The Newsletter April 2017    
           

This month in worship and religious education we explore... NATURE, including our annual Flower Celebration on Easter, April 16.  If you can, bring a cut flower for each member of your party.  We assemble them at the front of the room for blessing and redistribution, as symbol of the gifts we each give and receive from being together.
  


Gathering for Prospective New Members

All persons potentially interested in Membership in NUUC are invited to gather in the Minister's Study immediately after service on April 9.  We'll talk about the meaning of membership, the process, and plan a signing of the membership book.  Please RSVP to RevRitchie@aol.com if you plan on attending, and if you are interested but cannot attend, please also write.   
Music Sunday Coming Up 

Music Sunday is May 21. Join us for this special Sunday service as we celebrate the many ways music blesses our congregation.

During Music Sunday, the NUUC Adult Choir will sing two favorites from the 2016-17 choir season. They will be joined by the NUUC Youth Choir for John Rutter's "Look At The World." The Youth Choir is practicing during RE class but there will be a dress rehearsal on May 21 at 9:30.

For a third year, the Youth Orchestra will perform during Music Sunday. If your child is going to participate in the orchestra, please see Marlene Hartzler for the sheet music for "Viking." Youth orchestra rehearsals will be April 30 and May 7 at 11:45; the dress rehearsal will be May 21 at 9:45.

Other musicians wishing to participate in music Sunday should contact Marlene Hartzler as soon as possible. Spaces are limited and preference will be given to those participating in ensembles. Soloists are encouraged to perform during summer worship services when the adult choir is on break.

Musically yours,
Marlene
NUUC: In Solidarity with Immigrants
NUUC and Westerville Partners for Education are working to to bring tutoring to young learners in reading outside of school, and close to their homes.  We are using this to establish meaningful elationships with Somalian and other immigrant families.  We are collecting like-new children's books to be used in tutoring sessions  in the marked box in the Fellowship Hall. Prepare to tutor by taking the free, 90-minute online tutor training at: http://coyfc.teachable.com/

 Please email jaultman@nuuc.org to let her know when you've completed the training so we can assemble our teams!
Upcoming in Conversation Cafe


Conversation Cafe meets every Thursday at 7 PM at Nielsen House (1539 Franklin Street) to engage the community in conversation about relevant and vital issues. 

 

Stranger in a Strange Land:  The  Immigrant Next Door
April 6, 7:00-8:30 pm
 
Unless you are Native American, you are likely descended from people who came to America from some other place - as refugees, immigrants, slaves or indentured servants.  Yet many of us still fear "the stranger in our midst." 
 
Why do people leave their family and friends, their history and culture and all they have known and loved, to travel to a strange land with a strange language and strange customs?   And how do our own family histories of coming to America shape the way we view more recent immigrants and refugees?   Why do we welcome some and try to ban others?   How does this impact our identity as Americans and our view of ourselves as a generous and compassionate people?
 
Conversation CafĂ©-North is a place where people gather (free) for conversation about life and spirituality in a safe, casual setting. We meet at Nielsen House Education Center, 1539 Franklin St, Lewis Center OH.  Parking across the street at North Unitarian Universalist Congregation.  
Host a Muslim Student

Host a YES student in 2017-2018! The YES scholarship program is designed for exchange with majority Muslim countries to increase understanding and promote peace amongst our communities.    Students come from devout Muslim families, to non-practicing, as well as some Christian, from countries such as Jordan, Albania, Palestine, and Liberia.  We are looking to place 4 of these youngsters in the Central and Southern Ohio area.  Please let us know if your can help!

Interested persons can contact Kay Barr at fraubarr@aol.com
Service Auction is Fast
 Approaching!

The Servic e Auction is not light ye ars aw ay! It's coming up fast, on Saturday. April 8. Mark you calendars and plan to "beam on down" at 6:00 PM for a "Night in the UUniverse" at the church. Come and enjoy an exciting evening that will be an outer space experience to remember. 

