Friday News – November 18, 2022

It’s so wonderful to be back with you all after being away for a week. I am still playing catch up on my email so if you sent me a message while I was away, you should hopefully hear back from me next week.

By now, you may have heard that Red Oak Community School, the elementary school that rents our building during the week, is holding a Holi-Drag Storytime, featuring local drag queens who will read holiday storybooks to families! This event is open to anyone who would like to attend and you can purchase your $10 ticket here.

As you may be aware, there has been backlash against events like this across the country. Unfortunately, this event is no different. We are working to support Red Oak in making this event safe and fun for everyone involved. If you choose to attend, there may be protestors on High Street, but we are in contact with our local police as well as the UUA to ensure that this event is truly the fun and entertaining time that it deserves to be. As Andi said in our staff meeting this week, “It’s storytime….with Glitter!”

First UU is a place that is welcoming of all, and we will not stand for the hatred, slander and vitriol that the drag queen community has been experiencing. If you would like to support this event, whether or not you can attend, you can either purchase a ticket or make a donation on the page linked above, or in the event announcement below. I am grateful that we are a community that chooses to lift one another up.  It is truly an honor to work with you every day as we lift up diversity, justice, and community!


Rev. Kelli McNeal
Minister of Congregational Life

*Please let Rev. 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!

From Your Board of Trustees:
We wanted to give you a quick update about our work with Hope for Us.  We have met with our coaches twice, first on October 27th and the second time on November 9th.   They are helping us to ground our work in our UU values and make plans for the future.  We are feeling better prepared to work with our staff and to create a path forward for our congregation.


We have received a couple of inquiries about the farewell gathering with Rev. Marian.  This has not yet been scheduled and will occur some time in 2023.


We appreciate your ongoing support!

Your Board of Trustees,

Jan Phillips, Billy Davidson, Julie Pinsonneault, Tamara Parson, Cindy Whicker, and Jim Conlan

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. (You only need to fill this out ONCE.)

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

* indicates new or updated announcement
  • Sunday Service – 11/20*
  • No Breakfast on November 27th
  • November Share the Plate: Sedona Grace
  • November Soul Matters Packets 
  • Senior Gathering Thank You!*
  • ASH Sponsored Talk – 11/22*
  • Sorrow At This Season Grief Service – 12/4*
  • Holiday Event Coordinators Needed!*
  • Church Rummage Sale – 3/25*
  • UU Theology class – Mondays through 12/12*
  • Chronic Pain Group – 11/21*
  • Wednesday Women’s Book Group – 11/23*
  • How the Heck Does This Place Work? – 12/4*
  • Get Involved!
  • Living the Pledge Winter Session Registration
  • Holi-drag Story Time! 12/3*
  • SYC 2s Class Registration*
  • UUA Presidential Search Committee Nomination*
  • This Week’s Classes*
  • Volunteers Needed + Hiring Sitters!
This Week’s Service – 11/20
Making Mistakes

Join us Sunday at 11:00am as we explore how a natural part of change is making mistakes. Mistakes happen with change in a community, and with change that happens within. How we respond to those mistakes matters.

Worship presenter: Rev. Kelli McNeal

Join us in person or online at 11am! Share the Plate: Sedona Grace

No Breakfast on November 27th
Due to the holiday, we will not be service breakfast on Sunday November 27th. Breakfast will resume Sunday, December 4th.
November Share the Plate: Sedona Grace
This Month: Accepting Monetary Donations and Pet Food!

In November, we are sharing our offering plate with Sedona Grace as well as collecting pet food. You can bring pet food to the JAM table in Beach Hall on Sunday morning or drop it off outside Jacques’ house, 617 Woodsfield Dr, Columbus, OH 43214.

The Sedona Grace Foundation was created to keep pets with their families through difficult times, and has provided 74+ tons of pet food to central Ohio food pantries, including the Mid-Ohio Food Bank, Feed & Read Ohio, and the Clintonville-Beechwold Community Resource Center. A pet is a source of comfort and security for a family. When families are going through financial hardship, the love pets provide decrease stress levels and improve mental and physical health. While we provide funding directly to organizations that feed people through JAM, we know that animals and pets are also important to First UU. You can learn more here:

November Soul Matters Packets Are Here!

November’s theme is Change. You can find the November packet here.

Each month, you can download the PDF of the themed packet from Friday News emails, or you get a printed copy on Sunday mornings from the greeters’ stand. If you are interested in being in a Soul Matter’s Small Group this year, please let Rev. Kelli know.

Senior Gathering Thank You!
From Karen Keenan -How can I possibly say THANK YOU enough to all of you fabulous people that helped make the Senior Luncheon happen yesterday??    I’m sure you all felt the same happiness in the room from everyone in attendance at the opportunity to finally be back together.   I heard one story of two individuals who talked regularly throughout the pandemic but had never met in person….until yesterday!

