Friday News – May 24, 2024

Our Church Community is BUSY!

Thanks to the 210 folks who attended the BREAD Nehemiah Action this week including our amazing choir. Showing up is 90% of the work and wow Рyou showed up in a big way to help make Central Ohio a more just and compassionate community.

Recharge this Memorial Day Weekend by attending worship with the Rev. Terasa and Rev. Marco as they reflect on congregational ministry and we celebrate their 85 years of service to Unitarian Universalism with cake.

Next week you’ll get information on the upcoming Annual Meeting including the proposed Fiscal Year 2025 budget. So get prepared to study up and engage to make decisions about the future of our collective home.

The following week leading up to the Annual Meeting on June 9, you can attend Rev Terasa‚Äôs “Powerful Questions” workshop and her Town Hall about UUA Article II.¬†¬†Be sure to keep your arms and legs inside the ride because these next few weeks will be full of dips, turns, and loop-de-loops.

P.S. If you haven’t turned in your FY25 pledge form or haven’t completed your FY24 pledge, please consider doing so now. Thank you for supporting this community!

This Week
“Reflections on Ministry”

Sunday, May 26

Presented by Rev. Dr. Terasa Cooley, Developmental Minister
and Rev Marco Belletini, Minister Emeritus
Join Rev. Dr. Terasa Cooley and Rev. Dr. Marco Belletini as they reflect on their ministries and each celebrate a landmark anniversary (35 years in ministry for Terasa, and 45 years for Marco)! Join us for a reception in Beach Hall after the service.
Get it while it’s Hot!
Sunday, May 26 will be the FINAL hot breakfast of the church year.  Come to Beach Hall at at 9:15am to enjoy your scrambled eggs, bacon, tater tots, oatmeal, orange juice, and coffee.  Starting Sunday, June 2, we will be serving a continental breakfast of pastries, yogurt, fruit, orange juice, coffee, fellowship and fun
We suggest a donation of $3/person, maximum¬†$10/family to help cover the costs of hot breakfast ‚Äď but first-time visitors always eat free!¬†

Image by Mo Farrelly from Pixabay
Join Anti-Racist Allies (ARA) & Friends
Buy your Ticket for the Ohio Black Expo Riverfront Culture Fest at Genoa Park by TODAY May 24!   For Ohio Black Expo Riverfront Culture Fest at Genoa Park

Sunday, May 26 Carpools will leave by 11:30 to enjoy food and entertainment at this downtown event.

Get Festival details, including ticket sales, on the event website,
Sign up for the Carpool, with opportunities to return mid-afternoon or mid-evening.  Email the ARA Planning Team for more info!
Emerging Adults ‚Äď Kitchen Skills
Sunday, May 26 11:30am, Room 302
The Emerging Adults (18‚Äď26) will be practicing cooking skills.¬† We will share our knowledge with each other ‚Äď Know some kitchen tricks? Come share!¬† Don’t know what to do with something you’ve got in your kitchen?¬† Bring it and we’ll figure it out together! Come and soak up the knowledge.¬† We will all enjoy the fruits of our labor together.

We will start at 11:30 in Room 302 (AKA “The Rainbow Room”) and move to the kitchen to make some noms.¬†This is a “drop-in” group that meets on the Second and Fourth Sundays of the month ‚Äď come when you can, it’s always fun!

Expressive Worship
Tuesday, May 28 6:30pm, Beach Hall

Experience a different kind of spiritual practice centered around personal creative process. Enjoy readings, songs and create artwork centered around this month’s theme “Pluralism”

At the end of the evening there is a sharing circle for all who wish to share their work and inspiration. All ages and abilities welcome. For more information contact Christine Davidson.

From the Staff & Board
Upcoming Governance Meetings
Powerful Questions: RESCHEDULED
Now on June 4 at Noon and 6:30
We have Rescheduled the final class in this series of workshops led by Rev. Terasa by one week.

June 4 РPowerful Questions: The way we phrase or present an important question can have a huge impact on the kind of conversation we wish to create. The tool of Powerful Questions helps us learn how to identify assumptions that may be getting int he way of asking a question that will bring about creative and open questions

This class is¬†offered at¬†Noon¬†and¬†6:30pm¬†‚Äď Pick the time that works best for you!

