Friday News 3-18-2022

Greetings! I hope that you’ve had the opportunity to enjoy the incredibly lovely spring weather we are having this week! Before we know it the gardens around our church will be coming alive and really showing their stuff! Please plan to stay for Coffee Hour after the service on Sunday – our Justice Action Ministry will have special activities and actions you can take to kick off their push for voter registration!

I am also pleased as punch to report that our Director of Congregational Life, Kelli McNeal, is back and working limited hours as she continues in her recovery! Kelli would like to thank everyone for your patience, as this recovery has taken longer than she had hoped, and to let folks know that she is so excited to be back – even in this limited capacity. Go Kelli! I know we are all rooting for you, and looking forward to reconnecting in person again soon!

As more in person activities start back up again, we need more volunteers!For every task that makes worship and Coffee Hour possible, as well as teachers and youth advisors for our family programs. General volunteers, please email Kelli. To build community with our young folks, please email me! Your help makes this community possible! Thank you.

Sending sunshine,

Amber Scott 
Director of Religious Exploration

*For now, please send any Friday News updates to Amber by 8 pm Wednesday, and put “Friday News” in the subject line! We will let you know when Kelli takes the reins again! Thank you!

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
  • Sunday Service – 3/20
  • How to Attend the Service
  • March Soul Matters Packets
  • Rainbow Connexion Movie Night 3/18
  • East of the River Concert 3/19
  • Voter Registration: Protect Democracy in Ohio! 3/20-3/26
  • Fourth Friday Fun Night! 3/25
  • Bill Cohen and Friends in Concert 4/2
  • Action Seder: Demand that Chase Divest 4/19
  • Friday Walks at Highbanks!
  • Celebration of Life for Linda Keith 5/7
  • Save the Date: Labor Day Retreat! 9/3-9/5
  • Join the Conversation on Facebook!
  • Petition the US to Accept Ukrainian Refugees Now!
  • Single Payer Action Network Annual Meeting 4/23
  • Columbus Library Conversations About Race 4/5, 5/3, 5/16
  • Register Now for CER Summer Institute!
  • Register Now for UUA General Assembly
  • Columbus Vaccine Clinics
  • Peace Camp Registration is Open! 8/1-8/5 and 8/8-8/12
  • This Sunday At-a-Glance! 3/20
  • Outdoor Religious Exploration and Youth Group Updates!
  • Calling All Volunteer Teachers!
This Sunday’s Service: March 20th, 2022
With Only a Hat to Cover Your Heart

What does it take to have courage today? We all know fear, but do we know how to open our selves to possibility? Hint: the kids might be ahead of us! We’ll also take a look at Unitarian history and how it might guide us today.

Worship Presenter: First UU’s Senior Minister, Rev. Dr. Marian Stewart 

Please join us for fellowship and socializing in Beach Hall after the service! Folks are encouraged to bring their own coffee until coffee service resumes. 

How to Attend the Service
1) Attend live and in person at First UU! (Don’t forget your mask)!

2) Tune in to our livestream! Join virtually via

2) View the recordings later, at your convenience, on our website!

March Soul Matters Packets
This month, our theme is Renewing Faith. You will notice that these packets will look a bit different while Kelli is off! Usually she combines the Small Group Ministry packet and the Worship Resource packet into one document each month.  Additional packets for families that follow the monthly theme include Soulful Home and Flagstones. If you would like to request a printed or mailed copy of any packets, please contact Marian Garcia.
Rainbow Connexion Movie Night 3/18
Rainbow Connexion is a First UU group specifically for people who identify as LGBTQ, where folks come for community, support and sharing of their stories. Please contact Barb Fisher with questions or for more info. The next Rainbow Connexion meeting is Friday, March 18th at 7pm in Beach Fellowship Hall. Please wear a mask and bring your favorite snack! We will watch the movie Belfast with discussion to follow.

About the film: “Belfast is unquestionably Kenneth Branagh’s most personal film to date, but it’s also sure to have universal resonance. It depicts a violent, tumultuous time in Northern Ireland, but it does so through the innocent, exuberant eyes of a nine-year-old boy. And it’s shot in gentle black-and-white, with sporadic bursts of glorious color. In recalling his youthful days in an insular neighborhood in the titular city, Branagh has made a film that’s both intimate and ambitious.”

East of the River Concert 3/19
First UU is thrilled to host East of the River as part of Early Music in Columbus’ concert series on Saturday, March 19 at 8:00 pm (7:30 pre-concert talk). This ensemble will present “HAMSA: Music of Andalusia, North Africa, and the Ottoman Empire.” First UU members receive a 50% discount on tickets using the code EMCFRIEND or by letting them know at the ticket desk when you arrive if purchasing at the door. More info can be found here!
Voter Registration: Protect Democracy in Ohio!
Take action this week at Coffee Hour! See you in Beach Fellowship Hall: Sunday, 3/20, after the service!

