Friday News – December 15, 2023

Happy Friday!

Thank you all for you very kind Caring Card and messages in sympathy for my grandpa’s passing. My grandpa was one of the most important people in my life –¬†I like to say that we were soul buddies. His passing has left a huge hole in our family, but it will be filled by all of the important, funny, outrageous traditions that he passed to us, and all the love that he had for each of us.

I know that there are many of us going through this holiday season while also experiencing some type of grief or sense of loss. I am so grateful for communities like this where we can all feel all of the highs and lows, and all of the in between, in spaces that hold us and care for us through it all. While we all prepare for whatever the holiday season looks like for us, may you know that you are held in this community as we celebrate with you, as we grieve with you, and as we witness together.

I’m looking forward to all of us coming together to celebrate the gift and beauty of music this Sunday. A huge thank you in advance to all of the musicians, directors, and families who have worked so hard to make our upcoming Music Sunday a spectacular one!

Happy Holidays all!
Rev. Kelli

This Week
“Music Sunday Holiday Concert”
Sunday, December 17

Presented by First UU Director of Music and Chalice Choir Director, Dr. Brandon Moss, along with Spirit of Life Choir Director, Michaela Brown, Peace Pals Director, Erin Rothert, and pianist, Nathan Hamm.

Enjoy seasonal music from a variety of traditions, with festive performances by Spirit of Life Choir, Chalice Choir, and Peace Pals children’s choir. Enjoy the Holiday Cookie Fair after the service!

Attend in person or online at 10am! Our monthly theme for December is Mystery, and our Sunday Plate offerings support our 2023 Holiday Appeal Campaign. 

Cookie Fair This Week!
Drop Cookies off before church and buy a variety box after the service to support Youth Programming and the Holiday Appeal!
Upcoming Concerts at First UU
Do join us on TOMORROW, December 16, at 4pm¬†when Carpe Diem String Quartet will perform at First UU with “Around for the Holidays” featuring guest violist Jacob Shack and music by Brahms, Bunch, and a world premiere by Akshaya Avril Tucker, as well as holiday favorites. Tickets are available at CDSQ’s website, and church members receive a $10 discount!

Of course, on Sunday, December 17, First UU’s service will be Music Sunday, with a performance by Peace Pals and both Chalice Choir and Spirit of Life Choir combining for the Christmas portion of Handel’s Messiah, feature a guest string ensemble. Don’t miss it!

Finally, on January 27, the Anahata Collaborative Ensemble will be in concert at First UU with its Holocaust Remembrance Concert, a special evening of music and poetry written chiefly by artists who either perished in or survived the Holocaust. Co-hosted by First UU, Kehilat Sukkat Shalom, and Jewish Columbus (who is generously sponsoring this performance), the concert is free and open to all; however, all attendees must register beforehand at Space is limited, so register soon!

Buy Discounted Carpe Diem Tickets ($25)
Register for FREE Holocaust Remembrance Concert
Trans & Gender Non-Conforming Support Group
Our Trans and Gender Non-conforming Support Group is a compassionate and accepting community where people of all gender identities come together to share, learn, and support one another. We believe that everyone deserves a space where they can express their authentic selves, free from judgment and discrimination.

Our next meeting is this this Sunday at 11:30 in the Library.

From the Staff & Board
Holiday Happenings at First UU!
Keep your Hanukkah sweater or Santa hat handy for more festive happenings later in the month, including our annual Music Sunday Holiday Concert and Cookie Fair on Sunday, 12/17. There will be no morning service on Sunday, 12/24, but please join us for the family Christmas Eve service at 5pm or the candlelight service at 9pm. And while there will be no formal service on New Year’s Eve, you are welcome to come walk the Labyrinth in our sanctuary all that week.
A Word of Thanks
A HUGE thank you to Lisa Workman, Katherine Lawson, and Barb & Bill Fiorini for taking on the monumental task of assembling and stuffing the Holiday Appeal Mailing!  You were Amazing!

Want to join the “Office Helper” Crew?¬† Email Becca!

Quick Board Update
First UU’s Board of Trustees has decided to shift our December meeting to Wednesday, January 3rd, at 7pm. This meeting will be online only. The Finance Committee is shifting their¬†meeting this month to Wednesday, December 27, at 7pm.¬†¬†Email¬†a Board Member¬†or a Finance Committee Member if you’d like to attend.

