Friday News – March 31, 2023

Congratulations, all – on a wildly successful church¬†Rummage Sale! Karen Thimmes writes, “I don’t know if we made a lot of money with our sale, or if the ratio of items donated vs. items carted away at the end was out of proportion. I do know that it seemed to bring out the best in everybody. Such terrific CAMARADERIE!! So many people pitched in to help in so many ways, and despite some aching backs and feeling generally worn out, people were still smiling, joking, and being helpful at the end. It was astounding that, with everyone pitching in, we were able to transform a gigantic rummage sale with hundreds of boxes back into our sanctuary and normal church appearance in just 90 minutes! We are not just a group of people who gather on Sunday mornings, but a true community¬†that I am proud and privileged to be part of!”

We look forward to more opportunities for the congregation to come together as a community Рincluding our upcoming spring stewardship campaign! Check out opportunities to share a meal with fellow congregants to consider what is possible for the future of our congregation, thanks to our generosity!

Today is also the¬†International Transgender Day of Visibility, and¬†we offer the timely message and prophetic words of Dr. El√≠as Ortega, president of Meadville Lombard Theological School (a¬†UU seminary located in Chicago) –


There is a hard lesson I had to learn, and learn it well I did. It goes like this: in any interaction in which I find myself in a position to make a case for my dignity and self-worth, I run two great risks. The first risk is ceding too much ground to attempts to be dehumanized. The second risk is the possibility of granting power to those who consider that my worth can be withheld. No matter what our race, ethnicity, class, sexual preference, gender identity, or nationality, our sense of worth and sacred dignity are not dependent on the measurements others tried to impose‚ÄĒcrooked yardsticks that distort and undo. Such a lesson was a weighty one to integrate in my life, but it pushed me to claim my own worth and sacredness as a self-affirmation. I am worthy of love, and I should not let hate, unkindness, or prejudice distort that understanding nor dictate my recognition as a sacred embodying being worthy of regard.

It is a wicked and evil state of affairs in which we find ourselves now. Politicians, aiming to maximize their political gain by feeding the imaginations of their constituencies with prejudice and flaming the fires of hate with fear, have launched a frontal and ferocious attack on trans lives and those who love them. We are witnessing an unprecedented weaponizing of our political and legal system across different states. 592 bills targeting LGBTQ+ people, 299 of which target specifically trans people‚ÄĒeach one based on the premise of withholding the dignity and denying the sacred worth of trans lives, particularly children and youth, and extending threats of punishment to those who care for, love deeply, and hold trans members of our community as sacred. Those of us who affirm the sacred worth and honor the dignity of our trans children, friends, and loved ones are aware of the high cost of such maneuvering of our political and legal systems: exclusion and death. Ours is the task of rising above the fray to recognize the risks that we may run by going down the path of arguing for, instead of resisting from, our commitments to see trans lives as sacred.


Boundless and all-embracing Spirit of Life and Love, we gather here united in our quest for a deeper understanding, connection with each other, and the sacredness of every being on this Earth. We call upon the wisdom of the ancient sages and the strength of our ancestors who fought their battles with grace and dignity, as we honor and recognize the inherent value of our transgender siblings.

We join in the celebration of the diversity of our embodiments and experiences, and do so affirming that we are worthy, that our dignity is ours to claim, and no one can withhold that from us. Divine Light and Gracious Protector, we lift up and honor the lives of our transgender siblings, whose journeys embody courage, resilience, and self-determination. May our hearts be opened to the beauty and strength in their stories, and may we recognize the divine spark within them, so that we may recognize it clearer within ourselves.

As our ancestors did before us, we ask for guidance in our pursuit of collective liberation, to remind ourselves that we are interdependent and our destinies are entwined. We are called to bear witness to the struggles of our transgender siblings, to honor their sacredness, and to protect them from harm. Strengthen our resolve and enliven our imaginations so that we may live up to the task of creating a world in which we can all thrive without fear, where we can express our authentic selves, and where we are treated with love, dignity, and respect today and tomorrow.

May our labors of healing of the wounds inflicted upon our transgender siblings be a salve for our generations and those to come.

Elías Ortega, President, MLTS

Blessings friends,
Rev. Kelli McNeal
Minister of Congregational Life

*Please¬†email us¬†with any announcements you would like in Friday News by 8 pm Wednesday,¬†and put “Friday News” in the subject line¬†– so that we can be sure to not miss your email!¬†Let us¬†know if you have any questions

Thank you once again to all of our RUUmage sale volunteers, donors, and shoppers!  Last Saturday’s sale was a huge success, with many visitors coming through our doors and a whopping $16,000+ in gross income!

