Friday News – June 16, 2023

Happy Friday!

Who’s ready for General Assembly! I look forward to seeing any of you who plan to attend GA next week in Pittsburgh. Most of the staff is going to be in Pittsburgh all next week, so if you need anything, please call the church office.

We also wanted to respond briefly about the conversation at the Annual Meeting relating to our Fall service time of 10:00. The staff wants you to know that we heard your concerns and completely understand that a 10:00 start to the service might not be the best option for everyone. We are so excited for the day that we have enough attendance and volunteers to go back to having two services, but until then, we can only do one.

After more discussion, as requested at the Annual Meeting, we have decided that we are staying with a 10:00 start time. The decision to have the service time be 10:00, rather than 11:00, was made after weeks of discussion and consultation with those involved in either service prep, breakfast, choir, RE, Welcome Team, etc. We wanted to understand what you all wanted as well which is why we sent out a poll in order to better inform us about what your needs are. We knew that there was no perfect way to gather this information, so we did what we could to get a representative sample of feedback. We read through all of the written responses that we received and realized that there were medical needs asking us to have service at 9:00, 10:00, and 11:00.

We did not take making this decision lightly and we are sorry for the harm that choosing a time that doesn’t work for you does. If you are struggling with how to attend services at this time, please let us know and we will work with you to find ways that all feel they are part of this community.

I also wanted to make sure that you mark your calendars for July 2nd for our Staff Disclosure Meeting, after the service. We will be joined again by Rev. Samantha Wilson from Hope for Us, as well as Rev. Isabel Call (former Minister of Pastoral Care) who are flying in to be with us. This disclosure meeting will also be over Zoom, like the Board Disclosure meeting was.

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 *
  • Summer Read:¬†Transforming Conflict, by Rev. Terasa Cooley
  • This Sunday (10am!): Pride Service– 6/18¬†*
  • June Share the Plate: Kaleidoscope Youth Center
  • SUMMARY:¬†Upcoming Services
  • Upcoming Auction Events –¬†6/17, 7/8
  • Sign Up Now:¬†Join First UU at Stonewall Pride! – ¬†6/17
  • Solstice Celebration – 6/21 *
  • Congregational Pastoral Care Space – 6/28*
  • Fourth Friday Picnics in the Park! – 6/23, 7/28, 8/25, 9/1
  • Sign Up:¬†Dinner & Conversation Groups – by 6/23
  • Funeral Consumers Alliance Tabling – 6/25
  • Bring Your Friends to Peace Camp!
  • SUMMARY:¬†Events Calendar
  • Join the Coffee Team!
  • SUMMARY:¬†Classes and Groups
  • ¬†CCC for PPP – invitation to Mini-Garden Festival – 6/17
  • SUMMARY: Community¬†Events
  • Summer RE:¬†Collaborative Games, and More! 6/17¬†*
  • Volunteer to Teach Next Year!
  • SUMMARY: Family Events
Greetings From Your Board of Trustees

We are grateful to Reverend Sunshine Wolfe for speaking last Sunday at the morning service. Their sermon was quite fitting for where we are.  Thank you, Rev. Sunshine!

After the service, we hosted our Annual Congregational Meeting. Thank you to the 135+ members who attended in person or on Zoom. Because of you, we surpassed our quorum allowing for business to proceed.  Also, thank you to the 173 members who voted through OpaVote.

We are thankful to you for your deep care of our church community as you keep open hearts and keep showing up to do the work. There were great discussions during the meeting, including learning about the GA amendments and taking a straw poll to better direct our delegates on how our congregation feels about certain topics. It was invaluable information and support for our delegates. Thank you, Kristen Hartmann, for thoroughly presenting the amendments, and doing so in an engaging way.

Here are the results from OpaVote:

Ordain Amanda: Yes.  165 to 3, with 1 abstention

Approve Minutes from Mid-Year Meeting: Yes. 158 to 1, with 9 abstentions

Approve Share The Plate recipients: Yes, 160 to 3, with 5 abstentions

Approve Budget: Yes, 149 to 6, with 13 abstentions

These are our new Nominating Committee members:

Judy Vazquez, Nathan Griffith, Glen Waring, and Joan Matyskella (1-year term)

Thank you to ALL of the nominating committee candidates; Nathan Griffith, Linda Loesch, Joan Matyskella, Karla Rinto, Judy Vazquez, and Glenn Waring. We appreciate your answering the call and agreeing to put yourself out there as potential lay leaders.

Thank you for your overwhelming support of our incoming Board members and Moderator. The new Board members are Su Farnlacher, Sarah Mayabb, and Chris Sullivan. The incoming Moderator is Lisa Brandt.

Please congratulate your new Board members, Moderator, and Nominating Committee members who will begin their terms on July 1, with the beginning of the new church year.

