Friday News – June 14, 2024

As we approach the close of another church year (June 30th), we wanted to take a moment to thank our outgoing Board members who have served our congregation so well through a difficult time.


  • Jan Phillips, we are so grateful for the ways in which you loved on and supported this congregation in your three years on board and one year as past board chair. You helped us through a series of twists and turns. Thank you for your care and thoughtfulness. Thank you for serving First UU!
  • Julie Pinsonneault, we are so grateful for your dedication and commitment to First UU over the past three years, helping guide the board and this congregation through unexpected conflict. Thank you for all of the thank you notes that you wrote, and for providing helpful perspectives on a variety of topics. Thank you for serving First UU as an invaluable Board member!
  • Billy Davidson, we cannot explain how grateful we are for the work you have done as co-chair for some of the most difficult times of our congregation in recent memory. Not only did you help lead us through a global pandemic, but you helped us through leadership upheaval. You led this congregation with thoughtfulness and compassion, weighing every decision and discussion with care and always with the congregation’s needs as your focus. Thank you for serving First UU as an invaluable leader!

I also want to apologize for excluding some of our newest members from our New Member recognition on Sunday. I would like to send a special welcome to Jessica Doogan, Sara Henry, Emily Henry, Deborah Weaver, and Matt Hollander. Please join me in welcoming these five new(ish) members to our community!

I hope that you all have an absolutely wonderful PRIDE WEEKEND!

Rev. Kelli McNeal
Congregational Life Minister

Billy Davidson, outgoing co-chair, presenting an award to Chas Williams, in celebration of completing 40 years as Council to First UU Church.
Image by Michael Greenman
This Week
Sunday, June 16, 10am

Presented by Ministers Shannon High and Amanda Hays

Join us on June 16th for our Juneteenth service, celebrating the liberation and resilience of Black people. The service will emphasize radical joy as a form of resistance and healing through readings, music and activities to foster unity and joy.

Continental Breakfast at 9:15am.  Coffee and Tea will remain available after the service. 

Summer FUUN Tonight!

Join us at 6pm TONIGHT for a Friday night full of Summer FUUN!

…And don’t forget that more Fuun is around the corner: our Volunteer appreciation party is June 23rd, and our first Movie nights is June 28th!

Contact Heather Stone, our amazing Summer FUUN chairperson with questions!

Join First UU at Columbus Pride
Happy Pride, Y’All!
TODAY, June 14 and
TOMORROW Saturday, June 15
First UU is participating in the march and festival – If you haven’t signed up, it’s not too late to come share our church community with festival attendees in Goodale Park and Help with the Festival Booth – or just stop by and say “Hi!”
June Expressive Worship

Tuesday, June 18, 6:30pm

This lay led service is centered around individual artistic practice: we sing songs, listen to readings and work on art inspired by monthly themes, with optional sharing time at the end of worship. June’s theme is Renewal. All ages and abilities are enthusiastically welcomed. Contact Christine with questions.
From the Staff & Board
In Remembrance
It has been our practice at the Annual Meeting to share the names of those who have died in the past church year. We are diminished by having lost these good folks:
Stephen Albright
Mary Christensen
Beverly Davis
Bill Egbert
Meredith Farmer
Elizabeth Devore Greenfield
Raven Hansen
Sarah Luckay
Sherman McClendon
Jessica Owens
Gerald George Raterstorf
Judy Schwartzbaum
Kerry Stroup
Joanne M. Wiggins
Summer Choir Sundays
Sunday, June 16 and
Sunday, June 30

Join us for our next two “Summer Pick-Up Choir” opportunities! Nathan Hamm will be leading this Sunday, and Brandon Moss will lead June 30. You don’t need to be a member of one of First UU’s choirs; all who love to sing are welcome!

Simply arrive at First UU at 9am these days, learn a song, and sing it in that day’s 10am service. The final Summer Choir opportunity will be August 11, with Michaela Brown directing. Please contact Brandon Moss with questions.

First UU’s Choirs at the Nehemiah Action!
Amber’s Last Home Game for the Season!

Saturday, June 15 at 7pm

Last chance to see and support Ohio Roller Derby skate this season – reserve your tickets today! Join us for our annual PRIDE themed game, and dress to express! Amber skates in the B level game, starting around 7pm.

Image by JL Bermudez Photography.
Upcoming Governance Meetings
  • Finance Committee: Wednesday June 19, 7pm (Online & in person)
  • Board of Trustees: In lieu of the June 26 Meeting, there will be an offsite Board Retreat & Potluck for our current, new, and outgoing Board Members on  June 30 3-6pm.
Curious about First UU Finances? 

