Friday News – May 26, 2023

Happy Friday!

There is so much to be proud of at First UU, this spring and this year! The staff team thought it might be fun to review some of what our congregation has been up to lately, in this week’s edition of Friday News!

From Karen Keenan and Dick Dawson:

Our sincere thanks go to the many volunteers who provided their time and energy to make the recent¬†Senior¬†Gathering¬†a success (with over 80 atendees, including volunteers!) –

Donna Adassa, Marilyn Beerman, John Boyd, Eve Catus, Sandy Coen, Barb Fiorini, Bill Fiorini, Barb Fisher, Elaine Fujimura, Georgia Glunt, Michael Greenman, Sylvia Howe, Florence Jain, Adam Mocharski, Andi Mocharski, Dave Richter, Karla Rinto, Debbie Shaw, Tony Skrabak, Betsy Smalley, Chris Sullivan.

We extend our appreciation also to those who provided the program РDebra Boyd, Myra Hartman, Sylvia Howe, Rev. Kelli McNeal, Amber Scott. If you have more photos from this wonderful event, feel free to post them in our church Facebook Group!

Our building has also been filled to the brim with music and talent lately, thanks to the hard work of our choirs, and many special concerts (including Peter Mayer, pictured here)! 
Our dedicated volunteers also made excellent headway at our recent Garden and Grounds Clean-up! Sponsored by the Eco-Justice focus group of our Justice Action Ministry!
And this past Sunday, our 2023 Coming of Age Class moved many to tears with their wonderful service, which including talented performances and thoughtful credo statements!

This Sunday will be our last hot breakfast of the season Рplease thank all the volunteer cooks for their hard work this year! Reminder that summer services will shift to 10am, starting on June 11th. We look forward to making many more memories with all of you, as we move into the summer and look ahead to next church year!
A Few Announcements and Reminders

Following a special Sunday service, the First UU Board of Trustees and¬†UUA’s Hope for Us Conflict Engagement Team¬†will be hosting a Congregational Engagement Session¬†at 12:45, this Sunday, May 28th. Light snacks and refreshments will be served between the service and the meeting. This will be the first of several opportunities to receive more information about and to process the events leading up to the resignation. You can attend in person, online via Zoom, or view the recording later, once it is posted. Click here to join on Sunday!¬†If you haven’t submitted your survey responses and are wanting to before the meeting, click the link in the more detailed announcement below. The survey will remain open through the month of June.

Autumn Sunday Service Time РThank you to everyone who submitted preferences for our Fall service time! We are in the process of consulting with all stakeholders, in light of the information you sent in. We will let you know when we have a decision, or if more input is needed.

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

Click a Heading or Summary to Jump to that Group of Announcements!* Indicates New or Updated Announcement

  • Greetings From Your Board of Trustees *
  • Rev. Terasa Visiting First UU this Sunday! – 5/28 *
  • Stewardship Update *
  • This Sunday: The Long Road to Connection – 5/28 *
  • May Share the Plate:¬†Friends of the Lower Olentangy Watershed (FLOW)
  • SUMMARY:¬†Upcoming Services
  • Tonight! Fourth Friday Picnic in the Park! –¬†5/26, 6/23, 7/28, 8/25, 9/1 *
  • Willow Otten French Horn Recital – 6/4
  • Summer Choir Opportunities! – 6/4, 6/10 *
  • Celebration of Life: Carole Wilhelm – 6/10
  • Upcoming Auction Events *
  • Coffee Can Donations No Longer Needed *
  • SUMMARY:¬†Events Calendar
  • Join the Coffee Team!
  • SUMMARY:¬†Classes and Groups
  • See Amber’s Last Derby Home Game! 6/3
  • Register Now for Peace Camp!
  • SUMMARY: Community¬†Events
  • This Sunday, 5/28 *
  • Volunteer to Teach Next Year!
  • SUMMARY: Family Events
Greetings From Your Board of Trustees

We hope to see you all at this Sunday’s service, “The Long Road to Connection,” with Rev. Samantha Wilson and Rev. Sunshine Wolfe, followed by the special meeting with Hope for Us and the Board!

