Social Justice is a cornerstone of the Unitarian Universalist faith. We invite you to join us in this important work.


The Unitarian Universalist faith demands justice, equity and compassion in human relations. At First Unitarian we are committed to work in partnership to end racial, social, environmental and economic injustice within our own community, and beyond. Join us!

Environmental Justice

This Ministry endeavors to educate the congregation on environmentally responsible activities, such as switching to renewable power, driving hybrid or electric vehicles, eating less beef/pork, and basically reducing consumption, reusing and recycling. We also advocate for legislation to reduce global warming. Be sure to check out our Facebook page!

Contact John Keevert or Susan Steepy for more information.

Criminal Justice

First Unitarian’s Criminal Justice Ministry provides opportunities for the congregation to partner with community organizations to address anti-racism and related issues in our criminal justice system that have affected the citizens of Rochester for generations.

Together we advocate for changes in solitary confinement, bail reform legislation and monitor implementation of the Raise the Age bill. Within the congregation, we also create educational opportunities in collaboration with the ministries of Adult Spiritual Development and the Religious Education.

Contact Meghan Garvey for more information.

Family Promise of Greater Rochester

Family Promise of Greater Rochester (FPGROC, formerly RAIHN) is a not-for-profit, interfaith, culturally-competent organization that assists families to achieve sustainable independence by supporting them with tailored services including shelter, food, personalized case management, and a diverse network of caring volunteers. First Unitarian is one of over 35 participating congregations locally.

This volunteer program at First Unitarian is for all of us – singles, couples, families, elders, teens, classes and small groups. Please contact us if you are interested in helping with a future rotation or for more information about RAIHN.

Contact First Unitarian FPGROC Team for more information.

UU Schools Partnership

For over 30 years, the UU/Schools Partnership has worked to positively affect student outcomes, both academic and social, at Lincoln School #22 and Children’s School of Rochester #15. Our volunteers work to build students’ reading and math skills in small groups or individually. We partner with teachers for extended learning in a variety of clubs, enriching activities and events. We invite you to join us in this important and rewarding work! Read more in the most recent newsletter.

Contact Joe Simson or Andrea Porter for more information.

Honduras Partnership

The Honduras Partnership supports a relationship among our congregation, the Global Health Program of Family Medicine at University of Rochester Medical Center, and the people of San Jose, San Marcos de la Sierra, Intibucá, Honduras. We work together to improve the quality of life for this 2,000-member community.

This relationship has educated the youth and members of the congregation about injustices in the lives of our southern neighbors. As such, projects have involved including middle and high school scholarships for over 100 Honduran students, curriculum development and delivery to the 35 elementary school teachers in the region, development and delivery of improved cook stoves, latrines, and improved water availability and filters.

Contact Barbara Gawinski for more information.


Upcoming Events

Black Lives Matter Silent Vigils

Each Saturday at Noon, members of our community join with Black Lives Matter Elders and Allies to take part in a peaceful, silent witness. Join us – we’re there in rain, shine, and even snow.

Schedule for December 2022 

UU the Vote

There is so much at stake in the 2022 midterm elections. Together, our communities can address the current threats to our democracy and human dignity. Join fellow lovers of democracy and participate with us in UU the Vote.

Contact Mehgan Garvey to join our efforts at First Unitarian. 

Impact Earth Composting at First Unitarian

Reduce your environmental impact by composting your food scraps and other compostable materials. When swapping your bucket at First Unitarian, $2 of your $6 service fee goes to the Youth Group to support their Honduran Student Scholarship. Learn about this program and visit to sign up.

Side with Love

Side with Love is a public advocacy campaign that seeks to harness love’s power to stop oppression. It is sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Association and all are welcome to join. Subscribe to get updates. What is love calling you to do?

Police Accountability Board Meetings

Thursdays at 6:30 PM – open to the public; Livestreamed on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter


First Unitarian Church is a member organization of PABA. The purpose of the Alliance is to nominate Rochester community members to represent the interests of civilian residents of the City of Rochester on the Rochester Police Accountability Board. This group meets the first and third Wednesdays via Zoom – contact one of our representatives to join or for more information: Mary Hammele and Penny Townsend-Quill

Connect & Breathe is now a separate 501©(3) not for profit organization which creates safe space to talk about abortion experiences by offering a talkline staffed by people trained to listen and provide unbiased support and encouragement of self-care. If you feel called to volunteer with this organization, please reach out to our church’s coordinators: Laura Humphrey or Julia Smith

First Unitarian is honored to be one of many local member congregations of Roc/ACTS, which endeavors to transform our community together toward equity and justice through community organizing. Interested in learning more? Reach out to our Roc/ACTS church coordinators: Ellie Stauffer or Jon Horne

NY UU Justice is designed to educate, build community, connect faith to action and inspire us to live our Principles in the world. They work for accessibility, reproductive, economic and racial justice, among others. Contact Rev. AJ van Tine for more information.

Unitarian Universalist Service Committee is a nonsectarian organization that advances human rights and social justice in the United States and around the world. We envision a world free from oppression and injustice, where all can realize their full human rights. Through a combination of advocacy, education, and partnerships with grassroots organizations, UUSC promotes economic rights, advances environment.

Join us on Sunday