Most of you heard the announcement yesterday that our next traditional Senior Gathering (with lunch) will be Thursday, May 11, 2023 so please note it on your calendars!

The seniors suggested we have two lunch programs a year and two simpler events (with something like coffee and donuts).   Stay tuned for more on that.   It’s clear that our seniors (which, as Dick pointed out, pretty much includes all of us!!) enjoy this event and the opportunity it brings for fellowship with friends.

Again…..THANK YOU!!!

Huge Thank You to all of the volunteers who helped support this event:

Organizers: Dick Dawson, Karen Keenan
Kitchen Crew: Donna Adassa, Marilyn Beerman, Su Farnlacher, Barb Fiorini, Florence Jain, Karen Keenan, Chris Sullivan
Table set-up team: Ed Bowers, Sandy Coen, David Krohn, Bob Mills, Frank Phillips, Tony Skrabak
Table Decor Team: Eve Catus, Elaine Fujimura
Front Door Greeters: Eve Catus, Elaine Fujimura
Piano Music: Karen Thimmes
Coffee Service: Ed Bowers, John Boyd, Sylvia Howe
Sound technician: Michael Greenman
Clean up: Donna Adassa, Su Farnlacher, Paula Egbert, Karen Keenan, Judy Kleen, Evonne McNabb, Bob Mills, Karla Rinto, Chris Sullivan

Atheist Skeptic Humanist Group Sponsored Talk – 11/22
The Atheist Skeptic Humanist group of the 1st UUC will sponsor a talk by Collin Marozzi, of the Ohio American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on “Voting Matters: Debunking Voting Myths and the Value of Off-Year Elections”, on November 22, 2022, at 7 PM at the 1st UU Church of Columbus, OH.

This presentation is OPEN TO ALL, and is free.  We have had several ACLU speakers in the past and they have always been informative and well-received.  The ACLU  defends the right to vote for all Americans and supports women’s rights.  We need to support them.

NOW IS THE TIME TO encourage our friends and neighbors to become engaged.  The tide is turning, old shibboleths (like off-year elections are won by the opposing party) are being shattered, there is a slowly-growing ground-swell of reason.  A large attendance will demonstrate our commitment to these values.

Sorrow At This Season Grief Service – 12/4
Please join us Sunday, December 4th, at 7pm in the First UU Worship Center. If you are grieving for any reason, we welcome you to attend this hushed, meditative service. The holidays are often held up to be a happy time, but if that is not your experience, you may feel alienated or isolated. If there are challenges in your life that bring stress, we can offer a respite. Perhaps this is the first holiday season after the death of an important person in your life.
As the poet Jan Richardson so well says,

Let there be a calming of the clamoring, a stilling of the voices that have laid their claim on you, that have made their home in you, that go with you even to the holy places but will not let you rest, will not let you hear your life with wholeness or feel the grace that fashioned you.

We invite you to share this time with us. David Maywhoor, Rev. Suzan McCrystal, and Rev. Kathleen Fowler

Holiday Event Coordinators Needed!
The winter holiday season is right around the corner – please let us know if you are excited about putting on a First UU Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Solstice, or Kwanzaa event, or are willing to help coordinate the church Cookie Fair and Labyrinth hours this year! Thank you!
Church Rummage Sale! 3/25
GOT STUUFF? The First UU Rummage Sale is back!

Why: We’ve got stuff and need $$ to support the mission and vision of our congregation
When: Saturday, March 25, 2023
Where: Here at First UU!
Who: You and all of us!

Join the team! Stop by the table in Beach Hall this Sunday to learn more and sign up to help! (Online sign-up coming soon). Questions? Contact Carolee Noonan,

UU Theology Class thru 12/12
This adult RE class is currently underway – please join us Mondays at 6:30pm, through December 12th! Attend in person or on Zoom. Learn more, and register here:
Chronic Pain Group – 11/21
This is a support group for those who live with chronic pain or disability…visible or hidden, who would like to get together to support one another. This is NOT a therapy group. Sylvia Howe is the facilitator.

This will be a Zoom group, meeting on the third Monday of each month from 7 to 9pm.  The next gathering will be on Monday, November 21 at 7pm.   Contact Sylvia for more information and the Zoom link.

Wednesday Women’s Book Group – 11/23
Do you like to read?  Do you like to discuss what you read?  If so, then the 4thWednesday Women’s Book Group might be for you.  We gather on Zoom, for a lively discussion about a book chosen by the group.  Our next meeting is November 23. Contact Sylvia Howe, if you love reading, identify as a woman, want to find out more about our group and to get the Zoom link.

