Friday News 11-12-2021

Happy Friday! Today our Director of Religious Exploration, Amber Scott, is sending this email in place of Kelli McNeal, our Director of Congregational Life. 

Autumn is certainly one of my favorite times of year – when the leaves bring us brilliant displays of color, it becomes soup season, and there are many opportunities to cultivate coziness! This week I am particularly grateful for the approval of a pediatric Covid vaccine, to help keep kiddos age 5 and up safer. As local infection numbers go down, and vaccination in our community goes up, we invite you to come explore the events happening at our church in person, and to begin imagining what our “new normal” could look like.

As activities and beloved programs start back up again, we will certainly need the help of many volunteers! Everything from Sunday school teachers and Coming of Age mentors to greeters, techies, and the friendly folks who set up tables in Beach Hall – to let us know about all the opportunities our congregation has to connect and work for justice. If you are excited to get involved while church life ramps back up again, I encourage you to reach out to Kelli or myself!

In faith,

Amber Scott
Director of Religious Exploration

Some important recent announcements from Kelli:

  • I’ve heard from several of you that there is confusion around our directory policy, particularly around who is and is not listed in the public directory. Instead of automatically putting every member into the directory as we have done before, we are doing an opt-in system where we only have those who have told us they would like to be in the directory listed. If you would like to be 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. This new practice is to help protect everyone’s safety and security. There are people in our community who have experienced terrifying encounters with stalkers, scammers, etc. and we want to ensure that everyone can feel they can be a part of this community and participate safely. As someone who has personally been stalked and still has to take extra precautions for my own safety, I am acutely aware of how important safe spaces such as First UU are. Thank you for helping all of us to feel like we can safely be a part of this loving community!
  • The Neighborhood Small Groups that I emailed about last week are experiencing some technical difficulties. There are several people who are not able to get into the Google Groups and therefore can not send or receive messages to the rest of their groups. We are quickly working on an alternative and will be able to announce this new structure very soon. Stay tuned to your emails for more information.
  • Finally, our Youth Group created an amazing, interactive Wailing Wall near Beach Hall. Stop by any time and weave your thoughts and feelings into this beautiful art piece.
Please let me know of any announcements you would like in Friday News by 8 pm Wednesdays and put “Friday News” in the subject line so I can be sure to not miss your email.

Let me know if you have any questions!

Virtual hugs,

Kelli McNeal
Director of Congregational Life

Announcements at a Glance

(Click the title to go to that group of announcements for more details)

Sunday Service – Stories and Lessons of Appalachia
Join us Sunday 11/14 at 10:00 am, for our Sunday service, Stories and Lessons of Appalachia.

How do you say Appalachia? You say it one way, I say it another. That’s true in our stories too. Join us for our Annual Auction Sermon as Linda Thompson and Rev Marian share stories and lessons learned from their Appalachian days.

Speakers: Rev. Dr. Marian Stewart and Linda Thompson

Sunday Service – Ways to Watch!
1.) Join us In-Person! We will have seating in the sanctuary and Beach Hall. RE will be outside. Masks are required in the building. With decreasing Covid numbers, worship center capacity is currently 75 people! 

2.) Watch our Sunday services via live-stream! The full service will be live streamed on our First UU Youtube channel. Visit the link, or search First UU Columbus on Youtube.

3.) Can’t watch the service live? You can catch it and all of our services through our website.

November Soul Matters Packets Are Here!
The November Soul Matters Packets are ready for your viewing pleasure! This month, our theme is Holding History. 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).

Last Call for 13-14 year OWL Registration! 

Get signed up for these vital sexuality education classes – that run late November thru May! Don’t delay; parent orientation and the first class are happening quite soon! (And we only have a handful of spots left before the roster will be FULL)!

More Info Here!

Outdoor Family RE This Week! (Sunday School)
This past Sunday we gathered and read Badger’s Parting Gifts by Susan Varley. A story of loss of a dear one, with remembrance of the gifts they gave us.  Our closing circle story was The Heart and the Bottle by Oliver Jeffers. How do we unlock the heart that we have tucked away and tried to protect from hurt? Being open to feeling and curiosity…

We worked on a collaborative art project of painting a tree. Some worked on the tree, and others made leaves or pieces to add onto the tree. Their ideas were not done, so we will have that available to add to this coming Sunday. Along with working on our tree this coming Sunday, we will continue with “Holding History” by exploring the value of sharing story. And, I know we have some good storytellers in our group! – Jenifer

See you this Sunday, 11/14, from 10-11am, on the SYC playground! Children are invited to attend with a parent or other adult caregiver. Masks are required! Grown-ups: please dress your family for the weather, bring camp or lawn chairs to sit on, pack extra masks, and consider bug spray. We look forward to connecting and playing with you!

