Friday’s News & Updates!

May 27, 2022

I feel like there are no words to express the horror, sadness, outrage, and all of the other emotions going on within myself and I know you all as well. This has been a hard month. And it’s not the first or last time we’re going to be saying that. The cries of, “when will enough be enough?” echo through the streets of this country, yet we don’t see much changing. We know, as history repeats itself, the outrage and the demands to do something will slowly fade until the next time we’re confronted with the horrors of gun violence. And yet, we can’t despair. We must give ourselves the space to feel what we need to feel, but I believe that the paths and journeys we all must travel, all converge on the same path of hope. Hope that the beloved community we talk about, fight for, believe in, and work night and day for, is possible. That Theodore Parker’s words aren’t just words quoted and forgotten, but that the arc of the universe does actually point towards justice. Parker warns us that this arc is long, but it is up to each and every one of us to make sure it continues to point towards justice.

I don’t have the answers. I’m personally still on the path of outrage. Our kids aren’t safe at school. Our elders aren’t safe in a grocery store. People of faith aren’t safe in their houses of worship. But my hope is in the fact that we are in a community, a faith tradition, that believes that the interconnectedness of ourselves and our world calls us to lift each other up, support one another, fight for and beside one another, until we have a clearer path forward. If you feel called to march in the streets, march! If you feel called to call your representatives, make those phone calls! If you feel like you don’t have the energy or mental capacity to do anything but keep your head down and make it one more day until the weekend when you can breathe, then give yourself that grace and space. Whatever you feel like you need right now, I hope that you are able to give yourself the room to do that. And then find something that brings you joy. Splash around in the puddles, read a good book, call a friend, hug your pet…… whatever it is, try to find a little piece of joy today. And remember, we are a community. And we are here for one another.

Thank you all for making First UU such a wonderful community. Be sure to check out all of the important announcements below, and, as always, please reach out if you have any questions!

Virtual hugs,

Kelli McNeal
Director of Congregational Life

*Please let Kelli know of 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!

For your protection from scammers and stalkers, we have an OPT IN directory. 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.

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

  • Sunday Service – 5/29
  • Annual Meeting – 6/12
  • How to Attend the Service
  • Masks Now Optional (But Highly Encouraged)
  • May Soul Matters Packets
  • Volunteer to Teach!
  • Pathways to Membership Class – 6/4
  • Senior Luncheon – Change of Plans
  • Caring Cards for Graduates
  • Help Represent First UU at GA!
  • Labor Day Retreat
  • Auction Save the Date
  • Auction Items Still Available!
  • UUA General Assembly – Register Now!
  • Happening This Sunday
  • Upcoming Events
  • Calling All Teachers and Helpers!
  • Peace Camp
This Week’s Sunday Service! 5/29
Memorial Day Sunday

How shall we remember those who put their lives on the line to protect our country? We remember the soldiers of the Civil War, WWI, WWII and others. But there are many more who have sacrificed their lives to protect our rights and freedom.

Worship Presenter: Rev. Joan VanBecelaere

Join us at 10am, in person or online!

The First UU Board of Trustees invites all members and friends to attend our annual business meeting at 11:30 AM on Sunday, June 12th. The meeting this year will be a hybrid format, allowing you to attend either online or in person. Voting for our slate of candidates for Board of Trustees, Nominating Committee, and Moderator, as well as our Share-the-Plate recipients for FY 2023 will be online, and we will be voting on other matters at the meeting itself. Online voting will be starting a few days before the meeting, so please watch your emails and church announcements for more information about how to access your ballot.
SAVE THE DATE! Let’s Celebrate!
Mark your calendars for Saturday, August 27th, as we celebrate the ordination of our own Kelli McNeal. More information will be coming at a later date.
How to Attend the Service
1.) Join us in person! 93 W Weisheimer Rd, Columbus, OH 43214

2.) Tune in for our live broadcast, via!

3.) Or watch the recording later, on our website!

Masks are Now Optional (But Highly Encouraged)
We highly encourage wearing masks as well as continued good hygiene practices. These include hand washing, sneezing into elbow, etc. as well as staying home when you are sick or not feeling well. As conditions warrant, these policies may change. For more information, please see Rev. Talk.
May Soul Matters Packets
The May Soul Matters Packets are ready for your viewing pleasure! This month, our theme is Nurturing Beauty. You can request a mailed copy from Marian Garcia.

You can find the digital versions here: General Packet (for all ages); Soulful Home (UU activities to do as a family).

Volunteer to Teach! 
Invest in the future of our congregation and our world by volunteering with our children and youth! Your help is needed to create a robust program and the community that we dream about! Volunteers are generally asked to participate about two Sundays per month, with a flexible schedule and plenty of support. Fill out this form to volunteer with our Religious Exploration (RE) programs for children, youth, and families next church year! Thank you!
Pathways to Membership Class – June 4
Interested in learning more about First UU and what it means to be a member? Ready to become a member? You are cordially invited to join us for our upcoming Pathways to Membership Class, Saturday June 4th from 9:00am-Noon. Attending the class does not obligate you to join.

