Rev. Talk 11-24-2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Upcoming Celebrations of Life

Barb Austin
Saturday, Dec. 4th at 2pm

Betty Powell
Saturday, Dec. 18th at 2pm

Rev. Talk

Conversation and musings from Rev. Marian…

It’s T-time! Thanksgiving, turkeys, and traditions.

This Thanksgiving, I am grateful not only for vaccines and boosters, but for each of you. You are what makes our shared community so wonderful. You care, you love, and sometimes, you play, laugh, and sing. In the hardest and darkest moments, you are genuine, tender, and open. In the happiest of times, you are delightful with the sheer joy of being alive. And this community, our First UU community, holds it all. That is who we are. And that includes you.

As for turkeys, I’m not a fan of putting them on my plate, but I do have plenty of people in my life, myself included, who act like turkeys sometimes. All gobble. I’ve gotta work on those pardons!

Our lives are full of traditions, habits, and rituals. Thanksgiving is its own special category. The rituals can reach back into generations and live on far beyond making sense. Some traditions are silly and some revolve around personalities. Some make us laugh or groan, while others require much hand-wringing over doing it one more time.

My memories of Thanksgiving revolve around place, people (by seating placement), and food.

Leading up to the holiday, my sister and I would have to polish the silver, press napkins and tablecloths, and pre-set the table with more glasses, goblets, and silverware than we ever knew existed. When Thanksgiving arrived, we dressed in Sunday best, although that tradition relaxed a bit as we got into fussy teenage years, and gather in the dining room (used only for Thanksgiving and Christmas). Then the entire extended family sat around a single table with mom and dad anchoring the ends. My brother got the best ‘side’ seat next to my grandmother, while my sister and I shared the side closest to the kitchen so we could refill glasses and such. After a short prayer that had been said in the family longer than anyone could remember, we politely passed the serving dishes and didn’t take a single bite until mom said we could begin. Dad played along but held his own with jokes, relaxing the formality of mom’s the proper Southern hostess. When we finished eating, we had to ask as we did every meal, “Thank you for dinner. May I be excused please?”

But there was a problem getting to the end though. My mom had many virtues, but cooking was not one of them. (Later in life, I discovered that you could actually chew through asparagus, peas are green, and green beans don’t have to cook for days. I’ll tell you a story about the shape of fish another day.) We all survived the food and the jokes and somehow, kept the tradition going by coming back to the table every year. Each year, my job after the big meal was to de-bone the turkey. Although a bit messy, it was a perfect introvert task and, partly because no one else wanted to do it, it became my contribution of the family tradition.

As an adult and long removed from birth family holiday gatherings, I still carry family traditions with me, albeit often revised. I gather with loved ones and share a meal. Rarely is their polished silver or a formal dining room, but we still say a prayer, tell jokes, and have a big meal. And even if there is not always a turkey, I still do the cleanup. Some things don’t change. That’s how traditions go.

I asked in last week’s Rev. Talk (Sunday service description) for you to send in one of your traditions. Here are some traditions you shared…

Family gathering on the Hazlebeck (my mom’s) side of the family has been an annual joy that began before my birth and continues to this day. ~ Carolee

Thanksgiving dinner at my gramma & grampa’s house in a small Ohio town with all my aunts, uncles & cousins with my mother’s fabulous turkey dressing & my gramma’s oyster dressing followed by rabbit hunting in the country. Luckily that was more about walking under gray skies. ~ Su

One of our most favorite traditions is watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade and more recently the dog show that comes on after it! ~ Shirley and Kris

When I was a very small child, we had Thanksgiving at my grandparents home. I was super close to my grandpa and I always sat to his right at the head of the table. When my grandmother closed her eyes say grace, everyone else did too… except me and grandpa. A bowl of black olives was always part of that meal and sat at the end of table and during grace he and I would put them on our fingers. When grace was over and everyone opened their eyes they’d see us giggling and popping them one at a time into our mouth. ~ Nina

One time at Thanksgiving my grandma had prepared all the vegetables and turkey to put the the Westinghouse Roaster to cook and when she took the cover off to start filling it she discovered a Teddy Bear with a little blanket over him. ~ Nina

Homemade oyster stew for breakfast. ~ Barb

Waldorf salad in a special cut glass bowl that belonged to my Mother. However, my brother refused to eat it because he said you ruin a perfectly good apple with mayonnaise…when you make Waldorf salad. ~ Karla

Lean into your own Thanksgiving traditions. Keep what works. Honor ancestors. Adapt as necessary. Most of all, enjoy the loved ones you are with in person and over miles and time.

