Friday News – April 14, 2023

Happy Friday!

As always, we are incredibly busy here at First UU. And with that busyness comes a looooooong Friday News. We’ve heard from several of you that the length of this email makes it hard to read so we’re trying to make changes to make this more accessible for you. I also have a lot to share with you, so my apologies for the length of this opening!


If you scroll to the purple box titled “Announcements at a Glance,” you can click on a heading to jump to that section. We’ve also put summary boxes in the sections for those of you who just want an overview of what is going on. You can click on the word “summary” in the purple box to go to that in each of the titled sections. We’re hoping that this makes this email more readable for all.


We’re also nearing the end of our church year and a shift to our lay-led summer services! Historically, First UU has shifted our services to 10:00am in the summer. This was because we had two services during the church year, and only one in the summer. However, we now only have one service at 11:00 throughout the year. We have received feedback requesting both that we shift to 10:00 for the summer and that we stay at 11:00. So, we are asking for your help!

If you could take 2 minutes and answer this poll, that will help us determine what our community wants. (For the purpose of this poll, we are considering summer to be July and August, although the exact dates aren’t finalized yet.) We’ll keep this poll open through April 21st. Thank you!


You should have received your stewardship packet in the mail by now. If you haven’t received it after tomorrow, please let me know!

Don’t forget to attend the watch party for Meg McGuire’s Ordination! We will be live streaming it in the sanctuary on Sunday at 5:00pm.

We’ve had some questions about deadlines for the various materials that we put together.

  • Deadline to get something in to this email is 8:00pm Wednesday. It needs to be submitted to
  • Deadline to get something in the Sunday service¬†is Thursday morning at 11:00am.


A safety note from Amber Scott, DRE: Reminder to all to please check and lock the doors when leaving the building, and to consider locking them once all members of your group have arrived, if the door will not be monitored. First UU has recently had a few uninvited guests, including someone who slept in the building overnight, and a scary situation where a strangely behaving individual entered classrooms during school hours. Please help us keep each other and both SYC and Red Oak safe by checking and locking doors, and please tell a member of staff if you notice anything fishy!

Also be on the lookout for email scams. Bad actors take the email addresses, names, and photos of staff and laypeople from our website and start conversations where they may ask you to buy gift cards or otherwise share financial information. Never respond to requests of this nature without checking directly with the person the sender claims to be.

As I said, this is a lengthy email and I really appreciate your taking the time to read through this rather lengthy introduction. It’s a blessing to have so much going on that it results in emails of this length. I wish you all a healthy and relaxing weekend, and I look forward to seeing you on Sunday for our Flower Communion!

Blessings friends,
Rev. Kelli McNeal
Minister of Congregational Life

*Please¬†email us¬†with any announcements you would like in Friday News by 8 pm Wednesday,¬†and put “Friday News” in the subject line¬†– so that we can be sure to not miss your email!¬†Let us¬†know if you have any questions

*Worship materials and changes that affect the slides and order of service are due to Andi no later than 11am each Thursday. While the script and sermon can be tweaked through Saturday, we need most things in advance, in order to create the slide deck and set the camera shots for streaming, as well as for Marian Garcia to print the orders of service on Friday morning. Thank you!

Thank you everyone for your participation in our Transitional listening sessions and survey!  We are working on compiling and summarizing the responses into a form that we can share with the congregation.  It will take a little time since there are a lot of responses to get through, so stay tuned!

Thank you to everyone who was able to come to Reverend Marian’s Farewell Gathering last Saturday. It was nice to see everyone share in laughter, memories, and hugs with Reverend Marian; as well as hear a lovely song sung by choir members.

The Board hosted a one-hour Executive Session special meeting with Reverend Marian, as a condition of her Retirement Agreement. The meeting was held in good faith with the intention to allow for both parties to be heard by each other. Reverend Marian’s Retirement is effective May 31, 2023 and the Board will continue to support subsequent end of service needs until the retirement date.

You are invited to join Meg McGuire’s Ordination watch party this Sunday April 16th in First UU’s Worship Center at 5:00pm, or click here to join the livestream on your own, You can RSVP and leave Meg a note here. On Sunday May 7th, Rev. Meg will be preaching here at First UU. After the service we will have refreshments in Beach Hall to celebrate this milestone with her.