If you would like to participate in the upcoming Annual Meeting as a voting member, now’s your chance to become a member! Click the link below to register. This class will be offered in hybrid fashion, both in person (room 301) and on Zoom.

Register Now!
Senior Luncheon – CHANGE OF PLANS
The First UU Senior Luncheon planned for June 9, 2022 is being POSTPONED.

We want to see you…
We know you want to see each other…
Covid cases are currently rising.
We all need to be careful.
We love you and hope to be able to get together soon.
Caring Card for Graduates
The caring Team would like to know about graduates who you would like to receive a Caring Card of congratulations. Simply fill out the caring Request Form on the First UU website, and a card will be on the Caring Table for all to sign the following Sunday, as well as an announcement made.
Help Represent First UU at GA!
Have you registered to attend this year’s General Assembly, commonly known as GA? This year’s GA will be held June 22-26, in Portland, OR, as well as virtually. If so, we need you as a delegate!

You can attend in 3 different ways:

  1. In person – Portland OR
  2. Virtually – all sessions
  3. Virtually – Business sessions only…Free, but $100 donation suggested to cover technology expenses

You can register at

If you have registered, please consider being one of First UU’s delegates. As a delegate, you will be able to participate and vote in the GA business meetings. As a congregation, we have 12 member delegate slots and about half of those remain open. You can email, if you would like to be a delegate.

Labor Day Retreat
SAVE THE DATE!  Calling all First UU folks of all ages! Labor Day Retreat is returning.  This multi-generational gathering is a great way to catch up and a better way to get more deeply engaged in our church community.  Swimming, hiking, group activities, star gazing, and napping all with other folks doing the cooking and clean-up.  Be sure to plan your talent show act and warm up your voice for the campfire sing-a-long!  Details and registration form coming soon.
Available Auction Items
SAVE THE DATE! – Our next auction will be in the fall of this year – Saturday, October 22nd, in the evening. We are planning for an in-person event. Our theme is Back Together for Our Future, a play on the film Back to the Future.

Keep an eye on this section for upcoming auction events that still have availability!  To read a description of each event, please visit the auction website and click on “Catalog Grid” and then “Dated Events.” If you would like to purchase a spot(s), please contact the Auction Team.

Spots Available & Price per spot

14 spots

10 spots

8 spots

40 spots

17 spots

1 spots

6 spots

Item/Event Available

Spring Nature Hike / Mound Excursion
Offered by Steve Molk
Saturday June 4 @ 9pm

Guided Twighlight Bike Ride
Offered by Lisa Daris & Michael McGuire
Sunday June 12 @ 8pm

Let’s Get Crafty!
Offered by Candee & Dan Rothert
Saturday June 18 @ 2pm

Guided Firefly Hike
Offered by Michael & Deb McGuire
Friday June 24 @ 9:30

Franklin County Landfill Tour
Offered by Dave & Marylou MacDonald
Saturday July 9 @ 10am

Kayaking Afternoon
Offered by Elaine Fujimura & Tony Skrabak
Saturday July 23 @ 2pm

Afternoon in the Garden
Offered by Anisa Ahmad
Sunday July 31 @ 1pm

Join the Conversation on Facebook
See what our community is doing, support each other, and kindle personal connections – Check out the First UU Facebook Page, and join our Facebook Group!
Register Now for General Assembly!
General Assembly is the annual gathering of Unitarian Universalists, where we conduct business of the Association, explore the theological underpinnings of our faith, and lean fully into our mission and principles. This year, we will have the option of meeting online or in-person! Join us June 22 – 26, 2022 online or in-person in Portland, Oregon! Learn more!

This Week for Families

  • Tonight! 6-8pm Fourth Friday Fun Night (Beach Hall)
  • Sunday: Religious Exploration w/ Jen B, 10-11am (start in service)

Next Week

  • Youth Group Dress Rehearsals, 6-8pm Friday, 6/3 and 11am-2pm Saturday, 6/4
  • Annual Youth-led Sunday service, 10am 6/5 (no RE)

Upcoming Events

  • Fourth Friday Fun Night! 5/27, 6/24, 7/22, 8/26
  • CER Summer Institute 7/10-7/16
  • Peace Camp! 8/1-8/5, 8/8-8/12
  • Labor Day Retreat at Camp Oty’Okwa 9/3-9/5

Peace Camp! 

More Info + Register Here!

Session A: (for 6-8yrs) August 1st-5th, 9am-Noon
Session B: (for 9-11yrs) August 8th-12th, 9am-Noon

Calling All Teachers and Helpers! 

Fill out this form to volunteer with our programs for children, youth, and families next church year! Thank you!

Pandemic Policy Update 

First UU has moved to Mask Optional. For RE on Sundays we suggest children age 2+ years wear masks during indoor group time, but may choose to take them off outdoors, when we are more spaced out. We encourage all families to do what feels comfortable and safe for you!