Don’t forget to sign-in when you attend RE or other church events, for contact tracing purposes! Use the clipboard, or scan one of the QR codes around the church building to access the online form

Youth Group This Week! + Remembering

The First UU Youth Group has created A Place To Remember those we have lost, where you can write things on slips of paper and weave them into our tapestry of remembrance. On the RE bulletin board – in the hallway between the Kitchen / Beach Fellowship Hall and the Courtyard / Restrooms.

Next Youth Group Meeting! 11:30am-1pm Sunday, November 14th

  • Please pack your lunch. Our formal meeting begins at 11:30am
  • Lunch outside in Red Oak forest play area; some activities in Beach Hall inside
  • Wear bug spray! See you there!! 

Next Special Event! Lunch and learn field trip to Ohio History Center, in place of our meeting on 11/28. More info and permission slips coming soon!

Fun events for Youth are happening all year long! Mostly outdoors – for middle and high schoolers, age 12-19years. Masks are required! Add our Google Calendar or ask to join the Youth Group email list!

Upcoming Faith Forward Classes

Please Register Online for the Zoom Link!

UU History 101 is a 7 session introduction to concepts & people from our history. In this series, we approach history from the starting point of compelling stories & personalities. We will explore the questions those people faced, & make connections with our own lives & the world around us today. The overarching question is: how can history be translated into our religious life & practice? In addition to learning about history, we hope you will learn about yourselves. Classes run November 1st – December 13th. We have two class times on Mondays (10am and 7pm), so sign up for the one that works best for you.  Sessions are:

  • November 15th – A Question of Experience
  • November 22nd – A Question of Resilience & Courage
  • November 29th – A Question of Identity
  • December 6th – A Question of Calling
  • December 13th – History of First UU

Learn more about the Faith Forward Adult Religious Education curriculum, register for any of our classes, and receive the Zoom information (closer to class) on our website.


Covenant of UU Pagans Group
The Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans (CUUPS) is an independent affiliate of the UUA honoring goddess-based, earth-centered, tribal and pagan spiritual paths. UU Paganism is a liturgical and theological community under the umbrella of the UUA.

We have received interest in starting a CUUPS chapter here at First UU. If you are interested in this new group, please email Kelli McNeal. For more information on CUUPS, you can visit their website here.

Fall Engagement Catalog
Looking for ways to get involved and connect with other First UUers? Check out our Fall Engagement Catalog here!
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!
BREAD’s Annual Assembly
Come to BREAD’s Annual Assembly on Monday, November 15th, at 7:00 PM(watch party in First UU Sanctuary or on Zoom) to hear presentations of the three problems chosen by BREAD’s congregational teams and to vote for the one that BREAD will research and begin addressing. All are invited, but only committed network members can vote:

  • Environmental Concerns
  • Mental Health
  • Neighborhood Safety (not including gun violence, which BREAD is already working on)

BREAD (Building Responsibility, Equality, and Dignity (40+ interfaith congregations founded by First UU and 10 others) builds the power of its people to solve serious community problems. In meetings with thousands of community residents, the organization presses targeted decision-makers to implement solutions to those problems. Your presence and vote are needed!

Contact Alice Rathburn, Chris Johnson, Jessi Sadaka, Ken Odiorne, Marilyn Webster, or Noel Williams to get the link to upgrade your zoom account, and the link to participate and vote (if you can’t attend the watch party at First UU in person), or to become a network member.

Drag Story Time w/ Red Oak!
Are you ready for a new family-friendly, LGBTQ+ holiday tradition? Come out to our outdoor Holidrag Storytime! Local Queens Mikayla Denise and reigning Miss District West- Bianca Debonaire will read stories for children of ALL ages. Each ticket will come with a voucher for a free hot chocolate or apple cider and a candy cane! $10 per ticket, 2 and under are free. There are a limited number of tickets, on sale November 13, so get yours soon!