The Annual meeting is also coming up on June 11th. We will be voting electronically online through an OPA vote ballot – we plan for it to go out on Sunday after the activities at church.

Our church has one open delegate slot remaining for GA. To be a delegate, you need to be a member of the church and be registered for GA, either in person, virtual, or virtual (business only).  The virtual business only is free. Please email the Board if they are interested in serving as a delegate.

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

Your First UU Board of Trustees,

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

And now a special note from Hope for Us –

Hello Columbus!

We hope you saw this special e-blast that came out this week from your UUA Hope for Us Conflict Engagement Team. This Sunday, May 28 is a kick-off Sunday for a month of offerings co-hosted by Hope for Us, your Board, and Staff.

This Sunday‚Äôs service, ‚ÄúThe Long Road to Connection,‚ÄĚ will include reflections from Hope for Us Coach Rev. Dr. Samantha Wilson as well as your UUA regional contact, Rev. Sunshine Wolfe. We hope you will join us in-person or online.

Following this Sunday’s service, there will be light refreshments. At 12:45PM, you are invited to join us in the sanctuary or on Zoom to be present to a conversation with your Board. Rev. Samantha will be sitting with Board members in a spirit of care, curiosity, and sharing. Board members will be responding to the questions you have submitted, offering their personal reflections, and sharing next steps for your work as a community. A recording of the meeting will be made available online following the gathering.

What you can expect at the gathering:

  • A time of centering and creation of sacred space, honoring the multiple emotional experiences of people in your community.
  • A panel conversation hosted by Rev. Samantha with Board members Jim Conlan, Billy Davidson, and Cindy Whicker. We ask that you submit your questions and reflections in advance for that conversation (click here to submit). Rev. Samantha will be asking Board members to reflect on the questions you share in advance, as well as on their own personal experience as members and leaders during this time.
  • A time of meditation, reflection, and care for your experiences as a congregation, including your reflections, words, and longings as shared in the survey.

Afterward, Rev. Samantha will remain available in-person for connection with participants and Rev. Jami Yandle and David Lauth (UUA Hope for Us Coaches) will remain in the Zoom Room online to connect with online participants.

We appreciate survey responses submitted before this weekend and we are keeping the survey open all month. We hope you will submit your own response (or multiple responses) before Sunday or throughout the month. There will be more opportunities for engagement with the Hope for Us Coaches online, including a Sunday Service on July 2, to continue integration of what we have learned together this month and this year. A calendar with those dates will be available this weekend.

We appreciate your participation in whatever way is most possible for you ‚Äď via survey responses, in-person or online gatherings, or viewing the recordings later online.

With care,

Hope for Us Coaching Team
Rev. Dr. Samantha Wilson, Rev. Jami Yandle, Rev. Liz Weber, and David Lauth

Rev. Terasa Visiting First UU on Sunday!
Our newly hired developmental minister, Rev. Dr. Terasa Cooley, will be in the building this Sunday to attend the service and meet our congregants and lay leaders. Come introduce yourself!
The Long Road to Connection
Join us on Sunday, May 28th, for our 11am worship service!

This Sunday our service will be dedicated to connection, healing, and accountability. You will be joined in person by Rev. Dr. Samantha Wilson and your UUA regional contact, Rev. Sunshine Wolfe. David Lauth will be joining us online.

Worship Presenter: Hope for Us and 1st UU Board / Staff Planning Team

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’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
  • 6/4 – Elaina Ramsey, Faith Choice Ohio, and Rev. Lynda Smith
  • 6/11 – Rev. Kelli McNeal (service moves to 10am) – Annual Meeting to follow the service
  • 6/18 – Pride Service:¬†ARA,¬†Rainbow Connexion, Youth Group
  • 6/25 – UUA General Assembly service (streaming in our sanctuary)

Monthly Themes

  • May: Creativity
  • Summer: Delight
  • September:¬†Welcome
Tonight! Fourth Friday Picnic 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!

