First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia ~ Welcome home!

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Welcome New Staff

Please join us in welcoming Stephanie Cawley, who will begin on August 12, 2013 as our new Communications Director and Religious Education Coordinator, and John B Hedges, who began as our new Interim Music Director on Sunday, July 21, 2013.

Stephanie Cawley…


Added by Former Settled Minister on July 26, 2013 at 12:30pm — No Comments

A Covenant With Our Future: General Assembly 2013

This year’s UUA General Assembly marked my second pilgrimage out to the land of chalices and yellow t-shirts, which happened to be located in Louisville, Kentucky. Although my attitude, agenda, and activities differed significantly from the ones that dominated my 2012 “Justice GA” experience, I am pleased to say that one crucial element carried over from last year – the intense commitment of our denominational leaders and membership.


Workshops of…


Added by Ranwa Hammamy on June 25, 2013 at 8:52pm — No Comments

Property Report - Garden Improvements

The Memorial Garden Committee is donating money for new plants to improve the appearance of the two fenced garden plots in front of the Chestnut Street porch. The Property Ministry Team is pulling together ideas and volunteers for the project.

We recently met with representatives of the Philadelphia Horticultural Society to assess the current, aged growth and to seek suggestions for plants that will look good in all seasons and will enhance our historical façade. (BTW – they loved our…


Added by Lora Thornburg on June 22, 2013 at 9:53am — No Comments

The Sound of All of Us

"We covenant..."

These words are not uncommon to our congregational life, honored and voiced most often during our worship services and meetings. But what exactly does it mean to “covenant?” Why do we as a faith community, as a religious movement, engage in the act of covenanting? Some of us may be quick to substitute in our minds the words “promise” or “agree” whenever we hear the term “covenant.” But that is an over-simplification, an incomplete assessment, which misses the…


Added by Ranwa Hammamy on May 18, 2013 at 10:03am — No Comments

Canceled: Deep Green Resistance event

After hearing from over a dozen leaders in the LGBTQ community, and after having spoken directly with a representative of Deep Green Resistance, Executive Director and Minister, Rev. Nate Walker and Business Administrator, Norman Fouhy have determined that the Resistance Rewritten Tour with Rachel Ivey is incongruent with the church's Moral Clause: 

"The First Unitarian Church of Philadlephia (the "Owner") is a congregation strongly committed to promoting the inherent worth and…


Added by Former Settled Minister on May 16, 2013 at 4:13pm — No Comments

Gratitude & Goodbyes from your Student Minister

I know September seems like it was only yesterday -- but believe it or not, this Sunday, May 19, I will participate in my very last worship service as your Student Minister at First U.

My Student Ministry in this congregation fulfilled the field education requirement for my program at Harvard Divinity School -- which I'll graduate from (finally!) on May 30.  I was so excited to focus this learning year around my passion for urban and contextual ministry -- working with lay leaders on…


Added by Lee Paczulla on May 14, 2013 at 10:09pm — No Comments

Wedding Party!

My wife Danielle and I would like to celebrate our marriage to each other, with our First Unitarian Church family. We're holding a potluck party here at First UU on Sunday May 26th at 2pm, downstairs in Griffin Hall, with karaoke and card games! We hope you can join us in community, music, and joy.

Please bring some food or drink to share... and please do not bring gifts otherwise. If you wish, you can make a donation out to First Unitarian Church in our names.

Added by Daniel Widyono on May 14, 2013 at 12:00pm — 1 Comment

May Beacon and UUA Bulletin

The May Beacon is hot off the press, so please be sure to check it out online, or pick up a copy next time you're at the church.

The May issue contains upcoming church event info, as well as:

  • a seminarian's reflection on humanity
  • a reflection on the UU Buddhist Fellowship Convocation
  • a commentary about North Carolina's controversial…

Added by Michael McKee on May 2, 2013 at 8:19pm — No Comments

Let's Go To LUUisville!

