Conversation and musings from Rev. Marian…
It’s fall y’all!

I couldn’t help it. Every now ‘n then, my Southern just gits da best o’ me.

Fall usually means a few more warm days mixed in with sweaters. But rain? Oh my. I feel like we’ve had enough to float away. The sun will come out again. The clouds will part. And yes, the days will be shorter. Right now though, I’m inside staying warm and dry.

The Autumn equinox (today) is not exactly half and half, day and night, but it’s close. I remember standing by a sundial on the southern-most tip of India, not far from the equator, and noticing the difference as marked on the dial. There are several reasons the shift takes a bit longer to happen, including the sun being a disk and not a point and atmospheric refraction. Google it for more explanation or click here for a general information.

Another thing I remember about being on the rock at the very tip of India, is that it was the place that Swami Vivekananda went to meditate before he traveled to the 1893 World Parliament of Religions in Chicago. The pressing question was how to present Hinduism to the world. At the Parliament, various religious leaders from America and around the world spoke about their beliefs. Each in turn, even though they were instructed not to do so, declared their religion as the only true way. When it was Vivekanada’s turn to speak, he began simply. “Sisters and brothers of America”. He continued by declaring that he accepted all religions as true. He then talked about tolerance and universal acceptance. It was a beautiful, open, and gracious speech and is remembered as the highlight of the Parliament. To read his speech, click here.

At our best, Unitarian Universalists also value universal acceptance. It harkens back in our history to court preacher Francis Dávid and King John Sigismumd of Transylvania. In 1568 with the Catholics and Lutherans each declaring the other’s beliefs heresy and calling for persecution, and with the Ottoman Empire pressing in as well, this tiny country did the unthinkable. It issued a doctrine of religious tolerance, an outlandishly radical idea. It centered on the freedom of belief, especially for preachers – no one was allowed to abuse or threaten them, fire them for teaching their beliefs, or throw them in prison. Everyone could listen or not, but violence was not permitted.

In our world today, the only thing hotter than climate change is our political temper. What would it take to cool down? Be more accepting? Regardless of season, I wonder how we can bring Vivekananda’s message of universal acceptance and our Unitarian message of religious tolerance to our hurting world…and to our state, city, neighbors, families… Maybe we need take time on a rock to meditate. Or maybe we need pressure from all sides. Whatever it is, we need to be radical, putting love at the center.

This equinox, think about what it means to be equal, fair, just. What is our role? Can we work on it together?  Sure hope so.

See you Sunday on live-stream or at church,
🙂 Rev. Marian


Sunday Readers

Inviting all who  are interested in helping make Sunday mornings special. We need volunteers to help read and lead various elements of the service.

We are looking for readers of all ages, genders, races, orientations, and more.


Come to a “Reading Info Session” on Sunday, Oct. 3rd at 11:30.

Baby on the way…

Meet and Greet Open House
for Amanda and Jim

Amanda, our First UU Justice Coordinator, and husband Jim Hays will soon be welcoming a baby into their lives. We would like to help them celebrate on
Sunday, September 26th
11:30am to 12:30pm
outside at First UU

(patio area off Weisheimer)
All are welcome, including families and children.

Gifts are not necessary, but if you would like to give them a gift, there are two options:

1. Donate to the group gift–a baby-to-toddler car seat (email Rev. Lynda Smith at to get her address for mailing a check); or

2. Bring a book: Board and fabric books are nice for young hands, especially books that are written by authors of Color and books that are science-themed. Please note, Amanda and Jim will be taking the books home to open.

3. Sign up at the Open House to be on Amanda and Jim’s Meal Train email list.

If you would like to help with the planning of this fun celebration, please email Lynda at

Peace Camp Artwork

Our Peace Camp kids were busy this summer! Their artwork is lining the main hallway at church for all to see. Each piece now has a page of information attached so you can see the work through the young artist’s eyes. Enjoy!

Thank you to all who participated in Peace Camp. Special thanks to teachers Jen Bojanowski and Amber Scott for leading and to all the volunteers for helping!

Pastoral Ministry Update

The Board of Trustees is in the process of putting 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, Rev. Isabel is with us through the end of this month. The Pastoral and Caring teams continue to be there for us. 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.

First UU’s Board of Trustees is Listening…

Our Compensation Listening Sessions are continuing.  We have added another session to the schedule, on Sunday, the 26th.