Summer picnic dates are: 5/26, 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.

Willow Otten French Horn Recital 6/4
On¬†Sunday,¬†June 4th, 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.
Summer Choir Opportunities!
Do you enjoy listening to First UU’s choirs? Come be a part of a few Summer Choir experiences! You simply show up on a Sunday morning, learn a song, and sing as part of the choir during the service. The first two are June 4 and June 11, with more dates to be announced later. On June 4 we will meet at 10 am, and on June 11 we will meet at 9 am (as services begin at 10 am starting that date). We hope to see you there!
Celebration of Life: Carole Wilhelm
Saturday, June 10th, at 1:30 pm, at First UU Columbus.
Reception to follow the service.
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.

Guided Twilight Bike Ride: Columbus Waterfront – Sat., June 3 at 8 pm
12 spots Р$15 per spot, offered by Michael & Deb McGuireBrunch & the Lazy Men’s Birding РThurs., June 8 at 10:30 am
1 spot – $25, offered by Joan Matyskella

Brunch & the Lazy Men’s Birding РSat., June 10 at 10:30 am
2 spots – $25 per spot, offered by Joan Matyskella

Guided Firefly Hike – Sat., June 17 at 9:30 pm
38 spots Р$15 per spot, offered by Michael & Deb McGuire

Happy Hour/Tour: Olentangy River Wetlands – Sat., July 1 at 2 pm
3 spots Р$20 per spot, offered by Joan Matyskella & Cathy Elkins

Ice Cream Social – Sat., July 8 at 2 pm
18 spots – $15 per spot, offered by Debra Boyd & Mark Merchant

Coffee Can Donations No Longer Needed
Reminder to all that Red Oak is out of space to store donated coffee cans, so please, please, do not bring anymore in, and recycle any you may have been saving. Due to limited storage space in our building, always check directly with a Red Oak, SYC, or First UU RE staff person before bringing in donations. This helps us keep down clutter and avoid fire hazards. Thank you for your communication and generosity!
Event Calendar Summary
  • Ongoing: Youth Group Art Show Fundraiser, Banned Book Library
  • 5/26, 6/23, 7/28, 8/25, 9/1 Fourth Friday Picnic,¬†Whetstone Playground
  • 6/4¬†Willow Otten French horn recital
  • 6/4, 6/11 Summer Choir
  • 6/10 Carole Wilhelm Celebration of Life
  • 6/11 Annual Meeting, service moves to 10am
  • 6/16-6/18, First UU Camping, Delaware State Park
  • 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.
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


  • Millennial Covenant Group, usually 1st &¬†3rd Sun
  • Reproductive Rights Petition Drive
  • Feed and Read Ohio Donation Drop Off
See Amber’s Last Derby Home Game! 6/3
DRE Amber Scott was named MVP Jammer (offense) at the 5/20 home game!

Get your tickets for 6/3 now Рbefore they sell out! This game is Pride themed, so wear your rainbow gear! 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!

Register Now for Peace Camp!
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)

Community Events Summary



This Sunday, 5/28

There is no RE this week due to the holiday weekend, but Toddler Care is still available in room 101. Families are invited to pick up a busy bag in the gallery and to check out the Wee Worship area, or visit Slowter Lounge if you need more room to play. Families who need a break from the service are invited to utilize the board games and craft activities in A and B, or to visit the playground and forest play area together.

Summer RE begins in June, which will consist of a “one room schoolhouse” Spirit Play style class for early childhood and elementary kiddos, run by Jen Bojanowski and Cara Seidt. Middle and high school aged youth will have the choice between free range board games and art activities in A/B and Beach Hall during the service. Reminder to all that parents / caregivers need to know the whereabouts of older children who are not being formally supervised. Also, don’t forget that the summer service moves to 10am, starting June 11th!

Volunteer to Teach Next Year!

Join the dream team Рhanging 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
  • 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