Tuesday Talk 9/14/19

On Friday, Red Oak* Community School’s 3rd-5th graders took the COTA bus down to the Statehouse to participate in the Ohio Climate Strike. They opened the event with two songs they learned in class and afterwards they joined other participants on the steps of the statehouse to listen to speakers advocating for action to stop climate change.

It was a fantastic event and our kids got interviewed and photographed by plenty of press. They really felt like they made an impact. It was pretty fantastic. (A pic of our kids was even posted on Greta Thunberg’s FB page!)

*Red Oak is a vibrant, long-term tenant at First UU.

Tuesday Talk

Rev. Eric is our guest this week…

In my newsletter column earlier this month I wrote about going to Dayton the day after the shootings there in August.

This last Wednesday I joined 20 other First UUers at the Statehouse in a rally for our elected leaders to take gun safety seriously. Folks from all over Ohio, including UUs from Dayton and Cleveland, gathered to listen to those who have lost loved ones to gun violence and speak with one voice as the legislature returned from its summer recess. Echoing the phrase that was chanted when Gov. De Wine visited Dayton, we were there to say Do Something! 

Whether you are a gun owner or are someone who abhors them, something must be done to reduce the epidemic of shootings in our nation.

When I was a teenager, I naively thought that after the singer Marvin Gaye was shot and killed by his own father, that something would give, and we would look at guns differently. If only.

As I wrote in a newsletter column here several years ago, prior to my time in seminary a good friend of mine, a proud NRA member, invited me to join him at a gun range. I’m glad I took him up on the offer. We ended up going twice. The first time I used his .22 Browning handgun. Beyond learning that I’m a bad shot, this wasn’t the experience I wanted. A couple weeks later we returned to the range, and I rented a more powerful weapon, a 9mm pistol. This was more like it. This one had a kick. There was power here, something both to admire, and also to fear. That was the last time I ever held a gun.

What I didn’t expect, was by telling that story to family members and friends, I heard more gun stories than I ever heard before. A female boss talked about the time her husband took her deer hunting. “It was the most natural thing I’ve ever done,” she related.

Many of us have gun stories. Guns aren’t the enemy. But access to assault weapons and tactical gear is not what the framers of our constitution had in mind. What “well-regulated militia” was the Dayton shooter Connor Betts a member of?

And so, we march. We gather to have our voices heard against the influence of the special interest of the NRA, which has leaned far away from the group it was 20+ years ago.

Below are some pictures of some of us at last week’s event. Together our voice carries further than any of our single voices ever can.

In shared faith,
Rev. Eric

Rev. Eric and First Users showed up at the March to End Gun Violence last Wednesday. In addition to doing public witness, they listened to community leaders and stories from people impacted by gun violence.

SHOUT OUTS! and Reminders

Shout out to the Rainbow Connexion group
After the rain, rainbows come. Well, sometimes, Rainbows show up in the rain. See pics below.

***Middle HourMiddle HourMiddle Hour***
It’s happening! Come early, stay late. There is something for everyone.

Middle Hour is an exciting and changing mix of Forums, Theme Talks, Learning Labs, Smapler Groups, Creative Space, Tabletop Conversations, and more! It all happens between services from 10:10–10:45.

Here is this week’s Middle Hour lineup:

5th Sunday TOWN HALLBig Questions (Room #301 – old #7):
Led by your Board of Trustees
Join members of the Board of Trustees for a Town Hall conversation this Sunday during middle hour. We’ll be discussing this question: How can we, as a congregation, better create community through nurturing?

CREATIVE EXPRESSIONS (Room B – near kitchen)
a self-guided experience with crafts, drawing, writing…

TABLETOP CONVERSATIONS (Beach Hall near the windows)
Organized by Amber Scott and Kelli McNeal
Intentional conversations on an evolving set of topics mostly designed for young adults and parents.

Care Giver Support Group – Organizing meeting 9/24
Because several of our community have found themselves in the unfamiliar role as caregiver, we are forming a new support group for caregivers (spouses, parents, grandparent, special needs children, friends, etc.). The first get together will be at the Rusty Bucket on North High on September 24th at 6pm. We will each pay for our own meal. We will have the private room which holds about 20 people (sign-up required). This gathering will be organizational to decide what type of group or groups will be most beneficial, a regular meeting date and time, and format.

For more information, please contact Sylvia via email, phone 978-317-0013.

Rain outside…and INSIDE!!! Oh my.
Thanks to the quick action of the Rainbow Connexion group that was enjoying a Game Night in Beach Hall for finding every trash can, bucket, and tub in the building to catch the downpour in the Sanctuary. The group moved chairs, artwork, hymnbooks, music equipment and then vacuumed up the ever-growing flood.