Many services and items have been donated for the 4 types of auctions and are truly out of this world. The main events of the evening will be the exciting live, silent, and theme basket auctions, plus th e kids' raffle auction. Just click here to look at the catalog and catalog supplement and see all the auction offerings. You'll also enjoy a galaxy of outer space decorations, plus fantastic food with a space motif and other refreshments, including wine. And, you will have the opportunity to get your picture taken wearing a spacesuit, being an alien, or against a backdrop of the stars of the universe. There will be lots to do for kids. Wow! They may have their faces painted to look like aliens or whatever they like. They might toss the "Rings of Saturn" and retrieve a prize from a Space Pod. In an eerily lit booth they can spin the arrow, and the galactic rune at which it stops will indicate the prize they've won. At "Cosmic Creations," kids can make a light saber or a UFO. Free childcare will be provided for the evening. Admission, activity booths, and food also will be free.

The service auction is our primary fund-raiser at NUUC. Last year we raised $7,886 and this year we hope to raise $8,000. Buying something at the service auction is a great way to support NUUC and still get something in return. In addition, the service auction is not only fun for one evening, but also provides opportunities for year-round community and comradery as people gather for dinners and do services for each other. So, please be sure to attend.

If you cannot attend the Service Auction, but want to bid on items you're excited about, please consider using proxy bidding. With proxy bidding, you can have someone bid for you who will follow your instructions, including a maximum bid amount on each item. We can arrange a proxy bidder for you or you can arrange one, whichever you prefer. Just contact one of the Service Auction Magic Makers shown below to make proxy bidding arrangements.

We hope you are able to join us for this year's exciting service auction and make this the best service auction ever. Get ready for a "Night in the UUniverse!"

Best regards,

The Service Auction Magic Makers, who are Dee Burlison, Lynn Foreman, Marty Keith, Trina Timson, Brad Bushman, Jan Bourke, and Bob Keith (chair).

Yes! There will be alien sugar cookies, galaxy cupcakes, surface landing peanut brittle, stuff your own pita saucer sandwi ches (with a variety grilled pro teins and vegetables, tahini, hummus, and dressed greens), zero gravity fruit salad (spheres of mango and kiwi juices contained only by an invisible and mysterious membrane!  Wine will be available for $3/glass.  Soft beverage options available at no cost.  Vegan/vegetarian/gluten free all available.
 
Mowing at NUUC - We Need Some Help
 
For this mowing season, the Building and Grounds Committee plans to handle the mowing using the same approach as last year, which will avoid us having to contract out the mowing and save about $3,200 in the budget. Our plan is for the B&G Com mittee to handle the mowing on a rotating basis with some help from the congregation. B&G Committee members will mow 3 weeks of each month, and the 4th week and sometimes the 5th week will be handled by a different volunteer from the congregation. This approach will spread the work so each committee member will mow about once a month, and each congregational volunteer would mow just one time during the season. Our approach will keep everyone's work commitments reasonable. 

The areas to be mowed include both the church yard (bounded by the driveway and the parking lot) plus the yard around Nielsen House. We have a riding mower, which is used for almost all of the mowing. For a few small, tight areas, which the riding mower cannot handle, we use a push power mower. The southern field at the rear of our property and the west side of the parking lot are excluded and will be mowed separately compliments of Gary Rusk, using his large tractor.

Therefore, we would like to get 1 or 2 volunteers from the congregation each month to mow one time in the season. The mowing season runs from April through early November. But volunteers from the congregation will be needed only from mid-April through October, which is 6 1/2 months. Three of those months have 5 weeks and will require 2 volunteers, so we need a total of 10 volunteers.

Please consider volunteering to mow one time this season. If would like to help the church handle the mowing, you can sign up on the mowing sign-up sheet in Fellowship Hall. Just pick a date that works for your schedule. If you have questions or would like more information, just contact Bob Keith at 740-369-1919 or bobkeith@frontier.com .


 
SOCIAL JUSTICE NEWS

INTERFAITH MARCH FOR PEACE AND JUSTICE: Initiated by the Safe Alliance of Interfaith Leaders (SAIL) and sponsored by the Interfaith Association of Central Ohio (IACO), the Interfaith March for Peace and Justice is designed to show support for the interfaith community throughout Ohio. "We gather as an interfaith community recognizing that all faiths, ethnicities, and races are welcome in our city as our Constitution demands. We call for harmony in our communities and an end to crimes of hate." This march will take place on Sunday, April 2nd, beginning at Genoa Park behind COSI and ending in the park at 145 S. Front Street next to the Ohio Supreme Court Building. Arrive at 1:30 PM. The March will begin at 2:00 PM. NUUC is one of the co-sponsors for this event.