During the meeting, there was a request from the Board to reassess the start time for Fall worship services.  The start time of the worship service is not something that the board sets, but we are willing to discuss it more with staff to gather additional input.  Please keep in mind that this reconsideration may, or may not, result in a different decision.

Let us know, by email, your thoughts about what you liked/appreciated most about the Annual Meeting.  We also welcome suggestions for improvement.  Email

Your First UU Board of Trustees,

Jan Phillips, Billy Davidson, Julie Pinsonneault, Shelly Casto, Jim Conlan, and Cindy Whicker

Congregational Summer Read
This summer, many folks in our congregation will be reading Transforming Conflict as part of our preparation to do developmental work alongside Rev. Dr. Terasa Cooley.

This text will help our congregation establish common language to work through our experiences and shared history. Stay tuned for opportunities to purchase your copy directly from Rev. Terasa, and to form discussion groups!

Pride Service
Please join us this Sunday, June 18th, for our 10 am worship service!   This service will be conducted by our Rainbow Connections group along with our AntiRacist Allies and a special Pride guest speaker from our youth group[.
June Share-the-Plate Recipient:

Kaleidoscope Youth Center

In June, we will be sharing our plate with Kaleidoscope Youth Center. Queer youth of Ohio, we’re here for you! At Kaleidoscope, belonging means being. To stand in your¬†strengths. To stand in your power. And to stand for a world where everyone can be their most confident, authentic self.

The Drop-in Center at KYC is open weekdays for youth ages 12 – 20, as a safer and affirming space for LGBTQIA+ youth and their allies. This intentional, expressive community is youth-informed and youth-led.¬†KYC’s¬†diverse, experienced staff work alongside queer youth to create free programming, housing, and support services here in Columbus, and all over the state of Ohio.

Upcoming Services Summary
  • 6/25 – UUA General Assembly service (streaming in our sanctuary)
  • 7/2 – Hope For Us, Staff Sharing Circle after service
  • 7/9 – Rev. Marco Bellitini

Monthly Themes

  • Summer: Delight
  • September:¬†Welcome
Upcoming Auction Events
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.

Guided Firefly Hike – Sat., June 17 at 9:30 pm
38 spots Р$15 per spot, offered by Michael & Deb McGuire

Ice Cream Social – Sat., July 8 at 2 pm
18 spots Р$15 per spot, offered by Cath Caveson, Rick Otten, Debra Boyd, & Mark Merchant

Summer Choir This Week!
Do you enjoy listening to First UU’s choirs? Come be a part of a few Summer Choir experiences! You simply show up on a Sunday morning, learn a song, and sing as part of the choir during the service. On June we will meet at 9am (services begin at 10am starting that date). More dates to be announced soon. We hope to see you there!
Congregational Pastoral Care Space
You are invited!

Rev, Liz Weber¬†¬†&¬†Rev. Jami Yandle¬†invite you to a Congregational Pastoral Care Space on June 28th¬†@ 1:00 PM EST on zoom. Rev. Jami and Rev. Liz are coaches on the UUA’s Hope For Us Conflict Engagement Team and are working with Rev. Dr. Samantha Wilson and David Lauth.

Please note: This space is to process your feelings concerning the departure of Rev. Marion and is not a space to think tank the events and what could have been done differently, etc.

Find the zoom info. below:

Meeting ID: 812 1784 1611

Upcoming BREAD Listening Session
BREAD is spearheading One ID Columbus, a coalition of area organizations advocating for a municipal ID program for Columbus. A municipal ID is a secure photo identificatin card designed, issued, and controlled by a local government for its residents. The coalition wants to work with the Columbus City Council to set up the program. A feasibility study for the program has been completed and legislation for the program has been drafted.

Why is photo ID so important?

  • Lack of photo ID can be a barrier to accessing many services and activities, such as health care, banking, libraries, food pantries, visitation at schools and local¬†government buildings, and emergency housing.
  • Lack of photo ID presents problems in encounters between residents and police officers when those encounters require resident identification.
  • Lack of photo ID can contribute to a sense of isolation from the civic, cultural, and economic life of the community, and can decrease public safety by making residents lacking ID less likely to report suspicious or criminal activity to the authorities.

But why is there a need for another kind of ID?¬† Aren’t driver’s licenses or state issued ID’s available to all?

  • Driver’s licenses or state IDs are NOT available to all. An estimated 80,000+ Columbus residents find it either difficult or impossible to obtain the documents required by the state to obtain those state-issued ID’s.¬† The new state law for free state ID cards does not address the problem of obtaining the necessary documents for the application. In order to make photo ID accessible to all residents, municipal ID programs feature greater flexibility in the types of documents that applicants can present to qualify for an ID.¬† The document lists are designed to reduce barriers to ID access,¬†while still preventing identity fraud.
  • Properly designed municipal ID programs can provide significant new benefits to¬†all¬†residents, including those who already have other forms of photo ID.¬† Examples include consolidating transit fare payments, library borrowing privileges, access to cultural centers, and business discounts into a single multipurpose card.

