Friday News – May 12, 2023

Happy Friday!

It was wonderful to see so many of our seniors at yesterday’s Senior Gathering! Thank you to everyone who came and shared stories from their years here at First UU, and to all of the volunteers that made this event possible!

This Sunday is our Child Dedication Sunday and we are so excited! This ritual is one of my personal favorites – and not just because the kids are always so stinking cute. I love the symbolism of the congregation coming together to show that they will love, care for, and support these young people through the ups and downs of growing up. I love that we all get an opportunity to commit ourselves to supporting our families, collectively taking responsibility for being good role models and a strong community to help all of our families feel welcome and supported. I also know that this ritual, and Mother’s Day, can be difficult for so many. While we celebrate the nurturers and the young people in this service, we’ll also leave space for the complexity inherent in a day celebrating motherhood and children. I hope that you can join us on this journey.

Finally, please read the Board announcement below. With the help of the UUA’s Hope for Us Conflict Engagement Team, we will be holding congregational engagement sessions beginning Sunday, May 28th. We know that this has been a difficult year for many of us, and the number one question that I get still to this day is “what happened?” These sessions will speak directly to this question. Hope for Us is helping us reflect back on this past year so that we can grow into our future with healing and accountability. Representatives from both the Board and Staff have been meeting to outline this month long conversation and details of the specific themes for each session are still being worked out. We should have more details for you next week.

A Few Announcements and Reminders

Sunday Service Time (Summer) – Thank you to everyone who submitted responses to our question of what time we should have our Sunday services during the summer! We had 116 responses and the conclusion was a preference to shift to 10:00am. We will do that beginning Sunday, June 11th

Sunday Service Time (Fall) – In your feedback to our question about summer service times, we heard that there is also a desire to make a shift to 10:00 a permanent thing. So, we have another poll! Please submit your preference on our new poll, to inform us of what time you would like Sunday Services to be starting after Labor Day. The poll will close at 11:59 pm tonight. 

Stewardship – We are in the final week of budget prep. That means you have a few days left to help us accurately budget for pledge revenue for next year!  If you haven’t turned in your form yet, please consider helping us reach our 13% increase goal as you are able. This was a very successful campaign and we are so grateful to each and every one of you for your amazing generosity! We are averaging 9% increase – Thank you!

HOW TO NAVIGATE FRIDAY NEWSIf you scroll to the purple box titled “Announcements at a Glance,” you can click on a heading to jump to that section. Or click the word “summary” in the purple box to go to the overview of that section. (If you are viewing this on mobile, you may have to select, “open in browser” at the bottom of the email to view the whole newsletter.)
Blessings friends,
Rev. Kelli McNeal
Minister of Congregational Life

  • The deadline for Friday News submissions is 8:00pm Wednesday.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
  • Go, Search Team, Go!
  • Stewardship and Generosity Update
  • This Sunday: The Gift of Mother’s Day, Rev. Kelli McNeal – 5/14 *
  • May Share the Plate: Friends of the Lower Olentangy Watershed (FLOW)
  • SUMMARY: Upcoming Services
  • All Soles Contra Dance Tomorrow! – 5/13 *
  • Concerts at First UU! – 5/19, 5/21, 6/4
  • Funeral Consumers Alliance – 5/20
  • Meet the Candidates! Board and Nominating – 5/21
  • Celebration of Life: Carole Wilhelm – 6/10 *
  • First UU Camping in June! – 6/16-18
  • Youth Group Art Show – Ongoing
  • Auction Experiences Still Available
  • Read Dangerously! Banned Book Library
  • BREAD Actions
  • SUMMARY: Events Calendar
  • Join the Coffee Team! *
  • Living the Pledge Spring Classes Cancelled
  • SUMMARY: Classes and Groups
  • Get Roller Derby Tix Before They Sell Out! – 5/20
  • SYC City BBQ Fundraiser! – 5/17 *
  • Register Now for Summer Camp!
  • Deb’s Quilts at Audubon!
  • SUMMARY: Community Events
  • This Sunday, 5/14 *
  • Volunteer to Teach Next Year!
  • SUMMARY: Family Events
Greetings From Your Board of Trustees

May is giving off Summer Vibes and Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of Summer. Summer allows for a time of reflecting back on the year and growing forward into the new opportunities. The UUA’s Hope for Us Conflict Engagement team, with support of the board and staff, will begin congregational engagement sessions with our First UU Columbus community starting Memorial Day weekend. The sessions will be recorded. A digital repository to house the recorded sessions and resources will be created and made available. The overall focus of the series is “Reflecting Back, Growing Forward, Healing and Accountability.” Learn more about the Hope for Us conflict engagement team.

