Friday News – June 23, 2023

Happy Friday and Greetings from General Assembly!

This has already been a busy and fulfilling week. We have a large group here in Pittsburgh from First and we’re learning a lot to bring back with us!

This Sunday, we will be streaming the Synergy service from GA. I highly encourage you to tune in as we have youth from our congregation that will be honored.

This will be a condensed version of Friday News as we’re all busy rushing between sessions, but we’ll be back with a more full Friday News next week.

Reminder – 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!): EDIT *
  • June Share the Plate: Kaleidoscope Youth Center
  • SUMMARY: Upcoming Services
  • Upcoming Auction Events – 7/8
  • 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
  • Volunteer to Teach Next Year!
  • SUMMARY: Family Events
Greetings From Your Board of Trustees

These last two weeks have reminded me of the 1990’s Country Time lemonade commercials which portrayed carefree summer days outside having all kinds of spontaneous fun. The Board is taking time to slow down and enjoy their summer adventures too. Some board members are spending their days on travel vacations.While several board members, youth reps, and many of the staff are at GA this week representing our church. Our board communication is simple this week. Take time to slow down and enjoy the beautiful summer days ahead. 

NOTE:  Some of the information about the election in the Annual Meeting that was posted here last week was not correct, so this is an updated, corrected version:

  • The newly elected members of the Nominating Committee are Judy Vazquez, Glenn Waring, Karla Rinto, and Joan Matyskella (1 year).
  • Because of Nathan Griffin’s move to Dayton, he decided to withdraw and current Nominating Committee member, Patricia Broughton, resigned due to chair of Summer Institute and work on Stewardship..

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

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!

Sunday, June 25:   
This Sunday’s service, June 23, is our annual UUA General Assembly Service. which will be streaming in our sanctuary.
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 Synergy 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.

Ice Cream Social – Sat., July 8 at 2 pm
18 spots – $15 per spot, offered by
Cath Caveson, Rick Otten, Debra Boyd, & Mark Merchant
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.
Congregational Pastoral Care Space
You are invited!

Rev, Liz Weber  & Rev. Jami Yandle invite you to a Congregational Pastoral Care Space on Wednesday, 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
Two weeks ago in this newsletter we shared how BREAD, in coalition with other organizations, is spearheading One ID Columbus advocating for a municipal ID program for Columbus.  A municipal ID is a secure photo identification card designed, issued, and controlled by a local government for its residents. Lacking such ID, (see previous Friday News) many of our community’s estimated 80,000 residents in that situation, effectively “live in the shadows”, unable to obtain the benefits of those who have ID!

The coalition is working 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.  The One ID task force is now working to get as many people from throughout the faith communities to sign on to a letter to go to the City Council and the Mayor advising that they strongly support passage of a city bill and requesting those officials to authorize and support the program.

Below are two ways to access the online petition.  Unlike many online petitions and surveys this one is NOT asking for donations and will NOT add you to a mailing list (you can easily opt out!).  Please consider adding your name to this important petition.

Carole’s Lavender Cookies Anyone? 
At the well-attended memorial service for Carole Wilhelm, some have asked for the recipe for Carole’s signature lavender shortbread recipe.   Carole’s son Andy graciously agreed that it be published. So here is the legacy
Carole Wilhelm Lavender Cookie recipe!
1 cup     unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup  granulated sugar
1 tsp.     vanilla extract
1/4 tsp   lemon extract
2 cups   all-purpose flour
1 tbsp    dried lavender flowers (available at Penzeys)
1/8 tsp   salt

  1. In medium mixing bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, vanilla, and lemon extract.
  2. Add flour, lavender & salt.
  3. Mix until the dough is smooth. If the dough feels sticky, add an additional 1/4 cup flour. The dough should be soft, but not sticky.
  4. Chill 1 to 2 hours or until firm.
  5. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  6. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough about 1/4 inch thick.
  7. Cut out shapes with favorite cookie cutters and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  8. Bake 10-12 minutes or until the cookies are lightly browned around the edges.
  9. Place on a cooling rack. Cool completely.

Alternate Option :

  1. Instead of cutting out cookies, the dough can be spread evenly in a 9 x 12 ungreased pan.
  2. Bake until lightly browned around the edges. Sprinkle sugar on dough as soon as taken out of the oven.
  3. Cut into bars.
  4. Remove from pan and place on cooling rack. Cool completely, eat, enjoy!
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 – by 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
  • 6/21-6/25 – 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


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 – hanging 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
  • 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