This past Monday was the final Transitional Ministry Listening Session. The Listening Sessions and the survey have given a lot of helpful input.  If you haven’t had the chance to give your input, there’s still time. The survey (click here) will be open for your thoughts until Sunday April 2nd at 2:00 pm. Your comments will be summarized and used to help steer the Search Committee.  Look for an announcement about the Search Committee and its charge from the Board early next week..

The Farewell Gathering for Rev. Marian is coming up on April 8th.. It will take place at the Clintonville Woman’s Club from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm. There will be plated desserts with coffee, tea, and lemonade to drink. Along with seating at tables and tabletop areas, the area is fully accessible with an elevator providing access from the front door to the reception area. A group of congregants are planning to sing a song. Rev. Marian is asking that all in attendance wear a mask.

We hope you were a part of the blessing Meg McGuire’s stole, during last Sunday’s service. The stole was created by Deb Ballieul, who has known Meg for most of her life.  Our congregation and First UU San Francisco will be jointly ordaining Meg on April 16th in San Francisco. Jan Phillips is taking the stole to SF to present to Meg at her ordination. Other members of Meg’s ordination committee will be present in SF, as well.  You are invited to join the rest of the Board at the watch party in Columbus at 5:00 pm in the Worship Center, or join the livestream on your own, in real time or later, at this link. Also you can RSVP and leave Meg a note here.

Your Board of Trustees,

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

Next Board meeting: Wednesday, April 5th, at 7pm.

For your protection from scammers and stalkers, we have an OPT INdirectory. You have to let us know if you want your name and contact information included! If you do not let us know using the OPT IN option, you will not be included. And your church friends will have a hard time reaching out to you. (You only need to fill this out ONCE.)

If you would like to be included in the directory, please fill out this membership update form and let us know which information you would and wouldn’t like listed. If you are a member and would like a copy of the directory, please contact Marian Garcia in the front office.¬†

Announcements at a Glance

* indicates new or updated announcement
  • Healing and Well-Being are in the Woods, Rev. Dana Reynolds – 4/2¬†*
  • Stewardship Kickoff: Chili Lunch *
  • April¬†Share the Plate: *
    Connecting Community Corridor for People, Pollinators, and the Planet
  • Article 2 Resources
  • Upcoming Services, and Monthly Themes!
  • Spring Stewardship Events! – 4/2, 4/6, 4/12, 4/16, 4/18
  • Reproductive Rights Petition Drive 4/2 *
  • We Need Egg Hunt Candy!¬†– thru 4/2
  • The Ordination of Meg McGuire! – 4/16
  • Sign Up: HS Grad Recognition / Bridging – 4/23
  • Contribute to the¬†Banned Book Library!
  • Auction Experiences Still Available!
  • BREAD Nehemiah Action – 4/25
  • Save the Date! 1st UU Events
  • Seniors’ Tai Chi for Balance – Tuesdays, starting 4/11
  • Donations Needed: Feed and Read Ohio
  • Recurring¬†Classes¬†and Meetups *
  • Get Involved!
  • Ohio Roller Derby Tickets! – 4/29¬†*
  • Wider Community¬†Events of Note!
  • Sign Up:¬†Child Dedication Ceremony – 5/14
  • Register Now for Peace Camp 2023! – August
  • Happening This Sunday – 4/2¬†*
  • Snacks Needed!
  • We Need You – in the RE Classroom!
  • Upcoming Family Events!
Healing and Well-Being Are in the Woods

Join us this Sunday, April 2nd, at 11:00am for our morning worship service!

In this high functioning, technology driven century, we need to recover something humans have known for centuries, at least intuitively — that the woods are good places to be.

Worship Presenter РRev. Dana Reynolds 
April Monthly Theme – Resistance

Stewardship Kick-off: Chili Lunch

This Sunday is our annual stewardship campaign kick-off! Enjoy some chili, and pick up your pledge packet in Beach Hall after the service (both meat and vegan options available)! Or sign up for more stewardship meals here!