Your Board of Trustees,

Jan Phillips, Billy Davidson, Shelly Casto, Jim Conlan, Julie Pinsonneault, and Cindy Whicker

Next Board meeting: Wednesday, May 3rd, at 7pm.

Thank you to everyone in the congregation who has helped us to track down the info we need for our congregation’s search packet – including the wonderful Archives team! Our portfolio materials (which will be reviewed by ministers in search) include current and historical narrative, figures, and other info about our congregation, and are due by April 20th.

In addition to our weekly Thursday meeting, we also plan to meet this weekend to help finish everything up. We are working well together and having fun (UUs are good at this!) while doing this sacred work for our congregation.

Your Search Team,

Jim Conlan and Myra Hartmann (chairs), Shirley Lange, Meg McGuire, Erin Reilly-Sanders, and Amber Scott (ad hoc)

This year, our stewardship team set the ambitious goal of increasing our pledges by 13% and so far, our community has exceeded our expectations! So far, 77% of the pledge forms submitted have represented members or friends increasing their pledges. Thank you!

But we still have a ways to go. We have only received 10% of our pledge forms. By now, you should have gotten your pledge packet in the mail. If you are able to, please consider turning in your pledge form this week, so that we can move forward with our budgeting process.

For more information, or to submit your pledge form online, visit our website. And if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Rev. Kelli. Thank you again for your incredible generosity!

Announcements at a Glance

Click the Heading or Summary to Jump to that Group of Announcements!
*Indicates New or Updated Announcement
  • Earth Day Flower Ceremony:¬†Interdependent Like Trees – 4/16¬†*
  • April¬†Share the Plate:
    Connecting Community Corridor for People, Pollinators, and the Planet
    + Seeds of Change Exhibit! *
  • SUMMARY – Upcoming Services, and Monthly Themes!
  • The Ordination of Meg McGuire! – 5pm ET
  • Sign Up by Midnight: HS Grad Recognition / Bridging – 4/23
  • SUMMARY¬†of Events
  • Congratulations to¬†Dr. Brandon Moss! *
  • Spring Stewardship Events! – 4/16, 4/18
  • Pathways to Membership – 4/22, 4/24*
  • BREAD Nehemiah Action – 4/25 *
  • May Living the Pledge Classes *
  • Contribute to the¬†Banned Book Library!
  • Auction Experiences Still Available!
  • Upcoming Concerts at First UU! – 4/30, 5/5, 5/19, 5/21, 6/4 *
  • SUMMARY of Classes and Meet Ups
  • Seniors’ Tai Chi for Balance – Tuesdays
  • Sign the Reproductive Rights Petition!
  • Donations Needed: Feed and Read Ohio
  • Sign Up: Ganthers Place Community Grounds Clean-Up Tomorrow! – 4/15 *
  • Ohio Roller Derby Tickets! – 4/29, 5/20 *
  • Funeral Consumers Alliance Events – 4/30,¬†5/20 *
  • Wider Community¬†Events of Note!
  • All Ages Flower Communion Service¬†This Sunday – 4/16¬†*
  • Sign Up:¬†Child Dedication Ceremony – 5/14
  • Register Now for Peace Camp 2023! – August
  • Snacks Needed!
  • We Need You – in the RE Classroom!
  • Upcoming Family Events!
Flower Communion All Ages Service:

Interdependent Like Trees, 4/16


This Sunday, April 16th, is our all ages Earth Day Flower Communion service, and this year is the 100th anniversary of the first Flower Communion by Unitarians in Prague! Join us for this family-friendly, interactive service! Using the analogy of trees, we will explore interdependence in this intergenerational service through music, bodily movement, and flower communion.

Please bring a flower to share, and after the service, make a recycled newspaper pot for the Native Plant Sale. Or plant a sunflower in your pot and take it home! Check out these videos to learn more about the history of Flower Communion.

There are no RE classes for children and youth on Sunday, except Toddler Care and Coming of Age, as well as Navigators scouting activities (offsite).

Worship Presenter: Amanda Hays and our Eco-Justice focus group

Next weekend, check out these earth-centered activities from our Share the Plate Partner, Connecting Community Corridors for Pollinators, People, and the Planet!

