First Unitarian Society of Ithaca

Sunday Services 10:30 am

Corner of Buffalo & Aurora St.

Ithaca, NY

A welcoming spiritual home for religious free thinkers

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Society Banner Competition - Your Entry is Requested!

Event Date: 
Sunday, 22 February 2015 - 12:30pm - 1:30pm




With FUSIT's upcoming 150th birthday celebration there is a desire to announce to the community who UU's are and what we stand for.  We need your ideas and thoughts on attractive designs.  We also expect to be marching in the Ithaca Festival Parade with one or more banners.

The banner dimensions would be approximately 2 1/2' x 8'  with lettering bold and sized to be read easily from a distance.

A board will be on display at the welcome table this Sunday and for the next several to gather your thoughts.

Here are examples to stimulate your thinking:



The next Board of Trustees Meeting

Event Date: 
Tuesday, 10 February 2015 - 7:00pm - 9:00pm

The next Board of Trustees meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 10, from 7-9 PM in the Parlor.  All are welcome to attend.

Agenda -  TBA



From Where I Sit

By now you’ve heard (too often) that I am a lifelong UU who investigated a number of other religious traditions before coming back to my roots. To some parents that might give them hope for their wayward high school student or young adult who appears to have abandoned the tradition that they chose. Then again, I was the only one of my three siblings who did this. But that was the UUA of the 60’s… I think we’re doing a much better job of helping our children and youth determine what it is they believe in and how important it is for us to work for justice throughout the world. The ministers of my “growing up years” were only seen by me for a short period of time each Sunday so their messages never quite reached me.
But, having worked fairly closely with more than seven ministers I have probably a better than average understanding of what is entailed for someone who is called to the ministry. For those who are truly meant to be a minister, specifically a UU minister, it is a difficult profession when done at all and enormously complex when s/he excels at it. Our next minister will need to be an excellent orator, a compassionate and ever present grief and crisis counselor, a skilled supervisor, an engaging writer, an expert on all things UU, good at self-care and, and….. Good luck to her/him! We will be lucky if s/he excels at just three or four key elements of ministry and soon, we as a congregation, will need to determine which skills would be preferred. What is it that each of us considers essential to being the best minister that First Unitarian needs in the near future? I phrase it that way because our needs will change as we (as an organization) change and grow. So, what is it that we (collectively) need in that person who will fill the pulpit most Sundays and be our public persona and who will most likely officiate at some of our memorial services? Again, I think we will need to think more universally in terms of our needs; the needs of more than just ourselves. And that will be difficult for some of us to discern, especially those who may be facing a serious health issue. Just because someone is facing death doesn’t mean that their priority to select a minister who is great at pastoral care is being selfish or suffering tunnel vision. A person who comes to minister to us would hopefully have that kind of ability to connect with others and would help one to navigate through grief and even better, be able to train others to be great care givers.
The search process is a long and intensive process and we will all be asked to evaluate why we value First Unitarian and what we dream it can become. We will need to dream while at the same time be somewhat realistic in our expectations. We know that there are plenty of great ministers out there. Let’s work together to find that person who will be the right fit for us at this time.

Mark Pedersen, Congregational Administrator

Best of Ithaca 2014: Ithaca Times Readers Vote For Their Favorite Places

Best-Looking House of Worship: First Unitarian Church

Designed by architect William Henry Miller, who also designed over 70 other buildings in Ithaca, the home of the First Unitarian Society of Ithaca dates back to 1893. Originally, the church was supposed to have a pyramidal roof, but a tall steeple was erected instead, ostensibly so that students could not miss seeing it. Over the years, the Unitarian empire has spread to adjoining buildings on North Aurora and East Buffalo streets, but the main church building, renovated in the 1990s is an imposing architectural gem and a downtown landmark.

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