Friday News – May 17, 2024

Happy Friday!

We’re coming up to the end of our first year together in our Developmental Ministry. I thought it would be helpful for me to sum up my reflections on our goals and where we are in the process, so I’ve produced this Developmental Ministry report, which will be posted on the Governance and Leadership page of our website.

I will be offering a question and answer session about it after the service this Sunday. In order to be kind to the trees we will only be printing 25 copies, so if possible, please take a look at it before Sunday or bring a device with you on which you can read it.

I look forward to our conversation!

Rev. Dr. Terasa Cooley (She/her)
Developmental Minister
Cell: 617-816-7231

This Week
“Squares and Blobs”
Sunday, May 19
Presented by Rev. Dr. Terasa Cooley, Developmental Minister
What does the future of church look like? What can we learn from our recent challenges that help us face a different future?
Come Be Nouurished: A Worship Experiment

Sunday, May 19th

You are invited to partake in a worship experiment!

As the world changes so can our needs about how to be nourished in a community spiritual practice. As part of First UU’s ongoing quest for different and better ways to serve our entire community we’re piloting an inclusive and interactive service before breakfast.

Image by Su Farnlacher
Curious? Come to the service and then join us afterward for breakfast and to talk about what you found meaningful in the experience and what you might change.

If you have questions or are interested in helping contact Christine Davidson.

First UU Choirs Concert

Sunday, May 19, 4:00pm

Join us this Sunday for our First UU Spring Choir Concert in the Worship Center. Both Spirit of Life Choir and Chalice Choir have exciting programs, with Spirit of Life singing songs such as “Go the Distance” from “Hercules” and “The Awakening”, and Chalice Choir singing songs of hope and justice, including “On the Common Ground” and “One Million Voices”. There will even be an opportunity for the audience to learn a song and sing along!

The concert is free and open to the public, and it is the last of our 2023-24 First UU Concert Series.

There is still room to attend! 
White Supremacy Culture Workshop
Saturday, May 18, 4:00 to 5:15
At First UU, Room 301 + on Zoom
Register if you can, but come anyway!
How do we become a more racially inclusive church community? Our membership is predominantly white, and our Anti-Racist Allies Team believes there are dynamics in our church culture which (a) sustain the current majority white membership and (b) don’t meet the needs of Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC). The culture that sustains white dominance in most organizations in the United States is called White Supremacy Culture.

This workshop will help each of us in our personal path to understanding racism as well as supporting the developmental work of our congregation. Help us learn more together about our church culture!  View the workshop handout here.  For more information email the Anti-Racist Allies team.

All Soles Dance
Saturday, May 18th
Beginners’ Session 7:30 to 8:00 PM
Dancing 8:00 to 10:30 PM
Gaye Fifer (from Pittsburgh) will be calling the dances with tunes by Old Possum’s Dance Band. Old Possum’s Dance Band, consists of Deborah Clark and Margaret Goodman (fiddle), Bill McCulloch (piano/keyboard), and Doug Andrews (bodhran).

New dancers are always welcome. All dances will be taught and no partner is needed. Snacks will be available in the kitchen area and contributions to the snack table are welcome. Please bring your own refillable water bottle.

Cost is $10 for adults, $5 for ages 12-25.

Summer All Soles Dance dates:

Candidate Meet & Greet this Sunday
Sunday, May 19 after Rev. Cooley’s Developmental Report

This Sunday, May 5th, you will have the opportunity to meet several of this year’s candidates for leadership positions at First UU after worship service in Beach Hall!

We hope that you will join the Nominating Committee this Sunday for a chance to chat with our candidates. Read more about the candidates and our election process here!

Board of Trustees (3-year terms):
Betsy Smalley
Jim Svagerko

Moderator (1-year term):
Dana Reynolds

Nominating Committee (2-year terms, will elect 3 candidates):
Dennis Frazier
Eddy Fried
Jack Holdford
Joan Matyskella
Cara Seidt
Carson Tucker

ARA & Friends Lunch Outing & Ohio Black Expo
On Sunday, May 19, Anti-Racist Allies (ARA) & Friends will carpool from church at 11:40 to Way Down Yonder New Orleans Finest Restaurant, which opens at noon on Sunday, so you can still join us after Rev. Terasa’s session.

Got Netflix? Watch Season 2 Episode 1 of High on the Hog, which is all about Cajun cooking.

Sunday, May 26 Carpool from church at 11:30 to join us for “Soulful Sunday” at the Ohio Black Expo Riverfront Culture Fest with food trucks, 100+ black-owned vendors, music, and dancing. To attend, you must buy a ticket online by May 24 (single-day tickets are $20).  Please also fill out this form if you want to join our carpool or request additional information from our ARA Planning Team.

Last Chance to Get your FREE Tickets for
BREAD Nehemiah Action (This is the BIG One!)
The Annual Event for Justice in Central Ohio is Tuesday, May 21st, at 6:40pm in the Celeste Center at the Expo Center (state fairgrounds).

