A religious community concerns itself not only with spiritual development; but it also invites all people into a circle of connection, caring, fun, and friendship.  We value and support each other through opportunities to both give and receive care and we develop treasured connections by gathering together for celebration and fun.

Join us for Walden Hill Wednesdays (learn more)

Upcoming Leadership Meetings

Board of Directors – (meets 3rd Wednesdays)

Upcoming Events


UU Doggy Meet-up
Saturday, August 17| 10:30 am|River Road Dog Park
Come with your favorite fur-babies to have fun and fellowship at the dog park.


Monarch Butterfly Walk
Saturday, August 24|10:30 am|Northern Hills Prairie
Join us for a relaxed walk to check out the masses of migrating Monarch butterflies and bunches of late summer prairie flowers. Email Sue or Phil Wheeler to sign up.


Nodding Wild Onions at Squash Blossom Farm
Sunday, August 25| 4-6 pm| Squash Blossom Farm
Come for music and fellowship. Bring a picnic or order a wood-fired pizza. There is something for everyone at Squash Blossom Farm. Hosts – Lyn, Steve, and Chip Smith. Contact Lyn to let her know you are coming.

Fall Kick-Off Picnic
Saturday, September 7|4:30 pm|Upper Parking Lot of First UU
Celebrate the start of the new church year at First UU with a potluck picnic in the Upper Parking Lot. Righteously eclectic music by the Nodding Wild Onions. Fellowship will grill burgers, hot dogs, and veggie burgers for you. Please bring beverages for your family, a side dish or dessert to share, and lawn chairs or a blanket to sit on.

Hawthorne Helps – THANK YOU!
Thursday, September 19|6:30-8:00 pm|Commons
Join us for a ‘Thank You” party hosted by Hawthorne Helps. Featuring The John Siever’s Duo. Dessert, lemonade, and coffee will be served. Please RSVP to sandy.j.mac@hotmail.com or (507) 282-8496

Armchair Travelers: The Camino Francés: Walking Spain’s Medieval Pilgrimage with Jan Kaplan
Friday, September 20th|7 pm|Commons
Join us to welcome former Rochester UU Jan Kaplan who will share her life-changing journey with us. In 2017, Jan walked the entire Camino Francés, or “French Way,” from the border of France to Santiago de Compostela in northwest Spain; stopped for a couple of days, and then decided to keep walking to the ocean…a total of 747 miles.  Come learn about this medieval pilgrimage route and why people from all over the world continue to be drawn to it.  You will understand why Jan did a second pilgrimage, the Camino Portugués (Portuguese Way) in 2018 and why she is planning another camino, Camino del Norte (“si dios quiere”) in 2020. Fellowship will provide beverages and all are invited to bring a snack to share if you wish. We will sip and socialize for 15 minutes before the program begins at 7:15.


UU Women’s Retreat
November 1-3|Cedar Valley Resort|Whalan, Minnesota
It is time to register for our annual UU Women’s Retreat. Join us for beautiful surroundings, incredible women, and a weekend of spirituality, creativity, and self-care. To learn more and to register, click here. Scholarships are available. Please contact Melissa Eggler to inquire.


Sharing | Volunteering | Social Action

Hawthorne Helps Blue Barrel Collection
Contribute to the blue barrel in the Commons, (Accepting only new and unused items…thank you!!)

Volunteer Opportunity – AARP Low Income Tax Assistance
One of our social justice outreach programs is to help lower income taxpayers fill out tax returns so that they can meet their obligations and maximize any refunds. We need volunteers who can help clients fill out tax returns and other volunteers who can help schedule appointments and welcome taxpayers to their appointments. Classes will be provided, November-January, in addition to mentoring where needed. Your “working” schedule is very flexible. Please call or email Ella VanLaningham for information (egvanlaningham@gmail.com).

