Conversation and musings from Rev. Marian…
Sunday afternoon, I found myself standing at the front of the sanctuary, overwhelmed by the swelling ovation that was the outpouring of emotion from the Newman community as they gathered in our space. They were overtly gracious for the warm welcome First UUers extended. (My thanks to you all.)

Newman members filled the sanctuary, each person with a story, each filled with pain, each filled with the need to be together. They showed up on time, greeted, and hugged each other. They shared a common anger at being kicked out of their long-time premises by the new Bishop. They shared shock at the removal of “All are welcome” from the Newman building along with the dove of peace, after the Newmans vacated. They shared in disbelief – not of their faith, but of leaders who seemed to oust values of inclusion, diversity, and compassion.

As mentioned in last week’s Rev. Talk, the Newman community was meeting at First UU to get a sense of what their next steps might be. In addition, they began the journey of healing their communal grief. First UU will serve as host for the Newman community’s next discernment meeting in late September.

After the greeting, I didn’t stay for their meeting, although I was in my office in case they needed anything. That gave me time to reflect on the power of community that I had just witnessed. Even more than answers, the Newman community needed to be together. They needed to see each other’s face, feel the emotions, and shed tears. The trauma was real in body, mind, and soul. Each person had a choice as to whether to show up or not. I’m sure a few stayed home or went off to other parishes, albeit more conservative. But the vast majority of the Newman community is dedicated to a shared sense of who they are and how they are called to be in this world. It was powerful. And I was moved.

I know First UUers have a strong sense of community as well. Coming out of pandemic, I often see people great each other as if they had been separated forever – which of course we had. I see small groups sharing together, and committees and teams meeting again. Even families and children are returning, hoping to recreate the magic that is UU. I’m looking forward to helping us to strengthen our sense of shared values and then, put them to work in our lives and in building a better world.

Our shared values that shone on Sunday were compassion and welcome. We saw a community in grief and we welcomed them in. Isn’t that who we are?

And I thank each of you for being you. Together, we are community.

ūüôā Rev. Marian

We made a wedding!

Auction Winners!

A group of lively First UUers enjoyed breakfast at Rev. Marian’s house and then ventured on to the Yellow Springs Art Show. Full tummies and art show treasures – how good is that!

 Meditations and Considerations 

from stars to mines, from sea to land, from atoms to sentient beings

Astronaut Bruce McCandless II, STS 41-B mission specialist, participates in a historical spacewalk. He is pictured a few meters away from the cabin of the Earth-orbiting Space Shuttle Challenger. This spacewalk represented the first use of a nitrogen-propelled, hand-controlled device called the Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU), which allows for much greater mobility than that afforded previous space walkers who had to use restrictive tethers.

Image Credit: NASA,12/2017

Woohoo! Breaking Free

What happened when you did something in a new way?
NASA has a tether-less story, what is yours?

Ponder this image in preparation for the service on Sunday, “Breakthrough Moments”. When have you realized the old ways no longer work or aren’t the answer. What got you to the imagine a new way?

This Coming Sunday
Service @ 10am

In-person AND live-stream

(In-person: Masks are strongly encouraged)

Breakthrough Moments

Rev. Dr. Marian Stewart

The heat outside is only matched by the flaming rhetoric, name-calling, and posturing in our political climate. What ever happened to being human? We might believe our ‘side’ is right, but are we missing something? Is there something bigger than hot issues? Might be a salvage job…
Mic Mac Aussie is loved and cared for by Robin Lawson.

Last Sunday’s Service

Animal Blessing

Rev. Marian
and our furry, scaly, feathered companions
Link to Previous Services
Slide show of First UU pets from the Animal Blessing service.
(To watch the full service, click on Previous Services link above.)
Chalice is from the UU Community Church of Washington County, Hillsboro, OR.

Celebration of Life Services

We will share information on upcoming¬†services as we know the dates and details. As they say, watch this space…

Joys and Sorrows

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

This week we catch up on Joys and Sorrows from the last Sunday.

Caring Cards and Joys and Sorrows from Sunday:

  • Kathleen Fowler: On the 2nd anniversary of the death of Tony McDonald, we are holding Carey, Sarah and their families in our hearts, knowing Tony will always be a part of First UU. We miss him dearly. We are proud of and appreciate Carey’s continued service to the Unitarian Universalist Association and to the community at large.
  • Su Farnlacher: Alison Wohler and family¬†are in Chautauqua NY and witnessed the attack on Salman Rushdie yesterday.

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

Share-the-Plate 

Our Share-the-Plate recipients for the summer (July/August) are Pro Choice Ohio and Faith Choice Ohio.

First UUer Kel McConaughey is the Development Director of Pro-Choice Ohio. First UUer, Jane Larson, is a long-time PCO Board member and serves on the PCO Foundation. Elaina Ramsey is the Director of Faith Choice Ohio, and Rev. Marian serves on the Board or Directors. Many First UUers volunteersupporting reproductive rights.

Reproductive healthcare is a justice issue. The right to make decisions informed by our circumstances in conversation with family and health care professionals is a matter of dignity, respect, and privacy. The Supreme Court, and our own state government, have ruled that reproduction is not a private matter and carries the threat of penalty and imprisonment. This affects everyone, especially those in minority communities and people in economically challenging circumstances. The work is urgent. The work is incredibly hard. The work is desperately needed.

For more information about Pro Choice Ohio and Faith Choice Ohio, visit prochoiceohio.org or faithchoiceohio.org.

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
First UU COVID Guidelines
Vaccination and Masks Strongly Encouraged

Updated Summer 2022
COVID-19 case numbers are rising again with a new, highly transmissible BA.5 variant. To reduce risk of infection of self and others, we strongly encourage vaccination and indoor mask usage.

Please get the full round of vaccinations and boosters. This includes children. Up-to-date protection helps avoid severe illness and hospitalization.

Masks vary in their effectiveness. “Loosely woven cloth products provide the least protection, layered finely woven products offer more protection, well-fitting disposable surgical masks and KN95s offer even more protection, and¬†well-fitting NIOSH-approved respirators (including N95s)¬†offer the highest level of protection.” (cdc.gov)

As always, we encourage good hygiene practices. These include hand washing, sneezing into elbow, etc. as well as staying home when you are sick or not feeling well.  

  • Individuals:¬†Masks are encouraged.
  • Small Groups:¬†Masks are encouraged, especially¬†if a group member requests mask usage.
  • Leaders:¬†Make informed decisions on behalf of larger groups. This applies to services, music, events, etc. Leaders are empowered to require masks as deemed appropriate.
  • Space Usage:¬†Continue to use additional ventilation (open doors/windows, fans) and favor open spaces. The building has high-quality ventilation systems. Masks are available.
This guidance is all about personal responsibility for self and others. We are a loving and caring community, and we are respectful of personal decisions to wear or not wear a mask. Thank you for your patience and cooperation as we work together to stay healthy and end this pandemic.
A visitor to the First UU flower garden. Buzzz…