April Share the Plate

Connecting Community Corridor for People, Pollinators, and the Planet

Our Share-the-Plate donations in April go to the Connecting Community Corridor for People, Pollinators, and the Planet. This corridor is made of the yards and container gardens of 40 families in Linden who received donated native plants to support specialist pollinators and birds. They have all agreed not to use chemicals on their lawns and leave stems, seed heads, and open ground over the winter for their nests. All recipients are hyperlocal to Sunny Glen Garden as the educational demonstration site so that we can eliminate transportation barriers and be able to more easily share garden equipment, seeds, and produce. The corridor is coordinated by First UU member Dianne Kadonaga, with OSU and Simply Living as partners.
Article 2 Report
For more information on the proposed UUA Article 2 (Principles and Sources) changes, read their report here. (THIS IS A NEW LINK)

Read UUA Presidential Candidate Rev. Dr.¬†Sof√≠a Betancourt’s thoughts on today’s Unitarian Universalism here.

Upcoming Services, and Monthly Themes!
Happening This Month

  • 4/9 – Easter – Rev. Kelli McNeal (+¬†Egg Hunt and Spring Festival)
  • 4/16 – EcoJustice,¬†Flower Ceremony / Earth Day (All Ages, no RE)
  • 4/23 – Amber Scott, HS Grad Bridging, RE Service and Open House
  • 4/30 – Rev. Kelli McNeal

Monthly Themes

  • May: Creativity
  • June: Delight

Special Services

  • 5/14 – Mother’s Day, Child Dedication
  • 5/21 – Coming of Age Service
  • 9/10 – Ingathering / Water Ceremony (All Ages, No RE)
Sign Up for Spring Stewardship Meals!
Our church is possible due to generous donations from our congregants. Next week our Annual Spring Giving Campaign kicks off! We invite you to attend a get together to hear more about how your contributions make a difference to our community. Please RSVP – for meal counts!

  • Sunday, 4/2 Chili Lunch (both meat and vegan) Beach Hall after service
  • Thursday, 4/6 6:30PM Gourmet Taco Bar – Room 301
  • Wednesday, 4/12 Noon Gourmet Taco Bar – Room 301
  • Sunday, 4/16 10 AM Breakfast with Mimosas before service – Room 302
  • Tuesday, 4/18 5:30 PM Gourmet Taco Bar – Room 301
Reproductive Rights Petition Drive 4/2
April 1 is NOT April Fool’s Day! April 1 is the kickoff for the Reproductive Rights petition drive. Sunday, April 2 we will kick off our petition drive at 10:00 am. We are NOT fooling around. We will also have petitions available during coffee hour. You can sign up for petition training so you can collect signatures at other events.

We need more than 422,000 valid signatures by July 5, for this constitutional amendment to be on the November ballot. The amendment language reads: Every individual has a right to make and carry out one’s own reproductive decisions, including but not limited to decisions on contraception, fertility treatment, continuing one’s one pregnancy, miscarriage care, and abortion.

April is ‚Äúsign the petition‚ÄĚ month. May and June are ‚Äú collect petitions‚ÄĚ months.

We Need Egg Hunt Candy! Thru 4/2
Please bring NUT FREE / allergy safe candy and other tiny items (trinkets, erasers, etc.) to be included in the eggs, and leave them in clearly labeled bags in the volunteer work room through Sunday, April 2nd.

We could also use donations of¬†throwing color powder!¬†Because we need time to fill the eggs and package the powder, we need donations ASAP.¬†Thank you for “hopping on” this opportunity to support our families!

Our RE Spring Festival on 4/9 will include an Egg Hunt during the service (separate kid / teen hunts) and Throwing Color after the service. Contact Amber with questions, or for more information!

The Ordination of Meg McGuire! 4/16
You’re invited to celebrate the ordination of Meg McGuire! On Sunday, April 16th, Meg McGuire will be jointly ordained by First UU Columbus and her internship congregation, First UU Society of San Francisco. You are invited to join the watch party in Columbus at 5:00pm in the Worship Center or to join the livestream on your own, in real time or later, at this link. You can find more information about the ordination by clicking here.

There are two other opportunities to join in the celebration in Columbus: During worship on Sunday March 26th, the congregation will be offering a blessing for the stole that will be presented during the ordination service.

Finally, on Sunday May 7th, Rev. Meg will be preaching and we will have cake and snacks in Beach Hall afterwards to celebrate this milestone with her.

Baby Shower Recap
Fabiola and Yair express their gratitude for the wonderful baby shower held at church last Sunday for their baby boy expected in May.The Spirit of Life and Chalice Choirs helped with a cash gift and many lovely gifts. Thanks to Marna for being our main organizer.
Bridging: HS Grad Recognition 4/23
Congrats, grad! Each spring our congregation recognizes seniors who are graduating from high school or finishing home school! Please fill out this form ASAP if you would like your grad to be recognized this year! The form is due by midnight the Sunday before the ceremony, April 16th.

