Friday News – August 26, 2022

Happy Friday!

Holy moly! It’s almost Ordination Day! I cannot tell you how truly honored I am that you have chosen to support me in this important step of my ministry. It is a humbling, overwhelming feeling to be celebrated in this way. I hope that you can join us in person at 2:00 tomorrow. We will also be live streaming on our YouTube channel – same place we stream Sunday services. Tomorrow, you will get to meet my family and some of amazing people who have mentored and supported me throughout this journey. I’m so excited for you to get to hear from them!

I have a few reminders that I’d like to also pass your way:

1. Don’t forget to save the date for our First UU Fall Festival on October 22nd. We will have a live auction, games, food, and of course, lots of fun. If you would like to make a donation to the auction, please see the announcement below for more information.

2. I have heard from several of you who would like a booth at our first annual Fall Engagement Fair on Sunday, September 18th. If your group/class would like to set up a booth, please let me know by Sunday, September 11th. I need time to get the set up for Beach Hall planned and make sure we have enough tables. This will be an opportunity to provide information and give our community a chance to sign up for you group, class, or volunteer opportunity. You can have your booth set up for both Community Hour at 10:00 as well as after the service.

3. Are you interested in helping us provide a welcoming environment on Sunday mornings? Being a part of the Welcome Team is an easy and fun way to meet our community and welcome visitors. If you are interested, please let me know! We will have a training starting at 10am on Sunday September 11th.

I think that’s all the items I wanted to highlight. If you have any questions about anything listed, or anything else, please let me know!


(Almost Rev.) Kelli McNeal
Minister of Congregational Life

*Please let Kelli know of 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!

For your protection from scammers and stalkers, we have an OPT IN directory. You have to let us know if you want your name and contact information included! If you do not let us know using the OPT IN option, you will not be included. And your church friends will have a hard time reaching out to you. (You only need to fill this out ONCE.)

If you would like to be included in the directory, please fill out this membership update form and let us know which information you would and wouldn’t like listed. If you are a member and would like a copy of the directory, please contact Marian Garcia in the front office. 

Announcements at a Glance

  • It’s Ordination Time! – 8/27
  • Sunday Service – 8/28
  • Fall Sunday Service Plan
  • How to Attend the Service
  • Masks Highly Encouraged
  • Teacher Strike and Child Care Center Update!
  • Artists Reception – 8/28
  • Save the Date for Fall Fair and Auction!
  • Now Hiring! First UU RE Assistant/s
  • Coming of Age Teachers Needed!
  • Labor Day Retreat
  • New needs to help a Refugee Family
  • News from our Friends at Kehilat Sukkat Shalom
  • End of Summer Festival this Sunday!
  • Upcoming Events
TOMORROW! The Ordination of Kelli McNeal! 
First Unitarian Universalist Columbus and First Unitarian Universalist Richmond will be jointly ordaining Kelli McNeal to the Unitarian Universalist Ministry!

Please join us in person (with reception to follow), or enjoy our live-stream option!

Saturday, August 27, 2022 at 2pm, at First Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbus, 93 W. Weisheimer Rd., Columbus, Ohio 43214

Rev. Kelli will also be preaching the sermon in our 10am service the following day, Sunday, August 28th. See you there!

This Week’s Sunday Service! 8/28
The Cathedral of the World

Forrest Church, a Universalist theologian, paints a beautiful image of Universalist theology as a giant cathedral. This Sunday, we’ll explore this cathedral together. Join us at 10am, in person or online!

Worship Presenter: Rev. Kelli McNeal

We Have a Plan!
Curious about what Sunday services are going to look like in the fall? Wonder no longer! Beginning Sunday, September 11, our Sunday mornings are going to look a little different than they have this summer. The schedule is:

9:30-10:00: Meditation

The Sanctuary will be open for quiet, non-guided meditation

10:00-11:00: Community Hour

Breakfast will be served at 10:00* and classroom space will be available for small groups, classes, meetings, discussion, etc. We will have activities like art projects and puzzles available as well.

11:00-12:15: Worship and RE

Our service will begin in person and online at 11:00. Religious Exploration (RE) for children will be provided.