That’s no typo! Every year, thousands of Unitarian Universalists come together for our annual General Assembly in June. This year, from June 19 – 23, Louisville, Kentucky will become LUUisville (in my mind anyways), and will be home to dozens of interactive programs, worship experiences, and social justice/witness events organized by Unitarian Universalists…


Added by Ranwa Hammamy on May 1, 2013 at 10:00am — No Comments

The Fullness of Humanity*

If there is one reality that has been affirmed on my budding ministerial journey, it is that people are messy. And I do not just mean in the physical, dirty-dishes-in-the-sink, underwear-left-on-the-bathroom-floor sense. I am talking about the emotional, psychological, and spiritual messiness that makes us the relationally complicated beings that we are. I am talking about the parts of our selves that behave in ways that are not always purely driven by love, that aspect of our nature that is…


Added by Ranwa Hammamy on April 17, 2013 at 3:34pm — No Comments

We Know This, A Pastoral Message


Added by Michael McKee on April 16, 2013 at 10:59am — No Comments

Having Your Voice to the End of Your Life

I'm offering the upcoming course Having Your Voice to the End of Your Life at the Unitarian Society of Germantown starting in May. The following and many other questions will be addressed at a Seminar/workshop offered at the Unitarian Society of Germantown on May 12th (12:30-2:30), May 19th (1:00-5:00) and June 9, 12:30-2:30).  To register, go to…


Added by Mark B. Peterson on April 11, 2013 at 3:30pm — No Comments

Student Minister Gives Invocation for City Council

Hi all!

This morning, I was honored to deliver the invocation to open the Philadelphia City Council session, at the invitation of At-Large Councilman Bill Green and his staff.  The text of the short reflection and prayer I offered is below.  It has been such a gift this year to serve as your Student Minister and feel the support of this congregation - I hope I represented you well!…


Added by Lee Paczulla on April 4, 2013 at 4:29pm — 1 Comment

Food Justice Book Group: April Book Selection

What’s the group about?

The Social Justice Ministry Team has formed a Food Justice Book Group.  Church members and friends are invited to read the book group selections and share their opinions about the book at a discussion table to be held at a potluck lunch and/or online through a book group that has been created on the Good Reads website.


When is the next meeting?

The next meeting will be held on Sunday, April 21st at 12:30 in Griffin…


Added by Julie Orts on April 4, 2013 at 3:30pm — No Comments

First U Rated Top Concert Venue

This just in:

The Philadelphia Inquirer and has featured the First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia as one of their favorite spots to see local music in…


Added by Matt Miceli on April 4, 2013 at 8:30am — 1 Comment

Open Invitation: Get Informed!

I would like to extend an invitation to any interested congregants to attend any of our upcoming meetings listed here.
  • April 7th  -  12:30 PM   -  Info Session: Executive Director/Minister Roles Proposal
  • April 14th - 12:30 PM   -  Info Session: Crafting Our Budget
  • April 17th -  6:30 PM    -  Board Meeting
  • April 24th - 6:30 PM     -  Board Meeting: Budget
  • April 28th - 12:30…

Added by Daniel Widyono on April 3, 2013 at 11:41am — No Comments

Love is Immigration Reform

Dear First Unitarian Members & Friends,

The efforts for just and humane immigration reform have been gaining steady momentum, and success, in recent months. From the introduction of the Pennsylvania DREAM Act last month, to the growing support for reform across party lines, it is time for us to show our support for just changes to our immigration policies. It is time for us…


Added by Ranwa Hammamy on April 3, 2013 at 12:00am — No Comments

The Heart Center: Unconditional Acceptance

There is an inherent goodness at the heart of everything, but at times we find it difficult to see the good in situations or people that aren’t to our liking. However, what’s really needed is the courage to look deeply into all things occurring in our lives. In our active, goal-oriented culture, we tend to engage in busy work on the surface of life, while mistrusting stillness. This tendency to avoid stillness blinds us to the good that lies at the heart of all things. However, if we stop…


Added by Rev. Addae Ama Kraba on April 1, 2013 at 9:30am — No Comments

April Beacon & UU Bulletin

Happy spring to you and yours! There are TONS of events and activities coming up at First Unitarian in the month of April, so please be sure to check out this month's edition of The Beacon!

The April issue contains all kinds of church news, as well as:

  • information about the Interweave stakeholder's…

Added by Michael McKee on March 28, 2013 at 2:00pm — No Comments

You're Invited...

Added by Michael McKee on March 27, 2013 at 4:30pm — No Comments

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