First Universalist seeks to transform ourselves, our community, and our world through advocating for economic, environmental, LGBTQIA+, immigrant, and racial justice. You'll often find First Universalist members putting their faith into action at protest marches, prayer vigils, and homeless shelters; marching in the Pride parade, cleaning up Washington Square Park, and collecting school supplies for School No. 7. We follow the Unitarian Universalist (UU) tradition of "deeds not creeds." If you share these values and are looking for a place to get involved, we welcome you to join us in our justice ministries.
Past F.I.R.E. Program(s):
Eunice & Jim Eckberg Racial Justice Memorial Film Series
About the Film Series
This series features films that address racial justice through history, music and spiritual avenues. This event is a facilitated discussion of ways to further the message of racial equity in our city and world. Films are to be viewed on your own prior to discussion to assure a quality experience.
This film series is named in memory of two beloved First Universalist Church members who shared an enduring quest for racial justice throughout their years together. Eunice was tireless in her giving as a Rochester City School District teacher and her work at Rochester Psychiatric Hospital. Jim inspired through his gentle and insistent quest for racial equity. We are honored to remember them.
We are proud to support the following organizations through monetary donations and hands-on involvement.
Clara's Cupboard/Community Garden
Initiatives to reach out to the local community include our community garden and little free library (known as "Clara's Cupboard") located on the southwest corner of the building. Both of these provide free food, supplies, and literature to workers, residents, and visitors to our downtown neighborhood.
On the second Sunday of each month, we take up a collection of toiletries, paper goods, and non-perishable food items during our service to benefit the Community Food Cupboard on Nester Street. Our congregants continue to give generously each month.
Metro Justice is a member-driven, grassroots organization dedicated to social, economic, and racial justice in Rochester, NY. This past year, First Universalist members and friends participated in efforts to ensure all American workers earn a wage of at least $15 an hour.
New York UU Justice
We are organizing a New York UU State Advocacy Network and we are in the organizing phase. We had three meetings in the summer of 2020 to get input and are now working hard on vision, mission, values and governance. The best way to find out what is coming up is to sign up for our Mailchimp list we are using to keep in touch with all the folks who have participated or shown interest so far! Together, we herald our good news of hope, always standing on the side of love. We are the ones we've been waiting for...
Rochester LGBTQ+ Together & Pride Parade
We march in the annual Rochester Pride Parade every year to show our support to the LGBTQIA+ community of Rochester. Our local group is now Rochester LGBTQ+ Together.
Family Promise of Greater Rochester
Family Promise of Greater Rochester (FPGROC, formerly RAIHN) is a not-for-profit, interfaith, culturally-competent organization that assists families to achieve sustainable independence by supporting them with tailored services including shelter, food, personalized case management, and a diverse network of caring volunteers.
We provide tutors, as requested by teachers, for students in various grades at School 7 in the Rochester City School District.
Social Justice Plate Collection
On the third Sunday of each month, our Sunday morning plate collection is donated to an organization involved in social justice work. Most recipient organizations are local and often underfunded.
This year's recipients:
Center for Youth
Citizens Climate Lobby
Baden Street Settlement
Rural and Migrant Ministry
Black Community Focus Fund
Person Centered Housing Options
Family Promise of Greater Rochester
Community Food Cupboard at Nester Street
Planning a church event? Here's a handy checklist
to help you plan!
Learn more at uua.org/justice
Joy Leccese & Connie Valk
To learn more about our Social Justice Circles and how to create your own Social Justice Circle, click here.