Friday News – May 5, 2023

Happy Friday!

A few days ago I discovered a couple of ducks sleeping in one of my neighbors yards. That afternoon, Jay came running upstairs to let me know that the ducks were on the move and we watched as they waddled past our house and out of view. This morning, on my regular¬†post therapy walk, I was pleasantly surprised to see them again, sleeping in the shadow of a car.¬† This brought me so much joy this morning and I’m hoping that it might bring some joy into your Friday as well ūüôā

A Few Announcements and Reminders

Sunday Service Time (Summer) РThank 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) РIn 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 next Friday. 

Stewardship – Our stewardship campaign¬†is technically over, but there’s still time to submit your pledge form. We have heard from less than half of our members and would love to hear from more of you. If we roll over everyone’s pledge that we haven’t heard from yet, we are $40,000 short of our goal. Which we can absolutely hit! If you haven’t turned in your form yet, please consider helping us reach our 13% increase goal as you are able. 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.
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: Saying Yes, Rev. Meg McGuire¬†– 5/7 *
  • May Share the Plate:¬†Friends of the Lower Olentangy Watershed (FLOW)
    Connecting Community Corridor for People, Pollinators, and the Planet
  • SUMMARY:¬†Upcoming Services
  • Concerts at First UU! – Peter Mayer Tonight!
  • Garden and Grounds Work Day – Tomorrow 5/6 *
  • Reproductive Freedom Petition Updates¬†– This Sunday 5/7 *
  • Youth Group Art Show – This Sunday 5/7
  • Meet the Candidates! Board and Nominating – This Sunday 5/7, 5/21 *
  • Senior Luncheon – This Week 5/11 *
  • Funeral Consumers Alliance¬†– ¬†5/20
  • Go Camping with First UUers in June! – 6/16-18 *
  • Auction Experiences Still Available
  • Read Dangerously!¬†Banned Book Library
  • BREAD Actions
  • SUMMARY:¬†Events Calendar
  • Living the Pledge Spring Classes Cancelled *
  • SUMMARY:¬†Classes and Groups
  • Summer Camps: Register Now! *
  • Ohio Roller Derby:¬†Amber Skates!¬†– 5/20, 6/3
  • SUMMARY: Community¬†Events
  • Sign Up:¬†Child Dedication Ceremony – 5/14
  • This Sunday, 5/7 *
  • Register Now for Peace Camp
  • Volunteer to Teach Next Year!
  • SUMMARY: Family Events
Greetings From Your Board of Trustees

t’s the beginning of May, that means the General Assembly (GA) is right around the corner. Are you planning on attending GA in June? More information can be found on the UUA‚Äôs website. Whether you are attending online or in person, please let us know if you‚Äôre willing to be a delegate for our Congregation. Delegates are asked to attend 12.5 hours of business sessions between June 21- 25. They cast votes on behalf of the congregation about the future of our shared faith. There is no cost to attend online as a delegate. Learn more about being a GA delegate.

Summer institute (SI) is also coming up soon, and registration is open!  This is a chance to join with other UUs from the Central East Region for a week of spiritual exploration, relaxation, and fun!  SI will be held July 9-15 on the campus of Penn West University in California, PA, south of Pittsburgh.  You can see a sampling of who is attending from our congregation on the bulletin board next to the kitchen, and if you are attending SI, please add your name there!  For more information, please check out the CERSI website.

This Sunday May 7th, Rev. Meg McGuire will be preaching at First UU. Join us after the service in Beach Hall for refreshments to help celebrate Rev. Meg’s recent ordination.

There is so much to get involved in here at First UU as a participant or as a volunteer. There are volunteer opportunities available both big and small; from  coffee hour support, welcome table greeter, or to help run our Sunday morning technology and online streaming equipment. If you are looking for a way to get involved we all would be very grateful. Please contact Andi for more info.

We’ve begun looking at next year’s budget options. Thank you to those that have returned their pledge amounts (40% pledges submitted). On average there was nearly a 9% increase to the pledge amounts. Thank you, thank you!! We are excited and grateful to see this encouraging increase. There are still 60% of our pledging units that have not responded. Guessing at a 60% unknown budget amount makes it stressful, hard, and potentially risky. The Stewardship team offers many response options for returning your pledge unit. If you have not returned your pledge yet, please make a commitment to respond as soon as possible, regardless of the amount.

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 are busy contacting references, and interviewing potential ministerial hires! We submit our yes / maybe / no ranked choices to the Transitions office on 5/15, followed shortly by any needed adjustments, and then offer call/s at high noon Eastern 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! 60% 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 less than 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!
Saying Yes – Rev. Meg McGuire
Join us on Sunday, May 7th  for our 11am worship service!

