• From Dr. Alex Riegel – 10/12/2023

    Dr. Riegel and Mystic Coda at First U

     Postponed until Saturday, Jan. 27, at 7:30pm

    In 2015, I began a trio with two friends of mine, called Mystic Coda.  Originally a creative experiement, by 2015 we had produced a CD, entitled, The Holy Longing, and soon performed at various small venues.  Our work was disrupted during the covid pandemic but now that the pandemic is behind us, we are excited to be reengaging this work.  Our first reboot will be at First U, on October 21, at 7:30pm.  For those of you whose interest has been piqued by my own love of mystic poetry or teachings on Sufism, you will be especially interested in our work, several samples of which can be heard on our website: https://www.mysticcoda.com/  (If you are interested in attending our performance on the 21st, you can also purchase tickets on our website.) 

    Finally, feel free to send this email to anyone else you thing may be interested.  This would be a great way to introduce people to First U!

    [Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door.  Proceeds go to the two musicians who work with me.  I do this as a labor of love!]


    Dr. Riegel

  • This Coming Out Day

    Happy Coming Out Day!

    You may have heard it said that queer people never stop coming out. It’s true. I first came out when I was sixteen (around 2001). I started by telling my father that I was bi. Not long after that, I told my mother, and then a few close friends. It wasn’t a big deal, really. My family had always celebrated love and self-expression, and my friends were always kind to everyone. But, for some reason, it was still terrifying. Then, as a young adult, I learned the term Pansexual, and suddenly, I felt I had to come out all over again – “Oh, actually, y’all, I’m Pan, not bi.” And, you know what? It was still scary.

    Most recently (within the past five years), I’ve started examining my gender. It began when I was asked to identify my pronouns, and I found I really did not want to. Ultimately, through self examination, I came to understand myself as a person who is mostly ‘not a girl,’ and I adopted She/They as my pronouns. But, to tell you the truth, I am still exploring my gender. And, I am terrified I may have to come out yet again. Because, what it comes down to is this – coming out, even in the best of circumstances, is scary.

    Now, don’t get me wrong, it does get easier over time. These days, I don’t think twice about wearing my pride merch and telling anyone who asks that I am pansexual, or that my pronouns are she/they. But, in the beginning, it can be terrifying. That’s why, this coming out day, I want to make sure you are aware of The Coming Out Handbook from The Trevor Project. And, I want to assure you that if you aren’t ready to come out just yet, that’s okay too. Out or not, you are still loved, and you are still valid.

  • From Tim Kraus

    Special Performance Sat September 9 – Rev. Dennis McCarty

    Don’t forget that Rev. McCarty is coming back to Cincinnati to perform his One Man Musical on Saturday September 9 in our sanctuary @ 7 PM

    Servetus: The Radical Reformed Musical

    Suggested Donation $10. All proceeds benefit First Unitarian Church.

  • From Dr. Alex Riegel

    Dr. Riegel’s Sermon Series Zoom Discussion

    For my first three sermons as your developmental minister at First U, I chose to speak on the subject of love, i.e., the transformational process by which we “become the person we want to be before we die,” what the mechanism is for that transformation, and what it looks like to act from love rather than the instincts.  And of course, for those of you who were present, you are well aware that I introduced evolutionary psychology as a significant part of this message.

    On Wednesday evening, Sept 6, from 7:30 – 9pm (though we may end sooner), I will be leading a discussion on this sermon series, via Zoom.  Any topic I covered in this sermon series, or any topic you think may also be relevant to this sermon series, will be discussed.  (What we discuss will be based on your interests/questions, rather than another presentation by me.)

    If you would like to participate in this discussion, please respond directly to me, via email (alex.riegel@firstuu.com).  I will send out a Zoom link from my own Zoom account, approximately one hour prior to the discussion.

    Also, if you know anyone who is not a member of First U but might like to attend, that is fine.  If so, please direct them to YouTube where they can view the sermons ahead of time (or at the very least, this past Sunday’s sermon).

    Finally, I am attaching the insert I included in this past Sunday’s order of service, for those of you who may want to revisit the evol. psych. material before we meet. Click Here.


  • The Earth Care Team –

    Recycle Event September 10, 2023

    9:30 to 11:30 in the church Parking Lot

    • Batteries & Bulbs
    • ·     Alkaline
    • ·     Household 
    • ·     Lithium batteries 
    • Latex Paint-for Matthew Ministries
    • ·     Latex, Acrylic & Water Soluble only
    • ·     Containers at least 1/3 full
    • ·     Must be usable & can be stirred
    • ·     Free of debris
    • ·     In original container
    • The Earth Care Team will collect paint on this day only.  If you miss the event, please take your paint to Matthew Ministries.
    • Spread the word!
  • From Ellen Wathen and the Pride Parade


  • From Jane Kay for Extended Ministries


    Dear First Congregants:

    Many members of the congregation send cards of sympathy, support, and congratulation in response to the Joys and Concerns published in Circle of Friends.  For many years, it has also been the practice of Extended Ministry to send a card on behalf of the church. We also send birthday cards to our 75 Plus members and to our children for their Birthdays. We would like to enlist the help of  several people to rotate the sending of cards from the church on a monthly basis. Each person would take one or two months which would not have to be consecutive.   There is money in the budget to reimburse card senders ($.99 cards plus postage) – just provide me with your reimbursement request. E-cards would also be acceptable (especially for the children) if both sender and recipient have the capability.  

