Updated October 2, 2021

This page shows current opportunities to “Work for Justice” as our church mission statement calls us.

October 2021 Share the Plate Partner:

SPAN (Single Payer Action Network of Ohio)

Our Share-the-Plate recipient for October is Single Payer Action Network of Ohio (SPAN). 

The Single Payer Action Network of Ohio is a statewide coalition of organizations and individuals in Ohio seeking fundamental health care reform in our state and the nation at large so that every resident is guaranteed full and comprehensive coverage. This would be accomplished by using public funds, modelled on the Medicare system, to pay for services delivered by private entities. It would replace private Insurance companies which are required to return a profit to their investors, resulting in a large number of uninsured people, and high out of pocket costs for the rest. SPAN welcomes those who support these goals to participate in its public education programs and lobbying efforts to enact Medicare for All legislation in Ohio.

Alice Faryna will be available at the Justice Action Ministry (JAM) table to answer questions and describe recent action items to engage you.

Our donations have a bigger impact when we give together. Please go to www.firstuucolumbus.org/donate to support our church and our Share-the-Plate offerings.

Supporting First UU



Building Responsibility, Equality, and Dignity

Contact: Alice Rathburn, eulala1905@me.com



Sign up for a BREAD Listening Session!

Part of how we build community as a church is through listening to each other about what deeply concerns us. Please sign up for a BREAD listening session to share your concerns, listen to others, and find out how you can make a difference!

There are 15 listening sessions available this year! Contact Alice Rathburn to sign up: eulala1905@me.com

Tues. Oct. 5, 7 PM – Chris Johnson (Zoom)

Wed. Oct. 6, 3:30 pm – Jessi Sadaka (Zoom)

Sun. Oct. 10, 11:30 am – Alice Rathburn (Church – Room 301)

Tues. Oct. 19, 7:00 pm – Alice Rathburn (Zoom)

  • 1.5 hours
  • Virtual or In-Person

Mark Your Calendar Now!

Plan to attend BREAD events for this year today!

BREAD Annual Assembly: Mon. Nov. 15, 7:00 pm

This is an event for all Justice Ministry Network members–to select 1 of the 3 major problems that came out of the Listening Process in all 41 BREAD congregations; updates of BREAD’s ongoing issues, possibly including a report from a public official; election of officers

BREAD Research Kickoff: Mon. Dec. 6, 7:00 pm

This event is for Issue Committee members and anyone interested in learning more about BREAD’s research or a particular research issue.

BREAD Rally: Monday, April 11, 2022, 7:00 p.m.

BREAD Nehemiah Action: Tuesday, May 10, 2022, 6:40 p.m.

BREAD Celebration & Investment Drive Kickoff: Monday, June 27, 2022, 7:00 p.m.

  • NEW
  • 5 minutes
  • Virtual


Democracy & Human Rights

Contact: Chris Johnson, contact-democracyandhumanrights@firstuucolumbus.org



Connect with the Democracy & Human Rights Focus Group

Email us to let us know you’re interested in joining the team or receiving email updates. 

  • 5 minutes
  • Virtual

Democracy & Human Rights Action Hour

Wednesday, Oct 6 at 6:00 ET. Email us for the Zoom Link.

October is all about the Vote!! 

Message the Redistricting Commission. 

Encourage Congress to pass The Freedom  

to Vote Act. 

Give ONE hour to learn about the issues,  

create a script and act. 

Leave voicemails, send emails, write  postcards, or post on reps’ FB pages. 

D&HR math: If 5 people make 30 calls, how many calls can 15 people make? 

