Friday News – July 14, 2023

Happy Friday!

It was so wonderful to see so many of you last Sunday for Rev. Marco’s return to our pulpit! Rev. Marco reminded us that our Universalist faith is not just something that we have when we’re sitting in the sanctuary – it’s an all day, seven days a week faith. I’ve been thinking a lot about that this week – how am I living my faith all day, every day? Am I living my faith?
This can be an uncomfortable question if we don’t have an answer or if our answer is, “I’m not sure.”

I invite all of us to keep exploring this question this summer. As we work to put together our Adult Programming for the fall, we’ll be asking this question. If there are any questions that you have that you are hoping to explore this upcoming year, let me know! We have a lot of really great curricula to choose from, focusing on our UU tradition, faith, and various ways to explore it all.

A few reminders:
– This Sunday we are welcoming Rev. Patricia Sheldon back into our pulpit! Her sermon title is “Forgiveness is Not For Wimps“….¬†¬†Rev Sheldon says, ¬†“We respond to someone saying “I’m Sorry” with “No worries” or, some respond by saying “It’s fine.” ¬† How do you respond when it is not “fine” and there are worries? Exploring forgiveness when it is not easy to give.”

Blessings friends,
Rev. Kelli McNeal
Minister of Congregational Life

The deadline for Friday News submissions is 8:00pm Wednesdays. To request a submission to the newsletter, email

Deadline for Sunday service materials is 11:00am Thursday morning.

Announcements at a Glance

* Indicates New or Updated Announcement
  • Greetings From Your Board of Trustees *
  • Hope For Us Recordings *
  • Summer Read:¬†Transforming Conflict, by Rev. Terasa Cooley
  • This Sunday:¬†Rev. Patricia Sheldon¬†– 7/16¬†at 10am *
  • SUMMARY: Upcoming Services
  • Help a 1st UU Family: Save Community¬†Grounds! *
  • Join the Coffee Team!
  • GA In Under Two Hours! – 7/23 *
  • Fourth Friday Picnics in the Park! – 7/28, 8/25, 9/1
  • Bring Your Friends to Peace Camp!
  • Upcoming Auction Events
  • BREAD: Sign the OneID Petition!
  • Labor Day Retreat @ Hocking Hills 9/2 – 9/4
  • SUMMARY: Events Calendar
  • SUMMARY: Classes and Groups
  • SUMMARY: Community Events
  • Volunteer to Teach Next Year!
  • SUMMARY: Family Events
Greetings From Your Board of Trustees

Many of you are reading the Friday News from Summer Institute. We hope you are all enjoying yourselves and the extended UU community at SI.

Last week Sylvia Howe and Susan Williams submitted to the board a progress report regarding their work as the Task Force on After Pastor Care (everything before Rev. Jennifer Brooks). They have worked tirelessly on this report and we look forward to reviewing it and sharing it at some time in the future.

If you have not yet purchased a copy of Rev. Cooley’s book,¬†Transforming Conflict, copies ($22 each) will be available in Beach Hall after Sunday services.¬† Rev. Terasa has suggested that we add this to our Summer reading lists.

Consider joining other congregants, lay leaders, and staff at our Labor Day Retreat. This fun-filled multi-generational gathering in Hocking Hills has been a part of our church liturgical year for over two decads. Come enjoy nature, down-time, conversation, community, and an amazing talent show. You can register here.

Happy Summer!

Your First UU Board of Trustees,

Billy Davidson, Su Ann Farnlacher, Sarah Mayabb, Julie Pinsonneault, Chris Sullivan, and Cindy Whicker

Rev. Marco’s & Hope For Us Recordings
The recording of Sunday’s¬†Staff Sharing Circle¬†is still available!¬†Thanks to all who attended in person or online.¬†The intention of this time was¬†to create a space for congregants to listen to and witness¬†current and former staff reflections¬†on this year and the impacts of Rev. Stewart‚Äôs ministry.¬†This session features the voices of Amber Scott, Amanda Hays, Rev. Dr. Isabel Call, Rev. Kathleen Fowler, and Rev. Kelli McNeal, along with¬†Rev. Dr. Sam¬†facilitating.

You can still¬†watch the recording of Rev. Marco Belletini’s service of 7/09, ‚ÄúCome Monday,‚ÄĚ here¬†–

Additionally, you can¬†watch the 5/28¬†service, “The Long Road to Connection” here, and¬†watch the recording of the¬†Board Sharing Circle¬†here.