There are so many great reasons to attend this event!  By joining together to attend, we:

  • Speak up for more truly affordable housing for people making $30,000/year or less and for helping renters deal with predatory landlords.
  • Hold our public officials accountable for serious problems in central Ohio.
  • Keep First UU’s 1996 covenant with BREAD to demonstrate BREAD’s people power by turning out a number of people equal to our average worship and RE attendance to each year’s Nehemiah Action.
  • (Remember, you can sit in the virtually empty bleachers if you are immuno-compromised or uncomfortable in crowds!)
Entrance to Nehemiah Action is FREE, but you must have tickets in advance. You can get tickets from:
  • Your First UU BREAD Network Member
  • In Beach Hall before or after the Sunday Service, or
  • Online
This Sunday in Beach Hall, you can get “Standing With Love” t-shirts for $25. We also have round trip bus tickets to avoid the traffic/rain and travel in community with fellow First UU’ers and friends:
  • $5 per person or $10 per family
  • Departure times 5:45pm and 6pm
  • (Choir has priority on 5:45 pm bus)
Remember, this event is for the whole family!  There will be Free childcare for children age 8 & under (out of diapers).  The Celeste Center refreshment stands will be open.

And as always, please Email the First UU BREAD Team or go to the BREAD website for more information.

From the Staff & Board
Our pledge campaign has concluded for the year and we are so grateful for the amazing response! 80% of the responses that we received were either remaining at the same level of giving or increasing. Thank you!!

Unfortunately, we are significantly short of our goal. The good news is, that we’ve only heard from 46% of our membership, so we have room to grow!

If you have not turned in your pledge form yet, please do so as soon as possible. We are in the final stages of budgeting and the more pledge forms we receive, the better we are able to plan worship, religious exploration, and church events.

Legos Needed! and Board Gamers! 
We need donations of Lego blocks for our early childhood and elementary summer Sunday school class so we can explore a hands-on UU values curriculum with Jen and Cara! Please leave bags, boxes, or bins of Legos in the copy room ASAP – our first class is happening June 2nd!
We are also seeking congregants who love working with young people, board games and card games to help with our middle and high schoolers over the summer. We will have several adults on duty during each service to hold safe space for our young people and explore UU values together through games. Emerging young adults and others are also encouraged to join the fun, starting June 2nd! 

Image by Kathy E. Smith. 
There is a possibility that this will lead to paid opportunities in the future (ie family DnD facilitator). Per our safety policy, adults supervising youth must be 25+ years old, and have been part of our congregation for at least six months. A background check and personal references are required. Email Amber to get involved!

We are also recruiting Religious Exploration teachers and volunteers for the fall, and registration for next year’s classes will be coming soon! Thanks in advance for your help!

Everything You’ve Always Wanted
to Know about Article 2
June 5 at 6:30pm ONLINE
Article 2 is a change to the UUA’s statement of purpose in the Bylaws. It’s the first proposed change in 40 years so it’s a big deal! And a bit complicated. Join Rev. Terasa for a virtual Town Hall to learn more and discuss.

Upcoming Governance Meetings
Classes and Groups
Care & Share Time Bank Monthly Potluck
Sunday, May 19, 6–9pm
(Eat at 6:30)
Join the Care and Share Time Bank for a relaxing game night!  Bring your favorite board game and find others who can play!

Bring a dish to share if you can: we love to “break bread” together!  Since we have such a wide range of dietary restrictions, please list the ingredients in your dish if you are able. Additionally, 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.

We will have a “Sharing” table!  Bring a gently used item for others to take, browse to see if there’s something you would like.

Trans and Gender Non-Conforming Support Group (Adult)
Sunday, May 19
After Worship in the Library
Our Trans and Gender Non-conforming Support Group is a compassionate and accepting community where people of all gender identities come together to share, learn, and support one another. We believe that everyone deserves a space where they can express their authentic selves, free from judgment and discrimination.
Upcoming Events
Around the Corner
  • Sunday, May 26 11:30am: Emerging Young Adults!
  • Tuesday, May 28
    • Noon & 6:30pm: Life Skills Workshop: Powerful Questions
    • 6:30pm: Expressive Worship
    • 7pm: Athiests Skeptics and Humanists (ASH)
      Speaker: Collin Marozzi, Deputy Policy Director for ACLU
  • Saturday, June 1, 9am: Pathways to Membership Class
  • Sunday, June 2, 11:30am: 
    • Trans Allies Support Group
    • Trans Teen Support Group
    • 5pm: “FrackStock” Grass Roots Ohio Festival & Author Talk
  • Friday, June 7, 6:30pm: First Friday Dinner
  • Every Wednesday 5pm: Citizens Not Politicians Office Hours
  • Every Wednesday 6pm: Sacred Song Circle
Justice & Volunteer Opportunities
Are you Interested in Becoming
a First UU Delegate for General Assembly (GA)?
The Board is looking for individuals interested in serving as delegates for the upcoming General Assembly of the UUA (Unitarian Universalist Association).

General Assembly will be held entirely virtually this year, and the dates are June 20-23. Delegates are asked to do some prep work in advance in order to be prepared to fully participate.