November   Humankind:A Hopeful  History by Rutger Bregman
December  Riverman: An American Odyssey by Ben McGrath
January  The Maid by Nita Prose
Feburary Horse by Geraldine Brooks

How the Heck Does this Place Work? – 12/4
Class sponsored by Nominating Committee & Adult RE

Join us Sunday, December 4, 2022 for a one-session class exploring how the church works. Formal and informal structures. Covenant and personal relationships. Committees and teams. When we gather as perfectly imperfect people in pursuit of beloved community, it can get messy. Join with others as we explore some of the documents, history, and efforts to impose structure and order around how we move together and make decisions as a community. And how all of this is a practice of our faith and rooted in our theology.

Schedule:9:15 – Coffee

9:30 – Start

10:00 – 10-minute break to get breakfast

10:45 – All done

Get Involved!
Visit our engagement website to find info about classes, groups, choir, volunteer opportunities, and so much more! Group leaders: to add, update, or change your listing, please email Rev. Kelli.
Living the Pledge Winter Session
Sign up now for our Winter or Spring sessions of First UU’s anti-racist program, called Living the Pledge.  Living the Pledge workshops are in-depth workshops that delve into various aspects of racism.  Developed by the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Richmond, Virginia, Living the Pledge will now be First UU’s own anti-racist program. There will be two more trainings this year, on a variety of days, times, both in-person and virtual (see details below). If you have any questions, feel free to email Living the Pledge Leaders at

Link to sign-up page:

Holi-drag Story Time! 12/3
Red Oak Community School presents this fun, family friendly event, where local drag queens read holiday storybooks to families! Join us in the First UU worship center from 10-11:30am on Saturday, December 3rd! Each ticket comes with a free hot chocolate or apple cider, a candy cane, and a goody bag! $10 per ticket, 2yrs and under are free. Please purchase your ticket in advance here!

Unfortunately, this festive celebration has received some pushback from conservative naysayers. First UU plans to support Red Oak in keeping the event safe and fun for everyone. You may hear more about this event in the coming weeks, and can support the cause now by buying a ticket to attend, or otherwise donating. Together we will lift up diversity, justice, and community!

SYC 2s Class: Register Now for January
The School for Young Children, a long term outreach of our congregation, is now enrolling for their 2s class, with classes running January thru May 2023. Children need to be 2 years old by 9/30/22 to be eligible for a class. Current families can complete the application here. Returning or new-to-SYC families may complete the application here.
UUA Presidential Search Committee Nominates Rev. Dr. Sofia Betancourt for UUA President
The Unitarian Universalist Association’s (UUA) Presidential Search Committee is pleased to announce the nomination of the Rev. Dr. Sofía Betancourt for UUA President, for the 2023-2029 term. Rev. Dr. Betancourt is an experienced leader and theologian in Unitarian Universalism, including formerly serving as a professor at Starr King School for the Ministry and as Interim Co-President of the UUA in 2017. She currently serves as Resident Scholar and Special Advisor to the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee.

To read the press release, click here: 

This Sunday’s Activities! 11/20

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

  • 10-10:30am Breakfast! (A/B)
  • 10:30am-12:30pm Toddler Care (rm 101)
  • 10:45am all OWL classes
  • 11am service, HS Big Qs (404), Coming of Age
  • 11:15am 3-6yr Spirit Play (102), 7-9yr Spirit Play (202)
  • 11:15am 10-14yr In the Middle (401)
  • Coffee Hour and Snack after the service ends
  • 12:30-1pm Peace Pals choir rehearsal (sanctuary)
  • 1:00-3:00pm Navigator Scouts meeting (playground)

Please Register and Fill Out Your Annual Emergency Paperwork Here! 

Upcoming Events
  • This Saturday, 11/19 – Coming of Age group adventure
  • Next Sunday, 11/27 – All Ages Service (no RE classes)
  • Wednesday, 11/30 – Youth Group ornament making 6-8:30pm
  • Friday, 12/16 – Parents’ Night Out / gift wrapping 6-9pm (YG fundraiser)
  • Sunday, 12/18 – Music Sunday / Holiday Concert (no RE classes)
  • Sunday, 12/18 – Cookie Sale 12noon (YG fundraiser)
  • Friday, 12/23 – Fourth Friday Spaghetti Dinner 6:30pm
  • Saturday, 12/24 – Christmas Eve Family Service 5pm
  • Sunday, 12/25 – Christmas Day, church closed
  • Saturday, 12/31 – Youth Group Hosting Labyrinth + NYE Late Nighter
  • Sunday, 1/1 – New Year’s Day, no service or RE; Labyrinth
Volunteers Needed + Hiring Sitters!

We are still seeking classroom assistants to work with our early childhood and elementary schoolers, and teens – as well as subs for all classes! We would also love volunteers to help Bring in the Light each Sunday!

Please fill out this form -or- email Amber Scott to get involved!

First UU is also hiring Sunday morning Toddler Sitters and Event Caregiversstarting at $15/hr. Your hire is contingent on a background check

Interested candidates: please email Amber!