Friday News 3-19-2021

Friday’s News & Updates!

March 19, 2021

Happy mid-March! I am loving the signs of spring’s arrival, and my cat is certainly loving watching more activity outside!

I know I often say that “this is a jam-packed” Friday News, but never before have we had so many announcements and amazing classes, events, and groups to let you know about! I have reorganized this email a bit to distinguish First UU items from UUA items from community items, so I hope this makes it a little easier to find events that interest you. Please be sure to check out the “Announcements at a Glance” box just below my signature line. There are so many things to highlight, but I want to specifically highlight three things:

1. Don’t forget to fill our our congregational survey. Your input is so important!
2. Don’t miss our Reopening Task Force Town Hall after the service on Sunday. Their report is linked below.
3. For those of you who knew Jan Spangler when she was a member here, her family let me know about her virtual Celebration of Life service, which is also discussed in more detail below.

And, as always, my weekly reminder, if you would like an announcement in the Friday News, please email me no later than Wednesday at 8:00 pm with FRIDAY NEWS in the subject line.

Virtual hugs,

Kelli McNeal
Director of Congregational Life
(614) 706-3282

Announcements at a Glance

(Scroll down for more details on these announcements)
  • Sunday Service – 3/21
  • Reopening Town Hall – 3/21
  • Congregational Survey
  • Participate in Isabel’s Ordination
  • COVID Vaccine Assistance
  • Soul Matters March Packets
  • Children and Youth RE – 3/21
  • Spiritual Practices – 3/22
  • UU History 101 Registration
  • Meditation Group – 3/21
  • Wednesday Women’s Book Group – 3/24
  • Democracy and Human Rights Working Group – 3/31
  • Easter Ham Drive
  • UUA BIPOC Group – 3/22
  • UUA Uplift (Trans/Non-Binary) Group – 3/23
  • UUA Commission on Social Witness – 3/24
  • Celebration of Life for Jan Spangler – 3/20
  • 5th Annual ADAMH Faith Leaders’ Symposium – 3/23
  • OSU Diversity Lecture featuring Dr. Robin DiAngelo – 3/24

First UU Ways to Connect

Sunday Service – A Year Like No Other
Join us Sunday, March 21st, as Rev Marian Stewart marks the one year anniversary of our moving to virtual services: The highs, lows, and forever-ness of a year in pandemic mode. We’ve all been affected. We’ve all had trauma. We’ve all had moments of exhaustion, exasperation, and despair. We have shown grit and determination in supporting each other and our church. There has also been an outpouring of love and the coming rays of hope. On this one-year anniversary of shut-down, let’s take a moment to reflect using the lens of science and the heart.
Reopening Task Force Town Hall
Join us after the service for a special Town Hall where the Reopening Task Force will share the highlights and answer questions about their report. Please read the report ahead of time and come with your questions prepared. We will be asking you to put them in the chat so that everyone who has a question can ask it. We want to take this space to say a huge THANK YOU to each of the members of this task force, for your thoughts, efforts, energy, compassion, and passion for the health and well-being of our community as you compiled this report.
Congregational Future Vision Survey
Dear First UU Members and Friends,

We have developed a three part survey – as part of the Board’s strategic planning process, to guide our church into the future. Part one provides the opportunity to tell church leadership why you are here, how we are currently embodying our vision, and where you want us to go in the future.

Please respond ASAP here:

Your input is essential to our visioning and planning! This year has been unique and challenging for our congregation. We hope you will reflect on your experiences before the pandemic, and consider where to from here as we prepare to return to our building and forge a new future together.

The survey will remain open until 3/21, or until we get enough responses to reach statistical significance. Paper copies of the survey can be provided upon request. Later we will provide a summary of our findings to the congregation, and the other two survey sections will go live this summer or autumn. Thank you for your participation!

-First UU Board of Trustees 

How to Participate in Isabel’s Ordination!
We will be ordaining our Assistant Minister of Pastoral Care, Isabel Call, on Saturday, May 8th via Zoom. The theme for the joyous occasion is “Let It Be a Dance,” based on one of our most popular hymns. As part of the service, we will present a montage of members of our congregation expressing joyful moments using dance/movement. Would you like to participate? There is no age limit here, and all bodies are welcome – you don’t have to be a professional to “let it be a dance!” Here’s an inspirational example made by Isabel and Karen Nekervis.

To participate, click this link, which has more information and allows you to choose between submitting your own video recording or joining in a Zoom gathering where a recording will be done for you. (Videos are due March 26th.) We are hiring a professional to stitch together all the videos, kind of like a virtual choir, to the hymn “Let it Be a Dance.” We will be using this version, sung by our own Brandon Moss and Michaela Jones, to Nathan Hammond’s accompaniment. If you have questions, use the link above to ask them or write to Isabel Call.