Below is a brief overview of what you can expect. More specifics will be shared as we have the logistics solidified.

  • Sunday May 28th – Save the Date! Hope for Us will speak at the Sunday service. After the service will be the first congregational engagement session. This session is the biggest of the series. Some of the specifics are still in flux but we know the session will be a collaborative effort to share and clarify information regarding the timeline of events from this year.
  • June Sessions (online through Zoom). Several topics and sessions will be offered. The sessions will be structured through listening circles with pastoral care support, as well as an educational training. Session titles, dates and times are TBA.
  • Sunday July 2 – Closing Worship Service, “Looking Back, Looking Forward.” A time to reflect as a community on what we’ve learned and / or how we’re healing.

It is our intention to support the whole community in reflection, growth, healing, and accountability with as many ways as resources will allow, while acknowledging the various levels of emotional complexity regarding this past church year.

The Annual Congregational meeting is on June 11, 2023. More information will be sent later in the month.

Transitional Minister Survey. We are still compiling a summary of your survey responses. You gave us a lot to work through, thank you for participating! In the meantime while we are working, here is a word cloud generated from the results.

Your First UU Board of Trustees,

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

The next board meeting is June 7th at 7:00pm in 301 or hybrid on Zoom.

Go, Search Team, Go!
This week we have been working with the Board, Treasurer, Finance, Personnel, etc. to collect any info we may need for contract negotiations. We have submitted our yes / maybe / no ranked choices (due 5/15), which will be followed by any necessary background work on the part of the Transitions office, all leading up to offer call/s at noon on 5/17.

Your Search Team,

Jim Conlan and Myra Hartmann (chairs), Shirley Lange, Meg McGuire, Erin Reilly-Sanders, and Amber Scott (ad hoc)

Stewardship and Generosity Update
Our pledge campaign has technically ended, and we are amazed at the response! Your generosity and love for this community is overflowing and we could not be more grateful! 56% of you who submitted pledge forms have increased your pledge, helping us get so close to our goal.

But we’ve still only heard from half of our membership and we still have a bit to go to meet our goal. So:

1. If you’ve already submitted your pledge form, thank you! We are truly grateful!

2. If you are a member and have not submitted your pledge form, please do so, even if you are not planning on changing the amount of your pledge. We need this information to provide the most accurate budget that we can for you to vote on at the annual meeting. If you are able, please consider increasing your pledge. We are $40,000 short of our goal pledge increase, and we know that we can get closer.

3. If you are a friend or community member of First UU receiving this email and would like to submit a pledge or a one-time donation to show your support for this community, that would be amazing! The good that we are able to do in our community and in the wider Columbus area is because of the generosity of our community and we are truly humbled by your support!

For more information, or to submit your pledge form online, visit our website.And please don’t hesitate to reach out to Rev. Kelli with any questions! Thank you again for your incredible generosity!

YOU can still pledge!
The Gift of Mother’s Day – Rev. Kelli McNeal
Join us on Sunday, May 14th, for our 11am worship service!

We reflect on the meaning of family, parenting, and nurturing, in conjunction with our annual Child Dedication.

Worship Presenter: Rev. Kelli McNeal and Amber Scott, DRE

May Share the Plate

Friends of the Lower Olentangy Watershed

In May, we will be sharing our plate with Friends of the Lower Olentangy Watershed (FLOW). 

FLOW’s mission is to keep the Olentangy River and its tributaries clean and safe for all to enjoy, through public education, volunteer activities, and coordination with local decision-makers.