Legos Needed! and Board Gamers! 
We need LEGO blocks for our early childhood and elementary summer Sunday school class, which starts next week! Please leave donations in the copy room. Thank you!
We are also seeking board and card gamers to volunteer with our teens over the summer. We plan to have two adults on duty during each service Рto hold safe space for our young people, and explore UU values through games, starting June 2nd! Adults supervising youth must be 25+ years old, and have been part of our congregation for 6+ months. A background check and personal references are required. Email Amber to get involved!

Image by Kathy E. Smith. 
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!
Article 2 Town Hall Meeting
June 5 at 6:30pm
Online and in person, Room 301
Join Rev. Terasa for a virtual Town Hall¬†to learn more and discuss¬†Article II, the¬†statement of the purpose,¬†principles, and sources contained in the UUA Bylaws. Changing Article II is a multi-year process. A draft created over 3 years with input from over 10,000 UUs received¬†86% support at General Assembly 2023 and the second required vote is scheduled for GA 2024.¬† It‚Äôs a big deal ‚Äď and a bit complicated.

Rev. Terasa will hold the Town Hall online, and there will be an in-person group attending the online session at church in Room 301, hosted by Debra Boyd.¬† Come for the snacks and the Town Hall, stay for the conversation!¬† Or if you’re curious and want to learn more now, check out this article in the UUA Newsletter.

Please Check the Lost & Found 
Once again, the lost and found overflows.  Please come and claim your items!  Items not claimed by Sunday, June 2 will be donated to charity.
Classes and Groups
Choir Summer Break
Thank you so much to the First UU Choirs for such a wonderful concert this past weekend!  Choirs will be on a well-deserved break for the summer, and rehearsals will resume August 20 & 22.
A-S-H Meeting Program – ACLU Update
May 28, 7pm Room 301
The May speaker for the First UU Atheists-Skeptics-Humanists program is one of our best yet!  Collin Marozzi, Deputy Policy Director of ACLU Ohio will bring us up to date on the current litigation the ACLU has in state court on the gender affirming care ban, the ongoings of the Citizens Not Politicians redistricting amendment campaign, and on the happenings at the Ohio General Assembly.

Don’t Miss it!

Pathways to Membership Class
Saturday, June 1 9am
(Light Breakfast available at 8:30)
Are you Curious about how to become a member of First UU? Are you considering becoming a member, but just not sure yet?  Are you wondering about how to connect and engage with this community? Pathways to Membership is for you!

While we would LOVE to have you become a new member, there is never any obligation to join.¬†Register online¬†to receive the link to Saturday’s class, or email¬†¬†for more information!

Upcoming Events
First UU Youth Group Art Show
Fundraiser and Bake Sale

Sunday June 2, 11am
Join us for an inspiring event to support our youth! The First UU Youth Group is hosting an Art Show fundraiser to help raise money for their trip to the Summer Institute. This event will feature a bake sale and a gallery filled with art pieces created by our talented youth, each reflecting their unique ideas of community.
Anti-Racist Allies (ARA) & Friends ‚Äď
Save the Date!
Save the Date of Friday, June 7, 9am‚Äď4pm for a Road Trip to Wilburforce to¬†visit to The National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center, tour of Central State University, and visit to the Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument!
Camping at Delaware State Park
Fri June 21 ‚Äď Sun Jun 23
Join other First UU members for camping at Delaware State Park. $40 to share a spot for 2 nights. Communal food, campfires, swimming. fellowship. Great for singles, families, everyone.

Reserved spots 61‚Äď66. Contact Patricia Boughton for more info

Around the Corner
  • Sunday, June 2:¬†
    • Trans Allies Support Group
    • Trans Teen Support Group
  • Tuesday, June 4:¬†Life Skills Workshop: Powerful Questions (RESCHEDULED from May 28)
  • Friday, June 7: First Friday Dinner Bring Your Own Picnic!
  • Sunday, June 9: Emerging Adults!
  • Friday, June 14: Community Bingo Night!
Every Wednesday 5pm until June 2: 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.
Diversity and Inclusion highlights from our new Coordinator of Multicultural Engagement, Minister Shannon C. High!
Paul Laurence Dunbar
Paul Laurence Dunbar, born in 1872 in Dayton, Ohio, was a pioneering Black poet and novelist. The son of former enslaved people, he rose to prominence through writing dialect poetry and his exploration of Black life in America. He gained critical acclaim and widespread readership despite facing racial barriers. Dunbar’s legacy endures through his rich portrayal of the Black experience and his contributions to the literary canon.
The Poet and his Song

A song is but a little thing,
And yet what joy it is to sing!
In hours of toil it gives me zest,
And when at eve I long for rest;
When cows come home along the bars,
And in the fold I hear the bell,
As Night, the shepherd, herds his stars,
I sing my song, and all is well.

