Speaker: Rev. Erin Gingrich

We All Take the Bait

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Celebrant, Martha Sherick Shen

We all react. We all get our buttons pushed and try as we might to not react, we do. We are wired to respond faster than we can consciously organize our thoughts and feelings with our deepest values and beliefs. Recognizing this, people in 12 Step programs have compassionately said, “I’m not responsible for my first thought, only what I do with it.” Let us slow down and compassionately unpack the experience of how we engage our first thoughts to reinforce the ways we can do something different with them.

The Joy of Stepping on Eggshells

One Service at 10:00 am

Celebrant, Martha Shen


Have you ever considered that walking on eggshells might actually be satisying if we weren’t trying to prevent the inevitable? Let’s consider how we can speak from a place of beauty and care, rather than fear of activating someone else’s reactivity. We’ll continue an exploration of nonviolent communication (or compassionate communication).

The Ancestors of Summer

One Service at 10:00 am

Celebrant, Birch Spick


This June marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots (June 28-29, 1969), a watershed moment for LGBTQ liberation movements in the United States. On this Capital City Pride weekend, join our community as we consider what beauty we find in resistance. As we gather together, may we consider how the fore-runners of the queer and trans liberation movements teach us this.

The Beauty of Community


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In this service that precedes our annual congregational meeting, we celebrate the beauty of community. Members here aspire to make our First Unitarian community warm and welcoming and to make a positive difference in the world. To paraphrase the draft mission statement, we’re here to inspire spiritual and ethical growth; to prepare ourselves for service within and outside our walls; and (beginning with ourselves) to heal the world. This mission encapsulates the beautiful community we aspire to be. Today we celebrate the ways that as a community we are living into our aspirations—despite, and sometimes because of, the bumps and glitches we experience along the way.

Integrity as Wholeness


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In the documentary, “The Feminist on Cellblock Y,” male inmates are examining patriarchy and sharing what adhering to it has cost them personally. They identify the requirement to compartmentalize oneself and one’s emotions in traditional masculinity as the underlying problem in their lives. We will look at their insights about patriarchy and gender and their prescription for integrity as we consider how we can be a people of wholeness together.

The Perfect Heart

Service at 9:15 and 11:00 am

Celebrant, Birch Spick

On this Sunday, the last day in our exploration of the theme Journey, David Witke shares his “Religious Journey” during Our Life Together; the Search Committee reveals the conclusion of their journey in the search for a candidate to be our next settled Senior Minister; and children who participated in the Kids Celebrate! class help tell the Paulo Coelho story, “The Perfect Heart”—about a village that learns what special trait the “perfect” leader really needs. Through story and song, we explore the ways our journey together is one of love and trust. This is a service for all ages.

Service for All Ages/ Child Dedication; Note: this is the service from the Sunday we were closed due to snow.

Special Music: Small choral group to sing When Jelly Beans are Criminal

The Journey of Belonging


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Service at 9:15 and 11:00 am

Celebrants, Susan Gross and Martha Shen

Unitarian Universalists affirm the worth and dignity of all people in the first of our seven principles. Living into this, our most fundamental belief, is not as easy as it sounds, either for us as individuals or as a faith community. What would it take for us to grow as a people in our ability to welcome and the worth and dignity of “others”? We will look at our neurobiology as well as our more conscious choices.

Special Music: UU Singers

It’s All About the Journey

Service at 9:15 and 11:00 am

The youth of First Unitarian share their perspectives on the journey through high school and into the rest of their lives. In this service, they anticipate all that life has to offer and the myriad of ways their futures might unfold.

“Welcoming” written and performed by Madeline Echternacht

The Trust that Love Built

Service at 9:15 and 11:00 am

Celebrant: Ben Spick

On this Sunday soon after Valentine’s Day, we celebrate the power of love to build trust. Through story and song, we explore the ways that love can build trust. This is a service for all ages.

Rebuilding Trust

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Service at 9:15 and 11:00 am

We’ve all had invitations to find our way back into trusting others or even ourselves. We’ve had to work through complexities to find ways to care for ourselves and our boundaries while also being open to the people we love and the inevitable missteps that we and others make. Let us examine what it takes for us to forgive and to rebuild trust.

A Possibility for Survival

Service at 9:15 and 11:00 am

Celebrant: Kellie Patterson

This month we ask how we can be a people of possibility, together. Let us apply the insights of Bowen family systems theory to consider what is actually possible to do individually and collectively wherever we find ourselves.


Special Music by: UU Singers

Will the Real Jesus Please Rise?


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On the verge of Christmas Eve, as Christians around the world celebrate a birth that happened more than 2,000 years ago, we Unitarian Universalists seek to discern the true meaning of that birth. As people of diverse theologies, we respect and celebrate a diversity of religious traditions. And we may rightly ask: “What is there in the life of Jesus of Nazareth that invites respect? Who was this Jesus, really?” Two millennia of history aside, what is there about Jesus to celebrate? Answering this question means looking past the assumptions and conventions of the season to discover the real Jesus. This service is suitable for people age 6 and older and is designed to welcome all our diverse theologies.

Reclaiming Blessings

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Unitarian Universalists hold sacred the ties that bind and we actively seek to affirm the inherent worth and dignity of every person. Given our humanist faith, we may not think to include prayer or offering blessings in our spiritual toolbox as we do this. Rev. Erin, members of our pastoral team and justice seeking groups will share stories about how powerful it can be to reclaim these tools.

Special music by Risa Vandegrift

Instrument of Peace

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Envisioning an end to sexual violence involves many things, including the willingness to understand and compassionately address the underlying motivations of those who cause harm. It involves a willingness to see those who have caused harm as whole and worthy of care. As a religious community, let us hold the pain of all with sacred compassion together.