Also, please save the date for our congregation’s Mid-Year Meeting, happening after the service on Sunday, February 25th, at 11:30am! A member quorum is required in order to do the business of our congregation, and the meeting will be held both in-person and via zoom.

Winter Weather Update
With winter weather around the corner, we want to let you know that our snow plow contract has a “2 inch threshhold” ‚Äď if your group is meeting at the church and there are fewer than 2 inches of snow, the walks may not be cleared.¬† There are snow shovels and salt available in the shed for any groups who need to clear the path for members.
Classes and Groups

For a complete listing of our groups & contact information, download a copy of our
Fall Engagement Catalogue.

Dinner & Conversation Group
Sign-ups are Open
Sign up to enjoy Dinner & Conversation with fellow First UUers!¬† Quarterly potluck groups of 6‚Äď8 members¬†meet¬†in participants‚Äô¬†homes once per month to have a good time while getting to know each other. Attendees commit for one quarter at a time and negotiate the meeting dates and times among themselves.¬†¬†The host organizes the dinner and picks a topic for conversation!

Sign-ups for the first quarter of 2024, January, February, March are open until Thursday, December 21 ‚Äď Email Marcia Canter to join in the food,¬†conversation, and fun.

Email To Join
World Religions Classes Canceled
The World Religions class won’t take place in 2024 due to time constraints for the current facilitators.
A Look Ahead: First UU Events
Expressive Worship
Thursday, December 28, 2023, 6pm
Join us for a different kind of worship service centered around artistic practice. Every month we explore a different theme in readings and song and participants create their own works of art as we move through our time together. All ages and abilities welcome, bring your own supplies or use those provided. There is an optional sharing circle before we say goodbye. Any questions contact Christine D

December’s theme is Mystery, service will be at 6pm in Beach Hall on Thursday the 28th.

Holiday Services and Office Hours
No AM services or classes Sunday, December 24 and Sunday, December 31.

Church offices will be closed December 23 thru January 1.

Justice & Volunteer Opportunities
Labyrinth Hosts and Musicians Needed
Labyrinth walking is an ancient practice used for spiritual centering, contemplation, and prayer. We are hosting ‚ÄúChartres Cathedral Labyrinth‚ÄĚ in the Worship Center¬†from December 26 ‚Äď January 4.

Please Sign up to host, help with labyrinth set up and takedown, or play music.  Musicians are invited to perform contemplative music to provide a meditative environment for labyrinth walkers. Contact Patricia Boughton for more information.

Sign Up Now
Little Parking Help?
We have had a “Good” parking problem recently – our lot has been full on Sunday Morning!

Did you know that we have an “East Entrance” to First UU Church?¬† If you¬†arrive early and don’t mind walking through (or around) the building, please consider using our High Street lot to leave more space in the Weisheimer lot for new visitors.

The East parking lot entrance is between Olive & Lime and Chipotle restaurants. The East Door is open for entry until the Sunday service starts. After that, use the sidewalk to the south of building to get to the main entrance. It’s always possible to exit to the parking lots via the East Door.

Thanks for your help!

Petitions for Citizens, Not Politicians
We’re collecting signatures for a Citizens Not Politicians¬†ballot initiative that seeks to¬†ban gerrymandering and establish an independent redistricting commission made up of citizens. Petitions will be available to sign in Beach Hall after the Sunday service.

If you are interested in helping more, check the Citizens Not Politicians Website, get Training to gather signatures at Common Cause Ohio and then you can pick up petitions right here at First UU. Email the Democracy Team for more information.

Family Activities
Happening This Sunday, 12/17
  • Wear your festive holiday hats and sweaters!
  • 9am-11am¬†Cookie drop off (Beach Hall)
  • 9:15am Breakfast for donation (A/B)
  • 9:30am Peace Pals choir warm up (sanctuary), 13-14yr OWL¬†(302)
  • 9:30-11:30am Infant and Toddler Care (101)
  • 9:40am 10-11yr OWL (404)
  • No drop in classes or Neighboring Faiths today!
  • 10am¬†Music Sunday¬†service w/¬†Peace Pals¬†performance
  • Craft materials and games available during the service (A/B)
  • Holiday Cookie Fair, coffee hour,¬†snack¬†after the service¬†(Beach Hall)
  • 12:30-2pm¬†Navigators Scouting¬†meeting¬†(201, SYC playground)