  • NEW
  • 1 hour
  • Virtual


Environmental Justice and Sustainability (Eco-Justice)

Contact: Elaine Fujimura and Erica Barrett Morrison, contact-ecojustice@firstuucolumbus.org



Stay In Touch with Eco-Justice

Sign up for email updates from First UU’s EcoJustice group by emailing contact-ecojustice@firstuucolumbus.org.
Sign up for email updates from UU Justice Ohio’s state-wide Environmental Justice group by requesting to join the Google group here: https://groups.google.com/g/environmental-justice-ohio/
  • 5 minutes
  • Virtual

The Brine Battle

On Demand

Presentation on the brine issue by microbiologist Yuri Gorby, “The Brine Battle: What Are the Risks of Unregulated Use of Waste Water from Oil and Gas Wells?

If you missed the UU Justice Ohio zoom session regarding radioactive brine, you can view the recording on YouTube. Please email info@benohio.org to join the Two for Tuesdays initiative. This is where participants will make two calls to their legislators on Tuesday to leave a voicemail urging them to oppose the brine bill. Scripts are available to make it easy.

  • Updated
  • 1 hour
  • Virtual

Trying to Get from Here to There: Transportation Fairness

Oct 24, 5-6 pm, On Zoom. Please click here to register.

Many Ohioans are kept from full participation in our communities because they lack access to a vehicle. Citizens will share their stories of attempting to use the existing transit options and how the lack of efficient public transportation is impacting their lives.

Developing a modern public transit system is essential for Ohio’s future. From Ohio Statewide Transit Needs study in 2015. “In 2013, Ohio had the 14th highest transit ridership in the country with 115 million trips per year. By 2025, demand is expected to increase to more than 250 million trips. Demographic shifts contribute to increased need: An older population, increased poverty, and many millennials’ preference for public transit over owning a car.” Ohio ranks eighth lowest in the nation on spending for public transportation. Click for more info.

Join us as we discuss ways of encouraging our state and local government to plan and fund public transportation.

  • NEW
  • 1 hour
  • Virtual

Ballot Issue 7

Before Nov 2

Learn more about Ballot Issue 7 before voting this fall. It sounds very similar to the Columbus Green Energy Initiative that was approved last November to provide 100% green energy to Columbus within 3 years, but it is a different initiative. Issue 7 appears to be a positive measure about “clean energy,” but would have disconcertingly little oversight, and would remove money from other city programs. Click to read the text of the ballot on Ballotpedia and local journalism about the initiative in the Columbus Dispatch and Columbus Underground.
  • NEW
  • 5 min
  • Virtual

Learn More about Environmental Justice and Sustainability

Click here to watch a video by Greta Thunburg about the intersection of industrialized agriculture, animal welfare, and climate change. (5 min)

Click here to listen to this episode of the How to Save a Planet podcast about what the climate movement can learn from Black Lives Matter and the intersection of Racial and Climate Justice. (45 min)

Click here to view free online courses by Project Drawdown on climate solutions (13 min-2 hours+)

  • 5 min-2 hours+
  • Virtual


Food [In]security

Contact: Jacques Angelino, 614-439-0245; 617 Woodsfield Dr., Columbus, OH 43214
by email: Stuart Smith, contact-foodinsecurity@firstuucolumbus.org



October: Pet Food + Undies Sundays

Anytime in October

Donations of dry cat and dog food or children’s underwear, all sizes. Pet food will go to Sedona Grace, our Share the Plate recipient for November.

You can also always donate food or other high-quality items you no longer need. Donations go to populations in Columbus and Athens county who have the most difficulty accessing food pantries and social services.

Drop off donations to Feed & Read Ohio outside Jacques’s house, 617 Woodsfield Dr., Columbus, OH 43214.

November: Pet Food + Dandy Diaper Day

Anytime in November

Donations of dry cat and dog food or children’s and adult diapers. Pet food will go to Sedona Grace, our Share the Plate recipient for November. On Sunday mornings in November, pet food can also be dropped off in a box by the church entrance.

December: Sundries Sunday

Anytime in December

Donations of toothbrushes, toothpaste, bar soap, deodorant & shampoo, and sponsor children for Christmas gifts (call Jacques to arrange).