Saturday, April 22, 10 am – 1 pm – Earth Day Tree Planting – Join us at the The Urban Farm Church, our newest CCC for PPP member, at 3901 Maize Rd, for Earth Day spent digging in the dirt! We’ll be planting trees to increase the tree canopy. provide food security, reduce the heat island effect of cities, Save Soil, and improve the water and air quality around the new urban farm as we grow food for the community. Lunch will be provided. Click here to sign up!

April Share the Plate
Seeds of Change: The Power of Women’s Voices

The Connecting Community Corridor for People, Pollinators and the Planet is being featured, with Dianne Kadonaga and two other women, Paula Nabrit and Marybeth McDonald,¬†showing how they are redesigning the redlining policies of where we live, or with tools to address the inequities and misunderstandings of working with people with mental / emotional challenges. First UU Ecojustice group is mentioned on Dianne’s¬†panels.¬†This exhibit is on display at¬†on OSU Campus, Prior Hall, 5th Floor of the Medical Heritage Center Health Sciences Library until the end of April and then moves to Graves Hall.

Our Share-the-Plate donations in April go to the Connecting Community Corridor for People, Pollinators, and the Planet. This corridor is made of the yards and container gardens of 40 families in Linden who received donated native plants to support specialist pollinators and birds. They have all agreed not to use chemicals on their lawns and leave stems, seed heads, and open ground over the winter for their nests. All recipients are hyperlocal to Sunny Glen Garden as the educational demonstration site so that we can eliminate transportation barriers and be able to more easily share garden equipment, seeds, and produce. The corridor is coordinated by First UU member Dianne Kadonaga, with OSU and Simply Living as partners.
Happening This Month

  • 4/16 – EcoJustice,¬†Flower Ceremony / Earth Day (All Ages, no RE)
  • 4/23 – Amber Scott, HS Grad Bridging, RE Service and Open House
  • 4/30 – Rev. Kelli McNeal

Monthly Themes

  • May: Creativity
  • June: Delight

Special Services

  • 5/14 – Mother’s Day, Child Dedication
  • 5/21 – Coming of Age Service
  • 9/10 – Ingathering / Water Ceremony (All Ages, No RE)
The Ordination of Meg McGuire! 4/16
You’re invited to celebrate the ordination of Meg McGuire! On Sunday, April 16th, Meg McGuire will be jointly ordained by First UU Columbus and her internship congregation, First UU Society of San Francisco. You are invited to join the watch party in Columbus at 5:00pm in the Worship Center or to join the livestream on your own, in real time or later, at this link. You can find more information about the ordination by clicking here.

There are two other opportunities to join in the celebration in Columbus: During worship on Sunday March 26th, the congregation will be offering a blessing for the stole that will be presented during the ordination service.

Finally, on Sunday May 7th, Rev. Meg will be preaching and we will have cake and snacks in Beach Hall afterwards to celebrate this milestone with her.

High School Bridging Recognition Deadline – TODAY!
Congrats, grad! Each spring our congregation recognizes seniors who are graduating from high school or finishing home school! Please fill out this form ASAP if you would like your grad to be recognized this year! The form is due by midnight tonight, Friday, April 14th.

Graduating youth and their families are invited to attend our service in person on Sunday, April 23rd Рso that we can honor you as a congregation Рbut this is not required. Bridging seniors also receive gifts from the congregation!

  • 4/16, Sunday – The Ordination of Meg McGuire Watch Party, 5pm
  • 4/22, Saturday – Pathways to Membership
  • 4/24, Monday – Pathways to Membership
  • 4/25, Tuesday¬†– BREAD Nehemiah Action, 6:45pm
  • 4/28¬†– Fourth Friday Dinner
  • 4/30, Sunday – Carpe Diem concert
  • Thru 4/30 –¬† Eric Murphy,¬†Subtle Chaos: Spacescapes and Jim Crow States¬†(Gallery)
  • 5/5, Friday – Peter Mayer concert
  • 5/6, Saturday – Church Gardens and Grounds Work Day, 9am-1pm
  • 5/11, Thursday – Senior Gathering
  • 5/19, Friday – Chamber Music Connection spring festival performance
  • 5/21, Sunday – First UU Choirs spring concert
  • 6/4, Sunday – Willow Otten horn recital
  • 6/11, Sunday – Annual Meeting
  • 6/21-6/25 – UUA General Assembly
  • 7/9-7/15 – CER Summer Institute
  • 9/2-9/4 – Labor Day Retreat
Congratulations to Dr. Brandon Moss!
Congratulations to Dr. Brandon Moss, 2023 Columbus Symphony Secondary Music Educator Award WINNER!