12:15-1:00: Coffee and Conversation

Coffee and snacks will be provided.* Some Sundays, we will have justice action opportunities available. The Peace Pals children’s choir will also practice during this time.

*Please note that both breakfast and coffee require volunteer support and will not be offered if we do not have volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering for either breakfast or coffee, please contact Kelli. If you are a member of the Care and Share Time Bank, you can get credits for volunteering on Sunday mornings. For more information about the Care and Share Time Bank, please email Michael Greenman.

How to Attend the Service
1.) Join us in person! 93 W Weisheimer Rd, Columbus, OH 43214

2.) Tune in for our live broadcast, via!

3.) Or watch the recording later, on our website!

Masks are Highly Encouraged
We highly encourage wearing masks and healthy hygiene practices – as case numbers continue to rise in our local area, and within our First UU community due to the latest variant. We recommend masking indoors, frequent hand washing and sanitizing (including upon arrival at the building), covering coughs and sneezes, and staying home if you or your household has symptoms of illness or a likely exposure. These policies may change based on shifting conditions. Please see Rev Talk for more info.
Teacher Strike and Child Respite Update!
After a four day strike and a full day of negotiating, Columbus City teachers and the school district reached a tentative, “conceptual agreement” around 3am Thursday – to end the strike and send kids back to school.

The CEA and First UU Care Center will still be open today (Friday, 8/25). Our plan is to be closed next week, pending the union vote on the agreement this weekend. We are hopeful that everyone will be back in CCS classrooms next week. However, if the vote for the contract is not affirmative, our doors will be open again Monday at 8am.

Thank you for supporting our CCS students and our union (CEA). Together we are strong!

Artists Reception Sunday!

Come meet and greet our UU Artists for art, conversation, and snacks. Artists Reception is Sunday, August 28th 11:00-12:30 in the Gallery and Worship Center

View our newest exhibit: “Mother Earth/Father Sky.” What does the Earth give us? What do we give back to the earth? How do we care/or not care for our Earth?

What are your wishes for our Earth?

Please join us! Need more info? Contact Deb Baillieul

Save the Date!
Fall Fair and Auction
This year’s in person auction is going big! We are in the midst of planning a Fall Fair that will have a live auction, food, games, and lots of fun!

Donations are needed by October 6th. Please email the Auction team for more information on how to submit your donations.

Save the Date for Saturday October 22nd. Our theme is Back Together for Our Future, a play on the film Back to the Future. (There may even be a Delorean to take pictures with!)

Stay tuned for more information

Now Hiring! First UU RE Assistant/s
Our Religious Exploration program is seeking folks to work part time supporting our programs for children, families, and youth! Duties may include greeting families, wrangling kiddos and volunteers, and subbing in classes on Sunday mornings, and / or completing administrative office work during the week.

Starting pay is $15/hr for up to ten hours a week (depending on whether the Sunday morning assistant and office assistant are different people). Candidates will have some agency to set hours and responsibilities outside of Sunday. Your hire is contingent on a background check.

We also have a $1,000 annual stipend for coordination of our congregation’s OWL sexuality education program. There is some flexibility within the RE budget to create the future we want to see – please contact Amber Scott, Director of Religious Exploration, to talk more today!

Interested candidates: please email Amber!

Coming of Age Teachers Needed! 
We are still seeking Sunday school volunteers! We will not be able to offer Coming of Age this year unless more folks commit to teaching and providing this important milestone experience for our young people. Fill out this form to volunteer, or email Amber Scott, our Director of Religious Exploration, to get involved!
Labor Day Retreat
You are definitely going to want to come to Labor Day Retreat this year! First UUers will be offering fun activites throughout the weekend. And, everyone will be bringing great snacks and beverages to share for happy hour/appetizers on Saturday and Sunday. To see all the fun planned activities and register for Labor Day Retreat click here.
Help Kehilat Sukkat Shalom Resettle a Refugee Family
Thank you all for your generous donations to help Bahati, Furaha and the kid’s move to their new home in Columbus.