Wednesday July 24, 7pm

In lieu of a Board meeting in July, Debra Boyd will lead a Financial Orientation Meeting for new board members and anyone else who would like to attend.  This is meeting will be a deep dive into the details about the structure of our finances and the fiduciary governance obligations of our Board of Trustees.  All are welcome!
Classes and Groups
The Aaron Reed Man’s Spirituality Group

Wednesdays at 6pm

The Aaron Reed Man’s Spirituality Group meets every Wednesday at 7:15 PM via Zoom, and is currently open to new members. The group seeks to encourage and facilitate spiritual growth through  sharing of life experiences and discussion of a topic (usually selected by the individual leading the discussion) on any given week. It is not intended to be a self-help group. For more information email Bob Papps or Ron Bruder.
Dinner & Conversation Group – Signup Time! 
Sign up to enjoy Dinner & Conversation with fellow First UUers! Quarterly potluck groups of 6–8 members meet in participants’ homes once per month to have a good time and get 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 third quarter of 2024 (July, August, September) are open until Saturday, June 22 at noon –  Email Marcia Canter to participate!

Image by Karrie Zhu from Pixabay
Caregivers of Young Children
Caregivers of Young Children is meeting again!  Going forward, we will have a standing meet up following service either in room 101 or the playground.

Since life can be chaotic, sometimes our meeting schedule is too – Contact Heather Stone to be added to a small group text to communicate about our gatherings.

Camping at Delaware State Park
Fri June 21 – Sun Jun 23
Join other First UU members for camping at Delaware State Park. $40 to share a spot for 2 nights. Communal food, campfires, swimming, and fellowship. Great for singles, families – and everyone!

Reserved spots 61–66. Contact Patricia Boughton for more info

Upcoming Events
8th Principle Vote: Connection Time

Tuesday, June 18, 5–6:30pm

The results of the vote to adopt the proposed 8th Principle of Unitarian Universalism as a congregation will be available early next week! If 80% of First UUers choose “Support” or “Mostly Support,” we will adopt it as a congregation. Whatever happens, we will continue to be a covenantal community with love at the center, and we will figure out together where to go from here.

And, we expect we all may have lots of feelings about the results of this vote! However you voted, and however you feel about how the vote turned out, we want to hold space for you, in community.

We would love to see you this Tuesday evening on Zoom for a first opportunity to hold space together after the voting is finalized. Some of the time, we will have a breakout room for those who identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, as well as a breakout room for those who identify as White.

Facilitated by Justice Minister Amanda Hays and Multicultural Engagement Coordinator Minister Shannon High

First UU Volunteers – You are Invited
to the
🌴 Volunteer Appreciation “No Beach”
Beach Party in Beach Hall 🌴 
Sunday, June 23, 11am–1pm

Let us celebrate you! Let’s join together to celebrate the incredible volunteers of the First UU community! Come for Coffee Hour and stay for the festivities and food. Let’s honor the spirit of service that makes our community so special.

Annual Multi-Generational Labor Day Retreat

Saturday, August 31 – Monday, September 2
at Camp Oty’Okwa in beautiful Hocking Hills

Great for families, singles, couples!  Come to the Labor Day Retreat and enjoy:

  • Nature walks and worship to help you reconnect with the natural world.
  • Campfire gatherings and sing-a-longs for shared moments of inspiration.
  • Delicious meals to foster a sense of togetherness.
  • Time for personal reflection, meditation, and relaxation.
  • Let’s not forget happy hour, a talent show, and PEEK!

Whether you’re new to First UU or have been a part of our community for years, this retreat is an opportunity to forge deeper connections, recharge your spirit, and be inspired by the collective wisdom of our diverse community.

For questions or more information about financial assistance please contact Patricia Boughton

Diversity and Inclusion highlights from our
Coordinator of Multicultural Engagement, Minister Shannon C. High
Juneteenth Jubilee
As a Black woman, Juneteenth holds a deeply personal significance, intertwining my identity with the resilience and strength of my Ancestors. For generations, Black people endured unimaginable hardships in this country, facing the brutal reality of enslavement with unwavering determination and courage and continuing the fight for our rights even today.

My Ancestors, like countless others, fought to live each day in horrific conditions, bearing the weight of oppression while clinging to hope for a better future. Their resilience in the face of adversity is a testament to the power of the human spirit and the indomitable will to survive.

Juneteenth commemorates the moment when the shackles of slavery were broken, but for many of the enslaved, the news of emancipation brought a shock of disbelief. Imagine not knowing you had been freed, continuing to toil in bondage while others navigated newfound freedom. The realization of liberation must have been both euphoric and bittersweet, a mix of joy and sorrow for the years lost to slavery.

