Stand with us for social justice, peace, love

Sandy Hook vigil

Thursday, December 13, 7pm

Rev. Liz Lerner Maclay and Rev. Jamie Washam with artist Howie Sneider

First Unitarian is hosting our annual vigil on Thursday, December 13th, in memory of the terrible events at the elementary school in Sandy Hook, Connecticut.

At this service, we will receive and present the art made from firearms we took in last spring as part of our Guns to Plowshares initiative.

Scott Lapham and a number of area youth from the One Gun Gone program will speak. All are invited to attend and participate in this poignant and powerful observance.

Help feed the homeless community of Providence

Tuesday, December 4

Join us as we make sandwiches, prepare bagged lunches, and then go into the streets of Providence to distribute food to those in need who are socially, economically, or legally marginalized.

Later in the day we make a home-cooked meal and serve it at Emmanuel House where we also distribute basic clothing and hygiene products to our homeless brothers in need.

Every first Tuesday of the month, volunteers meet to prepare the lunches and dinners for the homeless of Providence. The December mission will feature a special meal and holiday gifts.

Led by the First U’s Neighborhood Social Justice Committee, the Leaves and Fishes Mission is to feed the hungry, serving them with compassion and kindness. “We provide food and clothing, and promote the dignity to those in need,” said a spokesperson.

To volunteer, come to First Unitarian’s kitchen at noon to join the Sandwich Brigade. The Outreach Mission meets around 3pm to prepare the lunch bags for distribution. The Serving Crew gathers at Emmanuel House, 239 Public Street, around 5pm to prepare the meal and then serve the homeless men staying at the shelter.

Global Write-a-Thon for human rights

Sunday, December 9, 1 to 5pm

The 31st annual letter-writing campaign to help free people jailed for the “crime” of standing up for freedom of speech and expression takes place on Sunday afternoon, December 9, at First Unitarian. The greater Providence community is invited and encouraged to attend.

Join people in communities throughout the US and world as we write letters to officials in Egypt, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, and other nations demanding that they free prisoners of conscience.

Sponsored by Amnesty International, the Write-a-Thon is held every year around December 10 to observe the date in 1948 on which the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Kamal Elias, a Yazidi Kurd, will join us and describe his narrow escape from the 2014 ISIS genocide against his people and his three-year effort to find a new home in the US.

Write-a-Thon participants will write letters at tables set up in the two Parish House parlors, with all materials supplied. Those who want to participate but are not free during the afternoon can use the Resource Room from 11:30am to 1pm to write letters.

Come for an hour or stay all afternoon. Enjoy snacks, prizes, and fellowship.

Recycle a Toy sale

Sunday, December 9, 12 noon

Young people can buy gifts for family and friends on a very small budget at the annual Toy Sale, sponsored by our 6th- and 7th- graders, on Sunday, December 9th. Prices of toys range from 25 cents to $2.

Adults can help by donating gently used or even new toys, games, and books for preschool through high-school-age children. Our goal is to encourage children to recycle their toys and help their community.

Through a democratic process, our young people will choose the recipient for the funds raised. Toys not sold will be donated to Camp Street Ministries in Providence.

The sale opens to the church community after the children shop.

Christmas Eve services

Monday, December 24, 5pm and 9pm

Led by Rev. Liz Lerner Maclay and Director of Religious Education Cathy Seggel

5pm Multigenerational Service

This joyful, multi-generational worship is for all ages, featuring the telling of the traditional Christmas story with an interactive, lively pageant. And, of course, there will be the magic of carols and candlelight in a special space. Come celebrate and invite your friends and neighbors to this spirited service.

9pm Candlelight Service

Our late Christmas Eve service will be full of candlelight atmosphere, marvelous music, beloved carols, festal readings, and Christmas spirit. All are welcome to this traditional celebration of song and story, darkness and light, reminding us that even in the coldest, hardest times, hope arrives and claims its place, again and again, in legend, in history, in our own hearts and minds. Come celebrate, bring your family, friends, and visitors to this service of beauty and joy.

Special candles for newborns

At both Christmas Eve services, we will honor all infants born to families in the church in the past year, by naming them and lighting a candle for each to lift up the blessing and hope of their new lives.

If you have a baby born into your family whose name you would like share, please contact Cathy Seggel ( by Monday, December 17.