  • NEW
  • Family Friendly
  • 30 min
  • In-Person, Outside

Volunteer to sort Feed & Read donations

Socially distanced options available. To arrange a time, call Jacques at 614.439.0245

  • 2 hours

Cook at the YMCA

4th Fridays 5-7:30 PM, must sign up ahead of time.

The YWCA Family Center serves homeless families and connects them with resources to obtain stable housing. While at the center, families receive 3 nutritious meals per day, along with job search, transportation, and child care support. On the 4th Friday of each month, a small crew of First UUers prepare and serve a meal for the families. Currently, the time commitment is 2 1/2 hours, from 5-7:30 PM. You don’t need to be a chef, just willing to work as a team and get food ready to be served. Service credits are available for high school and college students who need them.

Due to COVID, there are currently only 4 volunteers allowed into the Y’s building to cook, and the meals must be individually boxed and delivered directly to residents’ rooms, rather than served family style as in the past.

Contact Tim Hooks, hookstj “at” gmail.com to be added to the email list for alerts about opportunities to cook at the Y.

  • Updated
  • 2.5 hours
  • In-Person, Inside

When will Faith Mission Cooking Resume?

On Faith Mission’s side, they are currently allowing groups to make food and drop it off, but not serve it to the residents yet. It will be up to Faith Mission to determine when they will allow volunteers to serve residents again.

On First UU’s side, our reopening taskforce has determined that small groups may only meet in the kitchen while the rate of new Covid-19 cases in Franklin County is below 10 per 100,000 population. (GREEN or YELLOW COVID Risk Levels). So, depending on the level of COVID risk in Franklin County, cooking may resume soon or not for a while.

We are doing our best as a community to follow the science and to find safe ways to reconnect in person. The first ways we will be able to meet in person will be in small groups outside, with small groups inside following as safety permits. In the meantime, we have been financially supporting Faith Mission, so they have been able to continue feeding residents during the pandemic.



Contact: Alice Faryna, alice.faryna@gmail.com



Get Involved with Healthcare Reform

If healthcare reform is a priority for you, reach out to Alice Faryna to hear more about how you can get involved: alice.faryna@gmail.com

  • 5 min
  • Virtual

Call our US Senators in support of the Women’s Health Protection Act

Senator Sherrod Brown: (614) 469-2083
Senator Rob Portman: (614) 469-6774

“On Friday, three weeks after the state of Texas passed the most extreme abortion ban in U.S. history, the House of Representatives passed the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA)—federal legislation that would codify Roe v. Wade in law and establish the legal right to abortion in all 50 states under federal law.

First reintroduced on Tuesday, June 8, the WHPA guarantees a pregnant woman’s right to access an abortion and protects the right of abortion providers to deliver these services free from medically unnecessary restrictions that interfere with a patient’s individual choice or the provider-patient relationship.”

-Ms. Magazine

  • NEW
  • 10 minutes
  • Virtual

Support National Nurses United’s Campaign for Medicare for All

Email or call (202-225-4324) our Congressperson Joyce Beatty to ask her to sponsor HR 1976.  It can be that short and sweet, but if you have a personal story about a problem with our healthcare system, by all means, please share that story. Click here for more info.

  • NEW
  • 10 minutes
  • Virtual


Racial Justice & Immigration (RJI)

Contact: Jan Phillips, contact-racialjusticeandimmigration@firstuucolumbus.org



Sign up to receive email updates from RJI

by emailing Jan Phillips at contact-racialjusticeandimmigration@firstuucolumbus.org

  • 10 minutes
  • Virtual

“A Shelter for Edith” Screening

Watch online on-demand between October 3 and October 31

Join Edith Espinal and directors Elisa Stone Leahy and Matthew Leahy for a screening of the New York Latino Film Festival documentary film “A Shelter For Edith,” followed by a Q&A! Get your virtual ticket here!