Today, as we celebrate Juneteenth, we honor the sacrifices and triumphs of Those who traveled the Middle Passage and Those taken from this land who paved the way for future generations. Their strength, resilience, and unwavering determination in the face of adversity continue to inspire and empower us. Juneteenth is not just a celebration; it is a testament to the enduring spirit of Black people and a reminder of our ongoing journey toward freedom, equality, and justice.

Justice & Volunteer Opportunities
STILL Seeking First UU Delegates for General Assembly (GA)! 
Are you interested in serving as a delegate for the upcoming General Assembly of the UUA (Unitarian Universalist Association) on  June 20-23?  You can still serve for First UU!  It’s not too late!  Please email us if interested!
Community News
Join Summer Institute and UUMAC This Summer!
Have you thought about attending CERSI (Central East Region Summer Institute) July 7-13? Registration is open, but Time is running out!  Registration will close at Midnight on June 20.  

This once a year gathering of like-minded individuals can be life changing. CERSI has been described as an all-inclusive vacation for the family where children can grow, and everyone can be nurtured. Please join us.

The 2024 theme speaker is Rev. Julian Soto, a UU minister and activist, presenting “Unlikely Superheroes: Skills for Practicing Faith and Ethics in Tough Times.” Rev. Soto brings a remarkably loving presence and a depth of spiritual leadership. Prior to being a minister, they were also a teacher and a lawyer. Each of these has been a way for them to engage with people, with transformation, and with the goal of making the world a better place. UUMAC, the UU Mid-Atlantic Community will once again be joining CERSI at PennWest for the annual gathering.

Join us for a time of community, fellowship, networking, fun, music and so much more. There is programming for children, youth, young adults and adults – you will need to choose what you want to do (or not) each day! Learn more about this year’s adult morning seminars and afternoon workshops at the CERSI website. You can still apply for a job at CERSI to underwrite part of the cost of attending and be part of the team that makes the magic happen.

Learn more at the CERSI website –

Care and Share Time Bank Potluck
Sunday, June 16, 6:00pm
(Eat at 6:30)
Everyone is welcome! Guy RT Smalley, MPH (Masters in Public Health) U of Arizona 1998 will present on the topic “Food & Exercise as Medicine.”

Please bring your own place settings and everything needed for the potluck. Grab a thermos of your favorite drink, your table settings, plates, flatware etc.

Email for more information.

Family Activities
Tell Your Friends to Register for Peace Camp!

Now open to Kindergarten, age 5+! Register Now! We need more children to sign up – in order for this vital program to be successful! We will be emailing families soon to confirm registrations.

  • 5-8years, 9am-12noon M-F, 7/29-8/2
  • 9-11years, 9am-12noon M-F, 8/5-8/9 
No Classes this Sunday, June 16th

Enjoy your holiday weekend! Families are invited to pick up a busy bag out in the gallery, or use the quiet toys in the wee worship area and Slowter Lounge. For a more relaxed environment, children accompanied by their adult are invited to explore the games and craft materials near the kitchen. Per safety policy, children and youth need to be within adult supervision at all times.

  • 9:15-9:45am Breakfast (A/B) 
  • 9:30-11:30am Infant and Toddler Care (room 101)
  • 10-11am Juneteenth Service (sanctuary)
  • Coffee Hour, Snack after the service (Beach Hall, A/B)
Upcoming First UU Events
  • Sun 6/16 – No RE* classes
  • Tues 6/18 – Expressive Worship
  • Weds 6/20-Sun 6/23 – General Assembly of the UUA
  • Sun 6/23 – Volunteer Appreciation Beach Party
  • Fri 6/28 – Movie Night
  • Fri 7/5 – First Friday Picnic
  • Sun 7/7 – No RE classes
  • Sun 7/7-Sat 7/13 – Central East Region Summer Institute
  • Fri 7/19 – Bingo
  • Tues 7/23 – Expressive Worship
  • Fri 7/26 – Movie Night
  • Mon 7/29-Fri 8/2 – Peace Camp A (6-8 years)
  • Fri 8/2 – First Friday Picnic
  • Sun 8/4 – Backpack Blessing All Ages Service and Justice Project
  • Mon 8/5-Fri 8/9 – Peace Camp B (9-11 years)
  • Sun 8/10 – Intergenerational Crafternoon Tea Party
  • Fri 8/16 – Bingo Glow Night
  • Sun 8/18 – Animal Blessing All Ages Service
  • Fri 8/23 – Movie Night
  • Tues 8/27 – Expressive Worship
  • Sat 8/31-Mon 9/2 – Labor Day Retreat
  • Sun 9/1 – No RE classes (enjoy your holiday!)
  • Sun 9/8 – Water Ceremony, All Ages Ingathering Service
  • Sun 9/15 – Most fall RE classes and activities begin

*RE is short for Religious Exploration, aka Sunday school programming