Rev Talk 2-23-2022

Re-opening!!!

(read column below for updates)

Sunday Service online AND in-person 

Coffee Hour (sans coffee) will resume in Beach Hall with tables for Caring, Justice, Bookstore, and more. Drop by after service and visit!

Live-Stream and Zoom links will be sent on Sunday morning. 

If you have not gotten your vaccine or been boosted, do so now. It is not just for you, it is what we do for each other. 

Prayers for the World

Prayers for peace and safety for the Ukrainian people as they defend their country from Russian aggression. 

Freedom and democracy live in tension with suppression and autocracy. May the people prevail.

Rev. Talk

Conversation and musings from Rev. Marian…

I’m back! And it is good to be here. I missed you.

Before I begin to tell you of my adventures with UUA and UUMA conferences, let’s get an update on the Mid-Year Congregational Meeting. Lots of updates and information were shared to keep everyone informed. And, two items were up for vote and both passed. We can proceed with the non-profit status application and YEAH!, we strongly endorsed Kelli McNeal by voting to ordain her. Congratulations to Kelli and everyone!

The general message of the meeting was that the church, our church, is in good shape coming out of the pandemic. That said, we are being careful to not take things for granted but we are also very excited about coming back and re-building on the best of what we are together. We are coming back strong. Together.

And now for what I’ve been up to for the last few weeks. Not wanting to take two separate trips by plane so close together when the pandemic is still out there, I took a much needed break and drove first to San Diego and then over to Phoenix. I love to drive and chose to avoid snow-covered mountains and took the southern route. On the way, I stopped in Maysfield, KY where the tornados touched down, obliterating wide parts of the city. I drove block after block of total destruction with wrecking crews piling homes, businesses, cars, trees, and more into huge debris piles. I spoke with a few people who were still on the verge of tears weeks later. I got gas at a convenience store on the edge of the chaos. The cashier was barely holding it together. I gave her extra money and asked her to cover chicken dinners (they specialized in this) or gas for anyone who needs it.

Next I drove toward Texas and from El Paso to California, I drove as close to the border as possible. The wall is forever present. Rural poverty is inescapable. Border patrol is thick, punctuated by homemade militia watch towers looming from the beds of pick-up trucks. I have no idea how people cross the border and survive in the vast desert.

San Diego itself was lovely. And the conference was well-attended by colleagues, both virtually and on-site. I learned a lot! Over the next weeks and months, I will invite us to experiment with a few things and will work with staff and everyone to imagine new ways we can be together.

In the days between San Diego and Phoenix, I visited the zoo (amazing!), dipped my toes in the Pacific, and did some work. I knew the meeting in Phoenix would be overshadowed by the tragic death of Rev. Jeanne Pupke a few days earlier. A much beloved colleague, Rev. Jeanne was a strong leader who balanced fierce spirit and dedication with empathy, generosity, and love. One of the programs we will be starting soon is Living the Pledge, which Rev. Jeanne’s Richmond congregation helped fine-tune and lead. (Side note: Kelli did her internship with Rev. Jeanne.)

The group that gathered in Phoenix was SMOLUUC – gotta love those acronyms! The Sr. Ministers of Large UU Churches have met every year since its founding in 1981 when First UU minister Carl Whittier helped convene the group in Baltimore. It has been a strong presence ever since. At that meeting too, I learned and brought home ideas. Fair warning! 🙂

Even though I was far away, Ohio was with me. In San Diego I parked behind a car whose crimson red license plate frame read “Proud OSU Alumni”. At another stop, as I was purchasing a pass at the Petrified Forest National Park, the ranger looked at my driver’s license and asked, “Is Young’s Dairy still in business?” Wow. It’s a small world.

I look forward to sharing pictures (a few are below), stories, and ideas as we begin to come back together.

See you Sunday!
🙂 Rev. Marian

Rev. Marian’s pics from travel to conferences.
destruction in Maysfield, KY; cacti and border wall in AZ; labyrinth at UU San Diego; kids playing in ocean; polar bear at San Diego Zoo; flamingos at Zoo; ministers at SMOLUUC gathering in Phoenix.

The AUCTION was a huge success!

The numbers are almost final and it looks like this year’s auction raised about $27,000. Woohoo! Way to go Auction Team and everyone who donated or participated.

RE-OPENING PLAN

Start coming back!

1. Sunday services: In-person AND online. Masks required in the building. Live-stream is always an option.

3. RE: updates will be in RE News

4. Meetings/Small Groups: begin meeting in-person as comfortable and weather permitting. Masks required. Request space from Marian Garcia at office@firstuucolumbus.org.

5. Choirs: resume in March.

Covid might not ever be gone but we have vaccines (except for the youngest) and treatments. The virus has also mutated and its health impacts are mostly not as severe for the fully vaccinated and boosted. We are in the probable shift from pandemic to endemic. In the balance of the need to be in community and be safe, we will proceed cautiously – lovingly, informed, and masked.

Our live-stream option will always be available as part of our mission to be welcoming and inclusive. We will also make many of our meetings, classes, and events accessible through multi-format options as well. Regardless of how you attend or where you are located, you are welcome here!

Upcoming 10am Sunday Service

In-person AND live-stream

Coming Back Together: Love is Political

Amanda Hays, First UU Justice Coordinator
As we come back together in person, this is a new opportunity for us to create the community we always imagined, but have never yet brought into reality. An opportunity to come back with our circle drawn wider than before. BeLOVEd Community: 2 years after 2020, when so many took action after George Floyd’s murder, are we really going to keep changing the world? We felt that love in 2020! Let’s not forget or go back.
Links will be sent Sunday morning.
Chancel Designs are created by Su Farnlacher and Denise Deschenes.

Last Sunday’s Service

Pause, Breathe, Love:
Widening Our Circle of Compassion to “Enemies”

Rev. Joan VanBecelaere
Watch Previous Sunday Services Here
Chalice is from the UU Community Church of Washington County, Hillsboro, OR.

Celebration of Life Services

Bob Aldridge: Saturday, March 5th at 2pm

Linda Keith: Saturday, May 7th at 10am

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  and Joys and Sorrows from last week:

  • Shannon Flanders broke her right arm (she’s left-handed) and probably will not need surgery. She will have follow-up x-rays and then see a physical therapist. It will be 3-4 months before her arm is fully healed.
  • Dev Hammack passed their real estate licensing exam and is officially a Central Ohio Real Estate Agent, third time is the charm.
  • Tony Skrabak fell on the ice on February 8 and broke his hip. He had surgery on February 9 and spent a few days in the hospital and a few days at First Community Village. He is home now and getting around the house with a walker. It will take a good bit of physical therapy to get back to moving around the way he wants to.
  • Jerri Knight’s mother, Fern Mullins, was sent to the hospital for a mild stroke. Please send healing energies and prayers for her recovery.
  • Kristin H is happy to celebrate my partner being able to volunteer this week and learn new skills!
  • Happy Birthday to Barb Avery! Barb celebrated her 85th birthday on Saturday, February 26.

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

Share-the-Plate 

Our Share-the-Plate recipients for February is the People’s Justice Project (PJP).

During the month of January your gifts will support the work of PJP. Founded in 2015, People’s Justice Project organizes the Black working class and other oppressed people into leading the struggle against all state institutions that oppress or occupy our communities.

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.

Click to Donate to Share-the-Plate

WANT TO BE INCLUDED IN THE CHURCH DIRECTORY?

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