Friday News

Chag Pesach samech, Ramadan Kareem, and a blessed Good Friday,

It’s so wonderful to wake up to birds chirping again! Even though it’s a little chilly, I refuse to close my window again so I can feel the nice spring breeze and let my cat pretend that she’s a powerful hunter, going to get all the birds, squirrels and rabbits that run by! I hope you are finding time to enjoy this weather also!

I have been out with a respiratory bug for about a week now and I’m slowly getting some of my energy back. For those of you who have sent me email, I look forward to responding as I’m able to. We have several staff who are dealing with bugs of some sort right now, so you may get a slower response than you’re used to. Thank you for your patience!

Because I have been out, I don’t have a week 1 stewardship update for you yet, but I have watched as more pledge forms have been submitted online. Thank you! We have stewardship packets ready for pick up this Sunday, and we’ll be mailing out any that haven’t been picked up next week. We are so grateful for your generosity!

I have seen some of your responses to the Board’s listening sessions about what you’re hoping for in the next couple of years. I’m so excited by the big dreams and goals we have for this amazing community! It is important to note that those big dreams and goals also require financial commitments above what we currently have. As was shared at the mid-year meeting, we need to significantly increase our revenue in order to meet the needs that we have and what you have expressed you want. Our stewardship goal is to raise pledges 13%, getting us about half way to the budget that we need in order to live our values both inside and outside our community. If you haven’t submitted your pledge form yet, you can either wait until you get the packet either in person on Sunday in the mail, or fill out our online pledge form now. And, please remember, you are an important and valuable part of this community, no matter your ability to financially contribute.

I hope you find time to celebrate Passover, Ramadan, Easter, the coming of Spring, or whatever it is you celebrate this week. I look forward to seeing you for our Bread Communion on Sunday.

Blessings friends,
Rev. Kelli McNeal
Minister of Congregational Life

*Please email us with 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

The Spring Stewardship Campaign kicked off this past Sunday with a theme of Reclaim, Restore, Reimagine. We are an active congregation that is overflowing with opportunities to grow and connect. This robust community is possible due to generous donations from our congregants. We hope to see you at one of the upcoming get-togethers in April to hear more about how your contributions make a difference to our community.

Yesterday the board sent a separate Search Committee email with more detailed information about the committee and its charge. We announced the Search Committee members at service this past Sunday. The following members have agreed to serve: Jim Conlan and Myra Hartmann (chairs), Shirley Lange, Meg McGuire, Erin Reilly-Sanders, and Amber Scott (ad-hoc). We are grateful for the work these members have agreed to do for our congregation during this time of transition. Please extend your own thanks as you see fit, while giving them the space they need to perform this work.

The Farewell Gathering for Rev. Marian is on Saturday April 8th from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm at the Clintonville Woman’s Club (3951 N High St, Columbus, OH 43214). We hope to see you there.

Ordaining ministers is one of the sacred duties of a congregation and we are so excited that our congregation, is jointly ordaining Meg McGuire on April 16th at First UU San Francisco. You can RSVP and leave Meg a note here. You are invited to join the watch party at 5:00pm in our Worship Center, or click here to join the livestream on your own, On Sunday May 7th, Rev. Meg will be preaching here at First UU. After the service we will have refreshments in Beach Hall to celebrate this milestone with her.

April 5th was this month’s board meeting. It was a long, productive meeting. The blessing of having such an active congregation is lots of great programs, committees, and work groups to review and report out on to you all. Thank you for your patience in any delays and your grace as we work through several large time-sensitive board commitments.

Your Board of Trustees,

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

Next Board meeting: Wednesday, May 3rd, at 7pm.

We are currently hard at work creating the packet that ministers will look at when considering our congregation! These portfolio materials include facts, figures, and narrative information about our congregation – both current and historical – and are due by April 20th.

The Board and the Search team have also used the information from the survey and the listening sessions to create a summary of what our community wants in a transitional minister. Our team meets weekly on Thursday evenings, and we are excited to continue this work for the congregation!