“This award is given to music educators who make a difference in their communities through their dedication to music education. To say that you do that, Dr. Moss, is only the tip of the iceberg.

I couldn‚Äôt be more proud of you. I know everything you do is for the betterment of your students and I‚Äôm so glad you are being recognized for all of your hard work, dedication to excellence and, most importantly, all of the lives you shape or even change.”

Spring Stewardship Meals – 4/16 & 4/18
Our church is possible due to generous donations from our congregants. Our Annual Spring Giving Campaign has kicked off! We invite you to attend a get together to hear more about how your contributions make a difference to our community. Please RSVP if possible, for meal counts!

  • Sunday, 4/16 10 AM Breakfast with Mimosas before service – Room 302
  • Tuesday, 4/18 5:30 PM Gourmet Taco Bar – Room 301
Pathways to Membership – 4/22 or 4/24
Join us Saturday 4/22 or Monday 4/24 for our next Pathways to Membership classes. These classes are open to anyone who is interested in learning more about First UU and may be considering membership.

For more information, please register at this link.
BREAD Nehemiah Action – 4/25
B.R.E.A.D. Nehemiah Action

Celeste Center (State Fairgrounds)
117 E. 17th Ave.

Tuesday, April 25
6:40 – 8:30 pm

First UU bus @ 6:00 pm-$5.00/person, $10/family

Help make a difference for affordable housing, people who can’t get an ID, police/community relations, the environment, and Columbus schools!

B.R.E.A.D.s power comes from its people. One person or one congregation without money or influence can’t make much of a difference. But 2,500 from 44 multifaith congregations can!  First UU needs to turn out at least 200 people of all ages for justice in Central Ohio! Your presence makes a difference!

  • Childcare is available at the Action for children out of diapers up to age 7.
  • Register for the bus in Beach Hall after the service or with your BREAD network member. Pay at bus. If you sign up, you owe it!
  • Buy a yellow Standing on the Side of Love or Side with Love t-shirt in Beach Hall after the service.
  • If driving, try to carpool. B.R.E.A.D. pays for parking at the fairgrounds.

Questions:  Reach out to our BREAD Team at .

Living the Pledge Anti-Racism Training – 5/6 & 5/20
Come join fellow UUs as we explore how we can dismantle the racism that pervades our personal and institutional lives. The Spring Living the Pledge class developed by First UU Richmond will be offered in-person and online May 6th and May 20th, from 10am to 5:30pm. You can find more information about the class and register here. Join us to learn more about this important work where we can live into our shared UU values.
Contribute to the Banned Book Library
The First UU Youth Group is partnering with the Book Loft, a local bookstore in German Village, to build the First UU Banned Book Library! Please join us by clicking here to purchase a book to add to our library. Book plates will be available to commemorate your donation. Don’t forget to join us for the annual Youth Led Service on March 26th to hear more about our new library! -Update provided by Abigail Ours, Youth Group member.
Available Auction Items
To read a full description of each event or service, please go to the auction website. If you would like to purchase a spot or spots, please contact the Auction Team.

Cinco de Mayo Inspired Happy Hour
Saturday May 6th at 6pm
$30 per spot (2 available)

Visit to Rumpke Recycling Plant in Columbus
Tuesday May 9th at 10am
$15 per spot (8 available)

Birding with Bob and Donna
Saturday May 13th at 8am
25 per spot (3 available)

Spring Nature Hike / Mound Excursion
Saturday May 13th at 9am
$20 per spot (19 available)

As spring arrives, we have a host of concerts coming your way at First UU!

On Sunday, April 30th the Carpe Diem String Quartet will play a concert in memoriam to its founding member Chas Wetherbee who passed away earlier this year. This performance will feature many guest artists and beautiful music by Vaughan Williams, Fujiwara, Schubert, and Tchaikovsky, as well as a video tribute to Chas. Tickets may be purchased here, and church members can get a $10 discount. The board of CDSQ will host a reception after the concert in Beach Hall.

