Holidays at First UU Church

We are glad to gather throughout this season to celebrate many traditions and rituals. We hope you can join us to find ways to nourish your spirit with the gifts of connection, peace, and joy for the holidays.


Blue Holiday Service
Thursday, December 15 ~ 7pm
For many, the winter holiday season is a time of many emotions, including grief, pain, or loss. This is a contemplative, quiet holiday service to honor the complex feelings the holidays can bring. Come for music, poetry, and candle lighting in community.
Hanukah Service
Sunday, December 18 ~ 9am & 11am
Celebrate Hanukah including music from the adult and chalice choir.
Winter Solstice Celebration
Wednesday, December 21 ~ 6-7pm
Sanctuary & Courtyard
An annual marking of the longest night of the year, with music, poetry, and stories, ending with a fire in the courtyard. Join us for our weekly supper before the service at 5:30.
Christmas Eve Service
Saturday, December 24 ~ 4pm and 6pm
Cookie and Bar Reception ~ 5pm
Traditional services with readings, reflections and carols, including music from the choir, ending in candlelight and singing Silent Night.
No Sunday Service on December 25
Ritual of Change and Growth
Sunday, January 1 at 10:00 am (One Service only)
An annual service with music, readings, and a fire ritual to mark the threshold between the old and the new year. Each year, we bring to this service things to let go of and intentions to set. If you are joining online, you can prepare something to write with, and write on, and some way (by fire, or otherwise) to safely discard the paper for our ritual.


December Monthly Justice Partner is:
Family Promise of Rochester
Providing shelter, case management, and support to families experiencing homelessness in Rochester.

December 24 – 1/2 of the plate will go to Rochester Crisis Nursery

Guest At Your Table Boxes
Sunday, December 4 through December 24
Guest at Your Table (GAYT) is UUSC’s annual intergenerational program to raise support for and awareness about key human rights issues. Since UUSC works in more than 20 countries, with over 50 grassroots partners, there are thousands of individuals involved in and who benefit from the work that our members make possible. The program is an opportunity to celebrate grassroots partnership, support human rights, and learn about just four of these individuals – the “guests” in Guest at Your Table.

Making a Gift to Guest at Your Table

Donations to Guest at Your Table help advance community-led human rights initiatives around the world. Donations of $150 or more are eligible to be matched by the UU Congregation at Shelter Rock in Manhasset, NY.

To donate online, please use this secure donation page, which can also be accessed via the shortcut To donate by mail, please make checks out to “UUSC” with “Guest” or “GAYT”  in the memo field, and send to: UUSC •  PO Box 808  •  Newark, NJ 07101-0808.

First UU Giving Tree

Beginning Sunday, December 4, the tree will be decorated with tags notating donation items.

  1. Each Household may take a tag or tags from the mittens* on the tree.
    *Please Leave mittens on the tree.
  2. Purchase or Collect the items you chose, following the suggestions.
  3. Put the items into a plain brown paper bag.*
    *(Separate bags for each organization if you bring for more than one;
    Attach your tag to the bag or label with your tag’s organization)
  4. Bring items back to church by Sunday, December 18.*
    *(Items will be sorted after services & volunteers will deliver them)

To Benefit these organizations selected by the Social Justice Team:
GREEN TAGS SUPPORT: Rochester Women’s Shelter
RED TAGS SUPPORT: Project Legacy
YELLOW TAGS SUPPORT: Riverside Central Elementary School
BLUE TAGS SUPPORT: Hawthorne Helps


Pajama and Pancake Party
Saturday, December 10 ~ 5-7:30pm
The Pajama and Pancake Party is back! From 5pm-7:30pm on December 10, children may be dropped off at the church for an evening of activities and a pancake dinner with the Youth Group. This is a fundraiser for the youth group. Suggested donation is $20 per child
Holiday Cookie Exchange
Sunday, December 11 at 10:15am in the Peabody Room
Join us to exchange homemade holiday treats! We will gather around the table, with everyone choosing at the same time. Make as many treats as you’d like to exchange, and please bring tongs for selecting!
Register HERE!
Twelfth Night Christmas Tree Bonfire
Saturday, January 7 ~ 4:30-6:30 pm
Come light up the night at Squash Blossom Farm
Let’s gather to celebrate a belated Twelfth Night, the final day of the Christmas season, and the beginning of Epiphany, commemorating the arrival of the Magi bringing gifts to the baby Jesus. It is the day that Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas, and in many parts of the world bonfires are part of the celebrations. (Our celebration will be two days after the actual date this year.)