With care, The Hope for Us Team:
Rev. Dr. Samantha Wilson, Rev. Jami Yandle, Rev. Liz Weber, and David Lauth

Congregational Summer Read
This summer, many folks in our congregation are reading Transforming Conflict as part of our preparation to do developmental work alongside Rev. Dr. Terasa Cooley. Pick up your copy during Coffee Hour!
7/16: “Forgiveness is Not For Wimps.”
Join us for our Sunday¬†service at 10am on¬†July 16th. Led by our Rev. Patricia Sheldon, our fellow Long-time 1st UU member, and current UU minister, she says “We respond to someone saying “I’m Sorry” Sith “No worries” or some respond by saying “It’s fine.” ¬† How do you respond when it is not “fine” and there are worries? Exploring forgiveness when it is not easy to give.”
Upcoming Services Summary
  • 7/16 – Rev. Patricia Shelden
  • 7/23 – Rev. Sylvia Howe
  • 7/30 – 1st UU ASH (Atheists, Skeptics, Humanists)
  • 8/6 – Poetry Service, Su Farnlacher

Monthly Themes

  • Summer: Delight
  • September:¬†Welcome
Help a 1st UU Family: Save Community Grounds!
Tara, Joel, and their children are a treasured part of our church community, and are seeking relief from pandemic debt for their local small business, Community Grounds Coffee and Meeting House. Please consider donating to their campaign, here! Thank you!
First UU Takes Action for Democracy!
Write letters to help Ohioans Vote on Sunday, July 16, after the service!

Last week we sent 110 letters to voters (thank you to everyone who helped), but there’s still more to do! Ohio has a new Voter ID law, and many voters may not be aware of that. Our Democracy Team is partnering with VoterRiders to get the word out. We’re writing to Ohioans who have voted in the past with forms of ID that are no longer accepted (like utility bills), and sending them information on the new ID requirements and how to contact VoterRiders for help in getting the needed ID. Join us in Beach Hall after the service.

August 8 Special Election: Make a Plan to Vote

Ohio has a special election on August 8. There is one question on the ballot, Issue 1, a constitutional amendment that would:

  • Make it harder to pass future amendments: amendments would need 60% of the vote to pass instead of a simple majority
  • Make it harder to get future amendments on the ballot: campaigns would need to gather signatures from all 88 counties instead of just 44, and the cure period would be eliminated

Issue 1 is specifically¬†aimed at making it harder to pass the abortion rights amendment that’s expected to be on the November ballot. However, it would affect all future amendments, such as the anti-gerrymandering ballot campaign planned for next year. Many voter rights organizations from the League of Women Voters to the ACLU have come out against Issue 1. As UUs, our fifth principle describes our commitment to the use of the democratic¬†process in our society. We hope you’ll consider how Issue 1 will affect democracy in Ohio, and turn out the polls to make your voice heard.

Make a plan to vote! You have three options:

  1. Vote by mail: Request your ballot by August 1. If you do not have a printer, we have absentee ballot request forms at the JAM table. You can vote by mail with the last four digits of your Social Security Number; this is a good option if you do not have the needed ID to vote in person.
  2. Vote early in person at your county Board of Elections. (For Franklin County, that is 1700 Morse Rd.) Right now, the hours are Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 5 PM. (Full list of hours.) You will need a valid photo ID to vote in person.
  3. Vote in person on Tuesday, August 8. Check your polling location; it may be different than usual for this election. You will need a valid photo ID to vote in person

Questions? Ask at the JAM table or email

Join the Coffee Team!
Do you like coffee? How about people? Would you appreciate a low commitment way to get more involved at church? Come be a part of our coffee ministry on Sunday mornings!

Sign up at this link! There are detailed instructions in the kitchen cabinet, or you can shadow on a morning if you prefer an in-person how-to. Want to know more about what the job entails? Email Christine!

GA In Under Two Hours!
Come join your attendees and delegates on Sunday, July 23rd after service (11:30 to no later than 1:30)¬† to learn about General Assembly and the decisions that we made with hundreds of other UU congregations about divestment and Article II and workshops and worship services. You’ll get to see and discuss snippets of what happened and have a chance to have your questions answered.
Fourth Friday Picnics at the Park!
Over the summer months our regular spaghetti dinner shifts to a BYO picnic. Meet us at the lower playground picnic area in Whetstone park from 5:30-8pm for some laid back socializing. Bring food for yourself, maybe a lawn chair or two, or even a game, and enjoy the (almost) summer evening with First UU friends!

Upcoming summer picnic dates: ¬†7/28, 8/25 and 9/1.¬†Rain Location: Beach Hall. In the event of rain, a notice will be put on the Facebook¬†group, and we’ll fall back to Beach Hall.

A BREAD Victory for central Ohio! 
After many years of hard work by BREAD‚Äôs Gun Violence and Stop Violence Committees, interrupted by changes in Columbus Safety Department‚Äôs personnel, the first ‚Äúcall-in‚ÄĚ of violent group members was held on June 27th. All 17 at-risk attendees chose to take the way out of violence that was offered.
This happened because of your support for BREAD with your monetary investments in BREAD’s work, your time as network members, and your attendance to the Nehemiah Action each year.  You don’t have to be a network member to make an investment of $200 or more today.          BREAD Rises!
Below are the final unsold items for this Friday’s news email under Auction and Fall Festival. ¬†Many spots are still available, and hopefully we can sell a few of these spots.
To read a full description of the remaining auction items STILL FOR SALE, please go to the auction website. If you would like to purchase a spot or spots, please contact the Auction Team.