Seasonal Reminders

Fall 2019 Pathway to Membership
Sunday, September 22|12:30pm-3pm|Sanctuary
Welcome to First Unitarian Universalist of Rochester: A Class for Newcomers

Join us as we explore how wonderful being a member of the First UU Church of Rochester can be!  If you have been visiting and time of discussion. You will meet others who are exploring our church as their spiritual home and together we will have an opportunity to share our religious journey. We will explore the principles, mission, and vision of this church, as well as historical and contemporary Unitarian Universalism.

To attend, please sign up on the clipboard on the Guest Table or contact Melissa Eggler, Coordinator of Congregational Life, at 282-5209 or congregationlife@uurochmn.org. With at least one-week advance request, childcare will be provided.

Affinity Groups


Class: “The Bible as a Historical Document”
2nd Sundays | 7 pm | Hearth Room

Lecture and discussion facilitated by Frank Druktainis & Jim Olson. All are welcome!

Study Group: Principle 4
4th Sundays | 7 pm | Hearth Room
The Principle 4 Study Group is centered around a free and responsible search for truth and meaning. Contact: Anne Black-Sinak


Course in Miracles
Every Monday | 10:00 am | Commons
This weekly study group reads and discusses the text of “A Course in Miracles (ACIM)” which offers a system of metaphysical thought, based on unconditional love and forgiveness. Participants discuss the challenges of trying to “live the Course.” Contact Peggy Marchesani for more information.


UU Zen Meditation Group
Tuesdays|7 pm|Thoreau Room
A weekly group practice of zazen: a meditation as it is taught in the Soto Zen Buddhist tradition. The group will focus on practice, with some time for discussion. Group members will have the opportunity to shape the direction and focus of the meetings to best support their own practice. Bring an open mind and a cushion or pillow. Contact Darin Podulke-Smith for more information.

Clara Barton Guild
TBD|11:30 am|Hearth Room

Great Books Club
1st & 3rd Tuesdays | 9:30 am | Chapel
UUs and the community at large are welcome. For information about upcoming readings, contact Sandy Ramage

UU Book Club
3rd Tuesdays | 6 pm | various locations

Study Group: Chosen Faith
4th Tuesday | 7 pm | Hearth Room
The Chosen Faith Study Group invites you to come and discuss Rethinking Religion: Finding a Place for Religion in a Modern, Tolerant, Progressive, Peaceful and Science-affirming World, by Barbara O’Brien.  The Study Group reads and discusses Unitarian and Universalist leaders’ views of the past and present, as well as other significant liberal theologies. All are invited for a lively discussion.  For more information please contact Anne Black-Sinak  (charyut@gmail.com)


Interest Group: Buddhism
1st Wednesdays | 7:00 pm | Clara Barton Room

Questions? Contact Frank Druktainis

Soul Writing
1st and 3rd Wednesdays|7:15 pm| Conference room/Chapel
In Literature, art, and theology, the soul is often described as the story within oneself. During our time together, we will be following the outline in Rev. Karen Hering’s book, Writing to Wake the Soul: Open the Sacred Conversation Within. The book has 10 topics – justice, hope, faith, sin, reverence, hospitality, grace, love, redemption, and prayer. Non-writers and writers are welcome to explore and discover each one’s own inner story. Rev. Hering’s book will be used as a guide and is not required.  Contact Roxanne Schlasner for additional details.


Caring Crafters (Sept. through May only)
2nd Thursdays | 1 pm | Hearth Room
The Caring Crafters use their talents to bring comfort or joy to members of our congregation.  We knit, crochet, quilt, and weave items for the minister to give to people facing challenges, crisis, or grief; make tied fleece blankets to give to our Coming of Age graduates and knitted or crocheted baby blankets for infants and young children being welcomed into our congregation; and make cards to send to those who are grieving or celebrating.  The work brings us together; the fellowship keeps us together. Meets 3rd Thursday each month.  Contact: Sarah Rothwell for additional details.


UU Bridge Club
Generally 2nd  Saturdays | 6:30-10:30 PM | Joyce Lewis’ home