Rev. Talk 10-7-2021

As the world turns and the seasons change…

Watching the leaves fall creating random patterns of shape and shades on the ground, hinting at cooler days to come, I feel fully alive even as I am drawn inward toward reflection. These days boast perfect temps for walks and outdoor activities, but there is a certain energy pushing into the early dark that opens a window into reflective space that is growing less distracted by lingering summer bling.

I know who I am. I know what I do. I know what I love. At the same time, I wonder how my self-awareness fits into a cultural norm that is not in line with what I profess. As I listen, learn, and stumble, I realize the world turns and churns through ages and cultures, enlightenments and disruptions. There are seasons of knowing and unknowing. Sometimes this comes in the lengths of eras and sometimes it comes in lifetimes. It has taken all my years to build my sense of self and to operate comfortably in that zone. At the same time, and all too slowly, I am becoming more and more aware of histories, experiences, and shades of color that  exist all around me.

It is time to be a student once again. Not that I’m not always learning, but that I need to be more intentional and dedicated. When a person of color says ‘ouch’ or a trans person squirms at my attempts at ‘woke-ness’, I need to stop, breathe, and listen. Keep my mouth shut and listen. And learn. These people have a lot to teach me. But they have lives too. It is not their job to teach me or find ways to make me feel better. I need to do my own work. What is behind my ‘knowing’? What defines my version of life and how does it rely, use, or worse, abuse others? What can I learn? (A lot!)

This sounds good on paper and in reflection, but is easy to keep it all in my head. What do I do with the learning? And, how do I learn in the first place?

I don’t think I am alone in this. Fortunately, as a congregation, we are committed to learning. The Board last night was asked to support the 8th Principle. Some were totally ready to vote Yes! while others were hearing about the 8th Principle for the first time. Ahh! An opportunity! If you want to know more, click here for a search list of articles at You can also listen to an OSU Diversity Lecture featuring Isabel Wilerson by clicking here for more information. And of course, you can participate in our own First UU opportunities. We have a BIPOC group as well as an allies group. We have classes and workshops. Friday News always has the current listing. And if you have ideas, let us know!

So the seasons of learning turn as do the seasons of leaves. This year, I’m dedicated to slowing down, paying attention, and learning. Will you join me?

Rev. Marian

Fiona gets a lot of loving from the Red Oak Community School kids. Decked out in her green walking vest, Fiona loves all the attention. She sets a great example of loving and being loved by old and young alike. As a herding dog, Fiona also keeps Rev. Marian in line.

Little Ms. Fiona knows locations and phrases like “Let’s go to church!”, “Go to Mom’s office”, and “Go see Kelli/Brian/Amber”. Rumor has it that Kelli even has a bag of treats!

Baby on the Way!

Amanda, our First UU Justice Coordinator, and husband Jim Hays will soon be welcoming a baby into their lives. Amanda is now on Family Leave and we will welcome her back in January!

Watch this space for baby announcement!

Pastoral Ministry Update

The Board of Trustees has named a Search Group together 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.

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

Ohioans aged 12-25 can enter online at 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!

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

“As the Beaver Foretold”
Minister: Rev. Dr. Marian Stewart and Tom Baillieul

Honoring Indigenous People’s Day

Acknowledging our complicated history and relationships with native peoples, let us look into history. It all began with the beavers…

Email and text scam alert!

It happened again…

Rev. Marian’s email has been hacked. Scammers are sending emails to people in Rev. Marian’s address book using my name. The damsel begins by asking “Are you busy at the moment?”

Do NOT respond. This is a scam.

Please be careful and beware. Thanks.

Joys and Sorrows

You may request that a Caring Card be sent on behalf of the congregation at

Caring Cards last Sunday:

  • Happy Birthday to Meredith Farmer who will celebrate her 95th birthday on Friday, October 8.
  • Condolences are sent to Jan Waters whose sister recently died.
  • Condolences are sent to Linda Thompson whose friend of over 60 years died on Saturday, October 2.
  • Our condolences are sent to Marcia Sidenstick whose sister, Janet Horton, died unexpectedly this past week.
  • Bob Letcher had cataract surgery this past week and will have his second eye done on Tuesday, October 5. We send him healing thoughts.

Joys and Sorrows are shared last Sunday:

  • Joys and Sorrows submitted during the service were not recorded.

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


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 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
  • Contract 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.


Live-stream @ 10am
(No passcode required)
Invite your friends and family. All are welcome.

Online Coffee Hour @ 11am
Passcode: uu
Join us in-person or online.
Bring your coffee, tea, or water and join us for post-service discussion with fellow First UUers. 

Calendar events, announcements, and updates can be accessed on our website.