More than 1 million Ohio voters have been purged from the voting rolls. Without representation we cannot fight climate change, end the death penalty, secure women’s health, and impact all the issues we care about. How can I take ACTION?

The League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Columbus is organizing voter outreach week from March 21st to March 26th at many different sites ahead of the May primary – and First UU’s Justice Action Ministry is planning to be a part of it! Get trained ahead of action week by joining the Live Voter Registration Training March 14th at 7pm on Zoom, or by watching a Recorded Voter Registration Training.

  • Help re-register voters who have been purged!
  • Register new voters!
  • Voting is fundamental to democracy!

Email us and let us know if you plan to participate in voter outreach week, or if you have questions! Shifts will be 2-3 hours, and new outreach sites will be scheduled based on the number of volunteers available. We’d love to have a big First UU contingent!

Fourth Friday Fun Night! 3/25
Fourth Fridays will frankly be full of fantastic fellowship and fun! Everyone is invited! Bring your favorite board game or other activities, and come socialize with fellow First UUers in Beach Hall! Activity schedule:

  • 5pm – let’s eat! (bring your own dinner)
  • 6pm – games, puzzles, and playground time!
  • 7pm – movie screening
  • 9pm – goodbyes

Also mark your calendars for 4/22 and 5/27! Planners and helpers needed – contact Christine Davidson!

Bill Cohen and Friends in Concert 4/2
Time. It’s nearly impossible to define. We cannot control it. But we treasure it. We seek it. Yet, sometimes, we waste it, kill it, and ignore it. Memories of past times can comfort us or haunt us. The mysterious intertwining of time and memory is the theme of Bill Cohen’s all-new concert!

Bill Cohen and friends will present Time and Memory at 7pm Saturday, April 2nd at First UU! Admission to the concert is free, but we welcome donations for The Alzheimer’s Association of Central Ohio. Masks are required. Questions? Email Bill Cohen!

He’ll sing songs from the 1940’s, 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s that remind us of time’s unique qualities. Songs made famous by a wide variety of performers: John Denver, the Beatles, Bing Crosby, Carly Simon, Kenny Rogers, the Judds, the Byrds, Bob Seger, Pete Seeger, Phil Ochs, and others. Beautiful vocal harmonies and instrumental backup will be added by veteran Columbus musicians Joanne Blum and Joe Lambert. We’ll also hear inspiring sayings about time and memory, plus fun trivia questions about songs that focus on memories and the fleeting nature of time.

Action Seder: Demand that Chase Divest 4/19
First UU is going to join a national interfaith climate justice action event organized by The Shalom Center. We have many faith and secular partners already. Street Seder: Calling on Big Banks to Stop Funding Fossil Fuels Passover Action: Tuesday, April 19th at noon, 100 E. Broad Street, Columbus (Chase Bank Plaza).

This is part of the national Exodus Alliance action taking place during Passover week. We will share a multi-faith passover freedom seder challenging the carbon pharaohs to end their plagues on our world and instead grow eco and social justice. JPMorganChase is the world’s largest banker of fossil fuels, dumping more than $316 billion into that industry from 2016 to 2020. They remain among the top financiers of tar sands oil, arctic oil and gas, and fracking. Despite announcing a net zero by 2050 target in October 2021, and joining the Net Zero Banking Alliance, they have yet to set any immediate hard targets to cut emissions.

Our Justice Coordinator, Amanda Hays and other local faith leaders will coordinate the modified seder. We can use singers/musicians. There are roles for youth in the seder program (although it is a school day). We can use publicity help. We will need people to come, hold signs, and pass out fliers at this short and peaceful action. Subscribe to the Justice Update for more details or talk to Amanda, Elaine Fujimura, or Erica Barrett-Morrison.

Friday Walks at Highbanks!
Now meeting at 9:30am every Friday – for a hike around Highbanks with fellow First UUers! Contact Erica Scurr to be added to the email list!
Celebration of Life for Linda Keith 5/7
Mark your calendars for the Celebration of Life for Linda Keith happening at First UU on Saturday, May 7th at 10am.
Save the Date: Labor Day Retreat!
Our congregation’s traditional Labor Day Retreat will return to Camp Oty’Okwa this year, September 3rd-5th! More info coming soon. Contact Julia Pinsonneault to help plan this fun weekend for all ages!
Join the Conversation 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!
Petition the US to Accept Ukrainian Refugees Now!
At present, there is no official program in the United States for Ukrainian refugees to come here — even for those who have immediate family members who are citizens or residents, or other sponsors. Other options such as the Family Reunification immigration process currently have a wait time of about 15 years! Please sign and share this petition! Their goal is to reach 50,000 signatures, and they need more support! Thank you!

