Shared Interest Groups
Established in 1882, the mission of the Women’s Alliance is to:
- serve the community, both locally and beyond
- provide friendship
- offer spiritual, and cultural stimuli for its members
- support First Unitarian and the Unitarian Universalist Association
Monthly programs, open to everyone who is interested, feature inspiring speakers followed by a delicious catered luncheon. Membership dues of $35 support the programs and business expenses. Luncheons are $10 each.
Alliance fundraisers include selling organic fair trade coffee, cheese from Vermont, home-made Easter desserts, and a night at the theater event. Their major fundraising event of the year is an annual Antiques and Uniques indoor sale. All fundraising profits after expenses benefit selected charitable organizations that support women and families.
Meetings are held on the first Monday of the month from October through May, with an annual outing in June.
Contact: Gail Brule
Never underestimate the power of delicious food to lift community spirit.
Our weekly Coffee Hour following the worship service is a cooperative congregational effort organized by the Women’s Alliance.
In order to feed the ravenous crowd each Sunday, eight people bring a snack that serves 24. The Alliance encourages everyone to sign up for at least one Sunday each church year to bring a snack – either store-bought or home-made, either sweet or savory. You can sign up in the first parlor of Parish Hall during Coffee Hour any Sunday.
2nd Sundays at 7pm
UUMen welcomes men of all ages and stages in life. We help each other to deal creatively with the issues of being male in our culture. We confront gender injustice; homophobia; racism; loneliness; distrust between men, against women and children; and other issues.
The facilitator defines our monthly topics; we rotate and share the role of facilitator. Occasionally, we enjoy Saturday breakfasts and other social events together. We have been meeting for more than two decades and invite you to join us.
Leader: Steve McCloy
Transylvania Partner Church
As part of the Unitarian Universalist Partner Church Council, our Transylvania Partner Church Committee supports a partnership between First Unitarian and the Unitarian church in Szentegyhaza, Transylvania, currently a part of Romania, through communications and visits with the community.
The kopjfa, or memorial post, in our meditation garden and the wooden chalice used for our joys and sorrows ritual in Sunday worship are gifts from our partner church, made by woodworker members of their congregation.
Through fundraising efforts, First Unitarian helped to fund construction of the Szentegyhaza church bell tower and a loft apartment to house future visitors.
First Unitarian congregants traveled to Transylvania in 2006, 2012, and 2015 to further explore Transylvanian Unitarian history, celebrate our friendship, and strengthen our ties. Another trip is planned for the near future.
The committee welcomes all who wish to be part of this mutually enriching partnership with another congregation halfway ’round the world.
Contacts: Tom Getz and Janet Downing Taylor
Irene’s Book Nook
Open during Coffee Hour most Sundays, Irene’s Book Nook offers books on a wide variety of subjects: Unitarian Universalism, inspiration, daily meditation, Buddhism, Bible studies, environmental concerns, children’s stories, poetry, family life and rituals, and more.
Recent titles from Skinner House, Beacon Press, and Skylight Paths as well as the annual UUA Common Read project are available. Irene and Tony Allen started this First U bookstore more than a decade ago and shepherded it for many years. Formerly called the Atrium Bookstore, its name was changed to Irene’s Book Nook in memory of Irene Allen. All profits benefit the church.
Buildings and Grounds
Do you enjoy gardening? DIY projects around the house? A couple times a year there are opportunities to contribute to the upkeep and improvements of the church’s buildings and grounds. Volunteers are needed for annual fall and spring garden projects. This is a good way to help and enjoy being outdoors.
Contact: Nancy Weiss-Fried
First U Community Band
Community Band provides an opportunity for people in our community to connect with each another though making music and song. Anyone who likes to play an instrument or sing is welcome.
We gather to sing and play through some UU hymns, folk and roots music, spirituals, or songs with a positive social message with the goal of perhaps playing them in a church service once or twice a year.
Contact: Kate Bowden
Finance and Investment Committee
This group oversees the investment of the church’s invested funds and provides strategic financial advice to the church treasurer and Prudential Committee.
Contact: Jennifer Laurelli
Joyful Noise Community Music
Joyful Noise Community Music creates inclusive, all-age musical sharing opportunities for young people’s chapel and for multigenerational services in the Meeting House.
First U Art Collective
Reflecting the arts and aesthetic vision of our creative community, the Art Collective coordinates individual artist and group exhibits monthly in the Atrium. Our hope is to support and nurture a healthy spiritual community by giving the gift of beauty and offering a window into an artist’s visual sense of meaning and search for truth.
Art exhibit openings in the Atrium are usually held in conjunction with the social hour of the monthly All Parish Suppers. Exhibitors may sell their pieces, giving 25% of the price of their sale as a donation to the church. Art Collective members pay a nominal fee to join.
Contacts: Chiara Romano Van Erp and Jim Barfoot
Knitting for a Better World
Come join us each week for an evening of knitting and conversation. You can work on your own project or knit for one of First Unitarian’s social justice projects, including our Mitten Tree. Beginners are always welcome. We have plenty of yarn and needles to get you started.
Contact: Kathy Ahlquist
Green Team Environmental Task Force
The Green Team Environmental Task Force promotes environmental issues and sustainable living within and outside First Unitarian. We care for our environment so that it may sustain life for generations to come. This is an especially important responsibility because those who are most impacted by environmental destruction are often those with the least power.
Contact: Kristen Ivy Moses