Friday news 4-23-2021

Friday’s News & Updates!

April 23, 2021

Good morning!

Ya’ll….I am in tears this morning. I am so moved by your support for this community. This stewardship campaign has given me the opportunity to get to speak to so many of you, learn more about who you are and what excites you about First UU. The notes you leave on your pledge forms sharing your love and support for this community really does mean so much to me and the rest of the staff. We are wrapping up week 2, and we have almost 50% of our pledge forms in! (If you still need to turn yours in, you can do it in less than a minute here!) We’re also seeing an average of 25% increases in individual pledges! I can’t even formulate words right now for the way that I’m feeling.

I know that this has been such a difficult time. The instability of the world around us, the uncertainty of when life will start to resemble the world we once remembered is causing a lot of anxiety. It’s playing a major role in all of our lives. And through it all, this community has stood strong. We’ve supported one another. We’ve grieved with one another. We’ve celebrated with one another. We’ve learned, grown, worshiped, engaged and cared for one another. And through all of this, you are saying YES! Yes, I want to see First UU stay strong and impact my life and the lives of those around me. Yes, I want to share my Unitarian Universalist beliefs and dreams and visions, in order to make this world a better place. Every time you say yes, you’re showing us on staff, and your fellow members, friends, visitors, and community that we will continue to stand up for our values and continue the important, life saving work of Unitarian Universalism. And all I can say back to each of your yeses is thank you. Humbly, gratefully, and sincerely, thank you.

If you have any questions about this Pledge Drive, or about any of the announcements listed below, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. Also, please check out the information about the Documentary Watch Party Tonight, hosted by the Racial Justice and Immigration JAM Working Group! 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

Announcements at a Glance

(Click the heading to go to that group of announcements for more details)
  • Sunday Service – 4/25
  • RSVP for Isabel’s Ordination!  – 5/8
  • Soul Matters April Packets
  • Children and Youth RE – 4/25
  • UU History 101 – 4/26
  • Conversations on Race – 4/29
  • Wednesday Women’s Book Group – 4/28
  • Documentary Watch and Discussion – TONIGHT!
  • How Will UU Take Action?
  • Check out the new Justice Update!
  • UUA BIPOC Group Gathering – 4/26
  • UUA Uplift Gathering –  4/27

First UU Ways to Connect

Sunday Service – A Grounding Flower Ceremony
Join us Sunday 4/25 for our annual Flower Communion! Earth Day is upon us, and this year we are especially aware of how vital nature is, not only to our physical well-being, but also to our mental and spiritual health. When we get “Zoomed out,” it’s time to dig in. The earth is always there for us. Take this time to be nurtured by the beauty of flowers and reflect on our responsibility back to our Mother Earth.

Take part in our virtual Flower Communion by sending pictures of flowers from your garden or neighborhood to Rev. Marian for a slide show by NOON TODAY!

RSVP for Isabel’s Ordination
Ordination is a ritual marking the covenant between a minister and Unitarian Universalism. In our tradition, it is the congregation who ordains, demonstrating our faith in the power of community to choose who will represent us and wear the mantle of authority among us – symbolized in a stole worn over the shoulders and the title “Reverend.” Please join us to celebrate this sacred occasion and milestone in Isabel’s ministry!

RSVP here to get the Zoom link

April Soul Matters Packets are Here!
Our April Soul Matters Packets on Becoming 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! 
Sunday, April 25th 
12noon Religious Exploration for 3-7years
1pm Youth Group for 12-19years 
3pm Navigators Scouting Juniors

 Next Sunday, May 2nd 
11:15am Peace Pals
12noon Religious Exploration for 7-12years  
3pm Navigators Scouting Seniors

Sunday, May 9th 
No RE – Holiday Break

Sunday, May 16th 
12noon Religious Exploration for 3-7years
1pm Youth Group for 12-19years 
3pm Navigators Scouting Awards Meeting   

RE 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! Join us for session 2 on Monday, April 19th.

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!

Conversations on Race
Join Rev. Marian and Rev. Kendyl Gibbons (All Souls Kansas City) for our next Conversations on Race. Over 7 sessions, we will be working our way through the book Caste by Isabel Wilkerson. Join us from 3:30-5:00, Thursday afternoons. You can register for the class here.

First UU Groups

Wednesday Women’s Book Group
Join us on the 4th Wednesdays of the month at 1:00pm for our book group. This group is open to anyone who identifies as a woman. Email Sylvia Howe for Zoom information.

Books we’re reading
April – Caste by Isabel Wilkerson
May – Vanishing Half


Documentary Watch and Discussion – TONIGHT!
Join us TONIGHT at 6:00 as the Racial Justice and Immigration Justice Action Ministry working group sponsors a showing and discussion of the documentary 13th.

“In this thought-provoking documentary, scholars, activists and politicians analyze the criminalization of African Americans and the US prison boom,” connecting the criminalization with the 13th Amendment, which outlaws slavery except as punishment for a crime.

We will be gathering on Zoom, starting at 6:00pm. We’ll watch the documentary, and then discuss it together. Click here for the Zoom link.

Meeting ID: 897 4439 4362
Passcode: Justice

How Will UU Take Action?
As the sun comes out and the temperatures warm, are you ready to spring into action? Maybe you’re looking for a way to work for justice, but not quite sure where to start. Check out our new Take Action page on First UU’s website. Whether you have 5 minutes or 5 hours to contribute, whether you are looking for in-person or virtual, whether your passion for justice is centered on democracy, racial justice, food insecurity, the environment, or interfaith work, there’s a way for you to take action today!
Justice Update
Check out our latest Justice Update to learn more about how First UU is combating food insecurity, hear some uplifting gratitude, and learn how you can defend our First Amendment rights!

UUA Events

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 Spring Gatherings: April 26, May 10 & 24, and June 14 & 28.

UUA Uplift Gathering
(For Trans, Nonbinary, and other Not Cis UUs)
Join us April 27th 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!