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, September 25th, 7–8:30pm, Room A/B 
The Long Strange Trip—Our UU History  (6 weeks)
Every Wednesday, September 11 – October 16 (six weeks), 7pm, Room A/B. Led by Dana Reynolds, retired UU minister. This is a great way to learn about our UU development throughout the centuries. The series is ideal for those new to Unitarian Universalism, but it promises new surprises for those who have been UUs for a long time. In each session, we will view the DVD and have a discussion.
For childcare, please call or email the office at least seven days prior.

Thursday, September 26th, 11:45am, Sanctuary, Beach Hall
Senior Gathering
At 10:45am, there will be piano music by Karen Thimmes in the Sanctuary. At 11am, Rev. Dr. Marian Stewart and Rev. Eric Meter, with new staff members Amber Scott and Kelli McNeal, will describe the RE program and our membership integration efforts. A complimentary lunch follows at noon. RSVP now to the church office at 614-267-4946 ext. 21

Saturday, September 28th, 9am–12:30pm, Sanctuary and Beach Hall
Jung JACO Program
Jungian Analyst Richard Sweeney will present “Consciousness and the Perils of Polarization.” This program will address the nature and importance of consciousness, particularly in today’s world, consider the development and degrees of consciousness, and explore frequent obstacles to consciousness, including narcissistic tendencies. We will probe Jung’s view that all psychological symptoms and neuroses derive from conflict or polarization within the psyche. This will lead to a reflection upon social consciousness and the problem of polarization within the collective psyche today.

Saturday, September 28th, 10:15am, Room #402-403 (old Orange, Yellow)
Conversation with David Pyle (UUA)
Join members of the Board of Trustees for a follow-up meeting to the Spring meeting with David Pyle. Those with questions can reach out to the Board at board@firstuucolumbus.org. Childcare provided.

Sunday, September 29th, 9 & 11am, Sanctuary
Ideal, Imperfect, Renewing: The Challenge of Covenant” with Rev. Marian and Rev. David Pyle (UUA)
On this eve of Rosh Hashana, we recognize that we are a covenant making, covenant breaking, covenant renewing people. Rev. David Pyle from the UUA will join Rev. Marian in a dialogue to deepen our understanding of what it means to be in covenant.

Sunday, September 29th, 10:15–10:45am, Room #301
5th Sunday TOWN HALL: Big Questions
Led by your Board of Trustees
Join members of the Board of Trustees for a Town Hall conversation this Sunday during Middle Hour. We’ll be discussing this question: How can we, as a congregation, better create community through nurturing?

Looking Ahead…

Flu Shots – Here!

Flu Shot Clinic @ First UU
Sponsored by the City of Columbus: Public Health

Saturday, October 19, 2019
11 am – 3 pm
Tuesday, October 22, 2019
12 pm – 4 pm

For people 6 months and older
All immunizations are free
Bring your insurance card if you have one
No appointment necessary


Grief Recovery Method®  
Led by Rev. Kathleen Fowler and Rev. Eric Meter. Small group format. Registration required, no later than the second meeting, October 10.
Rev. Eric Meter, ericm@firstuucolumbus.org


Gun Safety
Ohioans for Gun Safety is a grassroots organization collecting signatures to put common sense background checks for gun safety in front of the Ohio legislature, and if they don’t act, on the ballot. As Ohioans and Americans, we understand that we must balance our rights and our responsibilities in order to stop gun violence and gun tragedies. By listening to and having conversations with Ohioans about their experiences and ideas, we have built a broad-based, inclusive coalition that will, ultimately, make our state a safer place for our children and grandchildren through common sense background checks for gun safety. If you are interested in signing our petition, see Mary Dixon or Susan O’Donnell in Beach Hall between services. The full text of the petition is here. Click here for more information.

2nd and 4th Wednesdays
ICE Solidarity with Immigrants Table

Our table in front of the ICE office downtown is back for its third year. Your help is needed: volunteers to staff the table, as well as volunteers to bake cookies or make trail mix. To sign up to help out, follow this link.

Sponsored by the First UU Archives Group
September 24, 1825
Frances Ellen Watkins Harper was born in Baltimore, MD. She was an important African-American feminist, abolitionist, and writer. Harper was a strong advocate of the Underground Railroad and worked for women’s suffrage, temperance, and education. She taught school at Union Seminary near Columbus, OH, and except for the years 1860 to 1864, when she stayed home with her young daughter, she lectured widely and kept a grueling schedule. A member of the First UU Church in Philadelphia, Harper was also a poet and popular novelist. Her books include Iola Leroy (1892), Minnie’s Sacrifice (1868), Sowing and Reaping, and Trial and Triumph. In her later years, Harper was an activist for a renewed morality among African-Americans and helped found the National Association of Colored Women. She died on February 22, 1911.