Updated July 27, 2021

July & August 2021 Share the Plate Partner:

Fund for Immigration Legal Assistance (FILA)

First UU’s Fund for Immigration Legal Assistance was established in 2018 to provide direct assistance to residents of Central Ohio in need of help with expenses related to their immigration cases.  Preference is given to parents of underage children and young persons who fit within the DACA age guidelines.

Since its inception, FILA has helped seven different individuals.  Five of the beneficiaries are parents of young children, one is a young man, and one was an older gentleman with adult children who was ill and homeless.  We have helped with asylum application expenses, work permit, green card, and U-visa application fees, and medical expenses required for work permit applications. 

With Share-the-Plate funds, we would like to be able to fund the equivalent of DACA renewal fees for four young people in Central Ohio.  The cost for a DACA renewal is $495.  Your generous contributions will be much appreciated.  

Supporting First UU

Tech Help Needed!

Would you like to contribute your skills in web design or social media to First UU’s Justice Ministry?

Contact Amanda Hays at amanda@firstuucolumbus.org


Building Responsibility, Equality, and Dignity

Contact: Alice Rathburn, eulala1905@me.com



Miss the Nehemiah Action? Watch the Recording!

You can watch the whole action or just the sections you’re most interested in. The action includes moving testimonies and footage of BREAD using people power to encourage our city leaders to take action – and our own Justice Coordinator Amanda Hays led the closing prayer! Watch here.

Note: there was a technical mic issue at the beginning of the action, so you may want to skip about 3 minutes in to where the sound starts

  • 10 min – 2 hours
  • Virtual (possible in-person option)

BREAD Justice Ministry Network Members Needed!

BREAD Justice Ministry Network Members go to four BREAD meetings each year, bring 3 others to the BREAD Nehemiah Action in May, and are invited to contribute financially as they are able.

Contact Alice Rathburn, eulala1905@me.com

  • 8 hours/year
  • Virtual

BREAD Team Members Needed!

BREAD Justice Ministry Team Members host listening meetings in the fall, help plan the Network Member Meeting in the Spring, and keep in touch with up to 10 BREAD Justice Ministry Network Members throughout the year. Click for more information about the role of BREAD Team Member.

Contact Alice Rathburn, eulala1905@me.com

  • 20 hours per year
  • Virtual

Join a BREAD Research Committee

Committees include Police Reform, Gun Violence, Affordable Housing, Juvenile Justice, Municipal ID, or Eldercare. Contact Alice Rathburn, eulala1905@me.com

  • 2 or more hours per month
  • 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. We will meet to define our mission and start taking action on a Wednesday in April (TBD)

  • 5 minutes
  • Virtual

Learn about the threat to our rights

Click to read about the four bills threatening our First Amendment Right to Protest.

  • 10 minutes
  • Virtual

Democracy & Human Rights Action Hour

Wednesday, Aug 4 at 6:00 ET. Email us for the Zoom Link.


More details coming soon.

Action Hours planned for the first Wednesday of each month.

  • NEW
  • 1 hour
  • Virtual

Fair Districts in Ohio

On Demand

Alice Faryna, a volunteer with the League of Women Voters, presents the League’s update on the redistricting process which Ohio voters approved with constitutional amendments. The process faces some headwinds because census data is delayed. Learn how you can support this important process. You can even practice drawing maps yourselves! Watch here.
  • NEW
  • 30 min
  • Virtual


Environmental Justice and Sustainability (Eco-Justice)

Contact: Brian Hagemann, brian@firstuucolumbus.org



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

Summer S’mores & Eco Hang-out

Friday, July 30 & Wednesday, August 18

7-8 pm, in the First UU parking lot

Stop by one or more low-key gatherings around a summer evening campfire as we restart the Environmental Justice Focus Group! Bring a sack dinner and we’ll provide the S’mores. Let’s talk about what we’re most excited about doing together in the coming year to care for our earth, our global neighbors, our non-human relatives, our spiritual connection with nature, and our children’s children.

So many possibilities! What stirs your passion?

Sharing books, research, documentaries – Discussion group – Worship services – Workshops – Daily Environmentalism (eating less meat, using less fossil fuel, etc.) – Bring in speakers – Healthy environment as social justice – UUJO – UU Ministry for Earth – Interfaith Power and Light – Sunrise Columbus – Friends of the Lower Olentangy Watershed (FLOW) – Buckeye Environmental Network – Our building and grounds – Using our facility as teaching tool – Become a Green Sanctuary – Fracking – Healthy water – Green Columbus – Industrial Ag & factory farms – Climate Change – Promoting socially conscious investments – Earth-based and pagan spirituality – Animal ministry – Community garden – Green philosophy

  • Family Friendly
  • 10 min-2 hours
  • In-Person, Outside

Connecting the Dots: Planet, People, Power

Saturday, August 7th at 10:00 am – 11:30 am

Register for a Zoom link at http://bit.ly/environmentaljusticeppp

Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/644732563149736

Join UU Justice Ohio and First UU for a virtual conference on Environmental Justice!

Our Faith calls us to protect the planet. We work on this in our UU congregations regularly with Green Sanctuary initiatives, gardens, and other conscious choices. Many of us are simultaneously working on anti-racism and dismantling white supremacy. What if we could combine those two efforts into one called Environmental Justice?

Three expert panelists will share their thoughts on Environmental Justice, how that relates to Racial Justice and what we can do about it here in Ohio. The panelist discussion will be followed by an opportunity for connection between Unitarian Universalists, other like-minded faith communities and Environmental Justice advocates.

About the expert panelists:

Jocelyn Travis – Central Region Organizing Manager of the Sierra Club, connecting Racial Justice and Environmental Justice.

Sandra Steingraber – Biologist, author, and cancer survivor, writing about climate change, and ecology, connecting human health and Environmental Justice.

Annette McCoy – President of Trumbull County NAACP, connecting legislation/policy and Environmental Justice.

  • NEW
  • 1.5 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



July: Dandy Diapers Day

Anytime in July

Donations of children’s and adult diapers, all sizes. 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.

  • 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

When will YMCA Cooking Resume?

We don’t yet know. It is up to the YMCA to determine when volunteers will be allowed inside the building to help cook again. Currently, First UU is delivering food, which the YMCA staff are preparing and serving.

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 building 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 could resume (with approval and appropriate safety protocol) as early as June, but it may take longer.

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

Ohio Health Care Act

Contact your Ohio House of Representatives member and urge them to co-sponsor the Ohio Health Care Act. Click this link for more information: https://bit.ly/3qJT2QF

  • 10 min
  • Urgent
  • 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

Ideas about Racism as a Public Health Crisis

RJI is considering researching the topic of racism as a public health crisis. If you have ideas, interest, or expertise, we would love to hear from you!

  • 10 minutes
  • Virtual

Donate to our Fund for Immigration Legal Assistance (FILA)


  • 10 minutes
  • $ any amount
  • Virtual


Further Justice Opportunities

Contact: Amanda Hays, amanda@firstuucolumbus.org



Join our Black, Indigenous, and People of Color Caucus

Usually Meets: 3rd Thursdays 6-8pm (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, you are invited to our monthly meetings. 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, July 2 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.