who has an intimate relationship with his operating system, Reverend Nate introduced "My God," the app. It's a computer program that allows users to determine the attributes of their God and begin to have a personal relationship with the God of their…

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Added by Former Settled Minister on February 19, 2014 at 11:00am — No Comments

Worshipping Our Way to Higher Ground

Reflections on the Moral March

It should come as no surprise that I love to worship. In the broadest of terms, worship connects us to something greater than our individual selves. It is the process through which we celebrate and commit ourselves to the infinite, evolving, and interdependent relationships that our faith brings to light. It is the…

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Added by Ranwa Hammamy on February 15, 2014 at 9:30pm — No Comments

February Beacon

Get 'em while they're hot: the February Beacon is here! Download a copy here or pick up a print version in the brochure racks at the Church.

Inside, you'll find

  • Photos from the Andrew Jackson school book drive 
  • Details about the many events coming up at the Church
  • An important message from your Stewardship…
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Added by Michael McKee on January 30, 2014 at 9:00am — No Comments

Wishes for First U in 2014

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Here are a few quotes from 
Our Very Own Young Adults 
of what…
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Added by Laura Bender on January 20, 2014 at 10:00am — No Comments

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