First UU Columbus

A Welcoming Congregation

Monday, March 27, 2017


First Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbus is a place where people on a variety of spiritual paths come together to grow in religious depth.

Our congregation lifts up our lives within community so that we may feel ourselves more deeply rooted and connected to our earth and the wider circle of beings.  We are empowered by our commitments to greater loving, wider justice and deeper happiness.

Please join us as we create community, grow in spirituality, practice charity and work for social justice. We welcome you in your struggles, your doubts and your dreams.


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All Are Welcome

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As a "Welcoming Congregation",
we have formalized our commitment to be inclusive and expressive of the concerns of bisexual, gay, lesbian, and/or transgender persons at every level of congregational life.

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Auction 2017 a Big Success!

auction superheroes2017 First UU Auction Fundraiser

Our Superhero Auction was a great success and we all had a blast!  Thanks to everyone for their attendance, donations, and generous support.

The numbers are in now, and we raised $32,012, which is quite a bit more than the $27,000 we had budgeted.  Hooray!

In addition to those who provided food and donated wonderful events, services, and items, it took a Justice League full of Auction Heroes to put on this Marvel-ous event!

Your efforts are very much appreciated - Thank You All!!

Read more: Auction 2017 a Big Success!
Rev. Lane Campbell - Labels, Language, and Identity, Oh My!
Written by Rev. Lane Campbell   
Tuesday, 21 February 2017 00:00

blog lc pronounsThe words we use to define ourselves and who we are matter.

I have never been more in touch with this concept than I am at this particular moment in my life and in the lifetime of the United States.  Words to identify who we are can be claimed in an empowering way, allowing us access to groups of people who share our identities.  Words to identify who we are can be used as weapons from people intending to do harm.  Words to identify who we are can be celebrated by communities of shared identity and by allies.  And words to identify who we are can be misunderstood, as words have different meanings in different communities or contexts.  Either way, these words matter and bring meaning into our lives.

For myself, I can tell you I identify with all sorts of words and labels: white, woman, queer, cis-gender, temporarily able-bodied, partnered, middle-class, minister and so on.  These words and the meaning behind them give shape to who I am.  And there are many other words folks would use to describe me, some I would claim and others I would not.  One of the deepest exercises I have ever taken part in invited participants to trace our bodies and then to write inside of the shapes of our bodies all of the labels used to identify us by others.  Then, we went through the labels and crossed out those that do not apply to us.  It was an extremely empowering exercise, to be able to say, “That's not me.  This is who I am.”

click here to read more of Rev. Lane's article
Rev. Jennifer Brooks - Identity
Written by Rev. Jennifer Brooks   
Tuesday, 14 February 2017 00:00

blog jb indentityEach of us from time to time stands alone beneath the stars, longing to know our place in the universe. There is something about the majesty of endless dark strewn with tiny lights that provokes both awe and self-reflection.

Who am I? Why am I here? What is the meaning of life?

These are expressions of humankind’s deepest longing. It’s as if the universe, expanding for billions of years, evolved creatures that could speak its most profound questions. Perhaps we who ask are the ones tasked with finding the answers. Perhaps to search for meaning is what we evolved to do.

Perhaps the answer to our search for meaning is, ultimately, not in service to the meaning of life but to the meaning we each make from our own individual lives.

Yet our meaning-making is often overwhelmed by the sheer busyness of our lives. Survival, success, relationships good and bad, security, insecurity, errands and what’s-for-dinner. In all of this activity, who we are and the meaning we hope to make can get lost.

Until we stand under the stars again, and look up, and remember the questions.

click here to read more of Rev. Jennifer's article
Mid-Year Meeting Summary

MidYear 2017 thumbThe mid-year meeting held on Sunday, February 5, was attended by about 100 members and was informative and well-received.

Members of the Board, Transition and Coordinating Teams, Finance, Search and JAM, as well as Rev. Jennifer and Rev. Lane offered an integrated and inspiring look at the work that has been underway during our second year of transition. If you were hearing rumors of a new mission and vision statement, rest assured that you will be hearing more about the proposed wording in upcoming listening sessions.


Your Board has unanimously voted to sign the congregation on to the UUA/UUSC Declaration of Conscience.

There was so much more, including the exciting work being done with communities of color through our justice projects. This congregation is strong and vibrant.

The slides, including a financial review, and a report from the meeting are available below.  If you have questions contact Ginnie Vogts at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


Ministerial Intern coming Fall 2017
Written by Brian Hagemann   
Friday, 10 February 2017 17:04

Thanks to a Legacy Gift, First UU Will Welcome a New Ministerial Intern this Autumn

At the request of Meadville Lombard Theological School, First UU has offered a part-time, two-year internship to Meadville student Amanda Hays.

Amanda HaysWhen the congregation was setting out preliminary goals for our recent Green and Growing Capital Campaign, one of the programs we hoped to raise funds for was a Rev. Mark Belletini Internship Fund. While that facet of the campaign was ultimately set aside in favor of more pressing needs, the desire to host a ministerial intern did not go away.

Last year the congregation received a generous bequest from the estate of Jean Werts, church Acorn Society member. Both the congregation’s Coordinating Team and Board of Trustees feel that Jean would have loved the opportunity to help a young woman with a deep passion for justice become a minister in our faith tradition. Additionally, as this would be a two-year internship, we will seek a denominational grant to help fund its second year.

Linda Thompson, from our Archives Team, reports that since 1961, this congregation has ordained 14 Unitarian Universalist ministers. That’s a lot for a church of any size. Clearly something is at work at First UU. And while it has been years since we hosted our last ministerial intern, First UU has a great deal to offer the right candidate in her or his ministerial formation.

Read more: Ministerial Intern coming Fall 2017
Rev. Eric Meter - Normal
Written by Brian Hagemann   
Tuesday, 07 February 2017 00:00

blog em normal2Years ago, likely in the months prior to starting seminary, I told a friend that I thought one of the things I had going for me was that in many ways I was “normal”.

Ugh. I remember little of the context in which I said it, but it likely was about what I might offer someday as a UU minister. Since then, that one sentence has been like an internal ghost, alive in my memory, haunting me in times of doubt and self-criticism.

Yes, as a straight white guy, I’ve been brought up to see myself as normal. And so much of my lived education, both before and after making that remark, has been learning how limited that sense of normalcy really is.

So when I think about our theme of what it means to be a community of identity this month, this is what comes first to mind: how do we help one another see ourselves as clearly as possible within the larger context of humanity?

Time and time again, life has brought into sharp relief the lesson that what I took for “normal” was actually a perspective created by a rather specific cultural lens. And taking that perspective as normal hindered my curiosity about other ways any given experience might be seen or understood.

click here to read more of Rev. Eric's article

Elevator Speeches from First UU members

The UU church is a creed/dogma free church which promotes an independent approach to thinking in today’s religions.  It is forward thinking, providing a liberal approach to questions regarding life, spirit with an emphasis on social justice.  It is a diverse church in that allows the individual to define their love, family in a caring and supportive environment.  It is a religion that requires participation to grow in spirit.
Dennis Rankin