There are no ears to hear my lays,
No lips to lift a word of praise;
But still, with faith unfaltering,
I live and laugh and love and sing.
What matters yon unheeding throng?
They cannot feel my spirit’s spell,
Since life is sweet and love is long,
I sing my song, and all is well.

My days are never days of ease;
I till my ground and prune my trees.
When ripened gold is all the plain,
I put my sickle to the grain.
I labor hard, and toil and sweat,
While others dream within the dell;
But even while my brow is wet,
I sing my song, and all is well.

Sometimes the sun, unkindly hot,
My garden makes a desert spot;
Sometimes a blight upon the tree
Takes all my fruit away from me;
And then with throes of bitter pain
Rebellious passions rise and swell;
But–life is more than fruit or grain,
And so I sing, and all is well.

Community News
In Recognition of Year-Round Chancel Beauty

Week after week, year after year, both in-person and online attendees have immensely enjoyed beautiful Sunday morning flower arrangements here at First Church. Applause and untold thanks to the current chancel designers Su Ann Farnlacher (13 years) and Denise Deschenes (9 years).

Each week Su Ann takes a vase to Market Blooms at the North Market. Not only are they aligned with our UU values, they give us a generous discount. Manager, Bob, creates our fabulous arrangements. Su Ann and Denise get to work to design what you see on Sunday, on the Chancel and greeting stands.

This is by no means the only volunteering for 52-year member Su Ann. Besides a stalwart soprano in the chancel choir and long-time worship associate, she has or currently is filling a two-year vacancy position on the board. Denise is a 30-year member, including the Pastoral Team, occasional church service creator, and past Coming of Age participant.

Su Ann and Denise graciously volunteer all of their time and effort; however, Congregants can also contribute to this beautification effort! You can:

  • Donating money for a Sunday arrangement to commemorate a loved one
  • Donate flowers or branches with flowers from your yard
  • Shadow/Observe Denise and Su when they create the design

To provide chancel flowers/arrangements any week  during the year, contact Su Ann at least two weeks ahead. Payment for flowers goes directly to the church.

Thank You for participating in
B.R.E.A.D. Nehemiah Action
Thank you First UU members and friends! We had a great turnout! 214 members & friends of First UU joined almost 2,000 justice seekers in Columbus and Franklin County as we asked a local official to make clear commitments to address serious community problems.
This year, BREAD is pushing for more affordable housing for those making $30,000 a year or less as well as measures to protect renters in Columbus. We exercise our power by bringing thousands of community members together from 44 congregations at our annual Nehemiah Action to press decision-makers for specific commitments to tackle community problems.

Our very own BREAD Team Member, Alice Rathburn, addressed the audience with a recap of important accomplishments over the past year.  She announced wins for the following campaigns: Environmental Justice, Stop Violence! Build Trust!, and Juvenile Justice.

Our First UU Choir was a joy! We are all so proud of them for being a part of this important work for justice!

Stop Predatory Landlords! Protect Renters Now!:  At the action B.R.E.A.D. pressed Columbus City Council member Shayla Favor to add the following programs and positions:

  • City of Columbus Rental Registry
  • Certificate of Occupancy
  • A City of Columbus Tenant Advocate

She agreed to meet with BREAD within 4 weeks to discuss our proposals.  Stay tuned for more details to come on this new campaign!


Learn more at, or Contact our B.R.E.A.D. Team to become involved!

FrackStock Grass Roots Ohio Festival
& Author Talk with Justin Nobel
June 2, 5‚Äď9pm Tickets and Food are free!
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 26
  • 9:15-9:45am Breakfast (A/B)¬†
  • 9:30-11:30am Infant and Toddler Care (room¬†101)
  • No RE Classes Today – Enjoy Your Holiday Weekend!
  • 10-11am Worship¬†Service (sanctuary)
  • Coffee Hour, Snack after the service (Beach Hall, A/B)
  • Youth Group¬†Meeting¬†(room 402)