Sign up here, to join the discussion.
We want to hear from you.
Saturday, September 25th (9:00-10:15 AM)
Sunday, September 26th (11:15–12:30 PM)
Tuesday, September 28th (7:00-8:15 PM)

Email and text scam alert!

It happened again…

Rev. Marian’s email has been hacked. Scammers are sending emails to people in  my 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.

Justice Corner

Amanda Hays, Justice Coordinator

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

Justice Update

Update: March for Our Lives in the Supreme Court

A second amendment case before the Supreme Court includes testimonies from victims of gun violence. March for Our Lives, a youth-led gun violence prevention organization founded after the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglass High School in Parkland, FL, has filed a Friend of the Court brief. To read more, click here.

When March for Our Lives organized a March on Washington on March 24, 2018, First UU sent a busload of youth and advisors to participate. Others joined March for Our Lives protests in downtown Columbus.

National Nurses United – Day of Action Against CVS corporation

Submitted by Joan Matyskella

NNU has been actively working to achieve Medicare for All. Based in California, they are reaching out through email, webinars and texts to nurse and supporters all over the country in the fight for healthcare reform.

CVS has a long history of acquisitions and mergers (starting in 1990) that have allowed them not just to dominate the pharmacy market, but to manage supply chains, health insurance and providers. After buying out pharmacy chains such as Ekert, Pharmore, and Revco, they merged with Target and Aetna Ins. They purchased Caremark which allowed them to control the PBMs (Pharmacy Benefit Managers) which gave drug discounts to CVS pharmacies but overcharged local independent pharmacies causing many to go out of business.

CVS is using it’s billions to support organisations and candidates who oppose health care reform. They recently donated 5 Million dollars in “dark money” to an group opposing Medicare for All.

This prompted NNU to take a National Day of Action. On Sat. Sept 19, nurses and supporters all over the country went to
CVS pharmacies and taped a petition with a LONG list of signatures to their doors, took a picture and then left. Myself and Rita Haider, a member of SPAN-Ohio, went to 3 pharmacies to do this. Some other members of Span did as well, one in New Albany. NNU says this is a first step. Hopefully there will be an organised Boycott of CVS. Currently, many people are forced by their insurance company to get their prescriptions filled only at CVS.

Upcoming Sunday Service at 10am

“I’ll Meet You There”
Minister: Rev. Dr. Marian Stewart

“Can you still hear the song? The one sung for you when you were born… Listen carefully … Can you hear it still? A song of possibility.” We’ll listen for the music and also the words of Rumi as we celebrate Rumi’s birthday (Sept. 30, 1207).

Joys and Sorrows

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

Joys and Sorrows are shared last Sunday:

  • We send birthday wishes to Kathleen Boston, as she celebrated her 89th birthday on Thursday, September 16th.
  • Happy birthday to Dave Richter, who will celebrate his 80th birthday on Tuesday, September 21st.
  • Happy birthday to Alice Rathburn, who will celebrate her 80th birthday on Tuesday, September 21st.
  • Michelle Miles’s beloved furry companion and support dog, Dawson, died this week.
  • Michaela and William Brown: We are expecting a baby in February.
  • Lynda and Stuart contracted Covid after attending Brother-in-Laws Funeral. Worst is over, getting better.
  • David and Susan Carr: We are celebrating our 46th wedding anniversary this week
  • Bruce Smith: I’m grateful that we have a free, scenic state park with a beach where we can cool off and exercise near Columbus, namely Alum Creek State Park Beach
  • Our thoughts are with Jo Anne St. Clair, a long-time member of this church community currently living in Virginia. Jo Anne will undergo surgery on September 22. We send healing wishes her way. You may contact Cathy O’Neil who is acting as Jo Anne’s intermediary in this difficult time.

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


UU the VOTE 

Our Share-the-Plate recipient for September is UU the VOTE. UU The Vote is a project of the Unitarian Universalist Association that supports UUs across the country working for democracy by registering and engaging voters, fighting voter suppression, and increasing civic engagement. UU the VOTE invests in local organizing in places where it will make the most difference. For the 2020 election, UU the VOTE helped fund Unitarian Universalist Justice Ohio and its work in the Ohio Voter Rights Coalition. UU the VOTE is gearing up for the upcoming election cycles. For more information, go to

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. This week Columbus continues to register in the Critical red zone for Franklin County and the surrounding area. You can view the chart and get more information by clicking the link below.

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
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.