First UU Columbus

A Welcoming Congregation

 
Monday, June 26, 2017

chalice lightingWELCOME TO OUR COMMUNITY!

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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13
Jun
2017
Rev. Jennifer Brooks - Zest
Written by Rev. Jennifer Brooks   
Tuesday, 13 June 2017 00:00

blog jb happydogI love dogs. I admit it freely. It even runs in the family: we call my mother “Dog Woman” (and she gladly accepts the title). Dogs are drawn to her, probably because she always welcomes them. Aren’t people like that, too? Aren’t we drawn to someone who welcomes us, who offers kind words, food, and a soft place to lie down?

My dog Rosie is solar-charged. On a sunny day she stretches out on the grass and offers herself unabashedly to the Sun God.  It’s as if she has a soul-deep knowledge of the wisdom that resonates through her connection with the Earth and sky. People need that, too: the sun’s rays re-stocking our Vitamin D supply, the gentle cradle of the ground; the soft movement of the air. For me, it’s a hammock under the dappled sun-and-shade of the lilacs.

Click here to read more of Rev. Jennifer's column
 
02
Jun
2017
2017 Annual Congregational Meeting
Written by Brian Hagemann   
Friday, 02 June 2017 12:02

Annual Meeting
Sunday June 4th at 11:30am (following the 10am service)

We encourage everyone to attend our annual meeting.  Members will be hearing about the 2017 church year from elected leadership and on this years agenda are:

  • Spring Giving Campaign News. The Campaign Team asked for an increase in pledges by $60,000 and First UU’s members and friends responded! Together, we have met the $60,000 goal. But our total relies on on some pledging households we haven’t actually heard from; please reassure us all by sending in a pledge [online pledge form] for the year beginning July 1, 2017. 
  • Mission and Vision: Revised. Thanks to the many people who have commented on the Mission and Vision drafts since the February Midyear Congregational Meeting. We now have revised Mission & Vision statements [mission and vision pdf] to be presented at the congregational meeting.
  • Share-the-Plate Nominees. At the Annual Congregational Meeting, members will vote on 11 of the 18 Share-the-Plate nominees. [nominees list pdf]  During 2016-17, the first year of our Share-the-Plate program, we donated about $20,000 to worthy causes. Each recipient receives 50% of the plate collection for one month (although July and August are combined for one recipient). 
  • 2017 Annual Report [pdf]

We will also be asking the membership to approve the FY2018 proposed budget.  Finally we are happy to announce we will be previewing a new First UU promotional video that was created by our Sunday Sound Tech, Jabar Cole.  Come and see!

 

 
01
Jun
2017
Rev. Eric Meter - Links
Written by Rev. Eric Meter   
Thursday, 01 June 2017 00:00

blog em handsOne of my favorite God stories comes from the late Rev. Howard Thurman, who founded and pastored the Church for the Fellowship of All Peoples in San Francisco, perhaps the first intentionally interracial church in the country. 

A young boy is afraid of the dark and is having trouble going to sleep. His mother tells him that it is safe because God will be with him in the dark. All he needs to do when he is afraid is to pray and God will be by his side. But the boy remains fearful. At length he says to his mother, “Mommy, will you please ask God to put some skin on and then I will be alright.”  

Now, my understanding of God may be more poetic than many, but I love this little story. There are times, not only in childhood, when we want, even need, our comfort to have shape and texture. We want the source of our solace to be embodied, in other words. Abstractions will just not do. 

When I have been asked to offer what is often called Extending the Hand of Fellowship at ordination and installation ceremonies, I take the hand of the person being ordained or installed in mine and mention what I find there. 

Click here to read more of Rev. Eric's column
 
18
May
2017
Rev. Lane Campbell - Embody Love
Written by Rev. Lane Campbell   
Thursday, 18 May 2017 00:00

blog lc embodyloveI met a stranger a few weeks ago while walking back from a prayer march in Columbus. We had marched about a mile away, held prayer space with elected officials, police officers, and the mother of a young man who had been killed by police. We sang, prayed, listened, held silence, and the day had been quite full. I walked back with the women who had been leading us in song all evening long. Rain had started to fall and it was dark out. I looked around ant introduced myself to one of the women walking back. We talked about our experiences of the prayer march together.

Early on in our conversation, she mentioned that her religious beliefs required her to extend love to every stranger, every person she meets. This woman is part of a much more conservative line of Christianity and I have to say I came to the conversation with a bit of bias. But she told me her religious tradition asks that she love the elected officials, even when they make decisions she disagrees with. Her church teaches her to love the police officers, even when they do wrong and do not protect those they are meant to serve. And her God calls her to love the brokenhearted mother who is deeply grieving the loss of her child.

Our conversation and connection in that moment inspired ad challenged me. To truly embody love means to hold love for the folks I agree with as well as those I don’t. This woman shared with me how this call has asked her to stretch and grow, to treat others truly how she wants to be treated.

Click here to read more of Rev. Lane's column
 
15
May
2017
Labor Day Retreat in Hocking Hills
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First UU Church Annual Labor Day Retreat at Camp Oty' Okwa Sat, Sep 2 to Mon, Sept 4, 2017. Wonderful for families, singles or couples. Workshops, hiking, crafts, community building! Sign up by Sunday August 27.  

Sign up on-line.  Check out the Labor Day Retreat table in Fellowship Hall or contact Beth McCreary, 850-1463   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it   or Julie Pinsonneault, 447-8407 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 View a Sample Schedule or Labor Day FAQs

 
09
May
2017
Rev. Jennifer Brooks - Embodiment
Written by Rev. Jennifer Brooks   
Tuesday, 09 May 2017 00:00

blog jb bikefunIt was a warm spring day and I pedaled as fast as possible along Rustic Bridge Road, leaning into the turns. I wasn’t really going very fast, but fast enough to be exhilarating, especially on the downhills. Joy bubbled up from deep inside. All my senses were cheering me on. The wind was in my teeth. I flew.

Ahead I spotted two children, perhaps 8 years old, pedaling madly toward me on their little bikes. Waves of exhilaration preceded them. They grinned fiercely as they leaned forward over the handlebars, obviously striving to go as fast as they could. They passed me in a split second, ignoring me completely. The wind was in their teeth. They flew.

In the whirl and flash of their passing, wonderment arose. I didn’t simply remember being eight years old and riding my bike like that; I felt eight years old again. The thrill of effort and motion; the instinctive grace of balance; the connection to the bicycle and through it to the ground; the air on my face and in my lungs: it has always felt like this.

In our high-tech society, too often we live in our heads. Our fingers move on the keyboard or the TV remote or to tap on an app on a mobile device. Perhaps we make a special trip, by car, to the gym or the pool. What have we lost?

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

Elevator Speeches from First UU members

Our church is a merger of the Unitarian and Universalist churches. Both churches have 500 year old roots as Christian churches that protested the excesses of dominant Christian churches. Since then, we have come to emphasize freethinking and we draw from many sources of spiritual wisdom. We challenge injustice, privilege, preconceptions, and the unreflected sense of certainty. We support a gently relentless pursuit of truth, meaning, and spirituality.
Wesley Thompson