Upcoming Services Summary
  • 5/21 – Coming of Age Service
  • 5/23 – Hope for Us
  • 6/4 – Elaina Ramsey, Faith Choice Ohio
  • 6/11 – Rev. Kelli McNeal (Services move to 10:00am)
  • 6/18 – Pride Service
  • 6/25 – UUA General Assembly service (streaming in our sanctuary)
  • 9/10 – Ingathering / Water Ceremony (All Ages, No RE)

Monthly Themes

  • May: Creativity
  • Summer: Delight
  • September: Welcome
All Soles Contra Dance Tomorrow!
Saturday, May 13th
Beginners’ Session 7:30 to 8:00 PM
Dancing 8:00 to 10:30 PM

Our next All Soles Dance is tomorrow evening, May 13th. We will dance to the calling of Margaret Goodman and Zampa Provenzale and the music of Root Cellar String Band: Lucy Long on fiddle, Dave Strickler on guitar, Steve O’Regan on banjo, and Will Strickler on bass (some of you may know the Stricklers from Summer Institute)!

Masking is required indoors. New dancers are welcome, all dances will be taught, and no partner is needed. Please bring your own refillable water bottle. We are not yet able to provide child care.
For more info, visit:

Upcoming Concerts at First UU!
As spring arrives, we have a host of in-house concerts coming your way at First UU!

  • We have a long partnership with Chamber Music Connection, & the we will host their 31st Spring Festival performance on Friday, May 19 at 7:30 pm with the Cavani String Quartet. Ticket donations at the door are $20 for adults and $40 for families.
  • Our own First UU Choirs will hold a Spring Concert on Sunday, May 21st at 4:00 pm. All choirs (Peace Pals, Spirit of Life Choir, Chalice Choir) will perform a variety of music, including a feature of music by American composer Randall Thompson. The concert is free and open to the public.
  • Finally, Sunday, June 4 at 4:00 pm, our own church member Willow Otten will be playing a French horn recital. Willow is currently a Masters student at the New England Conservatory of Music and has been offered an exciting opportunity to play in an opera festival orchestra in Italy this summer. Willow’s recital on June 4 will help raise money to fund her trip to Italy! We encourage you to attend and help her out with this exciting adventure! She will also be playing at First UU during the May 28 service.

If you have any questions about concerts or music at First UU, please email our Director of Music, Brandon Moss.

Funeral Consumers Alliance
Saturday May 20 – Funeral Consumers Alliance will hold its annual meeting in Beach Hall starting with lunch at noon. There will be a speaker and business meeting. All interested are welcome.

Funeral Consumers Alliance of Central Ohio is a subcommittee of our Caring Committee. Questions? Contact Cathy Elkins.

Meet the Candidates! Board, Nominating
It’s time to meet this year’s slate of candidates running to fill open positions on the Board of Trustees, Nominating Committee, and as Church Moderator. These individuals will be selected for terms of one, two or three years at the Annual Meeting coming up in June.

The current Nominating Committee is hosting its second candidate meet-and-greets after the service on Sunday, May 21. Candidates will be available in person in Beach Hall, and/or Zoom access may be arranged. You are free to come with questions or simply to say hello. We will also provide informational candidate flyers to take home.

Candidates (listed alphabetically): Board (vote for 3): Su Ann Farnlacher, Sarah Mayabb, Chris Sullivan; Moderator (vote for 1): Lisa Brandt; Nominating Committee (vote for 3): Nathan Griffith, Linda Loesch, Joan Matyskella, Karla Rinto, Judith Vasquez, Glenn Waring.

Please reach out if you have questions, and contact a member of the Nominating Committee:

Patricia Boughton, Debra Boyd, Julie Carr Smyth, Christine Davidson, Susan O’Donnell, and Mattie Reitman

Celebration of Life: Carole Wilhelm
Date: Saturday, June 10th.
Time: 1:30 pm

At First UU Columbus.
Reception to follow the service.

Go Camping with First UUers in June!
Camping at Delaware State Park, June 16th-18th! $40 for 2 nights to share a spot. Great for families, singles, couples. Contact Facebook group – First UU Columbus Camping
Youth Group Art Show – Ongoing
The Youth Group raised over a thousand dollars at their gallery opening last Sunday! There are still many paintings and photos available for purchase – which will help fund the group’s upcoming Pittsburgh trip to General Assembly this June.
Available Auction Items
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.

