Friday News 1-14-2021

Happy Friday!

There are only a few days left to get your auction items submitted for our 2022 Auction. Check out the announcement below for more information on getting your items submitted.

We also have a new group from our Pastoral Care Team – a widow’s group named “Continuing Bonds.” You can find their announcement and how to find out more information below as well.

Our mid-year meeting will be online, after service on Sunday, January 30th. If you are a church member, please plan on attending as we will need a quorum. You will be receiving an electronic ballot and an email from the board in the next couple of days, with more information on how to vote on several items before the meeting.

Finally, I wanted to remind you that our Sunday service will remain online only until the numbers get to a safer place and we can be together again.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out!

Virtual hugs,

Kelli McNeal
Director of Congregational Life

*Please let Kelli know of any announcements you would like in Friday News by 8 pm Wednesday, and put “Friday News” in the subject line – so that we can be sure to not miss your email! Let us know if you have any questions!

For your protection from scammers and stalkers, we have an OPT IN directory. You have to let us know if you want your name and contact information included! If you do not let us know using the OPT IN option, you will not be included. And your church friends will have a hard time reaching out to you.

If you would like to be included in the directory, please fill out this membership update form and let us know which information you would and wouldn’t like listed. If you are a member and would like a copy of the directory, please contact Marian Garcia in the front office.

Announcements at a Glance

(Click the header to jump to that section)
  • Sunday Service – 1/16
  • How to Attend the Service
  • January Soul Matters Packets
  • First UU Auction Donations Needed – Due 1/19
  • Widowed Group – Continuing Bonds
  • Grief Recovery
  • School for Young Children Applications
  • Martin Luther King Day Rally – 1/17
  • Columbus Vaccine Clinics
  • CER Winter Institute – Feb 18-21
  • UUA General Assembly – Register Now!
  • Read Aloud: The Little Engine That Could
  • In-Person RE Paused in January
  • Youth Group Online 1/23, and join the YUUP Network!
  • OWL: 13-14yr Paused in January, 8yr Postponed
  • Volunteers Teachers Needed: Spring and Beyond
Sunday Service – January 16, 2022
Please join us Sunday, January 16, for our service
Who’s Justice?

In memory and honor of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we take a step back into American history to look at how our founding documents and assumptions are evident in our divisions today. We’ll also look at why Unitarian Universalism’s values are a critical religious voice in the larger conversation. Get ready for a deep dive that shines a light on the path forward.

Worship Presenter: Rev. Dr. Marian Stewart

How to Attend the Service
1.) Watch the service broadcast live, through the livestream on our Youtube channel! Visit for the link!

2.) Find service recordings and watch them later, through our website!

January Soul Matters Packets
The January Soul Matters Packets are ready for your viewing pleasure! This month, our theme is Living with Intention. We will not be mass mailing the packets this year, but you can find them in digital version in Friday News, printed copies at the Church, or you can request a mailed copy from Marian Garcia.

You can find the digital versions here: General Packet (for all ages); Soulful Home (UU activities to do as a family).

First UU Auction Donations Needed

Our 2022 auction is quickly approaching, and we need your donations – your fellowship events, dinners, get togethers, excursions, vacation lodging, services, gift baskets, gift certificates, food items, physical items, etc. Please use this link to make your donations. The deadline for entering all donations is Wednesday, January 19. We rely on you to make our auction possible, so please donate!

Widowed Group – ‘Continuing Bonds’

Widowhood is a journey… one that cannot be understood until experienced, an experience unimaginable. And spousal grief is one of those kinds of experience that is unlike any other kind of grief. It’s constructing a new identity. We are opening another widowed support group at First UU to provide a place to meet and be with others who have lost their partners, others who understand your loss. Being around a group that shares this experience can provide support from feeling isolated and alone, as well as a chance to talk about things that others may not be comfortable discussing. This can be a place where you can say “how are you doing” in an open way that only others who have had this devastating experience can listen to and understand.

Nancy McDonald-Kenworthy will facilitate the group. She has been widowed more than once and has a PhD in Cultural Studies where she focused on an online widowed group that she was a part of called WidowNet. She studied the stories of hundreds of spousal grievers who told narratives that showed distinct differences from the cultural beliefs of non-widowed, including and especially many psychologists, starting with Freud et al. In her research she has studied grief theories, identity, and technology through the lens of a post-modern folklorist.

A Zoom organizational gathering will be on Thursday January 27 at 3:00pm. For more information, please contact Nancy McDonald-Kenworthy.

Grief Recovery
Whether your loss is from Pandemic Grief, Death, Divorce, End of a Relationship, Loss of a Career, Health, Loss of Trust, Faith, or Feeling of Safety, you are invited to attend our Grief Recovery Method program.

The 8-week program will be held on Mondays from 7-9 pm starting January 24th.

We will meet in person at First UU. Masks are required and social distancing encouraged. The Grief Recovery Method Outreach Program provides partnerships and guidance. The fee for all 8 weeks is $65. This includes the “Grief Recovery Handbook” by J. James & R. Friedman. Partial scholarships are available as needed.