    Would you be willing to help us keep the church connected in this important way? Card sending responsibility would begin the first of September 2023 through August 2024. Please indicate to me which month(s) you would like to do.  I want to thank those who volunteer for extending our care of our beloved spiritual community to those who share their joys and concerns with us. Thanks ever so much. 

    eJane Kay, for Extended Ministry

  • From Community Builders – Patricia Rohrer

    Independence Day Potluck July 2nd

    Our First Sunday Potluck falls really close to Independence Day this year. Community Builders thought it would be fun to give our potluck an “all American Theme”.

    Please join us on Sunday, July 2nd for an Independence Day lunch. Community builders will provide beef and vegetarian hot dogs. We’re hoping some of you can help out by bringing sides and apple pie.

    If you’d like to help out by setting up/tearing down or providing food, please follow the link to the Signup Genius: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/5080D4AA5AC2CA75-independence

    We look forward to seeing you there!

    Patricia Rohrer

    On behalf of Community Builders

  • UU Adults & Kids March at Pride Parade on June 24

    Cincinnati Pride: Let’s March and Talk!

    Saturday, June 24.

    The annual Cincinnati Pride Parade and Festival is Saturday, June 24, 2023. In this era when there are sweeping anti-trans bills in state legislatures and even bills that undermine the rights of some gay, bi, and queer persons, UU Council of Greater Cincinnati is hoping for a huge showing of UUs of all ages. 

    UUs in the PARADE

    Line Up starts at 10 a.m. Step Off is around 11 a.m.

    The parade starts at 11 a.m. at 7th and Plum Streets downtown. Be there by 10 am to find parking and find the people in the yellow clothes and with the yellow banners in that vicinity. UU Council of Greater Cincinnati’s float will be a minivan with a huge flaming chalice on top. You can view the parade route at the Cincinnati Pride Parade website information page.  Carpool, bicycle, bus, just be there! 

    For more information on coordination UU Council of Greater Cincinnati involvement in the parade, contact MJ Pierson by email, or by phone at 513-258-4784. For questions specific to First Church, contact First Church Opening Hearts coordinator Trish Hart by email.

    UU Booth at the FESTIVAL

    Booth staffed in shifts from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

    The Pride Festival takes place at Sawyer Point and Yeatman’s Cove, 705 East Pete Rose Way, Cincinnati, OH 45202. It’s once again free for everyone. There are food, drinks, vendors, and entertainment to fill your Saturday afternoon with fun. More information on the festival is on the Cincinnati Pride Festival website

    Help people learn about Unitarian Universalism by staffing UU Council’s booth. It’s a lot of fun working a shift at the booth, talking with people, handing out information, and watching the crowd. Sign up for setting up, staffing or breaking down the booth at Sign-Up Genius. For more information on working at the UU information booth, contact MJ Pierson via email at MJ Pierson via email, or call her at 513-258-4784. 

    If you have questions on the day of the festival—including help in locating the booth—you can text MJ Pierson at the phone number above.

  • From Linnea Lose – 06/02/2023


    First Unitarian Church of Cincinnati became the 249th UU congregation in the nation to adopt the 8th Principle. The congregation on May 21, 2023, unanimously voted, “First Unitarian Church of Cincinnati, as a member congregation of the Unitarian Universalist Association, adopts the 8th Principle to covenant to affirm and promote journeying toward spiritual wholeness by working to build a diverse multicultural Beloved Community that by our actions accountably dismantles racism and other oppressions in ourselves and our institutions.”

    All congregations belonging to the Unitarian Universalist Association affirm and promote Seven Principles, which we hold as strong values and moral guides. First Unitarian Church of Cincinnati also adopted an 8th Principle, specific to our congregation, that affirms our legacy of building a diverse multicultural Beloved Community to dismantle racism and other oppressions in ourselves and our institutions.

    The 8th Principle reads, “

    • First-Cincinnati adds 8th Principle to typical Seven Principles
    • 1st Principle: The inherent worth and dignity of every person.
    • 2nd Principle: Justice, equity and compassion in human relations.
    • 3rd Principle: Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations.
    • 4th Principle: A free and responsible search for truth and meaning.
    • 5th Principle: The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large.
    • 6th Principle: The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all.
    • 7th Principle: Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.
    • 8th Principle specific to First Unitarian Church of Cincinnati: Build a diverse multicultural Beloved Community that by our actions accountably dismantles racism and other oppressions in ourselves and our institutions.