On October 2, 2017, Edith entered Columbus Mennonite Church for what would be a 3 year and 4 month-long stay in sanctuary to resist detention from ICE and to stay united with her family in Columbus, Ohio, their home of more than 20 years. On February 18, 2021, Edith was finally allowed to leave sanctuary and return home with her family in Columbus. Directors Elisa Stone Leahy and Matthew Leahy’s “A Shelter for Edith” visually documents Edith’s journey from the beginning of sanctuary, through the Covid-19 pandemic, to her liberation from sanctuary this past year. On October 2, 2021, a day that for the past four years was the observance of another year in sanctuary, join Edith and the directors in celebrating her freedom.” Suggested donation of $15 per household.
  • NEW
  • 25 min
  • Virtual

“Why White” and “I am White Like You Mom, Right?” Film Screenings

Saturday, October 16th from 1-4pm Zoom

This event is sponsored by the Sacred Conversations Group, a collaboration of the Episcopal churches of St. Philip, St. Matthew, Saint Mark’s, St. John’s Worthington, and First UU. For more information, please see the flyer, or email Kathleen Fowler to get zoom information.

  • NEW
  • 3 hours
  • Virtual

Articles by Dr. Kevin McGruder

Dr. Kevin McGruder, Associate Professor of History at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, did a wonderful presentation for First UU via Zoom on Saturday, September 25 about “How to Be and Antiracist in Ohio!” the Anti-Racist Allies group who asked Dr. McGruder to speak is looking forward to releasing the recording for any who missed it! The presentation was free, but donations support our church fund for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color who are members and friends of First UU to attend GA and other UU events.

Unfortunately, during the presentation, some white participants engaged in a microaggression, which is also in the recording. The Anti-Racist Allies group is taking some time to reflect on this situation and find a good way to post the video that can help us learn as a congregation from the experience and from Dr. McGruder’s excellent content.

In the meantime, we can continue to engage with Dr. McGruder’s work through his articles about systemic racism:

  • NEW
  • Virtual


Further Justice Opportunities

Contact: Amanda Hays, amanda@firstuucolumbus.org



Join our Black, Indigenous, and People of Color Caucus

Meeting times will be flexible based on group members’ needs

As part of our goal to live into the ideas and dreams of Beloved Community, we acknowledge that for too long, People of Color have struggled silently within our community. We also acknowledge our part in perpetuating an insider/outsider culture and want to all we can to create space for those in our community who far too often find themselves on the outside looking in. As part of our effort to live into the 8th Principle’s call for accountability, we are introducing the BlackIndigenousPeople of Color Caucus here at First UU.

If you identify as BlackIndigenous, or a Person of Color, we would love to share more with you about this developing group, hear your thoughts about what would be most supportive for you, and connect you with others who are interested in meeting together. Please email our Director of Congregational Life, Kelli McNeal for time and Zoom information.

  • Family Friendly
  • 2 hours/month
  • Virtual

Join our Anti-Racist Allies Group

Usually Meets: 4th Fridays, 6pm-8pm

Next Meeting: Friday, October 29, 6-8pm

We are also creating an Anti-Racism Allies Group, which will help lift up and support the efforts and goals of our BIPOC community. We are asking all participants in this group to have gone through Beloved Conversations or our new program, Living the Pledge, which will hopefully begin being offered Fall 2021. The Anti-Racism Allies Group’s goal is to continue to work to dismantle systems of racism and oppression within ourselves and within our community, so that we can fully live into the Welcoming Congregation that we all dream First UU to be.

Please email Jan Phillips for Zoom information.

Please email our Director of Congregational Life, Kelli McNeal if you are interested in Living the Pledge.

  • 2 hours/month
  • Outside and Virtual Options

How Have UU Taken Action?

We would love to hear about how you’ve taken action for justice, either through the opportunities listed on this page or other ways! You can tell us about your work for justice through this Google Form.