For more information visit

Sign Up Now: Join First UU at Stonewall Pride! 
Pride Month is Here! One way we are showing up as Family and Allies is participating in the Stonewall Pride Festival & March. There are lots of ways to participate –¬†pick what fits for you!
  • June 11: After the service and the Annual Meeting there will be sign making and float decoration prep in Beach Hall. As well as wristband pickup for marchers.
  • June 11-16: March wristband pickup and donation¬†drop off at First UU.
  • June 16-17: Staff our booth at the Festival in Goodale Park! Share what‚Äôs great about our church family with the larger community, and offer folks a place to refill and recharge (we‚Äôll have water to refill folks bottles/cups and a charging station set up).¬†Step off is at 10:30am, we will have a float so those preferring not to walk the 1.5 mile route¬†can ride in style.¬†Come show your support, and let the community know we’re here and we’re not going anywhere. We have space for 120 marchers so grab your friends and register!
You can sign up to march, staff the booth, or donate supplies here: there are tabs at the top for the different opportunities. You are welcome to invite trusted friends and family to march with us, all will need to sign up to secure a wristband. We’re also looking for someone with good taste in music to put together a playlist for the float, and for folks interested in being on the new Pride team. Contact Christine Davidson if you’re interested or have any other questions. Thank you!
Solstice Celebration! 6/21
Wednesday, June 21st, from 7:00-7:45PM in the First UU Memorial Garden. Come celebrate the Summer Solstice with an outside ceremony on the longest day. Bring a nature item for the earth table if you like. Bring drums if you have them. If you are interested in helping plan or lead some songs, let Patricia Boughton know.
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: 6/23, 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.

Sign Up: Dinner & Conversation Groups 
Dinner & Conversation is a quarterly pot luck group that meets in participants’ homes. Commitment is only for one quarter at a time with one meeting per month as agreed upon by the entire group. The group size is between 6-8. The host organizes the dinner and picks a topic for conversation. The goal is to have a good time while getting to know each other. Contact me if you have any questions.

This sign up is for the third quarter of 2023, July, August, September. Please let Marcia Canter know by Friday June 23 if you want to participate.

Funeral Consumers Alliance
Members of Funeral Consumers Alliance of Central Ohio will be staffing a table before and after the church service Sunday June 25. Come with your questions.
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.

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)

Event Calendar Summary
  • Ongoing: Youth Group Art Show Fundraiser, Banned Book Library
  • 6/16-6/18, First UU Camping, Delaware State Park
  • 6/21-6/25 – UUA General Assembly
  • 6/23, 7/28, 8/25, 9/1 Fourth Friday Picnics,¬†Whetstone Playground
  • 6/28 – Hope for Us Congregational Care Space (zoom) – 6/28, 1 pm
  • 7/9-7/15 – CER Summer Institute
  • 9/2-9/4 – Labor Day Retreat
Join the Coffee Team!
What is the best part of waking up on Sunday? It’s coffee in your cup! Come support or community by joining our Coffee Team! Training is available. Please sign up by clicking this link, or reach out to Andi Mocharski with any questions.
Classes and Groups Summary
Recurring – 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
Thanks for Supporting Ohio Roller Derby!
Huge thanks to everyone who came out this season to support Amber and her teammates! Amber was again named the MVP Jammer in the 6/3 B game!

Our last home game is on Saturday, June 24th, which will include a ceremony retiring the number of a beloved skater, Acid, who passed away in 2020. Amber will be away at General Assembly that weekend, but encourages anyone interested to still check out the game! We also have a few away games ahead of us, between now and the end of August.

Additionally, one of our current skaters, Ally, broke her ankle at our last home game. Folks are welcome to support her and her family via GoFundMe here.

Aside from the merch table at our games, you can order OHRD gear through our website year round. And stay tuned for Skatemare – our annual Halloween vs. Christmas game, happening in November or December!

Community Events Summary



Summer Sunday RE’s

Summer RE 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 who are 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
  • (Starting After the Story) Early / Elementary Summer Class, rm 201-2
  • Coffee Hour,¬†Snack after the service ends
  • 11:30am Annual Meeting (in person or online)

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
  • First UU marching in Stonewall Pride Parade and tabling at Festival, 6/17
  • Holiday Break: No RE (Father’s Day, Juneteenth), 6/18
  • Youth¬†trip to General Assembly, 6/21-6/25
  • 6/23, 7/28, 8/25, 9/1 Fourth Friday Picnics,¬†Whetstone Playground
  • Holiday Break: No RE (Independence Day Weekend), 7/2
  • CER Summer Institute, 7/9-7/15
  • 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