Other ways to support peace and the Ukrainian people –

Columbus-local slavic church, Grace Evangelical Church (Galloway) is actively accepting material and monetary donations!

The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee identifies partner organizations working on the ground at the site of global crises. Support Ukrainian refugees by donating to the Emergency Response Fund today!

Single Payer Action Network Annual Meeting 4/23
Register now for the annual meeting of SPAN Ohio, April 23rd from 10am-4pm, at Quest Conference Center in Westerville. Speakers include Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, former Public Health Director for the city of Detroit, Dr. Claudia Fegan from Physicians for a National Health Program, and Dr. Sharelle Barber, social epidemiologist from Drexell University. Proof of vaccination, including eligible boosters is required to attend; masks provided. Cost is $40, and lunch is included. Make this our biggest and best conference ever!
Columbus Library Conversations About Race
Your library is more than a home for books. It’s also a space to listen, to reflect and to grow. Our Speak Up/Speak Out series gives our communities an opportunity to come together to read and discuss a book about race, racism and social justice. We’ll also hear from the authors themselves.

We kick off the series with Ijeoma Oluo’s 2018 book, So You Want to Talk About Race. Mark your calendars:

Virtual Panel Discussion: April 5
Virtual Book Club: May 3
Virtual Author Talk: May 16

We’ll also read and discuss two other books later this year. Learn more and get involved!

Register Now for CER Summer Institute!
Spend a magical week this summer thriving within a community of UUs of all ages! Join us July 10th-16th on the beautiful campus of CalU of Pennsylvania (30 miles south of Pittsburgh) for fellowship, fun, and friendship! Learn more at!
Register Now for UUA 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 22nd-26th, online or in-person in Portland, Oregon! Learn more!
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! Find a clinic near you!
Peace Camp Registration Now Open!

During this time, priority registration will be given to First UU families followed by:

  • SYC and Red Oak priority registration starting 3/25 and
  • Opening it up to the wider community (if needed) by 4/1

More Camp Info and Registration Here!

Contact Amber or Jen with any questions! 🙂

Session A: August 1st-5th, 9am-Noon, for 6 to 8 year-olds
Session B: August 8th-12th, 9am-Noon, for 9 to 11 year-olds

This Sunday At-a-Glance! 3/20

Family Activities This Sunday! 

  • 13-14yr OWL, 9-11am (room 301/302)
  • Outdoor RE w/ Jen B, 10-11am (SYC playground)
  • Navigators Scouting Meeting, 12noon-2pm (playground or woods)
Outdoor Religious Exploration and Youth Group!

Outdoor Religious Exploration Update! 

Hello First UU families! We marked the time change with some chilly temperatures this past Sunday for our Outdoor RE. And in honor of that I had a story called The Tomten by Astrid Lindgren. But, those winds made it a bit shivery, so we did not complete the reading of that story together. So, I have recorded that story for those who might want to hear the rest of it, or would just like to see the story. Watch The Tomten Read Aloud Here!

For our time together on Sunday, instead of continuing to sit being cold, we got up and went to work. We cleared some of the playground, tables and the climber of snow. It was great teamwork! Some of us had a warm up inside as well to draw, play with dinosaurs, and explored some of the classroom.

At this time we will continue to plan for our RE experience to be primarily outside. So, continue to come with gear that fits the weather (knowing even in that hour, we can have some drastic changes). We do have windows and doors to open for ventilation and air purifiers going for any warm up or inside breaks that are needed. But, we will try for as much outdoor time as we can. Fresh air, play, and connection have been our staple this year, and are things we will plan to keep enjoying. We hope to see you this Sunday! Start outdoors at 10, or begin in the service and join after the story. -Jen B.

Youth Group Update! 

Middle and high schoolers are invited to join us for a late nighter on Friday, 3/25, from 9-11pm after Fourth Friday Family Fun Night!  Your entire family is welcome to gather in Beach Hall from 5-9pm for fun and games followed by a movie. Afterwards the Youth Group will gather for a life-sized game of CLUE, and treats with Professor Plum: in the kitchen, with the chalice.

Calling All Volunteer Teachers!

Please email Amber or fill out this form to become an RE teacher or youth advisor, or to help set the course for our church’s RE program as a part of our RE Team! We need volunteers for all ages and stages – including for this spring and the 2022-2023 church year. Thank you in advance for your help! I look forward to reconnecting with you in person!

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