First UU Wants to help YOU get the Covid Vaccine!
Are you eligible to get the Covid vaccine, but you aren’t sure how to make an appointment, or need help getting to an appointment? Our Pastoral Team wants to help you. Reach out to Isabel Call for more information and assistance in getting this life saving vaccine. If you are fully vaccinated (meaning 2 weeks past your last vaccination) and would feel comfortable driving people to their appointments, CRC is looking for volunteers. Please fill out this volunteer application.

We also wanted to let you know that you do not need to be an OSU patient to get your Covid vaccine at the Schottenstein Center. Just Call 614-688-VAXX(8299) to get set up so you can schedule an appointment when you are eligible.

March Soul Matters Packets are Here!
Our March Soul Matters Packets on Commitment have all been mailed. You can find the digital versions here: General Packet (for all ages); Soulful Home(UU activities to do as a family); Chalice Home (tips for creating sacred space at home).


 For Children & Youth! 
This Sunday, March 21st 
12noon Religious Exploration for 3-7years
1pm Youth Group for 12-19years
 Navigators Scouting JuniorsNext Sunday, March 28th

11:10am* Peace Pals choir for 5-10years 
*begins 5 minutes after service ends 
12noon Religious Exploration for 7-12years
3pm Navigators Scouting SeniorsSunday, April 4th

No RE Classes – Holiday BreakRE Class Schedule 2020-2021 
Church Google Calendar 

Email Amber, Director of RE, for more info!

Faith Forward – UU History 101

UU History 101 is a 7 session introduction to concepts and people from our history. In this series, we approach history from the starting point of compelling stories and personalities. We will explore the questions those people faced, and make connections with our own lives and the world around us today. The overarching question is: how can history be translated into our religious life and practice? In addition to learning about history, we hope you will learn about yourselves. Registration is open now, and classes will start Monday, April 12th at 7:00 pm.Visit our website to learn more about Faith Forward, register for the UU History class, and see the other incredible courses that are being offered next!
Faith Forward – Spiritual Practices

Spiritual Practices next class will be Monday, March 22nd at 7:00 pm. We will be covering the practices of Work and Service.

Session objectives are:

  • Explore how we can approach our work as spiritual practice
  • Explore serving others as spiritual practice
  • Understand the work of the church as a ministry and spiritual practice.

Visit our website to learn more about Faith Forward, register for the Spiritual Practices class, and see the other incredible courses that are being offered next!


Meditation Group

Join us after the service on Sunday 3/21 for our monthly meditation practice. Pat Snyder will facilitate a loving-kindness meditation. Together, we’ll practice feeling compassion for ourselves and for others, including for those we may have a rocky time relating to. Using imaginative visualization and affirmations, we will send our compassion out into the world. Everyone is welcome!

To participate, join the coffee hour Zoom after the service and watch for instructions to connect to the meditation room. To share feedback or ideas for future meditations, please reach out to Isabel Call.

Wednesday Women’s Book Group
Join us on the 4th Wednesdays (March 24th) of the month for our book group. This group is open to anyone who identifies as a woman. Email Sylvia Howe for Zoom information.
Books we’re readingMarch – My Own Words by Ruth Bader Ginsberg
April – Caste by Isabel Wilkerson
May – Vanishing Half


Democracy & Human Rights JAM Working Group

The 2020 election is safely behind us, and we can see progress on many fronts with a new, vibrant, and forward-thinking administration. However, threats to true democracy are rearing their ugly heads all around us. UUs everywhere are coming together to support human rights initiatives that now seem possible – although threatened!

First UU’s Democracy and Human Rights Working Group invites you to our virtual relaunch meeting on Wednesday March 31, 6:00-7:00 PM. One focus of our meeting will be to plan our local involvement in UU Justice Ohio’s (UUJO) state-wide action on April 9th to oppose several bills in the Ohio legislature that will restrict the right to protest.

We can also focus on areas of voting access, voter registration and engagement, redistricting, corporate money in elections, and so much more. To receive Zoom links and additional information, or if you are interested but can’t join us on the 31st, please email

Easter Ham Drive
First UU member Jacques is preparing his annual Easter ham drive for Franklin County families. Last year, with your help, we were able to give hams and meal fixings to 87 families for Easter. He estimates that about $30 pays for a ham with meal fixings for an average family. At least half the families he is in contact with are immigrant families and all families are very low income. Donations can be mailed to him or dropped off at his home. Gift cards for Kroger, Aldi, or Walmart are convenient for the families also. Please contact him at (614)439-0245 for more information.


