Tuesday Talk

Rev. Marian at Standing Rock protesting with thousands of others against the Dakota Access Pipeline (Dec. 2016).

Lots going on…

First: Two events TODAY (Wednesday) for justice

1. SB33 – Environment, Separation of Church and State…
TODAY at 11am @ Ohio State House, room #116
Protest/witness against bill the charges protesters with felonies and fines churches and other organizations that help them up to $100,000. This is a bad bill sponsored by the oil and gas industry. More info below in Justice section.

2. Immigration – Nationwide Day of Action on Sanctuary
TODAY at 11am @ Senator Brown’s office, Federal Bldg., 200 N. High Street
Show support Edith, Miriam, and all who are sanctuary.

Second: back at First UU…

Message from Seth Kraut and the Nominating Task Force (there is a separate message in the next section from the Nominating Committee (hint: they are looking for folks who are interested in serving the church next year.)

There have been ongoing discussions within Nominating and the Board about how best to select church leadership. There are very interesting questions about what does it mean to be democratic. Nationally, we’re all learning that it’s more than just voting. Locally, the Board was once a contested slate, but it isn’t anymore.

There are specific issues that we see with the current selection process. People generally vote for who they know, which is reasonable, but it makes it difficult for newer members to participate. Some people don’t want to be in a contested slate. As someone who lost their City Council race by a vote, I am sympathetic. The point of all of this is that there may be better ways to do this. Maybe some of the energy that goes into finding leaders could be directed at preparing and helping leaders.

In order to further this discussion and then move it to action, the Board voted to form a task force to evaluate how best to select church leadership. What we haven’t done yet is staff it. If this is something that interests you, please contact me or anyone on the Board. It’s an opportunity to engage in some very interesting conversations and guide important decisions about who we are and how our church operates.

SHOUT OUTS!
Opportunities and Reminders

Thank you to all who volunteer, serve, and help make First UU such a strong community. It is true that our church is what it is because of you.

From our Nominating Committee…
Want to meet new people, contribute to the church, and learn new things? Do you know someone who would be a good leader and representative for our church? The Nominating Committee would love to hear from you!

You are invited to submit a nomination form telling us about yourself or someone else who you think would make a good leader. Submitting your name, or someone else’s, is not an obligation. It’s an invitation to a conversation about potentially serving on the Nominating Committee, Board of Trustees, or as Moderator. And, if these positions aren’t your thing, we can put you in touch with Kelli McNeal, our Congregational Life Coordinator, to review other opportunities.

Explore getting involved! Help your friends get involved! The online form is here, or if you prefer to put pen to paper, hard copy versions will be available at the church starting on January 26th; just see a member of the Nominating Committee. If you would like to get in touch with us about any other matters, send an email to the Nominating Committee at nominating@firstuucolumbus.org.

Interested in joining First UU?
Next Pathways class is Feb. 9th, 9am–3pm.

Wondering whether you’re ready to make a commitment to the congregation and become a member? Wondering what it means to be a member? All great questions will be explored at our next Pathways class. Please register at firstuucolumbus.org/pathways or email Kelli McNeal, kelli@firstuucolumbus.org, with questions.

Is an Intern in our future???
Contribute a Teaching Share to the Intern Fund 
If we would like to have a ministerial intern in the coming years, we have to put the funds in place now. In order to say ‘yes’ to a school and a potential intern, we have to know that we can uphold our promise. If you are interested or would like more information, please contact Rev. Marian soon.

***Middle HourMiddle HourMiddle Hour***
Sunday, 10:15–10:45am
Board Town Hall
Beach Hall
Facilitator: Board 

The Board wants to hear you. Here’s the question: How can we, as a congregation, better work for justice through learning?
Middle Hour is Fun!
Creative Expressions
Room A/B
Join Deb Baillieul to explore Puppets and Power. Use paper plates and tongue depressors to determine what’s powerful.

THIS WEEK

For additional churchwide activities and events, please see First UU News (emailed on Fridays and in the Sunday Order of Service).

For information about family and child-focused events and classes, see the RE News (emailed to families and in the Sunday Order of Service).

Wednesday, January 29th, 7:30pm, Room A/B
Long Strange Trip: Our UU History, Part VI
Led by Dana Reynolds, retired UU minister
This is a great way to learn about our UU development throughout the centuries. It’s ideal for those new to UUism, but promises new surprises for longtime UUs. All are welcome.

Friday evening, Saturday, January 30–February 1
Beloved Conversations
For those who have pre-registered. If you have questions, please contact Rev. Eric.

Sunday, February 2nd, 9am & 11am, Sanctuary
“Safety Is Not Enough” with Rev. Eric
Safety, though a human need, is never enough. In fact, alone it alone it becomes a trap. It needs to be balanced by a willingness to be brave.

CONCERT
Sunday, February 2nd
, 3–4:30pm, Sanctuary
“And Then They Came for Me”
Benefit for First UU’s Fund for Immigration Legal Assistance (FILA). Featuring Starlit Ways, Crazy Faith Freedom Choir, and Abby Moulton.  Emcee: Eric Gnezda, award-winner songwriter and PBS host.
$20 at the door. You may also reserve tickets here.

