Friday News 7-30-21

Happy Friday!

This Friday News is a smidge late due to the crazy long women’s soccer game that had me glued to my television. I won’t spoil it if you have it recorded and waiting to watch it later. All I’ll say is wow!

A few announcements and reminders I’d like to draw your attention to:

Be sure to sign up for a time to meet with the Board and Reopening Task Force to share your concerns, hopes, needs, and what you’re most looking forward to as we continue to prepare to reopen.¬†See the announcement in the First UU Events & Announcements section below for more information.

Don’t forget, if you find yourself at the church, pick up your new name tag on the table by the worship center. Once you pick up your new name tag you can either take it home with you or put it on the name tag holder in the hall. All RE name tags are still on the wall where they were previously. If your child doesn’t have a name tag, please put their name on the “I need a name tag” sheet on the table and put “youth” beside it.

And finally, 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 – 8/1
  • July 18th Joys and Sorrows
  • Call for Donations: Loose Parts Needed!
  • Next 3-12yr Class – 8/10, on Zoom
  • Open Playground Time – weekly, in person
  • Sunday School Volunteers Needed!
  • Memorial Service¬†– 7/31
  • Board and Reopening Task Force Listening Sessions
  • Engagement Catalog Request – Due by 8/15
  • First UU Community Quilt Project Workshop – DUE SUNDAY 8/1
  • Summer S’mores and Eco Hangout – Tonight! 7/30
  • Democracy & Human Rights Action Hour – 8/7
  • Connecting the Dots: Planet, People, Power – 8/7
  • Check out the latest Justice Update and Take Action pages!


Sunday Service – I Know this Lotus Will Open
Join us Sunday 8/1 for the 5th¬†installment¬†of our summer series, “Heartland Summer Collective,” where we will be virtually visiting congregations across the midwest. This Sunday, we will visit the UU Congregation of Lawrence Kansas’¬†service, led by¬†their minister, Rev. Shelley Page. Stunning lotus blooming in Lawrence offers inspiration for exploring the buddhist teaching of “No Mud No Lotus” and how that vulnerable messy mud is so necessary for beautiful transformation growth for us all.
Joys and Sorrows
During the summer, while we are touring the midwest, we will be sharing our Joys and Sorrows during Coffee Hour. Here is what was brought forward Sunday, July 15th:

Lisa Brandt’s grandfather Robert Brandt died last Tuesday at age 91. We are sending love to Lisa and her sister, her dad George, and his five siblings, as they say goodbye. Lisa is looking forward to time with family as they gather for his memorial service next month.

Caring thoughts to Karen Thimmes for Matt Thimmes, her former husband, who died in Washington State this past week at age 82. They had remained close friends since their divorce 40 years ago. The previous week, Karen had had to put down her 15 year old cat, who had an abdominal mass.

Condolences to Sarah Luckay whose husband, Dick, died Wednesday evening, July 21st at Mount Carmel East Hospital. Dick was 91, and lived a long and full life. A memorial service is planned at Unity Presbyterian Church.

We’re sharing relief with Leslie Partridge, who is home recuperating from a successful hip replacement. May she have a smooth recovery and return to less pain and more mobility soon.

Dennis shared that a long time acquaintance died.

Pat Larson shared that her daughter was here from New York.

Danaya shared that she took the city bus for the first time.

Gretchen Faulstich shared that she is in DC visiting her daughter who lives in Vietnam.


Call for Donations: Loose Parts Needed!
Loose Parts Needed! We have developed a list of materials that we are seeking to enrich our ideas and experiences at Peace Camp, and for future Sunday School and Religious Exploration classes this fall. Even if you only have a small amount, please donate theses items ASAP!

-Scrap wood: 12″ or smaller
-Boxes: Shoebox size and smaller
– Any unusual shape cardboard pieces (often seen in packaging of things)
-Tubes: Toilet paper, paper towel, wrapping paper
-Plastic yogurt containers
-Egg cartons- cardboard only
-Plastic lids from 6-packs, lids for pretty much anything (they work for buttons or for parts of faces and so much more)
-Tin cans (if clean, and not too sharp, preferably no label)
-Streamers and ribbons
-Tissue Paper

Anything that seems you could add to a “robot” or “computer” or a dollhouse size building constructed out of recycled materials would be what we are looking for! No styrofoam please. You can bring any materials you would like to donate to First UU, and put them in this green tub by the East / Chipotle side entrance. Thank you!

Next 3-12yr Class Online!
Summer RE for 3-12 years Next class: 11:10am* on August 8th (*starting 5 min after the service ends). Join Jen second and fourth Sundays on Zoom!
Open Playground Time
1-3pm Every Sunday (weather permitting) Sign Up Here! (For contact tracing purposes, or to volunteer to help).
More Summer Events!
For more information on our summer events, check out the two schedules linked below.

