Friday News – April 21, 2023

You know when you get a song stuck in your head and it decides to take up residence and move in? Well, there’s one song that I have willingly and gratefully welcomed to camp out for awhile. It’s a song that has gone viral on TikTok – a simple song that was written because someone was having a really hard day and their partner wanted to help cheer them up. Well, the short 30 second song they wrote resonated with so many people for its simplicity and sincerity. The artists decided to make a full song and released it at midnight this morning. To say it’s been on repeat in the McNeal household all morning would be an understatement!

So, friends, I wanted to share the song with you – perhaps you’re having a bad mental health day, maybe you need a pick me up to get moving with your day, or maybe you’re having a great day and want to enjoy a fun catchy tune – whatever you’re feeling, I’m pretty sure this song will bring a smile to your face. (I’ve included a link to the music video below.)

As always, I have a few announcements to lift up:


If you scroll to the purple box titled “Announcements at a Glance,” you can click on a heading to jump to that section. Or click¬†the word “summary” in the purple box to go to the overview of that section.

Please take 2 minutes to¬†answer this poll¬†letting¬†us know whether you prefer a¬†10am or 11am start time for our July and August¬†summer services. You have until midnight tonight to weigh in.¬† – we’ve received almost 80 responses so far!¬†Thank you!

Our next Pathways to Membership classes are tomorrow and Monday! These classes have been moved to online only. Please register to receive the Zoom information. If you have already registered, I will send out the Zoom information in a separate email today. 

Blessings friends,
Rev. Kelli McNeal
Minister of Congregational Life

  • The deadline for Friday News submissions is 8:00pm Wednesday.Email¬†
  • Deadline for¬†Sunday service materials is 11:00am Thursday morning.
If I Were a Fish by corook ft. olivia barton
Announcements at a Glance

*Indicates New or Updated Announcement
  • Greetings From Your Board of Trustees
  • Go, Search Team, Go!
  • Stewardship and Generosity Update
  • This Sunday: Growing Youth That Change the World, Amber Scott – 4/23¬†*
  • High School Bridging Ceremony, recognizing our Class of 2023 graduates
  • April¬†Share the Plate:
    Connecting Community Corridor for People, Pollinators, and the Planet
  • BREAD Nehemiah Action – This Tuesday! 4/25 *
  • Upcoming Concerts at First UU! – 4/30, 5/5, 5/19, 5/21, 6/4
  • Funeral Consumers Alliance¬†– 4/30,¬†5/20
  • Youth Group Art Show – 5/7 *
  • Senior Luncheon – 5/11 *
  • Read Dangerously!¬†Banned Book Library *
  • Auction Experiences Still Available
  • Pathways to Membership – 4/22, 4/24
  • May Living the Pledge Classes
  • Columbus Women’s Chorus – 4/23 *
  • Ohio Roller Derby Tickets:¬†See Amber – 5/20
  • This Sunday:¬†HS Grad Bridging and RE Open House – 4/23¬†*
  • Volunteer to Teach Next Year!
  • Sign Up:¬†Child Dedication Ceremony – 5/14
  • Register Now for Peace Camp
Greetings From Your Board of Trustees
With the start of Spring comes the renewal of community ties. On Sunday, it was great to see so many past friends who are starting to make their way back into our community at First UU. It was also refreshing to greet new friends looking to make connections and have good conversations.

Thank you to everyone who was able to join Rev. Meg McGuire’s ordination this past Sunday, in person and online. 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.

The Search Committee is hard at work. One large task has been to complete the search packet. More information will be given by the committee once they have more to share.

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.

Go, Search Team, Go!
Our congregation’s search packet is in the approval process, and should be published by the end of the week! In early May we will review the portfolios of interested candidates, followed by a whirlwind of interviews! More updates, and sharing back of data from the listening sessions, coming soon!

Your Search Team,

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

Stewardship and Generosity Update
We’re wrapping up week 3 of our stewardship campaign and we are still so excited by the returns! We’ve now heard from 25% of you, but there’s only one week left of our campaign, so we have a way to go!

Based on pledges that have come in, we’re still seeing an average of 13% increase – thank you!!!! If you haven’t already, please consider taking a few minutes now to fill out our pledge form. We need to finalize our budget next week to present to the Board and we want to be as accurate in what to expect for pledges as we possibly can. Thank you again!

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

Pledge Now!
Growing Youth Who Change the World
Please join us this Sunday, April 23rd, for our annual RE service, followed by our RE open house! Together we will explore teaching and generosity, while considering the metaphor of a shared garden.

We will also be recognizing our Class of 2023 graduates with a bridging ceremony! Congratulation to: Thaddeus (Teddy) Davidson, Lilian (Lili) Ducy, Raven Daniel Hansen, Cameron Mangin-Betts, Caroline Mocharski, Liam Otten, Ross Ravenwood, and Quill Seilhan!