SAVE THE DATE…
First UU Auction: Come Fly with Me! 
Saturday, February 22, 2020
To really take off, we’ll need many donations to zoom in and take the bidding sky high! You can donate from the auction website or email.  We’ll have a table in Beach Hall starting near the end of November, then on January 5 and February 9 we will have Auction 101 sessions during Middle Hour to share auction information and answer questions.
Save your stuff!
Rummage Sale
May 2, 2020 (Saturday)

We will also need volunteers. Please contact Seth Kraut (614-477-0099) or Rachel Kraut (614-774-2362). We need household items (kitchen decor, small appliances, baskets, lamps), jewelry and accessories, working toys/games/puzzles, garden, travel and camping items. More information will follow.
Images from Standing Rock in the winter of 2017.

JUSTICE UPDATES

Wear your yellow LOVE shirts!
Nationwide Day of Action on Sanctuary
Wednesday, January 29th, 11:00am

Local faith leaders and Sanctuary supporters will gather in front of Senator Brown’s office, Federal Building, 200 N. High Street.

Come support Edith and Miriam and all of the others in our country who are living in Sanctuary in churches.

Wear your yellow LOVE shirts!
Senate Bill 33 – Pack the Hearing Room!

Wednesday, Jan. 29, 11 am, Room 116

The Ohio House Public Utilities Committee will hold its final meeting on SB 33, the anti-protest bill. And it is scheduled for a Committee vote and maybe a full House vote that day.

We want to crowd the hearing room both inside and out in the halls at the hearing.

We have people with Ohio environmental groups and others coming to protest, too.

If SB33 passes the hearing, we will proceed to protest outside the House Chambers to protest at 1 pm when the House goes into full session for a final vote.

We want to have TONS of folk in clergy garb and “Side With Love” and environmental t-shirts.

Please let your networks know about this attack on our rights and that the justice community needs to be there to Speak Truth to Power.

This bill dramatically increases the penalties for non-violent protest at fracking sites, oil and gas pipelines, petrochemical plants and other ‘critical infrastructure” sites. It makes non-profits and organizations and congregations liable for punishment if they support protestors charged under this bill. This is a direct threat to basic rights of freedom of speech and assembly.

If you can’t attend, please call your House Representative. Find their names and email and phones here: http://www.ohiohouse.gov/

Information about SB 33

This bill directly attacks our first amendment rights to engage in non-violent protest and speak truth to power

See the Greenpeace summary at: https://polluterwatch.org/OHIO-Oil-Gas-Critical-Infrastruct…

Under SB33, penalties for trespass are dramatically heightened if they occur on so-called “critical infrastructure”:
While general criminal trespass “on the land or premises of another” is a fourth-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a $250 fine, the bill would make the same offense punishable by half a year in jail and $1,000 if it takes place on a critical infrastructure facility.

The definition of “critical infrastructure facility” is sweeping, and includes a vast array of oil, gas, electric, water, telecommunications, railroad facilities, and other locations.
It includes oil and gas sites, fracking wells, petrochemical plants, pipelines and other places that destroy the environment and put our children’s health at risk.

Under the bill, an individual peacefully protesting in the wrong place could be sanctioned with half a year in jail.
The bill also substantially expands the definition of felony “criminal mischief” in ways likely to chill and put a stop to peaceful protest activity.

The bill’s vague definition of the new offense, a third degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine, includes “knowingly [and] improperly tamper[ing] with” a critical infrastructure facility.

Lawmakers have attempted to define “improperly tampering,” but their definition (“changing the physical location or physical condition”) does not provide sufficient precision or clarity for individuals facing potential felony charges and a decade in prison.

In the absence of a clearly-defined offense, individuals cannot be expected to know what conduct is or is not criminalized. Rather than face the risk of draconian penalties, they will likely censor themselves, and avoid exercising their First Amendment rights.

It was designed by the American Legislative Exchange Council – ALEC – to establish special protections especially for the oil and gas industry. And put an end to any public protest or opposition to the activities of these industries.

It is also designed to punish non-profits, environmental groups and even congregations who dare to support the people protesting at these sites with fines up to $100,000. The Senate version contains criminal and civil liabilities for non-profits and organizations. The House version tried to amend the criminal liability, but made it even more murky in its definition of organizational improper action.

What you can do.

  • We need to Pack the Hearing Room (#116) when the House Utilities Committee meets on Jan. 29, 11 am.
  • We need people there in clergy garb and “Side with Love” and environmental t-shirts.
  • And then we need people to attend the House session that follows during the floor vote.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thank you for caring about freedom to Speak Truth to Power and our rights.

Forward Together!

Gift cards are needed to provide food for Edith Espinal, Miriam Vargas, and the Honduran family living at Just North. Kroger cards are preferred. Jan Phillips is collecting the gift cards. You may give them to her at church, or leave them with Rev. Marian.

THIS MOMENT IN UU HISTORY
Sponsored by the First UU Archives Group
January 27, 1844
James Freeman Clarke announced in The Christian World the opening of Meadville Theological School in Meadville, PA. It opened “without endowments, buildings, library or apparatus of any sort, but nevertheless having the two essential parts, teachers and pupils.”