First UU is pleased to host singer-songwriter Peter Mayer on Friday, May 5 at 7:00 pm. You may recognize Peter Mayer as the author of our beloved hymn “Blue Boat Home“, the song “Holy Now”, and many others. He last played First UU in 2019, and the concert was a huge success. Suggested donations are $20 at the door for this concert. We are also looking for help in hosting Peter overnight and transporting him to or from his performance in Dayton the next day. If you are interested in helping with this, please email Brandon Moss.

We have a long partnership with Chamber Music Connection, and they will be holding their 31st Spring Festival performance on Friday, May 19 at 7:30 pm with the Cavani String Quartet. Ticket donations at the door are $20 for adults and $40 for families.

Our own First UU Choirs will hold a Spring Concert on Sunday, May 21 at 4:00 pm. All choirs (Peace Pals, Spirit of Life Choir, Chalice Choir) will perform a variety of music, including a feature of music by American composer Randall Thompson. The concert is free and open to the public.

Finally, on June 4 at 4:00 pm our own church member Willow Otten will be playing a horn recital. Willow is currently a Masters student at the New England Conservatory of Music and has been offered an exciting opportunity to play in an opera festival orchestra in Italy this summer. Willow’s recital on June 4 will help raise money to fund her trip to Italy! We encourage you to attend and help her out with this exciting adventure! She will also be playing at First UU during the May 28 service.

If you have any questions about concerts or music at First UU,  please contact Brandon Moss.

*Click the link to contact the group leader



  • Seniors’¬†Tai Chi for Balance, 10am (starting 4/11)
  • ASH (Atheists, Skeptics, and Humanists), 4th Tuesdays, 7pm
  • Spirit of Life Choir, 6:30pm






Seniors’ Tai Chi for Balance
Join us Tuesday mornings from 10-11am in Beach Hall, starting April 11th! This drop-in group class will offer a step-by-step introduction to a 16-movement form of Tai Chi modified for older adults and others with balance challenges. The movements can be completed either standing or seated. Practicing Tai Chi can improve mindful movement and core strength, and increase neural pathways in the brain.

Two instructors, Guy and Betsy Smalley, can provide individual attention to participants who want to increase balance and safe movement. This drop-in class is an opportunity for ongoing practice, meeting weekly. Dress in comfortable clothes and wear flat, non-skid shoes.

Reproductive Rights Petition Drive
We need more than 422,000 valid signatures by July 5, for this constitutional amendment to be on the November ballot. The amendment language reads: Every individual has a right to make and carry out one’s own reproductive decisions, including but not limited to decisions on contraception, fertility treatment, continuing one’s one pregnancy, miscarriage care, and abortion.

Petitions will be available before the service and during coffee hour. Sign up for petition training to collect signatures at other events! April is ‚Äúsign the petition‚ÄĚ month. May and June are ‚Äú collect petitions‚ÄĚ months.

Feed and Read Ohio Donations Needed
In addition to pantry items and children’s books, Feed and Read Ohio is in need of personal hygiene products: toothbrush, toothpaste, a bar of soap, shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, shave gel, deodorant, comb, razor, lip balm, bandages, hand sanitizer, tissues, nail clippers, hair tied, and feminine hygiene products (tampons and pads). Please visit Jacques in Beach Hall before or after Sunday service to drop off your donations.
Ganthers Place Community Grounds Clean Up – 4/15
Celebrate Earth Day AND support the community work of some amazing First UU members, Tara Mullins-Cosme, Joel Cosme Jr., Yesh Cosme, Sage, and Juniper Рtomorrow, Saturday, 4/15, from 10am-1pm! Click here to sign up!
Support Amber at Ohio Roller Derby! – 4/29 & 5/20
Ohio Roller Derby’s home season is selling out fast – less than 70 tickets left for the April 29th game!¬†Buy your tickets for 4/29, 5/20, and 6/3 now!¬†Pricing is based on ticket type (child and adult tiers). Purchase season passes, or a block of tickets to save!

Doors open at 4pm, followed by the A-level game at starting at 5pm. Amber plays in the B-level game, which begins around 7pm!

Funeral Consumers Alliance Events @ First UU
Sunday April 30 – Funeral Consumers Alliance will have a table with information, in Beach Hall before and after the service.