In the seminal poem, ‚ÄúCalling‚ÄĚ Rev. Nancy Shaffer writes about the moments of clarity that forever change us, and the subtle but significant work of learning to listen and being willing to respond. Preaching for the first time since her ordination, Rev. Meg McGuire reflects on and reframes the notion of calling and what it can look like in community.

Rev. Meg McGurie (she/her) grew up at First UU and was jointly ordained by this congregation and the First Unitarian Universalist Society of San Francisco on April 16th. Meg and her wife Paige recently returned to Columbus, where Meg is serving as a Chaplain Resident at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

To celebrate Rev. Meg’s recent ordination, there will be a reception following the service with cake and punch!

Worship Presenter: Rev. Meg McGuire

May Share the Plate

Friends of the Lower Olentangy Watershed

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

Join us Sunday to hear a presentation from this important organization.

Upcoming Services Summary
  • 5/14 – Mother’s Day, Child Dedication, Rev. Kelli McNeal
  • 5/21 – Coming of Age Service
  • 5/30 – Rev. Kelli McNeal
  • 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
Upcoming Concerts at First UU!
As spring arrives, we have a host of in-house concerts coming your way at First UU!

  • First UU is again¬†pleased to host singer-songwriter Peter Mayer on Friday, May 5th¬†(today) at 7¬†pm. You may recognize Mayer as the author of our well loved¬†hymn “Blue Boat Home,”¬†the song “Holy Now,” and many others. He last played 1st UU in 2019, and the concert was a huge success. Suggested donations are $20 at the door for this. We are also requesting¬†aid¬†in hosting Peter overnight & transporting him to or from his performance in Dayton the next day. If you are interested in helping with this, please email Brandon Moss.
  • 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.
  1. If you have any questions about concerts or music at First UU, please email Brandon Moss.
Complete the application here
to join the Care and Share Time Bank immediately!
This Sunday, May 7th, join Pro-Choice Ohio Field Organizer Ariana Ybarra and Development Director Kel McConaughey in Beach Hall, who will collect completed petitions, sign out petitions, and provide a brief training for those who’d like to volunteer. Join them from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm, learn about how the campaign is going, and ask questions.
Youth Group Art Show 5/7
Please join the First UU Youth Group¬†Sunday, May 7th after the service, from 12:30-2pm for¬†their first ever Gallery Art Show! Sales of artwork and baked goods will help fund the group’s¬†upcoming Pittsburgh trip for General¬†Assembly this June.

“The strength of every democracy is measured by its commitment to the arts.” -Charles Segars

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 candidate meet-and-greets after the services on Sunday, May 7 and Sunday, May 21 (corrected). 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.

For further information, contact Julie Carr Smyth, or another member of the Nominating Committee.

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
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.

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.

Cinco de Mayo Inspired Happy Hour
Saturday May 6th at 6pm
$30 per spot (2 available)

Visit to Rumpke Recycling Plant in Columbus
Tuesday May 9th at 10am
$15 per spot (8 available)

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
  • 5/5, Friday – Peter Mayer concert
  • 5/6, Saturday – Church Gardens and Grounds Work Day, 9am-1pm
  • 5/7, Sunday, Youth Group Art Show Reception, 12:30-2pm
  • 5/11, Thursday – Senior Gathering
  • 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
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!







  • Millennial Covenant Group, usually 1st &¬†3rd Sun
  • Reproductive Rights Petition Drive
  • Feed and Read Ohio Donation Drop Off
Deb Baillieul: 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!
Summer Camps: Register Now!
First UU 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)

School for Young Children Play Camp

Please contact Jenifer Bojanowski for camp session availability.

Red Oak Elementary Camps

Ohio Roller Derby: Amber Skates 5/20, 6/3!
Ohio Roller Derby’s home season is selling out fast!¬†Buy your tickets for 5/20, and 6/3 now!¬†Pricing is based on ticket type (child and adult tiers). Purchase season passes, or a block of tickets to save!

Doors open at 4pm, followed by the A-level game at starting at 5pm. Amber Scott plays in the B-level game, which begins around 7pm!

Community Events Summary




Child Dedication Ceremony 5/14

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 on May 14th. There is no age limit for children participating! Please fill out this¬†form if you have a child you would like recognized this year – due by midnight the Sunday before the ceremony, May 7th.

Happening This Sunday, 5/7

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

  • 10-10:30am Breakfast!
  • 10:30am-12:30pm Toddler Care
  • 11am service, 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
  • 12:30-2pm Youth Group Art Show Reception
  • No Navigators meeting (campout was this weekend!)

Register for Next Year, and Fill Out Annual Emergency Paperwork Here!

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
  • Youth Group Art show Reception, 5/7
  • Mother’s Day, Child Dedication, 5/14
  • 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