C1:  Swim & Light Dinner                                            Fri., Aug. 4 at 5 pm
1 spots – $30, offered by Karen Torvik

E10:  Annual Summer Fossil Hike                          Sat., Aug. 12 at 8:30 am
16 spots Р$20 per spot, offered by Steve Molk

MM24:  Cajun/Creole Feast                                       Sat., Aug. 12 at 5 pm
14 spots – $35 per spot, offered by Jake Huber & Georgeann Neuzil

MM17:  True Comfort Food                                         Fri., Aug. 25 at 6 pm
1 spot – $45, offered by Pat Snyder & Jane Tessier

C5:  Lake House Retreat for UU Women (Long Weekend)     Sept. 14 Р17
2 spots – $55 per spot, offered by Stewart & Nancy Rafert

E15:  Clintonville Stroll                                         Sun., Sept. 17 at 1:30 pm
12 spots Р$15 per spot, offered by Heather Pierson

E5:  Fall Outdoor Labyrinth Walk                               Sat., Sept. 23 at 1 pm
32 spots Р$15 per spot, offered by the Saveson-Otten Family

C8:  Bike Ride & Caprese Dinner                                Fri., Sept. 29 at 6 pm
3 spots – $25 per spot, offered by Amanda Hays

MM31:  Afternoon Tea at Mozart’s Cafe                     Fri., Oct. 13 at 1 pm
2 spots – $25 per spot, offered by Stuart & Lynda Smith

Funeral Consumer Alliance of Central Ohio
Board meeting Funeral Consumers Alliance of Central Ohio Wednesday July 26, 2023 at 2 pm in person at First U. U.
Funeral Consumers Alliance table before and after the service Sunday August 6 in Beech Hall.
Bring Your Friends to Peace Camp!
Ask your buddies to sign up now Рby filling out our 2023-2024 permission and interest form! We still have space for both weeks! Children on the cusp age wise are welcome to attend either session. Cost: $100 suggested per child.  We still have space for both weeks! Children on the cusp age wise are welcome to
attend either session. 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)

Summer Choir!
Do you enjoy listening to First UU’s choirs? ¬†The next (and last for the summer) will be Sunday, August 6. ¬†Remember to come for rehearsal at 9:00 am where Michaela Brown will be¬†directing.

Annual 1st UU Labor Day Retreat Time! 
Labor Day Retreat: Sat Sept 2 – Mon Sep 4 at camp¬†Oty’Okwa in beautiful Hocking Hills. Enjoy hiking, group activities, star gazing, campfires, and community for all generations. Plan your talent show act and warm up your voice for the campfire sing-a-long!¬†Sign up now¬†or¬†¬†Learn more on our website
Event Calendar Summary
  • Ongoing: Youth Group Banned Book Library
  • 7/28, 8/25, 9/1 Fourth Friday Picnics,¬†Whetstone Playground
  • 7/9-7/15 – CER Summer Institute
  • 9/2-9/4 – 1st UU Labor Day Retreat
Join the Coffee Team!
Do you like coffee? How about people? Would you appreciate a low commitment way to get more involved at church?  Come be a part of our coffee ministry on Sunday mornings!
Sign up at the link. There are detailed instructions in the kitchen cabinet or you can shadow on a morning if you prefer an in-person how-to.
Want to know more about what the job entails? email¬†chri…
Groups Summary
Click to Email the Group Leader!






  • UU Walkers, Highbanks Metro Park,¬†9:30am
  • Fourth Fridays Picnics in the Park (Whetstone) for summer


  • Millennial Covenant Group, usually 1st &¬†3rd Sun
  • Reproductive Rights Petition Drive
  • Feed and Read Ohio Donation Drop Off
Community Events Summary

Family Activities This Sunday

Summer RE (Religious Exploration) is happening! Early childhood and elementary aged kiddos are invited to enjoy stories, crafts, and collaborative games focused on play with Jen and Cara. Rising middle and high school aged youth are invited to enjoy self serve board games and art activities in A and B during the service. Reminder that parents / caregivers always need to know the whereabouts of children not being formally supervised in a class.

  • 10-11:30am Toddler Care (rm 101)
  • 10am Worship Service, MS / HS¬†Games¬†and Art in A/B
  • Early / Elementary Summer Class, rm 201-2
  • Coffee Hour,¬†Snack after the service ends

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!

Family Event Summary
  • CER Summer Institute, 7/9-7/15
  • 7/28, 8/25, 9/1 Fourth Friday Picnics,¬†Whetstone Playground
  • Peace Camp, 7/31-8/4 and 8/7-8/11
  • Potential Blessing of the Backpacks (Back to School), 8/13
  • Animal Blessing. 8/27
  • Labor Day Retreat, 9/2-9/4
  • Holiday Break: No RE (Labor Day Weekend), 9/4
  • Ingathering / Water Ceremony (All Ages, No RE), 9/10
  • Fall RE begins, 9/17