Summer Services

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Our summer worship services will begin on June 26th, with services led by a mix of incredible lay leaders and your ministers throughout the summer.  Join us in person in our air conditioned parish room or on Zoom at 11am each Sunday for these soulful services!


Summer Services Zoom linkhttps://uuma.zoom.us/j/145662677
Meeting ID: 145 662 677

Call in number: (646) 876-9923
Meeting ID: 145 662 677 


June 26.
 Radical Acceptance & Radical Love on the Great American Roadtrip

Service led by: Katherine Schneider
In times of extreme polarization, how might we lean into our UU values to a path forward? Can we practice “radical acceptance” of and even “radical love” for those with whom we disagree, perhaps vehemently? Katherine Schneider’s answer to this question involved a pandemic year adventure in an Airstream on the Great American Roadtrip, meeting all kinds of people and confirming we have more in common than not.
     Dr. Katherine Schneider is a family physician and health system executive who has been an independent consultant since 2021 when she returned home to Philadelphia from a yearlong, solo Great American Roadtrip. She has been a member of the First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia since 2010 and has served in various volunteer leadership roles there as well as with the UU Service Committee. She and her husband, Dr. Bill Petricone, live in Center City.


July 3. What Happened to You?
Service led by: Melody Bergey
Drawn in part from Oprah Winfrey's book of the same name, this service will explore how trauma impacts individuals and society. It is hard to discuss trauma, and even harder to face the stigma of admitting one's own experience of trauma, but whether we discuss it or not, it affects our lives and communities. Join us in unpacking what defines trauma, the impacts it has, and the ways we can live with and beyond it.
     Melody has been a member of First Unitarian for over 5 years, singing with the choir and the band, serving as a worship associate, involved in small group ministries, and the stewardship team. She recently finished a degree in graphic design, and is a lover of baking and the outdoors!


July 10. Behold: A Time for Healing is Upon Us
Service led by: Rev. Zemoria Brandon
Join us for a worship service filled with a time for healing and reflection through the power of music; song; spoken word; sacred dance and spiritual messages.
   
Reverend Zemoria Brandon is the administrator/social worker for the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America, Philadelphia/Delaware Valley Chapter. Her commitment to the sickle cell community is influenced by her marriage of 25 years to the late Rev. Walter E. Brandon who passed away from complications of sickle cell disease in 1998 at age 59 years old.
     Received BSW from Temple University, School of Social Administration in 2001 and ordained as an Interfaith Minister in 2011 through The New Seminary for Interfaith Studies in New York.
     Rev. Brandon became a member of the First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia in 2011 and has served as a former trustee; and member of the worship ministry team and First Church Voices Intergenerational Choir.


July 17. The Examined Faith
Service led by: Lisa Schilansky
By design, Unitarian Universalism is a creedless tradition, but that does not mean it is a faithless one. 20th Century Unitarian James Luther Adams famously said, "An unexamined faith is not worth having." He also argued that all people are people of faith regardless of whether one believes in God. Join us as we explore what it can mean to be a person of faith in Unitarian Universalism.
     Lisa has been at First Unitarian since 2010 right after moving to Philly and was singing in the choir by her second weekend at the church. Currently in her second year of seminary at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, Lisa is spending her summer interning in the spiritual care department of Lankenau Hospital. Lisa lives in Philly with her partner Molly and their two cats.

July 24. How to Be a Tourist
Service led by: Phaedra Tinder
Most summers, we think of vacations - maybe to the beach, far off cities, or road trips.  Being a tourist somewhere can be a freeing, tense, disorienting, exciting, and conflicted experience.  What is it about being a tourist, and about not being a tourist, that we can take home with us for the rest of the year?
     Phaedra has been part of the First U community since moving to the Philadelphia area almost 9 years ago. Since then she has grown to love both. She lives in West Philly.

July 31. Questions of Faith
Service led by: Rev. Hannah Capaldi
In this service, Rev. Hannah will answer your questions about theology and Unitarian Universalism. This is a fun and improvisational service where your questions get to be centered as Rev. Hannah responds in real-time to the deeper mysteries sitting with you.
     Rev. Hannah Capaldi serves as First Unitarian Church's Minister for Faith Formation.

August 7. Children are People Too
Service led by: David & Zed O'Connor
Every person has inherent worth and dignity.  And children are people too!  We agree with both of these statements, but sometimes, we treat children differently in way that does not extend them the dignity they deserve.  David and Zed will have a conversation about this, and share some different ways of thinking that are powerful for both people in an adult and child relationship.
     Zed and David O'Connor are some of the founding members of Philly Agile Learning Community, an organization supporting self-directed learning spaces in Philadelphia, and have been involved with First Unitarian for about 5 years.  Zed is an advocate for alternative education, enjoys drumming, gaming, acting, the outdoors, and spending time with their sister, Maddy.  David serves as President of First Unitarian, and has been deeply involved in tech for creating hybrid worship here.

August 14. Blessing of the Animals
Service led by: Rev. Abbey Tennis
In this service, we celebrate the gifts of our interconnectedness with the animal world. Bring your well-behaved or crated pets to the sanctuary or to your zoom camera to receive a blessing in this intergenerational service. Pictures of shy or departed pets, stuffed animals, or other symbolic animals are invited to receive a blessing too!
     Rev. Abbey Tennis serves as First Unitarian Church's Lead Minister.

August 21. Fanny Kemble, Great First Unitarian Abolitionist
Service led by: Richard Frey
This service will celebrate the rarely told story of Fanny Kemble - great actor, abolitionist, writer, and member of this congregation in the 1800s. Join us to learn about our history and glean wisdom from our powerful foremothers!
     Richard has been a member of twelve Teamster's Union Locals and has visited forty eight states. Now about to turn eighty, he's an artist with a Batchelor of Fine Arts, an activist, an architectural history buff, a tour guide--and for forty years a passionate member of our church. He is married to Diane Frey and daughter Julia has made them grandparents.


August 28. The Beginnings We Do Not Choose
Service led by: Rev. Abbey Tennis and Corinne Dever
We often celebrate new beginnings, but it can be hard to know how to face new starts when they follow grief, or struggle, or failure. How can we face the new beginnings in our lives, chosen or not, while continuing to honor our wholeness, our relationships, and our communities?
     Corinne Dever is a mom to a delightful 9 year old daughter, and has been a member of First Unitarian Church since 2019. She loves being a part of this community!

September 4. When Words Don’t Work, Listen More
Service led by: Chuck Black
As Unitarian Universalists, we have seven important principles that guide us. But to help live out our values, we should listen more. This service will explore the "Listen First" method, and reflect on the ways a culture of listening enables marginalized people to be truly heard.
     Chuck Black (he/him/his) is an Organizer, Educator, Doctoral Student, and Proud Philadelphian. He is also a person who stutters, and advocates for people with disabilities. Chuck joined First U in March 2021 where he has been a Heartcheck Facilitator, Caring Team Member, and has participated in the LGBTQIA+ Small Group Ministry.

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