Happy Thanksgiving,
🙂 Rev. Marian

P.S. If you want a gift, watch the video below. This young person has so much wisdom.

Click above image for interview.

Singer-songwriter Nightbirde, aka Jane Marczewski, shares about pain, miracles, and digging deep. She is from Zanesville and has millions of followers who admire her vulnerability, courage, and authenticity.
Her message is one of resilience, hope, and living into the moment.

RE kids had fun last Sunday making Stone Soup!

Even in the rain, kids and families gathered ingredients, sliced, chopped, and added plenty of vegetables to make Stone Soup magic happen.

The pic above is the first potato in what proved to be a full pot of delicious soup.

Columbus Women’s Chorus

Last Sunday afternoon, the Columbus Women’s Chorus performed their fall concert titled “Rise Up!”. They were joined in their opening songs by members of the Columbus International Children’s Choir.

It was a fabulous concert and we are glad the Columbus Women’s Chorus calls First UU home. (They will resume practice on Monday evenings after the holidays. Please visit if you would like to support or join.)

***First UU choirs area also a great way to engage in community and music. Contact Brandon for more information. Also, First UU choirs will host our annual Music Sunday on Dec. 12th.


For your protection from scammers, we have an OPT IN directory. 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 have a hard time reaching out to you.

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.

OPT IN to be listed in the DIRECTORY

Sunday Services

We miss you.
Come back – vaccinated, boosted, and masked.

Join us in the sanctuary. Service begins at 10am.

COVID caseload rates for the Columbus Metro area are going in the wrong direction – up. Please stay safe and get your COVID vaccines, booster, and flu shot. This helps keep you well and also lessens the chance of you becoming a viral vector to others.

Masks are required in the building.
We have spaced seating in the Sanctuary and Beach Hall.
We will continue to have RE in a safe manner.
BYO Coffee Hour

~ ~ ~

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

Online Coffee Hour will be on Zoom as usual.
USE NEW LINK sent on Sunday mornings.

This week’s Coffee Hour will be hosted by our Rainbow Connexions.
All are welcome.

Link reminders will be sent Sunday morning.

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

“Back for the Future

Rev. Joan Van Becelaere

There is plenty to criticize about our religious ancestors, the Pilgrims and Puritans. But there are also some things we can learn from their story. There is a Ghanian proverb: “It is not wrong to go back for that which you have forgotten.” Learning from our ancestors is part of the spiritual work of Sankofa, which translates as “reach back and get it.” What helpfull things can we find in our ancestors’ story?

Last Sunday’s Service

“Pardoning the Turkey…

Rev. Dr. Marian Stewart

We have a cornucopia of Thanksgiving blessings and traditions. Some are a bit wacky, others are time-honored family traditions. We’ll look at a bit of history and explore how we acknowledge the origins of Thanksgiving. We’ll also take time to be grateful.
Watch Previous Sunday Services Here

Upcoming Celebrations of Life

Barb Austin
Saturday, Dec. 4th at 2pm

Betty Powell
Saturday, Dec. 18th at 2pm

Joys and Sorrows

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

Caring Cards last Sunday:

  • We send loving and caring thoughts to Jacques Angelino who is mourning the death of Deena who was one of many people Jacques helped by providing food over the years and who became a good friend. She disappeared for several days, and her body was recently found. Her death is under investigation.

  • We send healing thoughts to Claire Bauza who recently fell and fractured four ribs. She is recovering nicely at home.

Joys and Sorrows are shared last Sunday:

  • Congratulations to Myra Cooley who had her first onsite job in Ohio.
  • Kristen H. is happy to share that she joined a union this week.
  • Healing thoughts are sent to Kelli McNeal, Director of Congregational Life, who had surgery Friday to alleviate the source of her pain. She is recovering and hopes to be back to work soon.

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


Sendona Grace 

Our Share-the-Plate recipient for November is Sedona Grace. Sedona Grace is a public charity that provides dog food and treats, AKA Canine Care Packages, to families in need throughout central Ohio food pantries. For more information, click  here visit Sedona Grace Foundation on Facebook.

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