Rev. Talk 10-27-2021

Once a month Rev. Talk offers an opportunity for us to hear from our Board chair, Don Jones. This month, Don has a great family story. He then gets real about a few immediate needs we have as a congregation. See if one of the opportunities is right for you!

When it rains it pours

This past Sunday, we held an early 8th birthday for our daughter Harper. Having a Thanksgiving birthday, she had to make due with a “Zoom  party” with her friends last year, and this year, we would have been stuck doing the same if we didn’t throw the dice with October weather to have something outside a month early.

But, as we got closer to the date, the forecast became increasingly rainy, and not just light rain, but major rain, the kind that makes your leaky basement shudder in fear. What were we to do? Deal with a disappointed daughter or deal with a deluge?

In different times, we may have just thrown our hands up, blamed the pandemic and assuaged her with ice cream and presents and yet another Zoom call, but at this point, we had weathered so much, and all we wanted was to once again gather with friends to celebrate and reconnect, so we decided that come hell or high water (literally!), the party would go on!

We bought a tarp and hung it over the pergola. We cleared out our garage and converted into a party space. We put the fire pit under a canopy and let our guests know no matter how wet it would get, we were going to have a good time!

So, boots and jackets donned and masks worn, we celebrated! The tarp leaked, the fire smoked, the space heater wouldn’t start,  but the kids joyfully ran around, the parents caught up, and there wasn’t a complaint or sad face in sight. Here we were, confronted with dark clouds and incessant moisture, and within it we found joy and a party for the ages!

In hindsight, the rain actually added to the joy and memory making! We had to “go with the flow” (again quite literally) and by doing so, we were able to be present in the moment, not worried about things being perfect, but rather on what was important, being together, as we weathered the storm.

The lessons of the rainy day party will stick with me as we continue to walk through these unsure times, and hopefully after. We can’t control everything, and sometimes we have to make the best out of what we are dealt. We improvise, we let go, we focus on what matters.

We can find joy in the storm clouds, especially when we decide to face them together.

Your help is needed!

We need help! Without being fully in person, we’ve had some challenges filling some critical roles for the church. Volunteering on a board committee/task force is a great way to get involved in the life of the church and have a voice in its future, especially if you are newer to our community. If you are interested in helping in any of these capacities, please reach out to the people mentioned:

Assistant Treasurer:  Are you an organized person by nature and are looking for a way to give back to our church community? We are seeking an assistant treasurer to support Laura Hartman, our current treasurer. You do not need to be a “numbers person” for this role, organization and attention to detail are most important! You will transition to treasurer for the church at the end of the year when Laura’s term is done.

The treasurer of First UU handles things as precise and exacting as the payments to vendors and credit card charges, to tasks as large and encompassing as writing and presenting financial updates at the Congregational meetings.  Along the way, the treasurer takes care of any issues that come up with the various bank and other accounts, completes loan applications and paperwork, and tracks the budget.  The treasurer attends monthly Finance Committee and Board meetings, with presentations to both to keep everyone updated.  Something is always coming up, and we look to the treasurer to figure the issue out and take care of it.  It can be a pretty big job at times, but it is hardly thankless; everyone is very appreciative and supportive. Again, you don’t have to be a “numbers person” as long as you are organized and have an attention to detail! Please reach out to Laura Hartman to learn more.

Personnel Committee: Do you have experience in Management or Human Resources?  We are looking for a new member on the Personnel Committee.  This committee works with the board and staff on formulating and documenting employment agreements as well as compensation.  Due to the sensitive nature of some of the personal information involved confidentiality is a must.  Please contact Gretchen Faulstich for more information.

Strategic Visioning Task Force: Do you enjoy strategic visioning and planning? We are currently forming a strategic visioning/planning task force to help drive a repeatable process for us to envision where we as a community want to be in the next 5-10 years. This task force will plan and facilitate workshops and processes by which we will develop an actionable strategic plan for the community. If you are interested, please contact Don Jones to learn more.

With grace,

Don

On Sunday afternoon, First UUers and the larger community were treated to a wonderful concert by Carpe Diem String Quartet. They performed a range of classical and newly commissioned works for string quartets. After a brief intermission (where their instruments took a break in the Wee Worship area), the Whirlybirds gave an energetic, toe-tapping performance of swing music. Then, both groups took the stage and performed several pieces together to cap off a much-appreicated concert.

First UU is a proud sponsor of Carpe Diem String Quartet. We will host several more Carpe Diem concerts this year as they join with other local artists to present concerts of exceptional quality that all can enjoy.

Vaccines for Kids are coming!

Ohio Vax-2-School
to Award $2 Million in Scholarships

Ohioans aged 12-25 can enter online at www.ohiovax2school.com or by phone at 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634) to win one of 150, $10,000 scholarships, or one of five, $100,000 grand prize scholarships. The scholarships, awarded in Ohio 529 College Advantage plans, can be used at the Ohio college, university, technical/trade school, or career program of the winner’s choice. The Ohio Department of Health is using a portion of its Coronavirus Relief Funds to fund this innovative public outreach campaign and initiative. For more information, click here.