Worship Presenter: Amber Scott, Director of Religious Exploration

April Share the Plate

Connecting Community Corridor for People, Pollinators, and the Planet

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 nests. The corridor is coordinated by First UU member Dianne Kadonaga.¬†Check out their¬†exhibit¬†in Seeds of Change: The Power of Women’s Voices,¬†on display at¬†OSU campus!

Tomorrow –¬†sign up to join us at the¬†Urban Farm Church¬†to plant trees for Earth Day!¬†3901 Maize Rd; lunch will be provided!

Upcoming Services Summary
  • 4/23 – Amber Scott, RE Service and Open House,¬†HS Grad Bridging
  • 4/30 – Rev. Kelli McNeal
  • 5/7 – Rev. Meg McGuire

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)
BREAD Nehemiah Action – 4/25
B.R.E.A.D. Nehemiah Action

This Tuesday, April 25th
6:40 – 8:30 pm

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

First UU bus @ 6:00 pm-$5.00/person, $10/family
Bus seats are filling up fast – register asap!

Free tickets to take on phone or print:
Get Tickets

Help make a difference for affordable housing, people who can’t get an ID, police/community relations, the environment, and Columbus schools! Three from First UU will be on the stage.

We need you! 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

Upcoming Concerts at First UU!
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 5that 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 19th 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 21st 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, Sunday,¬†June 4th¬†at 4:00 pm our own church member Willow Ottenwill 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.

Funeral Consumers Alliance
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 Beach 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.

Youth Group Art Show 5/7
Please Join the First UU Youth Group¬†after the service, from 12:30-2pm on Sunday, May 7th,¬†for¬†their first ever Gallery Art Show and fundraiser! A portion of the proceeds will help fund the group’s¬†upcoming trip this June, to¬†Pittsburgh for General¬†Assembly.

“The strength of every democracy is measured by its commitment to the arts.” -Charles Segars

We Read Dangerously! Banned Book Library
The First UU Youth Group is so grateful for the congregations support of the First UU Banned Book Library. We continue to partner 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. During the spring the library collection is  focusing on YA and childrens books. Please click the link above to see what’s new on our wish list!
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)

Event Calendar Summary
  • 4/25, Tuesday¬†– BREAD Nehemiah Action, 6:45pm
  • 4/28¬†– Fourth Friday Dinner
  • 4/30, Sunday – Carpe Diem concert, Funeral Consumer Alliance tabling
  • 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
  • 5/7, Sunday, Youth Group Art Show Reception, 12:30-2pm
  • 5/11, Thursday – Senior Gathering
  • 5/19, Friday – Chamber Music Connection spring festival performance
  • 5/20, Saturday – Funeral Consumers Alliance annual meeting
  • 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
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. CLASS WILL MEET ONLINE ONLY. PLEASE REGISTER TO RECEIVE THE ZOOM INFORMATION!

For more information, please register at this link.
May Living the Pledge Anti-Racism Trainings
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.
Classes and Groups Summary
Upcoming Opportunities – Click to Register!

Pathways to Membership

  • April 2nd,¬†Saturday, and April 24th,¬†Monday – Both Online Only – please register to receive Zoom link

Living the Pledge

  • May 6th and 20th, Saturdays

Recurring – Click to Email the Group Leader!







Columbus Women’s Chorus Concert 4/23
Use Your Voice will feature a range of styles from Say Her Name to Everybody Says Don’t, from Breathe in Hope to the world premiere of Phillips’ Queer Faith Haiku.

Tickets are $15 for adults, children 12 and under free, with sliding scale available at the door. 3pm at First UU.

Ohio Roller Derby Tickets: See Amber 5/20!
Ohio Roller Derby’s home season is selling out fast!¬†Buy your tickets for 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!

Community Events Summary





Happening This Sunday, 4/23

Please plan for playground time, and dress for the weather!

  • 10-10:30am Breakfast!
  • 10:30am-12:30pm Toddler Care
  • 10:45 OWL (13-14yr only)
  • 11am service, HS Grad Bridging and RE Sunday,¬†Coming of Age
  • After story, combined Spirit Play 1, 2, and In the Middle, rm 201
  • RE Open House, Coffee Hour, and Snack after the service ends
  • 12:30 Peace Pals Choir Rehearsal and¬†Youth Group meeting

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

Volunteer to Teach Next Year!

Join the dream team Рhanging out with our young people is the most fun you can have on a Sunday morning, and changes lives! We need classroom assistants, leads, and subs for all age groups! Sign up here!

Child Dedication Ceremony 5/14

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 on May 14th.. 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.

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)

Family Event Summary

  • 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