Friday News 11-19-2021

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

The past couple weeks, I have had the pleasure of guest teaching a few of our UU History 101 classes on Zoom! What a blessing – to meet congregants I may not have spoken to before, and to get to visit with some familiar faces I haven’t seen for a long time! Learning and growing together is one of the things I cherish most about my role here, and I could not be more grateful for these opportunities to build community and covenant with all of you!

As we begin to imagine and lean into our new normal, I encourage you to reach out to Kelli or myself to engage more deeply with the life of the church, and to and find ways to give back as a volunteer! As caseloads hopefully continue to fall after the holiday season, we will need all hands on deck – from Coming of Age mentors, to Sunday school teachers, as well as greeters, tech wizards, and friendly folks who are excited about our opportunities to connect and work for justice. Thank you very much for getting your Covid vaccine, and your booster shot! Together we are coming back strong!

In faith,

Amber Scott
Director of Religious Exploration

*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!

Virtual hugs,

Kelli McNeal
Director of Congregational Life

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 an announcement or section, for more details!
Sunday Service – Pardoning the Turkey
Join us in person or online this Sunday, 11/21, at 10:00 am, for our weekly Sunday service!

We have a cornucopia of Thanksgiving blessings and traditions. Some are a bit wacky, others are time-honored family traditions. We’ll look at a bit of history and explore how we acknowledge the origins of Thanksgiving. We’ll also take time to be grateful. Presented by Rev. Dr. Marian Stewart.

In just a few words, email Rev. Marian your Thanksgiving traditions – for a special Thanksgiving edition of Rev. Talk!

How to Attend the Service!
1.) Join us In-Person! Seating is available in the sanctuary and Beach Hall. Masks are required! 

2.) Watch the service broadcast live, through the livestream on our Youtube channel! Visit for the link!

3.) Find service recordings and watch them later, 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).

Peace Pals Choir Survey

If you have children ages 5-10years who would normally participate, or who may want to be a part of Peace Pals choir, please fill out this survey ASAP to help our leaders determine next steps! Thank you!

Spring Class Outlook

It is our hope to continue to add more of our regular classes back in after the winter holidays! This includes 10-11year OWL and Coming of Age. For both these programs, and in order for drop-off RE classes to start up again, we need a dedicated group of volunteers in order to make that happen.

If you are interested in helping out as a teacher, mentor, RE volunteer, or program facilitator, please email Amber or fill out this form. And tell your friends! It takes all of us to create the church community we dream about!

Outdoor Family RE This Week! (Sunday School)
Hello Families! Last week we had what was our first real taste of Fall weather and all that it means in Ohio. We had some “hail” which turned into snow. There were moments of sunshine and wind. And, like the weather – we shifted our plans to fit the day. We read Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert, and then kids had an opportunity to go inside to do some leaf glueing to create their own “leaf person.” The play was still outside – and it was fun to experience the outdoors and the snow. Their ideas were to find and establish shelters, using spare parts to board up the houses, and create spaces under the climber.

This coming Sunday we invite you and your child to join us for a visit to the story “Stone Soup.” And, we plan to make some soup together. Since we are only together for a short time in the morning, you are welcome to bring a container to take home some of the soup to warm and enjoy.

Just a quick note regarding how things are looking regarding indoor / outdoor going forward at this time. We are still doing much of our time outside. This means that our main playspace is outside. However, for brief warm ups and art projects (sometimes) kids may go inside, at the discretion of their parent. For any inside time we are asking our grown-ups to determine and communicate with their kiddos around maintaining social distance and other precautions that are important to you and your family (that may be no time inside, or being a few feet away from others, or going in when there are less kids). Please reach out to us with any questions or concerns as we continue this journey together. – JeniferAmber, and Christine

See you this Sunday, 11/21, 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 Field Trip 11/28
Next Special Event! Lunch and learn field trip to the Ohio History Center, in place of our meeting on 11/28. More info and permission slips coming soon! We expect to leave the church around 11:30am, and be back around 2:30pm.

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!

Wall of Remembrance
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.
Pastoral Ministry: Rev. Lynda Smith
Rev. Lynda Smith has agreed to help with Pastoral Care as we continue our search to fill the open position. Lynda began work this week at one-quarter time,  will work with the Pastoral Team Council and the Caring Team. Because Lynda is amazing, she is also continuing her work with our Justice Action Ministry (JAM). Thank you Lynda! Click here to contact Lynda.
Rainbow Connexions Tonight

For First UUers who are “on the rainbow” – this is the congregation’s LGBTQ+ group. Meeting at 6:30pm tonight, in person. Contact Barb Fisher or Nina Lewis for more information on these monthly meetups.


Columbus Women’s Chorus Sunday

Rise Up! Columbus Women’s Chorus in Concert – this Sunday, Nov. 21st, at 3pm, at First UU. Tickets are available at the door or in advance.


Atheists, Skeptics, Humanists Meeting

Please join us for The Earthlings Project – 7pm Tuesday, November 23rd, on Zoom.

We are all Earthlings. What does that mean? And why is that important? Come to our monthly ASH meeting to find out! This program is presented by Les Kleen, and assisted by Karen Thimmes and David Krohn.


UU Walkers: Highbanks Every Friday
Did you know? Folks from First UU enjoy the scenery on a morning hike at Highbanks Metro Park, every Friday. Currently meeting at 9:30am in the Nature Center parking lot (timing varies by season). Contact Erica Scurr to join the mailing list – for weekly updates and reminders!
Music Sunday Holiday Concert 12/12

Our choirs are preparing for in-person, masked performances – in place of our regular Sunday service, at 10am on Sunday, December 12th.




All Ages YA Book Group 12/15

Meeting third Wednesdays at 7pm, on Zoom – until it either warms up enough to meet outside, or case rates drop – hopefully in the spring. Email Erin Reilly-Sanders for more information! Upcoming titles:




Labyrinth Helpers, Musicians Needed!

The labyrinth is returning! Contact Jan Phillips if you are interested in helping, hosting, or providing music.




Upcoming Faith Forward Classes

How can history be translated into our religious life and practice? UU History 101 is a seven session series that approaches history from the starting point of compelling stories and personalities. We explore questions these figures faced, and make connections with our own lives and the world today. Classes run thru December 13th, Mondays at 10am and 7pm. Upcoming sessions:

  • 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 Columbus 

Register for upcoming Zoom classes, and learn more about Faith Forward 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
Almost 400 Justice Ministry Network members from 44 BREAD congregations voted Monday night at BREAD’s Annual Assembly for Environmental Injustice to be the new problem for BREAD research and action!

Contact Alice Rathburn, Chris Johnson, Jessi Sadaka, Ken Odiorne, Marilyn Webster, or Noel Williams for more information, or to get involved!

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 comes with a voucher for free hot chocolate or apple cider, and a candy cane! $10 per ticket, children 2 and under are free. There are a limited number of tickets available, so get yours soon!