UUA BIPOC Group Gathering

If you identify as Black, Indigenous, or a person of color (BIPOC), you’re invited to join us for the Central East Region’s BIPOC gathering – happening two Mondays per month at 6:30 pm.

In our gatherings, we are joined by lay folx of color, lay leaders of color and/or religious professionals of color to be in community. Our conversations focus on topics like wellness and resilience, and our goal is to center BIPOC experiences and create space to explore our UU experiences.

Please email Sana Saeed, or Paula Cole Jones for Zoom information. Dates for Winter/Spring Gatherings:  March 22, April 12 & 26, May 10 & 24, and June 14 & 28.

UUA UPLIFT Gathering
(for Trans, Nonbinary, and other not Cis UUs)

Join us March 23rd for a new UPLIFT monthly gathering focused on trans, nonbinary, and other not (completely or at all) cis UUs. Join us to connect with other trans/nonbinary UUs and co-create support and community across our faith. All you need to bring is yourself (and other trans/nonbinary friends, if you’d like).  You must register here to get the Zoom information. 

NOTE: This space is intentionally multi-generational. It is open to and welcoming of trans/nonbinary elders as well as children, youth, and young adults. Standard UUA online safety measures apply to ensure all people under 18 are able to attend.

ACCESSIBILITY NOTES: transcription will be available, and any common chat content will also be spoken aloud. Please be mindful of processing and communication access, and speak one at a time. Meeting will not be recorded, and participation, as well as what is shared, will be confidential. There is no requirement to appear on video or to otherwise maintain ‘conventional’ appearances.

We’re glad to have you here!

Commission on Social Witness Spring Convening

While many of us celebrate the promise of a new administration in the White House, things we care about — advocating for racial justice, countering white supremacy, protecting our democratic freedoms — are still at risk. By the thousands, Unitarian Universalists made their voices heard through the UU the Vote campaign. UU the Vote showed us all how vital and powerful we are acting together. Inspired to grow more connections for collective social witness action for a wide range of values at risk, the Commission on Social Witness invites all UUs to Witness, Connect, Act! A social witness convening to share and connect UUs for inspiration and ideas.

The spring Convening will take place Wednesday, March 24, 7-9 pm ET/4-6 pm PT to bring together leaders from around the country to share updates on actions, including leaders of both Actions of Immediate Witness, UU the Vote, and more. All will have the opportunity to connect and share ideas and inspiration related to recent action statements. Commissioners will also review how to make new statements at GA 2021, and provide an opportunity to connect in advance of GA.

For more information, visit their website here.


Celebration of Life Service for Jan Spangler

Jan Spangler first came to First UU in 1981, when she moved to Columbus to attend OSU. She met many good friends in the Singles Group, got a double degree in accounting and computer science, and became a CPA in Clintonville. There, she founded the Clintonville Chamber of Commerce, was an early supporter of the Lavender Listings, and organized many groups of UUs into a Dinner Group, Investment Club, Birthday Group, Book Club, and Card Clubs. She was a strong feminist and loved to travel. In 2006, she moved to Chico CA to be near her middle daughter and new granddaughter. Her daughters, Jill (Jack Day), Jennifer, and Jacquelyn welcome you to share in the Celebration of Jan’s life.

Her virtual service will be at 4:30 Saturday March 20th on Zoom. All are welcome. Please click this link to join the meeting, or call in by phone at (669) 900-9128 and enter meeting ID 261 078 4089 followed by the # key when prompted. When it asks you for a participant number, press # again. The password is 1289.

5th Annual ADAMH Faith Leaders’ Symposium

Please join the Alcohol, Drug, and Mental Health Board of Franklin County for their 5th Annual Faith Leaders’ Symposium on March 23 and 30 10:00 am – 12:00 pm. To find out more information, and to register, please see their flyer here.

OSU Diversity Lecture and Cultural Arts Series

Ohio State President Kristina M. Johnson and Provost Bruce A. McPheron invite you to attend the 22nd annual, spring semester, Diversity Lecture and Cultural Arts Series at The Ohio State University. This program offers the campus and the Columbus community opportunities to benefit from some of the most eminent scholars, artists, and professionals who discuss and exemplify inclusive excellence through diversity. This year’s speaker is Dr. Robin DiAngelo, author of White Fragility and Nice Racism. You must RSVP for this virtual event, and space is limited. The event is March 24th, at 5:00 pm. You can register here.