Saturday May 20 – Funeral Consumers Alliance will hold its annual meeting in Beech Hall starting with lunch at noon. There will be a speaker and business meeting. All interested are welcome.

Funeral Consumers Alliance of Central Ohio is a subcommittee of our Caring Committee. Questions? Contact Cathy Elkins.

Wider Community Events of Note




All Ages Earth Day Flower Communion Service – 4/16

Join us for this multigenerational, interactive, family friendly tradition!
Please plan for playground time, and dress for the weather!

  • 10-10:30am Breakfast!
  • 10:30am-12:30pm Toddler Care
  • 11am service,¬†Coming of Age class only
  • Coffee Hour and Snack after the service ends
  • Navigators activities¬†offsite

Register for Next Year, and Fill Out Annual Emergency Paperwork Here!

Child Dedication Ceremony 5/14

Welcome, little one! Each year First UU invites families who would like to participate in a¬†Child Dedication ceremony to do so during our Mother’s Day service. Families are invited to attend the service in person¬†on May 14th – so that we can honor you as a congregation. There is no age limit for children participating! Please fill out this¬†form if you have a child you would like recognized this year – due by midnight the Sunday before the ceremony, May 7th.¬†Your family will receive a child dedication certificate and flowers.

From the beginning of time, parents have brought their children to houses of worship for dedication, out of a reverence for the mystery of life and a desire that their precious children should have the love and support of community as they grow into adulthood. Our ceremony is both the dedication of parents to their children and the dedication of this congregation to the privilege of providing these children with opportunities for spiritual growth.

Register Now for Peace Camp 2023!

Sign up now Рby filling out our 2023-2024 permission and interest form! We will be in touch shortly with information about payment, and to let you know whether you are on the roster or the waitlist. Cost: $100 suggested per child.

Session A: for 6-8years (9am-12noon, Monday 7/31 – Friday 8/4)
Session B: for 9-11years (9am-12noon, Monday 8/7 – Friday 8/11)

Peace Camp is a time for elementary aged children to gather together at First UU and explore concepts related to ‚ÄúPeace.‚ÄĚ We explore what peace means, looks like, and how it connects us. We learn about ourselves – our feelings and ideas. We learn about ourselves in relation to others – other people‚Äôs experiences and feelings are valuable and important. We work on interpersonal skills and explore what to do in challenging relationships. We also make space for conversation and expression of feelings related to what we have been experiencing this past year: whether worries, anxieties, or excitement. Most of all, we will connect with each other, spend time outside, and play!

Questions? Email Jen Bojanowski, our Peace Camp Director, or Amber Scott, our Director of Religious Exploration.

Snacks Needed!

We are seeking NUT FREE snack donations – including gluten free options – to serve after weekly Sunday services! Drop off shelf stable snacks in the kitchen anytime – look for the “RE snack” cabinet.¬†Questions? Contact¬†Amber!

We Need You – in the RE Classroom!

Join the¬†dream team – hanging out with our young people is truly the most fun you can have on a Sunday mornings!¬†Sign up now for next year – we need¬†classroom assistants, leads,¬†and subs for all age groups! You can make¬†a difference in the lives of our children and teens. ūüôā¬†Fill¬†out this form¬†to get started!

First UU also utilizes very part time Sunday morning Toddler Sitters (~2hrs per week at $15/hr. Your hire is contingent on a background check. Interested candidates: please email Amber!

Upcoming Family Events!

  • Flower Ceremony (All Ages, no RE), 4/16
  • HS Grad Bridging, RE Service and Open House, 4/23
  • Fourth Friday Dinner! 6:30pm, 4/28
  • Navigators Spring Campout, 5/5-5/7
  • 13-14yr OWL graduation celebration, 5/6 or 5/7
  • Mother’s Day, Child Dedication, 5/14
  • Coming of Age Service, RE end of year parties, 5/21
  • No RE, holiday weekend, 5/28
  • Summer RE begins, 6/4
  • Youth¬†trip to General Assembly, 6/21-6/25
  • CER Summer Institute, 7/9-7/15
  • Peace Camp, 7/31-8/4 and 8/7-8/11
  • Labor Day Retreat, 9/2-9/4
  • Ingathering / Water Ceremony (All Ages, No RE), 9/10
  • Fall RE begins, 9/17