To register or for questions/information, please contact:
Rev. Kathleen Fowler (614)264-8364 or Rev. Lynda Smith (317)402-9973

For more information, visit and check out this attached flyer.

School for Young Children Applications Available
Application materials are now available for the School for Young Children’s 2022-23 school year. Processing of applications will begin on February 18, 2022 at 12:00 pm. Currently-enrolled students, children of church members and children from SYC alumni families receive priority consideration as long as their applications are received by February 18 at 12:00pm. SYC offers part-time classes for children aged 3-5. If you have a preschool child who will be age 3 by September 30, 2022 or older, and are interested in enrolling your child, we urge you to act promptly since we usually fill up quickly. Information and application materials can be found on SYC’s website,, or you can call the school office at 614-267-0254.
More Community News on Facebook
See what our community is doing, support each other, and kindle personal connections – Check out the First UU Facebook Page, and join our Facebook Group!
Roadside Rally Against Racism
on Martin Luther King Jr. Day
First UU has been invited to join Bethel International United Methodist Church’s MLK Day Rally for Racial Justice. The rally will take place at 1220 Bethel Road from 3:00-4:00pm on January 17th.  We hope to see you there!
Columbus Vaccine Clinics
If it’s been at least six months since your last COVID shot, you are eligible for a booster! Many Columbus Public Health clinics do not require an appointment, and include the opportunity to get your flu shot, as well as free take-home COVID tests! Find a clinic near you!
Winter Institute – In Person!
Winter Institute (WI) is a long held tradition of gathering over President’s Day week-end for a mid-winter retreat at Salt Fork State Park in Cambridge, Ohio. This relaxing weekend is an intimate gathering for UUs of all ages! Enjoy outdoor activities like hiking and sledding (if there’s snow!), as well as the fireplaces and cozy corners of the lodge (not to mention, the pool and the hot tub)! Join fellow UUs to worship, play board games, make music together, or solve the community jigsaw puzzle. Our pandemic precautions include requiring vaccination, masking, and distancing. Find out more!
UU General Assembly
General Assembly is the annual gathering of Unitarian Universalists, where we conduct business of the Association, explore the theological underpinnings of our faith, and lean fully into our mission and principles. This year, we will have the option of meeting online or in-person! Join us June 22 – 26, 2022 online or in-person in Portland, Oregon! Learn more!
The Little Engine That Could

In lieu of outdoor RE, Jen will be creating a short, weekly video – with a story book for you to enjoy! We will have some accompanying ideas of things you can chat about, create, or play together at home for each week.

This week’s book is The Little Engine That Could. Written by Watty Piper and illustrated by Loren Long. We can consider some ideas from this story: What is it like to help someone? What is it like to want something and not be sure we can get it or achieve it? What is it like when you do meet a goal or get what you wanted? Who cheers you on? It has embedded in it the idea of “intention” – which is this month’s theme.

View this week’s video here!

Some activities that you might consider this week:

  • Try a new skill: standing on one foot, hopping, skipping, riding a bike. Or if you can do those already – try doing one while balancing something in your hands or on your head even? Use your creativity and have fun!
  • Balance a balloon in the air for 1 whole minute, for added challenge you could try 3 balloons, or for a longer time, or add another family member into the game.
  • Create an obstacle course (could be inside or outside). You can use wood planks (2×4’s or smaller work just fine), logs, rocks… For an outside obstacle course you can simply jump from one spot to another, or add in more challenges like a specific move to get from one place to another, maybe even “a lava pit.” For inside you could use cushions or pieces of fabric to mark spaces to go to, chairs can be used to create tunnels.

These games are meant to enjoy, challenge, and engage our creativity! So, have fun with them! You are in our thoughts.

Please feel free to share pictures or stories if you take on these activities. You can email your photos and experiences to Amber or Jen to be highlighted in a future email, or share for other families to see in the church Facebook group.

In-person RE and church services will resume in February, pending declining case numbers.

Youth Group Online
Youth Group is meeting on Zoom while in-person RE is paused! For 7th-12th graders, age 12-19years. Email Amber to join the email list! Next meeting:

  • 11:30am-1pm Sunday, 1/23

Youth ages 14-18 are also invited to join the UUA network, YUUP!

OWL: 13-14yr Paused, 8yr Postponed
13-14yr OWL is taking January off, and the 8yr makeup class has been postponed! Pending lower infection rates, the 13-14yr class will return Sunday, February 6th. The class calendar will be reorganized so that the class and retreat topics that were planned for January will still be covered.

For families waiting on the pending catch-up program for 8-year olds, drawn from the K/1st Our Whole Lives sexuality curriculum, you can still register to hold your spot (even though new class dates are TBD. In the meantime, feel free to email Amber with interest or concerns that the teaching teams should take into account!

Volunteer Teachers Needed: Spring and Beyond

We need RE teachers and volunteers for all ages and stages – including for this spring and for 2022-2023! The need is especially great for:

  • Coming of Age teachers and mentors
  • OWL facilitators including 10-11year

If you are interested, please email Amber or fill out this form.

Parents and families: please subscribe to the Religious Exploration announcements list for more information on upcoming classes!