Graduating youth and their families are invited to attend our service in person on Sunday, April 23rd Рso that we can honor you as a congregation Рbut this is not required. Bridging seniors also receive gifts from the congregation!

Contribute to The Banned Book Library!
The First UU Youth Group is partnering with the Book Loft, a local bookstore in German Village, to build the First UU Banned Book Library! Please join us by clicking here to purchase a book to add to our library. Book plates will be available to commemorate your donation. Don’t forget to join us for the annual Youth Led Service on March 26th to hear more about our new library! -Update provided by Abigail Ours, Youth Group member.
Auction Items Still Available
To read a full description of each event or service, please go to the auction website. If you would like to purchase a spot or spots, please contact the Auction Team.

Vegan Mexican Dinner
Friday March 31st at 5:30pm
$50 per spot (2 spots available)

Visit to Rumpke Recycling Plant in Columbus
Tuesday April 11th at 1pm
$15 per spot (8 available)

Wildflowers at Arc of Appalachia Day Trip
Saturday April 2nd at 9am
$30 per spot (3 available)

Cinco de Mayo Inspired Happy Hour
Saturday May 6th at 6pm
$30 per spot (2 available)

Visit to Rumpke Recycling Plant in Columbus
Tuesday May 9th at 10am
$15 per spot (8 available)

Birding with Bob and Donna
Saturday May 13th at 8am
25 per spot (3 available)

Spring Nature Hike / Mound Excursion
Saturday May 13th at 9am
$20 per spot (19 available)

BREAD Nehemiah Action 4/25
The BREAD Nehemiah Action is happening¬†Tuesday, April 25th, at the Celeste Center at The Ohio Expo Center and¬† State Fairgrounds, 717 E.¬†17th Ave. The program will run 6:40-8:30pm ‚ÄĒ for people of all ages to support well-researched solutions for justice in Central Ohio!
Save the Date! 1st UU Events
  • 4/8, 5/13¬†– All Soles Contra Dance
  • 4/7 – Community Passover Seder
  • 4/16 – The Ordination of Meg McGuire Watch Party, 5pm
  • 4/25 (Tues) – BREAD Nehemiah Action, 6:45pm
  • 4/28¬†– Fourth Friday Dinner
  • Thru 4/30 –¬† Eric Murphy,¬†Subtle Chaos: Spacescapes and Jim Crow States¬†(Gallery)
  • 5/6 – Church Gardens and Grounds Work Day, 9am-1pm
  • 5/11¬†– Senior Gathering
  • 6/11, Sunday – Annual Meeting
  • 6/21-6/25 – UUA General Assembly
  • 7/9-7/15 – CER Summer Institute
  • 9/2-9/4 – Labor Day Retreat
Seniors’¬†Tai Chi for Balance Starting 4/11
Join us Tuesday mornings from 10-11am in Beach Hall, starting April 11th! This group class will offer a step-by-step introduction to a 16-movement form of Tai Chi modified for older adults and others with balance challenges. The movements can be completed either standing or seated. Practicing Tai Chi can improve mindful movement and core strength, and increase neural pathways in the brain.

Two instructors, Guy and Betsy Smalley, can provide individual attention to participants who want to increase balance and safe movement. The class will be an ongoing practice, meeting weekly. Dress in comfortable clothes and wear flat, non-skid shoes.

Donations Needed: Feed and Read Ohio
Feed and Read Ohio is in need of personal hygiene products: toothbrush, toothpaste, a bar of soap, shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, shave gel, deodorant, comb, razor, lip balm, bandages, hand sanitizer, tissues, nail clippers, hair tied, and feminine hygiene products (tampons and pads).

Feed and Read is also in need of clothing for a new-born boy. The Baby is expected to be born in about two months.¬†Please visit Jacques in Beach Hall either before or after Sunday’s service to drop off your donations.

Recurring Classes and Meetups


  • Seniors’¬†Tai Chi for Balance, 10am (starting 4/11)
  • ASH (Atheists, Skeptics, and Humanists), 4th Tuesdays, 7pm
  • Spirit of Life Choir, 6:30pm



Get Involved!
Visit our engagement website to find more info about classes, groups, volunteer opportunities, our music program, and so much more! Group leaders: to add, update, or change your listing, please email Rev. Kelli!
Ohio Roller Derby Tickets! 4/29
Ohio Roller Derby’s April 1st game is SOLD OUT!¬†Buy your tickets for 4/29 now!¬†Pricing is based on ticket type (child and adult tiers). Purchase season passes, or a block of tickets to save!