RE Class Schedule 2020-2021 / Church Google Calendar 

Sunday School Volunteers Needed!
Please fill out this form if you are interested in helping with classes for children and youth, starting in the fall! Thank you!


Memorial Services
Tomorrow, July 31st we will celebrate the life of Margie Starbuck. Service begins at 2:00 and will be followed by a tea and scone reception. 
Board and Reopening Task Force Listening Sessions
To help us further develop deep listening skills and re-familiarize ourselves with sharing in community, board members and reopening team members invite you to a small group sharing in a focused discussion format

  • What concerns do you have around resuming in person church activities?
  • What hopes do you have for resuming in person church activities?
  • What are you most looking forward to as we come back together in person?
  • What is a need that feels unmet right now for you or for the church community?

Two online sessions at coffee hour – up to 8 people may join the breakout room at coffee hour on Sunday, July 25th and August 1st (1 hour). No sign up ahead of time.

Two in person sessions at church – Up to 8 people at each session by signing up for Tuesday August 3rd or Thursday August 5th from 7:00-8:00 pm. Please email to sign up at least 24 hours in advance.

If more people would like to attend, more sessions will be added. 

Engagement Catalog Request
In preparation for returning to the church building in September, we are working on compiling a catalog of all groups and classes that are available for our community to participate in. If you would like your group or class to be included in the catalog, please email Kelli with the following information:

  1. Name of Group/Class
  2. Brief Description
  3. Who and how to contact for more information
  4. When you meet, if known (including if you will meet in person, online, or both)

To be included in the catalog, Kelli must receive your information by August 15th.¬† 

First UU Community Quilt Project!
We are inviting everyone to decorate their squares (which you can find in a box outside the front doors of the church, or in your June Soul Matters packet mailing) with an image of a chalice and a reflection of the past year, what you love/miss about First UU, or what you wish for the future. You can use any medium to decorate your square. Please leave a 1/2 inch border because we will be sewing all of the squares together to make a First UU Community Quilt!  Please either return your square to First UU or to Deb Baillieul by SUNDAY AUGUST 1. Our goal is to have 500 squares!

And a HUGE THANK YOU to Deb Baillieul for taking the lead on this project! We look forward to seeing the quilt all put together on Sunday September 12th at our first in-person service!


Summer S’mores and Eco Hangout
Join us TONIGHT, July 30th, & Wednesday August 18th in the First UU parking lot, from 7:00-8:00 pm.

Stop by one or more low-key gatherings around a summer evening campfire as we restart the Environmental Justice Focus Group! Bring a sack dinner and we’ll provide the S’mores. Let’s talk about what we’re most excited about doing together in the coming year to care for our earth, our global neighbors, our non-human relatives, our spiritual connection with nature, and our children’s children. So many possibilities! What stirs your passion?

Democracy & Human Rights Action Hour
Join us on Zoom, Saturday, August 7th @ 6:00pm. Have your phone handy and add your voice! Email us for the Zoom link.

Join us to make phone calls and send texts to Ohio legislators

Peaceable Assembly is guaranteed in the 1st Amendment but is under attack. Help us protest the Anti-Protesting Bills currently in the Ohio Statehouse: SB 41, HB 22, HB 109.

We will provide information on the bills, phone numbers to call, and a sample script. We meet the first Wednesday of each month for Action Hours.

Connecting the Dots: Planet, People, Power
Join us Saturday, August 7th from 10:00 Р11:30 am. Please register here.Our Faith calls us to protect the planet. We work on this in our UU congregations regularly with Green Sanctuary initiatives, gardens, and other conscious choices. Many of us are simultaneously working on anti-racism and dismantling white supremacy. What if we could combine those two efforts into one called Environmental Justice?  How much easier would it be if you had connections with organizations around your local area and the state who are already doing this work?  Let’s connect the dots between protecting our planet, honoring the worth and dignity of all human beings and actively tearing down power structures that keep white supremacy in place.

Saturday, August 7th at 10am, three expert panelists will share their thoughts on Environmental Justice, how that relates to Racial Justice and what we can do about it here in Ohio. The panelist discussion will be followed by an opportunity for connection between Unitarian Universalists, other like-minded faith communities and Environmental Justice advocates.

Gather in community and expand your connections so we can all work together for a healthier, more inclusive Ohio.  Register at

About the expert panelists:

Jocelyn Travis – Central Region Organizing Manager of the Sierra Club, connecting Racial Justice and Environmental Justice.

Sandra Steingraber – Biologist, author, and cancer survivor, writing about climate change, and ecology, connecting human health and Environmental Justice.

Annette McCoy – President of Trumbull County NAACP, connecting legislation/policy and Environmental Justice.

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!¬† You can also check out our “Take Action” page to see many current opportunities to work for justice. Whether you have 5 minutes or 5 hours; whether you need a virtual option or are itching to do something in person, you can contribute to our work for justice as a community!