Our programs and activities are open to all who wish to share in this church and its vital commitment to liberal religion. Specific contact names and numbers are provided for each group. Also, a telephone call to the church office (607-273-7521) during business hours will direct you to the person responsible for our various projects. If it is not convenient to call during business hours, our telephone answering machine operates at all other times and will record your questions.

ART IN THE PARLOR features a rotation of art exhibits (including photography and original crafts) by members and friends. The committee arranges for exhibits, makes the necessary preparations and seeks new exhibitors. Contact Diane Newton at 273-4960 or Margy Nelson at 257-7144.

BABIES FIRST. Imagine a child with no crib, no diapers, no warm clothing, no safe car seat, no toys, or no formula. These are a few of the situations addressed by Babies First, a church-based program in Ithaca. Our congregation annually provides over 150 items of baby equipment to families referred by local health and social service agencies. We welcome bakers, deliverers, washers, sorters, and a car seat technician. You can contact Babies First at babiesfirst@uuithaca.org or by calling 607-269-5385.

BOOK DISCUSSION GROUP meets on the first Friday of each month at 12:30 pm in the Beatrix Potter library. Participants bring their own lunches and spend about an hour and a half discussing the current book (chosen earlier). The discussion is led by one of the group members, who brings to the group book reviews and in-depth information about the author. After that there is open discussion about the book and author.

The Book Discussion Group chooses what it reads from a wide variety of writings.

To find out more, call Jennifer Streid-Mullen at 607-351-3087.

BUILDINGS AND GROUNDS HELPERS. Have an urge to plant a perennial, spring clean, fix a loose hinge, or wield a paintbrush in good company? Ideas and initiative are welcome! Contact coordinator Sara Catterall at 273-0191.

CARE TEAM provides support and care for members and friends going through challenging times. Contact Madonna Stallmann at madonnaoftheprairie@gmail.com.

CHOIR. Beginners to experienced singers welcome! The choir performs in the service once a month and rehearses Thursdays at 7:15 in the Annex. Contact director Jennifer Lawrence Birnbaum at choir@uuithaca.org.

DINER’S CLUB meets approximately once a month from November through April on a rotating basis for dish-to-pass dinners and conversation in members’ homes. The groups range in size from six to ten people and are always open to receive new participants. Contact Jane Koestler  j.e.koestler@gmail.com or 607-272-6422.

HOSPITALITY TEAMS. Four Hospitality Teams rotate responsibility for all aspects of greeting, ushering, and coffee hour each Sunday. For more information or to join a team, contact Fred Balfour at fred.balfour@gmail.com.

LABOR DAY UNIRONDACK WEEKEND. Enjoy this member-organized, fun-filled weekend in the Adirondacks. Share your talents, passions, and expertise! Contact Wendy Salomon at 272-1914.

LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, TRANSGENDER AND QUEER (LGBTQ) ACTION TEAM. The Action Team’s mission is to advocate and educate on behalf of LGBTQ communities.

THE BEATRIX POTTER LIBRARY is located on the second floor of the Parish House next to the RE office and is available to everyone. This library is primarily a source of books on the liberal religious quest in general and Unitarian Universalism in particular. There is no fee and information describing the informal checkout procedures is available at the library.

LIVING WITH CHRONIC ILLNESS.  We offer peer-to-peer spiritual and emotional support in a small group setting to persons who suffer from chronic illness or pain.  We meet on the second Wednesday of the month from 3:00 to 4:30pm, usually at the home of a member living in the Ithaca downtown area.
For further information call Dianne Ferriss at 272-6896.

MAHJONGG CLUB. Challenge yourself Thursday afternoons and learn about laughter in the world of chance. American Mah Jongg is played with score-cards that change yearly.  Please contact Margaret Moschak at 277-6448 if interested.

NATURE HIKING GROUP. This group draws inspiration from the natural world. Group hikes provide a way for members to share favorite and often, little known, treasured places in our region. To be included in announcements of hikes – which sometimes happen spontaneously just because it’s a beautiful day – you will want to subscribe to the group’s listserv.

You may sign up for the listserv by sending a request to Frank Muller veganphoto@gmail.com.

The RACE INTEREST GROUP seeks to educate ourselves and the congregation about our racialized history and the ongoing harmful racist elements of our society. We hope to make informed, meaningful and effective efforts to reach across the very real color barriers in our community and our denomination, and to take action against racial injustice. During the 2019-20 church year, we are running a monthly eduction and discussion series that (usually) meets on the 4th Tuesday of each month at 6:30 pm in the Parlor. For more information, contact Beth Howard at beth4howard@gmail.com or Jennifer Streid-Mullen StreidMull@gmail.com.

SMALL GROUP MINISTRY is an important part of the life of our religious community. Small groups meet twice a month, in homes or at the church. Participants establish new and deeper connections with one another and find a place for religious exploration and spiritual growth.

SOCIAL JUSTICE COUNCIL meets monthly to discuss actions to address local and global concerns, i.e., support for food pantry, civil liberties, women’s reproductive rights, refugee assistance, and peace initiatives. Contact Fran Helmstadter at franhelmstadter@gmail.com.

The UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST UKELELE UNION (UUUU).  This group, with the twin missions of having fun and building community both within the First Unitarian Society of Ithaca and beyond, plays together approximately monthly at church services and other events around town. Contact Music Director Stephanie Ortolano at music@uuithaca.org to get on our email list.

THE UU YOUNG ADULT GROUP is a social group for community members aged 18-30-something. This is a relatively new group to the Ithaca UU church, and we’d be delighted to have new members join us!