Your Search Team,

Jim Conlan and Myra Hartmann (chairs), Shirley Lange, Meg McGuire, Erin Reilly-Sanders, and Amber Scott (ad hoc)

For your protection from scammers and stalkers, we have an OPT INdirectory. 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
  • Bread Communion Easter Service, Rev. Kelli McNeal – 4/9 *
  • April Share the Plate:
    Connecting Community Corridor for People, Pollinators, and the Planet
  • Article 2 Resources
  • Upcoming Services, and Monthly Themes!
  • All Soles Contra Dance Tomorrow! – 4/8 *
  • Spring Stewardship Events! – 4/12, 4/16, 4/18
  • Sign the Reproductive Rights Petition!
  • The Ordination of Meg McGuire! – 4/16
  • Sign Up: HS Grad Recognition / Bridging – 4/23
  • Contribute to the Banned Book Library!
  • Auction Experiences Still Available!
  • BREAD Nehemiah Action – 4/25
  • Save the Date! 1st UU Events
  • Seniors’ Tai Chi for Balance – Tuesdays, starting 4/11
  • Donations Needed: Feed and Read Ohio
  • Recurring Classes and Meetups
  • Get Involved!
  • Ohio Roller Derby Tickets! – 4/29, 5/20 *
  • Wider Community Events of Note!
  • Egg Hunt, Spring Festival, Throwing Color This Sunday – 4/9 *
  • Sign Up: Child Dedication Ceremony – 5/14
  • Register Now for Peace Camp 2023! – August
  • Snacks Needed!
  • We Need You – in the RE Classroom!
  • Upcoming Family Events!
Bread Communion Easter Service

Please wear your fancy Easter hat / bonnet, or your bunny ears! 

Join us this Sunday, April 9th, at 11:00am for our morning worship service!

The Jesus that is claimed by many conservative Christian traditions isn’t the Jesus that we find in the pages of the Bible. What does the Bible actually say about Jesus and his ministry? What lessons can we as UUs take from his ministry?

Worship Presenter – Rev. Kelli McNeal 
April Monthly Theme – Resistance

April Share the Plate

Connecting Community Corridor for People, Pollinators, and the Planet

Our Share-the-Plate donations in April go to the Connecting Community Corridor for People, Pollinators, and the Planet. This corridor is made of the yards and container gardens of 40 families in Linden who received donated native plants to support specialist pollinators and birds. They have all agreed not to use chemicals on their lawns and leave stems, seed heads, and open ground over the winter for their nests. All recipients are hyperlocal to Sunny Glen Garden as the educational demonstration site so that we can eliminate transportation barriers and be able to more easily share garden equipment, seeds, and produce. The corridor is coordinated by First UU member Dianne Kadonaga, with OSU and Simply Living as partners.
Article 2 Report
Read about the proposed Principles and Sources changes in the Article II Study Report here.

NEW UUWorld Article: Reflections on the 1980s Article II Revision—and Why it’s Time to Revise Again.

Quest for Meaning article from UUA Presidential Candidate, Rev. Dr. Sofía Betancourt, on today’s Unitarian Universalism – A Hard-Won Hopefulness: The Journey to Liberation.

Upcoming Services, and Monthly Themes!
Happening This Month

  • 4/16 – EcoJustice, Flower Ceremony / Earth Day (All Ages, no RE)
  • 4/23 – Amber Scott, HS Grad Bridging, RE Service and Open House
  • 4/30 – Rev. Kelli McNeal

Monthly Themes

  • May: Creativity
  • June: Delight

Special Services

  • 5/14 – Mother’s Day, Child Dedication
  • 5/21 – Coming of Age Service
  • 9/10 – Ingathering / Water Ceremony (All Ages, No RE)
All Soles Contra Dance Tomorrow! 4/8
Happy Spring! Our next All Soles Dance is this coming Saturday night, April 8th. We will dance to the calling of Ken Gall (from Indianapolis) and the music of Deborah Colon (fiddle), Margaret Goodman (fiddle), and Kathy Anderson (piano).

Beginners’ Session 7:30 to 8:00 PM
Dancing 8:00 to 10:30 PM

Masking is required indoors. New dancers are welcome, all dances will be taught, and no partner is needed.  Please bring your own refillable water bottle. We are not yet able to provide child care.

For more info, click here to visit our page on the First UU website!