Doors open at 4pm, followed by the A-level game at starting at 5pm. Amber plays in the B-level game, which begins around 7pm!

Wider Community Events of Note!




Child Dedication Ceremony 5/14

Welcome, little one! Each year First UU invites families who would like to participate in a¬†Child Dedication ceremony to do so during our Mother’s Day service. Families are invited to attend the service in person¬†on May 14th – so that we can honor you as a congregation. There is no age limit for children participating! Please fill out this¬†form if you have a child you would like recognized this year – due by midnight the Sunday before the ceremony, May 7th.¬†Your family will receive a child dedication certificate and flowers.

From the beginning of time, parents have brought their children to houses of worship for dedication, out of a reverence for the mystery of life and a desire that their precious children should have the love and support of community as they grow into adulthood. Our ceremony is both the dedication of parents to their children and the dedication of this congregation to the privilege of providing these children with opportunities for spiritual growth.

Register Now for Peace Camp 2023!

Sign up now Рby filling out our 2023-2024 permission and interest form! We will be in touch shortly with information about payment, and to let you know whether you are on the roster or the waitlist. 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)

Peace Camp is a time for elementary aged children to gather together at First UU and explore concepts related to ‚ÄúPeace.‚ÄĚ We explore what peace means, looks like, and how it connects us. We learn about ourselves – our feelings and ideas. We learn about ourselves in relation to others – other people‚Äôs experiences and feelings are valuable and important. We work on interpersonal skills and explore what to do in challenging relationships. We also make space for conversation and expression of feelings related to what we have been experiencing this past year: whether worries, anxieties, or excitement. Most of all, we will connect with each other, spend time outside, and play!

Questions? Email Jen Bojanowski, our Peace Camp Director, or Amber Scott, our Director of Religious Exploration.

Family Activities This Sunday, 4/2

Please plan for playground time, and dress for the weather each week!

  • 10-10:30am Breakfast!
  • 10:30am-12:30pm Toddler Care
  • 10:45am¬†OWL classes (10-11yr celebration / last class)
  • 11am service,¬†HS Get Real, Coming of Age
  • 11:15am 3-6yr Spirit Play, 7-9yr Spirit Play
  • 11:15am 10-14yr In the Middle
  • Coffee Hour and Snack after the service ends
  • 1pm Navigators scouting: badge work meeting

Register for Next Year, and Fill Out Annual Emergency Paperwork Here!

Snacks Needed!
We are seeking NUT FREE snack donations – including gluten free options – to serve after weekly Sunday services! Drop off shelf stable snacks in the kitchen anytime – look for the “RE snack” cabinet.¬†Questions? Contact¬†Amber!

We Need You – in the RE Classroom!

Join the¬†dream team – hanging out with our young people is truly the most fun you can have on a Sunday mornings!¬†Sign up now for next year – we need¬†classroom assistants, leads,¬†and subs for all age groups! You can make¬†a difference in the lives of our children and teens. ūüôā¬†Fill¬†out this form¬†to get started!

First UU also utilizes very part time Sunday morning Toddler Sitters (~2hrs per week at $15/hr. Your hire is contingent on a background check. Interested candidates: please email Amber!

Upcoming Family Events!

  • Back to the FUtUre Youth Con, 4/1
  • 10-11yr OWL graduation celebration, 4/2
  • RE Spring Festival (including throwing color after the service), 4/9
  • Flower Ceremony (All Ages, no RE), 4/16
  • HS Grad Bridging, RE Service and Open House, 4/23
  • Fourth Friday Dinner! 6:30pm, 4/28
  • Navigators Spring Campout, 5/5-5/7
  • 13-14yr OWL graduation celebration, 5/6 or 5/7
  • Mother’s Day, Child Dedication, 5/14
  • Coming of Age Service, RE end of year parties, 5/21
  • No RE, holiday weekend, 5/28
  • Summer RE begins, 6/4
  • Youth¬†trip to General Assembly, 6/21-6/25
  • CER Summer Institute, 7/9-7/15
  • Peace Camp, 7/31-8/4 and 8/7-8/11
  • Labor Day Retreat, 9/2-9/4
  • Ingathering / Water Ceremony (All Ages, No RE), 9/10
  • Fall RE begins, 9/17