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)

We Read Dangerously! Banned Book Library
The First UU Youth Group is so grateful for the congregations support of the First UU Banned Book Library. We continue to partner 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. During the spring the library collection is focusing on YA and childrens books. Please click the link above to see what’s new on our wish list!
BREAD Actions
Thank you once again to everyone who turned out for BREAD’s Nehemiah Action. We had 1650 people in attendance, and at least 185 of those were from the First UU community! This is 350 more people than last year’s action, and our largest total since the pandemic began. Here are two follow up actions to help us continue to push forward:

Municipal ID: If you haven’t signed the OneID Columbus letter of support for a municipal ID yet, you can do so here.

Affordable Housing: Monday, May 15th: Demonstration at City Hall. Join our housing committee at the Columbus City Hall (90 West Broad Street, 43215) at 5:00 pm on the 2nd floor in Council Chambers, as we continue to push for more American Rescue Plan money to be used for affordable housing.

For more details on these demonstrations and to be informed of future actions, sign up here!

Event Calendar Summary
  • 5/19, Friday – Chamber Music Connection spring festival performance
  • 5/20, Saturday – Funeral Consumers Alliance annual meeting
  • 5/21, Sunday – First UU Choirs spring concert
  • 6/4, Sunday – Willow Otten horn recital
  • 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
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.
Living the Pledge Spring Classes Cancelled
This year’s spring session of Living the Pledge will be cancelled. Our leaders who helped make our Fall and Winter sessions a success this year are tired, and so instead of pushing through and doing a so-so training this spring, we are going to work on planning two really excellent trainings for next church year. Click here to receive updates about upcoming Living the Pledge trainings.
Classes and Groups Summary
Recurring – Click to Email the Group Leader!







Get Roller Derby Tix Before They Sell Out!
DRE Amber Scott was named MVP Jammer (offense) at her last home game!

Get your tickets for 5/20 now – before they sell out! 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! See you there!

SYC City BBQ Fundraiser!
City Barbeque Fundraiser to benefit the SYC Scholarship Fund, Wednesday May 17, 2023, 11:00am-8:00pm. At 2111 W Henderson Rd, Columbus, OH.

We ask that you RSVP here (even if you’re not completely sure) so City Barbeque knows roughly how many orders to expect & so you have access to all the event details. You can participate in this fundraiser by:

  • Dine in
  • Take out
  • Delivery
  • Drive thru
  • Pick up

In addition to dining in, you can participate in this fundraiser in several ways:

  • Phone Call
  • Restaurant Website
  • Storefront Walk-in
  • Restaurant Drive Thru

Notice: Orders from third-party delivery apps do not qualify for this fundraiser.

By Phone: Call 614-538-8890 and mention that you are with School For Young Children before placing your order. This does not include 3rd-party delivery apps.

Restaurant Website: Visit City Barbeque’s online order website. Use the promo code of “FundA” and 20% of your meal’s price will be donated back to School For Young Children. This does not include 3rd-party delivery apps.

Storefront Walk-in: Visit the location at 2111 W Henderson Rd, Columbus 43220 and they will take your order from their storefront for take-out. Mention that you are with School For Young Children before placing your order.

Register Now for Summer Camp!
First UU Peace Camp!

Sign up now – by 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)

School for Young Children Play Camp

Please contact Jenifer Bojanowski for camp session availability.

Red Oak Elementary Camps

Deb’s Quilts at Audubon!
Check out 51 fiber works in the show “Sanctuary,” featuring art by Deb and Mary Kotter. On exhibit at the Scioto Audubon Center May 4- July 5!
Community Events Summary




Child Dedication Ceremony

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!

This Sunday, 5/14

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

  • 10-10:30am Breakfast!
  • 10:30am-12:30pm Toddler Care
  • 11am service and Child Dedication, Coming of Age, HS Get Real
  • 11:15am (after story) 3-6yr and 7-9yr Spirit Play, 10-14yr In the Middle
  • Coffee Hour, and Snack after the service ends
  • 12:30-1pm Peace Pals Choir Rehearsal
  • 12:30-2:30pm Youth Group – last meeting of the year!
  • 1-3pm Navigators hike (off site)

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
  • 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