Sign Up for Spring Stewardship Meals!
Our church is possible due to generous donations from our congregants. Our Annual Spring Giving Campaign has kicked off! We invite you to attend a get together to hear more about how your contributions make a difference to our community. Please RSVP if possible, for meal counts!

  • Wednesday, 4/12 Noon Gourmet Taco Bar – Room 301
  • Sunday, 4/16 10 AM Breakfast with Mimosas before service – Room 302
  • Tuesday, 4/18 5:30 PM Gourmet Taco Bar – Room 301
Reproductive Rights Petition Drive!
We need more than 422,000 valid signatures by July 5, for this constitutional amendment to be on the November ballot. The amendment language reads: Every individual has a right to make and carry out one’s own reproductive decisions, including but not limited to decisions on contraception, fertility treatment, continuing one’s one pregnancy, miscarriage care, and abortion.

Petitions will be available before the service and during coffee hour. Sign up for petition training to collect signatures at other events! April is “sign the petition” month. May and June are “ collect petitions” months.

The Ordination of Meg McGuire! 4/16
You’re invited to celebrate the ordination of Meg McGuire! On Sunday, April 16th, Meg McGuire will be jointly ordained by First UU Columbus and her internship congregation, First UU Society of San Francisco. You are invited to join the watch party in Columbus at 5:00pm in the Worship Center or to join the livestream on your own, in real time or later, at this link. You can find more information about the ordination by clicking here.

There are two other opportunities to join in the celebration in Columbus: During worship on Sunday March 26th, the congregation will be offering a blessing for the stole that will be presented during the ordination service.

Finally, on Sunday May 7th, Rev. Meg will be preaching and we will have cake and snacks in Beach Hall afterwards to celebrate this milestone with her.

Bridging: HS Grad Recognition 4/23
Congrats, grad! Each spring our congregation recognizes seniors who are graduating from high school or finishing home school! Please fill out this form ASAP if you would like your grad to be recognized this year! The form is due by midnight the Sunday before the ceremony, April 16th.

Graduating youth and their families are invited to attend our service in person on Sunday, April 23rd – so that we can honor you as a congregation – but this is not required. Bridging seniors also receive gifts from the congregation!

Contribute to The Banned Book Library!
The First UU Youth Group is partnering 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. Book plates will be available to commemorate your donation. Don’t forget to join us for the annual Youth Led Service on March 26th to hear more about our new library! -Update provided by Abigail Ours, Youth Group member.
Auction Items Still Available
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.

Visit to Rumpke Recycling Plant in Columbus
Tuesday April 11th at 1pm
$15 per spot (8 available)

Wildflowers at Arc of Appalachia Day Trip
Saturday April 2nd at 9am
$30 per spot (3 available)

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)

BREAD Nehemiah Action 4/25
The BREAD Nehemiah Action is happening Tuesday, April 25th, at the Celeste Center at The Ohio Expo Center and  State Fairgrounds, 717 E. 17th Ave. The program will run 6:40-8:30pm — for people of all ages to support well-researched solutions for justice in Central Ohio!
Save the Date! 1st UU Events
  • 4/8, 5/13 – All Soles Contra Dance
  • 4/7 – Community Passover Seder
  • 4/16 – The Ordination of Meg McGuire Watch Party, 5pm
  • 4/25 (Tues) – BREAD Nehemiah Action, 6:45pm
  • 4/28 – Fourth Friday Dinner
  • Thru 4/30 –  Eric Murphy, Subtle Chaos: Spacescapes and Jim Crow States (Gallery)
  • 5/6 – Church Gardens and Grounds Work Day, 9am-1pm
  • 5/11 – Senior Gathering
  • 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
Seniors’ Tai Chi for Balance Starting 4/11
Join us Tuesday mornings from 10-11am in Beach Hall, starting April 11th! This drop-in group class will offer a step-by-step introduction to a 16-movement form of Tai Chi modified for older adults and others with balance challenges. The movements can be completed either standing or seated. Practicing Tai Chi can improve mindful movement and core strength, and increase neural pathways in the brain.

Two instructors, Guy and Betsy Smalley, can provide individual attention to participants who want to increase balance and safe movement. This drop-in class is an opportunity for ongoing practice, meeting weekly. Dress in comfortable clothes and wear flat, non-skid shoes.

