Friday News 8-20-2021

Happy Friday!

I wanted to take a moment to say thank you to Isabel for filling in for me last week with Friday News, and thank you to all of the staff for filling in while I took a few days off to spend with my family. It was a much needed break, and I was able to come back refreshed and re-energized to continue all of the planning for our fall programming. Thank you!

Please take notice of two important announcements below:
1.) If you are interested in joining one of our choirs, being a soloist, or in a small group, please see the announcement below from our Director of Music, Dr. Brandon Moss.

2.) The board will be hosting Compensation Listening Sessions starting tomorrow morning. Please sign up to participate in one of those session at the link in that announcement below.

I am putting the finishing touches on our Adult RE plan for the fall, including ideas for new small groups, which you can look forward to being announced soon! Stay tuned to Friday News in the next few weeks for more information.

And, as always, please let me know of any announcements you would like in Friday News by 8 pm Wednesdays and put “Friday News” in the subject line so I can be sure to not miss your email. If you have a recurring announcement, like wanting your class or group to be announced¬†on the third Friday of each month for example, please email me that information and I will add you to my rotation list and be sure we are all informed about the amazing offerings we have throughout the fall! (Please note: the list is starting fresh this fall so even if you were on the rotation last year, please email me the newest information you have for your group.)

Let me know if you have any questions!

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 – 8/22
  • How to watch our services
  • Sunday School Volunteers Needed!
  • Next 3-12yr Class – 8/22
  • Open Playground Time – weekly
  • Come Sing with Us!
  • Compensation Listening Sessions
  • Check out the latest Justice Update!


Sunday Service – Navigating the Exile of Unknowing
Join us Sunday 8/22¬†for the 8th¬†installment¬†of our summer series, “Heartland Summer Collective,” where we will be virtually visiting congregations across the midwest. This Sunday, we will be led in worship by Reverend Jill Jarvis, a retired minister from the UU Congregation of Lawrence Kansas.

As we tentatively emerge from our individual and collective wildernesses, we long to return to the comfort of beloved religious community. It would be easy to overlook a precious gift we’ve been given: A rare and unforeseen opportunity to transcend our traditional boundaries and discover new meanings of community. How can we honor our well-earned need for what feels safe and familiar, and still summon the courage to venture into unexplored territory? (Note: Maps may prove unreliable!)

Sunday Service – Ways to Watch!
1.) Join us in the sanctuary! – You are welcome to join us in the sanctuary at 10am to watch the service on screen. You must wear a mask in the building. Seating will be spaced. Come early as Nathan will play a prelude. A Board member will lead discussion after the service.

2.) The full service and Coffee Hour will be on Zoom as usual. Sunday service links will be sent out Sunday morning.

3.) Can’t watch the service live? You can catch it and all of our services through our website.


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!

Next 3-12yr Class Online!
Summer RE for 3-12 years Next class: 11:10am* on August 22nd (*5 min after the service ends)
Open Playground Time
1-3pm Every Sunday (weather permitting) Sign Up Here! (For contact tracing purposes, or to volunteer to help).


Come Sing with Us!
For all those who love to sing: There is a place for you in one of First UU’s choirs! We will be starting back up again this fall, keeping current best practices in safety in mind. For this fall, First UU choirs will meet weekly for one-hour rehearsals. Singers will need to be masked and distanced, and choir members will be encouraged to sit at a distance that works best for their individual comfort. At this time, choirs will be recording songs that will be played during worship services, with the hope that, as COVID case numbers fall, we can resume in-person singing. In-person, masked soloists and small groups will alternate weeks with choir recordings. All of these practices have been decided in consultation with reopening guidelines from the CDC, singing-specific COVID research, and First UU’s Reopening Implementation Task Force.


If you are interested in singing with one of our choirs, being a soloist or in a small group, or have a question about the above guidelines, feel free to contact Director of Music Brandon Moss at Spirit of Life and Rising Voices choirs rehearse on Tuesdays (starting Aug. 31), 7:00-8:00 pm, and Chalice Choir rehearses on Thursdays (starting Sept. 2), 7:30-8:30 pm.


First UU Board Hosted Compensation Listening Sessions

From First UU’s Board of Trustees:

During the 2022 budget process, First UU’s Board of Trustees raised the concern that we may not be treating our staff fairly, as evidenced by a gap of between $100-110 thousand between UUA salary guidelines and our 2021-2022 staff pay levels.¬† At the June Annual Meeting, the Board shared that it would be holding a series of Listening Sessions around this issue.¬† We want to hear from you. These Compensation Listening Sessions will be starting this weekend, with the first to be held on Saturday morning.¬† The dates and times of the sessions are, as follows:

Saturday, August 21st:  9:00-10:15 AM

Sunday, August 22nd: Coffee hour (11:00 AM–12:15 PM)

Sunday, August 29th:¬† Coffee hour (11:00 AM–12:15 PM)

Thursday, September 2nd:¬† 7:00–8:15 PM

Saturday, September 25th:¬† 9:00–10:15 AM

Tuesday, September 28th:¬† 7:00–8:15 PM


To sign up to participate in one of the sessions, follow this link to the Compensation Listening Sessions SignupGenius:



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!