LOOSE CHANGE OFFERING: Our April Loose Change Offering will be donated to The Friends of Alum Creek and Tributaries (FACT). Their mission is to preserve and protect the quality and beauty of the Alum Creek watershed and promote environmentally responsible recreation, educational opportunities, and citizen participation at many levels. FACT is a local non-profit 501(c)(3) volunteer based organization serving as the environmental steward for the lower Alum Creek watershed within Franklin and Delaware counties.

REPURPOSING PLASTIC BAGS: Sometimes we forget to bring our reusable bags to the store and end up with plastic bags. Now you can donate your plastic bags to the Ohio Reformatory for Women where inmates are making sleeping mats for homeless people. The Vineyard, a Columbus church, distributes the mats to homeless people living in camps through its urban ministry program. Crocheting the mats gives the women purpose and meaningful activity by teaching them they can take care of someone else and the Earth. You can leave your plastic bags in the designated bin next to the office in Fellowship Hall.
DONATING YARN AND SCRAPS OF MATERIAL FOR PROJECT LINUS: Some of the women in Horizon are working on service projects including knitting or crocheting items for charitable groups or making quilts. They greatly appreciate donations of yarn, scraps of material, or patterns that you no longer need.
UUSC FAIR TRADE COFFEE: Shop for delicious Fair Trade coffee, tea, cocoa, and chocolate after the service on April 9th, 2017. Your purchase of Fair Trade products means that workers along the supply chain are provided a living wage. The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) supports a number of worker-owned, local producers who are in danger of being replaced with multinational corporations that have little respect for workers' rights. Making consumer choices that are aligned with our UU Principles is one way to help create a more just world community.

Community Supported Agriculture


 Join Seminary Hill Farm's Community Supported Agriculture program. Seminary Hill Farm is a 5-acre certified-organic produce farm in Delaware, OH on the campus of the Methodist Theological School in Oho. Our CSA program provides our members fresh, local fruits and vegetables every week grown on our farm. Over three seasons, you will discover the joy of eating seasonally with our farm. In Summer Session I, you will enjoy specialty salad mixes, strawberries, asparagus, and herbs. Summer Session II brings you tomatoes, zucchini kale, eggplants, peppers, and more. Our Fall Session rounds out the year with canned goods, mushrooms, and root crops. You may even be treated to freshly baked breads from our dining hall and eggs from our free-range chickens. 
We will offer our CSA distribution at two locations this year. On Tuesday evenings, you can pick up your CSA on the MTSO campus, at 3081 Columbus Pike in Delaware, from 2pm to 6pm. On Thursday evenings, from 4pm to 7pm, we will distribute CSA shares at the Mirada Apartments in Lewis Center, just south of SR 750 on Route 23.
Supporting our CSA supports sustainable agriculture and young, aspiring farmers. Sign up today on our website, https://www.seminaryhillfarm.org/csaprogram/ , for fresh fruits and vegetables every week this summer and fall.

Treasurer Diane Conley's Report

Roots & Wings balance as of Feb 28, 2017....$19,955.00

February Loose Change Collection - Common Ground Free Store.....$237.07

Financial Snapshot thru February 28, 2017:
                                                                           YTD Actual                         YTD Budget                        Difference

Pledges and Other Revenues                      45,589.42                           27,713.34                           17,876.08

Expenses                                                          27,224.99                           29,722.03                             2,497.04

Net Income (Loss)                                          18,364.43                           (2,008.69)                           20,373.12
 
We are in great shape for February.  Pledges are being paid timely and expenses are tracking to budget.
 
The reason that we have budgeted a YTD loss is that pledges were budgeted based on when they have been collected historically (over the last 3 years).   Expenses were budgeted in the month that they will be paid.
 
Below is the breakdown of the pledge budget % by month for 2017:
January - 11%  
February--6%
March-- 8%
April-- 7%                                
May--8%
June--7%
July--7%
August-7%
September-8%
October-8%
November-11%
December-12%
 
Typically, February and summer pledge collections drop off compared to the rest of the year.   We have budgeted 2017 pledges accordingly so that we can ensure that we can cover expenses on months where we do anticipate shortfalls.  February 2017 pledges came in much stronger than previous years, which is just wonderful.  Thank you! 
 
If you have any questions about the financials, please send an email to Treasurer@nuuc.org