Donations Needed: Feed and Read Ohio
In addition to pantry items and children’s books, Feed and Read Ohio is in need of personal hygiene products: toothbrush, toothpaste, a bar of soap, shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, shave gel, deodorant, comb, razor, lip balm, bandages, hand sanitizer, tissues, nail clippers, hair tied, and feminine hygiene products (tampons and pads). Please visit Jacques in Beach Hall before or after Sunday service to drop off your donations.
Recurring Classes and Meetups


  • Seniors’ Tai Chi for Balance, 10am (starting 4/11)
  • ASH (Atheists, Skeptics, and Humanists), 4th Tuesdays, 7pm
  • Spirit of Life Choir, 6:30pm




Get Involved!
Visit our engagement website to find more info about classes, groups, volunteer opportunities, our music program, and so much more! Group leaders: to add, update, or change your listing, please email Rev. Kelli!
Ohio Roller Derby Tickets! 4/29, 5/20
Ohio Roller Derby’s home season is selling out fast! Buy your tickets for 4/29 and 5/20 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 plays in the B-level game, which begins around 7pm!

Wider Community Events of Note!





Egg Hunt! Spring Festival! Throwing Color!

This Sunday, 4/2

Wear your fancy Easter hat, or your bunny ears!
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 only (no OWL)
  • 11:15am After the story, children / families meet in room 201-202(SYC 4’s) and teens hide eggs while kiddos decorate swag bags
  • 11:30ish Children’s Egg Hunt and Spring Festival activities, SYC Playground
  • Coffee Hour and Snack after the service ends
  • 12:30pm Throwing Color on SYC Playground (all are welcome!)
  • After throwing color, Youth / Teen Egg Hunt, Red Oak Forest Play Area
  • No Peace Pals, Navigators, or Youth Group

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

Child Dedication Ceremony 5/14

Welcome, little one! 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. Families are invited to attend the service in person on May 14th – so that we can honor you as a congregation. 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. Your family will receive a child dedication certificate and flowers.

From the beginning of time, parents have brought their children to houses of worship for dedication, out of a reverence for the mystery of life and a desire that their precious children should have the love and support of community as they grow into adulthood. Our ceremony is both the dedication of parents to their children and the dedication of this congregation to the privilege of providing these children with opportunities for spiritual growth.

Register Now for Peace Camp 2023!

Sign up now – by 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)

Peace Camp is a time for elementary aged children to gather together at First UU and explore concepts related to “Peace.” We explore what peace means, looks like, and how it connects us. We learn about ourselves – our feelings and ideas. We learn about ourselves in relation to others – other people’s experiences and feelings are valuable and important. We work on interpersonal skills and explore what to do in challenging relationships. We also make space for conversation and expression of feelings related to what we have been experiencing this past year: whether worries, anxieties, or excitement. Most of all, we will connect with each other, spend time outside, and play!

Questions? Email Jen Bojanowski, our Peace Camp Director, or Amber Scott, our Director of Religious Exploration.

Snacks Needed!

We are seeking NUT FREE snack donations – including gluten free options – to serve after weekly Sunday services! Drop off shelf stable snacks in the kitchen anytime – look for the “RE snack” cabinet. Questions? Contact Amber!

We Need You – in the RE Classroom!

Join the dream team – hanging out with our young people is truly the most fun you can have on a Sunday mornings! Sign up now for next year – we need classroom assistants, leads, and subs for all age groups! You can make a difference in the lives of our children and teens. 🙂 Fill out this form to get started!

First UU also utilizes very part time Sunday morning Toddler Sitters (~2hrs per week at $15/hr. Your hire is contingent on a background check. Interested candidates: please email Amber!

Upcoming Family Events!

  • Back to the FUtUre Youth Con, 4/1
  • 10-11yr OWL graduation celebration, 4/2
  • RE Spring Festival (including throwing color after the service), 4/9
  • Flower Ceremony (All Ages, no RE), 4/16
  • HS Grad Bridging, RE Service and Open House, 4/23
  • Fourth Friday Dinner! 6:30pm, 4/28
  • Navigators Spring Campout, 5/5-5/7
  • 13-14yr OWL graduation celebration, 5/6 or 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