Friday News 3-25-2022

Hello, hello, hello!!!! Happy Friday!

It is so very wonderful to be able to write to you all once again! I have missed you all. Thank you so much for your amazing patience with me through these past several months as I take time to let my body heal from all the health problems I’ve been facing. (Hopefully no more surgery for awhile!) I am slowly making my way through my email and hope to be able to respond to you all soon. I’m so excited to get back to helping First to be the community that you all envision it to be.

I’m not quite ready to be meeting with you all back in person yet, but I hope to be able to reschedule our Faith Forward and Membership classes very soon. Keep an eye on your inboxes for more information.

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 me. To build community with our young folks, please email Amber! Your help makes this community possible! Thank you.

Sending sunshine,

Kelli McNeal
Director of Congregational Life

*Please send any Friday News updates to Kelli by 8 pm Wednesday, and put “Friday News” in the subject line! 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 – 3/27
  • How to Attend the Service
  • March Soul Matters Packets
  • Fourth Friday Fun Night – Tonight! 3/25
  • Bill Cohen and Friends in Concert 4/2
  • First UU Art Gallery Exhibition and Reception 4/3
  • 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
  • Hurry! Peace Camp Registration is Almost Full!
  • Family Activities At-a-Glance!
  • Youth Group Late Nighter Tonight! Outdoor Religious Exploration Update!
  • Calling All Volunteer Teachers!
This Sunday’s Service: March 27th, 2022
Woven in a Single Garment of Destiny

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. often spoke of how we are all part of “an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny.” These words offer a powerful image of something fundamental in our Unitarian Universalist theology: interdependence. What does the reality of interdependence ask of us as individuals and as faith communities? How do we care for each other knowing this truth? Featuring music by First UU’s Spirit of Life Choir. 

Worship Presenter: First UU’s Senior Minister, Rev. Dr. Marian Stewart, featuring content by Rev. Dr. Susan Frederick-Gray, President of the UUA. (The Unitarian Universalist Association is the organizational association for the UU religious movement in the United States, of which our congregation is a member).

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.
Fourth Friday Fun Night – Tonight! 3/25
Fourth Fridays will frankly be full of fantastic fellowship and fun! Everyone is invited! Bring your favorite board games 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 – please 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.

First UU Art Gallery Exhibition and Reception 4/3
UU ART!  Come to the First UU Gallery and Worship Center to visit the newest exhibit  “FOUR VOICES OF ABSTRACTION.” These large and colorful paintings are by UU Karen Torvik, Kari Djuve, Patty Sandilands, and Dana Grubbe, all painters at the Cultural Arts Center in Columbus. “Our individual processes are spiritual or meditative in nature, connecting to and revealing our true selves, resulting in rejuvenation and joy.”  Artist reception is Sunday April 3, after service, at 11:15 in the Gallery.  Come talk to the artists! 
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!
Hurry! Peace Camp Registration is Almost Full!

Register now before these camps are waitlisted! Priority registration is given to First UU, SYC, and Red Oak families followed by:

  • 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 (8 spots left!)
Session B: August 8th-12th, 9am-Noon, for 9 to 11 year-olds (only 3 spots left!)

Family Activities At-a-Glance!

Family Activities This Sunday! 

  • 13-14yr OWL, 9-11am (room 302)
  • Outdoor RE w/ Jen B, 10-11am (SYC playground)
  • Youth Group, 11:30am-1:30pm (room 301)

This Saturday and Next: 6-7year OWL – 

  • This Saturday (tomorrow, 3/26): 6-7yr OWL first class – (all parents required to attend; siblings welcome)
  • And Next Saturday (4/2): 6-7yr OWL second class (kids only), 9:45-11am (room 402/403)
Youth Group! Outdoor Religious Exploration!

Youth Group TONIGHT! 

Middle and high schoolers are invited to join us for a late nighter TONIGHT, 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.

Outdoor Religious Exploration Update! 

Hello First UU families! This past Sunday we were able to gather and play. It was lovely to see familiar and new faces joining us on such a beautiful day! With spring beginning and Holi having been the past Friday we embraced “color.” We read a book called Color by Ruth Heller. Which talked about how colors happen on the page. And, then we explored color through painting on a large piece of cardboard together.

And, of course we played!  Kids were busy connecting on the playground. They are still really enjoying the sand box. Looking forward to seeing more color and signs of spring as we go forward, and to playing together! Just a reminder: we still have some openings left for Peace Camp – so sign up todayWe hope to see you this Sunday! Start outdoors at 10, or begin in the service and join after the story. -Jen B.

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!