We could us some more help…
Right now, the family is still in a motel, waiting to get started with their new life. Finding a new home for them has proven more difficult than anticipated. We need an apartment or house for them to live in ASAP. The family has the first six months of rent. Ideally the place will be Northeast Columbus/Linden area or North Columbus/Worthington/Clintonville area, that is 2-3 bedrooms at a maximum of $1,200/month rent (preferably with utilities included). Contact with any leads or contacts.


If you are willing to provide a meal for the family, please sign-up here. Home cooking and take out equally appreciated!


And if you are willing to help with visits and outings including rides to a park, errands, or organizing an outing to a library, museum, or other activity, please sign-up here. The motel they are in is not an inspiring space to spend time day after day.

Join the Conversation on Facebook
Follow the First UU Facebook Page, and join our Facebook Group to connect!
News from our Friends at Kehilat Sukkat Shalom
A new B Mitzvah Journey, a Jewish spiritual identity program for tweens (grades 5-8) begins with orientation August 28th @ 3pm in room 301. Information is on our website. Contact Jodi Kushins for more information.


This year, our guest leader for The High Holy Days of Rosh haShanah and Yom Kippur will be Elya Piazza (they/them). Elya is a student at the Reconstructionist Rabbinic College while also completing their dissertation in Jewish studies from UC Berkeley which explores how queer readings of the Talmud can help us understand generations of Jewish thought, including the Yiddish language, as a site of resistance to oppression. Elya is passionate about community building through teaching and learning, song, ritual, and care. They are especially called to expanding access to Jewish language and culture to community members who have historically been excluded from the tradition and animating Jewish tradition in the struggle for greater social, economic and environmental justice.


ALL First UU members and friends are welcome to join us for services, all at First UU, unless otherwise noted)

Rosh haShanah

Sunday, September 25 – Evening Service (8-9:30pm)

Monday, September 26 – Morning Service  (10am-12:30pm)

Monday, September 26 – Shofar/Tashlich (4:30- @Dublin Scioto Park)

Yom Kippur

Tuesday, October 4 – Kol Nidre Evening Service (8-9:30pm)

Wednesday, October 5 – Morning Service (10am-12:30pm)

Wednesday, October 5 – Neilah Service (5pm – )


JOB OPPORTUNITY – We need people to watch the door during all of the above services. $15/hour to greet people, sign them in, hand them a prayer book and direct them into the worship center. Contact Debra Setlzer at to express interest in all or just one of these shifts.


RE Update + This Sunday!

Hello First UU families! We have some exciting news to share with you from RE! This past Sunday we had a conversation about our end of summer RE session- which is this coming Sunday (I know, end of summer is already here!). And, the kids had ideas!!!!

Join us this Sunday, 8/28, for an End of Summer Festival! During the service the kids will be able to help set up and make materials for the “stations” for the festival, and even try them out. After the service everyone is invited to come check out the activities and have some fun!

Last Sunday’s RE recap, 8/21: In lieu of the conversations in our community regarding Columbus City Schools we read Click, Clack, Moo: Cows that Type by Doreen Cronin (cows go on strike). This led to a rich discussion of what they feel should be accessible to kids at schools. They agreed it was okay to share their ideas with you. They had ideas from increased outdoor play to smaller class sizes, and better understanding of different learning styles. An overarching concept did emerge in our conversation about wishes for options for kids in a variety of areas. Click here to read more about their ideas!

+ Check it out: We have put out some of the projects for you to view from Peace Camp in the Hallway near the kitchen. There are collaborative structures that they worked hard on, and we photographed and hung the banners the children created to express their values and positions on things that have meaning for them. They are beautiful and heartfelt in their messages.

We are very excited to be celebrating this summer’s end with an End of Summer Festival. We hope you will come and check it out!
Jenifer, Amber, and our RE kiddos

Upcoming Events

  • Fourth Friday Picnic! 6pm 8/26
    (Lower Whetstone Park, near the playground)
  • Labor Day Retreat at Camp Oty’Okwa 9/3-9/5
  • No RE classes – holiday break 9/5
  • Water Ceremony / Ingathering – All Ages Service, No RE 9/11

Calling All Teachers and Helpers! 

Fill out this form to volunteer with our programs for children, youth, and families this year! Thank you!