Ideal Delegates should be:

  • actively involved in various aspects of our congregation,
  • good listeners,
  • comfortable engaging in meaningful discussions with individuals from diverse backgrounds and perspectives,
  • dedicated to contributing to the decision-making process at the General Assembly by engaging in the democratic process of the General Assembly in order to contribute meaningfully to the collective efforts of the UUA community.
Registering for and attending the full General Assembly, including workshops and services, is encouraged, however, a no-cost “business meeting only” registration is available to delegates.

If selected as a delegate, you commit to:

  • representing our congregation with integrity & empathy,
  • actively participating in the proceedings,
  • voting thoughtfully on important matters, and
  • reporting back to our community to ensure transparency and communication.
Please email us at if interested
Covenant Group Project:
Diaper Collection
You can help!  Babies need diapers all year long and diapers are expensive. For the next few weeks, the Tuesday Morning covenant group will collect diapers on Sunday mornings after the 10 am service. Monetary donations also accepted! Donations will go to Jacque’s Feed and Read Ohio or Bottom’s Up, depending on current needs and sizes donated.
BREAD Nehemiah Action

Don’t forget to get your tickets for Nehemiah Action!  See Above for details!

Diversity and Inclusion highlights from our new Coordinator of Multicultural Engagement, Minister Shannon C. High!
Gonkar Gyatso’s Tibetan Artistry
Tibetan Buddhist Lamas complete prayers, open Kalachakra pavilion, Thangkas of Padmasambhava, Shri Kalachakra, Lord Buddha, mandala, offerings, monk, Kalachakra for World Peace, Washington D.C., USA” by Wonderlane is marked with CC0 1.0.

Tucked away amidst the majestic Himalayas, the Tibetan plateau stands as a sanctuary of ancient customs and profound spirituality, nurturing a rich artistic tradition. Tibetan art, a captivating manifestation of Buddhist philosophy and cultural fusion, paints a vivid tapestry of spiritual exploration and aesthetic delight. Central to Tibetan artistry are thangkas—meticulous paintings on silk or cotton portraying Buddhist deities, mandalas, and symbolic motifs.

Beyond mere adornments, these masterpieces serve as conduits for meditation and enlightenment, each stroke a testament to the interconnectedness of existence and the pursuit of inner peace. Contemporary thangka artists such as Gonkar Gyatso boldly marry traditional themes with modern sensibilities, bridging past and present in a captivating dance of cultural resilience and innovation.

Tibetan artistry extends beyond thangka embroidery to a diverse spectrum of mediums including sculpture, woodwork, and metal work. Each discipline reflects the meticulous craftsmanship and ancestral wisdom passed down through generations, preserving the essence of Tibetan identity amidst the tides of time.

This vibrant artistic tradition faces challenges—from political suppression to cultural appropriation and environmental degradation. Despite these adversities, Tibetan artists persist, their creative endeavors serving as beacons of hope and resilience, inspiring future generations to cherish and safeguard their cultural heritage.

In the intricate details of Gyatso’s thangka embroidery lies not just art but a profound expression of the Tibetan soul—an enduring legacy that continues to captivate and inspire the world.

Learn more about Gonkar Gyatso’s artwork on YouTube

Community News
2024 IACO Annual Main Event:
Interfaith Engagement in Action
Please join IACO for our Annual Main Event on Sunday, May 19, 2024, 4–7pm at First Community – North Campus, 3777 Dublin Road, Columbus, OH 43221. Our program will include remarks by and presentation of IACO Interfaith Leadership Awards for work with BREAD to Rev. Dr. Timothy Ahrens and Rev. Dr. Jeffrey Kee. There will be a vegetarian potluck dinner, followed by a reception with cake to honor our awardees. If you are attending the dinner, please bring a covered vegetarian main dish, salad, side dish, or dessert that will serve 8 to share. The cost is free, but there is a suggested donation of $15.
See Amber Skate
May 25

Tickets are still available for Ohio Roller Derby’s last two home games of the season: Saturday, May 25th, and Saturday, June 15th! Amber (or “Peach”) plays in the 7pm B-game. Get your tickets before they sell out!

Photo by JL Bermudez Photography.

Family Activities
Register for Peace Camp!
  • Peace Camp A (6-8yrs) 9am-12noon M-F, 7/29-8/2 Register Now!
  • Peace Camp B (9-11yrs) 9am-12noon M-F, 8/5-8/9 Register Now!
Happening This Sunday, May 19
  • 9:15-9:45am Breakfast (A/B) 
  • 9:30-11:30am Infant and Toddler Care (room 101)
  • 9:55-11am 10-11yr OWL – Last Class / Graduation Potluck (404)
  • 10-11am Worship Service (sanctuary)
  • 10:15-11:15am after the story, Spirit Play (102 / 201) and Tools for the Journey (401) End of Year Class Popsicle Party! (playground / forest play area)
  • 11:30am-1:30pm Developmental Ministry Report and Town Hall, after the service in lieu of coffee hour (worship center)
  • 12:30-2pm Navigators Scouting Awards Ceremony (201, playground)