Stay healthy! Get vaccinated! Get the Flu shot too!

Sunday Services

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IN-PERSON OPTION
Join us in the sanctuary. Service begins at 10am.

COVID caseload rates for the Columbus Metro area are continuing to fall. As they do, we are gradually opening up to larger capacities in our Sanctuary. It will be a while however, before we are at full capacity.
Masks are required in the building.
We will continue to have RE outside as well as outdoor BYO Coffee Hour.

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LIVE-STREAM OPTION

Watch our Sunday services via live-stream on our Youtube channel.

Online Coffee Hour will be on Zoom as usual.
This week’s Coffee Hour will be hosted by our Rainbow Connexions group.
All are welcome.

Link reminders will be sent Sunday morning.

Pastoral Ministry Update

The Board of Trustees has named a Search Group to find a minister to help us with pastoral care leadership for the remainder of the church year. In the meantime, the Pastoral and Caring Teams are working hard on our behalf. Rev. Marian will also offer pastoral care as needed.

We are a caring community and so many people make this a reality. It is foundational to who we are as a community. If you need anything, let us know! We are here for you.

Justice Corner

Amanda Hays, Justice Coordinator

For the latest in First UU Justice News, click the button below.

Justice Update

Upcoming Sunday Service at 10am

“We Remember”
Rev. Dr. Marian Stewart and Rev. Kathleen Fowler
Our annual Remberance Service holds all that we love and all that we have lost. As the pandemic is fittfuly subsiding, we take a moment to pause. As a community, we come together to memorialize loved ones, honor other losses, remember abiding truths, and recommit to living fully.

You are invited to bring pictures or tokens of loved ones you’ve lost over the last year or during the pandemic.

Last Sunday’s service

“World Community”
Speaker: Kelli McNeal, Director of Congregational Life
World community with peace, liberty, and justice for all isn’t just a beauty pagent answer. This principle helps us remember that our relationships go beyond our small corner of the world, and invites us to look deeper into one another’s stories, not just our actions. How might we live fully into the soul of our faith, fighting for what we believe in, while cultivating relationships with those different from us?

Joys and Sorrows

You may request that a Caring Card be sent on behalf of the congregation at https://firstuucolumbus.org/joys-sorrows-form/.

Caring Cards last Sunday:

  • Jesse Cannon lost a courageous battle with leukemia. His mother, Deb Cannon, was by his side throughout. Our hearts and prayers are with the family. Cards of support and posts to Deb’s Facebook page would be appreciated. (See note at top of Rev. Talk for vigil and service information.)
  • Thoughts and prayers for Dora Young-Ford, who suffered a stroke last Sunday evening.

Joys and Sorrows are shared last Sunday:

  • Kristen H.: The youth group [and Rainbow Connexions] had a great trip to the corn maze. It was a joy to be part of it.
  • Dana Reynolds: Joy! Special thanks to The Nature Conservancy volunteers who helped yesterday removing the burning bushes, a terrible invasive species.
  • Barb Fisher: Joy
  • James Mocharski: This week, an ecological project to help with ocean clean up successfully collected nearly 64,00 lbs of plastic from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch this week. They are hoping to scale up further.

May our hearts be enlarged to hold each other’s sorrow and joy.

Share-the-Plate

Single Payer Action Network 

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.

Re-Opening Status

The Coordinating Team (CT) and the Re-opening Task Force work together each week to look the pandemic caseload numbers. We use the Risk Mitigation Chart the Re-opening Task Force built based on research, to base our decisions about building capacities for in-person services, meetings, and events. Although caseload rates are falling, this week the Columbus Metro area continues to register in the Very High red zone. You can view the chart and get more information by clicking this link to COVID Act Now.

Current status (updated weekly and posted in Rev. Talk):

  • Sunday services:
    • Single service at 10am.
    • Live-streamed service via church Youtube channel (link will be sent prior to service)
    • In-person with limited capacity in the Sanctuary with overflow into Beach Hall (Note: both areas are now wired for audio and video. New T-loop system works in both areas and Slowter Lounge)
    • Masks and social-distancing required in the building at all times
  • Coffee Hour:
    • Outside weather permitting with BYO coffee/tea/etc.
    • No inside eating or drinking (masks on)
    • Zoom coffee hour continues for those attending online
  • RE:
    • Outside and Online RE
  • Classes, meetings, etc. (reserve space with Marian Garcia)
    • Varies by group, but generally,
      • outdoors or online only
  • Music
    • No indoor singing (high risk activity)
    • Choirs follow Brandon, Michaela, and Barb’s direction
  • Contact Tracing
    • All groups should keep a list of attendees for possible contact tracing if someone tests positive. Send the attendance lists to Marian Garcia in the office.
First UU Re-Opening Hub

Want to meet?
Outside is a great option.
Check our website for updated information, including a Pandemic Covenant, and space request forms.